March 15, 2023
Future Fuels Are the…
Over the last few years, future fuels such as hydrogen...
It’s the event of the year for anyone involved in packaging and as the name says, we can expect lots of innovation. The show is also concurrent with Empack, which showcases the latest innovations in smart packaging, robotics and automation for the packaging industry.
As the UK’s premier annual packaging event, Packaging Innovations gives visitors the opportunity to see, feel, and use products and equipment up close and discuss their needs with the experts. But in an industry where technology advancements are rapidly developing, and with the ever-growing list of environmental mandates being issued by the government, sourcing the best solutions can be a bit of a minefield.
Let’s be honest, this topic has been done to death! But the fact remains, it’s not going away. If anything, it’s only going to come more and more to the fore. It’s true that over the last six months, sustainability has taken a bit of a back seat as soaring energy costs and staffing issues have become the bigger mandate. But it’s not just government mandates that are forcing packaging firms to become more environmentally conscious. There’s also the growing expectation from end-consumers that the brands they buy are committed to reducing plastics.
Change is never easy in large scale production situations. It may need to involve specifying expensive new equipment that can handle different types of materials to the ones you’re currently running. But ultimately, when combined with the latest smart packaging technology, producing more eco-friendly packaging will actually save money in the long run.
It’s not just the packaging materials themselves that are a key concern here. Smart packaging technology is now being developed with a focus on reducing energy consumption, waste and so on, enabling more efficient packaging lines.
Must see: A series of keynotes and panel discussions will take place across the two days of the show, covering topics including designing for a greener world, the future of reusable packaging and keeping costs under control.
It’s another topic we’ve heard a lot about that just isn’t going away. The noise surrounding the growing significance of industry 4.0 excites some and strikes fear into the hearts of others!
The fact of the matter is, whilst automating individual machines or processes is now commonplace, the level of intelligence and hyper-connectivity being offered by full integration of industry 4.0 is something else.
Any dramatic change can sound intimidating. Changing packaging operations to embrace industry 4.0 and the likely culture change is unlikely to be a smooth journey for companies. Considering that the industry is already struggling with skilled labour shortages, introducing additional IT requirements into the mix might be a bridge too far for what is already a challenging market environment.
But as with sustainable production, one of the key beneficial outcomes of industry 4.0 is that it will ultimately reduce all sorts of wastage, including materials, spoilage and even time. The latest smart packaging technology is programmed to make real-time adjustments to any deviations in the process, or variances in the quality of packaging materials, ensuring streamlined and efficient processes, with consistent results. Another aspect to look out for is predictive maintenance, which again can potentially save money and downtime by allowing you to fix any anomalies before they result in machine failure.
In the end, the technology proffered by industry 4.0 will enable packaging companies to improve their capacity, reliability and efficiency. The process of actually getting there may seem like a big hurdle, but fortunately, modern HMI systems are now extremely user-friendly and any machinery provider worth its salt will offer full training and ongoing support as part of the package.
Must see: Be sure to head over to the Empack exhibition, where the latest in robotics, smart systems and automation for the packaging industry will be on display!
Perhaps you work in a niche packaging sector, producing a product that has a necessary place, but it’s just not on the radar for potential customers. Never fear, Allotts is here! As a UK based family-run marketing firm, we have over 25 years’ experience in providing effective, results-driven marketing to the packaging industry.
In order to stay ahead of the game and increase your share of the market, it’s necessary to be reactive to ongoing developments, but of course you need the capacity and man-power to do this.
By working with Allotts, you can be assured that your marketing will be looked after by a team that prides itself as specialists in understanding the packaging sector. All Allotts’ clients benefit from a publicity guarantee for any PR work carried out.
We’re looking forward to attending Packaging Innovations 2023 – so drop us a line to find out how we can help grow your packaging business.