Italian high-performance shrink film attracts attention

BIMO attracted the attention of the tobacco industry with its eye-catching film.

As the appearance of cigarette packs is more important than ever, manufacturers are seeking films with high quality and high shrinkage. Italian packaging material supplier Bimo Italy has been busy developing films for the tobacco industry. In the past two years, the company’s tobacco business has quadrupled and quickly won customers through the manufacture of high-quality films. Bimo launched a high performance shrink film at the 2003 Barcelona International Tobacco Fair. The company is proud of its own production process. The process uses a special production line that is particularly suitable for the production of tobacco films.

Exterior. As manufacturers invest in faster equipment, it is more difficult to use materials that allow them to use equipment at full speed while getting the best visual results. “Most films are wrinkled on the box when used on full-speed equipment. Our film design provides cigarette manufacturers with the highest value of shrinkage at the highest speeds,” said Bimo's tobacco film business manager. Michael Pierse said.

Cigarette manufacturers are increasingly aware of the importance of a pack of cigarettes in the first impression of tobacco companies. “A beautiful cigarette case is eye-catching, and, perhaps, it will attract a consumer to give up his current cigarette and try a new product,” says Piais. “We have even seen changes in the needs of our customers over the past two years, and people have paid more attention to appearance. In the past, operability was the key, because operability was equal to productivity. Now, cigarette manufacturers are demanding Get a perfect package at the same speed.Using highly shrinkable film, cigarette manufacturers can achieve visual effects without sacrificing productivity.Ultimately, with our films, they can have a tight pack of cigarettes. The beauty and the transparent appearance. These factors make us stand out from any other products currently available on the market.”

BIMO background. For the tobacco industry, Bimo is relatively a novice. Its first BOPP factory was established in 1984 to produce raw materials for sealed bags. The company quickly became the largest independent manufacturer of standard BOPP film products in Italy. And, 10 years later, Bimo produced its first BOPP film for the Italian cigarette monopoly agency.

However, it was only in 2000 that with the advent of thin films produced by the Instant Positioning Line (SOL), Bimo began to market the overwrap film specifically for tobacco products. At the time, Bimo had only one standard non-shrink film and no reliable customer. Only 5% of its products are for the tobacco industry. "But," Piers said, "Bimo's new strategy is to introduce innovation and specialization in all markets so that it can discover areas where excellent technology and a flexible corporate culture can have different repercussions around the world."

In 2002, the company designed a new thin film technology breakthrough for tobacco. Pietro Iodice, who currently serves as Product Engineer and Head of Tobacco Research and Development at Bimo, has made a significant contribution to this company's new breakthrough in thin film innovation at SOL.

Today, 35% of the company's production capacity is used to produce tobacco films. Current Bimo products include a standard non-shrink film, a medium shrink film (10%-11%) and a high shrink film (14%-15%). Bimo also produces printable and shrinkable films for marketing.

The company currently has two factories and its annual production capacity is close to 50,000 tons of BOPP film. Products for flexible packaging, tobacco, high barrier metallized films and labels.

Tobacco is currently one of the main focuses of the company. “The fact that the products that Bimo can produce on the SOL production line is attractive to the tobacco industry has been confirmed, and the tobacco business as a whole is a strategic development aspect of the company. Management and shareholders of the company Both are fully committed to increasing the extra capacity of tobacco films as we succeed,” says Peyce.

Bimo tobacco business is managed by the Tobacco Business Department. This department is a special group led by a business manager. The team also includes a product engineer, a technical application specialist, a quality control manager, a customer service representative, and special production supervisors.

High shrinkage at high speeds. After developing the first batch of shrink film in 2002, Bimo quickly invented a film with higher shrinkage. Bimo's latest high-shrinkage film was developed in October 2003 and launched at the International Tobacco Expo. The 20-micron Lisim High-shrinkage (LTX) product is a high-performance shrinkable film. It has a twist of 1.4, a gloss of 88, and a machine direction and lateral heat shrinkage of 14%.

“All polypropylene films are measured in both machine and transverse directions. Our products have a balanced value in both directions. The balance of properties allows the film to shrink evenly, and when the packets are heated, they are wrapped The exterior of the cigarette pack is wrapped with a tight film,” explained Jan Schoeman, a technology application specialist at Bimo. “Our film is unique because we can combine this highly shrinkable film with simple operation and excellent optical characteristics without the need for resin.” Since the International Tobacco Expo, Bimo has also developed A 16-micron LTX and a 16-micron down-track LTS developed for the German market.

Piais said that LTX has been successfully applied to modern factories of many large multinational customers, as well as some customer factories that have equipment types that were earlier than the introduction of shrink film. Skoman explained that “Our thin film series can be applied to slow and newly developed rapid devices. The film's shrinkability is particularly helpful for the appearance of cigarette cases in the mid-range range of cigarette machines – 300-500 boxes per minute. The design of the wrapper already existed seven or eight years before the shrinkable film was introduced.All the films in the market are heat shrinkable films; therefore, if the device can not transmit enough heat in the right place, the film can not reach Satisfactory results: In this case, the high-shrinkage film helps the shrinking process because you need less contact time.The slightly more contractibility the LTX has can help the cigarette manufacturer overcome the heating problem. Get a good package effect."

Bimo is also developing a printable LTS film called LZQ 20 - a standard shrinkable film. It enables converter manufacturers to gain the benefits of simple web control and printing processes, and enables manufacturers to produce high-quality printed films with tight overwraps. Feedback from producers of special tobacco film conversions was extremely positive, Skoman said.

All of SOL.Bimo's tobacco film products are produced using Bimo's SOL. There are three main thin film processes: bubble process, tenter, and Lisim (SOL). “Technically, Bimo started with the tenter process, and we still use two tenter machines in our other businesses. However, due to the excellent results, all tobacco films are Production on the SOL production line."

He said that SOL's production of thin films allowed manufacturers to not only obtain the best cigarette case appearance but also achieved high productivity. “We obtained these results because of our advanced technology. We have specially designed shrinkability in both directions so as to properly wrap around the cigarette packaging box. The instant extension technology used by Bimo allows us to produce no With any waste, high raw material costs, or varying variances, the key features of successful tobacco wrapping films are achieved. It is difficult to accomplish this task with other production methods."

The chemist Iodice added, “Our simple polypropylene formulation allows Bimo to create shrinkage without the need for costly, mobile chemical additives; therefore, cigarette manufacturers do not rely on the presence of clean chemical residues and equipment. The dust produced will lose valuable production time. Our film will not leave any dust or chemical residues.”

Otis summarizes the five major advantages offered by SOL technology:

Flatness of the retina: Compared to other BOPP production technologies, Bimo's SOL production line ensures excellent reticulation flatness and control of the entire device width range. The degree of retinal flatness is essential for the stability of the product, especially when the film is used on high-speed equipment, even the slightest uneven non-uniformity of the omentum is revealed by loose edges. This problem is the main reason for the downtime of the wrapping machine.

Balanced shrinkage characteristics: SOL allows Bimo's research and development department to facilitate the development and production of films with the same shrinkage in both machine direction and transverse direction. The balanced shrinkage results in uniform shrinkage at the top, bottom and sides of the packet.

Balanced mechanical characteristics: By utilizing the flexibility of the SOL production line, Bimo's entire tobacco film design has balanced hardness and tension in both the machine and cross directions. Hardness is especially important for the smooth running of the film on the wrapper, particularly in the part of the tool where the integrity control and film stability are critical for good positioning on the pack.

Optimum optical characteristics: The non-friction nature of the SOL extension process allows Bimo to produce films that measure brighter and more transparent in terms of twist and gloss because the optical characteristics of the film surface are not damaged by contact with the heat roller.

Simple formula: All "other" features of Bimo tobacco films are the result of SOL technology. It allows Bimo to use a relatively simple, low-cost chemical formulation in extrusion molding. This relative simplicity provides users with a dual advantage: superior product stability between batches of products; no chemical dust or residue on the cigarette wrapper; and reduced downtime due to constant cleaning of moving parts.

Bimo plans to install a second SOL production line in the future. It is part of a plan to double its tobacco film business. Piais said, “It is a huge investment, but its total amount is in line with expectations. We are introducing a series of brand-new products to the market. Two years ago, these products did not exist in the market. At present, we are the tobacco industry. Provide 4,500 tons of products. Our five-year plan is to reach 10,000 tons, and this quantity requires our customers to ensure a second production line compatible with SOL technology."

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