Column: 100% Packaging
This year, the SYBA Packaging Institute is holding the 13th annual national competition “Obal roku” (“Package of the Year”). The aim of the competition is to underline new packaging trends and to assist in providing a guideline to the wide range of packaging materials and related technologies. The competition is open for all those who are involved in the manufacturing and use of packaging material, both companies and individuals. The closing date for registration is the 31st May 2007. The assessment will be carried out in June and the prize-giving will traditionally be held in autumn. All information including the registration form is available on the competition website www.obalroku.cz.
Column: Trade Fairs
Like the Czech Republic in the mid 1990s, now Ukraine has been hit by the boom of trade fair events. One of those that achieving increasing importance in the field of packaging technologies and packages is the Pack Fair / Pak Ekspo, which was held simultaneously with the trade fair of food and food processing technologies Prod Ekspo Ukraine, held in Kiev from the 27 Feb. to 2 March 2007. This year, the participating Czech companies have been included in the “official participations”, and have therefore obtained the support of the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade. The Czech exhibition presents the following companies: Granitol, a. s., Moravský Beroun, Mondi Bags Štětí, a. s., Krkonošské papírny, a. s., TART, s. r. o., Brno, Sellier&Bellot; Machines Ltd., Vlašim, PROMAN, s. r. o. Chrudim, UNIONPACK-EAST, s.r.o., Karlovy Vary, EKO-CONTAINER SERVICE, s. r. o., Hradec Králové, SYBA, packaging association, Prague, and ČON, s. r. o., publishing house for technical literature, Prague.
Column: Analysis of the market
There are around 400 companies in the territory of the Czech Republic that develop their activities in the sphere of packages and packaging materials, and further almost 100 companies that offer machines, production lines and equipment for packaging, filling, marking, coding, closing, inserting, palletising and other operations related to packaging.
The annual turnover of the packaging industry of the Czech Republic has exceeded 35 billion crowns, the year-on-year increase of the last five years fluctuates around 10 per cent, which is the twice as high as the GDP growth rate. The investments in the car industry have brought about a strong development in the packaging industry for component production from car factories subcontractors, these being returnable, re-usable or disposable packages, for safe transportation of spare parts to the service network both inside and outside the Czech Republic.
The industry of paper and cellulose ranks among small but important and competitive branches of the processing industry of the Czech Republic, with a good environmental performance. Its products are used in all other branches of the processing industry, especially in the printing industry. The production of paper and cardboard kept growing in 2006, too. Its year-on-year increase in comparison with 2005 reached 5 per cent, and the volume of its production exceeded 1 million tons for the first time in its history.
In the Slovakia, the highest quantity ever, amounting to a total of 888,690 tons of paper and cardboard was produced last year by 11 companies associated in the Union of the Paper and Cellulose Industry (ZCPP), Slovak Republic. This was 4.6 per cent more than in 2005. Of the amount produced, 738,172 tons were exported. In terms of the assortment structure, last year’s production constituted 514,128 ton of graphic paper (year-on-year increase of 8.7 per cent), 136,491 tons of sanitary paper (drop by 1.8 per cent) and 238,071 tons of wrapping and packaging paper.
Column: The main topic: food packaging
At present, the package of a product constitutes protection, better storability and, last but not least, its eye-appeal. The consumers of today wish to be better informed about the goods contained in the package. Thus the package becomes a carrier of information to an increasing extent. This results in the package being given more functions, and that is why the packaging industry has to work on new conceptions that would be able to integrate all these requirements into one functional unit. This is, among other means, made possible by active and intelligent packaging. The aim of both systems is to extend the durability and/or to enhance the quality of food.
At present, food packing in a modified atmosphere (MA) is one of the commonly used procedures of protecting stored food from undesired reactions of oxidation/reduction, but also from changes in humidity and microbiological processes. Although the modified atmosphere in itself cannot prolong the shelf-life of non-durable food significantly it often becomes, if co-applied with other methods of foods preservation, an important factor of maintaining a better quality of packaged food. Perhaps the most important group of products packaged in a modified atmosphere is chilled food, especially products subject to minimum processing.
An important component of the protective atmosphere for food packing is nitrogen. Manufacturers’ experience shows that the most efficient way of obtaining nitrogen is its production directly on-site. This conception was realised as early as the first half of the last century; however, it has undergone remarkable technological development. Thanks to this technology, the food manufacturer gets nitrogen from a facility that is installed directly in the production hall. Messer Technogas, a renowned supplier of gas supply technolog
ies to the Czech market not only realizes both the design and delivery of the on-site equipment also mediates its financing. This equipment is usually rented to customers in the form of lease.
Refined laminated paperboards are an inseparable part of present-day packaging production. They are paperboards laminated by several layers of plastic material (usually PE, less commonly PP); whenn used for aseptic products, such materials also contain aluminium foil, which protects foods from UV radiation as well as from the influence of oxygen. These kinds of packaging are usually of the fold-up type and are especially suitable for liquid products. Although drinks make up the majority of goods packed this way, these composite packages are used for other kinds of food nowadays, too.
A less known kind of corrugated cardboard – called the WhiteWave, appeared on the Czech packaging materials market. All layers of this cardboard consist of white craftliner only. WhiteWave packages are suitable for direct contact with foods and they can even be used for finishing the baking of foods in the oven. It is suitable for diverse use: for fresh or frozen pastry and bread, dairy products or cosmetic products. Pastry manufacturer Dart, a company of Pilsen, has made use of the features of this material for transportation of frozen apple cakes with caramel. In the Czech Republic, the WhiteWave is newly offered by the corrugated cardboard packaging manufacturer THIMM Obaly of Všetaty.
says the technical and commercial director of the company Mašek – Packaging and Processing Machinery.
As the price of human labour makes up a constantly increasing item on the list of manufacturer’ costs, there is a growing demand for fast return investments that would replace it. Pressure for development of food packaging technologies and their products is growing in the food-processing sector in this context, too. Our editorial staff obtained information about innovations and new trends in the market of vertical packaging machines from the representative of one of the most progressive Czech manufacturers in this branch, Lukáš Mašek.
The company Opava-LU is a manufacturer of durable pastry, for instance wafers, biscuits, gingerbread and crisps, not only for the domestic market but also for foreign markets (France, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Hungary). As a member of the Danone Group and, at the same time, exporter to foreign markets with high demands, it gives due attention to product quality, hygiene and naturally to raw materials and packaging. Apart from fulfilling their protective function, packaging materials have to meet high aesthetic criteria to attract customers’ attention, and have to be treatable both manually and on packing automatic machines without problems, too.
Today’s rushed consumers demand packaging corresponding to the fast pace of life. To keep abreast with the times and to succeed on the market, manufacturers of fast-moving consumer goods have started using zip- resealable packages, which make repeated opening and closing of packages easy. Robert E. Hogan, Director of International Sales and Marketing for Zip-Pak, shared his experience of this new trend with us.
Column: Packaging and …
Integration of expert knowledge and information technologies is being presented in the new portal www.euroobaly.cz. It supports the presentations of companies involved in the packaging industry and ensures that questions are directed to companies that may meet customers‘ requirements. The entire system is part of the project “Foundation and Development of the OMNIPACK Cluster. The project is co-financed from the state budget and EU structural funds through the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic.
Column: Package in trade
The way of packing products is one of the most visible marks by which the customers of Makro Cash & Carry Czech Republic are classified as retailers or HoReCa customers. Customers will often find on the shelves trademark goods demanded across the market, in packages that are identical with the most widespread kinds of packages. The only difference is that at the Macro/Metro these packs are of multi-pack form equally like products intended for the segment of HoReCa customers from gastro divisions of trademark manufacturers.
Food logistics has its specific features, the most important of which being the requirement of a compact and uninterrupted logistic chain. The quality of most foods that come to the consumer market depends on maintaining constant or regulated temperature in the course of their storing, transportation and subsequent sale. They have to be handled with care, and require quality and sophisticated packages that will not only protect goods but, in most cases, present them, too. Unfortunately, even the very best packaging will not prevent the effects of faults pointed out by this article.
The American company LLC Koona has been offering the new version of the logistic SW on the market for the first time since December 2006. Now it has been extended to further language versions, and as of February this includes a version for German markets, too. This company, which so far had focused on North American and Latin American markets, has now taken steps to expand to European markets.
Škoda Auto Parts Centrum has announced a cut in costs of handling technology maintenance by 18 per cent in December 2006. The reason for this trend is the introduction of a new information system in the logistic centre of original parts in Mladá Boleslav. This is a Jungheinrich ISM information system for the management of fork lifts, which is able to produce input data for further decision making by managerial staff.
Column: Packages for hazardous products
The quality of packages that are used for the transportation of hazardous products is subject to stringent regulations. These packages have to withstand big loads without damage or even leak of dangerous substances. For that reason, all packages pass through an accredited testing laboratory. If they pass the test, they are given a UN code.