Meeting demand for the new generation of IS machines

Headquartered in the UK, Lattimer designs and manufactures IS mechanisms and components for glass plants in all parts of the world. Mark Hailwood explains how the company’s products continue to set standards in the glass container forming industry. The full version of this article appears in the July/August 2022 issue that has been mailed globally and is also now available free of charge in the digital archive*.

Meeting demand for the new generation of IS machines

Supplying IS variable equipment to over 70 countries every year from its manufacturing sites in the UK and the USA, Lattimer has become one of the most recognisable names in the glass container manufacturing industry. Founded in 1941, the company has extensive knowledge and experience in the design and manufacture of both standard and bespoke IS variable equipment, with many products becoming industry standards.

As an increasing number of servo controlled machines are introduced, Lattimer’s challenge is to ensure it meets the demand for faster, lightweight, versatile products that are suitable for the new generation of IS machines and demonstrate significant added value.

Neck ring mechanism

Over the past year Lattimer has introduced a number of new products. The company’s best-selling item is its neck ring mechanism, manufactured with a number of almost invisible but essential differences from those supplied by other brands. A hardened and ground piston and rod delivers a closely toleranced, low backlash, synchronised, controlled opening and closing of the flights; a heavy duty spring ensures that the flights return quickly to their home position once the compressed air is released. Roller bearings on the shaft ensure a smooth, resistance-free rotation during the inversion of the neck ring arms, all coupled with a simplified design for ease of maintenance. The mechanism is available in a limited number of variants to suit a variety of machine types.

Blowhead

The Lattimer quick-change aluminium blowhead is available in single, double, triple and quad-gob configuration; it delivers strength and stiffness as well as interchangeable wear areas, prolonging service life and reducing lifetime operating costs.

Mould holders

Lattimer manufactures a wide range of ductile iron mould holders (blow and blank) each year, industry standards as well as customer specials. It is increasingly evident that many of the standard holders have limitations on speed and mould closing pressures. The company’s design team is currently working through the current range of popular holders, incorporating design changes to increase strength and durability, whilst maintaining accuracy and parallelism of the arms.

Neck ring arms

The process of manufacturing neck ring arms has undergone a complete review to reduce costs and optimise product quality and accuracy. New style castings have been commissioned and purchased, and revised manufacturing methods have been introduced, reducing the number of operations to produce the finished part. Variants have been developed that enable the wear areas of the arms to be easily replaced in minutes rather than undertaking time-consuming grinding and rewelding. Lattimer also has variants of its neck ring arm available with a new ‘wishbone’ flat spring which self-centres the neck rings and applies the closing pressure in four positions on each of the two neck ring halves.

Take out arms

A product line that has received a total redesign for the new servo machines and that is now available on the market is Lattimer’s take out arms. This new range of arms has been designed specifically to deliver a unit that is compact, robust, maintenance-friendly and is available with both belt and chain drive.

Forces generated in the repeated cycling of the take out arm can, if the shafts are not fully supported, result in the total failure of the arm and so the Lattimer design ensures that the input and output shafts are fully supported and securely located. Drive belts are, of course, available from alternative manufacturers to satisfy the standard part requirements of different customers.

Checking fixtures

Many readers will already be aware that Lattimer supplies the full range of IS variable equipment, both standard parts and those specific to a machine, company and/or a container. Baffle arms, blowhead arms, tong heads and cartridges, inserts and lock rings are all available. Less well known is the range of Lattimer checking fixtures, which allows plants to check the condition and accuracy variables such as tong heads, neck ring arms, inserts and mould holders prior to their installation on a machine. These fixtures are produced to order and are manufactured to suit the specific parts to be checked.

UK upgrades

Now that the global pandemic is easing, it is once again possible for customers to visit the UK and view the updates at the Lattimer manufacturing facility. The company has improved equipment layouts in the manufacturing departments, installed of a number of new machines and reorganised the assembly department, including the introduction of a dedicated neck ring mechanism assembly and testing area. All these changes have been made to streamline the manufacturing processes and increase productivity and efficiency.

Constantly striving for excellence in every area of the business, Lattimer is aware that it operates in an increasingly competitive environment and recognises that to remain successful it must continue to demonstrate that it can be trusted to support customers in the achievement of their own goals.


Image: Lattimer Neck Ring Mechanism.

About the Author: 

Mark Hailwood is Managing Director of Lattimer

Further Information: 

Lattimer Ltd., Merseyside, UK
tel: +44 1704 535040
email: sales@lattimer.com
web: www.lattimer.com

  

* The full version of this article appears in the July/August issue that has been mailed globally. The digital version of this issue can also currently be read free of charge in its entirety alongside back copies in the Digital Archive (sponsored by FIC) at https://www.glassworldwide.co.uk/Digital-Issues. To receive the paper copy, all future issues and a free copy of the new Who’s Who / Annual Review 2022-23 yearbook, subscribe now at https://www.glassworldwide.co.uk/subscription-choice

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