BillerudKorsnäs FibreForm – an alternative to plastics

Innovative rigid packaging with 3D shapes based on paper

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BillerudKorsnäs
FibreForm is a natural alternative to plastic packaging designed to give converters and brand owners new opportunities to enhance their product and brand image with smart, truly sustainable consumer packaging solutions

BillerudKorsnäs FibreForm is a natural alternative to plastic packaging designed to give converters and brand owners new opportunities to enhance their product and brand image with smart, truly sustainable consumer packaging solutions. It’s easy to work with and has proven to significantly reduce waste, lower transport costs, increase productivity and revitalize consumer interest in an ever-expanding range of applications.

A high-ductility, fluid-resistant, paper-based material unlike other paper packaging materials, FibreForm can be moulded in standard thermoforming equipment. It can be stretched up to 20% enabling designers to create new self standing innovative shapes and distinctive rigid paper packaging. Made from sustainably sourced paper with the Forest Stewardship Council eco-label, the material is compostable and recyclable.

FreeFormPack is the result of a partnership between Swedish paper maker BillerudKorsnas and Italian machinery manufacturer Curti. FreeFormPacks are produced on the Curti PAM/BOM (paper moulding/board moulding) form-fill-seal system using FSC-certified FibreForm paper from BillerudKorsnas.

FibreForm material will 3D form when you apply a force to it and it then keeps
that shape. It’s an energy-efficient cold forming process and does not require any
heat, only a male/female tool and nip point to provide the pressure. The machine
for doing this is not very large, about the size of a sports utility vehicle.

Curti’s PAM/BOM system runs at speeds from 50 to 100 packages a minute
and can macro-form or micro-form the FibreForm paper into 3D patterns and designs, even in register to printed graphics. Changeovers—typically done within
two hours—can include different package heights, graphics, diameters, forming
and embossing.

For FreeFormPack applications, BillerudKorsnas starts with a base FibreForm
material made from 100% virgin fibre and then builds various poly-laminates to
create the required barrier properties and sealing features for a particular brand
application. FibreForm is suitable for food markets (granulates, powders, tablets
and pieces) and, although FreeFormPack is leak-free, the company has chosen
not to pursue the liquid beverages market.

As with other form-fill-seal packaging processes, FreeFormPack generates substantial supply chain savings and benefits. The rollstock takes up less space for
shipping and storage, and minimizes material waste on the production line. It
offers approximately 70% reduction in carbon footprint versus a comparable preform PET bottle.

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The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 45% over the past four years. With orders in place, we expect another 20% capacity addition in 2024 and 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels are grown similarly. As the consumption story returns over the next six months, we expect demand to return and exceed the growth trajectory of previous years. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – and as shown by our analytics, our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

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