Omni-Pac uses HP 3D printing technology to create tools for the production of molded fiber packaging

Omni-Pac Group – a leading European supplier of molded fiber packaging, uses HP Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) 3D printing technology to create tools and fixtures to make them. Molded fiber – Also known as “molded pulp”, these are usually made from recycled newspapers and cardboard. The material has been around for over a century, but has grown in popularity over the past decade as a replacement for single-use plastics.

Designing molded fiber packaging tooling requires frequent customization for specific wholesale customers. 3D printing technology has long been used to prototype these tools, but when HP introduced its Molded Fiber Tooling Solution in 2020, the International Molded Fiber Association (IMFA) called it “the industry’s first refinement of functional tools in decades.” HP technology optimizes manufacturing processes, increasing production efficiency with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) basis weight control and the ability to add logos and textures.

Among other advantages, such as faster customization and greater design freedom, the ability to 3D print functional tool molds allows Omni-Pac to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of its manufacturing operations. Given that reducing carbon emissions is already the catalyst for customers to turn to molded fibers, the use of 3D printing for large-scale production could provide the company with a long-term competitive advantage.

The implementation of MultiJet Fusion technology in the molded fiber packaging sector is also in line with the plans of HP itself. In 2018, the company set a goal of achieving 75% circularity for its products and packaging by 2030, and reports that it has already achieved 40%. It’s unclear how big a role the Molded Fiber Tooling Solution played in HP’s progress on both fronts, but the importance of packaging to all commerce sectors means that collaboration with Omni-Pac could be essential to drive recycling and circularity across industries.

Photo: press materials / all rights reserved

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