Macfarlane Packaging Innovation Lab

Macfarlane Packaging invests further £200,000 in new tech for Innovation Lab

Macfarlane Packaging, the UK’s largest distributor of protective packaging materials, has further enhanced the capability of its Innovation Lab to create authentic, innovative and effective packaging solutions that help customers to reduce their total cost of packaging and environmental impact.

The company’s £200,000 investment in new technology at its Innovation Lab means that customers visiting the facility can see precisely how their new packaging will look and perform throughout their supply chain. The enhanced Macfarlane Packaging Innovation Lab now includes:

  • An LED UV digital flatbed printer which will create fully formed printed samples, printing directly onto a range of packaging materials to enable customers to decide on new packaging solutions on the day
  • Material testing equipment that enables design prototypes to perform a range of compression and crush tests to validate performance to industry standards

The Innovation Lab, located in Milton Keynes, was launched in March 2016 and brings together the latest packaging design technology and expertise under one roof. Recently, the 2,100 square foot site has been adapted to comply with social distancing restrictions, enabling customers to visit the facility safely. For the first time, customers can now experience a virtual tour of the Innovation Lab through a brand new facility available on the Macfarlane Packaging website.

Commenting on the investment, Donna Lynch, Sales & Marketing Director said:

“Since we launched the Innovation Lab four years ago, we have helped many customers to fully understand the total cost of their packaging by providing one environment to interact with packaging and explore its impact on their operations using our Significant Six methodology.

“Technology changes rapidly and this investment in the latest equipment allows us to ensure that customers can maximise their time with us and arrive at their packaging solution even faster.”

Richard Garratt, Technical Design Manager at the Innovation Lab, said: “The Innovation Lab is a fully immersive experience and, with social distancing measures in place, gives our customers the opportunity to safely step away from their usual environment to focus on reducing operational costs and enhance their customer experience with the least environmental impact. Continual investment in the latest technology ensures we are equipped to fast-track all stages of the process from design and development to prototyping, testing and validation.”

Customers who use the Innovation Lab experience include Sainsbury’s Argos and Halfords who have worked with Macfarlane’s experts to find creative packaging results that optimise cost, packaging material use and environmental impact.

The latest technological innovations add to the Innovation Lab’s existing capability which includes:

  • On-site design capability
  • Hololens mixed reality technology
  • Artworking with on-site digital printing capability
  • CAD table – creating samples in minutes
  • Packaging automation equipment
  • Infill delivery systems
  • Customised pack bench designs

For more detailed information on the Innovation Lab go to: