Innovation by Vetropack: Echovai technology
Tempered glass is not a new idea and has been used, for example, in car windows for a long time. In the case of glass bottles, however, the process had clearly reached its limits. The reason: during the tempering process, the bottle blanks must first be strongly heated and then shock-cooled. This is the only way to create the necessary internal tension and stability in the material. Flat glass can be treated this way without issues. With glass bottles, however, wall thickness distribution varies – which requires early adopters to accept certain design limitations.
For almost ten years, Vetropack's research and development team has been working on a production process for tempered lightweight glass bottles. With Echovai technology, it is now possible for the first time to thermally harden glass bottles. To date, Vetropack is the only glass packaging manufacturer worldwide to offer this solution.
Unique production process ensures particularly high stability
Echovai technology places particularly high demands on both the quality of the bottles themselves, as well as the production process and the equipment. "This is why we work exclusively with bottles of high quality," says Daniel Egger. "In addition, we adjust the entire tempering process very precisely to the individual container and its shape. It's a very sophisticated, technologically demanding process that can't be implemented on just any production line."
The stable lightweight glass containers are currently produced exclusively at the plant in Pöchlarn, Austria. After a few additional projects with select users, however, other Vetropack plants are set to follow and be prepared for Echovai production – the prerequisite for being able to meet the demand for Echovai bottles throughout Europe. "We expect this demand to grow very quickly," says Daniel Egger. "Especially since the performance of Echovai in our pilot project with the Mohrenbrauerei brewery has yielded outstanding results."