Our latest Innovation Spotlight feature comes courtesy of KHS Group, whose new machine seeks to address industry interest in the substitution of plastic shrink wrap for beverage secondary packaging applications.
The packaging is user-friendly, the material is kind to the environment, the machine is powerful: the KHS Group’s Innopack Kisters CNP (Carton Nature Packer) processes can toppers made of cardboard at a rate of up to 108,000 cans per hour. With the help of its recently developed CNP machine, the turnkey supplier is now establishing a further sustainable form of secondary packaging on the market.
The Innopack Kisters CNP has been designed as a modular system that can be individually added to as and when required. This means that operators can switch to different cardboard materials or alter the pack size, among other options. With its new machine, KHS offers its customers smart, flexible plant technology that enables them to perfectly react to rapidly changing consumer demands.
Sören Storbeck, global packaging product account manager at KHS, knows just how important this flexibility is in secondary packaging: “On the market, we’re noticing that packaging variants are being established as alternatives to single-use plastic, especially in the beer and carbonated soft drink segments.” Over the past few years, KHS has thus built up an extensive portfolio of environmentally friendly, recyclable systems and solutions.
Environmentally friendly packaging without plastic
The new Innopack Kisters CNP also contributes to this strategic alignment. KHS has found a strong partner for its sustainable packaging system: the cardboard can toppers, available in both a closed (TopClip) and open (GreenClip) version, are by Smurfit Kappa, one of the biggest manufacturers of cardboard in the world.
“Thanks to Smurfit Kappa’s many years of expertise, coupled with our complex specialist knowledge in mechanical engineering, we can offer our customers a future-proof packaging system that’s sustainable, consumer-friendly and gentle on resources,” Storbeck explains.
In relation to the open topper solution, whilst still working very closely with Smurfit Kappa, KHS found it important to also find a solution that is independent of the blank manufacturer in order to offer its customers maximum flexibility and freedom when choosing their packaging materials suppliers.
A range of freely selectable options is also available when it comes to processing. Accordingly, the new cardboard packer can be used for both standard and sleek can formats holding between 250 and 580 milliliters. The alternative to classic plastic film or plastic rings also manages various sizes of multipack containing four, six or eight containers.
Benefits at the point of sale
Adhesive is not used during processing; the pack is kept stable by the punched and folded cardboard topper. “This means that the cardboard satisfies the highest demands for sustainability. It’s made of renewable raw materials and is fully recyclable and biodegradable,” says Storbeck. With this, the KHS Group is once again pursuing its goal to close the materials loop in the interest of a circular economy. The packer is also convincing with its extremely low energy consumption.
As an option, the CNP machine can be equipped with a camera-controlled orientation module. The great advantage here is that, with the help of the module, cans can be individually and precisely positioned within the pack. This gives beverage producers and retailers a number of clear benefits, especially in product marketing. The option of individual can alignment makes the brand more visible to consumers, heightening the product’s presence at the point of sale. The cardboard topper also provides extra space for advertising messages.
This content was sponsored by KHS Group.