SIPA is a byword for innovative packaging technology. It has contributed in many ways to lightweighting solutions for bottles and preforms used in the drinking water industry. So maybe it should not have come as too much of a surprise when it was contacted by Atlas Filtri in search of help with one of its own water-related developments—even if the query had nothing to do with bottles.
Atlas Filtri is the benchmark company for water filtration and treatment solutions, producing vast numbers of filter housings and cartridges in various sizes every year, and with a constant focus on quality and innovative processing technologies. Just like SIPA, the company is always researching new solutions, improving and innovating its own products, processes and services.
Many of Atlas Filtri’s filter housings look very much like large bottle preforms. They are in fact injection molded in PET. The main difference is that these housings don’t go onto be blow molded into bottles. Atlas Filtri was very keen to introduce improvements to its manufacturing operations in order to increase productivity for one particular housing. So it called on SIPA for help.
The company asked SIPA if it could assist in developing a new version that had properties as the original, yet optimizing injection and molding processes.
At the time of writing this story, SIPA has succeeded in producing several different prototype molds. Work continues and Alberto Uliana, in charge of the project at SIPA, is certain that with the use of a cooling system similar to that used for PET bottle preforms, it will be possible to arrive soon to the optimization targets.
Atlas has been getting ready to produce some test moldings for homologation, before deciding which design to go into production with. Once it comes to its conclusion, SIPA will produce a blower for series production.
Atlas Filtri makes water filters in a range of sizes, but this one is the most critical, says Uliana. If the new design proves successful—and there is no reason to believe that it won’t—there are good chances that SIPA will be asked to collaborate on further projects.
“Atlas Filtri saw in SIPA a potential partner with a level of technical competence high enough to support it in this important development,” says Uliana. “We have used our knowledge and expertise in injection molding of PET packaging and applied them successfully to a rather different form of packaging. I look forward to future collaboration with our new partner!”