• Automatic double line for blister packaging

    With a packaging machine programme featuring more than 50 different machines, Weighpack’s portfolio includes automated bin feed systems, vibratory feed hoppers, weighing and counting machines, case packers, palletisers, bag makers, transport conveyors, box formers and closers, and much more. Besides the standard machines, almost all packaging lines are ‘suit to fit’, custom build systems. Their purpose is to offer customers a wide range of high-quality products, with the best quality/price ratio in the market. This was recently true for a fastener supplier in the US, where Weighpack designed and built a blister packaging line to suit its high demands on packaging quality and performance. The US company realised that between the production of its components and the storage and transport, there is another important process – the process of dosing and packaging. It is a specialist field, which is why Weighpack was invited to work out a ‘suit to fit’ solution for the blister packing process of fasteners, from product infeed up to check weighing, sealing and printing, that would provide efficiency and accuracy. As a specialist in the development and production of complete packaging lines for bulk hardware, Weighpack proposed a tailor-made bag packing line. The original request for quotation cited: ‘The design, fabrication, installation and commission of a fully automated and integrated packaging line with a single point of control capable of portioning and placing customer’s product inside the preformed plastic clamshell blisters, resulting in retail ready sealed packaging’. Weighpack has a unique product speciality – processing products with a small volume and a heavy weight. The Weighpack strength is that it can manage the entire process from the initial advice up to and including service and maintenance. All components in the packaging line of Weighpack have been optimised and integrated. This means that all partial solutions ‘communicate’ with each other and the peripheral equipment. This has many advantages for a trouble-free operation and efficient maintenance. Weighpack was also able to supply the customer with know-how in the field of machine engineering, mechatronics and control technology, both PLC and PC. It resulted in a system that was built up and tested at the Weighpack company’s plant in The Hague, the Netherlands. Weighpack therefore proposed a packaging line configuration, which is capable of packing two products in one blister (duo-packs). It starts at the infeed of the products where the customer empties internal bins in one of the two main storage hoppers. The product flow from the two 1,200kg/2,600lb capacity vibratory hoppers are regulated by special vibratory pre-weigh trays that stream the products to the Z-shape inclined cleated belt conveyors with wave edge to feed the two 14-head combination weighers, which can generate an output of up to 50 blisters per minute. The stacked clamshell blisters are automatically destacked by a blister dispenser and fed into a servo drive pocket conveyor. The pocket conveyor is indexing 4 blisters every cycle, presenting 4 boxes simultaneously to the filling point under the two multi-head weighing systems. Before the first product filling station, a paper instruction card is placed on the bottom of the open and empty blisters. The first product filling point is also equipped with an orientation magnet to align longer steel fasteners in the narrow containers. The second weigher and filling point is used for the filling of the randomly placed, secondary products (wall plug, anchors, etc). In the following indexing sequence, the lids of the clamshell blisters are mechanically closed and check weighted. After the quantity check the closed lids receive a 3-dot tamper evident sealing from an ultrasonic sealing unit. The following laser printer completes the packaging cycle by branding the blisters with a production date coding. A formation pusher at the end of the line pushes 4 boxes at the same time to a packing table were the rest of the case packing and palletising is performed manually.


    Researchers at Andaltec are already working to synthesise biodegradable and compostable plastics, which will be employed as raw materials for food packaging. One of the project’s goals is for these materials to meet the high quality standards required for food preservation. At the same time, these products should be sustainable, something increasingly demanded by customers and companies. A series of final film demonstrators will be developed during the project, having barrier properties against oxygen, steam, fat and microorganisms. This will help to extend food lifespan and improve its preservation conditions. This project is intended to give use to the large amount of waste generated by the Spanish agrifood sector, which amounts to 22% of all industrial production. The development of more sustainable items and processes from agricultural waste is very appealing, as it can generate high-value products The head researcher for BioNanocel project, José Antonio Rodríguez, pinpoints that vegetal biomass is mostly made up by cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, which are three very interesting compounds. He states that “cellulose, which is one of the most abundant natural polymers, is the main component of agricultural waste. This biopolymer can become the base to synthesise a great variety of high added-value products, which can also be very valuable when applied on the food packaging industry”. Firstly, this project will develop an efficient cellulose extraction and purification system from agricultural waste, such as biomass originated in olive grove pruning, sunflower harvest waste or wood from cotton harvest. That cellulose will be used to create high added-value compounds, like nanocellulose and cellulose acetate, counting with singular properties that will allow to be employed in the thermoplastics transformation industry and later applied to the food packaging sector. “This initiative is also going to prove that plastic is the best material for food packaging. It not only implies low cost and advantages for product transport and preservation, but also sustainability and low environmental impact: it features a vegetal origin, it is compostable and benefits from a manufacturing process which is low in water consumption and greenhouse effect gases emissions”, as Rodríguez asserts. This effort is consistent with the new European Strategy for Plastics, which is launched to develop and discover new materials, products and process based on the principles of sustainability, industrial ecology, eco-efficiency and green chemistry, giving priority to circular economy and bioeconomy. BioNanocel project is funded by the R&D scheme directed to private entities of the department for Economy, Business and University of the Andalusian government.


    With on-pack QR codes already well established, SIG is now taking its PAC.ENGAGE QR code technology to closures to further bridge the digital communication gap between brand and consumer. Recognized by smartphones in less than three seconds for quick and easy use, SIG’s ‘One Cap, One Code’ solution keeps consumers entertained, informed and rewarded, while also building consumer trust and loyalty. With more than 40% of the world’s population online and 70% with a smartphone, consumers are more connected than ever. Millennials expect brands to entertain them and the whole buying experience has become much more than just about the product. PAC.ENGAGE from SIG offers a variety of exciting communication options for companies looking to get closer to consumers and build target audiences. Hanno Bertling, Senior Product Manager Closures at SIG: “Hiding QR codes in closures offers a more personal touch and this new way of communicating with consumers offers unique and fun online marketing opportunities for our customers.” With a simple smartphone scan, the unique QR code hidden inside the closure can immediately launch dynamic and engaging content, from engaging competitions and questionnaires to loyalty programs and shopping offers. A quick link to the brand’s website and social media channels also generates more traffic flow to increase interaction and boost sales. Ayed Katrangi, Senior Product Manager Digital Marketing at SIG: “IoT and connected packaging innovations are opening up new and creative ways to track and interact and our PAC.ENGAGE solutions allow every product to act as a data-driven information and media source. Our exceptionally user-friendly coded closures will bring a new personal and emotional experience to consumers, allowing brands to build a close and engaging relationship with their audience.” SIG’s first customer to use the new PAC.ENGAGE ‘One Cap, One Code’ solution is Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co, one of China’s largest dairy producers. The early adopter will launch ‘Perfect Love’ fruit yoghurt and the QR code in the closure will direct consumers to a WeChat mini-program, full of fun content to keep consumers engaged and entertained. Working closely with SIG to launch the latest online marketing solution, Yili can now attract more offline consumers to buy online and build an enduring membership system. This valuable data capture will help to optimize the company’s long-term brand strategy.

  • A new ‘OK Compost’ certified label material for thermal applications from Avery Dennison

    Jennifer Bijkerk, development engineer, said that the new material addresses a significant shortfall in supply for compostable thermal materials: “Demand for sustainable thermal labels is huge, including compostable labels, and the European EN13432 standard imposes extremely strict requirements before ‘OK Compost’ certification can be awarded by TUV Austria. This new material, under product reference BW099 (Thermal Eco BPA Free FSC SX6030-BG40WH FSC) uses a new facestock/adhesive combination to ensure a robust and practical material that needs no special storage conditions and which has a normal shelf life. As composting standards are limited, the EN13432 is also to be accepted as compostability standard in many countries outside of Europe.” The main application for BW099 will be labelling of compostable food packaging and compostable plastic bags, especially last minute direct printed labels for fruit and vegetables that are weighed and packed by consumers in the supermarket. Rapidly spreading bans on single-use plastics also means there is a drive towards using compostable carrier bags and other packaging, all of which will require a compostable label. Public opinion on the issue and composting being a potential solution is underlined by the Global Commitment launched by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and UN Environment in October 2018: Avery Dennison is one of more than 250 businesses supporting this commitment, working with governments, NGOs, universities, and other organisations to eliminate plastic waste and pollution. Luuk Zonneveld, product manager Select Solutions, said that the new material is available at 2m width and with optimized production efficiency to support the broader demands of the market. “We know how important this product category is to converters and end users, and we see it as a key contributor to our own wider and highly ambitious sustainability goals. We have been able to use conventional technology to produce this innovation, by creating a unique facestock/adhesive combination, and work is already well underway towards expanding our compostable range with more certified products.”

  • Nestlé announces industry's first baby food packaging designed for the future of recycling

    In the U.S., the new pouch will be available exclusively on TheGerberStore.com for Gerber's Organic Banana Mango Puree beginning in May 2020. It will be 100% recyclable through Gerber's national recycling program with TerraCycle.

    In Finland, the pouch will be available for Piltti's Apple Pear Blueberry Raspberry widely sold in supermarkets.

    Thierry Philardeau, Head of the Nutrition Strategic Business Unit, Nestlé said: "We are proud to have found a solution for the recyclability of baby food pouches. We began in the U.S. and Finland for two product variants, and we aim to gradually extend the use of single-material pouch to our baby food pouches range globally."

    This is in line with Nestlé's commitment to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.

    The newly designed-to-be-recyclable pouch is made from polypropylene (PP), a versatile form of plastic available commercially. This switch is expected to make more plastics infinitely recyclable and increase the value of the material for the recycling industry.

    "This launch is an important milestone on how we execute our ambition to create a wider market for recycled plastics that are safe for food. We will continue to work with other stakeholders to ensure that the infrastructure needed to recycle matches material innovation," added Thierry Philardeau.

  • Salon du Brasseur: fill level and closure detection for beginners


    This can only be avoided with any degree of certainty by means of a fill level detection which automatically detects and consistently rejects bottles with too little content. A stand-alone device which provides craft brewers and SMEs with an optimal entry to a full container check proves that this can also be space-saving, affordable and reliable: the HEUFT ONE!

    Finding underfilled bottles

    It can be seen live on Stand 30 in Hall A of the Nancy Expo Park at the Salon du Brasseur. Brewers and beer lovers can therefore experience how reliably it finds and rejects underfilled bottles. But that is not all: it also detects bottles without closures or with closures which are too high directly on the running conveyor and removes them safely in the same work process.

    One more sophisticated detection, such as the X-ray based fill level detection, can be combined with a simpler one in order to carry out a real full container check in the smallest of spaces which satisfies both producer and consumer.

  • New security labels offer integrated solutions

    To enable the fast and reliable authentication of genuine products, SICPA’s new security labels utilizes innovative technology to effectively capture consumers’ attention and which can be customized to promote specific symbols or brand names supporting an array of designs, colours, and visual effects, according to the company. Delivered in the form of a product security label, the new solution empowers consumers, businesses, and government officials to easily and reliably validate authentic goods and products, says SICPA. The integrated labels can include tamper-evidence, secure 2D codes, as well as other overt, covert and forensic security features offered by the company. Brand owners benefit from multi-layered security features to support consumer engagement, supply chain controls and investigation and enforcement efforts. “Produced using propriety technologies and SICPA’s fully controlled supply chain, this new solution provides business and governments both unrivalled security features and unique customization opportunities,” says Karen Gardner, chief marketing officer for the company. “Taken together, this allows customers to not only achieve optimum brand and product protection, but also to leverage a unique marketing opportunity – creating a counterfeit-resistant marking that makes it easy for consumers to identify authentic products,” she added. The integrated product security labels can be used to authenticate pharmaceuticals, electronic and automotive components, apparel, food and spirits, and other high-end consumer products. Research from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) showed that the value of counterfeit goods traded internationally has increased by 154% between 2005 and 2016, from $200 billion to $509 billion. It is estimated that, by 2022, counterfeit goods will displace more than $1 trillion in global sales from legitimate companies.


    ProPak India 2020 is an international processing and packaging trade event for India, and the perfect platform to access a robust and expanding industry and market growing at high GDP growth rates with strong increase and further potential to expand throughout its food, drink, personal care & hygiene, industrial goods, ecommerce, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

    ProPak India 2020 will be the second edition of its kind. This year in New Delhi, the show will be delivering a focused industry event connecting international suppliers to local and regional buyers.

    India is witnessing strong and dynamic growth across its industries with a backdrop of rising incomes, expanding and changing consumer demands, increasing export potential and strong and supportive governance.

  • Innoket Neo Flex: KHS presents its new modular labeling machine

    With its new labeling machine the KHS Group is consistently advancing its modular system design strategy and strengthening its portfolio in uniting the KHS Innoket Neo Flex and KHS Innoket Neo in a single series. This supersedes the previous Innoket SE generation of machines. Flexibility first Thanks to the Innoket Neo’s flexible design the individual modules on this highly customizable labeler can be freely combined. Henrik Kahrmann, who works in Product Support at KHS, outlines the benefits. “In the past there was a separate machine for each different labeling technique. This was optimized for its specific area of application but reached its limits when customers wanted to expand their portfolio, for example by adding self-adhesive labeling in combination with the classic cold glue method.” With the Innoket Neo KHS has developed a machine that can be configured at will thanks to its modular design.

    The new Innoket Neo Flex goes several steps further when it comes to standardization and meets all customer demands in a single series – regardless of whether with permanently installed stations or as a modular machine. Depending on the machine size and respective requirements the Flex series can be equipped with two to four modules. These are exchanged with just a few manual adjustments performed without tools. Labeler convincing with its wide range of application The Innoket Neo Flex also demonstrates great flexibility in the choice and size of container. The machine labels both plastic and glass containers and cans in all of the standard sizes. The output totals up to 74,000 containers per hour. Depending on requirements all further standard capacity ranges can also be catered for. The flexible Innoket Neo Flex can be used as either a single machine or as part of a production line. “Our labelers have been designed so that they can be easily integrated into any existing or planned line,” says Kahrmann. Low maintenance and ease of operation Another advantage of the new modular machine is its extreme ease of operation. With its patented folding door technology the machine carousel and individual stations are readily accessible at all times. Moreover, no additional cladding is required for the area beneath the machine table. In addition, operators profit from bearings lubricated for life that make the labeler extremely low maintenance and reduce the amount of lubricant needed.

    The new, ergonomic HMI provides great ease of operation. This can be moved by the operator to the required position very simply. The Innoket Neo Flex is equipped with future-proof TIA1 technology from Siemens. “The combination of TIA Portal and SIMATIC S7-1500 controller results in significant performance benefits in the control unit’s reaction time,” Kahrmann explains. The labeling machine also has a simplified electronics concept, in which most of the components are installed in the control cabinet. The perfect combination of central and decentralized control calls for much less cabling. Fast supply of spare parts and consumables Parallel to the standardization of its machine series KHS has also significantly speeded up the supply of spare parts to its customers. At the same time the supply for all existing machines continues to be ensured without limitation. For optimum operational behavior and low wear KHS provides all of the necessary consumables such as glue and also advises its customers on materials that are difficult to process at its own label laboratory – especially set up for this

  • Symphony Environmental surges as it receives FDA approval for antimicrobial food packaging

    Symphony Environmental Technologies PLC (LON:SYM) saw its shares nearly triple in value on Wednesday following news the firm has received approval for its d2p antimicrobial food packaging from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    The environmentally friendly plastics specialist said the approval provided “a new and immediate commercial opportunity in the western world’s largest market” and that it expected to see “considerable interest” for the use of d2p in the baking industry, where it already derives significant revenues from sales of its biodegradable d2w plastic products.

    “d2p is synergistic with d2w biodegradable technology and is expected to be sold to many of our current customers as well as new ones”, Symphony said in a statement.

    Michael Laurier, the company’s chief executive, said the company was “now in a position to move forward commercially and to bring this unique product to our global markets”.

    “We believe that this will make a significant contribution to revenues in the medium term”, he added.

    In late morning trade, shares in Symphony Environmental were up 194% to 24.25p

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