Industry Perspective: AlphaMAC

April 6, 2023
The company is bringing its complete line of all-electric extrusion blow molding machines (EBM) to the North American market for the first time.

Italian machinery manufacturer AlphaMAC is bringing its complete line of all-electric extrusion blow molding machine (EBM) series to the North American market for the first time.

The new EBM machines are significantlyless expensive to operate than competitors’ comparable blow molders and are designed to easily incorporate recycled resin in bottles and containers, according to Patrick Carroll, president of IMA Dairy & Food USA.

“This machine line is the newest and greatest technology available in the extrusion blow molding industry,” Carroll said. “This technology is new. A lot of EBM manufacturers seem to be reluctant to develop new technology.”

Carroll said most EBM machines produce only single-layer bottles and cannot be easily converted to multi-layer bottles. AlphaMAC machines are designed for bottles with a layer of post-consumer or recycled material sandwiched between two layers of virgin resin.

Each AlphaMAC EBM comes with a latest technology extrusion head. Each version has a parison thickness controlled by electric actuator with absolute encoder (400 points, 12.5 tons) and mechanical movement by screw and linear motor. The AlphaMAC extrusion head is up to three layers; in the majority of applications and up to four and six layers, AlphaMAC uses heads from German manufacturer W. Müller GmbH.

Carroll said AlphaMAC machinery users can expect to use about 35 percent less electricity, spend up to 60 percent less in maintenance costs and see labor cost reduced because the EBM machine removes flash and can conduct inspections on up to 100 percent of the bottles. “There are no downstream operations for trimming and inspection that require a human touch,” he said.

AlphaMAC is a young and innovative company formed in 2019 by Moreno Minghetti, a former executive at Techne Graham Packaging, and sold to worldwide machinery manufacturer IMA Group two years later. There are 45 Italian-made EBM machines in operation worldwide, including two that are currently being installed in the U.S. 

The new AlphaMAC machine series now available in the U.S. includes:

The Zero 500S, 600S, 700s and 800S are single-station, monobloc machines ideal for small and medium-sized converters and end users with flexible production of limited quantities. Stroke ranges from 500mm to 800mm and clamping force is from 12 tons to 28 tons.

The Alpha 500D, 600D, 700D, 800D, 1,000D and 1,400D have a T layout and are available in double-station configuration. Stroke ranges from 50mm to 1,400mm and clamping force from 12 tons to 50 tons for the Alpha 1,000D and 2x24 tons for the Alpha 1,400D.

The Industrial 20S, 20D and 30S EBM machines are designed to produce containers up to 30 liters and are equipped with the highest degree of quality control features. The 20S and 20D have an 800mm stroke and clamping force of 28 tons. The 20S is a single shuttle model and the 20D is double shuttle. Both are for producing containers from 10 liters to 20 liters. The 30S has a 750mm stroke and 32 tons of clamping force with an internal robotic system for deflashing and total quality control. It can produce containers up to 30 liters.

Carroll said all the AlphaMAC EBM machines have throughputs that are comparable with others in the industry but that the AlphaMACs are designed to do a better job on forming the neck and thread areas. “The better-quality bottle with better-formed neck and threads is more important than a little faster speed,” Carroll said. “Many of the older machines for the dairy market that are faster cannot match the quality of our bottles.

“If you don’t have a good, well-formed neck, how do you plan on getting the physical cap on?” he asked. “Seal integrity can become a big problem.”

Milk jugs are an initial target for AlphaMAC in the U.S. Carroll estimates there are about 2,000 machines producing milk jugs domestically.

AlphaMAC’s U.S. headquarters is at the IMA facility in Leominster, Mass. There are 14 service technicians and a $5 million parts inventory in Leominster. “We are a full-service group,” Carroll said. The facility is already set up for training and remote service support.

Plans call for eventually assembling and doing final testing on AlphaMAC machines in Leominster. There are also plans for a demonstration lab.

AlphaMAC EBM machines are built near Bologna, Italy. The customer’s mold is shipped to Italy, installed on the machine and tested. Once the bottle is approved by the customer, the machine and mold are shipped to the customer’s plant where AlphaMAC technicians complete the installation. Carroll said the process normally takes six to eight months, depending on the size and complexity of the machine.

The IMA Group, which has annual sales of 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) and 6,000 employees around the world, designs and manufactures machines and auxiliary equipment for processing and packaging pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food, tea and coffee. Carroll said most of the machines already installed by AlphaMAC include the blow molding machine with a Total Quality Control Unit plus filling, downstream automation and robotized case packing equipment produced by other IMA companies.

For more information, visit or contact AlphaMAC in the U.S. at 978-227-1213.

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