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News

Flip-top lid system for disposable wet wipes

Husky Injection Molding Systems : 09 June, 2004  (Technical Article)
Husky has developed a unique approach to moulding hinged, flip-top lids for wet wipes containers that, when compared to conventional systems, can lead to a 10% to 15% increase in output and a 15% to 25% reduction in floor space.
The wet wipes market is booming. And so, too, is the production of plastic containers and lids for the disposable cleaning cloths.

The North American market, alone, boasts a growing list of more than 100 different wipes, from household to automotive to personal use. The New England Consulting Group estimates that the wipes market in the U.S. is worth $2 billion, with projected sales of $4.5 billion by 2010.

Husky has developed a unique approach to moulding hinged, flip-top lids for wet wipes containers that, when compared to conventional systems, can lead to a 10% to 15% increase in output and a 15% to 25% reduction in floor space.

Most flip-top lids are injection moulded and free-dropped, or removed by a robot. The lids are then closed outside the press area with a closing machine. While these methods work, they don’t give moulders the competitive edge they need - free-dropping could damage or contaminate parts, and could affect uptime because of potential part jams in the closing machine. And using robots to remove parts increases overall cycle time, floor space and cost.

SwingChutes use a cam or servo motor-driven shaft, which rotates and positions a part removal arm in front of an ejecting part at mould open. Vacuum suction cups on the end of the removal arm securely grasp the ejected part. As the mould closes, the lid is folded and the part is positioned in a guide chute mounted on the side of the mould. A pneumatic cylinder snaps the lid closed before the part exits the mould area. From the guide chute, parts can be easily conveyed to other downstream processes.

“By snapping the part shut while the press is closing, we can greatly improve reliability and cycle time of the system,” Bruce Catoen, Husky’s Vice President of Automated Systems, said. “We modified SwingChutes to incorporate a closing feature. The closing mechanism simplifies the automation and eliminates the need for downstream product handling equipment. The result is significant savings in capital and floor space.”

SwingChutes can be incorporated in a wide range of other applications, including closures, containers and housings.

“SwingChutes offer part removal which is faster than free-drop or a robot, without taking up valuable floorspace,” Catoen added. “We were able to reduce the cycle time for one customer using a 2x8 flip-top system by more than 20% using SwingChutes.”
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