“Sustainability is very important when it comes to investment decisions in the Arab countries, and the significance of environmentally friendly technology will continue to increase," says Andreas Leitner, Sales Director Middle East at Engel Austria. "All-electric injection moulding machines are becoming increasingly popular for the production of beverage caps." Uni-Cap in Dubai is also a pioneer in this area. The largest cap manufacturer in the Gulf States has been producing on Engel e-cap machines since 2009. In addition to the high energy efficiency of the machines, Bassam Hajjar, the CEO of Uni-Cap, is particularly interested in cleanliness. "The bottlers expect to receive absolutely hygienic products from us. With all-electric machines, we can definitely rule out any contamination with hydraulic oil. Thus, the usage of hydraulic oil is superfluous and cooling capacity is saved at the same time, the carbon footprint can be decreased significantly."
While the one-piece 1881 cap for carbonated soft drinks has already become established in most parts of the world, the GCC countries has long remained the exception. Only the newest, state-of-the-art processing technology has allowed one-piece caps to also be used in regions with extreme temperatures of more than 50 °C. Uni-Cap will be the first manufacturer in the region to produce this type of cap. They plan to achieve an annual capacity of 300 million caps with the Engel e-cap machine presented at the Arabplast. Currently, Uni-Cap produces altogether 4.5 billion caps per year.
It is above all the melt flow rate of as low as 1.5 g/10 min of the poor-flow types of HDPE required to achieve the specified cap characteristics that define the high demands put on the injection moulding machine. Thanks to its direct drive unit, the Engel e-cap achieves the precision and performance needed for this application. Beyond that, its increased ejection and clamping force help it attain very short cycle times.