Column: 100% packaging
Winners of the Packaging of the Year 2007 competition
pages 5, 34-49
The 13th Czech national competition Packaging of the Year achieved a record number not only of presented, but also awarded exhibits. Some 41 exhibits were registered in the consumer packaging category and 21 of them were awarded, 15 and 8 in the sales, exhibition, group packaging and display category, 11 and 6 in the transport, handling and technological packaging, 8 and 6 in packaging materials and 14 registered and 8 awarded exhibits in the labels, caps and other additional packaging.
You can find the presentation of the individual winning exhibits on pages 34-49.
Column: Trade Fairs
German Packaging Trio 2007
The now traditional trio of trade fairs specialising in the production of packaging and packaging technology was held from 25th – 27th September 2007 at the Nürnberg Messe trade fair centre in Nuremburg. Some 1 319 exhibitors participated in this year’s exhibitions and there were almost 34 thousand visitors. The originally regional FachPack together with the PrintPack and LogIntern trade fairs is ranked among the leading European specialised packaging fairs.
Not only this but also the December issue of the World of Packaging will offer items of interest, news and innovations from this year’s fair.
Material does not have to be marked, but it can be…
Symbols, pictograms and signs facilitate communication in the packaging sector, save space and contribute to unambiguously disclosed information. The use of some of these is laid down by legal norms and in others by technical norms. We come across numbers inside triangles that consist of arrows or written abbreviations under them every day. Material does not have to be marked but can be and if so it is marked using abbreviations and number codes specified in the annexes to the European Commission Decision 97/129/EC number I to VII. No legal regulation specifies whether and what sign to use when stating the codes and abbreviations.
The last amendment to the law on packaging came into force on 15th March 2006, in a fundamental way it changed the requirements for marking packaging with regard to environmental legislation. It is evident that the regime of obligatory material identification was changed to the optional form of marking material from which the packaging is produced. This development can be assessed positively for a complicated structure of parameters and exceptions had to be created in the regime of obligatory marking. Optional marking with reference to the annex of the European Commission Decision 97/129/EC is elegant but at the same time not boundless.
Column: Main topics – marking, identification, traceability
Traceability – phenomenon of the times
Traceability as an integral part of the production process is an inseparable aspect of logistic processes, qualitative and security programmes but it does not in any way replace them.
So it is evident that in the age of a functioning global market this presents a broad issue and it is expected that its reliable solution will require the use of a standardised system based on automatic data processing. The system must be non-conflicting, simple to implement for all partners involved in the logistic chain. It must be precise, quick and also economically viable. What may be considered ideal in this situation is the use of a common “business language” of global force. The GSI System fully meets these preconditions as it is based on more than thirty years of experience in identification and standardisation of the company EAN International and America’s UCC.
An RFID label, tag or ticket is always a printable multi-layered product whilst one layer is a thin usually polyester pad on which a flat antenna is placed and a miniature chip conductively attached to it. This set is so thin that it can form a separate layer originally made of a paper or plastic label joined together as a whole and applied to the market object. How is RFID technology unique?
The exchange of information between the label and reading device takes place contact-free without direct optical contact. Unlike today’s labels containing a bar code this allows more than one label to be read at once during one operation, the object does not have to be guided into the reading zone of the scanner, reading takes place at a higher speed and the read data are processed at higher speeds. RFID labels can carry a greater amount of information than a label with a standard bar code. Data can be written into such a label about the originality of the product against forgery, the history of its origin, i.e. date of filling, inspection and period of durability of course, and so on.
The decision of the Czech company Mondi Bags Štětí to offer cooperation on the pilot project of Monitoring the Consumption of Paper Bags using RFID technology of the company Lafarge Cement, a. s., a leading world cement producer, was supported by several reasons. In the first place that a similar project was successfully implemented in the affiliated companies Mondi and Lafarge in Austria. Another factor was the proximity of both production plants which enabled a high level of operation and facilitated communication during the entire project. Lastly the decision was also affected by the convenient structure of logistics and production in the Lafarge company, which enabled the use of similar solutions as those applied in Austria.
For several years now, the leading companies have been developing an adequate and economically beneficial combination of packaging and passive radio frequency tags. This has been the key year in this respect for the Czech packaging industry. The cooperation of the development team of the second biggest baking company in the Czech Republic, PENAM, a.s., and Bruntál company Alfa Plastik, a. s., has achieved a commercially successful stage in marking bakery crates. We talked to Jan Čech, the technical director and head of the development team at the Plasty plant and with Jan Czernín, director of the Plasty plant of the company Alfa Plastik about the context of this major success.
All food enterprises (importers, agricultural enterprises, processors, producers and distributors) in the EU member countries must, as of 1st January 2005, have established complex procedures and systems for the traceability of production. This obligation is regulated by Act No. 316/2004 Coll., which extended Act No. 110/1997 Coll. on Food and Tobacco Products by paragraphs 4 and 5, referring to Article 18 and 19 of the EU Regulation No. 178/2002. This literally means that for food safety reasons every food enterprise must be able to quickly determine and prove what ingredients were used in the making of any product, where the ingredients were purchased, who produced them, whether he has them in stock, know their batch as well as who he sold the product to. This also applies to the packaging material in direct contact with the product including its batch. No implementing regulation to EU Regulation No. 178/2002 may have been issued, however almost all food business and production chains have adopted the procedure recommended by the organisation GS1 (formerly EAN). This procedure is based on the UCC/EAN-128 bar code.
Resistant handhelds, sensitive printers
Today the identification of goods represents an inherent part of logistics. In most cases the EAN code is used which contains essential information about goods. Special printers are used to print the EAN (bar) code, and various types of scanners or manual computers for reading. Bar code scanners represent devices designed for reading and decoding of information stored in the bar code. One of the simpler types is the CCD scanner based on the use of digital technology. These scan the bar code only from direct proximity. Laser scanners are equipped with more sophisticated technology and their rays can read bar codes at various distances – of up to thirteen metres. In logistics operations and in industry there are increasing requirements for a combination of scanning and mobile data processing. Mobile terminals, also called handhelds, are used for this purpose. The traditional mobile terminal is fed from a rechargeable accumulator, has a display, a keyboard and can be programmed. Depending on the software it is used for various procedures – be it stock taking in warehouses, recording property or mobile sales.
Hot news from Lausanne
The constantly growing volume of consumption of various types of consumer packaging such as folding carton can be observed. Greater demands are being placed not only on the graphic layout but also the construction of this packaging with regard to marketing success on a constantly expanding market. Hence the Swiss company BOBST, part of the BOBST Group and one of the top producers of carton processing machinery, presented a number of new products from this area in Lausanne. Our editorial office, in cooperation with Jaroslav Nykl, sales engineer of the BOBST Group CE, prepared a selection of the most interesting ones.