At Ipack-Ima in Milan from 3 to 6 May 2022, we had the opportunity to meet up with an interesting family owned company with its headquarters in Milan and factory near the city that makes high-speed shrink sleeving machines for PET and glass bottles and metal cans for foods and beverages. Shrink sleeves are also used for FFS food cups and aerosol cans for personal care and household products.
Shown running at its stand, the machine caught the eye of industry visitors who would stop and marvel at the flexible material sleeves raining down with accurate timing on the bottles moving on a conveyor. The covered bottles would in a normal production situation be conveyed to the heat shrinking tunnel.
In our meeting with Ilaria Zilio the owner of the company and Aldo Troian its senior technical advisor we learned that the Finpac Sleeve machines are often sold through OEMs that may ship an entire dairy line and the shrink sleeve machine as one of the packaging options in an integrated configuration. For instance they are sold in India through KHS India.
Shrink sleeving is a developed science since the shrinkage depends on the quality of the film that is used for the sleeves. Depending on the material whether it be PET, PVC, or OPS and its thickness, generally 40 to 50 microns and the speed of the machine a choice of four different type of shrink tunnels can be integrated with the machine. While PVC is considered the cheapest and best for shrinkage, but is of course not the preferred choice in Europe. Apart from the stability of the material, stability and sustainability need to be taken into account for various markets and applications.
Finpac already has two dairy company customers in India which are KCF and Amul. While KCF has one Finpac machine, Amul has two SHM-MS machines that can run at 500 bottles a minute. These machines are guaranteed by the manufacturer to have a sleeving efficiency of 98% tending toward 99% provided the sleeving materials fall within specifications. Specifications and materials are approved and tested on the machine before shipment. Finpac is currently working on a new sleeving machine for 30 micron materials.