Shanghai, China - Dow Chemical launched Pack Studios Shanghai, its collaborative concept that aims to accelerate the development of packaging innovation, during Chinaplas 2014.
Currently, the company has four Pack Studios centers around the globe - Freeport, TX; Horgen, Switzerland; São Paulo, Brazil; and now in Shanghai. Each center features a collaboration room, laboratory facilities for material development, and fabrication and testing equipment to validate packaging applications.
Paul Wu, Dow's marketing director of new business development for packaging and specialty plastics for Asia-Pacific, told PlasticsToday that Shanghai was chosen as the Asia-Pacific location for Pack Studios due to the city's central location in Asia.
"The Chinese market is growing fast, however, the purpose of Pack Studios is to serve the entire Asian market," he said.
Pack Studios Shanghai, which is located at the Shanghai Dow Innovation Center, is designed to provide customers in Asia collaborative opportunities with Dow through new collaboration tools that aim to create better packaging. One of the key initiatives of Pack Studios is to speed up packaging innovation.
"For customers, oftentimes the number one wish is a fast turnaround," Wu said. "The value of Pack Studios is to reduce the innovation cycle time."
Chinese packaging trends
The middle class in Asia is set to increase to 1.75 billion by 2020 and by 2030 is predicted to host almost two-thirds of the global middle class and account for more than 40% of global middle-class consumption. So one reason there is oftentimes talk of packaging and the middle class in Asia is due to the result of this rising affluence, changing lifestyles and growing consumption, this growing middle class will drive a strong demand for packaging with an emphasis on increased convenience and functionality.
"The old lifestyle of the husband and wife running out each day to get fresh meat and fruit is decreasing, especially in the bigger cities, and instead are only shopping two days a week," Wu said. "This requires a need for better packaging to protect the content of the meat or vegetables and it's important to provide good quality packaging."
With regards to plastics consumption for packaging in China, Wu said the adoption rate is right in line with expectations.
On the product side, Dow launched at Chinaplas its water-based acrylic laminating solution. The ROBOND L-98D is a ready-to-use water-based adhesive for flexible film laminates in food packaging, specially designed for polyethylene laminate structures such as three-layer food packaging, salt packaging and snack food.