PETnology Europe 2024_summiteer

(Photo credit: Krones)


Krones: Consistently high speed achieved with recyclable sleeves

Krones AG Neutraubling, Germany

Standard PETG sleeve labels remain a major challenge for recycling systems because it is impossible to separate them dependably from the crystallised PET that bottles are made of. This may reduce a recycling system’s efficiency. For the circular economy, in turn, this can prevent valuable resources from being used to optimum effect.

Successful field test at PepsiCo in Rodgau

To counter that, the label manufacturer CCL has developed a new product: EcoFloat sleeves. These consist of polyolefin and therefore possess a lower density than the PET that bottles are made of. This allows the sleeve labels to be separated from the bottles in recycling systems, using the sink-float method.

In a field test conducted on a high-speed Pepsi-Co line in Rodgau, a sleeving machine from Krones has now successfully dressed 0.5- and 1.5-litre Lipton Iced Tea bottles in these recyclable EcoFloat polyolefin sleeve labels, which are applied using the following kit:

  • a Sleevematic TS sleeve labeller with a Multireel S magazine for the sleeve reels,
  • a Shrinkmat steam tunnel,
  • two Linadry container dryers, one installed upstream of the labeller and the other one downstream of the steam tunnel.

In order to maximise both machine availability and efficiency with the EcoFloat sleeves, the Sleevematic TS has been equipped with special add-on components suitable for processing polyolefin, like specifically adapted rollers and cutting tools. It took just one day to install them, with the machine then immediately reaching top speed and maximum efficiency.

The shrink-fit quality obtained with the EcoFloat sleeves is at a high level, similar to that achieved with standard PETG sleeve labels. So the Sleevematic TS is able to process polyolefin sleeves with only minimal adjustments to its design, making it a sound investment for the future which guarantees the highest possible level of sustainability.

To quote PepsiCo’s Ronny Liere from Manufacturing Operating Support: “At PepsiCo, we were thrilled to see the intensive collaboration between all parties involved and are delighted about the immediate success it brought to our existing Krones line. All we needed was a small add-on kit, with only minimal line downtime for its installation. Lipton Packaging R&D and our commercial team worked closely together to complete the test runs. We’re very satisfied with the result and see this project as an excellent example of the efforts undertaken by PepsiCo and the beverage industry in general to create a sustainable future, as represented by the two leading brands Krones and CCL.”

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