Blow molding tooling specialist Big 3 Precision Products Inc. launched its first blow molding machine the BMP145T injection blow molding unit at NPE2009, held June 22-26 in Chicago.
The Centralia, Ill.-based firm claims the new compact machine provides a higher output per square foot of floor space than alternatives on the market. Output per square foot is likely to be between 30-50 percent above existing alternatives, depending on the bottle being produced, said sales manager Mark J. Abramo.
The move from mold maker to mold and machine manufacturer is a big step, Abramo said at the show, but the firm is responding to customer demand for more productive equipment.
Customers have come to us and asked us to fill a need and that's what we are doing, he said. We are targeting high-volume container business units that need a small footprint and low energy consumption.
The firm said the BMP145T is a high-specification unit that can accommodate most commercial injection blow molds. Features such as an electronic mold-positioning system, together with optional magnetic platens, make for fast and simple mold changes.
We have tried to simplify the process of mounting the mold and to take the subjectivity out of the process, he said.
The machine will be competing against equipment from companies like Jomar Corp. of Pleasantville, N.J., and Uniloy Milacron of Tecumseh, Mich. Key target markets will be pharmaceutical, personal care and household, all of which are core injection blow molding application areas.
During the show, the machine produced a 4-ounce Boston round container of high density polyethylene on 22-cavity tooling.
The BMP145T includes a 145-ton preform clamp, 37.5-ton blow mold clamp and a shot capacity of about 19.3 ounces of HDPE. The machine on display carried a price tag of around $625,000.
The first machine was not built for a specific customer and Big 3 has not set a target for first-year sales, Abramo said. While the firm has capacity for up to eight machines a year, he said that making machinery will not compromise the tooling operations.
We are a mold-building company and that will remain our mainstay, he said.
Sales for the blow mold division are more than $15 million a year.