8 Sept 2006
Bottling Up(HKTDC Packaging, Vol 02,2006)
Etek Group Ltd
|Dongguan Founder Machinery Ltd specialises in two-step BOPP/PET/PP bottle-making technology for the beverage, food and pharmaceutical industries|
Striving for the best, pursuing excellence and never giving up are the keys to success for Dongguan Founder Machinery Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Etek Group Ltd.
Established in 1998 as a specialised manufacturer of stretch blow-moulding machines for OPP and PP/PET bottles, the company is devoted to the research and development of two-step BOPP/PET/PP bottle-making technology for the beverage, food and pharmaceutical industries.
Dongguan Founder's impressive achievements in this field already include developing:
- PP linear stretch blow-moulding systems that produce OPP bottles to replace the glass bottles used in pharmaceutical infusion or irrigation applications
- PET linear or rotary stretch blow-moulding systems that produce
- PET bottles for hot fill or semi-hot fill applications
- Fully automatic stretch blow-moulding systems capable of producing a wide range of PP/PET wide -mouth jars
Typical of the company's innovations is the SMART-800MB series of stretch blow-moulding machines, which utilise a two-step linear stretch blow process to manufacture high-clarity OPP bottles for pharmaceutical heat-resistant infusion or irrigation bottles.
The SMART-800MB series can produce 100-1000 ml OPP bottles with a maximum output of 7,000 bottles per hour, explains general manager Andrew Lee.
"These are widely used in the pharmaceutical industry on the Chinese mainland and other Asian countries," he says. "More than 100 production lines have been installed on the mainland since 2003 with annual production of more than one billion OPP bottles, comprising more than 30% of the glass-bottle market."
Lee maintains that the success of the SMART-800 series can be attributed to its ability to produce low-cost OPP bottles that can replace glass bottles in pharmaceutical infusion applications.
"These OPP bottles are not only significantly cost-effective compared with glass bottles, but are also unique in that they collapse without using air needles," he claims, adding that this added-value feature avoids cross-contamination via the air.
"The success of the OPP bottles in the infusion application has captured the attention of several infusion makers in Asia and Europe who are considering installing new OPP production lines."
The support of the company's strong R&D division in Shanghai was crucial to the development of these turnkey PP/PET reheat stretch blow-moulding systems, says Lee.
"Their designs are produced by more than 300 workers at our 250,000-square-foot factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland and sold by our Hong Kong-based subsidiary Polymac Technology Ltd," he explains. "Our blow-moulding systems were entirely developed by us and have already obtained 22 domestic patents."
Dongguan Founder exports to a wide variety of international markets, including Canada, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Mexico, Egypt, Algeria and Taiwan.
"Our equipment and machinery is used extensively in the medical and beverage industries in these markets," Lee notes, adding that the company's blowers recently achieved Canadian CSA certification.
The company's multifunction PET/PP rotary stretch blow moulders will soon be available in Canada, opening the gateway for expansion into the North American market.
"We have already signed a contract with a Canadian plastic packaging manufacturer, Container Corp of Canada," Lee discloses.
He stresses that multifunctionality and flexibility are key characteristics of Dongguan Founder machinery, following the successful development of the stretch blow-moulding systems.
"We incorporated the same blowing technique into the PET bottle machine in order to provide multifunctionality in a single piece of equipment and thus offer clients maximum flexibility," Lee notes. "Apart from PP/PET bottles, they can also be used for blowing high-temperature resisted and wide-mouth bottles."
Dongguan Founder also provides hot runner preform moulds, blow moulds and other related auxiliary equipment such as hot runner temperature controllers, air supply systems and chilled water supply systems.
"Our 48-head hot runner preform moulds have gained a solid reputation thanks to their excellent performance and reliability, so we believe that our equipment can fully satisfy the demand in the mainland market and much further afield," Lee claims. "For example, we can see a very promising future in Canada and the US and look forward to building a healthy client base in both countries."
WRITTEN BY JAMES PALMER