NPE's inaugural Bottle Zone will include machinery demonstrations
The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) will debut its Bottle Zone at NPE2018 with live machinery demonstrations.
Covering more than 65,000 square feet of exhibit floor space, the zone will bring together more than 80 suppliers of blow molding machines; molds; dryers; labeling, filling, capping and inspection equipment; preforms; and raw materials, as well as recyclers.
“It’s a place for anybody involved in making or producing bottles and closures,” said Mike Urquhart, a consultant working with PLASTICS on the Bottle Zone. “There will be six machine builders who will be blowing bottles at their booths in the Bottle Zone, so there will be lots of action."
W. Amsler and Tech-Long are two of the blow molding equipment manufacturers that will be blowing bottles at their booths.
In Booth S11067, Tech-Long will be showing two PET stretch blow molding machines. An eight-cavity model CPX8 will produce a 500-milliliter (ml) carbonated soft-drink bottle.
In addition, Tech-Long will introduce its newly designed two-cavity machine, the CPX2, which will be producing oval drink flasks.
The CPX2 PET stretch blow molder features rotary processing performance in a stationary design, according to the company. Eddy Vuylsteker, commercial director at Tech-Long, said the preform transfer from the oven to the mold is completed with transfer arms in the same way it would be done on a rotary machine, providing a consistent transfer time. This cannot be done on a linear platform because the linear platform would end up with different heating times between the stations.
“I like to say this machine is a rotary design [placed] into a stationary machine,” Vuylsteker said.
It offers benefits associated with rotary blow molding, while reducing complexity and maintenance costs because the units do not require a rotary blow molding wheel.
The two-cavity system is very compact and allows for quick mold changes.
“It’s good for low volume [production] because it is easy to change over,” Vuylsteker said. “It brings a lot of flexibility to anyone that is doing several different types of bottles that has to change molds a lot.”
The CPX2 can produce bottles ranging in size from 150 ml to 1 gallon.
Meanwhile, W. Amsler will produce PET bottles on its latest all-electric reheat stretch blow molder, the L42X, at Booth S21067.
The L42X includes several new features including preferential heating, neck orientation and hot-fill capabilities.
For custom blow molders, the next-generation four-cavity machine provides versatility to enable PET bottle production in a range of configurations and sizes, Heidi Amsler, sales and marketing manager, said.
Using four-cavity molds, the new machine can make bottles as large as two liters at a rate of 6,500 per hour. It also can be run with two-cavity molds for production of containers as large as five liters. Neck finishes range from 18mm to 70mm.
The L42X has four parallel heating ovens, one for each cavity. It comes equipped with 12 Bosch Rexroth servo motors, as compared to three servos for the previous model. The extra servos provide better control of the machine, require less wiring and energy, and are easier to troubleshoot, according to the company.
The machine also has a 40-ton servo-driven mold clamping system.
The machine, which W. Amsler announced about 12 months ago, is now available commercially. So far, the company has sold a machine to a custom blow molder.
To allow live demonstrations of the blow molding equipment, AF Compressors, Liege, Belgium, will install two 600-pounds-per-square-inch compressors outside the Orange County Convention Center.
The Bottle Zone, although new, is the largest zone at NPE2018 in terms of square footage, Urquhart said.
“In the past, there wasn’t really a gathering place for people in this business,” he said. "If you were in the bottle industry, in order to see everybody, you had to walk all over the two halls to see all the exhibitors. This way, you have all the players in one spot, and it is much more convenient for the attendees in that market segment to come and see everybody at one time.”
In addition to exhibitor booths, there will be a presentation area where speakers will deliver scheduled talks on topics of interest to those in the bottle segment. The list, as of publication time, was still being completed. However, more than 20 speakers are expected to present, Urquhart said.
Plastic bottle and jar manufacturing is a significant and growing segment, representing about 75 percent of all plastic containers by weight, according to NPE2018 organizers.
“Given the increase in consumer demand for plastic bottles in the last year, the launch of the Bottle Zone will provide a platform for bottle manufacturers to take a deeper look at issues important to this segment, such as sustainability and safety, to ensure they are able to effectively meet consumer demands and give them a strong competitive advantage,” PLASTICS President and CEO William R. Carteaux said in a press release.
The Bottle Zone is made possible with support from PETplanet, Drinktec and the International Society of Beverage Technologists.
Bruce Geiselman, senior staff reporter
W. Amsler Equipment Inc., Richmond Hill, Ontario, 905-707-6704, www.amslerequipment.com
Tech-Long Inc., Duluth, Ga., 770-623-2688, www.tech-long-intl.com