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KHS: Lightest 0.5 Litre PET Bottle

21 July 2014

With its 0.5-litre PET bottle with a screw cap for highly carbonated beverages KHS is setting new standards in lightweighting. 

The bottle weighs just 10.9 grams which on an international scale makes it the lightest PET container for heavily carbonated beverages of its kind and size currently on the market. The launch to market at the end of 2013 was preceded by extensive research and development activities which involved the tried-and-tested Bottles & Shapes program, a unique service and consultancy portfolio for the design and development of plastic bottles – always bearing the entire bottling line in mind.  

The project was initiated by a customer request to optimize the weight of the 12.5-gram bottle used to date to the maximum – without detriment to consumer handling.  This also meant that one of the essential requirements was that the bottle be resealable. 

One of the key steps in the process was the reworking of the bottle thread; the new receptacle now has a 'streamlined' thread. Despite the singularly low use of materials KHS has managed to increase the stability of the recessed grip by modifying the bottle shape. 

During the Bottles & Shapes program all known influences were simulated and applied to the virtual packaging using finite element analysis. The development of prototypes was followed by the production of the first sample bottles on a laboratory machine. These were then thoroughly tested at the certified KHS lab to see if they met all given specifications. These included, for example, the stress the bottles are usually subjected to while being conveyed through the line, up to and including the palletizing process, and also during shipment to retailers and the point of sale. An initial practice run on the sample bottles provided by KHS yielded positive results and industrial manufacture began at the end of 2013. Consumer acceptance of the lightweight is high, not least thanks to the optimized haptics.

If we assume that 100 million lightweight bottles are produced at a beverage plant per annum, at an average PET price of €1.30 per kilogram over €200,000 in costs are saved a year compared to the 12.5-gram version. And that's just in materials. At the same time the bottle consumes less energy in its production and CO2 emissions during shipping are reduced by the lower weight. 

Despite the fact that KHS currently holds a unique position on the market with its extremely light 0.5-liter PET bottle with a screw cap for highly carbonated beverages, research continues – and not just with a view to reducing materials even further.

Arne Wiese, the Bottles & Shapes product manager at  KHS Corpoplast, says, "We believe there's still a lot of potential here. In the future, too, we'll continue to study all aspects and consider the line suitability of every new bottle we design in accordance with our Bottles & Shapes concept. Our large, long-standing customer base proves time and again that here we're on the right track. We look for solutions which satisfy customer demands right down to the last detail and, as the most recent system for highly carbonated beverages described here shows, in an ideal world we even surpass these."


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