PETWORK
02/2014

SIPA shows strength in beauty with its development and production systems for cosmetics and beauty and home care PET bottles

SIPA sees strong prospects for making inroads into the prestigious market for very high quality small bottles for cosmetics, beauty and household products. The company has a proven capability to develop and prototype new bottle designs for its customers, and it offers different systems for manufacturing preforms and containers that meet the special requirements for visual appeal, performance, and extra added value that make this sector particularly demanding.

Prototype cosmetic containers recently developed and produced by SIPA provide an ample demonstration of the company’s capability. The containers, varying in volume from 50 mL to around 500 mL (in metric and US dimensions) in round, oval, and rectangular shapes, have striking designs to complement their target contents. “In this sector more than any other, the aesthetics of the container are especially important,” says Dino Zanette, Chief of Packaging Design at SIPA. “Containers need to stand out with eye-catching features and designs to appeal to the most discerning consumer.”

SIPA can provide cosmetic container makers with equipment for making their products in a single injection-stretch-blow molding stage, as well as in two separate stages. Its ECS single stage machines stand out for their ability to produce bottles with high aesthetic qualities. This is due in large part to the fact that preforms are kept separate from one another throughout the process, eliminating any chance of their surfaces being damaged as they touch each other. Any rub marks or scratches on preforms are often very easy to see in the blown bottles. “Scratches are simply not permitted in this sector,” says Zanette. “The image of the product depends on a perfect presentation.”

A second advantage of ECS single stage technology is that the preform is always optimized for the container. “The technology removes any potential problem with the type or size of the neck finish,” point out Zanette. “In addition, the preform has a thermal profile that makes it easy to blow. Production of small jars for beauty creams and balms is possible, as well as oval containers for soaps, shampoos, shower gels, and so on.”

Two-stage machines do have their place in this sector, all the same. They have something of a cost advantage, since the preforms can be bought on the market, for example. However, for certain neck finishes, preforms are often not available on the open market—so the producer is constrained to make their own. In either case, bought or self-produced, special attention has to be paid to the quality of the preform. For oval shaped containers, the oven on the stretch-blow molding unit needs to be equipped with preferential heating, but once that is done, it is possible to produce oval containers for soaps (even with neck orientation), shampoos, shower gels, and the like.

Help with design and prototyping
SIPA is able to provide its customers in the cosmetics sector with a broad range of pre-production services. In its prototyping department, for example, it can carry out structural calculations and simulations, and its laboratories offer testing facilities for performance assessment and qualification. Even before producing a physical prototype, SIPA carries out a deep technical assessment of the existing production environment, and can simulate preform and bottle performance.

SIPA R&D specialists can quickly conduct advanced performance simulations. Also with the use of Finite Elements Analysis, they are able to check package technical feasibility and identify potential improvements for cost-effectiveness at the prototype stage.
Design ideas created in-house and in partnership with customers undergo rigorous testing and development via process engineering and SIPA’s highly advanced prototyping operations before any metal is cut on production molds.
SIPA designers balance creative inspiration with technical, safety, and cost considerations. They know exactly what properties PET containers must have to succeed in production and how to stretch the limits.