NPE: Serac demonstrates Roll N Blow technology at show

April 29, 2015

Serac Inc., Carol Stream, Ill., may be best known for its design of liquid filling machines. But the machinery firm has been evolving into blow molding and vacuum forming technologies. During NPE, it was running hourly demos of its Agami vertical thermoformer used to produce plastic bottles directly from sheet with capacities between 100 and 500 milliliters. It's known as the Roll N Blow technology, really, a mix of thermoforming and blow molding.

Agami, Trappes, France, created the technology roughly five years ago but this is the first time Serac has presented it in the United States, says Acyr Borges, Serac's president.  Serac Group, based near Paris, purchased 100 percent of Agami's shares last year and with it, the ability to further develop this technology. The process is designed to compete against extrusion blow molding and injection blow molding, doing away with preforms.

During NPE, the machine was something to behold, towering 14.9 feet. Plastic sheet is cut into strips, fed through lanes where it is formed into tubes around a blow pipe and then drawn into the molds for forming. The sheet is fed over multiple lanes, in this case, four, the number of which is dictated by the molds. The machine can go up to six lanes.

During NPE, the machine was running PS. The machine can run PP and PP-EVOH, especially for more sensitive applications. Bottles come out with the thread for capping and there are multiple options for cap fits.

"The machine is all servo-controlled, which allows for good motion control that you don't have when it's hydraulic or pneumatic," Borges says.

The achievement also is in the simplification of the industrial process, officials said. The vertical machine takes up less floor space, there is no need for storage silos, and any handling operations to transfer bottles or preforms back onto the line are no longer needed.

Angie DeRosa, managing editor

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Serac Inc., 630-510-9343,