The quest to produce quality bottles with greater precision and speed is being met with investment and innovation by blow molding machine manufacturers.
New products and next-generation models on exhibit at NPE2018 will show advances in repeatability and flexibility for primary equipment buyers in the automotive, beverage, cosmetic, health care and other markets.
For custom blow molders, W. Amsler Equipment Inc. has amped up the second version of its four-cavity stretch blow molding machine and will display it at Booth S21067. The L42X has gone from 3 to 12 Bosch-Rexroth servo motors and now has four parallel heating ovens — one for each cavity — to allow for more precise adjustments compared to a single continuous oven.
"We've been talking about this machine for a couple years. Nothing else like this is manufactured in North America," Amsler Sales and Marketing Manager Heidi Amsler said in a phone interview.
She pointed to the new oven system, saying, "There's a lot more control over the process. When you're running four bottles, you don't want a variance from the first cavity to the second or last."
The extra servos improve repeatability and reduce energy use yet have fewer cables, according to the company. But Amsler expects another feature to impress businesses that run smaller loads with fast changeovers, maybe making trigger spray bottles one day and bear-shaped honey bottles the next. She said the L42X shines in operations that run a wide variety of containers.
"The range of bottles that can be made sets us apart," Amsler said. "We can run bottles from 50 milliliters up to 5 liters with neck sizes from 18 mm to 70 mm."
In addition, the machine is equipped with a larger touchscreen control for the operator and a Windows-based human machine interface with access to assembly drawings, bills of materials, set-up guides, trouble-shooting tips and training videos.
Founded in 1994, Amsler, a privately held Richmond Hill, Ontario-based company, is the only North American manufacturer of all-electric linear PET stretch blow molders. General Manager Bruce Coxhead will give a presentation on linear blow molding of non-conventional barrier containers at 10:45 a.m. May 9 at NPE's Bottle Zone.
Bekum America Corp. (Booth W2127) says it will introduce the U.S.-made 407DL machine in response to the growing need for a high-speed bottle maker. The machine offers the benefits of a double-shuttle long stroke machine platen as well as cost-efficient production of smaller bottles, especially for personal care products, according to the company.
Molds can be changed in 15 minutes without the use of tools, Bekum says, and the machine provides "a very attractive" cost-output ratio. Bekum will demonstrate features of the electric version by producing 1-liter round, 3-layer personal care bottles made from HDPE.
The 407DL machines also come in hydraulic and hybrid versions and include Bekum's patented C-Frame clamp design.