Joint Venture on Coating for PET Bottles

On September 1, SIG Corpoplast, the Hamburg based machine maker, and SCHOTT AG, the technology group with headquarters in Mainz, formally founded SCHOTT SIG Barrier Technologies GmbH.

The new company has its headquarters in Mainz and will develop and manufacture coating modules for use in beverage filling machines. Clear barrier layers help preserve beverages contained in plastic bottles for a longer period of time. Both companies have worked together for several years before electing to enter into this joint venture. As a result, the newly-formed company already ranks as the global market leader in this field.

"Over the next 3 years, the revenue we achieve with coating modules will triple and make up a high double-digit million Euro figure," says Dr. Udo Ungeheuer, Chairman of the Board of Management of SCHOTT AG. The company expects this to eventually lead to as many as 50 new jobs in Mainz.

Combining the Advantages of Plastic and Glass

Several million coated bottles clearly document the successful application of PET barrier technology to juice and soft drink packaging, for example. A coating facility with the name PLASMAX generates transparent and completely recyclable barrier layers on the inside of PET bottles. "This glass-like coating enables us to combine the advantages of both glass and PET, including gas impermeability and resistance to breakage," explains Dr. Stephan Behle, Managing Director of SCHOTT SIG Barrier Technologies GmbH. "The inside coating prevents PET from releasing material into beverages," adds Behle.

Diversification to include other Plastics

The primary objective behind the joint venture is to develop new methods of coating plasma and supply SIG Corpoplast with PICVD coating components for use in food packaging. However, this is not solely limited to the PET segment. It will also encompass containers made of other types of plastics. PICVD stands for "Plasma Impulse Chemical Vapour Deposition", a concept that SCHOTT originally developed to coat and refine glass. When SCHOTT founded HiCotec in 2001, the company extended the use of PICVD coating technology to plastic applications.

The coating module manufactured in Mainz for use in PLASMAX will be marketed exclusively by SIG Corpoplast in Hamburg. Installation and sales will be managed as they were in the past. SIG Corpolast will also have sole responsibility for after sales service.

SIG and SCHOTT expect this joint venture to result in more effective bundling of the individual potentials for innovation that exist in both companies and, therefore, benefits for PLASMAX customers. SIG Corpoplast and SCHOTT AG each hold a 50% share in the new company and the management team consists of one managing director from each of the two organizations.

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SIG is a leading global supplier of packaging materials, facilities and service to the beverage industry with leadership positions in select markets. The SIG Beverages division is one of the world�'s leading suppliers of systems used to manufacture plastic packaging, as well as complete system solutions for the beverage industry. For 30 years, SIG Corpoplast has been a global leader in constructing, marketing and providing service on machines and systems used to manufacture PET bottles. The company�'s line of machines includes BLOMAX Series III stretch blow molding machines that offer an output of more than 40,000 PET bottles per hour, as well as PLASMAX coating machines designed to improve barriers, increase quality and deliver a longer shelf life for sensitive beverages contained in PET bottles. In fiscal 2003, the SIG Group and its some 9,000 employees generated sales of approximately 1.9 billion Euros.

SCHOTT is an international technology group that sees its core purpose as the lasting improvement of living and working conditions. For this purpose special materials, components and systems are developed. The main areas of focus are the household appliances industry, optics and opto-electronics, pharmaceuticals and regenerative energies. The SCHOTT Group has a presence in proximity to its customers through its production and sales companies in all its major markets. It has 18,700 employees producing worldwide sales of 2 billion euros. The company�'s technological and economic expertise is closely linked with its social and ecological responsibility.

Press Contact at SCHOTT

Matthias Reinig

Tel. +49 (0) 61 31/ 66-40 94

Fax +49 (0) 61 31/ 66-40 41

email: matthias.reinig@schott.com


Press Contact at SIG Corpoplast

Carsten Lurz

Tel. +49 (0) 40/ 67 907 350

Fax +49 (0) 40/ 67 907 93 50

email: carsten.lurz@sig.biz