This self-lubricating material also helps improve mold cleanliness by eliminating the possibility ofgrease splashes or deposits, which are sources of persistent dirt. Régis Leclerc stresses theimportance of this aspect: “Mold maintenance requires good training for operators, so that theycan apply just the right amount of grease to keep the bottles clean and ensure good productionhygiene. By eliminating the greasing step, we avoid the risk of non-quality problems associatedwith handling the molds and the other essential blow molder components.” Finally, the low densityof Kohlox™, which is four times lighter than steel, helps lighten the mold base to accommodatenew blow molder speeds of 2,000 bottles per hour per mold, and reduces mechanical wear on themachine itself.
For new or existing molds
Patented by Sidel, this technology is available as an option for most new molds and can also beadapted to several existing molds for all types of Sidel blow molders. The verdict at Nestlé Watersis positive: “This project has been successfully completed thanks to an excellent collaboration withSidel, whose staff has been present at our site to monitor the performance of the Kohlox™ parts.Because of the excellent results with the new molds, we have decided to order nearly 100 moremolds equipped with Kohlox™ parts and also to adapt some existing molds.”
As a self-lubricating material, Kohlox™ offers significant savings in mold maintenance time, whilealso eliminating the use of consumables for those operations. Reducing maintenance time meansimproving blow molder availability and therefore productivity. Régis Leclerc, technical coordinatorfor Nestlé Waters, explains: “One of our concerns is to reduce the time spent on mold maintenanceand greasing. Any solution that reduces those maintenance steps helps significantly improvemachine availability. We have saved about one hour of maintenance time on an SBO 20 thanks tothe new molds with Kohlox™ parts. This significant time gain allows us to produce more or toperform other maintenance operations. That’s quite considerable if this technology is extended toall of Nestlé Waters’ blow molders running at full capacity.”
Two minutes less of weekly maintenance per mold: that’s what Sidel has accomplished withKohlox™, the new, self-lubricating composite material for studs and wear rings.
For blow molds to work well, regular greasing operations are needed: moving parts generatefriction. Two minutes per operator and per mold are needed for these weekly maintenanceoperations. How can these operations be reduced? Simply by eliminating the greasing step. This ishow Sidel has innovated with Kohlox™, a thermo composite material with a low coefficient offriction, helping parts move freely without any lubrication. Developed after two years of R&D, thismaterial is the best compromise between mechanical resistance to impacts and compression, whilealso ensuring free movement of parts. Two new grease-free parts have been produced for the molds:wear rings for the mold bottoms, and female studs. In 2009, these new parts have been tested andvalidated on the industrial scale in partnership with Nestlé Waters Est France.
|Sylvie RAK |
Tel : +33 2 32 85 82 46