Syntegon Technology and SABIC announced that they have developed a sustainable packaging concept for the frozen food industry with a reportedly substantial material reduction potential. The companies’ solution comprises the new PHS 2.0 sealing technology from Syntegon and the 20-micrometer thin biaxially oriented polyethylene (BOPE) film from SABIC. The concept aims to allow brand owners to reduce material consumption and increase their output rates by replacing conventionally used low density polyethylene (LDPE) films with BOPE sealed on PHS 2.0 equipment.

The newly developed BOPE film from SABIC and the PHS 2.0 sealing system from Syntegon for vertical form-fill-seal machines aims to reduce usage of pillow bags made of LDPE. “Our concept enables the use of thinner films at higher speeds, whilst offering the same sealing quality and product protection as with LDPE,” says Pierre Hamelink, director business, market and sustainability strategy at Syntegon. By switching to BOPE, manufacturers can reduce film thickness to 20 micrometers. This thin gauge offers a potential packaging material reduction of 35 to 50% compared to blown PE films such as LDPE, and a cost saving potential of up to 30%.

The companies report that tests run on Syntegon machines show that the new material outperforms or performs just as well as conventional polyolefin monomaterial films. Its main benefit is substantial downgauging compared to LDPE films. Depending on product and machinery specifics, LDPE films typically range from 30 to 80 micrometers in thickness. The BOPE solution from SABIC is a monolayer film structure of only 20 micrometer thickness designed to offer the same level of puncture resistance and barrier protection as 30 micrometer LDPE films.

This PHS 2.0 sealing system includes servo-driven sealing jaws, an active knife and two-sided heated sealing strips for more consistent, high-quality seals. The new sealing technology reduces the required clamped film surface by up to 6.8% and increases the packaging speed by as much as 25% — up to 130 bags per minute. The increase in speed is achieved by reducing the sealing and cooling times by 50 and 30%, respectively.

Manufacturers can also reportedly maximize their film yield per roll and reduce film roll changes to help reduce costs, save time and optimize storage space. SABIC says its BOPE film is fully recyclable via mechanical and chemical PE recycling streams.

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