Coveris Rigid´s Center of Development & Innovation together with its partners Kiefel and Bosch-Sprang have recently developed a new and unique manufacturing technology for thin wall thermoformed containers.
This presents the opportunity to calibrate thermoformed products such as single serve Barrier PP-Cups during the thermoforming process and achieves beneficial material distribution resulting in product performance comparable to existing PS solutions.
During the industry fair K 2016, Coveris Rigid, Kiefel and Bosch-Sprang agreed to a common development project focusing on an alternative to the single serve Barrier PS-Cups with a sustainable PP solution for the Northern American market. The partnership has resulted in a new technology and has been ramped-up on 91-cavity thermoforming system with in-mold calibration with an annual capacity of 750 million single serve Barrier PP-Cups. The system has been developed to produce standard single serve coffee cups for use in North America. These products can be easily customized to different decoration requirements like coloring, embossing etc.
The collaboration with the technology leaders, Kiefel and Bosch-Sprang, was focused on an alternative to Polystyrene used for most of the existing cups. To simulate the performance of existing PS-cups and to ensure the puncture during the brewing process; material distribution of the Multi-Layer Barrier PP-Cup became the major challenge of the development. Together with the experience of the tool manufacturer Bosch-Sprang and based on existing patents, a calibration technology has been developed and installed in the 91-cavity system. The calibration technology allows for control of the material distribution in the most critical areas of the cups and achieve excellent side wall stability and uniform bottom thickness. The 3 partners Kiefel, Bosch-Sprang and Coveris Rigid, have aligned on an exclusivity agreement for the use of the In-mold Calibration Technology.
The development is a 100% sustainable/recyclable solution with all in-line process waste reverting back to the multi-layer structure. The chosen overall composition allows for the cup to be recovered in the post-consumer recycling process. Coveris is also capable of offering a barrier PP-lid replacement for the Aluminum lids and in turn present a single material solution to the market.
Coveris has seen increased requests to develop sustainable thermoforming solutions in Polypropylene. This recent project is just one in a series of technology projects where Coveris has proven its expertise for complex PP thermoforming solutions in food and non-food product applications. The reduction of in-process waste and the use of post-consumer material is a major focus of Coveris’ environmental strategy: lowering the need for virgin material, and reducing our carbon footprint.