The 8.7meters wide machine is housed in a €30m plant in Neunkirchen, Germany, part of a €4m upgrade which will produce label and packaging films for the European market and exports to Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Plant engineering group Andritz
It partnered with plant engineering group Andritz to custom-configure the machine and expects to see a return on investment in three to four year’s time.
Treofan is a long-standing producer of BOPP (biaxially oriented polypropylene) films for packaging, IML, shrink films, wrap around labels, and technical films, for the confectionery, biscuit and snacks industry.
Carolyn Wagner, head of business unit, Packaging and Labels, Treofan, told ConfectioneryNews, the F&B market is continually asking for higher speeds and shorter delivery times. It is getting more dynamic in terms of lead times and for the end user this machine has the advantage from a technical aspect, with the possibility to design a film according to the needs of the customer.
“Treofan is known as a speciality film producer in the market and this machine is configurated to be extremely efficient from a technical point of view in making specialized labels and packaging,” she said.
“We already have a portfolio which is unique in terms of its films but now those products can be custom-produced at an even higher efficiency.
“It has given us further opportunities for printability, optical effects, additional properties and barrier protection for safe, attractive food packaging. It has the full range of needs that our customers want at high speed.”
Mondelez Oreo cookies
Wagner added packaging as a whole is a growing market and is becoming more sophisticated.
“It’s a technical product and very engineered today. In the western world it’s becoming more convenient and it has ‘to become polite’. As a consumer it needs to act as a positive relationship tool, while still fulfilling all the requirements of transportation, protection and communication. It needs to be customer friendly in terms of opening and re-closing, with easy to read print and added value,” she said.
“If we look at the biscuit market and how it is being addressed today by one of the major players like Mondelez, the company is growing vastly in some of its segments for example Oreo cookies, opening new factories around Europe to produce those and it is all packed in BOPP film from Treofan because our optics and printability are very good, as well as the barrier properties of the packs.
“From this plant in Germany, our main target markets are the wider European countries. The customers who work in these regions are happy to have a supplier who is close by because the time it takes to get a product to market is crucial.
Dr Hady Seyeda, managing director, COO, Treofan, said there were two reasons behind the launch of the production line; for competitive reasons, to stay ahead of the market and to keep up with technology and invest in new lines.
He added the whole project took a year-and-a-half to develop, four months to construct the new facility and six months to install the machine, which has the capacity to produce up to a billion square meters of label and packaging film a year.
“As a German manufacturer we plan to invest in this country and develop our expertise. We want to show our competitors we won’t stand still and we are continuing to innovate,” said Seyeda.
“It is a brave thing that we are doing by launching this machine but we have a story to tell because we are doing something quite different.”
The line became operational at the end of July this year and its first products have been delivered to customers with full production at the end of November. The machine delivers 460meters of film per minute with a speed throughput of 5.5 tones per hour.