New Technology -- it’s a wrap
20 February 2001
Technology --it’s a wrap
A surprising amount of thought goes into the plastic wrapping around that loaf of bread you used for toast at breakfast this morning. Over the past 18 months it has been the subject of a technology study and it’s helping a young Massey University graduate complete his studies towards a Masters of Technology degree.
For, it seems, not all plastics are created equal and AEP Filmpac, the country’s largest manufacturer of plastic wrapping, is keen to make a better product.
According to Mike Mason, Technical Manager for AEP Filmpac, the key to achieving that objective is in creating a fully optimised design and manufacturing process. But that’s not something you can buy off the shelf, like a computer software package, and the company’s own staff were unable to devote the time required to develop such a system. Enter Paul Moynagh, a BTech graduate from Massey University, who wanted to make quality systems his specialty subject.
Thanks to a Technology for Industry Fellowship from Technology New Zealand, Paul received funding to study AEP Filmpac systems and help to devise a new, fully integrated production system as part of his Masters studies.
That system is now being introduced by the company to its blown film manufacturing processes in Auckland and already the benefits are obvious. “We went into this exercise aiming to achieve improvements in output and in the quality of our products and we are starting to see those come through,” says Mr Mason.
“Packaging is a very important product and it doesn’t matter whether you are making bread loaf wraps or shrink wrapping for palleted products, it has to look good and do the job exceptionally well. We are constantly striving to improve the way we make things but it would have taken us a lot longer to get where we are today by trying to undertake this research in house.
“It’s great to have the opportunity through the TIF scheme to bring in an enthusiastic graduate who can devote the time and use his skills on a real-life project. We get the benefit and so does the graduate.”
AEP Filmpac aims to introduce the new optimised manufacturing process to all its product lines within the next six months.
*Mike Mason, AEP Filmpac, 09 573 3152, email firstname.lastname@example.org
* Ian Gray, Technology New Zealand at the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, 09 912 6730 or 021 660 409