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For the good of the environment: Cold-stretch film for food packaging

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Innovative packaging solution for the food industry

Environmentally-friendly innovation in the packaging industry. Regardless of the shape of the product to be packaged, the Styron packaging machine from the Italian company Forpac turns a whole host of different products into compact packaging units. This recently unveiled new development allows companies to make significant energy and raw material savings. To attain the ambitious goals it has set itself, the Italian company uses our drive and automation technology.

Forpac packaging machine
MOVIGEAR® drive unit in the packaging machine

Customer: Forpac S.r.l. in Noceto

Location: Parma (northern Italy)

Sector: Packaging industry

Application: Packaging machine

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  • To save energy in the packaging process
  • To reduce the amount of film needed
  • Modular machine structure
  • Sustainable and innovative drive solutions
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  • Drive and control technology from SEW-EURODRIVE
  • A modular structure, which can be configured in various versions depending on the speed and product requirements.
  • Our highly efficient MOVIGEAR® performance drive unit
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  • 62% less energy is consumed
  • The amount of film needed drops by 64%

Perfect coffee in the long-term

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A lot of things have to happen before we can enjoy a cup of coffee at home, out and about or in a café. It all starts with cultivation and harvesting, before moving on to shipping the raw coffee and ending with roasting and packaging. The whole process takes several months and involves many different steps. The last step in the process is packaging the individual packs of coffee into packaging units suitable for trade and catering. In order to cut energy and raw material use, the manufacturers of packaging machines are always on the lookout for innovative solutions. One company facing up to this challenge is Forpac S.r.l. in Noceto, located near Parma in Italy. This city in the region of Emilia-Romagna is one of northern Italy’s important economic hubs with a focus on the food industry. The experienced planners at Forpac are experts in packaging technology. They have been studying the needs of various sectors for a long while and have amassed a huge amount of knowledge of their machines.

One innovative idea removes the need for an oven

Styron packaging machine
Styron packaging machine

By developing the Styron packaging machine, Forpac has initiated an innovative project featuring ingenious technology. With this new concept, the stretch film used to package the product is stretched cold so there is no need to heat it. As well as reducing the amount of raw materials used in the packaging, another positive factor is the energy saved from eliminating the heating step. Styron would therefore be the ideal solution to the flexibility and versatility that we are seeing the market demand with increasing urgency. As is so often the case with innovations, several of Forpac's business partners initially expressed their reservations and were somewhat hesitant to rethink their views on product packaging. Finally, forward-thinking companies, like Lavazza, have come on board and been won over by this solution.

Strong partnership

Inverter technology
Inverter technology

SEW-EURODRIVE Italy is responsible for a key element in the success of this project. Even the first prototype of a machine for packaging tins of coffee produced impressive results. The machine delivered energy savings of 62% and the amount of film needed fell by 64%.

Fitted with our drive and control technology, the Styron packaging machine features innovative technical solutions, making a modular structure possible. Depending on the speed and product requirements, the machine can be configured in various versions ranging from one to several modules. Each machine module handles a specific task, such as feeding film, supplying the packaging or wrapping. The machine modules are synchronized to one another. The machine is equipped with an operating panel to manage the various products and coordinate movement. Each machine module can feature between six and 12 axes. This machine is fitted with a remote control, allowing for comprehensive control and continuous monitoring. SEW-EURODRIVE Italy has since received a subsequent order for drive and automation technology for other machines. These are also fully equipped with products from the MOVI-C® modular automation system.

Sustainable drive concepts

MOVIGEAR® performance drive unit
MOVIGEAR® performance drive unit

All supply tasks are handled by the energy-optimized MOVIGEAR® drive unit. The highly efficient MOVIGEAR® performance drive unit satisfies the requirements of the IE5 energy efficiency class for motors. Huge energy savings can be made over standard systems. With regard to types of communication, MOVIGEAR® is very flexible and fits seamlessly into any automation topology. The most extensive system configuration used so far with three modules for loose bottles and outer packaging has 46 drives. The integrated absolute encoder ensured maximum control precision and the total energy consumption during continuous operation was 9 kWh per hour.

Huge variety of packaging types

The Styron packaging machine is patented in more than 150 countries and is manufactured using solutions tried and tested for the food and drinks industry. Thanks to its modular design, it can meet various production requirements: numerous types of packaging for logistics and sales as well as loose products or those with primary packaging, four- or six-sided film wrapping as well as a very large range of products, such as bottles, cans or small packages. Styron covers all the requirements of high-quality packaging: in addition to the general suitability of the packaging, its stability, load on the pallets, the film transparency and savings in terms of film and energy.

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