Wittmann Battenfeld revealed a machine at K 2019 that demonstrates its new concept in manufacturing jars and lids from natural materials. The EcoPower 240/1100H/130L Combimold on display at the exhibition incorporated a 4+4-cavity mould and robotic handling to produce both parts of a container, place the label and fit the lid to the jar.
Developed in partnership with Zeroplast from Poland, and optimised specifically for the industrial injection moulding of cosmetic packaging, the ‘Zeroplast free’ material is produced from just three biogenic and mineral raw ingredients. This bio-based natural product is described as being recyclable without losing any of its physical properties, bio-compatible, free of genetically modified organisms or chemical additives, and made from ingredients that do not compete with food production or animal feed.
In production, the jar is injection-moulded by the machine’s main aggregate, while the L aggregate is able to produce a lid in a different colour, if required. The in-mould paper labelling was chosen to ensure efficient recycling processes, with labelling taking place immediately before the screwing station.
The jars produced on the demonstration unit use a bio-based barrier layer, making them suitable for cosmetics and foodstuffs.
The Zeroplast concept is expected to enter commercial production in the near future with material and production costs that are comparable to conventional plastics while meeting a strict environmental specification. This requires the material to be produced from renewable and mineral sources, be recyclable after use, be decomposable in the event of improper disposal and avoiding the generation of toxic substances or microplastics.