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Industrial blowmolding builders claim niche at NPE 2006

May 2, 2006

6 Min Read
Industrial blowmolding builders claim niche at NPE 2006

A Kautex Maschinenbau horizontal 3D double-station blowmolding machine (above) makes two different airducts (below) for tier-one Cornaglia, for Italy?s Fiat cars.

The Uniloy Milacron 20.SH blowmolding machine reportedly minimizes both flash and energy consumption in making auto and appliance parts.

A Kautex Maschenbau coextrusion blowmolding machine manufactures fuel tanks for Yangzhou Automotive Plastics Parts Co. Ltd. (China). A six-axis robot inserts the parison tube into the blowmold cavity. A similar machine makes fuel-filler pipes.

Kautex machines produce fuel tanks and filler pipes for a wide range of autos.

Davis-Standard?s 3DX deformable die ring technology.

Blowmolding of nonbottle products, which uses extrusion to produce a parison, is always focused more on technical ability than on speed and volume, as compared to its bottle-blowing counterparts, which start by injection molding preforms. Industrial blowmolding machinery companies that will compete at NPE 2006 include Davis-Standard (Pawcatuck, CT), Kautex Machines (North Branch, NJ), and Uniloy Milacron (Tecumseh, MI).

A Davis-Standard blowmolding head at NPE in Booth 5107 in the upper level of the North hall will include the new 3DX deformable die ring technology from BMC Controls Ltd. (UK). The 8-lb head being shown is engineered for blowmolding industrial containers and is well suited for the 3DX system, which is said to optimize material distribution for high performance applications. The 3DX is an alternative to existing PWDS technology, offering a unique flexible die ring for improved control of radial wall thickness.

Reported advantages of the system include innovative cylinder mounting to reduce heat from the head to avoid damage to cylinder seals. A new hydraulic safety function prevents flexible die damage on accidental cold starts. In addition, a proportional pushout mechanism improves efficiencies on accumulator head machines. The flexible ring, hydraulic cylinders, and mounting features of the 3DX enable blowmolders to service the system themselves. This technology combined with the quick color changeover and parison control of Davis-Standard?s accumulator head technology contributes to production of a consistent and cost effective blowmolded part.

Also at the show is the Davis-Standard MACO 6500 RS control system. Standard features include a Windows 2000 Pro operator?s interface with network connectivity. Other features include distributive controls for simplified wiring, three modes of closed loop shoot/fill, and adaptive extruder speed control. In addition, digital on-demand heater amp scan, statistical process control, data trending, and custom-tailored security levels enhance close process control. The system can be adapted to fit specialized applications.

Kautex is displaying in Booth 1825 of the South Hall the Model KCC 20D dual-clamp extrusion blowmolding machine. The KCC shuttle series includes three single-clamp models (KCC 10, KCC 20, and KCC 30) and three double-clamp models (KCC 10D, KCC 20D, and KCC 25D) designed for blowmolding of canisters and small industrial products (bottles can also be produced). KCC clamp platens are sized to accommodate large molds and clamp forces from 11-43 tons ensure proper pinchoff.

The KCC series is German engineered and combines traditional Kautex extruder and parison head technology with other machine components available globally and stocked by all Kautex subsidiaries worldwide. Extrusion systems are available for monolayer and multilayer blowmolding and include a view-stripe option?common, for example, on automotive oil containers. Continuous extrusion parison heads are offered for up to six-fold production. Accumulator heads are available for the KCC 30 model.

As with all other Kautex blowmolding machine product lines, KCC machines are controlled with a BlowCommand 4 industrial PC system and color touch-screen panel. Remote diagnostics via a built in modem or Ethernet network are standard. Carriage transport and mold open and close motion are closed loop controlled; blow-pin calibration is accomplished via proportional valve. All KCC machines are assembled by Shunde Kautex in China to stringent global quality standards and compliance with national codes and safety requirements.

Uniloy Milacron?s (Booth 1702, South Hall) new UMA 20.SH blowmolding machine uses advanced parison suction technology to economically produce elongated and curved 3D shapes virtually flash-free, using high-temperature engineering resins. It?s particularly suited to automotive underhood components such as air ducts, turbocharger pressure pipes, coolant lines, and tank filler pipes, for example. The machine is well suited to produce high-temperature lines and pipes for tumble dryers, laundry washers, and dishwashers. Parison suction eliminates parting lines as weak points, while delivering highly uniform wall thickness. The UMA 20.SH machine can be equipped for sequential coextrusion of two-material parisons, enabling molding of components with both stiff and flexible sections.

Modular machine design allows easy interchangeability between suction-blow and conventional blowmolding. This enables users to gain high flexibility and utilization from the accumulator head UMA 20.SH, especially in the early stages of developing suction-blow business.

In parison suction, mold close comes first, then the parison is pushed out from the melt accumulator into the closed cavity. The parison floats on an air stream generated by a suction fan at the bottom of the cavity. The parison is drawn down through the mold contours, while support air is blown as needed inside the parison from the top to prevent parison collapse. When the mold is filled, sliders close off the top and bottom ends of the parison. The parison is inflated against the cavity walls via needles located at the parison ends. Additional needles can be used to enhance internal cooling/flushing air for reduced cycle times.

Parison suction permits exceptionally tall molds, enabling two or more parts to be molded end-to-end in one cycle, then separated afterwards.

The suction process eliminates flash along the length of components, in turn reducing trimming stations and waste handling. Parison suction leaves minimal flash material, just finishing of domes created by top and bottom close-off.

The UMA 20.SH handles HDPE, PP, high-temperature nylons, glass-filled resins, thermoplastic rubber, and engineered materials. The machine is engineered for melt temperatures to 340°F.

The UMA 20.SH offers shot sizes up to 1.3 liter (1 kg of HDPE) with maximum output of 125 kg/hr HDPE. The adaptable machine accepts mold platens up to 700 by 650 mm and provides 1000-mm opening daylight.

An open-access, tiebarless clamp unit, adapted from Uniloy shuttle machines, permits easy access to the mold from three sides. The 200-kN clamp unit (300-kN optional) enables traditional blowmolding, along with suction blow.

A touch-screen machine interface provides 100-point process control, configuration of valve sequences, record of all modified variables, and remote tele-service access to machine screens and sequences. Control-based SPC/SQC capability is optional.

Ethernet communications allow easy networking and high-speed signal transmission. Uniloy says it can supply the UMS 20.SH as a complete production system with downstream equipment for automated parts handling and finishing (fabricating steps such as cutting, milling, and welding).

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