Filling and packaging company KHS discusses its new flexible packing solution for beverage cans, in the latest of our Innovation Spotlights.

Whether wrap-around packs, trays, pads, paper or film, imagination knows no bounds when packaging beverage cans on the new Innopack Kisters Wrap-aroundShrinkPaperPacker Advanced or WSPP A from KHS.

With its great flexibility the new packer satisfies practically every secondary packaging requirement of both customers and the market in general. Moreover, existing Innopack Kisters machines in the Advanced series can be upgraded to a WSPP A.

For the first time, at the beginning of 2020, KHS presented a machine that wraps beverage cans in paper.

The first tentative steps in this direction were taken 20 years ago. Those working on the new version thought that this form of secondary packaging was so retro that it could perhaps become a trend. Their assumption was correct!

“Paper as a packaging material is still a novelty on the beverage market,” states Ernst van Wickeren, packaging product manager for KHS.

“However, this alternative is already definitely meeting with great interest from beverage canners. Many of our customers who sell organic beverages, for instance, also want to convey the notion of ecology through the packaging – and in doing so are satisfying a rapidly growing consumer demand.”

Interestingly enough, many of the potential users of the new pack are not intending on making a full switch. Most of them see the paper wrapping as an additional new option with which to package their diverse range of products.

“Right from the start we had lots of requests for machines that can process both paper and film,” van Wickeren explains.


New KHS packer provides practically limitless packaging options

The logical conclusion was that KHS very quickly further developed an existing machine so as to give the beverage industry full flexibility in secondary packaging.

By adding a new function, a packer has been produced whose options are as extensive as its name is long: the Innopack Kisters Wrap-aroundShrinkPaperPacker Advanced – or WSPP A for short.

With its combination of process modules, the line-compatible machine can process three different types of secondary packaging:

  1. Wrap-around cartons, where the pack is enclosed in cardboard
  2. Trays with or without a paper or shrink film wrapping
  3. Cardboard pads wrapped in paper or shrink film.


Simple retrofits thanks to modular design

This variety is facilitated by the modular design of all Innopack Kisters Advanced packaging machines.

This also enables an existing Innopack Kisters Wrap-aroundShrinkPacker (WSP) or Innopack Kisters Wrap-aroundPaperPacker (WPP) to be retrofitted as a WSPP A, for example – with full flexibility, tailored to suit the respective requirements of the customer or market.

Looking at the annual electricity savings shows just how energy efficient paper packs are compared to film packs. With a shrink tunnel consumption of up to 72 kWh in two-shift operation on 300 days of the year, a maximum of €300,000 can be saved per annum.

Retrofitting an Innopack Kisters WSP is not difficult; all that needs to be done is to replace the existing wrapping module with the further developed wrapping module with its new functions and to install the paper folding and gluing module.

“Once the modules are installed, besides the standard format changeovers no other conversions are needed when switching from paper to film,” van Wickeren emphasizes. “All that has to be changed is the packaging material and the hot melt applicators need to be activated in good time so that they’re ready for use when production starts.”

This content was sponsored by KHS.