A complete packaging solution

High quality moulds are essential for SIPA's packaging equipment
A selection of bottles made with SIPA equipment

With sales offices in 33 countries, Italian company SIPA is one of the world’s largest suppliers of equipment for the manufacture of plastic containers. It offers a comprehensive range of integrated and two-stage systems, principally for the production of PET bottles, and includes many multi-nationals like Coca-Cola and Nestlè among its customers.

The most recent additions to the company’s services are facilities for the design and manufacture of moulds for its production equipment. Since the beginning of 1998, SIPA has invested heavily in its new toolmaking department and now produces all its moulds in-house, both the injection moulds for the pre-forms and the blow moulds for the final containers. Head of Mold Production, Mirco Modolo, insisted that the new services should be based around Delcam’s PowerSHAPE and PowerMILL software. "I had known of Delcam’s reputation in the packaging industry for some time, so choosing to use its software was not a difficult decision,” said Mr. Modolo.

SIPA can now take CAD models from its own designers, or from its customers, and use PowerSHAPE to produce mould designs within the tooling department. The completed core and cavity details are then passed to PowerMILL for machining.

"We have used PowerMILL to enable us to introduce shop-floor programming,” said Mr. Modolo. "We have found the software to be reliable and accurate as well as being easy to learn and to use. It is also very flexible, allowing us to develop efficient toolpaths.”

"Since we have had PowerMILL, Delcam has introduced many new innovations to help us take advantage of the latest machining technology. These have enabled us to cut our machining times significantly.”

As part of its extensive quality procedures, SIPA produces samples from all its moulds. These are tested in the company’s laboratories to verify the structural, aesthetic and functional specifications of the design and to certify their quality.

"With our new facilities, we now have the ability to design, plan and construct complete, end-to-end manufacturing and filling solutions,” claimed Mr. Modolo. "The moulds are the heart of our processes – any problems with them will prevent the whole installation working satisfactorily. By taking all mould production in-house, and by using Delcam’s software, we can guarantee the quality of our tooling and, therefore, of the finished containers.”