Although PET has been around for more than 40 years, advances in resin technology and conversion equipment have aided manufacturers’ light weighting efforts as they try to improve their environmental profile.  While the predominant current weight of 500ml PET water bottles in the United States is now as light as eight grams, new launches are trying to squeeze that down even further. Yet zeroing in on the optimal design that can offset lightweight material composition with a structure that still meets stringent performance requirements is no easy matter. In fact, it’s a delicate balancing act that has sent brand owners, bottle manufacturers, resin and machine manufacturers scrambling to embrace innovative design processes that can help them achieve their goals. At Plastic Technologies Inc. (PTI), simulation-led design combines an in-house virtual-prototyping tool with finite element analysis from Dassault Systèmes’ realistic simulation application SIMULIA, a key component of the Perfect Package Industry Solution. Simulation enables the PTI design team to reduce the amount of time and resources spent on building and testing physical prototypes. Abaqus is often employed in concert ...