KoolPak Advanced Manufacturing
Project description and overview:
TomKat Global Solutions has developed a new thermal container for the food cold chain – the KoolPak. Currently the most commonly used container for this purpose is expanded polystyrene (EPS) containers. However, polystyrene is being phased out because it is single use and is creating a significant environmental waste problem. The KoolPak has superior thermal performance to a polystyrene container, is multi use, and is fully recyclable.
Manufacturing of the KoolPak requires bespoke machinery to implement the sealing and stamping processes developed. A number of prototype KoolPaks have been made and tested in the field but the limitation is being able to produce product at a rate and volume required for commercialisation.
This project involves engineering design and construction to implement the processes developed into more automated production stations. In addition field trials of the KoolPak with the new process and production stations will be conducted. A detailed life cycle analysis and development of high throughput reading capability for the NFC tracking tags will be completed.
The outcome will be the ability to manufacture to a capacity which will allow market entry with the first high-end customers. The machinery designed will also provide knowledge as to how best to create more fully automated machinery as a second phase to facilitate higher volume and lower cost manufacturing. The KoolPak has better thermal performance and can carry up to 25% more product than EPS containers due to more interior volume and added strength to deal with the extra weight.
The KoolPak uses an outer corflute container and thermal liner both of which are recyclable, but have been designed for reusability with the ability to flat pack and have traceability with the embedded NFC tags and associated blockchain app. The KoolPak thermal liner also forms an inner box with fully sealed edges, so has the added advantage of being waterproof.
The main advantages of the KoolPak over carboard products is much lower price; ability to flatpack which makes the economics of return shipping much more viable; and the KoolPak is fully recyclable and can be re-used at least 10 times.
- Increased collaboration with other manufacturers
- Increased spending on R&D
- Higher information and communication technology (ICT) intensity
- Increased number of staff with science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) skills
- Better qualified employees
- Increased levels of automation
- Greater capital intensity
- Newer equipment
- Higher marketing expenditure
- Higher trade intensity
- TomKat Global Solutions forecast $18.9M in revenue over 5 years
- This project is projected to upskill and create an additional 8 jobs during the project and within one year after project completion
Government Funds: $267,500 | Industry: $267,500 | In-Kind: $20,000