Quinn Packaging recently welcomed students from The College of Agricultural Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) as part of their Diploma in Packaging Technology Course.

The class spent a full day on site, beginning with a tour of the Quinn Packaging factory, learning about the state of the art equipment and processes, including sheet extrusion, thermoforming and injection moulding. The students saw the entire manufacturing process in action, from the raw ingredients to the finished food grade packaging products, ready for dispatch.

The factory tour included a talk from Dr. of Polymers, Dr. Neil Martin, who explained the development of the sheet recipe, quality control, and the necessity of precision and consistency at every stage.

The importance of sustainability and environmental considerations were also highlighted to the students, and they were given an insight into the innovative practices and product development processes in operation at the plant.

The students swapped the classroom for the boardroom, with course lecturer Tony Duffy holding an afternoon of classes in Quinn Packaging’s head office.

Speaking of the students’ experience, Mr. Duffy said:

“The students need to understand the properties of packaging materials and how packs are made from raw materials to the finished product.

“Having Quinn Packaging’s experts explain the process, and how any changes will impact on the finished product is very valuable. People who walk the walk as well as talk the talk are fantastic, they bring the personal element into learning with reflections on their experiences.

“Students are generally surprised by the scale of the manufacturing process and the sophistication of the technology and systems.

“For me, the visit makes this a memorable learning experience, and hence enables the students to recall the information when required. They can read about the process to understand what’s happening, watch videos to get an impression of scale and speed, but these do not compare with the experience of seeing everything happen right in front of you. It just makes the learning materials real.

“I feel we are very lucky to have a world-class manufacturer using cutting edge technology that is as open to sharing their knowledge and experience in our region. I am very grateful for the support provided by Quinn Packaging, it has made the training day a memorable experience.”

The visit by CAFRE College’s students has become an annual event supported by Quinn Packaging, where they host the Packaging Technology Diploma’s students for a full day in their factory and offices.

Quinn Packaging’s General Manager, Mark McKenna said,

“It’s an important day in the calendar for us as it is an opportunity to offer real life learning to the students who are the future of the packaging industry. We have a responsibility as a large packaging manufacturer to contribute to the education of these students and help shape the next generation in our field.

Our partnership with CAFRE College is one we value as it gives us this opportunity, and we hope to continue our relationship for many years to come.”>