Frequently, articles, brochures, podcasts, and other communications highlight the importance of various quality control and quality assurance steps in geosynthetics. These steps take place in the selection of raw materials, the manufacturing process, material handling, site installation, and post-installation monitoring. However, of all the steps profiled, we rarely encounter a mention of packaging and certainly not a focus. This bears correction.
Packaging plays a significant role in protecting materials for storage, handling, and delivery to site.
Denmark-based company Tentoma A/S has quickly become one of the premier suppliers of packaging systems for geosynthetics and other engineered materials. The company’s rapid rise is based on more than just protecting materials; the packaging technology has also greatly reduced waste for its manufacturing and fabricator customers.
STRETCH PACKAGING SYSTEMS & GEOSYNTHETIC QUALITY
As is so often the case with geosynthetics, sustainability solutions correlate with economic advantages. In the field, the use of geosynthetic reinforcement layers can greatly reduce project dependence on aggregates and special fills; this, in turn, decreases material truckloads to site, speeds up construction, and decrease the overall carbon footprint of works. It can also save considerably on transportation, labor, and material acquisition costs.
In the manufacturing process, sustainability is found in efficiency-focused improvements and waste reduction initiatives. These processes conserve energy, reduce water consumption, eliminate handling stages, and so forth. The savings realized can help protect that company (and their customers) from some price shocks in the system, such as sudden raw material cost increases.
Here is where efficient packaging systems fit in. They can reduce plastic film waste (sustainability + economic value) and greatly assist the process of moving materials from the line to the warehouse or truck. For the manufacturer or fabricator, these are significant advantages.
For the end user of the materials, the quality of the packaging material can have a major impact. These films may seem like simple materials meant simply to carry a brand message and serve for basic transportation, but they must do much more. They need to protect the highly engineered geosynthetics within them from handling damage and degradation in various storage conditions. That protection is part of how materials go into service in as ideal a condition as possible.
Tentoma’s machines utilize a stretch hood on the machinery. This enables a level of minimization that is far easier to implement than with for “harder” films on a packaging line. Ultimately, the stretch packaging solution uses less film than manual packaging methods, heat shrink technology, and loose bags with long one-side welding. This yields considerable film savings for the operator. Furthermore, the stretch packaging process on RoRo machines benefits not just the manufacturer and fabricator. Construction sites realize benefits too. The process, with its minimizing stretch hood, can lead to 50% less plastic to remove (volume and weight) from a construction site.
In less than a decade, Tentoma’s RoRo Stretch Packaging System has become a key part of how many global geosynthetic brands prepare their engineered material rolls for storage and delivery. The packaging system design enables rolls to be packed in ~40 seconds (as one of the company’s many videos demonstrates) with a water-resistant, durable film for protection against environmental stresses and to provide excellent load stability in near- and long-term storage situations.
From geosynthetic product manufacture to delivery and installation, many companies may be involved. Each one of them plays an important role in how our infrastructure is built, and every decision in the process is important. While how a material roll is packaged is not going to become the concern of the facility owner, design engineer, or regulator, it is very important for the manufacturer/fabricator. In being important to them, the packaging system is also important to the ultimate success of a project. Again, it’s part of the vital sequence of getting a material and a project into service in as ideal condition as possible.
Learn more about Tentoma’s stretch packaging systems and related technologies in geosynthetics at the company’s website.
DETAILS ON THE RORO STRETCH PACKAGING MACHINE
- 100% automatic packaging systems
- 100% sealed on all six sides (water, dust and storm proof)
- Increased load stability
- Space- and film saving design
- Attractive ROI with stretch packing (film and energy saving)
- High reliability and low maintenance costs
- High quality packaging with excellent branding opportunity
- Handles a wide variety of product sizes including long products (e.g. geotextile/geomembrane rolls, wood blocks, insulation materials, building materials and more)
- Intuitive operation via a soft-touch panel
- Commonly used and widely available stretch film
Tentoma was founded in 2011 as Frank Bruhn ApS and originally performed service and maintenance in the vertical stretch hood industry. Today, Tentoma offers a fully automatic packaging machine that can pack larger goods in a tightly sealed packaging. This process protects materials such as geosynthetics from water and contamination. Since 2011, Tentoma has grown to be an international supplier of horizontal stretch film packaging solutions.
The company’s stretch packaging approach offers multiple benefits, including:
- Reducing PE plast film consumption
- 100% sealing of roll materials
- Ease of machine Operation & Maintenance
- Branding opportunities