German and Swedish companies introduce world’s first sealed paper packaging

First mono-material paper bags were produced and sealed on a Vertical Form Fill Sealing machine (VFFS).
The world’s first mono-material paper bags were produced and sealed on a Vertical Form Fill Sealing machine (VFFS).

Bosch Packaging Technology (Waiblingen, Germany) and BillerudKorsnäs (Solna, Sweden) have developed the world’s first sealed paper packaging technology. Instead of using polymer film, the new solution enables production of dust-tight packaging for dry products such as sugar, grains, flour or powders using sustainable mono-material paper (which contains no additional polymers).

“As a result, retailers and consumers profit from cleaner shelves, high product protection and improved product quality,” said the companies.

Swedish paper specialist BillerudKorsnäs contributed its expertise to the optimization of the mechanical properties of the paper, while Bosch Packaging provided its knowledge as a leading provider of packaging technology. The paper packaging is produced on the first Vertical Form fill and Seal (VFFS) machine with a ZAP-Module.

The module allows coating with the sealing agent on a minimal surface area, preserving the paper’s mono-material characteristics. The process is based on the proven PME machine concept from Bosch. The new solution combines this technology with the AxelloZAP paper from BillerudKorsnäs.

Joachim Dittrich.
Joachim Dittrich.

“This revolutionary concept would not have been implemented without the collaborative effort of both companies. Together we’ve developed a solution that will change the packaging market,” said Joachim Dittrich, Head of Liquid Food Product Division at Bosch Packaging Technology, responsible for the VFFS ZAP portfolio.

Compared to conventional paper, AxelloZAP is substantially more durable, while retaining its natural paper characteristics and advantages – from source to recycling. An important factor is that the sustainable characteristics of the material increase its appeal to today’s eco-conscious consumers.

With the AxelloZAP paper, BillerudKorsnäs “has developed a new, better packaging material which reliably withstands the stronger mechanical requirements in processing. The combination of the strength, flexibility and stiffness of AxelloZAP paper fits perfectly with Bosch’s technology,” said Ole Paulussen, Sales Director at BillerudKorsnäs.

Ole Paulussen.
Ole Paulussen.

Until now, the production of mono-material paper packaging was only possible with pre-made, glued bags or formed paper bags on mandrel wheel technology. The VFFS concept, more flexible regarding formats and pack styles and thus popular on the market, so far only allowed bag production using polymer film or fully coated paper.

With the ZAP-Module from Bosch, it’s now possible to process mono-material paper on VFFS machines with dust-tight sealing. The “secret”, said the companies, lies in the characteristics of the AxelloZAP paper, which was specially developed for this application, as well as in the ZAP-Module, which applies a minimal amount of the sealing agent during the packaging process to enable heat-sealing of the paper on the VFFS machine.

Again, the solution meets the growing demand for sustainable packaging for dry foods such as sugar, flour, grains and powders. Moreover, the machine is user-friendly and can accommodate many popular packaging styles – including pillow, gusseted and block-bottom bags with gable or flat-top closure.

Marcus Velezmoro.
Marcus Velezmoro.

“We’re positive that our solution, supported by several years of development, not only addresses today’s challenges for our customers, but also gives them the possibility to enter completely new markets and areas of application using sustainable packaging,” said Marcus Velezmoro, who is responsible for sales of the VFFS ZAP portfolio at Bosch Packaging Technology.

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.