Düsseldorf, Germany — Bologna, Italy-based Alphamac srl officially formed in April to build all-electric extrusion blow molding machines that produce fluid packaging with a network of about a dozen suppliers.
The company headquarters has 15 employees involved with machine design, procurement and sales, while its partners handle all aspects of manufacturing and assembly.
"We have a different business model and there are two advantages," Sales and Marketing Manager Leandro Mannino said. "We keep our structure costs very low and our network of specialized companies for the outsourcing activities offers complex solutions and ideas that we can apply to our machines."
For example, one supply partner provides gearboxes that reduce electrical use to 0.27 kilowatts per hour per kilo of plastic extruded on monolayer machines. That compares to 0.48 kilowatts per hour for a hydraulic machine, Mannino said.
Overall, Alphamac consists of an experienced group of individuals and partners intent on bringing innovation to an industry that has seen few advances since the debut of all-electric machines more than a decade ago, Mannino said.
"The problem is the blow molding manufacturers didn't change the way the machine operates," he explained. "We see a big opportunity to start from blank and create machines with different concepts compared to what there is at the moment."
Alphamac sold its first machine to a processor in Moscow. Called the Alpha Seicento, the extrusion blow molder produces containers up to 5 liters with a shuttle stroke of 600 millimeters and clamping force of 180 kN (20 tons).
To reach the Russian market, Alphamac bought an engineering company called Ralot LLC that provides filling, labeling and automated warehousing systems to the plastics industry. Now called Alphamac Russia, the acquired business also serves as the buyer's sales and technical support site in the country.
Alphamac plans to open offices in Dubai and the United States, where Mannino said the switch to all-electric machines has been slow compared to Europe.
The company plans to offer a full range of machines from 18-45 tons to produce containers up to 25 liters from materials like high density polyethylene, polypropylene and post-consumer materials for end markets including personal care, food, beverages and industrial.
"We are developing and designing some screws to allow, in the short future, use of bioorganic plastics and a high percentage of regrind and [post-consumer resin], which is a hot topic," Mannino said.
The company also plans to offer coextrusion capabilities.