Published On: Mon, Mar 4th, 2013

Clariant installs PET blowmolding machine to support North American packaging customers

  • Continued investment to support key markets
  • Helps speed color/effect development for PET bottles
  • Ideal for simulating the look of personal care, beauty and cosmetics, and beverage packaging
Clariant installs PET blowmolding machine to support North American packaging customers

Clariant installs PET blowmolding machine to support North American packaging customers

Muttenz, February 27, 2013 - Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, is extending its color and special effects’ testing services for packaging sector customers in North America.

The acquisition of a new production-scale stretch blow-molding machine and other available services at its ColorWorks™ Design & Technology Center in West Chicago, Illinois, now make it possible for developers of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic containers to evaluate Clariant color and special-effect masterbatches in full-size, three-dimensional bottles instead of flat injection-molded chips. The machine is typical of those used in actual package manufacturing, so designers and brand managers are now able to develop realistic samples for almost immediate evaluation. Clariant also has extrusion blow-molding machines available to produce for mono- and multi-layer containers made of polyolefins.

“Our objective in ColorWorks is to help our customers understand the latest color trends and technology so that they can bring exciting new designs to market faster and more cost-effectively,” explains Peter Prusak, Head of Marketing – Clariant Masterbatches North America. “This new blow-molding capability is yet another example of Clariant’s commitment to continual investment in services and equipment that keep us and our customers at the forefront of the market.”

With the new PET blow-molding machine installed at ColorWorks, package developers can now make their decisions about color and special effects and produce sample containers, all in one facility. There is no need to travel extensively, ship masterbatch samples, or tie up valuable production machines for these evaluations. Color changes are quick and easy so customers usually can complete their work in a day or two and, if necessary, have production quantities of masterbatch delivered to their converters soon after that.”

The Clariant blow-molding machine is custom fitted with a single-cavity mold to produce a 250-ml oval bottle with one flat side. Clariant has adopted this shape as standard throughout its global network. This kind of container is ideal for simulating the look of a wide range of packaging shapes commonly used in personal care, beauty and cosmetics, as well as beverage applications. When it comes to evaluating color, the blown bottles offer many advantages over flat color chips. It is easier to see the effect that light has as it passes through the bottle walls, and how contents within the container affect its appearance.

Making the bottles is a two-stage process, with preforms molded initially in a 66-ton injection-molding machine and then reheated and blown in the stretch blow-molding machine. Both pelletized and liquid masterbatches can be evaluated.