ProAmpac opens Collaboration & Innovation Center in Ogden

Artist rendering of the ProAmpac global Collaboration & Innovation Center in Ogden, N.Y. near Rochester that opened with a July 14, 2021, ribbon-cutting event attended by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and other New York State and local officials and regional business leaders.
Artist rendering of the ProAmpac global Collaboration & Innovation Center in Ogden, N.Y. near Rochester that opened with a July 14, 2021, ribbon-cutting event attended by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and other New York State and local officials and regional business leaders.

Cincinnati-based global flexible packaging leader ProAmpac this week opened its new, state-of-the-art Collaboration & Innovation Center in Ogden.

“This is ProAmpac’s new home for product development, rapid sample prototyping and evaluation of new packaging, as well as a training hub for customers and employees,” said ProAmpac Founder and CEO Greg Tucker.

Tucker said the new 35,000-square-foot CIC offers three unique capabilities to help customers address their packaging challenges:

• The Design and Sample Lab (DASL), a customer collaboration, teaming resource that has been ideating and designing new packaging concepts and printed prototype samples since 2014. The new lab was relocated from its former home in Ohio.
• The Packaging Lab, enabling product developers to evaluate and combine advanced materials for performance and sustainability. The lab is equipped for filling trials and testing, shelf-life studies, packaging-testing and sizing for stability testing and pouching studies.
• The Analytical and Physical Packaging Lab is a centralized corporate physical and analytical testing resource. Previously, this work was done at multiple ProAmpac production facilities and is now centralized, with new testing capabilities, in Rochester. The lab holds environmental chambers for hard-to-hold testing, as well as new upgraded analytical testing capabilities including SEM, FTIR, and DCS for film analysis.

The CIC was constructed on ProAmpac’s Rochester campus and adjoins the existing production facility — one of the company’s nearly 50 global manufacturing sites. ProAmpac has more than 5,800 employees, supplying more than 5,000 customers in 90 countries, officials noted.

“ProAmpac’s new Collaboration & Innovation Center will create up to 40 new good jobs and spur innovation in Monroe County,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who was in Rochester Wednesday for the facility’s opening. “New York State is proud to attract and support companies like ProAmpac that are manufacturing important products right here in Rochester as we build back stronger and more sustainable than ever.”

Empire State Development is assisting ProAmpac’s innovative project with a $ 350,000 capital grant and up to $1 million through the Excelsior Jobs Program in exchange for job creation commitments. New York Power Authority, which already is providing 140 kilowatts of low-cost power through the ReCharge NY program to the firm to retain its existing jobs, is supporting the expansion project with an additional 40-kilowatt RNY power allocation. Monroe County and Greater Rochester Enterprise also are assisting the company.

The total project cost was placed at $8 million.

“ProAmpac’s Collaboration and Innovation Center opening in the Greater Rochester, New York, region is a testament to the extensive packaging expertise, talent and world-class R&D resources available here,” said GRE President and CEO Matt Hurlbut. “Rochester, New York’s long history of innovation in this sector will support ProAmpac’s goal to develop and prototype new packaging solutions for its clients.”

Established six years ago, ProAmpac ranks as the second-largest North American packaging company based on flexible packaging revenue. It ranks number one in flexible packaging innovation, number one for the breadth of flexible materials and number one in sustainable packaging options, according to Tucker.

“Our CIC is a one-stop center providing our customers with a resource that helps them address their packaging product development needs including product design, testing, graphic design and filling. I am confident this facility will help greatly reduce the time required to go from concept to commercialization,” said Adam Grose, chief commercial officer.

CIC is the permanent home for LEAD ProAmpac Academy, where ProAmpac offers customers and employees twice-a-year training in extrusion, lamination, printing and other flexible-packaging technologies, especially sustainability.

“ProAmpac’s Collaboration & Innovation Center demonstrates the company’s ongoing commitment to Monroe County by boosting the local manufacturing sector and providing top-quality jobs,” said ESD Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler. “Forward-thinking projects like this one, creating a hub in the region for global packaging design, will help to ensure a more sustainable future for New York.”

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ProAmpac breaks ground on expanded facility

ProAmpac, a flexible packaging manufacturer, has broken ground on construction of its Rochester Collaboration & Innovation Center, an $8 million, 25,000-square-foot expansion of an existing facility on Manitou Road in Ogden.

The center is slated to open in spring 2021.

A rendering of ProAmpac's $8 million expansion in Ogden.
A rendering of ProAmpac’s $8 million expansion in Ogden.

The innovation center will focus on packaging development and design and also will host regional and global consumer packaged goods companies and vendors for events and training. ProAmpac had considered building the innovation center out of state but chose to expand at its current location with support from New York state. As a result of the expansion, the company has committed to hiring up to 40 new employees.

“Innovation is the key factor in making flexible packaging the fastest-growing segment of the expanding global packaging industry, which is forecast to exceed $1 trillion by the end of next year,” said ProAmpac CEO Greg Tucker. “The benefit of having all of our application testing, prototyping and short run pouch production under one roof is that a customer can arrive with a packaging design issue and leave with printed, prototype samples. Our new facility will compress the design timeline significantly.”

Through Collaborative Innovation — a unique process for accelerating the development of new packaging — ProAmpac pairs its own product-development teams with a customer’s group, and then builds prototypes at its Design and Sample Lab (DASL). DASL will be headquartered in the new CIC, said Chief Commercial Officer Adam Grose.

“ProAmpac has become recognized as the go-to source for sustainable packaging solutions,” Grose said.

As many consumer products brand owners make sustainability a top priority, ProAmpac has become “their top resource for sustainable flexible packaging,” Grose said.

“ProAmpac’s continued commitment to expanding its operations in Monroe County will serve to boost the local manufacturing sector, provide jobs and strengthen the regional economy by helping to create a more sustainable community for generations to come,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Eric Gertler.

The expanded facility will become the permanent home for LEAD ProAmpac Academy, offering customers and employees twice-a-year training in extrusion, lamination, printing, sustainability, and other flexible-packaging technologies.

“We’re delighted ProAmpac, a leading manufacturer of flexible packaging, chose to establish an innovation center in the Greater Rochester New York region, leveraging our community’s extensive packaging expertise and world-class R&D resources,” said Greater Rochester Enterprise Inc. President and CEO Matt Hurlbut.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer