The largest independent converter of PET in the UK has just expanded its container production capability, with the addition of a high-output linear stretch-blow moulding system for jars from leading PET processing technology specialist SIPA.
Esterform Packaging, headquarters in Tenbury Wells, England, produces an extensive range of PET preforms, bottles and jars for drinks, foods, household, garden and car-care applications. It is currently in the middle of a major expansion program. Last year, it announced a significant increase in its preform production capacity (located at a second site in Leeds) and now it is also extending finished container capacity, with the addition of a SIPA SFL 4/4 WM unit dedicated to the production of jars for food.
The new SIPA system, which was installed in March, will provide Esterform Packaging with significantly improved capability in high-volume two-stage production of PET food jars. Until now, most of the company’s jars were produced on lower-volume single-stage injection-stretch-blow moulding units, as well as on a two-stage unit from another supplier. PET Jar sales had significantly increased, which prompted the purchase of a second two stage jar blowing machine.
The SFL 4/4 WM (WM stands for Wide Mouth) will make 360-mL jars with 63-mm neck finishes. With four cavities, it is capable of producing up to 6000 jars every hour.
The complete system installed by SIPA also includes a set of blow moulds, a preform unscrambler, a “soft-drop” octabin preform dumper and an Air Recovery System for improved energy efficiency.
Esterform Packaging opted for SIPA for its upgrade for several reasons. “The customer told us that our preform unscrambler, preform infeed, oven, preform transfer system and blowing process are key improvements compared to their current line.” says Mauro Fibbia, Account Manager at SIPA. “The SFL 4/4 WM has a wider process window and it is higher output than the current line, making the same jar from the same preform. Esterform appreciates the well thought-out design of our preform unscrambler as well.”
Darryl Gunn, Technical Manager at Esterform Packaging adds that Esterform Packaging was also impressed by SIPA’s project management and field activities. ”Overall, we found SIPA to be the best solution for our needs on this project,” he says.