'Unique' kit said to speed conversion from glass to light-weight PET

By Mike Stones, 17-Sep-2010

Related topics: Packaging

A new two-step, reheat stretch-blow molding machine could speed the industry’s transition from glass to light-weight PET for wide-mouth, hot-fill food containers, claims to its manufacturer, Atlanta-based Nissei ASB.

The company’s vice president and general manager, Jamie Pace said: “The market for wide-mouth hot-fill food containers appears ready to make the conversion from glass to lightweight PET. And we have unique technology that will meet the demand of this high-growth segment.”

Sustainability advantages

The HSB-6M molding machine enables the production of PET jars which can be filled at temperatures above 90 deg C (194 deg F). The hot-fill PET jars deliver a major weight reduction and many sustainability advantages over glass including reduced freight costs and lower carbon footprint, said the company.

The new machine can produce 300ml to 600ml hot-fill PET jars with standard 63mm diameter, twist-off neck finishes at a production rate of 6000 jars per hour.

The two-step reheat system incorporates the company’s double blow molding technology which it reports has been used successfully in Asia for more than 15 years for the production of narrow-neck, hot-fill bottles.

In the double blow molding production system, the preform is first blown in a primary mold and then undergoes high-temperature conditioning before passing to the final, secondary mold.

Specific food applications include hot-fill foods such as sauces, pickles, jams, and jelly.

Many such products require filling at high temperatures (90 deg C) and until recently glass was the only viable option, according to Nissei ASB. It predicts strong global growth for wide mouth, hot-fill PET jars as a replacement for glass – particularly in Europe and the US.

In addition to the new blow molding unit, the company is also launching a matching injection molding machine for preform production and a model neck crystallizer.

The PM-170/111M model is a preform molding machine which injection molds preforms for either jars or bottles.

The new CM-6000M model neck crystallizer takes the injection molded preforms and crystallizes the necks to enhance the heat-resistant properties of this part of the preform. This crystallization method reduces weight by up to 20 per cent compared with conventional necks produced by other competitive systems, claims the company.

Production line

Both machines have been designed to be placed upstream from the HSB-6M blow molding machine and round out the dedicated production line for hot-fill PET jars.

The machines are available to customers worldwide and the company expects 10 lines to be commercially operational within 12 months.

No information on prices was available.

The company will demonstrate its HSB-6M molding machine at the 18th International Trade Fair Plastics & Rubber, between October 27 – November 3, in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Nissei ASB is the wholly-owned US subsidiary of Japan’s Nissei ASB Machine Co. based in Nagano.

SOURCE: FOOD PRODUCTION DAILY

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