France-based Authentic Material has acquired Roctool's molding platform technology as it works on industrializing its production. The company specializes in upcycling natural materials for the luxury industry.
After raising funds of €1.5m in 2019 to further industrialize its production, Authentic Material has acquired a custom-made flexible thermocompression molding platform from technology supplier Roctool that will enable it to mass produce its natural, upcycled materials. With the thermopress, powder is introduced into a mold, then pressed, heated and cooled to produce sheets that can subsequently be worked to create packaging, leather goods or accessories.
Authentic Material says that the thermopress enables it to take a much bigger step in industrializing its materials. Until now, the company, which transforms materials including leather, shells, wood and precious stones that would otherwise go to waste, relied heavily on subcontracting. “Being able to produce the sheets in-house will enable us to work on new materials and expand our portfolio,” an Authentic Material spokesperson tells Luxe Packaging Insight. The machine will facilitate production and reduce reliance on sub-contractors, engendering lower costs and more control over the manufacturing process. “This is the first machine in a series that we're investing in over the next two to three years,” the company adds. Authentic Material plans to raise further funds in early 2022.
For Roctool, the platform enables it to expand its technology to composites, in particular bio-based materials. “This project is a way for our two companies to increase our skills by combining our R&D resources. We will be able to gain insight into the potential of future materials and offer tomorrow’s designers new, more environmentally-friendly solutions” comments Roctool CEO Mathieu Boulanger.