Thirty packaging solutions newly awarded
The winners of this year’s Czech national competition of the best packaging solutions have been known since the end of June. Top 30 solutions from 80 entries were named The Packaging of the Year in the competition’s 16th edition. „In my comments to previous editions, I promised to refine evaluating criteria, so as to optimize the conditions for judging entries. The effort to judge individual packagings correctly depends directly on the number of entries and the limited time available to the expert committee. Each refinement of the rules saves time, which can then be spent in a factual professional discussion. I`m glad we managed to do that,“ stated Jana Lukešová, Chair of this year’s committee. For survey of awarded products see pages 54–61.
Current topic: Trade fairs
Pharmintech, a triennial exhibition for the pharmaceutical industry, took place in Bologna, Italy in mid-May. Though it is an international show, domestic exhibitors dominated there as Italy ranks high among the leading countries in manufacturing technologies for the pharma industry. The product portfolio of the contemporary industry is rather wide and the range of technologies offered at the show reflected that. There were machinery, accessories or automated lines for drugs packaging at exhibitors’ stands presented. Apart from the technologies themselves, a variety of packagings – vials, ampoules, collapsible packs and blister packs above all – was presented.
Emballage 2010 „in green“
Despite the economic crisis, the world market for packaging, which was estimated to represent US$578 billion in 2007 (€422 billion), posted growth of 1.2% in 2008. In 2009, it was estimated at US$560 billion. This growth confirms that packaging is, more than ever, an indispensable tool serving our society. The increase in European regulations and rising demands for simplification and reduction of packaging motivate research departments to constantly seek and invent developments and innovations for packing foods or other consumer goods. Recent figures demonstrate well that the global packaging industry is supported by sustainable development: from US$88 billion in 2009, the market for environmentally friendly packaging is expected to represent US$170 billion by 2014.More than ever , the packaging manufacturers are sensitive to the sustainable development and respecting the environment, which will be presented at the Emballage exhibition in Paris in November.
Innovations at the FachPack 2010 trade fair
The FachPack fair, held in Nuremberg from September 28 to 30, will traditionally present a number of innovations and trends in packaging materials and packagings themselves. Thickness decreasing is a predominant trend, evident in films, paperboards and also metals (cans). Not only lightweight or thinner materials are applied, but also structural changes have occured, for example the litho-laminated corrugated board, with increased bursting strength and crush resistance.
Brand new solutions from the USA in the field of still liquids packaging will appear in Nuremberg. Their outer wall is made of wood pulp, known e.g. from egg cartons, holding a polyethylene bag with a polyethylene screw cap. After emptying the container, it is possible to remove the bag and dispose both the components separately.
Ipex 2010 – labels and flexo CTP devices for packaging professionals
Ipex, held in Birmingham, England every fourth year, is the second largest printing show in Europe. It is not focused on packaging printing exactly; however, we can find a lot of relevant innovations there, e.g. of digital narrow web label printing and pre-press including flexography, and CTP devices in particular.
It’s K time
Plastics and rubber have become an indispensable part of our everyday life. Cars and aircrafts, computers, phones and TV sets, the building industry, outdoor plus sports equipment and last but not least the entire segment of packaging apply these materials more frequently. This year’s trade fair for plastics and rubber takes place from October 27 to November 3 in Düsseldorf, Germany again after three years. The organizers expect approx. 3,000 exhibiting companies and the attendance of 200,000 expert visitors. Total net exhibiting space will exceed 160,000 sqm. All 19 pavilions available are booked now.
Main topic: Transport and export packaging
Expanding product range of big bags
Big bag containers are bulk bags with loops serving for storing and transporting loose materials chiefly. They differ in their size and loading capacity. Though they are not new at all, demand for them is rising at present. It is a pan-European trend which is evident according to their broad offer at international shows and presentations. Flexible bags, big bags or FIBCs (Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers) are synonymous terms describing this type of transport packaging. We can meet them in the chemical, building and pharmaceutical industries, food packaging or agriculture.
How to combine packaging for oversea shipping
For overseas shipping, where transport packaging is widely used irrespective of the kind of goods, the disposable (non-returnable) containers are used, which should preferably be of the smallest possible volume and easily recyclable. Many of them are made of corrugated board, often combined with wood. „The disposable packaging made of corrugated board and placed onto a wooden pallet is used most frequently, for both big and heavy parts and loose small parts,“ explains Gabriela Petrová, sales manager of THIMM SCHERTLER Packaging Systems. Materials used for constructing of non-returnable export packagings are ideal for bulk containers (e.g. GLT units in the automotive industry), as well as for small-size modular containers (e.g. KLT units in the automotive industry).
Plastics are the best for overseas shipping
ethylene and polyurethane are two essential materials used to manufacture plastic products offered by the Sealed Air company for the purposes of protective packaging. In addition to that, polyamides are also utilized (in the form of additives), whereas the firm does not work with polystyrene. Interviewing Milan Václavík, representative of Sealed Air in the Czech Republic, we asked him who should be considered their major competitor in the Czech market. He replied almost without hesitation: „První obalová společnost.“ Martin Mecera, director and managing director of První obalová spol., contributed to the discussion of transport packaging, too.
Octabins standardized and tailor-made
Transport packaging, more than any other type of packaging, has to deal with increased requirements for protective and handling functions. The choice of materials and packaging constructions reflects considerable variability of transported goods. The segment of transport packaging embraces both disposable and reusable containers. Within cost-cutting measures brought by the economy crisis in particular, many firms have started to look for cheaper packaging alternatives. Paperboard octabins are increasingly used for transport packaging of bulk materials, granulates or small semi-finished products.
Why to laminate liners on solid board
Though it is generally maintained that solid board is better printable than corrugated board, it is not always true. The surface of various sorts of solid board is not identical and thus cannot always be printed on directly in an adequate quality. Another reason why even solid board gets litho-laminated would be to increase its utility value, by improving the loading capacity of the box. Generally speaking, lamination enhances aesthetics of cheaper kinds of paperboard so that their good mechanical properties can be taken advantage of, while the packaging still meets the sales-promotion requirements. Laminated boards appear in several product ranges at present: above all industrial rigid boxes, luxury and gift set-up boxes or laminated board elements to be combined with other types of board.
Multifunctional packages for an entire supply chain
Secondary packagings, seen usually in the shop floor, do not serve only for transporting goods anymore. Chain stores’ requirements are constantly growing. During recent years, targeted usage of recyclable materials has been emphasized beside the shelf-life, easy transportation and optimal logistics. But this is not all. „A clear brand communication and highlighting of the product self by the means of its packaging have become increasingly important within marketing strategies,“ said Martin Hejl, managing director of THIMM Packaging. The packs are thus multifunctional – so-called shelf-ready packaging (SRP). It means that packaging manufacturers must take into account all stages of a packaging’s life already when developing its construction.
Automation and mechanization
Innovations in shipment monitoring
New trends in IT, warehousing and transportation were presented by Dachser Czech Republic in June. The company’s contract logistics provides complex solutions of logistics concepts. Its is basically a set of fully-integrated logistics services based on synchronized supply chain processes. It consists not only of goods transport, but also of warehousing services, a complete control system, order management, returns management and optimized proprietary IT solutions.
Oversize load – every one is unique
Oversize load transport differs from common transport in many ways. Differences can be seen not only in special technique involved, in placing and fixing the freight, but also in the need of a technical escort, other routes and time schedules for performing transport. In addition, specific permits and licences cannot be left out.
Flexography for packaging
The choice of a flexo printing press and auxiliary equipment for packaging printing is a relatively complex matter. The text focuses only on two substantial issues: the doctor blade chamber and the anilox rollers cleaning method.