The European dynamism for the development of PET bottle closures means that Cetie has become an experts' forum
The closure of Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles is an area that necessarily involves numerous players:
producers of preforms and moulds, closure manufacturers, suppliers of blow moulding machines, the customer brands, the fillers and the suppliers of related services.
The huge benefit of the platform proposed by Cetie to enable these players to jointly develop common technical references for specifications and relevant good practices comes to the fore in this context. Indeed, participation in the meetings of the Cetie "PET Finishes" Working Groups increases regularly, driven by topical subjects. The European dynamism for the development of PET bottle closures means that Cetie has become an experts' forum. The cooperation agreement with ISBT (International Society of Beverage Technologists), which is also active in this area through its packaging working groups, enhances the recognition of both institutions as sources of reference documentation. For its last meetings, on 31/08 and 01/09, the Group accepted the invitation from Husky to hold the meeting on its site in Dudelange (Luxembourg). Twenty-one members made the trip to attend the plenary meeting of this working group and the "Qualification tests for PET closures" sub-group. Sylvain Talarico, General Manager Beverage Packaging Applications, gave a welcoming speech in which he reminded the group of Husky's long-term commitment in the activities of Cetie - a meeting of the same working group was held on the same premises 10 years ago. In his presentation of "Husky Today", he emphasised the company's position as a world leader in its PET preforms activity for beverages, citing a figure that speaks for itself: some 14,000 preforms are produced per second across the world on Husky presses.
“We all need to be recognised standards to govern the points of technical convergence of our products"
Technological developments, such as entirely servo-electric presses, active alignment to prevent mould wear, automatic cleaning of preform moulds and a new method of barrier layer co-injection targeting the small capacity bottle sector, were presented. The development of closure production was also addressed, with the aim of providing the customer with a comprehensive service for the entire closure system. During the Cetie Group plenary meeting chaired by Lothar Brauer (Bericap), several documents were discussed and then approved for publishing or submitted for an official enquiry among Cetie members prior to publication. This concerned more specifically two experimental finishes currently undergoing validation - a light 25/22 for intermediate carbonation levels (GME 30.37) and an ultra-light finish for still water (GME 30.39) - and a proposal for ISBT to update the "conventional" PCO 1881 finish for carbonated beverages.
A recommendations sheet (FS 18) concerning the index marks for determining the application angle of a screw cap on the finish was finalised for pre-publication enquiry. Among the recommendations figuring in this sheet is that the marks should correspond to the start of the full thread section, whether on the cap or the finish and that the marks on the finish should preferably be positive marks (protruding) to facilitate production.
The geometry (shape) of these marks must be such that optical detection systems cannot confuse them with drops of liquid. Two glossary sheets DT 23.03 and DT 23.04 clarifying the terminology and dimension codes to use for the finishes and closures respectively were also finalised. Lastly, the group began revising Bottling Guide No. 5 "Application on plastic bottles of 28 mm thread plastic closure for carbonated products", with the aim of extending its scope to cover all types of beverage and finish.
Qualification tests closures' group
On the second day, the "Qualification tests for PET closures" group chaired by Michaël Krüger (Corvaglia) reviewed the latest test methods identified for potential inclusion in the document. This group started its work in early 2015 taking the existing ISBT document, which it has updated and supplemented. Given the verifications and information still to come, the finalisation of the document is planned for early 2017 after two ultimate meetings of the group. Among the subjects of discussion, measurement of reverse torques is currently undergoing developments aiming to render automatic measurements more effective and reliable for all types of the cap, while at the same time correctly simulating the possible manual effort of over-screwing by the consumer. Wolfgang Kalthoff (Steinfurth) presented the results of measurement campaigns conducted for this development with different systems for gripping the cap and different weights of caps for the PCO 1881 finish provided by three different suppliers, all members of this group. After the meetings, the participants visited the prototyping centre and a fully automated manifold machining line.
We all need recognised standards
To conclude the session, Sylvain Talarico reiterated the importance of Cetie's work for the industry: “We all need recognised standards to govern the points of technical convergence of our products and Cetie is the ideal platform for their development. We must nevertheless develop the action of the working groups by minimising the time required to produce reference frameworks in order to remain consistent with constantly evolving market needs. This requires each and every one of us to properly prepare our participation, which must be active so that the work moves forward at each meeting. It is in this way that we can stimulate the industries increasing interest in participating in the Cetie Working Groups and thereby develop their full potential." All the participants appreciated the quality of the welcome and the organisation which were conducive to fruitful meetings bringing together a wealth of cross-cutting skills in an environment that was both studious and pleasant. Husky's encouragements, communicated by Sylvain Talarico, have certainly not fallen on deaf ears!
N. Harris Cetie General Secretary
Published in Liquides & Conditionnement N°384 (September 2016)
- Marco Duarte, Husky
- Wolfgang Kalthoff, Steinfuhrt
- Bruno Königseder, Aptar
- Karl-Heinz Höfert, Husky
- Lutz Kampmann, Krones
- Jochen Forsthoevel, Krones
- Alessandro Falzoni, Sacmi
- Michael Krüger, Corvaglia (Chair of Plastic Closure Qualification Test Guidelines)
- Nico Schröder, Coca-Cola
- Lothar Brauer, Bericap (Chair of PET plenary meeting)
- Andrea Papi, CDS Srl
- Nicholas Harris, Cetie
- Mathieu Begard, Nestle
- Joanne Deenihan, Britvic
- Alexander Kober, Husky
- Sylvain Talarico, Husky
- Fabrice Becker, Husky
- Gerd Fuhrmann, Intravis
- Federico Zannier, Arol
- Marc Kleifges,Husky
- Thomas Lanher, Husky
- Graeme Hood, GCS
- Liquides & Conditionnement N°384 (FR)