Food Packaging Overview ● Focus on Flexibles ● Previewing drinktec & Labelexpo Spotlight on Robotics ● Thinking Green ● Design Opinion - Japanese Special
VOLUME 4/3 - 2009
Editorial Tim Sykes
Aluflexpack Fast and flexible Mondi Consumer Flexibles Packaging – a mirror of our society Danapak Flexibles Flexible quality Gascogne Laminates Optimistic in laminates Albalact JSC Reborn to win Vertupak Green virtues Ulrich Etiketten Stuck on success Aboca A healthy outlook Bormioli Luigi A clear focus McBride The rise and rise of a private label giant Cargopack Tägi Optimising packaging in the logistics process Finn-Korkki Complete closure Ecolean A lighter approach Uflex Limited Putting the zinc into packaging Hydro Aluminium advantages SML Maschinengesellschaft Advancing extrusion technology Kantemir Kantemir looks to investment to drive productivity Druk-Pak Packaging for pharmaceuticals Lek Making it better Mikropakk Leaders of the pack Granarolo Innovative packaging for quality milk Masterpress High quality and vivid colours Esma Distributors – little cogs in the big wheel of globalisation Terichem A leading brand Colines Improving performance Kiefel Extrusion Packaging partner Pregis Protective Packaging Europe Planning and preparation
News 4 6 8 9 11 16 17 18 19 20 236 European Headlines The key events World News Global overview Corporate Company developments Appointments People on the move Events Shows and conferences Design & Branding Bright and beautiful Research & Development Primary and academic research Environment & Legislation Sustainable futures Commerce & Purchasing Money matters Technology & Innovation Packs, machines, materials News Extras …and finally
99 102 106 109 112 115 118 122 126 132 135 142 146
Comments & Reports 16 Design Opinions Louis Comolet on designing for the Japanese market 22 Environment TÜV’s Jean-Louis Evans calls for innovative thinking 27 30 33 36 37 Equipment The dynamic world of robotics Market Focus Spotlight on food packaging Materials Profiling flexible plastics Events Previewing Munich’s drinktec 2009 Events Looking ahead to Labelexpo Europe
149 150 155 158 162 166 170 174 179 184 190
Industry profiles 38 43 46 50 55 60 65 70 74 78 82 Madern The rotary club Macro Engineering and Technology Inc. Innovations in film Rockwell Automation The whole package DMT Technology Leading the way Tectubes Innovative packaging for traditional products Hirsch Servo Group Packaging protection Supravis Controlled growth Ranpak Europe The potential of paper Stora Enso Fors Mill Investing for sustainable success EGP New opportunities Werner Kenkel Packaging quality
196 202 207 210 215 216 220 223 226 235
Sacmi Labelling Focused on the future Sealpac International Fresh and flexible Komfi Glossy future Obolon Flying the flag for Ukrainian beer Spektar Spektar invests in growth and quality Medica Packaging Ltd A healthy future for medical packaging Sappi Kraft The voice of reason FLEXPOL Polish leader in polypropylene films Pavan Group Pasta perfection Kompak Growth for Kompak
A C E F
p140 p59 p134 p205 p131 p176 p53 p53 p176 p29 p53 p218 p152 p89 p92 p117 p40 p140 p42 p184 p57 p161 p186 p228 p120 p181 p73 p40 p153 p73 p62 p104 p66 p124 p186 p58 p120 p172 p165 p233 p214 p140 p86 p134 p172 p90 p90 p124 p145
AB Hallins Verkstader Aerocar Konsult AB Alcan Singen ANL Plastics NV Arkema Arvid Nordquist Ascom SpA Atlas Converting Equipment Ltd Bahlsen Banner Engineering Europe BVBA Batimat Handelsgesellschaft Bobst Group (UK& ireland) Ltd Bohler Edelstahl GmbH Boiler Service Srl Bostik S.A. Bovo Boycote Hardingscentrum BV Burkert-Fluid Control Systems C.H. Robinson Camozzi Capsol S.p.A. Carcono Antonio Spa Cason Sergio Elettrotecnica Cavarzan Srl CCRE Comexi Group Controlpack CZL Tilburg BV Deville Rectification Buderus DMC Manufacturing Donauwell GmbH Dowcorning SA DSM Engineering Plastics Dumocom Kuntstof Verpack Elav Srl Emballator Vaxjoplast AB Emhart Glass Eson CZ s.r.o. Eurolog Grup Faco Spa Filtec Europe GmbH Fimtech AS Finfoil LLC Finn-Korkki Flintgroup Flint Group Italia S.p.A. Gerhard Rauch GmbH Grafiche Rekord Graphia-Alliance
K L O P
p124 front p129 p90 p92 p81 p62 p91 p168 p117 p41 p200 p232 p184 p84
Haal Verpakkingen Hamburger Hungaria Ltd inside Hatex H-D Mendel GmbH Stanztechnik Henkel Croatia d.o.o Hifi Colorstudio doo Hirsch Servo AG ICR SpA Ifap Spa il Nastro Infor I.R.I. Industria Reggiana Imballaggi Isgev SpA Italiana Robot Srl Julius Schulte Trebsen
S T Z V
Radius Solutions (UK) Ranpak Europe Ratka Buseness (MONDI) Repro – Print doo Rexroth Bosch Group Rockwell Automation Italy Rostfria Svetsmekano AB Rovyna s.r.o. RRHD
Kennametal Sintec Keramik GmbH p225 KGS Tilburg BV p40 Kloosterboer International Forwarding BV p110 Lanxess LEK Sa Leonhardt Maschinenfabrik GmbH Liebensteiner Kartonagenwerk GmbH Liedholms Mekaniska AB London Scandinavian Metal M Partners Ltd Marchetti Impianti Maschinenfabriek Tuin ME.RO Srl Monotez SA M-real Mycroft Srl Naf Service und Maschinen Nampak L&CP Neumann Industriebedarf Noelle GmbH Nordson Italia Spa Norlin & Persson AB Omron Electronics AB Ondulati Del Friuli Spa Papierfabrik Hamburger Rieger Paul & Co Slovensko Spol sro Pira - International Plastisavio Polyone Itnternational Proface Italia Spa p97 p160 p206 p195 p138 p148 p219 p230 p40 p188 p60 p10 p230 p128 p222 p160 p92 p199 p138 p138 p62 p84 p182 p7 p62 p182 p200
p34 p73 p35 p81 p139 p200 p138 p84 p128
Sappi Europe SA p92 Scandinavian Closures Aps p58 Scatolificio Magnani p120 Selematic Spa p226 Selfor SpA p199 Severnside Recycling p219 Sibelco Italia p120 Siemens p136 Simec Group inside back Softal Electronic Erik Blumenfeld p52 Sojitz Europe plc p68 Stortech p160 Sun Chemical p104 Sun Chemical Europe p96 Supravis p68 Syncro Srl p188
Talum p58 Tanks and Vessels Industries Ltd outside back TEAT SA p199 Tecno Impianti p232 Tectubes Sweden AB p58 Terichem a.s. p183 Thaddey p129 The Dow Chemical Company p90 Thyssenkrupp Materials France p153 Tokuden Rotterdam Office p76 TPL Transparent Paper Ltd p98 TPS Termiska Processor AB p77 Tria SpA p54 Tropack Packmittel p128 UPM Raflatac Sp. z o.o. UV-Technik CZ Valora Vetropack Viconsys Oy W&R Plastics W. Hamburger GmbH Walki Weilburger Grafik Polska Wink Stan Zwerkzeuge Zambello Riduttori Srl Zenit Spa Zentis Hungaria Bt Ziemann Ludwigsburg p172 p208 p177 p23 p76 p125 p85 p194 p157 p114 p232 p186 p108 p213
Editor Tim Sykes Deputy Editor Victoria Hattersley Profile Writers Tom Albrighton Felicity Landon Oscar Del Santo Claire Milner-Smith Massimo Miato Olivia Barnett Metin Gunes Studio Manager Gareth Harrey Art Editor Rob Czerwinski Designers Phil White Leon Esterhuizen IT Support Peter Leach Web Development Neil Robertson Ben Yassin Web Editors Elisabeth Skoda Irina Ball Patrycja Przelaczkowska Naïma Lemkhannet Christelle Çaltapé Researcher Olga Huggins Art Administration Tania Balderson Production Manager Anna Cudzik Administration Kayleigh Harvey Faye Coles Advertising Manager Andrew Briggs Features Managers James Boyle Mac McCarthy Helen Mills
Alkmaar House, Alkmaar Way, Norwich, Norfolk, NR6 6BF, UK Tel: +44 (0)1603 414444 Fax: +44 (0)1603 406543
have the honour of introducing to you not only the latest, but the very last, printed edition of Packaging Europe magazine. Along with the brand new re-launch of www.PackagingEurope.com with a fresh design and host of new features, this is the culmination of a strategic re-positioning that has seen the Packaging Europe brand expand its suit of digital resources over the last twelve months. The good news is that Packaging Europe magazine will continue, bigger and better, as an online publication. Indeed, it has been the overwhelmingly enthusiastic reception to our web edition that confirmed now is the right time to abandon print. The credit crunch crystallises the basic needs of a business, and it has become clear to advertisers that they require better value for money. By going electronic, we have not just slashed production costs, but now deliver better value than ever before: reaching vastly more readers by making the magazine available to the whole of our panEuropean readership, providing greater accountability, fast turnaround, and for the first time offering value-adding features such as Google-searchability and hyperlinks in adverts. As is often the case, the best innovations are devised during challenging times, and when circumstances improve we all wonder why we didn’t think of them long ago. In this issue we offer a special overview of food packaging, focus on flexibles and look into the latest developments in robotics. Meanwhile, this month’s Big Interviewee, Michael Zacka of Tetra Pak, discusses dairy trends and the latest in beverage cartons, Louis Comolet of CLTG design agency describes the challenge of creating a drink brand for young and sophisticated Japanese women, and Jean-Louis Evans of TÜV Product Service argues conditions are ripe for inventive green thinking. We hope you enjoy the magazine. If you’d like us to notify you as soon as future editions go live, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org I and we’ll email you the link.
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© Packaging Europe 2009 No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form for any purpose, other than short sections for the purpose of review, without prior consent of the publisher. POSITIVE PUBLICATIONS
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NUOVA CASTAGNOLI BECOMES NUOVA GIDUE
ASF has finalised its plans for the integration of Ciba Holding AG, which it acquired in April 2009. Under the plans, former Ciba businesses are to be integrated into the operating divisions in BASF’s Performance Products segment where their potential can best be realised and developed. The integration will involve extensive restructuring measures that BASF expects to generate synergies of at least €400 million per year from 2012 onward. By the end of 2010, savings of approximately €300 million are to be achieved. At the same time, the integration process is expected to entail cash costs totalling approximately €550 million, about €150 million thereof in 2009.
BASF SPECIFIES RESTRUCTURING PLANS
Polymer demand slump in 2008
emand for thermoplastics slumped by 8% compared with 2007, according to the latest edition of AMI’s European plastics industry report just published. The downturn followed two years of better than average growth with demand reaching a peak of just over 41 million tonnes in 2007 – but this masked underlying structural weaknesses of overcapacity, under-investment and poor competitive positioning for many plastics processors. AMI expects the recession to drive significant restructuring within plastics processing markets with growing investment from outside Europe and a continuing drift of manufacturing to the eastern half of the continent. Market demand began to slow during the first half of 2008 as concerns began to surface about the liquidity of the banks. Record high oil prices also put the squeeze on polymer converters. Even so, few were prepared for the precipitous slide that occurred from August 2008 as the uncertainty created by the global economic environment translated into a rapid decline in consumer confidence and had the effect of wiping out five years of growth for polymer in just four months. In the last quarter demand declined on average by 20-25% for most resins. The report predicts that packaging markets will be relatively strong, particularly in central and eastern Europe, although these tendencies may be offset by downgauging trends. www.packagingeurope.com/News/30985
The restructuring plans include a reduction of approximately 3700 positions by 2013, the majority of which will be eliminated by the end of 2010. BASF is reviewing strategic options – including restructuring, sale or closure – for 23 of the 55 former Ciba production sites worldwide. Decisions will be made about these sites by the end of the first quarter of 2010. The remaining 32 production sites are to be optimised as part of BASF’s global production network or restructured. By the end of 2010, BASF also aims to consolidate 36 of the former Ciba’s 70 sales and administrative offices and research sites with existing BASF activities. www.packagingeurope.com/News/30914
uova Castagnoli Srl, a producer of printing and converting machines for the label and packaging industry, is changing its name to NUOVA GIDUE S.r.l. as a result of recent agreements to take over the former activities of GIDUE SpA The change will be completed within three months, following the usual legal procedures. Nuova Castagnoli S.r.l. has thanked the Castagnoli family, whose name it has carried for over 30 years in the web offset industry, during which time over 1000 offset print heads have been supplied to the market.
NUOVA GIDUE Srl will be manufacturing flexographic, offset and digital presses for the label and packaging markets. Gidue’s commercial network and its technical assistance points all over the world have immediately agreed to continue the collaboration with the new organisational asset, sharing the reliability and innovation focus featured by Gidue’s technologies. www.packagingeurope.com/News/30879
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ith a larger screw cap and low opening force, Tetra Brik Edge is easy to use – whether you are young or old. Tetra Pak has announced the global launch of Tetra Brik® Edge™, the packaging solution for chilled liquid dairy products designed for consumers of all ages, from children to elderly consumers. The 34mm diameter SimplyTwist™ screw cap on Tetra Brik Edge requires a low opening
he European paper industry has called on the European Commission to take leadership or risk jeopardising the industry’s future. European leaders of the pulp and paper industry have launched a manifesto for competitiveness and employment during a meeting with the European Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry, Günther Verheugen, in Brussels. They sounded a stark warning that unless solutions are found quickly to respond to the economic crisis and that a more rational policy making approach is introduced, the competitive transformation of their industry, and indeed all European industry, will be not be sustained. According to industry representative CEPI, the pulp and paper
‘Secure future needs action now’ T
TETRA PAK LAUNCHES EASY-TO-USE BRIK EDGE
CLOSURE SHOWCASES REXAM PAD PRINTING & INJECTION EXPERTISE
force, designed to be easy to open, pour and reseal for everyone. The large diameter of the closure is also ideal for smooth pouring of thicker dairy products such as cultured milks and drinking yoghurts as well as milks and flavoured milks. The angled top makes it easier to grip the cap, there is more space for the hand and fingers and, when pouring, the latest addition to the best selling Tetra Brik range doesn’t need to be lifted high. In addition to the consumer research normally conducted when developing new packages, Tetra Brik Edge was tested and developed according to the SRA’s internationally renowned methodology. In recognition of the excellent performance of the new package to those with limited hand function, Tetra Brik Edge has been designated ‘Package of the Year’ by the SRA. www.packagingeurope.com/News/30778
Joint research into packaging made from renewable raw materials
industry is an example to others in its responses to the current challenges we face, not least in mitigating climate change. Its success is based on sustainability. It is a significant provider of employment, and adds economic value through the constant harnessing and updating of new technologies. CEPI argued that unless fundamental support in policy making is forthcoming the achievements made by the industry in both sustainable production and consumption and the full potential to move forward will be lost and society as a whole will lose. www.packagingeurope.com/News/30782
new type of packaging obtained from non-food agricultural raw materials which after use can be disposed of with ease thanks to its complete hydrosolubility – that is the aim of the ReBioFoam (Renewable Bio-polymer FOAMs) research project. Financed under the EU Seventh Framework Programme, it involves ten partners from eight European countries (Italy, Poland, Spain, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom), in association with ERRMA (European Renewable Raw Materials Association). The aim of the project, coordinated by Novamont, a leading Italian company in the bioplastics sector, is to develop a new flexible and eco-sustainable process with a low energy impact for the production of expanded biodegradable packaging containing renewable raw materials. The expansion of the biopolymers will be obtained using microwave technology (using specially designed moulding presses with innovative coatings), which will take advantage of the water naturally present in the materials used (Novamont biopolymers) as expansion agents. The final application is protective packaging, a sector in which materials such as expanded polystyrene (EPS), polyurethane (EPU), polyethylene (EPE) and polypropylene (EPP) – all polymers of synthetic origin – are generally used.
milio Pucci’s latest fragrance collection, Vivara Variazoni, features a Rexam-created closure that highlights the global supplier’s advanced expertise in injection and tampo pad printing and results in another visually vibrant Vivara package. The relationship between Rexam and Pucci began in 2007 with the introduction of Pucci Vivara. To commemorate its 60th anniversary, the Italian fashion design house requested a six-colour closure that would capture the flawless rendition, and panache, of its signature scarf design. Working closely with Pucci, Rexam’s team proposed an industry first: sixcolour tampo pad printing applied to an internal Surlyn thick-wall, curved cap.
Rexam’s injection moulding capability enabled usage of Surlyn, a material renowned for its transparency, ability to withstand a demanding production process and fragrance compatibility. FRexam’s Centre of Excellence in Simandre, France moulded a clear, thick-wall Surlyn shape. The team’s expertise kept the inside curve free of sink marks, which allowed perfect application of the decoration. Use of specially shaped silicon pads and screens, for each of six inks, resulted in pinpoint positioning of each colour for a flawless rendition. www.packagingeurope.com/News/30149
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OCTAL TO REACH $1.1 BILLION IN EXPORTS BY 2011
further upgrade their established letterpress plate making workflow and the quality of label printing, Suzhou Advance Printing Co., Ltd., a wellknown label printer based in Suzhou, China, has installed nyloprint® Combination CW 35×50 plate making equipment from Flint Group Flexographic Products. The compact all-inone plate making system includes exposure, washout and drying and is suitable for plate sizes up to 350mm x 500mm. This medium size equipment features a washout unit with a
SUZHOU ADVANCE PRINTING INSTALLS NYLOPRINT SYSTEM
Garnier Eye Roll-On success with packs from GCS
proven ‘plush’ pad and a self adjusting, oscillating plate holder for gentle and even washout results, a strong and even UV light in the exposure unit, and a dryer delivering an even inner temperature. Suzhou Advance Printing’s objective is to realise a standardised letterpress plate making workflow, in order to improve plate making quality and achieving better printing. www.packagingeurope.com/News/30978
Huhtamaki sells rigid plastic businesses in South America
ince its launch in January 2008 Garnier’s Nutritionist Caffeine Eye Roll-On has sold more than five million units worldwide. Designed by Garnier, a division of L'Oréal, the applicator provides a new and different product for the consumer with a unique selling proposition: the ultra-thin gel is applied directly to the eye contour area with a roll-on massage action via the elegant and practical applicator, which helps stimulate microcirculation. The slender 15ml container is injection blow moulded in PP in the Garnier Nutritionist signature bright green. The fitment is injection moulded in black PE and supplied assembled with the inox steel ball which itself contributes directly to the refreshing sensation of the gel for an immediate cooling effect. The transparent screw-on cap in natural PP is also injection moulded and features a silver band hot stamped around the skirt to coordinate with the silver Garnier logo on the container and label outline.
uhtamaki has sold its rigid plastic consumer goods business in Brazil to Dixie Toga SA and in Argentina to American Plast SA, both subsidiaries of Bemis Company, Inc. The annual net sales of the divested business are some €60 million and it currently employs some 640 people. The agreed value for the transaction is €30 million. "This sale represents an excellent outcome to the review of our rigid plastic consumer goods business in south America and supports the strategy execution," remarked Huhtamäki Oyj's CEO Jukka Moisio. We will continue to review the remaining rigid plastic consumer goods operations in Europe and in Australia. In South America, we will continue to operate our flexibles and rough moulded fibre packaging units." The divested business includes three manufacturing units in Brazil and one in Argentina. The units in Brazil serve mainly large multinational customers with dairy, ice cream and edible fats packaging, while the unit in Argentina serves local food service markets.
merging global packaging leader OCTAL is on course to become a $1 billion company by 2011, with export volumes to global markets expected to triple over the next two years. OCTAL chairman Sheikh Saad Suhail Bahwan said total sales of PET were $25 million in June and would reach $100 million per month by the middle of 2011. OCTAL ships more than 1200 containers per month from Oman and now accounts for 85% of importexport traffic through the port of Salalah. OCTAL, which opened the world’s first integrated PET resin and sheet complex in January, exports to more than 60 customers in 33 markets. It has also substituted 90% of PET resin imports into Oman, valued at nearly $42 million a year. OCTAL exports 66% of its products to Europe, 30% to North America, and the remainder to Middle East and Asian markets. OCTAL produces PET resin for soft drink, water and edible oil packaging, and PET sheet, the world’s fastest growing material in clear rigid plastics, which is used for food, dairy and consumer product packaging.
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Rexam refinances £775m credit facility
exam PLC, the global consumer packaging company, has refinanced its £775 million revolving credit facility and a number of smaller bilateral facilities which mature in 2010. The refinancing package, which totals £860 million of new committed debt facilities, consists of £647 million of syndicated forward start commitments and £213 million of new bilateral commitments.
MAILWAY EXPANSION CONTINUES
INVESTMENT CONFIRMS POLISH MARKET LEADERSHIP
regis Protective Packaging Europe has underlined its market leadership in Poland and eastern Europe with the introduction of coextruded bubble wrap technology with air retention barrier, following major investment in its new factory in Gliwice in Poland. The new €14 million factory commenced operations in July 2008 and, in addition to the manufacture of Technical Foam, Mailers, and products converted from foam and bubble film, has installed new state-of-the-art equipment with three cast extruders for the production of Pregis’s Astro Suprabubble bubble air cushioning sheet. Since its launch in September, 40% of Pregis’s sales in Poland are with the new coextruded bubble wrap. Astro Suprabubble is manufactured with five layers (ABCBA) in line processing. The centre layer of coextruded material provides a cost-efficient and very effective air
UPM's Plywood business has completed employee negotiations at Kalso veneer mill in Finland
barrier without adding bulk or weight. The result is a bubble wrap that is 100 times more resistant to the passage of air, giving it far greater air retention and longer cushioning power than traditional non-barrier bubble wrap, even under greater pressure. It can be specified in a variety of standard densities – economy, medium and premium – as well as anti-static. As part of Pregis’s commitment to care for the environment, the coextruded bubble wrap requires over 20% less material in manufacture compare to conventional mono bubble wraps, and integrates 10% post-industrial recycled resin, thus reducing CO2 emission in a variety of ways. Pregis’s experience of coextruded technology has been key to the success of the launch of Astro Suprabubble in Poland.
ollowing employee negotiations, the number of production and maintenance personnel at Kalso veneer mill in Finland will be reduced by 53 persons. UPM Plywood will also continue temporary lay-offs covering all personnel. These measures are carried out to adjust the mill operations to the increased production efficiency and to the current market situation. The personnel reductions will take place in 2009. The persons made redundant will be offered support in re-location. After the reductions, the number of personnel at Kalso mill will be 127, of whom 111 will work in production and maintenance.
ust months after opening its new Scottish operation, Bradford-based Mailway Packaging Solutions has announced the launch of Mailway Southern – a strategic partnership with storage and distribution specialist Lenham Storage. The operation, which will be based at Lenham’s Maidstone site, will initially handle all of the UK contract packing, storage and distribution work for one of the world’s largest confectionery companies, before quickly being expanded to offer the full scope of Mailway’s specialist contract packing capabilities.
Mailway Southern is expected to create 25 new jobs and will be specifically targeted at businesses in the food, confectionery, cosmetics, and health and beauty care markets. The partnership will also remove the logistical difficulties previously caused by having to transport goods from storage to packer, back to storage and then on to the distributor by having all these services under one roof. www.packagingeurope.com/News/30935
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UROPEN, The European Organization for Packaging and the Environment, has elected John Swift of SCA Packaging as its new chairman. John, who is Director Regulatory Affairs for SCA Packaging, has responsibilities across Europe including external representation of the company for a wide range of sustainability and environmental issues. John Swift has been closely involved with issues con-
EUROPEN ELECTS NEW CHAIRMAN E
teve Sinclair has been appointed as the new sales director for Skanem UK. He joins Skanem, one of Europe's largest suppliers of self-adhesive labels, after eight years at Adare, where as sales and marketing director he was responsible for a team that delivered substantial growth during a peri-
NEW SALES DIRECTOR AT SKANEM
Günter Ausserwöger to lead Greiner’s Division Kavo
ünter Ausserwöger is the new head of Division Kavo at Greiner Packaging. General manager for Capsnap Europe for the previous 10 years, Mr Ausserwöger is now responsible for the strategy of the entire hollow container business, the development and creation of the new distribution structure and safeguarding of cross-site communication. After ten years of intensive expansion activities and positioning of the brand Greiner Packaging, the company opted for a new arrangement of its distribution structure in autumn 2008, which is now split into three divisions. The Greiner Packaging Division K creates the unique packaging proposition in terms of
DSD APPOINTS MANAGING DIRECTOR
od of dramatic change within the business. Managing director for Skanem UK, Steve Dunne, says: ‘It gives me great pleasure to announce the appointment of Steve Sinclair as the new sales director for Skanem UK. www.packagingeurope.com/News/29906
cups and lids for the food and non-food industry. The Greiner Packaging Division Kavo is the competent partner for the sectors of plastic bottles and containers. With its newly organised divisions K, Kavo and Assistec, Greiner Packaging focuses even more clearly on maximum market orientation. A wide range of technology and decoration methods are provided for all customers. Thus, the company perfectly sets the scene for both national and international customers. www.packagingeurope.com/News/29861
cerning sustainable development both within his company and in trade associations at national, European and international level. He is a leading industry representative in standardisation work in Europe with CEN and internationally with ISO and chairs one of the key CEN sub-committees on packaging. www.packagingeurope.com/News/30424
ichael Wiener has been appointed managing director sales and member of the board at Duales System Deutschland GmbH (DSD). In this newly created position, Michael Wiener will be responsible for the company’s entire sales strategy remit, in which as sales director he has since June 2006 overseen introduction of the regional structure and set up new lines of business, successfully stabilising DSD’s market shares to the present day. Before joining DSD GmbH, Michael Wiener was board chairman at RWE Umwelt Süd GmbH.
The accession of Michael Wiener to DSD’s board constitutes a further qualitative upgrade for the company’s customer management in a fiercely competitive market. He will be supported by the new sales manager Dr. Markus van Halteren, hitherto head of product management and marketing, who will be succeeded in that post by Ulf Doster, hitherto responsible for sales controlling. www.packagingeurope.com/News/30025
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The UK’s showcase for processing and packaging solutions
he PPMA Show, the UK’s annual processing and packaging machinery exhibition, will take place at the Birmingham NEC arena from 29 September to 1 October. The event will showcase innovative production line solutions to enhance productivity, efficiency and flexibility in a variety of industries including food and drink, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, household products and chemicals. The PPMA is a machinery-only exhibition, enabling companies to give live demonstrations of their machinery and equipment. This year, the live demonstration format is being further extended with a Machinery Innovation Demonstrations timetable, showcasing the latest machinery from exhibitors and keeping visitors up-to-date with technology developments. In a first for the PPMA Show, the prestigious Starpack 2009 Dinner and Awards Ceremony will this year take place alongside the exhibition on the second
´ PAKFOOD IN POZNAN
DIARY OF EVENTS
DATE: 8-10 September VENUE: London, UK Visit: www.biopackconference.com
DATE: 14-16 September VENUE: Paris, France Visit: www.beyondbeautyparis.com
DATE: 14-19 September VENUE: Munich, Germany Visit: www.drinktec.com
DATE: 16-17 September VENUE: London, UK Visit: www.brandprotectionshow.com
evening of the show (30 September). Organised by IOP: The Packaging Society, Starpack is the UK’s premier annual scheme recognising innovation in packaging design and technology. One of the latest developments to be exhibited at the 2009 event will VC999 UK’s vacuum packaging machinery for a variety of machineries such as food and medical. Its solutions will include its new K7 machine, a conveyor-fed chamber system for the vacuum packaging of meat. Meanwhile Intercaps Filling Systems will be showing its range of linear blowmoulders for PET bottles, offering exceptionally high quality at speeds ranging from 1000 to 6000 bottles per hour. In the field of high accuracy position detection machinery, SICK UK will be presenting its new WFL laser fork sensor range. This is suitable for many automated guidance and control operations and is ideal for precision operations such as printing, packaging and labelling.
DATE: 23-26 September VENUE:Bruxelles, Belgium Visit: www.labelexpo-europe.com
DATE: 23-26 September VENUE: Beograd, Serbia Visit: www.alexpo.co.rs
DATE: 29 September - 1 October VENUE: Nürnberg, Germany Visit: www.fachpack.de
DATE: 29 September - 1 October VENUE: Birmingham, UK Visit: www.ppmashow.co.uk
Packaging & Storage
DATE: 29 September - 2 October VENUE: Minsk, Belarus Visit: http://expoforum.by
he PAKFOOD 2009 Food Industry Packaging Fair will take place in Pozna´ n on 14th-17th September. It is the biggest event connected in the Polish packaging calendar and now occurs every two years, alternating with the TAROPAK Fair. The event gathers exhibitors specialising in the production of packaging, packaging products, packing materials and materials for packaging production as well as by companies specializing in packaging design. PAKFOOD Fair arouses interest among manufacturers and distributors of machines for packaging production, packing machines, labelling machines and marking machines. The representatives of companies that design packing machines and provide technical consulting services also willingly visit the fair.
The fair will be accompanied by a series of lectures and workshops organized by Pozna´ International Fair, Polish n Chamber of Packaging and publishing houses such as Packaging Polska, Visual Communication and Polski Drukarz. This year the seminars will concern a range of topical subjects connected with the packaging economy and its ecological impact, brand image management and methods for increasing competitiveness such as Colour Management. Three other fair events are organized simultaneously with the PAKFOOD fair. This year those events are POLAGRA-FOOD International Food Product Trade Fair, POLAGRA-TECH International Trade Fair of Food Processing Technologies and GASTRO TRENDY International Trade Fair of Catering.
DATE: 21-23 October VENUE: Monaco Visit: www.luxepack.com
DATE: 10-11 November VENUE: Berlin, Germany Visit: www.european-bioplastics.org
DATE: 24-28 November VENUE: Milano, Italy Visit: www.simei.it
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The latest in biopackaging
ira International’s 4th annual three-day Biopack conference will take place from 8–10 September 2009 at the Copthorne Tara Hotel in Kensington, London. Over 100 delegates are expected at this world-class showcasing of the latest technologies and innovations in biopackaging, providing visitors with the ideal networking opportunity. Key topics at the event will include: developments in waste stream management for packaging; technical developments in bioplastics for packaging; a brand owner’s perspective on sustainable packaging from the Tetley Group;
SIMEI SHOWCASES STRENGTH OF ITALIAN TECHNOLOGY
innovations in cradle to cradle design; the evolution of bioplastics packaging in fresh food applications; and market trends for sustainable packaging materials. Biopack will begin with Dr Ramani Narayan, Professor at Michigan State University in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, leading a discussion on the principal concepts of biobased and biodegradable materials/plastic. Over the three days, over 30 leading experts in technology, regulations and packaging will be giving their unique perspectives on the key themes of the conference.
talian trade performance in the bottling, packaging and drinks machinery sector in the first nine months of 2008 was buoyant, achieving sales of around €1.3 billion and 5% annual growth. According to the last available data provided by Istat, filling, closing, corking and labelling machines achieved €852 million for January–September 2008 (4% up against the same period of 2007) and in line with the growth trend shown over the last few years (€933 million for the whole 2005, €1 billion for 2006, and €1.1 billion in 2007). SIMEI is the year’s best opportunity to survey this dynamic sector. Held at Milan’s Fieramilano on 24–28 November, it is the largest specialised exhibition presenting the full spectrum of machinery for oenology and for beverage production, bottling and packaging (wine, beer, mineral water, carbonated drinks, juices, spirits, brandies, alcohol, vinegar, etc.). Despite a challenging economic backdrop, the volume of registrations for this year’s SIMEI is to date only slightly down on the last edition. This reflects a broad optimism across the industry on the prospects for an upturn in the second half of 2009, as well as a vote of confidence in the show, given that a high proportion of the projected 600 exhibitors are returning partners. If there is an adjective that has always qualified SIMEI, it is ‘international’. Milan’s fair pavilions become a meeting point between the best of Italian technology and trade professionals from all over the world. Once again for 2009 a cooperation agreement between SIMEI - ENOVITIS and PROMOS sees promotional campaigns boosting interaction with key foreign markets. The focus this year falls on Romania, Hungary, Mexico, Israel, China, Korea and Brazil, among others, while there will be special delegations from Turkey, Korea and India. Another central element of SIMEI has been its goal of stimulating discussion of the challenges and opportunities for enterprises among industry experts. This year an the whole of hall 11 will be dedicated to meetings and forums.
A window on Serbia
Nürnberg’s triple event
aving honed a winning formula over the years, FachPack celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2009. From 29 September to 1 October Nürnberg’s Exhibition Centre welcomes back its packaging trio: FachPack showcases packaging, materials, machinery and other solutions alongside PrintPack (printing) and LogIntern (materials handling, storage and logistics). Together, the co-located shows are expected to host 1300 exhibitors and 34,000 visitors. With an international cross-section, the event is dominated by participants from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Benelux countries, Italy, France and the growth markets of central and eastern Europe. SME manufacturers of packaging materials, packaging supplies and packaging ancillaries constitute well over one third of the exhibitors and represent the focus of attention together with packaging machinery suppliers. A special exhibition at this year’s FachPack will be offering various solutions for improving efficiency and saving resources. In addition, FachPack will incorporate a number of specialised displays and events, including ‘Sustainable Production and Packing’, the German Packaging Award, PackVision 2009 and the Corrugated Cardboard Forum.
hanks to growing connections with the EU zone and increased political stability, Serbia is emerging as an interesting location for both investors and importers of packaging materials into CEE. Meanwhile, the republic has a special customs preference agreement with Russia and CIS countries meaning that customs duty for import of, among others, packing materials and packaging machinery is just 1%. This presents great opportunities for joint venture and cooperation agreements involving companies in the neighbouring regions.
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The eighth edition of Packtech Expo Balkan, an international trade fair of packing materials, machinery and equipment, takes place at the Belgrade Fair 23–26 September. The event presents an opportunity to make acquaintance with the major suppliers in the market, as well as numerous exhibitors from Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova. Packtech 2008 welcomed 383 exhibitors from 30 countries and 15,000 visiting professionals, and this year’s event is projected to exceed these totals.
Innovations in luxury packaging
he 22nd edition of Luxe Pack Monaco will be held on 21–23 October 2009 at the Grimaldi Forum. The leading specialists in the luxury packaging sector, along with companies working on advanced technologies, will gather together to present their latest solutions and know-how. Guests will include international decision-makers from the perfumery, cosmetics, wine & spirits, fine foods, jewellery and tobacco industries. Luxe Pack 2009 will feature not only the latest designs and technologies in the field, but also discussions of key branding themes. The Observatory of Trends, highly
Global brand protection and anti-counterfeiting T
he Brand Protection Show, taking place on 16–17 September 2009 at the Olympia exhibition centre, London, is the first and only exhibition for brand protection and anti-counterfeit solutions. The show is a large-scale opportunity for brand and IP owners both big and small to learn how to protect their brands and IP from counterfeiters, parallelers and cyber-criminals. It has been designed both as an exhibition and a seminar programme of around 35 sessions
aking place 29 September – 2 October in the National Exhibition Centre, Minsk, the ‘Packaging and Storage’ Specialised Forum is the only exhibition in Belarus dedicated to packaging, labelling, marking, packaging equipment and materials, as well as associated services. The event incorporates the established exhibition ‘World of Packaging’, which in 2009 enters its tenth year.
PACKAGING & STORAGE: BELARUS
The forum was set up with official backing to promote the development of a modern packaging sector, equipping Belarusian enterprises with the newest packaging technologies and modernising infrastructure for recycling and packaging waste collection. The exhibition is subdivided into four sections, covering packaging in general, labels and labelling, polymers and glass, and storage technologies. These
popular on its launch last year, will make a return led by a group of renowned experts. Expert speakers at this year’s event will include special guest Noél Duchaufour‐Lawrance, ‘Creator of the Year 2007’. The programme of events will feature a round-table discussion on ‘Designer and Brand Identity’ moderated by Guillaume Bregeras, Formes de Luxe chief editor. Throughout the three days there will also be a focus on themes such as packaging for lipsticks, packaging protection, the growth in premium packaging coming from the east, organic cosmetics and sustainable luxury packaging.
events run in parallel with a business programme covering the same fields. Last year’s event was attended by over 5000 visitors from the primary packaging user and producer segments, with representatives of the food industry, machinery and engineering, and consumer goods brands leading the way. It comprised exhibitors from across eastern, central and western Europe, as well as North America.
offering case studies from leading brands as well as information and practical advice. Around 100 exhibitors are expected for 2009, including specialists in physical brand protection solutions (such as inks, holograms and RFID), track and trace systems, online monitoring and protection services and analytic services. There will also be a strong showing of investigators and enforcement, IP lawyers, trademark agents and government agencies.
he fourth European Bioplastics Conference, which takes place 10–11 November in Berlin, is billed as the leading event for technological, economic and political developments of the bioplastics industry. Over recent years, the global market for bioplastics has expanded at a yearly rate of between 25% and 30%. The international conference will present innovations, market achievements and current developments in bioplastics. The focus of this year’s event will be on technological and market sessions, product exhibition and net-
working. The association ‘European Bioplastics’ is the representative of the European bioplastics industry, comprising companies from the feedstock, chemical and plastic industries, together with industrial users and recycling companies. As the organiser of the conference, European Bioplastics will be providing first class networking and business opportunities. The main players of the bioplastics industry, politicians and leading players within the branch will come together in Berlin to give an overview on economic, environmental and technological innovations.
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ZELLER’S CAPS MAKE LYLE’S SYRUPS EASILY SQUEEZY
ate & Lyle has capitalised on the packaging redesign for its range of Lyle’s Squeezy Syrups by introducing a dual use tamper evident valve fliptop dispensing closure from Zeller Plastik UK to cap the new fun-to-use headstand containers. The same dispensing closure also tops Lyle’s Golden Syrup Pouring base stand packs, without the addition of the valve, to complete the packaging redesign for both product ranges. The standard snap-on matt finish PP closure with a narrow gloss band to the neck has been designed to fit the lightweight standard 36/29 PET neck finish and incorporates Zeller’s neat tamper evident tear-band to remove the need for induction heat seal liners. The 36mm diameter gold-coloured closures provide a stable base for the wavy 340g headstand packs as well as an attractive fliptop cap to the traditional round 454g base stand packs. Now clearly aimed at different markets as reflected by the packaging formats, Lyle’s Squeezy Syrups come in seven delicious varieties of ice cream topping with Lyle’s Golden Syrup Pouring available in Original and Maple flavours for drizzling over porridge, waffles and pancakes.
PLASTICS PROVIDES SUNNY PROFILE FOR HAK
lcan Packaging Beauty has re-entered the applicators market with SpinArt™, designed by its creative director Michel Limongi: “Women are completely satisfied with the quality of their lipgloss but are looking for more, longer-lasting gloss.” SpinArt™ aims to meet this demand, thanks to its ingenious rotating system, patented by Alcan Packaging Beauty. Convenient as there is no need to refill the applicator with bulk, SpinArt™ delivers the perfect dose over the
See the beans with Amcor DeMetXP
Alcan Packaging Beauty presents SpinArt
entire surface of the lips in one go, as the full circumference of the applicator is used. The movement is naturally more comfortable than a conventional flocked applicator and just as efficient. SpinArt™ is also an ideal applicator for adding a touch of gloss on top of a lipstick. Thanks to its rotation, it sublimates the first layer of lipstick and ensures both coverage and shine remain perfect. www.packagingeurope.com/News/30876
affehuset Friele, Norway's leading coffee roaster, has chosen Amcor DeMetXP for their 250 gram coffee pack, Friele Espresso. The new packaging, which allows the consumer to see the coffee beans through a transparent window, was launched at the end of June. The new Friele Espresso pack is gravure printed and a special de-metalising process transfers part of the film into a transparent window. The print is laminated with a clear film, which adds that extra gloss effect to the window. All these elements create a coffee pack that stands out on the shelf and maintains its excellent shelf life properties. Amcor DeMetXP can be applied for a wide range of products and creates product visibility and on-shelf differentiation in markets where decoration is a unique selling point, such as coffee, chocolate, sugar confectionery and snack foods. It allows any shape or size of window and can be used in conjunction with other Amcor packaging innovations.
ne of the Netherlands’ leading food retail companies has chosen a multi-layer container from RPC Bebo Nederland for its first venture into plastics packaging. HAK, already a market leader in vegetable products and apple sauce, has moved into the fruit market with the launch of the new Zon & Fruit (‘Sun & Fruit’) range of prepared fruit chunks in three varieties: Tropical Fruit, Pineapple and Peach. Traditionally this type of fruit product is packaged in glass or metal, but HAK was drawn to plastics due to their versatility in terms of convenience, appearance and efficiency in logistics. “Plastics are lightweight and shatterproof, making them incredibly safe and practical for transportation,” explained Sanne Louise Merkelbach, product manager of HAK. HAK was aware of RPC Bebo Nederland’s expertise in multi-layer technology and asked the site to develop a solution that would be suitable for pasteurisation. The 410 ml container is thermoformed in PP/EVOH/PP for long-term ambient shelf stability, with a re-closable cap.
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KRUŠOVICE BEER IN NEW BOTTLES FROM VETROPACK MORAVIA GLASS
he Vetropack Moravia Glass glassworks has recently begun supplying bottles to the Royal Brewery of Krušovice. The brewery decided to replace its existing bottles for the Ale Premium 0.5 l model, which is typical of the Heineken group. The bottle's modern appearance with its narrower neck together with an elegant label design are part of the brewery's ongoing communications campaign. Customers can now relish the brewery's Musketeer Beer, Dark Beer, Jubilee Lager and Krušovice Light Lager in the new container. Despite their modern appearance, the labelled bottles have retained the mark of a long tradition, which highlights not only the brewery's establishment year, but also the logo with the protected geographical designation Ceské Pivo’ (Czech Beer).
Ball’s Resealable Can Debuts in the USA
he award winning spirit ‘Lithuanian Vodka’ has been completely updated by packaging design agency LFH. The vodka is produced by Stumbras, Lithuania’s leading spirits business, and is the company’s best-selling mainstream brand. The Lithuanian Vodka range comprises Lithuanian Original, Lithuanian Flavoured (cranberry, raspberry and cherry) and the premium version Lithuanian Gold. Algirdas Ciburys, the marketing director at Stumbras, says, “To maintain our market-leading position in the highly competitive vodka market it is important to ensure outstanding product quality, and equally important to package it appropriately. We wanted to revise the design of Lithuanian Vodka
LITHUANIAN VODKA GETS NEW LOOK
SPARKLING ALUMINIUM WINE BOTTLES
and update the brand yet maintain the established heritage, and give it broader appeal. LFH are a strategic partner for our business, and this is the first realisation of a number of projects they are currently working on.” The work has involved LFH giving the brand a contemporary make-over whilst retaining sufficient detailing to support its mainstream brand positioning. The logo and typeface have also been modernised to give it a fresher feel. The new design clearly sets it apart from the traditional, ornate designs of the past and will maximise stand out on the shelf. www.packagingeurope.com/News/30623
etting the trend with distinctive shapes and high definition printing, the aluminium bottle by Boxal offers new opportunities to marketers. It is aimed at encouraging trial and consumption on premises as well as during other occasions. Ok Prosecco and Britz by Santero in Italy and Glitter & Gold by In-spirit in Germany present early examples of the design possibilities the bottle offers. Graphic designs with brushed metal effects or pure white and gold create a distinctive visual identity and immediately position the products in the premium segments. The off-the-shelf Boxal aluminium bottle range enables great speed to market. In just a few weeks a new product can be in the consumer’s hands. Limited editions, special events collectors as well as mass market productions are said to be possible. The aluminium bottle chills rapidly and offers a cool and refreshing touch.
onster Energy has launched its new energy drink ‘Monster Import’ in the USA in resealable beverage cans from Ball Packaging Europe. This is the first new market outside Europe for the Ball Resealable End (BRE). The packaging innovation gives the lifestyle-conscious consumers of Monster Import additional convenience with a resealable can which they can open and close with one hand. Monster Energy, Corona, California, became the first US company to use beverage cans featuring the BRE. The BRE is a revolutionary aluminium can end with an integrated flat opening mechanism
made of plastic. The can is opened by simply turning the mechanism and is easily sealed again by turning it back. Unlike previous solutions for resealing beverage cans, the BRE allows the can to retain its characteristic flat end and consequently its stackability, efficient space utilisation and other logistical benefits for transport, storage and retailing at the point-of-sale. These considerations played a central role for Monster Energy when it decided to use Ball’s innovation. www.packagingeurope.com/News/30289
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The group Pernod Ricard is very active on international markets, for which it is developing specific products with strategic, longterm objectives. Operating in the growing Japanese market with its brand Cusenier, the group called upon the services of the design agency CLTG to launch its new product ‘La Duchesse’. Louis Comolet, co-founder of the agency, shares his views with Naïma Lemkhannet on how to win over a new market.
he two ground rules for success in packaging are: not to disown your origins and to overcome stereotypes. These principles come together neatly in the case of CLTG’s branding of ‘La Duchesse’ for the Japanese market. France is associated with a hint of individuality across the world, and especially in Japan. Though the Japanese may not be French culture specialists, they do like the country, identify with French products and have a particular image of France. In spite of this, projecting a ‘pure French’ image would risk trivialising a product. Indeed, Japanese society is not a prisoner of cultural stereotypes as France might be, and as such tends to indulge in daring combinations. These fusions are part of diversity and are in no way perceived in a provocative light. As far as La Duchesse is concerned, Pernod Ricard was primarily aiming at active, female Japanese consumers. Japan has been a society governed by very precise codes and rituals, including what may pass as borderline male chauvinism in the West. The custom has been for men to relax in the bars after work. But in recent years women have begun to assert their independence, and Japanese professional women, aged between 25 and 35 years, are becoming more emancipated. Liqueurs are among the most widespread alcoholic drinks in Japan, and most of those on the market have a high alcohol content. Pernod Ricard seized the oppor-
tunity to create a low potency, blackcurrant and gooseberry based drink, combining lightness and freshness, aimed at the fair sex. What they needed was packaging that communicated femininity and elegance. We responded by creating a glass bottle with a willowy silhouette, draped with a spindle dress, an uplift décolleté and an almost tight suit. This bottle of course needs to stand out from the crowd when sitting on a shelf. Thanks to this silhouette, we can distinguish a mixture of white in the middle of a shimmering red which makes the visual impact even more effective. The wedding colours in the same shade of red, fuchsia and violet gives an electric and vibrant side by suggesting women’s emancipation. Its name, ‘The Duchess’, implies a contrast between tradition and insolence, intended to recall the product’s French identity.
Also by CLTG…
CLTG invented and designed Twix Top, a snack bar that has enjoyed success for nearly ten years. The agency also ‘rejuvenated’ the alcoholic brand Byhrr, transforming it into ‘Byhrr Rare Assemblage’, packed in a satin-finish Bordeaux bottle with a label numbered by hand.
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BOREALIS STUDENT INNOVATION AWARD RECOGNISES INNOVATIVE RESEARCH
groundbreaking new report from Faraday is urging the packaging industry to become more informed about the significance of plastic electronics for brand marketing. The report shows brand owners how to make sure they are ahead of the game and advises on ways to differentiate themselves from the competition by using plastic electronics in a meaningful, not gimmicky, way. As society relies increasingly on the internet for product information, the report explains how online user reviews will severely diminish the power of brand owners’ marketing communications. As soon as the
REPORT POSITS PLASTIC ELECTRONICS AS NEXT BIG THING
orealis, a leading provider of innovative, value creating plastics solutions, has launched the Borealis Student Innovation Award 2009. The award sets out to recognise the two most innovative research papers on polyolefins, olefins or melamine to engage young people in providing value for society. There will be two separate awards, one for a master’s degree and one for a doctorate degree graduate. They consist of the actual award and a certificate each. In addition, there will be a sum of €5000 for the doctorate degree graduate and one of €3000 for the master’s degree graduate winner. The Borealis Student Innovation Award is open to graduates anywhere in the world in the fields of chemistry, polymers or applications. Their master’s or doctoral thesis should not be more than two years old and must be finalised by the end of October 2009.
CERESANA: BIOPLASTICS ARE FLOURISHING
first major UK supermarket gives its customers the chance to provide online feedback on these products, brands will need to create more competitive ‘stand out’ than ever before. Faraday’s report concludes that in order for packaging manufacturers to survive in this brave new world, they will need to understand the capabilities and limitations of this new technology, and have the imagination and design capability to produce packs that do things no one has ever seen before. www.packagingeurope.com/News/30743 orwegian Norner Innovation has established a €3 million R&D project for the development of plastics based on CO2 as a raw material. Norner Innovation, a leading technology partner for plastic and material industries, has been allocated the budget for a new research project involving Superfos and other stakeholders in the plastic manufacturing supply chain. The aim of the project is to improve the environmental footprint of plastic by substituting a certain amount of virgin plastic with CO2. According to Superfos, there are several advantages of being part of this project. The property profile of these new materials will be investigated as they will probably be different from some of the typical commodity plastics. A main challenge and project target, according to the company, is to explore these properties, develop them further and identify appropriate end-use applications.
CO2 as Raw Material
hopping bags, fast-food utensils, and rubbish sacks that decompose into compost after use: bioplastics are not only environmentally-friendly, but they can also be economically advantageous. A new study from Ceresana Research analyses the market for biodegradable polymers and finds that expectations for bioplastics are high: a better image for plastics, independence from petroleum products, solutions for waste problems, contributions to environmental protection, as well as a new source of income for the agricultural sector. However, the characteristics and potentials of different bioplastics vary substantially – accordingly, there is a high demand for related information. The study finds that plastics made from renewable materials and biodegradable polymers are rapidly catching up. Bioplastics are already unbeatable in certain,
special applications – for example, medical implants, which dissolve in the body, or compostable mulch films for agriculture. As a result of advances in development, bioplastics are also increasingly capable of replacing common, standard polymers. In this regard, packaging materials constitute the most important application area, for example filler materials that are utilised in very large volumes. During the past eight years alone, consumption of biodegradable plastics based on starch, sugar and cellulose (so far the most important raw materials) has increased by 600%. Starch-based plastics currently dominate in Europe, and polylactic acid is considered to be particularly promising. www.packagingeurope.com/News/30057
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UK’S FIRST RECYCLED YOGURT POT
he most widely used technology to granulate and super-clean recycled plastics to the required standard, developed and patented by South Carolina-based United Resource Recovery Corporation (URRC), needs the input stream of containers to be completely free of metallic contamination to avoid the risk of damage to the high speed shredders used to convert the bottles into granulate for further processing. In the UK, URRC technology is being used by Closed Loop Recycling at its Dagenham plant which
Biobased solutions by PURACP
S+S SORTING TECHNOLOGY HELPS RECYCLE FOOD GRADE PET
converts 35,000 tons of used PET and HDPE bottles into raw material for new food and drink packaging every year. Closed Loop worked closely with material inspection specialist S+S Inspection to remove metallic contamination from the pre-processed bottles to protect the granulators and to colour sort the final material after processing to ensure a high quality, final product. www.packagingeurope.com/News/30777
URAC has launched a new bio-based initiative to help companies replace or reduce the amount of petrochemicals in their products. PURAC’s bio-based initiative grew out of the growing market demand for green products. Sustainability is the new reality in the chemical industry as companies move away from depleting resources and consumers choose products on the basis of their environmental friendliness. PURAC’s natural lactic acid and derivatives offer sustainable, economical and multifunctional solutions for a variety of industries: industrial cleaning, solvent cleaning, polymers, oil field chemicals, pharmaceuticals, paints and inks, metal fluid chemicals, micro electronics, and agrochemicals. The lactic acid can successfully replace phosphoric, hydrochloric and other inorganic or petrochemical acids.
achel’s, the UK’s leading premium organic dairy brand, is to make history by becoming the first ever yogurt producer to announce the use of recycled plastic in their yogurt pots. Like most yogurt pots, Rachel’s plastic inner pot was previously made of polystyrene (PS). In June, however, Rachel’s became the first dairy brand in the UK to
Forest Life restoration project awarded by EU
MM to become largest producer of FSC and PEFC certified cartonboard
switch to PET, which is one of the most widely recycled plastics. Moreover, the source of Rachel’s materials is 60% r-PET (recycled PET). As well as the benefits of using recycled plastic, the new inner pot and over-cap are also fully recyclable. www.packagingeurope.com/News/30714
the world's largest producer of coated recycled fibre cartonboard and the leading manufacturer of folding cartons in Europe, the Mayr-Melnhof Group seeks to produce cartonboard and folding carton products in an environmentally conscious manner by applying most modern high performance technologies at its 36 production sites. With the objective of further increasing transparency in its use of fibres throughout the production cycle – from the tree to the folding carton – all eight cartonboard mills of MM Karton as well as selected folding cartons plants of MM Packaging will be certified according to PEFC (Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes) and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) by the end of the third quarter of 2009. The move will ensure that only raw materials from sustainable forest management are used, which are subject to challenging ecological, economic and social criteria and are supervised on a regular basis. Hence, the Mayr-Melnhof Group will be the largest producer of PEFC and FSC certified cartonboard and folding cartons in Europe.
he European Union has awarded the Forest Life project ‘Restoration of Boreal Forests and Forest-covered Mires’. This Finnish project was coordinated by Metsähallitus Natural Heritage Services, and the project steering group included UPM, WWF, University of Joensuu and the Finnish Defence Forces. The Forest Life project partners restored 7000 hectares of forests in Natura 2000 conservation areas – forests and mires that had previously been in commercial use. In addition, forested esker habitats were opened and white-backed woodpeckers’ habitats were managed. The goal was to increase the conservation
value of these areas. The restoration measures were carried out in 33 areas around Finland. The project partners also communicated about forest restoration and its benefits. The budget for the five year project was €3.7 million, half of which was funded by the EU. UPM carried out forest and mire restoration together with Metsähallitus in the Repovesi National Park, in Kouvola, Finland, where UPM's lumberjacks restored mires and carried out controlled restoration burning to benefit fire dependent species. www.packagingeurope.com/News/30613
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ASF has closed a polystyrene (PS) plant at its Ludwigshafen site. This will reduce BASF’s annual production capacity for the standard plastic polystyrene in Europe by 80,000 to 540,000 metric tonnes – a capacity reduction of about 15%. The main reason for the shutdown is the decrease in demand for PS. The affected plant, which had been out of operation since mid-April, will be decommissioned, while personnel working there will transfer to other positions within the company. PS will continue to be produced by BASF in Ludwigshafen but it will serve primarily for the manufacture of the two BASF insulation products
TETRA PAK ACQUIRES SCANIMA A/S MIXER DIVISION
ARKEMA INCREASES THE PRICE OF ITS GARBEFLEX® DOP PLASTICISER
BASF to reduce polystyrene capacity in Europe
Styrodur® C and Neopor® (extrusion-based). In the future, orders for PS from European customers who had previously been supplied from Ludwigshafen will be filled mainly from the plant at BASF’s Verbund site in Antwerp, Belgium. “We are working intensively to restructure our Styrenics business and increase its profitability. In doing so, we are investigating all options in order to strengthen the business on a sustainable basis. This also includes reducing production capacities. We nevertheless still intend to sell this business,” explained Dr Joachim Streu, head of BASF’s Styrenics business. www.packagingeurope.com/News/30705
Printers expect no respite over summer
rkema has introduced a €50/T increase in the price of its Garbeflex® DOP. Marketed under the tradename Garbeflex® DOP, this di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate plasticiser is used primarily in the manufacture of flexible PCV, which has wide-ranging applications, including flexible film. This increase has been made necessary by the significant hike in raw material costs since the beginning of the year, whereas Garbeflex® DOP prices have fallen continuously for over 12 months.
esults from The British Printing Industries Federation’s latest quarterly Printing Outlook trading trends survey (March to May) shows little change in printers’ fortunes, as trade remains sluggish. Spring proved slightly better than a dire winter period, with the gap narrowing between those experiencing deterioration in trade and those experiencing improvement. Nevertheless, over half of firms responding to the survey report that conditions have actually worsened. More than two-thirds of printers expect some stability this summer with just one in ten predicting an improvement, and the state of order books reflects the general malaise. The majority of printers have slashed prices further as the market turns more cutthroat in order to attract custom. One positive is that cost pressures have generally eased for the majority but even so, margins have again narrowed due to the slump in demand and falling prices. Excess capacity is still a major issue despite lower employment levels and lead times stand at just a matter of weeks for most printers.
etra Pak, the world leader in food processing and packaging solutions, announced that it has acquired the assets of Scanima A/S Mixer Division from Denmark-based Scanima A/S, a leading partner in the world of high-quality mixing solutions and spiral solutions – freezers, chillers, proofers and steamers. The acquisition will provide Tetra Pak with efficient and accurate mixing equipment that ensures a higher and more uniform product quality and increases turnout capacity, particularly for complex ingredients used in the manufacture of high-quality foods such soups, sauces, dressings and beverage products. There is a growing global demand for these types of formulated food products, dry as well as liquid. Said Sam Strömerstén, president Tetra Pak Processing Systems: “Scanima mixing technology is
considered one of the benchmarks for innovative mixing solutions worldwide and strengthens our end-to-end processing solutions offering. When combined with our extensive product portfolio and global organisation we will enable our customers everywhere to meet the increasing demands for formulated products.” The acquisition is part of Tetra Pak strategy to develop complete production lines. Now including Scanima’s mixing solutions, customers all over the world can benefit from productions solutions with improved performance and reduced operational cost, secured by performance guarantees on improved accuracy in the mixing. www.packagingeurope.com/News/30870
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Carton Pack introduces new film line
est Fresh is an innovative product introduced by Carton Pack Srl in collaboration with specialised research centres, offering clients optimal conservation in the field of fresh produce. A scientific approach together with technical experience in the packaging industry for fresh products has helped in the development of a product that boasts high efficiency in increasing produce shelf life. Thanks to its controlled permeability, the Best Fresh film is able to maintain whole, washed, partially transformed or ready to eat fruit and vegetables at an elevated level of quality. It is available in film for automatic use and bags for manual use and represents an ideal packaging solution for a wide variety of fresh produce. The main advantages of Best Fresh are increased shelf life of the product, personalised characteristics depending on the product and working conditions, preservation of the original taste of the product, elevated antifog effect and minimal waste. Carton Pack Srl has been working in the field of packaging since 1965 with a continuous development in the market of food products’ flexible packing. The company, located in Rutigliano (Bari) extends over an area of 40,000 square metres, of which 20,000 are covered, and with a labour force of 200 employees.
PUSH-PULL SPORTS CAP FROM CORVAGLIA CLOSURES
Ishida RS-Series multihead weigher installed at leading Austrian confectionery manufacturer Zotter Schokoladen Manufaktur GmbH has enabled the company to achieve a new level of packing accuracy for its premium ‘Balleros’ range, resulting in an extra 20 boxes for every 1000 produced. In the past the packaging of the hand crafted chocolates proved to be a difficult process, often resulting in variation of the pack weight ranging from 95g to 110g. The shapes, sizes and weights of the chocolates differ so much from piece to piece that counting them would not be a valid method to comply with average weight regulation. Nevertheless, as the Balleros are quite fragile, gentle handling is also an important requirement to maintain a high product appeal. The solution, which was project-managed by Ishida, included a dust-protected belt feeder to take the chocolates to the
ISHIDA HELPS ZOTTER THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
BECK PACKAUTOMATEN DEVELOPS PACKAGE FOR DISPOSABLE TISSUES
top of a multihead weigher. The 10-head weigher benefits from the increased speed and accuracy of Ishida’s mid-range RS-Series. With the new multihead weigher, the 100g boxes can be filled at 120 packs per minute, which is twice the rate achieved by Zotter’s packing team when using a less accurate linear weigher. Despite this speed, there has been no increase in packing-related damage as all key contact surfaces are fitted with a shock-absorbent coating, and each weighment is gently deposited in the boxes via a dipping funnel. The major benefit of the new multihead is the reduction in pack weight variation, which is now firmly held within a range of 98g to 102g, and as a result has enabled production throughput to be increased.
he company beck packautomaten of Frickenhausen, Germany, has accepted the order to develop a package for disposable tissues for use in hospitals. The challenge was to guarantee both single dispensing and hygienic protection up to the last tissue. The previously used carton was to be replaced by a cost-saving and unmixed film packaging. From their range of machines beck packautomaten chose the beck-Fitpacker F 1040 S, an automatic tubular bag forming, filling and sealing machine that uses coloured film to produce a functional and attractive package. The stacks of disposable tissues are aligned and then fed into the beck-Fitpacker F 1040 S by intermittent feeding. In doing so, a special dispensing perforation is added to the top of the package to allow the dispensing of single tissues. During the packaging process the corners of the collation pack are tucked-in to achieve a high level of visual attractiveness.
oravaglia Closures has introduced a new push-pull sports cap. As a result of the enormous material savings involved, its new PCO 1881 short neck is making serious inroads in the market, taking over from the PCO 1810, mainly in the carbonated soft drinks and beer sectors. Sports and wellness beverages, bottled in PET bottles and using a
sports cap, are now latching onto this trend, as several big soft drinks companies supplying discount retail chains have already started the change-over to the new neck-finish. Corvaglia Closures Eschlikon AG, one of the first cap producers to react to the trend, already has a multi-cavity mould tool in operation, producing three-
piece push-pull sports caps with the 1881 short neck finish. This high capacity tool enables Corvaglia Closures to ensure continuous, highest quality supplies to their customers right from the start of their PCO 1881 bottling activities. www.packagingeurope.com/News/30706
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he production of fruit based products presents difficult contamination detection and removal problems, especially where a wide variety of fruit materials are being processed. Gebrüder Bagusat, a leading German manufacturer of semi-finished fruit products for the ice-cream, baking, dairy, beverage and chocolate industries, and finished goods for food retailers and professional caterers, is using a combination of magnetic and inductive techniques to ensure that its fruit preparations/purees, fruit in alcohol and fresh fruit salads are free of metallic contamination to meet HACCP food standard requirements. The main contamination risk comes from wear and tear on processing machinery introducing stainless steel particles into the fruit product. As stainless steel is only
PIBER PRODUCES STRONGER CONTAINERS FASTER WITH BORMOD™
DUAL DETECTION IS SWEET SOLUTION
talian food packaging specialist Piber Group is using Bormod™ BJ368MO from Borealis, a leading provider of innovative, value creating plastics solutions, for the production of a range of injection moulded tubs for yellow fats and margarines. The company uses the same material for ice-cream tubs and lids. Bormod BJ368MO was selected by Piber Group for its exceptional and unique combination of very high flow and high strength, high impact resistance that is retained at temperatures as low as –20°C and the low odour and taste characteristics that are essential for food packaging materials. Bormod BJ368MO is a ground-breaking polypropylene (PP) block copolymer that allows the injection moulding of tubs at higher rates and more cost-effectively than ever before. Tubs can be readily hot-filled.
LEVER PATÉ SPLITS IN TWO
slightly magnetic, an extremely strong magnetic field is needed to remove the contamination. AB6 6HES+S Liquimag uses an array of rare earth neodymium magnets which attracts and holds the smallest magnetic particles. The Easy Clean system allows the collected contamination to be removed easily and quickly. Non-magnetic contamination is removed by an S+S Liquiscan using induction detection technology with a microelectronic control systems that includes an auto-teach function to simplify operation when frequent product changeovers are required. Contamination is directed to a reject bin and, because the Liquimag unit has removed much of the contamination, product wastage is reduced to a minimum.
Redpack introduces ‘super-highway’ flow wrapping
wedish Pastejköket has recently launched a new smaller variant of their liver paté in a solution from Superfos. The result is a pack that stays fresher in the fridge. The pack was developed as a collaboration between Pastejköket and the leading manufacturer Superfos in order to meet the increasing demands on durability from the Swedish consumers. The new liver paté packaging solution from Superfos is the award winning SuperSeal in a customised pack to fulfil the requirements from Pastejköket. It has improved snap-on functionality on the lid made of PP material and a PP peel-off and re-close functionality that eliminates the need for an aluminium seal during packaging. SuperSeal’s combined PP lid and hermetic PP seal means that the lid opens and closes easily and
tightly every time. The result can be oxygen transmission rates below 0.004 and a shelf life equal to that of traditional barrier packs. www.packagingeurope.com/News/30545
edpack Packaging Machinery has recently launched a new concept in flow-wrapping – a model which could be dubbed the ‘super-highway’ flow wrapping machine! The new Redpack HTS Twin Lane machine has been based on the concept of joining two P325 flow wrappers together to produce a machine capable of handling high product throughput in factories and other packing environments where floor space is at an absolute premium. Phase feeders facilitate continuous high-speed top seal flow wrapping, and both packing lines operate independently of one another, allowing totally different products to be simultaneously packed at different speeds. As with all Redpack machines, the HTS Twin Line is manufactured in solid steel with either a painted or stainless steel finish to suit customer requirements. State-of-the-art electronic controls, with memory storage parameters for rapid product changeover, make for exceptionally easy machine operation. All P325 flow wrapping machines are designed so that, if appropriate, they can be integrated into a fully automated production and packing line, and the HTS Twin Lane is no exception. The first machine has already left Redpack’s Norfolk factory to be installed in a high volume UK packaging environment, and the company is now expecting a high level of interest in this innovative new product.
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Jean-Louis Evans, managing director at TÜV Product Service, argues that innovative thinking can help packaging meet the green challenge without falling short of its traditional objectives.
ccording to the Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment, packaging accounts for approximately 10 million tonnes of household and industrial waste a year. Packaging is clearly a thorn in the side of retailers, especially as research from Experian shows that 70 per cent of consumers are now concerned about what they can do to help the environment, compared to 40 70 per cent a decade ago. So, while consumers are increasingly focused on value during recession, it does not mean that companies can cut corners with their green credentials. How can businesses overcome the dichotomy of selling their goods to an eco-aware consumer that demands value, while ensuring that products don’t get damaged and remain profitable? As a society, we are moving towards sustainability and it is clear that manufacturers and retailers need to take their packaging environ-
mental responsibility more seriously if they want to remain competitive within the marketplace. Yet while customers are demanding that retailers adopt an environmentally-friendly approach to their packaging, they also want low cost items, attractive packaging and items to arrive in a good condition. Packaging designers thus have the very difficult job of trying to meet and balance the contrasting needs of cost, performance, aesthetics, usability and eco-friendliness.
Cost is king
Packaging should only represent a fraction of the total cost of the product and, if on display, it must be of a high enough quality to sell it. While many manufacturers are increasingly interested in sustainable packaging, the fear is that green alternatives will be more expensive and adversely affect consumer appeal. This is not necessarily so, as by being prepared to innovate and testing packaging thoroughly to ensure it still does its job, the application of a more ‘green’ approach can protect the product to the same degree as traditional materials. It can also produce a financial return, by reducing the amount of packaging used, which justifies the company’s time and money required to alter existing production or packing processes. Therefore, rather than seeing environmentally-friendly packaging as a nuisance, packaging experts need to take full advantage of the
opportunity to take the lead in their industry and stay ahead of the competition. Ideas need to go further than simply recycling when considering sustainable packaging. Caution must also be taken when entering this arena for the first time, ensuring that the durability of any new materials has been fully tested before it is used. Damage to the internal product during transit, for example with furniture and white goods, can become very costly and therefore requires 100 per cent certainty that there will be no compromise of the product’s quality for the end-user.
Think outside the packaging box
With regards to materials, there is an overwhelming range of alternatives, including a variety of bio-plastics, recycled materials and recyclable packaging. But are alternatives such as moulded pulp, starch foam packs, cornstarch packing peanuts and inflatable air pillows able to withstand such forces as traditional materials? On the whole, tests show that green alternatives are just as robust as traditional materials, although this does vary greatly dependent on the product requirements. Eco-friendly materials are not always viable, but in these cases the focus should be on where a difference can be made and ensure that where possible the mantra of ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ is followed. A number of proactive manufacturers are already
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having their packaging independently tested to compare their current materials against more eco-friendly ones. For example, a recent test we undertook involved substituting polystyrene chips for filled airbags when shipping a DVD recorder, which confirmed there was no detriment to the quality in which the item would arrive.
represented a reduction of over 75 per cent of plastic and 65 per cent less cardboard previously used in standard eggs, and helped to maintain Cadbury’s position as a market leader.
Follow the leader
FMCG companies have already made some effort to reduce packaging waste, and all the major producers have schemes to improve the sustainability of the packaging they use. For example, PepsiCo is working towards all its Quaker and Walkers packaging becoming renewable, recyclable or biodegradable within ten years. Responsibility for sustainability needs to be extended throughout the product’s lifecycle, especially the take-back, recovery and final disposal of the product. More customers are demanding that manufacturers be more sen-
Legislation is becoming more restrictive, and at the same time the availability of biodegradable and compostable products is increasing, while costs are reducing. As research shows, in today’s increasingly eco-aware society, this can act as a vital marketing tool to appeal to consumers and sell the product. A good example of this was Cadbury’s launch of a line of reduced-packaged Easter eggs, which were simply foil wrapped. This
sitive towards the environment and a socially responsible approach to packaging is a fantastic way to convey this message. However, companies cannot simply pay lip service to greener packaging; it must be ingrained within the company’s philosophy. In the absence of a strong surveillance regime to ensure compliance to legislation, it is up to the larger companies to take the lead, be creative and experiment with different types of materials to see if an environmentally-friendly option is viable. More than ever, the options available to improve green packaging credentials, whilst actually reducing and not increasing costs, are huge. Thinking outside the packaging box is not a step into the unknown, but a business necessity that will deliver a competitive advantage and reap rewards from an increasingly green I and value-aware consumer.
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THE MILKY WAY
Following the publication of the Tetra Pak Dairy Index, Michael Zacka, vice-president of marketing and product management at Tetra Pak, talks to Tim Sykes about global dairy market trends, as well as discussing the latest innovations in the beverage carton segment.
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Tetra Pak’s new biannual Dairy Index forecasts that global consumption of milk and other liquid dairy products (LDP) will increase by a compound annual growth rate of 2.2 per cent over the next four years. What lies behind the popularity of dairy products among consumers, and which regions are driving this growth?
What are the market dynamics surrounding packaged and unpackaged milk, and how do they relate to the wider growth picture?
How is the liquid carton competing with plastic and glass containers in the dairy market – in both emerging and mature economies?
Millions of people around the world drink milk every day. It’s a basic food staple, which is considered part of a healthy diet for all ages, and it is continuing to experience steady growth worldwide. Driving much of the growth in the global dairy industry – 96 per cent over the past four years – are emerging markets such as India, Pakistan, the Middle East and China. In these markets, growth has been based primarily on growing populations and rising household incomes, which in turn influence consumption habits. For example, in China and Vietnam consumer diets continue to change as household incomes increase and dairy products, which are not traditionally part of the Asian diet, become more widely available. In these markets, novelty as well as good nutrition is helping drive demand. In mature markets, although white milk is certainly the most popular product, the soy category and the flavoured milk category are showing steady growth. For example, the US is now one of the world’s top ten markets for soy consumption, along with traditional soy drinking markets, such as China, Thailand and Malaysia.
Worldwide consumption of packaged LDP is growing faster than unpackaged LDP and is expected to reach approximately 72 per cent of total – packaged and unpackaged – global consumption by 2012, driven by developing countries. From 2004 to 2008 the consumption of milk in unpackaged form – either directly from farmers or from sidewalk vendors – declined by nearly three percentage points, decreasing to 29.7 per cent of total LDP consumption in 2008 from 32.5 per cent in 2004. Consumption of ready-to-drink, long-life packaged milk, that can be shipped and stored before opening without requiring either refrigeration or preservatives, has reached a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.9 per cent over the last four years, compared to a CAGR of 2.4 per cent for the whole category. Consumption of long-life packaged milk is also on the rise in the mature markets where milk consumption is already very high. For example, in Italy almost all households consume milk, each consuming on average more than 100 litres of milk per year. In this market, 60.4 per cent of all LDP consumed is long-life packed. Interestingly in Spain almost the entire white milk market (98 per cent) is UHT milk.
Over the last four years, the carton segment has been leading the ambient and chilled packed dairy market in terms of volume, reaching 36 per cent in 2008 globally. Leading the growth of carton packaging in the packed dairy segment are the emerging markets, where carton packaging is forecast to rise by 2.0 percentage points by 2012. While plastic bottles increased share by 2.3 points in those markets from 2005 to 2008, their growth is expected to increase by only 1.4 points from 2008 to 2012. According to research conducted in 2008 by GfK Roper Reports Worldwide, consumers in 25 markets believe that carton packaging has a better environmental profile than plastic packaging. As for glass, use of this type of packaging for dairy products has been decreasing since 2005 and now accounts for only 1.5 per cent of packed LDP in mature markets and only 0.4 per cent in emerging markets. In 2008, the company launched a number of new products and technologies, from process control and information management systems that improve line integration to Tetra Gemina™ Aseptic, the world's first roll-fed gable top shaped package with full aseptic performance. What are the most significant recent and forthcoming innovations by Tetra Pak?
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We continue to focus on innovation and technology to meet our customers’ needs for cost-effective, value-added processing and packaging integrated solutions in an increasingly competitive marketplace. A major announcement was the launch of Tetra Pak iLine™ solutions. This new generation of high-performance aseptic carton packaging solutions takes line integration and automation technology to a new level thanks to a novel process control and information management system. Tetra Pak iLine™ solutions enable customers to increase capacity and reduce operational costs by up to 40 per cent. Another key innovation announced over the last few months is Tetra Lactenso Aseptic, a new generation of customised aseptic production solutions that enables dairy producers to achieve superior and consistent product quality while reducing operating costs by up to 20 per cent and minimising their environmental impact. Tetra Lactenso Aseptic establishes a new approach to working with dairy customers in which Tetra Pak custom-designs an end-to-end production solution for each customer based on their particular performance needs. More broadly, in which areas of liquid carton technology and processing equipment do you expect to see the most significant developments in the coming years?
between packaging line and plant resulting in a reduction of operational costs for our customers. Innovation is also focused on providing increasing functionality for consumers while increasing environmental performance. Development is underway to further reduce the carbon footprint of our solutions by engineering new packaging material as well as equipment.
sumer trends and preferences and that have been able to keep their operating costs low, we would expect that they would weather the storm.
Last year you acquired two specialised food processing companies from Australia-based Downer EDI. What did these additions bring to Tetra Pak’s portfolio?
Despite the fact that the international economy performed terribly in the second half of 2008, Tetra Pak achieved growth in net sales of five per cent, to €8.8 billion. In what ways can this be attributed to the consistency of Tetra Pak’s core markets and to the company’s own strengths? What is the outlook for 2009, in the context of an even gloomier world economy?
Overall, we are committed to delivering innovative, cost-effective processing and packaging solutions that enable our customers to compete in a constantly changing environment. In today’s competitive marketplace, customers are looking for solutions that help them reduce their operating costs. As such, our focus is on cost-driven innovation – it’s a bottom line strategy, designed to help increase our customers’ profitability with innovative packaging solutions that will help them win on the retail shelf. That means providing more integrated, end-to-end processing solutions designed to reduce operating costs. Customers are also increasingly looking for end-to-end solutions which include the latest automation technology to provide enhanced control, supervision and ease of operations in packaging lines management. As technology advances, we anticipate increasing integration
Our net sales of €8.8 billion in 2008 increased five per cent over 2007 in comparable terms. Continuing growth in Central and South America, the Middle East, China, south and south-east Asia and also in North America and southern Europe drove the rise in Packaging Solutions’ sales, while Processing Solutions benefited from new sales generated by the acquisition of two specialist food processing firms as well as sales growth in virtually all regions. In terms of our outlook for 2009, consumption of LDP is expected to continue to grow steadily over the next three years – with emerging markets driving much of this growth. However, this doesn’t mean that the dairy industry is immune from global financial crisis. Recession in many countries, less access to credit, sharply declining stock prices, volatility in the currency and commodity markets will squeeze profit margins for many of our customers. That’s why at Tetra Pak we are more focused than ever on our strategy of designing cost-effective processing and packaging integrated systems which continuously seek ways to reduce our customers’ overall operational costs. The current financial turmoil is also likely to encourage many consumers to economise when buying milk, for example, by purchasing budget brands and private labels. This may impact the more expensive brands and higher-end products. However, for companies that are well diversified, in tune with con-
The acquisition of two specialised processing engineering companies, Downer MBL Pty Ltd and Downer MBL, from Australian-based Downer EDI, has strengthened Tetra Pak’s portfolio of complete production solutions for cheese and dairy powder by adding new process engineering, materials handling and project management expertise for evaporation, drying, powder handling and whey processing. Tetra Pak is gaining from the wealth of experience that Downer MBL offers in process engineering and project management. This expertise covers mega-projects for evaporation, drying and powder handling requirements. I
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In the rapidly evolving world of robotics technology we are seeing the development of increasing varieties of sophisticated packaging applications. Victoria Hattersley spoke to some expert representatives from three of the leading manufacturers of robotic packaging machinery – KUKA Robotics, ABB and Adept Technology – to find out more about the latest developments.
or many years, the automotive sector has dominated the robotics industry in terms of technological development, but this is changing as demand for safer, faster and more flexible solutions grows apace in other industry sectors. Whereas before, robots were generally used in packaging for end-of-line purposes such as palletising, today they are increasingly geared towards primary packaging processes, such as feed placing, and secondary packaging processes, such as top loading. Today the biggest sales market for packaging robotics technology remains Europe. However, where robotics technology for consumer packaging is concerned, the fastest growing markets are China, the USA and Germany.
systems, so a complete and often prohibitively expensive overhaul is no longer necessary. Significant space saving is therefore also a priority for customers, and this has been achieved with the development of advanced robotics controls that increase throughput, eliminate the need for auxiliary cabinets and so take up far less room on the production floor. According to Tony Dowling, robot sales specialist at the world-renowned KUKA Robotics, “Robots are able to work faster and longer without breaks and product quality can be improved as robots offer repeatable results. Employees also benefit as robots can undertake repetitive, heavy and hazardous roles.”
Combining strengths Meeting customer demands
The growing demand for more sophisticated, cost-effective robotic packaging solutions in key markets may be partly owing to the fact that it is no longer only large multinationals which can afford to use these kinds of technology. Clients today are increasingly in the medium- or even small-sized segment. Robots can be integrated more easily into a manufacturer’s existing line to work around their installed Clearly then, the use of robotic technology gives obvious advantages – accuracy, increased output and superior hygiene levels, as well as the reduction of human error and injury. However, there are some advantages of manual labour that a robot cannot replicate. Recognising this, manufacturers have been simplifying the use and maintenance of robots, leading to the development of more solutions involving robots working alongside humans.
Peter Cuypers, global segment manager for consumer industries at ABB in Belgium, emphasises the need for a skilled workforce to work alongside robots: “It is essential that the right integrators and machine builders are found, coached and serviced to the highest levels. Focus should be on new and challenging ‘plug-and-play’ solutions, intelligent vision systems, SafeMove (robots working alongside humans) etc.” ABB’s above-mentioned SafeMove is an electronics and software-based safety system that ensures safe and predictable robot motion, allowing for greater man-machine collaboration. It complies with industry safety standards, using geometrical and speed restrictions so that the flexibility of human labour can be combined with the precision, speed and handling capacity of robots.
Advanced vision systems
To enhance flexibility, robots can be configured with one to three arms for both feed placing and top loading functions. Both of these functions can also be programmed with vision systems and advance tracking, capable of picking and loading products on moving
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conveyor belts without reducing production flow. Tony Dulchinos, CEO of Adept Technology Inc., explains that in the future we will be seeing “Better applications software packages, integrated production inspection and sorting technology that can be carried out in parallel with product packaging.” Guided vision tracking software allows products to flow in at random position and orientation, so the product can be properly oriented prior to placement. Added to this, robots are easily reprogrammed, and changes in end of arm tooling (EOAT) developments and vision technology have expanded the application-specific abilities of packaging robots. One example of a recent development in this field is KUKA Robotics’ dedicated software programme, Vision, which seamlessly integrates vision systems with its robots without the need for separate hardware. It is designed for tasks such as barcode verification and product inspection.
The latest models
One of the most important recent innovations in robotics technology is the new generation of high speed, high payload 4-armed Delta robots (‘Delta-4’ Kinematics) that offer increased throughput over conventional 3axis delta robots and more consistent performance throughout the packaging process. Delta technology is named after the human deltoid muscle, with each robot arm mimicking the function of the shoulder muscle. The Delta-4 robot kinematic is, says Mr Dulchinos, “twice as fast as a conventional robot.” In the world of palletising, KUKA recently launched its new, high-performance robots at LIGNA, Europe’s leading forestry exhibition. This new KR 1300 model is based on the world’s strongest robot, the Titan, and has been designed for heavy-duty palletising tasks with the capacity to lift payloads up to 1300kg. Meanwhile, in March 2009 Schneider Electric’s specialist packaging subsidiary Elau announced the launch of its new Delta-3 format pick-and-place robot which it claims is the first plug-and-play system of its type. It has an ‘inverted tripod’ construction giving it three degrees of freedom. The option of a fourth axis is achieved by integrating a rotary axis at the tool centre point.
A cleaner future
In addition to all the labour- and cost-saving benefits, industrial automation and robotics have been shown to significantly reduce overall waste. “Robotic automation is friendly on the environment as it uses very little energy while its high accuracy reduces the use of raw materials. This has an impact on the waste generated, meaning fewer deliveries and collections are required,” explains Mr Dowling. And Mr Dulchinos adds, “Sustainable packaging is driving the need for robotic solutions. Environmentally conscious packaging means more ‘odd-shaped’ packages that require individual pick-up, manipulation and placement which can only be achieved with flexible robotics or by human hands.”
According to Mr Cuypers, whilst today the majority of robotics technology sales are carried out on a B2B basis, a gradual change is expect-
ed to take place over the next few years. “We will definitely move more from B2B to B2C sales. B2B as such still has massive growth possibilities but the B2C numbers will overtake the B2B numbers. In order to support this trend, much time and energy will be invested in man and robot working together even more closely in the future.” In terms of cost benefits, Mr Dowling tells us that robots “will become even easier to program and more cost-effective. For example, KUKA estimates that a robot purchased today costs less than a quarter of a similar model bought 20 years ago.” The current economic crisis may well serve to spur on the growth in sales of robotics technology, with cost and waste reduction, enhanced hygiene and optimised distribution all key priorities. Integrated product inspection and sorting technology carried out in parallel with product packaging will also be a major theme for the I next few years.
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MARKET SPOTLIGHT ON FOOD:
Food accounts for just over half of the money spent on packaging in Europe. Tim Sykes looks at some of the fundamental trends and particular developments in this massive and diverse market, and how international economic turmoil is impacting on the way food is packaged.
ccording to Rexam’s Consumer Packaging Report 2007/2008, the food packaging market of eastern Europe has led the way for growth since the millennium, and it will shock no-one to learn that within that region Russia is at the forefront of both bottom-line growth and increasing sales of modern pack formats. Until the credit crunch food packaging in western Europe had been recording very modest growth, mainly concentrated in packaging for specialist products.
HOW ARE WE EATING OUR WAY THROUGH THE RECESSION?
However, the recession has impacted upon consumer habits, as will be discussed below. The tendencies in the food market itself driving growth for packaging reflect an increasing conscious European consumer. The healthy and ethical eating trends see sales of organic produce growing by around 25 per cent annually over the past decade, while ‘fair trade’, ‘sustainable’ and ‘local’ add a premium to goods. Paradoxically, however, Rexam points out that this is simultaneously
a golden age for obesity – meaning the industry’s other major growth sectors are convenience and take-away foods.
Flexibles account for around half the European food packaging market – and taking a considerably higher proportion in the eastern side of the continent. Next come rigid plastics (the material enjoying the fastest growth) with around a quarter of the market, followed by
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Healthy & ethical food products are a major growth area...
...and we are also living in a golden age of junk food
paper/board (in which the CEE region is catching up with the west), metal and glass. Rexam notes that flexible packaging leads the market due to its widespread use in nearly all food categories, dominating in developing economies thanks to its low cost and flexible features, and holding ground in mature markets thanks to recent innovations such as improved barrier properties and resealable packs. Rigid plastics, which also benefit from their light weight and suitability for mobile consumption, are represented above all by thin wall plastic containers, prominent in the dairy segment, and ready meal trays. Meanwhile, paper-based materials are present across most food types, often as an outer layer of packaging in frozen and ambient meals, multi-packs and confectionery. Metal is a well trusted material but its non-microwaveability is a restriction. Glass, a traditional leader in the sauces and condiments segment, faces growing competition from lighter materials which offer reduced breakage, but is consolidating its status as a leader in the premium segment.
Responding to recession
As the economic downturn bites, there has been a significant increase in the number of bulk and value ranges as consumers change their food purchase habits. However, Lisa Goodwin, co-founder of the Yin and Yang design and branding agency, suggests that the downturn in economy has overall made con-
sumers think more: “They are taking a little more time and after an initial impulsive surge to the value brand market we seem to be moving into a cooling off, more ‘considered’ period. The opportunity is there for brand owners and managers to grab these extra seconds at the fixture by using clear, inviting and inspiring packaging.” Steve Irvine, creative director at LFH, identifies a related trend, whereby retailers’ private label products are gaining ground on brands and therefore expanding their variants and flavours. He predicts that we will see increasing innovations in own brands as they respond to the changing needs of the consumer (environmental, health benefits, etc.) while continuing to undercut the premium brands on price. This would in turn introduce more innovative packaging into a once budget arena. An existing eco-trend that has been boosted by the economic climate is the increased use of refills, says Blue Marlin’s executive creative director Martin Grimer. “Dairy Crest have developed the ‘Jugit’ refill system – a durable milk jug that holds refill milk ‘bags’; you buy the Jugit jug once and then just the bags after that. It’s currently being trialled in Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, who have developed own brand milk bags to work with the system, and if successful could well change the way we buy milk. Re-usable food packaging offers similar benefits, e.g. Gü’s ceramic and glass ramekins
used for their desserts, and Celebrations’ new reusable tin which comes dishwasher, freezer and microwave proof.”
As fierce price competition encourages producers to reduce costs, the trend of cutting the quantity of packaging materials has continued. Martin Grimer comments, “We are certainly seeing a trend of less, or even no, packaging for food. However, less packaging doesn’t have to equal lower quality; and in fact if done well it can work positively for a brand, not against it. For example, reduced sleeving shows more of the product, and in doing so delivers a higher, not lower, quality feel. It implies that the food is good enough to speak for itself rather than hiding behind a glossy shot, and in doing so also conveys a sense of honesty. The supermarket Sainsbury’s has halved the box on their pizzas, showing more of the product; and through finishing the execution with a sticker, have added an artisan touch that enhances rather than diminishes the product’s quality feel.” Lisa Goodwin echoes this conclusion: “There is a backlash against ‘cheap goods’ and the divide between ‘locally sourced and honest value’ and ‘imported discounts’ is growing. In packaging terms this will lead to transparency – metaphorically and literally. Being able to see a product is especially important if it is positioned as ‘value’. So
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clear packs with labelling are likely to be the way of the future.” She also suggests that the tinned food category is long overdue a make-over. “If the recession continues beyond the end of this year, there is a real opportunity to re-energise this fixture. It has almost become the supermarket’s forgotten aisle,” she remarks.
Food packaging aims to simultaneously meet the demands of cost and performance – as seen in the advances in lightweighting and shelf life preservation – and reflect the changing characteristics of a consumer who has a uniquely complex and profound relationship with food among all regularly purchased products. Few other packaged products are a continual necessity to sustain life; few are so intimately connected with the gratification of our senses. Since eating is so central to our experience, food brands watch their consumers’ habits and attitudes closely. Martin Grimer identifies trust as an important driver. “As the rest of their world remains in a state of uncertainty, brands want to instil confidence,” he suggests. “We are seeing more references to heritage, provenance and sourcing now, contrasting with the premiumisation of recent years. This is particularly important as consumers consider trading down to cheaper or own label products; big brands’ heritage is one of their key weapons in their fight against this.
Walls Sausages’ packaging also now looks like it’s come from a farmers’ market rather than a supermarket, with its traditional brown wrapper and classic logo and typeface. This referencing of a product’s provenance and authenticity can also reassure consumers and build trust, by conveying a sense of honesty and quality.” This is a view seconded by Steve Irvine, who predicts that the next two years will be characterised by the maxim ‘luxury is not done’. “Products need to reflect ‘safety and trust’, being a sort of comfort food,” he claims. “On packs we’ll see simple, colourful and funny designs reflecting optimism and self confidence.” Lisa Goodwin similarly expects to see more emphasis on packaging portraying brand honestly and warmth. “Even though we are in a recession, we like to smile.” Meanwhile, pure eye-catching aesthetics on the supermarket shelf remains a winning tactic. “Longer working hours, work and family balance, online shopping, health concerns, traceability, etc., are some of the factors that continually challenge the food packaging market, but consumers’ need for attractive packaging will never change,” argues Lisa Goodwin. “The packaging is arguably ‘experienced’ by the consumer more than the product itself. The more consumer needs challenge the market, the greater the need there is for meaningful design. It is absolutely essential that brand owners and managers embrace design at their brand’s heart I and use it to portray its story.”
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FOCUS ON FLEXIBLES
Flexible plastics are one of the most frequently used consumer packaging materials, encountered across a spectrum of FMCG and of course food products. Tim Sykes looks at the talking points, developments and market trends characterising the segment today, and listens to the perspective of industry insiders.
he European flexible packaging market is worth an estimated €10.5 billion. Much of its activity revolves around the food sector, where the lightness, capacity for transparency, barrier properties and spatial flexibility provided by wraps, pouches, bags and lids are useful qualities. The remaining quarter or so of the market consists of a broad spectrum of primary packaging applications as well as the use of flexibles in transit packaging, such as pallet wrapping. From a geographical point of view, Jayson Clark, director CFN Packaging, and Francesco Peccetti of Colines Extrusion Lines both point to eastern Europe as the biggest area for growth. Gillian Wight, packaging development director at Your Packaging Partner, confirms this impression. “There are a number of regions offering the strongest growth, most notably eastern Europe, Spain and Russia,” she stated. “The latter is expected to have the largest consumer market in Europe by 2025, which will create a wealth of opportunities within the market whilst Spain appears to be moving away from its traditional delis to more pre-prepared products with convenience packaging. As this is a standard area for the use of flexibles due to shelf life requirements and resealability, I’d expect there to be significant growth in this area. Finally,
eastern Europe will definitely be an area to watch as traditionally it’s been further behind western European countries in terms of development. The current growth of its retail infrastructure means more opportunity for retailers and suppliers to respond to consumer demand.”
Dependence on oil
As with all polymer-based products, the mainstream flexibles market is particularly sensitive to fluctuations in the oil prices. The association Flexible Packaging Europe (FPE) recently warned that raw material price increases are threatening the financial backbone of the flexible packaging industry, warns, which represents 75 per cent of European flexible packaging production. The flexible packaging sector has been forced to accept the imposition of a succession of price rises from polymer producers in recent months, FPE reports, while delivery times to its customers are threatened by a slow down in supply caused by production maintenance programmes at many polymer producers’ facilities. At the same time, the cost of energy supplies have seen significant increases which vary from region to region. In recent years the industry has been working to offset increased cost with efficiency improve-
ment – but it warns that these levels of increase become impossible to absorb. “The squeeze on margins caused by increased raw material prices and rising energy, transport and labour cost is putting enormous pressure on this highly innovative packaging sector,” stated FPE executive director Stefan Glimm. The association points out that raw material prices represent 60 per cent of the total cost of flexible packaging. “Innovative developments in down-gauging and consumer convenient packaging options have done much to meet the demands of end user customers and consumers, while also promoting growth in the sector,” remarked Mr Glimm. “But the time has now come for each customer to work together with its flexible packaging producers to create solutions to what is becoming an untenable position.”
The greening of flexibles
In this context, a reduced dependence on oilbased plastics becomes desirable from an economic, as well as a sustainability, point of view. This is reflected in a heightened interest in the technologies that can make biopolymers and recycled plastics a feasible alternative to petrochemicals. Francesco Peccetti confirms that the major Italian brand Colines is taking this seri-
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ously. “We are working on biopolymers,” he said. “With our parent company b-pack we have been conducting tests with PLA and PVOH.” Meanwhile, Jayson Clark points out that degradability is a property in which the industry is increasingly taking an interest. “These materials are much more accessible than they were just five or ten years ago,” he noted. “Degradable polythene is a flexible and inexpensive solution when compared to other packaging options. Oxodegradable products such as Biothene™ are cheap and environmentally responsible – an ideal packaging solution in times of recession.” “Biopolymers are certainly increasing in both use and strength of material, although they are still in their infancy compared to other plastics that have been used successfully for many years,” remarked Gillian Wight. “Biopolymers or compostable packaging are a fantastic concept as they are ultimately sustainable, decomposing in a relatively short time frame compared to petrochemical based polymers. However, the difficulty in disposing of them does remain an issue, and I believe
that until this is addressed, biopolymers as a means of environmentally friendly packaging will not be as significant as the industry believes possible. Composting facilities at home are limited given that a significant proportion of the population does not have access to a garden and there are very few local composting sites that would accept packaging.” Moreover, Gillian Wight points out that recycling rates of flexible substrates lags behind those of other packaging materials. However, the intrinsic properties of flexibles do have environmental advantages. “I would say that there has been an increase in the use of flexible packaging recently as a direct result of the focus on creating more lightweight packaging to reduce the tonnage that is being sent to landfill,” she said.
Flexibles have been the focus of a great deal of innovation. New pack formats have emerged that challenge our assumptions about the materials best suited to products. Tetra Pak’s
development of a pouch as an alternative to laminate board cartons extends the possibilities of flexible containers for milks and juices, while Amcor has introduced its FlexCan to package both fluids and loose, dry foods. Meanwhile, for Francesco Peccetti the core driver of innovation in the production of flexibles has been cost savings. “Well accepted are our systems Refesave® and Dittering®,” he said. “These two systems make it possible to recover the majority of the extruded material without having a problem in scraps management.” Perhaps the most significant area of research and development has been in barriers and modified atmosphere packaging – part of an ongoing revolution in shelf life extension. According to Gillian Wight, an important aspect of this has been the development of coatings as a way to enhance product quality and as an alternative to laminates: “Innovations such as oxygen scavenging, carbon dioxide control, heat and cold insulation, ethylene control time-temperature and anti-microbial preservative have all been I very significant.”
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DRINKTEC MAKES A REFRESHING RETURN
drinktec 2009 , which takes place at the New Munich Trade Fair Centre from 14–19 September 2009, is the world’s most important trade fair for beverage and liquid food technology.
his year, drinktec is expected to attract around 1500 exhibitors from around 60 countries, and around 70,000 visitors from over 160 countries. Manufacturers come along to present the latest technology for producing, filling and packaging beverages of all kinds, as well as liquid food – including raw materials and logistics solutions. A special feature of drinktec is that entire machinery systems and plant are set up here and demonstrated in action – this kind of a display is unique to drinktec.
At the heart of drinktec 2009’s supporting programme are two forums, both situated right in the middle of the action in Hall B1. Independent experts from all over the world will be giving their lectures on several key themes: consumers through the ages; environment and packaging; water the resource; practical operations; filling and packaging systems; news from the brewing process; top tasks of management; practical examples of sustainability; products with a future; success factors in SMEs; and service in focus. In addition, the supporting programme will feature a number of lectures on the latest developments in the field of liquid dairy prod-
ucts. A separate lecture block is being dedicated to the subject for the milk industry, under the title 'The importance of dairy beverages', on 16 and 17 September. Another highlight for all dairy specialists is the presentation of the first Dairy Technology Award on 17 September. drinktec 2009 will also be the venue for the presentation of the Beverage Innovation Awards, taking place at a gala dinner on 15 September in the International Congress Centre Munich (ICM). Publishers confructa medien, in cooperation with drinktec, is organising the 'International Fruit World' (IFW) congress on the subject of liquid fruit and fruit processing, taking place from 15–16 September 2009 in the International Congress Centre Munich (ICM). The second PLA Bottle Conference is taking place for the first time during drinktec 2009. PLA is a very promising synthetic material made from renewable raw materials, such as maize, sugar beet and sugar cane.
The latest in labelling and finishing
Alongside the main exhibits and supporting events, drinktec 2009 will, as ever, be showcasing the latest developments in labelling and finishing technology. This will cover dif-
ferent labelling techniques for optimum product presentation, including wet-glue labelling, hot-glue labelling and fully automatic wraparound or inline machines. As mentioned above, PET will also be a strong theme at drinktec 2009, with exhibitors displaying their new high-performance stretch blowmoulding machines in PET filling plants, and PET labelling machines. The trend for the ‘premiumisation’ of beverages in PET containers will also be highlighted, with exhibitors looking to showcase their self-adhesive labelling technology to the large numbers of international drinks producers looking to invest in these types of machines. The coverage of PET at drinktec 2009 is being rounded off by a world congress on the subject, which is taking place for the third time. The latest modular machines, where different labelling units can be attached to a base unit, will also be making an appearance. There will of course also be representation from developers of ‘intelligent’ labelling technologies, including packaging labels that change colour when the expiry date has been exceeded with the aid of a plastic chip. The latest developments in RFID technology, including smart labels, are set to gain even greater significance in the future and will get a strong I showing at this year’s event.
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THE GREATEST LABEL SHOW ON EARTH
Labelexpo Europe returns on 23–26 September to Brussels Expo. Already established as the largest event for the label, product decoration, web printing and converting industry, exhibition space for this year’s show will comfortably exceed that of the record breaking 2007 event.
addition to launching an impressive array of new products in six halls, many exhibitors are focusing their attention on providing solutions that can help converters and brand owners make the most of the current economic climate. Many converters are already reaping the rewards of improving production and flexibility, adding value and looking towards new opportunities. An example of this is digital technology, which will account for about 15 per cent of the exhibition space.
This year a number of new exhibitors will be making their debut appearance at the show. One of these is Radior, an ink supplier with an emphasis on package printing (paper, cartons, labels, film) with their inks providing a metallic sheen based on carefully selected bronze and aluminium metal pigments. Meanwhile, EMIS, a supplier of advanced technology for personalisation, post-press, and industrial marking, will be exhibiting its internationally recognised machinery for the labelling industry. Another first-time participant is Screen Europe, one of the world's largest manufacturers and suppliers of system components for the prepress and printing industries, whose broad range of equipment includes workflow systems, RIPs, proofing systems, platesetters, digital offset and digital inkjet printing presses. Herma, which specialises in labelling systems and solutions for precision labelling, will be presenting products ranging from simple
manual dispensers and series machines through to tailor-made solutions for individual high-tech labelling tasks. Joining the first time exhibitors are MDC Daetwyler, market leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of pre-press systems for packaging and illustration rotogravure printing, and Axode, a company that provides camera based systems dedicated to identification, print quality and integrity control of documents. Meanwhile, Shanghai Xinmin Taiyo will be displaying its TLM combination rotary press with multifunctional and exchangeable stations designed to accommodate a number of units including wet offset printing, letterpress printing, flexo printing, rotary screen printing, gravure printing and rotary cold stamping.
This year there will be a host of new feature areas at Labelexpo Europe. ‘The Digital Printing Experience’ invites leaders in digital printing to gather and showcase the latest in digital technology. Visitors will see the best pick of digital presses, as well as digital prepress software, plate-making and post-press finishing, with live demonstrations running continuously. In addition the pavilion will play host to a series of seminars and panel discussions, which will focus on the present and future of digital printing and its role in the development of the label industry worldwide. In parallel ‘Green Park’ is conceived to allow
suppliers to display their environmentally friendly projects and enable visitors to see the latest developments in green and sustainable technologies. The feature will be giving out valuable information on the action the industry can take to help reduce its impact on the environment – and keep ahead of regulatory and market demands. “Labelexpo Europe continues to be the essential event in the industry for senior professionals to come and see the latest innovations and technologies in action and make important decisions in the bid to achieve maximum productivity and profitability for their business,” remarked Roger Pellow, managing director of Labelexpo. “The long-running show provides a unique forum for converters in this market to network and keep up with the fast-moving technological advances. We are looking forward to another successful I show in Brussels this September.”
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THE ROTARY CLUB
Family-owned rotary tools and equipment manufacturer Madern International BV has been recognised for many years as the leading company in its field. With over 50 years of expertise and a passion for innovation, Madern helps its customers’ performance and profitability by offering standard and customised solutions for all their folding carton needs. Emma-Jane Batey interviewed president and CEO Mr Jean Madern and global sales director Mr Jos van Oekel.
Cutting tool for rounded corner HL tobacco packaging, eight blanks across and four blanks around
adern International BV was founded in 1954 by the parents of the current CEO, initially as a company for flat and relief engraving techniques. As its reputation grew, the engraved nameplates, layouts of control panels and stamps for the local steel, soap and moulding industries became key products.
Taking over tradition
In 1985, the company was handed over to Mr Jean Madern, who has continued the tradition of his parents while building the modern facilities and developing innovative products that complement its expertise. Mr Madern told Packaging Europe, “Madern grew into one of the leading engraving companies, with a focus on special engraving techniques that other companies in the field could not tackle. We maintain the
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Some of the products produced with Madern tools and/or equipment
same high values that my parents established in the company, even though they started Madern as a nationally oriented company and now we are truly international. The last 20 years have seen a vast modernisation of the company because of our innovation in rotary dies, which required a new attitude and a new way of business, of which I was proud to be at the helm.” An important milestone came in 1995 with the construction of a new, ultra-modern production facility, laying the foundation for further growth. The Madern HQ is based in the Netherlands, with two other production facilities in the USA and a sales office in Hong Kong, serving its growing Asian market. Madern USA Inc. was established in 1999 to serve the local North American market and with the opening of a brand new facility in 2006, Madern confirmed its commitment to this market. There have also been a number of strategic acquisitions from 2004 until today, including liquid packaging experts Arthur J. Evers Corporation.
Standard and customised solutions
As a strongly technically oriented company, Madern offers a range of standard and customised solutions for worldwide clients. Mr Madern told us, “As we have come from an engraving and mould making background, we have an unrivalled understanding of these processes that we are able to integrate into our thoroughly modern solutions and it is this which helped us develop the rotary tools and equipment that we are now famous for across the world. We have a kind of ‘engineering greediness’ in our blood and we’re always looking for new ideas in rotary converting as there is still a great deal of potential for both the low cost and high end of the rotary tool and equipment business.” With its wide range of rotary tools and die-cutters, Madern is the first choice partner for clients’ converting requirements in the cardboard packaging industry. In particular, Madern provides bespoke solutions for the tobacco packaging, liquid packaging and general folding carton industry, including beverage applications. The company offers a wide
A concept of the future rotary die cutter with sleeve technology and fully automated quick change-over feature. This concept was also shown and demonstrated on the Madern booth at DRUPA 2008.
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Machinefabriek Tuin BV
pecialist in manufacturing! Machinefabriek Tuin BV is a mediumsized company that has specialized in the manufacture of steel, aluminium, stainless steel and plastic components. Our strength lies particularly in the combination of construction and machining. Machinefabriek Tuin BV is your reliable partner in the complete production process, where quality and flexibility come first. We take care of the whole production process for you as a customer, from purchasing materials to any finishing and subcontracting. We see it as our task and our strength to relieve our customers of their worries. For us this means: providing a complete solution. From purchasing the base materials, production and any subcontracting / finishing.
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“Madern grew into one of the leading engraving companies, with a focus on special engraving techniques that other companies in the field could not tackle.”
A 1.650mm wide creasing tool for high speed creasing (600m/min) of aseptic liquid packaging
he goal in our long cooperation with Madern is providing a high level of additional value to their products with the confidence in their ability to continue to satisfy international market requirements. The World's most respected and innovative engineering companies are realising the benefits of long term relationships with Bodycote.
CH Robinson Europe
range of cutting, creasing, embossing and punching tools, alongside converting equipment such as single or multiple station rotary die-cutters with fully automated delivery systems. Global sales director Mr van Oekel told Packaging Europe, “The majority of our sales are in rotary converting tools, which has been our expertise for over 25 years and we are continuing to undertake new developments. For the near future, tools will be our number one core business, although one of our main drivers for developing new solutions is our focus on establishing ourselves as a single source supplier to a wider audience. In order to do this, we listen carefully to what the market needs and translate our findings into affordable, high-performance solutions. “Owing to the many advantages of the rotary converting process versus the flatbed die-cutting process, we still see great potential for growth, especially because we continually offer the right solution for the right production volume at the best price/performance ratio.”
Robinson Europe, a division of one of the world’s largest third party logistics companies, provides Madern International with ocean and air freight services for delivery of its rotary tools to export markets all over the world, including its principal markets of the USA, China, Pakistan, Indonesia and South Africa.
“Because we are a non-asset based forwarder – we don’t have our own ships, planes or trucks – and independent from any carrier, we can choose the network that best suits the customer’s needs in each case, whether it’s low cost ocean transport or very fast air freight,” says Robinson Europe president Rob Bongaerts. “If required, we can have Madern’s export goods on the next flight that day. And our freight volumes give us the purchasing power to get the best possible prices.” CH Robinson is now also handling increasing inbound transport for Madern, bringing rotary tools back for servicing through Amsterdam airport.
Focus on innovation, strategic partners and growth
As a strong, stable and innovative company, Madern sees a positive future, both alone and by working with strategic partners in the tobacco, liquid and general folding packaging industry. Mr Madern concluded, “Our
achievements for the next three years will depend on how quickly the global economy recovers, but we aim to achieve annual growth of 10–15 per cent. Furthermore, we strongly believe that the rotary converting technology for the production of folding cartons is the most efficient and economical solution, and we are working on new developments to enable short production runs with accessible technology. We are convinced that Madern will I play a leading role in these developments.”
Overview of a Madern single station rotary die-cutter with fully automated delivery and stacking unit for high speed production of folding cartons
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INNOVATIONS IN FILM
Macro Engineering and Technology Inc. is a global supplier of systems, components and services to a wide range of customers, including those in packaging. Abigail Saltmarsh looks at the company and its emphasis on innovation.
acro Engineering and Technology Inc. prides itself on its total service and its total product development, according to company president Mirek Planeta and director of research and development, Felix Guberman. The Canada-based company, which has a strong customer base in Europe, is a global supplier of systems, components and services to the plastic film and sheet industry for a wide range of applications, including packaging. Macro designs and manufactures advanced extrusion and coextrusion lines for monolayer, barrier and speciality films. It also develops customised winding and unwinding solutions, and supplies turnkey installations, product development and training services. “Where we are different from other companies is that we not only develop machines for our customers but also develop the products for those machines,” said Mr Planeta. “As well as creating the manufacturing lines, for example, we can modify the polymers themselves.”
Custom-made sheet winder for TPO Material
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“Unlike other companies specialising in a standard product like blown film lines or sheet lines, only Macro is a supplier of any kind of line”
Macro's D10 dual lip air ring Macro's standard line of gap surface winders
A pioneering company
Focus on R&D
Today Macro, which is headquartered in Ontario, has been supplying machinery and technology, as well as the know-how to process the likes of PA, PP, EVOH, PVdC, PVC, PS, PVB, Barex and PLA, for more than 30 years. The company is recognised for its custom designed solutions for a variety of specialised equipment, including speciality winders, web handling equipment and extrusion and laminating systems, and Macro’s equipment is used for manufacturing throughout the world in a wide range of industries, including food and medical packaging, automotive, mining, construction and agriculture. “The company started as a machinery manufacturer of film processing and still is in this business,” said Mr Guberman. “Macro used to build blown film lines, bag making machines, tubers and other converting equipment. “Then the company developed a machine for PVDC processing and built unique lines for PVDC shrink film. Based on a strong accent on innovation, it also began to widen its range of machinery, developing multilayer blown film and cast lines, multilayer double-bubble lines and special sheet lines for PVB and EVA sheets etc.”
Research and development remains at the very core of Macro, said Mr Planeta. Last year, the revenue from 10 per cent of the company’s sales was invested back into R&D. And the company, which saw a turnover last year of $35 million, employs approximately 100 to 120 employees – of whom some 40 are engineers. Macro’s focus was always on development and today Macro has received close to 40 patents related to plastic processing and several others are pending. “Levels of standard products have decreased, with Macro today seeing 80 per cent of its production focused on customised solutions,” he said. “Customers increasingly want us to develop special products for their particular use.”
The cutting edge
This focus on R&D has seen Macro position itself at the cutting edge of development. It built the first seven-layer cast barrier film line with PVdC encapsulation, manufactured the world’s largest and most advanced nine-layer blown film co-extrusion line for barrier film production, in
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Custom built winder with fully automated roll, shaft and core handling Macro's D10-B binary air ring system in operation
Extrusion area of a 3-layer blown film line
2000, and developed a patented technology for encapsulation in a blown film co-extrusion die allowing the processing of heat sensitive polymers like PVdC in commercial size dies. Macro also built the first commercial co-extrusion line for biaxially oriented barrier film with PVdC for shrink bags used in the food industry, and designed, manufactured and provided technology transfer for the first commercial extrusion line to produce PVB sheet for use in the automotive and construction industries. It also developed the patented MacroPack stackable co-extrusion die for the extrusion for highly degradable polymers in combination with high melt temperature polymers.
improving product quality. Macro was the first to develop the binary cooling process, receiving its first patent in 1984. Since then, the company’s binary air ring system has been installed at multiple extrusion plants around the world including 20 systems delivered in 2008. “We are known for our cooling,” said Mr Planeta. “This is yet another breakthrough for us.”
Innovating in the future
With the global economy suffering, demand is growing for customised solutions, according to Mr Planeta and Mr Guberman. Customers are prepared to invest if it means they can differentiate between themselves and their competitors. “Macro’s strategy to be a global supplier was based on being able to cope with economic fluctuations in different parts of the world,” said Mr Guberman. “When the economy in one part of the world slows down, another elsewhere is blooming.” Mr Planeta added: “Now, because of the economic situation we are seeing much more demand for custom-made machines and technologies.” And that demand is from right across the world. Macro’s customer base is strong in North and South America and Europe (predominantly eastern Europe), as well as China and Japan. Demand is also growing in India and the Middle East. He said technology, engineering and quality would remain at the heart of Macro’s operation in the future. And Mr Guberman added: “Macro would like have a balanced product range – both standard and custom-made – but our strongest selling point will always be our abiliI ty to develop innovations.”
“Unlike other companies specialising in a standard product like blown film lines or sheet lines, only Macro is a supplier of any kind of line,” said Mr Guberman. “Therefore Macro doesn’t have preferences for any technology. Macro doesn’t offer what Macro makes but what a customer needs.” Recent key developments include automatic air rings and a special edge guide. It has also developed a new surface winder and an enhanced binary air ring system. The latest addition to its family of surface winders is the Automax-SBG reversible surface winder. Unlike traditional gap surface winders that can only wind film in one direction, the Automax-SBG features a reversible winding mode, which allows the processor to choose whether to wind jumbo rolls with the film’s treated side in or with the treated side out. Macro’s new D10-B dual lip binary air ring system has been shown to boost blown film production output by more than 30 per cent while also
Global manufacturing solutions company Rockwell Automation is stepping up its industrial packaging division by developing new products and bringing its respected customer-focused technical applications support to a number of key industry players. EmmaJane Batey spoke to business development manager Linus Schleupner to find out more, while three major customers share their stories with Packaging Europe.
ockwell Automation is well known as a power, control and information solutions and services company that solves manufacturing problems. As one of Rockwell’s key industry segments, packaging and paper printing is a focus of the global business. Business development manager Linus Schleupner is responsible for the packaging materials for primarily converting customers and is keen to highlight how the long-term technical know-how of the operation is proving to be a solid foundation for its industrial packaging sector development. Mr Schleupner told Packaging Europe, “Industrial packaging is a core focus for Rockwell, with two out of three business development managers working within the sector. It’s the pivotal point for the whole packaging segment. It’s not isolated to one particular area because, essentially, everything has to be packed.” It is this cross-sector specialism that sees Rockwell largely unaffected by the global economic situation as its inclusive, best practicebased departments can support each other.
Rockwell offers over 500,000 products across the operation and can solve almost all market issues with its vast range of packaging materials and technological solutions. While some products have specific functions, the company sees the overall ‘drive and motion’ in business as the key to its product requirements, which is invaluable for the winding and unwinding functions used in the packaging industry. While Rockwell appreciates that many companies in the industrial packaging market have a good product range, its ability to take high-tech, high quality products as standard and then integrate them into the machines of its customers that really sets Rockwell apart. Mr Schleupner continued, “We have a number of GOTCs (global OEM technical consultants) that are dedicated to the packaging segment for our customers. They bring their unparalleled application knowledge together with Rockwell products and integrate them into the client’s machinery systems so it all runs faster, smoother and more effectively.”
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Partnership with customers
Rockwell is committed to working closely with its customers, including respected names such as MTorres, Optima, Tetrapak and Futura, with the GOTCs able to provide on-the-ground support and a core sales and marketing team that is bringing the Rockwell industrial packaging capabilities to a wider audience. This includes a presence at the major Pack Expo event, inviting potential customers to look at the latest ‘power programming’ tool that enables customers to utilise complex functions in an easy way by installing a black box written code that’s ready to use.
One of Rockwell Automation’s customers is MTorres, which was founded in 1975 in Pamplona, Spain, and has since grown to become a major worldwide player in practically all sectors of paper converting, as well as aerospace machinery and wind energy technologies. The Paper Converting division specialises in automatic splicing unwinds for all industry sectors that involve web handling, such as flexible and liquid packaging, printing, board and paper coating, laminating, corrugated, sheet cutters and tissue. MTorres also supplies paper roll transport
systems and web tension systems to ensure operational excellence. “MTorres has known Rockwell Automation technology very well for a long time,” commented Jesus Bravo, Sales Director for the Paper Converting Division. “We always select its products when working for the US and Canadian markets, where Rockwell Automation is considered as a standard and manufactures are very familiar with its solutions. MTorres is also very familiar with Rockwell Automation and we’ve had several good experiences with its control solutions implemented on our unwind machines to control the tension”. One such machine is the UTS, one of the latest innovations from MTorres and part of a new range of automatic unwinding splicers for the tissue industry. “It is a beltless, centre-driven unwind which autosplices with no stops in production,” explained Mr Bravo. “One of the innovations that incorporates is a double system to control the web tension, very useful to work with a such soft paper as the tissue is.”
Futura S.p.A. was launched in 2002 to create a new generation of converting lines for roll products. The company’s aim was to become a technological leader in the tissue converting
industry, focusing on new and highly flexible solutions. Futura is headquartered in Lucca, Italy, with additional locations in Atlanta, USA, and Joinville, Brazil. “The main success for Futura has been the consolidation of its relationship with major customers who have now experienced the benefits of the Futura solutions in terms of higher efficiency and productivity, better quality of the finished products, operator benefits and lower maintenance costs,” according to Giovacchino Giurlani. “The key to growth has undoubtedly been innovation, which has been the reason why Futura has achieved a significant market share in the few years since it was established.” Rockwell’s expertise has played valuable role in the growth of this innovative company. “Since we started working together, our technicians have enjoyed outstanding collaboration with their counterparts at Rockwell,” said Mr Giurlani. “Most importantly, their teamwork has achieved great results. Rockwell manages to supply state-of-the-art technology but also excellent reliability, which is absolutely vital for us and our customers.” The fruits of this successful recipe are innovative solutions such as Futura’s new JOI embosser. “With JOI Futura has created a universal embosser designed to achieve utmost simplicity,
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flexibility and performance, based on new technologies believed to be unique in the industry,” explained Mr Giurlani. “Zero DefleXion roll technology, a proprietary development from Futura, prevents deflection of embossing cylinders, puts an end to rubber roll crowning and eliminates the need for skewing . It also enables the converting of an evenly embossed sheet at any working pressure.”
Fameccanica and Optima
PAKSIS® is an alliance established by Fameccanica.Data S.p.A. and OPTIMA filling and packaging machines GmbH, the two undisputed leaders in the supply of technology to the hygienic absorbent disposable products converting industry worldwide, respectively for the converting and packaging of baby diapers and pants, lady sanitary napkins and pantiliners and adult incontinence briefs and pads. PAKSIS® encompasses a series of packaging machines characterised by breakthrough technology and innovative design. The main objective of this alliance has been to deliver to customers high performance and costeffective packaging systems, at a very competitive price, with the quality and reliability that only the market leaders can give. The PAKSIS® series of product handling systems are designed, manufac-
tured and updated jointly by Fameccanica.Data and OPTIMA, by combining competence, capability and strength in the fields of counting / stacking and bag filling / sealing technology. Equipped with the Rockwell Automation Integrated Architecture system, PAKSIS® product handling systems boast features such as an integrated counting-stacking-packing equipment design, for maximum process control and operability and for easy and fast installation and start-up, a ‘full servo’ technology, with all operating units driven by servo-motors for maximum flexibility in meeting different packaging format requirements and fast changeovers, and - first in the industry - the use of linear motors for certain specific, high performance, applications.
Building on successful partnerships
As a key partner of market leaders across a swathe of sectors and having posted impressive global sales of over $5 billion in 2008 and a positive forecast for 2009, Rockwell Automations can face the future with confidence. Thanks to the strength of its position, the company is well placed to ride out the recession. With plans to take the opportunity of the slowdown to invest in high-tech re-design and re-engineering, Rockwell intends to be ready to offer the very latI est technology from spring 2010 onwards.
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LEADING THE WAY
DMT is a leading supplier of machinery and turnkey systems for the production of biaxially stretched thermoplastic films to the global market. Claire Milner-Smith discovers how its success is largely down to the vision of its CEO, Dr Wolfgang Pinegger, and his ‘dream team’ of experts from this industry he founded or who followed him to DMT.
hey say you can’t put a price on experience but there can be little doubt that one man’s expertise in the flexible packaging industry has fuelled the success of DMT Technology, a leading global hi-tech engineering and turnkey supplier of machines and services for biaxially stretched thermoplastic films. The man in question is Dr Wolfgang Pinegger, a renowned expert in biaxially stretched thermoplastic film who is using his 30 years of technical and management expertise to direct the Salzburg-headquartered and customerfocused machines and turnkey service provider DMT Technology GmbH.
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In fact, it was a combination of Dr Pinegger’s experience and foresight in predicting the market’s potential move towards using a greater variety of film that led to the start of this new operation five years ago. Although DMT was established in France in 1990, a reorganisation and restructuring project carried out in 2004 led to the French business becoming the Austrian-French company DMT, and the company’s headquarters being transferred to Salzburg in Austria. It was the start of a bright new future. Dr Pinegger, company CEO and majority shareholder, along with a small team set about creating the hi-tech engineering company that delivers the best possible solution for each and every customer. At the beginning of this year DMT moved to new state-of-the-art headquarters in the middle of Salzburg, and furthermore has more than doubled its 2004 market share of about 20 per cent to that of a leading supplier.
In addition, it also landed the majority of the world’s big turnkey projects including groundbreaking new initiatives in the burgeoning markets in the Middle East, South America and CIS States, and all because of Dr Pinegger’s prudence at forecasting a major change in the industry brought about by globalisation. “About 15 years ago the majority of film production, about 90 per cent, was focused on 30 to 50 different types of film to be produced on certainf machines, but I knew we were facing major changes,” he explained.
Meeting a need
Predicting a substantial growth in the global demand for biaxially stretched film and an increasing assortment of film, DMT had developed the next generation of machines that could manufacture the widest variety of different films at great speed, and switch between the production of
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“This development in the market is as a result of globalisation; these names are completely different to those competing in the market five years ago and are further evidence of our success story”
many different films faster than ever, lowering production costs for customers. “Some people laughed at our new machine concept but today these machines are the most successful machines around in the market,” explained Dr Pinegger, who owns 70 per cent of DMT.
The long-term approach pays off
In fact, the only part of the world not to follow suit was the Chinese market but, once more, DMT Technology looks set to be ahead of the market here too. Limiting its operations in China rather than going all out for a big share of the market focusing more on supplying this outstanding technology to the rest of the world, has been the mainstay of the company’s activities in recent years, as the local Chinese market’s preference for imported European and Japanese machinery over local suppliers was an unattractive proposition for DMT. However, that looks set to change with the launch of a new Chinese subsidiary, DMT Machinery, and the company’s lobbying efforts to change local laws. In January 2009 the Chinese government announced it would be removing the advantage imported machines had over locally made ones with regard to VAT. DMT also understands that the exemption on import duty in China looks likely to go in due course. “If that happens we will be sitting in China as the only local manufacturer. We thought that, once we had a small presence in China, we could appeal to change the system, and be present in the local market when the changes were made; that was our
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Atlas Converting Equipment Ltd.
the end of a plastic film production line there can often be various types of converting equipment and over many years DMT Technology has had an excellent working relationship with Atlas Converting Equipment Ltd. and General Vacuum Equipment Ltd., both UK based companies and part of Bobst Group of Switzerland. ATLAS is the world’s leading supplier of primary (4 - 10 metres wide) slitting & rewinding machines, which convert plastic film from wide to narrower width rewind reels for other converting operations (printing, laminating or coating) - and flexible packaging materials. GENERAL is the world’s premier supplier of vacuum web coating and metallizing solutions for the deposition of aluminium and clear barrier coatings for plastic film and paper, including packaging materials, decorative and label applications, electronic and hi-tech security coatings. Atlas & General machines have been installed together with many DMT film lines throughout the world.
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long-term strategy, to be the biggest local supplier, and it’s proved to be right,” added Dr Pinegger. And with the market in China expected to pick up again in two to three years’ time and with the renewed focus on local suppliers, DMT Technology once more looks set to be in the right place at the right time.
The dream team
Manufacturing machines and implementing turnkey solutions for the food and food related packaging industry occupies the majority of DMT Technology’s activities. Indeed more than 50 per cent of sales come from turnkey orders, and here it is working with some of the most important names in the industry, including Agusa and Nutrigo in Mexico, Polibak in Turkey, Biaxplen in Russia, Sleever in France and others where DMT has installed three or more complete lines in recent years. At the Saudi Arabian business Rowad, DMT is just starting the installation of the first of up to six planned lines. “This development in the market is as a result of globalisation; these names are completely different to those competing in the market five years ago and are further evidence of our success story,” explained Dr Pinegger. DMT also looks set to capitalise on an increasing end user market where there are up to 50 new applications every year. With the ‘dream team’ in place, DMT has a bright future ahead of it. It also believes additional opportunities lie in its delivery of turnkey solutions to new customers in the industry looking to utilise its industry knowledge and engineering expertise or the fact that, in these troubled times, it can also provide financial solutions to those customers struggling to raise the I investment needed for new lines. www.dmt-biax.com
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INNOVATIVE PACKAGING FOR
As the largest supplier of tubes in northern Europe, Tectubes Sweden AB is an important niche player in the packaging industry. As a small tube manufacturer that provides a valuable complement to the major players, the company is proud of its status as an innovative packaging partner. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to business development director Mr Klaus Mailer.
stablished in Sweden in 1917, Tectubes Sweden AB has a long and proud history in tube packaging excellence, starting with the production of aluminium tubes in its first year. In 1980, the company began production of extruded plastic tubes, which was joined by injected tubes in 1994. The former owner was Hydro Aluminium and the Norden Group, which also owned Norden Machinery, one of the largest tube-filling machine producers in the world. The Norden Group was acquired by Sidel in 1999, which was bought by the blue-chip giant Tetra Laval in 2003. Tetra Laval sold the Norden Group in 2004, but Tectubes remained under the ownership of Sidel with the target to develop the business.
Over 30 years of excellence
Business development director Mr Klaus Mailer explained the importance of the company history to Packaging Europe, “We are one of the few tube producers with over 15 years’ experience in injected tubes, with constantly upgraded and updated capabilities. As a proudly Swedish company, we have been able to utilise our expertise to promote our products and their advantages to a local and global market. “There were big changes when we became part of the Tetra Laval portfolio. They give us a great deal of support and freedom and are
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respectful of the fact that we have consistently developed and produced highly valued tube packaging solutions.” Although 100 per cent owned by Tetra Laval, Tectubes is a small player on the tube market, with an annual production volume of around 300 million tubes. The company has two stateof-the-art production facilities in Sweden and one in the USA, with capabilities for injected and extruded tubes, generating an annual turnover in 2008 of €27 million and a predicted 2009 turnover exceeding €30 million. Mr Mailer continued, “Our three core product areas of injected, extruded and aluminium tubes are quite equal in terms of sales, although the extruded tubes require greater initial investment in specialised machinery. However, it also offers
greater flexibility potential. We see excellent growth potential in the injected tube market as we have developed a new technique that offers an innovative tube packaging solution.”
The key industry sectors for Tectubes products are food, pharmaceutical and personal care, with household chemicals its smallest sector. In the pharmaceutical arena, Tectubes offers its highly respected specialised longneck single use tube. Produced in volumes of around 100 million each year, these tubes offer unparalleled quality at a low cost level. For the food sector, Tectubes supplies primarily medium- and large-sized aluminium tubes to its local Scandinavian market, particularly for caviar and cheese. Mr Mailer told us, “Aluminium tube production is a very local Scandinavian business, as we buy our raw materials locally and package local food products. Although aluminium tubes is a traditional way to package food, we also see great potential for growth in this area as there are many foods which would benefit from being packaged in tubes. We sell this traditional Swedish product all over the world; we supply the Ikea stores and have worked with one of our caviar customers for over 60 years.”
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“There were big changes when we became part of the Tetra Laval portfolio. They give us a great deal of support and freedom and are respectful of the fact that we have consistently developed and produced highly valued tube packaging solutions.”
CAPSOL SPA - QUALITY AND TECHNOLOGY
apsol Spa is an Italian manufacturer of plastic caps, with years of experience in injection. The brochure presents hundreds of standard caps including overcaps, double shell, spray caps, gorge which are for aluminium, tinplate, plastic bottles etc. Capsol can offer solutions to cap every kind of product, with a standard item or a new development. Capsol supplies top quality products according to ISO specification and strict procedures, and distinguish themselves by the quality of the process, from A to Z. The products are sold worldwide, from the biggest companies to the smallest ones. Working with Capsol means working with an injection specialist, who can help you develop all new projects with an exceptional technical knowledge. Quality, technology, innovation, imagination - that's what describes Capsol! Have a look at the Capsol website for more details: www.capsol-spa.com
The personal care sector uses both standard extruded tubes and Tectubes’ own patented tube that has the advantage of lower material consumption, thanks to the single part cap and shoulder, which is cost-effective and also offers a high product quality.
A market-leading position
Tectubes is keen to defend and strengthen its market leading position. The company is totally customer focused and regularly communicates with its customers to ensure that it is staying one step ahead of their needs, in terms of flexibility, expertise and product support.
The company strapline reflects this aim – ‘Expertise, Innovation, Quality and Flexibility’. Mr Mailer explained, “These four words are at the core of what we do and we have identified them as a strategy to ensure we continue to offer special plastic and injected tube solutions across Europe and the rest of the world.” With around 190 full-time employees in Sweden and 40 in the USA, Tectubes is committed to recruiting staff that can flourish within the company and its aims. As the only tube producer in Sweden, Tectubes is careful to look after its staff and their personal and professional development, with
extensive training and a positive career development path. The coming year will see a number of product innovations launched by Tectubes, with the IML (in-mould labelling) tube offering 100 per cent photo quality and a new tube shape, the Square Hype, that provides a greater on-product marketing area. Mr Mailer concluded, “Tectubes will continue to be an important niche player in the tube market, competing worldwide with innovative products that complement the mass volume producers, by further developing our technique expertise for tube packaging solutions.” I
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COMPANY NAME | PROFILE
Transport protection for white goods
The Hirsch Servo Group uses the unique properties of air to manufacture a range of expandable polystyrene (EPS) products to protect packaging or provide insulation. It also produces and develops machines and equipment for the manufacturing and processing of EPS products. Cornelia Muller reports.
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he Hirsch Servo Group was founded in 1972 and has since grown into a company that is concentrated on four areas (EPS Packaging, EPS Insulation, Technology and Logistics), is listed on the stock exchange and employs around 650 people. Its head office is based in Glanegg in Austria. In addition, it has three sites in Hungary, in Sárvár, Jásfényszaru and Nyíregyháza; two in Poland, in Wroclaw and Lódz; one in the Slovakian Republic, in Podolínec; one in Italy, in Albavilla; and one in Romania, in Cluj. The expansion into central and eastern Europe was a natural progression as many of the company’s clients moved east and Hirsch followed them. In the EPS Processing Segment – containing the two divisions EPS Packaging and EPS Insulation – Hirsch manufactures products made from expandable polystyrene (EPS), expandable polypropylene (EPP), expandable polyethylene (EPE) and Arcel. The main applications for these are for safety products (such as crash helmets, children´s car seats etc.) and consumer
products as well as insulation products. Hirsch packaging solutions provide protection for the transportation of valuable and sensitive high-technology products such as entertainment electronics and white goods for global customers. Anti-static EPP and EPE trays serve as carriers for highly sensitive products, such as home entertainment equipment. Punched and glued EPE is used for protection in transport, for example in the furniture and electronics industries. Hirsch also develops and produces technical parts with inserts made from various materials and shape-moulded components made from two different material thicknesses. Hirsch Maschinenbau GmbH in Austria and Hirsch Italia in Italy, are the group’s engineering companies and together form a worldwide leader in the production of shape and block-moulding equipment, including moulding tools and pre-expanders. The latest innovations from these two companies include the first mobile facility for the production of insulating concrete forms – bricks made of EPS – as well as a fully automatic
Blocks for swimming pools and insulating concrete forms (ICF’s)
Antistatic EPE trays
Transportation protection made of EPS
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Shape-moulded components made of two different material thicknesses
Production of shape-moulded parts with HIRSCH shape-moulding machinery
production line for polystyrene pallets. Hirsch is the only supplier globally of innovative engineering and mould construction technology for the processing of EPS for mouldings and insulating material, and can therefore offer customised application solutions.
Development and innovation
Although we are facing difficult times, Hirsch is confident that it is prepared for the future as it can offer quality products that save energy and the environment and contribute to global climate protection initiatives. Its main principle is ‘to expand with ideas’. At the head office it has its own innovation centre, where new machines are developed, suitable raw materials are chosen and moulding tools and the safe processing of materials are improved. Hirsch is committed to developing new energy saving and ecologically sustainable technologies and machines, which will be more and more in demand due to rising energy prices. A company representative commented: “At the beginning of every expansion there is an idea, then a new product, a new production process and a new market. The idea is a driving force. Therefore growth is only a means to an end, namely the expression of a continuous creative and market-oriented development.” EPS and the recycling of EPS have more than proven this philosophy. I www.hirsch-gruppe.com
Saving time and the environment
One example of a unique product offered by Hirsch is the heat insulating lightweight concrete Thermozell®, which consists of recycled polystyrene which can be overlaid after only one day, thus avoiding extended waiting times until the concrete is dry, allowing construction to continue. The company is well aware of the fact that packaging has to fulfil protective functions. Everything from food to delicate electronic items all need to reach the consumer in perfect condition. However, EPS packaging can do more than just protect and maintain the quality of the goods. Thanks to its minimal weight it is consumer and environmentally friendly: it requires less raw material, but also less fuel to be transported, which in turn reduces CO2 emissions. EPS packaging can also be recycled and reused in other products.
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The Supravis Group is a growing force in the eastern European packaging sector. Keen to grow both organically and through acquisitions, the Polish company is exploring new markets and new applications for its casings, films and bags. But as chairman Tomasz Kozlowski explained to Alison Semple, the company owes much of its success to the fact that its growth has been carefully handled, allowing it to remain fast-acting and flexible.
ituated on a 13-hectare site in the picturesque suburbs of Bydgoszcz, Supravis has been in business for 23 years, developing from a very small company into a middle-sized company and then into a group of companies. In 1989 it launched its first line – a monolayer non thermoshrinkable line for casings for meat factories. Six years later, Supravis developed a multilayer barrier line for meat factories. Later, in 1999, the company bought its first line for barrier films. The company has always been at the forefront of innovation in the sector, and in 2001 it launched one of the first UV printing machines in Europe for its casings. Company growth continued in 2004 when Supravis bought the local
Polish company Flexpol, specialising in BOPP/CPP products, doubling its turnover in one move and adding another product to its range. “Our goal is organic development, and also to grow by acquiring other companies in packaging,” explained Mr Kozlowski. “This was a good strategy for us, as this was the only company in Poland producing BOPP and CPP and it held more than 20 per cent of the Polish market for these products.” Two years later the company invested in machines for converting and printing barrier films, and in 2007 grew further with the acquisition of Darmex Casing – another Polish company and a competitor – to develop its offering in casings.
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“This was a good strategy for us, as this was the only company in Poland producing BOPP and CPP and it held more than 20 per cent of the Polish market for these products”
Since then, Supravis has expanded its own facilities with new sales offices in Hungary, Slovakia and Germany to complement its three factories in Poland. “We try to sell directly to our big customers, while for smaller clients we work through dealers. In export sales we have our three overseas trading offices which we have used to go directly to meat factories in those countries. Elsewhere, we also have dealers in other countries that we’re working with. “We may open more sales offices overseas, and we might buy shares in other companies,” said Kozlowski. “We are looking for opportunities to buy companies in other countries. It won’t happen this year, because of the current economic outlook, but at the same time our approach is opportunistic and it might be possible to find a company for sale at a cheap price.”
COMPANY NAME | PROFILE
Supravis’ products are primarily its high barrier packaging for meat factories, dairy factories and the fish industry, with a focus on high barrier products, covering the whole range of customer requirements from plastic casings for sausages for meat factories, to casings for melted cheese. The second leg of the business is barrier films with polyamide and EVOH, for fresh and processed meat. The third leg is thermoshrinkable sleeves, films and bags. In its other two factories, the company produces BOPP and CPP for packaging for snacks, bread, flowers, labels for drinking water etc., as well as plastic casings. Overall, the group is achieving a turnover of more than €50 million, with plastic casings making up 30 per cent, barrier films 23 per cent and BOPP/CPP 47 per cent.
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New product development
In the last two years Supravis has invested €15 million in developing new products, based on multiple layers, and high barrier products like EVOH. For casings, it has developed a seven-layer EVOH high barrier casing, Supravis safe +7, which offers high barrier properties against oxygen, aroma and external water. New developments are also being made in thermoshrinkable film for bags and packaging machines, also based on EVOH, and machines have been purchased from the German manufacturer Kuhne. “We have also bought new machines for converting. Our company in Bydgoszcz has an 8+8 UV printing machine for casings, which allows us to print 16 colours on one side. We are unique in this ability, which gives meat producers the opportunity to achieve better printing on casings with more colours. In the near future we also want to start production of rigid film, based on PET and EVOH structures. “What is very important for our company is that we work closely with companies in developing products, which allows us to meet the demands of the client. We are also fortunate in having good contacts with the machine producers like Kuhne, who offer know-how with raw materials and so on.” The company’s success, explained Kozlowski, is also down to the fact that Supravis is a mid-sized company with a lean structure. In two years’ time – once the financial crisis has settled – Supravis plans to go to the stock market to raise finance for further growth, but the chairman is determined that this should not affect its current ability to move quickly. “We don’t want to sell too much or have too many shareholders. We are still 100 per cent owned by one person, and it’s important that we don’t lose that. Too many owners will delay our decision-making process, but we I still want to run the company.”
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THE POTENTIAL OF PAPER
Cushioning with PadPak
Ranpak Europe has been growing and developing for 35 years. Marketing director Peter Versloot explains to Abigail Saltmarsh why its paperbased packaging solutions still have a strong future ahead of them.
a 100 per cent recyclable material and with the demand for online orders and deliveries still growing, paper is the packaging product of the future, according to Ranpak Europe’s marketing director Peter Versloot. The company, which focuses on innovative padding and void-fill systems, has seen double-digit growth in Europe over the past decade. “We have set ourselves ambitious targets in the past because we believe strongly in the potential of paper,” said Mr Versloot. “There are all sorts of applications that can be achieved with it; it is manufactured from raw materials from renewable sources and it is 100 per cent recyclable. We believe that demand for this sort of packaging will remain strong and that by focusing on the end user we will be able to maintain our leading market position in the future.
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The Ranpak group was founded back in 1972 in the USA and saw its first converter systems brought in towards the end of the decade.
Moving to Europe Cushioning systems
The Ranpak group was founded back in 1972 in the USA and saw its first converter systems introduced to the market towards the end of that decade. Major change came for the company at the beginning of the 1990s, when it not only made great technological leaps but also broke into the European market for the first time. “The European market started to grow and a decision was taken to start up a factory in Heerlen, in the Netherlands. Originally the main focus was the production of consumables,” said Mr Versloot. “Consumer demand grew, however, and soon the assembly of machines also began to take place on the site.” He continued: “Those first systems always used multiple rolls to create protective, quality packaging. We still have those but we then started to differentiate too, going from three-ply to two-ply to one-ply, and developing smaller machines for smaller applications.”
Today the PadPak product line contains highly versatile paper packaging systems, ideal for cushioning, wrapping and blocking and bracing even the most valuable and fragile products. Depending on the strength of packaging required, one, two or three-ply untreated kraft paper is separated, allowing air to be trapped between the layers. Inside the patented converting machine, the paper layers are crimped together to form a protective cushioning pad, which can then be used to safely package the product.
A full range
The company’s current cushioning range includes the PadPak LC, which converts one-ply, 30-inch kraft paper into an effective light cushioning pad for fast, efficient cushioning or blocking and bracing packaging applications. The unique converter design and its different modes of operation allows the converter to be used in batch mode or for in-line just-in-time pad production depending on packaging needs. The PadPak Junior is a compact machine, capable of high performance in smaller-scale packing departments. This mobile pad-maker can be used in a wide range of applications where flexibility is desired. It is ideally suited for use in packing departments, distribution centres, the retail sector, mail rooms and packing environments with several packing stations.
Then towards the end of the 1990s, Ranpak introduced its PadPak paper cushioning systems in the European market. These products were designed to give protection in transit through the wrapping and packing of individual items within a box.
PadPak SR with coiler
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Blocking and bracing with PadPak
“The trend is for more environmentally friendly products in the future – something that has always been our focus and will continue to be. Our aims remain ambitious. We want to continue to serve the needs of end users and to invest in our people and innovations. That way we will be able to maintain our growth as well as our leading market position.”
Then there is the PadPak Senior, an extremely versatile two- to three-ply paper packaging system that can accommodate all in-the-box packaging needs and applications from cushioning to wrapping to blocking and bracing.
In Europe, where some 175 people are employed, production is located in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. The Czech factory only opened last year and focuses on the production of paper products. “This was a strategic decision. We wanted to be able to focus better on eastern Europe as well as to have good backup for our production site at Heerlen,” said Mr Versloot. “We expect demand for void-fill to increase in Europe. Void-fill applications are ideal for large companies who sell via the Internet, a trend that we expect to see continuing to grow.”
“Then in 2002 we took another major step forward with the introduction of our void-fill systems,” said Mr Versloot. “This is where voluminous paper is used to fill empty space within a box. This was a strong boost for us and saw us create lots of new business. It was a very compatible product with what we were doing already and it brought us new customers.” FillPak offers unlimited possibilities as part of a packaging environment, in full automatic or manual mode and even as a mobile, ad-hoc working station on location with no limits. Its range includes the FillPak, for high volume and high speed, the FillPak TT, for medium volume, and the FillPak M, for low volume. “We also have the AccuFill, which includes a measuring device that measures the empty space and then automatically produces the right amount of paper to fill the box. This is aimed at the higher end of the market,” said Mr Versloot.
Ranpak, who has its corporate headquarters in Ohio, in the USA, is divided into two key business units: the Ranpak Corporation, which concentrates on the USA; and Ranpak BV, which includes Asian and European divisions. The past few years have seen the group passed between various investment companies. The current owner is Odyssey Investment Partners, which bought it at the end of 2007. “The benefit for us of this form of ownership is that the investment company is very interested in making sure we hit our growth targets,” said Mr Versloot. “This means it is very focused on making the most of the right opportunities for us as a company. We feel fully supported and trusted with the development of Ranpak.”
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Integrated PadPak systems
Ranpak Europe has seen double-digit growth year-on-year over the past decade and the company’s current strategy is to continue to maintain this. It will continue to focus on developing its innovative products and to offer its packaging solutions to customers in a wide range of industries. “You see demand for this type of flexible packaging in almost every industry,” said Mr Versloot. “This means we are not vulnerable to downturns in one particular sector. This has helped us in the current climate, where although there is reduced demand from the automotive sector, we are still seeing high demand from producers of consumer products.” He went on: “The trend is for more environmentally friendly products in the future – something that has always been our focus and will continue to be. Our aims remain ambitious. We want to continue to serve the needs of end users and to invest in our people and innovations. That way we will be able to maintain our growth as well as our leading market position.” I Visit: www.ranpak.com
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As part of the global integrated paper giant Stora Enso, Fors Mill is a Swedish paper mill that produces high quality paper and carton board. Director Tommy Lodin talks about the improved mill and its core competences following a series of recent major investments.
tora Enso Fors Mill, based in Fors in central Sweden, is the largest and most modern producer of carton board for the consumer packaging and printing industries. With 700 employees and a capacity of 400,000m3 of spruce pine for production on two state-of-theart lines, Fors Mill is certainly a major name in packaging products. Mill manager Tommy Lodin told Packaging Europe, “I have worked in mill management for many years and here I am responsible for the whole mill. Over the last few years we have considerably improved several areas of the mill, with production capabilities drasti-
cally enhanced. We have great potential for growth as we utilise our investment to offer customers carton board packaging that is secure, high quality, cost efficient and environmentally responsible.”
A green heart
Environmental responsibility is at the heart of the continued success of Stora Enso Fors Mill. The company has always been conscious of the sustainability of its production chain and indeed was the first European board mill and the first company in environmentally conscious Sweden
Fors Mill, Fors, Dalarna, Sweden
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The box in After Eight Orange is made from Performa White board, which combines excellent print quality with high stiffness at low substance and good taint and odour properties.
to be granted the highly respected EMAS registration in 1995. The Eco Management and Audit Scheme recognises companies that go beyond the legal minimum and actively work to create a sustainable, responsible workplace. In 1989, Stora Enso Fors Mill was also the first European board mill to gain the ISO 9001 accreditation, which was joined by the ISO 14001 in 1997. Mr Lodin explained, “Ecological responsibility is an important part of our company profile in both production and operational situations. We limit travel and use phone conferencing as much as possible, for example, and if we do need a face to face meeting we go to the closest point and prefer the train.”
The core production capabilities at Fors Mill are centred on fully coated carton board for packaging applications for demanding products such as foodstuffs, confectionery, cigarettes and chocolate. Created on two lines with four boilers for energy production, the mill uses its own CTMP (chemi-thermomechanical) integrated pulping process and chemical pulp from other Stora Enso mills nearby. With so many upgraded production facilities at Fors Mill, its carton board has seen a number of improvements including greater cost efficiency and a further reduced environmental impact. The finishing department has six sheeters and the out loading department continues to use train
BM3, Fors Mill
Checking quality at Fors Mill
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The bleaching towers
Fors Mill board is used for chocolate and confectionery
BM2 facade designed by the famous Anglo-Swedish architect Ralph Erskine
transportation of products wherever possible. Some lorry transport is required, although this is kept to a minimum and the vehicles are carefully chosen. Mr Lodin continued, “The last three years has seen investment of over €60 million at Fors Mill and we are really in the flow of things. The investments are really visible now and the results speak for themselves. All aspects of the mill are running smoothly and we are more reliable than ever.”
The long list of Fors Mill improvements saw the installation of multifuel burners to existing boilers, which allows biofuel powder from refined wood pellet to be used instead of oil, which is both cheaper and more environmentally sound. This investment has already reduced the mill’s CO2 emissions by 83 per cent, with a near 100 per cent biofuel use for energy production across the site. A new web inspection system has brought better possibilities for online quality control of the board and a new winder installed in 2007 has considerably built up the reels of the BM2 (board machine 2), increasing production flexibility with a more even hardness distribution. Mr Lodin said, “This improvement has enhanced the converting situation for our customers.”
value to the extensive investment programme by making the most of the new facilities. Everyone is very improvement oriented – it’s a builtin part of the mill – and the encouraging, open atmosphere means that we each take responsibility for being the best that we can be.” As the global economic situation is an ever-present issue for the majority of businesses, Stora Enso Fors Mill is confident that its improved facilities, value-added cost efficiency and reduced environmental impact means it will ride the current market downturn. The company sees great potential for growth in its cigarette board, general packaging and graphical board sectors. The CTMP concept at Fors Mill is also proving to be a key principle in its future success in the fibre- based packaging sector as it produces an effective board that is taint and odour free, offering extensive food and confectionery applications. The company relies on its well-developed supply chain as well as standing on the shoulders of its considerable investments in order to continue to be the market leader in carton I board with high delivery security for customers.
Positive today and tomorrow
The investments have resulted in increased capacity across the mill and have added to the positive company culture. Mr Lodin explained, “We have very competent people here that have committed to adding
Fors Mill, view from the north
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Major investments have opened up important new opportunities for Slovenian packaging specialist EGP. Felicity Landon reports.
few months ago, Embalažno grafi no podjetje forecast a dramatic increase in revenue from €12.7 million in 2008 to €18 million in 2009, with exports rising from €2.5 million to €3.7 million. Managing director Aleksander Troha admits that the current economic crisis has put the dampeners on this – but only to an extent. “In the second half of last year we expanded by taking over some employees and machinery from one of our sister companies – that is one reason why we are planning such high growth this year,” he says. “Probably our goal this year won’t be achieved, but we will not be far away from it.” While the packaging industry is a mirror of the general economic situation, he says, the fact that roughly half of EGP’s work is for the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector is an important advantage. “We are quite stable due to the fact that we have about half our turnover in the pharmaceutical industry, which is less affected by the situation,” he says. promotional, gift and end-product packaging in Slovenia, and is also aiming to increase its presence in the wider European region. After pharmaceuticals, its biggest customer sector is the food and beverage industry. It divides its product range into three key areas: sales packaging, including folding cartons, folding cartons with cold foil, coated folding cartons and wine packaging; gift packaging/advertising packaging, including counter-top display cartons and freestanding display cartons (which account for 10–15 per cent of turnover); and transport packaging, including classic and punched packaging and implants.
In the past few years, EGP has made some major investments. “We bought a new printing machine which means we are now able to produce the most sophisticated packaging for the cosmetics, pharmaceutical and tobacco industries,” says Mr Troha. “We can now enter the market for cold foil printing or foil packaging – we were able to do hot foil stamping before but now have the capability for cold foil stamping, which is very good for these high-demand industries. The result is that we are working together with several customers to develop innovative new products.”
Diversity in packaging
EGP, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year (2008), employs about 170 people at its facilities in Skofja Loka. It has a stated ambition of becoming the market leader in the field of
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EGP also bought a new gluing folding machine. “This has enabled us to produce boxes with blind printing from the gluing machine. For the producer, this offers a much faster make-ready time,” says Mr Troha.
High quality designs
The company has a large team of technical/design specialists who are highly trained to deliver properly constructed products in
the right shapes and constructions, “so everything is as it should be when the box comes to production or the display is put up in the shop,” he says. “Our customers tend to be large companies that have their own designers as far as design and image is concerned. But construction and shape is our area of expertise – we ensure we give customers the right solution so that their displays or boxes won’t collapse.” This involves talking closely to the customer to establish the main purpose of a display stand, for example. Can it handle the weight? Is it stable? Are you able to display the 100 litres of fruit juice it is meant to carry without disastrous consequences? “Our designers put a lot of effort into building a display,” says Mr Troha. “Equally, we must produce high-quality boxes – and the boxes must be suitable for the customer’s needs. The boxes we produce must go smoothly through the production line; our customers’ packaging machines are very advanced, with high speeds, especially in the pharmaceutical industry, so the boxes must be perfect. If they are not, they can cause a jam. “Secondly, the packaging must be good in the market, because when you go into a store you usually buy with your eyes – and it is very important that the box looks attractive and isn’t damaged.” EGP advises clients on the choice of material and best solutions in terms of printing and producing. It offers offset, silk-screen, flexo, cold foil, hot foil and blind printing, and UV
partial lacquering, while after treatment processes include punching, coating, sewing or gluing.
Expanding in Europe
At present about one-fifth of EGP’s sales are exports, with most going to neighbouring countries. However, Mr Troha says the company is working for all the important companies in Europe. “We want to expand our business into Europe, especially on two points: pharmaceutical/healthcare and show displays,” he says. “We also want to get more involved in the confectionery business with our new cold foil stamping machines. “These will be our key areas for development over the next few years. Meanwhile, we believe the most important thing in our business is flexibility and a short time between order and delivery.” Here, EGP has the advantage of its own tool shop, so it can produce the tools for die cutting in a matter of hours. The fact that it doesn’t have to wait a few days to get a new tool is proving a big competitive advantage, says Mr Troha. “In these days of recession, if the customer finds a market opportunity, they want things done almost immediately. We are not able to deliver yesterday but we can produce what they need in a very few days. And that is critical.” I
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The World of European Packaging
The only truly European packaging magazine, bursting with news, analysis and reports from all over the continent
Editor: Tim Sykes firstname.lastname@example.org Alkmaar House | Norwich | Norfolk NR6 6BF | UK Tel: +44 (0)1603 414444 Fax: +44 (0)1603 406543 email@example.com
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This year, the Polish company Werner Kenkel is celebrating three decades of operations on the packaging market. It continues to be an independent, family-run enterprise with two production sites in Poland: a corrugated board factory in Krzycko Wielkie and a unit producing laminated packaging from solid board with offset printing in Włoszakowice. Piotr Sadowski talks to commercial director Rafał Grochowczak.
wned in equal shares by Adam and Damian Kenkel, the sons of the enterprise’s founder Werner Kenkel, the company is one of the most advanced and trusted producers of corrugated board and packaging on the Polish market. The Krzycko Wielkie factory is run by Adam Kenkel, while the younger brother is in charge of the operations in the Włoszakowice unit. “Our output capabilities reach 200 million m2 of board each year,” explains Rafał Grochowczak, commercial director at Werner Kenkel. “Sales of board in sheets make up 20 per cent of the company’s overall turnover, while the rest is generated by sales of excellent quality packaging created for our customers.” The company carries out export operations in countries such as Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. The company works with approximately 400 customers and several reputable suppliers. Its storage facilities, which, together with the pro-
duction halls, have an area of 35,000m2, are capable of holding 3500 tonnes of paper and 6000 pallets of finished products. The enterprise has also invested in its own delivery capabilities and currently operates around 20 cargo trucks. This fleet, supported by cooperation with reliable external shipping companies, enables the company’s logistics department to ship 70–100 fully loaded cargo trucks daily from its manufacturing units in Krzycko Wielkie and Włoszakowice.
Excellent technological backup
Werner Kenkel is a great example of a continuously innovating company which understands the need for ongoing modernisation in the highly competitive packaging market. The most recent improvements to the corrugated board production line were completed in the autumn of 2008, optimising the production costs and improving the quality parameters of the product. As a result, the company now boasts a corrugator
with a maximum width of fibreboard web of 2800mm and offers corrugated board in three different widths. The manufacturer is also equipped with a truly impressive range of processing appliances, including five flat stamping machines, three inline printers (two three-colour units and one five-colour unit), a threecolour rotating printer, a five-colour offline printer, an offset printer, a laminator, three folding and gluing machines and a further large format folding, stitching and gluing appliance. Furthermore, the company has a very robust laboratory and R&D department, both of which play crucial roles in creating the product offer. The laboratory is one of the best equipped facilities of its kind in the Polish packaging sector, testing the quality of raw materials, semifinished products and ultimately the final packaging. The laboratory utilises modern Zwick pressing machines, ECT and FCT corrugated board tests, BCT packaging tests and SCT paper tests, among others.
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COMPANY NAME | PROFILE
All of these processes contribute to improving the mechanical properties and quality of the offered products. “We work extremely closely with customers to ensure that any finished product meets all of their needs and expectations,” says Mr Grochowczak. “Our clients send us the logistical data relating to a specific packaging solution they are looking for. We then select optimum raw materials to ensure that appropriate mechanical properties and minimum weight of the manufactured packaging is achieved. Our R&D and sales departments also constantly work with our clients’ R&D departments, thus creating the future of packaging on the market.”
ance department, which operates the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards as well as incorporating elements of the HACCP system. It is also worth noting that over the years the company has been rewarded for its excellence with a wide range of titles and recognitions, including the ‘Innovative Company’ and ‘Leader of Change’ awards, as well as the ‘Fair Play Company’ title.
In recent years the GDP of Poland has been increasing significantly, which helped companies in the packaging market to grow rapidly. This was further boosted by a range of large investments in Poland (e.g. audio-video and FMCG production) which increased the need for high quality packaging products. “With the current recession we have witnessed a slight fall in the growth of our sector,” explains Mr Grochowczak. “Our strategic development path, adopted a few years ago, has nevertheless made it possible to overcome current challenges. We have planned further investments in packaging production relating to further improving the quality of printing and automation of manufacturing, which will strengthen our flexibility and efficiency even more. Werner Kenkel does not aim to focus on market share, but on the highest standards of production, services, JIT deliveries and longterm cooperation with customers. We will also continue to pay particular attention to training and improving the qualifications of our staff, not least I in our R&D and client support departments.”
A few years ago Werner Kenkel made a very important decision from a strategic point of view, which was to develop as a packaging company offering different types of high-quality printing, including offset, preprint, high quality and standard quality flexo-printing. “Our competitive edge also results from the fact that as an independent enterprise our management structure is very flat and therefore the flexibility of cooperation with customers, rapidity of decision-making and higher standards in the overall quality of all operations are much better than in the case of many of our market rivals.” Werner Kenkel is also a very strong and trusted brand: the percentage of customer loss is negligible – an impressive achievement supported by the company’s highly robust quality monitoring and assur-
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FAST AND FLEXIBLE
Aluflexpack based in Zadar Croatia is better placed to face the changes taking place in food packaging than some of its larger competitors. CEO Alexander Oborny tells John O’Hanlon why.
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ince Packaging Europe reported two years ago on this flexible and aluminium and flexible film converting specialist founded in 2001, Aluflexpack has grown steadily. From €55 million then, its turnover rose to €60 million in 2008, and unlike many players in this volatile market it is cautiously optimistic about its market, while taking a prudent approach toward contingency planning. It is focusing on three key segments, that Alexander Oborny calls its ‘three strategic legs’ – the dairy industry, confectionery, and containers for sterilisable food products. “In the first quarter of 2009 we expect our sales to be slightly below the 2008 figure. There’s no doubt that the recession will hit many of our customers. I can’t predict when the market will turn upwards again, but the dairy industry has its high season in the spring to autumn months, so I am quite optimistic about our prospects during 2009 at least.” Nevertheless he is making it a priority to plan for every possible challenge. Alternative budgets are being prepared for parallel scenarios – if demand should go down dramatically for example. “We are considering what action we might take and which actions would produce quick results within a certain period. I don’t see that happening at the moment but we do have to be prepared.”
Keeping a cap on cost
While the volumes being ordered by the end customers are remaining stable for the time being, price pressure is increasing from the customer end, he says. The large supermarket chains look for savings from the food producers, who in turn pass them on to packaging suppliers such as Aluflexpack. It is fortunate then that the company embarked on a broad and vigorous cost-cutting programme in 2008, which has already started to show results, and promises to make Aluflexpack’s operations a great deal leaner and faster over the next three years. A new IT system will start to deliver administrative saving during the latter half of this year, and production processes are being streamlined too, says Oborny. “We are streamlining every detail of our business, from large items like the way we deliver products to the customers to things like mobile phone usage and copy paper!” Two managerial posts have been created to oversee cost reduction, one on the production and one on the administrative side. It has all the hallmarks of a classic lean programme linked to continuous improvement. Last year a three-month improvement event cut logistics costs, a major item, by 6 per cent across the group. “Within our factories we are standardising finished products rather than processes,” he explains. “As an
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Spa is from 1976 an important graphic company on the market, specialized in the realization of photographic preparations for all printing methods and production of cylinders for all rotogravure printing applications. The daily comparison with the different customers needs allows us to offer for the most traditional applications the security of the final result and for those more original or difficult, the maximum support in research and development today available on the market. To be able to live as protagonist the exciting world of the graphic arts, the company is equipped with the best technologies and machines available on the market and keeps its structure constantly updated. A production process managed and controlled by the Color Management System, systems for digital printing, 7 Helioklischographs for electronic engraving and a new complete line for autotypical electrolitic engraving with Exactus laser exposition technology allows to well satisfy the different necessities of the different rotogravure printing fields.
example, one of our fastest growing product lines for the dairy industry is material for the lids on yoghurt and the like, and we have been making efforts to optimise the lacquering and drying process flow from aluminium foil to the finished product.”
Smaller and faster
While demand in the dairy sector is actually growing, there has been a slight but perceptible decline in demand from confectionery and food manufacturers. What happens next will depend partly on international trends and partly on how well the local Croatian tourist season goes this year. Whichever way the market goes, Aluflexpack will rely on its contingency planning to get it through, and these fluctuations worry Alexander Oborny less than fundamental changes in the way customers order products. “People are very keen to avoid holding even a single
kilogramme of stock more than they absolutely have to. The result is tighter delivery times and shorter production runs.” Shorter production runs mean more changeovers. However, the number of changeovers is affected by another tendency, he says, as the major brands introduce increasing numbers of sub-brands and niche products. “On the supermarket shelves this may mean more different flavours of chocolate perhaps, and to that we should add the growing number of own-brand products introduced by the supermarkets themselves. But for us it means smaller runs and more different designs of product. The overall volume may be as high or even higher, but it is very much more diverse.” Economic pressures, he believes, will only accelerate the existing tendency for food and confectionery producers to cut the amount they order at any one time. Nevertheless Oborny sees this as an opportunity for
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“We are streamlining every detail of our business, from large items like the way we deliver products to the customers to things like mobile phone usage and copy paper!”
Aluflexpack to actually increase its market share. “Internationally and locally, order lead times are getting shorter, and the trend for smaller production runs is tied in with all that. In our business there is going to be a big challenge over the coming three years as our customers demand justin-time delivery of highly customised packaging products.”
A year of consolidation
To improve customer service Aluflexpack is introducing a new €2 million IT system based on MS Navision, adds Oborny. “From 2010 every major customer will be able to dock into the system to find out what stock we have of his material, when it will be in production and when and how it will be delivered.” But this year investment will focus on the environment as Aluflexpack completes a €5 million pollution control and recycling programme. Croatia is a very beautiful country, and even the industrial parts of Zadar are set in magnificent scenery. With an important tourist trade, reducing the environmental impact of its industries is important; however, Croatia is also a candidate for EU accession, which means there is government pressure on firms like Aluflexpack to recuperate waste material it currently burns. The equipment it is installing will enable the company to bring these close to zero, with an important side benefit: “We are going to recycle and reuse almost all our solvents. That will also have the effect of reducing our solvent purchase requirements by 80 or even 90 per cent. “This year will be one of consolidation, but it’s a good time to be a fast and flexible player in the packaging industry,” he concludes. I
The competitive landscape will favour Aluflexpack if it can prove itself flexible in responding to these changes, Oborny believes. “One of our advantages is that we are fully integrated, producing from aluminium foil to semi-finished material just like our large competitors, but we have further advantages stemming from uncertainty in the market.” Some major competitors are more exposed to recessionary pressures through other businesses in the same group; others may be affected directly by the eventual disposal of Alcan. Aluflexpack carries none of this baggage – as the big companies consolidate there is space for faster and more adaptable businesses to survive and grow.
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A MIRROR OF OUR SOCIETY
The dynamics of modern society is the key driver of the rapid development of packaging solutions, says Jakob Mosser, CEO of Mondi Consumer Flexibles. Felicity Landon finds out how Mondi is responding to new demands.
Jakob Mosser, CEO Mondi Consumer Flexibles
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“At Mondi Consumer Flexibles, every success story is the preface to the next – the R&D Centre is already working on tomorrow’s packaging for even more convenient and economical packaging, and constantly endeavours to pre-empt market trends and producers’ requirements” says Jakob Mosser.
The NeoSteam® valve regulates the pressure inside the package, allowing healthy preparation that retains flavour and vitamins alike.
ondi Consumer Flexibles is dedicated to providing its customers with packaging solutions that optimally protect and promote their products, says CEO of Mondi Consumer Flexibles, Jakob Mosser. A vital component in the company’s drive for innovation and unique solutions came three years ago with the opening of a brand-new R&D Centre in Korneuburg, Austria – featuring two laboratories and pilot production lines. “Our R&D Centre has extensive know-how in various extrusion processes, offset, flexo, and rotogravure printing, lacquering, glue and adhesive lamination, slitting and laser perforation, and bag and pouch production, with various function add-ons,” says Jakob Mosser. “The materials it focuses on include biodegradable polymers, transparent barrier materials, paper and polymer membranes.” The R&D Centre’s approach is to team up with customers and equipment producers at an early stage of product development, to design innovative solutions that often pre-empt market needs. “At Mondi Consumer Flexibles, every success story is the preface to the next – the R&D Centre is already working on tomorrow’s packaging for even more convenient and economical packaging, and constantly endeavours to pre-empt market trends and producers’ requirements,” says Jakob Mosser. “New materials, enhanced processing technologies such as laser perforation and novel add-on features such as top sliders reflect Mondi Consumer Flexibles’ philosophy of delivering solutions for our customers’ success.”
films, microwaveable packaging, labels, bag-in-box films, paper and plastic bags, and stand-up pouches. “Our flexible packaging solutions are offered with a variety of features such as barrier properties, professional printing and end-user functionalities like easy opening and reclosing, handles, or microwaveability,” says Jakob Mosser. “The portfolio is complemented by high-quality stretch-wrap, stretch-hoods, shrink film and tubes for industrial and agricultural packaging, as well as films for the pharmaceutical industry.” Mondi Consumer Flexibles’ key operations and interests are in western, central and eastern Europe, with some activities in North America. There are eight production sites – three in Austria, and the others in Germany, the UK, Hungary, Italy and Poland, – as well as a number of sales offices to ensure customer support. As part of a global integrated packaging and business paper producer, Consumer Flexibles has a clear strategy to pursue leading market positions, to ensure quality and cost competitiveness and continuous operational improvement. Raw materials are frequently sourced from within Mondi – for example, barrier materials from NAPIAG Kunststoffverarbeitung GmbH or PE from Unterland Flexible Packaging GmbH, both companies being recent acquisitions. Multinational customers are often served by different business units within Mondi to supply transport, packaging and various other packaging solutions – international key account managers takes care of these customers.
Mondi Consumer Flexibles is part of Bags and Specialities, one of three business streams within the Europe & International Division, which is headquartered in Vienna. The Consumer Flexibles business supplies active and convenient packaging for the pet food, food, confectionery and snacks, and medical and pharmaceutical sectors. The product portfolio includes monofilms and printed laminates, thermoforming
A series of new developments reflect Mondi Consumer Flexibles’ focus on innovation. A unique new convenient reclosable bag solution with top slider has been developed for the pet food industry. The business unit’s in-depth expertise for barrier applications has enabled it to develop a ten-layer, thermoforming bottom film which allows high rest thicknesses in the corners with excellent forming properties. Other examples include retortable single
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Lamination at Mondi Packaging NovaSac Srl, Italy
serve pouches, the NeoSteam® microwaveable packaging range, and the Sustainex® range of bioplastic packaging. “Most ready-serve meals are consumed by single diners who want their food ready in the shortest time possible,” says Jakob Mosser. “They look for convenience when buying ready meals and expect packaging that can be stored outside a refrigerator and that has a long shelf-life. Our single serve pouches are the ideal solution for this target group, as they can be stored at room temperature, can be heated easily in the microwave, and offer a shelf life of up to one year depending on the foodstuff.” The NeoSteam® microwaveable range is for chilled or fresh food in pouches, bags or trays. It features a valve integrated into high-barrier films which regulates pressure inside the package, allowing healthy preparation while retaining flavour and vitamins.
Mondi’s latest successful launch for the food and non-food industry – its unique biodegradable range of bioplastic films and coated products under the Sustainex® brand – has addressed the issue of sustainability, an area where Mondi aims to be a pioneer. Mondi Consumer Flexibles’ bioplastics
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Blown film extrusion at NAPIAG Kunststoffverarbeitung GmbH, Austria
film is made from biopolymers based on vegetables oils. “It has excellent print properties, workability and mechanical properties such as strength and impact and tear resistance,” says Jakob Mosser. “It is suitable for applications in food and non-food, and is fully compliant with international standards for biodegradability and compostability.” Also in the environmental bracket, Mondi has developed Shrinklight; used for gusseted shrink tubes, top fold covers, shrink covers and shrink films, this thinner film offers the same features and characteristics of common shrink film, giving customers a cost-efficient and sustainable solution. Non-stop innovation is a major survival factor, especially in the current difficult economic climate, says Jakob Mosser. “In a certain way, packaging is a perfect mirror of our society and the way we live today,” he says. “The strong tendency towards single households and double income family situations are creating an enormous demand for portioned food, ready-made meals and microwaveable convenience food offerings. Modern human and pet food packaging solutions therefore have to provide intelligent properties in terms of recloseability, hygiene, durability and also marketability that are I truly ‘hi-tech’.”
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Danapak Flexibles A/S is one of northern Europe’s leading suppliers of flexible packaging. Olivia Barnett talks to sales director Jens Caroe Sorensen and managing director Lars Wiggers Hyldgaard to find out more.
he company was founded in 1955 by the Danish Dairy Board, before changing its name to Danapak a decade later with the acquisition of Jyderup Savvaerk. It gradually developed market share in the packaging sector, developing core expertise in flexible products, cardboard, plastics and corrugated cardboard. Thirty years later saw the acquisition of two local competitors – Horsens and Odense – which enabled the brand to diversify its supply and customer base and expand its know-how in extrusion, lamination, gravure printing, slitting, flexo and die cutting. A joint venture formed in 2002 with the Austrian based Constantia Packaging Group was terminated on 1 April 2009. Danapak Flexibles is now a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of Danapak A/S (Arla Foods amba). Today, the company boasts two manufacturing centres in Denmark: the Slagelse site houses extrusion, lamination and printing facilities, while the Horsens site focuses purely on printing activities. Danapak also owns its own Product Technology Centre which provides for all production processes. This facility means that daily production is not disturbed by test runs, and enables the company to go from idea to final result, ensuring time and cost savings. Its current turnover stands at €63 million, with exports accounting for in excess of 60 per cent of revenues.
Sales director Jens Caroe Sorensen is unhesitating in his response as to what makes the company stand out from the crowd. “Danapak solves packaging needs from a different angle,” he explains. “We focus on our core competences, which are mostly based on extrusion processes, to develop solutions that take into close consideration the interaction between the product that needs packaging and the packaging solution itself.” He emphasises that recent developments have focused around minimising the weight of packaging materials without compromising the quality of barrier properties and consumer convenience.
“All Danapak’s specifications can be delivered unprinted, or printed in up to nine colours in flexo or rotogravure”
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By way of illustration, he points to the DanaKeep® range, especially conceived for soft cheeses such as brie and camembert, as well as blue and white mould, and red-cultured cheeses. Sorensen highlights a number of key specifications, including ensuring optimal humidity around the cheese during the ripening process, which allows mould formation within the cheese but limits mould growth on the surface. The range also includes a specification that was developed to provide cheese with ideal conditions for developing the highest quality surface mould and thereby extending shelf-life. “The DanaKeep® range also includes the option of allowing the cheese to breathe through the perforation of the packaging, which ensures ideal
“We also offer specialist guidance with regard to the best choice of materials and machinery for individual packaging needs.”
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conditions to create white surface mould and thus avoid wet cheese or surface browning,” says Sorensen, adding that the specification is also available as a biodegradable version. He also highlights the company’s renowned DanaSafe® range, developed in collaboration with key multinational retailers. The range, developed using complex, cutting edge extrusion techniques, is designed to offer superior puncture resistant anti-penetrative packaging for dried food commodities, including soup and sauces containing ingredients with sharp properties, such as noodles.
Sorensen underscores the importance for Danapak Flexibles of capturing the processed foods market, which includes sliced meat and sliced cheeses. To this end, the company has developed DanaMap® – a solution for those products packaged in MAP (modified atmosphere) conditions. “The MAP market is growing fast due to customer demand for enhanced freshness and food safety,” he explains. “Our priority is to ensure optimal barrier properties as well as reducing packaging material, with the important benefit of significant cost reduction for the entire chain due to extended shelf life.” To meet increasing demands for resealable packaging solutions, the company has developed DanaPeel® Top Web, a top web laminate
COMPANY NAME | PROFILE
which can be directly sealed onto a bottom web or tray of pure APET and can be easily peel-opened. Key benefits include a less complex bottom web, since APET/PE is avoided. In addition, the range provides sealing solutions for the widest variety of APET and RPET bottom web and trays, as well as ensuring a much greater possibility of reusing thick bottom packaging. He adds that DanaPeel® can be combined with DanaMap® to provide enhanced re-sealability for products that require MAP packaging conditions.
and supplying tailored solutions for its client base in Europe, the USA, the Middle East and Africa. “All Danapak’s specifications can be delivered unprinted, or printed in up to nine colours in flexo or rotogravure,” he says. “We also offer specialist guidance with regard to the best choice of materials and machinery for individual packaging needs.”
Sorensen affirms that Danapak’s key priority is to consolidate and extend market share through building on its core strengths as a niche player. “Our core competency is extrusion technology and we are seeking to develop our client base within the specific segments of the food and pharmaceutical sectors in which we operate. We see plenty of scope for development within this niche market and are looking to I exploit all forthcoming opportunities.”
R&D and quality assurance
Sorensen draws attention to Danapak’s in-house Production Technology Centre, where eight of the company’s 250 personnel work on developing new concepts. All raw materials are bought in from external sources which means that the focus is on converting
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Gascogne Laminates manufactures laminates and liners for packaging, protection, technical and adhesive applications. Abigail Saltmarsh spoke to managing director Philippe Lavaud about the company’s growth.
ascogne Laminates was on a clear path of further growth, hoping to take its annual turnover up from €180 million to between €250 million and €300 million by 2012, according to managing director Philippe Lavaud. Now, he admits, the company’s plans for the future might need to be less ambitious but, he stresses, Gascogne Laminates still remains positive about what the future holds. “It is very difficult, given the global economic situation and the downturn in the construction industry, to speculate as to how much growth we might achieve,” he said. “Our plans of a year ago are no longer realistic but we certainly expect to see growth in the coming years and perhaps to make some additions to Gascogne Laminates through acquisitions.”
A strong division
Part of the Gascogne Group, Gascogne Laminates is a customer-centric and speciality-focused supplier of multilayer materials (laminates, lids, reinforced laminates, protective seals, release materials, gummed paper, self-adhesive materials) and printing solutions (flexography and rotogravure). These products are mainly used for packaging or protecting: labels, flexible sachets and prepregs. The division became known as Gascogne Laminates in 2007. The group itself has a history dating back to 1925. Today, it is structured into five divisions – wood, paper, laminates, sacks and distribution. It employs more than 2730 people, has operations in 70 countries, 20 production units and is listed on the Paris stock exchange. “Gascogne Laminates is the largest division in terms of turnover, accounting for €180 million of the €600 million total,” said Mr Lavaud. “But there is no strategic plan from the group to focus particularly on any one division. The aim is to achieve profitable growth in any area where there is an opportunity.”
In Gascogne Laminates, restructuring has recently taken plan in order to improve potential profitability. This has included making recent acquisitions as well as closing two factories. Last year, the division also formed an alliance with Scottish company Smith and McLaurin. This company, which was established in 1854,
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was operating in more than 14 countries worldwide. It had a wide range of products, including its AdaptEco range, which featured environmentally friendly packaging solutions such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) certified materials, recycled papers and adhesives sourced from sustainable natural sources. “We wanted to have a more comprehensive product offering and a better geographical coverage,” said Mr Lavaud. “We found the alliance with Smith and McLaurin helped us with both of these objectives.”
A stronger position
Today Gascogne Laminates has five facilities, located in Germany (1) and Switzerland (1), as well as France (3). Recent investment in the company has seen the refurbishment of the finishing department in Switzerland through the purchase of a slitting machine. The company has also recently invested some €7 million in a gravure printing machine for its facility in Germany. This, it hopes, will help it strengthen its position in the German market for products such as tea packaging and soup sachets, as well as medical applications. “This is a big investment for us and it should really turn that facility around,” said Mr Lavaud. “It should give us lots of muscle within these particular areas.”
A broad range
Gascogne Laminates produces a broad range of multilayer materials. “We are in self-adhesive and pressure-sensitive products and there we are able to serve some special markets, such as stamps and security products,” he said. “Another area we are developing is our products for cosmetic applications. Here we have some speciality transparent products, called clear on clear.” He went on: “In our laminate product lines we are also strong in reinforced laminates for envelopes. Our Gascofil® is sold worldwide and we have a strong position in the USA.”
Other key areas for Gascogne Laminates include unique products for the building industry, which have thermal protection qualities, as well as products for the flexible packaging market. “In Germany we spe-
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“Our plans of a year ago are no longer realistic but we certainly expect to see growth in the coming years and perhaps to make some additions to Gascogne Laminates through acquisitions.”
Philippe Lavaud, Managing director
cialise in some tea packaging products that are very sophisticated and in one of our factories in France we also do foil-less lids that are environmentally friendly,” said Mr Lavaud. Products are sold globally to companies in a wide range of industries, from the food and pharmaceutical through to the building and cosmetics industries. Approximately 80 per cent of production goes to customers in western and eastern Europe but markets in Asia and North America are also served. “We have seen an average of three to five per cent growth in recent years and we hope to continue to grow, perhaps by focusing on particular product lines and through some acquisitions but given what is happening economically at the moment it is difficult to predict a figure,” he said. “Now is a time to be both realistic and prudent and to try to understand what is happening in the different markets. At the I same time, however, we do remain optimistic.”
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The Romanian dairy company Albalact JSC has set out to fight the powerful competition in the dairy products sector and meet the increasingly demanding needs of modern consumers. Its increased turnover (around 70 per cent growth in 2006 compared to 2005 and 50 per cent growth in 2007 compared to 2006), show a thriving business. Luminita Rusu-Martin talks to managing director Traian Simion about the company’s prospects.
ounded in 1975 under communist rule, the dairy factory Albalact was privatised in 1999. The market at that time was still an emerging one, competition was inconsistent and modernisation was almost unheard of. Managing director Traian Simon recalls: “Implementing a long-term strategy has been a difficult process and we tried hard to avoid being ‘invisible’ amongst the other few hundred similar businesses in the dairy industry.” Exceptional times require exceptional measures. In 2005 the company’s main shareholders decided to take some firms steps. Thanks to repeated capital injections, major changes in the management and a thorough strategy of rebranding, Albalact JSC is today ranked third on the national dairy market. By entering the Romanian UHT milk market in 2005 with its Fulga brand, the company’s has secured its position and paved the way for other investments as well as the diversification of production.
“Albalact’s main brands Fulga and Zuzu could not have achieved the success they did without a sound marketing strategy: once you’ve achieved the highest quality for your product you can only work on branding and packaging, and you have to score well on them in order to win the game”
A versatile sector
The Fulga range, developed as part of a healthy diet for mothers and children, includes UHT milk and speciality products under the name of Milky Goodies, such as milk with chocolate, cocoa, cappuccino and milk mixed with various fruit juices (similar to milkshakes). The company also sells a wide range of yoghurts, butter, sour milk, sour cream, powdered milk and various soft, hard and cottage cheeses. In 2006, following an investment of €2 million in the latest Tetra Pak processing and packaging lines, Albalact JSC launched its Zuzu range, consisting of pasteurised milk, plaing and fruit yoghurts and sour milk, intended for family consumption. A further two ranges we added to the portfolio to confirm the Romanian company’s taste for progress: De Albalact and Raraul, each
designed to meet the particular demands of two traditional geographical regions of Romania – Transylvania and Moldova. Working with fully automated, modern processing technologies and top-notch packaging systems means that Albalact JSC is able to manufacture dairy products that comply with all EU health and quality management standards. The company sells its products in a number of large Romania cities. Its main trade partners include popular European supermarket chains such as Metro, Selgros, Carrefour, Cora, Mega Image, Hiproma, Billa, Artima and Romania Hypermarche.
Albalact’s new main production units located in Oiejdea were opened in 2007 and produce over 200,000 litres of milk each day. The factory is equipped with state-of-the-art processing and control systems purchased from Tetra Pak, the internationally renowned supplier for the packaging industry. Thanks to Tetra Pak machines, Albalact JSC can offer a complete range of flexible packaging solutions for its yoghurt, butter, cultured milk-based drinks (sour cream, kefir etc.), cream and cheeses. Albalact JSC uses two types of processing and packaging for all these products: aseptic, supported by the aforementioned systems; and fresh, following a process of disinfection by using peroxide spray, UV exposure and Hepa air filters which allow for a dry and sterile environment and ensure 21 days of quality and freshness. “Albalact’s main brands Fulga and Zuzu could not have achieved the success they did without a sound marketing strategy: once you’ve achieved the highest quality for your product you can only work on branding and packaging, and you have to score well on them in order to win the game,” says Traian Simion.
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“We have only to sense and seize the market’s trends and demands”
Seize the moment
A great advantage for the business, in Mr Simion’s opinion, is its geographical position. The County of Alba is considered to be a ‘natural milk reservoir’ in terms of a supply driven market concept, thanks to the quantity and quality of the dairy cattle traditionally bred in the area. The acquisition last autumn of Raraul Campulung, a large dairy factory located in Moldova, as well as its enduring partnerships with Hungarian suppliers of high-quality milk, make Albalact JSC a competitive business determined to gain a leading position on the national dairy market within the next three to five years. The company’s management considers that the current low milk and derivatives consumption per capita in Romania (which, statistically, is at least five times more reduced than in western European countries) can and must be changed to promote healthier diets and hence the market offers great opportunities for development and improvement. “We have only to sense and seize the market’s trends and demands,” says Mr Simion. The short-terms plans will involve the consolidation of the recent acquisition of Raraul Campulung through the relocation and modernisation of its production units, together with the diversification of the company’s yoghurt and cheese ranges. Considering the increase in turnover we are experiencing €42 million in 2007 and more than €50 million in 2008), management expects SC ALBALACT SA to increase this year by 30%, in the context of an expected market growth of 10%. Every year throughout 2005-2007 the market increased by a maximum of 15%, while I Albalact recorded growth between 50% and 70%.
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Vertupak food packaging ticks all the environmental boxes – it’s recyclable, compostable and it’s made from waste vegetable products. Peter Mercer reports.
the end of last year North Wales-based Vertupak, producer of environmentally friendly recyclable and compostable food trays, took a major step forward – it acquired a new CEO and, shortly afterwards, a new corporate identity. Johan Bergman brought to the Wrexham company a wealth of experience in both the packaging and consumer goods industries, having held senior positions with Tetra Pak International, Lay Snack Foods and drinks manufacturer SPI. He saw his immediate task to be the extension of the company’s customer base, taking its unique products into the global food retailing and food service markets. “The food industry is crying out for environmentally friendly yet commercially viable packaging solutions,” said Mr Bergman. “We can offer it a highly versatile alternative to plastic packaging that is fully recycla-
ble, fully compostable and which is made entirely from waste products. I believe that within the next five years a large portion of typical plastic food packaging will be replaced with compostable substitutes and Vertupak is uniquely placed to meet this demand.” Vertupak’s unique Vegasse product range is made from ‘bagasse’, a waste material from the processing of sugar cane. Bagasse is widely used in the Far East for making trays for noodles, rice and other fast foods. Johan Bergman explains that the founder of Vertupak’s predecessor company, engineer Peter Davies, came across this material and its applications when he was on quite different business in China. “He saw that this material could be the answer to the demand for environmentally friendly food packaging in the UK and Europe and set up arrangements to source it in China and a company in the UK, Procurasell, to develop and market
Locate the perforated tab on the outer rim of tray.
Place thumb under perforation and gently lift the tab upwards to break the seal-lifting up the edge of the tray inner lining.
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“If landfill is going to be banned in Europe, what do you do with the waste that you can’t economically recycle?”
bagasse-based products. He knew that the buzz words in packaging today were ‘recyclable’ and ‘renewable’. Bagasse, which is the leaves and sticks left over in sugar cane processing, ticks all the boxes – and it is fully compostable as well.” The name of the company was changed to Vertupak in January 2009 to reflect more effectively its environmental values. The Vegasse range is manufactured in modern factories in China, where the company maintains a technical and quality assurance team to monitor production and ensure that BRC standards are fully adhered to as well as driving product development.
In the initial stages of product development the emphasis was on making food trays that were more rigid and less permeable than the bagasse trays common in China, Japan and Korea. But there was soon a much more formidable challenge for the new company – developing compostable food trays for Sainsbury’s ready meals. “The first problem was that the material would not hold reheated liquids in these aggressive foods for more than 36 hours,” explains Mr Bergman. “So the company developed a solution in which a PET liner is laminated to the bagasse tray. This product can withstand temperatures from -40˚C to +220˚C, so chilled or frozen ready meals on vegasse trays can be reheated directly from the freezer and migration is avoided for chilled products with longer shelf life. “Of course, the bagasse/PET combination is not compostable so we then had to make the liner peelable and disposable. The challenge there, naturally, was to develop a liner that would adhere firmly enough to survive in an oven for up to 30 minutes and yet be easily removable. We have largely overcome all these problems and the laminated trays are in advanced testing.”
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When Johan Bergman took over at Vertupak, he saw that the laminated tray project, which had absorbed a great deal of the company’s time and resources, needed to be supplemented by finding markets for Vegasse trays in applications which did not involve aggressive foods or high temperatures. The first major breakthrough here came in the airline catering business. Since November 2008, British Airways has been serving fruit desserts on Vertupak’s Vegasse compostable dishes on flights out of Heathrow. The desserts are manufactured by Brinkers Cakes and Desserts in the Netherlands and then shipped to BA’s food service supplier, the Gate Gourmet Group. “Feedback from both passengers and cabin crew has been very positive,“ says Johan Bergman. “It’s true that BA currently incinerates its catering waste so the compostable element of our product doesn’t come into play. But the fact that our trays are from renewable sources – indeed from waste – makes them far more environmentally friendly than the relatively expensive plastic trays used normally by airlines. That’s good public relations for BA and good business for them and us.” The next major opportunity for Vertupak is trays for fresh whole chickens. Industrial trials with bagasse have already been successfully concluded.. A breakthrough into this market will be a defining moment for the company – currently around 300 million chickens are packed annually in trays in various plastic materials in the UK alone. Compostable lid films to go with the trays is another area that Vertupak is exploring. The company is also currently involved in a major project with a leading food service provider to schools in Europe. School meals will be eaten from three-compartment Vegasse trays, which will then be composted. Johan Bergman is convinced that compostability is the next big thing in waste management. “If landfill is going to be banned in Europe, what
do you do with the waste that you can’t economically recycle? Incineration is not the answer to general garbage – wet waste – because it takes more energy to burn the stuff than you get out of it. So I think most wet waste will eventually be composted. It’s true that composting is not widespread yet in the UK and Europe but I think it is the future. And Vertipak packaging will be the leading the way in the drive to that I ecologically sound solution.”
Gently begin to peel off the inner lining working around the rim first.
The liner will separate from the tray.
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Multi-labels are placed on top of each other and consist of at least two layers. Using a peel-open flap the upper layer can be partially lifted to expose the text printed on the lower layer, and this can be repeated several times. Multi-labels offer plenty of room for user information.
Dr Karl Ulrich, CEO Ulrich Etiketten
The Austrian company Ulrich Etiketten, headquartered in Vienna, is a leading producer of a comprehensive range of self-adhesive labels as well as specialist products such as sachets and multi-labels. Cornelia Muller talks to Karl Ulrich, the company’s current owner, to learn about its impressive history and success today.
STUCK ON SUCCESS
lrich Etiketten was founded in 1868 by the great-grandfather of the current CEO, Mr Karl Ulrich, and provided seals and engraving for the Austrian imperial court. In the 1920s, the printing of labels was introduced and so Ulrich Etiketten turned to the production of labels. The first labels were made with a punching die and wet glue. In the 1950s, self-adhesive labels came onto the market and gradually replaced the labels that had to be affixed with wet glue. Today about 95 per cent of the company’s production consists of self-adhesive labels. In fact, ‘Etiketten’ is the German word for labels. The company employs 200 people, its head office is in Vienna, and
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The advantages of the Multi-Print System (MPS) are quick register adjustment and less misprints. Nine printing units can be used on a paper width of 410mm and a printing width of 400mm.
The MPS's maximum printing speed is 130–150m/minute
it is still family-owned. It also has smaller representative offices in Bratislava in Slovakia, in Montabaur in Germany and in St Gallen in Switzerland. Whereas these offices serve sales and marketing purposes, the only manufacturing site is in Vienna. In Vienna, all kinds of labels are produced. The majority are self-adhesive standard labels consisting of four layers: the glassine paper and a layer of silicone to which the actual label is attached and thrown away when the label is affixed; and then the glue and the material of the label itself, which commonly is either made of paper or synthetic. This depends on the product it is affixed to. If it is glass or cardboard, paper is more suitable, as it can either be recycled or burnt. On the other hand, if the container is made of plastic or polyethylene, then the label has to be made of the same raw material. However, Ulrich Etiketten also offers some specialist products, such as sachets, banderoles or multi-labels, labels with holograms or forgery proof labels that are used in the electronic industry. Sleeves are used for bottles, and scent labels are popular in the cosmetics industry.
Moving with the times
Over the course of several years the factory has been modernised and the company’s grounds cover 13,000m2, of which the factory takes up 8000m2. It produces 22 million m2 of labels per year ranging from small bottle labels to poster-size labels; last year it had a turnover of €30 million. The production machines are state-of-the-art, and come from well-known manufacturers in Switzerland, Denmark, Holland and France. The majority of the material for the labels is imported from one of the largest paper manufacturers – UPM Raflatac in Finland. Ulrich Etiketten is one of the largest label producing companies in Austria, Germany and Slovakia and also central and eastern Europe as a whole are important key markets. Key sectors for Ulrich Etiketten are the food and beverage industry, the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry, and the petrochemical and textile industries Ulrich Etiketten provides an all-round service from design to printing and delivery of the labels.
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These cheese labels were printed on paper with hotmelt-adhesive based on natural rubber in UV-flexo. This adhesive is for fast adhesion on humid substrates
Every sector needs not only attractive labels, but also labels containing the correct information for the end user. Ulrich Etiketten puts great effort and pride into the production of labels and checks all labels for printing errors, colour differences and incorrect information, including the barcode. Any faulty labels are cut out before the rolls of labels leave the production site. In the pharmaceutical industry particularly, Ulrich Etiketten applies a very strict quality control system and the principles of GMP, Good Manufacturing Practice. This concept is recognised worldwide for the control and management of manufacturing and quality control testing of foods, pharmaceutical products and medical devices. It was only introduced a few years ago, and although Ulrich Etiketten has collabo-
Food samples of different materials, sizes and print types
rated with the pharmaceutical industry since the 1960s, it implemented the GMP six years ago to be able to comply with the strict regulations of the pharmaceutical industry. The company has also been awarded the ISO 9001 certificate, and has qualified to be a Green Partner of Sony. Sony established the Sony Green Partner Standards in July 2001 with the aim of encouraging suppliers to introduce Green Partner environmental management systems. In March 2002, Sony established a set of management regulations for environmentally-related substances to be controlled which are included in parts and materials. The certification process also includes the introduction of energy saving measures. Ulrich Etiketten also practises a different kind of quality control, maintaining close contact with customers to build up relationships of trust. Mr Ulrich explained: “All our customers are sacred and precious to us. It is very important to us to have satisfied customers who can bank on good service, good quality and attention to detail. All family members know about the individual customers, what they like and what problems they face.” And he concludes: “This is why we are the biggest company in our sector in Austria.”
As a proactive company Ulrich Etiketten always wants to be up-todate with the latest developments and requirements on the market. It regularly attends the biannual fair Labelexpo in Brussels due to take place this year. After visiting the last fair it introduced the digitalisation of the printing form and a technique that permitted the combination of offset, silk screen and flexo printing. Each printing technique has its advantages: offset printing is known for the high resolution of quality photos, the silk screen printing boasts intense and non-transparent colours, and flexo printing allows for more cost-effective printing and a higher number of printed labels. This year Ulrich Etiketten is launching its own recycling plant for chemical solvents. This way it can reduce its use of solvent by 85 per cent, which should translate into 20,000 litres per year. It will use its recycled solvents and in order to ensure sufficient quality it will only have to add 15 per cent of new solvents. This is not only more cost-effective, but also a valuable contribution to the environment. The idea was implemented by Karl Ulrich’s son, who only recently finished his economics degree, but already works in I the company with his father and will one day take over from him.
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A HEALTHY OUTLOOK
Aboca is the Italian leader in the natural health products sector. Maria Teresa Sette spoke to product development manager Sergio Fulceri to understand more about the production and communication strategies which lie behind this successful firm.
boca, originally called Aboca Erbe, takes its name from its location near Sansepolcro in Tuscany, an area known for its production of medicinal herbs since the year 1200. When it was established, in 1978, Aboca experienced some difficulties. “By that time, the pharmaceuticals industry in Italy was indeed subject to pressures coming from other European companies, especially in Germany. Its success was not taken for granted because of the shortage of testing equipment, which is necessary to guarantee the efficiency and security of our products,” explains Sergio Fulceri, Aboca’s product development manager. From the very beginning, the mission of the company was to deliver a pharmaceutical natural finished product to the consumer by ensuring direct control of every step of the production process. This led to the decision by Valentino Mercati, Aboca’s founder, to develop a process of vertical production from planting to packaging of the finished product, all the way to its distribution to medical practitioners, pharmacies and herbalists. This is still the main feature of the brand today. Today Aboca is an agricultural, pharmaceutical and health products company with two centres of production covering a total of 170,000 square feet, each equipped with the latest technologies. It also has more than 1700 acres of organic cultivation and a specialised chemistry labo-
ratory. All of this, along with the ownership of process patents, makes Aboca Italy’s leader in the natural health products sector, both in terms of know-how and sales.
Production and brand power
“It is a combination of factors which has made the brand so prestigious and reliable,” says Fulceri. “From the very first stage of production we guarantee to our consumers the effectiveness and security of all our products, thanks above all to a complex process of production, which we are very proud of.” The first step is planting, for which the company employs organic farming methods. Also, each department boasts a variety of professionals, such as pharmaceutical chemists, engineers and biologists. All of these are tasked with supervising the effectiveness of the finished product and to ensuring that its functionality is exactly the same as the pharmaceutical one. The testing stage is crucial, since it is necessary for the official validation of the product. Verifying therapeutic effectiveness means making sure that the product contains natural active principles and that these are preserved and not altered by external substances or other chemical variables. “In order to achieve this we proceed with targeted
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“From the very first stage of production we guarantee to our consumers the effectiveness and security of all our products, thanks above all to a complex process of production, which we are very proud of.”
clinical researches, by experiments on laboratory animals – although we want to clarify that these kinds of experiments do not cause the animals’ deaths. All we need to analyse is their observable behaviour,” says Fulceri. It also conducts research with consenting humans and, in the past few years, through in vitro experiments. Aboca also certifies the reliability of its natural products by adopting a policy of transparency concerning instructions for use, in line with government regulations.
Successful communication strategies
Although the company’s aim has always been to achieve recognition of its pharmaceutical validity, it has never meant to be in competition with this industry. Health promotion and nutritional education are
what its natural products point to, rather than to medical treatment. Aboca targets customers who care about their health and who consider natural products to be the best solution in respect of their own body. “Organic farming represents a competitive advantage for us,” claims Sergio Fulceri. “We have developed new technologies in this sector which allow us to harness the organoleptic properties of a product and to preserve its effectiveness.” At the beginning, the distributors of Aboca products were exclusively herbalists, but over the years the firm has expanded its market, so that you can find its products even in pharmacies. Indeed, since demand for alternative health solution has increased in recent years, even pharmacists and medical practitioners are embracing the philosophy of natural prevention.
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“We have developed new technologies in this sector which allow us to harness the organoleptic properties of a product and to preserve its effectiveness.”
Packaging and environmental issues
Aboca’s packaging system is based on a policy of sustainable development. The company has always been committed to rejecting the use of plastic and polystyrene and to adopting organic material. First it used Echochips, made with foam corn, and now its packaging is mostly composed of bioplastic and biopaper according to FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). Other material used includes recyclable wood for table displays, dark medicine glass bottles for phials and recyclable aluminium for some external use products.
Future forecast and growth plans
A new and growing area in the development of natural pharmaceutical industry lies in genetics and biotechnology, which could help the natu-
ral sector to research new ways to enhance the effectiveness of active principles. This is why Aboca has recently offered some grants to pharmaceutical chemists, biologists and geneticists. The company is also working on a new product category: organic cosmetics, ten of which are already in the market. This new project is aimed at offering products without substances that can be dangerous for the environment or human beings, and which also have medical applications, such as barrier effects against viruses or allergies. Sergio Fulceri firmly believes that the natural sector will increase in importance in the future and his company intends to encourage consumers to consider natural prevention as a crucial aspect of their healthcare. For this purpose, each year Aboca organises a set of conferences: I the International Lecture on Human Ecology.
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A CLEAR FOCUS
Italy-based Bormioli Luigi SpA is one of world’s biggest manufacturers of perfume bottles and glass packaging for the cosmetics sector. Massimo Miato interviewed marketing director Corrado Lusetti to find out more about the company’s strategy for surviving the global financial crisis by focusing on its core business activities.
hen we last spoke to Bormioli Luigi SpA a couple of years ago, the company was successfully competing in European markets thanks to a massive investment in new plants and processes. Today, the situation on the international markets has changed dramatically, and the company is doing its best to face the crisis that is affecting the packaging sector by focusing on its core businesses. Mr Lusetti begins: “We are still a specialised manufacturer of glasses and goblets, which count for about 30 per cent of our income. But, apart from tableware, the rest of our turnover depends on our activity in the packaging sector. This includes perfume bottles, which are definitely one of our most important products, and a number of other glass packaging applications for the cosmetics sector.” One of the secrets behind the Italian company’s success is its ability to cooperate with customers in order to provide them with the right solution for their needs. According to Mr Lusetti, “One of our most
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“We are still a specialised manufacturer of glasses and goblets, which count for about 30 per cent of our income. But, apart from tableware, the rest of our turnover depends on our activity in the packaging sector. This includes perfume bottles, which are definitely one of our most important products, and a number of other glass packaging applications for the cosmetics sector.”
popular features is developing custom-made bottles according to the specific design provided by each of our customers. We’ve managed to work with almost all of the biggest brands in the perfume sector due to the extreme flexibility of our production lines, which allows us to manufacture practically every possible kind of perfume bottle. As a consequence, since 2000 we’ve more than doubled our turnover, reaching the quota of €132 million in 2008. This is particularly important when one thinks that perfume bottles are only a niche sector in the larger cosmetics market, which means that Bormioli Luigi SpA has become one of the biggest players in this sector.”
Providing clients with fully customised solutions is not only a matter of technical skills at Bormioli Luigi, but also depends on the company’s level of reliability. The marketing director explains: “In our sec-
tor, it is very important to ensure the quality of our products and to respect deadlines. This is easier said than done, especially when our customers require a number of different models of bottles at once. In order to fulfil the desires of our partners, we invest a lot in technical improvements, and we can really say that being one step ahead of the ever changing needs of the market is one of our most important skills.” Investing in the right market sector is also important for the company. “Lately, our reference markets have been changing. For example, our tableware products are focusing more and more on the needs of the end users in the catering sector, while our perfume bottles are concentrating on the luxury side of our business. This ensures a constant growth of 10 per cent each year, which has allowed us to become a significant company worldwide in the production of luxury perfume bottles.”
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“In our sector, it is very important to ensure the quality of our products and to respect deadlines. This is easier said than done, especially when our customers require a number of different models of bottles at once. In order to fulfil the desires of our partners, we invest a lot in technical improvements, and we can really say that being one step ahead of the ever changing needs of the market is one of our most important skills.”
Secrets to success
The exclusive skills of Bormioli Luigi’s employees are another of the secrets behind its success. Mr Lusetti says: “Creating our bottles is not an easy task, as it depends a lot on the professional skills of our people. It takes a very long time for a glassmaker to become a master, and this is what makes our employees extremely valuable to us. That’s why we invest a lot in our own professional updating programmes: the knowledge needed to work in the glass sector is so specific that there’s no professional school where one can actually learn it.” Traditionally, the glass packaging sector is not oriented towards flexible production, owing to the fact that glass production lines cannot really increase their capacity. However, Bormioli Luigi has come up with a revolutionary solution to this problem, as the marketing director explains: “Our plants are already working at full capacity. In 2007, in order to increase productivity, we decided to build a glass factory that once belonged to our competitor, rebuild it, and have it specialise in the production of perfume bottles. By the end of 2008, this strategy has allowed our company to increase our production capacity by 30 per cent. “We’re also diversifying our activities by introducing a new line of products – luxury liquor bottles. This is something we used to manufacture some years ago, and right now we are entering this sector again because we think it has good potential for growth. We are aware that the current period is difficult due to the international crisis, but we believe in the quality of our products and the skills of our people. We think we have what it takes to remain a major player in our sector despite the general I lack of confidence in future growth.”
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THE RISE AND RISE OF A PRIVATE LABEL GIANT
McBride is a leading manufacturer of ‘own brand’ personal care, home cleaning and laundry products for major retailers. Mike Handley, McBride’s former CEO, tells Packaging Europe about the rise of the company and its new ambitions for expansion.
cBride plc is an international company with production operations throughout Europe specialising in private-label and contract manufacturing of laundry, household cleaning and personal care products. The company is the leading supplier of ownbrand household and personal care products for Europe’s largest and most successful retailers. The McBride brand started life in more modest circumstances, founded in 1927 when Robert McBride created a business in Manchester to supply chemical processing products to the Lancashire cotton industry. During the 1940s Reg McBride moved the operation to Middleton, north Manchester, where it remains today. The company went public in 1973, and in 1978 was acquired by BP, becoming part of its detergents division. In 1993, BP decided to sell its Consumer Products division, including McBride, which was purchased by a group of institutional investors. Having become a plc, McBride was floated in 1995. Today’s company contrasts vastly with its roots as a local cottage industry. It has become a multinational business, operating out of 15 factories in six countries, on a scale that would be impossible to comprehend by the founders of McBride. Traded on the London stock exchange, its annual turnover has exceeded £500 million over recent years. However, advances are tied into an ethos which maintains the original customer focus: the laundry, household cleaning and personal care products currently supplied to over 70 countries are direct descendants of that bleach once delivered to Manchester corner shops.
areas. Within the household cleaning products McBride consolidated its strength with a series of moves and acquisitions in the late 1980s, becoming the first UK manufacturer of private label laundry liquids in 1986 and adding washing powders, products for people with sensitive skin, concentrated powders the following year. Innovation, research and development have been a key ethos for McBride, exemplified when in 2001 it became the first company to launch soluble liquid laundry detergent sachets in Europe, beating the major multinational manufacturers. Today the company offers a comprehensive range of laundry washing products (including laundry bleach suitable for the most delicate fabrics, fabric fresheners that refreshes between washes, sachet, tablet, liquid and powder detergents, fabric softeners and laundry aids), cleaners (from liquids and gels to aerosols and polishes), toilet care products, dishwashing detergents, and an innovative range of aircare products (including aerosols, room sprays, gels and candles, electric diffusers, stick-ons and potpourri). Within the personal care segment, McBride has built up a similarly wide portfolio upon a foundation of R&D and synergies between the specialist skills accumulated in a broad spectrum of technologies. Ranging from gentle formulations for children to the latest fashion trends in hair care, as well as ongoing research into the needs of older consumers, this approach puts the manufacturer in a leading position across deodorants, bath products, skincare, baby products, shampoos and haircare products, men’s toiletries, mouthwashes and toothpastes.
Expanding product profile
McBride provides its customers with a full service package to meet their private label needs. The company is structured to give its customers a complete private label service that includes marketing and category development, product and packaging design, logistics and supply chain management and fast responses to market needs backed by the quality and scale of our manufacturing assets across Europe. Meanwhile, the company has steadily broadened its portfolio by breaking into new markets and responding to trends within its core
A growing market
Mike Handley, who was part of the management team involved in acquiring McBride and until recently CEO of the company, offered his perspectives on the company’s market context and the opportunities envisaged in 1993. “Private label in food and non-food has been growing quite strongly since the late 1970s. The market really took off when Tesco started going for a quality presentation rather than a low-cost offering. At that time, we could see a very good opportunity for a specialist business, focused on private label, operating in a sector that was underdeveloped.
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“And that was just the UK, which was well ahead of the game – on the continent there was even more potential. So our ambition was to take McBride and grow it with a combination of organic growth and acquisition.” Ambition became reality as the late 1990s saw organic and acquisition growth throughout Europe, as the company moved into Holland, France and Poland, followed by sales offices in Hungary and the Czech Republic. It sounds like a happy tale, but the flip side of a growing market is growing competition and the potential for undercutting. “The business itself has developed as we expected. What’s changed is the accent on low, low prices brought in by German hard discounters and their competitors, as well as the advent of Wal-mart and their ‘price, price, price’ philosophy. Competition gets to the point where it begins to threaten the quality proposition, because you just can’t engineer costs down forever.”
Expansion into European markets
In parallel with McBride’s steadily growing product range, the company has evolved from a UK-based business to a major player across Europe. McBride currently has over 40 per cent by value of the allcommodity private-label sector in the UK and over 50 per cent by volume. In the household sector, its share is in the high 20s, and in personal care it is around 15–16 per cent. The figures are all slightly lower on the continent, where the company has strong positions in places like France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain. The expansion process accelerated following McBride’s flotation in 1995, and the years following this witnessed the acquisitions of Grada in the Netherlands, and Problanc, Sodichlor and Vitherm in France, added to that of Spain’s Arco Iris, which was acquired shortly before the company became a plc. 1998 saw McBride’s manufacturing capabilities moving into Poland, and beyond the then borders of the EU, with the purchase of 85 per cent of Intersilesia Sp. z o.o. in southern Poland. This move enabled penetration of other CEE markets and was followed by the opening of sales offices in Hungary and the Czech Republic. McBride also opened a Russian sales office early in 2005, and regards the country as an area with strong growth potential – particularly as western retailers are looking to expand their estates over there, and McBride is in a position to support them.
facturing and packaging a product, based on the known inputs, and the actual yield from that process – the waste being incurred, in other words. We get wastage in areas such as mixing, bottles, filling bottles, labelling and capping – they all cost money. We’ve been focused on getting these performance indices measured, understood and improved.” The ongoing project of expanding eastwards will probably require more production muscle. “We can’t really ship to Russia. There are long distances involved but there are also real barriers to trade on the ground, which makes manufacturing in the territory more attractive. So that could involve more sites. We wouldn’t go into Russia on a ‘greenfield’ basis, but in partnership with a business we’d acquired. When we’ve bought overseas – in Spain and Poland, for example – we’ve increased capacity by building on to existing businesses.”
Needless to say, a company like McBride doesn’t stay ahead of the game by waiting for its customers to suggest ideas, and R&D is a key area. It is constantly looking at all the things that will improve sustainability and will also meet the needs of society in general – things like washing in cooler water to reduce energy consumption, as well as concentrating products to I make for easier dosing, less packaging and lower transport costs.
McBride currently has a total of 15 production sites, six in the UK, three each in France and Belgium, one in Italy, one in Spain and one in Poland. For the most part they are sited on the basis of proximity to population, because some of the company’s goods don’t economically travel very long distances. However, production of some higher-value goods – concentrates and tablets, for example – has been organised into regional centres. Typically, it’s the heavier goods like liquids that can’t easily be produced centrally. McBride has powder plants and aerosol plants in the UK and France, and personal care plants in the UK and Belgium. All the rest make liquids, which can’t be economically shipped, so there are nine sites for those. Managing the cost base depends on reliable measurements, and McBride excels in this area. “We’re now managing what I call the mass balance of variable costs,” said Mike Handley. “That means calculating the difference between the predicted output from a process for manu-
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OPTIMISING PACKAGING IN THE LOGISTICS PROCESS
Optimum packaging provides an efficient and effective answer to the various demands of the upstream and downstream production and logistics processes. These demands may well be contradictory. The task is therefore to create packaging that, taking all factors into consideration, offers the best price/performance ratio. The Swiss packaging company Cargopack Tägi AG is an excellent example of how a company can achieve this, as CEO Alois Mathis explains.
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Finally, in the broadest sense, packing also constitutes a kind of insurance. In taking out insurance, it is possible to minimise risks by choosing an appropriate policy, in return for which corresponding premiums are paid.
argopack Tägi AG was founded in mid-2004, when sections of the business activities belonging to the former Tägi AG and Cargopack Embraport AG were integrated into the new company Cargopack Tägi AG. Cargopack Tägi’s roots reach much further back into the 20th century, however. The Tägi branch office was in fact the packaging unit of the former Brown Boveri (BBC). After the latter was merged with Asea and became Asea Brown Boveri (ABB), the packing division was spun off and became a separate legal entity at the beginning of the 1990s. The Cargopack side of the story goes back to the years of the mid1970s, when Kuehne + Nagel invested in order to develop an export packaging business in Switzerland. This was taken over by management in the mid-1980s. Today Cargopack Tägi is a privately-owned company and has around 140 staff on its payroll at five locations. It founded a subsidiary in Czechia in August 2007. Approximately 1000 wooden packing crates a week are manufactured at Cargopack Tägi’s three crate factories. The company has tripled its turnover in the past four years, which now amounts to approx. CHF 30 million.
For the customer, ‘optimised’ primarily means ‘minimised’. This means that a good packer is faced with the challenge of analysing the process for the customer and selling him the solution which, taking all factors into consideration, offers him the best result. The character of the packaging is determined by four main factors. The first of these is that the type of product being packed and the materials incorporated in the product determine the requirements relating to
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the method of conservation and padding of the packed goods. The second factor is that the packaging has to be designed in such a way that it is stackable and also protected against any possible corrosion, depending on the duration and possibilities of storage. The third main variable is that the demands relating to transport are determined on the one hand by the mode of transport and the probable frequency of transhipment, and on the other hand by the costs. This has a direct influence on the ideal size of the package, the fixing of the packaged goods, the reinforcement of the crate and the packing material employed by the expert fashioning the container. Finally, in the broadest sense, packing also constitutes a kind of insurance. In taking out insurance, it is possible to minimise risks by choosing an appropriate policy, in return for which corresponding premiums are paid. This relationship also exists with regard to packaging. Depending on the risk the customer is willing to accept, packaging can be designed either for the customary conditions of everyday logistics or for the worst conceivable case. Whereas with regard to the first three requirements it is primarily the task of the packer to make the best suggestion, it is up to the customer to decide what risk he is willing to bear.
Within the constraints of the influencing factors, the packer now proceeds to optimally adapt the packaging to these demands. To this end, there are four main areas of optimisation. The first question which presents itself to the packer is: According to what design principle is the packaging to be made? The range extends from non-loadbearing packaging through standard crates to custom-made crates individually tailored to the goods to be packed. The packer then must deter-
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Know-how and practice
What type of packaging will be used in an individual case naturally depends largely upon the customer or the packaging specifications of the end user. In this connection a good packer considers himself an adviser who suggests possible methods of optimisation to the customer. It should go without saying that he also points out the advantages and drawbacks of the individual types of packaging. However justified and understandable the desire to lower packaging costs may be, the cost components must also be considered in relation to the overall product and logistics costs. An analysis of a representative cross-section of the packaging orders handled by Cargopack Tägi AG during a quarter-year period has shown that the cost of packaging amounts to roughly two per cent of the insured value of the goods. The transport costs (mixed calculation costing, taking land, sea and air freight options into account) are at least twice as high on average as the actual packing costs.
mine what material is to be used for the packaging. Wood has the advantage that it is very well suited for the quick construction of custom-made packaging. Corrugated cardboard is light. Plastic is light and robust, but is suited only for standardised packaging. In addition, there are composite solutions which combine a number of different materials. When a number of products have to be packed simultaneously, the question of the arrangement of the packed goods must be considered. In this connection, it may be advantageous for air transport to lay a product in a horizontal position instead of standing it upright. With regard to conservation and protection from corrosion, there is a growing trend towards the VCI method (volatile corrosion inhibitors), although there are still cases where the use of desiccants with polyethylene foil or even composite aluminium foil is justified. These include in particular the prolonged storage of sensitive products in tropical zones or in remote regions of developing countries, where storage conditions are frequently difficult to monitor.
What is a secure packaging worth to you?
The question is whether a customer is willing to pay five per cent more for the packaging if this saves 10 per cent on freight costs. Or putting it slightly differently – what additional risk of damage to the product jusI tifies a reduction in the packaging costs by a small fraction? www.cargopacktaegi.ch
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Finnish specialist ring pull cap manufacturer Finn-Korkki has been leading the market for nearly 140 years. It’s passionate about keeping the best of its traditions alongside the latest in today’s technology and design potential. EmmaJane Batey reports.
explained. “We introduced tin plated steel ring pull caps, too, in order to overcome some technical characteristics of aluminium and this ring pull cap now called RingCrown has proved to be an important product for our portfolio.” It was in 2000 that Finn-Korkki started to design and manufacture closures for premium vodka brands, with luxury aluminium closures for premium carbonated drinks joining the roster soon after. A recent success is the design and manufacture of the LuxTop, which is the closure chosen for the award winning VEEN water bottle. The company made a strategic acquisition of the Australian company, RipCap Closure Systems in 2007. RipCap wide mouth closures bring smooth drinkability to the end user and are now a popular product for alcoholic carbonated drinks such as beer and cider. It is this continual development that characterises the achievements of Finn-Korkki, with its ability to design and create niche products that add value to customers’ premium beverages through enhanced functionality as well as brand identity. Mr Nygård continued, “As a small company we have to do something different, something better. As a privately owned company, we’re more like a family and we can be flexible and make decisions quickly. We pass this benefit on to our customers by working closely with them to find exciting solutions
RipCap art beer wide mouth ring pull closure
he roots of Finnish-based Finn-Korkki reach back to 1868, when the founders established a company dedicated to the manufacture of closures for the beverage industry, starting with natural cork stoppers. By the 1930s, the world’s first tear-off closure was produced, using aluminium with a cork inlay, building on the company’s initial specialisation and raw material knowledge. The company continued to progress in terms of innovation and design, bringing closures that were pre-scored with a plastic inlay to the market in the early 1970s. It was also around this time that Finn-Korkki started to manufacture its well-received maxi cap and standard crown caps.
Managing director Rolf Nygård joined the company in 1981 and remembers how the changes around this time have continued to shape the success of Finn-Korkki. “It was the utilisation of aluminium and the new state-of-the-art facilities in the 1980s that launched a new platform, although the cost of aluminium was just as hard to predict then as it is now,” Mr Nygård
RingCrown on aluminium bottles is a fast growing sector
Finn-Korkki factory sign
RingCrown on premium German beer
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for product development and by defining possibilities in the market. Our excellent technical and design teams make it all possible, supported by a strong sales team.”
With its successful history of innovation, as a flexible reliable designer and manufacturer of luxury closures for famous beverage brands, Finn-Korkki has gained a reputation for solving problems. Time and time again the company has been able to develop and produce a particular product when nobody believed it to be possible or competitors in the industry couldn’t see a market. Today, the RingCrown ring pull closure is its best selling product. Finn-Korkki was the first to produce this product, which was originally called the MaxiCrown. These qualities have remained at the top of the ‘must have’ list for product development, with tamper-evident, easy-to-open-without-tools ring pull closures that are the best on the market. Due to these qualities RingCrown is continuously enjoying increases in sales.
With its own prepress and offset printing facilities in-house, it can offer various branding opportunities to enhance the closures. The prepress, while not a lowcost facility, helps Finn-Korkki offer quick lead times, which is an ever-increasing customer request. Working directly with customers around the world and sales via agents in certain parts of Europe, FinnKorkki is committed to reducing lead times for production and transportation wherever possible. For example, some agents hold stock so adding value by enabling a quicker delivery. Finn-Korkki’s sales and marketing capabilities have helped the company extend its excellent reputation outside of Europe in recent years, with multinational clients often getting in contact directly after seeing its LuxTop or RingCrown closures on drinks such as premium beers and vodka.
Systems for the future
The company’s key markets are in Europe, especially the premium beer breweries in Germany. Finn-Korkki’s customers stretch from South America to Australia across all beverage sectors. Dizzy is representative of the fast growing functional drink sector that uses aluminium bottles with easy open RingCrown closures. As the only specialist beverage closure manufacturer that has all the available recognised quality assurance marks, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and ISO22000 (HACCP), Mr Nygård is under-
Finn-Korkki doesn’t just offer closures they have from the start manufactured ring pull cap equipment. This equipment will modify a crown capper to use both crown caps and ring pull caps. With this equipment installed in less than an hour a crown capper can be using RingCrown caps. The ability to source ring pull caps, machinery and service from one supply is a great benefit.
RingCrown production line
Rolf Nygård crown cap production
LuxTop used on the award winning VEEN water bottle
RipCap for ease pour wine carafes
standably proud of the impressive food safety management systems it has in place. Finn-Korkki has a whole host of ideas for the future – from products to production techniques – that will help the company stay at the top of its game. Its ability to innovate, design and manufacture is supported by its ability to produce all the necessary ring pull sealing
equipment, including the required machines themselves, making Finn-Korkki a true onestop shop supplier for beverage closures. Mr Nygård concluded, “We’re working on new technologies and new materials to be able to offer a range of ring pull cap solutions. There’s room for different ring pulls on the market and I we’re at the forefront of innovation.”
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A LIGHTER APPROACH
Ecolean has gone beyond the popular adjective of ‘innovative’ straight to ‘pioneering’ in its 13 years in the liquid food packaging industry. With these labels now joined by ‘award-winning’, it is clear that Ecolean and its fresh approach to lightweight, convenient food packaging is shaping the future. Emma-Jane Batey reports.
he easy to navigate, clear communication on the Ecolean website is the perfect visual representation of its fresh thinking. The site illustrates how the dynamic company culture and focus on ‘ecological thinking and environmental concern that runs like a green thread through everything Ecolean sets out to accomplish’ has resulted in a truly pioneering, future-proof approach to liquid food packaging.
Responsible product, responsible growth
Swedish-based lightweight packaging manufacturer Ecolean AB has grown carefully but rapidly since it launched in 1996, initially offering a range of part plastic, part calcium carbonate barrier products. By 2000, the company had its first automated filling machine and, through a process of listening to its customers and acting on emerging trends at the very earliest
stages, began to focus on liquid food packaging in 2001. By 2002, Ecolean had established its first production site outside of Sweden in China in order to deliver packaging solutions to the Asia Pacific region, which continues to be an important territory for its products. Ecolean now has commercial activities in 30 countries worldwide, with core markets across Europe, China and Russia, where the company has invested particularly heavily in state-of-the-art equipment and filling machines. Ecolean packaging is a common sight in the majority of supermarkets in the Baltic region, where the company enjoys a large market share. Customers in western Europe are currently most focused on the ecological aspect of their liquid food products, where presenting wine, milk, juice or liquid margarine in Ecolean packaging sends a positive message.
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The decision to focus on liquid food packaging led to the pivotal development of Ecolean’s first air-filled package – a convenient handle/pouring mechanism that paved the way for its revolutionary, award-winning aseptic packaging solution, launched in February 2009. Product director Paul Mellbin explained that the product progression came from the realisation of greatest market potential. “We initially offered various wrappings for spreads, but our product development and marketing teams saw the potential in using the chalk element to increase stiffness for stand-up food packaging. Our sales force worked hard to convince our customers to try something completely different, but their excellent initial reviews helped us to build our reputation.”
Ecolean packaging is easy to use, ecologically sustainable and substantially cheaper – what’s not to like?
The stand-up liquid food packaging offered by Ecolean is not just an alternative, it’s added something totally new to the market with its leanbase, light weight and low environmental impact. Weighing in at only 14 grams, it’s easy to open, easy to pour and easy to empty, meaning no wastage. Marketing manager Louise Hobroh continued, “It’s a fabulous product, available in a range of sizes, all with extensive promotional opportunities, It lies completely flat when empty – it’s as thin as an envelope, which means it’s really impressive in waste handling situations, and can easily be completely emptied of product, eradicating the issue of the energy and gas of wasted products in other liquid food containers.” The award-winning aseptic packaging brings another dimension to the Ecolean liquid food portfolio by adding one more feature to the already-innovative offer. The key advantage to the aseptic range, in
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addition to being sustainably produced and light weight, is that, as a non-chemical alternative it is perfectly suited to chilled and ambient liquid foods. “We already have two aseptic machines in production with plans for more, especially for the UHT milk market,” Mr Mellbin told Packaging Europe. “It’s such an easy-to-use product as it arrives in ready-to-fill flat pouches that are easy to fill on site by cutting a small hole and then sealing. It’s perfect, not least for small dairies and beverage producers, because it takes very little staff training to maximise its potential.”
Adding more value
As more and more liquid food producers are moving into the high added value sector of chilled products, a reliable, flexible and ecologically responsible packaging solution is very appealing. The aseptic Ecolean product was recently honoured with the 21st DuPont Award for Packaging Innovation, a highly coveted award that has helped thrust the product onto a global stage. Ms Hobroh told us, “It’s a great acknowledgment and it shows that our light weight packaging concept is in line with the global changes in future packaging requirements. Many new customers have contacted us following the announcement as it highlights how effective and flexible Ecolean products are for a wide range of liquid food applications, both in the chilled and ambient sector.” Ecolean also achieved valuable exposure at the Cologne Anuga FoodTec exhibition this year, gaining its largest ever order of 15 production lines in one go, largely thanks to having two machines operating at the fair, directly communicating the ‘light weight and convenient’ advantages of its products. With 2009 bringing double-digit growth, the future of Ecolean is looking bright. The global economic slowdown has not dented its success; indeed some market share has been gained over the past year. The next 12 months will see an increase in its technological capabilities, with a further 20 aseptic machines planned to solidify its foothold in the ‘alternative to ambient packaging’ sector. “It makes perfect sense,” Mr Mellbin concluded. “Ecolean packaging is easy to use, ecologically sustainable and substantially cheaper – what’s not to like?” I
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PUTTING THE ZING INTO PACKAGING
Indian multinational packaging giant Uflex Limited lives up to its mission to ‘put the zing into packaging’ thanks to its continual product innovation. With a blue-chip client list and strong ecological principles, Uflex Limited, formerly Flex Industries, is expecting to break the US $1 billion mark over the next twelve months. Emma-Jane Batey reports.
flex Limited was created in 2007 following a strategic business merger of the packaging-related divisions of the highly successful Flex Group, including the internationally recognised Flex Industries, which counts packaging as its core activity. Established in 1983, Flex Industries rose to become the largest flexible packaging company in India, with an annual group turnover of over $750 million.
President and CEO of Packaging for Uflex Mr Amit Ray gave Packaging Europe an insight into how the company has achieved its position as a leading company in the Asia Pacific region. “Our flexible packaging company grew through backward and forward integration, manufacturing a vast range of products and sophisticated machinery, with packaging for the global market at the heart of our development.
Uflex is a Divisionalized Company with each Division operating as an independent entity under the Group umbrella. These divisions are :Films (Polyester, OPP, CPP, barrier metallized films), Chemicals (Pet chips, inks, adhesives & coatings), Cylinder (rotogravure cylinders and flexo plate making), Holography and Packaging. Each Division supplies internally as well as the Indian and Global markets. They are individually
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responsible for their own P&L, investments and growth. Supporting the activities of Packaging Division is the Engineering Division manufacturing Converting and Packaging equipments. The diversity of our operations ensure that we are an innovative, reliable, one stop shop for our customers of flexible packaging materials. We believe that we are not only a material supplier, but are in business to provide packaging solutions and bring value to our customers. Indeed, the Uflex client list reads like a rollcall of the world’s most recognisable names, including Nestlé, P&G, Pepsico, Cadbury, Saralee, Conagra, Scotts, Haribo, Orkla. Mr Ray continued, “Our large global client list reflects the excellence that we guarantee for all our products. We’re known as an innovative, advanced company and, while we are rarely the cheapest, we always offer the best value for money as we have the latest generation of equipment and an impressive calibre of people in every department.”
People make the difference
Uflex employs over 4000 highly skilled people and holds the ISO 9001 certification for quality management alongside 14001, 22000 and HACCP, BRC accreditions. Ranked first as per total income in the Packaging and Allied Activities Sector in Dun & Bradstreet’s India’s Top 500 Companies for the year 2007-08. Uflex is committed to utilising the potential of the 25 per cent growth rate in the Indian packaging industry, having worked to build a strong domestic market initially to support its global ambitions. These ambitions have been realised, with $200 million from global export sales in 2008 to over 109 countries. Mr Ray told Packaging Europe, “Our principal focus is on the Americas and Europe, but we have a considerable global outreach. Our wide range of flexible packaging, with a high level of customisation, means that we have built strong relations with our clients across industry sectors. Our Global customers
are serviced locally, through a network of offices and warehouses in New Jersey, Burwick (Pennsylvania), Chicago, Cincinnati, St.Louis (Missouri), Los Angeles, Houston, London, Amsterdam and Hamburg. This is to give our customers in North America and Europe the same local buying and service experience which they are used to”. Uflex is active in food, FMCG, retail and healthcare industries, with around 60 per cent of its sales coming from food contact applications. This brings with it a high level of responsibility for the protection, safety and hygiene of the product to be contained within its flexible packaging solutions, with Mr Ray explaining that the company is regularly and vigorously audited by its blue-chip clients. Another factor in its long-term client relationships is the Uflex commitment to ecological improvement across the company. Mr Ray pointed out, “We are aware of our responsibility to be the best that we can be in terms of
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“Our large global client list reflects the excellence that we guarantee for all our products. We’re known as an innovative, advanced company and, while we are rarely the cheapest, we always offer the best value for money as we have the latest generation of equipment and an impressive calibre of people in every department”
low CO2 emissions and effective waste and raw material management. Our annual average CO2 emission is reducing year on year, down from 2.92 grams per tonne in 2007 to 2.16 in 2009. We are working towards reducing this further, with the aim to reach only 2.05 grams per tonne in 2010, which we will achieve by using natural gas for heating and a heat recovery incinerator.” lubrication uniquely means there is no odour. The state of the art technological capabilities at Uflex allows the company to stay at the very forefront of flexible packaging innovation and, as the company moves into flexo solutions, with E beam coating, due to start of commercial production in October 2009, will continue to support its forward-thinking ambitions. Mr Ray continued, “We will have top of the range poly film technology, including a flexo printing press providing 500 m per minute printing. This will complement our hot-foil embossing facility, the holographic machines and our e-beam coated flexo films.” With four main plants offering its total packaging solutions, a progressive company culture and a global focus on innovation, it makes perfect sense that Uflex’s strapline says the company ‘puts the zing into packaging’. “We’re different, special and highly ambitious,” Mr Ray told Packaging Europe. “It’s our daily duty to put the zing into packaging – it describes us, our business and our products perfectly!” As Uflex looks forward to another successful year, the group is poised to cross the $1 billion mark over the next twelve months. As a global flexible packaging company, Uflex benchmarks itself against the very strongest multinational players, ensuring it maintains its market and territorial growth alongside its I market-leading reputation.
The Uflex product range illustrates just how forward-thinking the company is, with its various breakthrough products and developments. Uflex provides printed and laminated packaging materials in roll and pouch form. Recent innovation has been the introduction of unique 3 dimensional and 4 dimensional pouches, as a complete system including PFS machines. Another product launch saw a novel pet food packaging solution, with Uflex installing water jet lubricated looms to weave a polypropylene fabric. The use of water jet
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Hydro, as a major supplier of aluminium packaging material to the food and beverage industries, is leading the way in the drive for maximum recycling of packaging materials.
all know that we need packaging, but we need to live up to the challenge that we must use it sensibly. The consumer should be aware of the purpose of packaging and use it as efficiently as possible and only as much as necessary to save our resources.” These are the words with which Dr. Lutz Loeffler, the Product Manager for lacquered products, and Mr Hans-Jürgen Schmidt, the Head of Product Ecology at Hydro’s Rolled Products Business Area, summarise their company’s position. Aluminium has been used for industrial purposes for only approximately 100 years. Although it is the most abundant metallic element in the Earth’s crust, it is rare in its free form and the extraction of the prime material is costly. In the past it was even considered a precious metal, and Napoleon III is reputed to have given a banquet where the most honoured guests were given aluminium utensils, while the other guests had to make do with gold.
Today, of course, aluminium has lost this exclusive value - we all drink out of aluminium beer or beverage cans and then throw them away or preferably recycle them. Mr Loeffler says: “The primary production of aluminium requires a lot of energy but this disadvantage is outweighed by its ease of recycling. In fact, the recycling cycle of a beverage can made of aluminium can be as short as only six weeks. “After the used can is discarded and separated out of the waste stream, the lacquer is removed and the material can be remelted and reused for the same high quality product, i.e. for drinking cans. Six weeks later that can might be full again and on the shelf in the shop. There is no downcycling or down-grading. Only 5 per cent of the energy used for the primary production of aluminium is required to remelt recycled aluminium.” According to the Federal Environment Ministry in Germany the recycling rate of aluminium packaging in general is 76 per cent while 90 per cent of drinking cans are recycled. The figures of all of Europe are a little
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“There is a lot more energy in the products we use and eat than in their packaging. This means, if we leave something in the fridge to rot we waste more energy than when we package it well, and then recycle the packaging.”
lower with 62 per cent for drinking cans being recycled, according to the European Aluminium Association. Mr Schmidt added: “The aluminium can is the most recycled form of beverage packaging. Furthermore approx. 75 per cent of all aluminium ever produced is still in the material loop.” In line with the European Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste, Hydro Aluminium is actively involved in awareness programmes to increase the understanding of the importance of recycling. It collaborates with more than 20 national aluminium recycling organisations to educate the end consumer to recycle their used packaging and in this way to contribute to its environmental sustainability. “We know that packaging and recycling depend on three things: the consumer, production and legislation. Therefore, the better the end user is informed the more he will recycle” Mr Loeffler explained, and his colleague, Mr Schmidt added: “There is a lot more energy in the
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products we use and eat than in their packaging. This means, if we leave something in the fridge to rot we waste more energy than when we package it well, and then recycle the packaging.”
Into the future
Today Hydro Aluminium solely focuses on the production of aluminium and aluminium products. It is present in 40 countries and has 23,000 employees and a turnover of €12 billion annually. The head office of the group, Norsk Hydro ASA, is located at Oslo in Norway. In Germany Hydro is based in Grevenbroich, “the national energy capital of Germany”, as Mr Loeffler put it. The Rolled Products Business Area has two production plants in Norway, one in Spain, one in Italy, two in Germany and one in Malaysia. Worldwide it is the third largest manufacturer for rolled aluminium and the third largest manufacturer for extruded aluminium in Europe. It is mainly based in Europe and oriented to the European market. After World War II aluminium mills in Germany were nationalised as aluminium was considered a strategic material. They were gradually privatised and the last one was VAW in 1987, which held a considerable market share in the packaging industry. In 2001 Norsk Hydro acquired VAW and with this entered the sector of the packaging industry. Today Hydro considers the packaging industry a growth market offering a wide range of semi-finished products. These include barrier foil in liquid packaging, yoghurt pot lids, food tins, pouches, container foils, tagger foil, drinking can lids and closures, foils for tablet packaging and cold form blister for the pharmaceutical industry, as well as aerosol caps for pressure valves on spray containers. Mr Loeffler says: “There is a lot of aluminium on the shelves of the supermarket. And aluminium is a valuable resource in packaging because it has unique I characteristics to keep products fresh.”
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focuses its activity on the development of its products and the corresponding software, as well as the final assembly of the machine. The manufacture of the individual machine components is outsourced but the assembly takes place at the head quarters in Austria. SML capitalises on its expertise in machine design and construction as well as its experience of the products manufactured with its machines. Its service comprises the development and building of the equipment, the installation as well as training, optimisation and maintenance. Its latest product is a custom-made extrusion coating and laminating line for a European customer in the mainstream segment of the market, who decided to replace two of his 20-year-old lines by one new line. This economic and hi-tech line is flexible with both web width and product type and can be operated with a minimum of manpower. Various products such as cardboard, paper, fabric, non-woven, film and aluminium foil down to 6,35µm can be run on the line and can either be coated with a single layer or be laminated together. The unwinders are shaftless design and adjustable from 750 to 1600mm roll width. They can handle roll diameters of up to 1500mm with different sizes and materials of cores. Owing to a new and unique splicing system, bidirectional unwinding and change-overs can be done at full production speed. In combination with tension controlled pulling station, the web tension can be adjusted from ‘extremely sensitive’ to ‘high’, so that various substrates can be processed.
- mbH is a worldwide leader in the manufacture of high-performance extrusion equipment and extrusion lines tailored to customers’ requirements. In recent years SML has focused on the development of co-extrusion lines for film, sheet and laminates as well as on extrusion spinning lines for multifilaments.
At present, a maximum extrusion capacity of 850kg/hour is installed by a 120mm extruder, but expansion with an additional 75mm coextruder is already foreseen. Its maximum output will be 275kg/hour. Furthermore, the line is very flexible allowing short change-over times so that small lots can be produced in rapid succession without much downtime.
The origin of the company goes back to the 1970s, originally manufacturing machines for the extrusion of polypropylene tapes for woven bags. In the 1990s it turned more into flexible packaging including packaging of food, technical and optical films and the coating and laminating of different substrates. SML has grown continuously and currently employs 190 staff. Turnover is around €62 million per year. The head office is in Lenzing, Austria, where manufacturing takes place, and representative offices are operated in Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Moscow. In addition more than 60 independent sales agencies guarantee customer proximity and support SML’s sales and service activities worldwide. SML develops equipment for the packaging industry, including the primary packaging of food items, packaging for transportation purpose and for medical packaging. The extrusion coating and laminating is a very diversified product segment for which SML is aiming to build flexible but I reliable lines that are energy efficient and produce less waste.
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KANTEMIR LOOKS TO INVESTMENT TO DRIVE PRODUCTIVITY
After a period of sustained levels of production, French mould-base specialist Kantemir is optimistic that despite the current global economic crisis, its higher quality and higher value products will enable it to ride out the storm.
ean-Pierre Kantemir set up his company in 1972 in Lyon, and began specialising in the manufacture of mould bases four years later. “As an entrepreneur, I detected an opportunity in the market- I had the idea – which the mould makers themselves hadn’t considered – of separating the production of the cavities from that of the mould bases. I wasn’t experienced in that area, but I wanted to mark out my own business as different from others.” In 1988 the company relocated to Brittany. “Brittany was beginning to grow in the plastics industry, and so I developed clients in the region and decided to relocate closer to them.” After the move, the company began to expand its
reach beyond its established client base, and by 1988 was covering the whole of France. In the mid-1990s it began to look into export possibilities and took on extra staff to focus on the export business. Now, 80 per cent of its business is in exports, with a focus on the most important markets in the sector - Germany, Austria and Switzerland – and also (particularly in the medical sector) the UK. Expansion has always been central to the company’s strategy, and in 1999 it extended its production site doubling its size to meet growing demand, to cover an area of 1400 square metres of factory and 1000 square metres of office space. Kantemir specialises in the production of precision custom mould bases, including,
according to the requirements of its clients, the supply and assembly of standard elements. The company also makes precision mechanical pieces and engineered items for the aerospace sector in France, and while acknowledging current difficulties in the aerospace industry, is keen to penetrate this sector. The CEO insists that precision custom mould bases will remain the core business, however. Working mainly in the medical and food packaging sectors, Kantemir supplies its products to mould manufacturers in the plastics chain, and also to businesses that make and sell their own products. Its clients are the major mould companies in Europe, specialised in the areas of medtech, packaging, and high-
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“For us this means that we have to make every effort to increase our competitiveness with the aim of reversing this tendency. Our aim is to try to find customers for high-precision equipment to fight low-cost markets.”
rate multi-cavity moulds. The company also operates various partnerships with suppliers of speciality steel and mould production steel.
Serving the food packaging industry
The food packaging sector accounts for some 40 per cent of the company’s business and while some work is done in the medical sector (producing boxes for pharmaceutical products, for instance) most is in food packaging. The company produces mould bases for the production of food trays for ice creams, butter etc, and bottle tops. “We have a very high standard of products in this area, in which there are very few players in the world market.“ Most of this business is concentrated in France,
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with smaller levels of activity in Germany and Switzerland. The company faces competition from the major mould manufacturers in Europe, but, says Kantemir, his company’s strength lies in its independence, and its responsiveness. “We are solely focused on our core activity” he explains, “while for many of our competitors, it is only a part of their activity. “Also key to the company’s success, he says, is the fact that, over the years, it has acquired a very refined knowledge of the European mould market. “We have developed an effective, reliable and renowned partnership with our clients, and we are able to provide a personalised service for them – including strict confidentiality. It’s a part of our business that is much appreciated by our clients. Our clients appreciate the immediacy of our response; our proximity; and the language abilities of our stafff also help in the relationship with the client, reducing any barriers. At the same time, we are working to ensure our continued success with important investments, which allow us to respond to new demands in terms of size and precision.” Like other companies, Kantemir has felt the effects of the economic crisis. “Projects exist –
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“We have developed an effective, reliable and renowned partnership with our clients, and we are able to provide a personalised service for them – including strict confidentiality..”
our clients tell us so – but financing and consumer demand aren’t up to the necessary level. “ At the same time, Jean-Pierre Kantemir notes that globalisation and the movement of activity into low-cost countries will have a negative effect on specialisation and technical expertise in his area of work. “For us this means that we have to make every effort to increase our competitiveness with the aim of reversing this tendency. Our aim is to try to find customers for high-precision equipment to fight low-cost markets.”
Opportunities certainly exist for the company. In the packaging sector, for instance, Kantemir recognises that there is a need for innovation, particularly given the need for the sector to be increasingly environmentally-friendly – to achieve improvements in thickness, lightness and so on. “This is an opportunity for a company like ours to offer the highest precision to our clients in this area - we can meet all their needs – The mould is like the chassis of a carit ensures the quality of the finished product. “
Kantemir is optimistic going forward. “We foresee being able to maintain our current level of activity. And we’re continuing to invest - in the medium term we are planning investments in industrial informatics, manufacturing applications, 5 axis machining centres and jig grinding, and we plan to put particular effort into researching increases in productivity through the automisation of our production processes. We want to remain optimistic particularly regarding investments, because that is the guarI antee of our productivity.”
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Druk-Pak SA, headquartered in Aleksandrów Kujawski, Poland, is a company with over 35 years of experience in the manufacture of packaging for the pharmaceutical industry. The company boasts an excellent reputation as a business partner guaranteeing the highest quality. Piotr Sadowski reports.
ince the beginning of the 21st century the needs of Druk-Pak’s business partners have been constantly evolving, yet the company was sometimes unable to keep up with the changes and new demands. In effect, it was continuously losing the market. A breakthrough occurred in 2006 after a controlling stake in Druk-Pak was acquired by the Penton Group, a private equity fund that focuses on SMEs which operate in attractive industrial sectors, have clear advantages, but often require restructuring and rebuilding. A year after the takeover Druk-Pak established a development strategy with precisely defined aims and scope of activities for implementation. Investment processes were significantly increased: old machinery was replaced with new equipment and the machine park fitted with additional, modern production lines. In terms of strategic activities the company introduced a comprehensive sales policy and focused specifically on the highest levels of customer service. At the same time the enterprise
underwent intense restructuring and began implementing a complex IT system with ERP, MRP and CRM modules as its leading components. “In terms of organisational management we have followed proven solutions from the West and the Far East – the Kaizen philosophy, quality systems based on 5S, as well as tools specific to Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma management methodologies,” explains Paweł Kalbarczyk, the company’s president. “Nowadays these activities are systematically continued alongside the enterprise’s operations. In addition to investments in new machinery we are also carrying out a continuous process of employee training, as we believe it to be crucial to achieving the ultimate success.” It is also worth pointing out that the successful activities carried out in Druk-Pak have encouraged private equity funds from the Penton Group to look with interest at other enterprises and consider further acquisitions, both in the printing, as well as packaging, industries.
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In 2008 Druk-Pak achieved sales of nearly PLN 50 million and manufactured almost 500 million cartons and 120 million leaflets, giving the company just over 20 per cent share in the Polish market. EBITDA for 2008 reached PLN 8.5 million and during the year the enterprise completed over 10,000 orders for 2500 product indexes, of which more than a third were brand new projects. The company’s client portfolio includes over 90 different customers, with nearly 90 per cent of all sales being made in the pharmaceutical sector. The share of exports in the company’s sales has been systematically growing over the last three years, in 2006 constituting less than 3 per cent, at the end of 2008 nearly 10 per cent and currently, after the first half of 2009, amounting to 20 per cent. Druk-Pak sells its packaging to global pharmaceutical corporations which have their manufacturing plants in Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Austria. However, such packaging is destined for the local markets of different countries worldwide.
nies that have implemented and confirmed the functioning of the standards through independent audit units. We have implemented the ISO 15378 norm as an answer to direct requirements posed by two international pharmaceutical corporations with which we have cooperated for a number of years and which, at some point, decided that the implementation of this norm by Druk-Pak was an absolute condition for further cooperation in the future.”
Market environment in Europe
The company’s president points out that, until recently, there was a lot to be learned from other competitors in Europe. “During the last few years we have been looking very closely at our rivals and have been aiming to implement the best models in our enterprise,” says Mr Kalbarczyk. “This was linked to the implementation of general, tested management systems and specialist solutions specific to the packaging industry. Today we can feel the first effects, particularly when we were able to win large bids and auctions in global pharmaceutical corporations. We made a big leap in specialisation and the results are clear.” On the other hand, western Europe’s market of packaging for the pharmaceutical sector has so far been highly organised, with a number of major players. Druk-Pak hopes that the changes taking place in the printing industry in central and eastern Europe have already reduced the gap to western Europe and will create changes in the European competitive structures. “Packaging enterprises from western Europe are still much stronger financially than us, although in many cases they have been hit hard by the effects of the crisis,” adds Mr Kalbarczyk. “I am also convinced that they have a technological advantage over us. Luckily, for the pharmaceutical industry this is not such an important direction of development as in the case of sectors that use premium-type packaging extensively. Innovation in the pharmaceutical industry focuses on the most effective capability to safeguard products from forgery. It is widely known that each year the industry loses billions of dollars as a result of fake medicines.”
Meeting every need
When the product offer is prepared by the company, Druk-Pak considers all factors crucial to the final user. For clients in the pharmaceutical industry, the most important aspects include the manufacturing conditions, clarity and completeness of procedures, transparency of processes and their full identifiability, as well as precise identification of products, together with the highest quality. Equally significant are the company’s competences in the context of safeguarding packaging from forgery, best possible quality control and the ability to ensure that manufactured products exactly match the specimen. The company attaches great importance to complete customer service in areas such as construction, technology, graphic design and aesthetics of packaging, leaflets and labels. Sometimes Druk-Pak also helps its customers to install and set up their product packaging machinery. “All of the above factors mean that our offer is fully satisfactory and adequate to the needs of final customers,” says Mr Kalbarczyk. “In terms of ensuring GMP standards, in Europe there are only a handful of compa-
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Quality above everything
The main aim of the company’s quality management policy is to satisfy customers’ expectations in relation to designing and manufacturing cardboard packaging, information leaflets and labels, while upholding safe, hygienic and eco-friendly production conditions. In terms of securing the packaging, Druk-Pak operates rigorous principles and procedures which relate to full identification and identifiability of products, as well as carrying out processes in accordance with the norms dictated by ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 15378:2006. In January 2009 Druk-Pak confirmed – through an audit by the independent certification unit DQS – the functioning of its quality management systems according to ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 15378:2006 norms. The company’s activities and their effectiveness were recognised by the market in 2008 when the enterprise was awarded the Polish ‘Business Gazelle 2008’ title. “We were also honoured to receive the ‘EU Standard 2009’ emblem, which is given to companies that implement and maintain the highest standards of quality in all areas of its activities,” says Mr Kalbarczyk. “I must stress that, although the received recognitions are of course an award for our efforts, they have never been the ultimate aim as such; they were achieved as an additional extra. I would also like to mention that we have set ourselves an important goal to be achieved by the end of 2009: we want to meet all environmental manufacturing criteria and I am certain that we will be able to confirm this when we are awarded the ISO 14000 norm.” I
Druk-Pak maintains excellent relationships with its trading partners, both suppliers, as well as purchasers of its products. The key factor is trustworthiness which the company has worked on over years of operations: Druk-Pak has always been a reliable payer to its suppliers, while always delivering agreed projects and orders for customers. On many occasions – not only during implementation, but also in design stages – the company has aspired to support its partners in all technical and technological aspects relating to implementation and manufacturing. As a prime example, one should recall the company’s active learning about and solving the problem of pressing Braille writing on packaging two years before specific rules came into force. Druk-Pak solved this particular challenge and was delivering lectures on the case during specialist workshops well before appropriate legislation began operating.
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MAKING IT BETTER
Lek S.A. is the market leading manufacturer of generic medicines in Poland. With a strong brand identity and commitment to maintaining the highest standards of drug production, there is a healthy future ahead. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to Lek S.A. president Christian Matschke.
he Lek brand has been present in Poland for many years, providing pharmaceutical rehabilitation products and generic drugs to the Polish market. It is now a part of the Sandoz Group, Lek was bought by Sandoz in 2003 alongside a well-regarded Swiss drug manufacturer. The synergy of these two operations brought together substantial marketing, manufacturing facilities and distribution channels, resulting in a formidable market presence. President of Lek S.A. Christian Matschke told Packaging Europe, “I particularly represent the technical operations and distribution segments of the business, although it is important that we all understand the company as a whole in order to play our part in it. There are very few companies that are able to do what we do because success in the generic pharmaceutical industry requires a great deal of investment, so it is imperative that we make the most of our market leading position.”
A strong reputation
Lek S.A. has a strong reputation across Poland and its quality generic drugs are widely considered to be the market leaders in terms of quality, reliability and price. The word Lek actually means ‘drug’ in both Polish and Slovenian, so the brand itself illustrates the straight forward, clear nature of its products, which include packets of tablets, capsules and granulated products for pain relief and medical issues.
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The company has invested heavily in its Polish manufacturing facilities in order to guarantee the most progressive products. Being located in Poland brings a great many practical advantages as well as enabling the company to build on its positive reputation. Mr Matschke said, “We have invested in the operational business and distribution network and we have a considerable production cost benefit as a result of maintaining our key facilities in Poland, compared to other European countries, which we can pass onto our customers.”
A background in Polish pharmaceuticals
Until relatively recently there were around 17 state owned pharmaceutical production companies in Poland and they were the major suppliers of medical drugs to the former communist countries. Now, all of these operations have been privatised and while neither Lek nor Sandoz bought one, the companies have been able to benefit from the high levels of expertise and skilled workers available locally. Lek S.A develops, manufactures and distributes generic drugs and pharmaceutical rehabilitation prod-
ucts. Mr Matschke explained, “Generic drug products offer great value for money while still retaining the medical performance of branded drugs. Lek S.A is a totally reliable company in terms of health, safety and environmental rules because we value the trust our customers place in us and our products. Our product standards exceed Polish regulations and are very high in relation to the whole pharmaceutical industry.” The company has developed a manufacturing strategy that provides the best quality/cost ratios; sourcing packaging materials and skilled workers locally while purchasing raw materials from Asia where strict pharmaceutical rules and regulations ensure the products adhere to international standards but are still considerably cheaper.
Focus on health and safety
The health and safety and sustainability of Lek S.A products is clearly at the very heart of its continued success, with the brand committed to surpassing the very strictest regulations for all elements of its produc-
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tion and distribution chain. This long-held belief is at the core of the company culture, which promotes ‘mutual respect, innovation and simplicity’ as core values. Mr Matschke told us, “We also have high corporate values that are carefully balanced with our principles. We aim to be ‘first and simple’ with our products – we don’t try to be unnecessarily complicated but we do want to offer effective products.” Lek S.A has a 350-strong workforce that is not only committed to quality generic drug production but also to the wellbeing of the local region. The company is supportive in the area of social activities and, in particular, supports a local school for disabled children. Lek S.A provides for the school financially and shares partnership days each year, where employees and students spend time together. The partnership days have proven to be a great success for all concerned, with employees building personal relationships with students and great feedback from the school.
A healthy future
The future for Lek S.A will see continuous development in all operational areas of the business, from production, distribution and social aspects. The marketing department is planning to extend the company’s market position even further by growing the product awareness and the manufacturing department is keen to make the most of its capabilities. Mr Matschke concluded, “We are developing and producing cost competitive, high quality generics to great commercial success. We have some idle capacity to fill at our state-of-the-art facilities and we are keen to find contract manufacturing opportunities that will enable I this to be utilised by future partners of Lek S.A.”
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Hungarian packaging specialist Mikropakk has no time to think about the recession. The family-owned business is busy with launching its second factory and is already planning its expansion to new market segments. Endre Szvetnik reports.
udapest-based MIKROPAKK manufactures market standard & tailor made plastic closures for the pharmaceutical, food and cosmetics industry. It also offers products for the building and household sector. Another product range is precision technical parts made from engineering materials such as ABS, PC, PPS, POM, PBT, PEI for electronic, chemical and construction firms. And Mikropakk is trying to lure Western partners looking for competitive prices by offering contract manufacturing in Hungary. Mikropakk’s main partners are the large pharmaceuticals based in Hungary, for example Béres, EGIS,TEVA and Gedeon Richter. Other customers include UNIVER, Nestlé, Unilever, Tubapack Srl and Consorzio Casalasca del Pomodoro in the food industry, and Henkel in the cosmetics and household industries.
Starting from scratch
The company was founded in 1991 by Gábor Fazekas Sr, the present managing director’s father. Mikropakk started its existence as a microfirm with only three employees. Trained as a tool designing engineer, Mr Fazekas quickly understood there was a demand for quality packaging materials at the time in Hungary. Mikropakk’s first activity was to manufacture high-quality moulds for moulding machines. The first products were made for the Hungarian pharmaceutical industry. Before, these had to be imported from the West, increasing costs, says Gábor Fazekas Jr, the founder’s son. Then Mikropakk started using moulding technology itself, manufacturing its own plastic products and turning into a medium-sized enterprise. In 1997 Mikropakk moved into its 1800m2 production base to an industrial area of Budapest. Mr Fazekas Sr’s sudden death did not slow down the company’s growth. With his son at the helm, the firm opened a new factory and office in 2005. Currently, Mikropakk uses 42 automated moulding machines employing an integrated supply system with a high pressured, filtered air system. An
Mikropakk’s long-time goal is to keep its present customers and gain new clients. This could be achieved by building partnerships within the automotive industry and by building the clean environments required for production in the pharmaceutical industry.
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Returning nearly all profit into production enables the company to employ cuttingedge injection moulding technology with a high level of automation and an integrated material supply system
integrated management system carries out the company’s production, storage, logistical and financial processes. Mikropakk is still family-owned today and employs a total of 120 people. Its annual turnover is constantly increasing, with an income of HUF 3 billion in 2008.
’Full cycle’ and flexibility
Now, despite the downturn hitting Hungary particularly hard, the company is planning to open a second manufacturing base in Salgótarján, northern Hungary, most probably at the beginning of 2010. This cutting-edge factory was such a large-scale investment that Micropakk decided to apply for EU funds, which it won. During the recession few companies risk capital investment, but Mikropakk is looking into the future and is confident it can turn the current adverse circumstances to its advantage. What sets the company apart from its competition, according to Mr Fazekas, is that product research, development, design and manufacture of machinery and production all take place under the same roof. This ’full cycle’ approach makes it possible to safely organise highvolume mass production in the plant from the inception of the original idea to setting up the moulding process. Mikropakk prides itself on R&D and its latest project, involving the packaging of PUR-foam used for insulation in many homes, is a good example of this. 2 component PUR-cans cannot be stored for a long time because the valves easily jam and sealing problems between the supposedly separated components frequently occur, significantly shortening the average shelf life of the product. Mikropakk has developed its MIKA product range to avoid this problem, using a sophisticated valve and an innovative 2K solution.
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Rubber sealings were replaced with special elastomer and the internal construction completely redesigned, eliminating both the jamming of the valve and the premature blending of components. To carry out the complex two-year project which is nearing its completion in October, the company also successfully applied for EU funds. Six years ago Mikropakk implemented the quality assurance system ISO 9000 and later the environment management system ISO 14001, and is now eyeing the ISO-TS qualification used in the vehicle manufacturing industry. Despite its position in the Hungarian market, Mikropakk sells only half of its products within the country. The remainder is sent to Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Portugal,UK, Romania, and other European destinations.
The Budapest headquarters demonstrate an innovative exterior siding structure, parts of which are mass-produced and exported by the company
The company is now very much focused on the successful launch of its new factory. For this, it needs to set up an appropriate structure and provide targeted training for its personnel. Mikropakk’s long-time goal is to keep its present customers and gain new clients. This could be achieved by building further partnerships within the packaging industry, by building the clean environments required for production in the pharmaceutical industry, and also by moving into the automotive industry. However, it is also important to mention that Mikropakk wants to safeguard and even expand its R&D activities and is planning to provide new services to its existing customers. The goal is to focus even more on I the customer and to increase added value, Mr Fazekas concludes.
Current product range spans from the simplest standard pharma closures to unique tailor-made parts for various sectors such as aerosol industry
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FOR QUALITY MILK
Italian milk producer Granarolo is well known for its attention to packaging. The company has just launched a revolutionary three-layer PET bottle for UHT milk. Massimo Miato interviewed packaging manager Raffaele Bombardieri, to learn more.
eadquartered in Bologna, Granarolo is a very well known Italian producer of milk and milk related products such as fresh cheese and yoghurt. The firm has been operating since the 1950s and currently employs more than 1500 people, distributed over a number of production plants all over the Italian territory. The company is renowned for its attention to the packaging sector and has a programme of continuous investment in research with the sole aim of improving the performances of packaging solutions. Granarolo currently produces about 200 millions of PET clear bottles, 13 millions of monolayer bottles and 14 millions of multilayer bottles per year.
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“Our packaging has always developed together with us, because our bottles and packs have always been immediately recognisable to our people.”
According to Mr Bombardieri, “Our packaging has always developed together with us, because our bottles and packs have always been immediately recognisable to our people. That’s because we have a special section of our R&D department which is exclusively dedicated to packaging research. This is a very important feature for us, not only in terms of creating new solutions, but also when it comes to ensuring the overall quality of our packaging. “Our goal is to put together a number of different needs, such as taking care of the environment, respecting the health of end customers and making promotionally effective packages, and to find the best solutions to all of them simultaneously. Today, packaging is no longer just an accessory of the product, but it’s part of it, which means that having the right competences at each step of the production process of our packaging is an essential feature to us. “And of course, investing in research is probably the most important step in such a process, which is even more important when one thinks that, at least in Italy, few think that packaging is worth such investment. On the contrary, we keep developing new packing solutions, with the sole aim of improving our performance.”
The packaging manager says: “We also invest a lot in the specific competences of our R&D department, and this has proven to be a very wise choice. For example, our newest 3-layer PET bottle for UHT milk has been developed on the basis of specific research into polymers, which have allowed us to create the special materials our new bottle is made of. This means that raw materials have their importance, but only if they can help us improve our packaging.
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“Lately our improvement has become even more important, because the demand of the market is changing fast. For example, today our customers are requesting more and more traditional products, and therefore our packing solutions had to change a lot in order to ensure the perfect maintenance of more traditional products.”
The company has just launched a brand new three-layer PET bottle for UHT milk. This revolutionary bottle is able to protect the milk from light radiation through a highly innovative technology that prevents the milk from degrading. Mr Bombardieri explains: “So far, the standard packaging for UHT milk is HDPE bottles, made of three high density polyethylene layers. However, such technology is pretty expensive and difficult to handle, since coextrusion machines are big, need storage areas for raw materials, and they also need a very specific knowledge to be handled.
“So far, the standard packaging standard for UHT milk is HDPE bottles, made of three high density polyethylene layers. However, such technology is pretty expensive and difficult to handle, since coextrusion machines are big, need storage areas for raw materials, and they also need a very specific knowledge to be handled.”
“We’ve come up with something different with our new PET bottles, since their production process begins with a preform treated with blow moulding operations. The good thing about our new bottles is not only that they improve the packaging performance itself, providing the same protection from light as HDPE bottles while introducing more protection from oxygen, but they also offer easier production, since they can be created with small machines through a simpler process.” The manager continues: “Our new preform is from 2.5 to 5mm thick, but usually from 3.0 to 3.2mm only. It is made out of three layers. The first layer contains titanium dioxide, the second one holds carbon lampblack, and the third one also contains titanium dioxide. Each layer is made out of PET, which is created through a process of co-injection. The bottle has obviously the very same structure of the preform, and the important thing about this structure is that the layer in the middle is made with special dyes that make the bottle refractory to light, therefore protecting the milk or whatever is inside the bottle from the light rays. This is very important in terms of food conservation, also because the inner layer is made with PET that we specifically created and tested for food purposes. “Also, we made some special conservation tests by controlling for a long time the state of the milk we packed in our new bottles. We used both panel tests and chemical analysis, and we’re glad to confirm that our bottles do help the milk to be better conserved when exposed to I both natural and artificial light.”
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HIGH QUALITY AND
tion of one of the most prominent makers of packaging products such as self adhesive materials, flexible films and laminates in Poland. Decorative labels made by Masterpress are easily found on well-known products in the food, dairy, tyre, cosmetic and other industries. The company’s annual turnover is estimated at €15 million for the year 2009. Direct exports make up 10 per cent of the sales and go mainly to the EU markets, as well as to Russia, Ukraine, Moldavia, Algeria, and Iran. Indirect exports, through the networks of international customers, make this share much bigger. The following companies are among the Masterpress’ numerous clients: Bacha, Danone, Nestlé, Colgate-Palmolive, Heinz, Bakoma, Dax Cosmetics, Henkel, Michelin, Bel, Philips Lighting Poland, Reckitt Benckiser , and many others. Maintaining the high quality of its products proves to be the core value at Masterpress. As Mr Gogol stresses, its quality is achieved by highly skilled staff having at their disposal the world’s best available technology and equipment. The fact that the entire production process is concentrated in-house allows Masterpress to maintain the print control on each stage of the manufacturing process. The
Masterpress, from Bialystok in Poland, is a leading producer of labels and flexible packaging. “You can hardly find a household in Europe without a product labelled by Masterpress,” declares Wojciech Gogol, the company’s sales and marketing director.
asterpress is an innovative company specialising in the production of flexible packaging based on the flexographic print technology. The company was founded in 1995 in Olsztyn, a town in northeastern Poland. It still keeps there an offset print house, which specialises in making solid cardboard packaging. In 1998 a new flexographic print house located in Bialystok was opened. The year 2003 saw another pivotal moment in the company’s history. It invested in shrink sleeve label technology. “Masterpress has pioneered the shrink sleeve label technology into the Polish market. Unlike our competitors, from the very beginning we have provided complex service to our clients, starting with technical consulting, through artwork conversion, to the final packaging. Since the beginning of the operation it has been a part of our business philosophy to build the company through innovations. We have closely observed clients’ needs and have matched our development to the market’s trends,” says Mr Gogol.
Thanks to the rational and consistently chosen production strategy combined with its modern equipment, Masterpress has attained the posi-
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company’s quality and the repeatability of its production process is guaranteed by the ISO 9001:2000 certificate awarded in 2001.
Shrink sleeve labels
Masterpress is the first Polish company to have included shrink sleeve label converting capabilities in its offer. “We offer shrink sleeves printed in the UV flexo technology, currently up to 10 colours, made of PVC, PET, OPS and PLA films,” says Mr Gogol. Masterpress makes good use of its Research and Development Department which collaborates closely with technical universities in
some aspects of the production process. The result of this cooperation was the Gold Medal Award at the Taropak Fair in 2006 for the Bakoma Twist yoghurt sleeve. The sleeve awarded for its innovative approach contained a reverse printed unique code - each label had a different numeric code printed on the reverse that served the promotion purposes for the sale-boosting campaign of Bakoma. Another example of innovation and R&D activity was a glow-in-the-dark sleeve idea implemented for Danone’s Danonek drinking yoghurt for children. The sleeve had a riddle referring to animal life and the answer to it was
printed with phosphorescent ink that would glow in the dark. “Children simply loved it, it was my son’s favourite drink of all time” says Mr Gogol. ”Obviously we are perfectly capable of going beyond that: we can also put into use scent inks where any scent is possible at a rub of your finger, UV light visible inks, pearlescent and mirror effect metalized applications, or termochromic inks changing their intensity with the ambient temperature change. All the world has to offer is at our clients’ disposal.” Shrink sleeves, especially full body labels, give access to virtually unlimited marketing possibilities. The entire surface of a container can be
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With flexible dies from Eson CZ, Masterpress achieves consistently high quality. Use Eson dies for perfect results, every time.
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“We offer shrink sleeves printed in the UV flexo technology,
currently up to 10 colours, made of PVC, PET, OPS and PLA films.”
used for a full-size print, providing ample space for multitude of additional information - promotion coupons, advertising for another line of products, or any other promotional information. A shrink sleeve tamper-evident neck band assures that the product packaging has not been opened and tampered with. Without visibly destroying the tamper evident band it is simply not possible to open the container. Shrink sleeve labels are great for creating visually outstanding combo packs. They enable combinations of various shapes and sizes. Conceivable uses include any type of promotional activities such as ‘buy one, get one free,’ multi-pack forming, or giveaway samples of other products. transfer and thermal labels made exclusively on materials provided by the world leader in this field Raflatac; pressure sensitive and self adhesive labels done for all major brands in the country; no-look-labels on clear foil for alcohol and cosmetic industries where rotary screen printing works in line with flexography. “All these colourful labels can become even more decorative when adorned with cold and hot stamping foils of all types, colours, and structures giving a variety of effects catching the consumer’s eye on the shelf” says Mr Gogol while presenting a self-adhesive label with embossed gold hot-stamped application. As an old cliché says “the sky is the limit”; it proves to be quite true at Masterpress. Masterpress is a co-founder of ForumSleeve.pl – A platform for exchange of information from and about the world of shrink sleeve labels and products using this I type of labelling.
Besides the shrink sleeves Masterpress converts other types of labels as well: thermal
DISTRIBUTORS – LITTLE COGS IN THE BIG WHEEL OF GLOBALISATION
Although ESMA stands for ‘Europe’s Sales and Marketing Association’ it is first and foremost a non-profit organisation of Europe’s leading distributors in the consumer goods industry working with food and non-food products.
SMA was founded about 33 years ago by one of the leading British food brokers and has grown ever since. Twelve years ago the number of members had grown so much that the board, which until then had worked on a voluntary basis, decided to introduce a professional full-time CEO. He is responsible for the organisation of events, the compilation and distribution of information and the recruitment and evaluation of new members and other business contacts. For the last 18 months the Austrian Mr Klaus Smuda has held this position and here he explains the purposes and advantages of ESMA.
Originally ESMA served as a platform for European distributors who wanted to meet their European colleagues to exchange ideas and experiences. As the distribution sector was nationally limited, the organisation identified a growth potential for distributors in international contacts within the industry. At first the annual conventions were the principal means to come together and swap information. Today ESMA has 87 distributor members in 29 countries and generates a vast amount of information, which is one of the main purposes of the organisation. It provides this information to its members via its E-watch, a weekly electronic information bulletin, its website, direct enquiries and, of course, the annual convention.
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Another objective of the organisation is the personal contact among all members, and the annual conventions have proven to be the ideal vehicle. They are organised by ESMA’s president, who changes every year and hosts in his home country. This year the members are gathering in Stratford-upon-Avon in the UK, and next year they will unite in Strasbourg in France. Mr Smuda says: “They are the backbone of ESMA. The members get top professional input, can show their activities, can network, discuss markets and how to overcome difficulties, for example this year we will look at how to manage a business in these turbulent financial times. In other years we looked at intercultural communication or legal innovation.” The third main objective of ESMA is to create business opportunities for its members. As members are only admitted after a thorough evaluation of their profile and services, they provide a high quality service. All members are listed on the website, and manufacturers who want to enter the market of one particular country can either approach ESMA or the distributor directly to establish new business relations.
ESMA’s purposes are at the same time also the advantages the distributors can use when they become a member of the organisation. However, apart from the information exchange, the creation of new business opportunities and personal contacts, Mr Smuda stressed that every member can use the ESMA logo, which stands for quality, trustworthiness, experience and expertise. The majority of the members in the distributing industry have traditionally been medium-sized companies that are experts in their home
markets; only recently some have turned into bigger players and already work in several countries. The service users on the other hand tend to be either medium-sized companies that decide to outsource the distribution of their products in none-core markets, i.e. abroad, or they are big groups that outsource the distribution of minor brands or special brands. The same advantages that attract distributors are also of interest to manufacturers. They can obtain information about the industry before they actually decide to outsource the distribution of their goods to an independent company, and also find a suitable and professional partner for the distribution of their goods. 35 manufacturer of branded products have decided so far to join ESMA . When a manufacturer decides to contact ESMA the initial enquiry and the support to make contact with a distributor is free of charge thanks to the fact that ESMA is a non-profit organisation.
Scope of service
A distributor who is a member of ESMA does not restrict the service to the mere distribution, but also acts as a consultant for the importing company. It is an expert in the local market conditions, its language and culture, and can assess the viability of the new product on the market, conduct market research or even create a suitable marketing campaign.
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ESMA | PROFILE
“little cog in the big wheel of globalisation”
Mr Smuda said: “Today many companies believe that it is easy to introduce a product that is established on one market in another market. But the reality is that the European markets are already saturated, and a new product can only succeed when it offers something new to the local consumers. It needs to be considered carefully whether it is worthwhile to spend a lot of time and effort on a product that is already available on the market.” He then continued by saying: “Some of our European markets are big and very varied. Fortunately, food traditions and preferences and tastes vary strongly from region to region. And although this is a challenge for the manufacturers, it is also their opportunity and the opportunity of all distributors.” In order to efficiently cover all of Europe Mr Smuda said that ESMA will need about 130 members. In recent years ESMA has grown into Eastern Europe. It has a good network of members in all countries that can assist newcomers to enter the local markets.
Mr Smuda explained: “They are very active, eager to learn and very professional. “Everybody wants to enter these markets. The access to the markets is very good; everything is state-of-the-art. It is a promising region, however, the relation between cost and revenue must still be optimised, and the effort to introduce a product successfully should not be underestimated.” Economies are becoming more globalised, and ESMA is only a “little cog in the big wheel of globalisation,” said Mr Smuda, “but it contributes efficiently and consistently to the process of globalisation.” I
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A LEADING BRAND
Terichem a.s., a limited liability company, is a considerable player in the European market in the production of BOPP films and the sole producer of this product in Slovakia. Bohdana Svestkova spoke to managing director Mr Kuchalik about the company’s history, how it is managing in the current financial crisis and its plans for the future.
erichem a.s. was first registered in May 1995 as a joint venture between the Slovakian company Chemosvit a.s., a holding company whose core business is flexibles converting, and AB Rani Plast Oy, a Scandinavian leading manufacturer of packaging materials and solutions with 50 years of successful operation in the field of plastics. “Since the company’s establishment, we have put a special emphasis on securing a lean organisation structure and production efficiency. This has helped us to achieve quality products that can compete with other world producers,” says Mr Kuchalik. He then goes on to highlight the most important milestones in Terichem history. “Owing to the increased demand for the BOPP films, we opened a daughter company, Terichem-Luck, in Ukraine in 1997. As
we felt confident in our business activities, the portfolio was subsequently extended in 2003 to include films for the food and tobacco industries.” In 2005 the company became a part of the Tervakoski Films Group, covering the production of BOPP films for capacitors in Finland, as well as production sites in Slovakia and Ukraine.
Leader in BOPP films production
According to Mr Kuchalik, Terichem’s production portfolio can be divided into two main groups: BOPP films and the newly introduced food and packaging industry films. He explains, “BOPP packaging films are biaxially oriented films that feature excellent optical properties, high strength and are a good barrier against water vapour. The main brands
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“We are able to say we have achieved positive results and we are thriving. Terichem keeps on expanding and we are investing, which means we have the resources.”
Slitting of tobacco wrapping film
in this sector are Tatrafan and Terfan, which were first introduced in 2003 and have become a fundamental part of the business activities. We would also like to focus more on speciality products to be able to keep up with the customers’ requirements and industry innovations.” The other half of the production consists of thin films for electrotechnical purposes. Theses films are used for technical applications, such as high- and low-voltage capacitors. “We produce such films in thicknesses ranging from three to five microns. The future of production is believed to lie in the super-thin films.” Terichem has received the National Quality Award and has been certified according to the ISO 9001:2000 standard. Mr Kuchalik claims the majority of the company’s investments have recently been directed towards increasing the efficiency of its production facilities by 50 per cent. For example, it has invested in a new information system as well as the modernisation of its production facilities in Svit, Slovakia and Luck, Ukraine. As for the future, Terichem aims to continue expanding its portfolio and offer more innovations in order to fight off stiff competition, which will naturally require further investments.
Coping with the crisis
When discussing the current financial situation, Mr Kuchalik comments that Europe is a highly competitive environment. “We have to stand up to the competition from the Far East, as many other companies also have to do. Our company is naturally affected by the current financial crisis and there are certain pressures we need to tackle – but the situation is not that significant for us.” He explains that the company has been investing a great deal into the improvement of its production and has enjoyed several successful years. “We are able to say we have achieved positive results and we are
Film thickness scanner
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COMEXI GROUP C
COMEXI – Our brand for flexo printing presses for solvent and environmentally-smart inks NEXUS COMEXI – Our brand for solvent and solventless laminating and coating machines
OMEXI GROUP was founded in 1954 and it is a global leading world-wide supplier of machinery and conversion solutions for the flexible packaging industry. Our portfolio of products are:-
PROSLIT – Our brand for slitters and rewinders ENVIROXI – Our brand for Environmental and productivity-enhancing solutions Our production facilities are located in Spain, near Barcelona, and in 2002 we started the production of machinery with a new plant in Brasil. TERICHEM trusts in the Comexi Group, and especially PROSLIT, to achieve the highest standard of slitting and rewinding quality by the acquisition of one EIKON double turret slitter rewind. This new investment let TERICHEM make a step forward against its competitors improving dramatically the quality of the final product
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Hardness profile control in capacitor film production
Managing director, Mr Kuchalik
Aerial view of Terichem location
thriving. Terichem keeps on expanding and we are investing, which means we have the resources.” When Slovakia joined the European Union in May 2004, the logistics and administrative organisation was simplified which significantly improved its foreign activities. This was extended with the introduction of the euro in January 2009.
Slovakia, Ukraine and Scandinavia
Terichem covers about 60 per cent of the domestic market, and Mr Kuchalik explains that its competitors are mainly other European manufacturers and Far Eastern rivals. “We are the only producer with this portfolio in Slovakia, but there are other European manufacturers as well as producers in Japan, China and Korea. As a member of the Tervakoski Films Group and Terichem Group we mainly serve the market of Slovakia, the Scandinavian countries and Ukraine. However, our customers can be found all over the world.” Export activities cover 90 per cent of production in both the Slovakian and Ukrainian branches. “We have been active on the Ukrainian market for 10 years now and feel comfortable with the environment – our investment has thus been successful,” says Mr Kuchalik. In conclusion, Mr Kuchalik says, “We try to maintain our strategy of remaining the leader in BOPP capacitor film production. As for the newly introduced production for the food industry, we tend to focus on specialities in the tobacco industry. Terichem would like to keep its favourable I position with our customers.”
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PLASTICS HEADQUARTER: GRUPPO COLINES HOLDING AND B-PACK HOLDING TOP QUALITY 5-LAYER MELT-EMBOSSED FILM, SPEED RECORD 427 M/MIN
As a leading producer of both extrusion lines and multilayer films, Italy-based Colines group has managed to expand its presence in international markets by improving the performance of its products and investing in research. Massimo Miato talked to marketing and communication manager Francesco Peccetti to find out more.
olines is a well known brand in the packaging world. When we last spoke with Mr Peccetti over a year ago, the Italian group had already managed to establish a strong position in the complementary fields of extrusion lines and multilayer films by exploiting the synergies between these two activities, accumulating a great deal of know-how in the field of packaging in the process. Colines belongs to an industrial group that also includes film production facilities so the acquired extrusion knowledge is based on real production experience. This know-how has proven to be invaluable for the company, as Mr Peccetti explains: “In the past 18 months or so, we have concentrated more on improving our production processes than on introducing new
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“We will specialise even more in the flexible packaging sector, because we know how to handle our polymers and our customers are attracted by our attention to detail. ”
BARRIER FILM - ENCAPSULATION AND SCRAP SAVING BY USING DITTERING® AND REFESAVE® SYSTEMS
models of extrusion lines. We’ve noticed that we could greatly increase our rate of production just by rationalising our already existing technologies, which means optimising our machines and improving our performances where possible. He adds: “Also, right now we are coming up with a couple of improved machines which offer some interesting new features in hygienic film production. The first one, DIAPERCAST®, makes special five-layer polythene films for baby and sanitary napkins, and these films are filled with titanium oxide. It’s a very peculiar material because it’s highly corrosive, and therefore every metal component of the machine must be coated in a special way. We are very proud of this machine – not only because it meets the parameters, but also because we’ve increased its production dramatically by reaching a real and constant production speed of 400m per minute, which definitely sets a new standard for the sector. This was made possible through a massive effort in terms of R&D activity, with the sole aim of pushing both the performance of the machine itself and the resistance of the raw materials it handles to the limit.”The second machine we are delivering today, AIR CAST®, makes a special film that is permeable to air but which prevents the passage of water, which explains why this film is used in the napkin production as well as roofing protection and other technical products.”
This ability to achieve such a high performance is crucial for Colines when it comes to facing international competition. Mr Peccetti points out: “As a medium-sized company we have to face the market with an extremely specialized know-how in the field of multilayer flexible packaging. We prefer to concentrate our efforts in flexible packaging markets; continuous developments and specialization are key factors to keep the leading way. That’s why we have to focus on providing our customers with hi-tech and high performance machines.” Exploiting the synergies between its packaging machines and multilayer film sectors is still one of the company’s most important strategies. According to Mr Peccetti, “When we first started to operate in the international markets some customers saw our activity of multilayer film production as a threat, because they thought we could be their competitors in this field. Today, this is no longer the case, because we’ve succeeded in presenting ourselves as a packaging machine specialist whose expertise also depends on its production of films. That’s because we’ve noticed that our customers are most likely to trust our expertise when they see that we use the same technologies that we sell to them. Also, the fact that our film making facilities are located in Italy while we sell extrusion lines mainly outside Italy guarantees that there’s no competition between us and our clients.”
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ME.RO nasce negli anni 60 e sin dagli inizi si interessa di apparecchiature elettroniche per il trattamento delle materie plastiche. Ad oggi ME.RO ricopre un posto di grande rilievo nella fabbricazione di sistemi per il ‘’trattamento corona’’. Nel tempo ci siamo specializzati in installazioni di ogni dimensione, non è un caso che i più grandi impianti di lavorazione film in funzione attualmente nel mondo sono stati realizzati da ME.RO con performance che arrivano a larghezze di 10 mt. e velocità di 600 m/min. Da alcuni anni operiamo ormai anche nel settore del trattamento plasma sia sottovuoto che in atmosfera, andando ad installare i nostri sistemi, e come sostituzione dei corona per film speciali o all’ interno di metallizzatori sotto vuoto. ME.RO SRL Via Balestreri n.430, 55100 Ponte a Moriano-Lucca-Italy Tel 39/0583-406060 • Fax 39/0583-406050 e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org • www.mero.it
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DIAPERCAST® - UP TO 20 IN-LINE CUTTINGS FOR THE PRODUCTION OF UP TO 19 FINISHED REELS
EXCELLENT CPP WINDING QUALITY UP TO Ø 1200 WITH JUMBOWINDER®
AIR CAST® BREATHABLE FILM LINE
DIAPERCAST® ACCURATE PROCESS TECHNOLOGY KNOW-HOW
Gaining the trust of its customers was essential for Colines when coming up with an effective strategy of expansion in international markets. Mr Peccetti explains: “Lately our customers have been praising us a lot for our highest-performing machine, and as a direct consequence more customers have started to request our products. This has allowed us to survive the international crisis and continue to hire people, most of them destined to service activity. The next step in the growth of the company will involve specialising even further. Mr Peccetti points out: “We will specialise even more in the flexible packaging sector, because we know how to handle our polymers and our customers are attracted by our attention to detail. We are expecting to increase our production capacity in the future, because the current crisis is acting as a selection process in which the customers are becoming harder to please and only the best companies will survive. We definitely think we have what it takes to grow even I more in the future.”
TOP PERFORMING FILM COOLING
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Internationally oriented blown film extrusion machinery specialists Kiefel Extrusion has been a key partner to the packaging industry for over 40 years. Creating machines for the production of multilayer films of up to nine layers, Kiefel Extrusion has built up a considerable number of long term partnerships with its customers, co-workers and suppliers. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to Kurt Freye, Director of Sales Worldwide, to learn more.
he past nine years have brought considerable changes to the internationally focused, Germany-based extrusion machinery producer, Kiefel Extrusion. Established over 40 years ago, the company was aquired by Brückner Technology Holdings in 2007. Director of Sales Worldwide for Kiefel Extrusion, Mr Kurt Freye, has lived and worked all around the world, is fluent in many languages besides German and English and has an extensive technical background that complements the Kiefel philosophy that ‘Extrusion is more’. Mr Freye was one of the four new directors brought in to rejuvenate Kiefel back in 2000/2001. He explained more to Packaging Europe, “The management team, along with the commitment of our co-workers, have done a great job
in turning the company around and bringing us bang up to date in terms of technological innovation. We’re now a major player in extrusion machinery and number two in the world, with the full support of the Brückner Group since 2007. The group wanted to add Kiefel to complement its existing portfolio because we were already successful in the market.” The company has enjoyed massive growth since joining the Brückner Group, with the blown film expertise at Kiefel fitting perfectly together with the Brückner focus on flat film equipment. Mr Freye continued, “Together we have a solid mix of projects that can ride the economic situation as the flat film projects require massive investment from customers whereas blown film projects are more constant, with less price
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fluctuation. The acquisition of Kiefel by Brückner was a way to help level out the waves in a normal sales process and it has enabled us each to continue doing what we do best.”
Indeed, Kiefel has far exceeded the 6.4 per cent 2007 growth across the packaging industry, with a 12 to 15 per cent increase in volume. Mr Freye puts this squarely down to the quality and innovation of its machines, the dynamic, highly motivated workforce and the philosophy of internationalisation.
It is this philosophy that has created a 90 per cent export orientation, supported by a worldwide sales team that each speaks at least three or four languages. Mr Freye said, “All of our sales team speak at least German, English and the language of the country they represent, such as France, Russia or Chile. We carefully recruit people that understand the German mentality, have personal local knowledge of other countries and have a wealth of experience in blown film extrusion. It’s a young team and we are all focused on the customers’ customer, operating as a consultant first and machinery seller second.” As a subsidiary of a group which is active in plastics machinery pro-
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tomers. We are adept at increasing efficiency wherever possible and, as a result, we have not raised our prices in eight years.” With a 2007/8 turnover of €54 million posted and a slightly lower figure expected for 2008/9, Kiefel is continuing to achieve impressive results in spite of the global economic downturn. The company also continues to expand, with a new operation, Kiefel South America, opened on 1 March 2009, bringing local sales support, service and parts as part of the aggressive plan for continued development, supported by a global network of carefully selected sales agents.
‘Extrusion is more’
The Kiefel belief that ‘Extrusion is more’ is clearly evident across the business, with a customer-focused, technology-led range of extrusion machinery to support the packaging industry. Close cooperation between the dynamic Kiefel teams, valued customers and suppliers is at the heart of that belief and the company plans to continue to grow internationally, analyse market I trends and utilise its engineering and application expertise. duction, Kiefel’s blown film extrusion machinery allows customers to produce films for carrier bags and technical and barrier films for food and medical applications. The machinery product range covers blown film extrusion lines for the production of single- and multilayer films of up to nine layers, offering a full range of blown film equipment for the flexible packaging industry. KIEFEL Extrusion GmbH Cornelius-Heyl-Str. 49 | 67547 Worms | Germany Phone: +49 6241 902 - 0| Fax: +49 6241 902 - 100 Email: email@example.com | Web: www.kiefel-extrusion.com
Over the past 18 months, Kiefel has been gaining considerable market share with its barrier films in seven and nine layers, thanks to the company-wide investment in the latest technology available. Mr Freye explained, “We have added a sophisticated MDO (machine direction orientation) unit for stretching and we are especially excited about our new range of equipment called ‘e.co.s’, which we have created following extensive market research and which will enable us to capture a new market sector. “All our machines are produced in Germany so that we have total quality control over the entire process and can pass on the German production quality to our cus-
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Pierfranco Di Gioia
Pregis Protective Packaging Europe (PPE) is using the downturn to plan ahead – and make some radical changes in the way it does business. Felicity Landon talks to Pierfranco Di Gioia, vice-president of Sales and Marketing, to find out about these changes.
regis is headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois. Owned 100 per cent by private equity group AEA, it is a $1 billion turnover business, operating four divisions in North America and Europe: PPE, PPNA, Hexacomb and Speciality. Jiffy Mailing Solutions and Microguard Polypropylene Sheet Foam are part of its wide-ranging portfolio of innovative protective packaging products, airspeed packaging systems, bubble wrap, retail and office products, paper cushioning products and green products, beside the speciality packaging products such as rigid food packaging, flexible packaging and hospital supplies. The European part of the Protective Packaging group is headquartered in Wellen (Belgium) and also has manufacturing and distribution
“Our people have outstanding market knowledge, they are critical to us. Their engagement, their motivation, drive and enthusiasm are key to our success. We listen – to our customers and our employees – in order to map their needs and ensure we meet them.”
locations in Bopfingen (Germany), Winsford (UK), Bourg Argental (France), Ossago Lodigiano (Italy), Prague (Czech Republic), Gliwice (Poland) and Pietra-Neamt (Romania). Pregis Protective Packaging Europe can trace its beginnings to the creation of Sentinel Foam Products Europe in Wellen in 1976 (the first polyethylene foam extruder), and Sentinel GmbH in Altensteig in 1978 – this company later moved to Bopfingen. Jiffy Packaging, created in Winsford in 1963, was acquired by Sentinel Foam Products in 1989 which was then part of Buehrmann Tetterode, a Dutch shareholder, which merged this embryonic group with its Pillopack (Eerbeek) branch. In 1994, Tenneco, a US based company, took over the group and installed it as Pactiv. The Polish operation
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was established in 1996. Prvni Obalova in Prague was brought in in 2001, and in 2005 this was followed by Airpac in Italy, Aircal in France and Hexacomb (paper honeycomb products) in Spain. In October 2005, Pactiv was taken over by the investment group AEA and Pregis was born. The most recent acquisitions by Pregis/AEA were in 2007 – of Petroflex in Romania and Besin (paper honeycomb products) in the Netherlands and France. Investment has also continued in existing plants, including a €550,000 upgrade at Winsford this year.
customers with one face, rather than with ten different faces in ten different countries.” A Strategic Account Management (SAM) programme has been created. “We have pan-European accounts being identified and in each case we are delegating one negotiating officer and a dedicated team to follow them up – wherever they go and whatever they want to buy.” The changes being made by Pregis are “basically a case of pulling everything together,” says Mr Di Gioia – the fundamentals are already there. “This transformation will take a couple of years to complete but we have the organisation in place and it is well under way.”
Pregis is serving all kinds of niches in the market but the broader face is essential, explains Mr Di Gioia. “We recently redesigned the sales organisation. With this new structure we can go to European or global
In the current downturn these are tough times for Pregis, of course – first quarter 2009 results showed a 28.5 per cent decrease in the global group’s net sales, to $185.5 million, although the decline was 18.8 per cent when the impact of exchange rates was excluded. An operating loss of $1.5 million included restructuring charges of $6.7 million as well as an exchange rate impact of $2 million. Operating income excluding these factors was $7.2 million – a 13 per cent fall year on year. “The first quarter really signalled our bottom,” says Mr Di Gioia. “During that time we have instituted our global restructuring measures, and this was reflected in the results. But apart from that initial pain, we are now seeing better results and also a real commitment from our people, who understand the situation and the individual importance of driving things forward in a different direction. A lot of effort and energy has been put into maintaining morale and the right spirit, which is crucial.” The changes specific to Europe were being planned just as the downturn came – fortunately or not, depending on how you see it. “It was fortunate because it was another priority to tackle and focus on, apart from the downturn,” he says. “It was unfortunate because any change process has more of an impact during a downturn. There is a lot of change management going on at the moment here and the good side of the crisis is exactly that: everybody is on board and it allows us to modify the structure more swiftly and radically – changes which would have taken much longer in other times.” Among the Pregis portfolio, the heaviest impact of the recession has been on products specifically geared for the automotive, electronics and furniture industries. But other sectors, particularly general industrial consumption such as food packaging, are maintaining a constant level of business.
Working through the downturn
Three key drivers will take Pregis through and beyond the recession, says Mr Di Gioia. The first of these is technology focus. “Our strategy is to grow from our current balance of 75 per cent core products, 25 per
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cent specialities to a 50:50 mix. We are working on harmonisation of our products where possible, but equally we have the capability to respond to specific customer demands. We do a lot of customisation.” Second, he says, is to leverage the group’s geographical scope. “Our customers are becoming more and more European or panEuropean, and less and less ‘domestic’. We want to upgrade our customer base to multi-country clients wherever possible. We have the unique position of being almost equally represented across Europe, both east and west. That really differentiates us from the competition. What isn’t quite there yet is the best use of this; we need to make the most of what we have.” And third is an emphasis on managerial skills. Pregis has put in motion a substantial change in corporate culture and organisation, shifting the entire European structure from regional to function-based and looking for regional synergies. “More professionalism allows us to go to groups we were not serving before, thereby growing our customer base,” says Mr Di Gioia. “As a group we were very fragmented in Europe. This new structure will give us more ‘clout’ in the market.” Pregis has more than 10,000 customers and 20,000 SKUs, says Mr Di Gioia. Despite the consolidation view of the European market with big accounts, most of its customers still remain very ‘local’ and managed within their home countries. These customers’ requirements vary tremendously from one region to another, and that isn’t expected to change radically in the near future. “There are not so many synergies between these customers,” he says. “The way we work with them is completely different.”
“ With this new structure we can go to European or global customers with one face, rather than with ten different faces in ten different countries.”
And as Pregis moves through 2009 and looks ahead, it has some key strengths, says Mr Di Gioia. “Our people have outstanding market knowledge, they are critical to us. Their engagement, their motivation, drive and enthusiasm are key to our success. Customers, distributors and end users are also absolutely critical to us. We continuously test the market through listening to the voice of the customer. “We listen – to our customers and our employees – in order to map I their needs and ensure we meet them.” Visit: www.pregis.com
Staying on top
Pregis is a market leader – number one or two – in countries across Europe, with the exception of Spain and Hungary. It continues to invest in technology and higher levels of automation, as well as optimising and realigning the operational structure in line with the new strategy. Green issues are becoming ever more important, say Mr Di Gioia. Development efforts are focused on performance enhancement, and on reducing material content in order to produce lighter, cheaper products wherever possible. The portfolio already includes 100 per cent postindustrial recycling for bubble wrap and the Jiffy Green product range. Pregis has a global sustainability programme and is getting ready to launch some novel biodegradable technologies this year (2009).
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Just eight years after its establishment, the Italian company Sacmi Labelling has reached the top in the label market, especially for innovation and business volume. Founded in 2000, as part of the Sacmi Group, in 2008 it sold more than 250 labelling machines all over the world and achieved a €50 million turnover.
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xperienced and far-seeing managers as well as continuous investment in research and development are key reasons for Sacmi’s continuing success. Having become famous worldwide as a prestigious brand in the ceramics plant design sector, a few years ago the group decided to invest also in the beverage and packaging sectors, exploiting the strong competence that it had developed during its 30 years of operations. Results have exceeded expectations. Today, beverage giants including Coca Cola, PepsiCo, Danone, Nestlé and many others use Sacmi machines. And the company is currently one of the biggest competitors in this sector, keen to accept new challenges in a fast changing industry.
Sacmi Beverage division was set up shortly afterwards: it provides complete systems for beverage labelling, from granular material to end product distribution. “Clients are always looking for ‘problem solver’ suppliers, commercial partners that offer 360 degree system technologies, capable of coping with different requirements in a fast, flexible and effective way. And that’s what Sacmi offers,” says Bevilacqua, Sales and Marketing Director. Sacmi Group has 70 facilities all around the world offering commercial support and assistance. All its machines are made in Italy and then distributed worldwide through an internal export company.
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SACMI | PROFILE
“Clients are always looking for ‘problem solver’ suppliers, commercial partners that offer 360 degree system technoloflexible and effective way. And that’s what Sacmi offers” gies, capable of coping with different requirements in a fast,
Each company in the Sacmi Group specialises in producing and selling stand alone machines, always made under Sacmi control and supervision. Developing innovative technologies, optimising production processes and creating efficient post-selling services are the responsibilities of Sacmi itself. Synergy among the different companies is constant even during the development phase of machines and technologies. This is why systems developed by a particular division can be applied to machines of all the other divisions.
Sacmi Labelling produces a complete range of automatic labelling machines suitable to apply different label materials and shape configurations to metal, plastic and glass containers for the food, beverage, chemical and
detergent sectors. The range includes all application technologies - roll fed, pressure sensitive, cold glue, hot melt e sleeve with laser soldering. Sacmi Labelling has recently made a mark in the market with two new technologies: Opera Roll Fed Sleeve Technology and Opera Pressure Sensitive high speed with Camera Vision System. The first one is a rotary labelling machine which applies thermoshrinking labels, fed directly from reel and seaming labels by laser. It is an innovative process that integrates sleeve creation in the labelling process without using UV glues or solvents. The second machine is designed to be modular and suitable for integration into all other technologies. It reaches a production speed over 60,000 bph and its very high performance, guaranteed by labelling station HS04, which distributes labels at linear speed of 140m/min, while application precision is assured by the CVS 3000 camera vision system, developed by Sacmi itself. This system calculates the bottle rotation and orientates it according to a bas-relief reference point at a speed of 1000 bpm. The centralised system communicates to servo-motors how much to rotate the bottle in order to apply labels in the correct position while the last camera checks the label application. In addition to a great precision, the system guarantees maximum flexibility, even in case of “no look label” application.
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According do Bevilacqua, modularity of the machines is the key feature for the future. It consists in setting up different labelling stations with different technologies on removable carriages that can be jointed or disjointed to the machine according to application needs. Furthermore, the company is focusing on testing new materials which permit easily recyclability of PET containers as well as new technologies for energy saving.
Communication strategy is mainly based on what Sacmi considers the two strong points of the brand: advanced technology and customer services. Aware of the fact that a correct maintenance of the machine during the
production avoids many problems for the clients and guarantees the functioning of the machine itself over a long period, the group has strongly invested in training for the correct use of its products. Training is structured into three standard modules: the first one takes place during the test phase at Sacmi’s factory; the second training takes place during the set up phase at the client’s plant; finally, the third one takes place a few months after the equipment setting up, when the client has already some familiarity with the machine. Sacmi machines can also be equipped with tele-assistance which communicates to the company possible anomalies. And recently, they have also activated online training and e-learning modules similar to those of many European universities.
Present and future market scenario
Sacmi production is not differentiated according to the country of destination. This is why they guarantee the same technological quality to all clients and for all kind of application. However, there is a difference among markets according to product application and beverage. There are some countries, for instance, where sleeve labelling is more common than auto-adhesive labelling and other countries where it is the opposite. Mr Bevilacqua explains that the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009 has partly changed the commercial scenario of the group, unexpectedly creating new opportunities. While growth in European markets holds steady, Asian, African and South American markets are growing more rapidly and the group is investing in these areas to ensure that it is able to meet I future demands.
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Large shrimps are packed at high speeds on a SEALPAC A10 high performance traysealer
SealCup® is a new traysealer system for oxygensensitive, spreadable products, which helps the product stay fresher for longer
SEALPAC’s unique InsideCut sealing for ultimate convenience
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FRESH AND FLEXIBLE
Sealpac International designs and manufactures packaging machines that maximise the value of pre-packed foods. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to director Coos van Dorsten and marketing and communications manager Marcel Veenstra to appreciate just how the company achieves its innovative solutions.
Norwegian customer Leroy Fossen packs its large sliced salmon on a standard RE25 thermoformer at 15 strokes per minute
he Sealpac International story began in 1998 in Harderwijk (The Netherlands), when the company was set up to build on the packaging experience and expertise, primarily in the food industry, of its founders. It grew to become a leader in the design and manufacture of packaging machines for the food industry. From the beginning, SEALPAC has focused on continuous innovation and the latest design and production technology to develop packaging solutions together with its customers in the industry. SEALPAC designs and produces a range of high tech, high quality food packaging machines that have the customer in mind every step of the way. With over 25,000sqm of production space and a presence in over 50 countries worldwide, SEALPAC is well-known for solutions-focused reliability across the food production industry, including some major multi-national names. Coos van Dorsten, director of SEALPAC, says, “Our machines are all built around the same principle – to provide our customers in the food industry with a flexible, reliable and high performance packaging system. Our machines have been designed to be used in the most demanding environments. From traysealers to thermoformers, our continuous innovation and constantly-growing expertise keeps us as the top of our game and means SEALPAC can provide a solution for every occasion.” The company’s success in its particular market sector – self-service and pre-packed food packaging – stems from its sophisticated and thorough marketing research that ensures that it provides its clients with exactly what they want. SEALPAC enjoys mutually-beneficial relationships with a number of key suppliers, including ANL Plastics, a developer and producer of thermoformed packaging, and Leonhardt International, a manufacturer of dosing equipment for the food industry. Working with a network of international distributors, SEALPAC listens to its teams and acts quickly to maintain its exceptionally high standards.
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SEALPAC | PROFILE
SEALPAC developed the required technology for the VisiOpac® dome packaging system
“Our machines are all built around the same principle – to provide our customers in the food industry with a flexible, reliable and high performance packaging system”
Mr van Dorsten continues, “SEALPAC is not just a supplier of food packaging machines. We’re a personal packaging partner for our customers. We really love and understand our business, which is what helps us reach such high standards. We are proud to give our customers exactly what they want and they’re always welcome in our factories to see exactly what we do and how we do it – working together means we maximise the potential of every food packaging situation we’re involved with.”
Investment driven packaging partner
Being an innovations driven business, SEALPAC is committed to investing its profits directly back into the company. This supports the packaging partner philosophy that sets SEALPAC apart from the competition and illustrates its appreciation for continual innovation and technical improvement. The company has recently invested in extended production facilities for both its traysealers and thermoformers, developed enhanced auxiliary equipment for its traysealers and introduced highend thermoformer solutions on the SEALPAC RE30 machine. As a respected food packaging partner, SEALPAC has a number of solutions that maintain its reputation, such as SealCup®, a new traysealer system for oxygen-sensitive, spreadable products, which helps the product stay fresher for longer while offering considerable branding opportunities. The TraySkin® and ThermoSkin solutions are based
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“SEALPAC is not just a supplier of food packaging machines. We’re a personal packaging partner for our customers”
Spread the word
on a transparent film that fits the contours of the product like a second skin, preventing drip-loss and maintaining the colour, flavour and integrity of the foods contained within.
International food packaging trade exhibitions play a major part in SEALPAC’s marketing strategy to bring its regular new product launches to the widest possible audience. Marcel Veenstra, marketing and communications manager for SEALPAC explains, “We will be present at many exhibitions during the last months of this year, such as FreshTec in Rotterdam, Russia’s AgroProdMash and AMI in the US. In 2010, we will be attending the European Seafood Exposition in Belgium and Fruit Logistica, IFFA and Interzoo in Germany. In the current economic climate, food processors depend more highly than ever on machines that increase their efficiency, without reducing their flexibility, so we’re pleased to utilise these opportunities to highlight how SEALPAC successfully combines these two crucial production factors.”
The versatile SEALPAC A6 traysealer
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SEALPAC | PROFILE
These characteristics are notably present in the SEALPAC A6 traysealer, as well as in the ShrinkStyle packaging system, which combines SEALPAC’s thermoforming technology with a special shrink film, resulting in hermetically sealed packs with an attractive second skin effect. It is available on all SEALPAC thermoformers, which can also be preconfigured for a variety of other applications, such as MAP and skin.
Looking to the future
Over the next twelve months, SEALPAC aims to bring its innovative range of food packaging solutions to its customers. Mr van Dorsten explains, “We’ve built up strong references from our existing clients that value the reliability, flexibility and performance of our traysealers and thermoformers. Self-service packaging is winning ground fast in retail stores compared to counter service as customers choose fresh, pre-packed food instead of queuing to be served – every area of the food industry is looking for convenience with a capital C. SEALPAC is the perfect partner as we provide packaging machines that can handle different solutions without major machine changes. As product lifecycles become shorter, food processors are I looking for versatility and that’s truly our middle name.”
Spanish customer Romaliment enjoys packing its processed meats with the ShrinkStyle solution on a SEALPAC RE15 thermoformer
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The Czech company Komfi spol. s r.o., based in Lanskroun, has introduced a new laminating machine Amiga 36, as well as venturing into partial varnishing with a new Spotmatic machine. The packaging industry can particularly benefit from the Sirius 130 , also developed in Lanskroun. Irena Alderson reports.
he Czech company Komfi spol. s r.o. (Ltd) from Lanskroun recently received a coveted prize at EmbaxPrint 2009 at the Czech exhibition town Brno for its newly developed and unique, partially-varnishing UV machine ‘Spotmatic‘. The machine will enlarge the company’s portfolio of machines for the printing industry and can process orders from just one piece. The Spotmatic is designed not only to work behind laminating machines, but also for digital printing houses, where partial varnishing may be used - a technique which is very popular at the moment. Komfi produces a wide range of up to 10 types of laminating machines as well as exploring and developing varnishing machines over the last three years. “Our company offers a wide selection of industrial laminators and now UV varnishing machines,” says Ms Jana Mat j ková, Komfi’s marketing manager. “We started with the fully automatic laminator Delta (B2 format) in 1998 and this model is still our most popular machine in its class. We have expanded and apart from our headquarters in Lanskroun, there is a branch
in Moravia in Svebohov, one in Litomysl and in Nove Mesto too. Our Slovak daughter company in Martin looks after sales and customer support. The latest news is the newly opened daughter company in Holland, aimed at improving our distrbution channels in Western Europe,”. The new laminator is the Amiga 36, which is designed mainly for digital print. The packaging industry can also enjoy another new product, the laminator Sirius 130, custom-made especially for large format sheets already installed at a customer’s plant in Prague. It is an improvement on an existing Sirius design (max. Format B0) from 2005 and can now be used up to a format of 130 x 190 cm. “As we can see Komfi has a strong R&D department and the company also does not use external resources to finance its research, making it independent and more flexible. The R&D department consists of 20 employees (out of a total of 200) and Komfi invests continuously in this area,” adds Ms Matejckova.
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“Last year Komfi added another assembly hall in Lanskroun and
as a result the total area has doubled there
Emphasis on reliability
The production capacity of Komfi mirrors its rapid development and constant focus on innovation. In 1992 Komfi started just as a technical and designing office. Three years later, the production premises were established and Komfi started to produce custom-mademachines for the electro-technical industry. The company launched the first automatic packaging machines, the BDK-01, for automatic shaping, measuring and packaging of electro components. In the same year, Komfi has entered the printing market and a prototype of the ‘Orbit’ laminating machine was launched as well. In 1998, the production took off and reached three times what it had been before. Laminating machines were then produced on a larger scale. The same year the number of Orbits being sold reached the first 10. The Delta laminator followed quickly, never to leave the best selling ranks. “In 2000, the company headquarters were relocated to Lanskroun, close to AVX Lanskroun, our biggest business partner in the field of the electro-technical industry. We won an important CzechInvest Agency award for direct investment, Supplier of the Year Award. Our Litomysl branch was established in 2002 which brought us some more opportunities in production techniques and capacities,” explains Ms Matejckova. Komfi has also recently succeeded in distributing laminating machines not only in its traditional markets of Europebut also in the Near East, Australia and certain Asian countries. New interest has
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come from South Africa and Finland too. “Last year Komfi added another assembly hall in Lanskroun and as a result the total area has doubled there,” says the marketing manager.
The swift Spotmatic
The Spotmatic varnishing machine is a result of several years of intensive development, including close cooperation with various specialists. In the end Spotmatic, introduced at the Drupa 2008 trade fair, offers a unique solution which makes possible faster and easier varnishing especially in the on-demand market. This is due to the minimum preparation time needed to process the job. “The UV varnish is applied using an ink-jet method directly from your digital data, without the need to prepare a printing form. In this way, it is possible to process small orders with ease with a production speed of up to 20 m/min, depending on the material used. This solution follows the market trends in the country, where the fast processing of on demand jobs is more and more popular,” adds Ms Matejckova. Spotmatic is greener as well due to minimal loss of the varnish and zero ozone emissions of the UV lamp, which can also be recycled. In the laminating machines sector, Komfi answered the call for strong digital printing with their new compact Amiga 36. This specialised machine offers additional services for digital printers while being very easy to use, efficient and there is no need to stop the machine. The sheet formats used are 200 x 200 mm to 360 x 520 mm, generally the whole spectrum, at the speed of 10m/min. “We can see a new trend on the market towards less price sensitivity. Our customers value the speed and reliability of our new machines,
which are very robust and require minimal supervision. The strategic plan for the near future lies in added value for our traditional territories, improved logistics and continued focus on our strong R&D department. In this way we hope to stay ahead of our competitors and offer independent and user-friendly machines in the future,” conI cludes Ms Matejckova.
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FLYING THE FLAG FOR UKRAINIAN BEER
Innovative production methods and eye catching packaging combined with the rich traditions of Ukrainian brewing have propelled Obolon to a dominant position. The first private company in the modern history of Ukraine has won a deserved reputation and demonstrated the potential of producers in the food and beverage industry. Obolon company board chairman Sergii Bloshchanevych gives an insider view of this success story.
oised on the threshold of the next presidential election, slowly climbing out of economic difficulties, the enterprises of Ukraine are exemplars of resilience and character. The relationship of agriculture and its intimate connection with the food industry was the foundation stone of the wealth of the country. Now, when demand for heavy industry production is on a downward trend, the food and drinks industry could help lead Ukraine to a more prosperous future. Food sourced from here is high-quality, inexpensive and good enough to “feed all of Europe”. One of the lead-
ers in the food industry of the country is the company Obolon - the largest Ukrainian producer of beer and soft drinks. “Looking at the first of the major stages in the development of the company, I would highlight the very beginning of the company in 1980”, says Mr Bloshchanevych. For the opening of the Olympics in 1980 the Soviet government set an ambitious target to build a brewery, making beer which would match the best European standards. Experts were invited from the Czech Republic – world famous masters of brewing. They chose the site for the new brewery. The
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deciding criterion was availability of artesian water, which is the main ingredient influencing the taste of beer. The final choice fell on the Obolon district, which is located in the city of Kiev on the banks of the Dnieper River. The word “Obolon” comes from the times of ancient Kievan Rus – and is called after the low river meadows. This attractive rustic name was given to the new brewery. The brewery was soon producing beer, which quickly won popularity and recognition. “Another significant milestone was the privatisation of the plant; in 1993 we became a
joint stock company,” says Mr Bloshchanevych. “This was the key to our future success and the position that we currently hold in the market. Getting started in the 1990s was very difficult for us. We were the first company in Ukraine which was privatised. We have evidence of this in the State Property Fund records of Ukraine where we are registered as number 1. Being first in Ukraine is an honour but also a great responsibility. Everyone who followed in our footsteps had an easier path. For us, even the procedure of signing documents by government officials was difficult. On our side, everything was ready,
but, apparently, psychological barriers complicated the signing. We developed our own strategy after we became independent. Within a few years we accumulated enough financial resources to start technical re-equipment. This strategy remains constant but at different times the pace of work varied. The most intense development has occurred since 2001.” Following Ukrainian independence, Obolon first started to export its products to Europe and the USA. Beer under the trademark Obolon came to be perceived as a traditional Ukrainian beer around the world.
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The main plant of the company is located in Kiev. It employs 3,700 people. The entire joint-stock company provides work for some 6 500-7 000 workers. The Obolon company in fact comprises a large number of enterprises located in central, western Ukraine and in Crimea, producing beer, soft drinks and other low-alcoholic beverages. “The company also includes a plant in the city of Alexandria in the Kirovograd region - it produces plastic packaging as well as low-alcohol beverages, explains Mr Bloshchanevych. “We own an entirely new plant in Chimeryvtsi of the Khmelnitsky region. The grand opening of this ultra-modern plant for the production of malt took place earlier this year. The plant's capacity is 120,000 tons of malt per year. This company was built “from scratch” in three years. This enterprise provides work for 200 agricultural firms. According to statistics, one job in the beer industry provides about 15 jobs in related industries. We have invested nearly $ 100 million in this plant.” Obolon’s products are packed in PET containers, glass bottles and aluminium cans. “Mainly our products are marketed in glass containers. In the current economic climate, I think that
these three types of packaging will continue to be mainly used”. The finished product Obolon packs in cardboard trays for glass and aluminium cans. “We ourselves do not produce these types of packaging, and we order from the Kiev factory, Rubezhanskiy packing plant and the Tripolye cardboard factory”, says Sergei Bloschanevych. The food processing industry of Ukraine, perhaps more than any other sector in Europe, has felt the effects of the financial crisis. Beer is not a staple food essential, so sales have suffered greatly. In the past 5 years there has been a positive dynamic in the Ukrainian beer industry, but just last year sales slowed down considerably. ”Last year, our beer production increased by only 3,9 per cent compared with 2007. In other beer companies of Ukraine, this figure was even lower. This year we have experienced the fall of the beer market for the first time in 15 years. In addition to economic issues, state laws have been enacted which will double the excise tax for our products. This health campaign against beer runs under the slogan “Aim for a healthy life”, despite the fact that beer consumption per capita in Ukraine is one of the lowest in Europe. We say that the state should adopt a set of dif-
ferent measures in other areas, not just severely limit the production of beer. We hope that the state will not interfere with this thriving industry, which generates a substantial income - last year alone we paid up to 500 million hryvnya in various taxes. Perhaps the producers of beer in Ukraine have interfered in the interests of other beverages although in other countries consumption of light alcohol drinks is greater than spirits. We just have to stoically endure the current situation”.
Obolon all over the world
Management of Obolon are thinking about ways to diversify production. Company plans exist to focus on the production of juices as well as exporting to more countries. 75 per cent of the beer, which is exported by Ukraine, is made by Obolon. Even in the Soviet Union the Obolon plant was the first company that exported manufactured beer. It was the first exporter of Ukrainian beer to the UK. Even though the USSR was a huge country, none of the other breweries of the country produced beer of export standard quality. Mr. Bloschanevych says: “We started the history of Soviet export beer. Now we supply our beer to 33 states, but, being
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patriots, are oriented to the domestic market. The share of exports varies at different times, but the average is 25-30 per cent. We supply products to Russia, Belarus, Moldova, the Baltic countries, USA, UK, Australia, Israel, Spain, Germany, Italy, Cyprus, Greece and many other countries. Both beer connoisseurs and ordinary consumers appreciate our products, making it possible to gain credibility in different markets. Our leading export buyer is Russia, where our products have captured two per cent of the beer market. In Belarus, we have five per cent of the beer market, and in Moldova – seven”. Obolon has the status of Closed Joint Stock Company but the company is open in all other respects. The Ukrainian brewers are proud to count leading foreign companies as partners in technology. We were the first in the food industry in Ukraine to have been certified to ISO9001 standard. Earlier this year four further certificates were confirmed ISO9001, ISO22000-2007 (management system of food safety), ISO14001-2006 (environmental management system), OHSAS18001 (safety management system and occupational health). These certifications allow us to
engage in equal dialogue with companies in other countries. We are the only company in Ukraine to hold this combination of certificates”, says the head of the board. According to him, the main advantages of Obolon products are as follows.
First is the quality of the water. Water intake is not from open water, the company owns underground springs to a depth of 297 metres. Second, the production of beer uses its own malt. Obolon’s main plant is a leader in Europe making 11.3 million hectolitres.
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An important advantage is that the company is a responsible financial customer for banks. Obolon has an excellent credit history, which allows it to tap into both domestic and foreign sources of investment. High quality of production is also ensured by the strict control of production, and certifications.
“The current situation is very difficult and it is not possible to make accurate long-term predictions. The situation in the sector can be compared to a football match, when in the middle of the game it turns out you can take the ball using your hands but nobody knows about it”, jokes Mr Bloshchanevych. “Nevertheless, concerning immediate plans worth noting we have decided to engage in the production of beer under license. We received similar offers in the past, but didn’t accept them. Today we produce licensed German Bitburger Premium Beer – Germany`s No.1 Draft Beer. This is an old brand of beer in Germany and is owned by a private company and is not a multi-national brand. This was a fundamental condition for our partnership. In the production of Bitburger beer we use the best water and malt, hops we obtain from Germany, but this beer is brewed in accordance with the 1516 law governing the purity of beer. We have released our present Bitburger, which, as noted by the owners of the German brewery, is no different from the German Bitburger. We are very proud of this”. In 2002, the company started processing PET bottles. In 2008 Obolon-Oil was set up which also deals with the recycling of PET and three types of plastics for the manufacture of fuel used in tractors and lorries. The company also produces dry pellets of spent grains, which are easy to transport and can be preserved for a long time. Over time, Obolon has developed and promoted products on the domestic and external markets. The principle of using the latest knowledge and technology has allowed it to create a powerful modern production capacity. As a result, the lion's share of total beer exports from Ukraine bears the Obolon trademark, which is the premier Ukrainian beer in the world. Obolon has not only achieved great success in flying the flag for Ukrainian beer but is appreciated by true I beer lovers everywhere.
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SPEKTAR INVESTS IN GROWTH AND QUALITY
pektar d.o.o., the leading Serbian producer of multilayer polyamide casings and high barrier heat-shrinkable films and bags, has invested in a new nine-layer, triple-bubble blown-film line, producing film in 25-135µm thicknesses and allowing up to 50% better shrink properties for packaging of meats and cheeses as well as poultry. This means the company can now offer customers optimum choice of film structures to match their product needs. In addition, Spektar has installed a new eightcolor flexographic machine in order to facilitate a new level of quality and possibilities in position print and very demanding bag designs. “We can guarantee quality thanks to high production standards, modern computer controlled lines and top of the line engineering polymers available today,” says Spektar’s Jovan Djordjevic. “All of our products are accredited by world renowned labs for food contact safety as well as cooperation with the institute for meat and hygiene here in Serbia, where we are able to test our products before they are commercialized. Also we have our own lab that is used for internal investigations and quality checks. It’s important to mention that we are in the final phase of implementing ISO 9001; 14001.” Building on this demonstrable quality, Spektar has grown to become not just a major regional player, but a global exporter, with the capacity to meet demand wherever interest exists. Having achieved a dominant position across the markets of the former Yugoslavia, the company also exports to a large number of neighboring countries, EU member states, North America and Russia, with exports representing some 75-80 per cent of sales. Yet Spektar’s advance has been rooted in the company’s fidelity to its original ethos. “Even though we know that we are a serious player in the world of food packaging we still consider ourselves as a small family owned company that values each customer and takes their business seriously,” says Mr Djordjevic. “We have the ability to deliver our
goods very fast due to the stock of ready made goods waiting for printing, shirring or bag making.” Another result of this successful investment and growth has been widespread recognition. Spektar was among Modern Plastics Worldwide’s 25 notable processors in 2006 and named 2007 Exporter of the Year by the Serbian government for its innovative packaging products. “We are proud that thanks to our knowledge and experience a small firm like ours can become a global player,” says Mr Djordjevic. “We think that our people are our strength. A young workforce (median age is 35 years old) and excellent working conditions make Spektar a desirable place to work or spend free time swimming in the pool during the summer, or playing football on a grassy field.” As for Spektar’s future, Mr Djordjevic makes it clear that the company is not resting on its laurels. “Our focus is on new product development and searching for new markets through interesting business and possibly strategic partnerships. We are especially excited about building partnerships in emerging markets such as China, as well as established ones like EU and the US.”
Spektar d.o.o. is a producer of innovative packaging products, which include five, seven, and nine layer gas and moisture barrier, printed, casings and shrink films for hard sausages, fresh meats, poultry, fish, and cheeses. More information can be obtained by visiting their web site at www.spektar.com or directly contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. This presentation is supported by Find out more at: www.polyone.com
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A HEALTHY FUTURE FOR
Pharmaceutical and healthcare packaging specialist Medica Packaging Ltd has seen a number of strategic changes in recent years which have contributed to its position as one of the UK’s leading packaging partners. Emma-Jane Batey finds out how the changes have supported the company focus on “service, service, service”.
edica Packaging Ltd is part of the UK-based packaging specialist Benson Group, with its Leicester headquarters a dedicated “centre of excellence” for innovative and effective packaging development for the food, pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. The group has consistently posted impressive financial figures and aims to increase turnover from £93 million in 2008 to £100 million by 2010 through organic growth. This has helped to fuel investment in equipment at the group’s four production sites. Investment at Medica’s Crewe, Cheshire, facility has amounted to £1.6 million in 2007/08 and £1.85 million in 2008/09. This level of expenditure has allowed the business to further invest in its Braille capabilities, and also to purchase label production equipment, expanding on Medica’s original capabilities of cartons and patient information leaflets.
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Highly ethical business
Previously a part of the Wellcome Foundation, Medica was acquired by Benson at the end of 2005. Sales manager Sarah Serlenga explains why the company appealed to its new owner. “Medica has always had an excellent reputation as a well-run, highly ethical business, so we’re thankful that Benson has invested in the company and lets us continue to do what we do best, which is to engage our customers and create pharmaceutical and healthcare packaging that adds value to our customers’ business,” she says. As well as investing in new technical facilities and operational resources, Benson has fully integrated Medica into its existing business. “We’ve been able to learn an awful lot from the food packaging sector, which is where Benson really excels, most notably in terms of service and value for money,” says Ms Serlenga. “We have a new management team and we are continuing to invest in the infra-structure of the business.”
Medica is an ambitious company, with high expectations of reaching a £40 million turnover from pharmaceutical packaging alone over the next five years and an aim of hitting £20 million by the end of the decade. The company is very strong within the ethical pharma market and is determined to maintain its strong relationships with major brand clients, while also being keen to grow outside the sector. In order to succeed in pharmaceutical packaging, companies must adhere to the very strictest of rules and regulations and Medica takes this issue very seriously. “Pharmaceutical packaging is a very aggressive, cost-driven business,” Ms Serlenga explains. “A major driver for Medica is service and quality, because cost is a given. We’re dedicated to deepening the links with our customers as it is only through this that we can continue to grow, succeed and meet their changing needs.”
Sarah Serlenger, Sales manager
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“We tend to be involved at the grassroots level of industry developments, so it’s business as usual. We are investing in new equipment to be able to offer Braille on labels by the end of this year”
Process efficiency is key
As for all its competitors, the rising price of raw materials is sharpening Medica’s cost base analysis even further and, in conjunction with a challenging global economy, is highlighting the importance of process efficiency in the packaging industry. Medica has a strong strategy in place in this regard, working closely with its customers to ensure that every aspect of the production process is as efficient as possible. “It all comes down to building and maintaining strong relationships that are honest and open; changing long-established working practices and adopting a different mindset,” says Ms Serlenga. “We keep a high profile with our customers and get them to site to see how we’re reducing make-readies on machines, sharing best practice and training our operators to go onto customer lines. It’s all about communication.” Communication is a Medica strength both internally and externally, she says, with a robust company culture that supports training, personal development and promotion from within. The 220 Medica employees appreciate that the company is consistently growing and hitting targets even during a slow economic period when some competitors are facing difficulties and Ms Serlenga notes that this has boosted morale and loyalty beyond its previous high levels.
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Invest in the future
Product innovation and staying one step ahead of changing regulations is also a key priority in the Medica business model. For example, Medica has been producing pharmaceutical packaging with Braille for 12 years, even though the European policy is only coming into force in 2010. “We tend to be involved at the grassroots level of industry developments, so it’s business as usual. We are investing in new equipment to be able to offer Braille on labels by the end of this year,” Ms Serlenga says. New pharmaceutical label options and additional anti-counterfeit protection are just two examples of the short-term future developments planned at Medica. Medica is looking to cement its “one-stop-shop” pharmaceutical and healthcare packaging provision in the near future, with plans to offer kitting to clients in the UK and across Europe, with the carI ton, leaflet and label all produced to exacting standards in-house.
THE VOICE OF REASON
“We take all areas of our business very seriously, but we currently have a particular focus on the paper packaging and container board market as we see a great potential for growth as a responsible operator in this field.”
The new direction of Johannesburg-based Kraft packaging paper producer, Sappi Kraft, sees it focus on the end user, with the power to influence the paper packaging sector from a unique perspective. With an impressive ecological commitment and plans for continued investment, general manager Marketing and Sales Matt Spence is justifiably positive about the future. Emma-Jane Batey reports.
very seriously, but we currently have a particular focus on the paper packaging market as we see a great potential for growth as a responsible operator in this field.”
ounded in 1936 in Johannesburg, where its head office is still located, international producer of coated fine paper and chemical cellulose Sappi Limited, is enjoying a renewed sense of direction in its Kraft division. Sappi Limited is structured into three main business units, Sappi Fine Paper, Sappi Forest Products (of which Sappi Kraft is a part) and Sappi Trading, all ensuring its customers across more than 100 countries are offered the right product at the right time. The three core product sectors within the Kraft division are newsprint, packaging papers and pulp. Packaging papers include containerboard, extensible sack kraft and machine glazed speciality papers. Although Sappi Kraft is principally a paper and pulp manufacturer, paper packaging is a real interest. General manager marketing and sales Matt Spence explained, “We take all areas of our business
In addition to its world leading position in coated fine paper and chemical cellulose, Sappi also manufactures uncoated graphic and business paper, coated and uncoated speciality paper and release paper that is used in the manufacture of artificial leather and textured polyurethane applications. State-of-the-art manufacturing facilities are located in Southern Africa, Europe and North America, with a number of marketing and sales functions worldwide. There is also a joint venture in China. The company has
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some 17,000 employees worldwide and has a culture of investment in people and capabilities to ensure the best possible results across its business units. Sappi Kraft offers Kraft packaging papers on a global scale, although its biggest customers are in the domestic South African market. Mr Spence told Packaging Europe, “Our Kraft packaging papers are our main products in terms of sales volumes, and our customers include corrugators, sack and bag makers and producers of cores and tubes. Both recycled and virgin paper products are manufactured to cater for a wide range of applications. We’re a significant player in the domestic market and a small player globally, but we’re dedicated to offering the same high quality products and services across our international markets.”
“We’re a significant player in the domestic market and a small player globally, but our presence is growing and we’re dedicated to offering the same high quality products and services across our international markets.”
New focus on end users
Over the last two years, Sappi has steadily increased its focus on the end user of its raw materials, with a forward integrated approach that sees converter and end user customers becoming partners. As Sappi does not make the actual paper packaging products, but has a significant investment in the production of paper, the company is keen to ensure it utilises its full potential to drive the paper packaging industry forward. Mr Spence said, “We realised that we needed to get more involved in the actual paper packaging industry because we feel that, as a larger company, we can drive industry solutions. For many years we were involved at the converter level, but we can add more value across the industry this way. The change has not been without its friction, but we’re not here to threaten the converter industry, more as a non-sales
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voice with an opinion that comes from a fresh direction. Our goal is to ensure that the paper packaging industry grows in volume and performance, both for raw materials manufacturers and for the converters that make the packaging products. We believe that if the value of these products is seen by the end users they’re more likely to specify it, so by keeping close to the end users it’s better for everyone involved.”
Sappi is committed to decreasing its impact on the environment. Using alternative fuel sources wherever possible is part of the company strategy. Cogeneration opportunities using biomass and additional green products are being investigated in all regions. Two projects in the Kraft division have proved to be commercially viable and are being proceeded with. Other projects include using biomass recovered from wood and bark waste instead of coal for power. The environmental responsibility focus has also shifted from the manufacturing base to the end user market, with a huge awareness of the challenges involved. Mr Spence noted that one such challenge is the fact that so many companies and industries want to use the global raw material
“Sustainability and responsibility go hand in hand with getting better utility out of less mass and this is what we are focused on, for the benefit of ourselves, our customers and the planet.”
Ideas for the future
resources, so not only must they be used responsibly, but also sustainably. Sappi has long been conscious of keeping ahead of industry trends, bearing in mind the obvious driver of production costs. The current trend looks set to become simply the industry standard, with Sappi already implementing the development. Mr Spence explained, “Sustainability and responsibility goes hand in hand with getting better utility out of less mass of fibre and this is what we are focused on, for the benefit of ourselves, our customers and the planet.”
In order to progress in this area, Sappi is working on alternatives to polycoated and wax coated papers that are more ecologically desirable and has invested a great deal in this project. Sappi knows that too often price and cost pressure can result in the quality of packaging being reduced to the point where the functionality is lost, so it is being vigilant with this particular trend to maintain quality boundaries. With an international presence and a $5.9 billion turnover posted for 2008, it’s clear that Sappi truly does have an influence, which it intends I to utilise for the benefit of the wider paper packaging industry.
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POLISH LEADER IN
Article available in Polish - click here
FLEXPOL, an enterprise created in 1996 by a petrochemical consortium from Płock in Poland, is a company which in a short time has gained a dominant position on the Polish market for polypropylene BOPP film, known under the BIFOL trademark. The film is used for manufacturing a wide range of modern flexible packaging which has almost entirely replaced traditional paper packaging. In January 2007 the company launched state-of-the-art manufacturing technology for 5-layer polypropylene CAST film under the QUINTEX trademark. Piotr Sadowski reports.
LEXPOL has been operating since 1996 when it launched a production line for manufacturing biaxially oriented polypropylene film (BOPP) of six metres width and annual output capacity of 10,000 tonnes. Until the present day this particular production line has been the core basis of manufacturing in the company, although over the years the assortment of products offered from it has been changing. In 2006 FLEXPOL introduced a metalliser which, in vacuum conditions, applies a thin layer of aluminium on specialist transparent film designed for metallization. A year later FLEXPOL carried out a very important investment relating to the launch of a modern 5-layer line for the production of cast film of 3.3 meters width and annual output capacity of 6000 tonnes, thus significantly increasing its manufacturing capabilities. It is also important to recognise the significance of FLEXPOL’s machine park which enables it to carry out rapid deliveries of products, including films packaged into very narrow and small reels. The above facts, as well as the ongoing work on developing and launching new products into the market, have transformed the company into a major player on the market for polypropylene films.
Strong position – in Poland and abroad
FLEXPOL sells over 1200 tonnes of polypropylene films per month, serving more than 350 different customers. Of these 1200 tonnes, nearly 800 tonnes falls into the market for rapid deliveries in which FLEXPOL specialises. In the first half of 2009 the company’s turnover exceeded EUR 10 million and the current workforce totals 135. Exports currently constitute approximately 25% of the company’s overall turnover. The most strategically-important markets – in addition to Poland – are Czech Republic, Slovakia and the Baltic States. For a number of years FLEXPOL has been carrying out a strategy of serving customers in countries neighbouring with Poland, where, as a result, the BIFOL trademark of BOPP film manufac-
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tured by FLEXPOL is very well known. The company has also managed to successfully introduce the 5-layer cast film under the QUINTEX trademark into the neighbouring markets. At the same time FLEXPOL has not limited itself only to geographically close markets: the company is in fact advancing into Western and Southern Europe, hence FLEXPOL’s interest in German, British, Bulgarian or Romanian markets. The company is currently looking for a business representative or a distributor on the British market.
Excellently prepared offer
When preparing the product offer and the monthly manufacturing plans, the main factors taken into consideration are, of course, the market and the current needs of the company’s customers. FLEXPOL always tries to collect information from its clients relating to products that they are interested in or may be potentially interested in the future. Together with its customers, the company is currently taking part in a number of very interesting projects which have led to the creation of new types of films, previously not available in its product offer. They include items such as film for sterilisation, film with the so-called ‘peel effect’, as well as film for deep freezing. By far the company’s best selling products – both in Poland, as well as across export markets – are the QUINTEX KC film of 25 micrometer thickness, used for manufacturing bags used for bread packaging, and the BIFOL BG film of 20 micrometer thickness used for overprinting and lamination. The company puts immense efforts into ensuring that its products – BIFOL and QUINTEX films – are differentiated in the market thanks to their high, repeatable quality. In order to achieve this, already a number of years ago FLEXPOL introduced an integrated quality management system which is being constantly improved. The system monitors the manufacturing and packaging of film during all stages of production, starting with deliveries of raw materials and ending with dis-
patches of ready film from the warehouse to customers. In terms of the competitive environment, FLEXPOL stands out in the market thanks to its very high flexibility in reacting to customers’ needs. This in turn positively impacts on its share in the market for rapid deliveries in which FLEXPOL is the best not only in Poland, but also in this particular part of Europe. The company is able to deliver nearly 800 tonnes of deeply converted films to its customers, which is one of its strongest advantages. Its storage logistics policy is based on keeping appropriate reserves of film allocated to future client orders. This enables it to retain high flexibility and rapidly react to customers’ needs using its machine park. In addition, the remarkably adapted loading docks, as well as highly qualified personnel, guarantee efficient and rapid servicing of orders. FLEXPOL does not have its own means of transport, nevertheless the very high percentage of on-time deliveries is ensured by the company’s cooperation with reliable logistics partners. FLEXPOL’s strategy of competing on the local market with both distributors, as well as other producers, has resulted in its ability to serve all segments of the market. FLEXPOL is able to meet the needs of both multinational companies and smaller local customers. Despite the hard work and many difficulties in servicing the market for small- and medium-sized businesses, FLEXPOL believes that this is the most valuable market segment.
Analysis of market environment
Recently, the market for BOPP film customers has been undergoing dynamic changes. The year 2009 is difficult to compare to any previous years, since the purchasing power of producers of packaging has been particularly strongly impacted by the lower production volumes of manufacturers of food and industrial products. Many of FLEXPOL’s competitors are faced with a major problem, since their production capacities have substantially exceeded the current market demand. In this situation FLEXPOL, thanks to its strategy and high flexibility, has not noted any problems with sales, as the unpredictable market this year has redirected a large part of regular contracts to rapid deliveries. The company was prepared for this and is therefore trying to take advantage of this situation. In a highly competitive market, a separate issue remains the strength of the brand, as well as the product offer. It is obvious that these are significant factors that support sales, nevertheless in the current times the main factor influencing market gains and new customers is the price of a product. One of the market trends worth mentioning is the progress relating to the continuously increasing speeds in new packaging machines.
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This development concerns increasingly larger groups of customers, which in turn has made it necessary to offer film with reduced sealing temperature, used in fast packaging machines. Such measures have already been introduced by FLEXPOL. In addition, the company is dealing with many other trends, but it is difficult to assess immediately their extent, strength and durability. For a number of years FLEXPOL has been meeting the expectations of customers. It is always seriously considering all suggestions put forward by the clients and takes care of their needs, which is in turn reflected in product assortment offered by the company.
Cooperation with trading partners
Among its more than 350 customers, FLEXPOL has clients with whom it has worked for many years. The company focuses on long-term cooperation based on the principles of partnership. The same policy is applied to its work with its suppliers. The company is capable of meeting many additional requirements of customers relating to special packaging of film or its non-standard marking. FLEXPOL also takes part in solving problems related to processing at its customers’ sites.
During its participation in the TAROPAK Packaging Fair in September 2008, FLEXPOL was once again recognised with the Gold Medal of the International Poznań Fair for its QUINTEX film. Such medals are awarded to the best products. It is already a second such recognition in the company’s history. Previously, a similar award was extended to the company for its BIFOL film. In terms of certificates owned by the company, FLEXPOL operates a certified integrated quality management system according to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 norms. At present, it is difficult to accurately predict the direction in which the company’s products will develop. Advances in biodegradable films and increasingly specialised films seem to be a natural trend but today it cannot yet be clearly defined. FLEXPOL tries to be ready for all eventualities and is already engaged in projects that the company considers interesting and important for the future. Which of them will prove to I be winners? Time and customers’ needs will show.
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Via Quattro Giornate di Eboli, 5/7 Zona Industriale 84025 EBOLI (SA) - ITALY Tel. +39 0828 340904 (R.A.) Fax +39 0828 340906 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.selematic.it
SELEMATIC, forefront technologies in packing sector all around the world
Established in 1978, Selematic S.p.A. designs, produces, sells and installs packing and palletization systems for pre-packed products, above all in the sector of dry pasta and disposable products. Over the years, the company managed to export its systems in over 40 countries around five continents, reaching a leader position in this sector thanks to its competence, experience, flexibility and reliability. After a steady growth, in the last five years Selematic S.p.A. experienced a sharp rise which was possible thanks also to big investment into Research and Development. As a result, the company had the need to endow itself with a more suitable logistic structure, which now consists of 14.000 covered sq. m upon a total area of 60,000 sq. m, divided into different plants. The two promoting partners Vito Amabile and Angelo Carimando, respectively President and CEO of the company, with periodical alternation of there office, are currently undertaking a further enhancement of the business departments, aware of the importance that Selematic has reached in terms of number of employees as well as prestigious international brand. In the meantime, they are working to creating the conditions for a gradual passage of the company to the next generation, and to transforming it, within a few years, from a family run business into a structured managerial business. This plan is meant to assure further consolidation and growth of the company in the next years (keeping always an eye on its past history though), in order to provide to its vast and loyal customers, in Italy and from all around the world, strong and long term guarantee of collaboration.
As the worldwide leader in food processing plants and machinery, Pavan has built an excellent reputation for industrial solutions. With blue-chip clients and constantly evolving technological equipment, Pavan is committed to achieving another 60 years as successful as their first half-century. Packaging Europe’s Emma-Jane Batey interviewed CEO of Pavan Group, Mr Andrea Cavagnis.
wo Pavan brothers established a small pasta factory in Italy back in 1946, also building a good reputation for supplying local stores with ice for meat preservation. By 1951 they had built their first industrial plant, with the capability to produce, paint and wrap long-cut and short-cut pasta and were gaining skills in the production of spare parts for associated machinery. The next ten years saw Pavan grow from 90 to 180 employees, with production capacity increasing dramatically as their investment in equipment and processes was realised. In 1964, Pavan enjoyed their first production patent for the Rothothermo – a long-cut, high temperature pasta drying product that gained great loyalty among their domestic and international client base.
The best of the future
The 1980s marked a time of change and development for Pavan, with the death of Nico Pavan seeing Mario Pavan take control of the entire engineering productivity department. Great technological innovations quickly followed, including the highly respected THT technology, using first line functioning, drying pasta with micro-processor control at very high temperatures. Pavan sees 1987 as the start of its globalisation period. Pavan Machine Shops was taken over by a family group with Andrea Cavagnis at the helm, giving it a fresh, entrepreneurial spirit and applying new marketing strategies strongly oriented to enhance its competitiveness. Rapid expansion followed, with the acquisition of Mapimpianti SpA, a market leader
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in the production of pre-cooked pasta, snacks, breakfast cereals and baby food, increasing the company’s range of products greatly. Further acquisitions included the Montoni brand, a specialist in the production of dyes for food processing machines and Toresani Foodmac, a market leader in filled pasta.
Enjoying rapid growth
The most recent acquisitions by Pavan are the buyout of the Stiavelli Company, which contributes to the group automated production of packaging for pasta; and Nuova Dizma, a packaging machine operation and Pizeta, a producer of turnkey systems for the transport, dosing, cleaning, recycling and storage of related raw materials and finished products. Mr Andrea Cavagnis told Packaging Europe about the key dates in the history of the company, and what it means to him to be involved in such a well-respected organisation. He said, “Pavan has a colourful history that reaches back over 60 years and I am proud to be a part of it. There have been many key dates in our company history because we have grown and developed greatly over the years – I suppose details that stand out would be our various product patents, because these technological advances are what allow us to continue to be at the very top of our game.” As the market leader in the industrial construction of food processing plants and machinery, Pavan is internationally recognised for its expertise, especially within the pasta industry. With equipment for the production of high quality dry and fresh pasta, extruded and special products (snacks, breakfast cereals, stackable potato chips etc.), ready meals and oriental noodles, Pavan has gained an excellent reputation for turnkey solutions of unbeatable standards.
Mr Cavagnis continued, “Barilla is one of the leading names in excellent quality dried pasta and our latest facilities for them in the US specialises in the production of spaghetti. We sell our products all around the world, so understanding the needs of our customers is most important as their requirements are all different. We pride ourselves on listening to our customers to make sure that we address their needs and concerns, so the products we offer them match perfectly. This is what we have done for Barilla and their results speak for themselves.” The company works closely alongside customers to ensure that its technological solutions provide an exact fit with their needs. Pavan is widely considered a technological partner as well as a supplier of production equipment. The company’s innovative approach to addressing customer’s requirements is to develop new products in response to the feedback gained, rather than working on new products and then launching them onto the market. As Mr Cavagnis explained, “One of the reasons our clients choose Pavan technology for their products is because they know we have created the products with the understanding of what they are trying to achieve. We can tweak our products so they are an exact fit for their production requirements.”
A global audience
Pavan marketing strategy is to bring new technology and new production solutions to the attention of the customers, and the company is a regular attendee of the international packaging trade fairs. Pavan attends around 10 fairs each year that represents a perfect opportunity to get customer feedback on its products. The company’s Italian sales representative will be hosting the stand, bringing its offer to life so customers and potential customers can touch and taste the new products. Mr Cavagnis continued, “We always have a really informative, interactive stand at trade shows. We collated lots of customer feedback and used it to make around 40/50 product samples to show the capabilities of our machinery and production lines. We encouraged people to pick up and try the products – we found that showing the finished food from our machines really helped to illustrate the exceptional quality of our technology and processing, rather than simply having our machines on display.”
Results that speak for themselves
The achievements of Pavan can be seen in their financial results, with a turnover of €90 million posted in 2008. Global clients including multinational companies such as Barilla play a large part in the success of the company, with around 95 per cent of their turnover coming from export sales. Pavan has recently installed a second production line for Barilla in the US, allowing them to produce over 200 tonnes of pasta per day.
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Attending international trade fairs has long been a key part of the marketing strategy of Pavan, with proven results. Pavan provides plenty of stimulating marketing literature at its stands, with brochures, videos and samples freely available for people to take away. Its sophisticated promotional activity makes it appealing for customers to consider their products, with facts and figures to hand to highlight the long list of features and benefits provided by Pavan technology.
Sharing know-how with the Customer
The marketing and sales department at Pavan has regular communication with its customers all over the world, with sales presentations and promotional literature created to provide information on new products and upcoming attendance at trade fairs. For the research and development activities, Pavan Group avails itself of a highly qualified working team and it collaborates both with university institutions and companies for the development of products and processes. In an area of 2.000 mq., it involves 30 people, including process technologists, analysts and mechanics that have at disposal 3 pilot plants and 4 production lines to test-run the products and the new achieved processes. The lab is equipped to carry out chemical, physical-chemical, rheological, nutritional and organoleptic analysis. It carries out analysis for all the Company’s involved departments, offering its own technical-scientifical know-how as further support to the customers.
Getting more from research
Pavan has four research and development production plants and a laboratory fully stocked with up to the minute technological equipment. Here they not only create and test their own products, but also those developed by their customers. Mr Cavagnis explained, “We have found that if we truly understand the issues faced by our customers, we can find a solution. In our experience, the problems are usually characteristics of the raw materials somehow interfering with the production. Different raw materials can change the perimeters of the machinery, such as changes in humidity and temperature, so by testing their products in our state-of-the-art facilities we can see exactly what technical solutions will fix the problem.” These technical solutions come at the end of a period of research, with market trends and customer goals taken into consideration before committing to a particular approach. Pavan has the know-how to develop, design and create the industrial solution to its clients needs, the reason so many clients return to Pavan time and time again. The company has a great capacity to study potential developments in the food processing plants and machinery sector and so can offer the fruits of its knowledge to their customers. Pavan’s industrial products are recognised as a good investment by their customers as they provide a guaranteed solution to their food production issues. Pavan offers expert advice to its customers and can also supply the necessary supervision to their plants, reducing man hours while increasing productivity.
On the menu for the future
With such a respected past and a highly successful present, Pavan is keen to make sure its future is just as triumphant. It is important for the company to be recognised by the major companies in the food industry throughout the world for its high quality pasta production equipment, so Pavan is currently focusing on improving its position and market share. By exploring emerging markets, Pavan plans to be the first company offering pasta production machinery in growing economies. It aims to introduce its production capabilities and develop mutually respectful relationships that understand the needs of these new markets. Using its carefully honed research and development capabilities, Pavan will then be able to offer customers in new regions exactly what they want. As Andrea Cavagnis pointed out, “Wherever our clients and potential I clients are, we will be there.”
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“One of the other key points about the new factory is that it will give us the ability to mix fluids”
will enable us to increase production by between three and six times and, furthermore, there is room in the building for additional growth in the future should we need it.” Between 80 and 100 people are now employed by Kompak, whose customer portfolio includes the international A brand suppliers. The existing product facilities are also extremely modern and fitted with state-of-the-art equipment. “One of the other key points about the new factory is that it will give us the ability to mix fluids,” said Mr Van Korlaar. “This means we will become much more of a ‘one-stop-shop’ for our customers.” He added: “As our customers are now outsourcing much more, this expansion puts us in a good position. We want to continue to grow now – finding new customers across Europe is our top priority.” I
Dutch packaging operation Kompak is growing – the company is about to see the launch of its new production facilities, which will greatly extend its capabilities. Abigail Saltmarsh reports
ompak’s goal for 2010 is to be the most successful, innovative and progressive co-packer and co-manufacturer for customers in the market of food products, home care, laundry and personal care products – and the company is certainly moving in the right direction. The company’s food production site, built four years ago, has served as the example for a new facility: November 2009 sees the opening of a new purpose-built production site where Kompak will focus on laundry and home care products, as well as personal care items. Rijk Van Korlaar, one of the managing directors of Kompak, said the new site in Etten-Leur was just 20km from the company’s existing production base. “We will be able to share knowledge and expertise between the two sites, as well as management skills,” he said. “The new facility
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PRINTPACK RECEIVES A 2009 FTA EXCELLENCE IN FLEXOGRAPHY AWARD
onfirming its broad product inspection capability, S+S Inspection will be showing a wide range of contamination detection equipment on Stand B32. The latest RAYCON X-ray product inspection system uses enhanced image processing software for reliable metallic and nonmetallic contamination detection at high throughput rates combined with a low power X-ray source. Supporting the company’s well-proven range of balanced coil inspection systems will be Genius+, a new metal detection control concept, providing more data processing power, increased sensitivity and improved product effect compensation whilst simplifying set-up. A
THE NEW 8001 E-NET BY SYSTECH
ow income consumers make up a considerable segment of the market in Latin America. They want access to high quality products but in most cases cannot afford large content formats of those products. (Eight oz bottles, for example.) Procter and Gamble demanded a low cost solution for a small volume, barrier structure produced with consistent quality all over Latin America. P&G's additional goals were for both cost reduction and response time for the manufacturing plant. A very fluctuating product demand required a very flexible film supply. Printpack's Queretaro, Mexico plant developed a 3ply laminated structure that met the required barrier www.packagingeurope.com/News/29766 www.packagingeurope.com/News/30957
S+S TO SHOW LATEST X-RAY PRODUCT INSPECTION SYSTEM AT NEW CONTROL UNIT AT PPMA 2009
specifications and exceeded the expected performance in production lines by optimizing the required sealing temperature and reducing overall production stops, all resulting in higher productivity. Additionally, they overcame the belief that flexographic printing quality was not comparable to the current rotogravure standard. After working closely with the color separator, an excellent print quality was achieved, completely changing P&G's original perception that only rotogravure could do the job. Email: email@example.com Web: www.printpack.com new multi-line touch screen display unit takes full advantage of the expanded programming capability. For over 20 years, S+S has worked with clients in a wide range of industries developing practical and costeffective solutions to product inspection, metal detection and contaminant removal problems using innovative and reliable technology. With many thousands of metal detection and separation systems installed in packaging lines throughout the world, S+S is the only leading manufacturer with such a wide and flexible product range. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.sesotec.co.uk
he 8001 e-net combines the quality of the Systech Oxygen Permeation Analyser with an integrated computer. The analyser has a new enhanced oxygen sensor offering faster purge down time, accurate readings at lower levels and lower cost sensor replacement. The integral computer eliminates the cost and confusion of sourcing and configuring a work station, whilst saving on valuable laboratory space. The ‘e-net’ feature allows the user to remotely access the analyser and utilise Systech’s Remote Consultant™ for guidance. The Remote Consultant™ offers help and support. Experts can train and communicate all aspects of the
analyser operation by navigating you through the intuitive menu system on screen; on-line instrument diagnostic: technical engineers can run complete system diagnostics, baselines, sample tests and even calibrate your analyser assuring it remains in optimum operational condition and nline operation assistance Method development for unique samples - technical engineers can make recommendations and set-up test profiles with minimal effort and time. Only the user can initiate connectivity with the Remote Consultant™ allowing secure remote support. www.packagingeurope.com/News/29500 Email: email@example.com Web: www.systechinstruments.com
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