Profitable sustainability is the common thread running through SACMI's rigid packaging product range. Weight reduction for the same performance, new standards (tethered), recycled resins and the circular economy. Up to the new frontier of biocompatible materials. All this and more at the K 2022 trade fair in Düsseldorf (19-26 October).
SACMI boasts a comprehensive project range that extends the concept of sustainability to all stages of the process. This includes digital controls and advanced vision systems that make it possible to harness the enormous amount of data coming from the lines to optimise the process, increase quality and reduce waste and inefficiency.
A challenge that runs parallel to the ability to incorporate into standard production the use of resins from the recycling chain - in particular PET - but also the ability to work on new materials thanks to an extensive knowledge of the process and the enormous installed base around the world. This allows us to work alongside our customers on a daily basis to find the best and most advantageous solutions together.
Digital, thus sustainable. The new CCM generation. SACMI has recently evolved its CCM press range with innovations and built-in controls that improve the process, increase quality and reduce consumption. These include the new CM-Flow extrusion unit for melting and feeding resin.
Without the need for gear motors connected to the motor, the CM-Flow saves up to 9% of the total power consumption of the press, significantly increasing process efficiency and quality, and can also be installed on existing machines.
With a line layout as small as 1 metre, thanks to the connection of the screw directly to the motor, CM-Flow utilises a plasticising screw with a diameter of just 35 mm, enabling it to process up to 200 kg/h of resin, the same as a conventional 75 mm extruder. Unlike the latter, maintenance on the CM-Flow is simpler and faster, as is the quality of the extrusion process. The first SACMI customers who have installed this system have already experienced a reduction in “black spots” of up to 50%, with the same resin used.
Capsules produced with the CM-Flow also show a high resistance to stress cracking - thus facilitating the production of lightweight capsules - as part of an extrusion process that takes place at a lower temperature, with less stress on the material and therefore more cost-effective and profitable.
But that's not all. In addition to ensuring the benefits of the new extruder, the customer can opt for the SACMI Smart Pack, the digital package that integrates advanced sensor technology and on-board machine checks into the SACMI cap lines. With a twofold result: increasing the availability of the plant and the service life of its components; simplifying the work of the operator, with a drastic reduction in the possibility of mistakes being made and, therefore, minimising waste.
The intrinsic superiority of the compression process - lower extrusion temperatures, absence of the injection point, digital control of each individual cavity - is also instrumental in opening up the industry to the production of quality closures with recycled HDPE. A prospect made more attractive by the use of the new tethered standard that favours a proper recycling chain for food caps and containers.
The new frontier of biomaterials. A milestone of R&D programmes by SACMI Lab. With more than 1,000 neck-capsule designs produced for its customers worldwide, the SACMI Laboratory has more than 20 years of industry experience, driving innovation in all aspects (design, lightweight, new standards).
The first result presented to the market is SACMI's ability to accelerate on the 3Rs (re-duce, re-use, re-cycle) approach, and especially on the reduction of virgin resin consumption. At SACMI this translates into the development of integrated, high-performance lightweight solutions.
To give an idea, the average weight of the capsule+preform body has been reduced over the past 15 years by more than 50%, and further progress is possible thanks to new ready-to-market solutions such as 26 mm capsules for water and CSD.
But the SACMI approach does not stop there. A leading player in the late 1990s in the development of compression technology that has become a global technological standard, the SACMI Research Centre has long since launched a new line of research into biocompatible materials. These include paper-based polymers (cellulose fibres), and/or the use of alternative cap materials, such as the possibility of PET capsules, a further opportunity in the direction of the circular economy.
In particular, with regard to new biomaterials, the SACMI Laboratory has developed advanced prototyping and sampling aimed at characterising the raw material and thus the mould. Particularly ambitious, the challenge in this area is to test a wide range of materials (cellulose powder, cloths, wadding, etc.) of different qualities and characteristics, and to validate their applicability-adaptability to the product. In the field of cellulose-based material moulding, SACMI collaborates with leading Italian and international universities and, specifically, has started a new project with the University of Bologna.
New IPS 300, lower specific energy consumption on the market, r-PET friendly. The new IPS 300 preform press that SACMI is presenting in Düsseldorf features the lowest energy consumption on the market. The KERS system for energy recovery together with adaptive self-tuning, which has always been present in the SACMI IPS, allows the IPS 300 to achieve a specific consumption of 0.2 kW/kg.
With a view to sustainability, SACMI has long since adapted the IPS to the “recyclable PET” approach, with the possibility of processing up to 100% rPET in granule form and up to 50% PET in flake form with the standard machine. From today, the flake quota can be as high as 70-75%, thanks to the new hopper that simplifies and optimises the process.
Again, the re-cycle approach and reduced consumption are just some of the opportunities available to the customer who, on this new machine, can opt for the PVS156 vision system, fully integrated in the press.
How can a vision system be used to make a production process more efficient and sustainable? The key is the immense amount of data from the system, thanks to PVS156's ability to analyse, in-line, a large proportion of the preforms produced. This means greater flexibility in handling recycled resins with varying rheological characteristics and qualities (in terms of density, viscosity, etc.).
The system exploits advanced Artificial Intelligence algorithms and thus paves the way, also in the preforms field, for the concept of feedback-on-process. In other words, the possibility of anticipating and correcting any process deviations while maintaining production parameters at an optimal level. Again, a decisive factor when coupled with broader logics of sustainability such as the flexible use of new materials and zero waste.
Waitin’ 4 you at K 2022! (Hall 13 – 13A63)