Scholle Corp. has broadened its packaging technology by acquiring Flextainer SA of Schalbach, France.
Flextainer recently developed a liquid filling system and related machinery in which the packager makes the bag just before filling. Conventional form/fill/seal systems for bag-in-box liquid packaging rely on purchased bags, said Roberta Morris, Scholle director of global market development.
The new system has been running in two French wineries for a few years. Scholle calls the bag-making, bag-filling and carton-loading system revolutionary and a major reason why it bought Flextainer.
Morris said the filling technology will complement Scholle's bag sales to food processors. The new system is best-suited to long production runs of simple-to-fill liquids like wine and water. Scholle expects to continue supplying bags to smaller processors and those that have complex filling setups. It also can supply film to processors using the new bag-in-box machinery. It plans to lease the machinery to processors.
Scholle of Irvine, Calif., has partnered with Flextainer before. Five years ago it teamed up with the French company to develop the FlexTap dispensing tap used on wine boxes, Scholle President Leon Gianneschi noted in a news release. Scholle has sold 40 million of the taps in North America and started producing them last year in Merced, Calif.
Claiming to be the largest supplier globally of plastic handles to the wine market, Flextainer has developed a range of wine-box taps and molds and assembles 30 million of them a year. It also claims to have been the first company with an automated system to insert plastic handles in wine cartons.
Flextainer will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Scholle and will continue to operate its two plants in Schalbach.