Pack Expo 2016

BillerudKorsnäs talks innovation in paper packaging through 3D cold forming

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

BillerudKorsnäs has expanded its reach into the US where it aims to outpace the global growth of packaging materials, the company said.
BillerudKorsnäs has expanded its reach into the US where it aims to outpace the global growth of packaging materials, the company said.

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Patented Fibreform paper packaging engineered by BillerudKorsnäs is challenging the way the food and beverage industry uses paper packaging due to its novel 3D forming capabilities.

According to BillerudKorsnäs, its Fibreform technology, specifically its 3D forming capabilities, offers several advantages such as: enhancing brand impact through embossing and a lower footprint because the materials are all natural,renewable FSC-certified papers.

BeverageDaily met with the Sweden-based company at Pack Expo 2016 in Chicago last week to speak about the company’s recent expansion into North America and how the company is pushing the boundaries of paper packaging in the beverage sector with the 3D forming technology.

“We’re trying to find solutions that are different to how things have been done. It’s quite easy to fall into a pattern or mind set of ‘it’s always been doing like this’ or ‘this has never been done like this,’” ​BillerudKorsnäs head of North & Latin America for packaging paper told BeverageDaily.

Challenging convention

What differentiates BillerudKorsnäs from its competition is that it has created a 3D cold formable paper that will take and keep a shape when force is applied. This provides a high level of brand customization in the form of 3D design elements on the package plus enhanced forming capabilities to deliver mechanical benefits to the package. 


The impact this sort of paper packaging technology can have is “a massive disruptive technology through the supply chain,” Gary Robinson, ​BillerudKorsnäs ​director of business development formable papers N/S America, told BeverageDaily.

“Anywhere from the time the paper leaves our mill to the time it gets in consumers’ hands, anywhere in that manufacturer processor’s supply chain you can create a customized 3D effects and features on your package.

For example, holding a Fibreform paper cup by BillerudKorsnäs is a very tactile experience, where the design on the outside of the cup not only serves a decorative purpose, however, also provides a structural need, where it acts as a thermal barrier for cold or hot beverages creates small air pockets, which act as a barrier between the consumer’s fingertips and the hot or cold surface beneath.

Combining liquid with paper packaging

Within the paper packaging company’s product portfolio is its newly-launched Fibreform standup pouch made fromnatural, renewable, and FSC Certified Fibreform papers, which can be made fully compostable. For beverage applications, theFibreform pouch could be produced with special fitents for spouts, or even 3D formed for handles and enhanced mechanical characteristics. For an extra level of performance and quality assurance, the Fibreform pouch can be sealed with full ultra-sonic welds., Robinson said.

“This is the tip of the iceberg with Fibreform innovation because we can 3D cold form, we have the ability now to build a portfolio of solutions from a monolayer thin structure all the way up to a rigid structure with custom designed enhanced features with our 3D forming,”​ Robinson said.

“Liquid beverages certainly can provide more challenges and higher risk in this application, but we’re in a business of tackling innovation, and what’s innovation without risk?”

The “trick”​ to doing a natural Fibreform standup pouch filled with liquid depends on the barrier layers used to coat the Fibreform. This creates a barrier between the paper and the liquid to prevent it from breaking down.

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