At this year’s Blow Moulding Conference held in Cologne (Germany), Sidel gave insights into increased PET packaging shapes opportunities and how to achieve them with precise and reliable heating processes.

The focus for Sidel was SteadyEDGE™, a patented base solution for innovative and attractive PET package design variants that ensures a stable and cost-efficient production.

From June 18 to June 20, Blow Moulding 2018, the international conference on technical and business developments in plastic bottles and containers gathered technical, sales and business experts representing the entire packaging supply chain in Cologne, Germany. The 2nd instalment of the conference reviewed current and future market trends, assessed the latest innovations in material, technology and product design and shed light on relevant develop-ments in customer requirements and regulations in the field of blow moulding.

It is estimated that last year, approximately 31 million metric tonnes of thermoplastic polymers were processed by blow moulding globally.  In this advanced and complex industry, brand owners, packaging companies, machinery and tooling manufacturers profit from continuous innovation in materials, process and product design.

Unique base solution to produce a distinctive, stable and lightweighted package 

To address the opportunities for PET within the Food, Home and Personal Care (FHPC) markets, José Andre, Technical Sales Manager at Sidel, presented the company’s SteadyEDGE packaging solution. Increasing design freedom and simplifying the production of more elegant containers with less curved bases, Sidel SteadyEDGE offers FHPC producers enhanced brand differentiation options together with maximum efficiency.  

SteadyEDGE is designed to meet the challenge of producing flat, oval and rectangular con-tainers in PET, which require the specific preferential heating (PH) blow moulding process. SteadyEDGE allows to deliver the optimum material distribution to achieve a top quality pack-age. Its innovative base technology enlarges marketing opportunities for containers with com-plex shapes and large labelling surfaces.

With Sidel’s +35 years of expertise in PET processing, 24 years of experience within preferen-tial heating, 350 machines installed worldwide and over 8,300 bottle designs, the company is the right partner to reduce the weight of bottles while retaining top bottle quality, even with asymmetrically flat PET containers, common in the FHPC market. José highlighted the revolu-tionary aspects of this packaging solution, “The sharper edges on the container are used to effectively flatten and increase the 'standing ring' area of the base. This leads to an enhanced stability of up to 35%, which in turn makes it possible to speed up the process output by up to 10% . Because bottles are far less likely to fall while being conveyed between several ma-chines, this results in fewer costly stoppages and greatly improved uptime. Additionally, the containers can be lightweighted by up to 10%, improving the material distribution on the base while using less energy. This is coupled with a reduction in blowing pressure, to decreases energy consumption by up to 20% during production, when limitation is linked to base design.”

Quick return on investment with BOSS

With customers looking to optimise their preform and bottle design in the face of complex container shapes, while simultaneously increasing their production reliability, Sidel is leveraging its extended packaging process know-how to answer the market’s demands. Namely, the spe-cific base design of SteadyEDGE – with a sharp base radius as low as one millimetre – is achieved through a patented base mould system: the Base OverStroke System (BOSS). 

José clarified to Blow Moulding’s attendants how the system works, “BOSS is a piston activated in the blowing phase to stroke the base. This mechanical element allows for the raising and lowering of the base during the bottle-forming process, independent of the opening and clos-ing of the two half-shells of the mould. BOSS provides flexible and versatile production with the option to quickly implement mould changeovers and ensure maximum production and higher bottle quality.” 

BOSS is available for both Sidel SBO Universal and Sidel Matrix™ blowing machines and is already in use by customers in many different parts of the world, with over 14 different bottle designs, a wide set of formats – from 220 ml to 1000 ml – and over 300 million containers pro-duced in total. Compared to standard preferential heating, SteadyEDGE can reduce packaging weight from 22 grams to 20 grams , lower the blowing pressure needed to shape the package base, and increase the output speed. This way brand owners, co-packers and packaging man-ufacturers can achieve their return on investment (ROI) in less than one year.