German firm, CABKA Group, which specialises in plastics recycling and the production of new products made from recovered materials, is to open an 800 m² research centre in Valencia, Spain.
Located at the Technological Park Paterna, the centre is intended to pool the company's innovation resources in its efforts to develop new technologies for the future.The core topics at the Innovation Center are product development and process automation, with a focus on material development.
The company explained that of the basic commodities it uses are recycled plastics from post-consumer packaging waste, and said that it is convinced that creative ways of using plastic waste will become an increasingly pressing issue in the future.
CABKA added that it has been actively cultivating and furthering innovation at its individual sites for many years. The Innovation Center now offers a site where the focus will be squarely on developing new material formulations as well as products based on these new formulations. Additionally, the findings of all teams will be pooled and further prepared at this site, so that all locations can benefit equally.
What makes the focus on innovation so important? In answer to that, CABKA cites Germany, as an example, where approximately 60% of plastic waste comes from post-consumer packaging waste. Turning this waste into raw material from which other high-quality products can be produced remains challenging. According to the company, worldwide recycling packaging waste from foils is only 1.5%.
"The future lies in recycled materials, and they still hold much unused potential. To tap into this, we must constantly ask ourselves how we can optimise our current materials and process technologies. But also how we can find new materials and fields of application," explained Jörg Schuchalski, Chief Operations Officer (COO) of the CABKA Group.
The development of new material formulations goes hand in hand with the development of new products tailored to the materials used. With this in mind, the company said that its focus is also shifting to process automation.
The processing of the newly developed materials requires a corresponding adjustment of the production processes. This is why internal process technology is also a fundamentally important area of work at the Innovation Center. The workflows must be adapted to the products and their materials in order to optimize the workflow.
CABKA already operates a sales office in Valencia, which is why the Spanish city was an obvious choice.
Another contributing factor to the future success of the Innovation Center is the Valencia-based Polytechnic University. Due to the proximity, CABKA said that it is not only counting on research collaboration, but also on promoting young talent.
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