Alert: Packaging World now enhanced for the iPad and iPhone. Watch a quick video preview
 
Download this free, 80-page Food Safety Playbook jam-packed with strategies for success, best practices, how to ensure compliance with FSMA, and pitfalls to avoid. Written specifically from a packaging perspective  Learn more >>
 
Article |

PET bottle converter racks up efficiency

Manufacturer of PET containers uses new dome-and flange-trimming machine to cut scrap rate and increase throughput by 20%.
Print Reprint
FILED IN:  Applications  > Beverage  > Soft drinks
     

Increasing production efficiency is a constant goal at Owens-Illinois Plastics Group (Tolleson AZ) a manufacturer of PET containers. In September 2001 O-I improved its container-making technology by adding a new rotary-platform dome- and flange-trimming machine from Belvac Production Machinery (Lynchburg VA).

Like the trimming machine that preceded it the Belvac Model DT/FT 200 represents the final step in manufacturing widemouth PET containers. It’s used to shape the finish of a container so that a metal end can be seamed on as a lid.

Costing about $145 the Belvac machine was a sound investment. Since it was installed O-I has gained a 20% increase in throughput and a 20% reduction in scrap. O-I can output over 100 million containers annually utilizing the trimmer.

But it isn’t just efficiency that’s been boosted since the new equipment arrived. According to Tom Vondrasek O-I plant manager quality of trim has also been improved. He adds that this is critical in ensuring consistent seal integrity from container to container.

ADVERTISEMENT

At Phoenix-based Penn Racquet Sports operations manager Terry Truett knows the value of reliable seal integrity. Penn’s tennis balls are packaged in containers made by O-I. During packaging before the aluminum ring-pull end is seamed on the container is pressurized. Without good seal integrity the internal pressure could not be maintained and the quality of the tennis balls would be compromised.

“The consistent [seal integrity of the] tennis ball container provides consistent pressurization of the tennis balls” says Truett.

Doubles match

O-I supplies Penn with injection stretch/blow-molded PET containers that hold three tennis balls. The finish of the container is 2.5” in diameter.

For precise trimming of the container the Belvac-patented trimmer technology has been incorporated into the DT Series to ensure burr- and step-free trimming for PET containers with diameters ranging from 50 mm to 100 mm and heights between 80 mm and 240 mm.

Previously O-I used a laser flange-trimming unit that rotated the container while a laser trimmed the excess from the top and the flange in one step. The new machine uses a dual-trim approach. On the first trim the dome of the blown container is removed. The second trim uses a positive chuck that centers the container in place while secondary knives remove the flange to the desired specification. O-I runs the machine at up to 200 containers/min.

“The flange trimmer removes a last ring of plastic to create a flange similar to that created for a soda can which allows for a lid to be applied and double seamed” says Dave Andrulonis director of food and beverage products. “The better quality in trim day-in and day-out gives our customer a more consistent container and allows them to be more efficient in their lidding operation.”

Comments(0)

Add new comment

E-BOOK SPECIAL REPORT
42 Best Package Designs
Sign up to receive timely updates from our editors and download this e-book consisting of our editors' picks of most notable package designs. Updated for 2014!
x

Newsletters

Don't miss intelligence crucial to your job and business!
Click on any newsletter to view a sample. Enter your email address below to sign up!
GENERAL INTEREST
PACKAGE DESIGN/DEVELOPMENT
Each newsletter ranges in frequency from once per month to a few times per month at most.