Twinpak Inc. plans to boost its solid-phase pressure forming business through a marketing and technology agreement with RPC Bebo Plastik GmbH of Bremervorde, Germany.
Solid-phase pressure forming of polypropylene sheet has made major inroads in Europe's market for dairy and delicatessen containers, according to John Dale, group general manager for Twinpak's dairy and food packaging group. By contrast, North America's market is dominated by injection molded containers.
Montreal-based Twinpak expects to expand acceptance of such containers in North America by tapping Bebo's technology, Dale said in a telephone interview. Bebo is experienced in printing PP sheet prior to forming, which allows much better print quality compared with post-forming, dry-offset printing. The firm also has worked with a range of container configurations, including coextruded sheet stock and barrier sheet.
Dale said PP becomes oriented during the forming process, increasing the material's strength. This allows downgauging of as much as 25 percent compared with injection molded containers. Pressure forming also is a fast-cycle process that doesn't require a large investment, he added.
The Bebo agreement will help Twinpak supply multinational food firms. Bebo will make available trial quantities of various containers to help Twinpak do field trials before scaling up to production. Twinpak will pay royalties for any Bebo technology it uses.
Twinpak extrudes PP sheet on Welex machinery and pressure forms it at plants in Newport News, Va., and Regina, Saskatchewan. The firm makes a variety of rigid and flexible packaging at its 14 manufacturing plants across North America. It is a subsidiary of Amcor Ltd., a public company in Melbourne, Australia.
Bebo is a subsidiary of publicly held RPC Containers Ltd., based in Raunds, England.