Sponsored By

How to Transform a Medical Vial Into a Bottle Opener

KraussMaffei’s magic trick on the NPE show floor is a stunning example of circularity.

Norbert Sparrow

May 6, 2024

1 Min Read
part of the circularity demo system
Image: Norbert Sparrow

KraussMaffei has set up a rather remarkable example of closed-loop circularity at booth 600 in the west hall at NPE2024.

Blood-collection vials made from medical-grade polypropylene are injection molded on the show floor, transported via a series of what look like pneumatic tubes to a shredder, upcycled via a twin-screw extruder, processed with various additives, and injection molded anew to produce the bottle opener pictured here. The process is apparently seamless.


The vials are first molded using ExxonMobil PP 9074 MED on an all-electric PX 251-1400 injection molder. Thirty-two vials are produced per shot. For the purposes of this demonstration, the vials are transported to a grinder via the tubes and transformed into pellets in a matter of minutes.

They are then processed with a ZE 28 BluePower twin-screw extruder and, following the mixing and blending of adhesive and liquid color additives, the compound is sent to an all-electric PX 81-180 press, where the bottle opener is molded. The PX 81-180 is equipped with APCplus, which compensates for process fluctuations that may result from recyclates with different viscosities.

This allows components to be produced with consistently high quality and little waste, another important contribution to greater sustainability, said KraussMaffei.

Related:Sky’s the Limit for KraussMaffei’s FiberForm Technology

A system of this type in a real-world application might be a bit of a stretch, but it is quite stunning to witness the metamorphosis of a plastic vial into a bottle opener in such an all-encompassing manner.

Watch the circular economy in action at booth W600 at NPE, running through May 10 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL.

About the Author(s)

Norbert Sparrow

Editor in chief of PlasticsToday since 2015, Norbert Sparrow has more than 30 years of editorial experience in business-to-business media. He studied journalism at the Centre Universitaire d'Etudes du Journalisme in Strasbourg, France, where he earned a master's degree.


Sign up for the PlasticsToday NewsFeed newsletter.

You May Also Like