The two companies have entered into a technology licensing agreement to build upon Krones' existing bottling machinery with LiquiForm, which uses liquid product instead of compressed air to create a rigid plastic container.
Flexibility in container design
Ann O’Hara, president, LiquiForm, told DairyReporter two years ago it expected the technology to be commercialized in 2016.
Developed in 2006 under the trademark DISCMA, Amcor and Sidel (part of the Tetra Laval Group) own 50% in the project and will issue licences allowing machine manufacturers to produce and sell equipment using the technology.
Sidel, Yoshino Kogyosho, (a plastic bottle manufacturer in Japan) and Nestlé Waters jointly own the patent for the technology.
Amcor claims LiquiForm is a breakthrough because it reduces operating costs of up to 25%, reduces manufacturing risks and offers flexibility in container design.
Ashish Saxena, VP/general manager, The LiquiForm Group, said it was pleased to have Krones as a licensee, adding to the existing efforts of Sidel, Amcor, and Yoshino.
“Krones will aid the technology commercialization and enable LiquiForm to reach its full potential,” he said.
Krones released its Q2 financial results last month claiming its revenue from January to June 2016 grew 3.8% to €1.56bn ($1.73bn) and new orders improved 5.1% to €1.6bn ($1.77bn).
Revenue to grow by 3% in 2016
The company expects consolidated revenue to grow by 3% in 2016.
The joint venture will issue licences allowing machine manufacturers to produce and sell equipment using the LiquiForm technology. Global demand for blow molding and filling machines for which LiquiForm would be suitable is estimated to be approximately 800 machines per annum.
Ken MacKenzie, CEO, Amcor, said the technology will transform the rigid plastic container manufacturing industry, providing significant benefits to all players throughout the value chain.