Experts from adhesives manufacturer Henkel supported Greenland Seafood by planning and managing the conversion of their packaging lines to the high-performance hotmelt adhesive Technomelt Supra 100 and the Nordson ProBlue Liberty System. The sustainable line conversion was accomplished as a running change within two weeks, with no loss of production and with full target achievement.
Greenland Seafood produces 1.3 million fish dishes daily for frozen food convenience meals at its factory in Wilhelmshaven in Germany. The production lines run around the clock. ‘It was very important to us that running production should not be interrupted or delayed in any way by the conversion,’ says Ralf Eichtmayer, operations manager at Greenland Seafood. ‘The fact that all eleven lines were indeed switched over within two weeks without any loss in production is very much to the credit of the Henkel experts.’
Starting situation and first steps
‘The conversion project defined targets for optimising machine runtimes and reducing the maintenance and cleaning efforts. Other goals included enhanced health and safety, energy savings, more reliable sealing of frozen food packs, improved product safety, and a more sustainable packaging process overall,’ says Lars-Erik Hartmann, technical sales manager at Henkel.
In October 2015, a team of Henkel and Greenland Seafood specialists conducted the first tests, including adhesive consumption measurements in the Wilhelmshaven factory. In December, Nordson was called in as a third partner in the practical tests and as a potential supplier of adhesives applicator equipment.
Implementation with ProBlue Liberty and Technomelt Supra
‘Nordson’s ProBlue Liberty System is a closed automatic system with a precise and reliable dispensing unit. As a closed system it offers increased safety at work since the line operators cannot come into contact with hot adhesive,’ Hartmann states. The system also saves valuable time and energy during production, since there is no need to manually top up the adhesive or check filling levels.
Regarding the adhesive itself, the brand chosen was Henkel’s Technomelt Supra. Developed especially for packaging applications, high-performance Technomelt Supra hotmelts are extremely efficient polyolefin adhesives delivering very fast bonding with excellent strength, outstanding cold flexibility and high heat resistance.
The high thermal stability of the adhesive ensures consistent quality even when kept in the system for longer periods. This, in turn, leads to increased production efficiency since it substantially reduces cleaning-related downtimes.
Ralf Eichtmayer of Greenland Seafood was delighted with the line conversion results. ‘We are achieving better quality with improved safety while saving energy and cutting operating and maintenance costs. On top of that, we are using 20 per cent less adhesive than before.’