Italy's Meccanoplastica srl launched a higher-capacity version of its all-electric Jet 55 injection blow molding machine at NPE2009.
The original Jet 55 machine was launched at NPE 2006. Meccanoplastica technical director Rolando Fantini said the company now has 15 of the machines in operation in Europe and the U.S. The new model features an enlarged tie-bar arrangement around the same mechanicals 50-metric-ton injection molding and 5-tonne blow molding clamp allowing it to accommodate larger molds.
We have the same performance in the clamp but we have stretched the tie-bar distance to increase the mold size. In the pharmaceutical market, where you are working with small bottle sizes, you want large capacity, not more clamp force, he said.
The enlarged model costs around 350,000 euros (about $500,000) roughly 20 percent more than the basic model but provides up to 50 percent more output. At NPE2009, held June 22-26 in Chicago, the machine was producing a 5-millimeter, high density polyethylene bottle weighing 3 grams. The machine had a 22-cavity mold and ran at a 10-second cycle time.
Founded in 1983 in Florence, Italy, Meccanoplastica has a long history in production of continuous extrusion blow molding machines. The company today employs 18 and generates annual sales of around 8 million euros ($11.3 million).
Fantini said all Meccanoplastica's EBM machines are hydraulic/electric hybrids. The Jet 55 machine was its first fully electric machine and its first injection blow design.
The immediate appeal of all-electric machines to pharmaceuticals producers is the elimination of the risk of oil leakage. However, Fantini said the reduced energy consumption, low noise levels and repeatable precision also are key benefits. He said the machine running at the show consumed just 7 kilowatt-hours of electricity.
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