Solenis, global producer of specialty chemicals, has opened two new international centers of excellence to help drive more sustainable solutions for the consumer paper packaging industry. One center is virtual, allowing customers to participate remotely in lab experiments, while the other center is in a new facility in Mönchengladbach, Germany. Both centers are designed to simulate and test customer processes, treatment programs and paper/paperboard properties to optimize performance, efficiency and costs while focusing on sustainability.
The new virtual center of excellence is available via a website portal at www.solenis.com/packagingcenter where customers can interact and collaborate with Solenis experts remotely and in real time, for example while watching a live stream of pilot-scale equipment running lab trials in areas like packaging strength, digital print, barrier coatings and more.
The virtual center offers tests for more than 70 paper packaging and food and beverage packaging characteristics across a range of categories, including strength, sizing, transport phenomena, sustainability and more. Custom testing is also available.
Key equipment available for use includes a pilot paper machine, pilot coater, Dixon coater and DigiCut A3+ coater. The company also plans to add a molded pulp machine to produce, test and evaluate improved PFAS-free barrier solutions for molded fiber products, like paper plates, bowls and clam shells, at a pilot scale.
Meanwhile, the newly opened Mönchengladbach center includes application and testing equipment such as Rapid-Köthen and dynamic sheet formers, a lotion paper coater, different types of refiners and more. Solenis plans to add a hot air sealing device as well. The center also offers repulping and recycling capabilities in combination with contaminant control assessments for barrier coating performance testing.
Totaling 3,100 square meters, the facility in Germany includes onsite access to new customer application laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art instrument-based analytical capabilities for compound analysis, deposit identification, product determination and more. Customers visiting the facility can also meet with Solenis scientists and research and development teams for in-depth problem-solving and collaboration sessions.
The new centers of excellence join the existing main Solenis R&D facility in Wilmington, Delaware, which customers can also visit. Continuing to invest in its R&D capabilities, Solenis recently announced a $40 million expansion and relocation plan for the Wilmington site.
Besides providing key products such as strength additives for paper and board packaging, Solenis produces PFAS-free barrier coatings for single-use cups, fast-food packaging, corrugated board and molded fiber products to meet the growing demand for single-use plastics alternatives.
“Our ongoing investment in eco-friendly paper packaging solutions allows partners across the value chain, from paper converters to brand managers, to improve packaging performance and build a more sustainable future,” said Richard Brooks, Global Marketing Director – Consumer Packaging. “Whether customers access our expertise virtually or at one of our physical centers, our new packaging centers of excellence make it easier than ever to develop innovative, sustainable solutions more quickly. No matter where our customers are, they now have direct access to our complete range of chemistry solutions and industry-leading expertise.”
To take a virtual tour of the Packaging Center of Excellence or for more information, visit www.solenis.com/packagingcenter.