Two German firms have formed a joint venture to develop barrier coatings for plastic bottles.
The partners are SIG Corpoplast GmbH, a Hamburg company that makes PET blow molding machinery, and Schott AG, a Mainz firm that develops glass container technology.
The firms already have a relationship: For the past two years, Corpoplast has purchased a patented technology, called Plasma Impulse Chemical Vapor Deposition, from a Schott subsidiary, HiCotec.
Now the 50-50 joint venture, Schott SIG Barrier Technologies GmbH, will sell the technology and work on new systems. The Mainz-based venture is starting with 20 employees, but could grow to 50, according to Schott Chairman Udo Ungeheuer.
``Over the next three years, the revenue we achieve with coating modules will triple and make up a high-double-digit million-euro figure,'' Ungeheuer said.
Corpoplast already uses the PICVD process in its Plasmax coating machines to apply transparent barrier layers on the inside of PET bottles for products such as fruit juice and soft drinks.
Schott developed the technology 20 years ago to coat and refine glass.
``This glasslike coating enables us to combine the advantages of both glass and PET, including gas impermeability and resistance to breakage,'' said Stephan Behle, managing director of the joint venture.