Innovative Solutions Laboratories for Research on Sustainable Materials, Technologies

Source: Press release Ahlam Rais

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Ima has recently launched Open Lab – a network of the company’s technological laboratories and testing areas, dedicated to research on sustainable materials, technologies and production optimization processes.

Examples of sustainable packaging made with Open Lab’s contribution.
Examples of sustainable packaging made with Open Lab’s contribution.
(Source: Ima)

Open Lab represents a concrete part of the company’s ImaZero project and it is part of the NOP (No-Plastic Program). The project is the evolution of the firm’s commitment to Sustainable Development: its ultimate goal is to minimize environmental impact in industrial manufacturing, while promoting and creating a working and living habitat that always puts people and biodiversity at the centre.

Whether they are recyclable, compostable, biodegradable, paper-based materials or ultra-thin films, Open Lab analyzes and finds innovative new solutions before they even hit the market, offering to customers innovative solutions ready to be tested on specific packaging lines, states the company.

Thanks to the implementation of the most modern digital infrastructures, together with think tank spaces, environments dedicated to the generation of ideas and the prototyping of materials, the Group aims at building a connection between knowledge and skills coming from machines, packaging manufacturing and customers. Moreover, thanks to this project, Ima intends to boost its support towards the territory, developing research projects and collaborations with private and public entities, universities and multinationals in the sector.

Open Lab’s goal is to merge studies, experimentation and industrial development activities on materials including all laboratory phases, from design to engineering, of products and processes. A service offered to customers and partners of the Group in all the business sectors served by the company (pharmaceutical, food, dairy, baby food, coffee, tea & herbs, tissue & nonwoven, cosmetics, and so on).

The program includes the on-site material testing on dedicated machines under the supervision of Group engineers and researchers, not to interrupt the customer’s production cycle, simulate real manufacturing conditions, avoiding costs related to production stoppages.

Open Lab’s team of experts has a specific background in materials, machines and packaging processes; a trained staff is constantly dedicated to the activities of the Laboratories, supporting tests and trials. They are able to help customers to test new materials directly on the machines dedicated to this activity and constantly available in the different testing areas.

Moreover, this excellent staff with all-round skills and experience can study and evaluate any technical failures that prevent materials being used correctly on the packaging machine. Whether it is a different material composition or a mechanical failure, the team is able to make a diagnosis and restore optimum performance accordingly, mentions the firm.

Thanks to Open Lab, over 3.800 film structures were analyzed and over 400 films tested in the period 2017-2021: with these figures, the Group has its sights set on the future. The goal is to create a powerful database containing compositions and performances of all materials in relation to different machines, adds the company.

Open Lab has 4 operational sites in Bologna, Italy; Lugano, Switzerland; Arezzo, Italy and Lowell, USA.


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