The Saica Group has unveiled its Research, Development & Innovation (R&D&I) Centre at its El Burgo de Ebro plant in Zaragoza, Spain. Launched as part of the company’s 80th anniversary celebrations, the centre will service Saica’s four divisions globally: Saica Natur, Saica Paper, Saica Pack and Saica Flex.
The new R&D&I Centre will allow teams to develop new products, improve raw material efficiency, and offer advanced characterisation services of materials and processes to both clients and other Saica departments.
Also, the R&D&I department has been designed to boost two strategic company objectives: reducing Saica’s carbon footprint; and achieving “Zero Waste to Landfill” in all Saica plants. In addition, the new facility houses the team of the National Development Centre (NDC) for Saica Pack Iberia, providing an open and collaborative space for innovation with customers of corrugated board packaging.
The new R&D&I Centre employs 50 people and has 4,000 m2 for laboratories and offices.
Currently, the centre employs more than 50 people, who make up multidisciplinary teams made up of engineers and technicians who specialize in paper, corrugated cardboard and flexible packaging, waste valorization and decarbonization of the industry.
The centre has 4,000 m2 of useful office space, meeting areas and laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art testing equipment for the packaging industry. One of the teams working in the Centre also develops the advanced simulation models that form the basis for the structural design of the cardboard packaging manufactured by the Saica Group. Saica optimises the selection of papers for manufacturing corrugated cardboard boxes by using the same software tools that are used in the automotive or aeronautics industries. This ensures that the boxes achieve the necessary strength with lightweight packaging, minimizing the use of raw materials.
Powered by a geothermal energy-based climate system, the centre is a testament to Saica’s commitment to sustainability. Consequently, the centre has received the LEED Gold certificate (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the globally recognised green building classification system issued by the U.S. Green Building Council, among other accolades.