Future Focus

Celebrating over 90 years of innovation at A.Warne

Since its factory first opened in 1926, A.Warne has put innovation at the core of its business. From helping to introduce the first plastic products containing recycled content to being part of the initial tests that helped Concorde break the sound barrier, they’re not a company that shies away from a challenge.

As the industry faces new challenges, both environmental and economic, this dedication to innovation has never been more important.

“I think the current position that we’re in – with the circular economy, the marine environment and compostables – means that everyone has to innovate.”
Jonathan Moore, Managing Director

Introducing greener products

“Ironically, A.Warne was actually founded on cellulose Acetate [a film made from plants]. Now, we’re coming full circle, back to the products that were discarded based on price all those years ago.”
Jonathan Moore, Managing Director

Innovation drives differentiation within markets. When a major supermarket was looking for a new way to promote its popular range of pre-prepared sandwiches, A.Warne realised it was the perfect opportunity to go to market with a 30% post-consumer waste product – the first PCR content PET film. A headline generating decision that proved that what’s better for the environment can also be better for business.

Putting the super in Superman’s cape

When it was time to give Superman’s cape the hero factor, A.Warne came to the rescue. The studio wanted a cape that Superman could throw and wrap around his enemies and A.Warne had just the solution – a window-stick PVC film – the same film used to fix tax discs to car windshields. It was printed so that it looked just like his cape, but it could stick to itself.

“We’ve been asked to do all sorts of strange things – we try to do the impossible!”
Jonathan Moore, Managing Director

Breaking new barriers for Concorde

A.Warne was also fortunate enough to be involved with one of the world’s greatest engineering achievements. During the initial supersonic tests for Concorde, A.Warne provided a bespoke film that would shatter when the model went supersonic, enabling the teams to know for certain that the model had in fact broken the sound barrier.

Creating a new product

A.Warne was asked to cut down a roll of Susceptor Laminate. There was such a demand for this new film that A.Warne contacted the manufacturer to see if they could become a stockist. When the manufacturer said no, only one option remained – they had to create their own.

“The adoption of EasiCrisp was an interesting one for us. There was clearly a market for it, so we asked the manufacturer if we could become a stockist. When they said no, we decided to create our own solution.”
Jonathan Moore, Managing Director

ELSIS: A clearer view of customer needs

Innovation comes in many forms, whether it’s finding a unique solution to a problem, inventing a new product, or – as in this case – improving existing processes to better serve your customers.

“We were faced with an issue with contaminant. We were converting film and getting reports that there was a level of contaminant after the film had been converted. We investigated it further and the answer we got was shocking. So, we decided to closely monitor the quality of the film that we slit.”
Jonathan Moore, Director

Following customer feedback, A.Warne introduced the ELSIS camera, a significant investment that enables them to monitor their films for contaminants as small as 0.2mm2. If a contaminant is spotted, they are able to rewind the film to the exact position of the contaminant and remove it.

Innovating for the future

In the wake of the latest EU Directive, the pressure is mounting on the packaging industry to find new and innovative solutions that are better for the environment, while still offering benefits to businesses and consumers. From products that contain recycled content to films that are home compostable, A.Warne is already leading the charge when it comes to the breadth of solutions it offers. But it’s not stopping there…

“There are a couple of solutions that we’re looking at. One is a product called PF – Fluorinated Polyester film. It’s made from a bio-source, so it ticks an awful lot of boxes, and we know of supermarkets that are currently championing it. However, despite a £25 million European grant, nobody has seen any resin at all – and it’s been about a year. But we are knocking on the doors of the manufacturers and asking if we can have it!”
Jonathan Moore, Managing Director

Innovation has been driving A.Warne forward since 1926, and it’s what will enable the company to maintain its position as an industry leader, both now and in the future. Contact A.Warne today to find out how they could become your innovative plastic film partner.