KHS launches paper wrap can packaging system

The KHS Group has added a further environmentally-friendly system to its portfolio. With its tried-and-tested Innopack Kisters tray packers, the systems supplier now enables food and beverage cans to be wrapped in paper.

KHS’s new technology provides an alternative to shrink film or wrap-around cartons. Regarding stability, the results are reportedly the same, yet compared to cardboard, the costs are lower as less energy and fewer materials are used. With a few minor adjustments, existing machines can also be converted to the new setup.

The idea of using paper as a secondary packaging is not new; KHS first experimented with this around 20 years ago. “Back then, this technology didn’t catch on, however, as paper was a cost-intensive raw material and wrapping containers in film yielded better results regarding stability,” said Karl-Heinz Klumpe, packaging product manager at KHS. “Our customers now want alternatives to the usual packaging systems such as film. These should be as eco-friendly as possible.” To this end, KHS’s paper wrapping has now been developed together with an international beverage producer. This type of pack can replace shrink film or wrap-around carton packaging for transportation or sale on packs of 12 or 24 cans in a range of up to 90,000 cans per hour.

Few adjustments are needed in order for the KHS Innopack Kisters tray packer to wrap cans in paper instead of film. “KHS is increasingly supplying modular systems and solutions that enable and ease the appropriate conversions to our machines. In this case, we’ve simply reengineered the process module for folding and wrapping,” explained Klumpe. “The standard components such as tray separation from the magazine, gluing or can feed are identical to those on the hundreds of proven KHS machines already on the market.”

Wrapping cans in paper has many advantages over other materials, believes Klumpe. “On the one hand, paper is kinder to the environment than film with respect to ocean pollution, for instance. Paper biodegrades in the environment after a few weeks.” Additionally, fewer packaging materials are used. Instead of a sturdy wrap-around carton or film packs on trays, KHS says that packaging cans in thinner paper only needs a flat, stable corrugated card pad as a base. Using paper also reportedly cuts costs, compared to a wrap-around carton, by up to 15%, with outgoings about the same as for film. KHS also says that overheads are also considerably reduced by the low energy consumption of about 14 kWh an hour at 80 cycles a minute.

Klumpe sees huge potential for the new KHS technology. “When I think how much food is canned all over the world, with our paper pack we offer a useful alternative to conventional secondary packaging. With our system we can significantly help to cut down on the amount of plastic waste being generated.” According to Klumpe, this will support the efforts being made throughout the entire sector to protect the environment. “Sustainability is also always a cost factor, however. With our new approach we’re catering for both aspects here.”

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