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Articles from 2012 In April

Rhodia positions its PA6.10 as a substitute for PA-12

The automotive industry continues to scramble to locate a suitable alternative material to replace PA-12 in applications such as tubing and hoses in brake lines, and injection molded components such as fuel quick connectors and other under-the-hood applications. While many material suppliers are working to find substitute materials to promote to the market during the shortage of PA-12, Rhodia Engineering Plastics division of Solvay Group, says it has a material alternative that has already proven its suitability as a drop-in solution for a variety of applications where PA-12 is typically used.

In an interview with PlasticsToday, Alan Dubin, Business Development and Technical Service Manager for Rhodia in North America, explained that the company began evaluating its TechnyleXten PA6.10 about 18 months ago, and finds that the material is a "versatile alternative to long chain polyamides such as PA-12."

"Technyl eXten is a bio-sourced material that is 65% synthesized from sources not using fossil fuel," Dubin said. "While some customers are interested in this as a part of their sustainability solutions, more recent interested has been generated by the shortage of PA-12."

When compared directly to PA-12, some of the properties are maintained but not all. "It's not an exact duplicate," stated Dubin. "It is a different material and customers and customers are aware of the differences and the benefits. In applications such air brake and pneumatic tubing, Technyl eXten comes close to the benefits of PA-12. For many existing PA-12 applications, we bring a true drop-in solution that will do the job. However, in applications involving gas and aggressive fuels it's still being evaluated. "

For injection molding applications, Dubin noted that about 18 months ago - long before the PA-12 shortage - the company used a 30% glass-filled PA6.10 and dropped it into a mold designed for PA-12 and "it worked virtually flawlessly - dimensionally and functionally." For extrusion applications shrink is less of a concern, he added. "If there's any difference at all it can easily be accounted for in the die that makes the tubing," he said.

Technyl eXten grades are available for either extrusion and injection molding, and are specifically suited to the manufacture of flexible tubes for the power-assisted control systems market and fittings and adapters for the engine fuel systems market, and bring improved mechanical property and chemical resistance performance as compared to PA-12.

The benefits of using Technyl eXten also include cost savings and to be able to have an alternative material so that OEMs are not dependent on one material.  "Price-wise it's definitely less expensive, so there is a substantial cost saving if they can make the switch," Dubin said. "If you understand the differences in the PA6.10 and PA-12, you'll see the differences are not major so for most customers, it hasn't been a huge obstacle making that material switch."

Boiling point: Bottled water – healthy beverage or public enemy No. 1?

Bottled water was the talk of the Internet last week when Concord, MA decided to make PET water bottles public enemy No. 1. The town passed a bylaw that bans the sale of single-serving PET bottles of 1 liter (34 ounces) or less in Concord, and stores could be fined up to $50 for violating the ban.

This bylaw must receive approval from the attorney general, but the news stirred emotion from both sides of the debate.

While plastic water bottles are commonly viewed as the healthy alternative over soda for consumers, concerns about landfill waste have sparked outcry and various bans across the country.

More than 2.4 billion pounds of plastic bottles were recycled in 2008. While the amount of plastic bottles recycled in the U.S. has grown every year since 1990, the actual recycling rate remains steady at around 27%.

Ralph Vasami, executive director of the PET Resin Association (PETRA) told PlasticsToday education about recycling and reusing plastics and other packaging materials is key to reducing waste.

PET is the most recycled plastic in the U.S. and the world, he said. It can be recovered and recycled again and again, and is accepted by virtually every municipal recycling program in North America.

"We desperately need to educate consumers to place PET plastic bottles in the recycling bin, not the trash can," he said.

Recycling just one pound of PET bottles saves more than 26,000 BTUs of energy, according to the EPA Waste Reduction Model.

Vasami said he believes many Americans assume PET can only be recovered and recycled into non-food items such as carpet, clothing and engineering applications.

"PET bottles can and are being recycled to meet the same hygienic standards as virgin PET to create new PET bottles and containers," he said.

Closer look: Nestle

Let's look at how Nestle, who owns more than 60 water brands including Perrier and Pure Life, the world's best-selling label, is faring among somewhat turbulent PR times for bottled water.

Well, according to a recent article in Bloomberg, Nestle's bottled-water business has been losing market share.

The article quoted Hope Lee, an analyst at Euromonitor International in London, who said the company has been losing ground since 2006 as consumers switch to tap and filtered water and as concerns over the environmental impact of plastic packaging as deter some shoppers.

The company's market share by retail sales value fell to about 10% last year from more than 12% in 2006, the article quoted Euromonitor.

However, Nestle states it holds the No. 1 bottled water position in the U.S., and sales for Nestle Waters North America topped $4 billion in 2011.

As perhaps an "answer" to environmental concerns, Nestle recently launched its 100% natural spring water to those living in southern California, which the company calls "a sustainably sourced" natural spring water. The product is packaged in a bottle made of 50% recycled plastic and is recyclable.

Calling it the "the natural way to hydrate your body, nourish your mind and sustain your soul," the bottled water is available in 700mL and 1 Liter bottles in southern California supermarkets and convenience stores.

"Through Electrolytenment, resource aims to remind consumers to see the product in an enlightened and holistic way: as a healthful natural beverage sourced and packaged in a way that is mindful of the environment," the company stated.

"We are proud to offer a bottled water that is good for you and good for the environment to Southern California," said Larry Cooper, senior marketing manager for resource.

It will be interesting to see how sales are for this sustainable bottled water, and if Nestle will release it on a wide-scale basis.

What are your thoughts about Concord, MA banning bottles? Do you agree with PETRA that education about PET's recyclability is key to reducing waste? Do you recycle your plastic water bottles?

Accumold brings new cleanrooms on line

Accumold, a micro molding specialist based in Ankeny, Iowa, is bringing online newly built 10K (Class 6) cleanrooms for medical and high-end electronics applications.

The new cleanroom is part of a 44,000-ft2 expansion as Accumold ramps up to meet growing demand for precision miniature parts. Accumold already operates three 100K (Class 8) cleanrooms at its rapidly expanding factory located near Des Moines.

One of two newly opened Class 6 cleanrooms at Accumold. The area is now in the final stages of being fitted with presses and equipment.
The current factory size is 82,000 ft2, and the plan is to eventually expand it to 200,000 ft2. Employment now is 165, up from about 130 a year ago. "We're on track to be over 200," Marketing Manager Aaron Johnson said in an interview at BIOMEDevice in Boston last week. "Medical has always been an important part of our business, and we're expanding as the business is growing. Everything is getting smaller and fitting into our niche."

Accumold works with several types of thermoplastics, including liquid crystal polymer, PEEK, polycarbonate, nylons, elastomers and amorphous thermoplastic polyetherimide. Bioabsorbable resins are on the company's radar screen. "I think that technology will become more mainstream and we are watching it closely," Johnson said.

Electronics origins

Accumold was founded in 1985 by two electronics industry mold builders who were frustrated by limitations of running micro parts on standard presses. They designed and built their own micro molding machine.

The design of the "Micro Molder" has evolved, but it is the backbone of the manufacturing process at Accumold. Accumold also buys Boys and Sumitomos ranging from 12 ton to 35 tons clamping force for more conventional small parts. The total number of injection molding machines now running at Accumold is 90.

Accumold capabilities include:

  • Parts from about 13 mm (0.5 inch) and smaller.
  • Parts up to about 90 mm (3.5 inches) in diameter or a 1-oz shot weight. Micro-sized features and ultra-precision tolerances are often requirements on these parts.
  • Parts molded around other materials such as metal, plastic, film, fabric, or glass.

One of its specialties is lead frame manufacturing for the electronics industry. One requirement is fabrication of a system to feed the metal lead frame into the machine and to extract the complete component from the metal after the plastic has been molded to it.

In 2006, the founders sold Accumold to senior managers and an investment firm called Tonka Bay (Minnetonka, MN).

Action was hot for micro molding at BIOMEDevice in Boston last week.

TPE is as hard as it gets

A high-impact, semi-rigid grade of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) with a shore hardness of 50D is said to be one of highest-impact TPEs on the market. It is offered as a cost-effective alternative to thermoplastic olefins (TPOs) and thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs).


Auto interiors are one application for a new semi-rigid TPE.

Supplied by Elastocon TPE Technologies (Rochester, IL) in the form of black pellets, grade 9050BX is formulated to provide a variety of molding and end-use benefits for trim rings and panels required for electronic consumer products and various transportation equipment, as well as interior instrumentation where durability, abrasive resistance, and impact isolation are needed.

Further, the new Elastocon TPE grade can be molded as an integral part in fastening systems which require a high level of impact resistance. Thus, molded components using the material can be assembled by OEMs, tier suppliers and even consumers, while also allowing for disassembly and re-assembly of parts and components that require access for service. Additionally, the new TPE is claimed to perform well in part designs that require various screw bosses and gusset-reinforced screw boss designs.

This latest product offering is one grade in the Elastocon 8000 TPE general purpose series. Elastocon also offers a 2800 Series of performance TPEs, the SMR Series of TPOs, the STK Series for over-molding, and alloys, all of which can be injection molded, extruded, blow molded or compounded.

Elastocon thermoplastic elastomers do not require drying and are offered for applications that require rubber-like properties, impact resistance, colorability, a good surface finish, easy processability, and reduced material usage, among other requirements.

All Elastocon grades are free from latex, and are RoHS and California Proposition 65 compliant, with many of the company offerings being FDA compliant, as well as UL and NSF approvable, making them suitable for medical applications. Elastocon can also provide ISO reporting for manufacturing and shipping. —[email protected]

Diesel luxury car turns to melamine foam for acoustic and heat insulation

Diesel luxury car turns to melamine foam for acoustic and heat insulation

A melamine resin foam ensures the right sound effects under the hood of the Porsche Panamera Diesel. The foam is used for both sound and thermal insulation in the four-door Gran Turismo's engine compartment, transmission tunnel, and paneling near the engine.


Melamine foam allows driver and passengers to enjoy Porsche engine sound minus less pleasing noise.

Supplied by BASF (Ludwigshafen, Germany), Basotect's low density in addition to its good acoustic properties and high thermal resistance is what especially attracted developers from the Stuttgart-based automaker. Basotect is used to absorb sound in vehicles wherever there are high operating temperatures over an extended period of time, such as in the separating walls between the engine compartment and the car interior, engine hood paneling, engine proximity shells, and transmission tunnels.

Basotect is especially well-known for its outstanding acoustic properties. Thanks to its open-cell, fine foam structure, it has very good sound absorption values in the medium and high frequency ranges. Drivers and passengers in the Panamera can therefore enjoy the typical Porsche engine sound—without annoying accompanying noise. With a density of 9 kg/m3, Basotect is lighter than the conventional insulating materials generally used in engine paneling. This reduces both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

The foam's very high thermal resistance properties also played an important role in its selection as a material. Basotect offers long-term thermal resistance at 200ºC+. Jürgen Ochs, manager NVH Body (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) at Porsche, explains that: "With its 184kW/250 HP six-cylinder diesel engine, the Panamera's engine compartment is regularly subjected to temperatures of up to 180 degrees. Basotect withstands these extreme conditions."

Basotect can be used to make sophisticated 3D components and customized elements for very tight spaces. The melamine resin foam can be precision-processed by blade and wire-cutting as well as by sawing and milling—enabling dimensions and contours of customized components to be easily and exactly produced. Basotect is also suitable for thermoforming, although for this the foam has to be impregnated beforehand. Given these convincing material properties, Porsche is planning to use Basotect for future component developments as well. —[email protected]

Molder and IML technology help Redbox rebranding efforts

Often a unique company with an innovative business model needs a creative solution to its marketing challenges, and that can involve innovative manufacturing technology. Redbox revolutionized the entertainment industry 10 years ago by providing access to movies with a simple, yet effective, business model: Give consumers convenient access to the hottest new releases at an incredible value. Today, Redbox is one of America's primary destinations for entertainment, offering DVDs, Blu-ray and video games at more 34,500 kiosks across more than 29,000 retail locations nationwide. A Redbox kiosk is located within a five-minute drive of 68% of the U.S. population and the company recently rented its 2 billionth disc, said the company.Redbox IML case

Because of multiple uses, the injection molded cases that hold the DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, and video games need to hold up well while promoting the Redbox brand. "As a customer-facing component - and because the cases represent our brand - our focus was around quality, consistent product, scalability and demand," says Brad Weinshenker, Director of Engineering for Redbox. "In terms of movies and video games we do experience spikes in demand, and we also need the ability to respond quickly to a potentially changing environment. As we evolve our brand and expand into new market places such as Canada, we need the flexibility to produce cases to meet consumer expectations."

The challenge          

As Redbox is in the retail business—not the manufacturing business—they were not aware of some of the advancements in mold, molding, automation, and decorating technology that would allow increased productivity, efficiency, and quality, while reducing costs—including the costs of decorating.

As Redbox planned for future needs, the company began a sourcing process to find a premier plastics supplier to serve both current and future product needs. "We did an extensive search for plastics companies, looking for a long-term partner to develop a mold and to manufacture the disc case, which is the primary product our customer carries with them," Weinshenker explains.  Evco Plastics, a leading global contract injection molder/manufacturer headquartered in DeForest, WI, was chosen for the project.

As its success grew, Redbox wanted to improve its image through the cases that the customers saw at the point of purchase. "We have a very dynamic environment in which to work—changing landscapes to meet regional requirements as well as marketing requirements—and needed a case to reflect our cutting edge business model," says Weinshenker, who has a background in automation. "As we started project discussions with Evco Plastics, we were led to a solution involving a high-tech mold and molding technology—automated in-mold labeling—that would involve leading-edge automation technology that would be instrumental to giving us the flexibility we need."

Supplier involvement means working together

Evco shared opportunities for Redbox to improve efficiencies and reduce costs from the current mold and molding process. "We explained to Redbox that they could be doing much better in a stack mold and using automated in-mold labeling (IML) technology for their decorating," said Gary Racine, Market Development Leader for Evco Plastics. "We talked to them about our ability to produce a part at lower cost, with better quality, better efficiency and better throughput."

Evco Plastics designed and built a 2+2 stack mold for the Redbox case application that would increase the productivity by reducing cycle time. Bernie Degenhardt, Automation Manager at Evco, recommended CBW Automation as the automation supplier for this project. With CBW's expertise in state-of-the-art automation technology for the injection molding industry, specializing in the packaging market, the company would design and build the IML automation to produce parts with the cycle time and efficiencies that was quoted to Redbox.

That meant integrating the IML automation with the mold and molding as one continuous process. "The automation has to work within the cycle time of the mold, including picking and placing labels, removing the parts, flexing the living hinge, closing the case and putting them on a conveyor to inspect and pack into a box," explains Degenhardt. "Because we went in with a very aggressive quote, we needed automation that was top-notch. A big part of this project was the automation component. If the automation can't do what we promise it's a failure. We knew CBW could provide what we needed to make this project a success for Redbox."

Weinshenker was impressed with CBW's resume. "Evco introduced us to CBW as the automation supplier," he says, noting that given his automation background, he knew "CBW understood our requirements for accuracy and repeatability, as well as the flexibility we need to meet our changing demands. They could also meet the project's aggressive timeline. We were increasingly confident as the project moved forward, that we were heading down the right path." 

"Amazingly fast...very smooth"

RedboxThe results of the collaborative efforts of Redbox, Evco Plastics and CBW Automation were truly amazing. "Using the stack mold configuration and customized, high-speed automation for the in-mold labeling operations, we were able to achieve a significantly lower cycle time," explains Racine. "In addition, the automation developed by CBW solved a number of quality issues Redbox was having by closing the polypropylene cases automatically, handing them off to the transfer unit while flexing the living hinge, then putting the cases it on the transfer unit and closing the cases."

"For as much as is going on in this amazingly fast IML cell, it's very smooth," comments Racine.  "CBW gave us a complex system that is seamless, smooth and simple, that starts up easily, without any glitches in the cycle."

Weinshenker notes the tremendous success of the project: "As we did our first runs, the system proved itself to meet our needs and went beyond our expectations."

Evco's Racine was also extremely pleased with the way the project progressed. "We're not in full production yet, but will be soon, and Redbox expects that it will meet their production requirements for quite some time," Racine says. "One of the keys to this is because we've been able to achieve excellent productivity and efficiency, and increase throughput that allows them to achieve their current volumes with one system."

Redbox is achieving better quality cases, with greater consistency and repeatability in the IML production process.  And with a lower scrap rate. "We've been able to improve the quality of the case by strengthening the living hinge through adding some unique features to eliminate hinge cracking, and reduce voids that had been an issue," Racine adds. "While we'd originally considered cut-in-place labels in the CBW system, ultimately we decided on pre-cut labels stacked in magazines. The automation works very well and provides the static charge required. We pick up and load a total of eight labels in each mold-open cycle."

Originally, during the startup days of Redbox, the cases were pad printed. However, the company experienced a lot of degradation of the inks due to repeated handling of the cases. "While we had some history with the IML concept, we're now seeing just how this technology has provided us with a solution that gives us everything we need—the coloring, the labeling, and the quality we need all in one step, and with decreased costs, improved production time and flexibility," says a satisfied Weinshenker.

Working together as team, which is key to developing a high-speed, high-tech IML system, the results met the group's expectations. "This was a team effort and everyone worked really well together on this project," comments Racine.

Weinshenker agreed. "We're very pleased with the automation and working with Evco on the project, giving us feedback, making subtle design suggestions to enhance the case and improve quality was a great experience. We're very happy with the product and excited to engage with both Evco Plastics and CBW Automation on future projects where we need high press utilization and fast cycle times."

Medbio buys Arburg micro molding machine

The increasing importance of micro injection molding in the medical market was apparent this week in the exhibit halls at BIOMEDevice at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

In the past 20 years, the field has been the province of specialists who keep technology top secret and even make all of their own machinery. Top machine builders such as Arburg and Wittmann Battenfeld, however, are now selling micro molding machines and are broadening the manufacturing base.

Micro was a big story at BIOMEDevice Boston.

One example is Medbio of Grand Rapids, Michigan, which is adding a micro molding machine to its stable of 14 Arburg presses.

"We've been doing micro molding on standard presses, but this will open up a whole new area,' John Woodhouse, sales and marketing manager, said in an interview with Plastics Today at the show. Founded in 2005, Medbio has about 65 employees. The new Arburg will be delivered in June.

Medbio makes a variety of thermoplastic and elastomeric micro parts, primarily for the orthopedic implant applications. It was just named  one of the 2012 "Michigan 50 Companies to watch," an awards program sponsored by the Edward Lowe Foundation. Facilities at the company include a Class 10,000 capable/certifiable environment for assembly and a Class 100,000 area for molding. Medbio moved into a larger facility last year.

Two-stage injection

Arburg now offers an injection unit for micro molding on a standard Allrounder machine. "You don't have to lock yourself into a micro molding machine if you don't have a significant volume of micro molding business," John Ward, VP of sales and marketing at Arburg (Newington, CT) told Plastics Today in an interview at the Society of Manufacturing Engineers' Micro/Nano Manufacturing Conference in Boston in March.

The Arburg micro injection unit operates with an 8-mm injection screw and a second screw that melts the material. The advantages of the two-screw approach include a continuous material feed from the inlet to the tip of the injection screw, constant injection conditions via dosage control and the ability to  process standard granulate. Some micro process require micro granulate.

At NPE2012 (Orlando, FL) earlier this month, Wittmann Battenfeld showed a micro injection molding machine with a two-step injection unit. Offered with clamping forces of 5 and 15 metric tons, the injection unit in the electric MicroPower, consists of a screw and a plunger. Shot volumes range from 0.05 to 4 cm³. The first unit was installed in the United Kingdom last year.

The MicroPower (which comes standard with integrated vision inspection) running at NPE2012 was fitted with a Wittmann SCARA robot.

Engel North America showed a micro-shot molding system at MD&M Minneapolis last year. A 30-ton e-victory hybrid tie- bar-less machine molded parts with a shot size of 0.03 grams.

Malaysian processor orders two film lines from Gloucester

"Besides the fact this is a milestone for Gloucester Engineering, it's a sign that demand for film and sheet continues to grow in the Asia-Pacific region," he said.

With this new order, Scientex now has seven cast stretch film lines, with five from Gloucester. Scientex believes it now has the most stretch film capacity under one roof in the world, according to the news release. Production is expected to reach more than 150,000 tonnes/year.

The two new lines come with Gloucester's latest update to the 1002DS winder for thin film production. The film produced can routinely be as thin as 8 microns without any need for special raw materials, according to Gloucester.

Scientex is one of the largest polyethylene stretch film producers in Asia. This latest investment reflects part of Scientex's ongoing and continuous expansion plans to become the "world leader" in stretch film production, the company stated.

"Scientex is a long-time customer of Gloucester Engineering and they have always been happy with our products' performance and our customer service," Johnson said. "They purchased these new stretch film lines to expand their current capabilities."

Johnson said Gloucester expects continued business in the Asia-Pacific region "due to that region's need for high quality film and sheet, and high quality, high output extrusion machinery and equipment."

Stretch blowmolding modifies bioresorbable stent properties

Stretch blowmolding modifies bioresorbable stent properties

Abbott Vascular uses stretch blowmolding to enhance the physical properties of polylactic acid (PLA) used in its ground-breaking Absorb bioresorbable vascular stent.

Used for the treatment of coronary artery disease, the Absorb stent is gradually resorbed into the vessel wall. Last year Abbott released five-year data from a clinical trial, showing efficacy and safety results consistent with an earlier study.

Strain-induced crystallization creates unique properties in the PLA stent. Photo: Abbott

Abbott last year also received CE Mark approval for the stent in Europe and is now further studying the device in an expanded population in Europe. A global trial, including the U.S. and other geographies, is planned for later this year.

The processing and polymer science behind the device was reviewed yesterday at BIOMEDevice at the Boston Convention Center by Mary Beth Kossuth, a senior staff scientist at Abbott Vascular (Abbott Park, IL).

The stent needs to remain intact for a period of three to six months to support artery walls and dispense drugs that maintain the health of the artery. All of the drug is fully eluted with 120 days. PLA is fully broken down within two years into water and carbon dioxide via hydrolysis. PLA has been widely used since the 1960s in medical applications such as sutures and orthopedic plates and screws.

Dialed-in degration

"You can choose degradation rates by changing the ratio of crystalline material (in the PLA)," said Kossuth, who has a PhD in polymer science from the University of Minnesota. One way to do that is through strain-induced crystallization in the stretch blowmolding process. The result is a carefully constructed "shishkebab" shape of ring-like structures of semi-crystalline material joined by rod-like structure of more amorphous material. The amorphous zones break down at a different rate than the semi-crystalline zones.

In Abbott's version of the stretch blowmolding, the process begins with a PLA tube. Preforms are usually injection molded before being placed in conventional stretch blowmolding machines used to make bottles at high speeds. They are then heated (often using infrared heaters) above their glass transition temperature, then blown using high-pressure air into blow molds. Preforms are stretched with a core rod. Details on the stretch blowmolding process used at Abbott were not available.

"A clear description of the intersection between device design and physiological requirements is critical," she added. Various physical properties can be tailored, such as strength and elongation. Strength is required not only to support the vascular well but also to withstand the sterilization process.

In a separate presentation at BIOMEDevice, Stephen McCarthy, chairman of the Polymer, Sciences and Biomaterials at UMass Lowell, said that PLA properties can also be tailored through use of blends to achieve specific attributes for implantable applications.

Both speakers noted that PLA is an interesting material for medical engineering because its properties are time dependent and environment specific.

Constar invests in widemouth jar capacity

He said the decision to expand capacity now was driven by higher demand for jars from its customers who fill peanut butter, mayonnaise, and other food products. The expansion announced is attributed to growth for food containers from both existing customers and new business.

"Generally, there is growing demand for wide mouth PET, and that underlies our confidence to make this investment," he said. "There is a continuing trend of consumer preference for PET's shatter resistance, lighter weight, and sustainability advantages. Moreover, many shelf stable food categories like tomato sauce, salsa, and apple sauce are very oxygen sensitive."

He said in the past, food packers were cautious about new product introductions and capital spending throughout the recession, but now may be poised, as economic conditions improve, to modernize their packaging.

"For all these reasons, we expect to see further growth in widemouth PET food jars," he said.

Caplea said Constar's capabilities in high-heat applications and oxygen-barrier technology make the company positioned to serve food customers who are thinking about making the conversion to plastic from glass.

"We are in the market with a widemouth PET jar that delivers two years of shelf life for products like pasta sauce and salsa. We believe that more conversions from glass are on the horizon for these applications, so we intend to be in a position to respond quickly with available designs, technology, and capacity," Caplea said.

Constar's DiamondClear PET additive allows lightweight PET jars with thin walls to resist oxygen permeation and achieve desired shelf life for these products, according to the company. This capability has generated a lot of interest from food customers still packaging in glass, Caplea said.