Contiform 3 Speed: superlative output, even with rPET

If anyone has mastered the art of understatement, then it’s the blow-moulding station of the Contiform 3 Speed. Very slim and almost inconspicuous, there it stands on the periphery of the Krones pavilion at the K 2019. But the initial impression is misleading, because in terms of engineering the exhibit has a lot to offer.

“The Contiform 3 Speed has been rigorously developed in line with the motto ‘produce more, consume less’,” explains Product Manager Jochen Forsthövel. “In order to achieve a station output of 2,750 containers per cavity and hour, we completely redesigned the previous stretch blow-moulding machine concept.”

Door-opener for an abundance of advantages

What this means specifically is illustrated by a comparison with the conventional blow-moulders on the market. These hold the two halves of the mould together during the stretch blow-moulding process by a pressure pad in the mould carrier. For the Contiform 3 Speed, the development people at Krones opted for a new solutional approach: they redesigned the mould carrier locking mechanism to as to ensure that this alone suffices to hold the two halves of the mould together. A pressure pad is thus no longer needed. And it’s precisely this seemingly minor improvement that in its turn creates a whole cascade of advantages. “In the previous small-cavity mould carriers, hitherto only bottles with a maximum size of 0.7 litres could be produced,” explains Jochen Forsthövel. “But thanks to the absence of a pressure pad, now even moulds for 2.0-litre containers can be installed – and all this on the size of a previous small-cavity blow-moulding module. On average, this turns out to be 22 per cent smaller than comparable blow-moulding modules of the Contiform 3 Pro.“

Sustainable machine, sustainable containers

The lean design is manifested not only as in the line layout, but also and particularly in the media and energy balance: the Contiform 3 Speed consumes up to 15 per cent less high-pressure compressed air than comparable stretch blow-moulding machines currently available on the market.

Another beneficial effect: the output soars. This is because the development people have combined the smaller blowing wheel, and the reduced machine size with some kinematic optimisations – and have thus achieved a station output of 2,750 containers per cavity and hour. Given the maximum number of 36 cavities, the Krones Contiform 3 Speed is thus able to produce up to 82,500 PET bottles per hour,” says Jochen Forsthövel. “Overall, we’re covering a bandwidth of eight to 36 cavities.”

As the Product Manager proceeds to explain, the machine also fits in seamlessly with the dominant theme of the K 2019: “If you’re looking for a closed material cycle, then the Contiform 3 Speed is the perfect choice for the future. The machine can handle both rPET and new material.”

Also have a look at our video about the Contiform 3 Speed blowing station: