Plastic Technologies Inc. is well-known in the plastic bottle universe for research, design and a subsidiary PET recycling program.
Now, the Holland, Ohio-based company is offering its services to small-scale thermoformers, to aid in designing and testing new packaging.
At Pack Expo 2008 in Chicago, PTI executives touted the new capabilities, which remain somewhat shrouded, like the research areas inside the company's headquarters in suburban Toledo, Ohio.
Francis Schloss, vice president and technical director of materials development, said in a Nov. 12 interview at the trade show that PTI recently acquired machinery and molds to enable it to process small batches of resin about 30 pounds.
``We now have the ability to work on equipment that can give us monolayer or multilayer three-material, five-layer film/sheet structures,'' Schloss said.
PTI's limited thermoforming operation is so new, executives had only a basic sell sheet to offer on the show floor. Schloss said the equipment can do small runs, extruding sheet that is 12-14 inches wide.
On the product development side, PTI's computer modeling experts are planning for new thermoforming applications involving recycled content and new materials, Vice President Scott Steele said. Yet he stressed PTI is not going into the commodity film and sheet business.
``People are making bigger packages every day. But they're not going to be making them bathtub sized any time soon,'' he said.
PTI and Minneapolis-based testing instrumentation provider Mocon Inc. rolled out their OxyTraQ oxygen permeation tester for plastic bottles and film samples at Pack Expo. The multistation unit can handle products ranging from small barrier bottles to half-gallon jugs.
The OxyTraQ features a purge rack system where bottles awaiting testing are flushed with the same gas mixture used in the test. Once bottles reach equilibrium, they can be transferred to the device, where Mocon and PTI claim final permeation values can be generated in less than 24 hours.