Research Collaborations

Smithers Pira have recently collaborated with the University of Bath in a major study into understanding machine-material interaction for the improved design and operation of packaging machinery.

The study has provided the fundamental understanding of the nature of the interactions and the behaviour of cartonboard packaging materials during processing that is necessary to create machinery that better handles thinner, lighter-weight and recycled materials. The tools and methods created by the research team have enabled the optimum material properties to be established for particular processes, the re-engineering of packaging design, the redesign of tooling and matching of tooling to new and emerging materials, and the determination of robust machine settings (less sensitive to material variation). It has been shown that the ability to represent machine-material interaction enables reasoning about material, machinery and product within a single approach, and bridges the link between the three key supply chains: materials, machinery and consumer goods manufacturers. The latter of these is critical for consumer goods manufacturers to meet the ever-increasing legislative requirements.