IMA Ilapak has just launched IMA FLEXIBLE PACKAGING HUB to UK food, pharma, wet wipes and pet markets manufacturers seeking end-to-end fully optimised packaging lines designed to run the latest array of eco-materials.

Also known as IMA FLX HUB, the new all-inclusive packaging enterprise is where the finest global materials specialists, customer manufacturing processes and technology designers converge to develop sustainable end-to-end systems to meet today’s manufacturing needs. To create this million-pound hub with worldwide reach, IMA strategically acquired six specialist international horizontal, vertical and end of line packaging OEMs with international manufacturing sites: IMA Ilapak (Switzerland, Italy, Germany, China), IMA Delta Systems (USA), IMA Record (Italy), IMA Tecmar (Argentina), IMA Eurosicma (Italy) and IMA Ciemme (Italy).

Central to project success is IMA’s state-of-the-art, proof of concept materials facility and manufacturing process intelligence centre, OpenLab. Here, IMA FLX HUB projects will benefit from an all-inclusive packaging chain approach, with expert material scientists and equipment technologists working with the latest eco-films to deliver optimised line solutions.

IMA FLX Managing Director Klaus Peters comments on the enterprise: “Everything needed to process all types of flexible packaging for the food, pharma, wet wipes and pet markets is now available. Accommodating emerging materials, including those with unique sustainable properties, is central to how we design and engineer packaging lines. But without a closely managed co-ordinated approach, lines combining multiple suppliers can become disjointed, leading to vast inefficiencies and waste. We have united some of the most brilliant engineering and film scientist mindsets to give our customers a broad scope of resilient packaging equipment solutions.”

Collectively, the six businesses hold 250 years’ engineering expertise in both food and non-food sectors and offer the full array of packaging systems, including: weighing, counting, feeding, dosing, loading, bagging, flow wrapping, cartoning and end of line systems. Converging production of all technologies under one roof and driven by IMA’s quest for excellence, sustainability and innovation in engineering and films, the IMA FLEXIBLE PACKAGING HUB offers UK manufacturers a single source flexible packaging equipment chain.

Completing the all-inclusive packaging chain is IMA’s OpenLab – a scientific film and engineering development facilitycapable of testing and analysing 1,000+ films every year. Tony McDonald, IMA Ilapak UK Sales & Marketing Director, comments: “Running new films and designing cutting-edge equipment is a chicken and egg scenario – which comes first for the best outcome? The answer is to combine machinery, material manufacturer and customer knowledge from the outset to perfect application performance throughout the line – this is what OpenLab will deliver, no matter how customer and retailer requests for biodegradable, performance-enhanced or ultrathin films evolve. IMA Ilapak customers can expect streamlined processes, the most resilient packaging lines and sustainable payback as a result of being supported by FLX HUB.”

IMA FLX HUB is ideal for specifying vertical or horizontal systems and full lines, including those for modified atmosphere applications (MAP) and vacuum, as well as machines for four-side seal, multi-lane and sticks, fold pack, sandwiching and fully automated Doy pouch production.With best practice shared and IMA’s sustainable business methodology applied, customers can expect single-source advantages and continual digital tech investments backed by IMA, along with the personal touch from the six businesses.