Pack Protect project
Albéa’s Global Innovation Lab x Pack Protect project
The Grand-Est region and the European Union fund the Pack Protect projet conducted by Albéa’s Global Innovation Lab based out of the Argonne facility.
Progressing through the pace of new technologies, the industrial group Albéa remains highly competitive in an ever-changing world. Through these investments in high-tech material, we are in a position to meet our clients’ requirements as much as their consumers’ needs.
Albéa is present in the Grand-Est region in Vandières and in Sainte-Ménéhould in Argonne. This is where the group has decided to set up its Global Innovation Laboratory that operates in a cross-functional way within the group. The Laboratory team perform specialized physical and chemical analysis – up to the molecular level – for the departments of Quality and Continuous Improvement, Intellectual Property, New Products Development as well as Purchase and more.
The results of the experiments conducted by the Laboratory are meant to be of use for other entities of the group in the seventeen countries where Albéa operates. The Laboratory has already assisted Albéa’s factory at Le Tréport in France on pumps, as well as the Matamoros (Mexico) plant over the welding of tubes. These are only a few examples.
The Laboratory in Argonne is cut out to become the group’s centre of excellence for the physical and chemical analysis. It is driven by a team of experts such as Damia Gregori, Doctor and Engineer in Materials Research and Development (ENS Lyon) and Frédérique Pionteck, Laboratory Manager, who has been working for Albéa for 25 years after graduating from IUT Reims in physical measurement.
Steady Investments are necessary to strengthen the analysis skills of the Laboratory teams: differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) for material analysis since 2016 and equipment for chromatography in gaseous phase. In 2017, the Argonne laboratory has been equipped with a spectrophotometer with infrared light coupled with a microscope which – and this is remarkable – highly improves spectrum and substance analysis by targeting one area on the tube wall.
Albéa is a local and dynamic employer and as such, it can count on the financial support of the Grand-Est region which promotes research, together with the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER). Devised at the end of 2016 and launched at the beginning of 2017 for a two-year duration, the Pack Protect project is subsidized up to 25% by the Grand-Est region and up to 25% by the FEDER. This programme is focused on the group’s Tubes activity. International Innovation & Research and New Products Development teams are based in Argonne, France.
The Pack Protect project proposes the development of a protective packaging system over three important subjects: improvement of the control of the migration of inks printed on packaging, prevention of microbial attacks and oxidation of the content.
Funds from the Grand-Est region and FEDER complemented the group’s investments in Innovation & Research and eased the innovative combination of differential scanning calorimetry with the microscope. This equipment makes it possible to modify polymers fusion points and to analyze the behavior of materials used in the packaging. It also allows teams to anticipate and improve the quality of the production upstream.
Albéa’s technicians and engineers are specifically trained to use this sophisticated equipment in the most optimal way possible. As of today, these tools are used by a few brands which are very advanced in research as well as a couple of packaging manufacturers such as Albéa.