TECHNICAL WINDOW
02/2014

ONE AT A TIME, BIG-TIME: SIPA PRESENTS THE SFL 1 XL

SIPA is extending its offering for the production of large PET containers. The SFL 1 XL is its response to the rise in interest in small- and medium-scale production of containers anywhere from 15 to 30 liters in size. Requests are coming from sectors as varied as water, oil, beer, wine, and beyond.

The new machine answers calls for low unit costs, coming especially from companies producing water containers who lay more emphasis on initial investment cost and less on running costs and technical support.
SIPA is now in an excellent position to cater for this special market with equipment that is best in class, and which has a highly competitive performance: price ratio and very attractive running costs. On top of that, it brings its experience and knowledge in the production process, package development and lightweighting, backed by a support network that includes 16 technical assistance centers on four continents.

Fast work
The SFL 1 XL is ideal for production of returnable containers at a rate of around 250-300 units per hour, or as many as 700 stackable/one-way containers in the same period. It was designed from the ground up to produce one container at a time. Maximum volume is 30 L. The new unit can produce a wide range of containers, with neck finishes up to 93 mm.
Preforms are discharged in bulk from octabins into the preform hopper. From there, an elevator belt provides a continuous supply of preforms to an unscrambler that aligns them with the neck finish upward. Preforms can then slide down a chute with an adjustable width into the machine. A loading cup picks up each preform and inserts it on the spindle.

Two ovens standard, three is optional
In standard configuration there are two ovens, but if needed, a third oven can be installed. Preforms are carried in front of 16 infrared lamps on one side and mirrors having vertical slots on the other side. Different lamp configurations can be optionally installed to accommodate special preforms.
At the exit of the ovens a gripper moves each preform to a transferring cup, which then moves to the blowing station where another gripper inserts it into the blowing mold.

High precision in stretching
The stretch and blowing phase is made within a toggle blowing press with pneumatic compensation. The axial stretching of the preforms is carried out by a servo-driven stretching rod that provides a high level of repeatability and consistency.
Once the bottle is completely formed and the blowing air is exhausted, the mould opens and the blown bottle is evacuated by a linear transfer system electronically synchronized to the blowing press movement.
Used air can be recovered
Air recovery to keep As option the SFL machine can be equipped with the Air Recovery System® (ARS) which recovers the air exhausted from each blowing cavity into a machine-embedded air vessel, re-distributing it for pre-blowing air needs and for service air machine needs, as well as other plant utilities, where applicable.
An alternative option is ARS PLUS®, an advanced upgrading package that allows even higher saving rates on compressed air without interfering with process conditions.