- Spokesperson, Windmöller & Hölscher
Speed in packaging process can save on time and resources. Which packaging material is best suited for mechanised handling and/or automation?
Valve sacks have the important benefit of being able to be filled on nozzle packers, which ensure a high filling output. Valve sack concepts are available in all three major materials (paper, pp-woven, PE-film). The most important factors regarding filling speed and automated handling are deaeration performance and form stability.
In India, hot air sealed block bottom bags are the most used for high automation production. The benefit for bag producers is lower manpower requirement for producing as these bags are produced with high speeds and advance automation. AD PROTEX valve bags produced on CONVERTEX by Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H) ideally combine minimum raw material usage, adhesive-free sack production and unequalled functionality of their box-shaped design. As a result, they are made in a particularly economical way but can also be filled and palletized similarly as the conventional pasted valve bags.
AD proFilm MP, our new sack concept made of PE-film and produced on AD PLASTIC 2, meets exactly these two important factors and in addition it provides 100 per cent water resistance. Our new production line for cement valve packaging ensures the production of paper sacks which fulfil the requirements for automated high speed filling.
What are the challenges conventional cement packaging systems like PP, paper and HDPE bags are facing? What are the factors one should look at while selecting the best packaging material?
The factors one should consider while searching for the best packaging production are: sack geometry, sack converting, sack design, appearance and stack design.
Each aspect can be more or less important depending on the region and market the customer is looking for. Furthermore different applications, availability of the respective materials, or even regional differences, sometimes with historical root causes may influence the decision.
What is the importance of look and feel of the packaging material and printability in improving the visibility and promotion of the product?
Store appearance and market presentation in general are of major importance when it comes to product placement and communication to the end-customer. Based on that, sacks need to present all marketing messages in an attractive way. Currently additional packaging features like carrying handle or easy opening feel an increasing market demand as those features present an added value regarding sack handling for the end-user.
What is the outlook of demand growth in the cement industry and thus for packaging equipment you foresee in the next three years and what are the factors affecting them?
We have seen a huge growth in consumption of hot air sealed woven sacks in Indian market with several plants running already and more on order. Another very interesting trend we see in the market is use of high end Biaxially-Oriented Polypropylene (BOPP) laminated hot air sealed Block Bottom bags. These bags are much more expensive than the conventional sewn bags but are finding good acceptance in the Indian market. These bags can be printed with very high quality photographic images. We also expect increase in consumption of multiwall paper bags in the Indian market. The reasons are very interesting innovations like high strength paper and water soluble paper done by paper industries.
What is the importance of packaging in cement production and distribution and what are the latest advancements that are taking place?
Packaging in Cement Production has to fulfil multiple needs like moisture protection, extended shelf-life, clean appearance and good handling. Better stackability, pilfer-resistance, anti-counterfeit solution and better aesthetics are some of the reasons why the hot air sealed woven sacks have been preferred in the Indian market. Less flying of packaged product also helps cement users save cost and offer the end user a better assurance of getting quantity of product they paid for. These benefits also help cement users create a better brand image in the market, the benefits of a better brand image also helps better export potential for cement companies.
At the same time sack production for cement and other building materials has always been a distinct cost driven business. During the production efficient handling plays an important role, for example deaeration performance. Nowadays sack quality aspects come more and more into consideration as customers (fillers, retailers and product users) ask for more advanced packaging solutions. This means sack producers feel the trade-off between costs and quality more intense than ever. In order to be competitive on the one hand sack suppliers need to be highly cost-efficient and on the other hand they are forced to provide a superb product quality.
Cost is an important factor besides product loss and environmental factors in selection of packaging options in cement. How do various options stack up?
There are three options for cements sacks: Paper, woven and film. Paper sacks are
a comparatively cost-effective form of packaging made from a renewable source. W&H is the market leader in the field of paper sack systems, with a market share of more than 90%. Woven plastic sacks are very lightweight and tear-resistant, which is particularly useful if the sacks are to be used in tougher environments. Film valve sacks, on the other hand, provide excellent moisture protection and advertising on them is more effective as they hold print so well, a factor which is key, particularly in the field of premium packaging. W&H offers machine solutions tailored to each of the three concepts.