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Engel Austria GmbH and Italian-based Cantoni have developed a new process that combines the injection molding and blowmolding processes into one injection molding machine.The process, called the inject2blow method, is a system that offers injection molders the possibility to produce blown containers without switching to a different technology, Christoph Steger, VP Business Unit Packaging for Engel told PlasticsToday.

Heather Caliendo

October 11, 2012

2 Min Read
Engel, Cantoni combine injection and blowmolding into one process

Engel Austria GmbH and Italian-based Cantoni have developed a new process that combines the injection molding and blowmolding processes into one injection molding machine.

The process, called the inject2blow method, is a system that offers injection molders the possibility to produce blown containers without switching to a different technology, Christoph Steger, VP Business Unit Packaging for Engel told PlasticsToday.

ENGEL_packaging_Werkzeug_Cantoni.jpg"Simple and easy processes are one of the key success factors of modern production, especially in areas where smaller lot sizes and frequent design, shape changes are necessary," he said. "A one-step-process on one machine with one mold where inserts can be exchanged fast and simple shows immense advantages in terms of flexibility and investment costs. This fact led to the idea of developing such a system that combines fast and simple design changes with the flexibility to just need one specific machine that could also be used for other applications as well."

For the manufacture of wide-necked jars, an Engel Victory injection press with 90 metric tons of clamping force runs a two-by-two cavity mold produced by Cantoni with a cycle time of less than 14 seconds.

In addition to the Engel injection molding machine, the system includes the Cantoni sliding table mold and an Engel viper linear robot that removes finished parts from the mold. Both the injection molding and blowmolding processes are visualized, monitored, and controlled via the Engel injection molding machine CC 200 control unit. This means that injection molding machine operators don't have to learn how to use new technology; they will be guided intuitively through the integrated injection and blowmolding process by the Engel control unit, according to the company.

Preforms normally have to be made using injection molding first and then subjected to a second process on a blowmolding machine before they become a final product, but the new method allows small ready-to-use containers to be manufactured in one process, Steger said. 

The company said other benefits include integrating the processes include lower system investment costs, a smaller system footprint, higher system availability, simpler quality control, and no maximum clamping force.

The inject2blow method can be used to process a wide range of thermoplastics from polyethylene, polypropylene and polycarbonates to PET. The type of applications produced with the technology includes any small- and mid-sized container and bottle with a neck-body-ratio of approximately 1:3. Main areas can be found in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and food industry, examples would be containers for hand lotions or mascara, and cycling bottles, Steger said.

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