New to North America is a technology for improving the barrier properties of plastics packaging. Developed by German company Cavonic 3D Coating Technologies, the technology is being marketed in North America by Rick Schaffer, former president of injection molding machine maker Netstal Machinery, who now runs his own plastic packaging consultancy called InterTech Rx (Lancaster, MA).
Cavonic's process and technology utilizes advanced coating technologies to add an impermeable barrier coating to rigid plastic containers. The process involves 3D in-line vacuum coating with various PVD or PECVD coatings. These coating systems provide a low-cost option with solid barrier and similar hermetic property to glass, and the application unit can be integrated into established injection molding cells. The coating is trade named eco-shield, Applications can be far-reaching but likely ones include those requiring an extended shelf life.
The Cavonic eco-shield coating can be applied to plastic substrates commonly used in packaging including PE, PP, PET and PLA. Shaffer's new business will be handling Cavonic's introduction and implementation in North America. According to Shaffer, "The key to the success of the process requires careful consideration of the application to determine the optimum recipe for the coating formulation."
Shaffer added he believes Cavonic's is the lowest total- cost barrier solution available for plastics packaging. Among advantages he highlighted in comparison to multi-layer thermoformed or molded containers utilizing EVOH for a barrier material, the Cavonic solution is more easily introduced into established recycling systems. The barrier quality is not affected by high heat and humidity.
Cavonic offer a turnkey solution including the automation, vacuum chambers and PECVD coating chamber with the integration services to form a functional cell. The company will also offer a detailed specification for the injection molding machinery, molds, hot runner systems and auxiliary equipment or even provide the entire package as a turnkey solution.