Rigid packaging for PET can be broken down into three types: single-serve small water bottle, bulk container application, containers for daily use. This essay would be focus on single-serve small water bottle: 0.5L to 2.5L to be more specific. This category is the formula one for the PET bottling war especially for 0.5/0.6L segment.
For feasibility reason, high output is mandatory; up to 2,500 bph per cavity is the current maximum speed. This category is dominant by rotary machine up to 56 stations for 84,000 bph.
CHUMPOWER, being a specialist in linear type machine offer a 16 cavity machine with output of 24,000 bph to the market, the highest of its’ kind.
About a decade ago, industry starts moving towards the lightweight path, bottles as light as 10 grams starts to appear. Some even claims to be able to produce 500cc bottle under 10 grams. The main driven factor is save on raw material cost, methods such as shorter neck and thinner preform wall have been tried to reach the goal. Due to thinner bottle wall thickness, ribs are introduced as part of design feature looking to reinforce the bottle’s top load rating.
Others also add inner gas such as Nitrogen just before capping to further improve that rating. At the same time the industry gets very environmental conscious thus heating pitch has been reduced to 50 mm for wider flexibility and 40 mm for more dedicated production line. CHUMPOWER adopts heating pitch of 38 mm for the linear machine. Additional heating energy can be saved by lining the oven with special ceramic reflectors to improved efficiency. Air recovery system has also implemented to redirect up to 15% of otherwise waste air back into the system for low pressure consumption.
Further development on high pressure valve makes six-step blowing possible which leads to a maximum of 42% recovery rate. At the time of writing the industry branched out from here by using single step recovery at 22-25 bar as high pressure blow, which also leads to lower air consumption and capital cost for compressor since low output unit could be matched with blower.
In around 2010, combi system was introduced into the market, which integrate blower with filler as one complete unit. The input is preform and the outcome is a complete bottle filled and capped ready for labeling. All big three offer this type of solution. Other machine maker expand the concept by incorporating compression molding technology and labeling resulting a special new combi system which take resin as input and finished with final product ready to be palletized.
CHUMPOWER also introduce a combi system with linear machine coupled with filler by utilizing a bottle handler unit to transfer bottle from linear to rotary profile ready for rotary type filler. Other technologies such as gas-barrier coating and dry aseptic are also being adopted by the industry looking to improve the application range of PET as rigid packaging material.
Now the current trend is to integrate IT with manufacturing to form a smart factory. CHUMPOWER is also jumping on this bandwagon by introducing i-PET technology planning to implement on linear machines.
It consists of four main areas: Watchdog, R2R, AVM, and IoT. In short, the future of CHUMPOWER PET blow molding machine would be able to self tune, the process would reach zero-defect manufacturing, self-diagnoses and alarm for possibility of component failure, and be part of production network. Sounds ambitious, but everyone has to start somewhere, and for the big three, the future is already here.
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