The first XTREME system for production of injection-compression molded PET preforms was officially put into operation at a special Preform Production Facilities Completion Ceremony at the Haruna, Japan plant of Suntory, one of the world’s leading drinks producers, on February 23rd. The event took place in the presence of Suntory Beverage and Food Limited chiefs and several delegations of Suntory Group.
Suntory is the first company in the world to produce low-weight, high-performance PET preforms using the revolutionary XTREME process invented by SIPA, headquartered in Vittorio Veneto, Italy. The Japanese company, which has operations throughout the world producing of award-winning spirits, beers and famous soft drinks such as Orangina, Lucozade and Ribena, has a new preform line in Haruna, not far from Tokyo, feeding the production of beverage bottles.
SIPA and Suntory have been cooperating on the development of XTREME since 2014. The official start-up of the new plant is the culmination of a project that has succeeded in meeting all Suntory’s specifications and expectations. Speaking at the completion ceremony, SIPA chairman Dr. Gianfranco Zoppas said: "What brought SIPA and Suntory together is the fact that we share the same mission to constantly innovate and push technological limits in order to provide better products and services to our customers.
SIPA could bring its highly innovative XTREME project to fruition also thanks to Suntory's contribution. “SIPA prides itself on working together in close partnership with its customers, to ensure that the development paths we take are the true ones – paths that will lead to success for us, for our customers, for individual consumers and, yes, for our fragile planet. In Suntory, we have found a partner that shares our values, and our vision. Together, we are helping the global PET bottle processing industry to progress, to be greener and more sustainable.”
Suntory chose XTREME technology because the pressure involved in the PET preform molding process is much lower than that used in conventional injection molding. The low-pressure production of preforms enables a weight reduction in every preform compared to the lightest injection molded preforms on the market today, creating important savings in production costs and, most importantly, in the amount of PET used thus reducing the environmental burden such as CO2 emissions.
The XTREME system is also very clean, owing to the fact that there are no hydraulic movements: everything is driven by air and electricity. A key feature of the system is the possibility to inspect the quality of each preform, in-line, as soon as it is produced, thus controlling 100% preforms quality. XTREME permits the production of preforms with walls that are thinner than ever before. Weight can be taken out of both the body and the base of the preform. Critically, this can be achieved without the loss of any key properties in the preform and the finished bottle.
Suntory probably has the most severe quality standards anywhere in the world of PET packaging; the new SIPA system succeeds in reaching and controlling those standards. All of these advantages, together with the possibility to reduced waste generation due to lighter preform production, come together to create a high performance, high quality preform production system that has lower costs than any other production system in the world today. With XTREME injection-compression molding technology, SIPA has taken the production of PET preforms into a new dimension.