As PET packaging becomes increasingly popular, food, home and personal care (FHPC) producers are looking for new ways to differentiate their brands. Sidel has developed and patented a solution it is calling SteadyEdge, which, claims the company, produces attractive, original packaging, while providing stable and cost-efficient production efficiency.
The new base technology enables the production of flat, oval and rectangular PET containers, making it possible, explained Pierrick Protais, Packaging Innovation Leader at Sidel, “to achieve premium-quality containers in PET, with sharper edges which have a radius of as little as only 1mm, compared to a previous minimum of 2.5mm.”
The sharper edges increase design freedom and allow for the production of elegant containers with bases that are less curved. Consistent high quality is assured due to the monitoring system that carries out visual control of the base movement on individual blowing stations.
The sharper edges are also used to effectively flatten and increase the 'standing ring' area of the base, which increases the stability, prevents undesirable rocking and reducing the possibility of containers being knocked over.
"The application of SteadyEdge to any design can enhance the package's stability by as much as 35%,” said Protais. Next to the advantages this provides on the supermarket shelf and at home, it also means that packages are far less likely to fall when being conveyed between the various machines, resulting in fewer costly stoppages and greatly improved uptime.
According to the company, other benefits include lightweighting possibilities of up to 10% through the improved material stretch on the base, decreased energy consumption and higher output rates, which are also up to 10% faster: “from 1,800 bottles per hour per mould for flat containers with a standard base up to 2,000 bottles per hour per mould with SteadyEdge.”
The specific sharp base design is achieved using Sidel’s new patented Base OverStroke System (BOSS), in which a piston is activated in the blowing phase to stroke the base. This mechanical element allows for the raising and lowering of the base during the bottle- forming process independent of the opening and closing of the two half-shells of the mould.
The system, which can easily be retrofitted, is already compatible with Sidel’s Universal line of blowing machines and will in future also be available for Sidel’s Matrix machines.