Waste not, want not

I was reading an article the other day about just how wasteful we humans can be. This one was about food waste. Apparently, around one third of all food produced in the world for human consumption is wasted at some point along the supply chain: something like 1.3 billion tonnes a year. Once I had learned this almost incredible fact, I was led on a train of thought about the business we are in, rigid PET packaging. This started with the most obvious notion that PET packaging is an excellent way of preserving food—and as we continue to develop barrier systems, it is getting better. But then I was diverted into consideration of other types of waste, and the numerous routes that SIPA is taking to ensure that our technologies—and the ways they are used by our customers—are ecologically as well as economically beneficial to all thanks to our ECO2 program. This program is divided into four categories: resin waste and recycling; energy waste; space waste; and finally, the rather intangible logistic waste—which includes the waste of that other resource we all value increasingly as we grow older: time.

I shall begin with resin waste and the related subject of optimum resin usage: of course, injection-stretch blow molding is the ideal way to make bottles because, unlike some other technologies, nothing is wasted: every granule ends up in the bottle. At SIPA, we have been at the forefront of the movement to minimize just how many granules make a bottle, with various ground-breaking technologies aimed at lightweighting the bottle body, the base, the neck, and even the cap. And with our XTREME compression molding technology, now in commercial use at our customer Suntory in Japan (we have more on the subject in this issue of SIPA MAGAZINE), bottles are lighter still. Furthermore, the consistency of our processes means that the number of preforms and bottles that end up being rejected for being out of tolerance is negligible.

I would also like to mention another, brand new, XTREME technology, which we will be covering in depth in the next issue of SIPA MAGAZINE. This is called XTREME RENEW. SIPA has worked closely with EREMA, a world leader in recycling technology, to develop an integrated system for producing PET preforms using XTREME technology from post-consumer waste as cost-effectively as possible. The system, which starts with EREMA’s VACUREMA process, operates without the need for pre-drying and regranulating flakes before reprocessing—something that can waste considerable amounts of energy.

But this is far from the only innovative approach that SIPA is taking to combat energy waste. Our XFORM preform injection molding systems are class leaders in terms of energy consumption, the “green” ovens we offer on our reheat stretch-blow units are highly energy efficient, and of course our single-stage ISBM systems mean that the energy needed to reheat preforms is minimized.
The compact nature of SIPA systems provides further waste-saving bonuses, and not just in terms of floor space—important though that often is. Keeping everything close together yields benefits in energy consumption, and this is particularly the case with our Sincro units that combine separate operations such as stretch-blow molding and filling in highly efficient monoblocs. Most recently, we have taken the Sincro concept a step further by applying it to our XTREME technology. As we described in an earlier edition of SIPA MAGAZINE, the Sincro XTREME, the world’s first injection- compression-stretch-blow molding system, combines the flexibility of two-stage systems with the convenience of single-stage system. Obviously, Sincro XTREME can be also integrated with SIPA’s Flextronic filling systems. Sincro XTREME also provides another example of SIPA’s aim to simplify logistics by eliminating the waste-creating steps involved when two individual steps in the complete pellet-to-pallet system are separated by time and distance.

So I invite you to take a few minutes to go through this issue or SIPA MAGAZINE to discover how we are helping customers cut waste in materials, energy, space, time—and yes, money! You can also find out about some of our latest innovations in mold technology, Xcore and Xvent; read about the third generation of our XFORM 500 high performance preform production system; and much more.