The technology uses electro-mechanical actuators to replace the hydraulic cylinders, pumps and actuators used on traditional reciprocating machines to produce lightweight dairy, juice and water containers.
Cycle times can be very fast with some under five seconds
The extruder feed screw reciprocates similar to an injection molding machine.
The molds are stationary under the die head and open and close but do not shuttle. As the screw moves forward, the parison is pushed out into the molds for blowing.
For lightweight containers, cycle times can be very fast with some under five seconds. Machinery manufacturers include Rocheleau and Uniloy.
Tom Blaszkow, president, Velocity Equipment Solutions, said it will create a streamlined structure to support future growth of its technology.
“We’ve come a long way since our launch of a developmental blow molding machine and trimmer last year and we’re firmly positioned to take our technology to the next level as we pursue this growth strategy,” he said.
“We expect to make some significant announcements soon regarding the first commercial application of this technology.”
Nampak Plastics Europe
Velocity Equipment took part in a three-year R&D project with Nampak Plastics Europe, producer of HDPE bottles, to launch a developmental machine last summer.
It has re-dedicated its technical and manufacturing assets and plans to add engineering and technical staff in the coming months to support the commercial start-up of a second-generation machine.
It has also eliminated the failure points common to reciprocating blow mold machines such as ball splines, thrust assemblies, and hydraulic components.
Benefits include complete changeovers including molds within eight hours, lower energy and maintenance costs, faster motions, improved mold trimming on lightweight containers, quieter operation and longer mold life.
Production-ready single-layer HDPE containers
According to Blaszkow, all motions on the machine are precision guided compared to the rails and shoes common on other machines.
“Reciprocating blow molding technology has seen only incremental change since its introduction in the 1960s,” he said.
The company has made numerous modifications and adjustments to make the developmental machine production-ready to manufacture single-layer HDPE containers for the dairy, industrial, cosmetic, and personal care markets.
Velocity Equipment will continue to supply aftermarket components, tooling, and molds while increasing its focus on the commercialization of its all-electric reciprocating machine.
The company also supplies capping equipment and bulk water bottling systems.