The HG Molenaar Packaging Equipment division has a long-standing supplier relationship with GERNEP for its full range of pressure sensitive, wet glue, and hot-melt for roll-fed or pre-cut labelling systems. Now, however, GERNEP’s closed loop glue method, with its unique spray system, allows the same labels that wrap carbonated soft drinks (CSD) products to be applied to milk containers.
GERNEP labellers wrap high-density polyethylene (HDPE) fresh milk containers in normal polypropylene (PP) labels usually associated with CSD.
This departure from the low-density polyethylene stretch sleeves typically used for fresh milk containers provides enormous cost advantages without the detrimental effects usually associated with glued labels on the hard-working milk packaging.
‘HDPE plastic fresh milk containers are typically subjected to tough forces, such as freezing and thawing, flexing, and heavy handling during the transport and retail phases of the supply chain,’ said Reinhard Watermeyer, business manager at HG Molenaar. ‘Stretch sleeves adequately handle those pressures but the low volumes associated with limited application focused on the dairy industry increase the unit costs of those labels. But, before now, there was no reliable alternative.’
Normal PP labels are, by contrast, widely used in the CSD industry in high volumes that significantly reduce the per unit costs. While the ability to apply these labels to milk containers is not entirely new, it is the first time it is possible using standard, un-modified equipment that significantly boosts peace of mind around line uptime and production availability.
‘There is already significant market interest in this capability and the equipment we make available from GERNEP,’ said Watermeyer. ‘Dairies and bottle manufacturers in South Africa have equally expressed their interest since it provides outstanding competitive advantage in what are, from the dairy and retail perspectives, saturated markets that rely in many cases on minor differentiation and slender margins.’
German engineers have tested and developed the equipment on flexible fresh milk HDPE packaging over the past few years. GERNEP’s unique glue spray system gives producers and packagers ultimate control over precisely where glue is applied, which ensures the label adheres perfectly to all panels of the rectangular or square profile containers.