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July 1, 2004

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O-I working on compression molded preforms

If all goes as forecast, this summer processor Owens-Illinois will begin commercial processing of compression molded PET preforms. The Toledo, OH company says it has taken shipment of a compression molding machine from ORT Tool & Die (Erie, MI) for processing of PET preforms. The machine is said to have output to 300 million preforms/yr. Customers are already lined up, according to O-I. Details on the machine and its prospects are difficult to glean now, as O-I intends to sell its plastics containers business and has stated it has "put a moratorium on advertising and press releases associated with (its) Plastic Container (division) and any comments or interviews." Based on information made available before the moratorium, O-I has licensed technology for preform compression molding (PCM) from Toyo Seikan (Tokyo). According to that firm, PCM allows for use of lower extrusion temperatures, which can help reduce acetaldehyde levels. PCM is suitable for monolayer or multilayer preforms as well as wide mouth designs. PCM could prove to be a less-expensive process than injection molding of preforms, as it uses less-costly tooling and requires no hot runners. O-I is not betting on preform compression molding alone. The processor is working with Husky Injection Molding Systems to further develop O-I's SurShot multilayer barrier preform molding process so that it runs on 144-cavity preform molding units. Until now, SurShot molding has been limited to 48-cavity molds. Here, too, no update is available, but O-I said last winter it expected this project with Husky to be successfully completed by now. ORT Tool & Die, Erie, MI; +1419 242 9553; www.orttool.com; Husky Injection Molding Systems, Bolton, ON; +1 905 951 5000;www.husky.ca

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