DNP Develops Aseptic Filling System for PET Bottles

Reduces water usage by 90%

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) has developed an aseptic filling system for use with Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) based plastic bottles that facilitates significant reductions in water usage compared with currently available systems. The Company is also pleased to announce that the newly developed system has been adopted by a domestic beverage manufacturer.

The DNP PET aseptic filling system forms PET bottles by inflating a test-tube like preform in an aseptically preserved chamber. The bottle is then filled with contents that have been sterilized at high temperatures in just a short time before being rapidly cooled to allow for filling at room temperatures. DNP maintains a leading domestic share in the market for this PET aseptic filling system.

As a result of this latest development that uses hydrogen peroxide in the sterilization process, it has become possible to reduce water usage by 90% compared to currently available systems. This is achieved by making use of the residual heat generated when molding the bottle, allowing for the omission of the washing process using sterilized water following sterilization.

DNP has also enhanced environmental responses, and supports efforts by beverage manufacturers to reduce their environmental burden. For example, the Company has reduced the weight of the heat and pressure resistant plastic bottles used with carbonated drinks, and has reduced the weight of plastic bottles used with contents other than mineral water, such as Japanese teas and juices, to the lightest domestic levels at 14.6g for a 350ml-550ml bottle.

[Background and Activities to Date]

During the 1990's, so-called hot-filling was the mainstream process used to fill plastic bottles with contents that had been sterilized by heating to approximately 85-90 centigrade. As a result, beverage manufacturers used sturdy bottles with a wall thickness that could withstand high temperatures. DNP developed packaging technology for filling with sterilized contents from 1973, successfully creating potion packs for the milk served with coffee at coffee shops and restaurants, and filling equipment for cup-like containers for yoghurt and chilled drinks. In 1994, the Company developed the aseptic filling system for PET-based plastic bottles. This system molds plastic bottles from preforms at the same time as filling with contents, and as it is hence, possible to deliver the small preforms to the filling factory, significant reductions in environmental burdens can be achieved compared to instances of transporting the bottles in an inflated state. As filling can also be conducted at room temperature, numerous cost-based benefits can be gained from being able to use thin, light weight bottles. This helps explain the extensive adoption of the DNP-developed system by beverage manufacturers both in Japan and overseas to date. In recent years, manufacturers have increasingly expressed the desire for reduced water usage to facilitate further reductions in their environmental burdens. And in answer to these needs, DNP has successfully developed an aseptic filling system for use with plastic bottles that significantly reduces water usage, compared to currently available systems, without losing any of the systemic functionality.

[Features of Latest Aseptic Filling System]

  • By unifying the PET bottle molding equipment with the filling equipment, and prolonging the air-rinse drying with a hot wind that makes use of the residual heat from molding, it is no longer necessary to wash the inside of the bottle with sterilized water to remove the hydrogen peroxide used for sterilization. As a result, compared to systems where the molding equipment and the filling equipment were previously separated, it has been possible to cut water usage by approximately 90% - from 24.8 tons per hour to 2.7 tons per hour, based on a calculation of systems capable of filling 600 bottles per minute.
  • With the newly developed aseptic system for PET-based plastic bottles that can also be used with carbonated drinks, in addition to reduce water usage, it is now also possible to reduce the weight of heat and pressure resistant plastic bottles.
  • Regarding contents other than mineral waters, in FY 2015 DNP has successfully pursued further transportation commercializing a 14.6g product (for use with 350mm-550ml plastic bottles) that is among the lightest available on the domestic Japanese market.

[Looking Ahead]

DNP is engaged in the development, not only of systems that reduce water usage, but also of those capable of reducing necessary energy, such as electrical power and steam, as well as the use of chemical agents. Looking ahead the Company will promote the enhancement of environmental responses in aseptic filling systems for PET-based plastic bottles, and support efforts by beverage manufacturers to reduce their environmental burdens.

* DNP has positioned Knowledge and Communication, Food and Healthcare, Lifestyle and Mobility, and the Environment and Energy as growth areas, and is engaged in the creation of new values. As part of those activities, in addition to focusing on the development of environmentally friendly products and services, the Company is also promoting the reduction of the environmental burden throughout the entire supply chain, including greenhouse gasses, and water usage.
* Product prices, specification and service contents mentioned in this news release are current as of the date of publication. They may be changed at any time without notice.