Microline is a Bologna-based company specialising in the design and development of packaging solutions for Tissue products, with considerable expertise also in applications for the secondary packaging of consumer packaged goods, including food and beverage products. It is precisely in this sector that it developed the relationship with Caffè Cagliari, a premium coffee roasting company headquartered in Modena, which had special packaging needs for its line of 500 gram and 1 kilo bags of coffee.
The origins of the project
The partnership between the two companies goes back a long way: Microline staff have worked with the Modena-based coffee roaster for over twenty years, and so it was only natural that Caffè Cagliari should turn to the Bolognese manufacturer when faced with important new requirements regarding the secondary packaging of its bags of coffee beans and ground coffee. These products are intended for diverse markets that range from large-scale retail to the HoReCa sector. All areas in which it is essential that the quality of the overpack ensures great robustness and stress-resistance, without neglecting the cosmetic quality of both the bundle and the individual packs.
The MICROLINE solution
Microline therefore developed a special version of its ML800, a bundling machine using shrink-wrap film. The unit in use at Caffè Cagliari is able to process both 500 gram and 1 kilo bags. It is able the package between 25 and 30 bags per minute, during which time it produces up to 5/6 bundles. It is a machine that is fully in line with the dictates of Industry 4.0 and whose features include the MRA remote assistance system with the possibility of adding an advanced network of sensors for monitoring energy consumption. Everything is therefore geared towards maximising efficiency and savings for customers.
A platform for developing green solutions
But there’s more. Through the partnership with Caffè Cagliari, Microline used the ML800 as a pilot machine for the development of new environmentally-sustainable materials. More specifically, the Bologna-based company decided to use the Caffè Cagliari bags to run a series of tests on the ML800, aimed at verifying the handling and performance of environmentally-friendly packaging products. The project was carried out as part of the environmental policy that the company has been implementing for several years and that has allowed it to develop machines with a far lower environmental impact than the competition. As a matter of fact, Microline’s bundlers like the ML800, flow wrappers and wrappers do not generate trimmings, thus eliminating wrapping material wastage, translating into savings of between 20% and 30% compared to its competitors.
Microline and environmentally-compatible material
As regards the packaging materials field in particular, the tests carried out on the ML800 demonstrated that it is compatible with the use of zero-impact eco-film. The tests confirmed that the performance of the eco-films is on a par with the equivalent plastic products in terms of mechanical strength, pack quality and throughput. It is not necessary to make any hardware changes to the Microline machines, which only require a simple change of parameter settings on the HMI panel to be able to use the compostable films.
Although the particular machine used at Caffè Cagliari currently uses traditional packaging films, the complete absence of trimmings nevertheless testifies to its ability to guarantee savings. The machine is above all demonstrating productive performance in line with the aims of the project, thus constituting for the Modenese coffee roaster an important asset in its packaging line for bags of coffee. The ML800 bundler has been connected to the Caffè Cagliari computer system, to allow the real-time exchange of production data such as batch/order number, average, maximum and minimum speed, quantities produced and any waste. The use of a bundler in the coffee industry is further proof of the flexibility of Microline technology, which offers packaging solutions not only for the Tissue sector, where it is a key player, but also in a diverse range of other sectors.