Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. officials are touting the new HyPET HPP5, version 5 of the high-performance package that the company claims boosts productivity, cuts cycle time and energy use, and features improvements in mold changeover and alignment.
The HPP5 is especially good for molding wide-mouth preforms for juices and teas, said Robert Domodossola, Husky's vice president of engineering and business development. He said the new machine is part of a "cadence of renewal" by Husky to continue improving its product line.
Domodossola said Husky has sold 300 previous generation HyPET HPP 4.0 machines since the Bolton, Ontario-based company introduced the platform in 2008. The new model has about 70 percent of its parts in common with the previous HyPET.
Husky previewed the HyPET HPP5 in a webinar for trade journalists Nov. 6. Domodossola said the HyPET HPP5's cycle time is up to 25 percent faster than competitive systems, and about 12 percent faster that the prior version, the HPP4.
Reporters also asked about Husky's new strategy of conducting a "world tour," a road show bringing technology to customers around the world. This year, the world tour replaced Husky exhibits at two major trade shows in Germany: Drinktec in Munich in September and the K 2013 show Oct. 16-23 in Düsseldorf.
By the end of 2013, Husky will have held 15 events with customers from more than 600 companies in nine countries. Domodossola said the tour has worked well to link Husky to existing customers, by showing them details about the technology.
"This approach has allowed us to have deeper conversations with our customers," he said.
Will Husky exhibit at major trade shows going forward? "We'll keep our options open to us for sure," Domodossola said. "What we did this year with the Husky world tour was quite effective, but we realize that there is value in the shows, especially when it comes to prospecting for new customers." So Husky will decide year-by-year, he said.
When developing the HyPET HPP5, Husky got customer feedback. Company engineers heard that significant weight reduction of PET bottles is still possible, but the package design is critical. "They also said in some cases that lightweighting has compromised the product," he said, citing water bottles so thin they can fold while you're taking a drink.
And customers told company officials that, for larger-diameter PET performs, Husky did not have enough offerings to distinguish itself from competitors, he said.
Domodossola said Husky also made the HPP5 compatible with existing molds "so customers can still use their legacy tools and still reap the benefit" of the new machine. New mold sensors are integrated into the machine controller, to help give feedback on mold alignment when changing molds or in setup.
New quick-change molds can be changed in just one hour, compared with four hours for the previous generation. Other improvements give a much longer mold life, up to 10 million cycles, he said.
The Polaris controller now sports a 19-inch color display with more-intuitive functions.
Also, the new HPP5 has improved cooling, as preforms are cooled on the high-speed part-removal robot.
Energy savings come from a new combined dehumidifying and cooling system.