Solenis, a leading global producer of specialty chemicals, is developing two new international centers of excellence for advancing sustainable solutions in the consumer paper packaging industry.
Currently under construction in Mönchengladbach, Germany, one center of excellence is expected to be finished in late 2022. The other center, a new Solenis virtual collaboration portal, will also launch before the end of the year. The virtual portal will allow customers to participate in live, real-time lab trials and watch videos on experiments and testing capabilities in the areas of strength, digital print, barrier coatings and colorants.
The center in Mönchengladbach will be integrated with customer application labs in a new facility totaling nearly 2,200 square meters. It will feature a variety of capabilities and several new pieces of equipment, including hot air sealing devices and a pilot scale coater used for development, screening and customer support, mainly in the area of barrier coatings.
These new centers of excellence join the existing facility already available in Wilmington, Delaware. Solenis is reviewing plans to upgrade and expand this facility in the near future. The company is also assessing options to open a packaging center of excellence in Shanghai, China, to support customers and meet the growth of sustainable packaging in the Asia Pacific region.
The growing demand for environmentally sustainable packaging led by consumers, brands and regulators is creating unique opportunities for the paper packaging industry to deliver alternatives to single-use plastics. Solenis is at the forefront in developing PFAS-free barrier coatings to help replace plastics used in fast-food packaging, corrugated board, single-use cups and other food and beverage packaging elements. The company also provides other key products, such as strength additives for paper and board packaging.
With a sole focus on addressing the latest paper packaging challenges, the new centers of excellence add to the company's global network of R&D capabilities. Paper manufacturers, converters and consumer brand owners will be able to use the centers to collaborate with Solenis scientists on R&D efforts to solve their packaging issues. Customers and partners will have access to expert support and the latest solutions from the company's broad portfolio of both functional chemistries and sustainable barrier coatings.
"The goal of both Solenis centers is to foster collaborative partnerships and alliances across the entire supply chain to accelerate innovation and bring novel sustainable products to market faster," said Christoph Adami, Vice President, Global Marketing and Technology, Consumer Solutions. "Not only are we expanding our technical capabilities but also our offerings to collaborate physically and virtually with customers and partners. The new centers represent Solenis' ongoing investment in developing paper packaging solutions."
"As a full-service provider of a complete range of chemistry solutions essential to paper packaging performance, Solenis is uniquely positioned to work across the entire value chain and offer new-to-the-world solutions that meet the sustainability challenges facing the industry today," said Richard Brooks, Global Marketing Director, Food Packaging. "We're proud to drive the industry to a more sustainable future, and we hope to foster critical partnerships around a common goal."