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        IMA

Husky: a toast to innovation in packaging

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Demand for bottled drinks in PET plastic is continuing to grow, according to a report by the US-based International Market Analysis Research and Consulting (IMARC) Group on the study of the global consumption of PET bottles. A leading equipment supplier in this sector is Husky Injection Molding Systems.

The injection moulding machine industry, which provides vital equipment in the segment of plastic processing, is also growing alongside this increasing demand.

This machinery type accounts for 60% to 85% in developed countries, according to a new report by India-headquartered RnR Market Research, adding that key applications are mainly in the sectors of food and beverage packaging, as well as automotive, household appliances, building materials and electronic communications.

Amongst the major global injection moulding system manufacturers that drive the growth in this segment is Husky Injection Molding Systems. A leading supplier of injection moulding equipment, headquartered in Bolton, Canada, Husky has manufacturing facilities located in Canada, the US, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, China, India and the Czech Republic.

Husky’s broad range of equipment is used to produce an array of products for the beverage packaging, closures, thinwall packaging as well as medical and consumer electronics market.

Husky designs, manufactures and integrates a comprehensive range of injection moulding equipment, including machines, moulds, hot runners and auxiliaries, for customers in more than 100 countries. According to the firm, its customers benefit from its expert support backed by over 35 years of experience in the market; and the diverse offerings ranging from preform injection moulding systems, preform design and development, barrier solutions, mould refurbishing and conversion, and factory planning.

According to Husky, its systems are designed to deliver the highest productivity levels as well as lower production costs. Its preform solutions are said to pare down total part cost, thus yielding a higher return on investment. Other advantages can be drawn from cutting-edge features such as, to cite a few, simplified operation and fullyintegrated systems; cavity to cavity and shot to shot repeatability to yield more consistent and higher quality parts, at the same time, reducing variability further downstream in the beverage packaging line.

Brewing solutions for beverages

The company, which is dedicated to promoting innovation, specifically in packaging, has grown to become one of the industry’s primary suppliers of PET preform injection moulding solutions.

“Beverage packaging is a key business unit for Husky and we plan on continuing to grow the business through the ongoing development of innovative technologies that will improve quality and push the industry forward,” said Gerardo Chiaia, who was recently appointed President of Husky’s Global Beverage Packaging business, in an interview with PRA.

Chiaia, who also previously held the Vice- President post of the division, has been with Husky for 21 years, having previously headed the Boltonbased firm’s Hot Runner and Controllers business, as well as Asia-Pacific Beverage Packaging.

Leading on the innovation front of plastics processing machinery in beverage packaging, Husky continues to step up its game. Chiaia says that the company is continuously looking at how to provide customers with added-value solutions.

“As an industry leader, we remain dedicated to innovation and ingenuity, and we are committed to continually offering solutions that not only push the industry forward, but create value for our customers.”

He also goes on to say, “Our leading position has always been a function of the value we deliver through the development of solutions that increasingly help our customers lower resin costs, improve cycle times, increase part quality and reduce energy requirements. Such examples include continual improvements to our preform and closure moulding systems to make them more productive, intelligent and efficient; as well as the development of technologies to expand the uses of PET as a packaging material beyond the current applications, including sensitive products, juice, milk, food and large volume applications.”

New PET technologies for Asia

Emerging markets in the Asian region are found to bolster the beverage packaging market through the coming years, according to a new report by the New York-based consulting firm Future Market Insights. It projected a single-digit CAGR of 3.3% through 2025 to almost US$257,547.9 million for the overall beverage packaging market, with the APAC region, excluding Japan, accounting for 25% of the market share in 2014.

Factors that are driving this growth include the demand for innovative packaging designs and manufacturing solutions, which translate to the development of added functionality (such as convenience, single serve or portion sizes, and brand recognition) to the packaging.

Hot on the heels of this growth trend in the region, Husky is delivering its innovations to address the requirements.

“To meet these needs, Husky is continuously looking at ways to improve the design and functionality of packaging. We work closely with our customers to develop solutions that will help to improve not only how their packages perform, but how their packages can stand out on store shelves amongst their competitors,” says Chiaia.

Specifically citing PET, Chiaia explains, “We are also exploring technologies to expand the use of PET as a packaging material. One example is our recently introduced multi-layer barrier technology, which offers manufacturers new possibilities to explore PET as a packaging material for products requiring enhanced barrier properties.”

Husky’s recently introduced multi-layer barrier technology, available as a module on its HyPET HPP5 system, was showcased at the NPE 2015 tradeshow that took place earlier this year in Orlando, Florida. This technology enables Husky to produce multi-layer preforms with a wide range of barrier content, even below 3%, while delivering up to 50% savings on barrier material costs for some applications and increasing system availability.

Husky’s latest generation HyPET HPP5 system also includes its all-new self-cleaning mould technology feature, which can reduce mould cleaning from four hours down to a matter of seconds.

Remedy for healthcare applications

Apart from the food and beverage segment, another growth area is medical packaging, which market analyst Visiongain said clinched a significant share in the nearly US$40 billion global packaging market in 2014.

Responding to this demand, Husky has strengthened its position in this market, marked by its acquisition of Schöttli, a Swiss-based company that is recognised as a leading medical and closure mould maker.

“Our recently formed Medical and Specialty Packaging business is a focus of growth for the company. The acquisition of Schöttli in 2013 has allowed us to learn and grow our medical business by focusing on specific applications and developing mould technology that enables customers to bring the highest quality medical products to market, including syringes, infusion/transfusion products, and diagnostic systems.”

Chiaia also says that Husky’s Speciality Packaging business grew naturally from its Beverage Packaging business, and combined with its previous acquisition of KTW, Husky is continuing to expand its capabilities in this market.

He adds, “This includes providing solutions for sports caps, edible oils, closures for food packaging and personal care products, and others.”

“My goal is to ensure we continue to work as a trusted partner to understand our customers’ needs and develop meaningful solutions to support their growth,” concludes Chiaia, on his objectives at the helm of the global beverage packaging division of the company.

(IMA)


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