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PET - The end of the returnable glass bottle. Everything is becoming easier – and lighter!

PET Conquers the World

On blanks and preforms – Information about the production processes



Every year, some 25 billion PET bottles are manufactured in Germany alone.


Globally, the figure is close to 500 billion. All the manufacturing machines that are made today, follow a two-step procedure. The operating principle of these machines is virtually identical. The prefabricated bottle blanks, so-called preforms, first pass through a linear oven fitted with heater boxes. The preforms can either be carried along by a transport mandrel or transferred by so-called preform grippers. In the case of a transport mandrel, the preform travels through the heater standing upright, with the opening facing down. The so-called preform gripper is fitted with a clamping device. This is inserted into the mouthpiece and clamps the preform, which hangs from it. While the preform is passing through the linear oven, it is rotated about its own axis. Infrared radiation is used to raise the preform to the optimum temperature for further processing. Once this optimum temperature has been reached, the preform is passed on to the blowing wheel.


The blowing wheel holds the individual blower moulds. The preform is inserted into the mould and compressed air is blown into it to produce a PET bottle.


SBM machines also make PET bottles that are suitable for hot filling. These PET bottles can be filled with hot liquids and are used for ice tea, fruit juice, jam etc.


Weight-reduction measures for PET bottles (lightweighting):


 The cap and mouthpiece can be tapered and reduced in size.

 The amount of material in the base can be reduced, making it lighter.

 The walls can be made thinner, whereby stability is maintained through shaped contours.


The savings in material and in the amount of air needed are effective measures for a long-term reduction in costs.


Preform heating (PH) is used to produce high-quality PET bottles that are oval in shape.

One such product is the trigger bottle used for household cleaners.

Other applications may be found in the food industry: honey, ketchup or mustard, to name a few products.

Among personal hygiene products, lotions, shower gels and body washes are typical products to be filled into highly oval-shaped PET containers.