Technology, Processing & Automation

22 Feb 2019 --- In packaging news this week, Sealed Air has expanded its Asia Pacific presence with the acquisition of MGM, a printing and laminating flexible packaging specialist headquartered in the Philippines. In another big business move, pharmaceutical packaging supplier ACG Group has opened a US$93 million capsules manufacturing plant in Brazil. Innovative new launches this week included RKW’s “super sustainable” stretchable shrink film, which is unique in that it can be cut smaller than the pallet size and pulled over the palletized goods.
21 Feb 2019 --- Consumers are increasingly willing to use nanotechnology-based solutions in food packaging, but they are wary of how the essential oils – used to prevent spoilage – may “contaminate” foods, a report carried out by the EU-funded NanoPack Project has revealed. The survey informs NanoPack’s continued testing of the technology, which is forecast to reach Technology Readiness Level 7 (Demonstration in an operational environment) by the end of the project (December 2019).
12 Feb 2019 --- VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed the first prototype of a cylindrical extruder which has shown promise in “revolutionizing the processing of recyclable materials.” The extruder can be used, for example, to turn problematic textiles and plastics as well as food waste into pellets. VTT say that the first prototype has already exceeded the industrial steering group's expectations during initial testing. VTT is currently looking for a partner to commercialize the technology.
11 Feb 2019 --- One of the key findings at the Petcore Europe Conference, held in Brussels last week, was that in order to achieve the stringent recycling targets set out in the EU Plastics Strategy, the industry must collaborate more efficiently to develop harmonized, efficient sorting processes. Since most recycling problems can be brought back to the sorting process, cracking sorting will crack recycling, according to Gian De Belder, Packaging Technologist, Sustainable Packaging Development at Procter & Gamble (P&G). One potential breakthrough technology that could add efficiency and precision to the sorting process is watermarking.
11 Feb 2019 --- Advances in robotics are facilitating ever-increasing speed and efficiency in packaging automation. Robots are able to perform menial, repetitive functions with far higher productivity than humans, allowing personnel to focus on higher value tasks. As the global population and levels of consumption continue to rise, robotics will be an increasingly significant factor in meeting the growing demand for packaged goods.
08 Feb 2019 --- Self-adhesive label specialists UPM Raflatac has successfully completed the first pilot of its new smart label solution, RafMore for e-commerce. RafMore labels use Internet of Packaging (IoP) technology to log and share information about packages, adding transparency and reducing inefficiencies and waste during the delivery process.
05 Feb 2019 --- Packaging equipment and services supplier BOBST has launched Helpline Plus AR in what the company says is the first ever remote assistance service in the packaging industry to incorporate a smart headset with augmented reality (AR) glasses. Customers requiring technical assistance can wear the smart headset and connect with experts who can simultaneously see what the user sees and offer advice and support in real time.
23 Jan 2019 --- SIG has developed a new digital monitoring and control solution which optimizes every angle of filling plant operations. With SIG Plant 360 Controller, manufacturers can gradually integrate all horizontal plant processes and systems into one platform, while also adding more functionalities to grow vertically. This ensures they can gain a full overview of their entire production – from raw material reception to the warehouse, and from shop floor to top floor.
21 Jan 2019 --- A smart, digitally-enhanced shopping experience is now a reality in supermarkets after the strategic partnering of Israeli start-up company Supersmart and packaging and labeling innovators Bizerba. The latter is actively supporting Supersmart in its development of AI, algorithms and computer vision for advanced software and hardware solutions which can achieve a “fundamentally new customer experience in all sectors and formats of the retail industry.”
18 Jan 2019 --- Tetra Pak will become the first company in the food and beverage carton industry to offer full-color digital printing on its carton packages, working in collaboration with Koenig & Bauer, a global leader in the field. The investment in digital on-package printing will offer new possibilities for beverage brands to customize products and differentiate branding.
11 Jan 2019 --- In Part 1 of Packaging trends 2019, PackagingInsights explored the biggest driver in packaging today: sustainability. Sustainability is at the center of another major trend – the rise of e-commerce – which is set for a pivotal year, especially after Amazon announced that its Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP) program will be enforced with financial penalties as of October 1, 2019, in five major EU countries and August 1, 2019, in the US and Canada. Part 2 explores this major trend in addition to another anticipated development in 2019: the continuing popularization of connective packaging technologies.
10 Jan 2019 --- Family-owned The Wilkinson Baking Company has unveiled The BreadBot – the world’s first fully automated bread making machine – at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show 2019 in Las Vegas (CES). The BreadBot turns flour into loaves all on its own, producing bread which is fresh, healthy, preservative-free and eco-friendly in comparison to center aisle bread. The system is aimed at re-establishing an “emotional connection with the shopper” that has been lost in an age of industrial food production.
20 Dec 2018 --- Sustainable plastic innovator Loop Industries has signed a Global Alliance Agreement with thyssenkrupp’s Industrial Solutions division, Uhde Inventa-Fischer. The Alliance intends to combine Loop’s depolymerization technology with thyssenkrupp’s PET Melt-To-Resin technology. The move is expected to increase the availability, resource-efficiency and cost-effectiveness of 100 percent sustainable PET on a global scale.
13 Dec 2018 --- Francesco Rinaldi has become the first pasta sauce brand to incorporate Augmented Reality (AR) technology into its packaging. In a move anticipated to enhance brand loyalty and increase sales, consumers can scan Rinaldi jar labels with a smartphone and watch the brand’s icon, Mrs. Rinaldi, deliver “an entertaining and engaging product message” via a downloadable app.
12 Dec 2018 --- A UK-based food technology company has created an innovative film packaging solution which significantly prolongs the life of fresh fruit and vegetables. As the latest addition to the It’s Fresh! product portfolio, the new Infinite “purposeful packaging” technology reduces food waste in supermarkets, in the supply chain and in the home. After three years in development, Infinite will soon be trialed on packs of berries in UK supermarket Morrisons.
03 Dec 2018 --- Digital imaging company Electronics For Imaging (EFI) will present its portfolio of advanced corrugated packaging production technologies at this week’s All4Pack trade show in Paris. This year’s showcase will include the launch of new print modes for the EFI Nozomi C18000 – the ultra-high-speed, single-pass inkjet corrugated board press that is helping many of the world’s leading packaging companies thrive with high-graphic, direct-to-board digital printing.
23 Nov 2018 --- The 29th edition of packaging innovation competition De Gouden Noot (“The Golden Walnut”) was won by ACU- Drop II, a unique, patented packaging form that revolutionizes quality control in the In Vitro Diagnose (IVD) market. Winning business combination Verhoeven Ontwerpburo and Eurotrol received the winner's trophy containing the well-known solid gold walnut during the Award Ceremony on Thursday evening 22 November 2018 in the A’DAM Tower Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The award-winning pack was selected from ten finalists.
16 Nov 2018 --- Shelf-appeal and consumer engagement are increasingly significant drivers in metal can design. Although consumers are drinking less soda, other can markets are emerging and expanding, notably craft beer and canned water, with producers demanding the differentiation needed to be competitive on a busy shelf. Two leading metal can suppliers, Crown and Ball, showcased the latest in their decorative techniques and connective technologies during BrauBeviale 2018 in Nuremberg, Germany, this week.
08 Nov 2018 --- The latest model of the Schubert Flowmodul integrated flow-wrapping machine now offers an even more extensive selection of possible sealing technologies. In a recent interview, Johannes Schubert, grandson of the company’s founder and Flowmodul Product Manager since 2017, explains the advantages of this innovative technology and how the latest model is providing an even more efficient solution to flow-wrapping demand while branching out into the healthcare sector.
07 Nov 2018 --- Stora Enso has introduced a paper-based RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tag technology called ECO in a move intended to offer a more sustainable alternative to plastic-based RFID tags. ECO is designed for intelligent packaging functionalities in supply chain, retail and e-commerce applications. The technology is a recyclable solution for packaging authentication.