Blow machinery executives report stable business for 2016 — but nothing spectacular.
“It will go down as a good business year with steady machine shipments, but not extraordinary either,” said Gary Carr, vice president of sales at Bekum America Corp. “Starting with the K show on, things have really picked up.”
Bekum America is based in Williamston, Mich. The German parent company, Bekum Maschinenfabriken GmbH, had a changing of the guard at K 2016 — Michael Mehnert's first K as managing partner. He is the son of Bekum founder Gottfried Mehnert.
At the K show in Düsseldorf, Germany, Bekum rolled out its Eblow 37, an electric blow molding machine that turned out canisters. It is the latest version of the company's Eblow press.
“It was a good show for Bekum. We were very busy, machines were sold and business was good,” Carr said.
“The outlook is very positive,” Carr said. “2017 looks like it could be very strong year.”
The mammoth K 2016 marked a continuation of the blow molding technology debate over all-electric, hybrid or hydraulic.
Jomar Corp., which makes injection blow molders in Egg Harbor Township, N.J., came out with a servo-hydraulic machine at K 2016. Jomar worked with Bosch Rexroth Group on the custom-designed system to power the press and the plastifier — using a new radial-piston type motor to generate the necessary torque.
Jomar Sales Manager Ron Gabriele said it did debut a hybrid machine with an all-electric plastifier, at K 2013. It was so big that the company had to stretch the machine frame, just for the servomotor. Replacing the clamping system would be hugely expensive, he said.