German Packaging Prize awarded to Krones for FlexWave process of stretch blow-molding using microwave heating of PET preforms
November 25, 2011
– When the BRAU Beviale 2011 opened its doors in Nuremberg on 9 November 2011, the German Packaging Institute awarded Krones the German Packaging Prize as an accolade for the firm’s microwave heating technology incorporated in its stretch blow-moulding machines.
With FlexWave – the new, innovative microwave heating technology from Krones – the process for producing PET containers in stretch blow-moulding machines has become significantly more sustainable, more energy-economical, more flexible, faster and more versatile. The reason lies in the system’s innovative technology: FlexWave heats up PET preforms using microwaves – a process that not only differs significantly from conventional methods of stretch blow-moulding, but is in fact unique worldwide.
FlexWave offers enhanced independence for the users of stretch blow-moulding machines: the system enables the heating process to be individually set and monitored for each PET preform. This means firstly that deleterious environmental factors can be compensated for, and PET preforms can be mixed with different proportions of recycled material. Secondly, though, multi-coloured bottles can be produced as well, opening up new options for container design. In comparison to conventional infra-red ovens, the microwave technology requires up to 50 per cent less energy, with concomitantly substantial cost advantages. FlexWave also scores well in terms of shorter production times: the exceptionally fast heat-up phase takes about three seconds, and is thus up to 80 per cent shorter than with other systems.