One of the basic commodities used for CABKA products is recycled plastic from post-consumer packaging waste, and the company is convinced that creative ways of using plastic waste will become an increasingly pressing issue in the future. The core topics at the company's new Innovation Center in Valencia, Spain are product development and process automation, with a focus on material development. CABKA has been actively cultivating and furthering innovation at its individual sites for many years. The teams working on these processes are thus optimally linked. The new 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. In addition, 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 Germany, for example, the company says approximately 60 percent 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. The worldwide recycling quota of packaging waste from foils is only 1.5 percent. These numbers speak very clearly to the urgency required to deal with this challenge.
"The future lies in recycled materials, and they still hold much unused potential," says Jörg Schuchalski, Chief Operations Officer (COO) of the CABKA Group. "To tap into this, we must constantly ask ourselves how we can optimize our current materials and process technologies. But also how we can find new materials and fields of application."
According to CABKA, the development of new material formulations goes hand in hand with the development of new products whose designs are precisely tailored to the materials used. With this in mind, the 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 says the company was already operating a sales office in Valencia, which is why the Spanish city was an obvious choice for the Innovation Center. Another contributing factor to the future success of the facility is its proximity to the Valencia-based Polytechnic University. Due to its location, CABKA is not only counting on research collaboration, but also on promoting young talent.