Sleek lightweight and easy to grip thanks to a slightly recessed label panel Pepsi's new 20-oz Fast Break plastic bottle is everything consumers could want (see PW July '94 p. 2). But all the things that make it so easy to handle by the consumer are the very factors that make it such a challenging bottle to fill. "Like any one-piece plastic bottle it's not an easy container to handle" says Matthew Bucherati plant manager at the Winston-Salem NC plant that was the first Pepsi-Cola Co. facility to fill the polyethylene terephthalate bottle. For starters it has no base cup to lend it stability and it weighs a mere 27.5 g. Further complicating things is the recessed label panel. "We don't have the entire side of the bottle as a contact point for bottle-to-bottle stability" says Bucherati. "All we have are two small contact points above and below the label panel." As if that weren't challenging enough when Bucherati and colleagues designed the high-speed line on which the new bottle was to be filled they had to make sure it would also accept three other PET bottle sizes: 12-oz 16-oz and 2-L. That meant quick and efficient changeover was all-important. "It wasn't just the Fast Break bottle that drove the design of the line" says Bucherati. "Other bottles and even packages of the future entered into it. Flexibility was critical so we had to ask ourselves 'If we need change parts what exactly are they? Or how do we avoid change parts altogether?'"