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Next step forward in flexible packaging

Source:International Plastics News for Asia

Date Published:3/1/2017 01:03:55 PM

Flexible materials are fast gaining acceptance in primary packaging, thanks mainly to recent improvements in available raw materials 

Flexible materials are fast gaining acceptance in primary packaging, thanks mainly to recent improvements in available raw materials that have enabled manufacturers to develop new designs. This type of packaging is increasingly preferred for their ability to protect the content while providing such other benefits as lower weight, enhanced performance, and a lesser chance of contamination. Flexible packaging is also easier to store and transport, thus making delivery faster. 

The global market for flexible packaging is expected to grow annually by as much as 5.2% in terms of revenue for the period 2016 to 2024, according to a report by Transparency Market Research (TMR).  This revenue is expected to reach $238.5 billion by the end of 2016 and $358.7 billion by the end of 2024. Europe remains a highly attractive market for manufacturers of flexible packaging over the coming years that by the end of 2024, Europe is expected to generate revenue of $117.7 billion in flexible packaging. Asia Pacific is expected to provide a key opportunity for flexible packaging manufacturers owing to the huge demand for better packaging and a growing consumer goods industry. Rising disposable income of individuals will push the consumer goods industry and thus provide a solid foundation for growth of new entrants. By the end of 2024, the consumer goods industry is expected to generate a demand of $278.4 billion for flexible packaging. Apart from the consumer goods industry, the sectors of personal care, pharmaceuticals, and tobacco have been posting high demand for flexible packaging.

Materials solutions as key factor

The development new plastic raw materials has significantly contributed to the growing preference for flexible packaging. Owing to the enhanced properties of new raw materials, flexible packaging materials have become more sturdy, cost-efficient to produce and able to adhere to strict health and safety regulations required especially when these are used for food and medical products.

Recently launched compounds processed through innovative technologies have created the packaging of the future, and examples of these were demonstrated at K 2016. For instance, Total, Windmöller & Hölscher and Coveris collaborated along the value chain from resin to final product to create a perfect stand-up pouch. The increase in the number of uses for stand-up pouches as well as the overall increase in demand for them explains the importance of this packaging solution to brand owners and consumers. Manufacturers strive to find the best productivity and performance of the stand-up pouch, and Total Lumicene Supertough® offers the ideal material solution.  

Total Lumicene Supertough®, a specially designed metallocene polyethylene resin, is the latest evolution in product development for film extrusion. It generates added value with its superior mechanical properties, downgauging potential, excellent bubble stability and peak output. These characteristics have encouraged numerous customers and brand owners to adopt the Lumicene Supertough® solution for stand-up pouches as a new flexible packaging option.

Total, Windmöller & Hölscher and Coveris are known in their respective fields providing, together, the perfect solution with each collaborator dedicated to delivering their part: the right formula for 25% downgauging potential with Total’s new Lumicene Supertough® grade; the optimal machine setup for highest output with Windmöller & Hölscher’s machinery and software; and, for this project, Coveris’ lamination and pouch making expertise.

In another demonstration at K 2016, Total, Hosokawa Alpine, Coveris and Hayssen Flexible Systems collaborated along the value chain to demonstrate a recently launched 11-layer high performance barrier packaging solution. Using Total Lumicene® PE on their blown film line, Hosokawa Alpine featured an 11-layer high performance barrier film with superior toughness and ideal for food preservation applications.

Total Lumicene

The Total Lumicene® range, containing both low and medium-to-high density metallocene polyethylene, plays an important role in providing the best product for each layer of an 11-layer barrier film to provide optimum packaging performance. The Total resin formulation boosts the water vapor barrier, which protects the gas barrier block and increases downgauging potential, providing excellent optics and fast sealing. This grade is quickly becoming a preferred solution for manufacturers.

Total, Hosokawa Alpine, Coveris and Hayssen represent leaders in their respective fields providing, together, the perfect solution with each collaborator dedicated to delivering their part: the right formula for boosting the water vapor barrier with Total’s Lumicene® resin; Hosokawa Alpine’s unique 11-layer blown film line; and, for this project, Coveris’ lamination and Hayssen’s packaging making expertise.

The Total Polymers Business Unit is based in the Refining & Chemicals division of the Total Group, a leading international oil and gas company and the world’s second-ranked solar energy operator with SunPower. Its activities span oil and gas production, refining, petrochemicals and marketing. In the field of polymers, Total combines key areas of expertise in catalysis, processes and products to provide high performance and durable solutions for its customers. Windmöller & Hölscher is a supplier of machinery and systems for production and converting of flexible packaging. Currently, more than 7,000 W&H solutions are in operation worldwide in 131 countries on 5 continents. The SUP film was produced on the versatile W&H OPTIMEX blown film line. Coveris is a global leader in the manufacture and distribution of packaging solutions and coated film technologies. In partnership with other global brands, Coveris develops vital products that enhance the safety, quality and convenience of products used every day.  

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