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Low Energy WEt and DrY CAPsule Filling Machine

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - WEYCAP (Low Energy WEt and DrY CAPsule Filling Machine)

Reporting period: 2017-06-01 to 2017-11-30

During the project, we explored the technical, commercial, IPR and regulatory aspects related with the market introduction of the WEYCAP system. The roadmap to advance the Technology Readiness Level of our system to TRL-9 was established, related risks were identified and mitigation actions were set. A comprehensive Freedom to Operate analysis was performed focussing on the patenting activity of our competitors. Preliminary discussions with several potential customers from different market segments took place.
Our work focussed on re-visiting the design of all modules of the WEYCAP machine to reduce its’ overall energy consumption. The main outcome was a total weight reduction of 54% compared to the original prototype version. This translates into an overall energy reduction of ca. 40%.
Also, we tested the operation of our machine with several eco-friendly capsule materials. It was shown that our sealing technology is compatible with all the biodegradable/recyclable materials available on the market.
Our FTO analysis evidenced that our technology does not infringe the intellectual property rights of others, confirming our freedom to operate. Additionally, our market analysis identified several market segments where WEYCAP offering would add significant value. We directly compared our technology with our competitors; it was shown that WEYCAP outweighs its’ competition both in terms of capabilities and selling price. Three financial scenarios were analysed for WEYCAP market introduction, for all of which the ROI would be positive.
During the project, we participated at 4 major trade fairs in the food packaging sector. At these events we had preliminary discussions with customers that showed particular interest in the features and capabilities of WEYCAP.
The advanced offering of our technology will allow the EU Food and Beverage packaging industry, that accounts for more than 62% of the international foreign trade, to strengthen its’ competitive advantage against USA and China. In addition, WEYCAP technology will allow the EU beverage packaging industry to comply with the Packaging and Waste Directive facilitating the transition of the EU industry towards a circular economy model. Furthermore, due to the reduced energy consumption features of our technology, WEYCAP will allow the packaging industry to drastically reduce the embodied energy in foods due to packaging operations (currently at 10.7%).
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