Husky Demonstrates 50% Flake Preform System

01 Oct 2009 • by Natalie Aster

Husky Injection Molding Systems, long the leader in PET preform manufacturing systems, demonstrated production of a 33.6-gram Ecobase preform on a 72-cavity mold running 50% post-consumer PET flake at Drinktec 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 systems, the system was built around a 300-metric-ton machine from the company’s HyPET range with a modified plasticising system capable of handling this high level of difficult-to-feed flake.

On the plasticising side, the machine was equipped with an upsized continuously running contra-rotating twin-screw extruder capable of plasticising and feeding the blend of virgin pellets and recycled flake. The plasticised melt was fed via a Gneuss continuous screen changer into one of two shooting pots.

The screen changer prevents any contaminants or black specks present in the flake from finding their way into the bottles, while the dual shooting pot arrangement allows the continuous plasticising 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 US after the show, is targeted at preform producers wanting to add 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 director of sustainability.

Aside from emission savings, the ability to run PET flake at such high levels also opens up cost savings, as does the use of the EcoBase concept. This modification to the filling region of the preform, first shown at NPE, is claimed to realise weight savings of around 2.5%.

Bolton, Ontario-based Husky also showed the latest version of its HyCAP closure manufacturing technology in Munich. The 72-cavity 300 metric tonne machine was producing a 2.5g PCO 1881 lightweight carbonated soft drink closure on a 3.9s cycle time.

Source: European Plastics News

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