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Case Study

3D Printing as Innovative Bottle Production Support in CP Glass

CP Glass S. A. is a subsidiary to CAN-PACK S.A. and a part of Can-Pack Capital Group – one of the biggest packaging manufacturer in Europe. Together with its subsidiaries it is a manufacturer of wide assortment of the highest quality glass packgagings used in the beer and spirits industries. The company bases its research and development activities on cooperation with domestic and foreign research centers. Since recently, the Research and Development Department is being supported by the VSHAPER 270 Double 3D Printer.

CP Glass S.A. holds its strong position in the market thanks to its high quality products, state-of-the-art technology of production and involvement and high qualifications of their employees. The company also strengthens its position through investments realized in Europe and Asia.

In order to meet the expectations of our customers we offer a wide range of solutions for customizing bottle designs, including shape, color, closure type, positioning, engraving and a number of other solutions to distinguish our customers’ products on the market – says Krzysztof Staniek, the CEO of CP Glass S.A.

In order to provide comprehensive service for the implementation of new glass packaging, the company has launched a design office in Orzesz, Poland to render complete services in designing glass containers, including preparation of container technical documentation, preparation of technical designs of moulds for production of the containers and creation of product visualizations, including filled container visualization. In order to streamline the plastic modeling process, the company has enriched its production processes with 3D Printing technology and decided to choose the solutions offered by the VSHAPER 3D Printers manufacturer.

When analyzing solutions available on the market, we were looking for those demonstrating good value for money. The cooperation with the producer from day one of the device selection stage was also an important factor. The VSHAPER printers manufacturer was very professional in creating test models, incorporating our suggestions and providing solid technical support. No other manufacturer has made such a positive impression on us – says Paweł Skop from CP Glass S.A. R&D Department.

The production process of glass packaging in CP Glass S.A. consists in preparing a mixture of so called glass set, blending it properly and putting into a glass furnace. As a result of the melting process we obtain molten glass which is next directed to molding machines. In the meantime, the molten glass is cooled down to molding temperature and undergoes thermal homogenization. Next the molten glass is formed into a gob which later undergoes the formation process. Formation takes place in the IS machine and consists of two stages. During the first stage the gob is made into a bulb which is immediately fed into a mould. The second stage is giving the product a final shape and cooling it below the deformation temperature.

Further stages of production include hot end coating, relaxation, cold end coating, inspection to eliminate defective products, packing and shipping. Packages that do not meet the quality requirements are recycled in the process of re-melting.

Before the production process begins, R&D Department in cooperation with Sales Department develop new packaging designs. Plastic modeling made by cutting is more often than not being replaced by 3D Printing with ABS and PA.

3D Printing allows us to quickly model new geometrically faithful shapes of bottles while maintaining their quality. Working with the VSHAPER team, we have developed a method for printing ABS and PA models to produce prints with distinctive transparency in white, green and brown. Printed models also undergo resin processing. The designs we have prepared this way are presented to our customers, and most importantly, the process of their preparation is much cheaper than the traditional modeling method – explains Paweł Skop from CP Glass S.A.

The VSHAPER 270 Double is also used in the production of unusual spare parts, especially when they are no longer available, the cost of purchasing is too high, or the lead time for parts used on the production line is too long.

CP Glass S.A. through its New Investment and R&D Department conducts research in the area of optimization of glass containers production process. Within the framework of research the R&D team deals with the process of refining of glass packagings which allows to improve their technological parameters and improves visual container reception. CP Glass S.A. has implemented a new method of glass containers processing with application of hot nanoparticles of aluminum compounds. Innovative hot end processing method can be used as a replacement for the traditional methods. It enables the company to increase mechanical strength of glass containers, impact strength, their internal pressure as well as axial compressive strength. Furthermore, the application of new method improves container’s hydrolytic class.

3D Printing technology, currently used in the design and manufacture of spare parts, will be used in other R&D projects, including the process of making test bottles with a lower glass weight and testing their load resistance during filling.

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