The production process of plastic containers
The design and production of plastic containers is a multi-faceted process, starting with the selection of raw materials, passing through a research and development phase, and ending where the product is actually manufactured. The production and moulding of thermoplastics, such as PET, OPS and PP, is a complex operation that requires commitment and foresight.
So how are plastic containers produced in Hot Form?
The production of plastic food containers, contrary to what one might think, is not a standardised, mechanical process. Our production plant, based in Tombolo in the province of Padua, is a state-of-the-art research centre equipped with an in-house laboratory that enables product quality monitoring.
The stages of the production process: from raw material to finished product
The production process begins with the selection of the polymer blend, which is sent to the extrusion machines after being fed into the silos. This is where the creation of the material reel takes place, a process which in Hot Form is internal to the company, so that the consumer is better safeguarded.
Once the reel has been made, thermoforming proceeds, which is done using machinery previously programmed for the shape of the product to be created. Hot Form has a wide range of standard products in stock. We are aware, however, that every customer has different requirements. That is why we also produce custom-made food containers, designed to meet specific requirements.
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Once thermoforming is complete, the plastic containers arrive at the packaging and labelling islands. These fully robotised machines guarantee compliance with food safety standards and excellent performance in terms of mechanical resistance, transparency and product thickness.
Materials used: a conscious choice
Producing plastic food packaging means making conscious choices about the materials, energy and processes used. We are committed to reducing our environmental impact, which is why we have eliminated waste by reusing waste material for the production of new food packaging. The PET plastic containers are made of 90% recycled material on the inside and 10% virgin plastic on the outside.
We pay attention not only to the materials, but also to the processes and energy used. For example, thanks to the energy produced by the cogeneration plant, we avoid the emission of around 1,650 tonnes/year of CO2: the amount absorbed by 35,870 trees, equal to around 120 hectares of woodland.
A magnifying glass on quality: the research laboratory
At Hot Form, we have a research and development laboratory, in which we monitor the quality of the products and materials we use, through timely and state-of-the-art procedures. One of the laboratory’s core values is recycling. In addition to developing innovative technologies to facilitate recycling, we are active in researching alternative materials that ensure high standards of food safety.
We can also ensure compliance with quality parameters, including material thickness, colour, clarity, presence of impurities and packaging closure. Being able to count on a research department is a considerable advantage, which ensures production excellence and efficient speed of adaptation to different production needs.
Hot Form has chosen to invest in the future, the environment and technology, in an Industry 4.0 perspective. Investments in state-of-the-art machinery and technology, such as fully automated end-of-line robots, respond to the desire for process optimisation.
For more information about the products and materials used, download the brochure and enter the world of Hot Form.