Stretch blow molding machinery manufacturer and filling-line supplier Krones has expanded its Franklin, WI site to so that it there can offer mold making and bottle development, with an initial annual tooling capacity of 800 molds and the ability to expand to 2000 molds/yr. Krones announced the news at Pack Expo (Nov. 9-13; McCormick Place; Chicago), where, among other technologies, its booth featured a new Contiform H8 stretch blow molding machine with a redesigned linear oven that will be installed in Franklin after the show.
The company has also made the commercial jump into the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling market, selling three of its systems for this in 2008, with one each in Asia, Europe, and North America. The latest sale is to Canadian water bottler Ice River Springs (Feversham, ON). The technology, which keeps the recycled PET in flake form, creates food-grade level recyclate, while reportedly using one-third less energy than competitive technologies by eliminating the melting/filtering steps.
David Raabe, director of blow molding technology for Krones Inc., told MPW that Krones continues to expand its global mold making presence, and had added the capability in Beijing earlier in 2008. Krones hired Adam Stowitts to head up mold and bottle development in Franklin. The new mold making operation features four CNC milling machine, including Mazak and Mikron units, with two designated for cutting cavities and two for component fabrication. In addition, the lab will offer Unigraphics 3D modeling with photorealistic 3D rendering; a coordinate measuring machine; burst, top load, and Gawis testing; and dimensional wall-thickness scanning.
Raabe said the new linear heater design officially launches in January 2009, with testing undertaken throughout 2008. Modular in design, the system can be expanded to increase production changes without the addition of new machines. Raabe said the new design would be extended to all Krones lines going forward. Nine of the systems have already been sold, with five of those in North America.