Kautex debuts new blow molding machine series

April 2, 2021
The Skyreef series will emphasize smart production and offers choices among hydraulic, all-electric and hybrid designs.

Kautex Maschinenbau this month will unveil its new Skyreef series of extrusion blow molding machines for packaging, part of the company’s efforts to realign its product portfolio for a future of “smart production.”

At Chinaplas, being held April 13-16 in Shenzhen, China, Kautex will give visitors their first glimpse of the Skyreef series to coincide with the global sales launch.

The series combines technologies and components from Kautex’s hydraulic KCC series and all-electric KBB series machines. In the future, instead of offering highly specialized individual solutions, the company plans to focus more on standardization, modular concepts and platform-based strategies, according to Kautex.

Customers can choose to purchase a Skyreef model powered by a hydraulic, all-electric or hybrid drive, making it flexible and adaptable, the company said. The company is calling the hydraulic version Skyreef, the all-electric version Skyreef Green and the hybrid version Skyreef Blue. All versions will be capable of processing post-consumer resin. Other options include selecting between Kautex’s performance and premium die heads. The new machines are designed for a future of smart production with the ultimate goal being the production of an autonomous machine.

“Smart production systems is a key priority at Kautex,” said Paulo Gomes, global director of strategic business marketing at Kautex. “All product developments today are built on the vision that ultimately the equipment needs to generate and collect critical information that can be analyzed and proactively acted upon not only at their own level, but in cooperation with other equipment upstream and downstream.”

Gomes also said that Kautex designed the Skyreef series with smart production in mind, which influenced decisions ranging from the selection of the control platform to the level of monitoring provided by installed sensors.

“From a reactive/pre-adjustment of settings approach, we are moving toward a proactive/predictive and collaborative system with self-tuning capacity everywhere technology and application knowledge allows,” Gomes said. “Similar to the ‘lights-out’ factory concept, we believe that a sustainable production cell should reduce the dependency of human intervention. We aim to increase the number of automated tasks and processes in our systems with the ultimate goal of making it autonomous based on AI [artificial intelligence], a parallel to autonomous driving vehicles, which were pure science fiction some years ago.”

Kautex’s movement toward a smart-factory approach aligns with what the company has heard from customers across the world who increasingly are facing difficulty finding qualified labor, he said. Solving this problem is critical for fast growth and business continuity, he said.

The new Skyreef series will be offered in addition to the company’s existing lines of blow molding machines.

“All existing machine lines will continue to exist,” Gomes said.

China is a major market for Kautex, and the company has operated its own production site in Shunde in the south of the country for more than 25 years. Visitors to Chinaplas will be able to take a shuttle to see machines being manufactured in Shunde.

Kautex will be at booth 10G03 in Hall 10 at Chinaplas.

Kautex has been in business for 85 years and employs about 550 people. Its main blow molding machine production locations are in Germany and China.

Bruce Geiselman, senior staff reporter

[email protected]


Kautex Machines Inc., North Branch, N.J., 908-252-9350, www.kautex-group.com 

About the Author

Bruce Geiselman | Senior Staff Reporter

Senior Staff Reporter Bruce Geiselman covers extrusion, blow molding, additive manufacturing, automation and end markets including automotive and packaging. He also writes features, including In Other Words and Problem Solved, for Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing, Plastics Recycling and The Journal of Blow Molding. He has extensive experience in daily and magazine journalism.