Around 150 participants gathered information about new and further developments in PET packaging systems at KHS Corpoplast's innovation event this year in Hamburg. The latest in bottling systems for PET containers were met with great interest among industry experts and representatives of the beverage industry alike. Focus was on the subjects of saving resources and recycling.

The market for PET packaging continues to grow, emphasised Burkhard Becker, Chairman of the Executive Management Board of KHS (who handed over the office to Kai Acker on October 15, editor's note) in his brief statement. The share of all packaging types was already 42 per cent in 2018 and will increase again by 2022. In addition to the light, handy and single-serve formats, the environmental friendliness of this packaging plays an ever greater role. At the same time, the relevance of the packaging design to remove the contents from the packaging as simply and completely as possible continues to increase, for example. The systems offered by KHS for these areas today and tomorrow were demonstrated by the machinery and systems manufacturer at its in-house exhibition - first in talks and then with a tour of the factory.

Sustainability with the Smart Line concept

The focus of the Smart Line concept is primarily on innovations in the following areas: easy-to-use machines, concepts for parallel filling of several products on one line, simpler, faster and more reliable format changeover and conservation of resources in the production process.

The KHS FreshSafe-PET® coating process in particular attracted a lot of attention. This glass interior coating for PET bottles is of growing importance for local juice and nectar bottlers in light of new Packaging Act, which comes into effect on 1 January 2019 in Germany. To date, conventional packaging in these segments has been difficult to recycle because of the addition of additives. In the future beverage producers are threatened with having to pay what is known as a participation fee. Using the KHS Plasmax glass inner coating makes bottle-to-bottle recycling possible and thus creates a solution to reduce the marketing of non-recyclable disposable PET bottles in the medium to long term.

Great Interest in the InnoPET FormFill™ concept powered by LiquiForm™

Also positive was the guests' response to InnoPET FormFill ™ powered by LiquiForm ™ concept which molds and fills plastic containers in just one step. This revolution in processing will reach the serial production stage at the end of 2019 when it will be delivered to a customer for the first time. It stands out in particular with regard to resource savings in the production process. The energy consumption for stretch blow molding is reduced even further by up to 50% compared to current BloFill systems. In addition, the compact machine design allows more flexibility and space savings of more than 40% versus machines of comparable capacities.

Another topic of the in-house exhibition was the service that KHS has recently expanded worldwide. Dr. Martin Koschmieder, Head of Service, emphasized the Bottles & Shapes ™ program with which the company provides customers holistic advice on the design, engineering, optimization and production of PET bottles. "We reduce material consumption by optimizing the weight and thus decrease the cost of production as well as the cost of secondary packaging," said Koschmieder and illustrated the advantages for customers with an example: "Based on the production of 270 million 0.5-liter bottles of highly carbonated water per year, cost savings of up to €770,000 result by reducing the weight from 12.5 to 9.9 grams."

Managing director Thomas Karell also had words of praise for the innovations and the good work of all colleagues during the past years. He has been managing KHS Corpoplast since 2011. The success of the Hamburg site is demonstrated alone by the growing workforce: the number of employees at KHS Corpoplast has increased by more than 30% between 2008 and 2017. The development of the site is driving the company forward with further investments, including a new production hall, a technology center, increasing order picking capacities and new measuring and laboratory equipment.