In an interesting technology development, injection molding and blow molding are being combined on one mold in one machine.
Engel Austria (Schwertberg, Austria) and Cantoni (Abbadia Lariana, Italy) have developed the “inject2blow” method, which reduces production times, system capital costs, and footprint required in a manufacturing plant. The companies say that the cycle time for the manufacture of wide-necked jars on a 90-metric ton clamping force Engel injection molding machine in a 2+2-cavity mold produced by Cantoni is under 14 seconds.
Inject2blow can be used to produce products from polyethylene, polypropylene, polycarbonates and PET.
One of the keys is the fact that Engel machines don’t have tiebars. Large molds can fit on relatively small machines. Inject2blow uses a sliding table mold that requires a significant amount of space. Easy robot access is also important.
One of the advantages of the new approach is that preforms do not have to be heated up again before blow molding as they do in traditional two-stage methods. With the inject2blow process, production of preforms continues in the mold immediately after the injection molding stage to create the finished product.