All-electric blow molding machines are a hot new technology - but Werner Amsler's company has made only all-electric reheat stretch blow machines for PET bottles since he founded W. Amsler Equipment Inc. in 1994.
Amsler said he decided early on to make fully electric machines instead of standard hydraulic presses. The benefits of electric blow molding machines include speed, easy maintenance, product changeovers in just 20 minutes, safety and clean operation, he said.
All-electric blow molding machines, like their injection molding counterparts, also tout energy efficiency. Amsler Equipment claims an energy savings of at least 35 percent compared with hydraulic machines.
The company has 12 full-time employees in a 16,000-square-foot plant in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Werner Amsler, president, declined to give annual sales.
The firm is small, but officials promote a full-service approach. In addition to blow molding machines, it makes spinoff trimmers, bottle inspection units and handling equipment, including palletizers. One big move came two years ago, when the machinery maker started the Amsler Packaging Technology Division to design turnkey factories, covering blowing and filling lines and other equipment.
Werner Amsler and sales representative Bob Milne of CanQuip Machine Sales LLC in Perrysburg, Ohio, talked about the firm in a Jan. 5 interview at Plastics News offices in Akron.
Amsler brings a background in blow molding and mold making to his company. He came to Canada from his native Switzerland in 1967. Three years later, he joined the former Premier Plastics in Toronto as a maintenance mechanic. From 1975-80, he handled machinery installations and service at Bekum Plastics Machinery Ltd., the Toronto operation of its Berlin-based parent.
In 1980, Amsler founded an extrusion blow molding company in Toronto, Swissplas Ltd. He sold Swissplas to Monarch Plastics Inc. in 1987, then spent a few years consulting before opening W. Amsler Equipment.
Amsler said his experience running Swissplas, which made some of its own blow molding machines, brings credibility to his firm. ``When I started the company, it was with the view of keeping the custom molder in mind,'' he said.
That led to the decision to manufacture all-electric machines exclusively.
Amsler, which is well-known in its native Canada, is becoming more international, including beefing up exports to the United States. WestPack, held Jan. 31-Feb. 2 in Anaheim, Calif., marked the first time the firm displayed a machine molding bottles at a trade show, said Tom Cameron, vice president of technical sales.
At this year's NPE show in Chicago, Amsler will run a machine at the Canadian pavilion.
Amsler Equipment's WAE machines come in six sizes, with clamping forces of 14-56 tons. They can turn out bottles from 2 ounces to 5 gallons. Machines vary from one to four cavities, depending on the model.
The factory design operation, Amsler Packaging Technology, got started when the company was hired to set up a bottled-water factory in Bosnia.
Another thing that sets Amsler apart is its ability to do short-run blow molding for customers, or help with prototype work, at its Richmond Hill factory.
The machinery maker also is delving into the new world of polypropylene bottles made by the two-stage process. Amsler said his company plans to commercialize such a machine soon.
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