IMA Dairy & Food USA, whose equipment solutions comprise the brands Gasti, Hamba, Hassia, Fillshape, Corazza, Erca and Intecma, has introduced a set of tools aimed at food brands that are utilizing mono-material packages.

The company’s patented ZERO Technology tools are designed for manufacturers hoping to transition their packaging to materials such as PET, PP and PLA.

Working on form-fill-seal (FFS) machines, ZERO Technology utilizes a patented punch process that provides cutting and precutting of PET, PP and PLA. This reportedly facilitates the easy breaking of multipacks into individual units – a process that the company says has previously limited the use of mono-material packaging materials in many applications.

ZERO Technology uses independent sleeves, which allows cup design changes without the need to manufacture an entirely new thermoforming mold. The solution can apparently be easily dismantled for hassle-free maintenance, which IMA says can significantly extend the mold’s lifespan while maintaining peak performance.

Notably, IMA points out that outfitting a formed cup with a PET lid and label can create a completely recyclable pack. In addition, the use of transparent mono-materials aims to make the product visible to consumers and enhance on-shelf aesthetics.

Other equipment in the ZERO Technology range includes special pre-heating plates, which can be dismantled for simple maintenance. Additional material savings can be realized by using special thermoforming molds that allow the use of thinner materials.

“As consumer expectations and regional regulations change, manufacturers are confronted with a growing demand for more environmentally friendly, sustainable packaging solutions,” says Patrick Carroll, president at IMA Dairy & Food USA.

“The ZERO Technology tooling range helps overcome certain manufacturing challenges that have historically limited the number of applications for which mono-material packaging can be utilized. The result is an expanded range of items that can be packaged with reduced environment footprints.”