The challenge faced by plastic material manufacturers? Produce liners for caps and closures that are completely free of PVC, a substance that puts some food products (especially oil-based) at risk for “contamination”. And the technology suppliers? Design and develop a new machine capable of inserting these innovative liners, which no longer require the use of “polymerization ovens”, thereby drastically reducing not only the risk of product contamination but also consumption and finally pollution.
Challenge won by Sacmi, that has been dedicated to developing vanguard technology solutions in the field of food packaging since the 1950’s: from traditional “corks”, to PVC liners to granule compounds, the first made without using PVC and to which Sacmi contributed significantly in supplying application solutions.
The latest innovation is called PMA24L – acronym for “Plasmatic for metal for ring-shaped liners with 24 moulds and large caps”, whose prototype has undergone testing since mid 2010. It is natural for a company already a pioneer in the production of crown cap lining machines to develop solutions to overcome the problems faced with large twist-off caps, i.e. metal covers used for jams, ready-made sauces, vegetables preserved in vinegar but also baby food. Fields in which, more than ever, the difference is not only from the hygiene point of view but also organoleptic integrity, not always safeguarded by PVC liners which in several cases “leached” substances to the product.
This is how the idea for the PMA24L came about, which goes hand in hand with the latest innovations developed by plastic material manufacturers for large PVC-free caps. A class of products facing numerous problems, above all the need for strong resistant liners capable of withstanding hot filling, pasteurization and sterilization at temperatures over 100 degrees.
The first prototype was installed and put into service in February 2011. After undergoing long process reliability testing, Sacmi is looking toward the future with optimism based on the excellent feedback obtained from the client – a leading German food packaging company – that has already ordered another machine and which is actually producing more than 300,000 closures a day thanks to the Made in Sacmi technological jewel. A significant investment widely paid back by the benefits offered which range from (data sheet in hand) zero possibility of product contamination to remarkable flexibility of PVC-free materials while the machine itself is able to reach high production outputs equal to 1000 liners per minute.
Actually designed and engineered to process metal caps, in the future it will be possible to adapt the machine to line plastic caps. In addition, great satisfaction is expected to be obtained from the baby food market segment as the technology employed in the new PMA24L can also be used to line caps of various sizes made in different materials. Today two versions of the PMA are available, the “flagship” one, capable of handling 1000 caps a minute, and a smaller model, with 12 stations, that can reach 500 pieces in the time unit.