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Just 20 years ago, Italchimica was starting its business from the owners’ garage in Padua, Italy. Today the company has grown substantially and it’s building a green future. It produces disinfectants, detergents, degreasers, and the like and has recently invested in equipment that allows it to consistently produce and package high-quality products that are well respected by the trade and consumers. And it has just invested in a new XTRA 6 rotary stretch-blow molding system from SIPA.

The XTRA 6 is being used to make 600-mL and 1000-mL bottles for hand sanitizer - a product for which demand has risen substantially in recent months for reasons that are well understood. Italchimica’s sector-leading Sanitec branded products can be found across Italy in schools and public administration locations.

The innovative equipment from SIPA stands out for its output and energy efficiency. At Italchimica, it is producing up to about 8000 600-mL bottles every hour, and almost as many (around 7500 b/h) 1000 mL bottles.

Italchimica has been producing these bottles for some time on other pieces of (linear) equipment, but it needed a system with higher output. The XTRA 6 delivers on this requirement, it makes very high quality bottles, and Italchimica also appreciates its reliability.

“Everything is looking positive, SIPA did a good job during the installation and start-up,” says Italchimica co-owner Marco Fioretto. “We have established a good relationship with its people.” Discussions have already begun about a possible second line”.

Preferential heating

The XTRA is particularly good at blowing bottles with asymmetric cross-sections – ovals, for example, or even more complex shapes. So-called Preferential Heating (PH) enables an even wall distribution all around the circumference. The concept is not unique to SIPA, but what makes its PH ovens different from others has to do with the way the preforms rotate as they pass through them.The ovens have two distinct, highly controllable, infrared heating zones. In the first, the preforms rotate as usual, reaching a certain minimum temperature around their circumference. In the second, the preforms stop rotating, and certain parts of the circumference come out of the oven hotter than others. These are the parts that under normal conditions would stretch less in the blow mould.Using a standard heating process on a complex container would result in some areas around the finished container unnecessarily thicker than others. With Preferential Heating from SIPA, that problem disappears.
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