Produced on Curti’s PAM/BOM form-fill-seal system, the machine makes stretch blow-molded paper pots for dry solids, using FSC-certified FibreForm paper made from 100% virgin fiber from BillerudKorsnäs.
VetiPak food and confectionery facility
The FreeFormPack machine will be installed at VetiPaks food and confectionery facility in Oss, the Netherlands.
Gary Robinson, director, business development, formable packaging, North and South America, BillerudKorsnäs, told ConfectioneryNews, its FibreForm material creates 3D designs when you apply a force to it and then it keeps that shape.
It can allegedly withstand ‘super deep micro-forming’ up to 10 times deeper than traditional paper.
“The FibreForm material enables brand owners to create distinctive rigid paper packages with a custom shape or texture in a cost-effective form-fill-seal process,” he said.
“It is developed using an energy-efficient cold forming process so no heat is needed.
“The FreeFormPack or FibreForm is a highly advanced and sophisticated paper that we have developed to deliver 3D-formed shapes.
“The mechanical attributes of this paper comes from a primary-fiber, virgin paper, owing to the length of the fiber and its characteristics, which you are not going to achieve with a recycled fiber because it is too inconsistent and short.”
Two options for global implementation
The company is now exploring two options for global implementation: inviting brand owners to invest in a PAM/BOM forming machine or working with contract packagers to create FreeFormPack packages as a service for product manufacturers.
“In different market regions, we’ll see both applications play out. However, we think the best economics come when the brand purchases it direct because you have the savings associated with not shipping all that air and empty bottles,” added Robinson.
“It’s form-fill-sealed and you can produce it on the production floor.”
The way the technology works is the pre-printed Form Fiber paper is cut to size and ultrasonically sealed. It then places a plastic ring in the neck of the product for shape stability and an optional closure lid.
Hein van den Reek, business development manager, Billerudkoräs, said he expects the ring to be made from paper in the future.
The paper machine can make a micro shaping in advance or macro shaping form with blow molding in the machine.
"With Fiber Form Pack, we can offer customers completely new packaging," said Mark van der Burgt, commercial director, Vetipak.
"It is a distinctive and durable packaging suitable for various products, such as sprinkles, candy, sugar and licorice."
Speeds from 50 to 100 packages per minute
Curti’s PAM/BOM (paper molding/board molding) system runs at speeds from 50 to 100 packages per minute and can macro-form or micro-form the FibreForm paper into 3D patterns and designs.
Changeovers can be made within two hours, incorporating different package heights, graphics, diameters, forming and embossing.
For FreeFormPack applications, BillerudKornäs starts with a base FibreForm material and then builds various poly-laminates to create the required barrier properties and sealing features.
Approved for food contact, the material is suitable for food markets (granulates, powders, tablets and pieces), and non-food markets.
According to Robinson, supply chain savings and benefits include the rollstock which takes up less space for shipping and storage, it minimizes material waste on the production line and it offers approximately a 70% reduction in carbon footprint versus a comparable preform PET bottle.