The adjectives “revolutionary” and “breakthrough” are way over-used in press releases, and are often a good signal to toss the information.
A release came in this morning, however, that may deserve the terms, particularly in the normally sleepy world of blow molding and filling technology.
LiquiForm, a JV established by Amcor Rigid Plastics, a packaging company, and Sidel, an equipment manufacturer, is now commercializing a system that combines the bottle forming and filling processes into one step using pressurized liquid instead of compressed air.
Here’s the really interesting aspect: the actual liquid or whatever product is to be bottled is forced at high pressure into a preform already placed in a mold, creating the bottle shape. This results in a filled bottle, ready for capping and labelling. Is there any potential contamination from the resin with the liquid that will be consumed? I am posing that question to LiquiForm.
Ann O’Hara, president of LiquiForm, said: “We seek to make the technology widely available through a licensing and royalty system which encourages partners and licensees to invest in future innovation and development.”
Benefits of the system include:
There is no need for compressed air as the bottles are formed when they are filled with the beverage or product;
Cost are cut due to elimination of redundant equipment;
Production efficiency is improved; and
There is a reduced manufacturing footprint.
The LiquiForm Group has signed agreements with Yoshino Kogyosho, Japan’s largest plastic bottle manufacturer, to further develop the technology, and with Nestle Waters, a leading bottled water company, to acquire their intellectual property.
Full scale commercialization of the LiquiForm technology is currently expected to occur by 2018.