Atlanta — A company from Cyprus, Cypet Technologies Ltd., has developed a new technology for one-step injection stretch blow molding — and at K 2019, it produced a giant 120-liter PET drum at the show.
Single-stage blow molding machines injection mold PET preforms and blow mold them on a single machine. A conventional single stage uses a vertical clamp to injection mold preforms, then a horizontal clamp for blowing bottles.
Cypet's technology works in the opposite way. Constantinos Sideris, managing director of Cypet, described how his company's machine works in a presentation Sept. 17 at the SPE Annual Blow Molding Conference in Atlanta.
"In our technology, we mold the preforms horizontally so that the opening direction of the mold is horizontal. And we blow the bottles vertically so that again, the mold opening is horizontal," he said. "This means that we can put the blow mold and injection mold on one and the same clamping unit, and we open and close both molds together. This is a substantial difference in the mechanics."
Sideris said the Cypet technology is patented in major countries — those that represent 80 percent of global GDP.
The Cyprus-built machine uses an injection molding frame, and it looks like an injection press with two types of processes. A special station transfers the preform to the blow molding area above, does the stretch blow molding and removes the bottles from the blow mold.
"The stretch blowing happens in parallel with the injection molding of the next set of preforms," Sideris said. "The injection mold has a design of a typical two-stage preform mold." Servo-hydraulic power drives all injection movements.
As is typical in single-step blow molding, the preforms do not have to reheat before blowing, which saves energy. Sideris said the Cypet machine also recovers about two-thirds of the blowing area, for reuse in compressed air.
Cyprus is a small island country in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. "Our country is better known by European tourists for its warm weather and beautiful beaches. But we are aspiring to put Cyprus on the world plastic map," Sideris said with a chuckle.
The family business, M. Sideris & Son, was founded in Cyprus in 1968 as a supplier of equipment for the plastics industry. In 2004, the company conceived and applied for patents on a new blow molding process. After building up the company's manufacturing infrastructure, the company commercialized the one-step blow molder in 2013.
Sideris holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Cambridge and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.