SIG Blowtec has developed a more-economical machine to blow mold 20-liter polycarbonate bottles for water coolers, the BlowPac 2-10 PC.
SIG officials said the earlier model, the 2-20, was too big. SIG engineers reduced the price by about 15 percent and boosted output to 140 bottles an hour, from 100 bottles, without compromising quality, the company said.
According to SIG, about 80-85 million PC water-cooler bottles were sold in North America in 2001. About 26 million went to Latin America. The fast-growing West Europe market is expected to triple by 2004, to 2.3 million bottles.
Features of the BlowPac presses include a special screw and feed- zone geometry for PC resin, shorter cycle times and adjustment of the temperature profile and material feeding in the extruder. Another SIG specialty: calibrated neck finish that is done completely inside the mold.
Costs were trimmed by reducing the clamping force to 20 tons, from 30 tons. A new machine frame and other load-bearing elements allowed a modular design, saving money during assembly and shipping.
SIG said more than 10 BlowPac 2-10 PC machines have been sold since last November, to customers in the United States, Mexico, Europe and Indonesia.
SIG Blowtec is a unit of SIG Plastics International GmbH of Essen, Germany. Its North American headquarters, SIG Plastics Technologies (USA) Inc., is based in North Branch, N.J.
Tel. (908) 252-9350, fax (908) 252-9807.