The Systech 8700, a new oxygen transmission rate analyser, was designed and manufactured through a joint effort by Sidel and Systech. The instrument is targeted at meeting the high output of Sidel's Actis 48 machine, the company stated. Measuring oxygen transmission through bottle walls remains the benchmark test for ensuring that the PET used for packaging is effective in keeping gas from oxidising the product within. Oxidation reduces the shelf life of a product and can also affect flavour and texture. The Systech 8700 was originally designed to meet the challenge of making the testing of treated PET bottles faster and less costly. The high output of the Actis 48, about 30,000 bottles per hour, overwhelmed conventional methods for qualification and quality tracking, Sidel stated. The Systech 8700 measures oxygen transmission rates in 12 hours instead of the conventional 24-hour cycle. The system measures up to 11 samples with a single instrument. Measurement capacity can be increased by operating several devices simultaneously, the company stated. Another special feature of the analyzer is its use of nitrogen, an inexpensive carrier gas, as opposed to a mix of nitrogen and hydrogen. Systech is a British company that specialises in oxygen detection systems. Since it was introduced in 2000, Sidel's Actis solution has been used to produce about two billion PET bottles with barrier properties for packaging carbonated and oxygen-sensitive beverages such as beer, soda, tea, juice and sparkling water. Sidel is a division of Tetra Laval.