Sustainable Interior Glass Coating from KHS for Small PET Bottles

PET Bottle Machinery

KHS Plasmax GmbH expands its portfolio to include small PET bottles: With its new KHS InnoPET Plasmax 20QS development, the KHS Group company now offers a coating machine specially designed to produce bottles with volumes ranging from 100 to 350 ml. Beverage producers are now able to process small format PET bottles particularly economically. This glass interior coating, unique in the market, enables beverage producers to reduce material costs and achieve a longer shelf life especially for sensitive beverages.

"With our new development, we provide a solution that gives beverages bottled in small, economically attractive PET formats a longer shelf life," emphasizes Joachim Konrad, managing director of KHS Plasmax. To date, especially small bottle formats of up to 350 milliliters had a high volume-related gas permeability due to the adverse surface to volume ratio, which resulted in a relatively short best-before date versus glass bottles and cans. "In this currently rapidly growing market environment, the KHS InnoPET Plasmax 20QS combines a significantly better bottle quality with high output," says Konrad explaining the benefits of this new development for small formats.

Reduced-volume coating chambers for fast throughput

The sister model – the KHS InnoPET Plasmax 20Q – is intended for bottle formats of up to 1.5 liters. KHS has designed the new KHS InnoPET Plasmax 20QS especially for formats with a maximum volume of 350 milliliters. The special advantage can be found in the reduced-volume coating chambers. In comparison with the Plasmax 20Q, this system is thus able to achieve a 20% higher output of up to 48,000 PET bottles per hour (output of 330 million bottles annually). This adaptation makes operation with small bottle formats considerably more economical.

The weight and material savings are yet another added value of this innovation: thanks to the special Plasmax coating, a wafer-thin interior coating of pure glass, the bottles are in total lighter. This saves up to 30% on materials and cuts PET processing costs. Previously, material costs comprised an estimated 70% of bottle production.

Competitive advantage in sales for the consumer
"With our innovative coating technology, we offer beverage producers a decisive competitive advantage at the point of sale," says Konrad. KHS Plasmax has developed the FreshSafe-PET® logo to draw attention to the preservative-free beverage production thanks to the interior glass coating. The intention is to point out the special bottle quality to buying customers.

This coating technology has been unique on the market to date. The coating process is backed by the patented Plasma Impulse Chemical Vapour Deposition process (PICVD). The machine is capable of running both the standard Plasmax process for products containing water, acid, and fat as well as those products with high and low alcohol content in addition to the Plasmax process for applications with a high pH and carbonated beverages. The interior glass coating primarily protects sensitive beverages such as juice, wine, beer, and carbonated beverages from loss of quality and preserves the flavor and the freshness of the product. The glass layer is virtually unbreakably bonded with the PET. The Plasmax coating allows complete recycling of the PET and the bottles remain lightweight and robust.