Artistic and sophisticated: origami is the skill of folding a simple sheet of paper into a veritable work of art – and the multidimensional objects created by this Japanese mode of dexterity are authentic eye-catchers. However, origami embodies not only art, but science as well. Because ingenious folding creates stable structures out of a thin sheet of paper. These objects react differently to external stresses, in particular, depending on the basic structure involved: whereas some folding techniques render the surface more stable, others enhance its flexibility.
Creating a container that combines a stable shape with a striking visual design – this is the daily challenge faced by the container design experts at Krones. In a students’ research project conducted in conjunction with Krones, the idea behind origami was transferred from paper to plastic. The same folding principle is then tasked with creating PET containers that can be produced in a stretch blow-moulding process. The result is the Active Pouch – a squeeze container based on the principle of origami.
The design study’s innovative container concept is in purely visual terms reminiscent of an accordion – and utilises the latter’s folding principle: this enables the contents to be dosed neatly. The container can be effectively compressed and emptied completely. Specifically, the Active Pouch concept could be ideally suited for highly viscous foods, such as sauces and toppings, of the kinds used in catering outlets, snack bars, and at large-scale events.
The shape and handling of Active Pouch create numerous advantages. In conventional sauce dispensers, for example, the product is mostly propelled by elaborate pump mechanisms. The individual components of these pumps are continuously in contact with the contents, are not at all easy to clean, and for reasons of hygiene have to be disinfected at least every 14 days.
With Active Pouch, by contrast, the user presses the product out of the container by hand. So when it’s being dosed the sauce comes into contact only with the package, and a pump-based dispenser is not required at all. The ingenious folding principle ensures that the container is emptied almost completely. It can then be recycled very easily, together with its lid, and replaced by a new one. This complete replacement also means that it is no longer necessary to perform time-intensive cleaning of all components that had previously come into contact with the preceding product. If the container is not emptied completely, it can be sealed again at any time and placed in a fridge, for example.
On the path from the study to final market maturity, there are several stages of development still to be tackled before Active Pouch can be successfully launched.