Convenience, product safety and attractive design are top priorities for packaging in the consumer goods industry and play an even bigger role in the dehydrated food segment, which requires high barrier properties and therefore costly production processes. Mondi accepted this challenge and came up with an in-house solution that offers customers an efficient and flexible technology for premium print quality on high-barrier laminates.
"To meet the demands of high-quality prints and product safety, rotogravure printing technology and multi-layer barrier laminates are a necessity. The downside was that both result in high printing volumes and low flexibility in design changes," Christian Kolarik, managing director, Mondi Consumer Bags & Films, explains.
"We are happy to offer our customers an innovative solution, which enables them to be more flexible whilst being cost-efficient at the same time. Many companies have tried to come up with a solution, but they've never quite managed. Thanks to our experienced team of application engineers and development managers, Mondi is the first company to provide its customers with an efficient and top-quality solution."
The novel production process is faster as the laminate is produced in high volumes and printed on demand, thanks to the direct print process on the ready material. This enables producers of dehydrated food to realise short print runs, hence offering the possibility of changing their packaging designs according to new products and market needs. The complex material structure made of paper / PE / Al / PE can be printed directly on the paper side and is therefore a lot quicker.
The new solution takes a sophisticated procedure and requires considerable know-how to develop. The traditional rotogravure printing technology had to be adjusted and modified to result in the high quality of direct print with hardly any missing dots. In addition to the unmatched reproduction grades and reduced lead times, the technology offers customers another big advantage: the print approvals are done with the final material used for the packaging, guaranteeing identical print quality.
The laminate used offers excellent barrier properties against water-vapour, aroma, oxygen and UV light and has no impact on the sensory properties of the filled good. In addition, the material ensures utmost seal integrity and subsequently product safety. The new production process is mainly used for dehydrated food packaging such as, for example, instant soups and other powdery food products.