How can I get the most out of the digitisation of the rigid packaging lines? How is this pathway more competitive, even with regard to the possibility of achieving more sustainable products and/or processes?
SACMI will be exhibiting these new developments at the Drinktec trade fair in Munich (Messe München, 12-16 September 2022), which will be an excellent opportunity to showcase the new digital architecture of the caps and preforms line, while at the same time illustrating the partnership possibilities that SACMI offers for the industry’s new green deal.
The three drivers of digitisation
SACMI bases its digitalisation strategy on certain key principles, which the company has exalted by converting them into specific innovation packages and services. The aim is to offer customers the opportunity to be ‘accompanied’ in their investment and growth programmes, in order to obtain the best possible production results based on their specific needs.
The first, the Smart Pack, is the new digital package that integrates advanced sensor technology and on-board machine checks into the SACMI cap lines. Developed around the “real time reaction” concept, the Smart Pack allows the customer to increase the plant availability and the service life of its components, while at the same time simplifying the operator’s work.
One of the advantages of this system – which is capable, for example, of automatically recognising an incorrect resin – is that it greatly reduces the possibility of making mistakes, which could damage the machine and, more generally, waste time and resources.
Along these same lines, SACMI also offers the HERE plant supervisor, which is designed specifically for the needs of cap manufacturers, and includes advanced monitoring, order scheduling, and tracking functions.
The last of the three drivers is the new Smart Care service for the collection and management of the in-cloud data of customers’ machines and plants, which offers the possibility of monitoring the plants’ health status remotely and makes use of proactive problem solving services.
An easy approach to tethered r-evolution
Many European countries, including Italy, have already transposed EU Directive 2019/904, which, among other things, requires the adoption of the tethered standard, or rather the use of a ‘tethered’ cap that remains attached to the bottle after opening, thus limiting the risk of the cap being dispersed into the environment, and promoting a proper recycling chain.
As a world technology leader in cap lines, SACMI anticipated this regulatory development by some years, and has developed a comprehensive range of products for its customers to help them make this transition in an efficient manner.
The proposal is based on two main factors: first, an innovative and flexible process involving the post-processing production of the tethered cap (with a slitting-folding machine); and second, intensive R&D, which has led to the development and market launch of a complete range of tethered caps, which are already available and can be adapted to most commercially available bottle types in order to meet all the market requirements.
In particular, at Drinktec SACMI will be showcasing its new caps for 26 mm mouths designed for CSD, a range of lightweight products that offer the same excellent performance, and are completely compatible with the new tethered standard.
Looking at the line as a whole, downstream of the cap production process, SACMI also offers full integration with safety band cutting and bending machines (SFM), even in synergy with the new PFMC (pull force machine), for performing checks and tests on the band during production, and with the CVS-Cut system, for checking the quality of the safety band cut.
PCR (post consumer resins), another step forward in rPET
The recycling of the resins that make up the container for food grade use is a primary objective of the research and development promoted by leading technology suppliers like SACMI, which, for years now, has been offering the possibility of processing up to 100% rPET, and up to 50% recycled PET in the form of flakes, on its standard range of preform presses (IPS).
Being introduced on the market today is an innovation that allows this percentage to be increased up to 70-75%. This innovation also redesigns the entire process for optimal handling of flake and granule mixtures, with no need for two separate processing hoppers, for a potentially ground-breaking innovation in terms of efficiency and user-friendliness, which will facilitate the market switch to a chain complete with food-grade PET recycling.
And that’s not all: SACMI is currently preparing to further expand its recycling approach for food grade use products to include the entire cap-preform system, and is simultaneously continuing with its research and prototyping of new biocompatible polymers, such as cellulose-based fibres and blends.
Once again in this case, it is the unsurpassed expertise and know-how of its Laboratory, together with its daily support for its customers around the world, that allow SACMI to continue driving innovation, above all sustainable innovation, in this sector.