The new RightWeight bottle weighs just 7.95 grams yet offers top-load performance of 33 kilograms without nitrogen dosing, using standard 26/22 caps. The increased resistance of the RightWeight bottle helps eliminate the 'over squeeze' issue often experienced by end consumers when using ultra-light bottles, which can result in the spilling of contents unintentionally. Increased resistance also makes it easier for consumers to unscrew the cap and open the bottle.
In addition, the stronger resistance means the RightWeight bottle is more likely to travel across the supply chain and retain its original attractive appearance when it is placed on a supermarket shelf in front of the consumer.
"Beverage producers are increasingly striving to unlock the value of a PET bottle across their entire supply chain, from concept to consumer," explains Christophe Bunel, Head of Packaging Care & Development at Sidel. "To achieve this, a bottle must be lighter, of course, but also stay attractive, protect the beverage and ensure high consumer satisfaction. At Sidel we call this 'rightweighting'. It's no longer about simply reducing the plastic content. Our new RightWeight bottle concept is designed to reduce bottle weight, and also save energy during production, improve bottle performance across the supply chain, without compromising on product quality, and result in a far better consumer experience for such a light bottle."
Compared with an average of 12 grams for commercial 0.5 litre water bottles available on the market today, the7.95 gram bottle represents 34% less weight than the average commercial bottle. It also achieves 32% more top-load performance than the lightest commercial bottle, resulting in raw-material cost savings of up to EUR 1.75 million per year, according to Sidel data. The blowing pressure for the bottle is also just 20 bars. In many cases the bottles can match the top-load performance of nitrogen-assisted ultra-lightweight bottles, however without the use of nitrogen, leading to further cost and energy savings.
"Typically the goal is to reach 30 kg or more top-load performance to ensure a bottle can withstand the rigours of the supply chain," adds Bunel. "At this weight most ultra-lightweight bottles in the market have to achieve this by using nitrogen. The RightWeight bottles can achieve above this without using nitrogen."
For the past year Sidel's packaging experts analysed and tested many different bottle designs. They then carried out numerous computer simulations followed by real-world physical tests to achieve the perfect geometrical solution for an optimum balance between less weight and strong performance. A key success enabler was the complete redesign and optimisation of the preform done internally by the Sidel team. Part of this new preform design was an evolution of the standard 26/22 neck finish, which has been re-designed to save an extra 15% of weight, while maintaining compatibility with existing standard 26/22 caps.
The new RightWeight bottle can therefore be adapted easily to existing production lines that use standard cap formats. Design elements can be adapted for existing or new commercial bottle designs as needed. Accompanying Sidel RightWeight moulds and line conversions can ensure production lines fully unlock the benefits of the new bottle designs. The bottle can be used for all Sidel PET packaging solutions and output speeds for still water, including the newSidel Matrix™ system for liquid packaging.