At K 2010, Nissei ASB Machine Co. Ltd. introduced a blow molding machine that produces about 6,000 hot-fillable jars per hour to break into the remaining glass-replacement opportunites such as jelly, pickles and spaghetti sauce.
The HSB-6M makes small and medium-sized jars in the range of 300-600 milliliters, using the common 63mm-diameter neck the size Nissei ASB said represents a major proportion of the current glass jar market for jams and sauces.
Officials of Nissei ASB said cracking the hot-fill, wide-mouth jar market has lured PET container makers for more than 25 years. The challenge was making a stable neck with adequate heat resistance.
K 2010 marked the Nagano, Japan-based company's first public showing of the HSB-6M.
The machine uses two-step reheat blow molding, which molds hot-fill jars by heating and blowing a preform that has been injection molded on another machine. Before the preform enters the HSB-6M machine, its neck is crystallized to resist deformation, which could cause leaks.
The key to the HSB-6M is Nissei ASB's double blow heat-set molding technology. First, the container is blow molded in a primary mold, then it gets conditioned by high temperatures before passing to the final, secondary mold. This technology molds PET jars that can handle filling at 203° F, said Jamie Pace, vice president and general manager of Nissei ASB Co., the company's U.S. operation in Atlanta.
That's because of the double-blow technology that we use. There's two blow molds, and the container is blown first and then it shrinks, and then it blows in the second one, Pace said.
Pace said the company has sold that type of double-blow machine in Asia for more than 15 years, for hot-fill products such as tea and coffee. But this is the first inroad into wide-mouth hot fill, he said in a Nov. 1 interview during the K show.
In addition to the higher temperatures, the HSB-6M reduces the container weight by as much as 10-20 percent over the single-blow heat setting method used by competitors, according to Nissei ASB.
Also at K, held Oct. 29 to Nov. 3, Nissei ASB showed its ASB-150DPW, a one-step injection stretch blow molding machine with a double-row molding configuration effectively doubling the production of the existing ASB-150DP model, which has a single-row layout.
In Dusseldorf, the 18-cavity machine molded Nissei's traditional trade-show handout a bear-shaped jar. To demonstrate the double-row feature, the press molded nine boy bears and nine girl bears at a time.
In other news, Pace said Nissei ASB is planning a $20 million investment to double production capacity at its factory near Mumbai, India. The company will issue more details later, he said.