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Stretch blow molding units to debut at Pack Expo

Issue: Sept 2017

Terekas, a European manufacturer of stretch blow molding machines for PET, will begin marketing its FlexBlow machines in the U.S. this fall.

The company’s U.S. marketing campaign will coincide with its participation in Pack Expo, which will be held Sept. 25-27 in Las Vegas. It will mark the first time the company has exhibited its two-stage stretch blow molding machines in the U.S.

The compact FlexBlow 2 machines, above, give bottle manufacturers the flexibility to change molds in about 4 minutes.

Terekas has long discussed entering the U.S. market. Selling two machines to a Canadian customer for the first time two years ago, it has just delivered its latest blow molder to a company in New York. Terekas currently sells its machines in the Baltic states, Belarus, Benelux, Germany, Iceland, Scandinavia, Slovenia, Spain and South America.

The company’s expansion into the U.S. market follows last fall’s launch of a new, smaller PET stretch blow molding machine.

“It’s a reduced-size blower dedicated for those who need flexibility in relatively small production quantities,” said Gintautas Maksvytis, head of Terekas’ export department. “Normally, PET blowers are rather sizable and take a lot of space.”

The new machine is compact. With a footprint of about 5.5 feet by 9 feet, the machine is about the size of a passenger car.

It is available in two models, the FlexBlow 1 and FlexBlow 2, with the model number representing the number of cavities. Both machines can produce bottles with neck sizes ranging from 18mm to 120mm. The FlexBlow 1 can produce bottles ranging in size from 10 milliliters to 10 liters at speeds of up to 1,600 bottles per hour. The FlexBlow 2 produces bottles ranging in size from 10 milliliters to 6 liters at speeds of up to 2,600 bottles per hour.

Interest in the new models is so high that Terekas, which is based in Kretinga, Lithuania, and has operations in Lund, Sweden, plans to hire additional sales representatives by the end of the year.

A Terekas stretch blow molding machine

The new machines join seven larger blow molding machines in the Terekas product lineup.  The company’s highest-speed machine has 16 cavities and can produce 24,000 bottles per hour with neck sizes ranging from 18mm to 38mm and sizes ranging from 10 milliliters to 1.5 liters.

Terekas started 22 years ago as a bottle manufacturer, and subsequently began building its own machines. Company officials recognized the advantages of quick mold changes and the ability to quickly change the size of the necks of the bottles.

As a result, the new FlexBlow machines allow bottle manufacturers the flexibility to change molds in about 4 minutes, and, if neck sizes also need to be changed -  which requires the change of mandrels - the switchover can take place in as little as 20 minutes, a company spokesman said. Only four bolts need to be undone to remove a mold.

The two new machines also allow an unusual range in bottle and neck sizes, the spokesman said. They can manufacture bottles as small as those used for e-cigarette fluid to large 10-liter bottles. The company uses the marketing slogan, “One for all.”

FlexBlow machines are built with standard components from mostly German manufacturers. As a result, replacing parts can be quicker and less expensive than obtaining proprietary parts since parts are available from many vendors, according to the company.

Bruce Geiselman, senior staff reporter

bgeiselman@plasticsmachinerymagazine.com

For more information

Terekas Sweden AB,
Lund, Sweden, 46-700-189-133, www.flexblow.com

Terekas UAB,
Kretinga, Lithuania, 370-445-51-431, www.terekas.com