Application Spotlight: Turning an innovative pail manufacturing idea into reality
Learn how superior Husky technologies enabled an industrial pail manufacturer to streamline production while enhancing aesthetics to deliver a premium product.
The global market for plastic pails is experiencing steady growth and becoming increasingly more diverse. Valued at about $7B/year, it is expected to continue expanding at 3% per year*, with industrial pail applications more in demand—especially by the construction, chemical and food packaging industries. Here’s how we helped one pail manufacturer take advantage of this opportunity by turning a bold and complex plastic pail molding idea from concept into reality.
Husky was recently involved in an ambitious project to manufacture a small 5-liter polypropylene pail for construction paint. The customer was looking to mold both the pail body and handle, as well as decorate the product with In‑Mold Labeling (IML)—and wanted to achieve this all with one system!
To maximize their return on investment and improve their manufacturing footprint, the customer wanted to use a 2+2 cavity family mold for the simultaneous molding of the pail body and handle. The different size and geometry of the body and handle required an injection molding system with two injection units able to ensure individualized molding conditions within the same production cycle.
Associated with high aesthetics and flexibility, IML is a process where a thin polymer film with high-resolution graphics is inserted into the mold cavity before the injection stage so that the label becomes an integral part of the molded product. IML requires very precise and repeatable machine movements, which are essential for synchronization with a label handling robot.
Upon reviewing the customer’s application and production requirements, Husky proposed a 500-ton Hylectric® injection molding system with two different injection units. The larger (85mm screw) unit was designed to feed the two pail body cavities, while the smaller (32mm screw) unit molded the two handles. Taking advantage of their different sizes, the two injection units were positioned in a parallel configuration, with the smaller unit on top. This setup offered a robust, compact and clean design with easy service access.
The high positional accuracy of the Hylectric injection molding system’s 500-ton clamp also enabled precise synchronization with the IML automation unit. Running a steady 6.75-second cycle time, the Hylectric system’s main advantage was its speed in comparison to all other competitive options. The machine’s performance and reliability, paired with the responsive service Husky is known for, ensured the highest levels of productivity, enabling this customer to sustainably manufacture 8.5 million pails a year.
The combination of consumer demand for more sustainable packaging options, an appetite for innovative designs and increasing competition on store shelves is creating challenges and opportunities for plastic pail manufacturers all around the world. To be successful in this environment, it is important to partner with a supplier who not only offers advanced manufacturing equipment, but also experience and engaged service.
An injection molding technology that successfully combines innovation with reliable performance can deliver a differentiated product and improved profitability. This inventive solution successfully incorporated non‑conventional injection molding with in-mold decoration to ultimately produce a premium product at the lowest possible cost.
Do you have a unique packaging idea you’d like to explore? Contact Husky today to learn about how we can help you turn your ideas into reality.
Learn more about Husky systems for applications such as pail manufacturing.
*Source: Plastic Pails-Global Market Status and Trend Report 2013-2023, MIReports