The old saying may tell us time is money, but more and more molders are learning that power is money too and molds that can cut power use can add to a firm's bottom line.
In high-volume production, resin is your No. 1 cost, but energy is No. 2, said Walter Kuskowski, president and CEO of Wentworth Technologies Co. Ltd. (Booth W133054).
Energy can be as much as 10 percent of your costs.
Wentworth is introducing its new Eko-Mold line for stretch blow molds with an insulated carrier that cuts power consumption up to 30 percent compared with a traditional mold by insulating the carrier. That retains heat where it's needed.
Those numbers add up to more than a simple ecological message, said Tar Tsau, vice president engineering and general manager for North and South America for Wentworth.
There are tangible money savings directly from where you can see the heating costs, but a lot of intangible savings which you don't see right away, he said.
The Eko-Mold line is one of a series of programs the mold maker has designed to help molders compete in a tough economic environment. Beyond the energy savings, the mold features a modular design that can help save cash by swapping out individual parts. Wentworth has also developed a program to work with molders to review and streamline its tooling operations.
Burlington, Ontario-based Wentworth also has created a contract that allows molders to pay for tools over a period of time, rather than coming up with the cash up front, which can help them launch new programs.
The company has operations in Eastern Europe, which allows it to cut its expenses while using its North American operations to come up with new technologies, including the Eko-Mold.
The Eko-Mold is geared at injection stretch blow molds for hot-filled bottles. Typically, the entire system is heated, including the mold carrier. Wentworth's program insulates the carrier to focus the heat only where it's needed. As a result, molders not only cut energy use, the machine undergoes fewer stresses since it is not subjected to as much overall heat, Tsau said. That means many of the parts such as bearings and connections do not wear as quickly, also saving money on maintenance, and the insulation pads provide additional protection to the mold and carrier.
The Eko-Mold also features a modular design, so molders can use the same label panel area, for instance, in multiple bottles and switch out the neck to give the bottle a different look.
One mold can make different bottles with product variations, Tsau said. That is especially good when there are smaller batch runs of specialty products.
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