Tear-off packaging — packaging designed to be easily opened without the use of scissors or a knife — easily ranks as one of the frustrations of modern life.
Designed for product protection, it more often than not presents an imposing array of obstacles to be overcome before yielding up its contents. Simply finding the indentation indicating where to start tearing can be a challenge, let alone actually successfully achieving an opening. Using sheer force, teeth and nails to rip at the packaging will often cause the material to stretch — and then give way, creating a raggedy-edged tear while liberally scattering the contents over the unwary consumer and everyone else in the vicinity.
Germany-based Südpack Verpackungen GmbH & Co. KG, a family-owned supplier of resealable packaging and opening aids, has addressed the problem with the development of new tear-off perforation technology, called xtear. According to the company, composite films with xtear perforation are easy to open — no tools needed — and simplify the packaging process for food manufacturers: xtear film is compatible with all conventional packaging machines.
Südpack says packaging featuring xtear perforation technology will open in a controlled fashion, enabling consumers to portion the contents. “Along with mini sausages, cheese sticks and other snack products, the laser perforation is also suitable for pourable products,” said Südpack Managing Partner Johannes Remmele. “Thanks to xtear, the product can be dispensed in precise amounts."
Südpack technicians use an in-house laser system to perforate film for easy opening, targeted gas exchange, or for valves and other additional features. "We see the laser process as a finishing option of the future, one that will become widely established in the coming years," Remmele said in a news release.
The laser system processes film lengthwise or crosswise in the direction of movement or applies laser contours to the film. For laser processing, Südpack uses composite film consisting of a sealing layer and a substrate. The film's substrate is removed precisely, the barrier layer remains fully intact.
The technology has already been applied on easy-to-open tubular bag packaging for Goldsteig mozzarella, and a multiple-chamber tray with chambers that can easily be separated along the perforation.