July 22, 2015

Mini Hercules® System Includes Rapid Color Change, XBM Navigator® PC-Based Control, and Other Special Features from Graham Engineering

Mini Hercules

A new accumulator head blow molder combines a small shot size and space-saving footprint with one-hour color and material change, precision process control, and other advanced features of Graham Engineering’s industry-leading larger systems for industrial parts, the company announced today. View a video of the Mini Hercules system.

Available in three shot sizes – 2.5 lb, 5 lb or 8 lb (1.13, 2.25 or 3.63 kg), the Mini Hercules® blow molder has a footprint of approximately 15 by 11 ft. (4.6 by 3.4 m) and a height of 15 ft. (4.6 m). It is available in single- or dual head configuration and with bottom or side discharge. Platens are designed for easy mold removal. A 75 mm smooth extruder and two auxiliary hydraulic valves are standard, with a 90 mm smooth or grooved extruder and additional valves as options.

Among the advanced capabilities incorporated in the Graham Mini Hercules blow molder are:

  • Color / material cleanout in less than an hour. The spiral paths in the diverter are rheologically engineered to create a “first in, first out” material flow and self-cleaning action as new material replaces old. While many conventional systems require several hours to complete a head cleanout, the Mini Hercules blow molder purges most colors or materials in less than one hour.
  • Graham Engineering’s XBM Navigator® PC-based control. Developed for blow molding, this intuitive control system runs on a standard industrial PC, eliminating need for supplier-specific components or system expertise. It provides proportional hydraulics combined with closed-loop position control, and 100-point parison programming, for precise control over wall thickness. It also incorporates complete machine manuals and documentation on the HMI and is internet-accessible for remote support and trouble-shooting. 

“Like our larger accumulator head blow molders, the Mini Hercules system substantially reduces downtime for color, material, or job changes, and it delivers top-quality parts within just four or five cycles,” said Scott Howland, Graham Engineering Director of Business Development. “This compact blow molder delivers all of the performance benefits of larger workhorse systems while meeting the needs of processors looking to produce a wide range of small industrial parts.”

The first Graham Mini Hercules is installed and in operation in Ohio.

The Graham Group acquired majority interest in American Kuhne in 2012, followed by Graham Engineering Corporation’s acquisition of Welex in June 2013. Together, Graham Engineering, American Kuhne, and Welex create a convergence of leading technologies, people, and capabilities in extrusion. Graham is a privately held company headquartered in York, Pennsylvania, USA. 

Graham Engineering is the global standard in wheel and industrial extrusion blow molding solutions, with 400 installations in 20 countries. Graham Engineering offers package design, product development and processing expertise, along with monolayer, multilayer, and barrier extrusion blow molding equipment and technology upgrades. Visit www.grahamengineering.com. 

American Kuhne is the preferred provider of engineered solutions for plastics, rubber, and silicone extrusion. American Kuhne solutions comprise standard and custom single screw extruders, feed screws, extrusion systems, and specialized turnkey systems for laboratory, medical tubing, narrow web, wire and cable, pipe, tubing, and profile applications. Visit www.americankuhne.com. 

Welex is the global standard in high performance sheet extrusion solutions, with over four decades of leadership. Welex solutions are installed in more than 3,000 customer locations in 69 countries. The company’s innovations include co-extrusion and multi-layer methods that lead the industry as well as dozens of barrier lines installed globally. Visit www.welex.com.

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