Caught on film: Film breakthroughs ensure high reviews.
Unique material lends itself to unique film
RKW Danafilms’ (rkw-danafilms.com) FPO® filmstock for use with butter stick wraps is made with an old childhood favorite – chalk, also known as calcium carbonate. A filled polyolefin (from which the acronym FPO is derived), FPO film blends conventional polyolefin and calcium carbonate at a roughly 50/50 ratio. This innovative sourcing of materials leads to a reduced polymer usage, reduced energy consumption and the potential to reduce the film’s thickness compared to simple conventional filmstocks.
Aside from sustainability improvements, Steve Crimmin, U.S. director of sales & marketing for RKW Danafilms points out that the film delivers production benefits too.
“Looking at the wax paper butter stick wrap, you’ve got a two-step production: You’ve got to make the paper, then you’ve got to coat that paper with wax,” says Crimmin. “With FPO, one advantage over paper is a one-step packaging production: You make the film, and next, you put the butter in it.”
Benefits of FPO don’t end with sustainability or streamlined productions, however. The filmstock’s high mineral content translates to improved water and vapor barriers, good puncture resistance and excellent deadfold properties (the ability to be folded in a specific manner and retain that fold over an extended period). Further, FPO has a naturally matte finish, which has the potential to distinguish a product on the store shelf.
Stretch wrap reduces contamination
Ensuring food safety and preventing product contamination are at the top of the list for packagers. Contamination can sometimes occur during the packaging process, and some incidents occur when bits of stretch wrap get into the process flow. Detectamet (detectamet.co.uk) was asked by several companies for a detectable stretch wrap, and this has been of particular interest to ingredient suppliers wishing to help to protect their customers from accidental contamination.
“I was surprised at the numbers when they came in” says Sean Smith the company’s CEO “We produce many metal detectable plastic products that help to reduce contamination of finished food product and several of them have been made at the specific request of food production companies.”
The new detectable stretch wrap has been tested and found to offer good levels of detectability in metal detectors. In addition, the 30 micron film was found to offer more resilient strength and was less likely to tear. Detectamet offers two sizes of the detectable stretch wrap, one for hand wrapping and the other for wrapping by machines. The new wrap has been affirmed as satisfying the US and EU requirements for safe contact with food.
Skin tight packaging film debuts
Clondalkin Wentus (clondalkingroup.com) introduces a new skin-tight film for the food processing industry. The long shelf life and high barrier properties of the WENTOPRO-SkinTight® film makes it suitable for a wide range of food products including fresh, frozen and processed meat, poultry, fish and sea food products, as well as cheese and ready meals. The high vacuum properties of the film guarantee a long shelf life for packaging products. The film is named Skin Tight because the invisible film surrounds the product like a second skin, giving a natural look for maximum shelf appeal, as well as providing a safe and secure seal preventing against contamination and leakage.
“[The film] has an easy peel corner for consumer convenience and because of its long shelf life properties it helps retailers reduce waste and keep products fresh and looking attractive for longer,” states Christian Claes, new business development director at Clondalkin Wentus.
Shrink sleeve label enables label seperation
A new shrink sleeve label is on the market to address polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling concerns. Sealed Air (sealedair.com) unveils the Cryovac® LT-1 shrink sleeve label, among the first in the industry with a density lower than the 1g/cc standard which guides PET recycling. The labels are composed of a multi-layer polymer-based film to provide 360-degree, form-fitting bottle coverage while enhancing sustainability and performance. The Cryovac LT-1 shrink sleeve labels easily separate and float from source PET bottles once they reach the recycling process, thus reducing contamination and enabling greater bottle recycling efficiencies.
“Shrink label separation has emerged as one of the greatest challenges for PET recyclers, who battle accumulating waste as a result of high-density labels that sink and ultimately mix with PET bottle flakes,” says Scott Keefauver, marketing manager, Sealed Air Packaging Solutions.
Film for chicken optimizes freshness
General Films (generalfilms.com) has recently launched the BG/2M film, a coextruded film with nylon barrier. The film has two-sided sealing, octene LLDPE sealant layers, nylon interior ply and a nine-layer structure. The film was designed for the packaging of fresh poultry, packaged on a vertical form/fill/seal machine. BG/2M film features high impact strength, high tensil strength and a wide-ended heat seal window. For optimum product freshness, BG/2M film offers gas, aroma and flavor barriers for optimum product freshness.
In 2012 General Films began trials of the film with a medium sized U.S. chicken processor. While the price of the film was higher up front than the company’s previously used film, the overall investment decreased. The film’s strength properties allowed for downgauging opportunities that ultimately led to a profit for the processor.
Stretch wrap film stretches results
ITW Muller (itwmuller.com), a leading manufacturer of both innovative stretch wrap equipment and high quality stretch wrap film, introduces its latest machine stretch wrap film, AccuWrap. The new film protects the load from dust and dirt which are often by-products in a busy work environment. Puncture and tear resistant, AccuWrap firmly secures product loads with its aggressive cling — in spite of grit and dust. Formulated from Muller’s proprietary, highest-quality resins, users get maximum performance engineered for challenging conditions.
The AccuWrap film offers pre-stretch levels up to 300% for greater control and economies in usage. Like all Muller films, it provides a high level of puncture resistance – enabling the benefits of maximum pre-stretch, even with sharp load corners. AccuWrap has exceptional cling which means it not only binds in even the most rugged settings, but also won’t slip between rollers in older machines.