Section: Trade fair
The international trade fair of packaging machinery and equipment Interpack, which takes place in a period of three years, was held this May in Düsseldorf for the 18th time. Furthermore, this edition marked fifty years since the founding of Interpack. The colossal trade fair, which occupied all the Messe Düsseldorf, was well arranged using structuring into three groups: machinery for packaging processes, materials and packing, and food-related section – manufacturing confectionery and bakery products. This article presents the first part of news which caught our attention among a wide range of flexible materials and packing.
In the field of plastic packaging, the international trade fair Interpack 2008 in Düsseldorf presented various novelties, which were interesting due to the materials used (e.g. biopolymers) and the improved technologies of production as well as new possibilities of plastic packaging application (aseptic packaging, packaging of dangerous substances). The expositions demonstrated attempts at further rationalizing usage of plastics by lowering material demands and by material replacement aiming at lower impact at the environment. New construction solutions were also introduced; these should contribute to the expansion of application of possible plastic packaging materials, packing and manipulation equipment.
For Industry, For Waste, For Logistic
This year’s trio of Prague spring trade fairs got underway by presentations of companies working in machine building, waste management and logistics. They served as platforms for introducing several Czech premieres of technological novelties. The visitors saw the newest machines, equipment and technologies in expositions which were in operation. Modern production technologies and industrial trends were simultaneously presented within off-programs – thematic seminars and conferences. All this took place in April in Prague’s trade fair center Letňany.
The statistics of this year’s editions of professional trade fairs recorded a growth not only in numbers of exhibitors and visitors, but also in the expansion of exhibition space. 311 companies from 6 countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belgium, Japan, Germany and Austria) presented in 10 400 m2. 10 730 visitors attended the trade fairs.
New trends in labelling and design
On the last day of the trade fair For Logistic, the large conference hall PVA Prague Letňany hosted another edition of the conference entitled 5th Central & Eastern European Conference on Packaging. The conference focused on RFID, coding, labelling and design. It was structured into three blocks: the introductory focusing on radio frequency identification, the middle block dealing with construction and design aspects and packaging and the last block concentrating on RFID applications and visions of further extending of this novel labelling technology.
A number of lectures brought new perspectives on solving issues of packing and packaging related to tensions between demands of logistics and marketing, on limits and possibilities of development of design and construction, and new applications.
Section: Main theme – labelling, identification and traceability
Slow start of RFID in Europe
RFID systems application in everyday reality is not simple. Teams of developers face a lot of work in overcoming laws of physics. Much effort and financing will have to be made before RFID tags become an inseparable part of consumer goods due to a low price enabled by their mass usage. The notion of not having to put out goods on the supermarket conveyor belt and being given a receipt upon passing scanner in the near future also remains in the realm of science fiction. Yet: development accelerates and it is good to be prepared…
Standardising data content of RFID tags
This March, Prague Congress centre hosted a professional conference RFID Future. The conference covered a range of issues on topical developments in RFID technology implementation in the Czech Republic and Europe. The conference co-organiser was GS1 Czech Republic, which on the local market plays the role of contact centre for expanding and developing EPCglobal standards in radio frequency identification.
Retail and logistics are characterised by very high number of collaborating business partners, who share the objective of sale of goods to end customers (consumers). The growth in partners, transportation and deliveries is exponential to the growth in transactions necessary for the goods to reach correct place of delivery in good time and in corresponding condition.
In transactions such as shipping, embarking or receiving of goods it is necessary to identify handled goods from various suppliers in the simplest and most effective way.
Bar code according to purpose and possibilities
Shopping in a supermarket: the cashier takes one thing after another from the conveyor belt, beep, beep, beep, everything goes smoothly… Only until a box of detergent hacks it. The cashier reaches out for another scanner, skews it, tries different angles and distances only to give up and call the help desk. Why won’t it be scanned? Everybody who encounters bar codes faces the same problem every day: storers, ticket controllers, workers in automatic manufacturing plants, service technicians or post office clerks. The following text is thus a manual for those who create and print bar codes…
Labels protect against falsification
Labels are the most common auxiliary communication item of packaging. They are made out of various types of materials – from paper to plastic foil and even mixed materials. Manufacturers for a long time now cannot do just with classic variants of labels of various shapes, either self-adhesive or stick-on. The market offers labels that are thermoplastic, rubber, IML, shrink sleeves or other kinds of refined labels, e.g. perfumed polishing etc. More information and increased marketing impact are brought by multiple-page labels (booklets). Alongside aesthetic and marketing functions, labels play the role of protection, which applies particularly to security and smart labels.
Controlled storage – less paperwork, more precision
The backbone of controlled storage is an information system which manages all movement of freight in the storage. Upon reception, freight is checked against order and delivery list in digital form. Checking is being done after bar code is scanned. A bar code includes all necessary data: kind, quantity, batch number etc.
Freight is then labell
ed with a bar code including the number of manipulation unit and is stored at a shelf slot. The location can be either determined by the storer or generated by information system which then sends it to the storers’ mobile terminal. If the location is selected by the storer, information is sent to the information system.
The request for delivery is given to the storer by the information system through a generated ticket. Putaway is then conducted by the instruction on the ticket and individual steps are then reported by the worker using mobile terminal. After delivery and putaway, articles ready for shipment are checked and delivery notes labelled with dispatch labels.
Information system can also generate requests for supplying freight in case the amount of individual items drops below set limits.
Section: Packaging in pharmaceutics
News in international cuisine
The gates of Messe Düsseldorf closed on the last day of April, which marked the ending of the largest Interpack Processes and Packaging in the history of this trade fair.
Among the most numerous groups of exhibitors were companies dealing with packing drugs. Exhibitors from this sector offered mostly machinery, equipment and automatic lines for packing drugs. Also a wide range of packaging was on offer – cases, ampoules, stacking containers and mainly blister packs.
Labelling for aluminium tubes
Labelling of aluminium tubes is a supportive security measure in the process of manufacturing drugs. The most commonly used means of labelling tubes, the so called pharma code, which is printed directly on the tube, serves to identify kind and batch of the filling. It enables fast, exact and efficient collection of data for continual control of correspondence between the primary content and programmed product.
Production processes in the pharmaceutical industry follow the strictest rules and regulations, which secure flawless quality of production and the result product, which is meant to serve human health. Consecutively, everything that is integrated in the production of drugs as raw material or packaging has to fully and unconditionally comply with the rules.
Bottle-to-bottle under scrutiny
Polyethylentereftalate packaging is one of the most frequent packaging of drinks. It is reported that in certain countries of the world up to 80% of all packaging is made of PET. In the Czech Republic, PET has become synonymous with uncollectible plastic bottles. Its share in communal waste increases every year which requires a brisk solution to the issue of recycling.
The spreading use of PET bottles necessarily leads to burdening of the environment. Recycling has been developing for several years and it proceeds in two directions. The well-known and most frequently used technology is processing of separated PET into a different, mostly non-food related product, especially textile fibres. The newer developments solve the issue by processing separated PET material back into granulate, which is then used for production of new packaging. In order to enable its usage in food industry, it is necessary to totally eliminate all possible health risks. The characteristics of recycled PET need to approximate the characteristics of the so-called virgin (primary) PET.