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Goodbye to cartons

Working with packaging material supplier Walki Wisa, Jomet has developed Wrap Pack, which enables paper producers and distributors to replace conventional cartons for packing office paper with a much simpler and cost-effective solution.

Wrap Pack offers multiple benefits compared to conventional carton-based packaging. Perhaps the first one that consumers will notice – apart from the fact that there is no carton, of course – is that the stiff band normally used to secure cartons has been replaced with a wider, softer one. No more cuts on your fingers, then. And no more scissors either, as you do not need to remove the band to get at what is inside. Just tear open a strip at the end of a Wrap Pack and the paper is ready and waiting to be used.

In addition to ease of use, Wrap Pack is also better for the environment, as instead of some 200 grams of waste taking up around 1.3 m3, all that is left over is 60-70 grams with 17 times less volume (77 cm3). Wrap Packs also take up less space from a logistics point of view, 14% less in fact, and are considerably cheaper too, because they use so much less material.

A two-year project

The project began with a very simple question: can you make a machine capable of packing paper better than conventional cartons, using this new idea I’ve come up with?

A handy tear strip gives users easy access to the paper inside. When the paper is finished, all that is left is a fraction of the volume and weight of waste compared to conventional carton packaging.

The person asking the question came from Walki Wisa, and he put the question to automation expert Jomet. The first customer was already waiting for the solution.

Jomet, Walki, and UPM got down to work – refining the basic packaging idea and ensuring that it would work well on an automated line, and developing the line to pack in the new way.

The Wrap Pack line is simplicity itself compared to a conventional carton line. Laminated, preprinted cover paper is cut from a roll for each standard stack of five packs of paper, wrapped around it, and the ends folded and glued. A tear strip is then added and the pack is ready for banding and shipping. The line is completely automatic and monitors all relevant parameters, adjusting itself accordingly and checking the quality of each pack, making it very manufacturing-friendly as well.

It sounds simple, but achieving this was not quite as easy. Paper wrapping has not been used for such heavy items in the industry before, and it was critical that the new line should be as reliable, fast, easy-to-operate, and easy-to-maintain as possible.

Jomet’s 30 years of experience enabled it to deliver such a line, with a maximum of all these qualities and the ability to run in a variety of configurations and be controlled as far as possible via a PC user interface, without personnel having to get their ‘hands dirty’ and adjust the line manually.

An efficient and completely automatic Wrap Pack line can handle a minimum of 17 Wrap Packs a minute, and requires little maintenance.
> Bruno Lespinasse
(Published in HighTech Finland 2008)