Optimising shelf life of fresh produce

Ten years ago, Bas Groeneweg, a Dutch packer of fresh vegetables, was impelled to find a way to extend the shelf life of Brussels sprouts. His retail customers were complaining about the sprouts’ short lifespan and rapid spoilage.

While micro-perforation of packaging film to meet specific product requirements has become a global standard, Bas Groeneweg’s revolutionary idea – to identify more precise respiration parameters and improve the accuracy and consistency of micro-perforation in conjunction with PerfoTec’s Fast respiration meters – further extends the shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetables, improving retail sales figures, and fitting perfectly with today’s focus on reducing food waste.

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True control with Expertfold

Competence 14 was the title of a Bobst open house held at the end of November, at which the company premiered a brand-new folder-gluer for corrugated and litho-laminated box-making.

Available in two sizes, the Expertfold 145 and 165, and in several variants, the machine is designed with the needs of both sheet plant and integrated manufacturers of fluted boxes in mind. This new Expertfold offers true control of the folding and gluing process thanks to a large number of new design features and technology innovations.

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Short-run gravure stirs interest

Around 150 guests attended a Bobst open house and conference, held in the historic Castello di Uviglie in Italy’s Monferrato hills, and heard about the latest developments from a line-up of speakers representing the flexible packaging value chain. The speakers addressed the challenges and opportunities that the latest materials, systems and production tools represent to the growth strategies of printing and converting companies.

New barrier technologies are fast developing and a new generation of clear films and coatings are challenging traditional barrier packaging structures. Describing the technicalities of manufacturing and the physical properties of these new materials, presentations from Bobst Manchester and Reifenhäuser were particularly insightful.

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Gravure in the communications orchestra

Delegates from publication gravure printers and web offset printers attended the ERA (European Rotogravure Association) annual conference in Salzburg in late September to discuss gravure’s role in the media and communication markets. And a month later, a second ERA conference, this time in Dresden, focused on the packaging and decorative printing markets, with a particular spotlight on brand owners’ demands and innovations in packaging gravure.

At the first conference, delegates gained insights from key players, including press manufacturers, and the programme included the presentation of this year’s Publication Gravure Award, at which an entry from South Africa’s Paarl Media Cape was the recipient (see preceding page).

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LR’s reclaiming its crown

Over the last three years, speculation about the health of LR Plastics has been rife in the marketplace. Scaremongers, it seems, have been having a field day. However, it’s now time to put the rumours to bed.

Besides providing an unequivocal assurance that it’s a matter of ‘business as usual’, group CEO Byron le Roux reveals that he and his team have made a fresh round of operational improvements, and have bravely changed the corporate identity to LR|flexible packaging.

‘Several adjustments have taken place, including launching our new corporate identity, which we believe truly reflects our core operation,’ Byron explains.

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