Ever since the demand for packaged and ready to drink or eat items, assorted FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) like cosmetics, personal care has increased multi-fold in tune with changing lifestyle, there has been a huge potential for PET bottles and jars. PET is acronym for polyethylene terephthalate. Apart from these products, PET packaging is extensively used for processed food items like pickles and squashes, pharmaceuticals and pesticides. On their part, the manufacturers of these consumer items have found several advantages in packaging their products in PET containers. Except for wine and beer, the food industry has almost completely replaced glass with PET bottles. The blow-molded bottles market is still largely driven by developments in the mineral water and household chemicals markets, where PET bottles account for more than 90% of the packaging used.
These benefits are exceptional clarity, purity, safety, leak-proof including good qualities of barrier to oxygen, carbon dioxide and water as well as chemical resistance. Besides these aspects, PET bottles, phials or jars are recyclable and they have the scope for flexibility in design, longer shelf life. Being light in weight these are bound to reduce overall shipping costs. In this scenario, the PET preform bottle industries play a crucial role to meet the ever increasing requirement of the preforms.
As for the techniques, by and large, it is a two stage operation. At the outset, the PET granules are dried in a dehumidifier and later mixed with colorants. This material is fed into the injection molding hopper where it is plasticized. For this crucial process quality PET preform hot runner molds are a must. Next, it is injected in a mould which can produce 12-72 preforms in a single molding. The molded preforms are cooled in the machine itself till it can maintain its shape and is taken out to be cooled at room temperature. These preforms are then packed in cartons for despatch.
The prime emphasis should be on molds which allow easy exchange of inserts as well as production of different preforms from the same mold. It would be ideal to seek the services of a complete preform mold solutions provider involved in manufacturing of a wide range of products through advanced technology. For instance, the New Delhi-based company, Acme Disys offers this facility of optimized mold systems for application in all types of preform designs and PET machines. So as to ensure regular melt flow and pressure in all the cavities, it has designed appropriate and balanced hot runners with characteristics like efficient heat transfer and consistent cooling. The end-user of the PET project can also opt for vertical integration by adding a line of the bottles or jars production from the preforms.
According to a recent article featured on the web portal plastemart.com, a new technology to produce PET preforms directly from the polycondensation reactor to the injection perform machine, as an alternative to the conventional SSP process followed by granulating and injection steps, has been developed. Reportedly, a German firm has already started a new pilot plant for the production of bottle preforms with its ‘Direct To Preform’ process (DTP).