The Teknor Color Co. unit of Teknor Apex Co. has opened a blow molding pilot plant for bottle product development at the company's headquarters in Pawtucket, R.I.
The plant is designed to support makers of PET, polyethylene and polypropylene bottles. It includes an extrusion blow molding system that can make one-, two- and three-layer PP and PE bottles. The site also has an 80-ton injection molding press for preforms, and tooling for PET preforms for beverage and cosmetic/personal-care bottles.
The blow molding system was purchased new, while the remainder of the plant's equipment had been used by Teknor in other research and development work, Teknor Color sales director Jeff Neupauer said in a recent telephone interview.
``We provide an attractive alternative for manufacturers of existing packages because of our pilot-plant capabilities for ... color- matching any bottle on the market,'' Teknor Color business manager Louis Cappucci said in a recent news release.
Sample bottles made at the pilot plant also can protect customers' brand identities, said Meritt Siers-Foster, a Teknor color technologist.
``It's vitally important for designers to see colors as they appear in real bottles, not just color chips,'' she said.
Teknor Color also recently commercialized its PETek-brand color concentrates, its first-ever PET products, which are aimed at providing a less hazy, more vibrant look in PET cosmetic, beauty aid and personal-care packaging. The new concentrates also allow bottle makers to reduce scrap rates and color loadings, officials said.
PETek also can be made in micro-beads that are as much as 60 percent smaller than standard pellets. Small PETek runs will be made in Pawtucket, while larger orders will be handled at Teknor's plant in Lodi, Ohio.
Neupauer said PETek will be aimed at markets for carbonated soft drinks and health and beauty products.
Teknor is a major compounder of specialty PVC, thermoplastic elastomers and color concentrates, ranking among North America's 30 largest compounders in a recent Plastics News report. The firm posted sales of about $500 million last year, including $300 million from its plastics operations. Teknor also makes specialty chemicals and rubber, and is a major producer of garden hose.