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USA : P&G is all set to introduce its best-selling Olay Regenerist Whip moisturiser with a refill pod that fits right in the jar. Beginning October 2019, the pilot will run through the end of the year. When adopted and the brand moved a significant portion of Olay Regenerist moisturizer jars to refillable pods (e.g., 5 million jars’ worth), then that would save over 1,000,000 lbs of plastic.

Consumers will be able to purchase the refillable Olay Regenerist Whip package that contains one full jar of Olay Regenerist Whip and one refill pod of moisturizer that can be placed inside the jar once it’s emptied. The package will be sold and shipped in a container made of 100% recycled paper and will not contain an outer carton in order to reduce the use of paperboard. The pods themselves are also recyclable.

“The ultimate goal is to find and adopt many more sustainable packaging solutions, and the refillable Olay Regenerist Whip package is the first step of that journey,” said Anitra Marsh, associate director of sustainability and brand communications for skin and personal care at P&G.

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New legislations will require labels to display full ingredients in pre-packaged food

UK :  A new law is set to be brought forward by the end of summer which will require food businesses to include full ingredient labelling on pre-packaged foods.

Making the announcement, environment secretary Michael Gove said the new legislation, known as ‘Natasha’s Law’, aims to protect the country’s two million food allergy sufferers.

The new law was necessitated following the tragic death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, the teenager who died after suffering an allergic reaction to a Pret a Manger baguette, and will replace the current laws, where food prepared on the premises in which it is sold is not required to display allergen information in writing, meaning allergy sufferers sometimes lack confidence buying food out.

Environment secretary Michael Gove said, “Nadim and Tanya Ednan-Laperouse, Natasha’s parents, have been an inspiration in their drive to protect food allergy sufferers and deliver Natasha’s Law. “These changes will make food labels clear and consistent and give the country’s two million food allergy sufferers confidence in making safe food choices.”

Natasha Ednan-Laperouse’s parents Tanya and Nadim said: “We are absolutely delighted that the Secretary of State has announced the government’s decision to go ahead with full allergen and ingredient labelling. While Natasha’s Law comes too late to save our beloved daughter, we believe that helping save other allergy sufferers and their families from the enduring agony that we will always bear is a fitting legacy for her life.”

The introduction of ‘Natasha’s Law’ follows a consultation in January proposing four options, including full ingredient list labelling; allergen-only labelling; ‘ask the staff’ labels on products; and promoting best practice to businesses.

Chair of the Food Standards Agency Heather Hancock said: “We want the UK to become the best place in the world for people living with food hypersensitivities. The impact of food allergy and intolerance on quality of life can be as great or even greater than almost all other food borne diseases.”

Allergy UK CEO Carla Jones said: “We are delighted with the news that Defra’s labelling review backs mandatory full ingredient labelling for pre-packed direct sale food. This move towards full ingredient labelling for pre-packed direct sale food will improve the lives of the allergic customers.”

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Engel’s organomelt will be on display at the K 2019 show in Germany

Austria:   Engel has announced that it will be using the organomelt process to produce demo parts that reflect the latest innovations for car door modules at the K 2019 show in Dusseldorf, Germany.

The company claimed that in a world-first, its production cell will use infrared radiation to heat up and form three organic sheets of differing thicknesses, as well as shaping a high-quality visible surface in the same injection moulding process stage.

In yet another first, the company also claimed that the system will be equipped with three Engel easix articulated robots all operating at the same time.

“Thermoplastic composites are growing in importance when it comes to lightweighting in the automotive industry,” reported Dr Norbert Müller, head of Engel’s Center for Lightweight Composite Technologies.

There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, the consistent thermoplastic approach makes it possible to efficiently integrate the forming and functionalisation of fibre-reinforced prepregs, which reduces unit costs. Secondly, the use of exclusively thermoplastic polymers makes it easier to develop recycling strategies.

“Returning composite components to the material loop at the end of their service life is one of the priorities for ongoing development in the electric vehicle sector,” Müller noted. “Thermoplastic solutions are now becoming an increasingly frequent method, even within aircraft construction.”

Engel’s answer to the need for sustainable transport is organomelt. In the organomelt process, fibre-reinforced prepregs with a thermoplastic matrix such as organic sheets and tapes are heated, inserted into the mould, formed there and directly overmoulded with thermoplastic. The well-developed process has already been used in high-volume manufacturing, with Engel organomelt used for fully automated production of items such as front end carriers.

“In the future, several different prepregs will be combined for each component to tailor the lightweight construction characteristics to the relevant component’s shape as well as the different stresses on individual areas inside the component,” Müller explained. “The production cell at the K show will clearly demonstrate that great potential.”

The moulding process to be exhibited at K was developed in partnership with automotive supplier Brose.

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Mark Andy Digital One hybrid press

USA:  Konica Minolta Business Solutions, USA (Konica Minolta) has renewed its joint agreement with strategic partner Mark Andy, which started in 2016.

The partnership has since delivered a new family of digital label presses that enable customers to produce high quality, cost effective, digital solutions to the market.

“Konica Minolta is honoured to partner with Mark Andy, the global leader of label printing technology,” said Bill Troxil, senior vice president, strategic business development, Konica Minolta. “We look forward to expanding our relationship to equip Mark Andy with the technology to remain and grow as the industry leader in the flexographic and digital label market space.”

The OEMs first foray into partnership began with the Digital One hybrid press, which now has 100 installed units in production.

“Together with Konica Minolta, Mark Andy is proud to provide the world’s number one placed digital press in this fast-growing segment of the market,” said PJ Desai, chairman and CEO, Mark Andy. “Mark Andy is excited to continue our partnership and develop new solutions that enable converter success and make digital technologies more accessible.”

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The Diana X115 folder gluer for commercial and packaging printers

Germany:  Heidelberg hosted its Packaging Days at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site in May, which saw over 350 participants from all over the world visit the Print Media Center Packaging on two days.

The theme “Together on Track to Success” resonated the strong interest the participants showed in Heidelberg’s integrated solutions and got comprehensive answers to the growing needs in the industry. Run lengths are declining, the number of individual jobs is increasing, raw materials are going up in price and margins continue to be under pressure.

Heidelberg offers its customers a wide product portfolio for this, with standardised processes and largely automated workflows. “We are continuously enhancing the Smart Print Shop, and offer our customers assistance with the digital transformation,” explained Stephan Plenz, member of the management board responsible for digital technology, during his welcome address. “On this journey, we want to give our customers lots of different ideas on how they can make their business model even more profitable.”

For example, the “Smart Packaging Production” agenda item showed how productivity and profitability can be significantly increased in an integrated overall solution. Networked with the Prinect Production Manager, the Speedmaster XL 106 six-color press with coating unit and logistics, the new Powermatrix 106 CSB die cutter, and the Diana X 115 folder gluer ran at full speed.

The Powermatrix 106 CSB is the new high-performance die cutter from MK Masterwork. It produces 8,000 sheets per hour and has many features expected by packaging printers, such as an elevated pile handling system and the optical MasterSet sheet register system as standard equipment.

“One Pass, Infinite Possibilities” was popular with those interested in greater profitability through differentiation. The Speedmaster XL 106 eight-color press with double coating unit and the FoilStar cold foil module produced the most fascinating finishing effects, guaranteed to attract attention on any market shelf.

This is how brand owners realize their eye-catching effects at the point of sale.

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Team Comexi with the FTA Award
for its LCA project

Spain:  Comexi, a flexible packaging equipment specialist, has received a 2019 FTA Sustainability Excellence Award in the Innovations in Sustainability category for its Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of its Comexi F2 MC flexographic press.

Organized by FTA (Flexographic Technical Association), the 2019 FTA Excellence in Flexography Awards were presented on May 5th at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside (USA), where 39 gold prizes, 41 silver prizes, 40 bronze prizes and six Best of Show Awards were given.

The objective of this Comexi project is to continually acquire knowledge and communicate the environmental impact of the manufacture value chain of flexographic printing presses. Through the implementation of eco-designed products, a circular economy strategy has been established, providing to customers with products that are environmentally respectful throughout their life cycle.

The LCA examines the environmental, social and economic impacts of the machine in order to make across-the-board improvements. “The target of this analysis is to identify our environmental impact of the whole life cycle of the Comexi F2 MC flexo machine”, says Olof Buelens, vice president of Comexi North America.

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Over 150 visitors in attendance

USA:  Kodak celebrated 20 years of Kodak Prinergy workflow with over 150 printers, industry partners and media from around the world at the 2019 GUA Conference hosted in New Orleans to mark the occasion.

The two-day forum celebrated twenty years of collaboration between print service providers and Kodak that has transformed the way prepress departments operate, while also fostering lively discussions on the latest technology innovations shaping the future.

At the event, some of the very first printers to introduce Prinergy into their production workflow were among the attendees.

“For twenty years, Prinergy has helped thousands of printers all over the world focus on what matters most, building a thriving business,” said Todd Bigger, president, Kodak software division.  “Our customer-focused and customer-driven approach continues to guide us today as we invest in Prinergy to make the most powerful tool in the industry even better. While the demands on printers become more complex with opportunities to grow into new markets, Prinergy aims to eliminate complexity for printers with comprehensive automation that drives costs down and is easily expandable.” The portfolio of solutions supports all major printing processes across commercial and packaging.

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Automation in logistics is estimated to be Euro 313-million in the Middle East. The leaders in retail, commerce and FMCG are driving the growth for Swisslog, Alain Kaddoum, general manager of Swisslog Middle East tells Benjamin Daniel

Using a vacuum gripper, the KUKA robot picks up the layers of fruit juice cartons
and places them in a specified position in the buffer area.

Switzerland-based Swisslog has landed. Literally. After commissioning an automation project at Mai Dubai, the company has recently implemented a fully automated intra-logistics system based on intelligent software in the context of big data and Industry 4.0.

Swisslog is a USD 600-mn company, and is part of the KUKA group, a German robotics manufacture and a group leader in its market. Swisslog specialises in fulfilment and storage solution; and picking solutions. KUKA produces robots and robotics solution, which complements the Swisslog projects.

Swisslog made its Middle East presence in 2015. A year later, Alain Kaddoum, general manager of Swisslog Middle East joined the company. The journey, however, was not easy, says Kaddoum, who says, automation was relatively new, and being a leader in logistics, we had the role of educating the market. “We showcased technology that was available worldwide, and made significant progress. We have implemented logistic projects at several companies. Some of the key ones related to packaging are Almarai, Mai Dubai, Axiom Telecom regionally and PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Roche, ASDA and Wal-Mart in the retail sector. We are receiving a lot of demand in terms of logistic automation; and in companies where they would like to integrate industry 4.0 solution into their operation to make their solution future proof,” says Kaddoum.

The wonderful deals

The Almarai project is valued at USD 21-million. Swisslog has recently implemented a fully automated intra-logistics system based on intelligent software in the context of big data and Industry 4.0, similar to what it has done for Mai Dubai.

The fully automated solution takes the pallets from end of production line, automatically, through Swisslog’s 1000-meter monorail system to a high-bay finished goods warehouse using Vectura stacker cranes where we automatically store the pallets. When the order comes, the pallets are shifted from the high-bay warehouse to the truck.

“Automation can be a stand-alone solution or an interconnected solution like Mai Dubai, but we still require small human intervention at the end to load into the truck,” says Kaddoum. “We can push the automation further where we can load the truck itself automatically. So, the possibilities are there, the imagination is here; it is a reality now but the customer has to have a need for it.”

Similar to Mai Dubai Swisslog has a bigger solution in Almarai. It is composed of five phases. “There are the pallet storage solutions in the chilled area where we store the dairy product and we connect the production line with the finished goods product warehouse and we even do automatic truck loading using automatic solutions to load immediately into the truck in less than 20 minutes,” explains Kaddoum.

Automation is not in a single sector but can be used in multi-channel in the same warehouse.

Alain Kaddoum

The possibilities (automation) are there, the imagination is here; it is a reality now but the customer has to have a need for it.”

Alain Kaddoum, Swisslog

The packaging side of the business

The cost of land, shortage of storage spaces in the existing warehouses, unqualified manpower for handling of goods are the challenges which will drive automation and future-proof solutions.

Kaddoum explains, “By using innovative solutions like Item Pick, where we pick the items by robots. This reduces the number of errors and the risk of damages because if you are handling the items by robots, then you are having less injuries, less accidents during the operations.”

Item Pick solutions is meant for E-commerce where one picks small items or pieces. “When you go into retail, the mixed pallets sent with different SKUs on the same pallets, it’s important to make sure that the pallets are optimised to reach the retailer. There are tailored solutions like ACPaQ, mixed case palletising system applicable for fully automated order picking of mixed case pallets.”

ACPaQ can be used in ambient temperature and chilled warehouse zones, and can handle almost all types of cartons, shrink wrapper, foiled packages, pallet types used in retail and beverage industries.

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Rapid fluctuation and high risk create challenging conditions for management of the beverage industry, which is subject to extremely dynamic cycles of change. KHS has trained its focus on the industry with new developments

KHS production line

It’s a world of VUCA, which defines a world which is being increasingly characterised by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. The beverage industry, too is subject to extremely dynamic cycles of change.

Within its company strategy, KHS has decided to focus on the fast-changing requirements of beverage producers. For KHS, for instance, this means focusing on the relevant issues in research and development. While a manufacturer presents its customers with something new on its own initiative in what’s known as a technology push, a market pull primarily denotes an action triggered by the sales market.

In order to successfully learn with and from its customers, established, trusting business relations are called for, which KHS enjoys with many partners worldwide. Only within these is it possible to brave new technologies with realistic expectations and without bias as to the results. This includes openly discussing both problems and progress in a kind of ‘protected environment’ in order to be successful together – but also that those involved recognise when it no longer makes any sense to continue with a project.

The partnership with the French food group Danone is a good example of this type of cooperation. This has resulted in the film-free Nature MultiPack, first presented as a concept at drinktec in 2013, was readied for serial production and then launched to market with the Evian mineral water brand. The same technological principle was adapted together with Carlsberg for the beverage can and launched to the British and Norwegian market in 2018.

“Implementation digitisation is more of an evolution than a revolution”

Schopp: is part of KHS’s automation thrust

Benjamin Daniel(BD): What’s KHS’ strategy for the beverage industry?

Matthias Schopp (MS): As part of the mission statement process managed by our parent company Salzgitter we’ve made customer orientation the value of the year. We’ve received constructive feedback from many of our customers all over the world. On this basis we at KHS will focus on effecting even better cooperation across our divisions and departments in the future.

BD: Digitisation with research and development at KHS?

MS: In its implementation digitisation is more of an evolution than a revolution. Much of this has been going on for years: new functions in individual assemblies are successively changing lines and machines; components are becoming more intelligent and expanding the possibilities of superordinate control systems; networking is creating added value, such as in process monitoring or machine diagnosis. We’re integrating these and many other aspects to form a turnkey system.

BD: In which direction do you think Industry 4.0 will develop?

MS: Industry 4.0 will create greater transparency in processes and in doing so make the operation of a line much more efficient. We can already see some of its manifestations: the evaluation of sensor data collected along a line, for example, allows local and superordinate functions to be improved. Other characteristics will ensue – such as for self-optimizing lines.

BD: How will this work in practice?

MS: In the DnSPro2 research project we measure the foaming on filling machines with the help of cameras. The idea behind this is that in the future the machine can optimize itself to suit a new product as the automated variation of the filling parameters replaces the manual adjustment process. Applications like these won’t be available in the near future, however.

BD: Don’t developments like these make machine operators redundant?

MS:  No. Our aim must be to make human operation of the increasingly complex technology demanded by the market easier. With the help of artificial intelligence we want to make self-learning and self-optimizing systems feasible which with their great flexibility can be managed by humans and thus enable highly efficient, cost-effective operation. This isn’t just our vision but that of the entire industry, also of our partners.

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In a freewheeling chat with Benjamin Daniel, Pragati Group’s director Harsha Paruchuri shares the receipe of success

Harsha Paruchuri

PMEA: Being a renowned commercial printer in Asia, what influenced or prompted  Pragati to enter into the world of packaging print?

Harsha Paruchuri (HP): In the year 2000, we were looking at how internet would change things and we felt that 10 years down the line most of the things in commercial printing may or may not exist. So we looked at packaging and the first thought was, everything needs to be packaged, and second,  the Indian consumer was getting more and more sophisticated and wanted similar packaging to what is seen in European shelves. So given both of these things, we ventured into packaging.

PMEA: That’s a very straightforward answer. Since you specialised in offset printing you obviously got into carton-based packaging?

HP: Yes, we got into cartons as offset printing specialty could be extended.

PMEA: So, when did you get into narrow-web labels and what’s your take on the labels and narrow web printing and conversion?

HP: We got into labels and rigid boxes in the year 2007. After being in carton packaging for over seven years, we knew that the customer requirement was in different areas of packaging like labels and rigid boxes.

Rigid boxes are niche. A lot of equipment and printing remains the same. Our investment in this was more in machines that would put all the components together in making a box. Rigid boards were already being used by us for hard case books, papers and finishing materials.

However, Labels was another area where we saw a lot of potential, but it did involve learning a new print process (flexography) and investments in high-cost print machines, but we felt this was a potential we must explore.

PMEA: Being a commercial printer, what challenges did you face while venturing into packaging? In terms of workflow, staffing and operations in general. What advice or word of caution would you give to people transitioning from commercial printing to packaging print?

HP: Firstly, Commercial printing is not yet dead, we thought in 10 years from 2000 it would be, but instead we were 2.5 times the size that we were in 2000, so we saw a huge growth. But now I do see it flattening out a bit. I think in general, if you look at commercial printing there are those who are doing basic printing like manuals, annual report or printing basic catalogues or this information based printing. That kind of business is nearly gone away or on its way out. But where it is not just information based, but a touch and feel or has an emotional connect, is certainly growing. For example, a real estate brochure that is quite large in size to portray how big the project is or one with the finishing effects like foiling, touch effect and so on and so forth.

I think this part of the sector is going to grow, so it depends on where the commercial printer is currently, so there still a lot of scope for commercial printing.

That said, for a commercial printer moving into packaging is not a walk into the segment. For example, the grain direction theory. Not many printers follow, but do get away with it. That may not be possible in packaging because if the grain direction is not horizontal to the carton then the stiffness of the whole package when you hold it goes for a toss. The other thing with packaging is pre-press consistency. For a packaging buyer the consistency ranks higher than whether he is 99% or 100% in the print quality.

Just having a printing machine does not mean you can directly get into packaging. Knowledge about the industry & the market is very important.

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