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Close cooperation with Elopak leads to more sustainable beverage cartons

Fruitful cooperation

Madern has been supporting Elopak in its core business for 25 years: the production of liquid packaging board. For instance, Madern provides the rotary solutions for the cutting and forming operations of liquid packaging board. These ensure that the printed rolls of packaging board that enter Elopak’s production line are transformed into the familiar beverage cartons. The beverage cartons produced by Elopak can be found in supermarkets in over 80 countries.

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"We notice that Madern, compared to competitors, is especially dependable and the tools have a longer life span. madern is flexible, very service-minded and above all cooperative in conceiving, developing and realizing the tools we use."

Accuracy and speed

At the various Elopak production locations, every production process starts the same way: large rolls of liquid paper board enter a machine, which then prints the paper board at high speed. A Madern machine with rotary cylinders die-cuts and punches the paper board into the required packaging format. Jim Ploegaert, team leader and tooling responsible at Elopak, explains that these operations have to be carried out with high precision. “The sizes of the beverage cartons are very precise; it is really about micrometers. If you are a few micrometers off, it may cost a large amount of material on a large scale. Besides accuracy, the speed of the machine with the rotary tools is also crucial. The aim is to manufacture as many beverage cartons that meet the quality requirements as possible in the shortest possible time.”

Reliability and good relationship

The long-standing collaboration between Madern and Elopak shows that both parties are capable of constantly finding innovative solutions together to meet the stringent requirements for the production of beverage cartons. “We always try to find the best technical solution,” Ploegaert confirms. “We notice that Madern, compared to competitors, is especially dependable and the tools have a longer life span. But our good mutual relationship also plays an important role in continuing to choose Madern as our rotary tool supplier. I always know who to turn to when it comes to service, sales and tool engineering. We know each other thoroughly. It is nice that we can act quickly when designing a new tool or when problems arise in production. Madern is flexible, very service-minded and above all cooperative in conceiving, developing and realizing the tools we use.”

Sustainable packaging materials

Much has changed since the start of the collaboration. For example, the focus for packaging materials has shifted from cost and convenience to the environmental impact of the chosen materials. “At Elopak, we strive for CO2 reduction and one way of doing this is making renewable packaging,” explains Ploegaert. “In the short term a change has been made in the type of packaging. We sell less packaging with a screw cap because it causes a bigger environmental impact due to the plastic in the cap. Renewable plastic based on tall oil (residual product that is released during paper production) is increasingly used for the coating of beverage cartons. We are focusing more on the ‘easy-opening’ mechanism, which means that you can easy open the carton by folding the top, just like before. Elopak’s beverage cartons are becoming increasingly sustainable.”

Modifications for the transition to sustainability

Madern supports the development of the sustainability of Elopak’s beverage cartons. Based on the designs for the new, more sustainable beverage cartons, the Vlaardingen-based company further develops the rotary cutting tools so that they are suitable for the production of the new beverage cartons. The change in material properties and their processing in the production of beverage cartons entails challenges that Madern is happy to take on. Together, the companies pool their knowledge, skills and techniques in an umbrella platform where they actively address these and other issues. “Over the years, Elopak Netherlands has gained a great deal of knowledge and expertise using our machines and tooling,” says Madern managing director Jean Madern. “Within our collaboration, Elopak supports Madern proactively with ideas for product development for beverage cartons. In addition, Elopak Netherlands offers us collaboration in carrying out tests and measurements, but also by giving us feedback in the event of a product change, for instance.”

Good mutual relationship

Both Ploegaert and Madern are very happy with the long-term cooperation between the two companies. Madern: “We are looking forward to being a supplier of machines and rotary tools for Elopak for a long time to come. Even after all these years, we are still working on new developments that Elopak can use in its production lines. This way, we continue to ensure that their beverage cartons for liquid foods in the supermarket meet all the requirements.” “I really consider the cooperation with Madern to be very positive,” says Ploegaert. “We can always go to them with questions or suggestions for modifications and they are happy to think along with us. Here’s to another 25 years of cooperation!”

Madern for your manufacture needs

Through partners such as Elopak, we learn a great deal about the developments in beverage cartons, but also about the applications of more sustainable materials that are recyclable, renewable, healthier, safer and more sensible. Madern responds by actively thinking about and researching the best possible processing. This way, these cartons can make their way to supermarkets too and contribute to a more sustainable world.

How Madern can help with rotary converting

Put us to the test and let us think about a solution that fits your needs, so that we can achieve a good result in close collaboration.