The packaging sector can be like a beauty contest. No matter how lightweight, sustainable or inexpensive processors can make a package, if consumers don't buy the product, no one makes any money. Good looks are critical.
Marbach Werkzeugbau GmbH understands that, and came to K 2010 in Dusseldorf with new technology that it says can help customers create attractive plastic packaging that can compete with metal and glass.
Marbach, based in Heilbronn, Germany, makes tooling and automation systems for both thermoforming and injection molding. The company featured products for both processes but, interestingly, no tools at its exhibit at K, held Oct. 27 to Nov. 3.
Instead, the booth was filled with packaging samples made using the company's systems.
One product that got a lot of attention was an automation system called the Zapod2 for making thermoformed containers with in-mold labels.
We are a little bit astonished by how quickly people are making decisions on thermoformed in-mold labeling, said Hubert Kittelmann, vice president of sales. Everybody is afraid of being left behind.
Creating the system involved pairing Marbach's knowledge of thermoform tooling with the expertise of the former Systec Komplettsysteme GmbH, a Bad Urach, Germany-based injection molding IML specialist that Marbach bought in 2008.
Marbach's system helps thermoformers create packages with labels that don't wrinkle giving them the good looks that consumers expect from injection molded thin-wall containers, plus the advantages of thermoforming: among them multilayer construction for longer shelf life, and cheaper more flexible tooling.
Kittlemann said some customers are trialing the Zapod2.
Marbach also unveiled variaSpeed, an automation system for in-mold labeling on injection molded packaging.
The variaSpeed system was made to be flexible it can run one- to eight-cavity production cycles with a quick changeover of less than 30 minutes, the company said.