Amcor PET Packaging is introducing single-stage PET container production at its Gresford, Wales, plant with the installation of Husky injection stretch blow molding machines.
Amcor PET, based in Manchester, Mich., has installed one single-stage Husky IndexSB injection and blow molding machine there. It is set to turn out bottles for a range of mouthwash products manufactured by pharmaceuticals and personal-care giant GlaxoSmithKline.
Depending on bottle size, the Husky ISB machine can produce between 20 million and 50 million containers per year. Amcor plans to install a second Husky IndexSB injection stretch blow molding machine within the next year, according to a spokesman for Amcor PET Packaging Europe/Asia, based in Zavantem, Belgium.
The Husky lines will supplement existing two-stage machinery producing injection molded preforms and blow molded containers at Gresford.
The plant, Amcor PET Packaging's largest site globally, operates round the clock.
It runs 27 Husky injection presses - four using Index technology - and seven Sidel blow molding machines, the spokesman said.
Amcor has used single-step technology from other machinery suppliers to serve pharmaceuticals, chemicals, food, beverage and personal-care customers in Latin America, he said. The process is not used in North America mainly because two-stage is appropriate for greater production volumes, he said.
``Single-stage is a natural progression for our business to run alongside our two-stage operation,'' George Hendry, Amcor PET Packaging's United Kingdom sales director, said in a news release.
``More importantly, we believe our investment represents a significant step change in technology that will revolutionize the entire sector,'' he added.
Amcor operates PET packaging plants at 70 sites in 23 countries.