Paper Packaging For Cadbury Chocolate Tablet

Friday, October 9th, 2020

Confectionery giant Mondelēz International and Syntegon Technology take sustainable packaging to chocolate lovers in New Zealand.

Mondelēz International approached Syntegon Technology with a challenging request: to package Cadbury’s Energy chocolate tablet in fully recyclable paper flow wraps.

Consumer and manufacturer demand for more sustainable packaging has never been stronger. Recently, Mondelēz International approached Syntegon Technology—formerly Bosch Packaging Technology—with a challenging request: to package Cadbury chocolate tablets in fully recyclable paper flow wraps. Following Syntegon Technology’s vision to shape the future with intelligent and sustainable solutions, work on sustainable solutions for paper flow wrapping had already taken shape within the company. A year of continued development resulted in a forming unit and sealing jaws for cold sealing applications. The new upgrade kit has now successfully been applied for a test trial at Cadbury’s flow wrapping machines in Claremont, Australia—for the most challenging format size, a chocolate tablet.

Founded in Birmingham, England, in the 1830s, Cadbury has been manufacturing cocoa products and chocolate for almost 200 years. While Cadbury’s best-selling Dairy Milk chocolate bar has won over chocolate lovers in every corner of the world, the brand offers a wide range of flavours, sizes and products, including the Energy bar, which is sold in New Zealand. Mondelez International, to which the Cadbury brand belongs, has committed to making all of its packaging recyclable by 2025 through materials innovation, improved waste and recycling infrastructure, and consumer information and education. While plastic will continue to play an important role in maintaining shelf life and minimising food waste, there will be some products that could be packaged in emerging packaging materials, including paper flow-wrap.  


The Challenge Of Paper Packaging

Syntegon Technology installed an upgrade kit for paper films on Mondelēz International’s existing flow wrapping machines.

Paper packaging scores highly because it can be recycled in existing paper streams. Consumers perceive paper packaging as particularly sustainable and make their decision at point of sale based on touch and feel. Paper packaging receives increased attention with flow wraps, leading food manufacturers to consider the change from conventional packaging materials to paper-based packaging. However, paper is not as easy to package as films and poses its own challenges when used on existing flow wrapping machines. 

To come up with a suitable solution, Syntegon Technology, formerly Bosch Packaging Technology, took a pioneering role with its test laboratory in Beringen, Switzerland and spent the last years working on an upgrade kit. “As a provider of packaging engineering solutions, Syntegon Technology is working at full blast to optimise its machine technology. We are striving to provide concrete technical solutions today for the packaging technology of tomorrow,” Christoph Langohr, project manager for sustainability, Horizontal Packaging, at Syntegon Technology explains. “Naturally, when Mondelēz International approached us and asked us to help to launch a paper packaging solution for Cadbury’s Energy chocolate tablet, we were excited to come up with a solution.”


Handling Paper With Care: Choosing The Right Packaging Material

In line with their commitment to making all packaging recyclable by 2025, Mondelēz International trialed paper packaging for Cadbury’s Energy chocolate tablet.

There is a wide range of paper suppliers who offer a variety of papers with different characteristics in stiffness and machinability. Paper packaging has several limitations which makes it challenging to protect the product to the same degree as proven conventional films, while generating the same output on the machine. Firstly, paper is a good insulator, which makes it highly sensitive to heat. Secondly, paper is a fairly stiff material, which makes it easy to crease or tear during the pack forming-process and result in damages. 

Nonetheless, Mondelēz International decided to look into paper packaging solutions and approached Syntegon Technology. Due to the shape of the chocolate tablet the project was more challenging and complex. Syntegon Technology had developed the forming unit “paper-ON-form” for their flow wrapping machines. “Formats like bars are easy to handle. They are almost as thick as they are wide. In contrast, chocolate tablets like Cadbury’s Energy tablet are much broader and very flat, which makes them a lot more challenging to process. The new forming unit for Cadbury needed to take this into account,” Langohr says. 


Holistic Approach: Upgrade-Kit “Paper-ON-Form”

The challenge is to develop paper-packaging solutions for machines already installed rather than new machines since a lot of different formats must be handled. To take a holistic approach, an upgrade kit was needed that suited all Bosch Packaging, now Syntegon, flow-wrapping machine generations and types that use cold-sealing technology, without compromising on output rates. Handling paper on a flow-wrapping machine faces two major challenges. First, to handle the paper without breaking the grease and water-vapor barrier, and second, not to damage the flow wrap during sealing. This demands new sealing jaws that are customised for the specific paper material. Only then, reliable seals can be generated. Thanks to a pressure-activated sealing agent that is applied to the packaging material, reliable results are being achieved. 


The Real Deal: Installation Of Upgrade Kit “Paper-ON-Form”

To accomplish the best sealing results, Syntegon Technology customised new sealing jaws based on Cadbury’s selected paper film. At their site in Beringen, Switzerland, the experts developed a new individual forming unit and sealing jaws for Cadbury, based on the desired pack size and the material characteristics, using 3D printed components. After putting the prototypes through their paces at the on-site test lab, it was time for the real deal: manufacturing the components from steel. Syntegon Technology installed the forming unit and sealing jaws on Cadbury’s H-series flow wrapping machine in Claremont. 

After a number of trial runs at their own facility, the experts from Syntegon Technology visited the site in Claremont to upgrade the existing flow wrapping machines and to supervise the production run.

“We’re committed to making all of our packaging recyclable by 2025, and we’re working hard to use the right amount of packaging and simplify materials so they can be recycled. While we’re making good progress to reach our 2025 ambition, partnerships help us to create new materials, improve infrastructure, and change consumer behaviour,” Maggie McKerr, Senior Sustainability Manager of Mondelēz Global External Communication team, states. 


Revolutionising Paper Packaging

The new upgrade kit “paper-ON-form” for flow wrapping machines, which comprises a forming unit and sealing jaws for cold sealing applications, is at the heart of the new paper packaging solution. Comprehensive tests have repeatedly demonstrated outputs without speed limitation and with consistent draw-off lengths. It proves that paper flow wrapping easily matches the performance of flow wrapping using films. The forming unit and sealing jaws can be used with all types of paper, regardless of thickness, roughness and supplier. As a result, sustainable paper packaging is now a real option.


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