Manufacturing a new packaging machine actually creates far more environmental damage than an entire lifetime of using it. So a used machine really does help save the planet. But we don't simply rebuild old machines - we make 'better than new' flow wrappers using parts from old ones.
The frame, body and covers don't wear out. Worn bearings are easily replaced with new ones. And the internals are replaced by a class-leading latest generation multi-motor system.
So you get a 'better than new' machine without the price tag or environmental damage of a new one.
Imperishable plastic packaging is a problem we are all aware of. So we work with major manufacturers of Biodegradable, Recyclable and Compostable film in testing new materials. They like working with us because of our large range of available machines and experience.
Simply throwing new technology films at existing machines seldom works. It takes expertise and knowledge to build and suitably prepare a machine to work with these new environmentally friendly materials.
Buying one of our 'better than new' machines or upgrading your own allows you to use these new films as well as meet inevitable future legislative demands.
environment friendly future
As momentum builds, international government legislation will undoubtedly become increasingly demanding. The UK's recent levy on plastic shopping bags and the ban by the Chinese government on imports of plastic waste are just the start. We might soon see prominent "NOT RECYCLABLE" as mandatory marking on films and taxes or levies designed to penalise producers using non-biodegradable or excessive packaging. Not to mention the pollution and environmental damage caused by scrapping your old machine. As someone who has to wrap, you are bound to be concerned. So talk to us - we can help with these new challenges and still keep your budget under control.
The environmental impact of throwing away a flow wrapper and replacing it with a new one is significant. Manufacturing any substantial machine is costly both in terms of the commercial cost to your business and to the planet - from mining it's raw materials to delivering the finished item has an environmental impact beyond what most of us would imagine. Some basic research will astound you - it did us!
If you already have a flow-wrapper that's perhaps seen better days it makes excellent sense to recycle it. If you are in need of a 'new' flow-wrapper we can supply you with a 'better than new' refurbished and upgraded alternative from our huge stock of machines. You are not only doing your bit towards saving the planet and saving yourself a lot of money but are getting a better machine than a new one. This is because in the last decade or so there has been a 'race to the bottom' not only in terms of price but also quality. Most of the main players now offer a cheap entry level flow-wrapper along side their better and more rugged higher end machines. These entry level machines are far from the robust with components and, in some cases, entire machines being made in China with the terrible quality these Chinese low volume machines are known for. Although we try not to work on Chinese machines, and never sell them, we have had several brand new Chinese machines in our workshop requiring significant work to bring them up to European standards. In every case the quality of every aspect of the Chinese machines, from the raw materials, the parts machining, the assembly, the electrics and software, has been abysmal. So taking the bones of an older heavy duty rugged European machine (they don't make them like they used to!) and turning into a latest generation efficient and reliable version with all the latest bell and whistles, and at a price less than a cheap entry level new one, makes perfect sense.
The OPP film that's been used for several decades now is really a by-product, almost a waste product, of the oil refining process and is easily and cheaply produced. Our continued reliance on oil and the compatability of OPP with existing machinery will make OPP films the lowest cost solution for the foreseeable future. Alternative biodegradable, recyclable and compostable films are now available and the pressure to change over to these is mounting. However it's a much more complex subject than popular opinion would have us believe! Biodegradable and industrially compostable films require the addition of some particularly unfriendly chemicals and still end up as micro-plastic particles. Recyclable requires big industrial power hungry separation and processing plants. Cellulose based compostable is made from naturally occuring materials and dissolves naturally and harmlessly back into the earth - great, but it's complex and expensive to produce. Perhaps the best alternative in terms of the environment is Natureflex - a truly home compostable film manufactured from wood pulp (ie. trees). It is manufactured by Futamura who not only have a major research and development facility in the UK but also work with us on testing new materials. Such cooperation works well as they get access to many different makes and models of flow-wrappers in one place as well as expert set-up and support from us. We, of course, get access to the latest films and the opportunity to build up expertise and experience of the different films. However the complex manufacturing process required to produce cellulose films makes them relatively expensive. This will, at least for the foreseeable future, remain the case and is something we must accept. On the plus side the latest generation film registration system and features such as 'No-Product-No-Bag', which are an inherent part of our flow-wrapper upgrade and our 'better than new' machines, considerably reduces film wastage.
The other area of growing environmental concern is excessive packaging. In terms of flow-wrappers a significant contribution to solving this problem is the reduction in use of plastic or card trays which are wrapped with the product. The problem is that packing a tray, regardless of what's in it, is easy. A standard rotary flow-wrapper is fast and versatile and can pack trays of all different shapes and sizes very quickly and efficiently - usually faster than humans can load the machine! But a collection of, say, six loose tomatoes is much more difficult as they will roll around uncontrollably as they pass through the machine. If you approached one of the suppliers of new machines they will offer you either a high end flow-wrapper fitted with several special and complex adaptions or an inverted film machine, both of which have an equally high-end price tag. Rather than buy an expensive new machine we can add the required extra features to many existing flow-wrappers as part of our upgrade service. Take a look at the Case Studies page to see what's possible.
Of course some products which are fine in a tray are even more difficult when packed loose. Sausages for instance can not be pushed along a static deck with static side guides in the way that a standard flow-wrapper does. In this case you need an inverted film flow-wrapper which carries the product on moving conveyors all the way through the machine. Such machines are also usually fitted with long dwell 'D' cam or box motion sealing jaws. These machines are large and relatively complex and are very expensive, new ones can exceed one hundred thousand pounds. They also only account for perhaps five percent of flowrapper sales so are relatively rare on the second hand market. However, with such a large number of flow-wrappers always in stock we are very likely to have a suitable machine available for refurbishment and upgrade at a fraction of the price of new.