Advanced Electron Beams(AEB), a leading provider of electron beam technology, announced a strategic partnership withHitachi Zosen develop the first aseptic bottle filling system that uses AEB's e16ITB emitter for "in the bottle" sterilization of PET and high-density polyethylene bottles.

The eITB Series emitters bring AEB's proven sterilization technology, already in use for Form, Fill and Seal packaging applications, to aseptic bottle filling. Surfaces of packaging materials are sterilized at high speeds with a stream of energetic electrons using far less energy and without chemicals and water - eliminating the risk of residual chemicals.

"Japan leads the global conversion to chemical free bottle sterilization. With this new product, Hitachi Zosen takes the leadership position among suppliers of chemical free bottle filling systems," says Brian Philips, vice president of sales, AEB. "This new product allows Japanese bottlers to set the bar for sustainable and chemical-free bottling worldwide."

Introduced in March 2011 and designed specifically for the Asian bottling market, the e16ITB accommodates bottle geometries that require a narrow nozzle emitter. Based on the new emitter, Hitachi Zosen has developed an electron beam sterilization machine for 500-ml beverage PET bottle filling at a speed of 600 bottles per minute.

According to Hitachi Zosen in a press release issued June 27, 2011, the electron beam-based system will offer significant improvements over traditional sterilization systems, specifically by eliminating liquid chemical costs and enabling lighter weight bottles, which will result in cost reductions up to 100 million yen ($1.23 million) per year.