GPI celebrates first anniversary of UK Global Innovation Centre

The opening of the GIC last year
The opening of the GIC last year

Folding carton producer, Graphic Packaging International (GPI), has celebrated a productive first year at its UK Global Innovation Centre (GIC).

One year on from its launch, the facility in Bardon, Leicestershire, has hosted 90 customer visits representing all three of the GPI business units – convenience, consumer products and beverage. Customers have travelled from across Europe to join innovation sessions, which has helped in developing forward thinking carton solutions within an accelerated timeframe.

The facility is GPI’s third Global Innovation Centre and an industry first for the European carton industry. It was set up as an inspirational area for its packaging design teams to develop innovative carton solutions, with the ability to produce realistic samples and mock ups.

Sam Clough, conceptual design manager at the GIC, commented: “It makes a huge difference to our customers to be able to visualise their pack concepts. Due to the efficiency of our PackWorks system, we can take a brief through to a high-quality mock-up in a matter of days. This has raised the volume of innovation projects we’re able to handle and our customers are really seeing the benefits of this improved approach.”

Nikki Clark, marketing manager at GPI added: “Our ability to be technically innovative is what really drives customer satisfaction when working with our GIC service.

“Our customers can quickly hold a high-quality sample in their hands, enabling them to get real insight from both a retailer and consumer perspective. The productivity level customers can expect from our centre offers them an extremely comprehensive approach to innovation and end-result visualisation.”

GPI invested $1m (£643,000) in the development of the GIC at Bardon. Additional investment has been made into the expertise of the team, market insight resources, machinery and systems. From detailed market insight projects to realistic printed carton mock-ups, the team are equipped to realise even the most challenging of carton briefs.

GPI is one of the world’s largest producers of folding cartons and serves some of the most widely recognised companies in the world. The company holds a market-leading position in coated-unbleached kraft and coated-recycled board. 11 of GPI’s 64 production sites are located in Europe in the UK, France, Netherlands, Germany and Spain.