Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd. in January will begin molding a new high density polyethylene, single-piece beverage cap at its plant in Eastern Creek, a suburb of Sydney, Australia.
Rodney Druitt, president and CEO of Universal Closures Ltd., the firm that designed the new Sylon HDPE cap to meet the International Society of Beverage Technologists' PCO 1881 standard, revealed the timeline at the Plastics Caps and Closures 2011 conference, held Sept 12-14 in Atlanta.
In addition to its light weight, advantages of the new cap include its performance in high-temperature environments and its ease of opening and reclosing, Druitt said.
“We've found that we can go to temperatures of up to [122° F],” he said. “It's good for bottles of up to 3 liters in terms of opening performance.”
Sydney-based CCA will manufacture a range of UCL Sylon designs, including 28-millimeter caps for carbonated drinks and water, and a 38mm hot-fill cap, he said.
The Sylon for carbonated soft drinks saves about 14 percent of HDPE over previous two-piece closures used at CCA, he said, and the version for bottled water saves 20 percent of the material — making the design the lightest cap in the Coca-Cola Co. system, according to Druitt.
Tewkesbury, England-based UCL rapidly developed the Sylon for Coke in Australia with computer-aided design and a prototyping assist from Z-moulds of Dornbirn, Austria.
“This particular development started in October 2010 and concluded in May 2011, so it's been a very successful, fast turnaround for [Coca-Cola Co.] approval,” Druitt said.
Other facets of the design include an improved gripping area and an advanced, tamper-evident flange at the base of the cap, he said.
UCL also designed the PCO 1881 Flexseal cap used globally in Coke bottling plants.
CCA, which is 30 percent owned by Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, has operations in five countries — Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Those operations manufacture, sell and distribute soft drinks, water, sports and energy drinks, fruit juice, flavored milk, coffee and packaged, ready-to-eat fruit and vegetable products.