The KHS Group announced its new Innopack Kisters Wrap-aroundShrinkPaperPacker Advanced (WSPP A), a beverage can packaging machine that can handle wrap-around packs, trays, pads, paper or film. Existing Innopack Kisters machines in the Advanced series can be upgraded to a WSPP A.

“Paper as a packaging material is still a novelty on the beverage market,” says Ernst van Wickeren, packaging product manager for KHS. “However, this alternative is already definitely meeting with great interest from beverage canners. Many of our customers who sell organic beverages, for instance, also want to convey the notion of ecology through the packaging — and in doing so are satisfying a rapidly growing consumer demand.”

According to KHS, most machine users see the paper wrapping as an additional new option to package their range of products. “Right from the start we had lots of requests for machines that can process both paper and film,” says van Wickeren. “These were often from fillers who market premium products alongside less expensive beverage varieties. The high-quality products are to be wrapped in paper while the packs in the lower price segment are to be held together with shrink film.” The WSPP A offers a combination of process modules and the line-compatible machine can process three different types of secondary packaging:

  1. Wrap-around cartons, where the pack is enclosed in cardboard
  2. Trays with or without a paper or shrink film wrapping
  3. Cardboard pads wrapped in paper or shrink film

Modular Design
The machine packages cylindrical containers — especially beverage cans — whose compact shape and even surface make them suitable for wrapping in paper. The modular design of all Innopack Kisters Advanced packaging machines enables existing Innopack Kisters Wrap-aroundShrinkPacker (WSP) or Innopack Kisters Wrap-aroundPaperPacker (WPP) to be retrofitted as a WSPP A — with full flexibility, tailored to suit the respective requirements of the customer or market.

The unwinding and cutting unit previously used for the shrink film was given a connecting unit for paper and film. This section of the machine is also where hot melt is applied from below and the paper is pulled taut. These functions are deactivated when shrink film is processed.

In the new folding module folding tools tightly fold and erect the paper around the sides of the packs. The separate KHS InnoHotMelt applicator with its needle valves ensures glue application. An automatic glue pellet feed system is also available for production. In the setting unit of this module, the glued side flaps are pressed onto the pack and fixed by foam-coated application belts.

The shrink tunnel can be individually configured and scores on low energy consumption. A gas heating system can be used as an option that reduces energy costs by up to 50% and cuts CO2 emissions by up to 60%. If paper is used in place of film, the machine conveys the finished packs through the shrink tunnel that has been switched off. If paper wrapping is to replace film packaging entirely, the shrink tunnel can be completely removed, then making the machine no longer in its dimensions than a previous packer design.

Energy Efficient
With a shrink tunnel consumption of up to 72 kWh in two-shift operation on 300 days of the year, a maximum of €30,0001 can be saved per annum. Retrofitting an Innopack Kisters WSP replaces the existing wrapping module with new functions and installs the paper folding and gluing module. “Once the modules are installed, besides the standard format changeovers no other conversions are needed when switching from paper to film,” says van Wickeren. “All that has to be changed is the packaging material and the hot melt applicators need to be activated in good time so that they’re ready for use when production starts.”

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