Netstal Machinery Inc. touched all the bases at NPE 2006, as it molded PET preforms on a 192-cavity press and demonstrated in-mold labeling and all-electric molding. In a mega-closure blowout, a Netstal press slammed out 65,000 of them an hour - then checked every single one with vision-system inspection.
This NPE marked the trade show debut for a preform press with 192 cavities. The PET-Line press, which has clamping force of 660 tons, can turn out as many as 94,000 preforms an hour, said Rick Shaffer, president and general manager. A big Conair silo fed resin to the machine.
The press made history, even as it shook the ground in the South Hall near Netstal's booth.
The company showed a 144-cavity PET preform press at the 2001 K show in Dusseldorf, Germany. Then at the K 2004 show two years ago, Netstal scaled back to displaying a 96-cavity preform machine - even as officials announced the company had built one of the 192-cavity behemoths.
Before NPE 2006, nobody had molded preforms on a 192-cavity press at a trade show. It ran four hours a day in Chicago.
Netstal also pushed IML by showing a 550-ton SynErgy press running a lenticular label on a stadium cup. The three-dimensional images on the cup change as it is tilted.
Reto Morger, Netstal's marketing manager, said a cup maker could use basic animation to take advantage of the movement.
Shaffer said precision molding - always important in IML - is even more critical with a lenticular label, made of 10 layers of lenses and provided by Extreme Graphics. ``These lenses are expensive, so it's very important not to have bad cups,'' he said at the show, held June 19-23.
Parent company Netstal-Maschinen AG of NÃ¤fels, Switzerland, controls 80 percent of the IML market, officials said.
Netstal also ran closures on a 350-ton SynErgy press fitted with a 72-cavity mold. As they whizzed past, each cap was checked, at the rate of 50 caps per second, on a Capmaster system from Swiss supplier IMD Ltd.
Morger said the device can check every closure for things like color and dimensions, looking at 20 measurement points. Bad caps are blown off into a reject bin.
An Elion all-electric press - introduced at K 2004 - molded syringes on a 48-cavity mold, in a clean room medical application.