PET bottles straight to food contact grade r-PET packaging

Packaging's first extrusion line for food grade PET sheets in New Zealand market

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PET Bottle
PET bottles straight to food contact grade r-PET packaging

Amut’s strategic partnership with Erema contributes to accelerate the transition towards a greener world. In summer 2021, Erema in collaboration with Amut has finalized the installation and commissioning of Alto packaging’s first extrusion line for food grade PET sheets in New Zealand market. At the Alto plastic packaging site, in Albany, the plant now processes 100 per cent washed after consumer flakes into 100 per cent food contact grade monolayer thermoforming sheet. In New Zealand, this milestone represents the first system to be installed for this special application.

The plastic packaging company Alto, a division of Pact group, invested for this new food grade PET sheet extrusion line as a part of pact group’s vision to lead circular economy through packaging in Australia and New Zealand.

Thanks to the direct combination of Vacurema PET recycling technology and the Amut inline sheet production technology there is no longer any extra process stage. This is, because the melt goes straight from the Vacurema 1716 T basic to the Amut plant without the detour of pelletizing. The post-consumer PET material is already decontaminated and pre-dried prior to extrusion in the vacuum reactor of the  Vacurema basic, with a throughput of up to 1,500 kg per hour. After high capacity filtration by Erema SW-RTF backflush filter and online IV measurement, the melt goes directly into the Amut inline sheet plant where it is processed into thermoforming sheet from 0.15 mm till 1.2 mm thickness. The monolayer thermoforming sheet produced from pure rPET is not only 100 per cent food contact compliant, it also fulfils the FDA and further regulations. At Alto it is further processed into trays and food containers.

Amut played its part by providing a full range of downstream equipment ranging from the Automatic T die, three rolls stack calender with automatic gap control and motorized cross axing unit, lamination unit for welding and barrier films, thickness control gauge to anti-static silicon coating unit, fully automatic two shafts turret winder and in line edge trims grinding and recycling.

The special features of this extrusion line come from the complete automatic and easy management of the line. This is due to the new Amut’s software including the easy start and easy change functions that will allow the operator to start the extrusion line and change product formats in automatic mode.

Erema and Amut are long-term partners in the inline sheet sector. Erema’s Vacurema technology is  currently in use in more than 100 Inline Sheet facilities around the world, also for Pact group companies in Australia.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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