column: Current topic
Trade fair EmbaxPrint 2009
The EmbaxPrint trade fair represents an important event for all who deal with print, packaging and packaging technologies. The motto of this year’s edition – Towards new technologies, suggests that the show, which takes place in Brno from 19th to 22nd May, will showcase novelties including digital technologies and their usage in printing and manufacturing packages. EmbaxPrint celebrates its 40th anniversary and it is the largest show in its field in the Czech market. This edition will take place under special circumstances. We asked its managing director Jan Kuběna about the consequences of the recession. Representatives of the packaging industry are exhibiting in the Pavilion F, which will also host a stand of our publishing house.
column: Market analysis
Most French packaging goes into cosmetics
Packaging industry is of prominent position within the French industry and economy. Manufacturers of packaging employ 97 000 people in around 3000 companies. In 2007, French packaging industry reached the turnover of € 21 billion. If we add € 1.7 billion from the sales of packaging machinery and equipment, we reach a total turnover of € 22.7 billion in the packaging industry. The dynamic growth of the French packaging industry is also illustrated by packaging and packaging machinery export and import data. Export in 2007 reached € 502.6 million (€ 456 million in 2006), import € 638.7 million (€ 619.3 million in 2006). The biggest clients of packaging and packaging machinery manufacturers are food processing companies (40%) and companies in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries (22%), followed by automotive and aircraft industries. In the medium term perspective of the years 2009 – 2011, the first two positions will swap and the majority of French packaging production will be used by the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries (source Observatoire de l’Emballage 2008).
The CEE market with flexible packaging does not stagnate
The British research and consulting company PIRA International, which among other issues deals with paperwork, printing and packaging, and the organization Flexible Packaging Europe (FPE) co-published a report on the market with flexible packaging in Central and Eastern Europe. The report reflects the state of affairs in 2008, which means that the data reported are slightly an anticipation (considering the fact that the report was published last year as opposed to this year) and do not take into consideration the possible influences of the recession on the last months of the year.
The industry of paper and cellulose is smaller in range, yet it is an important field with a long tradition, which has the potential to be a perspective and environmentally effective field of the finishing industry in the Czech Republic. Its products are applied in all the other fields of the processing industry, particularly in the form of packaging and in printing as the basic printed material. Manufacturing of paper is based primarily on renewable base materials of local origin (wood) and recyclable base materials (collected paper).
The growth in production of paper and cardboard in the Czech Republic stopped, and not only due to the global recession. As opposed to the year 2007, when it reached its record peak of 1.023 million tons of produced paper and cardboard, the year 2008 brought a decline in production to 92.4 thousand tons. This is attributed mainly to the termination of newspaper paper production by the company Norske Skog by the end of May and to the termination of cardboard production in Bělá pod Bezdězem in the fall. Out of the produced goods, almost 740 thousand tons were exported, which represents 80% of the production.
The total local consumption of paper and cardboard in the last year was practically stagnant (1.550 million tons as opposed to 1.557 million tons in 2007), therefore 1.366 million tons had to be imported. Import is thus larger than the total production in the Czech Republic, out of which only 20% is sold in the local market.
column: Main topic: Packaging of food:
Food packaging under a microscope lens
The principal legal regulation bound for every EU manufacturer of materials and objects which come into contact with food is the Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council which sets the general principles and requirements of the food law. One of the basic obligations based on this regulation is the obligation to introduce the system of traceability of materials and objects designated for contact with food in all phases in order to facilitate control and withdrawal of faulty products and to enable consumer access to information and alignment of responsibility.
Packaging, being products that come into contact with food, has to meet the requirements and limits set up by the Czech Ministry of Health Regulation No 38/2001 Sb. As such, they shall not be a source of microbiological pollution, they shall not include pathogens or opportunistic pathogens and they shall not disrupt the microbiological and enzymatic processes in the food product. One of the laboratories that provide microbiological testing of food packaging is Chemila.
Specifics of packaging for microwave heating
A manufacturer wishing to supply the market with a new quality product for microwave heating with a chance of success has to undergo a rather expensive development. Of key importance in designing such food industry equipment is the suitabl
e construction of the packaging and the choice of materials. Perhaps in no other category of food can the form of packaging so radically influence the actual characteristics of the product.
Not just packaging, but also fixation and medium of communication
Packaging of an egg requires having good fixation considering the characteristics of the goods (fragility). This is true both in end consumer and group transport packaging. From the point of view of materials, most frequently applied are saturated fiber and plastics. Both types of packaging can be made more attractive by printing or labeling.
FMCG packaging can be aided by recession
The developments of the recession and the uncertainty of the future months hit also the field of packaging design. Unlike in the banking and finance sector, the sector of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) may have a rather interesting development, packaging experts forecast. We asked Ivona Danziger, the director of client service department of the dhandafoss* (packaging & brand designers) agency, what the facts they base their prediction on are.
Sugar is in various fractions and based on the final usage packed into sacks, end consumer sacks of various constructions and materials or stack-up packaging. The development of sugar packaging in the Czech Republic in the past decade went through a major jump, not only in the overall quality of packaging, but especially in the graphic design of the packaging, which is now in most cases fully comparable to foreign quality production.
Transparent packaging enhances credibility
Considering the widening offer of goods and brands in the retail market, transparency gains on increasing importance for the consumers; both in the figurative and literal sense. In the spirit of this trend the British retail chain Marks & Spencer introduced a new range of ready made food in transparent plastic packaging.
Fun, attractive, applicable packaging
Patterns of consumer behaviour differ. Culture, tradition, age and even profession can be of significant influence on our decision-making, how we choose food, how we treat them and how we enjoy them. Almost all food has one thing in common: they are prepared for sale, delivered to the stores, where they are displayed, picked by a customer, purchased, taken home and prepared for consumption. In the end, their packaging and possible remains of it need to be disposed of. All these steps require a certain amount of time and energy. The Faerch Plast company decided to ask students of architecture the following question: How will packaging of the future differ from the packaging available on the market today? A number of interesting solutions were created. This article looks at three of them.
Deep Purple on the labeling market
The ONDRÁŠEK INK-JET SYSTEM spol. s r.o. company is a representative of Markem and Imaje for both the Czech and Slovak Republics. The company deals with product labeling.
Its director Pavel Ondrášek talks about the advantages of merging these two companies. Markem specializes in direct thermotransfer foil print and inscribing group packaging. Image focuses on inscribing individual products using ink-jet printers. The name of the group Deep Purple in the title of the article is an association with the purple color of the new logo, which were created upon the merge of the two companies.
Dairy products must not get old
The logistics of dairy products is governed by strict rules and regulations. The products easily get spoiled and their best before dates are in doyens of days. Therefore they are stored and transported under special regime. The basic systems are WMS (Warehouse Management System) which watches over the expiration period and FIFO enabling the first delivery of the goods which were first stored.
Bar codes, globally wide-spread means of automatic identification of almost all types of items linked into the logistics chain, in the second half of the previous century gradually became common part of the block of necessary information printed on packaging, packaging materials, labels etc. The absolute commonplace of their presence and mostly unproblematic functioning in mass scale, supported by a covert notion of the fast development of various types of scanning equipment might have led to the gradual loss of necessity of keeping basic rules for maintaining quality of symbols and continuous control of the phenomenon. As a result, many problematic situations arise…
New possibilities for stackers for narrow aisles
The Jungheinrich AG company broadened the usage of the transponder technology for the topical generation of combined forklift stackers by an add-on module, “RFID stock navigation”. The first stacker designed for narrow aisles to have used the RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology on a broad base for controlling the stackers, which means for floor control and communication with stock records, was the EKX stacker introduced in 2007. Since than, over 1,000 of these stackers have been in operation and it thus can be said that this technology has been successfully established.
column: Packaging and recycling
Environmental activists about packaging plastics
The attitude of environmental organizations to packaging plastics nowadays is not flat disapproving. Of course, where applicable, we should prefer packaging materials from renewable base materials, such as paper. On the other hand, the potential of quality recycling (number of cycles) is in many plastics much higher than in paper, which can go through six cycles due to the shortening of the fiber, and without massive chemical additions into the recycled substrate, it can only be used as a base material for the internal side of cardboard. Apart from that, plastics (as we wrote in detail in the last issue of Svet baleni) can be made out of renewable sources.
column: Packaging and design
Twice packaging design
Publications on packaging design can be divided into two main groups: theoretical or instructional and “referential”, the aim of which is to bring inspiration by presenting top works in the international context. The publication by the publishing house Slovart 1000x obalový design (1,000 times Packaging Design): The Best ideas for cardboards, boxes, bags and bottles certainly falls into the latter category. Three hundred pages are filled with photographs of packaging delivered in the highest technical quality on coated paper. The book includes an index of several pages. Another publication, What is branding? covers the role of packaging design in contemporary branding. According to the author of the book, Matthew Healy, branding describes all attributes of the product which preserve an enduring image in the mind of the consumer.