Düsseldorf, GermanyDemand for stretch hoods, as alternatives to strapping, heat shrink film, and hoods, as well as stretch wrap, is seeing a 20% annual increase in Europe, and Burkhard Lahrmann, sales director of processor RKWs Nordhorn, Germany business unit, says it is the most important market today for transport packaging. Each year more and more stretch hood production systems are being installed around the world, Lahrmann told journalists at the recent Interpack 2008, the worlds largest packaging exhibition in Düsseldorf, Germany. Stretch hoods have established themselves for packaging tile, white goods, and beverages, he said. This has driven the Frankenthal, Germany-based RKW-Group, a large European film processor, to add a blown-film line to its facilities this spring to expand stretch hood film production.
Stretch hood packaging, coextruded from linear low density polyethylene in thickness ranges from 40-170 µm, requires less resin compared to competitive packaging and provides resiliency both horizontally as well as vertically, he says. Because of its high transparency, the material permits easy barcode scanning through the film, protects against dirt or moisture, and makes theft more difficult. Lahrmann sees increased demand among heat-sensitive goods that could not previously be packaged adequately using shrink hoods. The hoods also reduce safety risks of heat and fire at the work place as well as lower packagers energy costs.[email protected]