By Mary Jane Tadili
The Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is set to build a modern facility for packaging at its compound in Bicutan, Taguig City.
The laboratories – the Simulation Packaging Testing Laboratory (SPTL) and Green Packaging Laboratory (GPL) — will be the first of its kind in the country.
The project, which will be spearheaded by ITDI’s Packaging and Technology Division (PTD), will cost more than P116 million.
According to DOST undersecretary for R&D Rowena Cristina Guevara, the establishment of the SPTL is a significant step to keep up with the increasing international testing protocols and competition worldwide.
Guevara said the SPTL will address will address product damage and spoilage while in transit, find ways and solutions to address high transport packaging cost, and address the trend towards e-commerce and omni-channel distribution.
It is therefore important, she said, that the design of transport packaging must be able to support the product while in transit at a minimum cost possible. Handling and environmental hazards include shock, vibration, compression, temperature, relative humidity and pressure among others.
Guevara added that with SPTL, all these environmental hazards can be simulated and the results or data derived will be used by PTD’s engineers as basis in designing the structure and cushion requirements of specific product per market destination.
The green packaging laboratory (GPL) will be co-located inside the SPTL. This will serve as a hub for research and development on new and sustainable packaging technology to address issues on environmental protection. It will focus on the use of indigenous and renewable materials and innovation process to reduce carbon prints.
In his speech, DOST secretary Fortunato dela Pena, recognized the significant contributions and milestones of PTD-ITDI and its continuing efforts to create innovations and services that cater to the needs of the local industries to enable and comply with national and international standards and regulations.
Dela Pena said that micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have benefitted from the packaging research and development, innovation and design developed by PTD. He said MSME products are now exported with improved packaging, making Philippine products competitive in the global market.
De la Pena added that PTD is poised to set another milestone in establishing a “Center for Logistics research and Development” and the first step of achieving this goal is the establishment of SPTL.
The SPTL will serve as a hub for logistics companies and industries catering to the growing demand of e-commerce in developing and testing the performance of their transport packaging.