Environmentally friendly, sustainable, and cost-effective operation: That was one of the paramount goals for Krones’ fourth generation Contiform stretch blow molder. When it comes to stretch blow molders, the greatest potential for improvement in these areas often lies in reducing energy consumption in preform heating and, of course, in lowering compressed air consumption in the blowing process. And Krones’ R&D team have made the most of these opportunities: They’ve shortened the distance between the heaters, made the heating space even more compact overall, and redesigned the heaters with parabolic reflectors. As a result, they’ve cut energy consumption by 11% compared to the previous generation.
The team has also achieved substantial savings on compressed air. Unlike the technology customary on the market to date, the new Air Wizard Triple air recycling system uses a three-stage compressed-air recycling process that can reduce compressed air consumption by as much as 20%.
But the focus on sustainability hasn’t been limited to the machine’s operation. It also includes the materials used in the installation process. As an example, the protective panels are made of recycled plastic.
In order to further improve total cost of ownership (TCO), the fourth-generation Contiform uses a newly developed skip-and-run technology, which monitors the mold-hanger locking device and allows a blowing station that is not locked to pass along the main cam, for instance to eject a defective preform without triggering an emergency stop of the entire machine. That considerably reduces the scrap rate and eliminates the need for operator intervention.