End-to-End Packaging Development

Detroit, MI - January 01, 2016 -

Advanced global packaging development capabilities from Dow let converters and brand owners innovate and improve packaging at a faster pace, with less cost and risk.

We offer specialized equipment and expertise to help create packaging that performs better, costs less, and meets sustainability goals. Our offerings cover all stages of packaging development, including:

  • Comprehensive physical and analytical testing
  • Unique computer modeling tools
  • In-house, pilot-scale polymerization and compounding equipment
  • State-of-the-art film, sheet and extrusion coating lines – monolayer and coextrusion
  • Thermoforming and form-fill-seal machinery

Testing Labs and Modeling Tools

Our global physical and analytical labs evaluate material performance at both the polymer and structural product level. Our modeling and simulation tools reduce development time and cost by eliminating iterations before any film or packaging structure is made, and by determining the right process prior to production.

Polymer Testing Capabilities

Our global labs focus on three areas — physical testing, barrier testing, and material identification — and use a wide range of equipment to analyze performance properties and determine material type. For a deeper exploration at the polymer level, our analytical services include microscopy, FT-infrared spectrometry, GC mass spectroscopy, thermal analysis, X-ray spectrometry, rheology, and surface and particle science, by many techniques.

We can run tests for sealability, optical properties (transparency, haze, and gloss), physical properties (flex testing, melt flow rate, puncture resistance, tear resistance, abrasion, interlayer adhesion), permeability (H2O, O2, CO2, and hydrocarbon) on film or containers, head space analysis by GC, and helium leak detection.

We can identify materials using gas chromatographs, infrared spectrometers with microscopes for cross-section analysis, differential scanning calorimeters, and other analytical equipment.

Processing and Structure Design Modeling Tools

Over 70% of our predictive modeling tools are unique to the packaging industry, and reflect years of knowledge gained about packaging materials.

These processing tools help determine any problems that may occur during film fabrication, and how to prevent them:

  • Viscosity Matching
  • Curl (in Coextruded Blown Film)
  • Blown Film Scale-Up (Process Time)
  • Extrusion Coating Stress Analysis
  • Heat Transfer Analysis

These structure design tools help shorten the packaging development time frame by reducing the number of physical iterations:

Dow Sealant Selector: Find the sealant best suited for your application by entering desired attributes and ranking their importance.

  • Dow Sealant Value Estimator (SaVE): Calculate total packaging material costs, including inputs for filling-line costs, rewraps, off-machine losses, and in-store package failures. 
  • Tie Resin Selector: Find the right adhesive resin to join dissimilar layers together in multilayer packaging.
  • Downgauging/Life Cycle Analysis.
  • Permeability Calculator.
  • Heat Seal/Hot Tack Modeling.
  • COF (Coefficient of Friction) Calculator.

Polymer Development and Compounding

Our pilot polymerization unit helps achieve new chemistries and fundamental, molecular-level innovations, without the delays associated with commercial-scale infrastructure.

In the compounding process, we combine different polymers and other ingredients to find the right high-performance formulation that meets your processing and product requirements. Our in-house, pilot-scale compounding equipment produces resin samples for evaluation.

Processing and Converting

Key to packaging development is the ability to evaluate package structures prior to production. Our global processing and converting equipment makes that possible.

Our newest blown film coextrusion semi-pilot scale unit replicates the capabilities of the most advanced, commercial-scale lines used by converters. Up to nine extruders can feed the die of this line. We can optimize process conditions, and the structure of packaging films containing up to nine polymers. We also have a collection of other blown film mono and coextrusion lines throughout the world.

Our line for extrusion coating and laminating is used to develop prototype structures for in-house and external testing. We also have processing equipment for cast film (one to five layers), sheet (one to five layers), and extrusion blow-molding (one to five layers).

Our in-house packaging machinery converts your rollstock into a shaped structure, such as a pouch, tray, or bottle. You can do pilot-scale evaluations of films, or adhesive lamination of different films, then convert them into thermoformed, vertical/horizontal form-fill-seal, or stand-up pouches.

End-Use Packaging Equipment

To complete the packaging development process, full-scale packaging equipment is used to create packaging prototypes in real-life packaging line situations, testing for shelf life, extreme cold, heat, and humidity, or even test the same package using different film structures.

Our packaging equipment includes:

  • Klockner I.M Packager: Used for a wide range of dry and liquid products in stand-up pouches, which can be produced with a gusset bottom and include a zipper.
  • Multivac R5200 Packager: Used most frequently for meat, fish, cheese, and medical products, this vacuum thermoforming machine uses different structures for the formable (bottom) and cover (top) webs to create a unitized package.
  • Hayssen Ultima Vertical Form/Fill/Seal Packager: Used for dry, loose products, such as snacks, cereal, and rice, this machine can produce bags as short as 127mm (5\") or as long as 635mm (25\") at speeds up to 100 bags per minute.
  • Mini Intact RM-331 (MKIII) Vacuum Skin Packager: Used for meats, fish, and frozen produce, this machine vacuum skins specialty films to conventional trays, and can make packages up to 335mm x 340mm x 51mm deep.
  • Doboy Super Mustang Packager: Capable of running at speeds up to 400 wraps per minute, this machine can package candy, snacks, cookies, and some personal-care and medical products.
  • Orics VGF-100 Packager: Used for small-volume tray and cup lidding, this machine can seal up to ten trays per minute, performing a vacuum gas flush-and-seal or a straight heat seal to a tray or cup.

Collaboration from Polymer to Package

Our dedicated technical experts look forward to collaborating with you on packaging development. Our end-to-end capabilities can help save time and money, while optimizing your ability to innovate and meet packaging performance, cost, and sustainability goals.