A significantly optimised production process for oval or asymmetrical plastic containers: that’s the job description for the newly developed ProShape process from Krones. It functions by utilising the field-proven heat-up and stretch blow-moulding technology of the current Contiform series, and combining it with a new module for orientation and selective temperature control of the preforms concerned. The ProShape module is integrated into the Contiform between a standard linear oven and a standard blowing wheel. The requisite temperature profile the requisite temperature profile is applied to the preforms using temperature-controlled aluminium moulds specifically designed to meet the requirements of the subsequent bottle, thus achieving purposefully optimised material distribution for the downstream stretch blow-moulding process. This enables very accurate profiles with sharply defined temperature boundaries to be achieved, permitting stable thick-walled areas to be provided directly adjacent to thin-walled segments. ProShape thus offers optimum preconditions for producing extremely unusual designs and for lightweighting oval containers. The system can also quite simply be switched off when round bottles are to be produced in a standard process.
The ProShape technology is scheduled for commencement of series production during the course of 2011.
Preform orientation using visual optical detection
For preform orientation, the machine utilises an optical camera system, that enables preforms to be recognised by an enormous range of different orientation marks on the neck finish. After the orientation mark has been detected, the requisite angle is computed, and the preform given its concomitantly individualised orientation in the treatment starwheel. Thanks to this innovative overall concept, station outputs of up to 2,000 containers an hour can be reached.