Which end products are often packed in hollow plastic containers which are manufactured using injection blow moulding?
Plastic packaging which is manufactured using injection blow moulding (IBM) is particularly suitable for the packaging of liquid and powdery pharmaceutical products, all kinds of tablets, cosmetics, body care products, food and food supplements.
Virtually any bottle, container or crucible shape is possible. Containers with small or large openings can be manufactured. The high-quality opening ensures that the containers are also suitable for contents which have to be stored in an airtight and dry condition, unlike the extrusion blow moulding procedure (IBM). Injection blow moulding is also suitable for consumer goods with high-quality packaging due to the flexible design options, e.g. in comparison to injection moulding, stretch blow moulding and injection stretch blow moulding, and also thanks to the seamless packaging.
Because of the highly-variable content volume of between about 1 and 1000 millilitres, packaging manufactured using injection blow moulding is suitable for extremely small quantities such as the ones in which pharmaceuticals are often sold (eye drops, ear drops etc.) and also for the large packaging that is used in the food industry, for example. Thanks to the small tolerances and the seamless neck and base areas, the packages can also be subjected to pressure, which is not possible with extrusion blow moulding and hollow container blow moulding.
What are the main industries in which injection blow moulding is used?
Injection blow moulding (IBM) can be used in all industries in which low-cost and sealed packaging is required. The main focus is on the pharmaceutical and diagnostic industries, the cosmetics industry with its body care products, the food industry with its foods and the household area (cleaning agents etc.). And also all chemical/technical areas. Other application areas are possible without problems – just ask us!
Unlike other alternative methods, injection blow moulding is impressive because of the small amount of wastage, which generally also makes the procedure suitable for sustainable and ecologically manufactured mass products and mass production.
What are the main advantages and differences between injection blow moulding and alternative manufacturing methods?
Compared to injection moulding, injection blow moulding (IBM) has more design options.
Compared to extrusion blow moulding or blow moulding, injection blow moulding impresses with its higher precision (e.g. with regard to dimensions), screw closures and extremely uniform wall thicknesses. There are only slight variations in the weight of the packaging. Similarly to the injection moulding procedure, opening tolerances are possible.
The general advantages of injection blow moulding are the environmentally friendly production method thanks to the waste-free manufacturing technology, the seamless base and neck areas and the high surface quality. Pharmaceutical products can be packed in transparent containers. The procedure also makes it possible to have a large number of cavities of up to 24 or even 36, which makes mass production easier.
The reliable mould shapes without breaks, cracks or flaws make economical, low-monitoring production possible with much lower personnel costs than with the extrusion blow moulding procedure. The production process is reproducible and stable. Unlike the extrusion blow moulding procedure, there is no need for continuous fine adjustments and hardly any additional tools are required.
What are the product volumes which can be manufactured with our tools using injection blow moulding?
Injection blow moulding (IBM) makes extremely small volumes possible from 1 ml to large containers of up to 1000 ml or one litre, and occasionally also up to 2000 ml or two litres. The opening area can be adapted to the respective content when doing this. This means that liquids can be poured into packages with smaller openings, and powder or tablets put into packages with bigger openings. The packages are also resistant to pressure.
What minimum and maximum dimensions can our plastic hollow containers have using injection blow moulding?
The typical diameter or dimensions start at 12 mm x 22 mm and end at 100 mm x 170 mm. However, special sizes that deviate from this are also possible. Our specialists would be pleased to discuss the feasibility of your requirements.
We require plastic packaging but cannot or do not want to manufacture it ourselves. What can we do?
Contact us. We would be pleased to provide you with details of potential suppliers in your area who can manufacture suitable plastic hollow containers for you..
For which IBM / injection blow moulding machines can we manufacture tools for injection blow moulding?
We develop tools for all injection blow moulding machines on the market with 3 or 4 stations. The majority of them are tools for machine manufacturers Novapax, Jomar and Uniloy, but also for the numerous machine types from the Asian area.
POLYMOLD tools are available for machines with how much closing force?
The injection blow moulding machines for which our tools are suitable typically have closing force of 15 to 160 tons. We develop tools for all of the injection blow moulding machines that are on the market, even if the closing force differs in isolated cases.
From which raw materials can plastic hollow containers be manufactured in our injection blow moulding tools?
A wide range of plastics are now available which make it possible to find a suitable plastic packaging material for almost any product. In the majority of cases we manufacture tools for injection blow moulding of the following materials: HDPE (High Density Polyethylene), LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene), PP (Polypropylene), COC (Cyclo-Olefin-Copolymer), COP (Cyclo-Olefin-Polymer), PET (Polyethylenterephthalat), TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane), PC (Polycarbonate), PS (Polystyrene), SAN (Styrol-Acrylonitrile-Copolymers) and Barex (Acrylonitrile). Many other materials are also possible. Just ask us!
What are the maximum and minimum number of cavities (containers) that our tools can have?
Typically, our customers require 1 to 24 cavities or containers. However, moulds with up to 36 cavities are also possible.
What steps does the manufacture of a hollow container using injection blow moulding involve?
Essentially, a distinction is made between three phases:
- Injection: the melted polymer is pressed into a mould using a core pin, producing a preform which is transported to the next station.
- Blowing: the preform is inflated in a cooled mould using compressed air, which creates the final hollow container.
- Ejection: after a brief cooling phase, the hollow container is transported to the next station. This is where the finished hollow container is peeled off.
Each of the three to four stations deals with a sub-process, whereby all stations operate simultaneously.
How many tools do our customers require for productive operation?
This mainly depends on the require production quantity, the number of available machines, the number of cavities and to a lesser extent the required availability. Basically, large quantities can be produced in multi-shift operation with a large number of cavities, even with one tool. However, depending on the foreseeable requirements, it may be advisable to order several tools at the same time. Our tools are extremely durable. The oldest tools that are still in use are more than 15 years old.
What design restrictions are there in injection blow moulding?
Injection Blow Moulding (IBM) allows you to have moulds that are much more flexible than with the injection moulding process, for example. A wide range of volumes and openings are possible. However, the procedure is unsuitable for gripping tabs.
How long does it take to manufacture an injection blow moulding tool?
The manufacture of a tool for injection blow moulding (IBM) takes between 6 and 12 weeks depending on the size and the number of cavities.
How long does a tool last?
Our injection blow moulding tools are designed to have a long service life and are subject to almost zero wear. Tools which have been operating for more than 15 million cycles are in use at our customer sites.
What different manufacturing procedures are available for plastic hollow containers?
We would be pleased to explain which production method would be the most suitable for your needs. Contact us.