VOLUME 13.3 – 2018
DIGITAL PRINT AT THE TIPPING POINT INTRODUCING THE 2018 SUSTAINABILITY AWARDS OMNICHANNEL • GSK • DIGITAL TWINS • SMART TRACK TECH
Head of Content Tim Sykes
Head of Commercial Operations
VOLUME 13.3 – 2018
Elisabeth Skoda Libby White
Head of Sales
Head of Studio
Senior Sales Executive
Advertising Coordinator Data Manager Kayleigh Harvey
Executive Assistant Amber Dawson
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© Packaging Europe Ltd 2018 No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form for any purpose, other than short sections for the purpose of review, without prior consent of the publisher. ISSN 2516-0133 (Print) ISSN 02516-0141 (Online)
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Editorial Tim Sykes Julie Asschenfeldt Designing for the ZMOT age Sustainability Awards Launching the new format Serialisation GSK’s inside story Digital print The tipping point for packaging E-commerce Isabel Rocher on the dawn of omnichannel Industry 4.0 The multiple benefits of digital twins Linear track systems High-agility manufacturing Anti-disposable Tracy Sutton on design thinking Hispack Spain’s no.1 show IPACK-IMA Extended preview Interview David Luttenberger talks innovation Innovation Spotlight Copilot 500 inkjet Resource Efficiency Anuga FoodTec review Innovation Spotlight SP Group’s VSteam pouch Specifications Richard Beckett on the value of specs Private Label The secret behind own brand success Innovation Spotlight Balancing quality/cost in flexo Functional coatings Safety driving innovation Design voices Creative agencies on packaging drivers Eastpak The east coast’s leading showcase Digital Nomad Be like a start-up
I welcome you to the latest edition of the magazine with the news that our Sustainability Awards are back and open for submissions. The most important competition for sustainable innovation in packaging returns in an expanded format, thanks to our partnership with Scanpack, the leading industry exhibition in northern Europe.
Gothenburg on 23 October we will be presenting the Sustainable Packaging Summit, followed by the announcements and presentations of the winners of the 2018 Sustainability Awards themselves. We’re holding back the announcement of our Summit speakers a little while longer, but I can reveal that we have the heads of packaging for two major brand owners and of a retailer which has pioneered a radical path in sustainability. They will be sharing and comparing their views on the burning issue of the year: how to go about balancing the clashing demands of resource efficiency and packaging waste. Rewinding back to the present, we encourage every innovator across the value chain (from additives to converters to brands) who’s working seriously on sustainability to enter the Awards. This year’s submissions will be judged by an outstanding independent panel representing a cross section of packaging and sustainability, and our wonderful winners will be eligible to enter the WPO’s WorldStars. Full details can be found at: sustainabilityawards2018.com …but don’t go away yet! In this magazine we take a deep and broad look at the technological and market conditions accelerating change in packaging. We report from HP’s Israeli R&D sites on the mind-blowing capabilities of digital print and how today’s imaginative marketeers
are harnessing them. This is a topic that Y&R BCN’s Julie Asschenfeldt addresses in her extended interview exploring the relationship of packaging design, advertising and the ZMOT. In turn, DS Smith’s Isabel Rocher sets out a packaging development perspective on the omnichannel environment. Shifting to a different kind of digital, we look at the opportunities of Industry 4.0 in the form of digital twins and smart linear track technologies. In addition, we welcome back Tracy Sutton on the topic of design thinking; review the debates on food waste / resource efficiency at Anuga FoodTec; share an exclusive interview GSK’s Angus Freeman on the superbrand’s serialisation perspective; introduce Oriflame’s Richard Beckett on the value of rigorous specifications, profile the latest trends in private label, and anticipate the upcoming Hispack and IPACK-IMA shows.
Tim Sykes Tim Sykes Head of Content @PackEuropeTim
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PACKAGING IN THE AGE OF THE ZERO MOMENT OF TRUTH Creative director in the packaging design department of Y&R BCN, one of the world’s leading marketing communications companies, Julie Asschenfeldt has worked on campaigns for global brands such as Danone, Schweppes, Bacardi, Lidl, Beck’s, Kraft, Mont Blanc and Swarowski in the course of a career that has also featured stints at WPP Group and Peter Schmidt. Julie talks to Tim Sykes about designing packaging as part of a wider communication with consumers in a world undergoing digital transformation.
IM SYKES Being part of an agency that handles broader branding and advertising for its clients must have a big effect on the mindset of a packaging designer. How is packaging design integrated into the total activities of Y&R BCN? Does it mean you join the branding conversation earlier than in other organisations – or do you find that the packaging brief comes with restrictions because of the need to complement other dimensions of a campaign? Or a bit of both?!
ULIE ASSCHENFELDT You are absolutely right that the mindset of a packaging designer here differs from the one a designer might have in a conventional design studio. We see packaging as one of the tools to create dialogue between brands and consumers – when combined with other communication channels we create synergies that are more potent than each channel alone. All touchpoints should be connected to amplify the brand experience. Experience is nowadays more important than simple shelf impact. And the path to purchase not lineal, purchases are often not pre-planned, journeys are unique, complex. Good design AND good communication will influence the consumers decision making. The silent salesman is sitting on shelf and has only three seconds to seduce. Why not help with a tailormade communication at ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth). Using only the channel of packaging is missing opportunities of making connections along the journey.
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Depending on the client (every client is unique) we get to work together with marketing directors and our planners from the very very very beginning. We often create drafts of non-existing innovative products which reflect their particular essence so that the marketers can test desire before spending fortunes on R&D. I love this part of my work. On those projects we are really free and not yet limited by feasibility constraints. From the very very very beginning means that we participate in workshops with people across a variety of professional branches and we think either of new ingredients/recipes/cobranding or how to implement innovative technologies by inventing a product that matches the strategy of the respective brand or the perception promise a new technology bears. The only downside about this part of my work is that I cannot share these ideas and designs for confidentiality reasons! My most creative ideas lay here. Aside from this we develop conventional campaigns and underline big ideas with new packaging designs. We think of activations on packaging or we create a new packaging design bearing in mind that we might need to animate the New News in TVC. I don’t feel limited by the mandatory of seeking integrated solutions, I think it enriches the design process. Back when I was working at
Peter Schmidt group I used to condescend to advertisers – too loud, not interested in beautiful designs. Now I try to combine the best of both. Being loud and responding to some design standards. People buy a book by its cover – yet not everybody has good taste in design – some just need to be driven to purchase. I consider this kind of seduction as an art.
Could you give an insight into how being exposed to this wider view might have influenced your creative thinking?
Good packaging will communicate what the consumer can expect from the product and what its brand stands for. Being exposed to a wider view makes me consider more aspects. Perceived high value packaging and quality finishing effects may not always be a good path. If your product is perceived with too high a value, people might not even look at your product because they THINK it is too expensive. Innovative packaging can also carry a concept that positions a brand – as can activations on pack. I also try to find second uses for design or packaging, e.g. glass yoghurt cups with a simple sleeve that can be used as Xmas decoration.
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How does the consumer’s engagement with packaging differ from (and how does it complement) their engagement with a brand via other communications channels? Does your understanding of this question inform your design work?
One hundred per cent of consumers interact with packaging. It connects to the consumer on a physical and individual level. Other channels are far less powerful and get switched off at some point. Packaging stays and lives with the consumer. This is a huge advantage, especially now where the limited attention span of millennials needs to be considered. It puts packaging in the front row of communication. Brands are just starting to see the potential. The time consumers spend with packaging is enormous compared to other media. People from our digital department are happy with three to five ‘spend on their side’. I’d like to see an analysis about the average time packaging interacts with us. Since packaging stays with the consumer it is more important that packaging reflects the product/brand and vice versa. If the product is bad there will be no re-purchase. A beautiful packaging bearing a bad product can only seduce once. For example, Stonyfields Petite Creme was launched in 2014. The design was mentioned in the Herald Tribune, but the product was no success since the French cream cheese texture was not to the US consumers delight.
How do you relate to design on a personal level?
A good design is a design that raises sales and/or brand equity. If we get a design prize but my client is not making money we have failed our job. I personally try to lavish attention on the details and my designs usually have a reason or a story to tell. When redesigning the Spanish Core Schweppes Range in 2009 we added heritage to the design. The brand is over 200 years old and got big through its Indian Tonic. So we created a pattern that reflected both: Heritage and India. I am still mad that they interchanged that design with some generic white label-ish stripes. Yes – this is quite characteristic for me: I get emotional when it comes to my babies. I also get mad when we deliver perfect artwork and somewhere in the print chain the design alters as on the Schweppes pickup where the pattern is not aligned with the brandblock. Aaargh! Or when we deliver master artwork that needs to be adapted in each country and the local agencies together with the local marketing teams violate the thought through designs. Talking about me being emotional: in Activia our packaging department was in charge of the global design for 10 years. We lost the latest packaging pitch and sales dropped. Now Danone is back to our colours and similar fruit representation which we had foreseen before the implementation of the new pack. One needs to be careful with mature brands. A drastic change needs to be thought through. Also the I of Activia is not centred as it was for over 10 years. It disturbs my eye when I see it – every time. It also irritates me that some clients rather use six weeks for decision making than conceding reasonable time for perfect design and or artwork execution. Also when working for international clients too many compromises are made. I quote here Gil Horsky (global innovation director at Mondelez), who says: “Packaging design should be a dictatorship.” I absolutely undersign that statement (as long as the dictator has some taste and reason).
In what ways have advances in packaging technology and the emergence of digital printing drawn your work into new directions?
Advertising is no longer one directional. The critical consumer chooses their own path to purchase. They are more inclined to believe a personal recommendation than conventional brand communication and are sensitive about a broader range of aspects. Is the brand innovative? Does my brand correspond to my standards for social and/or environmental responsibility? Today’s consumer wants to co-create. And brands that don’t consider their consumers’ inputs when creating campaigns are easily out of date. It is a dialog now. Or a ‘multilog’. In general consumers demand more entertainment and they want to be addressed personally. Digital printing is a perfect tool for responding to both. I’ve been absolutely amazed by the innovations that have been developed in the last few years. Embellishments, textiles and in-mould printing… We are starting to partner with HP Indigo trying to find new creative ways to differentiate brands. In my opinion Jose Gorbea from HP has had a real vision. It was his idea to partner with brands and most importantly with agencies as they are key to creating brand stories out of consumer insights that actually matter to Millennials. I strongly believe digital printing will take over from conventional print very soon. Just think about what happened to conventional photography once digital cameras were invented. Digital printing when combined with creative ideas and marketers with vision has the power to seduce the consumer in ways we have not seen before. And ‘new’ is very much appreciated. The thirst of the consumer for new things is endless. Brands can profit with Earned Media. That is why advances in packaging and printing technologies are always on top of my mind when designing new packaging. It instantly creates the positive emotional response we are seeking in our consumers. Shelves will change in the near future and constantly. The ‘half-life’ will shorten. Packaging will be more responsive to consumer needs.
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SUSTAINABILITY AWARDS OPEN TO SUBMISSIONS
RETURN OF PACKAGING’S MOST IMPORTANT SUSTAINABILITY COMPETITION Packaging waste, climate change and other environmental problems demand an urgent and coherent response from the CPG industry. All too often innovations are marketed as ‘green’ based on gains in a single metric, when the complex landscape of ecological challenges requires a holistic approach. The Sustainability Awards 2018, organised by Packaging Europe magazine and hosted at Scanpack, Gothenburg, sets out to connect the dots. The fourth annual competition is now open – with a deadline of 15th May for submissions.
he Sustainability Awards categories spotlight each of the key areas of innovation where the environmental footprint of packaging and packaged goods can be reduced, from resource efficiency to recycling, biomaterials to greener packaging machinery, and driving best practice at the brand owner and retailer level. Moreover, across all categories the judges are instructed to favour holistic solutions over those whose gains in one area may be offset by negative side-effects in others. A core principle of the Sustainability Awards is that it is judged by an independent panel of internationally renowned experts representing the whole value chain. This year’s 17 judges span sustainable packaging design, packaging and sustainability industry organisations, brands and retail and waste management. Judges include Virginie Helias (P&G), Jean-Marc Boursier (leading global waste management company SUEZ), Bruno Van Gompel (Coca-Cola Western Europe), Dr Mats Linder (Ellen McArthur Foundation), Kevin Vyse (M&S), Virginia Janssens (EUROPEN – the European Organization for Packaging and the Environment) and Arno Melchior (Reckitt Benckiser), the heads of the German, Dutch and Finnish packaging associations, INCPEN and CEFLEX, among others. “In marking the most significant advances in sustainable packaging, the Sustainability Awards aim to focus attention on the possible,” commented Tim Sykes, Packaging Europe’s head of content. “The initiative stimulates
debate but also promotes adoption and cross-fertilisation of the enormous amount of innovation taking place in packaging technology, whether in the form of early-stage R&D, fully launched solutions or cross-industry collaboration projects.” The Sustainability Awards 2018 comprise six categories with one overall ‘Best Sustainable Packaging Innovation’ chosen from the winners of the sub-sections. Winners will be announced on 23 October at Scanpack in Gothenburg, Sweden, in conjunction with the Sustainable Packaging Summit, hosted by Packaging Europe. The Sustainability Awards were launched in 2015 by Packaging Europe to highlight the best of sustainable innovation across packaging technology, encouraging faster adoption and fostering industry discussion of best practice and collaboration opportunities. The competition is widely respected as the most important and holistic sustainability competition for the packaging industry. Independently judged, the Sustainability Awards are a recognised by the World Packaging Organization, meaning that winners are eligible to enter the WorldStar awards. The 2018 winners will be announced at Scanpack on 23 October in Gothenburg, where Packaging Europe will be hosting the Sustainable Packaging Summit and Sustainability Awards ceremony. For full details and submissions guidelines, visit: sustainabilityawards2018.com
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THE GLOBAL BRAND OWNER’S SERIALISATION PERSPECTIVE Angus Freeman, vice president for procurement transformation at GSK, describes how serialisation looks in the context of one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.
ecurity in the manufacture and delivery of high quality medicines, for the protection of patients has, and always will be, critical to the pharmaceutical industry, to GSK and indeed to me personally. The Falsified Medicines Directive is a significant piece of EU legislation that supports that mission by requiring manufacturers to place safety features on all prescription medicines, and to contribute towards the establishment of an EU wide IT verification system that will allow assessment of the authenticity of a medicine at the point of dispensing to the patient. Being compliant with all relevant legislation is of upmost importance for us at GSK and helps us build trust with regulators, with our supply chain partners and ultimately with our end users – healthcare practitioners and patients. How are we approaching this? In simple terms we have adopted a five-stage process: 1. We start by analysing the legislation to ensure that we have a clear and consistent understanding of the applicability and requirements of the legislation, 2. Next, we assess our current ways of working in light of those requirements – identifying any gaps and opportunities to improve,
3. The third step is to develop an agreed roadmap to address the identified opportunities 4. Then we are building our organisational capability through brilliant execution led by a dedicated cross functional team with specialist knowledge and experience. 5. This is ongoing activity as opposed to a one-off process, we continue to work with internal and external organisations to fine tune the plan. Our experiences from successfully meeting similar legislation in other parts of the world are great learning for us and building that learning into our approach and plans for Europe continues to be massively beneficial; the Drug Supply Chain Security Act being a very good example of where we have gained highly relevant learning. What measures do we have in place? From my perspective, building organisational capability requires you to consider your people, processes, and organisational and technical systems. Serialisation is no different in that regard. As with any significant programme of work, identifying both the critical internal and external milestones and measures and managing your performance
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against these indicators is a key part of brilliant execution: for example, understanding our suppliers capacity and capability to supply the required capital equipment for our packaging lines is as important as understanding where we are on the IT systems deployment, and considering and factoring in any impacts of Brexit on our artwork capability is important in the tracking of our progress on the artwork changes that we are making on each of the 3000 different packs we manufacture for supply in the EU.
Key challenges A change programme of this size brings lots of exciting challenges and those challenges are something the team at GSK are thriving on and meeting. By the end of 2017 we had already successfully serialised more than 80 million packs for supply across the globe, and that is something the team and I are incredibly proud of. From my perspective, the three biggest challenges we have faced with regards to serialisation are: 1. Getting absolute clarity on the requirements of the legislation for individual markets - With serialisation being an emerging requirement in the pharmaceuticals and healthcare industries, we continue to work with the industry and with regulators around the world to understand and support their evolving needs, and we have dedicated resources in place specifically focussed on this activity. 2. Defining and building the organisational capability within GSK - GSK is a global company operating in more than 100 countries, manufacturing and supplying several billion packs per year to millions of patients and consumers around the world. Introducing significant changes to the way we operate across a large global network can be challenging and we have leaned on our previous successful experiences, building and utilising standard solutions wherever possible. 3. Establishing the correct external partners â€“ having clarified the requirements, identifying and establishing the best network of external providers has been critical to our success and our suppliers continue to play a significant role in supporting and indeed improving our solutions.
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Global regulatory complexity Regulatory compliance is critical for any pharmaceutical company and helps ensure that we provide the best possible products to our patients and consumers each and every time. The scale of GSK does mean we are impacted by many regulatory changes and challenges, but our size is also a key enabler in successfully meeting those challenges. We have great people throughout the company, with very relevant experience built within and outside the organisation. We have teams and individuals based centrally and in markets and we are constantly seeking to better understand the regulatory landscape, to interpret the requirements, and implement timely and appropriate enhancements to the way we work.
Going beyond compliance Do we see serialisation as an opportunity to achieve further benefits for our business? Absolutely! While our primary focus will remain on ensuring we meet the regulatory requirements, we are also exploring how we maximise the significant investments we are making to improve the efficiency of our supply chains. We live in exciting times with the pace of technological change accelerating year-on year. Effectively harnessing the data that serialisation will generate will provide us with many opportunities that will not only help GSK, it will also give us opportunities to enhance the whole supply chain increasing the quality of the service and supply to our patients and consumers around the world.
Smart synergies Historically, pharmaceutical packaging has been there to protect the product and clearly identify what it is and how it should be used. Technological advances give us a fantastic opportunity to build on those critical characteristics and potentially enhance how healthcare professionals and patients interact with our medicines. We are seeking to learn from other industries which have already embraced some of these opportunities and we are working with regulatory bodies to see how best we introduce these enhancements to the benefit of our patients.
DIGITALLY PRINTED PACKAGING AT THE TIPPING POINT There’s a consensus, after demonstrating its capabilities in the labels market over several years, that digital print sees its next big growth opportunity in packaging. Tim Sykes attended HP Indigo’s Worldwide VIP event in Kiryat Gat and visited HP Scitex in Netanya to get a close look at the latest presses and meet the early adopters harnessing the opportunities of digital print in the marketplace.
e’ve been talking about the imminent upsurge in digitally printed packaging for what seems like ages. Now it finally feels as though the conditions are primed to realise the prophesy. Pioneering marketeers are demonstrating how digital can forge closer connections with consumers - at a time when bridging the First and Zero Moments of Truth has become crucial to maintaining a competitive edge. SKUs continue to proliferate, while runs and lead times continue to constrict. Meanwhile, advances in technology (more of which below) present the market with ever increasing capabilities over a range of packaging substrates, offering a more attractive economic proposition improved over a broader gamut of run lengths.
Connecting digital & physical As Jose Gorbea (now HP EMEA Brand Owner, having moved from Mondelez) remarks, brands grow when they succeed in increasing penetration, when they’re both physically and mentally accessible, and when their associated logos or characters are distinctive. In a multichannel environment, where brand identities are often forged in social media beyond the control of the owner, there is obvious value in being able to connect the digital life of the brand with the physical artefact. Purposeful storytelling that engages consumers equally online and in the supermarket aisle is a strategy that particularly interests Mr Gorbea and other marketeers. This is an approach that is hard to imagine without customisation, which is to say without digital printing.
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One emerging sub-category of this strategy is generating content from consumers (not surprising when some 46 per cent of millennials are these days creators or curators of online content). This trend is exemplified by the chewing gum brand Trident’s ‘Disfruta poniendo a México en Boca de Todos’ (‘enjoy putting Mexico in everyone’s mouth’) campaign. Eye-catching scenes from all around Mexico were shared via social media, creating a buzz around a theme of shared identity, and some happy consumers got to see their submissions adorning the packaging. In Brazil the fruit drink brand Tang has created a similar community-orientated engagement with its ‘álbum de família’ promotion, putting hundreds of selected consumer families themselves on the packaging. Meanwhile, Lays took the next step into personalisation, inviting consumers to upload a photograph of a ‘summer moment of fun’ via Facebook and receive a bag of crisps printed with the same image, hereby realising the goal of linking the Zero and Second Moments of Truth, i.e. the online universe and the brand experience at point of consumption. Another increasingly prominent strategy is ‘cause marketing’. As Andrew Davis (principal packaging and graphics R&D at beverage brand owner Diageo) reveals, studies have found that 80 per cent of consumers believe brands ought to address social issues, while 91 per cent would switch to a brand that
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supports good causes. Diageo’s vodka Smirnoff has for some time nurtured ‘inclusivity’ as a brand value. Personalisation has once again proved an important tool in animating this value with by placing a diverse selection of real people on packaging. Diageo further developed this concept by enlisting the Yarza twins to create a randomised design on the theme of ‘everyone is the same / everyone is different’, using HP’s SmartStream D4D tool. On a more fundamental level, our ever more variegated marketplaces are hungrier and thirstier than ever for unique experiences, novel products and multiple iterations of a brand. Segments such as craft beer are using digital more and more, both to handle shorter runs of more SKUs and to support the growth of niche brands with targeted messaging. ...When all this applies to labels, why not do the same with primary or secondary packaging?
Growing possibilities on every substrate At its Kiryat Gat campus HP Indigo unveiled how its innovations are answering this question. The new 6900 digital press caters to labels, flexible packaging, sleeves, IML, wrap-around labels and folding cartons, offering easy and quick changeovers and increased revenue per meter. Employing HP’s Liquid Electrophotographic (LEP) technology, in which the image transfers without physical
interaction with media, ElectroInk adheres to almost any substrate, creating high resolution graphics that compete with offset in terms of both quality and speed. The 6900 is aimed at packaging converters who are dealing with the shift from traditional long runs to combinations of short and long runs, featuring multiple SKUs and new variations such as brand protection. The press boasts a lot of new kit, starting with the HP Indigo GEM embellishment unit – billed as the first fully digital, one-pass label printing and embellishment solution for spot, tactile, foil, holograms, mini textures and lamination. It also has the HP Production Pro for Indigo Labels and Packaging (rolling out this year to other presses this year) with five times faster RIP power and the Esko Colour Engine, the powerful Digital Front End provides extensive productivity and scalability for continuous digital production, to allow converters to scale and manage their digital production across multiple presses and multiple sites, increase jobs per day, and shorten delivery cycles. Graphic capabilities are extended by new additions to the ElectroInk range, including a silver ink which delivers metallic effects across a wide colour gamut, invisible blue and yellow UV inks for brand protection and promotional applications, and fluorescent options. Meanwhile, the HP Indigo 30000 digital press offers folding carton increases productivity for converters, supporting dozens of jobs per day and up to a million B2 sheets per month. HP claims this offers the widest folding carton application span on one press, leveraging a wide media range from paperboards to metal-
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lised, synthetic, and transparent media. It also offers new security features such micro-text and micro QR-codes, and new personalisation capabilities. In the context of a folding carton industry where over 50 per cent of jobs have a run length below 10,000, we’re likely to see ever more converters deploying such solutions – at least as a complementary technology to their analogue machines. Tailored to the flexible packaging market, the HP Indigo 20000 HD similarly promises efficiency, flexibility and gravure quality, as well as being certified as safe for food packaging. Available for this press is the HP Indigo Pack Ready Laminator (supplied by Karlville), which eliminates use of adhesive in order to accelerate time to market.
The secondary packaging speedboat While recognising the breadth of innovation in digital printing technologies for primary packaging, many – including David Tomer (general manager at HP Scitex) – see corrugated as the market’s greatest growth opportunity. “The purpose of the box has evolved from functionality to communication,” he observed. “The new demand for customisation and versioning places burdens on the converter with respect to time to market, short runs and flexibility. Dealing with these challenges using analogue technologies is like turning around a container ship, when now we have the option of using a speedboat.” The potential impact of the speedboat of digital print has already been demonstrated to impressive effect. The cause marketing initiative of Italian fruit
co-operative Melinda drew a lot of attention when it digitally printed two million apple boxes with personalised messages of support to the victims of the 2016 earthquake in central Italy. The organisation pledged to donate one euro for every message it received via social media. Meanwhile, the Italian wine brand Mondo del Vino, a relative newcomer to the market, has achieved remarkable growth in emerging markets thanks to an agile marketing strategy which has featured multiple, customised promotions in each country. Mondo del Vino has created boxes to match the labels for seasonal campaigns, produced customised runs for restaurant chain clients, and its Korean brand Acquesi has used stackable mosaic displays for maximum impact at point of sale. Here we have an example of a young brand whose differentiation and growth has been directly powered by the kind of clever marketing that only digital printing can facilitate.
PageWide C500 Despite these success stories, corrugated as a whole is a market still barely dipping its toes into the capabilities of digital print. Not for long. At its premises in Netanya HP Scitex introduced the new HP PageWide C500 press for mainstream corrugated production. This is an altogether new,
direct-to-board postprint solution complementing the existing preprint HP Scitex portfolio. With a fully integrated stack-to-stack workflow, the C500 combines digital simplicity with mainstream production volumes (75 linear metres per minute) and offset print quality on both coated and uncoated paper. The solution, which employs HP’s thermal inkjet printheads, is full of innovations worth taking a moment to enumerate. It features a virtual belt, consisting of rigid segments, that moves media within an accuracy of 10 μm for sharp images. Smooth workflow is provided by a specially developed ultra-powerful suction grip that holds the board flat and still. Meanwhile, water-based inks have been developed to facilitate printing on both primary and secondary food packaging without the need for an additional barrier, in order to comply with the most stringent global food safety regulations. Europe’s first PageWide C500 has just shipped to Smurfit Kappa’s Interwell plant in Austria, ushering in a new era of graphic virtuosity in shelf ready packaging, point of sale and secondary cartons for European shoppers. Surveying the readiness both of markets and technology, it’s safe to say that the tidal wave of digital print will be crashing through the packaging world as a whole in the coming months.
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ADAPTING TO THE DAWN OF THE OMNICHANNEL Isabel Rocher has a unique perspective on the disruptive impact of e-commerce on supply chains and packaging. Before joining DS Smith as head of e-commerce solutions in 2016, she worked as European head of packaging and shipping at Amazon. Isabel shares with Tim Sykes her insights into the still fluid omnichannel landscape, and the challenges, solutions and ultimate opportunities that are only beginning to come into view.
IM SYKES DS Smith must have been delighted to attract you across from Amazon two years ago. Having worked on e-commerce packaging as both a supplier and user, how would you characterise the chief pressures and demands of the market?
SABEL ROCHER E-commerce is a very fast-paced environment with a high level of churn and multiple routes to the end consumer. The route to the consumer is very different now to five years ago: we’ve seen a large increase in private delivery firms and delivery methods becoming part of the landscape. As a whole, packaging performance in e-commerce is far from optimised: it hasn’t caught up with all these challenges and variables. The packaging is often too large, meaning boxes can be half empty, and do not offer appropriate protection to the contents. The market demands new solutions that are easy and fast to assemble, protect products more effectively, and are more cost and resource efficient.
As the e-commerce market matures, how do you see it evolving and what requirements does this pass on to packaging suppliers?
Everyone has heard a lot about the rise of the omni-channel environment for some time. It’s predicted that e-commerce as a distinct channel will become extinct, replaced by a joined-up online/offline retail model. There’s certainly a huge opportunity for brands to reach consumers directly, exploring their own routes to market, using new technologies and supply chains. I think we’ll
see a revolution in retail over the next five to ten years, mirrored by changes in the packaging both that’s sent directly to consumers and to stores. This will be influenced by the millennial generation and their feelings towards overfilled stores and half empty packaging. However, the situation is currently far from achieving that stage of an optimised, lean, integrated supply chain. Different routes to this goal are currently being mapped out and no single wrong or right answer has emerged yet. There are major inefficiencies and challenges. At DS Smith we learn with our customers to help them optimize their supply chains. This often produces a leaner process due to a well-adapted packaging offer.
How does this feed into DS Smith’s innovation strategy?
Omnichannel also means the packaging industry needs to evolve and adapt. As part of the innovation team, I can say we aim to bring one or two innovations to market each year. In May, we’ll be launching a tool to optimise a customer’s existing suite of packaging solutions. We’re also actively exploring technologies that deliver connectivity in boxes. Besides this there’s always work ensuring we offer a flexible packaging portfolio with optimised performance. We have a five-year e-commerce innovation plan – there’s lots in the pipeline for the next few years.
Looking slightly beyond the horizon of the present marketplace, are there any new dynamics or disruptive technologies you expect to see making significant changes? Packaging Europe | 23 |
One can never know 100 per cent what will happen but we talk to customers and the whole supply chain about emerging technologies and demands. The big challenge we identify at present is around connectivity: joining-up the data across the supply chain. This is something we expect to be solved in the next three to five years. We envisage consumers being able to track, similar to a flight tracker, the exact location of their parcel in real-time. They will be able to use an app to select a point of delivery nearby to their current location at short notice. This will require flexibility in the supply chain. The key to this is data, and we can add value by developing connectivity on our boxes, along with related data support services.
In practice to what degree brands and shops that operate in both physical and online retail environments integrating their supply chains and packaging? Is there pressure to create packaging that performs in multiple environments or, on the contrary, diversification of packaging formats for different channels?
I think it’s a bit of both. Some packaging diversification will develop with the evolution of omnichannel. There will have to be a multi-faceted approach, with a focus on providing the appropriate level of protection, avoiding overpackaging and optimising costs in transit packaging for each retail channel. The change within the packaging industry is likely to take place over the next three to five years – in a phased approach due to the investment in machinery. The same process could go one step further with the emergence of primary packaging, for goods such as toys and electronics, going directly along the respective channels to consumers and stores.
There are discussions about the desirability of creating a unifying branding platform / medium that joins the dots between the very different experiences at physical point of sale, online ordering, and unboxing at home. Often these discussions revolve around the wide potential of digitally-enabled technologies. What is your vision of the opportunities to connect consumers to brands that they might interact with in so many different ways? What role can packaging play in this?
There are several different ways of addressing the question of digital connectivity and multi-channel. I’ve already mentioned the way making boxes connective can help integrate the supply chain and make it lean. But it will also | 24 | Packaging Europe
enable the customer unboxing experience to further evolve and enhance the brand message. Already today we’ve seen things like assembly information and much of the paperwork removed from the product box, in favour of downloads and apps. At the moment this is more on the level of QR codes but augmented reality is likely to come next. The same evolution is likely to occur in the physical retail environment. However, the area of true innovation is connecting up data. We’re already becoming acquainted with technologies such as Alexa. With increasing connectivity, it could soon be that the fridge orders your shopping, which can then directly track the box that contains your order. This represents an opportunity for brand owners to become independent players within the market, directly interacting with consumers. These connective technologies also enable them to bridge the online and bricks-andmortar retail experiences. The touchpoint for all of these channels, however, is packaging.
Packaging Europe | 25 |
An operator using the Microsoft Hololens to access RE’FLEKT’s ‘REFLEKT REMOTE’ interface, connecting to a remote video collaboration tool.
MULTIPLE BENEFITS: DIGITAL TWINS
There’s an old adage for carpenters – measure twice, cut once. It is self-explanatory of course, an error in the cutting stage has much greater cost than an error in the measuring stage. But what if you could start cutting, finish cutting, complete assembly, test, adjust, and re-test, all without risk, and all in a matter of days? This is the world of the digital twin – writes Antoon Laane, Rockwell Automation’s product manager, Controllers & Design Software – EMEA region.
ut simply, for those not aware of the concept, a digital twin is an identical version of your machine, line, or plant that exists virtually. It’s hard to think of a single concept – at least one less nebulous than IIoT – which has such a far-reaching potential impact across industry than widespread use of digital twins. Naturally, it’s worth noting that digital twin technology both benefits from and offers benefits to IIoT and connected enterprise approaches, but it’s also a concept that can easily be understood on its own terms.
Sheer variety of use-cases Since the advent of Computer Aided Design (CAD) the concept of creating fairly simple machines or designs in digital form before full prototyping is well understood. It’s a great starting point for visualising the digital twin concept, but the new twinning technologies available take the benefits much further, and to a far larger user-base.
Let’s stay with the design advantages of digital twins in the first instance. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) tend to be experienced with CAD. Traditionally, a design process consists of ‘building’ in CAD, followed by spending six months or more in R&D of the prototype iterations. Much of this time is spent finding and resolving issues. If the CAD product is brought into a digital twin environment – that is, inserted into a virtual plant in digital form, this whole process can be reduced to a couple of weeks. Moreover, once the original animation of the plant has been completed, the plans can be saved, so subsequent testing and prototyping can be even faster. Not only does the shortened design time and reduced prototype development (sometimes from seven prototypes down to two for a fully tested product) reduce cost, it also means that designers are able to create more machines or enhance existing machines much faster, reducing time to market and increasing market potential for the OEMs product portfolio.
Packaging Europe | 27 |
But digital twin technologies are more than an evolutionary extension of CAD for machine designers and builders. One area that has taken an early lead in the application of digital twins is in materials handling. A typical application may have many conveying systems for automated storage and retrieval – an array of infeeds and outfeeds of varying lengths, roles and workloads. When building such a facility, or when refitting an existing one, it’s important to understand how many conveyance elements are required, and very useful to be able to run tests that explore different designs to optimise and simplify the plant. Using a digital twin in this instance allows engineers to see how a proposed system will work in practice, find bottlenecks, generate blueprints and even create code and operator HMI interfaces. Importantly, it can also help to identify where and how to position barcode readers for the track and trace applications which are prevalent in modern materials handling applications. For Food & Beverage applications too, the benefits of digital twin technologies are manifold. Let’s take the example of a cookie manufacturer. Perhaps the marketing team has recognised that consumers in a certain country or region don’t buy packs of 24 cookies but want packs of 10 or 15 instead. Now, for a large manufacturer with 12 production lines, it’s highly likely that such requests for product variation are common – thus they are likely to have
| 28 | Packaging Europe
a line not working anywhere near capacity because it spends a significant proportion of time in prototyping – running variations at test stage – seeing how, for example, having lighter packages with just six cookies, run through the line. Learning what changes are necessary – catching the lighter packages when they are launched off the line by a conveyer running too fast for something so light. The advantage of the digital twin here is obvious; you can simulate packages of any size through the line – it might prove, in our simplistic example, that if there are sixteen cookies in the pack, it is heavy enough and no mechanical changes are needed to the lines. Not only can this be established quicker, with little or no product spoilage, but for every minute of testing on a digital twin, the manufacturer has all 12 lines producing saleable product. It would be impossible to list all of the use cases in this short article, but I’d like to finish with an example that can be understood and applied for almost any use-case in industry. As anyone in industry knows, greenfield industrial applications are thin on the ground. As much as it would be great to stop everything and start again with a brand-new plant implementing the very latest technologies, the fact is, it rarely happens. Industry evolves. Product lifecycles are long, enterprises tend to upgrade as parts and machines
wear out. Most of all, they want to keep the plant running. Integrating new with old is arguably the art of manufacturing. It’s here that digital twins can offer another important benefit. With the best planning and intention, it is hard to know what will happen when a new machine or line is integrated into an existing system. Many nights of sleep are lost when downtime is planned for integration of a new machine or line, many more when things don’t go to plan and restarting the line is delayed. With a digital twin, this process can be much easier. Issues can be identified and resolved in the virtual world and the integration process can be practiced and streamlined before shut-down. Moreover, operators can be trained to use the new line before it goes live, and with interesting applications of holographic virtual and mixed reality glasses, they could even walk around a digital twin and get familiar with how to operate and maintain it before it is even installed. Reducing risk, operator learning time and line shutdown time when marrying old with new is a fantastic example of the benefits of digital twinning that can be applied to almost any industrial environment. I believe, that just like the time has come when there’s virtually nothing that doesn’t start life as a CAD drawing, there will come a time when the use of digital twin technology applications will be virtually ubiquitous.
Packaging Europe | 29 |
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KEEPING PACE WITH HIGH-AGILITY MANUFACTURING With near real-time collation, analysis, disbursement and deployment of operational data becoming commonplace in today’s manufacturing, the performance limitations of mechanical assets can often be the bottleneck on capacity. Libby White asks three leading innovators in smart track technologies to break down the features and benefits of their solutions: Mitsubishi Electric’s Linear Transfer System, Rockwell Automation’s iTRAK, and Beckhoff Automation’s XTS.
Mitsubishi Electric Linear Transfer Systems with Smart Carriage technology
The basics Klaus Peterson, director of marketing, Factory Automation – European Business Group, introduces Mitsubishi Electric’s Linear Transfer Systems with Smart Carriage technology: The Linear Transfer System is an intelligent conveying system with independently powered Smart Carriages that move around on a rigid monorail track system. The Smart Carriages have on-board intelligence and their own sensors, so based on their individual work schedules they can autonomously choose the best route around various workstations, including changing tracks. The rail network can be set-up to fit almost every factory floor situation, which enables users to connect machines in a very flexible way allowing production and manufacturing processes to be performed in any sequence. Uwe Prüßmeier, product manager fieldbus systems, drive technology, XTS, Beckhoff Automation, explains Beckhoff’s XTS (eXtended Transport System): Our system combines the advantages of rotary and linear drive technologies within a single system, thus opening up entirely new approaches to implementing compact and highly dynamic machine concepts. Using software it is also possible to conveniently and flexibly carry out motion tasks that would be difficult or impossible to solve by mechanical means. Creativity and mechanical engineering come together to create potential for innovation – whether it’s leveraged in the easy-to-control linear movements of the carriage movers or in an intelligent transport system at the core of an Industry 4.0 application.
Beckhoff Automation XTS (eXtended Transport System)
Rockwell Automation iTRAK Intelligent Track System Packaging Europe | 31 |
Rockwell Automation shares the technology behind its iTRAK Intelligent Track System: This is a modular, scalable, and linear motor system. It allows for independent control of multiple movers on straight or curvilinear paths. Gone are the rotary driven chains, belts, and gears of the past. iTRAK replaces hardware with simple, effective software profiles that redefine speed and flexibility in automation. Revolutionising the design and build of track-based industrial motion control for packaging and materials handling, iTRAK® combines linear and rotary motion. The result is a flexible, fully integrated motion solution that helps you get more from your machines.
Distinguishing features Mitsubishi: By offering on-board intelligence and data memory, as well as integrated power for on-carriage devices such as sensors, the Smart Carriage can store unique product information and production data. It can then communicate information from one station to the next which also allows the carriage to detect different products and then decide on optimum routes and destinations. This is supported by a high maximum speed of 4m/sec, plus, acceleration / deceleration of 3g and a positioning accuracy of ±0.01mm, all from a maintenance free drive system. With active power management, each Smart Carriage notice battery status and visit an exchange station to automatically swap battery packs for a freshly charged one in less than five seconds. Our solution offers very high levels of speed and accuracy for a packaging conveyor system. Quicker processing means a faster time to market for new and existing product lines. Integrating newly developed types of packages is also far faster as changes to the conveying sequence for a new product can simply be downloaded to the carriages. Together, these features considerably increase the efficiency and flexibility of the packaging process, to the point where a production batch size of one is both practical and economically possible. Beckhoff: The XTS is a linear drive system that can move in a circular pattern. The motor, power electronics and electronic position sensors are fully integrated into a single module, which combine to form tracks. One or more cable-free ‘movers’ travel along a modular and flexible track configuration in a highly dynamic manner and at speeds of up to four metres per second. As the movers are simply mapped as conventional servo axes, they can be controlled individually. If necessary, however, they can be easily synchronised with each other as well. Sophisticated functions like automatic accumulation, collision avoidance and soft stop/start are directly integrated into the TwinCAT automation software platform. The system – which is also available in a fully encapsulated stainless steel version, the XTS Hygienic for food and pharmaceutical applications – offers finely scalable customisation options to meet a wide range of application requirements such as different track geometries, number of movers and range of functions. These begin with simple applications, such as purely linear carriage movements, to be extended by a second mover to give an XY table. | 32 | Packaging Europe
Rockwell: The iTRAK system is designed to increase production rates- at 50 per cent or more. The mixture of continuous and intermittent motion, direct drive motion control, and high-performance servo control can combine to increase throughput, reduce changeover time, reduce overall machine size, lower periodic maintenance, and offer the ability of shorter runs that can still be profitable. Independent cart technology gives OEMs and end users the capabilities to keep pace with data-driven manufacturing paradigm. Independent cart technology is, without a doubt, the future of high-agility manufacturing systems. Able to exploit the almost constant levels of change required for modern manufacturing, processing and packaging operations, its agility is complemented by a raft of additional benefits, including higher throughput, OEE and uptime and lower energy costs, wear and floor space.
Transformative potential Mitsubishi: Manufacturing companies that adopt this new highly flexible technology will have an advantage when it comes to responding to the current market trend for individual product customisation. A batch size of one is far easier to achieve, and this will enable manufacturing organisations to rethink their approach to conveying items on the shop floor in response to customer demand for more highly personalised goods. General production speed and efficiency will also be increased, in addition to other cost benefits such as reducing TCO and allowing for easier integration of other advanced technologies such as smarter packaging machines and robots. Beckhoff: By using our modular geometry of motor modules and guide rails to form a circle, we finally have an endless linear system in which you can modify the number of movers to suit individual requirements. The functionality can be increased still further by combining a number of XTS systems, using comprehensive TwinCAT function blocks and integrating robotics. If this rich feature set is used consistently and together with condition monitoring and object-oriented PLC programming, the result will be a highly intelligent machine or production module that is entirely compliant with Industrie 4.0. Rockwell: iTRAK presents an opportunity to revolutionise machine design in a way that has not been seen in decades. Machine designs have changed from mechanical line shafts to electronic line shafts and finally to independent mover technology. Applications of the iTRAK technology have showcased independent cart technology’s capabilities not only in terms of the levels of flexibility it can deliver, but also in terms of higher throughput, lower energy costs, decreased floor space and quicker time to market. Indeed, a variety of real-world applications in operation right now have demonstrated 90 per cent changeover time reductions, 100 per cent increases in throughput and 50 per cent less floor space requirements.
DESIGN THINKING: SHIFTING TO VALUE-DRIVEN Packaging produced by European converters is being washed up on shores and riverbanks all over the world. Brands are being faced with highly visible evidence that although a pack may be ‘recyclable’ it certainly does not mean it is actually recycled. Significant investments and commitments are being made by national and multinational brands as the industry assesses what can be done to redesign packaging to ensure that it really does end up in a recycling stream rather than in our seas – writes Tracy Sutton, consultant in circular economy packaging design and founder of Root. Plastic-phobia
The Design Thinking opportunity
ne traditional approach to designing more responsible packaging would be to explore a material swap to use a material that is ‘widely recycled’. While this can have a positive impact at a national or potentially continental level for some key materials, for a global brand it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ solution. A material swap approach does not help tend to the current phobia the public is developing about plastic. While I understand some of the reasons behind a ‘plastic free’ supermarket, this material specific campaign does nothing to reduce litter or consumption of single use packaging. ‘Plastic-free’ demonises an incredibly valuable material with the emotion behind it preventing us from getting to the real point – the use of exhaustible vs renewable resources. Finally, a material swap does not prevent littering.
When design thinking is applied to an NPD project it enables you to think holistically and develop product and pack together. This approach defines whether you should be looking at a Waste Hierarchy, Circular Economy or Cradle to Cradle methodology for your packaging and puts consumer experience at the heart of the brief. It can be the difference between a concept that is game-changing rather than a novelty and the difference between your brand littering the oceans and it being a prized possession in a consumer’s life. Design Thinking incorporates human problems, technical challenges and environmental and social aspects such as designing for consumers with different mental and physical capabilities, also known as ‘Inclusive Design’.
Playing it Safe As it stands, brands, retailers and converters are struggling to come to terms with the idea that we might have to move away from using a high value, finite resource for low value applications. Consequently, we’re doing everything we can to keep manufacturing, packing and selling the same products, using the same factories, supply chain and infrastructure. While I praise all the hard work, commitment and initiatives being implemented on by the industry to design for recycling and increase actual recycling rates, I don’t feel we’re thinking outside of the box. When was that last time that a serious contender for a new packaging format was launched? Take haircare - we still assume shampoo needs to go in a 200ml single use plastic bottle. We might look at a new shape to get more on a pallet, lightweight it to lower its carbon footprint or use smart technology to mould the bottle in a way that uses less plastic or add PCR. Ultimately, it’s still a 200ml single-use plastic bottle to which consumers attach little value – but being made from a finite material makes it very valuable indeed. Incremental changes are easier, quicker and cheaper to action than rethinking the way that we get our product to the consumer – we want to still offer the same products to a consumer whose lifestyle and expectations around the environment are changing.
Design for Refill – The Traditional Method
Bottles with refills: shampoo in Peru and home cleaning products in Norway (photograph: Tracy Sutton)
Examples of traditional refill systems exist all over the world whereby following the initial purchase of a bottle is followed by a more cost-effective refill pouch. A wealth of brands offer this system across haircare, skincare (Yves Rocher, France) and home cleaning products such as Method, Packaging Europe | 33 |
Milo and Jif. One of the big challenges for these models is the introduction of a refill pack that is neither collected for recycling, nor economically viable for recycling. Prior to these packaging systems many of us enjoyed the return and refill systems brought to us by the milkman – these beverage specific, glass packs are still a core product delivery system in many parts of the world for brands including Coca Cola and Pepsi. A few years ago in Bolivia I could not buy a bottle of Coca Cola unless I had an empty one to return.
Returnable bottles un use in Peru (photograph: Tracy Sutton)
The Anti-Disposable Movement and Designing for Gen Z
Tracy Sutton | 34 | Packaging Europe
Cities in Belgium, Germany, Italy and other European countries are offering public water fountains that give members of the public access to refill a bottle. London is currently trialing a refill initiative whereby 65 businesses will offer free tap water ‘refills’. Coca-Cola is piloting a Freestyle refillable bottle system in the UK with Reading University, after identifying that the consumers of tomorrow have new expectations around brand experience and environmental impact. The concept of the world’s biggest beverage brand moving towards a new product delivery system is one step closer to reality. Pepsico recently launched an interesting coffee-pod style concept Drinkfinity. I encourage progressive steps like these to test consumer engagement for a model that benefits from a significant reduction of material and water use. The Reload fragrance refill pack is popular in the Netherlands. Users benefit from convenience, more frequent changes in fragrance and lower packaging use over a lifetime. They can also personalise the sleeve of the pack much like people do with mobile phones. Thierry Mugler’s game-changing Alien refill stations remain a strong in-store fixture that stands out against competitors who only offer single use, often nonrecyclable packaging options for fragrance. Although different design rules apply when ‘designing for reuse’ we must
not lose sight that all of these items need to be designed for recycling – this is something I fear brands are forgetting about. We want to avoid new mounds of inseparable refillable items that have no infrastructure to recycle them.
Conclusion If we look at the basics, fossil fuels are exhaustible. Is it responsible to use a finite material to wrap and package products for a single use? Or should they be preserved and protected for other applications that are more essential, such as medical applications or products that have a positive social or health impact? If we are going to continue using finite materials for our convenience, then we need to consider a creative way to deliver our products to our consumers. Any brand not meeting the ‘widely recycled’ expectation will be left behind in the competition to be a responsible leader in the FMCG sector. Over and above this essential requirement, the way to innovate is to apply Design Thinking to your NPD process to cover product and packaging development in tandem. If you want to future-proof your packaging, you need to avoid short term ‘trends’. You need to carefully consider so-called ‘innovative’ materials, and you need to think long term. The secret to being a sustainable brand is to carefully balance the needs of brand longevity, environmental protection and economic growth in a responsible way.
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BIGGEST HISPACK YET
On 8-11 May in Barcelona, Hispack will bring together 750 exhibitors in an area of almost 39,000m2, representing a growth of 20 per cent in the number of stands and 12 per cent in used surface area in comparison to 2015.
ccupying three pavilions of the Fira de Barcelona Gran Via venue, Hispack 2018 will highlight innovation by offering solutions in packaging, bespoke processes and logistics for manufacturers and distributors of food, beverages, chemicals, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, the perfume and drug industry, capital goods, and other industrial and consumption sectors. Hispack will strategically address packaging by taking into account the entire life cycle and the interconnections with other production processes and the supply chain. In this sense, the fair will present packaging as an economic driver and key element in the digital transformation of the industry. As a new element, Hispack will create various areas with educational activities and talks that will address four large and immediate challenges that packaging must tackle: sustainability, automation and digitalisation, logistics, and improving the use experience. Once again, Hispack will coincide with FoodTech Barcelona, which will showcase all aspects of the manufacturing of foodstuffs. Therefore, at this double trade fair occasion, food industry professionals will be able to find solutions that range from ingredients to production processes, packaging, and delivery to the point of sale.
Growing international representation Hispack’s commitment to increasing the presence of the process and logistics machinery sectors within its commercial offering translated into a notable growth of exhibitors with these specialities in comparison to 2015 and resulted in the creation of a sector dedicated to automation and digitalisation. This year, the sectors connected to machinery and accessories for the manufacturing of containers and packaging, process equipment, bottling, and coding and marking will represent more than half the exhibitors at the fair. Raw materials firms represent 30 per cent of the confirmed stands. There is also a
clear growth in companies in the Premiumpack area, dedicated to providers of materials, finishes and packaging for mid to high-end products, particularly segments such as gourmet foods, beverages, cosmetics, perfumes and pharmaceutical products. Companies in POS display, engineering, consulting and services, associations and entities, as well as recovery and recycling firms round out the trade fair’s commercial offer. At the same time, Hispack expects to grow internationally, with almost a third of its direct exhibitors coming from abroad. So far, companies from 22 countries are participating in the fair. In its global visitor forecast, Hispack and FoodTech Barcelona expect to surpass 38,000 attendees, 4000 of which are international.
Talks and networking and awards In the centre of the exhibition area, visitors will find the Hispack Challenges area, where educational and networking activities will be held according to the four large challenges defined for this year. Each of these areas will offer a specific programme of conferences and round tables with top level speakers. Other areas will be available for networking, complemented by spaces for the exhibition of innovative products and packaging projects, workshops and demonstrations. In the section dedicated to the user experience, Hispack will incorporate the Graphispag Area where visitors will be able to see and discover the latest contributions to the world of the graphics industry in packaging. This area will be attended by supplier companies with examples of printed applications and specific finishes for containers, packaging and POS, as well as graphic services companies. The show will also feature a Conference Corner specialising in packaging and retail by the Graphispack Asociación where trends, success stories and solutions will be discussed. In addition, within the Hispack framework, the awards ceremony for the 2017 Líderpack Awards will be held. Visit: www.hispack.com
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IPACK-IMA AT A GLANCE What is it? Europe’s biggest packaging expo this spring. Leveraging strategic partnerships (the Fiera Milano / UCIMA joint venture as well as an alliance with Messe Düsseldorf’s interpack) to reinforce an earned reputation as a hub of innovation and internationality. Part of the new, wider INNOVATION ALLIANCE – five synergic, co-located exhibitions, including: • MEAT-TECH – processing and packaging for the meat industry ipack-ima.com/en/pages/meat-tech-2018 • PLAST – technologies for the plastic and rubber industry plastonline.org • PRINT4ALL – printing and converting technologies print4all.it • INTRALOGISTICA ITALIA – innovative solutions and integrated systems designed for industrial handling, warehouse management, materials stocking and picking intralogistica-italia.com
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When and where?
29 May - 1 June 2018 (09:30 to 18:00) Fiera Milano Address: Strada Statale Sempione, 28, 20017 Rho MI, Italy Transport: Metro Red Line 1, Rho-Fiera station
Advance purchase for 50% discount: ipackima.com/en/pages/tickets-ipack-ima-2018 More information: www.ipackima.com
IN 2018 ALL ROADS LEAD TO MILAN IPACK-IMA is a joint venture between Fiera Milano and UCIMA – the Italian Automatic Packaging Machinery Manufacturers’ Association. Who better, then, to look ahead to this year’s show than UCIMA chairman Enrico Aureli, who (as CEO of Aetna Group Spa) is exhibitor as well as organiser?
irst of all I’d like to say that, in order to optimise our guests’ experience, we have decided to structure the fair over eight halls, dividing the area up based on the business communities of the exhibiting companies or the specific products. We will be focusing on areas such as: pasta, bakery, milling, and confectionery; food processing and packaging, with special emphasis on fresh and convenience products; non-food, cosmetics, and industrial goods in particular; liquid filling; labelling, coding, and tracking technologies, end-of-line technologies, and automation. We will also be launching Ipack-Mat, a new satellite show dedicated to innovative materials and premium packaging. Meat processing technologies, ancillary equipment, and ingredients, meanwhile, will take centre stage at Meat-Tech. The key issues we aim to highlight include the circular economy and sustainability (which will be a central theme in the area managed by the Conai association) and the products in the running for the Packaging Oscar (in the area managed by the Italian Packaging Institute). Digitalisation and ecommerce issues will be making up the agenda at the conference organised in association with Italian ecommerce consortium Netcomm, while solutions designed specifically for online sales channels will also be showcased by exhibiting companies. Specific manufacturing aspects linked to ‘free-from’ foods, sanitary design, and private labels will also be part of the offerings aimed at members of the food and beverage industry. Finally, we will be
hosting the international Save Food congress, where speakers from various countries will be discussing vital issues linked to the prevention of food waste and the improvement of packaging, logistics, and manufacturing processes, in order to promote food preservation worldwide.
Increasing international profile The highly strategic partnership established between Italy’s largest exhibition centre Fiera Milano and UCIMA, the national association of manufacturers of packaging machines, marked the beginning of a development and internationalisation process within the industry. The exhibition centre will benefit from UCIMA’s international relations network and the assistance offered by member companies for the creation of an event that meets the expectations of its international customer-base. IPACK-IMA and Meat-Tech will also gain from the fact that other fairs are due to be held at the centre at the same time, as part of the ‘The Innovation Alliance’ project, including: Plast, Print4All, and Intralogistica Italia. Occupying exhibition space totalling over 140,000 square metres, these combined events will ensure the Fiera Milano exhibition centre is virtually full. We are also expecting approximately 1000 profiled buyers, who have been invited thanks to the support of Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development and the country’s Trade and Investment Agency. Packaging Europe | 39 |
Just as vital is the strategic agreement between interpack and IPACKIMA, on the basis of which the two ventures will provide mutual support for their own packaging fairs (held in Düsseldorf and Milan), while UCIMA will be assisting with the international Messe Düsseldorf events organised as part of the Interpack alliance. Confirming IPACK-IMA’s growth, this allegiance will mean the event is close to becoming the industry’s go-to fair. Our fair will undoubtedly be a fundamental showcase for consolidating the international leadership of Italian machinery manufacturers. For 2018, our research centre has forecast greater international penetration and an average growth of five percent. The best performance is expected to be recorded in Asia and Africa, with increases of between six and 6.5 percent.
Inherent strengths of Italian industry An extensive presence on the international markets is one of the main strengths offered by Italian technologies, which are competing with German companies in terms of innovation and market leadership. It is worth remembering that Italian machines make up one in five of all sales made around the world. Huge investments in R&D are another aspect of our industry and in the battle for global competitiveness, it is increasingly necessary that our companies understand the importance of dedicating increasing resources to innovation. At the same time, there are challenges to meet. The international market calls for increasingly interconnected technologies, which shorten processing time, reduce the footprint of equipment, and provide increasingly accurate information on production capacities and any failures. To achieve this, we need to provide our designers with the skills they need and ensure all the conditions are right for them to work to their best, including having the most appropriate tools at their disposal. Naturally, if this positive trend continues throughout the industry, we are likely to see a further increase in R&D investments, especially by medium to large companies. That’s why the average company size is a fundamental aspect of my policy and why we have to find tools with which to foster partnerships between companies and raise awareness about M&A. | 40 | Packaging Europe
Anticipating IPACK-IMA The excellent response registered via pre-bookings makes me very confident about the number of visitors we can expect to see at the event. The number of trade members requesting entry tickets continues to grow. These results can be put down to the extensive international promotion campaign put in place over recent years, which includes participation in approximately 50 exhibitions worldwide and five press conferences in important markets, partnerships with 230 national and international publishers, social media activities, and partnerships with associations and international bodies, which generated over a million leads. The delegations of buyers from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South America, and the United States also guarantee visitor quality. I expect a truly international fair that reflects the strength of the Italian system and generates an abundance of leads.
Organiser-turned-exhibitor Speaking as CEO of Aetna Group, we will be using IPACK-IMA to showcase our most recent innovations, with a view to consolidating our position as suppliers of innovative end-of-line solutions that curb packaging costs and guarantee maximum safety of palletised loads. It will be the ideal occasion to confirm our mission as global partner for the leading system integrators, serving the most exacting international clientele and offering customised solutions and outstanding service worldwide. The day before the fair opens, we will be officially opening our technology and manufacturing hub in Castel San Pietro (Bologna), which is strategically located in the heart of the Italian Packaging Valley and houses - apart from the entire Robopac range - the revolutionary TechLab, that is, the industry’s most advanced research centre, dedicated to continuous innovation in the field of packaging, palletised load stabilisation, and customer advisory services. The fair also offers the opportunity to continue our integration process with Ocme, a manufacturer based in Parma which focuses on primary and secondary packaging machines and end-of-line and logistics solutions. Our aim is to build a more systematic approach that combines the strengths of each company, working in line with a local for local strategy that is already producing exciting results. By bringing together our joint experience and skills, we hope to achieve the critical mass needed to ensure a strong hold on the international market.
ANALYSING Ahead of the 30th Awards for Packaging Innovation, organised by DowDuPont, chair of the judging panel David Luttenberger, global packaging director at Mintel Group, shares his perspectives on the renowned competition and on packaging innovation itself with fellow jury member Tim Sykes. We will be serving together on the jury at DowDuPont’s innovation award in May. On a personal level, what are the ingredients that excite you about a packaging innovation?
exciting to see the results of what’s being imagined and produced either in response to a consumer need or to proactively tackle a challenge associated with the sourcing, design, production, delivery, use and even reuse of a package. The DowDuPont Awards attract innovations that address needs in developed as well as underserved economies. We see the best innovations that span the gamut from ultra-luxury products to those that meet the day-to-day needs of consumers at the bottom of the economic pyramid.
As a returning member – and leader – of the jury, could you characterise the competition and what distinguishes it from many other packaging awards? The DuPont Packaging Awards – now the DowDuPont Awards – celebrates its thirtieth anniversary this year. This makes it the longest running, independent packaging competition in the world. There are several key components that have contributed to this longevity as well as the prestige that ‘earning’ – not winning, a DowDuPont Award confers. First, the organisers recognise that our world changes – sometimes overnight and sometimes over a period of years. The criteria by which entries are juried continuously morphs to reflect those changes. Second, the leadership at DowDuPont has boldly allocated significant resources year in and year out to ensure the invited jury represents an extraordinary crosssection of professional disciplines and noted individuals from every major region of the world. The judging process has also been a hallmark of this event. I’ve participated in many competitions around the world, and I can confidently say that none have a more rigorous judging process than the DowDuPont Awards. The responsibilities of jurors begin before they arrive, with research and evaluation of entries even before the official week of jurying begins. We have seen many competitions cutting costs by going ‘virtual’ and attempting to evaluate packaging via email and PDFs. We know packaging is a highly multi-sensory entity. It is critical | 42 | Packaging Europe
INNOVATION to evaluate true innovations in three dimensions: by their hand-feel, the ability to easily open package and access and use a product, to gauge the quality of a package by performing a first-hand forensic analysis of a package’s components. You cannot get that by looking at pictures and more importantly, you don’t get the immediate interaction and spirited discussion as you do by hosting a face-to-face gathering of industry professionals from around the world, sitting together for four days, sharing insights, challenging assumptions, and being able to look one another in the eye and come to a consensus. That cannot happen by judging via email. It’s not fair to the entries and efforts of those who’ve toiled oftentimes for years to bring a significant and meaningful packaging solution to commercialisation.
We’re both familiar with the macro trends and pressures that have been pushing innovation over recent years. Peering just over the horizon, are there any new drivers of packaging R&D you expect to emerge? I can point to two specific areas. Certainly, the role that packaging does, and will continue to play in the elimination of food waste is a global challenge, but one that also has regional implications. Think about it like this: food waste means two very different things depending on if one lives, for instance in Paris’ wealthy department of Hauts-de-Seine, or in Bahr el Ghazal, one of the poorest areas of South Sudan in east Africa. We are seeing not just package innovations, but true packaging solutions that are helping people preserve, or simply gain access to, the food, drink, and medicines they need, as well as help prevent waste once they have it in their possession. In this context, I am seeing less emphasis on packaging disruptions, meaning being different for difference sake, and much more emphasis being placed on packaging solutions – those which consumers see as being different, but more importantly, they understand what that difference means to making their life easier, better, safer, healthier. The two ‘horizon’ trends I, as well as the Mintel Global Packaging Team see, are the challenges of ocean plastics and e-commerce packaging. I truly believe many in our industry are missing the bigger picture and greater opportunities associated with ocean plastics. Rather than focusing on novelty, limited edition bottles made from 10 per cent recovered ocean plastics, our future-forward efforts and resources should be focusing on how to divert them from getting there in the first place. For the foreseeable future, that means a much greater emphasis and consumer education campaigns about recovery and recycling. The greater opportunity I spoke of is in how we use the attention being paid to ocean plastics as a catalyst to engage consumers in a bigger conversation about all types of packaging waste and the positive role packaging plays in our lives today and in the future – to include plastics. Solutions with regard to e-commerce packaging are proving to be as challenging today as were our first efforts around defining sustainable packaging in the early 2000s. Just as we learned then that there is no such thing as ‘the
most sustainable package’, we are learning today there are many areas of focus that can lead to a more efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally responsible e-commerce packaging solutions that still reflect the equity of a brand that consumers expect.
What do you regard as the most disruptive areas of new packaging technology that will meet these new demands? I’ll refer back to my earlier comment, and firm belief, that we must break out of the notion of disruptive packaging innovation and begin to think in terms of product and solutions. Ask ‘why are we developing this product, and how can the product and package work together to make consumers’ lives easier, more convenient, safer, healthier’. Getting to these solutions means we must consider all both ‘traditional’ and ‘next-generation’ materials, and sourcing, distribution, design, converting, retailing, and recovery and reuse options. Nothing is off the table.
Are there any recent innovations in packaging formats or materials that strike you as particularly impressive or important? I believe the quest to develop a truly recyclable barrier flexible packaging material is critical. I’ve seen a few early technologies from the Asia-Pacific region that are great strides forward. I believe that materials suppliers, package converters, and brand owners must take greater responsibility for consumer education efforts in context with the environmental responsibility of packaging. We must stop saying that a material is ‘compostable’ when it is really only industrial compostable, not home compostable. We help consumers gain a greater understanding of what is recyclable and exactly how to recycle. I believe the How2Recycle label is a great first step toward that, and I would mention that the How2Recycle label earned a DowDuPont Award in 2017.
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COPILOT 500 INKJET OFFERS FLEXIBLE QUALITY IN CODING & MARKING Squid Ink Manufacturing, Inc. has introduced its new CoPilot® 500 Inkjet Printing System, which is designed to print superior quality high-resolution characters on porous surfaces. With up to 2.8” (7.1 cm) print height per printhead and the ability to run up to two printheads from one controller, the CoPilot 500 offers a versatile, yet cost effective solution for coding and marking.
he CoPilot 500 features the new 502 series print engine from Xaar®, a leading developer of piezoelectric technology for the industrial inkjet market. The inclusion of the 502 series engine allows more print flexibility including binary and greyscale printing, faster print speeds at lower levels of resolution, and user-defined print droplet size output ranging from 15 to 75 picolitres. In addition, the new larger 2.8” printhead makes an ideal solution for users looking to replace the high cost of labels for their case coding needs. The 4.3” (10.9 cm) full colour touchscreen provides access to the system’s internal messages and print functions. Messages are created and edited on Squid Ink’s easy-to-use Orion™ PC Software and transferred via Ethernet or USB device. For larger applications, a virtually unlimited number of CoPilot 500 printing systems can be connected wirelessly or via Ethernet and controlled through one central Orion print station. For user’s on-the-go, Squid Ink offers a 10.1” (25.7 cm) full-colour Windows® tablet with Orion software, ideal for mobile programming within the facility. The system is capable of running oil-based inks to print up to 5.6” (14.2 cm) of high-resolution characters, razor-sharp text, scannable bar codes, and great looking logos at 200 dpi. Solvent-based systems to print on non-porous surfaces will be available in the near future. For manufacturers looking for more printer | 44 | Packaging Europe
mounting flexibility, the CoPilot 500 printhead can be positioned in multiple positions including horizontal, down shooting, and side shooting. For current CoPilot 382 users running 2.1” (5.3 cm) printheads, a controller software upgrade will allow them to run the larger 2.8” CoPilot 500 series printheads. “The new CoPilot 500 is an immediate upgrade to a manufacturer’s coding and marking line,” said David R. Mylrea, president and CEO of Engage Technologies Corporation. “The larger print size and increased user-flexibility will allow customers to print what they need, when they need it, and save money doing so.” Squid Ink operates as a subsidiary of Engage Technologies Corporation, parent company of Squid Ink, Eastey Enterprises, AFM, and Cogent Technologies. Eastey is a leading manufacturer of heavy-duty shrink packaging equipment and automated case sealing systems for packaging applications. American Film & Manufacturing manufactures and supplies shrink sleeves and shrink labelling solutions. Cogent Technologies manufactures infrared drying systems used to dry ink in the industrial and graphics industries. The CoPilot 500 is available now through Squid Ink’s worldwide network of authorised distributors. Enquiries can be directed to Joshua Nelson at +1 800 877 5658 or email@example.com.
THE MULTI-FACETED RESOURCE EFFICIENCY CHALLENGE The exhibition floors at Anuga FoodTec showcased how the latest advances in packaging and processing technology can help the food industry do more with less. In parallel the conference platforms of Koelnmesse were probing at the deeper questions of resource efficiency in a world of growing population and finite resources. Tim Sykes reports.
he objective of Anuga FoodTec’s opening conference was to explore the key challenges and opportunities for resource efficiency, including strategies to improve the value-adding process for greater sustainability and less environmental damage. How can we restructure our economic models and consumption habits in response to the rising global demand for commodities and energy? How do we manage natural resources to create sustainable societies fit for the future? That the first speaker’s restatement of ‘Cradle to Cradle’ design principles sounded provocative some 20 years after they were first developed underlines the fact that many of our economic models have yet to shift significantly from those which have created severe environmental problems for the planet. The renowned Professor Michael Braungart, co-creator of the C2C design concept, set out the argument for redefining our objectives before we seek to make our systems more efficient.
If ants were people… Professor Braungart’s approach is a fundamental critique of received wisdom: the focus of what he terms ‘Circular Economy 1.0’ on making inherently unsustainable models work more efficiently, on mitigating damage. Instead of reducing the harmful impact of human action, he proposes that humans should take inspiration from nature and devise ways to create a positive environmental footprint. As he points out, the total biomass of the global ant population is equivalent to something like 30 million humans – but no one worries about the environmental effects of ant overpopulation. We should aspire, like ants, to be net contributors to the environment, towards eco-effectiveness, rather than eco-efficiency, climate positivity rather than carbon neutrality. In concrete terms, this means technical products (including machines) must be recyclable, while consumables feed into the biosphere. In Professor Braungart’s vision, all of our products are designed Packaging Europe | 45 |
EPEA International Umweltforschung GmbH
Institute for Energy Efficiency in Production EEP
to exist in closed loops, nutrient cycles, so we don’t generate any waste at all, only useful resources. This is a world in which the nappies use absorbents to facilitate reuse of biowaste which in term helps rebuild the quality of topsoil. New protein sources such as algae and fungi are developed. The machinery industry sells service, not robots. And all packaging is either composted or recycled.
Smartening up Of course, there is nothing wrong with systems that are efficient as well as effective. The second speaker at Anuga’s opening conference offered a more technological approach that took us back to the concept of efficiency. Professor Alexander Sauer (director, Institute for Energy Efficiency in Production EEP, University of Stuttgart) outlined the potential of Industry 4.0 to help supply chains cope with the pressures created by exponential growth in consumers with surplus income. Between 2006 and 2050 the world is projected to face a 70 per cent increase in demand for food calories. In parallel, we are seeing a vast increase in IoT devices, which are expected to reach 50 billion by 2020. Can digitisation of manufacturing bring about sufficient increases in production efficiency to meet demand? And what opportunities are there to exploit? Digitisation of course can help us simplify processes and to eliminate waste, boosting efficiency and productivity with shortened lead times. Beyond this, Professor Sauer outlined, is an opportunity to create new business models, outsourcing processes to customers with benefits for both parties. This is a world we can already see beginning to take shape in the exhibition halls of Anuga FoodTec, in which manufacturers benefit from quick feedback of service data, digitally supported servicing via augmented reality, analysis of big data for process stabilisation, and assistance systems for personnel. He used the example of an IoT-powered leakage app leveraging digitisation of compressed | 46 | Packaging Europe
supply. Having subscribed, users might cease to buy machinery and simply buy compressed air at a reduced cost. Leveraging data can also give rise to opportunities to control food waste, with improved shelf-life simulation, self-regulation of flows of goods, and the emergence of demand-based supply chains. In a connected world we have the opportunity to create digital business models that complement a flexibilisation of production and logistics – which is more sustainable so long as consumers are not ordering unnecessary goods. Finally, Professor Sauer introduced the concept of the ultra-efficient factory, borrowing Professor Braungart’s C2C ethos, which uses renewable energy, recycles all its waste, and is based upon a combination of digitisation and biological transformation. The third speaker, Professor Pierre Pienaar, President of the World Packaging Organisation, shifted the focus of smart technology to the packaging materials of the future that will be asked to communicate much more information to consumers. He provided an overview of the array of active and intelligent packaging technologies available, including enzyme-based, biological and chemical timetemperature indicators of freshness of packaged foods. Smart packaging, Professor Pienaar observed, can also be an enabler of automated logistics processes within the Internet of Things. Smart chips allow individual identification and traceability of single packages. Using these, the stream of goods can be controlled from fully automated warehouse to shelf.
Fighting food waste together In most languages the word ‘package’ exists both as a verb and a noun, remarked Michael Nieuwesteeg of the NVC (Netherlands Packaging Centre) as he opened the later conference ‘Fighting food waste together: how to open the potential of better packaging’. As a verb, packaging represents a temporary
activity; as a noun it’s a lasting object. Packaging, he said, is the activity of integrating an external function and at the same time a product that enables the consumption of food. The challenge is to align packaging innovation so that the activity and the product limit food waste – and packaging waste – in a world in which two billion people suffer from obesity while 800 million people suffer from hunger. As a species we produce 1.3 billion tons of food waste, which is four times the amount required to feed the hungry. A practical approach to this challenge was offered by Michele Amigoni, technical development director for Packaging Design & Standards at leading Italian food brand owner Barilla Group. Barilla has developed an ethos that suggests its customers should ‘eat less but better’. Consumers are encouraged to eat a nutritionally balanced diet based on the pyramid with lots of vegetables at the bottom (with the least environmental impact) and small quantities of the most energy intensive foods, such as neats, at the top. In parallel with efforts to influence consumer behaviour, Barilla looks closely at how packaging innovation can join the fight against food waste. This involves attention to pack sizes, communication, and optimising packaging / logistics technologies. However, as Mr Amigoni observed, every food brand owner comes up against the double bind of food waste vs packaging waste. In this context, Barilla has adopted a policy of increasing quantities of packaging only when clearly justified by food waste savings from an LCA point of view. It is also opting for mono-materials for recyclability and sourcing from renewables that do not compete with the food chain. Mr Amigoni emphasised the challenging environment in which brands are operating as they attempt to make environmental gains. Omnichannel dynamics, whereby a moment of sale displaces the old point of sale, create pressure to double or triple SKUs – a context in which it is hard to reduce packaging. He spoke of the importance of creating a pre-competitive environment in which these universal tasks can be addressed collaboratively. Next, Toine Timmermans (REFRESH project manager and Sustainable Food Chains programme manager at Wageningen University and Research), who was interviewed in the previous edition of Packaging Europe magazine, shared insights on cutting food waste from European research and pilot projects. Six per cent of European CO2 emissions are associated with the annual 173 kg per capita food that we waste.
Optimising and upcycling Experience has demonstrated that developing compelling business cases where ROI is sufficient to neutralise risks is crucial to driving adoption of effective technologies. Here data intelligence can play a key role in effecting change. For example, the tools of ‘recircle specialist’ Milgro helps businesses reduce food waste, in addition to focusing on the value that can be extracted from waste. Data technology equally has a key role to play in upgraded forecasting as industry edges towards producing to order. McDonald’s, for instance, has recently reduced its food waste in the Netherlands by 2000 tons simply by carrying out a new analysis of its supply chain data. Another prerequisite, according to Mr Timmermans, is joined up collaboration, as exemplified by the Dutch ‘Circular Economy in Food’ taskforce which since 2013 has been building a robust shared agenda and ecosystem for solutions and making progress where earlier initiatives failed. Thanks to such coordination, a living lab pilot scheme for surplus products is running as a dedicated shelf within a supermarket in Wageningen. The shelf features products made from ingredients that would otherwise have been discarded, fermented or processed into animal feed: for instance, a soup made from misshapen vegetables, beer from stale bread and soap from orange peels. The living lab will feed into research on consumers’ acceptance of such surplus products. In all these discussions packaging was ever-present, whether it was the point of focus or a significant touchpoint for other issues. It’s clear that packaging technology must play a central role in resource efficiency – both in paying attention to its inherent attributes (efficiently preventing waste without creating waste) and in supporting behavioural change, communicating freshness, meeting the requirements of smart manufacturing and logistics. But on top of these practical challenges there is a credibility challenge. As Marco Sachet (MD of the Istituto Italiano Imballaggio) observed in the closing debate, recent research found that 60 per cent of the Italian public is unaware that packaging has a function in preventing food waste. This reflects a wider misperception across Europe. Packaging is still far too often regarded as the problem itself. For the sake of the planet, we can’t allow this fallacy to impede the implementation of packaging solutions to serious environmental challenges.
SP GROUP LAUNCHES RETORTABLE, MICROWAVEABLE VSTEAM POUCH SP Group has unveiled a new advance on its VSteam bag solution, significantly boosting its suitability for the convenience food segment. SP’s R&D and Innovation department has developed better techniques to ensure that, in addition to being frozen at low temperatures, the bag can now also withstand pasteurisation and sterilisation processes, and then be cooked in a microwave.
Steam development will enable clients to use the pouch in the ready meals and sauces segment: a market that is expected to grow annually by 3.1 per cent (CAGR 2018-2021). Pre-cooked products are submitted to heat treatments inside the package, but normally pouches do not have devices to heat or cook them in the microwave. SP Group provides the solution to this problem with VSteam, which includes a patented valve that opens with the heat from the microwave due to the internal pressure of the pouch, allowing steam to escape from inside and cooking the food. The valve also allows retorted, pasteurised or frozen bags to be microwaved without prior perforation. The tests performed on the sterilisable VSteam pouch demonstrate that the valve withstands the pasteurisation and sterilisation of the product in industrial autoclaves with counter-pressure at a temperature of 121ºC, and without any risk of breakage or losses (under controlled conditions). SP Group aims to provide innovative solutions for companies and consumers in line with consumer habits and new lifestyles to ensure products are easier to use. This particular innovation was devised in response to increasing demand by senior citizens for food products that can be easily and safely cooked directly in the microwave. More broadly, the improvements to the sterilisable VSteam packaging provide a solution answering the trend for convenience foods. ‘Convenience’ places third among the top innovation drivers in the European food market. “VSteam is a packaging solution that is easy to use, saves time and energy in both the manufacturing process and later cooking in the home, and generally facilitates the consumption of the product,” remarked María de Guía Blanco, responsible for the project.
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THE HIDDEN POWER OF SPECIFICATIONS Packaging specifications: a staple activity for most packaging technologists. For some it’s an administrative bane left to the final possible moment at the end of a busy week. For others there is a systematic pleasure in outputting the perfect piece of packaging documentation – writes Richard Beckett, packaging project manager at Swedish cosmetics brand Oriflame.
aving spent most of my career developing cosmetics and toiletries within the novelty-driven segment of direct sales, I’d say I am at some point towards the middle of that continuum. Specification writing for me is pleasurable, given the time and the tools. So, the golden question: where is the power in a good packaging spec? To answer that one, I need to start with a short narrative. I work within a small yet dynamic team of packaging technologists who deliver a high volume of products
against a changing and dynamic marketing narrative. In short, we work hard and we’re doing well. However, we were using outdated tools with resulting symptoms being a significant case of portfolio blindness, inconsistency, duplication and a big drain on resource. To quote myself from four years or so ago, “Microsoft Word is for book writers – it isn’t the tool to sustain our packaging team through 2020 and beyond.” We could bring more value to the business and our customers with efficiency and quality to boot. Packaging Europe | 49 |
Thus, my rumbustious mouth led me off the mouse wheel of new product development into a position that included amongst other things sourcing and developing a specifications system. Setting up and implementing that system has been my passion for several years now. Henceforth ensued a process of preparation, system specification and assessment until we found a provider that suited our needs, preferred cost base and matched the amount of resource our business was prepared to throw at such a project. The resulting journey accrued many positives. I will try to highlight the key ones below.
Understand your filling automation
Now you understand your suppliers, automation and cost base you are ready to specify fit for purpose packaging. Attributes in my world are the inherent characteristics of a part – for example structure, shape, colour. A variable has a numerical range or criteria and is usually accompanied by a test or method of measurement. During this phase, depending on the maturity of your organisation you may well find some further gaps in protocols, package tests and measures. Treat this as a good thing rather than a failure. Uncovering one’s faults and putting a plan in place to remedy them increases your team’s knowledge, competences and develops qualitative output. Don’t underestimate the people development aspect of putting good specs and standards in place. We also used this phase of our project to pull in areas traditionally outside our umbrella of responsibility, such as high value tooling and secondary packaging, with further positive benefits to the business and personal learnings.
First things first, you need to understand your component suppliers. Drilling down into their best practices, testing and QC protocols assists the benchmarking process and contributes significantly to defining acceptable componentry baselines. In our case an added benefit of this phase of the project was to recalibrate and standardise our componentry classification of defects and AQLs, aligning internally and with our supply base. From a package testing perspective, we also used this research to support a gap analysis of our form and function protocols. The resulting snowball effect included upgrades in our equipment and implementation of a new laboratory with the aim of remedying any problem areas. Last but not least, reassessment of suppliers outside of the usual audit and NPD cycles brought focus upon required points of development and in some cases underlying challenges.
It’s vital that you have clear understanding of your automation when specifying attributes, variables and the supporting documentation that will underpin your work and ultimately your product quality. This means getting into your factory and fillers, talking to your engineers, understanding production speeds, bottle necks, design for manufacturing requirements and other equipment-based nuances. The aim here is simple: packaging that can be filled, labelled and closed at an appropriate output and quality level with minimal fuss or efficiency impact.
Appropriate attributes and variables
Richard Beckett | 50 | Packaging Europe
So, you’ve your increased knowledge, defined attributes and variables, and have plans to fill any gaps in supporting protocols. What benefits can you now reap? Starting with new supplier introduction you have an identity. The specification is your consistent point of reference and standard. You can categorically state your expected quality levels, protocols and expectations. You have your own baseline and are not governed by suppliers’ defaults. This identity will eventually filter through every part of your quality system, providing one consistent thread for activities such as certificate of conformance and facilitating a journey towards a more vendor assurance-based quality narrative if desired. The resulting baselines will allow your organisation to more pragmatically take on cost vs quality-based scenarios. Clarity of cost drivers and functionality criteria will also combine to give your customer a much more consistent product experience, both functionally and aesthetically vs brand tier and finished good cost. You will now have a powerful searchable tool. Not only will this save you many work hours. The resulting detailed documentation of materials usage can be a powerful measure of where you are and where you want to be in terms of sustainability, reduction, waste and compliance remits. Good, consistent component specs will also provide the launch pad for good product specs. The next logical stop along the journey, in my opinion, followed on by logistics efficiencies at a tertiary level. If you make it that far, you will likely reach what I see as the holy grail of this exercise. A position whereby you know your packaging commodities so fluently that generic component specs, finished good specs, quality documents and test protocols intersect to a point that for a new product you are literally only defining the unique attributes and variables. You have then found product nirvana and can either retire happy or start all over again.
THE SECRET BEHIND PRIVATE LABEL SUCCESS Retailer brands and private label products have enjoyed impressive growth in recent years. Elisabeth Skoda speaks to the Private Label Manufacturers Association’s (PLMA) president Brian Sharoff about what lies behind this growth and what role packaging can play to boost retail performance.
ccording to a new report prepared by Nielsen, entitled ‘The Rise and Rise Again of Private Label,’ the popularity of private label alternatives keeps growing across Europe. The Nielsen data shows that market share for retailers’ own brands has climbed to all-time highs in nine European countries and for the first time stands at 30 per cent or above in 15 of the 20 countries tracked for PLMA’s International Private Label Yearbook. The 2017 Yearbook statistics reveal that market share reached all-time highs in Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Austria, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Mr Sharoff talks about these figures in more detail. “The biggest market share increases were reported in Austria, up 2.8 points to 43 per cent, followed by Germany, up 2.1 points to 45 per cent and Poland, up 1.4 points to 30 per cent,” he says. “Seven countries now have market shares of 40 per cent or higher: the UK, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal. Market share in the UK stayed above 45 per cent and appears ready to resume growth as supermarkets expand their private label programmes to combat the competitive challenge from discounters. In France, private label penetration remained over 30 per cent for the thirteenth consecutive year.” According to the Nielsen report, the main drivers are the expansion of retailing around the world, the emergence of e-commerce, the success of discounters like Aldi and Lidl, and the way in which millennials think and shop now and in the future.
A new kind of shopper Millennials comprise 24 per cent of the global population, and over the next five to ten years, could replace Baby Boomers as the generation with the highest discretionary spending power. Millennials are more open-minded to new trying products including private label. They demand products that do more, provide more convenience and offer a variety of lifestyle options. Loyalty to established brands in FMCG can no longer be assumed. Millennials are value conscious, they do a lot more product investigation before buying, and they will buy private-label brands if they think they are as good as multinational brands. Mr Sharoff praises the innovations of retailers as a main driver in the industry: “Almost all major retailers in Europe have developed sophisticated own label programmes, examples would include all the well-known names: Carrefour, Auchan, Intermarché in France; Delhaize-Ahold in Belgium and the Netherlands; Mercadona and Eroski in Spain; Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose in the UK; Aldi and Lidl in Germany and the other countries in which they have store.” | 52 | Packaging Europe
The role of packaging While increasing market share, private label has undergone stratification, with the emergence of premium and mid-range offerings beside the traditional bargain ones. Packaging can play an important part in differentiation. “Stratification already was a common practice forty years ago. Today, we see stratification based on factors such as organic, natural, ecologically-friendly, healthy, gluten-free, etc. as well as premium or value-brands. This technique of sub-branding has been very helpful to consumers,” Mr Sharoff observes. “The importance of attractive and meaningful packaging is clear to retailers and generally they have been succeeding in using packaging to get the appropriate message across to shoppers. In the area of private label, it is mostly up to the retailer to set the specification, and there has been some heavy investment in packaging solutions.”
Healthy eating The UK is a market where retailers have used private-label ranges to reinforce an already-strong store equity position. “The major supermarkets’ strategy has been to grow private-label sales,” Mr Sharoff explains. “This can particularly be seen in fresh foods, while reducing the range of packaged goods, typically by 15 per cent, to help simplify inventories and improve availability.” The Nielsen report underlines the importance for retailers to expand their private-label brands to include healthier options, including for consumers with special dietary needs, and recommends looking for opportunities to remove, reduce or replace undesirable ingredients in their prepared foods. The benefits should be prominently highlighted on packages and with in-store signage. “In addition,” says Mr Sharoff, “as consumers demand more transparency about the foods they eat, retailers are providing more nutritional information for private-label prepared foods to help consumers to make more healthful and better-informed choices.” Another factor potentially boosting retail performance could be catering for time pressed customers who still enjoy cooking. “Some consumers may be pressed for time but still want to cook or desire more control over the ingredients that go into their meals, while others may need quick solutions but don’t want a ready-to-eat meal,” Mr Sharoff remarks. “Brands should look for opportunities to better serve these consumers, such as by offering meal kits that contain premeasured portions of all of the ingredients. Shoppers are becoming less reliant on packaged goods, the historical strength of private label.”
The importance of online Meanwhile, private label turns out to be yet another area disrupted on many different levels by the rise of e-commerce. Mr Sharoff concludes: “Amazon, for example, isn’t just disrupting the consumer product space. It’s fragmenting the path to purchase and opening new opportunities for private label, as with its recent acquisition of American organic supermarket chain Whole Foods. Working with Amazon, which is growing FMCG sales fast, will benefit brands; but we’re now in an age when private labellers also have a great opportunity to compete by using online platforms. E-commerce is opening many doors to expanded sales of private label, especially as marketing by Amazon. So we expect that e-commerce will push own label forward.” Packaging Europe | 53 |
THE QUALITY / COST BALANCING ACT IN FLEXO One of the main challenges for repro houses and printers nowadays is finding the balance between quality and cost. On one hand, quality standards have risen, demanding new developments from plate-makers, and on the other the packaging industry is demanding for a decrease in costs, which requires cost effective solutions. Packaging Europe takes a look at two recent innovations from Flint Group aimed at bridging this tension.
it is our ambition at Flint Group to become the innovation leader in flexographic plate and sleeve solutions we are addressing this challenge by continuous innovation leading to superior products such as our award winning nyloflex® Flat Top Dot plate with texturised surface for the Flexible packaging or the Corrugated market segment and the superior rotec® Eco Bridge Adapter for printing presses,” says Friedrich von Rechteren, VP sales EMEA and global marketing of Flint Group Flexographic. The photopolymer nyloflex® FTF Digital is a flat top dot flexographic plate with simple processing features like any standard digital plate: no change, no additional equipment, processing steps or consumable items are needed. The special, textured plate surface eliminates the need for surface screening and provides an even ink laydown and increased solid ink density in a simple way. Flint Group additionally offers flat top dot plates for all applications. nyloflex® FTC Digital for corrugated postprint provides a significant fluting reduction, from fine to rough flute on various corrugated boards. Holding the finest highlights, the nyloflex® FTC Digital plate offers outstanding print quality - sharp and defined elements with precisely reproduced text and codes, excellent ink transfer, resulting in very smooth solids with even ink laydown, which allows high and consistent print quality on a variety of substrates. The upcoming solution is specifically designed for absorbent substrates and water-based inks. The new printing plate provides customers in preprint, beverage cartons or flexible paper packaging the benefits of flat top dots, allowing them to achieve enhanced ink laydown and improved solid ink density on fibre substrates in a simple way. Another innovation addressing the balance of quality and cost is Flint’s development of the nyloflex® Xpress Thermal Processing System. The nyloflex® Xpress Thermal Processor incorporates the speed of thermal plate making with enhanced plate and print quality, offering a smart design with an enhanced user interface. The distinctive characteristics of the processor provide unprecedented control and allow for more consistent and stable plate production promising ‘thermal like you’ve never seen before’. “We believe our new, integrated solution, is in a class of its own,” remarks Friedrich von Rechteren. “We achieved this result by looking at the thermal process holistically. | 54 | Packaging Europe
By combining the best in equipment design, plate development and engineered fabric, Flint Group is offering a system which leads to reduced costs, improved quality and improved sustainability.” Inherent flat top dot plates are projected as seeing the most future growth, as they provide the benefits of flat top dot geometry without adding steps to the workflow, a significant reduction in complexity, and increased efficiency in the prepress and plate making process, while offering the highest print quality. “We expect inherent flat top dot plates to represent more than half of overall flexographic plate usage by 2020 across market segments,” reveals Mr von Rechteren. “At Flint Group we work daily on all customer critical topics to satisfy our customers’ needs for ever improving cost and quality according to our key principles of ‘Better, Faster and Easier to use’.”
HOW SAFETY CONCERNS ARE DRIVING INNOVATION IN COATINGS Doubts over the health implications of BPA among consumers and increasingly regulators are prompting brand owners to seek alternative materials across food and beverage containers. Paul Krueger, global marketing director, Food Packaging, at Sherwin-Williams Packaging Coatings (formerly Valspar Corporation) discusses how this trend is reflected in the R&D efforts of functional coatings.
poxy resins containing Bisphenol A (BPA) have set the standard for coating performance across many food, beverage and household product metal containers for nearly 50 years. Although the US Food & Drug Administration, European Food Safety Authority and most regulatory agencies around the world continue to confirm its safety, non-governmental organisations and consumer advocacy groups have led an effort to have BPA removed from food containers. California’s Proposition 65 requires manufacturers to provide a clear and reasonable warning before exposing consumers to any chemical identified by California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), of which BPA is, and France has banned BPA entirely. Due to this pressure, and consumer preferences, the industry has been driven to develop non-BPA coatings for food and beverage containers.
The challenge No other packaging provides a longer shelf life, better preserves product quality and offers greater protection against spoilage than light metal packaging. It helps ensure that nutritious food can be delivered across the globe | 56 | Packaging Europe
in a safe and cost-effective manner. Can coatings, or linings, are essential to protecting food safety and public health, as they prevent food spoilage and the occurrence of serious bacteria-related illnesses such as botulism. Without linings, public health and food safety would be jeopardised for most filling goods that are packaged in cans. New coatings must therefore deliver the performance, corrosion protection and flavour protection brands have relied on for decades from epoxy coatings. They must also provide good fabrication and flexibility properties, line efficiencies and end use versatility the can-makers have relied on. New coatings must also meet more stringent regulatory demands in each region without compromising on performance. First generation non-BPA technologies such as acrylics and polyesters have replaced BPA-based coatings in some areas but are not equally effective across all markets. Sherwin-Williams has met the challenge to find next-generation coatings that deliver the same performance characteristics as BPA-based coatings, without the use of BPA, through our valPure V70 non-BPA epoxy and advanced polyester technologies for food and beverage packaging.
Paul Krueger Developing alternatives Sherwin-Williams’ next generation acrylic products offer non-BPA solutions for beverage spray. Our next generation of advanced polyesters are used for D&I food spray, three-piece cans, monobloc aerosol cans, closures, EZOE’s and beverage ends. When the spectrum of substrates, application technique, packagetypes, and filling goods are considered across steel, aluminium, sheet, coil, spray, rollcoat, solvent, water, D&I, 3 Pc, DRD, EZOE, Closure, T&M, beer, CSD, Energy Drinks, Fruits, Vegetables, Soups, Pasta, Ready-Meals, and Proteins, there is no better platform chemistry to address this diversity than epoxy. For this reason, Sherwin-Williams Packaging Coatings invested in the development of a non-BPA epoxy platform technology as a replacement for BPA-based epoxy. Today we have the V70 series of finishes in various phases of full commercialisation, as is the case with beverage spray, beverage end, D&I food spray, and clear exteriors, to test pack qualification, as is the case with 3 Pc interior, closure basecoat, and coil-fed steel for food ends. Acrylic, Polyester, and V70 platforms fall under our non-BPA brand name of valPure. Three to seven years are required from the time new materials for food contact applications are introduced until they are fully commercialised. These are the key steps in qualifying a new can liner: 1. Generate critical to quality (CTQs) parameters from a customer and brand perspective 2. Gain a clear understanding of product design criteria 3. Vet starting materials for regulatory and safety compliance 4. Design the base polymer 5. Develop finish formulations 6. Vet finish formulas for regulatory and safety compliance 7. Conduct can maker and coil coater line trials 8. Conduct commercial test packs 9. Scale-up formulations for large batch production 10. Scale-up production at can maker or coil coater 11. Achieve full regulatory, can maker, coil coater, and brand approvals and commercialisation With this extensive timeline and the expense of development, SherwinWilliams Packaging Coatings uses a five-stage development process to ensure next generation technologies are meeting the needs of the market. In order for full industrial commercialisation to occur, can makers and coil coaters must understand how can linings will apply and fabricate on their production lines
and do extensive pack testing to issue pack warranties to brands and retailers. Safety by Design is a robust development and safety testing protocol modelled after the pharmaceutical process and used by Sherwin-Williams Packaging Coatings upfront in the five-stage development process. It uses a more robust development and safety testing protocol than required by international regulatory agencies. It is through this process that Sherwin-Williams Packaging Coatings identified a new non-BPA epoxy platform that could deliver industry-standard performance across the spectrum of light metal packaging applications. New can linings must not only meet stringent international regulatory requirements for food safety, but also be trusted by scientists, brands, retailers, NGOs and consumers. To gain this trust, Sherwin-Williams Packaging Coatings has taken a leadership role in engaging university scientists, NGOs, government, brands, and retailers in education programs on the safety of our non-BPA product offering. Looking to the future, we believe the transition to non-BPA linings will continue and we will continue to advance the valPure V70 line of coatings for food and beverage cans. We are very encouraged by innovations in can making that keep metal packaging relevant at brand, retail, and consumer levels. Convenience, graphics, shelf-stability, light-weighting, and recycling awareness are just a few of the features that differentiate metal packaging from alternatives. With the consumer demanding fresh alternatives to processed foods, we are participating with the can industry in marketing campaigns around themes of ‘sealed-infreshness’, preservation of nutritional levels of canned foods, unsurpassed overall food safety, and food waste reduction relative to fresh food option. We believe these features will serve consumers well in the shift from retail to e-tail. A few examples of relevance on the beverage side is how the industry has responded to concerns of carbonated soft drinks by moving to smaller/specialty sized containers, enabling the transition from glass to aluminium in the craft beer sector, and the growth of water and wine now packaged in aluminium cans.
Other safety drivers BPA and other chemicals which may be monitored or likely to be scrutinised longer term, along with regulatory compliance, will continue to drive innovation in the coatings industry requiring even more stringent raw material selection going forward. China, for example, is focused on the ‘Clean Air Act’ and therefore driving coatings manufacturers to develop innovative technologies to reduce VOC in order to comply with new limits associated with the Clean Air Act. In this case, Sherwin-Williams has developed water-based technologies for many applications to comply with these regulations. Packaging Europe | 57 |
THE EVOLVING FACE
Libby White talked to five of the top creative agencies about the key drivers in packaging design at the moment. Designers from Anthem, Biles Hendry, Parker Williams, Marks Group and Equator Design share their observations of how the push for a multi-channel presence and the need for brands to demonstrate a more responsible stance are influencing the approach to packaging.
esigners need to consider all channels – shelf, laptop, smartphone – in their approach,” observes Anthony Biles, co-founder and creative director of Biles Hendry. “In bricks and mortar outlets, the packaging needs to engage the consumer from five metres away, with shape, colour and logo; at one metre, where more detailing is picked up; and then in-hand, where textures and ergonomics come into play.” Online factors challenge design further. “The thumbnail provides an early touchpoint which must capture the eye and give quick brand recognition; the customer can then zoom in for more detail, before experiencing the product in-hand once it has been delivered. With online purchases, of course, the packaging also has to reassure the consumer, post-purchase, that they have made the right decision.”
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Martin Ward, Nestlé creative lead at Anthem, believes that the single biggest innovation driving packaging design forward is the ability to connect with consumers via their mobile devices to deliver digital experiences. “Consumers’ reliance on smartphones and the expectation of information being readily at hand all the time has impacted on the design of packaging,” he comments. “But this is contradicted with the need for packaging to be simpler, both for easy navigation in store but also to make it work for e-commerce and social media. Fortunately, connected technology has enabled the physical pack to be clear and single minded while the information and engaging experience that consumers expect can be delivered directly from the pack to the consumer’s own device.”
Disrupting tradition In this context Gillian Garside-Wight, packaging technology director at Parker Williams (part of Sun Branding Solutions), emphasises the importance of consistency, also highlighting the way the digital channel disrupts the traditional face of packaging: “The brandmark and the brand equities both graphical and physical need to be communicated consistently and transferable across several mediums,” she says. “In some cases, key identifying factors need to be magnified to allow the customer to select the appropriate product when they are viewing via digital means. Multichannel retailing is certainly not a limiting factor, it allows us to explore, develop and design the entire package, not just the front ‘traditional’ selling face. No longer can the retailer determine which face or angle the consumer will see first when purchasing online. The whole product becomes the selling face.” “We’re being asked to ensure whenever we design a pack that there are equities that ‘hero’ what the brand is for and stands for,” Andy Wyatt, Marks Group creative director, reveals. “The design has to create impact wherever you are in the customer journey – online, offline, social media. That may be achieved simply with colour, or instantly recognisable equities, ownable by that brand.”
Meanwhile, as consumers we’re bombarded with thousands of brand messages every day and whilst the pack can often be the primary media format for our creative work we realise that it sits in a 360 multi-channel brand world and as such make sure that it stands out and disrupts in all these spaces. As Mark Lloyd, creative director, Anthem, says, “We’re seeing a rise in a more minimal single minded, ‘less is more’ executional graphic look and feel which works well in these scenarios.”
Achieiving equilibrium Gary Flynn, managing director at Equator Design, surveys the overall picture: “The media would have us believe that bricks and mortar grocery retail is facing a serious challenge from internet grocery shopping, with Amazon Pantry now offering two-hour delivery slots on store cupboard essentials. That suits some shoppers, but it’s a channel that’s ideal for purchases of brands that consumers already know and trust, and impulse purchases. It can’t offer the experiential approach to discovering new products and mixing brands and own label products that shoppers enjoy in store. “In fact, there is massive potential for conventional retailers to drive sales with creative approaches to packaging if they are agile enough to combine a mix of
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store formats with a credible online presence and an ability to capitalise on trends with rapid product development and range extension.” He argues that for the majority, the bricks and mortar store will remain at the heart of the consumer journey. “I think there’s a bit of a myth that retail stores will become mainly showrooms in the future. However, retailers need to think about how best to drive purchase across all of their channels – both physically and digitally. Packaging has a huge part to play in leveraging brand loyalty across channels, particularly in the face of reduced aisle dwell times both in store and online.”
Consumer-led innovation Environmentally-conscious consumers are also driving innovation in packaging design. “From Instagrammers lying down in boxes that contained a single lipstick to social sharing of plastic waste on the coastline, consumers are beginning to understand that packaging can have a massive impact on the reduction of food and product waste,” Gary Flynn says. “Looking at reducing packaging volumes and utilising recycled content are key considerations in our design process.” He also points to the idea of creating re-useable packaging as gaining credence: “The possibility of a deposit and return system for plastic bottles has recently been mooted and that concept will create new packaging design challenges as we consider the lifespan of the creative treatment relative to the re-useable item.” Anthony Biles adds that there is a lot of pressure to reduce over packaging and cut back on the amount of unrecyclable material that’s being used. “These days, consumers have a better understanding of the issues surround-
ing certain dietary requirements, ethical production values and sustainability, for example. We’re also seeing more and more brands cleaning up their ingredient decks.”
A responsible stance Gillian Garside-Wight addresses the recent coverage of plastics in mainstream media: “There is a consumer, design and structural trend toward sustainable packaging solutions with more specific ‘anti-plastic’ campaigns reacting to consumer demand following media coverage. This very much feeds into the honest, transparent and truthful trend and consumers are now demanding brands and retailers take a more responsible stance in their packaging selection. There needs to be, and there is a focus on, more innovation to reduce the use of single-use non-recyclable packaging formats but this needs to be accelerated.” She continues: “The need for sustainable packaging is not going away… much more needs to be done and quickly. A holistic responsible approach is needed and we all have a part to play. Plastic is not the evil substrate it has been portrayed as, it is an innovative material which has allowed us as consumers to preserve our products longer and fit into our busy lifestyle. Consumers are much more aware of the effects of packaging waste and there is a very loud call for brands to be responsible. We need to reduce what we use, recycle as much as possible. Innovation is the key to change and more must be done to ensure we don’t damage the planet in the process.” Anthem’s Martin Ward leaves us with a pressing thought: “A drive towards more sustainable packaging is always going to be present and while this will not always distinguish the brands that deliver a sustainable solution, those that aren’t will standout for all the wrong reasons.”
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THE EAST COAST’S LEADING PACKAGING SHOWCASE EastPack, part of the US East Coast’s largest advanced design and manufacturing event taking place on 12-14 June in New York City, is the annual must-attend trade show for discovering the latest packaging innovations and trends. Offering cutting-edge solutions for an array of industry verticals, EastPack showcases the latest solutions and technologies today’s packaging professionals need to make products stand out in a crowded marketplace. Nina Brown, VP of events at UBM introduces the event to Packaging Europe’s Libby White.
Could you please give me a brief history and overview of the EastPack trade show?
astPack is one of our staple, co-located shows at Advanced Manufacturing New York. Specifically, it is a must-attend tradeshow for discovering packaging innovations because the show covers packaging needs across an array of markets, including food and beverage, health and beauty, medical devices, the growing cannabis market and other consumer goods. Exhibitors at EastPack are some of the most supportive supplier partners in the industry and will showcase the latest equipment, materials, containers, and services.
What should visitors expect at this year’s event, and why should they attend? New this year is the Packaging Education Hub, a central place on the show floor with a full agenda of packaging-related educational sessions, fun demonstrations and hands-on activities during the three-day event. The topics are totally on-point with today’s current challenges for packaging professionals. We’ll be bringing in experts on smart packaging, sustainability, ecommerce and packaging automation to share their knowledge, insights and advice. They’ll be plenty of interaction with the audience, so visitors can come with their questions and leave with answers.
Overall, packaging professionals should attend EastPack because it offers a unique opportunity to meet with representatives from industry leading companies, network with peers and make business connections, learn from packaging-focused presentations and discussions led by industry experts, and it’s all free! EastPack truly is the East Coast’s leading packaging showcase and offers unmatched potential for industry professionals to grow their business and careers.
What are the highlights of the conference programme? As mentioned above, for the first time, we will feature conference-level packaging content on the expo floor in the form of panel discussions, technical sessions, hands-on activities and more at the Packaging Education Hub. The Packaging Education Hub is a theatre designed specifically for packaging professionals. Throughout the three-day event, the Packaging Education Hub will host packaging experts speaking on specific topics, such as new bioplastic technologies, package testing methods and food safety considerations for packaging equipment. Along with the Packaging Education Hub, we will also feature a Smart Manufacturing Education Hub and a Medtech Education Hub for professionals in those respective industries. For more information on our education hubs, please visit: https://advancedmanufacturingnewyork.com/schedule. Packaging Europe | 61 |
Another highlight is a panel discussion and networking opportunity with the next generation of packaging leaders on Thursday afternoon, June 14. Young packaging managers and engineers at McCormick & Co., Seventh Generation, OnPoint 2020 and The Packaging School will discuss ‘Packaging Trends that Really Matter and Why’ before sharing some career difficulties and helpful tips they’ve learned along the way in ‘Rising to the Challenge of a Packaging Career’. This is a can’t-miss opportunity for attendees looking for real-world career advice – or hoping to recruit top talent because we’re also inviting packaging students from nearby universities to come network.
How does EastPack tie in with the wider Advanced Manufacturing event, featuring six trade shows in total? How does this benefit visitors focused on the packaging industry? The purpose of Advanced Manufacturing New York being comprised of six co-located shows is to illustrate the entire ‘design to manufacturing process’ in one comprehensive event. The six events cover automation, design engineering, medtech, quality, packaging and plastics, which have a lot of overlap in regard to interaction between companies and professionals in each respective industry. EastPack itself touches the health and beauty, medical device, consumer goods and food and beverage industries. We also believe that having a comprehensive event offers our attendees and exhibitors much more opportunity to network and create new business connections.
Can you share an American view of the latest packaging trends? What solutions and innovations can we expect to see at EastPack? In the USA we’re tracking a host of hot topics in packaging, and visitors can learn the latest about them at EastPack from subject-matter experts in the booths and presenting on stage at the Packaging Education Hub. Here are just four examples: 1. Smart packaging and digitalisation: At EastPack, we’ll tackle this topic from the point of view of packaging development, as well as packaging production. On Tues., June 12, from 3:00 to 3:45 p.m., Ryan McManus, SVP Partnerships and Corporate Development, at EVRYTHNG, has an easy
answer to the compelling question “What Can Brands Do With an Internet-Enabled UPC?” EVRYYTHNG has worked with GS1 to develop technology to make the Universal Product Code—the UPC barcode you see on all retail packages—connect consumers to a brand’s digital assets on the internet. And then on Wed., June 13, from 11:00 to 11:45 a.m., Danielle Sauvé, director of Customer Experience and Insights, Danaher, Product Identification Platform, will let attendees play with colour virtualisation, augmented reality, analytical tools and computer vision in a hands-on session designed to show how to speed up the packaging development process and create a new frame of reference for ‘what’s possible’. The session is titled ‘Emerging Technologies in Packaging + Design’. 2. Automation in packaging production: One session at the Packaging Education Hub is ‘Assembling a Franken-Line without the Monster Headaches’. Veteran packaging engineer John R. Henry of Changeover.com will share pitfalls to avoid and tips to remember when faced with a challenging packaging line assembly project—like having to string together machines from a company’s graveyard of unused equipment. 3. E-commerce: We’re pleased to welcome Uwe Voss, Chief Operating Officer at HelloFresh, to tell us ‘How HelloFresh Delivers a Tasty Ecommerce Experience’. In the United States, the popularity and growth of meal kits present some unique packaging challenges. On Wed., June 13, from 10:30 to 11:00 a.m., Voss will explain how packaging is helping ecommerce companies leverage today’s opportunities in the perishable supply chain to deliver a high-quality consumer experience. He’ll address critical issues, such as product freshness and safety, portion control and health-and-wellness, and sustainability. 4. Sustainability: Tradeshow visitors always like to go home with freebie samples to impress the kids or grandkids. We’ve got a fun session planned that lets attendees create their own ‘treasure’ from collected trash, while learning about alternative end-of-life scenarios for hard-torecycle packaging from an industrial designer at TerraCycle. ‘Upcycle That Package—Live!’ will take place on Wed., June 13, from 2:00 to 2:45 p.m. And these are just some of the highlights happening at EastPack 2018. We invite all packaging professionals to attend, whether their responsibility is for packaging development, design or engineering. Packaging Europe | 63 |
DIGITAL NOMAD BE LIKE A START-UP I love this time of year for many reasons. As the dark days of winter turn to glorious spring conference season also commences, and as a fulltime speaker and writer in the print and packaging world it means the sun also rises on some fabulous innovations, which I get to see first-hand. Already this year I have travelled to a wide number of places and spoken at a lot of events in the USA and Europe and as I wander the exhibition halls, there seems to be a common thread developing: it’s time to get smarter with packaging.
ust this week I was fortunate to speak at an Industry Advisory Board event attended by five of the biggest brands in the world and the focus was all on packaging. One by one, the discussions kept came back to the same key points: How do we put packaging at the heart of what we offer our consumers? How can it be the message and not just the medium? How can we work closer with the convertors and printers to capture the imagination of a new generation of consumers, who are increasingly growing up in a smart world? Of course, in our world, for every problem of yesterday there is already a solution for tomorrow but sometimes historical behaviour gets in the way of joining the dots. It’s not enough to just change the way you would like to work practically. You need to change the behaviour too. I actively encouraged the participants at the IAB to think like a start-up, not a legacy model, and then look again through that lens at the opportunities. Only with fresh eyes is it possible to see a way to get to the future of packaging. Ironically, once you start thinking in this way, you quickly wonder why you don’t do it more often! Smart packaging with digital watermarks and invisible codes that can be scanned using smartphones by consumers (and retailers) are becoming widely available from a number of sources. The best I’ve seen so far this year come from some major industry players and also from disruptive start-ups but they all have something in common: they allow a world of direct to consumer interaction that has never been see before. From personalisation
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to gamification and from promotional to emotional – literally anything is possible. In addition, for the brand a key solution that they all need: a smart way to tackle counterfeiting. It was estimated that last year over EUR 450 billion was lost to the counterfeiters globally and a lovely consequence of using smart codes is you allow the consumers (and retailers) to instantly check the authenticity of a smart coded product. Reaching your customers via digitised, coded products helps to create a deep connection. There are no limits to how you then engage with them. Ingredients, recipes, ideas, offers, tips, recommendations, loyalty rewards – it’s up to you. And what you supply to your consumers is dynamic. It can change depending on where they are, what they’ve also bought, the time and place of purchase, their social media use, even the current weather. You’re connecting your customers to the product, to the web and to the brand. As is often the case, it turns out the future is already here. It’s my belief that smart codes will push packaging into this future. So my advice this spring: try be more like a start-up!
Richard Askam Richard Askam Digital Nomad