The AL-500LL-50S is the newest model of an injection stretch-blow molding machine (ISBM) that Meredith-Springfield will use to produce a new line of disposable plastic drinkware
Meredith-Springfield became the first North American company to purchase the latest iteration of an injection stretch-blow molding machine (ISBM) from Japan’s Aoki Technical Laboratory, Inc., which will enable Meredith-Springfield to economically produce a new product line of premium PET drinkware.
The AL-500LL-50S cuts molding cycle times by as much as 45 percent and production volume is either maintained or it more than doubles on a yearly basis, depending on the size of the container. The machine is also more energy efficient, saves space and reduces equipment and production costs through downsizing of the unit.
The drinkware that Meredith-Springfield will produce is for premium, single-serve use at hotels, conventions, outdoor and poolside venues; anywhere premium cocktails and beverages are served but where using glass poses a safety hazard. The line includes stemless wine and Champagne glasses, carafes, pilsner glasses and other uniquely shaped cocktail glasses.
“This is a game-changing moment for Meredith-Springfield as the acquisition of the AL-500LL-50S creates economic, energy, equipment and production efficiencies for us as we produce a new product line,” said Mel O’Leary, Meredith-Springfield President and Chief Executive Officer. “It is differentiating technology.”
Eiji Nishizawa, President of Aoki Laboratory America, added: “Our high-speed mold release technology enables the molding of a bottle at a cycle that is faster than previous versions of our machines while delivering the same quality.” Nishizawa explained that his company utilizes molding technologies that enable the production of plastic containers with minimum expenditure of energy, including Direct Heatcon®, an original single-stage, three-station system that represents the ultimate in energy-saving molding technology.
“We depend on the Earth for our existence, so at Aoki, we commit ourselves to the protection of our natural environment and the advancement of international culture that makes use of plastic containers,” Nishizawa said.
Aoki will be exhibiting Meredith-Springfield’s sister machine at the National Plastics Exhibition in Orlando, Florida, in May. At the Aoki booth, attendees will see live demonstrations of a 200 mL, 24 gram PET bottle having a 20MM neck finish and cycling 6 cavities at an unprecedented 8.5 second cycle. Existing technology achieves a 19.1 second cycle on the same bottle currently so the production is more than doubled.
Meredith-Springfield will exclusively produce PET articles with its machine. However, it is equipped to run almost any polymer which can be blow molded such as HDPE, PP or Tritan®. For some of the drinkware, Meredith-Springfield will use its patent-pending, proprietary post-molding lip forming process to create a glass-like bead rim on the top openings.
O’Leary said less tooling costs associated with the AL-500LL-50S, “allows for a price point that will enable customers with lower volumes or smaller tooling budgets to enjoy the benefits of one-step stretch blow molding previously achievable only with a major tooling expenditure.”