With ca. 920 Enterprises and a market volume of approx. 22.1 Mrd. Euro per year, German ist he fourth largest market for packaging. One of the key technologies for the production of sustainable packaging solutions is the three-dimensional forming of paperboard. Currently there are no processing-lines, that enable an economical application of the forming process while also satisfying all requirements to the quality of bulk packaging material.
Formed paperboard packages are currently produced by individual machines that process the material in separated processing steps. The optimal process for forming (the central process) depends on the material properties and the according selection of adjusted processing parameters. The material properties however are influenced by the climatic environment and does not exhibit a deterministic behavior for every processing condition. Therefore packages of constant quality can only be produced if the process control accounts for material properties and environment conditions.
The potentials of an intelligent processing line for production of packaging materials shall be displayed with an intelligent demonstration line using the example of the production of formed, filled and sealed paperboard cups. The main challenges are the implementation of the technology for drawing paperboard outside of an academic machine-lab environment, the production of high quality paperboard cups with smooth surfaces and the gastight sealing of the cups in production modules with integrated control instances and independent process-controls, as well as the informational conjunction of the modules into an intelligent processing line. The internal control-models shall be enabled to arrive at decisions based upon collected (experience-)data and therefore achieve an optimal setting of the process parameters for production of high-quality products. The data-exchange between the individual modules enables the machine to collect the relevant data for the current machine- and process-states and therefore react to changing infeed parameters accordingly. The functionality of the intelligent packaging line shall be demonstrated with the successful implementation of the modules for forming and sealing the paperboard cups. The project will be concluded by transferring the project results to further production lines and by development of strategies and guidelines for the implementation of intelligent production-systems for consumer goods.
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The IGF project presented here by the Research Association of the Industrial Association for Food Technology and Packaging (IVLV e.V.) is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy via the AiF as part of the program for the promotion of industrial community research (IGF) based on a decision of the German Bundestag.