Saica Group has opened a new research facility at its El Burgo de Ebro plant in Zaragoza, Spain, and said the set up will allow it to develop new products, improve raw material efficiency and offer advanced characterisation services of materials and processes to customers and other Saica departments.

The Research, Development & Innovation (R&D&I) Centre incorporates a laboratory with state-of-the-art testing equipment, including software tools used in the automotive and aeronautical industries, which Saica Group can use to optimise the selection of papers for manufacturing corrugated boxes, ensuring the right balance of strength and lightweighting.

Multidisciplinary teams made up of engineers and technicians specialising in paper, corrugated cardboard and flexible packaging, waste valorisation and decarbonisation, are employed at the facility. The National Development Centre for Saica Iberia, which works on collaborating and innovating with customers of corrugated board packaging, is housed at the site.

It is powered by a geothermal energy-based climate system and has achieved a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certificate. Saica Group said the R&D&I Centre will support its progress on two strategic objectives: reducing the company’s carbon footprint, and achieving ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’ in all plants.

The facility also includes 4000 square metres of office space and meeting areas.