Kingston Automation Technology, a venture from Betty Pilon and her son Ben, has modernised the aluminium container production process to bring it into the 21st century and make it a more viable alternative to plastic bottles.

“It was important that we redesign these lines,” owner Ben Pilon said. “These are generally, around the world, 60- or 70-year-old technology. We wanted to make them smaller.

“They are a third the size,” he said of the new facility. “They use a third the power, they are a third the footprint and they make a fully recyclable bottle.”

Kingston Automation Technology is expected to create about 30 jobs at its Montreal Street location and could produce as many as 75 million containers in 2020.

According to the company, its patented blow moulding technology creates aluminium containers that are easier to recycle and reuse than either plastic or glass, more efficient to produce and transport, and more cost effective than traditional aluminium bottles.

“Our process is smart,” company president Betty Pilon said in a news release. “Scrap rates are down, changeover time from one customer to the next takes minutes, and small batches are possible. While the advantages of aluminium packaging are undeniable, the existing process to make them is inefficient. We wanted to create a process that would allow anyone from a startup to a large brand to work with us.”

The company’s plans include three business streams: licensing and installing its bottling technology, selling preformed bottles and containers, and filling their bottles with drinks and attaching artwork and caps.

The company’s food containers are customisable, tamper proof and child proof, reusable and recyclable, and can accommodate food, pills or ointments.

The new facility received approvals from the Canada Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada to manufacture containers for cannabis-infused drinks and edibles.

The company’s production line is also designed to be flexible, allowing for small batch orders and quick changeovers, Ben Pilon said.

Only about 10 per cent of plastic bottles are recycled, and that material doesn’t necessarily return to the beverage container sector, he added. Kingston Automation Technology’s bottles are designed to be recycled into new containers.