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Flexible packaging paper

Koehler Paper Group: Huge increase in demand for barrier paper


Paper is increasingly perceived as a sustainable packaging material. Brand owners are increasing the pace of sustainable packaging. The flexible packaging paper Koehler NexPlus® is already successfully in use.

Koehler Paper Group: Huge increase in demand for barrier paper

When the Koehler Paper Group presented the first packaging made of the innovative Koehler NexPlus® Seal barrier paper at the FachPack trade fair in September 2019, the new production line 8 was on the verge of being commissioned. Now the Black Forest-based family company has taken a giant leap forward.

Development of sustainable solutions gains pace

With the successful commissioning of the paper and coating machine in October 2019, a unique construction project at Koehler came full circle. In a record timeframe of just two and half years, the company planned and built a new production line. This puts Koehler in the right place at the right time. Developments on the part of brand owners aimed at sustainable packaging solutions are gaining pace.

The demand for innovative, sustainable packaging solutions increased significantly in 2019. What the experts predicted as having a longer timescale has now happened much faster. “We are seeing brands making efforts towards putting sustainable solutions on the market. This is very much in line with our own developments. We have adapted to this extremely dynamic market effect and have made implementing it on the new machine a priority,” says Eckhard Kallies, Director Division Flexible Packaging Paper at Koehler. The company has been working on concepts for months already and is implementing them together with development partners. “Our vision is to offer sustainable paper-based packaging solutions wherever it makes sense to do so. This vision is already becoming a reality.”

Standard paper have reached market maturity

With a slight time-lag compared to the developments in barrier paper, Koehler has been working with various customers in qualifying standard paper. The qualities of both the Koehler NexCoat® product line, i.e. paper coated on one side, and the uncoated paper of the Koehler NexPure® product line will reach product maturity in Q1 2020.

In addition to flexible packaging paper, Koehler also produces the innovative Blue4est® thermal paper on its new paper and coating machine. Like the Koehler NexPlus® line of barrier paper, Blue4est® is also a truly disruptive product. It is the world’s first thermal paper that has been approved for direct food contact and works entirely without chemical color developers.

Barrier paper runs on packaging machines

There are challenges to face in converting from plastic to paper, particularly in further processing, because paper behaves differently to film. However, numerous tests on packaging machines are showing that the changeover can work very well. This fact is confirmed by Klaus Richter, Managing Director of Kalfany Süße Werbung: “Our initial skepticism quickly proved to be unfounded. The paper ran very well on our machines, and the results are impressive.”

Two important trade fairs await Koehler in the first half of the year, both in Dusseldorf. At interpack 2020 in May, the company will present their range of packaging paper, which, alongside flexible packaging paper, will also include fine paper, high-quality recycled paper and boxes. At drupa 2020 in June, Koehler will present the entire product range it has to offer. In addition to packaging paper, this will in particular include specialty paper and decor paper.

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