When good looks count, you have to factor in the glue effect. With an upgrade of its glue lamination machine in Steinfurt, Walki can offer enhanced higher productivity, quality and safety while respecting the environment.
Glue lamination is the process by which a board product, for example, is combined with a thin layer of PET film. The PET film is glued to the board as a barrier or, in some instances, to create an appealing visual effect.
Stefan Erdmann, Technical Service Manager for Walki Consumer Packaging and Barrier Board, explains that, although Walki already had glue lamination processes at its factory in Steinfurt, Germany, it was decided this year that it was time for an upgrade.
“The modernisation of the glue lamination machine will facilitate a wide range of enhancements that will benefit both our customers and Walki", he says.
The upgraded process will also deliver improved quality, increased productivity, and an enhanced environmental performance.
“The efficiency of the new system makes it possible to reduce the amount of glue, which is better for the environment as we will use fewer raw materials to achieve the same barrier properties. Less glue also means less moisture is applied to the board, thereby reducing swelling and shrinking of the fibres, resulting in improved flatness," he says, adding that the new drives and Siemens S7 logic will also significantly boost production speed.
Erdmann says the decision to upgrade the glue lamination machine came about as a result of growing customer demand.
“In recent years, we’ve seen demand for glue laminated products increase considerably – especially from our Walki®Pack Metalex and Walk® Pack Tray and Walki®Pack Tray Lid product ranges," he explains. “Both are manufactured in the same machine and will benefit from the new, upgraded process."
Walki®Pack Tray and Walki®Pack Tray Lid provide an effective barrier to heat, grease and moisture and are specifically used for take-away boxes and reheating food. All the materials in these products – from the board to the transparent PET film and glue – offer excellent heat resistance and, if required, heat-sealing and peeling properties.
Walki®Pack Metalex, on the other hand, uses a silver or gold metallic PET film to create a visually appealing finish and an excellent print surface. This product is typically used for high-end products including beverages, cosmetics and luxury sweets – segments in which it is crucial for the packaging to stand out on the shelf.
According to Erdmann, one of the most important improvements will be the increased safety for machine operators.
“The machine will have the “CE" marking, signifying that it meets the high safety, health, and environmental protection requirements set by the European Union for electrical products and machinery."