A revolutionary stretch-blow molding (SBM) system for production of PET bottles was unveiled last month at Drinktec by PET processing technology specialist Sipa (Vittorio Veneto, Italy). The XTRA combines features that maximize performance and cut total cost of ownership (TCO) by one-fourth. It offers the highest unit output (BHC) in the sector, an extra-wide processing angle, reduced energy consumption, high flexibility and ease of use, as well as compatibility with other machines upstream and downstream.
“With over 30 years of experience, Sipa is the benchmark in technologies for the production, filling and packaging of PET containers,” said Paolo De Nardi, SBM product manager at Sipa. “XTRA is the result of our unmatched expertise, constant research, and concentration on process innovation.”
According to Sipa, XTRA is capable of producing 2,550 bottles per hour per cavity—the result of an R&D process involving Sipa’s entire development department that put particular emphasis on kinematics and mechanical movements. Such a high figure makes it possible to reduce the number of blow molds for any given total output requirement, accelerating changeover times and lowering investment costs. “Speed equals more efficiency and better performance,” said De Nardi.
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The process angle on the new XTRA is 200 degrees—a value that exceeds current market standards by some 15% and facilitates production of bottles of excellent quality, even at high speed, Sipa claimed. Such a wide process angle makes it possible to apply high pressure air for up to 0.8 seconds, enabling production of containers, even the most complex ones, with extreme accuracy.
XTRA can produce bottles from 0.2L to 3.5L in volume, quickly and easily, according to the company. It can also accommodate different neck sizes, 28mm to 38mm. In addition, the clamp stroke has two settings: short, to produce bottles of up to 1.5L at a maximum speed of 2,550 BC; and long, for containers up to 3L at an output to 2,400 BHC. This mechanical flexibility is complemented by the ability of the machine to produce hot- and cold-fill containers, without any changes to the system.
Designed to be able to integrate and interact with other machines, Sipa creates high-performance production systems consisting of different products that all speak the same language. For example, it can be directly connected to a filler to create a standard system for production and filling of PET containers. It can also be integrated with Sipa’s XTREME rotary injection-compression platform for perform production. Finally, XTRA can interface with XTREME Renew, which produces performs directly from recycled bottles, creating a system unique in the world—EXTREME Renew Sincro.
Thanks to XTRA’s simple interface, each user can adjust all parameters extremely quickly and safely. In addition, all planned and assisted maintenance activities can be carried out without the use of tools for either quick mold change or neck changing. XTRA also optimizes energy consumption including with an air recovery system.