Heye International is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Technical Assistance Agreement with Mexican glass manufacturer Sivesa (Sílices de Veracruz SA de CV).

Over the past 50 years, Heye has been Sivesa’s trusted technology partner as the glassmaker grew, became part of the Crown Holding and added a second glass plant (Vichisa) in the north of Mexico.

Arturo Romo, Director of Operations of Crown Glass said: “Heye's collaboration with Sivesa has generated positive results in operations over 50 years, thanks to the service and communication that has been provided to improve the performance of glass bottle manufacturing processes throughout this period of time”.

The two firms signed their first Technical Assistance Agreement on March 27, 1973. An engineering and supply contract followed a year later.

This included a new furnace with three IS-machines that started operation in 1975. It was the first step to modernise the Sivesa plant in Veracruz, south-east of Mexico City and the contract also included mould design and a general overhaul.

The Technical Assistance Agreement has been renewed time and again and continues into the second half of this decade.

The TAA encompasses every stage of a project, from strategic concept to commissioning and operation. A key component remains training local staff and passing on the know-how of Heye specialists.

Heye’s introduction of narrow neck press and blow (NNPB) to the plant in 1979 resulted in a significant boost for Sivesa in Central and South America.

Over two years, five of the plant’s seven lines were converted to the new technology which Heye International invented.

NNPB capability distinguished Sivesa from its competitors and enhanced the firm’s exports.

Heye International CEO Hans-Peter Müller said: “For Sivesa, the original benefits of NNPB were efficiencies; the new technology saved energy and raw materials while providing even better stability for bottles.

“Its impact has been staggering. By 2010, we had reduced the weight of a 355ml Long Neck beer bottle from 310g to 180g.”

In the following years further weight reductions have been achieved, for example for the 355ml Premium ½ Expo 12 oz beer bottle from originally 245g to 150g.

Since then, NNPB’s efficiencies have been matched by its sustainability.

Every glassmaker has woken up to the challenge of climate change and the role lightweight recyclable and reusable glass packaging plays to combat the crisis.