CHICAGO (July 2, 2:20 p.m. EDT) — Zed Industries Inc. attracted a crowd at NPE with a new in-line, servo-driven pressure former capable of more than 50 cycles per minute with high-impact polystyrene.
The Vandalia, Ohio, maker of thermoforming and plastic packaging machinery systems demonstrated the capacity to form 2,500 cup lids per minute. The company touts the machine as the fastest in-line model ever built.
Targeted toward lid manufacturers and priced at about $400,000, the SF-series model has a 38-inch-wide web with servo-driven, cam-activated platens that provide continuous forward motion resulting in an increase in cycle speeds. Assembly and testing was completed June 16. Zed can supply a web capacity up to 52 inches wide.
In November, two Zelnick brothers purchased the business from their father David Zelnick, who at 75 remains chairman and pursues his interests in private-pilot flying and fishing. He founded the company in 1969. Terms of the transition were not disclosed.
Peter Zelnick is Zed's chief executive officer, and Mark Zelnick is president. Each has a background engineering.
Zed experimented with small-format machines and up to 55 cycles per minute in the 1980s, but customers making cups and lids wanted large formats. “We could not reform the market's ideas,” Peter Zelnick said in an interview at NPE.
Zed pushed 60 cycles in the 1990s but still faced some mechanical issues.
“Now we have large servo formats and cam-functioning links so we no longer have any toggle,” he said. “It is all forward-moving servos. We keep the motor energized in one direction.”
Using Allen-Bradley controls, the machine indexes 32 inches at 600 inches per second squared and gets the forming done in two-tenths of a second. The demonstration is running at 50-55 cycles per minute.
Zed offers a simplified touch-screen control that incorporates digital photography in its troubleshooting capability.
Zelnick employs nearly 100 and occupies close to 50,000 square feet, with another 20,000 square feet off-site for storage and screw machine capacity.
Sales are rebounding. “We have shipped a dozen in-lines this year and have another 10 booked,” including high-end robotic systems, he said. The firm is seeking a West Coast sales representative.
Zed anticipates a push toward biodegradable materials in a stronger environmental movement. “I see a new wave coming through,” Zelnick said.