Global Packaging Specialists
Packaging Materials Packaging Solutions Packaging Machinery Consultancy Hazardous Materials Handling 67E Heather Road, Sandyford Industrial Estate, Dublin 18 Ph: +353 1 294 0600 Fax: +353 1 294 0602 Email: email@example.com Website: www.interpac.ie
Thorn Environmental Ltd. Tel: +353 (0) 1 2808612 Fax: + 353 (0) 1 2804830 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.thorn.ie
ERECTING CASE PACKING BAG-IN-BOX
INVERTING PALLETISING WRAPPING
SEALING CONVEYING LIFTING
STRAPPING AGV TRANSPORT WASHING SYSTEMS
C ONTENTS Ministerâ€™s Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Packaging Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Healthcare Packaging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Recycling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Cartons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Aluminium Foil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Packaging Traceability Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Glass: Pure and Sustainable Packaging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Materials Handling: Robotics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Company News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Bulk Liquid Handling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Labelling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
Product & Service Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Alphabetical Listings of Packaging Companies . . . . . . . . . .44
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Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, but the publisher cannot accept responsibility for errors or omissions.
MINISTER ’S F OREWO RD
ADAPTING TO A FAST-CHANGING MARKET
am delighted to have been asked to again contribute the foreword to the 2007/08 Irish Packaging Yearbook & Directory and congratulate all those involved in its production for the high quality of the information it provides.
The packaging industry is adapting well to the challenges of a fast moving market and globalisation. Over the last two years, despite very difficult trading conditions, the sector has grown. Sales have increased by 8% to €769m and exports by 11% to €223m. The reputation of Ireland’s packaging industry is based on investment in modern plant, equipment and control systems, and in the many skills required for design, production and business management. The packaging industry in Ireland is a significant employer and affords excellent opportunity for professional development.
ACCELERATING EXPORT GROWTH Enterprise Ireland and the industry have a strategy in place to accelerate export growth by working both on an individual and a sectoral basis. This approach is working to support clients to achieve results in export growth and R&D investment targets, to grow a deeper relationship with key export clients, to develop a greater awareness in the sector of competitiveness and innovation issues and to improve management capability in the sector. Rapidly changing technology has a major impact on all aspects of this sector, particularly on skills and people requirements. The packaging industry is moving from a traditional craft-based manufacturing sector and evolving as as a modern computer-based multimedia sector, necessitating new business models. Enterprise Ireland is actively working with Ireland’s packaging companies to achieve continuous improvement across all aspects of these business models.
TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS This is an exciting time to be involved in the packaging sector in Ireland as it continues to grow steadily. Those involved in the sector need to be very much aware of trends and developments in their business to ensure the continued growth and expansion of the sector. I have no doubt that the Irish Packaging Yearbook and Directory 2008 will continue to provide valuable up-todate information to the industry Micheál Martin TD, Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment. 3
PACK AGIN G RE VIEW
THE FUTURE FOR PACKAGING “
Hugh Stevens, Enterprise Ireland’s packaging expert, on how packaging has moved from its traditional protective function to become a valuable marketing and cost-saving tool.
ood packaging sells also available to approved clients. products,” remarks In the area of print/packaging Hugh Stevens, Senior technology, EI is partnered with Specialist for the UK-based Packaging Industry Packaging at Enterprise Ireland Research Association (PIRA), Europe’s largest body for packag(EI). “Good packaging can redeing technical services, and frefine a product. If used correctly, quently uses the Association for it will add value at all stages of education, market research, techthe supply chain. When we think nology and sector development. of packaging, we think protection PIRA representatives also but that’s only part of the story. travel to Ireland to work directly In a modern retail environment, with Irish companies. While the packaging takes on many funcIrish market may not be big tions, from marketing and selling enough to maintain a full-blown to informing and differentiating centre of excellence for print and your offer from the competition.“ packaging, EI’s relationship with Packaging’s prominence in PIRA allows the sector to remain Ireland should not be underestion the cutting edge. mated. Print and packaging is one of the country’s oldest industries, representing over 600 companies, THE IMPLICATIONS OF 16,500 employees, and generating PACKAGING a turnover of around €2.4 billion. Packaging and product success are In 2007, manufacturers must indelibly linked. consider packaging during the “We have a thriving industry in product conception stages, askIreland, especially in the area of ing ‘What implication will the labelling, flexible packaging and product have on transport, storcartons,” explains Hugh, who has age and assembly?’ After all, over 30 years’ experience in the there are legal and moral implicaindustry. “There are some successtions at stake, particularly in the es in terms of exports to Europe. realm of environmental issues. Larger packaging products, such Ireland is currently ahead of it as corrugated boxes, are not parrecycling targets and Hugh Hugh Stevens, Senior Specialist for Packaging at ticularly viable for exporting Stephens praises Repak, the Enterprise Ireland. because they are so bulky. industry’s response to environHowever, these are indirect mental legislation, as “a great exports because they tend to be used by companies that success.” Nevertheless, the industry must continue to export products out of Ireland.” strive for ways to minimise packaging. “You need to design the product with packaging in ENTERPRISE IRELAND mind,” he says. “Far too often, the product is designed in isolation. You must then protect the product after it Enterprise Ireland’s core mission is to work in partnerhas been designed.” ship with its client companies to develop a sustainable One area of packaging, while profitable, clashes competitive advantage, leading to a significant increase with the minimisation premise. “Retailers want prodin profitable export sales. ucts with long shelf lives that will sit on a shelf for as Enterprise Ireland plays a crucial role in the continlong as possible. They want products to arrive in shelfuing development of packaging and the packaging ready formats, ready for display and merchandising industry. The organisation provides practical help in upon arrival, products that can be wheeled to the front of the store with a minimal amount of handling and the form of Technology, Export and Business strategic cost. But this can cause more packaging to be used and development. Financial assistance in the form of R&D, is not an ideal situation to be in. Shelf-ready packaging innovation and productivity improvement grants are
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Product Range • Plastic Pallets • Plastic Boxes • Plastic Containers • Plastic Bulk Boxes
Plastic Providers Ltd Cabragh Business Park Thurles Co.Tipperary Tel: (0504) 26 774 Fax: (0504) 90 799
Plastic Storage Solutions
PACK AGIN G RE VIEW
which offers efficient retail handling can increase the overall amount of packaging used.”
RETAIL PACKAGING TRENDS Current retail packaging trends include a move toward reusable containers at the expense of the corrugated box, but packaging’s biggest innovation leap is in the area of intelligent packaging. Manufacturers are now seeking ways to add value to their products via technologies that give consumers added benefits. Topping the research list is Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), an automatic identification system that sends signals from product packaging via tags or transponders. From the perspective of food and drink, this technology benefits all stages of the chain. A shopping trolley can be equipped with a scanner, offering information about each chosen product, suggesting complementary items, and keeping a list of the chosen items alongside a price tally. RFID allows staff to identify the exact location of any single retail item, handling customer requests quickly and efficiently, and retailers can keep a close eye on stock levels as well as purchasing trends. At present, Wal-Mart and Marks & Spencer are piloting RFID. Hugh Stephens insists that the advantages of RFID are “far superior” to current bar-coding, although “it will be seven to eight years before the technology replaces the cashier. Eventually, the benefits will outweigh the costs and the unit cost of the tag will fall. RFID has to fall below a cent [per product] and I believe that will be achieved via print, using a magnetic property in printing ink rather than a separate tag. At the moment, the benefits are proving very worthwhile, particularly from a marketing and track-and-trace point of view. In time, RFID will replace your VISA card – people will have non-contact credit cards.”
The advantages of RFID are far superior to current bar-coding, particularly from a marketing and track-and-trace point of view.
performance characteristics of traditional materials in terms of shelf life and availability. However, the benefits of re-usable materials are proven and well developed in Ireland. Paper recycling has been established for the last 60 years, while glass is also efficient. “Plastics are a challenge because they have many different ingredients and formulas that must be separated during recycling,” continues Hugh.
RECYCLING Recycling might sound unsuitable when discussing food packaging, but Hugh begs to differ: “In food products, recycling materials can be sandwiched between two virgin grades in a laminate. Some people are concerned that recycled material might be in contact with food, but there is never an intention for that to happen. It is always isolated within virgin material.” In today’s Irish market, decisions around packaging innovation are collectively driven. Most of the larger user groups (pharmaceuticals, multinationals, food businesses) employ packaging engineers as part of their staff. Retailers, especially the multiples, are extremely influential, largely due to their Repak levy. Hugh Stephens believes that if a company does not have the technical expertise, then larger packaging companies should work with them in envisaging a new form of packaging that can add value or differentiate their product from the competition. Using such a model, the entire Irish packaging sector can only rise to new heights.
INNOVATION Enterprise Ireland – whose primary agenda is to grow profitable export sales for all Irish industry – urges packaging manufacturers to innovate. Just as the country’s larger food groups have proved their mettle on a global stage, so too must our packaging industry. This requires considerable R&D investment, says Hugh. “A lot of the packaging companies in Ireland are very traditional in approach,” he notes. “Some companies fail to see the market trends. The competition can quite often emerge from a different sector of the industry, i.e. plastics versus paper.” Hugh urges companies to keep abreast of trends and developments by attending international packaging conventions and subscribing to trade publications. Great packaging innovation ultimately boosts sales. Biodegradable materials are under development, but these are still a tad expensive and do not have the same 7
H EALTH C ARE PACK AGIN G
PACKAGING IN THE HEALTHCARE SECTOR Declan Bogan, Business Development Director at SteriPack Pharma, on the challenges and innovations in packaging pharmaceutical, chemical and medical products.
he healthcare sector includes diverse areas such as biotechnology, combination products, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, nutritional supplements, medical devices drug delivery and nanotechnology. The commonality is that all end users expect their products to be safe, genuine, easy to use and store, and to arrive undamaged with a significant shelf life. The major trend facing the industry is an increasing level of expectation for performance at a reduced level of cost.
THE PERFECT PACK How do we determine the perfect pack for a medicinal product? Packaging plays a key role in ensuring product performance. Properly packaged medical devices or pharmaceuticals must pose little risk to individuals handling them, even if the product is biohazardous. The fundamental of packaging, throughout the lifetime of a product, is that it provides the following basic functionality: • Protection • Containment • Presentation • Identification • Information • Convenience • Patient Compliance • Disposal
Properly packaged medical devices or pharmaceuticals must pose little risk to individuals handling them, even if the product is biohazardous.
team effort, project management, communication, and awareness, in line with regulatory requirements. Materials are challenged, stability determined, environmental considerations confirmed, and product impact negated. The general areas also to consider for the packaging-product impact include the following: • What is the impact on the active ingredients or components? • Is there increased degradation? • How long do the preservatives or anti-oxidants last? • Any change to organoleptic properties? • Any modification to general appearance of dimensions? • Is there increase in microbial load? • Is the product still pharmacologically active? • Do the delivery systems still work? • Do the packs and the closures still operate as intended?
THE PACKAGING COMPROMISE The considerations of packaging for a product are dictated by a number of factors outlined in table 2.1. These are a series of trade-offs determined by a number of factors. It is the responsibility of R&D, procurement, production, marketing & sales, engineering, quality, regulatory and, of course, suppliers to create the solution. It must be a holistic approach, project managed to gain the best result. The packaging solution is ultimately challenged through risk management, robust design, leading to rigorous testing and validation. Getting the right pack for the right product takes time, intelligence, product and packaging materials knowledge,
PACKAGING MATERIALS This article does not intend to outline all properties of the packaging used by companies and why one would choose one over the other. The solution lies with the product and the pack. The choice of packaging materials for the poten8
H EALTH C ARE PACK AGIN G
Table 2.1 Packaging Considerations PRODUCT TYPE
Liquid, solid, semi-solid, gas, device, composite, multi-layered; Chemical nature (e.g. pH); Sterile vs non-sterile; Single or multiple use; Moisture / heat / light sensitivity; Fragility.
Size & location; Physician vs self administered; Legal & regulatory needs; Available infrastructure; Timeframe of use.
THE VALUE OF THE PRODUCT
Ethical; OTC; Sales price; Convenience; New / existing presentation.
Can the pack add value? Can it aid in compliance?
THE CAPABILITY OF THE MANUFACTURING AND PACKAGING SITE
Existing equipment or investment; Ability to handle materials; Warehousing; Production lines availability for trials; Materials availability and any special needs; Local suppliers; Import restrictions; Multiple sites issues.
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY PACK
R&D involvement; Single vs multiple use; Dose forms; Secondary choice.
How will it be transported? Where does it need to get to? What is best way to transport it? Quantities; Environmental control (heat, light, barrier, moisture).
Market restrictions; Legislation; EC Directive on packaging waste; Methods of pack disposal; Hospital waste; Counterfeiting.
tial solution will most likely be within the list on the following page.
understanding of the processes and facilitates the management of change and the implementation of continuous improvement.
QUALITY SYSTEMS The regulators view the pack and the product as one item i.e. the pack effects the product and the product the pack. The pack and supplier are part of the regulatory submission. Packaging is only changed with careful consideration and agreement with the regulator. The quality system is built by technical experts to ensure system control, and protection and qualification for each operation. These must be clearly defined and documented, minProduct security starts from raw imising the risk of contmaterial sourcing, component amination, cross-contamconversion, through to warehousination and mix-ups. This ing, production and distribution. level of detail promotes
FACILITIES There are many different types of packaging facilities. The ISPE have recently developed a packaging, labelling and warehousing operations (PACLAW) Packaging plays a key role in baseline guide. The ensuring product performance. PACLAW guide interprets the applicable standards and gives recommendations on how to design and maintain such a facility, complex or simple. Facility set-ups, HVAC requirements, security and segregation will vary as requirements dictate. 9
H EALTH C ARE PACK AGIN G
Choice of Packaging Materials Glass
Ampoules/bottles, syringes, vials/Type I,III, Amber, flint, coloured.
Used for solid dosage formats like tubes , capsules for aerosals, cans, closures, valves and for tubes.
Containers, closures, labels.
Foils, Films and laminates; Blisters, sachets, barrier pouches and overwraps.
Fibre based (paper)
Labels, leaflets, cartons, outers, bags.
Plugs / seals.
Companies may run multiple products in their facilities, designed for quick turnaround and line clearance without the risk of product exposure or mix-ups. Companies are now employing risk management, along with lean thinking, into setting up their facility to reduce costs, help future proofing, and aid in reducing the validation effort.
Counterfeiting can result in the fraudulent absence of an active ingredient, incorrect product, relabelled out-ofdate or parallel imported product, or a trade mark abuse. It is estimated that 10% of drugs in the first world are counterfeited and increasing by 13% year-on-year and that by 2010, $75bn will be generated in illegal business along with the unknown fatalities. A large proportion of the world’s counterfeit medicines originate in Asia and end up in the US and EU. Between 1998 and 2004, there was 1000% increase in seizures of counterfeit prescription drugs in the EU. The people involved are a mixture of highly organised criminal gangs and one man bands. By combining overt, covert and forensic packaging authentication technologies, companies can help consumers authenticate products at the point of purchase, whilst enabling clients, the Government, or inspectors to unequivocally determine a product’s pedigree in the field. Packaging authentication features can be incorporated into: • Packaging substrates; • SMART labels; • Ink selection; • Laminates; • Closures; • Adhesives; • Tear tapes; • Wrapping materials; • Material inclusions; • Holograms; • Labels, foil printed; • Radio Frequency Identification RFID; • Micro-taggants; • Micro-barcodes; • Laser-responsive micro-images; • Chemical forensic coding; • Supply chain verification procedure.
PRODUCT SECURITY Product security starts from raw material sourcing, component conversion, through to warehousing, production and distribution. At all stages within the life cycle of a product, companies must avoid rogue product, theft, and control and trace product. Tracking of product is a GMP requirement as well as a business need: it helps ensure security and aids in patient administration.
Getting the right pack for the right product takes time, intelligence, product and packaging materials knowledge, team effort, project management, communication and awareness, in line with regulatory requirements.
H EALTH C ARE PACK AGIN G
WHY THE INCREASE IN COUNTERFEITING?
• Better counterfeiting technology, including improved technology to make labelling, packaging and products that appear real but are not; • Better organised, more effective criminal groups attracted by financial opportunities; • The online sale of prescription drugs by unlicensed pharmacies and/or foreign websites; • Opportunities for introducing foreign-made counterfeit and unapproved drugs into large and rapidly growing import flows; • Weak spots in the domestic wholesale drug distribution chain, including some wholesalers who acquire most of their inventory from secondary sources, do not maintain effective due diligence efforts on these sources and ignore warning signs indicative of illegal or unethical behaviour.
• Secure the product and packaging; • Secure the movement of drugs through the supply chain; • Secure business transactions; • Ensure appropriate regulatory oversight and enforcement; • Increase penalties; • Heighten vigilance and awareness; • International co-operation.
The agreed consensus for any anti-counterfeiting solution is as follows: • Small • Complex • Adaptable • Dynamic • Fully traceable to company database
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr Declan Bogan (firstname.lastname@example.org) is Business Development Director at SteriPack Pharma. Declan has been working in the life sciences industry since completing his PhD at DCU in 1996. Declan has worked in a variety of roles, both in Ireland and internationally, for a variety of life sciences companies directly and as a consultant in the sector. SteriPack is a specialist provider of clean-room manufactured packaging, contract packaging, supply chain management services, and packaging development to the medical device and pharmaceutical sectors. They supply to over 250 companies globally, offering a diversified range of services to support clients’ specific needs. Based in Clara, Co. Offaly, SteriPack operate a 7500 m2 facility; encompassing Grade D (Class 100K) classified areas with ancillary preparation rooms, offices, warehousing and support staff. SteriPack operates under ISO 9001:2000, ISO 13485:2003, and EU GMP Manufacturing License. For more information, contact: SteriPack Ltd., Kilbeggan Rd., Clara, Co. Offaly, Ireland. Tel: +353 57 9331888. Fax:+353 57 9331887. Web: www.steripack.ie. E-mail:email@example.com.
FUTURE TRENDS So where is packaging for the life sciences headed? The following is a list of some of the drivers within the industry. It is by no means exhaustive, yet gives an indication of some of the ongoing challenges. Each topic could require its own article. • Standardisation of Dosage forms across the globe (e.g. blisters vs bottles); • New “intelligent” delivery systems; • Barrier properties; • Regulations and new legislation; • Environmental concerns; • Waste reduction, reduce, recycle, re-use, legislation; • Security / anti-counterfeiting technology; • Security foils; • SMART labelling / packaging; • Printable RFID; • Technology applications / transfers; • Late stage customisation; • Packaging technology (aseptic filling); • Testing methodology improvements; • New challenges to meet; • Removing materials from supply chain; • Materials development; • New sterilisation methods; • Lean – Production changes/demands; • Plastic replacing glass; • Improving patient compliance; • Transfer of information (e.g. artwork).
WIDENING THE RECYCLING NET
key challenge to the the market and Repak’s 2,200 packaging industry in members funding packaging recyrecent years has been cling of in excess of 60%, it was to assess the type and felt the time was right to widen volume of the packaging being the funding net. Repak estimated that the 39% outside Repak could produced in order to reduce or yield in the region of an extra prevent excess packaging being €18m to help fund the now hissupplied to the marketplace. torically high and growing packThe first priority of the EU aging recycling levels. Packaging directives back in 1997 The original Packaging was to ensure “producer responsiRegulations passed into law set a bility” and to increase the level of tonnage threshold of 25 tonnes at recovery and recycling of used a time when we were only recypackaging, particularly in the cling less than 15% of all used household/domestic waste stream. packaging. In an effort to encourThis has resulted in a greater age greater participation sense of focus on recovby business in funding ery and recycling of their used packaging, packaging and the changes to the Waste future will see an M a n a g e m e n t increased focus on pre(Packaging) Regulations vention, as new targets are expected to be introand thresholds are set duced by the Department and introduced in of the Environment, Ireland. Heritage and Local As a result of the Government, which will Directive and the estabsee a lowering of the De lishment of Repak, Minimis or threshold for Ireland has grown its obligation from 25 tonnes packaging recycling to 10 tonnes. from under 15% in 1998 Under the new reguto over 60% in 2006. lations, any Irish compaThrough the support ny, who supplies over 10 and investment by tonnes of packaging on Repak of over €117m Pictured at Repak’s 10 Year Anniversary celebration are Andrew the goods they sell or in funding packaging Hetherington, CEO of Repak, and Senator Feargal Quinn. supply and has a recycling, nearly 3m tonnes of used packaging were prevented from going to turnover of over €1m, will have a legal duty to ensure landfill. they fund the recycling of the packaging waste they put on the market. Packaging companies need to be aware of this reduction but they also need to ensure that their LOWERING OF THE DE MINIMIS clients are aware, as it will impact on them financially and force them to assess how the goods supplied to them Based on the EPA 2005 database, the total amount of are packaged. packaging placed on the market in compliance with the The reduction in the tonnage threshold to 10 tonnes Packaging Regulations is approximately 65%. This is is currently in the final stages of consideration by made up of Repak members’ packaging tonnes at 61% Government. The changes will also help to spread the and Self Compliers’ tonnes at 4-5%. With Repak memfunding net wider than the existing 2,300 companies curbers now accounting for 61% of all packaging placed on
Changes to recycling regulations will mean that more companies are obliged to fund the recycling of the packaging waste they put on the market, important news for packaging companies and their clients, according to Repak.
rently funding packaging recycling through Repak or Self Compliance. Repak has estimated that it alone will need approximately €45m in revenue by 2011 to meet future packaging recycling costs and to achieve the new target of 60% of packaging recycled.
MINIMISATION AND PREVENTION STRATEGIES With the potential of the de minimis decreasing, there are clear reasons for the packaging industry to investigate and implement minimisation and prevention measures in their design and production processes. In addition to the savings in product packaging and input costs, there are potential savings in compliance charges, not only for packaging companies but now also for their clients, who may now be obligated to comply under the new regulations. Repak charges packaging producers and users based on the volume and type of packaging they produce. Any reduction in the volumes and tonnage produced makes a direct saving on compliance charges for both supplier and client. According to Repak, proper minimisation strategies by industry are also key to meeting our future EU Recovery and recycling targets. Ireland has managed to achieve both its 2001 and 2005 EU Packaging recovery/recycling targets, but the future target for 2011 means that Ireland will have to recover a minimum of 60% of all used packaging, with individual packaging material targets. Unless we stem the growth in packaging, then these targets will grow in real terms and, as a result, will cost more to achieve.
Repak Awards 2007 REPAK hosts the Annual Repak Awards every October and over the years, many outstanding case studies have come to light. The Awards allow companies to highlight their achievements in terms of waste prevention and minimisation and also highlight the CSR side to their organisation. Repak Member of the year Award: Lakeland Dairies. Repak Best Packaging Waste Prevention Initiative (sponsored by the EPA): HJ Heinz Co.
Repak Best Practice Award Large Company (Sponsored by the EPA): Alcan Packaging Dublin Ltd. Repak Best Practice Award Independent Retail Sector: O’Reilly’s Centra Foodmarket, Bunclody, Co. Wexford. Repak Best Practice Award Hospitality (Sponsored by REHAB): Fitzgerald’s Woodlands House Hotel, Adare, Co. Limerick. Repak Local Authority of the Year (Sponsored by Rehab): Louth County Council.
Repak Local Authority Initiative of the Year (Sponsored by RPS): Cork County – Bandon Civic Amenity site. Repak Recovery Operator of the Year Large Company (sponsored by Bank of Ireland): Panda Waste Services, Dublin. Repak Recovery Operator of the Year Small/Medium Company (sponsored by Tetra Pak): Clean Ireland Refuse and Recycling, Kilrush, Co. Clare. Repak Excellence Award: Tesco Ireland
Alcan Scoops Top Award ALCAN Packaging Dublin, specialists in the printing of food flexible packaging took the Repak Best Practice Award 2007. Alcan, through a continuous and measured process, have examined all aspects of their production to ensure that no more packaging than necessary is used and that all packaging that can be recovered is segregated and sent for recycling. However, it is the development of a compostable flexible plastic food packaging for the breakfast cereal market that marked Alcan Packaging Dublin as leaders in best practice in packaging waste management.
HOW CAN REPAK HELP? This year, Repak and the EPA launched a €200,000 packaging prevention programme to help Irish industry reduce the amount of packaging on their products. The Packaging Waste Prevention Programme is co-funded by the EPA and Repak as part of the National Waste Prevention Programme (NWPP).
Pictured at the presentation of the Repak Best Practice Award 2007 to Alcan Packaging are John Gormley TD, Minister for Environment; Gerry Byrne, EPA; Niamh Cassidy and Allan Radford, Alcan Packaging; and Andrew Hetherington, CEO Repak.
The programme measures will see: • a series of awareness raising seminars;
audit matrixes for non brandholder/importers to help these companies determine if they exceed the 10 tonne De Minimis. Repak will charge a flat administration fee of €75 plus VAT, to provide a statement of opinion as to a company’s potential obligation under the newly amended packaging regulations. The fee is fully refundable against Repak membership if a business is obligated and they subsequently decide to join Repak. It is imperative that your company is aware of their obligations, as noncompliance measures are in place. Newly obligated companies have two options to ensure they comply with the law: to either join Repak or to self comply. In order to make compliance easier for newly obligated companies, Repak has developed an attractive offer for scheduled members. According to the organisation, the annual fee will be less than the registration cost of registering with a local authority under self compliance.
• a ‘what is best practice’ packaging website; • a supply chain benchmarking study; • exemplar best practice case studies; • consumer research study on packaging preferences and purchase behaviour; • Packaging Design Awards aimed at promoting examples of best practice; • Development of a carbon footprint calculator for member companies. Also, Repak are assisting companies who may be unsure as to whether they will be obligated under the new changes to the threshold. Repak is working with respective trade bodies to develop tailored packaging
The new offer from Repak includes: • Flat Annual Fee of €400; 14
• No joining fee or back fee for newly obligated companies; • Annual fee increases to be capped at a maximum of 5% for 3 years.
This offer to newly obligated companies is designed to make compliance as simple as possible, while reflecting that company’s position in the packaging chain.
Leaders of the Pack IN addition to looking at ways to reduce the amount of packaging produced (through light-weighting and other strategies) and methodologies to prevent them in the first place (through the use of re-usable totes etc), packaging companies and managers need to keep abreast of other key issues in the industry. The main issues for packaging companies are: 1) Check and ensure you are compliant with the Packaging Regulations. 2) Develop packaging materials with customer obligations and recyclers in mind. Can packaging be prevented or if not minimised in weight or designed to be more easily recycled. 3) Ensure all back door waste is presented and segregated correctly for recycling. 4) Encourage customers to be compliant through either membership of Repak or by being self compliant. Are you using the green dot on your products or services and, if so, ensure you have the correct license/authorisation to use it in Ireland or abroad if applicable?
Case Studies tronically instead of physical CD (71% in 2005, 10% in 2004) and minimising packaging by shipping a single multi-lingual CD rather than shipping multiple single language CDs. The initiatives introduced in 2005 resulted in following savings: 568 tonnes cardboard, 9.7 tonnes paper and 17.8 tonnes of plastic.
BATCHELORS Batchelors has achieved significant light-weighting of their cans for peas and beans. Light-weighting requires less steel, tin and energy in the can manufacturing process. It should be noted that light-weighting requires an application of critical design features to add strength to the light-weighted can, to withstand handling, filling, processing and final transportation of the finished pack. Simultaneously, innovative technologies are introduced to improve convenience features such as easy opening lids and more advanced and effective lacquer systems to facilitate reduction of tin coating.
BULMERS Bulmers Ltd has shown extensive improvement in terms of packaging prevention, re-use and recycling. They continuously examined their supply chain and its manufacturing process to improve packaging and, where no alternative was found, sought to minimise the amount of packaging required and also looked to returnable re-use options. Five new initiatives to prevent packaging introduced in 2005 resulted in preventing 133 tonnes of glass, 61.5 tonnes of plastic and 61.5 tonnes of cardboard going onto the market. However, the move from non-returnable to returnable long neck bottles has taken 13m bottles (2,925 tonnes glass) per annum out of the marketplace, resulting in a saving in raw material costs of €1.03m during 2005. In addition, savings of 81.25 tonnes of cardboard and 19.2 tonnes of plastic were made from replacement of the tray and film with crates. 2006 saw the company introducing a change from the PVC sleeve to one made with PET. They have an environmental team in place which continually looks to improve the waste management and increase recycling rates, which they have maintained at over 90% since 2003.
SYMANTEC In 2005, as part of a committed environmental improvement programme, Symantec introduced four key initiatives that directly resulted in a reduction of packaging placed on the market worldwide. The new initiatives involved operating sales and maintenance electronically rather than physically. The initiatives prevented packaging by using On-Line Sales versus Physical Sales (88.7% on-line in 2005), issuing electronic licences instead of shipping physical licence (93% on-line in 2005) and by sending maintenance updates (product and license) elec-
LEAVING THE FOLD
Cartons offer great potential but sustainability is also a key factor, according to Pro Carton, the Association of European Cartonboard and Carton Manufacturers.
ew and innovative of packaging to branded products packaging solutions and delivering the marketing mesare increasingly in sage on the shelf. Packaging, demand, together including cartons, is almost as with the requirement for eyepopular as television advertising catching cartons that attract the as a means of promoting a brand customer. Pro Carton, the and is more successful at stimulatAssociation of European ing repeat purchases. Cartonboard and Carton Cartons do more to help Manufacturers, was able to show brands and brand owners than some of the best of these in its supply attention-grabbing 2007 Carton Award competiboxes. Cartons respond quicktion. ly to consumer demands for Run together with the convenience. For example: European Carton Makers A) Beer can be stored in a Association, this annual award refrigerator in a carton multipack, which can then be used scheme recognises innovation as an ice bucket as the beer is in carton packaging design and consumed. technology. The premier Ready meals in cartons can award is the ‘Carton of the be taken from the fridge and Year’, which for 2007, was heated in either a microwave awarded to an ingenious or radiant heat oven. This type chocolate box. The box slides of carton/tray is referred to as apart to reveal the chocolates, being “dual ovenable”. but then the ends can be easily B) Use of susceptors, one folded down so that the carton type of which comprises alustands like a small table, preminium metallised polyester senting the chocolates. film, in microwaveable ready The prize for the most innovative design or new use Carton of the Year 2007 was awarded to an ingenious chocolate meal packs. The susceptor of cartonboard, was won by a box, which slides apart to reveal the chocolates, but then the absorbs microwave energy perfume box for its breathtak- ends can be easily folded down so that the carton stands like a and makes it available to the food in its vicinity, causing a ing use of print. The silver small table. desirable localised browning sphere which reflects the bottle and crispness. inside the carton, seems to shimmer and hang in the air, C) Pharmaceutical blister pack containing an embedded through the clever use of holographic inks and special microchip, antenna, electronic circuitry and printed with a green and purple colours. conductive ink will record the time and date when a pill is Prizes were awarded in six other categories and full removed and ‘bleep’ when the next pill should be consumed. details are available to view on www.cartonawards.com Patient feedback on side effects can be entered and As many of the entries for the competition demonstored, using buttons built into the pack. When the course strated, cartons have a wide range of tools to deliver eyeof treatment has been completed, the information can be catching packs which convey a feeling of being special. downloaded to a PC for observation and onward transmisVarnishes, metallic finishes, foils, transparent film winsion to the medical advisor and the product manufacturer. dows, inks to ensure security, and vegetable-based inks are available and being improved upon continuously.
INTELLIGENT PACKAGING SOLUTIONS THE IMPORTANCE OF PACKAGING Cartons are at the forefront of providing intelligent packaging solutions: for example, by including time/tempera-
A recent study by Pro Carton has shown the importance 16
print and a better portrayal of image at the point of sale; a need for better, cleaner perforations to function well and look more appealing; and a better synergy between primary and outer packaging so that the outer pack enhances self presence without obscuring the product. The innovative capability of cartons can fulfil these needs and with the continuing development of technology, methods can be found to deliver economic, practical and elegant solutions to retailersâ€™ packaging needs. For further information, see the Publications/Reports section at www.procarton.com. How satisfied are brand owners with Retail Ready Packaging?
AGE APPROPRIATE MARKETING
ture devices to indicate the freshness of a product. Cartons can also help brands to protect themselves. Counterfeiting harms a brandâ€™s reputation and may harm the consumer of counterfeited products. Cartons can offer overt/visible, covert/non-visible and track-and-trace technology to help brands protect themselves against counterfeiting. An example of visible protection is an embossed hologram on a varnish layer, which can show overt security features alongside the decoration. Using a substrate with integral coloured identification can provide covert/nonvisible protection. Security features can be embedded in the cartonboard and thus be very difficult to imitate by printing. Cartons can offer printed RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) systems for authentication and track-andtrace of product. The electronic element is produced with conductive inks and can be integrated with the carton structure so that it is highly secure and cannot be tampered with. New developments in technology are pushing the boundaries of what cartons can offer to delight the consumer. For example, a concept cornflake box which electronically generates product information and incorporates on-pack games with battery and speaker.
Another recent Pro Carton study showed that ageappropriate marketing is an essential part of the marketing mix. From the appeal at point of sale through to the functionality of the pack, products which address the needs of an older age group can achieve remarkable success. Particularly for the older generation, packaging works in a variety of ways, as it affects their daily life. The difference between a packaging design which causes discomfort and one which, if properly thought out and implemented, can produce a feeling of satisfaction and ease, is the deciding factor when it comes to a repeat purchase. For further information about how cartons per-
TOPICAL ISSUES To help its members exploit these new and exciting opportunities, Pro Carton regularly commissions studies on topical issues. Pro Carton commissioned a report from researchers, PRISM to discover more about retail ready packaging and the attitudes of brand owners and retailers to this growing phenomenon. The main findings concluded that there is a desire to see an improvement in the quality of
The prize for the most innovative design or new use of cartonboard was won by a perfume box for its breathtaking use of print.
formed in a comparative study, , see the Publications/Reports section at www.procarton.com.
ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES Retailers and product manufacturers are increasingly asking packaging manufacturers for environmental information such as the sustainability of raw materials or energy use. The carton industry has a positive story to tell on both of these important issues. Cartons and other paper-based packaging have one thing in common – cellulose or wood fibre from trees as its raw material. Cellulose fibre makes up 40-45% of wood and managing forests sustainably benefits both the environment and industry. As a living material, the forest thrives from care and attention from the forester, which requires a regular harvesting of the smaller trees in order to allow the stronger ones to develop. This tidying up process, together with offcuts from the saw mills, supplies the raw material for the paper and board industry. The European paper and board industry does not use trees from tropical forests. But if half of the tropical forests have disappeared within the last 50 years, it is rarely, if ever, by reason of felling for the board industry, but rather to clear the land for short term agricultural gain; perhaps cattle ranching or soya bean production. This contrasts with the managed forests in developed countries, where the forestry industry, working closely with the paper packaging sector, has seen the development of sustainable practices. The volume of wood in the established forests is increasing, as the volume of annual new growth exceeds the volume harvested by around 45%. Growing trees also absorb and fix CO2 which is in the air. Thus, well maintained forests, with many newly-planted trees, help to combat the greenhouse effect by absorbing carbon.
A large proportion of the paper and board packaging industry’s production is now made from recovered paper. The industry reached an impressive 77% recycling rate by 2006 in Europe, according to the Paper Packaging Coordination Group based in Brussels. This is well beyond the 60% target set for paper in the European Packaging Directive, which had to be achieved by 2008.
ENERGY USE On the issue of energy use, the paper and board industry including cartonboard, is Europe’s largest industrial producer and consumer of renewable energy. In integrated mills, where pulp and paper or board is made at the same site, the wood by-products provide energy in the form of electricity and steam for the manufacturing process. This renewable, sustainable energy source accounts for around 50% of the energy consumed in pulp, paper and cartonboard production. The paper and board industry is amongst the best examples of a sustainable economic model. The traditional model is linear: extraction of resources, production of goods, consumption and then disposal or destruction. This old way of doing things can only lead to the disappearance of natural resources and increase in waste. However, the paper and board industry’s closed loop is sustainable and allows for minimal use of non renewable resources, the facility to recover and reuse large amounts, and less waste.
CELLULOSE FIBRE Cellulose fibre is the building block which can be reused to make new paper and board products. Through recycling too, the fibre keeps both its energy and the carbon dioxide that it has absorbed in the forest. The recycling process for paper and board needs an injection of new fibres, due to the loss and degeneration of fibres during use and the industrial process. These losses, without any addition of new fibres, would, in the short term, rapidly escalate the price of paper and board and would quickly dis-incentivise the use of the most sustainable of packaging raw material media. 18
PACKAGING INNOVATIONS FROM INTERPAC
OW in their fifth year, Interpac (www.interpac.ie) are firmly established as one of the leading suppliers of specialist packaging materials and solutions to pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturers requiring UN and non-UN certified packaging. Based in a new facility in Sandyford Industrial Estate, Dublin, and with logistical service locations throughout the country, Interpac can meet clients’ exact demands associated with increased pressures of valuable space in manufacturing warehouses. Interpac will also provide on-site consultations in order to improve clients’ packaging and supply chain performance. One of the key areas of growth has been the introduction of a new range of conical steel drums, ranging from 30 to 220 litres, with UN approval for the storage and transport of both hazardous liquids and solids. Importantly, as these ‘combidrums’ nest into one another when empty, users are benefiting from the 300%+ space savings over traditional cylindrical drums. Typically, a pallet of empty conical 220 litre drums will have 40 drums on it as opposed to four or if dou-
ble stacked, maybe eight of the old style cylindrical drums. The benefits of using tapered/conical drums are easy to see. Interpac’s approach to packaging, with the key emphasis on innovative cost and space saving ideas, has been very well received. Their broad range of packaging products include UN rated steel, plastic and fibre drums, FIBC’s, UN corrugated boxes and desiccants. For further information, contact: Ian Sutton, MD.
BULK BAG CONDITIONER-UNLOADER FROM FLEXICON
NEW Bulk Bag ConditionerUnloader System from Flexicon (Europe) Ltd loosens bulk solid material that has solidified during storage and shipment, allowing the material to discharge through a bag spout. The integral configuration of the conditioner eliminates the time, labour and equipment needed for separate loading of bulk bags into a stand-alone conditioner. The design also consumes significantly less floor-space than two separate pieces of equipment and requires less material and labour to construct, reducing initial cost. Two hydraulic rams with contoured end plates press opposing sides of bulk bags, which can be raised and lowered for conditioning at varying heights using an electric hoist. The hoist assembly also includes a motorised trolley, to allow loading and unloading of bulk bags without the need of a forklift. The conditioner’s controller and hydraulic pump can be mounted on the exterior of the unloader or remotely. Safety interlocks prevent operation of the conditioner when the doors of the unloader are open. The unloader also features a Spout-Lock clamp ring,
which forms a high-integrity seal between the clean side of the bag spout and the clean side of the equipment, while a Tele-Tube telescoping tube maintains constant downward pressure on the clamp ring and bag spout, elongating the bag as it empties to promote complete discharge. Immediately above the clamp ring is a Power-Cincher flow control valve, employing a series of curved, articulated rods that cinch the bag spout concentrically, allowing dust-free retying and removal of partiallyempty bags. The surge hopper is equipped with an optional dual-shaft agitator that deagglomerates material and promotes flow into an optional, integral auger conveyor to feed a downstream process. The entire unloading frame is mounted on load cells that transmit loss-in-weight data to a controller that starts and stops the auger conveyor, allowing programmable weigh batching directly from bulk bags. For more information, contact: Alan Walton, General Sales Manager, Flexicon (Europe) Ltd. Tel: +44 (0) 1227 374710, or see www.flexicon.com. 19
CONSUMER CONVENIENCE DRIVES ALUFOIL PACKAGING GROWTH
Guido Winsel, Communications Director of the European Aluminium Foil Association, on innovation within the alufoil industry.
nnovation has been the CONSUMER CHOICE main driver behind a successful 2007 for aluminium The consumer convenience and foil packaging. Perhaps the safety of alufoil trays for use in biggest news came from the the microwave is proved by severFraunhofer Institute for Process al new product launches that have Engineering and Packaging, who hit Europe’s supermarket shelves revealed that Europe’s confrom fillers supplied by EAFA sumers can now turn to ready members. meals in alufoil trays for use in the The versatility of alufoil trays means that microwave oven, following the publication of not only is it safe to use them in the its scientific evidence dispelling the myth microwave, their use can enhance the that they are unsafe for use in the appearance of food heated in this way. For microwave. example, the Fraunhofer Institute (IVV), of The versatility and consumer convenience Freising, Germany conducted a series of of aluminium foil packaging was also praised experiments with lasagne that showed that by David Smith, Kraft Foods’ Director of when heated in the microwave, an appetisPackaging Global Technology and Quality ing crust developed. International, who was head judge for the No hazardous results or damage to Alufoil Trophy 2007. Smith said, “The ovens were found in the tests where food breadth of applications represented by portions were heated in aluminium foil conentrants demonstrated some very creative tainers or packs containing aluminium foil and interesting packaging solutions, covering during the Fraunhofer study. Only a slighteverything from lidding concepts, barrier ly longer heating time compared with plastic Guido Winsel, Communications Director properties and primary packaging to some containers was apparent. really innovative new material structures and of the European Aluminium Recent surveys conducted around the Foil Association. applications offering true consumer conveworld have shown just how important connience.” venience is to the consumer. In Germany, Sales of aluminium foil rose by 2% in the first half for example, research found that some 90% of consumers of 2007 after an already strong in 2006. Sales reached occasionally or frequently purchase pre-cooked meals. 452,000 tons, compared to 443,200 tons from January So the news that consumer convenience can actually until June 2006. The usage inside the EAFA region be improved by the use of alufoil trays in the microwave grew by 4.4% while exports considerably dropped by is already creating great interest among food manufacalmost 10%. The tonnage based volume for thinner turers. gauges, mainly used for flexible packaging increased It has convinced companies like Charcuterie des by 1.6% and thicker materials used for containers and Flandres, Le technical applications went up by nearly 10%. Petit Cuisinier Over the last 12 months, the foil industry in and Rambol, who Europe installed new or updated capacities to mainare now using the tain global leadership in terms of quality and producversatility of alution efficiency, as well as closing older facilities. foil trays for a Demand, particularly inside the EAFA region, is still range of products strong and the European manufacturers of aluminifor use in the um foil mills are optimistic to have another record microwave. year in 2007. Charcuteries des Approximately three-quarters of aluminium foil is Flandres, for Ecopla Benelux, part of Nicholl Food used in packaging, where its characteristics of example, has Packaging, won an Alufoil Trophy for VisiopacALU, which displayed key constrength, formability and barrier properties have made developed a sumer attributes of good on-shelf visiit an essential part of many flexible packaging and conrange of nine bility and consumer convenience. tainer applications. special recipes in 20
Creativity in Abundance THE creativity and flexibility of aluminium foil was shown off to full advantage by the record number of entries to the Alufoil Trophy 2007, which displayed a massive number of genuine innovations. Consumer convenience was high on the agenda for all entries, and the winning packs covered a wide range of end user markets, including pharmaceuticals, food, dairy, catering, and coffee. Ecopla Benelux, part of Nicholl Food Packaging, won for VisiopacALU. Dubbed The Dome, the pack had the key consumer attributes of good on-shelf visibility and consumer convenience. A novel and innovative Doypack pouch with screw cap for Elvir’s Elle & Vire Crème Epaisse is a good example of how a product can be taken successfully into a different packaging format. The first market use of Huhtamaki Ronsberg’s ‘Cyclero’, a new generation multilayer flexible packaging concept, created an easy open and re-close circular container for Amaroy Kaffee Pads. Alcan Packaging Singen’s innovative blister pack - Formpack with Desiccant - extends the shelf life of moisture-sensitive pharmaceuticals. Constantia Teich’s Low Seal Lidding for Unilever Food Europe’s margarines Firestar’s ‘NALCO’ is a means that peelable seals on functional and convenient PP and PS containers can be new deep-drawn alufoil conexecuted at significantly lower tainer and printed multitemperatures than were previ- layer lid for safety fuel paste used in catering to ously possible. Firestar’s ‘NALCO’ is a heat products such as fonfunctional and convenient dues. new deep-drawn alufoil container and printed multilayer lid for safety fuel paste used in catering to heat products such as fondues. Impress Metal Packaging created a new format aluminium pack and Easy Constantia Teich’s Low Seal Peel lid for Lidding for Unilever Food Europe’s Luncheon Meat that margarines means that peelable seals on PP and PS containers can provides greatly be executed at significantly lower improved product temperatures than previously posrelease. sible.
Alcan Packaging Singen’s innovative blister pack, Formpack with Desiccant, extends the shelf life of moisture-sensitive pharmaceuticals.
alufoil containers for use in the microwave, in a conventional oven and on the barbecue. This multiplicity of heating methods for which alufoil trays are suitable adds true consumer convenience. Not only are they dual-ovenable and suitable for use in the microwave, another great advantage is that there is no need to decant the meal on to a separate plate or dish as the alufoil tray lends itself to the oven-to-table concept, loved by today’s busy consumer. Whether it is a lunchtime snack in the office, a delicious evening meal for one or a creative time-saving dinner with friends, alufoil meets all the consumer convenience drivers. And ticking off another major consumer concern: alufoil trays can be easily recycled.
SUSTAINABILITY Consumer goods manufacturers should be encouraged to develop and aggressively promote flexible packaging options. Alufoil has a major role to play in flexible packaging as it provides maximum performance from minimum use of material. Its wide range of advantages include exceptional barrier properties, which ensure that nutritional value and quality are preserved, making it possible to transport and store food for long periods without refrigeration. Flexible packaging offers savings in transportation energy generated across the supply chain. Reducing packaging weight, in which alufoil plays a significant role, helps save both materials and energy, while minimising the generation of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. Thanks to efficient separation techniques, the aluminium from many types of foil application can be fully recycled for further uses. Where separation is not possible, the energy stored in the thinner foils (less than 50μm) can be recovered thermally. Flexible packaging offers savings in transportation energy generated across the supply chain. 21
PACK AGIN G T R A C E A B I L I T Y RE Q U I R E M E N T S
A TRACING CERTAINTY “
he traceability of materials and articles shall be ensured at all stages in order to facilitate control, the recall of defective products, consumer information and the attribution of responsibility” – Article 17 (1). So says Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council as of October 27, 2004. Traceability has become a buzz word in the world today. Increasing legislation (such as the extract above) means that even manufacturers of packaging components that are used in the food industry must be able to track their products through the system. Essentially, this means that both packaging manufacturers/suppliers and food manufacturers must be able to demonstrate traceability of all packaging used in the production of food products. This article will examine how that can be achieved.
A key element in achieving the ability to track and trace products through the supply chain is the need to be able to identify each individual product, writes Denis Coleman, Business Development Manager, GS1 Ireland, who examines the role of traceability in the packaging sector.
identify products moving through their supply chains. The legislation mentioned above now demands that all materials which will come in contact with food must be traceable in order to facilitate control, the recall of defective products, consumer information and the allocation of responsibility.
GS1 GLOBAL STANDARDS Application of GS1 Open Global Standards affords users the certainty of identification of products, places and people. This is done through the use of what are referred to as GS1 Number Keys. The term GS1 Number Keys
PRODUCT IDENTIFICATION A key element in achieving the ability to track and trace products through the supply chain is the need to be able to identify each individual product. For over 30 years, global retailers have been using GS1 Global Standards to
refers to a series of numbers that are applied to a product, place or person in order to identify it. These numbers are globally unique, in that once assigned to a product, they remain with that product for life and the number will not appear on another product anywhere else in the world. From a packaging perspective, the ability to identify every product that is supplied by a packaging manufacturer is now a requirement of legislation. In order to do this, each unique product should be assigned a unique number called a GTIN (Global Trade Item Number). This number can be encoded into a data carrier, such as a bar code, and will be present on every unit of the product. For example, a roll of Clear Polypropylene web will be assigned a unique ID number based on the width, length, micron, or weight (depending on the unit of measure used). However, it is difficult to be absolute-
Denis Coleman, Business Development Manager, GS1 Ireland.
PACK AGIN G T R A C E A B I L I T Y RE Q U I R E M E N T S
ly certain that the unit size of many products in packaging are the same for each unit. Again, taking the web example, most manufacturers spool webs based on a +/10% rule. In order to get over this issue, it would be better to apply what is known as a Serialised GTIN (SGTIN) to each roll.
SERIALISED GTIN The primary difference between a GTIN and a SGTIN lies in the ability through serialisation to individually identify each individual occurrence of the GTIN. In a packaging scenario, this means that each individual roll of web or labels can be uniquely identified and distinguished from another roll (even if the materials all come from the same batch). This enables full traceability to the unit level, which will prove extremely effective in the event of a recall or other issue covered under the Directive. The process of assigning a Serialised GTIN is very straightforward. As per the example above, each variation of a packaging product would be assigned a GTIN. However, as each roll is spooled at the point of production it would be assigned a serial number to uniquely identify the individual roll. Currently this form of traceability is done by numbering each roll, e.g. roll 10 of 20. Using the GS1 Standards and encoding the Serialised GTIN (SGTIN) into the form of a Barcode on the roll speeds up the process both at the point of production as well as all along the supply chain.
From a packaging user’s perspective, the ability to scan a bar code and access information about the specific product that is about to be used in production enables the traceability information to be completed. In the event of a product recall, it will be possible to use the information that has been captured from the packaging label and link it to the actual products that were produced.
SERIAL SHIPPER CONTAINER CODE SGTINs can be grouped into pallet quantities, which can be assigned a new ID to identify the unique pallet. This in turn can be grouped into a number of pallets to identify a shipping load. These latter tasks are possible through the use of another GS1 Standard called a Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC). The SSCC is like a Bill of Lading for the pallet or shipping load as it contains a single bar code that, once scanned, will provide details of everything within the load. This speeds up shipping and receiving operations.
About GS1 GS1 is a neutral, not-for-profit organisation, dedicated to the design and implementation of global standards and solutions to improve the efficiency and visibility in supply chains. GS1 is driven by more than a million companies, who execute more than five billion transactions a day with the GS1 System of Standards. This makes it the most widely used supply chain standards system in the world. GS1’s diversified portfolio ranges from GS1 Bar Codes and GS1 eCom (electronic commerce tools) to next generation technologies and solutions such as GS1 GDSN (Data Synchronisation), EPCglobal (using RFID technologies) and traceability. GS1 is truly global, with local member organisations in 108 countries, and with Global offices in Brussels, Belgium and Princeton, US. If you require any further information, please contact either Denis Coleman (Manager – Business Development) on (01) 2080660 or on firstname.lastname@example.org
GLASS: PURE AND SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING
am becoming increasingly concerned about emotionally charged, misleading and inaccurate media reports justifying the introduction by some retailers of alternative packaging formats to glass. Some retailers seem to have interpreted their waste obligations as a simple weight reduction exercise, in which case the obvious target is glass. Until now, glass has been one of the materials to have escaped consumer and environmental group criticism over excessive packaging - surely the real target for action. I believe that it is worth reiterating why it is that we believe glass, although heavy compared to other materials, is actually the most sustainable form of packaging available to brand owners and retailers for both food and drink products.
David Workman, Director General of British Glass, argues that glass is the most sustainable form of packaging available to brand owners and retailers for both food and drink products.
Glass is a mono layer material and therefore does not need to be separated prior to recycling. With the right infrastructure in place, glass can reach recycling rates in excess of 90%. This has already been achieved in countries like Switzerland, Germany and Holland. Even if it does reach landfill, its inert nature means that it will not give off harmful greenhouse gases like methane - nor will it have any detrimental effect on marine life if it is discarded on our coasts or at sea. Recycling rates declared by the various different materials need to be verified to show exactly what is meant by the rather meaningless terms ‘recyclable’ or ‘easily disposed of’ Glass has no fears about such a verification process. No other packaging material can currently boast the same high levels of recycled content as glass, and in many cases there is no prospect that they will ever be able to do so.
RAW MATERIALS Where we have to use virgin raw materials, they are sourced locally, are cheap and plentiful. Supplies of sand and limestone will last for thousands of years, unlike the basic raw material used to produce most other forms of packaging.
CONSUMER PREFERENCE Glass looks good, feels good and is associated with quality products. Numerous surveys from across Europe show it to be the consumer’s preferred choice of packaging. The retail sector proudly promotes the idea that it reflects consumer demand. If this is genuinely the case, then supermarkets need to package more of their food and drink products in glass - not less.
INTEGRITY Glass is virtually inert. It will keep any product packed into it in the pristine state which the filler intended. Products will not be contaminated by the material itself and, however acidic, the products will not contaminate the material. It does not contain phthalates, Bisphenol A or any other potential hormone disruptor. It offers long shelf life as high levels of vacuum and carbonisation can be maintained over a long period of time, unaffected by temperature or light. In most applications, it is highly resealable. It is a robust material able to be pasteurised, sterilised or microwaved. Glass also has the unique ability to be genuinely returnable - as with the milk bottle - or one trip, to suit local conditions. Chemical coatings or additional oxygen stabilisers do not have to be applied to it in order to improve barrier properties. 24
If we are to enter a phase where competing materials are to be judged on their impacts on health, the environment and society, then let us have an informed debate based on full and exhaustive impact assessments - not on half baked, limited Life Cycle Assessments or simplistic calculations of weight.
At a time when under age drinking is increasingly accepted as a social problem, is it right that alcoholic beverages should be packed into materials so associated with younger consumers? Glass is the widely accepted packaging medium for the adult drinks sector.
About the Author
Glass has never featured in the discussion on ‘excess packaging’ although it does have the potential to reduce its weight further. We are working closely with WRAP in order to facilitate projects involving the glass industry, brand owners and the retail sector, aimed at rolling out a programme of light-weighting which, over the next few years, could see average bottle weights drop by as much as one third. This, combined with an increasing recycling rate, will have a very significant beneficial effect on energy consumption and CO2 reduction. It is the brand owners and retailers who specify weight. In many cases, they choose to promote their products in containers which are heavier than they need to be.
DAVID Workman is the Director General of British Glass, the UK trade federation for the glass industry, and has been so for the last six years. Previously he worked in a variety of senior sales and marketing roles within the UK's leading glass container manufacturers, a career that spanned over 30 years. He was also recently re-appointed President of CPIV the Brussels-based European Glass Manufacturers' umbrella body, for a second two-year term.
SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING As a matter of interest, recital eight of the EU Directive 2004/12/EC on Packaging and Packaging Waste specifically states that ‘discrimination against materials on the basis of their weight should be avoided’. This was included to discourage the type of activity that we are currently witnessing. 25
M AT E R I A L S H A N D L I N G
ROBOTS SHOW RAPID RETURN ON INVESTMENT
obots are usually associated with handling repetitive tasks â€“ either in high volume production or flexible handling systems for frequent changes. In the food packaging industry, for example, robots generally fall into three main arenas: pick and place applications, feed placement and palletising. Labour savings, the overcoming of labour shortages, better product quality and improved working conditions are the most obvious benefits associated with robotics systems.
Establishing the need for robotic systems in packaging lines is only the first step towards maximising efficiency. First, the investment must be cost justified, then the system itself must be modelled to make the most of its capabilities, as Frank-Peter Kirgis of ABB Robotics explains.
so important. For the robots to operate at peak efficiency, it is essential they work at a realistically calculated nominal rate.
GET IN POSITION
Apart from the product feed, line configuration and belt speeds, the positioning of the robots is critical to attain the highest efficiency. Commonly, robots are configured to pick from the shortest distance possible at their respective station position. This is all well and good at the start of the line, but by the time the fifth or sixth robot is reached, the product can be entirely centred within the belt. This can lead to catastrophic collisions at the end of the line, as the last two robots have to vie for the final picking of the products. With optimal robot layout, programming through PickMaster 5 software, product placement, feed consisten-
CONFIGURING THE SYSTEM Taking the application of ABBâ€™s IRB340 FlexPicker robots as an example of the robotisation of a picking line, it is important to optimise the line by seeking to attain: the highest line and robot performance; the minimum number of robots; the highest efficiency; low robot load; high reliability; and high redundancy. These objectives are easily defined, but less easy to fulfil because of boundary conditions and other external factors in most packaging processes. The main issue relates to product and tray flow. Variations and inconsistencies in the productâ€™s rate, missing or damaged items and starting/stopping of the line all have a major impact on the efficiency of the line, irrespective of the capabilities of the robots. Other limiting factors include the specific placing order of the different product types and the placing of cushions between trays. A further factor is the grippers required to handle delicate products and the potential for malfunctions in the equipment, ancillary to the robotics themselves. It is important to model the actual scenario in relation to the real time of the robot operations. For example, a line may be designed to deliver a maximum product feed of 300 pieces per minute, but only intermittently peaks at this figure and, when measured in 60-second intervals, actually has a lower rate. However, shortening the interval to 20 seconds, demonstrates that the peak flow is achieved about once every minute. When the variation in product rate is investigated at time intervals of two seconds, it can be seen that the peaks are above 300 pieces per minute at any time. It is this variation that makes the configuration of the robot
Robotic packaging lines can result in labour savings, better product quality and improved working conditions.
4HIS IS NOT A ROBOT
)TS A PACKAGING MACHINE )NTRODUCING ROBOT BASED AUTOMATION IS THE FASTEST WAY TO BUILD NEW PACKAGING MACHINES "Y COMPLIMENTING YOUR NEW OR EXISTING PACKAGING LINE WITH !""