The Alpla Group is accelerating the roll-out of new plastic packaging solutions with the opening of the product development space ‘STUDIOa’ at the company headquarters in Hard, Austria. Customers can visit this one-stop shop to help complete the development process in a matter of days, from the first design draft and a prototype to the finished packaging.
Product development in the new desgn centre includes 3D printing, virtual and augmented reality, real-time cost control and optimum technical service. With its innovative studio, Alpla is focusing on the close coordination of technology, product development and sales. ‘When we work directly with the customer in the same space and the decision makers are there in person, we can shorten the development time, bring new products to market faster and secure a competitive edge,’ says Norman Häusler, Director of Corporate Product Development, with conviction.
Design experience space
Interdisciplinary Alpla teams attend a number of design sessions and workshops at the new venue, developing new packaging types together with customer delegations. In addition to design experts, these involve the expert input of technical specialists in the fields of production, mould construction and process technology. ‘This means a design’s feasibility and recyclability can be checked, optimised and adapted in the early stages of a project, thereby saving time and money,’ Häusler emphasises.
And the space offers more on top – a 3D printer produces prototypes immediately after design modifications, virtual reality glasses provide an initial product preview and augmented reality (AR) is used to simulate the packaging placed on the supermarket shelf.
With its seven Technical Centers around the world, Alpla promotes regional product development for its local customers. The new design centre in Hard follows in the footsteps of the concept successfully applied at the site in Atlanta, USA, since 2015. A customer-oriented development space was also opened in Toluca, Mexico, in mid-2021. Another design centre is currently under development in Shanghai.