Without bottle inventory on hand, the lines must be up and running around the clock to fulfill production targets, according to Helmut Hoedl, Head of ALPLA’s Injection Stretch Blow Moulding (ISBM) Business Unit.
As the onsite converter responsible for bottle-making, ALPLA is meeting FEMSA’s quality and schedule requirements with the assistance of three Process Pilot® Automated Blowmolder Control systems from Agr International.
Two of the Process Pilots are installed inside KHS InnoPET Blomax stretch blow molding machines, one a Series III and the other a Series IV. The lines are set up in a blocked configuration, which combines both blowing and filling in one compact machine. The blocked design is the linchpin of FEMSA’s strategy for streamlined operations, but it also makes the blowmolding process especially critical. Non-conforming bottles not only disrupt the line and generate product waste, but can also present performance issues, either during transport or on the retail shelf.
Even with ALPLA’s 65 years as a leader in plastics processing, including three decades of experience in on-premises packaging, Villahermosa’s especially hot and humid climate, with almost-hourly variations in ambient conditions, posed unique challenges for the converter. The environmental instability made it difficult to produce bottles with consistent material distribution and performance characteristics.