The Continuum system, likely to prove popular with manufacturers increasingly looking for more efficient packaging systems, was first created in 2006. The primary purpose of the technology is to pack products in trays then cover them in shrink-wrap plastic. Standard-Knapp said that the new 296P Continuum was created specifically for manufacturers of bottled water who wanted faster packaging speeds. Unlike the older 296l Continuum, the newer versions can also package unsupported multipacks with clear or printed film, often used for water bottles, the company claims. However, Standard-Knapp also said that the new version of the Continuum can still process a variety of loose food and beverage containers, using a variety of materials. These include glass, metal, shrink bundles, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and high density polyethylene (HDPE). Once shrink-wrapped, the manufacturer then has the option of packing the product into corrugated or chipboard trays, the company said. And like the older Continuum, the new system is equipped with a touch screen control and Zero Gap, described by the company as "in-feed technology for balanced, jam-resistant packing lanes." The US-based Standard-Knapp has created a number of new packaging solutions for the beverage industry in recent years, including the Positron machine, designed to pack carbonated, non-carbonated or hot drink-filled PET bottles in corrugated or iron trays. Other Standard-Knapp inventions created to help bottled beverage manufacturers include a "beaded guide", which allows multiple items to run side-by-side without bottle necks, and so reduces both costs and damage to the product.
Packaging firm Standard-Knapp claims that its integrated tray packing and shrink wrapping system for water bottles now operates at speeds of up to 70 trays per minute.