Greener closures, anti-counterfeiting and new Malaysia plant

United Caps shows breakthroughs at Propak Asia


United Caps, a family-owned and Luxembourg-headquartered international manufacturer of caps and closures, exhibited for the second time at Propak Asia in mid-June 2018. Featured at the Bangkok exhibition were several breakthrough closure solutions that are likely to drive interest in the Asian market.

“We are excited to be at Propak Asia again this year,” said Benoît Henckes, chief executive officer of United Caps. “And we have a great story to tell – from our Golden Moment bespoke development efforts with Nestlé for its new Nescafé Gold coffee closure, to our greener closures made from bioplastics, to our new approaches to anti-counterfeiting, an important consideration in the Asian market.” The company shared details about its new factory in Malaysia, as a part of its ‘Close to You’ strategy.

A golden moment
“People have moments in their lives that they look back on as golden,” Henckes explained. “It might be a seemingly impossible challenge conquered, a successful collaboration or maybe an event that touched them deeply. Companies, too, have those Golden Moments, and our creation of the new Nescafé closure was one for United Caps. We faced significant challenges, and many would have given up. But we persevered, and the result was rewarding for us and for Nestlé.” At the show, visitors saw how the company was able to achieve a classy brushed metal look for the new Nescafé closure. It required a 100% metallic material to be wrapped around the skirt of a closure, something that had never been done before.”

Greener closures
In collaboration with Braskem, a leading Brazilian petrochemical company, United Caps introduced a line of bio-sourced plastic caps and closures made from sugar cane. Green polyethylene begins its life as sugar cane, a renewable resource that replaces itself in a single year and is designed to have the same characteristics, quality and properties as conventional PE, sharing the same production route.

GREENER CLOSURES: Closures made from bioplastics don’t just look good, they do good too.
GREENER CLOSURES: Closures made from bioplastics don’t just look good, they do good too.

That, combined with the fact that sugar cane consumes a significant amount of carbon dioxide, gives green polyethylene a negative carbon footprint. Its use reduces greenhouse gases and it is 100% recyclable. “As more Asian countries look to increase environmental sustainability,” Henckes stated, “we believe our Greener caps and closures will receive a warm reception.”

Preventing counterfeiting
With an estimated US$ 460 billion in counterfeit goods worldwide, counterfeit prevention has significant economic benefits, including protection of jobs. In addition, it is estimated that there are some 3,000 preventable deaths per year due to counterfeit goods. Counterfeiting can also damage a brand’s reputation, since 45% of consumers will avoid a brand for at least two years after a bad experience, and they share that bad experience on social media as well.

ANTI-COUNTERFEITING: Smarter closures make it easy to quickly identify a genuine product.
ANTI-COUNTERFEITING: Smarter closures make it easy to quickly identify a genuine product.

“At United Caps, we have developed smarter closures that feature new security technologies making it easy to quickly identify a genuine product,” Henckes explained. “This includes QR+ technology, a combination of a QR code and secure fingerprint that help brands enhance consumer confidence. This is especially effective when these technologies are printed onto a non-removable in-mold label. Brands, consumers and others in the distribution chain can quickly and easily validate whether a product is genuine using a mobile app.” United Caps has partnered with Verstraete In Mould Labels in the development of this unique approach to anti-counterfeiting. Verstraete IML, a Multi-Color company, has more than 28 years of experience in offset-printing labels on polypropylene for injection-molding, blow-molding and thermoforming.

At Propak Asia, United Caps also demonstrated how holographic engraving integrated into a closure forms an intrinsic and irremovable security feature, providing immediate verification with no need for additional scanners or other equipment. “The added value of these easily integrated solutions delivers increased consumer confidence and peace of mind for brands,” Henckes commented. “Counterfeiting in Asia is a significant problem, and we look forward to sharing our anti-counterfeiting innovations with show attendees.”

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