CHICAGO (July 13, 9:20 a.m. EDT) — R&B Machine Tool, a Michigan blow molding machinery builder owned by Unova Inc., debuted an eight-station rotary machine at NPE 2000.
The company had introduced a four-station rotary machine at the last NPE, three years ago.
R&B said the Rotary 8 makes polyethylene bottles with a calibrated neck, like a shuttle machine.
Thanks to its large platens, the Rotary 8 is flexible enough to mold bottles of 12 ounces to 2½ gallons for markets such as household chemicals and cosmetic packaging.
At NPE, R&B was molding 100 bottles a minute by running four parisons, but the machine can extrude six parisons on 85-millimeter centers. Peak output running 32 cavities on a six-parison configuration is 10,800 bottles an hour.
R&B said both the Rotary 8 and Rotary 4 can do in-mold labeling without interrupting the cycle time.
Unova — the same company that bought Milacron Inc.'s machine tools business — acquired R&B Machine in 1998. Founded in 1942 as a maker of metal cutting machines, the company began making blow molding machines in 1980. A major customer is blow molding giant Owens-Illinois Inc., which has purchased 25 of the 44 blow molding systems the company has produced to date, according to R&B literature. The systems include the blow molding machine, takeout equipment, conveyors and bottle trimmers.
R&B's plastics division is based in Saline, Mich. Three years ago, R&B bought a maker of blow molds, Monroe Mold in Monroe, Mich. The division employees 43 at both facilities.
James Sheely, account executive for the R&B plastics division, said the company stresses its expertise as a supplier of turnkey systems.
R&B Machine tool is part of Unova's Industrial Automation Systems group.