The move to more attractive, lightweight, flexible packaging brings with it fantastic advantages for people, brands and, potentially, the planet – not least convenience and ease of use. Meanwhile, the latest developments in luxury packaging are opening up entirely new worlds for brands to explore when engaging their customers.
However, these innovations present major challenges for the coatings and packaging industry. Non-migration of materials in food is one. Adhesion and cohesion in multi-layer laminate systems is another. Creating a genuinely original sensory brand experience is another. And achieving all this responsibly and sustainably – without adding matting agents and toxic compounds – is perhaps the biggest challenge of all.
At DSM, our packaging coating innovations are solving these challenges for the industry – via a range of resin technologies, including waterborne, UV cure, powder and solventborne. And all while delivering an outstanding look, feel (and touch).
Recyclable packaging that protects
As concern around natural resource depletion increases for businesses and consumers alike, so does the drive toward a circular economy, where recycling is a fact of life. For the packaging industry in particular, recyclability is no longer a ‘nice extra’, but an essential.
To meet the growing need for recyclable monomaterial packaging that retains high functional performance, we offer an extensive range of coating resin solutions suitable for many applications, whether it’s primer or topcoat, and whatever barrier function you need, our portfolio of monomaterial solutions has the answer for you – including flexible packaging and film.
Our high-performance monomaterial packaging is just one example of the trends we continue to set using the latest coating resin technology.
Multi-layer flexible food packaging is here to stay – and it’s easy to see why. It protects the contents and makes it easier for both consumers and brands to transport and store. The question is, how can the coating industry take the complex production behind flexible packaging to a new level? In short, how do we solve the sticky problem of adhesion between these multiple layers?
One answer could be taking innovation from one part of DSM’s business and applying it to another – what we call the ‘X factor’. For example, Niaga® is a new way of thinking about how we make, deconstruct, and re-make products. At first, it was used to create 100% recyclable carpet technology – now it’s moving into new flooring applications. And our technical team at DSM Coating Resins hopes it could open the door to new flexible packaging applications one day.
The glue that holds the whole concept together, quite literally, comes in the form of an engineered adhesive from DSM, which is applied using custom-built lamination technology. It ‘sandwiches’ the fiber top of the carpet and the backing together, replacing latex, which is heavy and requires considerable energy to cross-link.
Ultimately, Niaga® enables a new way of making, deconstructing, and then re-making products – by using pure materials with no additives that are 100% recyclable. Could this be a new chapter for the food packaging industry? Watch this space.
When it comes to food contact packaging applications, we have a very special motivation to get it right first time, as around 50% of all food packaging you see on supermarket shelves contains our resins. Clearly, we can’t afford to get it wrong.
Fortunately, at DSM, our knowledge of food safety and packaging stretches beyond our resin technology toolbox and expertise. For example, our food division works closely with leading food brands every day – on food preservation solutions that extend the shelf life of products and prevent contamination, and on groundbreaking packaging solutions like PackAge™, a perm-selective coating for ripening cheese. Best of all, our experts are just a phone call or email away.
We supply in all three layers of primer, ink, and overprint varnish resins. We produce ink resins via our highly advanced R&D activities to intensify colors, sharpen details, and create higher contrast without compromising the printing speed. Learn more about our legacy in printing inks.