In keeping with the motto ‘Sewing is the past’, this year’s exhibit by Starlinger at interpack in Dusseldorf will feature live production of IC*STAR sacks. These are produced on the new conversion line multiKON KX, equipped with the sealTEC bottom closing module developed by Starlinger in co-operation with the Austrian packaging systems manufacturer Statec Binder.
The IC*STAR method involves the welding of a closure strip onto the sack bottom by means of hot air in a continuous process, without the need for glue. The sack mouth remains open and after automated filling can be either closed with another closure strip, or sewn shut.
“The big advantage of IC*STAR sacks is that, unlike sewn sacks, they are sealed completely tight with the welded closure strip,” explained Hermann Adrigan, sales director for Starlinger. “The IC*STAR construction also practically eliminates the seam allowances required for sewn sacks, and greater strength in the sack bottom enables the use of lighter fabric. Both factors add up to cost savings in raw material – in this case polypropylene – and a reduction of the carbon footprint. Our customers are sensitive to these arguments.”
The new process lends itself to production of coated or uncoated IC*STAR sacks, as well as sacks with gussets. Oil-free production makes them ideal for packaging food products such as rice, coffee, salt, sugar or flour in bulk quantities.
Since the official market launch last October at the K exhibition in Dusseldorf, the first IC*STAR conversion lines have already been delivered and installed.
Another focus of the Starlinger exhibit will be woven packaging from rPET flakes. This new technology developed by Starlinger is meeting with lively interest in the packaging sector: it uses material from used PET packaging such as bottles to produce tapes for weaving and, from these, big bags and sacks. Especially in consumer goods packaging, many stakeholders already place high priority on sustainability.
“Sacks made from PET are noted for their specific characteristics such as stiffness, effective grease barrier and aroma protection. These make them the ideal packaging for all kinds of consumer goods,” comments Stéphane Soudais, general manager of Starlinger’s Consumer Bags Division. “PET is also one of the few types of plastic which enable closed loop production. With our technology we can make PET bottle flakes directly into woven tape fabric, which is then used in production of container bags or consumer goods packaging like the PP*STAR pinch bottom sack laminated with BOPET film. The rPET sacks are recyclable after use and can be used in the production of new sacks or for other applications.”