TECHNICAL WINDOW
02/2021

SIPA XTRA IS EXTRA SPEEDY

When SIPA unveiled its ground-breaking XTRA rotary stretch-blow molding system at Drinktec 2017, it immediately stood out from the pack, not only with its energy efficiency and its versatility, but with its speed. The company claimed at the time that XTRA, with its extra-wide process angle, could produce 2550 high-quality 1.5-liter CSD bottles per cavity every hour, easily Best In Class. That took some believing. Well, it turns out that SIPA was not exaggerating. Quite the opposite in fact. Today, at customers, in commercial use, XTRA is running even faster. It is regularly hitting a record rate of 2700 bottles/hour/cavity.


All over the world


Not surprisingly, those customers are rather pleased, to say the least. Which is why they are coming back for more, with several repeat orders already having been placed. XTRA equipment is now operating all around the world, in Europe, North and South America, Asia-Pacific, Middle-East and Africa.


XTRA systems are suitable for production of cold- and hot-fill bottles, in virgin or recycled PET. The largest can produce a total of 65,000 bottles per hour. In production of hot-fill containers, XTRA machines can run at 2000 units per cavity per hour (0.5 L). Seven versions are currently available, holding between six and 24 molds.


Cost cutter


The new models combine features to maximize performance while cutting Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by a full quarter. The 200-degree ACTIVE angle is larger than on any other machine – 15% wider than the market standard – energy consumption is around 25% less, high flexibility is demonstrated by the fact that any one machine can produce top-quality containers in sizes from 0.1 to 3.5 liters, ease of use is outstanding, and XTRA is highly compatible with other machines upstream and downstream. 


“XTRA is further proof that SIPA provides the benchmark in technologies for the production, filling and packaging of PET containers,” says Paolo De Nardi, SIPA’s Product Manager for stretch-blow molding machines.


A perfect combination of speed and quality


The high output figure is the result of an R&D process involving SIPA’s entire development department that put particular emphasis on kinematics and mechanical movements. It makes it possible to reduce the number of blow molds for any given total output requirement, accelerating changeover times and lowering investment costs. 


The wide process angle on all XTRAs facilitates production of bottles of excellent quality, even at high speeds. It makes it possible to apply high pressure air for up to 0.8 seconds at max speed, enabling production of containers, even the most complex ones, with extreme accuracy. 


For many product types


Each XTRA can not only produce a wide range of bottle sizes, it can also accommodate different neck sizes (28/38 mm). In addition, the clamp stroke has three settings: short, to produce bottles of up to 0.7 L at a maximum speed of 2700 bhc; and Medium for container up to 1.5L; and  then Large, for containers up to 3 L and an output of up to 2400 bhc. This mechanical flexibility is complemented by the ability of the machine to produce hot- and cold-fill containers without any changes needing to be made to the system.  In this way the machine is tailored for specific project, but it’s also ready to evolve, adapt, and match the future challenges and opportunities.


As well the recent introduction of Preferential Heating, an option to produce high-quality oval and rectangular bottles. This great feature is derived from the best-in-class SFL platform, used worldwide to produce complex containers on personal care and home care, to mention a few.


A system that is open and compatible 


XTRA was designed to be able to integrate and interact with other machines, creating high-performance production systems consisting of different products that all speak the same language. It can for example be directly connected to a filler to create a standard system for production and filling of PET containers; equally, it can be integrated with SIPA’s XTREME rotary injection-compression platform for preform production. Finally, XTRA can interface with XTREME Renew, which produces preforms directly from recycled bottles, creating a system unique in the world – XTREME Renew Sincro.


Intuitive, accessible, and resource-efficient


XTRA is fast and flexible, and it is also easy to use. Thanks to its simple interface, each user can adjust all parameters extremely quickly and safely. In addition, all planned and assisted maintenance activities can be carried out without the use of tools for either quick mold change or neck changing. Mold change is very appreciated by our customers, enjoying the 30seconds mold change, without tools, without energy, no risk, no problems.


Finally, XTRA makes it possible to reduce operating costs while maintaining a high performance level. Its ovens are designed for outstanding energy saving, even during extremely complex processes. The new blowing unit guarantees the least possible dead volume, while the air recovery system during the pre- and post-blowing phase results in optimal use of the air required for processing.


 



Download the article: