IMA DAIRY & FOOD USA, whose equipment solutions comprise the long-established brands Gasti, Hamba, Hassia, Fillshape, Corazza,Erca, and Intecma, has introduced a set of tools ideally suited for food brands utilizing sustainable mono-material packages. The company’s patented ZERO Technology tools are designed for manufacturers hoping to transition their packaging to more eco-conscious materials, such as PET, PP and PLA. 

Ideally suited to IMA’s Erca, Hassia, and Intecma brands of form-fill-seal (FFS) machines, ZERO Technology utilizes a patented punch process providing high-quality cutting and precutting of PET, PP and PLA. This allows for easily breaking multipacks into individual units – a notoriously cumbersome process that has limited the use of eco-friendly, mono-material packaging materials in many applications. 

ZERO Technology uses independent sleeves that allow cup design changes without the need to manufacture an entirely new thermoforming mold. The solution can be easily dismantled for hassle-free maintenance, which can significantly extend the mold’s lifespan while maintaining peak performance. 

Notably, outfitting a formed cup with a PET lid and label creates a completely recyclable package for premium sustainability. In addition, the use of transparent monomaterials makes the product visible to consumers, enhancing on-shelf aesthetics.  

Other equipment in the ZERO Technology range includes special pre-heating plates, which can be easily dismantled for simple maintenance. Additional material savings can be realized by using special thermoforming molds that allow the use of thinner materials.

“As consumer expectations and regional regulations change, manufacturers are confronted with a growing demand for more environmentally friendly, sustainable packaging solutions,” said Patrick Carroll, President for IMA Dairy & Food USA. “The ZERO Technology tooling range helps overcome certain manufacturing challenges that have historically limited the number of applications for which monomaterial packaging can be utilized. The result is an expanded range of items that can be packaged with reduced environmental footprints.”