Sidel has expanded its Star Lite portfolio by launching StarLITE R, a 100 per cent rPET bottle that helps carbonated soft drink (CSD) packaging producers embrace material circularity.
StarLITE R allows CSD producers to switch to rPET bottle production easily and efficiently while reducing the impact on product quality or packaging integrity.
Sidel packaging innovator leader Laurent Naveau commented, “The characteristics of rPET are impacted by several factors. Firstly, by seasonality. Consumption habits fluctuate over the course of the year, impacting the product category mix. And secondly, by different PET collection models means that post-consumer PET material bales will vary from region to region and even country to country.
“The recycling process and equipment used will also influence PET resin. All these factors can pose new challenges for manufacturers looking to produce bottles with rPET content.”
In addition to common CSD bottle manufacturing challenges such as stress cracking, roll out and bursting during blowing, a higher temperature is also required to process rPET. Consequently, packaging manufacturers can experience reduced control over rPET material stretching and distribution of the substance in the bottle-making process.
Traditionally, greater variability in rPET resin leads to a narrower process window and lower bottle quality. However, Sidel’s innovative base, StarLITE R, uses leading technologies to ensure efficient rPET bottle production by restoring a wider process window.
The StarLITE R design is easier to blow as it can be done within a wider range of parameter settings on the blower, achieving a much higher quality bottle.
To achieve a high-performing rPET bottle base, StarLITE R features an optimised mould base profile and uses an advanced stretch rod end design.
The new mould base profile allows for perfect material distribution through advanced stretching and a high base clearance for optimum stability. The advanced stretch rod end design has improved the performance of end-cap material stretching and ensures accurate injection gate cantering on the bottle. Finally, the perfect combination of grooves and venting holes allows for high-precision base feet formation.
The new bottle also utilises dual external and internal bottle base cooling to ensure a perfect shape. Externally, the process uses a mould base cooling circuit that focuses on the warmer bottle base zones; internally, a hollow-stretch rod requires no additional air supply.
Naveau added, “StarLITE R is designed to offer carbonated soft drink manufacturers the opportunity to embrace rPET. Sidel’s new design bottle base achieves greater protection against deformation, increased resistance to bursting and optimum stability while guaranteeing product quality.”
The new bottle can be easily installed on existing production lines and adapted to fit current bottle designs. The solution is compatible with Sidel’s signature blow moulders, EvoBLOW, Universal and Series 2 and suitable for high-speed productions.