Macfarlane Packaging has opened its second packaging Innovation Lab at its flagship Northwest Regional Distribution Centre in Heywood, near Manchester. The 5,000 sq ft customer facility is fully equipped to create solutions for the most demanding packaging challenges and fully test them to ensure they can withstand the rigours of supply chain handling.
Macfarlane’s new Innovation Lab builds on the success of its first facility in Milton Keynes, which opened in 2016. With an investment of £1.3m, the Manchester site features:
- Bespoke ‘Packaging Optimiser’ software, designed to reduce total cost and measure the CO2 equivalent impact of packaging
- Stretch wrapping and pallet load containment testing;
- Network handling simulator that evaluates solutions to International Safe Transport Association standards, emulating real world supply chains, including conveyor impacts, vertical drops and last mile logistics;
- Atmospheric conditioning chamber, providing precise temperature and humidity testing for applications such as food or pharmaceutical storage and delivery;
- Full design, digital print and CAD prototyping for making same day packaging samples;
- HoloLens mixed reality head set and augmented reality design tools to showcase solutions to customers in-situ;
- Packaging automation showroom, demonstrating the latest packaging machinery.