Patent Number: 6,296,473

Title: Handling and cooling system for plastic container preforms

Abstract: Preforms are produced by injection molding in an injection molding machine, allowing enough pre-cooling time within the mold to create a temporary rigid skin on the preforms, and transporting the preforms to a separate cooling device. In the preferred embodiment, the step of transporting the preforms to a separate cooling device includes the steps of removing the preforms into a carrier mounted as an end-of-arm tool on a robot, the carrier having a plurality of orifices to receive the preforms, and using the robot to transport the carrier and the preforms to a cooling device interface. The cooling device interface has a plurality of hoses connected thereto for pneumatically transporting the preforms from the carrier to the cooling device. The preferred apparatus thus includes a robot, and an end-of-arm tool for the robot having a plurality of orifices alignable with mold cavities in the injection molding machine once the mold halves are opened. The orifices receive the preforms once cooled sufficiently in the mold to create a temporary rigid skin. A separate preform cooling device is configured to receive preforms from the orifices when the end-of-arm tool is transported to the cooling device by the robot. Preferably, there is an interface unit having a plate with a plurality of openings alignable with the orifices and having a plurality of hoses connected one to each opening to pneumatically transport the preforms from the orifices, through the openings and the tubes, to cooling tubes in the cooling device.

Inventors: Ohlmann; Hans-Armin (Ayr, CA)

Assignee: Ventax Robot Inc.

International Classification: B29C 45/72 (20060101); B29C 045/72 ()

Expiration Date: 10/02/2018