Changeover time is increasingly important to bottlers as product runs become shorter and changeovers more frequent.
With the new Bottle Switch, engineers at Sidel therefore sought to improve the mold changeover time and bring it in line with the time it takes to change the filler.
Sidel claims that the result is a semi automatic system that reduces mold changeover time to less than a minute and cuts machine downtime by 50 per cent.
On an SBO 20 Universal2, for example, Sidel said full format changeover now takes 18 minutes ‘bottle to bottle’ for a single operator. The previous system needed two operators and the changeover took 33 minutes.
As well as saving time and reducing complications for operators, Sidel claims that with the new solution customers may avoid additional spending on storage silos and intermediate palletisation.
The Bottle Switch replaces what was a manual process with a semi-automatic solution. The system automatically brings the required blowing station in front of the operator, where it arrives already open.
The operator then just has to change the molds and this non-automatic part of the process is made easier as removal and installation in the mold support can be done tool free. Sidel claims that this step takes less than a minute to complete.
The Bottle Switch is available under Options & Upgrades for all recent generations of SBO Universal blow molders. By the end of 2010 the system will become available for all SBO Series2 and Combi machines.