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American container maker Howard Packaging has taken its tally of SIPA ECS SP single-stage ISBM machines to three. The Corydon, Indiana-based company took its first unit, an ECS SP 80, in 2015, and added a second in 2018. In Italian, we say “Non c’è due senza tre” – There’s no two without three – and indeed, SIPA installed another ECS SP 80 in 2020.

Howard Packaging originally operated only extrusion-blow molding (EBM) equipment for production of bottles in polyolefins and PVC. Now though, it also specializes in production of small and medium-sed PET bottles for additives mineral oil. In fact, it was a pioneer in using PET for production of additives for engine oil bottles. It began with a series of bottles ranging in size from 16 to 64 oz, and has since expanded its offering.

A key customer is Lucas Oil, a world leader of high performance lubricants and a well-known presence on the Indy 500 car race circuit. Lucas Oil is also located in Corydon, and Howard Packaging is its exclusive supplier of mineral oil bottles. A short while ago, SIPA helped Howard Packaging in the development of two new bottles, in 16 oz and 5.25 oz sizes with narrow long necks, for Lucas Oil engine additives.

Howard Packaging and Lucas Oil both like the PET bottles for their low weight and high performance. Particularly important is the fact that they are very robust, so the risk of them leaking when dropped is virtually zero. Single-stage production using the ECS SP 80 is ideal for these particular bottles, given the production numbers and the variety of sizes involved. The SIPA units run fast and efficiently, and the time and effort involved in changing format is low.

The bottle maker can rely on responsive technical support from the people at SIPA North America, and that includes short turn-around times for any mold renovation or repairs.

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