Arburg at Drinktec: innovative reusable cups

Arburg will attend Drinktec in Munich from 12 - 16 September 2022 to showcase a pioneering application: at the Arburg stand 224 in Hall C 5, visitors will discover an outstanding innovation in the field of reusable cups. Arburg will demonstrate how an electric Allrounder 520 A injection moulding machine can produce foam-moulded IML cups from Bockatech, which are not only very light and very well insulated but also recyclable after multiple uses.

The reusable foam-moulded cups have a wall thickness of two millimetres and can also be produced with an IML label.
The reusable foam-moulded cups have a wall thickness of two millimetres and can also be produced with an IML label.

"At the World’s Leading Trade Fair for the Beverage and Liquid Food Industry, we will present a real innovation in packaging," says Andreas Reich, Arburg’s Director Central Sales & Applied Technologies. "Manufacturing individual, reusable thermo cups using the Allrounder 520 A combines the EcoCore and MuCell processes with in-mould labelling for the first time - ensuring stable, quick and cost-effective series production." This reusable cup by Bockatech is more stable than a paper or thermoformed cup of the same weight. In addition, the manufacturing process uses significantly less material. The end product is a very well insulated reusable cup that is even dishwasher-safe.

Strong partners

The cups, which are injected on an electric Allrounder 520 A with Gestica control system and MuCell package, are the product of a partnership with Bockatech and the other partners Borealis (material), Trexel (MuCell), Roboplas (IML automation) and MCC Verstraete (IML labels).

By combining EcoCore technology from Bockatech and Arburg’s high-performance machine with the “aXw Control ScrewPilot” for stable mould filling and the “aXw Control PressurePilot” for bionically optimised pressure control, the cups can be manufactured quickly and with low energy consumption. The cycle time for a 430-millilitre container is only around 5.5 seconds.


Light, stable and insulating, with an individual design

The material is enriched both chemically with a blowing agent (CO2) and physically using the MuCell process with nitrogen. This homogeneous solution is injected through a hot runner with a needle shut-off nozzle. The single-cavity mould then opens and the part expands. The resulting integral foam structure, with fine foam cells with diameters between five and 50 micrometres, is ultimately crucial for cooling and thermal insulation. The foam-moulded walls have a thickness of two millimetres, making them almost four times larger than those at the beginning of the process. The foam-moulded cup therefore has very good insulating properties and is suitable for hot and cold drinks. At the same time, it is very stable and can be produced with any design using the IML process.


Broad portfolio for the beverage industry
As a system partner, Arburg has many years of experience in the manufacture of closures for beverages and special items, specifically of multi-component closures. For which cube technology and Allrounder Cube machines are predestined. To implement optimised solutions in this sector, Arburg has the very experienced partner Foboha on its side. The Cube machines can manufacture standard and special closures from one, two or three components at very high levels of output with a small footprint. Not only that, but this is a reliable process, even for the processing of recyclates, PCR materials or bio-plastics. This topic, alongside resource efficiency, CO2 footprint and Circular Economy is an important component of the 'arburgGREENworld' programme.

A one-stop shop
Mould technology often has a big role to play in the manufacture of closures, e.g. for unscrewing and fitting lids. Electric mould functions of this kind can be implemented efficiently using the products from AMKmotion, since 2021 a company in the Arburg family.
Arburg therefore does more than supply injection moulding technology. It also provides its customers with professional project management and comprehensive consultancy support for the development of turnkey solutions for the beverage industry.

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