Founded over 50 years ago, Universal Pack entered the market as a specialist in the design, development and build of automatic sachet machines. Since its inception, the Italian company has created multiple innovative solutions that have left their mark on the industry, thanks to the company’s drive for precision, efficiency, reliability, and mechanical durability.
Putting itself forward as a single supplier for complete automatic lines, Universal Pack designs, manufactures and assembles all types of machines, including automatic vertical sachet machines, standard machines, customized stand-alone machines with ad-hoc dosing systems, modular lines and integrated lines for the primary and secondary packaging sector – with a broad capability to package many different products that exhibit varied chemical-physical characteristics.
Like many packaging companies, Universal Pack must go where its end users need it to be, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the development of flexible packaging solutions for new recyclable and compostable laminates.
“This is probably the wider industry’s biggest challenge,” explains Alex Leardini, Marketing Executive at Universal Pack. “We are seeing major changes across multiple sectors, and it is essential that we take the lead. Food companies in Europe have already started work with sustainable packaging for sauces and coffee, for example, but pharma is not quite there yet; it is at an earlier stage in this evolution, but we still have to be ready when the need finally arises.
“Fortunately, due to our work in the food sector, we have a head start in pharma,” Leardini explains, “as we are already working with sustainable laminates across multiple applications. And this demand for sustainability can manifest in many ways.
“One example is the packaging of micro-nutrients and food powders for third-world countries,” he adds. “Many of the places that need this type of nutritional support do not have organized refuse collections, so empty plastic pouches and sachets can start to build up, creating ecological problems too. However, thanks to our collaboration with other like-minded companies, we have developed compostable packaging technologies for these powders, that gives us the chance to have a positive ethical and social impact, while fixing the issue of non-recyclable waste.”
Universal Pack has its own material-research department too, which works with customers, technology vendors and materials suppliers to develop packaging solutions that are optimized for laminates. “Recyclable and compostable materials are much more sensitive,” Leardini explains, “exhibiting different elastic, physical and chemical properties, which subsequently make them tougher to deploy on traditional machines.
“Fortunately, we have a great relationship with Rockwell Automation, which really counts when we need to research new solutions. We need suppliers that can help us with tough challenges and are capable of answering, supporting, suggesting and advising and, above all, trustworthy.”
And although sustainability is a major driving force in modern industry, there are other operational metrics that are still essential. “We chose Rockwell because of the quality of the products and services they provide,” Leardini explains. “The local and global support they can offer is essential. From our perspective we have been able to develop new operational concepts that are easier to program, test and validate, while also giving us greater scope for future modifications.
“Our customers, on the other hand, gain flexible and efficient machines that are capable of handling the most modern forms of sustainable materials, coupled to full Industry 4.0 and smart machine capabilities,” he concludes, “while also enjoying easier troubleshooting, reduced training effort and improved safety.”
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