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Sipa develops equipment for hot-fillable PET ketchup bottles

By: Bill Bregar

July 3, 2013

Sipa SpA announced a hot-fillable PET ketchup bottle and rolled out a version three of its SFR EVO rotary stretch blow molding machine for PET.

Sipa officials said the Italian company responded to requests from several customers for the hot-fillable ketchup bottle, which is a less-expensive alternative to aseptic filling, with the clear look of PET.

According to Sipa, the problem with hot-filling plastic bottles, especially long-neck bottles used for ketchup, is that when the contents cool, it creates a partial vacuum and can collapse the bottle walls. In the past ketchup makers have tackled the problem by incorporating panels to withstand the distortion, but Sipa said they are not as attractive as smooth-wall bottles.

So Sipa designers shortened the neck and softened the angles around the body of the bottle to prevent the collapsing and prevent crinkling of the label. It can be molded in Sipa’s SFR rotary stretch-blow molding equipment, equipped with an oven for heat-set and oval containers.

The design requires a special PET resin suited for the heat-setting process used in hot-fill. The resin also needs an oxygen scavenger. Sipa has completed successful tests using the Amosorb oxygen barrier additive from ColorMatrix, part of PolyOne Corp.

Several converters have told Sipa they are interested in switching from high density polyethylene and glass to the new PET design, the company said.

In other news, Sipa said its new version three of its SFR EVO rotary-stretch blow molding machine for PET is now available with six, eight, 12 and 16 cavities. A new 10-cavity platform and larger units, with 20 and 124 cavities, will debut later this year.

The SFR EVO-3 machines begin with perform injection molding systems and new molds made by Sipa.

Features include newly designed cams and clamp unit that help the SFR EVO-3 reach a maximum output rate of 2,250 bottles per hour per cavity. A new blowing block is more compact, which translates to 35 percent less dead air volume.

In a new mechanical system, high-pressure blowing air is used only on the final fraction of a millimeter, resulting in a big reduction in air consumption, especially with smaller bottles.

Other new features include ovens that reduce energy consumption by up to 40 percent, and electrically driven stretching rods, which can be more fine-tuned that pneumatic drives.

Mold changeover is quick and easy, the company said.

Sipa is based in Vittorio Veneto, Italy. Sipa North America Inc. is in Atlanta.

Tel. 404-349-3966, email martina.bottarel@zoppas.com.