End user benefits:
- The system is fast, easy and convenient to use.
The bags are lighter
easier to load
easier to store
take up 1/2 the storage space
eliminate pollution from environmental contamination on site
The BIB Packaging system challenges the water industry to eliminate the water jug used for decades to transport and dispense safe drinking water for home, office and industrial use.
BIB Packaging saw these water bottles or jugs were cumbersome, expensive to manufacturer and difficult to maintain. They were as expensive to transport empty as they were full and they had to be refillable to recoup the initial costs from the manufacturer. When they get back to the bottler they need to be sanitized before being refilled. Thousands of gallons of water is needed for cleaning and it goes right down the drain along with the pollutants used to clean the bottles. Storage at the bottlers and at the customers takes up thousands of square feet regardless if they are full or empty. People use the bottles for all kinds of things from ashtrays to piggy banks before returning them to the bottler, creating a chance of contaminants surviving the cleaning process. The removal of the water jug would reduce the industry eco-footprint in a very large way at the same time protecting the consumer from potentially contaminated water.
Ken Nicolle, the owner of BIB Packaging, and Bob Polan, international marketing manager, were discussing the problem in his garage one day when Nicolle’s daughter came out feeding Nicolle’s granddaughter from a baby bottle. The bottle had a bag inside that collapsed as the baby drank the milk. As Ken’s daughter explained, bottles were hard to clean and the interior bag eliminated the task almost entirely. “That’s just what we need!” Ken said. The idea of water in a bag was born.
BIB Packaging started buying bags and filling them by hand, leaning them on a custom made conveyor and running them through a rotary sealer. The first bag was slid into a second bag and a conventional heat press sealer was used to seal the second bag. Nicolle invented a custom made water cooler that would spike the bags and dispense the water and BIB Packaging began to test the market. As the system was proven and gradually accepted, it was time to increase production values.
“Buying the bags already made was expensive and filling them by hand was far too much work,” Polan says. “We needed a machine that would do it all. Make bags from rolled stock, fill them automatically and seal them on the fly.” From there, a second bag needed creating that the first bag would drop into. Finally, the second bag needed proper sealing.
Designing a form-fill-and seal machine capable of double bagging drinking water proved to be quite a task but what he and his partners found to be most challenging was getting the bags to seal consistently. In their efforts to achieve quality heat seals, BIB Packaging had invested thousands of dollars in various heat sealing methods ranging from constant heated bars to conventional impulse heating sealing. Different materials were also tested and retested yielding little to no success. “The design process didn’t happen overnight”, says Nicolle. “It actually took multiple designs to get BIB Packaging’s KN3000 to work the way it does it today but things really came together quickly once we solved our heat sealing issues.”