Double-layer PET barrier preform, so that milk bottles are both cost-effective and eye-catching

Update:17 Nov 2017

In addition to fulfilling some technical and economic f […]

In addition to fulfilling some technical and economic functions, modern packaging must also become an eye-catching advertising medium in order to stimulate purchasing desires. PRELACTIA® PET preforms bring new possibilities to manufacturers of milk beverages! Innovative bottle design, can make them stand out in the competition. This patented barrier preform also offers significant economic advantages with its double-layered structure.
From September 11 to 15, 2017, at the Drinktec 2017 in Munich, Germany, Netstal will be demonstrating the production of PRELACTIA® Barrier Blankets and 38mm Milk Bottle Caps at booth A4 321 to showcase the packaging for milk beverages The ideal solution, as well as industrial 4.0 practical application.

On-site production of PET barrier preforms for milk bottles


PET-LINE 2C Injection Molding Machine: The second injection unit is installed at the L position facing the main injection unit for injection molding of the gray inner wall layer


PRELACTIA® barrier preforms for 0.5L milk bottles will be produced on a PET-LINE 2400-4000 / 1000 injection molding machine.
For the main injection unit of the injection molding machine, another 1000 series injection unit is mounted in the L position.
In the first step of overmolding, a 1 mm thick gray layer incorporating a light barrier is injected into a 32 + 32 cavity mold


PRELACTIA® Preform Cross Section: The gray inner wall layer provides excellent light blocking effect


Then, a 1.4 mm thin, pure white layer was applied to the outer layer of the preform, with a total cycle time of 9 s.
The PET-LINE 2C injection molding machine flexibly balances production capacity fluctuations during production and can easily produce preforms or CSD preforms suitable for non-carbonated drinks, in which case the second injection unit can be disabled with software .


Improve light barrier, reduce the amount of additives


A milk bottle made of two layers of PET: the white outer layer catches the eye and the gray inner wall layer blocks the light to protect the milk


In general, white pigment titanium dioxide needs to be added to the polymer used to produce the preform in order to produce a pure white bottle.
This additive also provides an enhanced barrier that blocks unwanted UV light.
However, for monolayer preforms, the titanium dioxide must be added in an amount of at least 15% of the total weight of the preform.
For PRELACTIA® preforms, however, the additive weight can be reduced to less than 5% of the preform weight because the additive is only mixed into the outer layer material.
This means that with an annual output of 105 million preforms and 17 g per preform, the use of high-grade titanium dioxide can be reduced by about 180 tons.
At a market price of € 7-8 / kg, the annual savings are huge.
At the same time, customers also benefit from the significantly improved light barrier effect over single-ply PET preforms.
PRELACTIA® preforms are particularly suitable for dairy and milk beverage packaging with shelf life of up to 6 months due to the ability to reliably block almost 100% of visible light.
The two-layer structure made of PET allows PRELACTIA® bottles to be conveniently placed in the regular recycle bin after use.


Industry 4.0 Practice: Closed loop control between injection molding machine and inspection system



On an ELION 2200-1000 injection molding machine, the 38mm milk cap will be produced in a pair of z-molds' 32-cavity molds.




This HDPE cap weighs only 2.8g. Thanks to the patented z-slides® technology, these caps give a full-featured anti-theft ring in the mold, with a total production cycle time of 4s.
This is the first time Netstal has been working with its system partner Intravis to demonstrate the control loop connection between the injection molding machine and the vision inspection system by integrating data from external peripherals into the aXos machine control system.
To this end, Intravis provided CapWatcher III technology for optical inspection.
The 38mm caps produced at the show floor, whose key features are continuously analyzed by the Intravis CapWatcher III and are then passed as a packet via the Euromap 82 / OPC-UA to the control system of the ELION 2200-1000 injection molding machine Immediately displayed on the aXos machine control system.
If desired, individual features, such as the diameter of the cap, can also be displayed on a separately configured dashboard, allowing the machine operator to always monitor them, which means that corrective action can be taken quickly.
If implemented according to Industry 4.0, the operator will not have to take positive action because the injection molding machine with the control loop can be self-regulating.
Small changes in product characteristics can be automatically performed in a defined process window, which allows continuous production of caps with precisely defined product characteristics.

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