F.A.Q.

What is the difference between flint and super-flint (also called extra-flint) glass?

Flint and super-flint are expressions for bottle glass qualities. Flint has good transparency, while super-flint offers the very best in clarity, often compared to crystal. Super-flint bottles tend to be of more substance, heavier, and often contain a deep base (or slug) - 20-30mm - that gives the bottle a further feel of quality. Super-flint tends to be the choice of brands in the premium spirits sector, particularly those in the Vodka, Cognac, Brandy and Whisky categories.

Can I have my trademark or logo embossed or debossed in the glass bottle?

As a feature to the mould itself, it is no problem to incorporate embossed/debossed features in your bottle. This is a cost effective (free, we emboss or deboss at no extra cost to you) way to give your product more impact and individualize your brand. Not all details can be achieved this way, but send us your design for review and we can let you know. At the moment it is very trendy to use embossing which creates a very unique and compelling bottle for customers when looking at shelves that offer so many options...

Can you apply decor to my custom made glass bottle in China?

There are numerous types of decoration available to further customise the design of a bottle to make it as simple and modern as the famous VOSS water bottle or more sophisticated and detailed like the well-known Grey Goose Vodka bottle.

Ceramic heat transfer printing: a method of applying a decal to the bottle that is then baked onto the surface of the glass. The cost of the label generally depends on the number of colours and its size.

For decorative patterns, see-through windows or as an overall treatment:

Full, partial or graduated coloration that is applied via a fine organic (food-safe) spray which is then baked “externally“ onto the surface of the glass. We have a portfolio of colours available or specific colours can be achieved through matching against a sample, or pantone colour. Colour can also be added into the glass material itself during production. Although many colours of glass are achievable in this way, clients may be somewhat at the disposal of the production schedule awaiting a run of a campaign of their desired colour.

Ancillary décor: metal badges, wood, plastic, wax, diamante crystals and other embossing and de-bossing.

Frosting on the bottle partially or fully is possible as well of course.

Will the details of my project remain confidential?

We work with all our clients in the strictest confidentiallity. Those that wish us to sign a confidentiality agreement to this effect (NDA); we are willing to do so. This tends to be a pre-requisite for some of the larger firms that work with us.

Do I own the moulds and designs of my custom glass bottle?

The client is the owner of the mould and as part of our terms of service we cannot use the mould for any other customers. Clients are at liberty to “port” the mould to any other factory, or take it back after completion of the production, if they wish to do so at any time.

My custom bottle design is very unique: can you assure me it won’t be imitated?

We will not make another bottle that imitates your design. It belongs to you and we will respect this. Being owned and directed by French CEO and with European and American sales and design teams we have the values based on occidental business and operate with practises and ethics accordingly.

What is the Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) at your factory plant?

In mass-manufacturing an MOQ defines the smallest quantity a glass manufacturer is able to produce for a given price. Due to the heavy and industrial nature of a glass plant, it is difficult to make bottles in small quantities. The distinction between flint glass and super-flint glass bottles is important here. Generally for flint glass, a client is required to order a minimum of 100,000 bottles, although for a pilot order a special dispensation can be made, and this figure can be reduced to 50,000 pieces. Producing super flint glass carries different conditions. In most of the cases, we can start at an MOQ of 20,000 bottles. In bottle glass plants in China, prices are generally indexed to the quantities per run, the larger the order, the lower the price. The MOQ also depends on the size of the bottle. The smaller the capacity, the larger the MOQ will be. 

Can you manufacture vintage glass bottles in China?

We are offering flint glass quality with tiny defects, appropriate where clients are attempting to achieve an antique or hand made style, with an MOQ of from 20,000 bottles. Vintage glass bottles are becoming very popular. We have set up a new production line specialized in these vintage style bottles.

What is the difference between sample bottle mould and mass production bottle mould?

A sample mould can be used as a phase of a client’s bottle-development process. It is a cost effective way for a client to review their design and make adjustments to it before committing to full production. A sample mould is only good for about 5-10 sample pieces. 

A production mould is produced only when the final design has been confirmed. This is a full-set of production moulds, and depending on the size of the bank, good for around 500,000 pieces. In the event that a mass production mould expires, either during or after its design-life, Rockwood Glass will replace it free of charge.

Should I proceed with a glass sample mould, an acrylic mould or a production mould?

Making a glass sample mould - an additional cost of $1,500 and 35 days lead time -enables a client to look and feel their bottle in real life.

There is an alternative/preliminary solution to making a full-working prototype in glass. For $650.00 - and with an approximate 12 day lead time, it is possible to make an acrylic model. This is a solid piece of plastic acrylic, not operational as a bottle, but does provide a representation of the external shape of the design. Only 1 sample piece is sent to you.

In the event that a client is simply migrating their production to China and they are already familiar and comfortable with their design, there is perhaps no need to go through the sampling process. Advancing directly to the production mould saves the fee and the 35 days lead time required to produce a sample mould.

In the event that a client is undergoing a new development, they usually choosing to go through the sampling process before making the commitment to a full set of production moulds can be a good step. 5-10 fully decorated glass samples can be produced for review or even marketing purposes/ 1 acryilc sample is made if you choose the acrylic option. Alterations can then be made to the design before the mass production mould is made. 

Our sales team will guide you if this step is necessary or not depending on the complications of your bottle design... as it is very difficult to make adjustments to a full production mould set once they have been produced.

What is the cost of a full-production mould set (for a typical 700/750ml bottle) is as follows: 

In flint, MOQ 100,000 pieces:$4,800

In extra-flint, MOQ 25,000 pieces: $3,500

How can I ensure glass production quality at your glass factory in China and what are the related guarantees?

Rockwood China ensures high-quality output of bottles through a multi-tiered rigorous QC(Quality Controlled) process. Post annealing inspectors are placed to observe for inconsistencies, imperfections & occlusions. Glass bottles are then subjected to machine inspection, and finally a secondary physical inspection. Machines are also initially calibrated such that that bottle volume and dimensional tolerances are within acceptable standards. In the event that you have a specific inspection criteria, Rockwood can formulate a bespoke process according to your criteria. Additionally clients are welcomed to visit and inspect the glass factory in China before or during the production of their own bottles.  This can be facilitated via your sales account manager.

Concerning quality-related matters, references from our existing clients are available upon request.

Are we able to send our own personnel to observe production/ensure quality standards at your glass factory?

We are used to working with a numerous companies, both small and large, from all around the world and are sensitive to each individual client’s needs. We are happy to adapt accordingly and when required, welcome inspectors/technicians at the glass plant in China to oversee production.

Quality-wise, am I more at risk buying glass bottles in China than from other countries?

China, rightly or wrongly carries a notorious reputation about its quality. Faced with this scepticism it is Rockwood’s belief that we need to exceed the quality of our western counterparts to ally people’s concerns. We have years of experience and numerous qualified personnel that understand the risks and quality pitfalls, and how to mitigate them in China. We know what you expect and want because we too have been trained and have years of experience with business and engineers and designers in Europe and the United States before coming to China.

What's the location of your glass bottle plant in China?

We have two glass plants. The first one is located south of Shanghai, while the other is north of the city, approximately 1 hour by plane. These two plants are at a close proximity to our Shanghai Design/Marketing office. If you wish to visit our factories before committing with Rockwood, please contact your account manager to arrange.

I want to create a sample design. I can explain to you what I want, but I don't know how to use 3D software. What’s the process moving forward?

Rockwood is a company that strives to ensure that the client gets what they really want. We don’t expect clients to be familiar with 3D CAD software, nor do they wish to pay for hugely expensive marketing or industrial design companies to help with the design elements of their new product.

Our marketing and design team is international and multi-lingual in Chinese, English as well as French, Spanish and Tagalog.

We have extensive experience in working together with customers and helping them achieve their vision on paper before making it into a reality. We also know where the engineering-limits are to working in the glass bottle industry in China and can guide you to a design that is actually achievable in mass production and that also can respect your marketing goals.

In the event that external assurances are required for our clients, SGS, TUV or Bureau Veritas (all with offices in Shanghai) can be appointed as a 3-rd party testing institute.These companies can provide in-line inspection, final random inspections (pre-shipment) and additionally test your glass bottles off-site in laboratories if necessary.

Once the brief for my glass bottle project has been defined, what is the first step?

The design of your glass bottles is mainly provided by you, the client, although during the course of the process Rockwood may have had some influence over the design from an engineering perspective. Open channels of communication are important during the development of the packaging. It is a collaborative process that requires input from both sides to achieve the right look as well as being producible. It is also important that your bottle is engineered such that it is not prone to any wall-thickness deficiencies, or stress concentrations. We should be able to produce a design-sketch within around 10 days from the finalisation of the brief with 3 to 5 different options.

On approval of the design-sketch we are able to transpose this design into a final technical drawing. This will then be passed back to the client as a process of approval. With this bottle drawing approved, we are then in a position to progress to making a sample-mould or full set of production moulds. In the event that you have identified a glass bottle that you like the look of, or is the inspiration behind your own vision for a glass bottle, we can help you navigate towards a design that sufficiently deviates from an existing design to circumvent any possible IP infringement. Further to this, the above development process applies.

Once we decide to launch the design process, is it possible to change my mind regarding design and shape of my custom-made bottle?

Yes, of course. Rockwood gives you the opportunity to modify the design of your unique custom made bottle several times. As long as the mass production mould hasn't been started, anything can be changed and adapted. Simply contact your account manager/designer and discuss if the changes that you require are feasible. 

What is the cost of designing my custom made bottle?

Rockwood charges only US Dollars $850 for a design. Our company is aware that a bottle-design is critical to the success of your project. That's why you may want to change your mind before commencing the production of moulds. Paying USD $850 will allow you to revise your design three times. The fee covers not only our designing services, but our engineers’ consulting services to ensure that your bottle can be achieved in mass production.

Why choose a China glass manufacturer instead of a European glass factory?

Most buyers believe that Europe offers a promise of quality, while China is only focused on price. Rockwood is a French controlled glass factory, managed by French technicians. Our quality is comparable to any European glass manufacturer of the same level.  A quick talk with some of our existing clients will reassure you on our quality-level. Rockwood is not only able to achieve better prices than anywhere in Europe or the USA, but also offer the benefits of a unparalleled flexibility, fast turn-around, and a dedicated team of Western technicians, as we are based in China.

What if one of my shipments has a problem after it has arrived at my bottling plant?

Any issues should be immediately communicated to Rockwood.  If indeed we have made a mistake in the production process, or delivered sub-standard delivery to your business, we will stand 100% behind our product and take the necessary remedial action to rectify the situation.

What if there is breakage during the shipment from your China glass factory to our bottling plant?

This is a very rare scenario, but in such an event, breakage like this would be most likely to occur during transportation. It would therefore be the responsibility of the associated transportation company, and covered by the corresponding insurances. We ensure that product is loaded safely and securely in China, sufficient to withstand typical conditions as experienced by containers during freight. Rockwood however cannot be liable for abnormal conditions, for example, a dropped container which may, cause damage to its contents. It should be pointed out that such events are of extreme rarity.

Do we need to clean bottles before filling?

Like all other bottling plants anywhere in the world, some dust, card shavings or other particles can enter bottles and they should always be cleaned on your production line prior to filling.

Approximately how many glass bottles would fit in a 40HC?

For uniform 750ml bottles it is possible to fit approximately 25,000 bottles assuming they are packed in cartons on pallets. Approximately 27,000 if they are floor-stacked. For more complicated shaped 750ml bottles, this figure reduces to around 22,000 in cartons.

Approximately 60,000 standard 12 Oz. Beer bottles will fit in a 40HC as an exampel for smaller capacity bottles.

If we order a full container, can we opt for partial shipment and keep the rest in stock for later?

Generally speaking, yes. The MOQ relates to the quantity that must be produced at one time. This does not mean that they need to be shipped all at once.

At Rockwood we pride ourselves on our flexibility and so like to provide this option to our clients. It should be remembered however that shipping-partially does not optimise your shipping efficiency and the additional costs that are incurred should be carefully observed so as to ensure that doing so is not a false economy.

Terms of partial bottle shipping can be discussed on a case-by-case basis with your account manager.

Is there lead or any other harmful chemicals in glass bottles from China?

The glass itself has no lead or other harmful chemicals. Upon request, Rockwood can have the bottles tested at an independent test facility to confirm.(SGS, TUV, Bureau Veritas)

Can you recommend a bottle glass filling plant to bottle our product?

We know and work with many bottlers around the world and we will be happy to make a recommendation of a reputable bottler close to you.

You should also note that we have our own bottling factory in Shanghai, and as such can provide finished products, as well as just glass bottles.

We are able to supply an extensive array of closures, including; T-caps, screw caps, Guala (style) caps, glass-caps

From our own distillery in France, we have a permanent inventory of French vodka and French brandy XO in our Shanghai plant. This is available to our clients at short notice to minimise lead times.

If I bottle with you in China, will there be any mention that the product is bottled in China or made in China?

There is no legal requirement to stipulate “China” anywhere on your product. We are able to provide an extensive list of products that we bottle and ship for the USA and numerous other countries. The country of origin of the alcohol and the name of the importer appears on spirits labels; however it is not a requirement to define the location in which it was bottled.

The reason we do not have to mention China is our location in an Export Processing Zone (EPZ).This is a bonded-area, technically outside of China, and recognised by other countries as being outside of China’s borders.

Custom bottle china bottling - No requirement to declare China on the product.

What are the advantages to bottle with Rockwood?

There are numerous reasons why a brand may choose to bottle with us, these include:

We provide a one-stop solution. We produce and ship the product to final destination port. You do not need to worry about production. You can concentrate your efforts on marketing and sales.

You don`t have to run around looking for the various components that make up the completed product. We do all the leg-work for you.

Our prices for the components of the packaging are going to be cheaper than are available abroad.

You will gain an enormous time advantage. Once the bottles are finished, we bottle and ship in a matter of one week.

You will gain financing advantage; you save at least 30 days in transit time etc….

It is the same price to ship a container of empty bottles or full bottles/finished product.

How can I be sure that I get the quality I want when Rockwood does the filling?

We have numerous happy customers around the world for which we have been bottling for years. References are available upon request. 

Can you bottle any product at your filling plant?

We have a permanent inventory of French Vodka and French brandy, but we can also import any other product on your behalf; Whisky, Bourbon, liquor, or any spirit you wish.

Will I pay taxes when my bulk spirit enters China?

No you won’t. We are located on a tax free bonded area on the port of Zhapu/Ningbo (just south of Shanghai) and as such the products come in and out in suspension of taxes.

Will foreign authorities, like TTB approve your product?

Yes they will approve our products without any problems. We have hundreds of products already approved with TTB. We can even take you through all the steps for this approval process. Ann Morse is our TTB agent in Washington (ex TTB specialist) and she is very efficient and knowledgeable.

Will I be able to control your production process?

Like any other packer anywhere in the world, you will be informed about every aspect of your product before we commence bottling for you. From the origin of the liquid, the necessary treatments, proofs of all the ancillary parts to finished samples if you require. Additionally you are welcome to visit the plant during production.

What if there is a problem in the U.S. when already in distribution?

Like any other packer, we take every conceivable step to ensure that all our products meet their specification. We are a French company in China, operating a bottling spirit plant (Vodka, Brandy, Cognac, Rum and Whisky) and as such we apply rigorous European controls and techniques to deliver defect free goods. All our spirits are cold-treated, micro filtered at 0.45 and all packaging components are tested and finalised by clients.

In 5 years of operation in China, we have not delivered any orders with epidemic issues.  The few isolated cases that occurred, remedial action has been undertaken to satisfy the client accordingly.  We believe in long term business relationships and act with propriety to support this notion.

Can you make bottles of any unusual shape or very, very large size?

Yes, glass making has its limitations in terms of glass flow, while ceramic allows any shape, any size. So when we cannot make it with glass, we go with ceramic, any size, any shape. Our engineers will guide you in what is best and doable for your ideas and product.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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