The half a million pound project is focused on improving the ‘form-fill and seal’ type of packaging used for foods such as rice, pasta and crisps. By designing a more efficient way of sealing the packaging, the researchers hope to reduce the amount of material used by 13%, which would lead to a saving of more than 39,000 tonnes per year of landfill waste.
Dr Ben Hicks, Professor Glen Mullineux, and Dr Jason Matthews from the University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering are working as part of a consortium including Campden BRI, HayssenSandiacre Europe, Amcor Flexibles Food and United Biscuits on the two-year project that is funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
They will examine the process used to mechanically fill and seal the packaging and then use this information to design a new packing machine that uses less plastic and can use recycled materials.
Dr Ben Hicks, Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Director of the University’s Innovative Design Manufacturing Research Centre (IdMRC), said: “Projects such as this are fundamental to the consumer goods industry if it is to meet the challenge of sustainability.
“In the area of consumer packaging, ever-tightening legislation is forcing goods manufacturers to reduce material consumption and reduce the environmental impact of their finished product.
“To meet such targets there is a need for manufacturers to maximise the efficiency of existing equipment, minimise material consumption and use thinner, lighter-weight, recyclable and recycled materials.
“The project brings together a diverse mix of industrial and academic research partners, combining both theoretical and practical studies to tackle this challenge.
“The project is building on the theoretical and modelling expertise of the University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and using the materials and packaging testing facilities of Campden BRI to try out the new system.
“The scientific knowledge base is further enhanced by the materials processing knowledge of Amcor, the practical experience of consumer goods packaging from United Biscuits and the machinery design knowledge of HayssenSandiacre.”
In addition to reducing the amount of plastic used in the packaging, the research team are also investigating new sealing processes that can be used with the latest biodegradable materials, which will lead to further environmental benefits.
Press Team | alfa
Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München
Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
19.10.2017 | Life Sciences
19.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research
19.10.2017 | Earth Sciences