SCHWAIG, GERMANY — Demag Ergotech GmbH has entered the multilayer PET preform molding machine business, announcing two techniques for coinjection: one incorporates recycled PET and the other a barrier layer.
Meantime, Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., the global preform market leader, revealed a new technology for multilayer high-recycled-content preforms, and hinted at changes to its PET-related operations.
Demag, part of newly formed Mannesmann Plastics Machinery AG of Munich, Germany, expects to launch a 165-ton, 48-cavity barrier preform coinjection press within the next year.
With its sights set on such potentially rich PET bottle markets as beer, fruit juice and dairy products, Demag Ergotech of Schwaig will take on Husky, which is based in Bolton, Ontario.
Demag Ergotech has sold two eight-cavity barrier preform presses for pilot production and research and development use, said Peter Klein, PET systems sales manager. He spoke at a June 16 pre-K show news briefing.
This commercial effort follows a three-year joint venture project to develop preform coinjection technology among Demag, Swiss mold maker Otto Hofstetter AG of Uznach, and blow molder Schmalbach-Lubeca AG of Ratingen, Germany.
Klein said that exclusive agreement has ended and Demag now is free to sell the technology throughout the world.
The Demag coinjection system focuses on three- or five-layer preform production.
Husky claims to hold a 50 percent share of the worldwide PET preform market. Almost all of its business is traditional single-layer preform machinery, said Peter Jacobs, preform systems business manager at the Canadian firm's European subsidiary, Husky Injection Molding Systems SA at Dudelange, Luxembourg.
Husky is developing a recycled-content preform using a process called overmolding, the company said at a June 18 news conference in Dudelange.
The process molds a liner of post-consumer plastic over the top of a virgin-PET preform. Husky claims it can use as much as 80 percent recycled content in a preform.
Robert Schad, Husky's president and founder, said the company is studying whether to dedicate its Bolton headquarters plant to PET-related molding and move other machine production to its new facility in Milton, Vt.
``We're looking at that very seriously,'' he said. ``Bolton will probably end up in two, three, four or five years as what we call `PET City.'''
The Bolton operation has no more room to expand. Company officials had not been specific about plans for the 660-acre Vermont site.
Reporters asked Schad when Husky might hold an initial public stock offering, which he first disclosed last year. He referred questions to Dirk Schlimm, vice president for corporate affairs, who said that Husky possibly could go public by the end of this year.
Plastics News senior reporter Bill Bregar also contributed to this story.