Photo by Caroline Seidel From left, Gerado Chiaia, Steve Lawrynuik and Stefano Mirt with Husky's HyperSync machine K 2016.
Husky Injection Molding Systems has a continuing investment program in its hot runners business. Its senior managers outlined these investments at a K 2016 news briefing, where they also discussed its other businesses in PET preform systems and tooling for medical and specialty packaging.
Stefano Mirti, president of Husky’s hot runners and controllers business, discussed recent investments in that sector. The company invested $8m (€7.5m) at its Milton, Vermont, plant and spent $12m (€11.3m) on its Luxembourg facility, where it added a new manifold cell. In Shanghai, Husky has added a test lab to serve the Asia-Pacific region and doubled the manufacturing capacity at its Chennai, India, facility.
Other investments will be announced in mid-2017, Mirti said.
At Husky’s press event on 20 October, the heads of its three business units had a total of 72 years of Husky tenure between them.
Gerardo Chiaia is president of Global Beverage Packaging and has 22 years’ service at the Bolton, Ontario-based company, previously as head of hot runners. Steve Lawrynuik, president of Medical and Specialty Packaging, has 30 years’ experience at Husky, and Stefano Mirti has spent 20 years at Husky.
Chiaia spoke of the promising market reception of Husky’s multilayer barrier technology for PET preform production. “We have 14 orders for our multilayer PET systems,” he said. “The first beta systems were shipped just over a year ago. Five are now in the field, and two are currently being installed.”
He said the technology targets drink products needing enhanced barrier properties that are traditionally packaged in materials such as glass, paper cartons and aluminum.
The barrier technology is built on the company’s HyPET HPP5 preform molding system, a high-performance system with the capability to precisely dose the barrier layer. Husky says the technology supports recyclability by reducing the amount of barrier material required, as well as demonstrating the potential to integrate new recyclable barrier materials into PET packaging.
At K 2016, Husky showed a hot runner system for the multilayer barrier technology, which was used by an Asian customer. The 48-cavity hot runner system was used by the customer for six months to make barrier PET preforms for carbonated soft drink bottles. The customer converted from a 5.5% nylon barrier blend to 2.5% multilayer barrier. It has since upgraded to a 72-cavity version of the system.
Lawrynuik said his Medical and Specialty Packaging division at Husky was formed after the group bought Sch?ttli, the Swiss medical mold maker, in 2013.
“It was a strategic acquisition to expand our innovation processes into the medical space,” he said.
Sch?ttli is one of the top names in the medical mold sector, he said, and it has brought to Husky expertise regarding the high level of precision needed for medical products.
Husky had on display a variety of parts for target medical applications. It also showed a 64-cavity Sch?ttli syringe barrel mould, showcasing the high capacity and precision manufacturing Sch?ttli is known for.
Husky is investigating the needs of medical customers, such as specific demands for precision, quality and productivity. From this research, it will seek to develop integrated solutions. It has been teaming Sch?ttli molds with Husky hot runner systems as part of its drive to an integrated system offering.
“It’s about putting a mould with a machine in a unique way, so 1 plus 1 doesn’t equal 2; 1 plus 1 equals 3,” Lawrynuik said.
In an interview, he added that Husky has learned a lot from its integrated approach to moulds and machines used for PET preform production. But it can’t just presume medical customers have the same needs as PET customers when applying its learning, he said.
Advances in Husky’s injection moulding machinery include two integrated systems for producing caps and closures were being shown at K 2016.
The recently introduced HyCAP4 system for beverage closure manufacturing includes mold and auxiliary integration features to increase productivity, improve energy efficiency and provide a simplified operator experience. The HyCAP4 is running a 1.25 gram 29/25 closure for a mineral water application at a 2.4-second cycle time.
Brand new is HyperSync for the manufacture of specialty closures. The system is moulding a 6.1 gram flip-top closure for a shampoo bottle in an 8.5-second cycle time. The HyperSync name reflects how the system synchronises the machine and mould function to deliver fast cycle times.
The system uses Husky’s new eIMC in-mould closing technology which provides more precise control during molding, with safe overlapping of mould functions to enable better part quality as well as cycle time improvement of more than 20%.
Husky’s updated Hylectric 4.0 is being launched with improved performance, greater process control and energy management, but also with new connectivity and data collection features.
In hot runners and controllers, Husky is showing updates to its Ultra Helix Valve Gate nozzles (with the Ultra Helix 350 nozzle now available) and the servo actuation feature on the new Altanium Servo Control technology. Also showcased are the most recent automotive solutions, including Unify Pre-assembled Manifolds and the Lucent angled manifold, designed for automotive lens production.