Thursday, September 24, 2015

Rapid Change


       Aldo Peretti

     The world in which we live is rapidly changing and flexible packaging is no different. Flexible packaging has been brought to a whole new level through globalization. Uteco has listened to what marketers and end-users are asking — and demanding — from the flexible packaging industry. Some of these demands include eco friendliness, reduction of carbon footprint and reduction of energy consumption, recyclable materials, increased safety in food packaging and manufacturing plants and lastly, efficiency for short print runs. Our focus this year is on promoting the EB flexo press, which is a more Eco Friendly printing process. Uteco will also continue to work toward increasing productivity, decreasing running costs and presenting more innovative technology opportunities that will enhance the future of printing.  Uteco has and will continue to meet consumers’ demands and expectations by offering them products that will optimize their growth in this industry.
Flexo EB has a multitude of advantages over traditional flexo solvent inks. Advantages such as:
     • Excellent resistance to abrasion, aging, chemical agents, humidity and light.
     • No element will migrate through the substrate and/or by contact setoff.
     • Flexo EB will not alter the characteristics of the food packed, gives no smells in cured inks and does not release volatile organic compounds or other aerial pollutants, thus presenting itself as eco-friendly.
     It has been forecasted the installation base will grow larger, due to the pressure of environmental constraints for pollution and energy reduction. Therefore, Uteco’s Flexo EB press is the right move for environmentally aware consumers.
     Another area consumers should be aware of is our continuous commitment building presses to increase productivity and to decrease waste. A growing demand has been placed on companies to produce more diverse packaging with higher quality standards. We can make this possible with our Kiss & Go and SmartMatch printing presses. 

     Automatic Impression setup
     The Kiss & Go performs automatic impression settings at the start-up of every new job. It works by directly reading the printed color on the substrate. This allows the end-user to use any type of printing sleeve and anilox sleeve, and without the need of printed marks, which can considerably reduce material wastes. The sophisticated software of the Kiss & Go then scans the print of all the colors and sends the collected data to calculate the optimal printed dot.

     Automatic Color Matching
     At the start of every new job, it’s necessary to find the correspondence between the reference color and the printed color, within given tolerances. In order to cut cost-time and generate less waste, we have created an idyllic and faster solution. The SmartMatch is an automatic color matching system that will reduce the time for on-press color corrections and simultaneously set the right color from the portable kitchen, the SmartKitch.

     Global Imaging Management
     Uteco is committed to the concept of integrating the production process with the transfer of data through using the G.I.M. The end result of incorporating the G.I.M. is optimization of ink usage, the selection of sleeves and anilox rolls, and a correct guideline for the operator to prepare jobs. 
     Uteco stands by several goals to offer our customers. Among them are reducing changeover times, decreasing  wastes, increasing productivity and most importantly, investing in future technologies to enhance the printing industry.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Anything But Typical


      by Greg Kishbaugh

     Packaging is often the first line of direct advertising to consumers. One of the many methods employed by converters to make their packaging stand out on shelves is the use of atypical designs. Recent research has shown that unusual packaging designs make consumers analyze product claims more closely. This is both good news and bad.
     Certainly, having consumers look more closely at a product is exactly what converters, and CPGs, most desire. But the added attention comes with a downside. The some research also suggests that in addition to the increased consumer engagement, atypical packages also made consumers more critical of the claims made on the packaging.

     The research broke claims into two areas: weak and strong. Strong claims included statements about flavor or quality control while weak claims included “new formula” and alternative product sizes. In atypical packaging, consumers responded well to strong claims but were pessimistic concerning weak claims.
     “We found that the persuasiveness of weak and strong product claims on the package was affected by whether the package design was typical or atypical,” wrote researchers from the Amsterdam School of Communication and VU University were the research was performed.
     “When packaging was atypical,” continued the researchers, “strong claims resulted in a higher quality judgment, but weak claims resulted in a lower willingness to pay — compared to when packaging was typical.”
     The researchers presented design variants of packaging to consumers as part of the research test. The atypical designs, it was found, caused participants to spend a much greater amount of time looking at the product, which improved their recall of product claims.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Paper's Bright Future


      by Greg Kishbaugh

     Despite the maturity of the marketplace, it appears that paper-based packaging is still poised for further growth in the future. There are “significant growth opportunities” for paper-based packaging as changing lifestyles, environmental concerns and improving techniques continue to have an impact, according to a new industry report from Smithers Pira called Paper-Based Packaging Trends To 2019.
     The key drivers for paper-based packaging growth, according to the report, are growing GDP, changing demographics, sustainability and recycling concerns, technological advances, security and the ongoing drive for added value, which is driving innovation in luxury packaging.

     Paper and board represented 35 percent of the world’s packaging sales in 2013, a value of $280 billion, with cartonboard and containerboard 31 percent of the packaging market.
     One of the main contributors toward the continued growth of paper-based packaging is its environmental advantages over other forms of packaging. As increasing numbers of consumers state that sustainable options are important to them when shopping, paper-based packaging is seen as an increasingly attractive choice.
     In luxury packaging, paper and board has the biggest share of the market by value and is growing by an average of 4.4 percent a year.
     A Smithers Pira spokesperson said that packaging could best be described as “a bright spot for paper and board.”

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Securing The Future


      by Greg Kishbaugh

     Sustainability may still get the most media attention in the packaging market but the fight against counterfeiting remains one of the most critical facing the industry.
     The very nature of counterfeiting of consumer products lies cloaked in secrecy, one of the many reasons it remains a sensitive subject.
     A recent report from Allied Market Research looks at the ways in which converters are poised to combat counterfeiting in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics markets. According to the report, the anti-counterfeit pharmaceutical and cosmetics packaging market will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 15.7 percent during 2015-2020. 

     The hologram authentication technology segment accounted for about 52 percent share in 2014 and is forecast to continue to lead the market through 2020, mainly due to varied products and economic pricing.
E-pedigree authentication technology is predicted to be the fastest growing segment, estimated to grow at a CAGR of 21.5 percent during 2015-2020.
     The counterfeiting of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products raises more concerns than among some other product segment due to the health risk involved. According to the report, “Life threatening consequences due to counterfeit pharmaceutical and cosmetics products have increased the risk of losing brand equity and revenue by the manufacturers, which in turn, fuels the demand for anti-counterfeit technologies.”
     Another new report from Reportstack looks at the anti-counterfeiting market for food and beverages, which has generated revenues of $26.4 billion in 2014 and is forecast to reach $62.5 billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 16.1 percent over the forecast period.
     This market, like pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, faces health risks associated with the counterfeiting of its products. The adoption of novel, multi-layered technologies for the protection of food and beverages has helped manufacturer to minimize the impact counterfeiting.
     The global anti-counterfeiting market, as a whole, is expected to generate revenue of $142.7 billion by 2020 at 13.9 percent CAGR from 2013-2020.

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Energy Of Innovation


      by Greg Kishbaugh

     We live in a world driven by innovation. Today we use a host of devices we take completely for granted that just a few short years ago would have been considered science fiction.
     Although packaging is a very mature industry, it too thrives and grows through a constant influx of innovation. One needs look no further than the DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation, the industry’s longest-running celebration of innovation and collaboration through the value chain.

     The just announced 2015 awards saw entries coming in from 25 countries and were witness to a slew of innovations. DuPont dubbed the event as “the year of design” with more than three quarters of this year’s winners being recognized for design excellence.
     Technological advancements in print also played a major role. Uflex developed Flex SafePack, which featured nano-embossing over a flexible extrusion layer. This development allows for high-definition graphics up to 10 colors to be printed on the bag, elevating a commodity product with a premium look.
     The award-winning Gillette Venus Swirl package is printed with think4D technology, which uses a patented process to create and reproduce three-dimensional objects, surfaces and textures.

     IPL claimed the highest honor, the Diamond Award, for SkinnyPack, a mono-material package that combines flexible and rigid packaging to create a thin, light and strong structure that uses less material, enables recycling and allows more message space.

     Awards like those sponsored by DuPont are important to spread the message about the ways in which packaging designers and converters are every day improving their products, striving to make them safer, more convenient and additionally environmentally friendly.
     And the DuPont awards are by no means alone. Within the past several weeks, IPACK-IMA was held in Milan, Italy, with a heavy emphasis on smart packaging. Many easy-opening innovations were launched (packages that can be opened with just two fingers, for example), as well as packaging for the visually-impaired equipped with a microchip and mini-speaker inserted into the label that “speaks” and tells users important information concerning type of product, its origins and its expiration date.
     At the end of this summer, the Packaging Innovations London show will he held, in which inventive developments such as microembossing and advanced substrates, to name but a few, will be discussed.
     The important thing for converters to remember about innovation is that it never ends. There is always something new and exciting on the horizon and the spoils of success belong to those who are able to first to capitalize on them.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Not Easy Being Green


      by Greg Kishbaugh

     The market for green packaging, already a juggernaut in terms of sheer growth over the past few years, is looking to expand further. The global green packaging market is forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 7.84 percent from now until 2019, according to a new research report from TechNavio.
     The report suggests that the food and beverage industry is the largest consumer of green packaging materials, a trend that is expected to continue.
     “Companies like Cadbury, Coca-Cola, ConAgra Foods, NestlĂ©, and PepsiCo use sustainable packaging materials, which gives them a competitive advantage over other market players,” said Faisal Ghaus, Vice President of TechNavio.

     Surely, the benefits to be gained over competitors is a primary driving factor behind the expansion of green packaging. But, it appears that legislative demands are beginning to play a larger role, as well.
     The introduction of an extended producer responsibility (EPR) approach in many states is one example. EPR mandates that manufacturers pay for the recycling process and safe disposal of their products. The EPR approach is based upon the idea that because brand owners and converters have the greatest control over product design, they are the ones who have the greatest responsibility to lessen a product’s environmental footprint.
     There’s no question that the more proactive a company has been in its sustainability efforts, the less it will have to worry about possibly intrusive legislation. But for those companies late to the green game, they may have to contend with having a little less control over how they implement their plans.
     “As a consequence of stringent policies,” Ghaus said, “many manufacturers prefer using green packaging materials for sustainable products rather than incurring the additional expense of handling the packaging at the end of its life cycle.”

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Road Ahead


      by Greg Kishbaugh

     It’s hard to fathom that in this day of almost non-stop discussion in the packaging industries concerning the importance of sustainability, there remain many consumer goods companies and retailers that operate woefully underperforming environmental programs. But that is exactly the information presented in a new study from As You Sow, an organization dedicated to increasing environmental and social corporate responsibility, and The Natural Resources Defense Council, an international environmental organization.

     The study examined the current packaging practices of three sectors with particular attention provided to quick service restaurants (QSRs, or “fast food”). The study found, surprisingly, that most companies have not sufficiently prioritized packaging source reduction, recyclability, compostability, recycled content, and recycling policies.
     In terms of the ‘fast food’ segment, the report found that most companies have a long way to go in terms of their sustainability efforts. Starbucks was found to be the leader for packaging sustainability with McDonald’s second. But most companies fell into the ‘needs improvement’ category (Dunkin’ Donuts, Subway, Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, Panera), while many others were rated as ‘poor’ (Arby’s, Quizno’s, Burker King, Wendy’s, Jack in the Box, Dairy Queen, Domino’s Pizza, and Papa John’s Pizza).
     The report declares that the four pillars of packaging stewardship include source reduction, recycled content, recyclability and material use, and materials recycling.
     In terms of source reduction, the report cited Starbucks as a leader with its commitment to serve 25 percent of all beverages in its stores in reuseable mugs or tumblers in 2015, a goal it had to substantially reduce due to tracking problems.

     Both McDonald’s and Starbucks have made strides in recycled content. McDonald’s uses 33 percent post-consumer recycled content in paperboard sandwich boxes and Starbucks uses 10 percent in coffee cups.
     The report analyzed 47 companies and found that none are doing enough to make their packaging more sustainable. The United States only recycled half of packaging discards (and only 34.5 percent of all municipal waste), lagging behind other developed countries.