Europe’s largest consumer board manufacturer Stora Enso has invested €4M into a research and product testing facility that the company hopes will become the birthplace of the next generation of board packaging technology.
InnoCentre was officially opened this July and is situated by the Imatra mill in Finland. It will provide customers with full scale converting capability to facilitate the creation of new board packaging concepts.
The centre will deliver faster product development at lower cost. Stora Enso research manager Risto Vesanto said: “Before the InnoCentre all innovation had to be done at customers’ production sites. You might get one or two tests for new products a year costing €100 000 a time on a paper mill. Now we can produce one or two tests a week.”
The centre houses digital printing machines, a cup machine, a tray press and a proprietary DBS Pac Master system for producing CD/DVD packs in cardboard. Several commercial applications in multimedia packs have been made.
“Before InnoCentre all innovation had to be done at customers’ production sites. You might get one or two tests for new products a year costing €100 000 a time on a paper mill. Now we can produce one or two tests a week.”
Risto Vesanto, Stora Enso research manager
InnoCentre will also serve as the drawing board for research and testing of new technology. One such partnership is with Lappeenranta University of Technology. Students with Stora Enso are working on a solution to laser cutting board that currently does not exist for large scale production. Tests are with carbon dioxide lasers for use inline with digital printers.