PLASTICS MACHINERY MAGAZIN / November 2017
Thorsten Bung - Sales Director
HESTA BLASFORMTECHNIK GmbH & Co. KG:
Hesta Blasformtechnik GmbH & Co. is a family-owned business founded in 1948 that manufactures and sells hydraulic, electric and hybrid blow molding machines. The company offers continuous extrusion and accumulator-head blow molding machines.
During the conference, the company discussed its Hesta700 all-electric blow molding machine. The 700 machine features a 700mm linear mold stroke with a clamping force of about 25 tons. The machine is for manufacturing containers up to 5,000ml, according to the company’s website.
At NPE 2018, Hesta will demonstrate an even larger blow molding machine, which features a 900mm linear stroke with a clamping force of nearly 45 tons. The Hesta900 has a 900mm linear stroke and makes containers up to 5,000ml but is not yet available for purchase; the first machine will be exhibited at NPE.
Recent improvements to Hesta’s all-electric models include software that can automatically measure energy consumption during production to help calculate energy costs. In addition, Hesta installed state-of-the-art modems with cell phone cards in them to provide remote service without having to connect the machines to company networks.
Thorsten Bung, Hesta’s director of sales and marketing, said his company is seeing increased interest in all-electric blow molding machines from U.S. plastics manufacturers.
“It is coming along with the rising costs for energy,” Bung said. He estimates Hesta’s all-electric blow molding machines can reduce energy consumption by as much as 60 percent.
During his presentation to attendees, Bung highlighted Hesta’s patented HES system, which adjusts for different mold thicknesses and enables users to set forces from 0 percent to 100 percent. “It compensates for different mold heights,” Bung said. “You install the mold, and if it is 1, 2 or 3 millimeters higher than the other mold, or vice versa, the machine is doing the setup automatically.”
Jackson Machinery became a representative for Hesta in the U.S. and Canada in October 2016. Since then, it has sold about five all-electric Hestas, including an HV200 and a Hesta490.
Jackson said that while the energy savings are significant, he thinks the electric motor has an even more significant advantage. “Everybody talks about the electric [machine] saving energy, but that’s the least of its goodness. The real issue is, it doesn’t break itself,” Jackson said. “It can’t break itself because you have a torque motor that only goes so far. With a hydraulic machine, you walk over, and you turn the pressure up. You get more tonnage, and it breaks things.”
Jackson said an operator of a hydraulic machine that is getting too much flash on a part may turn up the hydraulic pressure — potentially higher than it was designed for. As a result, over time, it will damage tie rods and stress clamps and other parts. An electric machine eliminates that possibility. PLCs and electric motors limit the tonnage that can be delivered.
Price used to be a deterrent to switching from hydraulic to all-electric models, but that is no longer the case. The costs for all-electric machines now are comparable to hydraulic machines or at a 5 percent premium at most, Jackson said.