Universal APF-Max from PET Technologies come to market

Flexibility is the key to stability in blow molding

229
Pet milk bottles on AFP-Max blow molder
PET Technologies new APF-Max blow molder Photo PET Technologies

Austrian company PET Technologies has recently brought to the market a new generation of flexible PET stretch blow-molding machines called APF-Max. Their output varies between 3000 and 14,000 bottles per hour (bph), while the bottle volumes are between 0.1 and 6 L. The product range includes six basic models and five others. The first customers have already highlighted some of the new features. 

User-friendly concept and innovative design

The modular concept machines have a streamlined design with alternative coloring and an easy to operate control console. The operation communication interfaces are connected from the top of the device while the electric cabinet is behind. The central lubrication system of the machine makes for easier maintenance. For shipping, the machine is divided into two parts for easy handling and logistics. 

The APF-Max blow molder is equipped with a PLC from B&R Automation. (Since 2017, B&R Automation is part of the ABB group and has been well established in India for many years with its head office in Pune in Western India.) The program and the manuals for the machine are available in global languages depending on the customer’s location. 

PET Tech APF-Max
PET Technologies new APF-Max compact and streamlined blow molders Image PET Technologies

Flexibility

The APF-Max series has configurations with 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-,6-, and 8-cavities. The notion of flexibility in terms of the APF-Max series by PET Technologies stands means that –

  • There is a wide range of preform neck standards. With the same machine, you can produce both 100 ml bottles for sanitizers, for example, and 1 L wide neck jars for coffee. 
  • A PET bottle manufacturer can increase the output of the blow molder that it already has running. The 4-cavity model with an output of 7,000 bph can be expanded to 14,000 bph. This is done by installing additional cavities and making the respective changes in the heater. 
  • A wide range of bottle formats, from 100 ml up to 6 L, is possible. For instance, the model APF-Max 5, to produce up to 2 liter bottles, has five cavities. When a user decides to switch to 1-gallon bottles, the machine is readjusted for three cavities.
  • There is a hot fill option applicable to the entire APF-Max series – an additional advantage to the features described above.
  • The blow molders are equipped with a double air recovery system to cover the demand of low pressure and the pressure for preblow. 

Molds quick change

The flexibility of the Universal APF-Max blow molder can be utilized productively because of its quick-change system. The equipment concept allows using many mold sets for a wide range of PET bottles with minimum change over time. The blow mold is equipped with non-spill quick-change connections that are replaced in one piece. 

Thus, 15 minutes are enough to change the blow mold and start producing another bottle format. In the heater of an 8-cavity blow molder, you can change all 108 mandrels in just 4 minutes. 

All-electric configuration

The servo drives provided allow more precise positioning together with high speed, stable heater conveyor speed, and blowing process. The stretching rod position is automatically controlled depending on the bottle height when you switch from one bottle format to another. The preblow is also controlled via the B&R Automation PLC. 

NIR heating and low total installed power

The APF-Max blow molder is equipped with a special short-wave near-infrared heating system (NIR). Although this is not a common heating method for the PET blow molding market, preform heating is more efficient while fewer kilowatts of energy are consumed. The advantages of a NIR heating system for PET bottle production are uniform temperature distribution between the inner and outer parts of the preform wall and reduced heating time. Additional benefits are the compactness of the heater and its reduced heating time. 

Ceramic reflectors are used to improve preform heating and to reduce energy consumption. Automatic temperature regulation is also provided. Overall, the entire design and the NIR heating system mean reduced energy consumption of the blow molder. 

Universal and operator-friendly, economical, and flexible

Apart from the flexibility of expansion, low energy consumption, and ease of use, the new AFP-Max PET stretch blow molders are compact high output devices. Early adopters such as Avida (in Russia) and the Kazan milk plant have already installed three blow APF-Max molders, though these were launched in the market not long ago.

The impact, resilience, and growth of responsible packaging in a wide region are daily chronicled by Packaging South Asia.

A multi-channel B2B publication and digital platform such as Packaging South Asia is always aware of the prospect of new beginnings and renewal. Its 16-year-old print monthly, based in New Delhi, India has demonstrated its commitment to progress and growth. The Indian and Asian packaging industries have shown resilience in the face of ongoing challenges over the past three years.

As we present our publishing plan for 2023, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2023 will reach 6.3%. Packaging industry growth has exceeded GDP growth even when allowing for inflation in the past three years.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 33% over the past three years. With orders in place, we expect another 33% capacity addition from 2023 to 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels have grown similarly. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

Even given the disruptions of supply chains, raw material prices, and the challenge of responsible and sustainable packaging, packaging in all its creative forms and purposes has significant headroom to grow in India and Asia. Our context and coverage engulf the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and further – to waste collection and recycling. We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers.

In an admittedly fragmented and textured terrain, this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing support communication – in our impactful and highly targeted business platform. Tell us what you need. Speak and write to our editorial and advertising teams! For advertisement ads1@ippgroup.in , for editorial info@ippgroup.in and for subscriptions subscription@ippgroup.in

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now
close
unnamed 1

NEWSLETTER

Subscribe to our Newsletter

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here