YORK, PA. (Sept. 4, 11:40 a.m. EDT) — As K 2001 approaches, Graham Machinery Group officials are positioning the company as a global player in blow molding machines.
K also will mark the first time Graham has exhibited one its large accumulator-head machines at a European plastics trade show.
York-based GMG made a big move into European production — and shuttle machines — in 1999 by purchasing Hesta Blow Molding Machinery Co. in Stuttgart, Germany. Hesta Graham now is a major European supplier of shuttle and small accumulator-head machines for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, cleaning products, chemicals, toys and other markets.
Last fall, Graham acquired two sister companies in Chicago that focus on presses to mold large polycarbonate water bottles: Improved Blow Molding Equipment Co. Inc. and WTR Systems International of Chicago.
GMG also manufactures continuous-wheel machines and indexing-wheel machines.
In Dusseldorf, Germany, Graham will show four machines at K 2001 (Hall 14, Stand A 68). Three of the four are worldwide introductions:
* A C30 Improved, billed as the first new PC water-bottle machine from GMG since it bought Improved and WTR. The length-to-diameter ratio of the reciprocating screw is 24-to-1. A key difference from competing machines is the plasticizing unit, the company said. The screw dimensions make bottles with high clarity. A flow-through die head prevents material degradation. The C-30 has a single-cylinder, three-platen clamping system, supported by four tie bars. At K, the machine will mold 5-gallon PC bottles with handles, on a mold from Greif Bros. Corp./Van Leer Corp.
* A 20-pound-shot accumulator head called the GEC20DP7460S. Platens measure 74 inches wide by 60 inches tall. While Graham said most European machinery suppliers sell single-head machines, the dual-head design gives higher output. Graham will crank up the big machine twice a day, molding thin-wall automotive parts for a heating, ventilation and air conditioning duct on a Lear Corp. mold. Visitors can see on-the-fly color changes on the thin-wall parts.
* GMG's largest shuttle machine, a Model HLD 700 Hesta with a double station. The large-platen machine has 20 tons of clamping force and a mold stroke of 700 millimeters (Graham is expanding the stroke to 730mm). The HLD press will make eight 2-liter dairy bottles on a Tetra Pak mold, running a four-parison head with a center distance of 140mm. The German-made machines hold bottles by retaining mandrels at the neck and move them from the molding area onto a timing belt in front of the machine. All Hesta Graham double-station machines offer a bottle discharge oriented either to both sides of the machine, or facing into a single direction, left or right, eliminating the need for nearby conveyor systems.
* A Hesta Graham HK 453, the company's smallest single-station shuttle machine. Equipped with a dual-coextrusion head at 85mm center distance, the press will mold a cosmetic tube vial with two wall layers of different materials.
Graham Machinery Group employs more than 300.