Navigating the transition

In an era marked by evolving standards and sustainability imperatives, the shift towards new cap and neck formats can be a daunting challenge for producers. Balancing innovation with the need to protect investments requires a strategic approach. Sacmi asserts that a seamless, profitable, and future-proof transition is achievable through a triad of strategies.

The ongoing transition towards new neck and cap formats, designed to comply with standards and sustainability requirements while keeping pace with consumption habits, can be bewildering for producers as they strive to innovate while safeguarding their investments. Sacmi suggests that a simple, profitable, and future-proof transition can be accomplished in three ways: by providing complete product solutions via the Rigid Packaging Lab, through close collaboration with major international certification bodies such as Cetie, and by adopting a win-win approach that expedites the uptake and diffusion of new standards.

The 26/22 mm neck/cap transition

Globally, there is an installed capacity of 39 billion caps for 26/22 mm necks per year. From Africa to the Americas, from Europe to South-East Asia, an increasing number of producers are seizing this opportunity or planning to do so. This change commenced with the transition from the PCO1810 to the PCO1881, currently the world’s most commonly used cap. Over the last 10-15 years, this transition has resulted in raw material savings of more than 50%, enhancing plant profitability and environmental sustainability. Now, Sacmi is aiming higher with new solutions that are already on the market and certified by the major international brand owners.

Future-proofing (tethered)

The enforcement of the EU Directive on single-use plastics, which imposes the new tethered standard on European markets, raises questions about what manufacturers who operate in parts of the world where tethered caps are not (yet) mandatory should do. The technological approach Sacmi is offering involves slitting the tamper band in post-processing, downstream from compression moulding (CCM); this is claimed to allow the transition to be completed swiftly, flexibly and with limited investment. Secondly, Sacmi says that the switch to tethered caps can be combined with new neck standards. All the latest caps in the 26/22 mm ‘family’ are available in both tethered and non-tethered versions. This enables producers to prepare themselves for future regulatory changes and adapt production set-ups to a variety of market contexts, countries and consumption styles.

The Rigid Packaging Lab

In addition to substantial installed output capacity globally, the company has chosen to pursue its business goals through technical-technological dissemination. The UAE, Nigeria, South Africa and India are just some of the places where Sacmi has organised country-specific seminars and provides comprehensive consultancy services. Ranging from the product and the technology to design, these services draw on a database of over 1,000 cap-neck designs that the lab has created for customers worldwide in recent years.

35% less plastic

Every solution in the new 26/22 mm family, for example the new multi-purpose caps such as the AB26 CSDT-5 for GME 30.40, is claimed to offer a specific advantage with respect to the ones already in use. The first, most general benefit is a reduced need for virgin resins while maintaining equal functionality, strength and sealing performance. On the tethered front, according to the company, there is no need for heavy investment in the mould, which would, among other things, lower line productivity and jeopardise the anticipated sustainability benefits. From a technological perspective, extensive digitalisation of each stage simplifies and upgrades the production process, with all the intrinsic bonuses of compression technology.