Düsseldorf, Germany — S.T. Soffiaggio Tecnica srl got a lot of marketing miles from the spiral walking sticks one of its machines cranked out for some 5,000 attendees at K 2010.
On the heels of that promotion, a shoehorn giveaway in 2013 had a lot of people beating a path to the production exhibition of the Monza, Italy-based blow molding machine maker.
Again at K 2016, ST had a giveaway that it expected to net it some attention and booth visits. The company made tennis rackets as it debuted the ASPI 150.3 Mono, which is an upgrade of its top-selling model, the ASPI 150.2 that cranked out the shoehorns.
This third-generation machine packs a lot of new suction blow molding technology for smarter factories, particularly for automotive applications such as ducts for the air induction systems of turbo-charged engines for cars and trucks, said Martin Graziadei, one of the managing partners.
“You are processing really high-technology raw materials on this machine. The plastics come out to 7 or 8 euros per kilogram, so it's really important to have a precise machine that saves not only energy costs and maintenance, but especially on the raw materials side,” Graziadei said. “If you have a put through of 2 million euros of raw material a year and can save 5 to 10 percent, it's a really important savings.”
The new features include patent-pending parison diameter monitoring, which optically measures any “swell factors” that could require adjustment of the machine, the settings or the raw materials, as well as production data accessible by remote devices with an S.T. app.
Graziadei tapped a phone icon and scrolled through a list to learn the machine status.
“It's running on automatic. The heating is on. The pump is on,” he said. “The extruder is not running now because it is heating up. You can see the last cycle times, hourly production, the recipe you're using with the mix of resins, the number of cycles since the machine started, pieces produced, and on and on. You can have a lot of data constantly on all machines all over the world. This is a step toward the future and better control of your machines.”
Compared to the previous generation, the new model also has larger platens for molds up to 1.65 meters and a patent-pending parison marking system that Graziadei said solves problems like rejection of parts because of unacceptable aesthetics and all the cleaning required of spraying nozzles covered in dried paint.