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All-new XTRA rotary stretch-blow system is already a hit with customers

Just a few months after SIPA unveiled a revolutionary new range of rotary stretch-blow molding equipment, early adopters are already putting in repeat orders. The new range, called XTRA, first went on sale in early spring 2018. It is now available in numerous sizes, suitable for the production of cold- and hot-fill bottles, in virgin or 100% recycled PET. All XTRA models stand out for their ability to produce high-quality containers, very quickly. A figure of 2550 bottles per cavity per hour for production of 1.5-liter carbonated soft drinks bottles is Best in Class. As many as 51,000 bottles can come off the largest XTRA version every hour. When it comes to hot-fill containers, XTRA machines have an output capacity of up to 2000 units per cavity per hour (0.5 L), using fully clean electric heating system: oil-free mold allows quick start-up and accurate thermal profile.

XTRA equipment is now operating all around the world – in Europe, North and South America, Asia-Pacific, and Africa. “Customers everywhere are telling us they are very happy with their new systems,” says Paolo De Nardi, SIPA’s Product Manager for stretch-blow molding machines. “The repeat orders are a confirmation that the performance we promised is being fulfilled in real-life conditions.” Seven versions of XTRA are currently available, differentiated by the number of molds they can hold: 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, and 20. They can produce bottles for a wide range of liquids, using cold, hot, and aseptic filling systems. Next year, the range will be extended upwards in size, and with the ability to produce bottles for even more applications than is possible today.

The new models combine features to maximize performance while cutting Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) by a full quarter. They feature an extra-wide active angle (200 deg.), reduced energy consumption, high flexibility and ease of use, as well as simple (or native) compatibility with other machines upstream and downstream. “With XTRA, SIPA is demonstrating once again that it is the benchmark in technologies for the production, filling and packaging of PET containers,” says De Nardi. “XTRA is the result of our unmatched expertise, constant research, and concentration on process & packaging innovation.”

The high-speed capability of XTRA machines is the result of a development process that put particular emphasis on kinematics and mechanical movements. “Being able to produce up to 2550 bottles per cavity per hour obviously means that fewer molds are needed for any given total output requirement, but on top of that simple fact is the advantage it brings in cutting product changeover times and lowering overall investment costs,” says De Nardi.

The 200-degree active angle on the new XTRA machines exceeds current market standards by some 15% and facilitates production of bottles of excellent quality, even at high speeds. Such a wide process angle makes it possible to apply high pressure air for as long as 0.8 seconds, enabling extremely accurate production of containers – even the most complex ones.

The clamp stroke on XTRA machines has two settings, short and long, depending on bottle size. This mechanical flexibility is complemented by the ability of the machine to switch between production of hot- and cold-fill containers without any changes to the system, just a quick blow mold replacement. Great flexibility, to match current and future production challenges.

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 Cube.

The new XTRA stretch-blow molding system is designed to make the work of its operators easier. 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 with timely support of HMI. Further simplification is the quick neck change with fingertips and mold change without the use of any tool.
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