ANUGA FoodTec 2006: SIG presents innovative packaging system

SIG Combibloc GmbH

Category: Packaging Systems | 19/05/2006 - 09:33:29

Packed full of advantages: combisafe - the alternative to glass and tin cans

SIG Combibloc is opening up new market chances for the food industry with combisafe, an innovative carton packaging system. Presented for the first time at ANUGA FoodTec 2006, combisafe is a volume-flexible, heat-resistant carton packaging series which can be filled with practically any chunky food product and subsequently sterilised in an autoclave. combisafe is packed full of advantages, making this innovative carton packaging much more than just an alternative to glass and tin cans.

All over the world, many different food products have been packed successfully in SIG Combibloc carton packaging for years. These include classics such as milk and milk products as well as juices, nectars and fruit drinks. In addition, non-carbonated water, iced tea, vitamin-enriched wellness drinks, isotonic drinks and wine are also sold in carton packaging today.

SIG Combibloc has always been a pioneer, offering the food industry new, addi-tional market chances. For instance, not only liquid but also pasty and chunky food products can be filled into carton packs from SIG Combibloc. Some examples are soups, sauces, tomato products, desserts and baby food to name just a few. Thanks to the flexible filling technology offered by the machines, products with a chunk size of up to 15 millimetres can be packed aseptically in cartons - and indi-vidual chunks can even be up to 40 millimetres long (e.g. soy beans, onions).

Volume-flexible and heat-resistant

In addition to the tried-and-tested aseptic filling machine system, SIG is now ad-vancing into a new, strategically interesting sector in the food segment with combisafe.

Thanks to the volume-flexible, heat-resistant combisafe packaging series, it is now possible for the first time to fill chunky products such as vegetables, fruit, ready-cooked meals, stews or even wet pet food into carton packs and subsequently sterilise them in an autoclave. As a result of this process, products packed in combisafe can be stored for up to two years without quality losses, without refrig-eration and without the use of preservatives.

The combisafe carton pack consists of cardboard, polypropylene and aluminium. This combination creates the prerequisite for thermal treatment in an autoclave. Each layer fulfils an important function in protecting the product. The inner polypro-pylene layer is the liquid barrier.

The outer polypropylene layer safeguards the product from external influences and ensures that the composite material can with-stand the high temperature and moisture it is exposed to during treatment in the autoclave. Cardboard and aluminium give the carton pack the necessary stability and protect the contents from light, external aromas and direct oxygen impact. Once the carton pack has been emptied, the composite material can be recycled in an environment-friendly way.

Chunky and Wet Product Packaging
Range
Thanks to the volume-flexible, heat-resistant combisafe packaging series, it is now possible for the first time to fill chunky products such as vegetables, fruit, ready-cooked meals, stews or even wet pet food into carton packs and subsequently sterilise them in an autoclave.

Advantages for all

combisafe is equally advantageous for filling companies, the retail trade and con-sumers. This innovative packaging system is based on SIG Combibloc's tried-and-tested sleeve system and volume-flexible filling machine technology, with modifica-tions of the filling aggregate technology for the use of combisafe. In order to guarantee the safe sealing of chunky products, the opened-up carton sleeves are sealed ultrasonically after the filling process. Thanks to the combination of proven pumping and pouring technologies, the use of combisafe offers filling companies an extremely flexible packaging series and the right filling concept for each product.

combisafe - the technology

The printed and coated sleeves for combisafe are perforated with a complete top perforation and sealed with a longitudinal seam before being stacked on pallets for delivery to the filling company. There the cartons are filled in a high-speed filling machine from SIG Combibloc. To this end, the carton packs are lifted individually with a suction device.

Then they are opened up to form a rectangle and pushed on to a mandrel. After this the base of the carton pack is activated with hot air, pre-folded and sealed with specially shaped pressing elements. This pressing process gives the carton pack the curved-in base that is typical of SIG Combibloc carton packs and offers particularly good stability.

In the next production step, the top is folded precisely along the grooves to guaran-tee exact formation of the top after filling. Then the product is filled into the carton pack in several steps. First the pumpable products are filled in, followed by the pourable goods in the second step. Finally - depending on the product - liquids can be added to the carton pack in the third step.

Autoclave
Autoclave
After the product has been filled into the carton pack, the top is folded and sealed ultrasonically above the filling level. After this, the carton packs are sterilised in the autoclave. A composite material consisting of cardboard, polypropylene and aluminium in the case of combisafe creates the prerequisite for thermal treatment in the autoclave.

Thanks to the modular concept of the line, the manufacturer can run up to four lanes of the filling machine and exactly control the output of up to 12,000 packages per hour. Further filling machines can be added to the line to increase output.

A volume change and the associated product differentiation can be completed in just a few minutes as long as the base cross-section is the same. A décor change can be carried out without any interruption of the production process. All sides of the rectangular carton pack can be used to present product information and decorative features. Thanks to this display space, combisafe can enhance the attractiveness of a product at the point of sale and set it apart from the competition.

combisafe also offers logistical advantages: Up to 2,160 cartons packs with a vol-ume of 400 ml can be stacked safely on one Euro pallet. Furthermore, the good stackability of the carton packs allows retailers to make optimum use of shelf space.

As far as the consumer is concerned, the complete top perforation of the combisafe carton pack promotes easy and safe handling since it allows the carton pack to be opened quickly and conveniently. As a result, the carton pack is extremely suitable for children and senior citizens.

The product can be removed completely - and even if it is not used up immediately, combisafe offers a very consumer-friendly solution: The top of the carton pack can be folded down again after opening. This means that the food is protected and smells are avoided in the refrigerator.

German food producer Jütro Konservenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG, a company belong-ing to the Hamburg-based I. Schroeder KG, is the first customer worldwide to opt for the diverse advantages of the innovative packaging system. They intend to launch a chunky sauce range in the format combiblocCompact, 400 ml, this year. Thanks to the volume flexibility of the SIG Combibloc machine system, it is possible to fill volumes of between 200 and 500 ml as long as the base dimensions are the same.

Jütro has more than 90 years of experience in the industrial production of preserved fruit and pickles. This experience, combined with ultra-modern filling and preserving systems, guarantees premium products for the trade and consumers. "We produce what the market wants and adapt our product range to the respective demand. Thanks to our logistics and flexibility, we can react quickly to any wishes the trade may have. And this is why we have decided in favour of combisafe.

This innovative packaging system is an excellent addition to our portfolio," says Peter Humbert, Managing Director of I. Schroeder KG. "combisafe gives us a great chance to set our products apart from the competition and get the consumer's attention. What really convinced us was the flexibility offered by the filling machine system from SIG Combibloc. It allows us to fill different products on one and the same machine - the size and quantity of chunky ingredi-ents can be varied. Furthermore, the décor can be changed without any break in the production process."
Jütro plans to launch vegetable products in combisafe in the medium term.

The Complete Top Perforation of The Combisafe Carton Pack Allows It To Be Opened Quickly And Conveniently
Opening
As far as the consumer is concerned, the complete top perforation of the combisafe carton pack promotes easy and safe handling since it allows the carton pack to be opened quickly and conveniently. As a result, the carton pack is extremely suitable for children and senior citizens.