The virtual collaboration centre and new facility in Germany will support the company’s commitment to help customers develop more sustainable packaging.
Solenis has opened two new international centres of excellence to help drive more sustainable solutions for the consumer paper packaging industry.
One centre is virtual, allowing customers to participate remotely in lab experiments, while the other centre is in a new facility in Mönchengladbach, Germany. Both centres are designed to simulate and test customer processes, treatment programmes and paper/paperboard properties to optimise performance, efficiency and costs while focusing on sustainability.
The new virtual centre of excellence is available via a website portal at Solenis’ website where customers can interact and collaborate with Solenis experts remotely and in real time, for example while watching a livestream of pilot-scale equipment running lab trials in areas like packaging strength, digital print, barrier coatings and more.
The virtual centre 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 centre 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 centre also offers repulping and recycling capabilities in combination with contaminant control assessments for barrier coating performance testing.
Totaling 3,100 sq me, the facility in Germany includes onsite access to new customer application laboratories equipped with 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 centres 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 has also announced a $40m expansion and relocation plan for the Wilmington site.
Besides providing key products such as strength additives for paper and board packaging, Solenis is an industry leader in developing eco-friendly barrier coatings for sustainable packaging. The company 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 of consumer packaging at Solenis. “Whether customers access our expertise virtually or at one of our physical centres, our new packaging centres 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.”