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.

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