Commercial blowmolders wishing to provide food and beverage marketers with polyethylene terephthalate bottles that can be hot-filled at up to 95°C (203°F) now have a new option: the Monotherm system from Krupp Corpoplast (Hamburg Germany). Developed jointly by Krupp and Mitsubishi Plastics (Tokyo Japan) the first Monotherm system to go into commercial production is at a Mitsubishi facility in Japan. With Monotherm Krupp replaces its Corpotherm heat-set PET system. The downside to the Corpotherm system is that it required two blowing wheels which made it complex and costly. The Monotherm as its name suggests requires just one blowing wheel instead of two so it's simpler to operate and occupies less plant space. It's also more economical than Corpotherm (see Table 1). Compared to a conventional blow molder producing carbonated soft drink bottles the Corpotherm heat-set process costs 73% more while Monotherm bottles are 56% more costly. Dr. Michael Koch described the Monotherm system in a paper delivered at Bev-Pak Americas '95 held last April and sponsored by Directions 21 Inc. (Sarasota FL). He was then general sales manager at Krupp; now he's with Husky Injection Molding Systems (Bolton Ontario Canada). Bottled water is among the applications for which this technology is suitable though Japan may be the only place that's true. Apparently water is not hot-filled anywhere else. Says Koch "In Japan they want to eliminate any chance for water-borne health problems." Suntory of Osaka Japan is one bottled water marketer filling bottles produced on the Monotherm system operating at Mitsubishi. Suntory uses the heat-set container to hot-fill its mineral water in one-way 2-L bottles with a 28-mm neck finish. Neither Suntory nor Mitsubishi representatives could be reached for comment so it's difficult to compare Monotherm with other heat-setting technologies in this particular application. One obvious advantage Suntory gains is that with an additional supplier in the game pricing is more likely to remain stable. Mitsubishi management saw an opportunity in heat-set PET bottles but they didn't want to be restricted by licensing arrangements that typically come with other heat-set technologies that are available. So the firm joined with Krupp in developing new technology.