Leading rigid packaging company in the Andean Region, San Miguel Industrias PET (SMI), has made a major investment in XFORM preform production technology from SIPA to boost output at plants in its home country of Peru and in Ecuador. In 2013, SIPA installed two of its high-output XFORM 500 systems for production of preforms for carbonated soft drinks at SMI’s plant in Lima, Peru. The successful introduction of these systems led SMI to order a third XFORM 500, which SIPA installed at the company’s subsidiary in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
SMI a long-standing SIPA partner: it has been using a large number of the company’s equipment and preform tooling for many years. Juan Alberto Franco, CEO of SMI says: “When we decided to expand our capability in preforms in Peru, we knew that we could rely on SIPA as an expert in PET technology. We chose the XFORM 500 for its high level of performance and its competitive overall total cost of ownership. Our initial experience was very positive, which is why we had no hesitation in ordering a third system for our Ecuador operation.”
The first two units run with molds with 96 and 128 cavities, while the third is equipped with one of SIPA’s new GEN3 of molds with 144 cavities. SIPA is among a highly select group of global equipment suppliers offering preform injection molding systems capable of handling molds with 144 cavities. SMI is using the three systems to produce various sizes of preforms, weighing 17.7, 51.7 and 54.7 g, all with PCO 1881 neck finishes.
Latest SIPA XFORM 500 “EVO” systems like the one now running in Ecuador are now equipped with second-generation high-speed cooling robots that help ensure that equipment operates with short cycle times while still producing preforms with high dimensional consistency. The new robots also accept legacy end-of-arm tooling (EOAT), increasing even further the flexibility of the machine and eliminating additional costs for the user.
SIPA’s own EOAT can be configured with three or four cooling stages, and is especially low on maintenance, thanks in part to the introduction of a new high-speed system for ensuring there are no blockages in the cooling tubes that eliminates the need for photocells.
Further features on the 144c tooing include new lateral guides to assure perfect alignment of the tooling moving half, as well as a new hot runner system design that keeps imbalance levels below 20%.
SMI already benefits from class-leading SIPA technology in machines and molds. Several years ago, the two companies collaborated on the development of a special SIPA injection mold to produce tailor-made preforms for hot-fill PET bottles. The 60-cavity mold has a single hot half that can be matched with three different cold halves.
The converter also operates with numerous SIPA blow molds, running on machines from SIPA as well as other machines, for containers up to seven liters in size. And it has no fewer than 12 SIPA blow molding machines.