Næstved’s innovative PlastPack Defence is the world’s only manufacturer of lightweight, carbon-saving packaging solutions for military transport and storage. And with a seven-digit investment from Impagt Invest Zealand and Spring Nordic, the company is now taking the next step in global marketing. The company will be adding more sales resources to sell the innovative solutions to the military and defence industries among NATO’s member states and allies, but also to private hunters, etc.
The founders of PlastPack Defence, Jan Bendix Engmann and Jørgen Dahl, had their ears to the ground in the 90s and 00s, when NATO, and Danish defence, began to focus more on green solutions – especially when it came to reducing the weight of military equipment during shipping. And with a background in the defence and packaging industries, there was not a great distance from input to solution. The entrepreneurs wanted to create the world’s first lightweight ammo box made of 100% plastic – a product currently protected by no less than seven world patents and marketed under the brand LWACâ, Light Weight Ammunition Case.
‘Even though countless failed attempts have been made over the years to create a plastic ammo box, we were convinced that this was possible. That’s why for over a year we tested different types of plastic together with the Danish Technological Institute, and we quickly found that the durability was not dependent on the plastic as a material, but on the design and shape of the box,’ said Jan Bendix Engmann, CEO of PlastPack Defence.
Knowledge of impact distribution and absorption from bridge structures and crash zones in cars were key in PlastPack Defence’s ability to make plastic as strong as steel. It is particularly this innovative approach to the material that has led world-leading ammunition producers, such as Norwegian Nammo and German Rheinmetall, to join us in the development work.
‘Through years of development, testing and research, we have managed to take plastic to a completely new place. Our lightweight ammo boxes are fully operative from -54 to +72 ℃, and are waterproof, airtight, shockproof, anti-static and non-degradable from solar radiation. This is something that was not previously thought to be possible with plastic, and which should inspire new, innovative solutions in other industries,’ continued Engmann.
However, the key is the weight. Whereas a traditional military steel ammo box weighs 2.4 kg, PlastPack Defence’sâLWAC-M2A1 boxes only weigh only 780 g.
‘With lower weight, the military can increase operative fighting power. At the same time, there is an obvious environmental benefit to be gained, as fewer aircraft and convoys can transport more equipment. When Denmark flew 85,000 steel crates of ammunition to Afghanistan in 2010, it would have saved seven Herklules transport flights if our lightweight crates had been available for use. That corresponds to a CO2 reduction of 756 tons – or the same as 500 passenger cars driving in a whole year,’ concluded Engmann.
Investing in a global green solution
Most recently, both the Danish Defence Forces, NATO and the EU Defence Agency, have made the reduction of CO2 emissions associated with military operations a special area of action. And with the new investment from Impagt Invest Zealand and Spring Nordic, efforts must now be made to cement PlastPack Defence’s unique market position in this area.
‘It is quite unique that in Denmark we have a company such as PlastPack Defence that has not only shown great innovative potential on the product side, but has also been able to arouse a global interest in a short time, in terms of both development and sales of the end product. For both Impagt Invest Zealand and Spring Nordic, this proves that the company has great growth potential, and with the investment we would like to support this development and market position,’ said Tom Weidner, Investment Manager at Spring Nordic.
It is expected that the investment will result in 5-7 new appointments within sales over the next 2-3 years, primarily at the office in Næstved, but also with a permanent sales agent in the United States. The boxes are produced in Denmark in collaboration with Schoeller Plast in Holbæk.
ABOUT PLASTPACK DEFENCE:
PlastPack Defence is an innovative Danish company that specialises in the development and production of lightweight packaging solutions for military transport, handling and storage of hazardous, valuable and fragile goods in accordance with military requirements. Our solutions optimise defence’s operative fighting power while reducing CO2 emissions from military equipment transport.
ABOUT SPRING NORDIC:
At the Spring Nordic Foundation, we help innovative companies to grow and develop. We invest either ourselves through the Spring Nordic Fund, or via the investment company Impagt Invest Sjælland A/S,which is owned by Andel A.m.b.a. and Sparekassen Sjælland-Fyn. Our focus is on technology-based, sustainable companies, primarily within cleantech, hard and software, energy, industry and food.