Amcor’s LiquiForm, which uses consumable liquid instead of compressed air to hydraulically form and fill a container on one machine simultaneously will be commercialized in two to three years’ time.
Sidel, Yoshino Kogyosho, (a plastic bottle manufacturer in Japan) and Nestlé Waters jointly own the patent for the technology.
Hotfill & carbonated soft drinks
Developed in 2006, Amcor and Sidel own 50% in the project and will issue licences allowing machine manufacturers to produce and sell equipment using the technology.
Ann O’Hara, president, LiquiForm, told FoodProductionDaily, while the technology is still in the early stages of development, it is showing encouraging potential for different applications such as hotfill and carbonated soft drinks.
She added both Sidel and Amcor have extensive experience in the field of blowing PET bottles and in the past both have individually experimented with the potential of forming bottles using liquid content.
“Sidel and Amcor partnered to form a joint-venture company (with a 50/50 ownership structure) to further develop the LiquiForm technology together in 2012,” said O’Hara..
“We will provide the LiquiForm technology to the market, with the intent it is adopted as an industry standard for the forming of PET bottles.
“Any company will be able to acquire a licence for developing and/or using this technology.”
Reduces operating costs up to 25%
Mart Tiismann, president/CEO, Sidel Group said the technology has the potential to address key improvement areas for customers in the years ahead, including significant energy and cost savings.
By combining the forming and filling processes into one step, Amcor claims LiquiForm is a breakthrough because it reduces operating costs of up to 25%, reduces manufacturing risks and offers flexibility in container design.
Global demand for blow molding and filling machines for which LiquiForm would be suitable is estimated to be approximately 800 machines per annum. The joint venture will target a significant portion of that annual demand for conversion to the technology.
“LiquiForm has the potential to be one of the most important breakthrough technologies in liquid packaging,” said Ken MacKenzie, MD/CEO, Amcor.
“This technology will transform the rigid plastic container manufacturing industry, providing significant benefits to all players throughout the value chain."