Metsä Board recently hosted a real-time virtual tour of its new Excellence Centre in Äänekoski, Finland. The two-storey, 5,000-sq-ft facility will provide the company with opportunities for joint exploration, innovation and testing.
Mark Beamesderfer, Packaging Solutions Director, Metsä Board Americas, spoke at the event. He shared that with consumers demanding a fundamental change in packaging to be more sustainable, collaboration is necessary to develop holistic new solutions. The Excellence Centre delivers an environment in which partners from the full supply chain can work together to create these solutions. Metsä’s portfolio also includes sustainably managed forests, its bioproducts mill, a board mill, sheeting plant, and other facilities.
The centre is home to a number of laboratories for testing and converting, as well as chemical analysis of the materials. Also in the converting lab is a 3D printer that will be used to create tools for the centre’s various equipment. The Excellence Centre will also include a design studio that provides space for Metsä Board’s co-creation workshops. A number of special cutting tools and digital printing capabilities will allow the creation of packaging prototypes, while in the workshops. A virtual store, where printed prototypes can be placed on a mocked-up retail shelf next to competitors and analysed using eye tracking technology.