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KHS Develops Wide-Neck PET Containers for Hot Filling

October 17, 2019
KHS’ line-compatible container reduces the carbon footprint throughout its entire life cycle.
KHS’ line-compatible container reduces the carbon footprint throughout its entire life cycle.

KHS has developed wide-neck PET containers that are suitable for the hot filling of food.

With its low weight and good recycling properties this line-compatible container reduces the carbon footprint throughout its entire life cycle. This alternative to the non-returnable glass receptacle also provides a high level of product safety thanks to FreshSafe PET coating.

“Saving carbon dioxide is an important issue for food companies, both regarding the design of the packaging and the way their supply chains are organized,” said Sebastian Wenderdel, non-beverage global product account manager at KHS Corpoplast in Hamburg, Germany. “It’s our aim to not only reduce our customers’ carbon footprint but also increase production reliability. Individually designed, lightweight containers also improve the consumer experience.”

Sustainable Alternative to Non-Returnable Glass
The new, hot-fillable, wide-neck PET containers for food are an unbreakable, resource-saving, and highly customizable alternative to the traditional non-returnable glass container. This line-compatible type of packaging can be produced on the energy-efficient InnoPET Blomax Series V stretch blow molder in what is known as the blow-trim process or from preforms with a molded neck that can be crystalline as required. “By heating the blow molds electrically, we can thermally condition the containers for standard market-filling temperatures,” Wenderdel explained. The PET alternative has been designed to withstand both the positive and negative pressures which can occur in the closed container following the filling process.

Safe and Ecologically Favorable
KHS has consciously opted for PET plastic for its new wide-neck containers. “At the moment most wide-neck containers are still made of non-returnable glass. PET containers have many advantages over glass, however, and not just as far as costs are concerned,” Wenderdel said. The plastic packaging is primarily worth considering from an ecological standpoint alone. “PET preforms aren’t just much lighter than glass containers; they’re also smaller, which means that they take up less space during transportation and storage,” he said. Even when full the plastic container has a clear ecological advantage over glass en route to the consumer thanks to its low weight.

PET containers also have a higher energy efficiency than non-returnable glass receptacles. During both in-house manufacture and recycling they consume considerably less energy and thus ecologically harmful CO2. Wenderdel explained that “PET is a good insulator. The filling temperatures needed to obtain the necessary number of pasteurization units are thus lower than those for glass.” These benefits help beverage bottlers cut their carbon emissions by up to 90% – especially if they use containers with a high recyclate content.

KHS Enables Customized Container Systems
Another advantage of PET containers is their great capacity for individual design. This aspect is particularly important when it comes to hot filling. “It’s not possible to implement a generic container system here as there are large variances from customer to customer in the process steps, i.e. in the preparation, filling, and handling of containers,” said Christian Rommel, head of packaging design at KHS Corpoplast.

With its holistic Bottles & Shapes consultancy program KHS provides an answer to this specific challenge. The German engineering company supports bottlers throughout the entire design process, at the end of which a customized container is produced which is tailored to the customer’s individual requirements and takes the specifications of the filling line into direct consideration.

For products that are extremely sensitive to oxygen the wide-neck container can be given a tried-and-tested FreshSafe PET coating. Thanks to the thin layer of glass applied to the inside of the bottle, this barrier coating provides optimum product protection. This type of container combines all the advantages of light, fully recyclable plastic packaging with those of a gas-tight glass container.

KHS GmbH, Dortmund, Germany +49 231 569-0 www.khs.com/en

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