How long has ASB been in the PET industry?
ASB was one of the very first pioneers in the PET container industry. The first ASB Series machines were shipped to customers during 1977. Since then, we have continued to re-invest heavily into R&D to maintain ASB as one of the leading pro-active companies in the world for new PET container technology.
How many staff are employed within ASB?
Our global operations comprise a total of over 1,600 staff directly employed in manufacturing, assembly, sales, service, R&D and administration. In addition to this we also have a large number of staff indirectly employed as sale agents and manufacturing sub-contractors.
What is ASB’s share of the market?
Currently, around 15-20%.
How would you respond if asked to summarize ASB’s company policy?
We offer affluence to people and society.
Pursue continued existence of company by high level of technology and service.
Guidelines of Conduct
Pursue customer satisfaction.
Attempt continuous improvement.
Work with discipline and vitality.
What is 1-step (or single-stage) injection stretch-blow molding?
There are two basic molding methods, 1-step and 2-step. In 2-step molding, two separate machines are used, one for injection molding the preform, the second for stretch-blow molding it into the final container shape. In 1-step machines, the entire process from raw material to finished container is conducted within one machine, making it especially suitable for molding non-standard shapes (custom molding), including jars, flat oval, flask shapes etc. Its greatest merit is the reduction in space, product handling and energy, and far higher visual quality than can be achieved by the 2-step system.
What is “Biaxial Orientation”?
PET is made up of long chain molecules. By injection molding a preform, then stretch-blowing it the molecules are aligned in two directions (bi-axially) producing an extremely strong, light-weight container, far stronger and lighter than that made by any other process or material.
Can material other than PET be molded on ASB’s equipment?
The ASB Series can also mold Polypropylene (PP), Polycarbonate (PC), Polyethylene Napthalate (PEN), and Recycled PET.
Other machine series (PF, PB, PM, NB, HSO) are limited to Recycled PET and PEN for the time being.
Extrusion blow molding (EBM) machines are much cheaper, why should I buy injection stretch-blow molding equipment (ISBM)?
Simply put, a PET bottle made by the ISBM method is stronger, lighter, has better clarity, and is leak proof (injection molded neck) than anything else possible by the EBM method. Some containers can only be made by ISBM, soft drinks bottles for example cannot be molded by EBM.
I am confused by your range of general purpose single stage machines, (ASB, PF, PB) how do I decide which is best for me?
Yes, since we have continually expanded our range to meet the needs of the market this has resulted in a variety of equipment types. Basically, the ASB, PF and PB Series are all single-stage molding machines, the difference being as follows;
ASB – These machines are extremely versatile for odd shaped and extreme containers. You can find machines here that are capable of doing virtually anything in PET container design including oval, wide mouth and complex shapes. In addition, the container capacity range can go from 5 ml to 20 liters. Material types include PET, PP, PC and others. Outputs are from 50 to 4,000bph.
Think of these machines as the PET equivalent of a 4WD off road vehicle. Big, rugged and able to go anywhere. Choose this machine type if your future business may be varied.
PF– Compact economical machines aimed at bottles only from about 100ml up to 10 liters. Normally fairly simple shapes but complex details and oval shapes can be molded in many cases. Outputs are typically 500 to 2,000bph
Think of these machines as being equivalent to a family saloon car. Compact and more economical but not the highest speed and has limited off road ability. Choose this machine if you have a small to medium scale requirement for bottles of various shapes but not for jars.
PM – These are higher output machines for more generic shaped containers in the range of 150ml to 3 liters such as mineral water, sports and soft drinks and edible oils but also have some capability for oval shapes. Output can be up to 10,000bph so naturally they offer greater economy of scale.
Think of these machines as a sports car. Capable of high speed on long runs but limited to paved roads. Choose this machine if you want the highest output for bottles only.
Please take a look at the individual machine specifications for precise details of each machine’s capabilities.
Why should I consider 1-step molding when the output from 2-step molding is much higher?
There are many reasons why you might choose single stage over 2-stage. A few examples are as follows;
- Highest possible visual quality is required (no scuff marks from perform transportation).For examples, most personal care and cosmetic product containers are made in single stage.
- High quality neck finish (no damage from perform handling).
- Extreme container shape or ovality. The preform can be molded with different circumferential wall thickness to optimize final wall thickness.
- Specialized neck or preform design requirement.
- Wide neck containers.
- Clip-on, or specialized handle designs.
- While 2-step molding may have generally higher outputs, it is more suited to the generic bottle designs such as carbonated soft drinks and mineral water where competition is very stiff and profit margins are low.
- Molding alternative materials such as Polycarbonate and Polypropylene is far easier in single step molding systems.
What other support equipment do I need to operate these machines?
Assuming PET container production;
- Dehumidifying resin dryer for PET.
- Mold Chiller (8 to 14degC range).
- Cooling Tower provides water for non-critical cooling at 25 to 30 degC.
- Compressors supplying air for operation (0.9MPa) and for blowing (up to 3.4MPa).
- Mold Dehumidifier (depends on local ambient conditions).
- Mold Temperature Controller unit (depends on container design).
ASB can make a quotation for all this equipment upon request.
How do you calculate annual production capacity?
One year consists of 8,760 hours but no factory or machine can run at 100% efficiency. Items to be considered are;
- National holidays.
- Electricity power cuts.
- Breakdowns (very often not the molding machine, could be the compressor for example).
- Routine servicing of factory services and molding machines.
- Industrial action (strikes) and labor availability.
- Problems with infrastructure.
As a result, it is more typical to assume an average hourly production availability of around 6,000 to 7,200 hours subject to local conditions. Of course, these reasons vary in magnitude from country to country so you must look at your own situation and calculate a realistic target for annual production.
Once you have the available production hours, it is a simple matter to estimate the number of cavities and cycle time based on your container design and machine model.
What is PET resin?
PET is the abbreviation for a PolyEthylene Terephthalate, more commonly known as Polyester in the fiber industry. It consists of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen, and is one of the most environmentally friendly thermoplastics available. If it is incinerated only carbon dioxide and water vapor are produced. When molded into a container, it produces outstanding strength, toughness and transparency. Since it is Polyester, it means that used containers can easily be recycled into fibers for clothing and carpets etc., this is already happening in many countries.
Can PET be colored?
Certainly, as long as there is a pigment available in pelletized masterbatch, dry powder or liquid form then it can be molded very successfully. Color mixing in the injection screw is very easy with PET.
Do PET containers need any special handling after molding?
Not really, but as with most other thermoplastics they should be protected from strong sunlight and high temperatures during storage and transportation, especially when empty otherwise deformation and shrinkage might occur. However, if you have experience in handling other thermoplastic products, then there are no additional requirements.
We hear lots of scare stories about the health effects of plastics, is PET really safe?
Before PET was ever used for food containers it was passed by the FDA of America and has repeatedly passed every health test that has been thrown at it. Certain other thermoplastics such as PVC are not considered to be as safe as PET, which is one of the reasons why there has been a dramatic shift into PET from other plastics.
Recycling is always a headache. What can ASB’s equipment do to help?
Our molding machines can already accept up to 100% post consumer clean recycled flake PET resin as a raw material, in addition, we have also developed specialized PET dryers that can handle clean, recycled flake resin. So, technically there is no obstacle, however, please be aware that most countries have legislation regarding the use of post consumer recycled resin in food contact applications, so most containers manufactured by this method will be for non-food use only.
Alternatively, we can offer multi-layer molding machines that can sandwich the recycled material between layers of virgin PET making it suitable for food use containers. Please contact us for any specific inquiries.
Design of PET Bottle
How is the design of a bottle decided?
Primarily, it is decided by you, the customer especially where a brand image is to be maintained. However, many customers approach us and ask us to work out a design proposal with them. Drawing on our huge library of past actual and theoretical designs we are sure that we will be able to satisfy all requests that are moldable in your chosen material. Apart from at our head office and factory in Japan, we also have container designers based in our factories in India and China, and at our regional sales offices in Singapore, Germany and the USA.
What restrictions are there on container design?
PET is a very tough material which is of course, one of its major advantages. But this toughness can make it difficult to stretch-blow mold distinctive or intricate shapes. Where a product is being converted from, say PVC into PET, it will be necessary to review the design suitable for the new material. Our container design team will be pleased to assist upon
Most designs are possible but due to the nature of PET sharp corners and fine detail are difficult, especially where the material has been highly oriented (stretched).
How quickly can I receive spare parts?
Apart from our central parts supply in Japan, we also have regional parts service available from the following countries; China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Singapore, Thailand, Germany, United Kingdom, South Africa, USA, Mexico, and Brazil. We are continually striving to provide the best possible shipment times for all parts. From stock, all parts will be shipped the same day the order is placed.
If I buy a machine, who installs it in my factory?
Our representative’s engineer will assemble any parts removed for transportation and put the machine into production, however we request the customer to make preparation of all utility connections and placement of the machine. Pipe-work and electrical cable installation is outside the scope of supply since regulations offer differ from country to country.
What warranty do you offer?
In principle, 14 months after shipping date or 12 months after start-up which comes first.
What skill levels do I need in my factory to operate this equipment?
For daily operation, we recommend staff that have basic mechanical aptitude as a minimum requirement, any previous plastics experience would be useful. For maintenance and mold changing, we recommend time-served qualified mechanical and electrical engineers holding some form of certification from a recognized training establishment.
Does ASB offer training for my staff?
Yes, depending on the size of the contract, we will offer free of charge training in Japan for a number of your engineers. All you need to pay is the flight to Japan and incidental expenses. Basic training courses are 1 week long with intensive classroom and hands-on training provided in by native English speaking staff. Please contact your local ASB representative for further details.
Is it possible to receive training in my own factory?
Yes, this is possible. Our commissioning engineer can offer practical hands-on training at the time of machine installation and start-up. Or, in addition, our Head Office based training staff can fly to your country to offer in-house troubleshooting and training customized to your requirements. Once again, please discuss with our local representative for details.
Can ASB offer any financing terms?
This is subject to county and company status, however please feel free to ask us based on a specific quotation or sales contract.
Does ASB offer any machine leasing methods?
If you have a specific interest, please discuss this with our sales representatives.
What are typical delivery times?
3.5 to 4 months for small machine. 5 to 6 months for large machine.
What are the normal terms of shipment? Is freight and insurance included?
FOB or CIF. Depending the customer’s requirement.
Do you offer discounting on contracts for multiple units?
We treat each order on an individual basis, please ask us based on s specific quotation or contract.
Can I see a list of customers / countries that you have delivered to?
In order to maintain the confidentiality of our customers, we regret that we do not disclose such information.