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Flexo Sustainable : Summer 2014
• The installation of a new distillation unit in Kankakee, IL which increased the quantity of ink manufactured for each kilogram of cleaning solvent by 40 percent • The capture of steam to produce energy at the Maumee, OH site • A fire training and evacuation exercise to identify improvement areas at the Marki, Poland facility The Sun Chemical sustainability report, is available to customers and can be requested online at www.sunchemical.com/sustainability. New Perforation Resistant Thermo Formable Film Can Save Up to 20 Percent in Packaging Weight WILMINGTON, DE—In the context of their extensive collaboration to improve the efficiency, performance and sustainability of packaging applications, Reifenhäuser Kiefel Extrusion of Germany and DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers (DuPont) have developed a material and cost saving medium barrier nine layer film for thermoforming applications. Key to a weight reduc- tion of up to 20 percent and improved packag- ing performance over incumbent seven layer PA/PE structures are Reifenhäuser’s versatile 11/9 channel EVOLU- TION barrier blown film technology and a new high stiffness DuPont Surlyn ionomer sealant resin, which allows for sealing at lower temperatures and provides a broad operating window. Further advantages include superior perforation and abrasion resis- tance as well as an improved fat barrier, making the new film a first choice for vacuum packs containing hard and sharp products, such as mature cheese or meat with bones or smoked ham. Thanks to the high stiffness of the Surlyn sealant layer, film thickness can be downgauged by 20 percent with no loss in stiffness. While common seven layer film structures for thermoforming applications have typical thicknesses of around 240-μm., the thickness of the new nine layer film is just 200-μm. In spite of this significant reduction, the new film feels just as robust as current structures. In addition, because of its higher gloss and transparency, shelf appeal of the packed prod- ucts is increased. Beyond downgauging, the material costs for new PA/Surlyn structure are around 10 percent lower compared to seven layer PA/PE struc- tures. A further financial benefit results from a reduction of up to 20 percent in ecotax due to the reduced packaging weight. Thanks to the outstanding seal performance of Surlyn even through liquid or pow- der contamination, the number of rejects along the entire distribution chain is reduced significantly. Summing up these savings, the additional investment for a nine layer blown film line will pay back in the short term because the cost for a system, including nine extruders and blending units as well as a bigger die head, are just 10 to 15 percent higher than those for a seven layer line. Taking into account just the resin related cost savings of 10 percent, the payback time for these additional costs will be less than six months. The Industry Debates Afterlife Options for Label Release Liner THE HAGUE, The Netherlands—Sustainability and environmental concerns are a key focus for Féderation INternationale des fabricants et transformateurs d’Adhésifs et Thermocollants sur papiers et autres supports (FINAT) and, of course, for the self adhesive labeling indus- try as a whole, as part of the broader packaging business. This year’s FINAT Technical Seminar drew together different elements of the label value chain to address recycling initiatives in a discussion panel moderated by industry guru Mike Fairley. Panelists were: • Calvin Frost, Channeled Resources Group • Paolo Guagliumi, Munksjö • Erkki Nyberg, UPM Raflatac • Eric van Pottelbergh, RecuLiner • Stephan Reis, Avery Dennison • Petri Tani, C4G Discussion was wide ranging, across a number of important path- ways in which the industry is already a participant, or which offer possibilities for recycling or re-use. Frost and Tani agreed that one way forward is for the labelstock laminators to create the demand for secondary fiber and communicate it to their suppliers. But, although such materials are available on the market, there is still no “pull through” from the brand owners—perhaps, as Reis commented, be- cause they may have to be willing to pay more for recycled material— which is rarely the case in today’s competitive marketplace. But, added Tani, “even end users understand that recycling is better than landfill and incineration!” Fairley underlined the importance of the sustainability agenda for the future health of the label industry, saying that “we are not getting the message across to the brand owners and end users... we still don’t have a system for creating a carbon footprint through the label supply chain. As an industry, we simply don’t have one clear, coherent message.” Options other than recycling are also practical in the context of the three Rs—reduce, reuse, recycle. Frost provided an excellent example as to how liner simply can be rewound into rolls, is already being used by small laminators in the Asia Pacific region in making self adhesive tapes. RecuLiner patented technology is another possible route. van Pottelbergh’s company’s model—already up and running in the Benelux countries—collects and transforms spent paper release liner into high performance cellulose fiber insulation material for the construction industry. n ... Continued from page 3. 10 Sustainable FLEXO | SUMMER 2014
Earth Day 2014