HPM is giving new life to a process called continuous vacuum forming - an alternative to blow molding for making bottles.
The technology sprang up in the world of pipe corrugation machinery. While blow molding uses internal air pressure to force the resin against the outer walls of the mold, CVF works the opposite way, creating a vacuum outside a continuously extruded parison to draw the resin out to the mold walls.
HPM hired Chris Turner and Hal Minderman, both formerly with corrugator equipment maker Collum Machine Tool & Die Inc., to run the CVF operation. HPM, a division of Taylor's Industrial Services LLC, will build the packaging machines at its Mount Gilead, Ohio, headquarters plant. Taylor is product manager. Minderman is project engineer.
Collum of Cleveland, Tenn., introduced its ConVac line at NPE 2003.
HPM does not have a machine yet. Turner said HPM hopes to build a prototype later this year.
HPM's continuous vacuum forming machines will extrude a continuous tube, similar to a parison, that is clamped in a series of molds arranged in a loop. The ribbon of containers that comes out of the machine does need to be trimmed, but HPM claims that thanks to the end-to-end design of the molds, the process generates 35 percent less scrap and flash and a higher percentage of finished bottles than conventional blow molding systems.
HPM has many years of experience making extruders, mainly for sheet lines.
Turner said the machine will be an improvement from existing machines, with an HPM-specific design. Initially, the machines will run high density polyethylene. Turner said the company will explore using CVF to run PET bottles.