Press Release Summary:
Suited for 16 and 20 oz applications, PowerFlex(TM) hot-fill polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles mimic aesthetics, performance, and feel of glass. Products, adaptable to many shapes, have completely smooth label panel free of any kind of ribbing. Straight wall has no points of stress concentration, which removes potential for bending. Vacuum distortion occurs only in base, where diaphragm draws upward as liquid cools.
Original Press Release:
Amcor Launches PowerFlex(TM) -Panel-less, Ribless Hot-Fill PET Bottle Technology
Manchester, MI - (March 18, 2005) -Amcor PET Packaging launches the next generation in hot-fill polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. PowerFlex(TM) is Amcor's revolutionary panel-less design which takes hot-fill (182°-192° degrees Fahrenheit) packaging options to a new plateau. Initially the company will be targeting 16- and 20-ounce applications, but will look at developing a full range of options for beverage customers from 8- to 32-ounces. Future development of the PowerFlex(TM) technology may well expand its application beyond beverages. Amcor's structural design not only eliminates the panels, but unlike recently launched competitive containers, PowerFlex(TM) has a large, completely smooth label panel - free of any kind of ribbing. That makes PowerFlex(TM) the first-ever, true panel-less, ribless, hot-fill PET bottle. Finally, a bottle has arrived that mimics the aesthetics, performance and feel of glass-which is what the marketplace has long been anticipating. Another key benefit is that the PowerFlex(TM) bottle can run smoothly on any filling line set up for traditional (with panels) hot-filled PET bottles. With this technology, there is no need to alter the filling line or compromise the filling process. The panel-less, ribless technology enables premium profiles and is adaptable to many shapes. This gives bottlers the flexibility to come up with innovative, breakthrough designs that were not previously possible with hot-fill plastic containers. "Bottles with panels create constraints that dramatically limit design options and therefore a brand owner's ability to use the container to creatively market the product," explains David Andison, vice president, business strategies, Amcor PET Packaging. Up until now, many beverage bottlers did not have a PET alternative that met both their hot-fill and their aesthetic requirements, thereby forcing their premium brands (juices, teas, isotonics, etc.) to stay the course in glass containers. However, the launch of PowerFlex(TM) permanently changes the playing field. In development for the past couple of years, PowerFlex(TM) features a proprietary diaphragm in the base of the container. Previously, sidewall panels were necessary to absorb the distortion that occurs as a hot-filled beverage cools to room temperature. (After the bottle is capped, the filled liquid cools, which, in turn, pulls an internal vacuum that must be dissipated structurally.) Amcor's technical staff, through a combination of design and manufacturing innovations, has created a bottle with the vacuum distortion occurring only in the base. A specially designed diaphragm draws upward from the base as the liquid cools. It has both the thickness and the geometric characteristics to enable the inverted cone shaped diaphragm to deflect upward as the vacuum is pulled. "Because you no longer have panels in the sidewall, this makes the bottle easier to label. You don't have to worry about mislabeling-missing the vertical bars in applying labels. Nor do you have to worry about the ripple effect labeling over panels can cause," Andison explains. Additionally the geometry of the straight wall design gives PowerFlex(TM) great top load characteristics. The straight wall has no points of stress concentration which removes the potential of bending. The superior stacking characteristic, light weight and durability opens additional marketing opportunities for premium beverages such as warehouse or club stores. "Club stores have been demanding stackable, unbreakable containers. Up until now, premium beverages have been reluctant to convert, since the heat-set panels could cause some loss of positive image perception," Andison says. Converting from glass to plastic not only minimizes breakage and freight costs, but also expands marketing opportunities to outdoor venues, vending and other locations where glass is typically not desirable. Initially, the PowerFlex(TM) bottles will be produced at Amcor's Allentown, PA plant. Manufacturing will expand to other Amcor facilities as geographic requirements and production volumes dictate. "We are excited to once again bring to market another packaging first," says Andison. "We continue to be committed to creating packaging solutions that lead the field." Amcor PET Packaging is the leading manufacturer of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic packaging for the global food and beverage industries, with 70 manufacturing sites in 20 countries. Its parent company, Amcor Limited, offers a broad range of packaging solutions and ranks as one of the top three packaging companies in the world. Amcor's extensive operations have grown in 2004 to include 236 plants in 42 countries. It is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2004, had sales revenues of US$7.4 billion. For further information, visit www.amcor.com.