Glass container manufacturer Owens-Illinois (O-I) has officially opened its combined R&D and pilot plant Innovation Center that aims to advance new concepts in glass production.
Located at O-I's global headquarters in Perrysburg, Ohio, the facility will enable the company to qualify emerging technologies that are set to revolutionise the process of glass melting and forming.
Around one-tenth of the size of a typical manufacturing plant, the 24,000ft² Innovation Center houses a 20t oxy-fueled furnace, two production lines and inspection equipment.
The company will produce sample bottles and trials for new products on one line, reducing the time needed to produce the right bottle and disruption to manufacturing plants. The other line is dedicated to research and development and will be used to develop new technologies and processes for melting and forming glass.
The facility has been operational for the past eight months and has already produced over 40 sample bottles for customers.
O-I chairman and CEO Al Stroucken said: "This Innovation Center demonstrates our belief in glass as the optimal packaging solution and our confidence that we can shift some of the paradigms around glass manufacturing."
O-I R&D global vice president Ludovic Valette said: "By significantly changing the way glass is made, we can deliver even more innovative and brand-building products for our customers, increase the efficiency of our operations and further enhance the sustainability of glass."
Image: O-I will produce sample bottles and trials for new products on one production line. Photo: courtesy of nuchylee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.