Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd., a longtime leader in PET preform machines, at Drinktec demonstrated production of a 33.6-gram Ecobase preform on a 72-cavity mold running 50 percent post-consumer PET flake on the same 10.5-second cycle as virgin resin.
Described by Husky President and CEO John Galt as a first step toward building a portfolio of new sustainable packaging production equipment, the system was built around a 300-metric-ton machine from the company's HyPET range. The equipment had a modified plasticizing system capable of handling the high level of difficult-to-feed flake.
On the plasticizing side, the machine was equipped with an upsized, continuously running, contra-rotating twin-screw extruder capable of plasticizing and feeding the blend of virgin pellets and recycled flake. The plasticized melt was fed via a Gneuss continuous screen changer into one of two shooting pots.
The screen changer prevents any contaminants or black specks in the flake from finding their way into the bottles. The dual shooting-pot arrangement allows the continuous plasticizing and feeding process to be married with the discontinuous injection cycle one pot being filled while the other is injecting.
The machine, which was to be shipped to one of Amcor PET Packaging's sites in the U.S. after the show, is targeted at preform producers wanting to use more recycled content without sacrificing cycle time.
This new development will help make it easier to incorporate more recycled PET into the bottles we make and allow us to reduce our overall carbon footprint, said Dave Clark, Amcor PET Packaging sustainability director.
Aside from reducing emissions, running PET flake at such high levels can save money, as can using the EcoBase concept, the company said. This modification to the filling region of the preform realizes weight savings of around 2.5 percent, Husky officials estimate.
Bolton, Ontario-based Husky also showed the latest version of its HyCap closure manufacturing technology in Munich. The 72-cavity, 300-tonne machine was producing a 2.5-gram PCO 1881 lightweight carbonated soft drink closure on a 3.9-second cycle.
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