Hayward Pool Products Inc. has purchased an accumulator-head blow molding machine from Graham Engineering Corp., as Hayward increases capacity for its large pool filters.
Hayward began molding filter tanks on the machine in late 2010 at its plant in Clemmons, N.C. The machine has 140 tons of clamping force and an independent servo-platen control. It includes a 6-inch-bore grooved extruder with a 50-pound head.
The machine is part of Hayward's investment in color-change technology, according to manufacturing manager Scott Pugh. In 2008, Hayward changed from pellet concentrates to liquid colors on its large blow molding machines. Riverdale Color Co. supplies the liquid colors.
Pugh said the Haywood offers pool filters in multiple colors. Moving to liquid colors, and upgrading with the new blow molding machine, helps Hayward make faster color changes and practice lean manufacturing principles, he said.
According to Graham Engineering of York, Pa., color changes that can require as many as eight to 12 hours on many machines can be done in less than one hour on Graham machines. The reason: Graham's advanced overlapping spiral-diverter-design accumulator head.
Graham demonstrated to Hayward a black-to-white color change in six shots and black-to-platinum in 30 shots.
The fast color-change capability of the Graham machine was a key selling point, Pugh said. This is Hayward's first Graham blow molder.
Hayward, an 80-year-old company based in Elizabeth, N.J., makes a broad line of pool equipment, including pumps, filters, heaters, automatic pool cleaners, lighting, controls and salt chlorine generators. The company makes its own plastic parts.
Pugh said Hayward is a much larger injection molder than it is a blow molder. He said Hayward runs injection presses in clamping forces ranging from 200-1,500 tons in Clemmons; Pomona, Calif.; and Wuxi, China. The company blow molds parts in Clemmons and Wuxi.
The company does not release its number of plastics processing machines, he said.
Pool-related sales have held up, despite the recession, Pugh said: Our business has been solid, even through the economic downturn.