Constar Helps Suntory Launch `Vend' Water Package

Innovative PET Container Named 2002 AmeriStar Award Winner

Constar, Inc., the plastic packaging division of Crown Cork & Seal Company, Inc., has developed the first PET water package capable of being dispensed through 12-ounce can vending machines. Developed for Suntory Water Group (Atlanta, Ga.), the 11.5 oz. package currently is being rolled out nationally.

The innovative container works within height and diameter constraints of can vending machines, while still meeting the capacity requirements of Suntory's existing filling equipment. The successful design was achieved by sourcing a low profile 38mm cap, running on non-traditional blow molding equipment, and developing a base design to accommodate internal pressure and special capping requirements.

The vending distribution system also introduced new challenges to package integrity. Along with standard pallet stacking requirements, individual containers are subject to column stacking, on their sides, in vending machines. Constar used finite element analysis (FEA) to optimize container geometry relative to top load, side load and internal pressure requirements. Don Deubel, director of package development for Constar, noted that the outwardly simple design masks the complexity of this design challenge.

"We're seeing the most interest for the new PET Vend Bottle from schools, where concerns about health and nutrition are leading education officials to rethink soft drink vending," added Cam Glover, product manager for Suntory Water Group. "We are excited to be able to offer contemporary beverage options in markets not open to us before."

The Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) has also recognized the container's innovative design, naming it a 2002 AmeriStar Award winner in the Beverage Category. Winners will be recognized at an AmeriStar Awards Reception during PACK EXPO International 2002 in Chicago.

Suntory Water Group, established in 1985, bottles, sells and distributes water and related products under regional brand names including Belmont Springs, Crystal Springs, Kentwood Springs, Hinckley Springs and Sierra Springs, as well as nationally branded Nursery Water. The new PET Vend Bottle will be available under all regional brand names.

Crown Cork & Seal Company, Inc.

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