DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY – Kortec Inc. (Hall 13/D59) and Sidel Group have developed a multilayer co-injection system for PET bottles to move into the shelf-stable dairy market.
Shelf-stable milk is now packaged in cardboard containers, which have a layer of aluminum to protect the milk from light, allowing it to be stored on shelves for months.
The Kortec and Sidel system uses layers of white and black PET to provide the same blocking capabilities as the paper packaging, said Russell Bennett, Kortec vice president of sales and marketing, in an interview at K 2013.
The 1-liter PET bottles give dairies more flexibility in packaging design, so they can use packaging to differentiate themselves from other companies. Shelf-stable milk is sold throughout Europe and Latin America.
The multilayer preform marks the first time Kortec has worked in the dairy industry. The firms are launching it at K, with Sidel now introducing it to customers.
Sidel makes complete bottling systems, and can deliver a complete PET preform blow molding line with Kortec's multilayer technology, which could replace or supplement an existing paper packaging operation.
The system uses Kortec's pre-form technology to produce a thin layer of white PET in the inside of the bottle, a layer of black, then the final outer white layer. White meets aesthetic demands for dairy, while also working in cooperation with the black PET for the light blocking requirements.
Working alongside Sidel allowed the companies to combine Kortec's expertise in barrier technology in food packaging — such as those used for years in carbonated soft drinks — with Sidel's experience in the dairy business.
"Sidel is always looking at opportunities to partner with suppliers up and down the supply chain," said Vincent Le Guen, Sidel vice president for packaging and tooling. "This is an excellent example of such a partnership."
The initial offering produces 25-gram preforms for 1-liter bottles, but the companies are working on 22-gram preforms for future production. The companies can also offer up to 128 cavity molds and are looking at the potential of other size bottles.
"It's a lower cost product option for this market that provides converters and end users with a competitive advantage, as well as addressing the issue of sustainability in production through its low material usage," Bennett said.
Because the bottles are all PET they also are easy to recycle, he said.