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Thermoformed drink can targets stability and space saving

By Neil Merrett , 25-Nov-2008

Out of the many innovations and products vying for attention at last week’s Emballage packaging fair in Paris, one manufacturer of a new thermoform filling technology claims it can cut out the need for cutting in plastic beverage cans.

Poland-based Invento says that it is currently looking to work with partners to implement its new packaging system, which combines polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and metal packaging for a number of uses in beer and soft drinks.

Speaking at Emballage 2008 last week, a spokesperson from the group claimed that the preformed design of its blow moulding PET canning systems can better retain product stability for non-pasteurised beverages as opposed to cutting plastic to make way for metallic closures.

Invento says that as part of the system’s design the use of PET for the main body of the can or package can be easily styled, while retaining a flange area that is prepared for sealing with standard closures upon filling. The group claims the flange offers a more effective means of protecting and sealing a product compared to cutting plastic material and additionally adding a closure.

In addition to retaining shelf life in goods like carbonated beverages, Invento says that the pre-blow moulded design of the packages, which are carried on special protective trays during transportation, can reduce shipments requirements by ten times, for equivalent empty aluminium cans.

According to the company, the technology, which has been in development for the last four years, can be implemented into existing aluminium can filling lines and resist internal pressure for up to seven bars.

As custom

In making use of PET in the package, the manufacturer says it also has opened up the technology to a wide variety of uses such as bottle like shapes to contain wine and more vivid designs.

“We can thermoform packages into many different shapes, while also performing embossing without limitation,” said a spokesperson for the group.

The company said that special metallic closures such as a peel lid could also be adapted for designs to give off different impressions for use in wine.

Customer perception

Despite its technical work in ensuring an efficient means for providing packaging combined with PET and metallic materials, the company said that it would take time to see how manufacturers would turn to the use of plastic cans for products like beer and wine.

“It is difficult to say as yet how we will be affected, German’s have had a problem accepting PET beer packs in the past, so it is difficult to say,” said the spokesperson.

Geographic focus

While Invento says that it has not yet singled out a specific launch market for the PET can system, the company said that it was currently looking at market potential in some Western European areas such as Germany, the Netherlands or Spain.

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