Glass manufacturers' plenary meeting at Cetie is every year!
This year, the groups involved in the themes relating to flacons, bottles and jars, have worked very actively to move forward with the topics of the profession.
The five groups, each working in a specific area, held together with a ‘(virtual) glass manufacturer plenary’ meeting at the end of September to present the progress of their work and share their thoughts with the members of the other glass manufacturer groups.
Flaconnage group works in progress
The groups involved in Flaconnage, especially perfumery and cosmetics, continued to harmonise test practices in the areas of geometry (finishes, mechanical tests) and decorative elements (various decoration resistance tests). They also completed the glossary of critical defects, a reference document for the preparation of customer specifications. Lastly, the recommendations guide for crimping on FEA finish (Guide No.12) provided the opportunity to review the best practices of the sector and led Cetie to revise standard EN 14854 defining the finish geometry (to be published early 2021).
Always on the watch for developments in these sectors and seeking collective responses, the ‘Geometry’ group is working on, among other things, new threaded finish models, that will enable perfumers to use closure systems of the same diameter as the equivalent FEA finishes. Through this joint design approach, initiated chiefly with the perfumers, glass manufacturers and pump sprayer manufacturers, common harmonised models will be developed, thereby avoiding having each party create their own solution.
WG 1+4: A glass dedicated to quality issues and legislation
The group dedicated to Quality issues concerning bottles and jars in the food sector concluded the revising of several important reference documents useful for the preparation of customer specifications: Glossaries of defects (critical defects, other visual defects), the standard tolerances for glass containers and the manufacturing inspections on carbonated items. Other technical data sheets have been published on good labelling practices (application of self-adhesive labels, the flatness of labelled surfaces) and on surface treatments and headspace volumes.
This group continues to work on numerous documents of value to glass manufacturers and their customers.
Glass WG 3: Dedicated to the glass finishes narrow and wide-mouth
The group dedicated to Finishes and Geometry in foodstuff containers worked intensively on beer bottle finishes in 2019 and 2020: conventional crown finishes (leading to the revising of standards ISO 12821 and 12822), crown finishes with a more rounded cap anchor point, and twist crown finishes. The group is also working on the harmonisation of the dimensions of MCA finishes for carbonated beverages, with the aim of merging the 9 existing standards into a single document. Lastly, it is actively reviewing the standards of locally defined finishes: Champagne bottle finishes and Verplast finishes in France, swing stopper finish in Germany, and numerous English technical data sheets, all of which are useful at the European level and must be improved and standardised so that they can be made available to all the players. Some new subjects are also emerging, such as the ‘short’ (14 mm high) cork stopper finish.
These groups dedicated to glass containers for foodstuffs have also actively participated in Cetie’s interprofessional groups, allowing the publication this year of numerous closure and capping guides, such as the three guides to good practices in metallic screw capping (BVS, BVP finishes) and on the identification and correction of defects, the guide to the application of the crown cap and the guide to the corking of Traditional Method wines. Each of these guides comprises between 40 and 100 pages and represents several years of intensive collaboration at Cetie between the various players of the profession.
Ad Hoc group working the control of filling volumes
The glass manufacturer plenary meeting also allowed an assessment of the situation of the other joint groups concerning glass manufacturers, namely: the group on the control of filling volumes, an aspect that has been particularly affected in France by the DGCCRF (Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression de Fraude - Directorate-General for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control) guide on the subject, and which is posing some real problems to bottlers; the group on DataMatrix laser marking and individual traceability, which has resulted in the designing of a world-scale unique traceability system, defined though two Cetie documents. And of course, the joint group with cap manufacturers, which revised the ‘BVS’ standard EN 16293 and is now working on the revision of the ‘BVP’ standard EN 15543.
The September meeting reflected upon two key themes:
- How to further improve the productivity and flexibility of the glass manufacturer working groups? This has led to an action plan that aims to enhance the reliability of group work and reduce the time it takes to produce a document at Cetie.
- How can we better involve bottlers in the work carried out inside groups exclusively dedicated to glass manufacturers? This subject led to a discussion on the activation of what could become a joint glass manufacturers/users group; such a group could firstly work on subjects at the interface of the two activities (conditions of use or reuse of bottles, good practice guidelines in inspection or traceability) and secondly assess the subjects currently in progress in the glass manufacturer groups so as to integrate the position of users more directly in the development or approval of reference documents.
Lastly, this virtual meeting ended with the participants arranging a physical meeting in the autumn of 2021. As tradition has it that the Cetie glass manufacturer groups meet in a different country each year, it is British Glass that will host this highly European reunion gathering over a two days session in Sheffield, in the heart of the United Kingdom!
The dynamism of these five glass manufacturer groups and the associated nine interprofessional groups consolidates the unique model that Cetie represents, that is to say an association independent from professional organisations and lobbies, whose members seek to jointly improve the techniques and good practices in the bottling sector. The 27 documents published in this field in one year, through 53 meetings attended by the majority of the world's glass manufacturers, bear witness to this.
Josquin Peyceré for french Magazine Liquides & Conditionement N°409
- Liquides & Conditionement N°409 (FR)