Plastic caps and closures manufacturer United Caps has opened its extended R&D facility in Messia, France.
To mark the opening, the company conducted an open house, which was attended by representatives from Nestlé to celebrate the development of a new closure for the company.
The extension of the R&D facility, which involves addition of 200m² of floor space, is aimed at meeting customer demands and to maintain the 50/50 split between standard and bespoke product development.
Alongside the 30% increase in the floor space to 600m², the company increased the workforce by 30% and installed a 3D printer for fast prototyping.
United Caps has also undertaken a restructuring of the R&D organisation to be more responsive to market needs, resulting in an average reduction in development time of 10% to 20%.
United Caps CEO Benoit Henckes said: “It was truly a golden moment for our company and our customers.
“It also gave us a platform to share our experience in the development of a new closure for Nestlé, another Golden Moment worth celebrating.”
The company creates around 50% of the products through the collaboration of its design labs with customers to develop bespoke closures according to their specific requirements.
Nestlé selected United Caps to develop a closure with a classy brushed metal look for its Nescafé Gold coffee that offers visibility on the shelf.
To design the new packaging, the company used a 100% metallic material to be wrapped around the skirt of a closure.
Henckes added: “While the entire project took two years, the first prototypes were delivered in less than a year.
“And the folks in our Messia R&D centre also pitched in to reconfigure operations and make time and room for this important project.”