Recyclable packaging materials without speed limitations
SN German Pouch Pack Technology has invented a combined technology to run recyclable packaging materials without speed limitations.
Existing HFFS (Horizontal Form Fill & Seal) machinery cannot handle the pouch production with non-laminated mono materials or can no longer reach the line speed that was achievable with “common” standard materials when using laminates that are designed for recyclability. Less temperature consistence and smaller sealing windows lead to increased stretching of recyclable laminates and prevent the machines from producing bags at the same performance level as with traditional multi-material laminates.
The fast growing market segment of single serve stand-up pouches having a spout as re-closure system (so called squeeze pouches for baby food, fruit puree or yogurt drinks etc.) can’t be produced at the current generation of HFFS machines because the standard sealing technology induces the required heat for sealing the plastic re-closure system through the easily melting outer layer of the new, mono-material film. The outer film-layer melts before a proper sealing of the inside layer becomes possible.
Re-closure systems for pouches like zippers or sliders can only be applied at lower speed.
SN has invented a combined technology which provides the possibility to run a broad range of recyclable film materials without any speed limitation. The technology to seal spouts in mono-material film pouches is based on a patented solution, jointly developed by Dow and Georg Menshen GmbH & Co. KG. It is from utmost importance for SN to cooperate with market leading players of the resin, enclosures and flexible-packaging industry. Dow is testing new materials on a SN machine in their Pack Studios in Switzerland. ExxonMobil just recently invested into a test machine from SN for their R&D lab in China.
This particular combination of technologies will be available for new machines and for retrofitting existing machines that enable SN Machines to run modern film materials.
The following new technologies will become available for the SN machine-portfolio:
• Advanced temperature control features for all sealing bars reducing the tolerances of sealing temperatures along the whole sealing tool.
• Reverse spout sealing to apply the heat directly to the spout. The outer film layer is not stressed by additional heat anymore that was so far required to seal-in the spout using older pouch filling technologies.
• Continuous motion ultrasonic sealing technology is now available for the sealing of zippers and slider profiles. It applies the energy directly into the sealing area of a pouch.
• All these features reduce the stretching or burning of the sensitive new film materials.
SN is proud to show the pouch production “live” with some of the latest materials at the Fachpack Show in Nuremberg in September 2019. A mono-material PP film, a mono-material PE film and a sealable paper (recyclable in the regular waste-paper stream) will be converted into pouches on a modern FBM 071 machine.
The impact on sustainability:
A lot of today’s plastic packaging is not recyclable because it is a composition of different plastic types.
The use of recyclable packaging materials becomes a prerequisite for a circular economy which is one of the greatest demands of the industry and of consumers.
By implementing our innovative technology into our packaging machines, SN supports companies worldwide to eliminate non-recyclable plastic materials from their packaging process. This initiative will contribute substantially to minimize the amount of non-recyclable plastic films used in industrial packaging processes.
Olaf Clemens; Owner and CEO of SN Maschinenbau GmbH: “The biggest misconception is that our industry is sometimes perceived as one of the 'accelerators' of plastic consumption and therefore is indirectly supporting the growth of plastic waste worldwide.
In contrary, our target is to support the reduction of plastic utilization by developing modern filling and pouch making machines that can process even thinner films or plastic-free sealable materials like innovative sealable papers. We are dedicated to a sustainable use of our natural resources and to the protection of the environment.
Did you know that the ratio “packaging to product” is 5-10 times lower using flexible packaging than with alternative packaging solutions? Using rigid packaging materials would require 23 mn. tons of additional packaging material in Europe year by year ..." (source: flexpack-europe)
Speed limitations for packaging lines caused by using mono materials have a negative influence on economic performance and restrain the introduction of mono materials. Without machine modifications they would not reach the required production numbers while increasing the risk to lose business. The consequential cost of lower output is keeping some manufactures away from using mono materials.
The newly developed SN technology enables manufacturers to pack their products into recyclable film materials without speed restrictions on their filling machines. This contributes massively to the acceptance of the new mono materials.
Apart from the positive impact on sustainability enabling manufacturers to run 100% recyclable film materials on their HFFS machines, SN’s solution was developed to cover a much wider range of recyclable materials: The new technology is capable to handle standard-polymer-films as well as Bio-polymer-films. It will be applicable for materials which are developed for a recycling process and likewise for the production of pouches made from compostable raw-materials.
SN’s developments are not only compatible with SN machine applications but can be retrofitted at other machine models as well. This grants a wide, fast and easy market-rollout.
Last but not least it is worth to mention that by using the innovative SN-technology the space requirements of high speed machines are getting smaller and the energy consumption will be reduced compared to current standard equipment – this contributes to a reduced carbon footprint of industrial pouch packaging.