Innovative technologies to save time, space and money
Following a successful 12-month test series, the Italian mechanical engineering company Sacmi has recently launched a new bottling solution for liquids into PET bottles. What is so special about the new method is that all the stages, from preforming to final closure, take place in a single step. Sacmi calls this technology heroPET 4.0, claiming that it is the first time that the entire process can be carried out without interruption.
Its one-step product solution has been made possible by synchronising the parison rotary blowing machine with the stretch blow moulding process. Due to the heat at the machine outlet and immediate conveyance to the blow moulding unit and eventually bottling, it was possible to eliminate impurities almost completely. Another benefit of the integrated platform is its energy savings. The parisons can be reused straightaway, without intermediate cooling. As a result, intermediate cleaning, reheating and storage are no longer necessary, either. The developers say that, depending on the product, cost savings are between 5 and 15 per cent per bottle and that energy use does not exceed 1 kWh/kg PET.
Krones’ Ergobloc combines four functions: stretch blowing, labelling, bottling and closure. The machine picks up the bottles by their necks, making them available for further processing. Photo: Krones
A similar model, called Superblock, has been launched in France where the packaging solution company Serac has standardised a range of components. Whereas so-called mono blocks only handle the bottling and closure of bottles, the new machines also include packaging in boxes and labelling – all in one process.
InnoPET Plasmax technology from KHS GmbH involves the application of paper-thin layers of glass to PET bottles. This prevents any exchange of carbon dioxide, oxygen or aromas between products, the packaging and the surrounding environment, while also extending the lifetime of the product. Photo: KHS
Serac claims that, compared with separate processing, their own method reduces the carbon footprint by just over a quarter. Handling, too, is simplified, and the coordinated bottling units can be adjusted to suit the prevailing market requirements. It is possible to set up the required moulds for bottles and containers while bottling is in progress. Moreover, there is no need for conveyor belts and cumulation points, thus speeding up the manufacturing process.
Is the packaging really tight? LEAK-MASTER® from WITT checks the tightness of a PET bottle, using compressed air. Photo: Witt