The first commercial application of its continuous compression molding (CCM) system to producing coffee and other drink pods was reported recently by Sacmi Imola S.C. of Italy (U.S. office Sacmi USA Group, Des Moines, Iowa). Mitaca of Milan, Italy, has installed two Sacmi CCM 32-cavity systems to produce PP pods for Illycaffé. Cycle time of 3.2 sec is said to be half that for injection molding, allowing output rates of around 600 parts/min. Low-temperature forming and independent control of each cavity reportedly eliminates scrap and makes lighter pods weighing just 2.15 g with improved thickness control of the pod bottom, allowing “maximum repeatability of opening performance over time,” Sacmi says.
At this October’s K 2016 show in Dusseldorf, Sacmi will also demonstrate CCM processing of bottle caps at 1000/min with just 24 cavities and a cycle time of 1.4 sec. This will be shown with the latest advances in digital printing—ultra-high definition, unlimited color development, and extreme flexibility to print different designs in a desired sequence “on the fly.”