Case study: Leak-free yogurt lid solves sealing problem
May 14, 2012
From the perspective of a hungry consumer, trying to open their yogurt container, a lid that stubbornly fails to peel or leaked product before consumption may turn that person-and perhaps their delectable dairy snack-sour.
Danafilms (www.danafilms.com), with its line of custom engineered films, put the lid on precisely these problems for one of America’s fastest growing yogurt brands. Key to this success story, as coextrusion technical manager Aaron LaPointe explains, was understanding all aspects of a packaging problem and employing Danafilms’ 40-plus years in the art of blown film for a complete, cost-effective solution.
“In this case, a converter came to us and explained their client was having a problem with leakers, an industry term for incomplete seals,” says LaPointe. “We also learned there were spots where the film would actually fuse to the cup, making the yogurt containers sometimes difficult to open.”
Unlike films used in bag- or pouch-making where two films often create one seal together, LaPointe explains that lidstock film alone does all the work of creating a strong, hermetic seal against a cup made from a dissimilar plastic, especially polyesters. Therefore, creating the ideal lidstock is a matter of engineering a precise resin blend, a process that’s born out of Danafilms’ technical expertise as well as consistent in-house research and collaboration with external suppliers.
In engineering a solution for this client, Danafilms successfully created a lidstock that ensured a solid seal that lasts from the yogurt filling line through the trip home from the grocery store and also remained easy-to-open for consumers of all age groups. And while creating a plastic film lid with the sort of quality that matched the wholesome yogurt inside certainly addressed the client’s challenge, LaPointe notes the new lidstock’s advantages didn’t stop there.
“With the previous lidstock material, this yogurt company had to use extremely high temperatures to get a good seal, which limited line speed and how quickly they could fill containers,” says LaPointe. “The material we developed allowed a considerable reduction in seal temperature. Now the line speed is limited by the filling of the cup, not the sealing of the lid-just the way it should be.”
Lower sealing temperatures not only helped this company's pace of production, but did wonders for protecting their line fill equipment, too. Before the Danafilms lidstock was introduced, heating elements on the line’s seal heads routinely burned out-leading to critical downtime. Simply by lowering temperatures for the new film, the yogurt company eliminated these breakdowns and capitalized on the efficiencies that come with reduced energy usage as well as increased production speeds.
Of course, the lidstock developed for this up-and-coming yogurt brand is but one instance of many excellent examples in Danafilms’ line of engineered-to-excel films. Whether a plastic lidding challenge exists with a dairy container, a pet food product, or perhaps the larger pharmaceutical market, finding a customized solution really is as easy as pulling back the lid on a wealth of Danafilms filmmaking proficiency.