Kohlox™: grease-free molds
Wednesday 30 December 2009Two minutes less of weekly maintenance per mold: that’s what Sidel has accomplished with Kohlox™, the new, self-lubricating composite material for studs and wear rings.
For blow molds to work well, regular greasing operations are needed: moving parts generate friction. Two minutes per operator and per mold are needed for these weekly maintenance operations. How can these operations be reduced? Simply by eliminating the greasing step. This is how Sidel has innovated with Kohlox™, a thermo composite material with a low coefficient of friction, helping parts move freely without any lubrication. Developed after two years of R&D, this material is the best compromise between mechanical resistance to impacts and compression, while also ensuring free movement of parts. Two new grease-free parts have been produced for the molds: wear rings for the mold bottoms, and female studs. In 2009, these new parts have been tested and validated on the industrial scale in partnership with Nestlé Waters Est France.
As a self-lubricating material, Kohlox™ offers significant savings in mold maintenance time, while also eliminating the use of consumables for those operations. Reducing maintenance time means improving blow molder availability and therefore productivity. Régis Leclerc, technical coordinator for Nestlé Waters, explains: “One of our concerns is to reduce the time spent on mold maintenance and greasing. Any solution that reduces those maintenance steps helps significantly improve machine availability. We have saved about one hour of maintenance time on an SBO 20 thanks to the new molds with Kohlox™ parts. This significant time gain allows us to produce more or to perform other maintenance operations. That’s quite considerable if this technology is extended to all of Nestlé Waters’ blow molders running at full capacity.”