To help converters broaden their offerings with molded fiber products, Stora Enso has launched Fiber as a Service. Also called: FaaS, an all-in-one service to help converters with wet and dry molding of, for example, cup lids, bowls, cutlery, and other similar products.
Whether it is about getting started or scaling up production, FaaS by Stora Enso can help with material supply, consultancy, and tooling. The idea is to support converters produce molded fiber products to meet regulations and serve consumer demand.
Matrix Pack – Wet & Dry Forming Innovation
Matrix Pack was founded in 2009 and has since then grown into a well-renowned producer of disposable food packaging products and one of the largest drinking straw manufacturers worldwide. Over time, they have built a robust technical platform, supported by strong R&D, engineering, and manufacturing teams. This enables them to speed up delivery-to-market of newly acquired technologies.
Following their decision to invest in both wet and dry molded fiber technologies, Matrix Pack is the first large manufacturer to try out Faas's offer. Nine months after the beginning of the collaboration, Matrix Pack has four lines up and running, producing wet molded cup lids for quick service restaurants and coffee chain customers. Within the next six months, Matrix Pack will scale up by adding 15 more wet molded fiber lines and operate the first dry molded fiber commercial grade line. Right after that, they are installing an additional six lines for dry molded fiber products.
“With many years of experience in this business, we know how world class molded fiber products are made. We have the collected knowledge and network of the entire industry, so we were ready to assist Matrix Pack,” says Karl Axnäs, Head of Fiber as a Service at Stora Enso.
Supplies and support to avoid common pitfalls
The FaaS team worked closely with Matrix Pack to supplement and comfort their technical analysis of available molded fiber resources, from pulp recipes to machine suppliers. The FaaS offer includes employee education on molded fiber technology and production processes, plus, the supply of raw materials to get started. This way, Matrix Pack was able to avoid common pitfalls in molded fiber production. And in turn save both time and money.
“At Matrix Pack, we try to always work with the most innovative and forward-thinking organizations, as this allows us to further develop our technology stack, product range, geographical reach and ultimately add value to our partners and customers. FaaS is a great set-up, and a valuable strategic partner for us,” says Dionysis Valentis, Business Development Director at Matrix Pack.
“The depth of knowledge available in Stora Enso concerning molded fiber technology is amazing. We are also working together to implement quality standards for molded fiber in the market, to ensure that safe and compliant products are sold in North America and Europe. This is often an afterthought, but not for us.”
The FaaS team offers support throughout the journey. Making sure converters use the right recipes and the right pulp for their chosen product to ensure quality products and avoid having issues with mismanaged water systems.
“We know that the consumers are asking for more fiber-based products today and we also know that some converters may feel overwhelmed by this challenge, that’s where we come in. The fast development of molded fiber at Matrix Pack is due to their ambition and drive to be at the forefront of sustainable packaging development, we are happy to help with this,” says Karl Axnäs.
The FaaS team evaluates each customer's unique set-up and needs, to tailor-make the best offer for the converter in question. Stora Enso’s team can help with quick large-scale production, as with Matrix Pack. Or start small, with a workshop or advice on how to build a business case for getting started with molded fiber.