There is a definite trend towards PET and ever larger bottle neck openings: in the food sector, where to date glass filling was standard, manufacturers are increasingly favoring lightweight plastic. Not only are individual bottle and packaging designs in demand but also wide-neck containers for sauces, dressings and dairy products. In order to give bottlers in this field the greatest possible flexibility, KHS has now further developed its InnoPET Blomax stretch blow molder. The systems supplier is also extending its Bottles and Shapes™ program for distinctive bottle design.
Faster, more variable and more efficient: KHS has now further developed its InnoPET Blomax stretch blow molder for PET container filling. “This latest improvement enables preforms measuring up to 70 millimeters in diameter to be processed," says Frank Haesendonckx, head of Sales and Technology at KHS Corpoplast in Hamburg, Germany. The machine is available as a modular design with an output of up to 2,500 PET bottles per hour and station.
PET and wide-neck containers are becoming more important to the food industry in particular, with this type of packaging steadily growing in popularity for products such as sauces, dressings or dairy products. To quote Haesendonckx, “PET has a number of advantages over glass, such as its unbreakability and low weight.” Another plus point is that sensitive products can also be filled into transparent plastic packaging thanks to KHS’ FreshSafe PET® coating method. Already tried and tested many times over in the beverage industry, this process finishes the inside of the PET bottle with a wafer-thin layer of pure silicon oxide. “This barrier gives products a shelf life which is comparable to that of glass,” states Haesendonckx.
Can be blocked with other systems
Depending on user requirements the stretch blow molder can be blocked with other KHS systems – not just with the InnoPET Plasmax for container coating but also with the Innosept Asbofill for the hygienic filling of sensitive products, for instance. The new KHS chunk dosing unit for flexible product design, which adds fruit, vegetables or cereals, can also be integrated into the system. “We’re vastly expanding the application options and providing system solutions for new markets,” claims Haesendonckx.
In combination with KHS’ Bottles and Shapes™ bottle design program the systems supplier provides all-round service. Together with the customer KHS develops individual PET containers specifically tailored for functionality. “We offer all producers of food and beverages in PET containers holistic consultancy from the design through technical engineering to production of their PET bottles,” says Haesendonckx.
The aim is to produce bottles with a high level of brand recognition which clearly stand out from those of the competition, bottles which can be produced cost effectively through lightweighting and which have a high degree of consumer affinity. The preferential heating system developed by the KHS Group also ensures optimum material distribution and bottle quality while using less energy in the stretch blow molding process. Very precise neck orientation is possible specific to the application, even in the manufacture of very oval containers, assures Haesendonckx. This creates the best possible synchronization between packaging and line production.