Kautex Maschinenbau GmbH has some competition in the suction blow molding machinery business - as Milacron Inc. announced it is building the machines to make ducts and other industrial parts.
Milacron announced the news at its pre-NPE news conference May 17 at its Batavia factory.
The company has built a prototype suction blow machine at its Uniloy Milacron blow molding machinery plant in Magenta, Italy, according to Ed Hunerberg.
``We've made presentations to U.S. customers and they're sending some of their molds over to Italy to do some testing,'' said Hunerberg, who heads the Uniloy Milacron structural foam machinery business.
Guido Re, managing director of global blow molding for Uniloy Milacron, said the company showed the suction blow machine at the Plast'06 trade show in February in Milan, Italy. Milacron is based in Cincinnati.
Suction blow molding is a specialized technology that produces elongated, curved, three-dimensional shapes with virtually no flash. The technology, which is more popular in Europe than the United States, is well-suited to automotive components such as air ducts, pressure pipes for turbocharged diesel engines, coolant lines and fill pipes for gas tanks. Appliances offer other big applications, such as water and drain lines for washing machines and dishwashers.
Kautex Maschinenbau of Bonn, Germany, along with its U.S. operation, Kautex Machines Inc., is the leading supplier of suction blow machines.
At the news conference, Hunerberg explained how it works: An extruder equipped with an accumulator makes the parison, which is drawn into the closed mold with the help of vacuum on the bottom of the mold. A cushion of air helps the parison go around bends in the part.
Optional equipment lets the customer run sequential parts, with hard and soft sections all in the same parison.