Erik Skov's world is flat - he designs large, flat, blow molded parts like Rubbermaid storage sheds - but round parisons are still the norm in the accumulator blow molding business.
The challenge is changing a traditional hollow, round parison into a thin, flat, rectangular shape, he said.
``You don't have to make a round parison,'' Skov said at the Society of Plastics Engineers' Blow Molding Conference, held Oct. 11-13 in Toledo.
Skov, a principal engineer at Rubbermaid Home Products Inc. in Fairlawn, Ohio, said he has developed some experimental tooling that is not round, but closer to the shape of a flat panel. ``The difficulty is adapting it to a standard head,'' he said.
Rubbermaid Home Products is a unit of Newell Rubbermaid Inc. of Sandy Springs, Ga.
A blow molding veteran, Skov gets involved in research and development. He does think that blow molding will adopt nonround parisons for flat parts. Here are some of Skov's other predictions for large, blow molded, flat-panel molding:
* The process will turn out larger parts, including new construction industry applications.
* New materials will be used, including plant-based ingredients.
* Machinery innovations could be dramatic. Skov can foresee blow molding machines run by magnetic levitation and electromagnetic propulsion.