Netstal-Maschinen AG and Glaroform AG from Switzerland and Ilsemann Automation from Germany are working together to replace existing packaging and their barrier properties with plastic compound solutions that are of high quality, environmentally-friendly and cost-efficient to produce as well as reclosable. A replacement was also developed as a multi-layer barrier compound. What is innovative about this new packaging solution is a barrier foil which is positioned between injected layers of plastic. Firstly, a preformed barrier foil which is similar to the finished container and made from metal or plastic of low permeability is inserted into the mould. Secondly, the first plastic layer is injected into the outer side of the container followed by a second plastic layer onto the barrier foil on the inner side. The specific structure of the multi-layer barrier compound is such that the barrier foil is protected against damage from the outside without coming into contact with the packaged product. An additional benefit is that in-mould labelling can be used together this packaging. The same process also lends itself to the production of the accompanying covers. Another innovation of the multi-layer barrier compound is that there is no “retort shock” upon sterilisation of foodstuffs in the autoclave. The term “retort shock” refers to the weakening of barrier properties in packaging during the sterilisation process due to the water absorption of the plastic. Within the scope of joint development, the first step made was to build and test a pre-series prototype system. The packaging produced using this system meets practical standards and trials can be now carried out in the food processing industry. The system will be developed further with our partners in the packaging and food processing industries.
The three partners in detail:
Netstal is the leading provider worldwide of high-performance injection moulding machines for thin-walled plastic parts. Its many years of experience and expertise in packaging solutions guarantee that innovative and new approaches are taken to develop improved barrier properties.
Glaroform stands for high-performance injection moulds which have long played a leading role in the packaging industry in particular.
Ilsemann is involved in the manufacture of the fastest removal and automation systems and is one of the leading providers in the insert technology sector, e.g. in-mould labelling in the packaging industry.
Advantages of the process: It is an alternative to tins currently in use, offers design flexibility, ptimal market presentation possible thanks to IML, comparable shelf life to tins, improved quality using injection moulding/in-mould labeling, inner layer safe for all filling products such as meat, vegetables, brine, oil, sauces, coffee, tea, medicinal products, paints, lacquers, use of recyclate in outer layer possible.