KHS unveils expansion plans for PET barrier system

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Oxygen Khs

KHS will soon be introducing a larger version of its PET barrier system Plasmax to bring the technology to large bottling lines.

Plasmax coats the insides of PET bottles with a barrier composed of an ultra thin, completely transparent layer of glass. The silicon oxide barrier prevents oxygen from penetrating PET bottles and carbon dioxide from escaping, so as to extend the shelf life of sensitive beverages.

Currently, there are 6 Plasmax machines in operation, and 2 others are starting up. Ball Corporation is one recent customer and has just installed its second InnoPET Plasmax 12D machine at its bottling facility in Chino, California.

Ball sells Plasmax coated bottles to Californian wine producer Sutter Home for its 187 ml bottles. Sutter Home’s senior marketing director Wendy Nyberg said the technology gives customers a “smaller, unbreakable, environmentally-friendly bottle”.

Recycling credentials

According to KHS, it is the environmental credentials that set Plasmax apart from other barrier solutions for PET. Arne Anderson, head of sales at KHS Plasmax, said: “Only Plasmax is considered 100 per cent suitable for bottle to bottle recycling (confirmed by Napcor and PETcore).”

With a larger version of the machine coming onto the market KHS expects the use of its Plasmax technology to spread. Arne Anderson, head of sales at KHS Plasmax, said: “With the larger machine being widely available 2010/11 we then cannot only support smaller lines but also typical large US lines.”

Larger machine

Early next year Eckes-Granini will install the prototype of the larger coating system at one of its German facilities. Eckes-Granini has already has already installed the InnoPET Plasmax 12D (for up to 12,000 bottles her hour (bph)), which will soon be flanked by the new InnoPET Plasmax 20Q (for up to 40,000 bph).

Plasmax was originally developed in 2002 by SIG Corpoplast (today KHS Corpoplast) in partnership with glass manufacturer Schott. Anderson said commercialisation of the technology took longer than expected due to the complexity of end user evaluations and marketing processes. But now KHS expects Plasmax to realty take-off.

“I expect a substantial expansion of the installed capacity in the coming 12 months,” ​said Anderson.

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