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PAC: Package Converter, Process/Facility - Bronze

Excel-Pac Facility

Overview

In comparison to 2003, this facility now disposes of approximately 80% less solvent from their printing operation through the use of a solvent recovery system, despite a capacity increase over this period. Their printing process utilizes a 'clean in place' auto-wash system that is linked into a closed loop solvent recovery process.

Motivation for Change

We saw that sustainability goes hand in hand with improved efficiency and cost reductions for our operations. With our move to a greenfield facility in 2003, it provided the opportunity to put a lot of the concepts of sustainability into practice.

Performance

The solvent recycling distillation system has reduced our consumption of solvents by ¾ giving major annualized cost savings and reducing our environmental impact. Are solvent emissions are reduced to 25% of the allowable limit for the enterprise and maintained the same technical performance of our products.

For our barrier packaging products we optimize by application using proprietary sealing materials to ensure effective performance. This is by using our developmental approach that follows the package through the transportation process to the retail environment. The hermetic performance of the products reduces wastage through food distribution chain to the consumer.

Right-sizing and Down-gauging packaging using our narrow seal pouches;

Smaller pouch sizes can be produced with our narrow seal process (narrow hermetic seals, typically reducing the material usage by 3 to 8% for an average size pouch (6" x 9"). Further our ‘no curl’ wickets improve filling line efficiencies and reduce wastage further.

We are able to down gauge our stand-up pouches by up to 25% and still give the same hermetic performance. We continue to develop structures to reduce a 3 layer packages to 2 layers (e.g. for coffee and dried goods). We are converting laminates into surface printed roll stock whilst maintaining the barrier, stiffness and graphical appeal.

Clean Production

Our printing process utilizes a “clean in place” auto-wash system that is linked into a closed loop solvent recovery process. We can make ready other printing jobs whilst continuing to run and thereby reducing energy costs. In addition, we were one of the first in Canada to switch to solventless laminations. We have eliminated the use of volatile solvents and the potential for their migration into the packaging material. Benefits include;

-No retained solvents (100% solids)
-No solvent driers required lowering energy useage
-VOC process eliminated from process
In comparison to 2003, we now dispose of approximately 80% less solvent from our printing operation through the use of a solvent recovery system, despite a capacity increase over this period.

Material Health

High performance 3rd generation adhesive coating produces no residual monomer and therefore no risk of aromatic amine migration.

Resource & Energy Optimization

Use of our stand-up pouches allows up to 25:1 reduction in transportation costs compared to preformed polymer bottles with associated reduction in green house gas production and fossil fuel usage.

Categories: PAC Award Winner General Packaging Facility/Process

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