Blow Molding: Automated take out adjusts quickly
For a blow molder with short runs and a varied product line, product changeovers must be quick and efficient. This was a primary concern for blow molder Cousins-Currie Ltd. (Woodbridge, ON) when speci...
For a blow molder with short runs and a varied product line, product changeovers must be quick and efficient. This was a primary concern for blow molder Cousins-Currie Ltd. (Woodbridge, ON) when specifying the design of a new automated take-out and de-flash system.
This concern has been met by using servo and vector drives on the take-out station which is connected to the blow molding machine to keep pace with the machine’s cycle. The take-out system designed by Minatech grasps the bottle by the bottom flash and transports it off to the side of the machine. From there the bottle is grasped by another gripper, turned 90 degrees and placed in a indexer fixture while the top and handle flashes are punched out and the lower flash is cut off.
“The system is unique because it has control of the bottle at all times,” explains Frank Cozza, manufacturing manager. “Both stations are interconnected and know what the other is doing at all times.
“Our former take-out system was highly mechanical and difficult to adapt for different products.”
To facilitate changeovers, the Minatech design minimizes the need for tools to make adjustments. In addition, the experience of Cousins-Currie staff was put to good use in the design stage to incorporate some time-saving features. For example, the manual width adjustment of one fixture operates in such a way that both sides open or close simultaneously, maintaining an equal distance from the centre, instead of having separate adjustments.