Paper takes over in wrapping multipacks of cans

Producers of canned foods and drinks will be able to multi-pack in paper rather than plastic film using a tray packer from German equipment manufacturer KHS.

The Innopack Kisters tray packer — announced in March — has been adapted to provide an alternative to shrink film or wrap-around cartons. KHS says the resulting secondary packaging is just as stable but with less energy consumption and materials

With a few minor adjustments existing machines can also be converted to the new setup.

“Our customers now want alternatives to the usual packaging systems such as film. These should be as ecofriendly as possible,” says Karl-Heinz Klumpe, packaging product manager at KHS. “To this end, the paper wrapping has now been developed together with an international beverage producer for transportation or sale on packs of 12 or 24 cans. It operates at up to 90,000 cans per hour.”

Wrapping cans in paper has many advantages over other materials, says Klumpe. “On the one hand, paper is kinder to the environment than film with respect to ocean pollution, for instance. Paper biodegrades in the environment after a few weeks.”

Also, less packaging materials are used. Instead of a sturdy wrap-around carton or film packs on trays, packaging cans in thinner paper only needs a flat, stable corrugated card pad as a base, with identical results regarding stability, says Klumpe.
Costs are also cut by the new paper pack: compared to a wrap-around carton by up to 15 per cent, with outgoings about the same as for film.

The idea of using paper as a secondary packaging is not new: KHS first experimented with it around 20 years ago. “Back then, this technology didn’t catch on, however, as paper was a cost-intensive raw material and wrapping containers in film yielded better results regarding stability,” says Klumpe.

More information from KHS GmbH, Juchostraße 20, 44143 Dortmund, Germany. Tel: 49 231 569-0. Website: