Cheer Pack North America has launched its CHEER PACK Innovation Center (CPIC), a research and development incubator that enhances clients’ speed-to-market of their flexible packaging innovation ideas. The CPIC also functions as an in-house equipment training support center. It is designed to provide testing of films, resins and additives for designing and manufacturing flexible pouches, fitments and caps for food and non-food products.
The equipment in the CPIC includes two filling machines, an SLA machine for rapid 3D prototyping, a pouch film sealer and an injection-molding machine. Researchers also use the facility as a laboratory for new product development and, as a result, Cheer Pack N.A. recently secured a design patent from the U.S. government for a new pouch that was created in the CPIC.
Cheer Pack N.A. engineers can rapidly develop flexible pouch, fitment and cap prototypes for customers that can be used as samples to demonstrate a product’s features and functions prior to mass-producing the item. Cheer Pack N.A. experiments with features such as size and functionality before presenting a final version of a flexible pouch to a client. The center, located at the company’s headquarters in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, also provides a resource for Cheer Pack N.A. to design custom flexible pouches that are shaped to look like a condiment dispenser, a glass jar or other unique shapes to support a CPG’s branding strategy.
“The CHEER PACK Innovation Center laboratory gives us options at the starting point of a project that our competitors don’t offer,” says Cheer Pack N.A. president Steve Gosling. “For example, in recent prototypes prepared for two non-food clients, we brought their products into the lab and retrofitted them from rigid packaging into a flexible package. This allowed us to present an exact mock-up of the new package which was very beneficial to them – by using this process, we can conduct a virtually foolproof show-and-tell for customers of what their new product would look like and how it would perform in a flexible pouch. Additionally, this can be done rapidly and cost-effectively.”
The CPIC also contains pouch filling machines so that customers can experience hands-on filling of their spouted pouch concepts and/or production samples. The center’s filling machines are also being used to educate and train current and prospective clients about the filling process and how to use the equipment.
“At its core, the CPIC has taken Cheer Pack to a new level in terms of our capabilities,” Gosling adds. “Six to 12 months ago, potential clients may have looked at us as the go-to company for standard fitments, caps and standup pouches. Now we offer inverted pouches, a range of fitment sizes and applications, custom-shaped pouches and structures, and many other new concepts, and all these enhancements were conceived in the CHEER PACK Innovation Center. In summary, the CPIC’s unique combination of assets under one roof combined with the experience of the Cheer Pack N.A.’s R&D team will allow us to continue to partner with clients to help them rapidly move from the new product ideation stage, to creating viable prototypes, to ultimately launching successful flexible packaging solutions designed to address unmet market needs.”