column: Current topic: Beverage and food packaging
Beverage cartons – new constructions and graphics
Composite containers for drinks (beverage cartons) are used in both aseptic and nonaseptic alternatives in our market. Boxboard is fundamental for both the types. As for nonaseptic cartons, boxboard is usually covered with one or more polyethylene layers. As for aseptic cartons, more frequent in the market, boxboards are PE coated on both sides. PE couples with aluminium foil in the inner layer, since aluminium constitutes a perfect barrier against irradiation and O2. For the aluminium layer be separated from the food, a double-layer of PE coating is usually applied on it. As for some kinds of aseptic cartons (e.g. Tetra Recart), PE is replaced with PP. For printing on aseptic and nonaseptic packagings, multicolor flexographic or gravure printing is mostly used. Producers do not stick only to the logistics-friendly although somewhat featureless rectangular or square shaped cartons.
Beverage cartons versus PET bottles
A panel discussion entitled „Beverage cartons or PET bottles?“ was held in the frames of the Drinktec trade fair in Munich, Germany, in September. It focused on the issue: Which one of these two types of packaging is more eco-friendly (whether during its production or disposal). However, the dispute proved to be rather one-sided, because none of representatives of companies manufacturing beverage cartons was willing to take part in it finally. After all, those who took part in the event called PET World Congress 2009 stated that plastics – in accordance with anticipation – will become the major form of beverage packaging for the first time this year.
OTK Group continues its investments
The OTK Group’s recent massive investment in a Primaflex CL8 flexo printing press raised attention of the professional community and customers as well. Since September, especially global companies doing their business in the Czech market have got an opportunity to expand their orders placed at OTK with other products of flexibile packaging. The equipment renewal in Kolín still continues and a new finishing line for graphical labels is going to be triggered. We talked to Petr Ryska, OTK general manager, not only about this line’s utilization.
Challenging operation, rigorous testing
Containers for dangerous liquid substances must comply with strict standards. Due to this fact so much attention is paid to these during production and in a testing laboratory, due to this fact the choice of packaging means for carriage of dangerous goods must follow the regulations appropriate to each kind of transport (ADR/RID/ADN/IMDG Code/IATA).
All containers, which dangerous goods is shipped in, must go through an accredited testing laboratory. If they pass the tests, they will be marked with an UN code which specifies the sort of packaging, its distinctive properties and possible applications. There are two accredited testing laboratories in the Czech Republic – CIMTO and IMET.
column: Main topic: Mechanization and automation
Robots conquer the world of packaging
Our accelerating age demands not only speed and performance increasing of the lines and equipment for packaging production itself but challenges also other areas of packaging logistics, filling, and storing. While even a decade ago, producers considered automatic deliveries with a roller conveyor that significantly speeded up an entire process for „a hit“, we meet full automation including robotization particularly at major manufacturers nowadays. And though the first robots were chiefly employed in the automotive industry, this is currently by far not the only one, where robotics is being harnessed. In packaging technology, robots are most frequently used for packing and palletizing.
Investments in robots pays off
In Europe, the ABB company ranks among the leading providers of industrial robots, automated production systems and services yet for long years. The firm is not only a leader in automation technology but it is also well-known for its power engineering products. We talked to Radek Velebil, account manager of Robotics division, ABB, about robots’ applications in food and beverage packaging above all.
Automation – news from FachPack
At the turn of September and October, yet a traditional trio of shows dedicated to the packaging production and technologies – FachPack, PrintPack, and LogIntern – took place at the exhibition centre in Nuremberg. Beside materials, packages, converting machines, and printing technologies, neither logistic applications or end-to-end system solutions were missed out. Even this year, one of the most closely watched areas was automation and robotization. The exhibits made evident that requirements on system hardware and software and thus technical and technology solutions have significantly increased as for both the robots and converting machines or lines.
Requirements on material properties still increasing…
The basic material for folding carton production is boxboard, weights ranging from 230 – 500 gsm (there are exceptions too). Folding boxboards vary in their fiber content, production processes as well as converting methods. Considering the fact that folding cartons belong to the most important group of consumer packaging, today’s market puts increasingly higher demands on them, reflected not only in their construction and printing but also in material properties requirements.
Mitsubishi is not only a car
The Uniware company of Hořovice launched a Japanese offs
et press, strong chiefly in the field of package printing, in the Czech market. Despite Mitsubishi began to manufacture printing presses in cooperation with the Frenchmen a half of century ago, it has been known as a pioneer of at present widely used technology solutions, for example so called seven o’clock cylinder configuration with double-diameter impression and transfer cylinders, for ages. Uniware became the official Czech seller of Mitsubishi printing presses following the last year’s Drupa fair, where the company presented a new line of Diamond Series presses. It is the V3000 model above all that carries more than eighty changes compared to the previous 3000 line, particularly in automating tasks and reducing makeready time.
column: Packaging and design
The match of metal vs. glass
Requirements on packaging design continue to increase. Producers often overcome even imaginary limits set up by manufacturing, technology or used materials until recently. Within some product ranges conversely, superior design climbed to its limit – and has stagnated. However, the last fact in question absolutely does not describe the situation of beverage packaging. In the field of alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks packaging, a design boom has occurred. We can encounter interesting pieces of work made of all packaging materials. Neither producers of beverage cartons, plastics and cardboards stand aside. But there are two major materials associated with beverages – glass and metal.
Glass should become the crown prince of packaging
At the international trade fair for beverage technology Drinktec 2009 in Munich this fall, the O-I company presented an unusual conceptual view of glass and container glass. Its goal (not only limited to the fair) is to highlight design capabilities of glass and to produce bottles and glasses offering all the advantages of this material. Through his interpretation of O-I stand, Francesco Lucchese shared his personal view of glass with visitors. We asked a well-known Italian designer about details of how this project came into existence.
The merger of packaging’s structural and graphic design
Creating a new PET bottle design is not an easy task since a great number of bottle shapes is produced even registered by local or global manufacturers yet. Possible solutions are limited by producer’s technology and used material. Just designers experienced in this branch, Filip Streit and Ivan Dlabač of the Divan studio, who know technology bottlenecks of PET bottle development very well, can better concentrate on a boldly unique interpretation of the bottle.
This time, it was a PET bottle for KORUNNÍ mineral water and synthesis of innovative technology, graphics, and shape in a bottle of Jupí fruit drink.
The structure of the Kodak Approval NX Digital Color Imaging System differs quite fundamentaly from common forms of digital proof where ink-jet printing is mostly used. The image is created via laser ablation of pigments from special color foils (donors) transferred onto a proofing carrier sheet then. Combining color foils, you can print CMYK process colors, Pantone colors, Hexachrome, Opaltone, and MetalFX, that is a special system of metallic colors. It is also possible to match the color with a sample supplied by the customer. Thanks to the processing technology and also to the fact that there can be selected both the shape and size of halftone dots as well as the order of applied colors, the Approval NX system is able to simulate various printing processes, offset, flexo, or gravure printing.
ArtiosCAD designs packages and POP/POS displays
EskoArtwork’s ArtiosCAD ranks among the most popular software tools for structural design layout in the world. In comparison with common CAD/CAM systems, it considerably speeds up and facilitates product development thanks to its dedicated tools for construction from rigid materials supported by virtual modeling in 3D space and also to tremendous output capabilities of production devices.
column: Trade fairs
This fall, the FachPack trade fair celebrated already 30 years of existence. A record number of 1337 exhibitors showcased their products in Nuremberg, which is in a strong contrast to this year’s failure of Czech packaging shows for example. Numerous participants represented also the Czech Republic at FachPack.