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Minor adjustment, major impact

KHS Nature MultiPack now available with a universal adhesive

What initially seems like just a minor adjustment actually constitutes a major further development that produces even more reliable, future-proof technology: for its Nature MultiPack (NMP) KHS has produced a universal adhesive that can be used on practically all outer coatings on both aluminium and tin cans. 

This makes it easier for many beverage producers to convert to this environmentally-friendly style of packaging. 

Since this system became successfully established on the market, the demands made of the adhesive especially have continuously increased. 

The Dortmund systems supplier has answered this call and now enables customers to create appropriate packs with the new one-fits-all system for beverage cans, thus also helping them to achieve their sustainability targets.

KHS helps its customers by providing specific advice and developing and implementing environmentally friendly and circular systems.

These include its NMP. As one of the most sustainable types of secondary packaging, this future-proof technology does away with secondary packaging completely, holding packs of six beverage cans, for instance, together with just a few dots of adhesive.

To date, choosing the right adhesive was something of a challenge: numerous advanced tests had to be run to check how an ideal amount of the same creates the perfect balance between high pack stability and easy-to-remove beverage cans when applied to the different coatings can manufacturers use on their containers. 

“There’s a huge variety of can lacquers, running into several hundreds worldwide,” says Dr. Matthias Caninenberg, head of Nature MultiPack Technology at KHS. 

They often have very different surface properties, from matte to glossy. 

“The discrepancies in chemical and physical properties such as roughness are enormous,” he explains.

Universal adhesive makes elaborate testing redundant

These dissimilarities affect the effectiveness of the adhesive which is why elaborate testing at the KHS laboratory used to be required. 

For interested canners, this was a procedure that, first and foremost, was very time-consuming, Caninenberg states. 

In developing a universally applicable adhesive for practically all outer can lacquers used worldwide, KHS has now risen to this challenge. 

The new consumable satisfies stringent requirements to ensure stability during transportation, among other things. 

In order to do so, the adhesive had to prove its worth both on a laboratory scale and in industrial application. Caninenberg is more than pleased with the results. 

“The goal of producing a universal adhesive that works on practically all coatings was again exceeded. During qualification and practical application in industrial production, it was shown that our exacting requirements were met.”

The implemented one-fits-all solution enables beverage producers to form the perfect NMP from all standard formats and sizes.

“On the one hand, both matte and glossy containers can be processed without complex adhesive changeovers being necessary; on the other, future customers no longer have to keep to a given selection of surface lacquers,” Caninenberg notes. 

This makes pack production more flexible and efficient, which in turn also has a positive impact on the supply chain. 

“A selection of predefined lacquers no longer has to be kept in stock. This cuts down on the amount of cost and effort needed and greatly simplifies production processes,” 

Caninenberg explains. 

“We’ve thus completely eliminated any entry thresholds when it comes to investing in this standardized, environmentally-friendly technology.”

Investment improves ecobalance

Nature MultiPack also cuts costs – in the long-term the system is less expensive than other kinds of secondary packaging as beverage producers save on both materials and resources. This plant engineering is also ideal when specific company sustainability strategies are to be implemented – especially when in the future taxes will possibly be levied according to the amount of CO2 equivalents generated rather than the style of packaging. 

Independently validated LCA analyses show that a company’s carbon footprint can be massively reduced where NMP technology is used.

The KHS Innopack Kisters Nature MultiPack packaging machine is available in a version that outputs up to 45 000 containers per hour and in a high-capacity variant produces a maximum of 90 000 cans per hour. 

For both speeds of machine three optional modules are available: a distributor, a pack turner and a handle applicator to create NMPs with a carrying strap. 

This can also be fully omitted to give customers the best possible ecobalance. 

Doing without the necessary modules for the above makes the machine up to 50% shorter, cutting the length down to just 10,8 m. 

“With our further developed adhesive we provide a flexible, cost-efficient and extremely sustainable solution. Thanks to its resource-saving technology, this will ultimately score with consumers,” Caninenberg sums up.

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