Oct. 9, 2023 - DS Smith on Oct. 5 announced the launch of its global Research & Development and Innovation Centre, "R8".
Located near Birmingham in the UK, the R8 facility includes a 4,000m2 pilot hall, four laboratories, conditioning chambers, an ideation and design studio, prototyping areas, and collaboration spaces. As well as being the home of DS Smith's Group Innovation and R&D teams, it is intended to spearhead research in manufacturing, maximising on the growing demand for sustainable packaging, and the innovation needed to deliver it.
According to DS Smith, the new facility is an industry-first and allows the company, its customers, and partners to accelerate the research and development of radically new packaging fulfillment solutions.
"We will be partnering with customers to help them transition to the circular economy by focusing on novel packaging solutions that deploy new materials and technologies," said Stefano Rossi, CEO, Packaging Division, DS Smith. "Nothing is off the table — we have designed the hub to encourage scrutiny of existing ways of working and explore all the possibilities, especially for service-based offerings in the packaging supply chain."
R8 is a collaboration space that allows it to cover the whole innovation spectrum under one roof — from early technology and material development, ideation, and concept development, testing and product development, through to prototyping and customer pilots.
Projects will be informed by key industry drivers rooted in sustainability, supply chains, and data. Smart packaging for tracking and monitoring the supply chain, alternative natural resources in papermaking, reusable fibre-based packaging and technologies, and advanced barrier technology for food and industrial applications, are all areas for exploration.
Among the leading-edge technologies at R8 is a modular Pilot Line, inspired by the automotive industry and developed in Italy, which uses robots to make boxes from multiple components, and fill them at high speed.
DS Smith is a leading provider of sustainable fiber-based packaging worldwide, which is supported by recycling and papermaking operations.
SOURCE: DS Smith
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