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New State-Of-The-Art Production
SIG announces further Asia-Pacific expansion

As the Asia-Pacific region continues its appetite for aseptic carton packaging, SIG has announced investment in the region with the construction of a second production plant in Suzhou, China. (Picture: SIG)
As the Asia-Pacific region continues its appetite for aseptic carton packaging, SIG has announced investment in the region with the construction of a second production plant in Suzhou, China. (Picture: SIG)

As the Asia-Pacific region continues to be one of the major growth engines for aseptic carton packaging, SIG has announced investment in the region with the construction of a second production plant in Suzhou, China.

To meet current and future customer demand, the new 120,000 square meter plant is expected to be operational in early 2021 and will be situated at the Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP), close to the company’s existing production facility and Tech Centre. With a total investment of EUR 180 million, the new plant will ensure exceptional delivery on outstanding opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region, where most countries continue to grow significantly. The plant is expected to achieve world-class environmental, safety and operational performance right from the start.

The new production facility is testament to SIG’s strong partnership with SIP and the local government, as well as its unparalleled commitment to deliver world-class packaging, service and the most modern solutions to the rapidly growing Asian markets and to China in particular. SIG’s recently opened cutting-edge Tech Centre in Suzhou supports customer collaboration in the development and implementation of innovative product concepts and market-ready packaging solutions.

Across Asia, millions of people are only now starting to consume packaged food and beverages. The rise of new consumers, driven by increasing income, changing lifestyles and new consumption habits, represents a huge opportunity for aseptic carton packaging with its long shelf life without the need of a cooling chain.

At the same time, young and growing populations are adopting modern lifestyles in urban areas, with more on-the-go consumption, an increasing awareness of health and wellness, and a growing demand for high-quality nutritional food and beverage products.

“The food and beverage market in Asia has seen continuous growth and is expected to continue on that path. Our new production plant will ensure we continue to excel at bringing new and exciting product and packaging concepts to market, quickly and efficiently. Together with our Tech Centre close by, the new plant is another pivotal moment for SIG in Asia. We will grow our business in the APAC region, but also expedite true beverage and dairy innovation for our customers, so they can quickly adapt to the changing lifestyle needs of Asian consumers.”

Rolf Stangl, CEO at SIG

Conveying & Filling, Packaging, Labeling & Storage News

Management change
Multivac sets a course for the future

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Multivac
Picture: Multivac

After more than 18 years as CEO of the Multivac Group, Hans-Joachim Boekstegers will hand over the business on 1 January 2020 to his director colleagues, Christian Traumann and Guido Spix, and bow out of the company. Mr Traumann and Mr Spix will manage the company jointly in future.

Hans-Joachim Boekstegers joined the Multivac Group as CEO on 1 April 2001 and has since played a determining role in driving forward the successful development of the company. Mr Boekstegers was responsible in particular for the systematic expansion of the product portfolio and Multivac’s sales and service network. With 85 of its own subsidiaries, Multivac is today one of the leading manufacturers worldwide of packaging and processing solutions. During this time the company’s turnover was more than quadrupled, reaching some 1.1 billion euros at the end of 2018, and the number of employees rose from 1,600 to around 5,900.

With effect from 1 January 2020 Christian Traumann and Guido Spix will take up dual leadership of the Multivac Group. Mr Traumann will assume responsibility for Sales and Finance, while Mr Spix will become responsible for Technology and Production.

Christian Traumann had been Commercial Head of the Multivac Group since the beginning of 2002, before being appointed as Director and CFO for the Group in August 2008. Guido Spix joined the company as Director in March 2009 and has since assumed the position of CTO/COO.

In order to ensure that there is continuity in Multivac’s strategic direction, the course is already being set with an extended planning phase for the transfer of responsibilities to Mr Boekstegers’s successors. Mr Boekstegers will continue until the end of the year to guide Multivac’s destiny as usual, and he will remain on friendly terms with the company after this period.

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Conveying & Filling, Packaging, Labeling & Storage Food & Beverage Plant Construction, Engineering & Components

Biodegradable products
Sustainable compounding

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Complete lab-scale system for Asahel Benin Sarl., consisting of a ZSK 26 Mc18 twin screw extruder, four feeders from Coperion K-Tron, as well as a water bath, air wipe and SP 50 strand pelletizer from Coperion Pelletizing Technology. (Picture: Coperion)
Complete lab-scale system for Asahel Benin Sarl., consisting of a ZSK 26 Mc18 twin screw extruder, four feeders from Coperion K-Tron, as well as a water bath, air wipe and SP 50 strand pelletizer from Coperion Pelletizing Technology. (Picture: Coperion)

Coperion has enabled Benin-based blown film manufacturer Asahel Benin Sarl. to produce sustainable, bio-based plastic films in the future by delivering a complete compounding system and sharing the corresponding process engineering expertise. The system includes a ZSK 26 Mc18 twin screw extruder, four highly accurate feeders from Coperion K-Tron, as well as a water bath, an air wipe and a strand pelletizer from Coperion Pelletizing Technology. Before plastic bags and packaging were banned in Benin in July of 2018, this west African manufacturer had made its plastic films using polyethylene (PE). The new law forced the company to completely convert its production. Following a successful test and training phase at Coperion’s Stuttgart test lab, Asahel Benin Sarl. will produce biodegradable compounds in its home country with the aid of the ZSK twin screw extruder, and will then further process these on its existing blown film machinery into biodegradable bags and packaging materials.

Importation, production, sale, and possession of petroleum-based plastic bags and packaging has been forbidden in Benin since 2018. Until then, Asahel Benin Sarl. had used both new PE compounds as well as recyclate for manufacturing its films that were then used predominantly in household products and in shopping bags for supermarkets.

Intensive tests at Stuttgart test lab

When the new law took effect, the blown film manufacturer had to radically alter its production. Asahel Benin Sarl. turned to the compounding experts at Coperion. From this first contact, a cooperative partnership quickly arose, as did a new corporate strategy thereafter. Asahel Benin Sarl. ordered a laboratory-scale compounding system to develop a biologically degradable compound formulation that could be used in existing blown film manufacturing facilities. The lab-scale system includes a ZSK 26 Mc18 twin screw extruder, four highly accurate powder, pellet, and liquid feeders, as well as a water bath, an air wipe and a strand pelletizer type SP 50. Before the complete system could be delivered to Benin and put into service, it was assembled and tested intensively at Coperion’s Stuttgart location in the test lab.

Sharing process engineering expertise

Throughout the entire project, Asahel Benin Sarl. could fall back on Coperion’s comprehensive, process engineering expertise, for both the mastery of the entire system’s complexity as well of as the seamless interaction of its components, and in particular relating to the twin screw extruder’s configuration. Formulations with starch content, for example, represent a particular challenge for configuring the twin screws, as the melting zone in the extrusion process must both melt polymers and plastify non-meltable starch while adding liquid. Moreover, David Romaric Tinkou, Development Leader of Asahel Benin Sarl., received comprehensive training on the compounding machine’s operation. Thus began the development of a formulation for the necessary biopolymer.

Flexible set up

Coperion’s experts designed the compounding system for Asahel Benin Sarl. very flexibly in order to enable maximum freedom in developing a suitable formulation. In so doing, the system can allow materials to be added from many different components as well as intensive melt devolatilization. Following the die head with nozzle comes a water bath for strand cooling, dewatering of the strand surfaces using an air wipe, and a strand pelletizer.

David Romaric Tinkou is very satisfied with how the project went: “It was clear quite quickly that we needed a new business strategy to keep operating our blown film plants here in Benin. I’m very happy that with Coperion, I encountered experienced experts in the field of biodegradable compounds. Coperion delivered not only the necessary technology, but also shared the necessary process engineering expertise with me so that we can manufacture biodegradable compounds ourselves now in Benin.”

Peter von Hoffmann, General Manager Business Unit Engineering Plastics & Special Applications at Coperion, explained: “We’re thrilled that we could support Asahel Benin Sarl. in switching over their production in order to accomplish it more sustainably. Biodegradable compounds from renewable raw materials unite high production-technical demands with environmental sustainability. Particularly for manufacturers of short-lived household, industrial and agricultural products, these compounds represent a long-term, sustainable alternative to petroleum-based raw materials such as PE. Typical areas of application include single-use flatware, trash bags and trash can liners, food packaging, shopping bags, drinking straws, and agricultural films.”

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Conveying & Filling, Packaging, Labeling & Storage Food & Beverage

A start for less plastic
New water range in carton bottle

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B-Better, an innovative water start-up brand from Unilever’s Future Platform, is launching a range of on-trend water beverages in SIG’s unique combidome carton bottle, offering all the advantages of an aseptic carton pack and all the benefits of a bottle shape – a perfect fit for B-Better.
B-Better, an innovative water start-up brand from Unilever’s Future Platform, is launching a range of on-trend water beverages in SIG’s unique combidome carton bottle, offering all the advantages of an aseptic carton pack and all the benefits of a bottle shape – a perfect fit for B-Better. (Picture: SIG)

B-Better, an innovative water start-up brand from Unilever’s Future Platform, is launching a range of on-trend water beverages in SIG’s unique combidome carton bottle, offering all the advantages of an aseptic carton pack and all the benefits of a bottle shape – a perfect fit for B-Better.

SIG’s carton bottle, fully recyclable and mainly made from FSC-certified paper board, provides the best CO2-performance compared to other packaging solutions. And it gets even better: B-Better is the first company to use combidome with Siganture packaging material, where the polymers are linked to wood-based renewable materials through mass balancing. Added to this is an ultra-thin aluminium foil certified to Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) standard – another world-first from SIG.

B-Better is a range of 10 on-trend water beverages, including still, flavored and functional, which are enriched with B vitamins. Initial launch of the combidome 750ml carton bottles will be in Belgium, with 1% of revenues going to regional environmental causes.

The decision to use the combidome carton bottle is a major move forward in finding solutions to reduce single-use plastic, even more when it comes with Siganture packaging material with polymers linked to wood-based material.

Hélène Esser, Brand Manager Future Platforms, Co-founder B-Better: “The strong name for our young caring brand says it all – Be good to yourself and better for the planet. It was vital that with combidome we found the most sustainable packaging solution for our water products, not just in its unmatched environmental profile, but also its appeal and convenience for the forward thinkers looking for healthy refreshment. Our messages are clearly conveyed at first sight, mirroring B-Better’s strapline ‘It’s a start for less plastic and a better planet’.”

As well as combidome’s strong environmental credentials, the uniquely convenient carton bottle design also complements the new water brand by immediately standing out on shelf to younger consumers, looking for true innovation to enjoy during their busy daily routine.

With the best features of both a carton pack and a bottle, combidome is the ideal alternative to single-use plastic bottles, guaranteeing exceptional sustainable convenience and differentiation. To make even more of a positive impact on the planet, opting for combidome with Siganture packaging materials, makes the best possible environmental choice.

Martin Herrenbrück, SIG’s President & General Manager, Europe: “Our pioneering cooperation with Unilever’s Future Platform start-up B-Better brand, focuses on our longer terms goals of giving more to society and the environment than we take out and on always acting sustainably and responsibly. Working together we are proud to launch an innovative water range in a game changing packaging solution, that will make a real difference for both consumers and the planet.”

In partnering with the company, Unilever has been provided with product innovation and differentiation as part of SIG’s Value Proposition, which aims to deliver innovative product and packaging solutions that enable businesses to satisfy ever-changing needs.

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