The use of PET is steadily gaining market share in FHPC markets traditionally dominated by HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) and PP (Polypropylene). In 2016, PET packages accounted for 29 billion units for Food, 7 billion units for Personal Care and 8 billion units for Home Care. These figures are expected to grow by an average of 3% for all three sectors until 2020. Within these highly competitive markets, Sidel's new SteadyEDGE base offers chances to accelerate the take-up of PET containers. Along with innovative and attractive PET package design variants it ensures stable and cost-efficient production.
 Euromonitor 2016
With SteadyEDGE, brands will appear exactly as intended. The new base technology is designed to meet the challenge of producing flat, oval and rectangular containers in PET, which all require a specific production process that delivers the optimum material distribution of PET to achieve a top quality package. “It makes it possible to achieve premium-quality containers in PET, with sharper edges which have a radius as little as only 1mm, compared to a previous minimum of 2.5mm,” explains Pierrick Protais, Packaging Innovation Leader at Sidel. These sharper edges actually increase design freedom and facilitate the production of more elegant containers with bases which are less curved. Also, they open up particular marketing opportunities for containers with complex shapes and large labelling surfaces. The technology also ensures maximum container quality by way of accurate processing, optionally reinforced by a monitoring system of visual control of base movement on individual blowing stations.
The sharper edges possible on the package are used to effectively flatten and increase the 'standing ring' area of the base. “In this way the package is much more stable, preventing unwanted rocking and reducing the possibility of containers being knocked over," adds Protais. "The application of SteadyEDGE to any design can enhance the package's stability by as much as 35%.” This is beneficial on the supermarket shelf and also in the home, as well as improving reliability on the production line. As packages are far less likely to fall while they are being conveyed between various machines, this results in fewer costly stoppages and greatly improved uptime.
This innovative packaging solution optimises productivity and low total cost of ownership (TCO) while product quality and reliability are maintained to a high standard. Benefits include lightweighting possibilities of up to 10% through the improved material stretch on the base. A reduction in blowing pressure decreases energy consumption by up to 20% during production when limitation is linked to base design. The solution has been achieving 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 to 2,000 bottles per hour per mould with SteadyEDGE. Such greatly improved line performance typically contributes to a return on investment (ROI) in less than a single year.
The specific sharp base design is achieved using the new Sidel patented base mould system: the Base OverStroke System (BOSS). BOSS is a piston 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.
BOSS provides flexible and versatile production with the option to implement quick mould changeovers and ensure maximum production uptime. A BOSS-to-BOSS changeover can be performed in just 3 minutes; BOSS-to-other can be performed in 11 minutes. Easy to implement and to retrofit, Sidel's new BOSS solution is fully compatible with Sidel Universal blowing machines. It is currently in use by customers in different parts of the world, with over 200 million containers already produced, and will shortly also be available for Sidel Matrix™ blowing machines.
Further details on Sidel’s SteadyEDGE are available at www.sidel.com/steadyedge.