InterFlex Group Technology Center Celebrates 2nd Anniversary – North America

July marked the two year anniversary of the InterFlex Group Technology Center located in Appleton, Wisconsin. This facility houses the North America Technical Team and IFG’s Global Analytical & Applications Testing Laboratory and provides a space for the group to collaborate and perform material evaluations in support of IFG’s customers’ needs.  After adding barrier testing capabilities last year, 2019 has seen significant expansion of the Technology Center’s analytical, physical, optical, surface and end-use testing capabilities.  This laboratory complements those in IFG’s North American and UK Manufacturing sites and is regularly relied on by these facilities to perform in-depth analyses.

The goal of the IFG Technology Center is to serve as a hub for product innovation and process advancement and is integral to IFG’s ability to provide its customers with superior technical support. The North America Technical Team is comprised of Product Development, Material & Process Technology, Customer Technical Service, and Analytical Laboratory & Regulatory Compliance which work together to provide innovative solutions for IFG’s customers and brand owners.

Magnified film structure with thickness in microns.

Laboratory equipment additions and upgrades are made continuously in support of the development of new product technologies.  Capabilities now include a wide range of tests that support the structural analysis, end use/application testing, and troubleshooting/investigative work performed in the Laboratory.

Equipment Updates:

  • Structural Analysis: FTIR, DSC, Video Microscope
  • Barrier Testing: Oxygen and Moisture Barrier, Gelbo Flex
  • Physical Property Testing: Heat Sealers, Tensile Tester, Puncture Resistance
  • Surface and Optical Property Testing: COF, Haze, Clarity, Transmission & Gloss
  • End-Use Testing: Oven, Humidity and Temperature-Controlled Environmental Chamber

Collectively, IFG’s Technical Team works together both in house and in the field to provide expert technical support for new and existing product lines.

Product Development translates customer requirements into value-added products that maximize functionality and customer efficiencies while minimizing total cost.  They are essential members of IFG’s customer-facing team and remain engaged from conceptualization to commercialization.  Customer Technical Service works hand-in-hand with customers on-site to augment efficiencies based on extensive knowledge of the interaction of IFG products with customer packaging machines.  They troubleshoot film and machine issues and provide feedback to IFG’s Manufacturing facilities in support of the root cause determination/corrective action process.

Material & Process Technology uses their raw material and printing/converting process expertise to support Product Development, Procurement, Marketing and Manufacturing and are key members of IFG’s vendor-facing team.  This support allows Product Development to remain customer-focused.  In addition to the testing described above, IFG’s Analytical Laboratory & Regulatory Compliance team coordinates testing at 3rd parties as needed and assures compliance of IFG’s products.

Established with its customers in mind, InterFlex Group’s Technology Center serves as a base for the North America Technical Team to turn customer packaging needs into profitable and efficient flexible packaging products.  Chris Ward, VP of Technology, explains, “The versatility and high degree of cross-functional training along with the identification of back-up personnel within the Technical Team facilitates the dedication of resources to our customers as the situation requires.  Our customers truly benefit from this team of technical experts with over 200 years of combined industry knowledge and expertise.” With these investments in people and facilities, IFG remains committed to providing solutions to customers’ packaging challenges while protecting brand integrity and maximizing shelf appeal.