OPENLab represents a concrete part of the company’s IMA ZERO project and it is part of the NoP Program (No-Plastic Program) that is one of the four categories in which the IMA ZERO project is declined. IMA ZERO is the evolution of IMA’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 center.
Whether they are recyclable, compostable, biodegradable, paper-based materials or ultra-thin films, OPENLab analyses and finds innovative new solutions before they even hit the market, offering to customers innovative solutions ready to be tested on specific packaging lines.
Due 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, IMA aims at building a connection between knowledge and skills coming from machines, packaging manufacturing and customers. Moreover, due to this project, IMA intends to boost its support towards the territory, increasing its economic attractiveness and developing research projects and collaborations with private and public entities, universities and multinationals in the sector.
OPENLab’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.
OPENLab’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.
Due to OPENLab, over 3.800 film structures were analyzed and over 400 films tested in the period 2017-2021: with these figures, IMA 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.