A new model reheat stretch-blow molder from PET Technologies GmbH has two independent cavities that can produce two different bottles in alternate cycles by switching back and forth between two blowing units, each equipped with a separate block of valves. One cavity can also be shut down to optimize production.

The new APF-5 automatic machine is designed for blowing bottles from 3 L to 10 L at up to 1600 bottles/hr for sizes of 3 to 8 L and 700 bph for 10 L. (A machine for smaller sizes was shown at NPE2018.) It is described as an economical machine, built in Ukraine for the Austrian-based company. . It has electric and pneumatic drives. Features include a B&R control system, mold-closing system analogous to rotary machines, eight-zone preform heating system, and air recovery that reuses high-pressure air to fulfill 100% of low-pressure air requirements. In addition, a special air-cooling system reportedly provides uniform temperature throughout the preform body—especially important for production of large bottles from thick-walled preforms.

Two PET Technologies machine were installed in the U.S. last year. One, the first of the company’s automatic machines in this country, is an APF-3002 with output of 3000 bph and bottle sizes up to 3 L, operating in Arizona. The other is a specially modified semi-automatic UPF-30 machine that can create PET jars with a neck diameter of 120 mm and volume of 0.5 gal or 1 gal. It’s used to make water dispensers for pet feeding systems from Moderna Products in Gaffney, S.C.

With single-serve containers raising shelf-life demands, packagers are seeking the barrier with the best cost-performance for PET bottles. Multilayer seems to have the upper hand, but monolayer, coating, and oxygen-scavenger technologies have all won niches.

Air-Cooled Water Chiller

Here’s a guide to specifying screws and barrels that will last under conditions that will chew up standard equipment.

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