Cosmetics & Perfumes ● Focus on Rigid Plastics ● Pharmaceuticals ● Thermoforming IK Interview ● Europe as Global Model ● Supply Chain Strategy ● ICE Europe Preview
VOLUME 4/4 - 2010
3 Editorial Tim Sykes News European Headlines The key events World News Global overview Appointments People on the move Corporate Company developments Events Shows and conferences Environment & Legislation Sustainable futures Design & Branding Bright and beautiful Technology & Innovation Packs, machines, materials Research & Development Primary and academic research Commerce & Purchasing Money matters Comments & Reports Design Opinions Lee Taylor narrates SunnyD’s bottle redesign Purchasing Hans de Haas on supply chain flexibility Big Interview Ulf Kelterborn of IK on plastics in Germany Materials Profiling rigid plastics Technology Steve Howells on the advance of RFID Market Focus Spotlight on cosmetics & perfume packaging Pharmaceuticals Jonathan Ford on OTC packaging trends Serialisation Joe Ringwood on preparing for the future Special Report Highlighting market trends in closures Events Previewing Munich’s ICE Europe Environment Julian Carroll advocates the European template Industry profiles KBA Metronic German excellence in printing machinery GMG Solutions in colour Segezha Pulp and Paper Mill Going global in pulp and paper Husky Innovation in injection moulding Assan Aluminium Expanding in aluminium Logoplaste Message in a bottle Negri Bossi Investing for recovery Ongropack Progress in plastic processing Boschi Food & Beverage Packaging the best of Italy Meyer/Stemmle In the bag Estiko Plastar Focusing on food Sirap Group Expanding in food packaging Hopf Investment and innovation Vipap Videm Krsko d.d. A greener future Slater Harrison Shorter runs, more flexibility Graphic Packaging International The whole package Sparflex Sparkling solutions Ilim Cardboard giant of Russia PackSys Global In safe hands Inka Presented by Inka 118 120 124 128 132 136 140 144 147 152 154 156 157 162 165 170 174 177 180 186 191 192 194 200 207 210 213 216 218 224 230 234 236 241 244 249 254 256 260 264 271 274 278 283 284 286 291 Vitasheet Supporting the future Naksan Plastik Any plastic as long as it’s green VIBAC Realising the dream MEC LAT BREVETTI Finding new solutions SAPIN Middle East award-winner DSM NeoResins+ Adding value to innovative resins Britannia Adding zing to life Innovia Films Clean, green packaging team Ima Flavour Giant of tea-bagging targets expansion Alcopack Perfectly located for success Südpack Sustainability – the keyword for the future Integrated Aluminium Components Ltd IAC’s aluminium is the new black IMA Active Division Active by name, active by nature Vetromeccanica Conveying quality Qatar Pac Direct from Doha Juta Flexible packaging made in EU Total-Pack Totally into packaging Mach Flexopackaging Flexibility and innovation drive growth Cham Paper The Swiss solution Bormioli Luigi A clear focus Kartonpack Packaging for all Closure Systems International On top of it all Procter & Gamble Beautiful hair comes in innovative packaging Promens Food & Beverage Packaging CombiPac supports Promens’ European ambitions Vorwald The world-wide winding of Vorwald A&R Carton Innovation leads the way for A&R Carton Aerocan Aluminium advantages Alcan Packaging Packaging from Portugal Impress Impressing the world Simec Group The Simec concept Farmec A beautiful business PetroplastVinora AG QualiPackaging Gizeh Meeting multiple demands UPM Fruits of the forest Comexi Total converting solutions Lumen A green path for the future Green Peas Solutions The solution is in the pod Herti JSC Continuous investment drives growth Wachem A beautiful partnership CSi industries Customer oriented logistics Ucon U-turn for container technology Kyiv Cardboard and Paper Mill Time for investment Solombala Pulp and Paper Mill Russia’s global player in pulp Rosinski & Co More than packaging Multivac Always consider the whole Kantemir Kantemir looks to investment to drive productivity Madern International The rotary club
4 6 7 8 9 10 12 14 16 17
11 18 19 22 26 28 30 32 34 36 38
42 45 46 50 54 58 70 77 80 84 87 92 94 98 103 104 108 113 114 117
A C E F
ABB BV Achenbach Buschhütten GmbH Ackros Chemicals Ltd Actega Ds GmbH Akzo Nobel GmbH Alstom Power Ambaflex B V Arabian Packaging Co. Autogas Nord SpA Autotrasporti Casoli Bruno Di Casoli Fabrizio AVT Ltd
p264 p57 p138 p258 p134 p180 p266 p134 p174 p189 p247 p266 p25 p151 p203 p100 p262 p198 p280 p288 p232 p142 p110 p153 p57 p179 p102 p164 p107 p158 p202 p188 p73 p263 p91 p89 p127 p142 cover p203 p305 p72 p185 p246 p222 p73 p65 p72 p100 p205 p196 p268 p269 p74
G I J L
BJ - Techniek BV Banner Engineering Europe BVBA Becker Italia Srl Bekum Maschinenfabriken GmbH Belinka Perkemija, d.o.o. Birotehnik d.o.o Bischof + Klein GmbH BKT Service Ltd Bohler Edelstahl GmbH Bonex doo Borkar Packaging Pvt Ltd Boudeville et Fontaine Brückner Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG Bruno Presezzi SpA C + C Flexo Srl Calcit d.o.o. Camfil SpA Capsol SpA CFM SpA - Nilfisk Chevron Phillips Chemicals Ciemme Di Marvasi Corrado CMG SpA Coda Plastics Ltd Coim Deutschland GmbH Comexi Group S.L Constab Polyalefin Additives GmbH CPC CSi Closures Inside front Delta Plast AB Deville Rectification Buderus EAS Europe BV EBS-Logistiks GmbH Eltromat GmbH Elval SA Emilio Villa Srl Emsland Group ETA SpA Eurotek Trebnje, d.o.o. Eval Europe nv Foboha GmbH Fabory Fanuc Robotics Benelux Vbr Ferrari Angelo & Figli Snc
FiltratecMoile Schlammentwässerung GmbH Fiskeby Board AB Flexocolor Folien Fischer AG Fortress Interlocks Europe
p186 p106 p178 p111 p268 p149 p189 p182 p149 p189 p252 p172 p232 p79 p214 p76 p74 p182 p203 p219 p292 p246 p52 p101 p222 p273 p184 p238 p277 p126 p139 p266 p268 p69 p204
O P S T Z Q
Galliani & Sistemi SpA Gamma Chimica SpA Gebruder Weiss AG Gemue Srl Glass Consulting Group Srl Guidotti Centro Stampa SpA Greenfiber International SA Gruppo Autogas Nord Holland Colours NV Hruby Moving s.r.o. HTA Srl Imeco Imerys Paper - Imerys Minerals GmbH Ineos-Nova International Inemur Infor InkSpec Intravis GmbH Isola SpA JSC Alstom Power Stavan K + H Armaturen GmbH Kaolin International Karl Finke GmbH & Co KG Kemira Swiecie Sp zoo Kolon Industries Inc Kubik Amsterdam Kuka Robotics Kuka Robotics Lanfranchi S.r.l. Lysondell Basell
NSM Magnettechnik GmbH NV Bekaert Nyco Flexible Packaging GmbH
p221 p111 p240 p64 p143 p72 p243 p263 p52 p60 p49 p164 p167 p68 p78 p268 p253 p73
Otto Hofstetter AG Paharpur Cooling Towers Ltd Pantecnica SpA Pept Insulation AB Oy Plast Trade Hungary Plastic Systems SpA Posimat Print Media Europe Flint Group Proget Engineering Srl
M Torres p29 Maca Engineering Srl p259 Manfisa Manufacturas Irular S.A. p127 Maske Gruppen AS p204 Maxgrip p138 Mec Lat Brevetti p128 Metalvuoto SpA p173 Metso Power Oy p280 Modern Packaging Company p142 Morbark Inc. p281 MRS Italia Srl p74 Munksjö Pulp p184 Naksan Plastik p122 Netstal Maschinen AG p65 Neuenhauser Maschinenbau GmbH p209 Newbox p250
Qatar Pac Repsol Quimica SA Rodenghi F.lli Srl Rockwell Automation Rotoflex RPO Srl
Sa Petrofina n.v. p61 Sabic Europe p204 Sagemis Srl – Lissone p91 SBB - Cargo AG p185 Siat SpA - MJ Maillis Group p176 Sidel SpA p63 Siemens back cover Sig Combibloc Srl p83 Signode System GmbH p276 Simec p229 SML Maschinengesellschaft GmbH p37 Solvay Kémia Kft. p79 Starlinger & Co. p168 STF International Transport p182 Strojirenska Vyroba Truhlarstvi p215 Tecno Imac Srl Tesa A/S Thames Packaging Group Ltd Thyssenkrupp Materials France TPL Transparent Paper Ltd. Trouet SAS UACAN p72 p90 p263 p289 p91 p110
W.Brodhage OHG Wacker Chemie AG Werkzeugbau Leiss GmbH Wipotec Italia Srl ZF Italia Srl
p97 p183 p203 p161 p151
Editor Tim Sykes Deputy Editor Elisabeth Skoda Profile Writers Tom Albrighton Felicity Landon Oscar Del Santo Claire Milner-Smith Massimo Miato Olivia Barnett Metin Gunes Emma-Jane Batey Irene Alderson Piotr Sadowski Abigail Saltmarsh Studio Manager Gareth Harrey Art Editor Rob Czerwinski Designers Phil White Leon Esterhuizen IT Support Danny Rouse Web Development Neil Robertson Ben Yassin
Web Editors Irina Ball Patrycja Przelaczkowska Naïma Lemkhannet Christelle Çaltapé Rosie Vare Researcher Olga Huggins Art Administration Tania Balderson Production Manager Anna Cudzik Administration Amber Duffield Kayleigh Harvey Holly French Advertising Manager Andrew Briggs Features Managers James Boyle Mac McCarthy Helen Mills Matt Howe Eniko Kovacs Milada Preslova Massimo Ragazzo Anna Dudek Jesse Roberts Candice Nice
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elcome to the new edition of Packaging Europe magazine, which in its new electronic format is reaching a readership of over 120,000 – more than double our printed circulation. Polymers hold sway over this month’s edition. Our regular material focus article surveys the state of rigid plastic packaging, including the opinions of Ron Marsh, RPC’s CEO, Søren Marcussen of Superfos. We dilate on this theme with two additional features. In the Big Interview, Ulf Kelterborn, managing director of Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen briefs us on the issues facing the German plastic packaging industry. Meanwhile, in a special report we present the latest projections for the plastic-dominated caps and closures market. We scrutinise two packaging markets in this issue. First, Maria Viegas of Alcan Packaging Beauty and Lisa Goodwin of Yin & Yang Design offer their insights on cosmetics and perfumes. Next we turn our attentions to pharmaceuticals. Jonathan Ford, Creative Partner at Pearlfisher, shares his vision for design in pharma packaging, while Joe Ringwood of Systech International arguing the case for investing in serialisation solutions. Our technology feature looks at developments in an area with close connections to the pharmaceuticals markets – radio-frequency identification. In our environment feature, Julian Carroll of EUROPEN looks back on the European packaging harmonisation project and argues that our eventual success can serve as the model for a much needed global structure. In addition, Bianor’s Hans de Haas contributes an opinion piece suggesting that moving outsourced production closer to home could provide crucial flexibility in these troubled times. Rounding up this edition, I Lee Taylor talks us through SunnyD’s recent bottle redesign.
A Square Root Company
packaging europe | 3 |
DUPONT MAKES RESIN PRICE INCREASES
UPM Raflatac opens terminals in St Petersburg and Istanbul
he association of the bioplastics industry in Europe, European Bioplastics, has welcomed the German federal government’s decision to step up promotion of renewable raw materials for industrial applications – a development which could prove a template for similar moves across the EU. The plan of action, introduced by Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Ilse Aigner, is intended to boost efficiency and secure a cutting edge for Germany on an international level. According to the association, utilisation cascades are to be developed and promoted for this purpose. The ‘material use’ plan of action is tied in with measures for energy recovery of biomass. Biofuels, electricity and heat generation have been massively supported for years by the legislature, project financing and PR work. European Bioplastics sees a substantial step towards the promotion of ecological future technologies in this new initiative and as a result, the creation of highly qualified workplaces in Germany. “Before burning valuable biomass in engines or furnaces, we should recover it to enable more efficient
EUROPEAN BIOPLASTICS WELCOMES GERMAN PLAN
and value-added utilisation. The key to all this is a concept in which the measures to promote material and energy recovery are well coordinated”, explained Harald Kaeb, secretary general of European Bioplastics, at the panel discussion. For industrial countries with high social and production standards, the high added value of products like bioplastics is an important prerequisite for international competitiveness. According to the associate’s spokesman, climate protection would also benefit from increased recovery of materials. The carbon drawn by plants from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is stored in the product over a longer period of time. “We can withdraw harmful CO2 from the atmosphere and lock it up for years in stable and recyclable materials”, added Mr Kaeb. After the end of the service life, additional renewable energy could be created in case of energy recovery of the products. To promote this, however, regulations will have to be adapted in the respective laws. www.packagingeurope.com/News/32054
uPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers (P&IP) has increased prices on all ethylene copolymer product lines in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) to 0.15 €/kg. This increase is a result of continued cost escalation of key raw materials during the past months. A world leader in specialty ethylene copolymers with proprietary technology, global reach and an inte-
grated asset base, DuPont P&IP’s goal is to be the preferred global packaging and tailored materials provider delivering higher performing, more cost-effective and more sustainable solutions to our customers and partners worldwide. www.packagingeurope.com/News/32269
Raflatac has opened a new slitting and distribution terminal in St Petersburg. The new terminal will supply the Russian labelling market with high-quality film and paper labelstock. “We’re very excited to be the first pressure-sensitive manufacturer to open our own distribution facility in Russia. This investment signals our commitment to the Russian market, where it will significantly improve our service capabilities. Our customers can now enjoy shorter delivery times, smaller order sizes and a wider range of products – each being essential to success in today’s challenging economic climate,” says Tapio Kolunsarka, senior vice president of UPM Raflatac in Europe. In addition, at the beginning of 2010 UPM Raflatac will open a new
slitting and distribution terminal in Istanbul to supply the local labelling market with high-quality film and paper labelstock. “Demand for our products has seen strong growth in Turkey in the past year, and we’re committed to offering the local market a wide range of products with fast delivery. This investment is also perfectly in line with our strategy of strengthening the service network and gradually growing our market share in eastern Europe,” says Mr Kolunsarka. UPM Raflatac has completed a global development programme incorporating new production facilities in the USA and China, a brand new production and logistics centre in, Poland. www.packagingeurope.com/News/32253
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line with its corporate strategy to be active in all important growth markets, the MAUSER Group is extending its reach into eastern Europe. A new steel drum factory will supply the oil and chemical industries in Russia with high-quality MAUSER products and services. Construction works at the plant in Ryazan are now almost completed and production start-up is imminent. The MAUSER Russia team will offer customers premium performance in terms of in-time delivery, flexibility, availability at peak times, and safety. Cooperating with a global player also provides Russian clients with international standards in both product and service quality. The 8500 m2 site in Ryazan will produce 216-litre tight-head and opentop steel drums. Production start-up of the drum lining is scheduled for 2010. The plant will be equipped with a decoiling line, lines for the production of tops, bottoms & shells, a seamer, and a welding machine. MAUSER hopes to offer the Russian market an attractive alternative in industrial packaging.
Tests show ‘plastic almost as effective as glass’
PACKAGING SOCIETY ARTICULATES NEW GOALS
MAUSER GROUP ENTERS RUSSIAN MARKET
Sidel innovates for greener PET bottles
eith Barnes, the newly elected chairman of the UK’s Packaging Society, has revealed his vision for the organisation – and the packaging industry as a whole. “In my new position I passionately believe that the industry has much to do in creating a profile that reflects it’s importance and I intend to do all in my power to improve the situation,” he told Packaging Europe. These are challenging and potentially pivotal times for the packaging industry in the UK, according to Mr Barnes, with the domination exercised by supermarket chains an unavoidable issue and a general election due in 2010. If you add these domestic factors to the recession still affecting most of Europe and the universal need to bring climate change analysis into industry thinking, then there is much to occupy the industry. “There has never been a better time for packaging to make its mark,” remarked Mr Barnes. “Companies without packaging expertise should be looking for that skill, whether in-house or via a consultant. There are many training programmes and conferences available
to provide that extra knowledge. Our links with IOM3 give us the opportunity to explore new materials and processes within other divisions that often provide a spin-off into packaging. Apart from innovations, we should be looking at cost reduction of packaging or new manufacturing processes within our existing product ranges. There are so many instances where considerable sums can be saved.” As Chariman of the Packaging Society, Mr Barnes will be helping promote initiatives aimed at improving packaging, cost reduction, lowering carbon emissions and providing a sustainable pack throughout the supply chain. He will also be writing thought-provoking articles for Packaging Europe, exploring key developments and talking points in these areas. Prior to its merger with The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) in 2005, the Packaging Society was known as ‘The Institute of Packaging’. Keith Barnes can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. www.packagingeurope.com/News/32662
arrier tests carried out by Superfos give the packaging manufacturer an innovative market approach - and prove that plastic can be as effective as glass. According to the company, innovation is a key driver in product development and the ongoing relationship with its customers. As part of the innovation process, barrier tests are carried out on a long term basis. One test example was red cabbage. Sealed within a SuperFlex container with barrier labels, membrane and a membrane lid, the red cabbage kept both its colour and freshness for 27 months. With other plastic containers, red cabbage usually turns brown after four months, but the test showed hardly any difference in colour after more than two years.
idel has launched its SBO Universal™2 range, which accelerates industrial blow moulder outputs by 10% - reaching 2000 bottles per hour per mould – while also decreasing energy consumption by 10% in the ovens. The result is the possibility of blowing bottles from recycled PET. With this new record speed of 2,000 bottles per hour per mould, Sidel is widening its portfolio of solutions for the still and sparkling beverage markets. This output rate is the result of a long, rigorous qualification process that has already been tested and validated during industrial production at several customer facilities. This speed, which is reliable and safe for intensive industrial operation, applies to all machines in the SBO Universal™2 range, up to SBO 24 XS. Also available in Combi configuration, the SBO Universal™2 range reaches record productivity levels as well, without any compromise in terms of robustness or production reliability. In addition, the new SBO Universal™2 machines benefit from the same heating reserve that is already available with SBO Universal™ equipment. The oven configuration with 50 mm pitch (distance between two spindles) ensures sufficient heating time for an output rate of 2000 bottles per hour per mould. New lamps and oven adaptations enable a decrease in energy consumption of up to 10%. Reaching this new performance level for blow moulding represents a new step forward in reducing the environmental impact of each PET bottle during its production.
packaging europe | 5 |
CASCADES MAKES TWO ACQUISITIONS IN THE RECOVERY SECTOR
Extended shelf life for premium desserts
efestus, Israel, has launched Hefestus Gourmet – an innovative packaging solution for composed and premium desserts. Its advanced technology enables dessert makers to pack a variety of delicate desserts and extend product shelf life significantly while maintaining its texture and appearance. According to a recent report by Innova Market Insight, the top positioning of a product in the desserts category is ‘no additives or preservatives’ (21%), and Hefestus Gourmet aims to meet consumer demand for extended shelf life without using additives or preservatives. The complexity of packing multiple desserts leads to the short shelf life of delicate products. Most dairy and mousse desserts have a fragile texture that can be easily damaged by other packaging technologies, such as vacuum packaging. Because of the problems that arise with packing multiple desserts via standard packing machines, manufacturers can be forced to resort to manual labour instead, resulting in higher costs and increased time filling and packing. This increased time also creates food-safety and shelf-life risks by increasing product exposure to open air. “This is a breakthrough technology that will make a complete revolution in the gourmet deserts market,” explains Oded Shtemer, president & CEO of Hefestus. “Not only it will extend product shelf life, it also increases the volume capabilities for this category, while saving time and costs.” Hefestus Gourmet is billed as an ideal packaging solution for premium desserts with multiple layers and toppings. It can combine many work stations’ versatility, change easily from one product to another and allow adherence to recipes while maintaining attractive appearance and freshness. Moreover, it increases marketing speed and flexibility.
‘True Blue’ sustainability brand arrives
GREEN CUPS TAKE TO THE SKIES OVER JAPAN
ll Nippon Airways (ANA), which aims to be a No.1 airline group in Asia and also to be a leader of environmental activities in the aviation industry, will now serve its passengers drinks in an Ingeo™ natural plastic cup. The cup was planned and developed jointly by NatureWorks and ANA for ANA’s fourth environmental flights campaign, ‘e-flight’. The drinking cups consist of NatureWorks’ Ingeo™ biopolymer. Not only is Ingeo™ made from renewable resources, but its manufacturing process requires far less energy and emits significantly less CO2 compared to plastics made from oil. ANA held its first ‘e-flight’ campaign in 2006. Under the catchphrase ‘think about the earth and human beings’, the fourth ‘e-flight’ promotes these public awareness initiatives that feature eco-friendly services and products like Ingeo™ cup, in addition to other steps such as wines in PET bottles, an optional carbon offset programme, and so on. The programs will enable ANA to visualise their environmental activities both on the grounds and flights. The Ingeo™ natural plastic cup is being served on all domestic flights in Japan and for coach class passengers on the Narita-Singapore route.
onoco has launched True Blue™, a new umbrella brand for packaging solutions and recycling services that have met stringent sustainability requirements. To qualify for the Sonoco True Blue programme, a package must clearly offer an advantage over the package it is intended to replace, either through the use of more sustainable materials or source reduction. A package may also qualify if during the production process it uses less energy, water or raw material, or results in fewer carbon emissions. Any of these improvements should be verifiable via a life-cycle assessment, by third-party certification or through recognition from an independent industry organisation. Sonoco offers a full range of packaging supply chain products and services from concept and design to reclamation and recycling. Sonoco has developed a proprietary sustainable packaging design software program that helps customers reduce their packaging environmental footprint by substituting materials, down-gauging structures and simplifying packaging to improve its recyclability. Sonoco Recycling facilities reclaim or recover more than three million tonnes of material each year.
ascades is set to make two acquisitions in the recovery sector: the Canadian assets of Sonoco Recycling, and the recovery assets of Yorkshire Paper Corporation through its subsidiary Metro Waste Paper Recovery. Both companies provide the retail sector with on-site collection services of recyclable materials, such as corrugated containers, paper and plastics. The acquisitions are in line with the company’s strategic objective of growing its business in Canada and the north eastern United States. Said to perfectly complement Cascades’ existing infrastructure, these assets will allow the company to better serve the diversion needs of its retail customers and deliver its Recovery …Plus programme coast to coast, incorporating quantifiable diversion methods to achieve zero-waste targets. Yorkshire Paper Corporation operates in New England and in upstate New York. It annually collects close to 24,000 tonnes of recycled fibre. Meanwhile Sonoco Recycling collected
190,000 tonnes of recycled fibre all across Canada in 2008. Once completed, these transactions will enable Metro Waste to increase its collection capacity by , which represents 1.4 million tonnes per year. This reaffirms the company’s position as the largest paper collector in Canada and amongst the leaders in North America. Mario Plourde, president and COO of Cascades Specialty Products Group, remarked: “Recycled fibres represent more than two thirds of the raw material used by Cascades. The acquisitions will therefore help to further ensure a steady supply of raw material to Cascades’ mills, while providing more room to grow in the development of environmentally sustainable products”. Cascades’ 19 recovery facilities supply more than half of the 2.2 million tons of recycled fibre used by Cascades’ manufacturing mills. www.packagingeurope.com/News/32346
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PORTOLA PACKAGING APPOINTMENT FOR EUROPE
wens-Illinois has been named Barbara Owens its new vice president and chief communications officer. Owens will be responsible for leading O-I’s communications strategy through the planning, development and implementation of external and internal communications on a global basis. She also will provide strategic counsel to the senior leadership team. Owens and her team will work closely with the company’s business units and functions to develop an effective and consistent communications plan that is aligned with O-I’s strategic priorities and business objectives. “We have worked with Barbara for more than two years and know that she brings the passion and the expertise necessary to enhance the role of communi-
GREINER NAMES HEAD OF DIVISION K
O-I selects VP & chief communications officer
cations in our organization,” said Jim Baehren, senior vice president of strategic planning and general counsel. “At O-I, we always have a focus on the longterm, and we are confident that Barbara’s vision will lead our communications effectively into the future.” Owens joins O-I from Owens Communications LLC, her independent communications consultancy in Chicago, where she provided O-I with strategic guidance in various communications roles since 2007. During her 20 years in corporate communications, she has worked with General Motors, Bayer AG, Bayer Corporation, Gagen MacDonald, Immuno AG and Baxter Healthcare. www.packagingeurope.com/News/32471
XEROX APPOINTS CFO FOR CEE
wiss-born Tobias Strasser is the new head of Division K at Greiner Packaging. He is in charge of the strategic orientation of the division and coordinates the resultant measures. He is the head of international distribution within Division K. “We make our versatility and competence transparent for our customers. Thus we provide a significant competitive edge. For this, market instinct, innovation and communication play a central role,” says Mr Strasser. Mr Strasser lists honesty, integrity, an adequate willingness to take risks as essential qualities, while customer-oriented action is particularly important for him: “We accompany our customers through the entire product life cycle from concept to market launch and even beyond that time. At Greiner Packaging, customers are provided with packaging solutions and all services from a single source.” K, Kavo and Greiner Assistec are the three divisions that determine the new distribution structure of Greiner Packaging.
erox has appointed Burak Özer to the position of chief financial officer for central and eastern Europe, Israel and Turkey. Mr Özer, 38, will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s financial operations across Turkey, Israel, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, Moldova and Poland . Burak Özer joined Xerox in 1997 in the role of financial analyst and has held positions of increasing responsibility. In 1999 he was promoted to the role of financial planning and reporting director. In 2001 he was appointed financial manager at the US-based Xerox main headquarters. In 2003 he returns to Turkey serving for four years as financial director of Turkish operations. Prior to his new role, Mr Özer has led Xerox DMO (Developed Markets Operations) financial planning and reporting operations for the past two years from the London office.
ortola Packaging Ltd has appointed Andrea Williams as sales manager for the European Union. The company, which specializes in the design and manufacture of tamper-evident plastic caps for the beverage market, stated that this new position was created to support the development of its activities in France and abroad. After studying International Business at the School of Management, UMIST, Manchester, and foreign languages at the University of Hull, Andrea began her professional career at Mount Packaging Systems Ltd, manufacturer of filling machines where she held the post of sales manager EMEA.
Miss Williams, who recently headed the European activities of the company Doyen Medipharm Ltd., manufacturer of automated packaging lines has extensive experience in business development, including contributing to the expansion of businesses internationally. This experience has been gained by initiating the international activities of several SMEs. Andrea will be based in Paris and will be responsible for developing Portola Packaging’s presence in the region thus strengthening its European operations. www.packagingeurope.com/News/32035
packaging europe | 7 |
Ixia celebrates 20% sales growth
CODA PLASTICS TARGET EUROPEAN EXPANSION
emonstrating rising global demand for its extensive range of robust denesting equipment, IXIA UK Ltd is reporting significant year on year growth. Despite the challenging economic conditions, the company is continuing this trend with a 20% increase in sales recorded to date this year compared to 2008. As one of the UK’s leading designers and manufacturers of pneumatically controlled pick and place denesting systems, IXIA has a loyal and growing international blue chip customer base within the food industry. The business attributes much of its on-going success to the low cost of ownership, superior reliability, versatility and usability of its machines. IXIA denesters incorporate the Snapdragon® tooling system, which allows the operator to change tray types and sizes in only two minutes completely tool free. Resulting in decreased downtime and improved line efficiency. With a reputation for quality and reliability, IXIA denesters are capable of handling closely stacked plastics, foil and cardboard trays, cartons, pizza bases, pots and containers in a variety of shapes at high speeds as part of an automated food process and packaging line.
ALESCO DIVESTS HOLLOW CONTAINER SUBSIDIARY
Sun Chemical introduces new global brands
un Chemical has unveiled new global brand names to describe its sheetfed conventional inks for commercial, packaging and plastics printing. The global brand names, SunLitT for commercial, SunPakT for packaging, and SunTecT for plastics printing, were developed to help sheetfed customers better recognize the Sun Chemical brand and easily identify the inks that they need. Sun Chemical’s current existing products in the commercial sheetfed market, Diamond and Exact PSO inks for example, will now be known as SunLitT Diamond inks and SunLitT Exact PSO inks. The adoption of these global brand names will reduce the large number of brand name trademarks and eliminate any possible confusion about what products Sun Chemical has to meets its customers’ needs. Similar global brand names have already been created for Sun Chemical’s packaging water and solvent-based, and energy curable businesses. In the area of energy curing, Sun Chemical has the recognisable global brand names of SunCure® and SunBeam®. Also introduced were the global brand names for the liquid inks businesses of SunSpectroT for surface printing of films, foils and non-wovens, SunStratoT for lamination inks, and SunVistoT for paper, board, towel and tissue printing applications.
angerwehe-based packaging film manufacturer alesco GmbH & Co. KG has sold its hollow container subsidiary aldoplast GmbH & Co. KG to Siepe GmbH, located in Kerpen near Cologne. All 27 employees will retain their current positions, and production will remain in Langerwehe. Siepe GmbH is a family-owned, medium-sized business that has been manufacturing packaging solutions for over 130 years. The sale of the hollow containers division means that the film manufacturer can now focus more acutely on its core area of business: alesco develops and manufactures packaging films for consumer and industrial applications
using polyethylene as well as renewable materials. The company is also strongly committed to the development of sustainable and carbon neutral film packaging solutions. Heinz Mundt, managing director of alesco und aldoplast, comments: “Siepe is an excellent partner for this transaction as it will safeguard jobs and thereby provide ideal conditions for future development.” Siepe GmbH will maintain production in Langerwehe, which is only about 25 minutes by car from the company’s head office in Kerpen. As part of the takeover, the aldoplast brand will be absorbed into the new business and will be discontinued as a separate entity. “aldoplast
complements our existing portfolio ideally, so we are confident that we can rapidly and successfully integrate it into our business,” comments Josef Siepe, managing director of the company bearing the same name. We are also planning future investments in new production facilities and new products. The sale price has not been disclosed. Following the sale, alesco and aldoplast managing director Heinz Mundt will only hold this role in the parent company, alesco. www.packagingeurope.com/News/32607
oda Plastics, one of the largest independently owned producers of injection moulded caps / closures and roll-on deodorants in the UK, is actively developing its businesses across Europe. To this end, the company is looking for sales agents who can help build upon its existing customer base. The Norfolk-based manufacturer is open to all proposals from agents on a commission-only basis. “Although we have a number of European customers – from Belgium to the Czech Republic – there is clearly scope for significant growth in exports,” remarked sales director Simon Girdlestone. “Thanks to our flexibility in responding to customer demands, our innovative design team and our interest in developing our standard range of caps, we have
become a valued and trusted supplier to numerous market-leading brands in the UK. This is a position we can build on to establish similar relationships across mainland Europe.” Established in 1973, Coda Plastics operates from a modern purpose-built factory in close proximity to the expanding container port at Great Yarmouth. The company counts brands such as PZ Cussons, Proctor and Gamble, Jeyes and Robert McBride among its customers. www.packagingeurope.com/News/32545
| 8 | packaging europe
Gateway to Siberia
he 17th international Sibupack packaging exhibition, which takes place in Novosibirsk on 1-4 December, is the year’s leading industry event for the vast area of Siberia and eastern Russia. Sponsored by national and regional government, as well as ‘Packmash’ (the Association of manufactures of packaging and processing equipment), Sibupack covers the full spectrum of packs and containers, materials, converting and packing machinery, labelling and printing. The fair benefits from its co-location with FoodSib (an exhibition covering food products, beverages, and food processing equipment and technologies), Plastex 2009 (the definitive Siberian event for raw materials, equipment, plastic and rubber production and processing technologies) and Logistics of Siberia (showcasing transport and logistic services, warehouse equipment, loading and discharging technologies). There will also be a full programme of training seminars, round table discus-
ISTANBUL’S SPOTLIGHT ON PACKAGING TRENDS
DIARY OF EVENTS
The Future of Pigments 2009
DATE: 3-5 November 2009 VENUE: Hamburg, Germany Visit: www.pigmentmarkets.com
sions, master-classes, and company presentations. The event culminates with the conclusion of the ‘Golden Medal of ITE Siberian Fair’ competition. Novosibirsk is the third largest city in Russia and largest in Siberia. The Novosibirsk Region benefits from relatively attractive trading and investment conditions and a strong manufacturing sector, which has grown by 170% over the last decade. There are numerous direct flights between Novosibirsk and Europe, as well as regular connecting flights via Moscow. Those considering attendance should, however, note that the average temperature for December is -12.7ºC.
DecTec Beverage Packaging Conference
DATE: 9-10 November 2009 VENUE: Amsterdam, Netherlands Visit: www.awa-bv.com
DATE: 10-11 November 2009 VENUE: Berlin, Germany Visit: www.european-bioplastics.org
ICE Europe 2009
DATE: 24-26 November 2009 VENUE: München, Germany Visit: www.ice-x.com
PACK- the 24th International Packaging and Food Processing Systems Exhibition, taking place at CNR Expo Istanbul on 2-5 December and organised by Istanbul Trade Fairs, will run concurrently with the 17th GIDA-International Food Products and Processing Technologies Exhibition. IPACK will host well-known domestic companies including Interkom, Ar-can Makine, Tam-Tas, Beta Pak, Forma Makine and Videojet along with international companies from countries such as Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Iran and Syria. IPACK provides opportunities for establishing and developing national and international business contacts for Europe’s growing packaging, packaging machines and food technologies market. Aiming to showcase creative ideas and trends in packaging with the change in consumption patterns, this year IPACK is expected to host 2500 international visitors. The organization is essential in bringing professionals together with the innovations in the sector. Visitors primarily come from Europe, the Middle East and Far East, with a particular concentration of professionals from Taiwan, China, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Iran and Syria. IPACK 2009 is supported by the Undersecretariat for Foreign Trade and KOSGEB- Small and Medium Size Industry Development Organization. IPACK 2009 is organized concurrently with 17th GIDA International Food Products and Processing Technologies Exhibition. Thus it provides opportunities for the exhibitors in GIDA Fair to make business contacts with IPACK profes-
sional, from whom they get support for packaging and food processing systems. Product profile of the exhibition includes food processing machines, wooden and glass boxes, corrugated boxes, sheet wrapping machines, stretch package machines, quality control systems, quality machines, thermoform systems and automatic date-print systems. Last year, IPACK, the sector’s long-established packaging and food processing fair in Turkey, hosted a total number of 27,813 professionals, of whom 2348 were international along with 240 exhibitor companies.
DATE: 24-28 November 2009 VENUE: Milan, Italy Visit: www.simei.it
DATE: 1-4 December 2009 VENUE: Novosibirsk, Russia Visit: www.sibfair.ru
DATE: 2-5 December 2009 VENUE: Istanbul, Turkey Visit: www.itf-ipack.com
India Foodex 2009
DATE: 5-7 December 2009 VENUE: Bangalore, India Visit: www.indiafoodex.com
DATE: 1-2 February 2010 VENUE: Paris, France Visit: www.pharmapack.fr
Packaging and Converting Executive Forum (PACE)
DATE: 4-7 Februaryy 2010 VENUE: London, UK Visit: www.paceforum.com
packaging europe | 9 |
INTELLIGENT BEVERAGE PASTEURIZER COMBINES ECONOMY WITH ECOLOGY
tora Enso has achieved a listing in the Dow Jones STOXX Sustainability Index for the 9th year running, as the only European forestry and paper company listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI). Stora Enso received top industry scores for climate strategy and environmental reporting and management, as well as the eco-efficiency of the company’s operations. The DJSI STOXX includes 154 European companies from 14 countries. “Our ability to gain membership in the well respected Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the 9th time clearly proves that our long-term sustainability efforts have been well received,” says Stora Enso CEO Jouko Karvinen. “We are continuously striving for improvement, and this rating combined with our four other corporate responsibility related memberships gives us a strong platform to continue to make progress.” The Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes are the first global indexes to track the financial performance of leading sustainability-driven companies. Companies are selected for inclusion on the basis of their economic, environmental and social performance. The indexes provide investors with reliable and objective benchmarks to manage their sustainability portfolios.
STORA ENSO LISTED IN DOW JONES SUSTAINABILITY INDEXES
Twistub set to turn heads & reduce waste
ntrepreneurs based in Birmingham, UK, have unveiled ‘Twistub’, an innovative green solution for the cosmetic cream market. The concept is simple. A stylish transparent dispenser (‘Twistub’) that holds simple branded refills (‘Twispaks’) –encouraging repeat purchase and significantly reducing plastic waste. To use it the consumer simply twists the bottom of the Twistub and out pops a controllable amount of cream though an aperture in a collecting surface at the top. When the refill is empty the consumer removes the recyclable Twispak, buys a new refill for the Twisub and the cycle is repeated. As the Twistub is transparent and the branding is on the Twispak, the consumer can use the Twistub to take refills containing different products. The plastic waste savings derive from the repeated use of the refills. The potential materials savings from repeat purchase of Twispaks are significant, presenting the opportunity to realise a 50% materials saving over a two year period, rising to a 75% saving over three-four
GREINER MANAGES ITS BUSINESS SUSTAINABLY
years. Additional benefits include reducing contamination of the cream by removing the need for the user to put their fingers into the pot. Currently at the stage of patent application, the inventors are seeking opportunities to license the product on an exclusive basis to a major player in the cosmetics industry. www.packagingeurope.com/News/32743
reiner Packaging is responding to the green challenge with two approaches. Robert Obermayr, product group director K1/K2, explains: “On one hand, we are continuously optimising energy consumption and the production processes for processing classical plastic materials. On the other, we are pushing the use of alternative materials, in particular R-PET.” Examples of the former include saving energy through production equipment and reducing the weight of new packaging solutions. A particularly environmentally-friendly packaging technology is K3, a plastic-board composite, which saves plastics and can be separated for recycling purposes. Meanwhile, Greiner Packaging can now process R-PET at any existing PS plant at various production locations. RPET is taking an ever increasing role with respect to CO2 emissions and the conservation of non-renewable resources. The UK and USA in particular are giving fresh impetus to an increased use of R-PET.
etra Pak has launched a new generation of Tetra Therm Aseptic Drink, a cost-efficient and flexible unit for processing a wide range of beverages. Thanks to the introduction of an advanced automation system, the new generation units secure unsurpassed operational efficiency and life-cycle performance. In addition to self-diagnostics, the new generation pasteurizers - which are suitable for juices & nectars, still drinks, tea drinks and enhanced water, including new “wellness” drinks with high value-added sensitive ingredients - include a range of other advanced automation features. For example, the units will automatically identify deviations in process parameters, enabling immediate operator action to maintain optimized operation. And they will provide automatic notification of every maintenance requirement - helping all but eliminate costly, unplanned production stops. A new balance tank, heat exchangers and deaerators sharply reduce water and energy consumption as well as product loss. Energy consumption is further cut thanks to improved energy recovery through double hot-water circuits.
| 10 | packaging europe
Lee Taylor, international technical director for SunnyD, explains the contexts around a recent bottle redesign.
he key to good packaging design has always been a mixture of different techniques that pull in elements of technical design, marketing and manufacturing to achieve the perfect pack for your brand. However, whatever the constituents in this mix, the gold standard has always been to produce a pack that, regardless of location, is instantly attributed to one brand. One such iconic pack is the glass Coca-Cola bottle. Full or empty, it is instantly recognisable. Andy Warhol got it right when he described it as the ‘design icon of the decade’. The idea to launch a competition among their suppliers to design ‘a bottle which a person will recognise as a Coca-Cola bottle even if he feels it in the dark and so shaped that, even if broken, a person could tell at a glance what it was’ generated the contour bottle, which does exactly that, to great effect. What’s also great about it although prob-
ably not at the forefront of the designer’s mind when it was conceived in 1915, is that more recently, for environmental reasons, its weight has been significantly reduced without the design being compromised in the process. How many designs can be said to stand, not only the test of time, but also the vagaries of consumerism that dictate how a product should to be marketed? In a similar design vein is the humble bottle used within the wine industry. Although design is not linked directly to brands in the same way as the contour bottle is to Coca-Cola, the provenance of wine (one of the key drivers for wine purchase) is demonstrated by the shape and style of bottle. For example, wine bottles from Bordeaux exhibit straight sides and tall shoulders, with dark green glass for the dry red wines of the region, lighter green for the dry whites and, for the sweet whites, clear
glass. This very much reinforces the shelf appeal of a product for the consumer who, whether they know it or not, engages on an emotional level with the product either through brand awareness, recognition of the product attributes, such as provenance or resonation of on-pack messages. In short, they are more inclined to buy. SunnyD’s 2009 redesign of the bottle builds on the emotional bond generated from an existing consumer love of the brand through two of the aforementioned criteria; brand awareness and on pack messages. We used intelligence from an advisory group of real mums to make recommendations about how the packaging could be adapted to communicate the product benefits and fit into their busy family lives. Using this insight we changed the bottle just enough to suit our new manufacturing and bottling requirements, while remaining true to the SunnyD bottle’s iconic look, brand personality and ultimately, the appeal of the brand to parents and children alike. For example, the bottle is easier for kids to hold; the label has been designed and written in conjunction with our mums to clearly, at a glance communicate the key brand messages; but equally, the new shape and design allows us the flexibility to reproduce it irrespective of geography and the ability to make a light weightversion without compromising the design. At SunnyD it’s important to us and our consumers that we always remain on the look out for more environmentally friendly solutions to packaging. What is exciting about the future is the glut of innovative packaging solutions appearing in the market which fulfil this function. Ecolean is one such product, not only does the pack contain less plastic but occupies much less space, saving on energy, transport and ultimately, money too. In the world of manufacturing and marketing soft drinks, this makes for a I win-win situation.
packaging europe | 11 |
DESIGN DEPARTURE TO REDEFINE ENERGY DRINK
celebrate its 30th birthday, Institut Esthederm has selected one of the latest packaging concepts developed by Airlessystems for a limited edition of Cellular Concentrate Fundamental Serum, the leading reference of its Time Cellular Linen Care facial skincare range. The Cellular Concentrate - limited edition - of Institut Esthederm is packaged in a double hull airless bottle that contains a barrel entirely decorated with bubbles. The new packaging, which was showcased for the first time at Luxepack 2007 fair trade, comprises: an outer shell in SAN crystal, an internal barrel in PP on which is snapped a silver galvanized collar in PP which locks the subset, an Evolution pump with a metal collar that comes to adapt on the barrel. The ensemble is covered with a cap in SAN. Its aesthetic originality and top-of-the-range finishing were another two decisive points in the choice made by Institut Esthederm, as Laurence Monod confirms it: “the double hull bottle allowed an extremely distinctive design. It addresses many technical constraints while offering a very satisfactory result in terms of sobriety and elegance”. The close cooperation between the two companies made it possible to deliver the product three months after the purchase order was agreed. Airlessystems that integrates in its offer a complete range of services has accompanied its customer throughout all the packaging phase, with a technical customer support team permanently available to perform the adjustments of the vacuum filling machines.
Airlessystems creates new packaging for Institut Esthederm’s 30th anniversary
Wrappers give toffees an elegant touch
new range of toffees covered in authentic Belgian chocolate has been given a classic look, thanks to leading twist wrap manufacturer Cats-Hänsel. The company has produced high-quality, luxury laminated wrapping for four flavours of Exotic Chocolate Toffees produced by top Belgian confectioner Confiserie Kathy. Based in Bruges, Confiserie Kathy enjoys a long-standing relationship with the waxed laminate supplier thanks to its ability to produce eye-catching packaging for its popular confectionery products. The strip laminated twist wrap paper for the Exotic Chocolate Toffees has been produced by Cats-Hänsel using its new state-of-the-art, eight-colour flexo press. The new wrapper is produced in a six-stage process that includes aluminium printing, slitting, paper printing, wax coating, strip laminating and finally end reel slitting.
BURGOPAK WINS iF AWARD
urgopak has won the iF Communication Design Award for Packaging 2009. The winning entry was a sleek and innovative promotional cigarette pack designed by Burgopak Germany for British American Tobacco, Hamburg as part of a marketing campaign targeted at the Austrian market. Showcasing smart and technical detail, the Burgopak design team have created a variation on the theme of sliding mechanisms to create an elegant one hand operated promotional pack. When the lid is opened, cigarettes of various flavours rise out of the top of the packet, ready to hand. Simultaneously, a booklet is released on the opposite end, connected through the pack by an invisible magnet. The cigarettes and booklet are retracted as smoothly as they appeared, re-forming the compact packet. Evidencing continuous outstanding design achievement, this is the second year in a row that Burgopak has been awarded an iF design award. Burgopak’s innovative pharmaceutical pack design for the PocketPak™ line of ibuprofen and paracetamol won the iF Packaging Design Award 2008.
earlfisher has created the brand identity for a new energy shot product ‘Übershot’, launching in the UK from newly established Uber Drinks Ltd. Übershot is positioned to deliver ‘energy for life with no lows’ and is looking to shake up the energy category by changing perceptions of what an energy drink can offer – and how it looks. Übershot is targeting an audience of hard working young professionals and representing a more ‘socially acceptable’ face of energy drinks The small format, red aluminium shot bottle looks like nothing else in the category and has been created to support a healthy lifestyle of diet, exercise and sleep by giving people the energy they
need to get through their working day and avoid the common afternoon slump. Working as brand partners with the Übershot team, Natalie Chung, Pearlfisher’s creative director, said, “The category is stigmatised and this is reflected in the compensatory and ‘samey’ design we keep seeing. Übershot is a challenging new face of energy needing an innovative and challenging design to reflect its positioning as an integral part of modern, professional life and so we have focused on creating a stylish and sophisticated, urban accessory. “ www.packagingeurope.com/News/32289
| 12 | packaging europe
Charapak speed creates swine flu protection station
WORLDWIDE NIVEA LOGOS HARMONISED
ourjois called on Alcan Packaging Beauty’s expertise to create the three latest additions to its face care range. The incredibly realistic graphics are achieved through Pixel GraphicsTM, the state-of-the-art printing technology that can bring the subtlest colors and designs to life with great precision. The result is a photolike effect and an extremely lifelike illustration.
ALCAN PACKAGING UNVEILS LATEST TUBE DESIGNS FOR BOURJOIS
Alcan Packaging Beauty gave the finishing touch to two items in the line with a flip-top cap from the SlenderTM range. Light weight is guaranteed by using 45% less material than a conventional service cap. This trio of tubes perfectly combines environment-friendliness with cutting-edge style. www.packagingeurope.com/News/32378
REXAM CREATES WINE CANS FOR RUSSIAN MARKET
orrugated packaging and display manufacturer Charapak has designed and manufactured shelf ready packaging and floor standing display units for the UK’s first Swine Flu prevention hand and surface wipe from Kingfisher Healthcare. Due to the urgency of the project, Charapak was able to deliver 20,000 shelf ready displays within just ten days of receiving the initial enquiry from Kingfisher, with the
floor units delivered the following week. The new antiseptic wipes are dermatologically tested and proven to kill the AH1N1 Swine Flu virus plus 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and fungi. In an exclusive retail agreement with leading hygiene manufacturer Pal® International, Kingfisher has introduced the wipes in industry, family and travel packs. Given the current level of concern among consumers, effective Point of Sale display and merchandising was critical, but it was equally vital that there was minimum delay in getting the product into the market. Both designs are manufactured in 210gsm litho sheet, mounted onto E flute for the retail ready counter displays and EB flute for the floor displays. They are printed in four colours with machine varnish, and the graphics echo the design of the individual packs. www.packagingeurope.com/News/32160
arine Express, one of the leading wine distributors in Russia, has chosen Rexam to produce 250ml slim cans for the launch of its new Elsa wine in can brand. Wine in cans is a new venture for Marine Express, which uses traditional glass bottles for the majority of its wine packaging. Elsa, the first wine in a can brand marketed by the company, is a Liebfrauenmilch that has previously been distributed in 750ml glass bottles. The cans use an innovative matt varnish, are being made at Rexam’s Recklinghausen plant in Germany. The launch of the new wine in can brand will be supported by a large marketing campaign that will include advertisements in local underground stations and across the internet as well as in store and point of sale communications. The target audience is predominantly female, aged between 25 and 35 years old.
nterbrand is optimising Beierdorf’s new Nivea visual equities in order to clearly align the multiple versions that exist at present and, in doing so, effectively support the brand vision behind a global beauty brand. Over the past decades, Beiersdorf’s Nivea brand has repeatedly successfully established itself in new segments and areas of application. According to “Best Global Brands”, the recently published international ranking, Nivea is one of the few German brands whose brand value also increased in 2009. The rise of this brand, which was accompanied by a variety of platform and range concepts, resulted in a large number of different Nivea logos. By commissioning Interbrand Hamburg to harmonise the appearance of the various Nivea brand logos, Beiersdorf initiated a landmark process aimed at more tightly managing the Nivea brand and strengthening awareness of it at points of sale worldwide.Going forward, the Nivea and Nivea for Men logos designed by Interbrand will gradually be rolled out over the entire portfolio, covering existing ranges, new products, and labelling at the POSs.
packaging europe | 13 |
ATLANTIC ZEISER BRINGS FULLCOLOR INNOVATION TO NARROW WEB LABEL PRINTING
tlantic Zeiser, a leading innovator and technology supplier for digital narrow format printing processes, has launched its innovative GAMMA 70 Series for full-colour UV narrow web label printing applications. The GAMMA 70 fills out Atlantic Zeiser’s product portfolio and is added to the company’s OMEGA series and other leading-edge printing solutions. In bringing this product to market, Atlantic Zeiser has partnered with leading solution provider Xaar. The combination of Xaar print head technology, Atlantic Zeiser integration and application expertise is said to result in a powerful end-to-end solution that includes a UV printer, UV inks, and UV drying capability. The GAMMA 70 Series combines Xaar print heads with Atlantic Zeiser controller and data preparation software. It is ideally suited to traditional markets such as packaging and labelling, commercial print, in-plant printing of consumer goods, security print and card manufacturing. In addition, the GAMMA 70 is designed for label printing and industrial product identification on substrates beyond the usual paper and cardboard materials.
New weighers are a “grate” success
DINOSOL AND CHEP WORK TOGETHER TO DELIVER SUPPLY CHAIN SAVINGS
ver the last few months DinoSol, one of Spain’s leading retailers, has been working with CHEP, the global leader in pallet and container pooling services, to deliver supply chain savings that will enable DinoSol to become a more efficient and competitive company. Following an exhaustive analysis of DinsoSol’s distribution network, CHEP prepared relevant Standard Operating Procedures to regulate the pallet management operations at DinoSol´s 450 stores and distribution centres across Spain. This activity, together with an extensive internal communications campaign, has achieved substantial improvements in the management, processing and control of pallet movements. DinoSol and CHEP are currently exploring the possibility of setting up a TPM (Total Pallet Management) installation at DinoSol site in Telde on the Canary Islands. TPM delivers efficiencies across the whole supply chain, by having pallets sorted and inspected onsite, with only the damaged pallets being returned to a CHEP service centre for repair. This not only delivers cost saving benefits, but also reduces the number of trucks on the road, helping to protect the environment.
ustrian company Berglandmilch has invested in a multihead weigher and checkweigher from Ishida Europe, enabling it to pack grated cheese accurately into bags to within one gram of target weight and leading to a fast payback on the investment. Berglandmilch’s Gienberg site operates two processing lines and is the company’s central packing facility for a wide range of grated cheese. The company’s aim was to supply the product to the retail trade in resealable bags. Berglandmilch turned to Ishida Europe for a solution, thanks to its reputation as a world-leading manufacturer of weighing and packing technology. Ishida integrated a state-of-the-art CCW-RS multihead weigher into the packing line, along with a high-performance DACS-W checkweigher. The cheese is first fed in blocks to the line via a conveyor belt and is
then pre-cut and grated. An ascending conveyor transports the product up into the air and the cheese is continuously fed to the weigher through a chute from above. A unique vibration system ensures a controlled and gentle flow of product to the weigh hoppers. The 14-head Ishida CCW-RS weigher works according to the combination weighing principle whereby the built-in computer instantaneously calculates all possible weight combinations in the available weigh hoppers and selects the one combination (typically three to four weigh hoppers) that comes closest to the target weight. The hoppers are made from stainless steel with embossed surfaces which prevents cheese from sticking to them. www.packagingeurope.com/News/31857
| 14 | packaging europe
SML goes highspeed Payne gives shelf-ready
NEW ENTRY-LEVEL OXYGEN ANALYZER FOR PACKAGE HEADSPACE
est systems specialist Paul Lippke HandelsGmbH has introduced a new entry level oxygen (O2) headspace analyser, the MOCON PAC CHECK® Model 450 EC, designed for companies who are displacing residual oxygen in their packaging headspace with nitrogen or other gas flushing. The new unit has been developed in particular as a first of its kind cost-effective option for smaller companies who previously could not afford package headspace analysis. The PAC CHECK Model 450 EC provides a very fast and accurate way to determine exactly how much residual oxygen has been left in the package. It can measure an O2 concenML’s latest innovation, the Highspeed Stretch-Filmline, has been successfully taken into operation at the companyr headquarters in Lenzing, Austria. SML has developed a compact and energy-efficient 4upline that is able to run with the capacity of a standard 6up-line. Due to its speed potential, the aim is to run a constant maximum output at all standard film thicknesses of between 15 and 23 m. SML is convinced, that even with high outputs the production of stretch film needs to be flexible in terms of product changes. It is a key priority for the company to develop machines that are more efficient in terms of energy consumption and space requirements. The new high speed line is designed for a mechanical speed of 1000m/min, and an extrusion capacity of 2500 kg/h for 5 layers equipped with 5 extruders. Two high speed extruders of the HSE series with a new drive concept feed the main layers and an additional encapsulation extruder guarantees a low neck-in and a good edge stability at high production speeds. The HSE extruders are able to process standard raw materials from C4 up to C8, as well as metallocenes in the best melt quality, which allows the high line speed and additionally the production of very thin films down to 8 m.
BARRIER MATERIALS PROVIDE CRADLE FOR BABY FOOD INNOVATION
tration range from 0 to 100% in package types ranging from small blisters to large pouches. Ideal applications include a broad variety of gas-flushed products such as case-ready meats, cheese, prepared foods and snacks, as well as medical devices and certain pharmaceuticals. Additionally, the unit is suited for vertical or horizontal form-fill-seal OEM packaging equipment manufacturers who market modified atmosphere gas flushing capability, as well as gas inerting OEM equipment manufacturers. www.packagingeurope.com/News/31986
packaging the edge
eading tear tape manufacturer Payne has developed a new tape-based solution for Shelf-Ready Packaging (SRP), which provides the benefit of easy opening while also maintaining the integrity and appearance of transit packaging to enable its successful use for on-shelf display purposes. Payne’s solution involves the innovative use of a purpose-built applicator which applies two tapes to the corrugated board at the same point on the corrugator line during board production. The first tape, a Rippatape® applied to the inner liner of the board, acts as the opening mechanism providing quick and easy access to the box contents without the need for knives. The second tape, an Edge Tape, is applied to the outer liner of the board, just below the point where the box is opened by the Rippatape® and performs two key functions. Firstly, the Edge Tape guides the tear as the box is opened, ensuring a clean finish and preventing damage to on-pack graphics or branding. Secondly, its printability provides additional communication opportunities for brand reinforcement or promotional messages. The benefits of this dual-tape technology are considerable and Payne is keen to stress that it has developed a solution that holds advantages for retailers, brand owners and corrugators.
lastic tubs manufactured using RPC Cobelplast’s high barrier sheets are well placed to meet the growing market for aseptic baby food packaging, thanks to their combination of design flexibility, safe handling, excellent long-term product protection and cost-effectiveness compared to alternative packaging materials such as glass. Advances in aseptic form-fill-seal technology have already led leading baby food brands to replace traditional glass pack formats with cost-
effective, versatile alternatives. Plastic packaging has many valuable assets, as it is user-friendly, microwaveable for convenient reheating and shatterproof for consumer safety. In addition, plastic’s light weight ensures reduced strain on the supply chain, while the production and recycling of plastics consumes less energy and produces fewer emissions than comparable methods for glass. It is crucial that the material used in aseptic baby food can provide sufficient
protection against oxygen and moisture ingress over the required time period. RPC Cobelplast’s expertise in co-extruded PP/EVOH/PP sheets provides the right combination: EVOH offers a highly effective oxygen barrier, while PP delivers excellent moisture protection. The combination of these materials ensures an extended ambient shelf life of up to 12 months. www.packagingeurope.com/News/32166
packaging europe | 15 |
IMPACT WINS SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT SMART AWARD
mpact Laboratories has won a Scottish Government SMART award that will investigate the use of varied waste materials in the development of a fibre/plastic composite material for commercial use. Impact, the Grangemouth BP Chemicals spin off, has a wealth of polymer and plastics-based knowledge that has put the company in pole position to pioneer this research and development in plastics waste management. Impact’s new SMART-funded research will help create new and value-added products from the unsorted consumer waste stream. Leading applications are likely to be in the timber-replacement markets where such
hulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, one of the biggest and most prestigious universities in Asia, has recently signed a follow-up contract with Flint Group in order to prolong its collaboration, which dates back to the late nineties. Since this time students have been sent frequently to Flint Group’s Technical Centre in Germany. To support the University on site, Flint Group Flexographic Products offered several flexo seminars conducted by Flint Group experts and has equipped the University with plate processing devices such as the nyloflex® Combi LFII and the nyloprint® Combination CW. The equipment is installed at the University’s technical centre, which is used by students from the department of Imaging and Printing Technology, Faculty of Science, as well as for industry training. To continue with the fruitful relationship, the contract is now renewed and will strengthen the cooperation between Flint Group and the University as well as the Thai market. The University will get technical information updates from Flint Group’s experts and the opportunity to send both students and personnel from the Chulalongkorn University to Flint Group Flexographic Products’ Technical Centre in Stuttgart for technical trainings and to conduct master’s and doctor’s researches. Finally both parties will gain a lot from the joint research activities and the close exchange of knowledge.
Research brings technology to life for FMCG
FLINT COOPERATES WITH CHULALONGKORN UNIVERSITY
Innovative materials and printing drive printed electronics ahead
composites can be seen as an alternative to traditional timber – particularly in non-structural applications such as decking and in other all-weather conditions such as marinas developments. There are several key innovations in Impact’s approach to the waste and its recycling. For example, Impact will work directly with unsorted and domestic (e.g. black bag) waste and will combine some of the outputs from this stream together with selected commercial modified cellulose products which are currently not recycled. www.packagingeurope.com/News/31520
ith nanoparticulate functional materials and innovative printing processes researchers from BASF SE, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) and Darmstadt Technical University are revolutionising printing technology. Organic electronic products of future potential, such as photovoltaic films or bendable light-emitting diodes, head their list of achievements. Organic Electronics is based on conductive polymers or even smaller molecules from organic chemistry and is regarded as one of the key technologies of the future. One of the many applications for printed electronics is smart labels that are equipped with sensors. These transponders, which can be printed together with an antenna on films, can be used to measure temperature and atmospheric humidity, an important aspect for the shipment and storage of goods. A main focus of research is the development of hybrid materials consisting of inorganic and organic components. BASF SE is developing new production processes for the manufacture of nanoscale functional materials such as polymer-enhanced zinc oxide. These materials form certain structures or autonomously arrange themselves into shapes and patterns offering new properties for printing technology.
nowledge expert Faraday is working on a groundbreaking new research project with Sheffield Hallam University’s Art & Design Research Centre to explore ways that plastic electronics, a new and potentially disruptive technology, could be used successfully in FMCG products and packaging. Plastic electronics is already used in high-end consumer products such as e-readers and mobile phones with OLED screens. However, Faraday’s Dr Laurence Hogg, who heads the project, says that the list of potential uses for plastic electronics in FMCG goods could be endless. But there is a problem: how do you scope out currently unimaginable product features? The
research aims not only to explore these possibilities, but to produce completely new product concepts which feature plastic electronics. The project also involves consumer insight specialists Design Perspectives and innovation specialists, Sheffield Hallam’s Design Futures. As well as being the first in the UK to actively explore these possibilities, the work will also demonstrate why the product concepts it develops will be of real value to consumers and not just meaningless gimmicks. Dr Hogg will present the findings of the research at Faraday’s Futures Briefing event in November. www.packagingeurope.com/News/32280
| 16 | packaging europe
New compact tri-nip press at Vipap PM 3 starts up successfully
new state-of-the-art biomass facility has moved a step closer to reality with the signing of a multi-million euro deal. RWE npower renewables concluded a contract with papermaker Tullis Russell to supply its paper mill at Markinch, Fife with heat and electricity from a new biomass-fuelled co-generation plant. The plant will have an installed capacity of 50 megawatts (MW) and will replace the existing coal-fired power plant at Tullis Russell. Paul Cowling, managing director of RWE npower renewables said: “Our parent company RWE Innogy will invest around £200 million in the biomass facility. The plant will reduce annual carbon emissions by 250,000 tonnes and generate 6% of Scotland’s renewable generation targets.” Paul added: “This investment is a major commitment by RWE and is in line with RWE strategy and Government policy to reduce CO2 emissions in the UK electricity sector. This type of investment would not have been possible without the support from the Government’s Renewables Obligation support mechanism.” The biomass project at Tullis Russell has been managed by npower Cogen’s development team working closely with colleagues from across the RWE Group. Around 400,000 tonnes of virgin and used wood from a wide range of sources will be used to power the plant.
RWE npower renewables signs biomass plant deal
MANUFACTURING CONFIDENCE RISES
early three out of four manufacturing firms are confident about their prospects in the next six months despite profits being badly hit during the first six months of the year, according to new research. The Santander Corporate Banking Business Confidence Index reveals that 73% of manufacturing firms are confident in the prospects of their own business during the remainder of 2009 compared to a national average of 75%. Around one in five (20%) firms are ‘very confident’, 53 per cent say they are ‘confident’ while 21% are ‘not very confident’ and 6% are ‘not at all confident’. The survey shows that turnover is the factor most responsible for the level of general confi-
ROMANIAN CORRUGATED MARKET SHRINKS BY 17%
dence among manufacturers, with one in four (26%) company owners citing this as the most important indicator for them. Turnover is closely followed by forward orders (25%) and profitability (23%) as the most crucial indicators. This research reveals that the economic downturn resulted in falling profits for twice as many businesses as those who have enjoyed increased profit levels in the first half of 2009 (46% against 23%). For the manufacturing sector the figures were 57% seeing a drop in profits while 22% saw an increase making it one of the worst hit.
unapack Rambox, Sfantu-Gheorghe based corrugated cardboard packaging producer, part of the Austrian holding Prinzhorn, reported for the first six months of this year an EUR8.3million turnover, down 21% with respect to the same period last year. “The main factor that led to these results was the lowering of the products’ selling price by 15%. The production achieved by Dunapack Rambox in the first half of 2009 was situated almost at the same level as the cardboard packaging produced in the same period of 2008”, declared Vasiliu Vlad, Dunapack Rambox managing director. The company registered in the first half of 2009 a 14.319ton production, only 6.6% down with respect to the figures of the previous year. Dunapack plans to make up for this production lowering by the end of the year and even to overcome the volume produced in 2008, on a corrugated cardboard market that according to the company diminished by approximately 17% compared to last year. The corrugated cardboard producer renovated and prolonged its contracts with clients such as Nestle, Kraft, Unilever, Doctor Oetker, Heineken, Orkla, Angeli and Chipita. Moreover, the company started collaborating with new clients as well, among which Danone.
ipap, Slovenia’s number one paper manufacturer, produces coated and uncoated papers as well as newsprint on three paper machines at its mill in Krsko. Significant investments to optimise the existing production plants have guaranteed not only an enhancement in quality but also an increase in output. A compact tri-nip press section supplied by Bellmer for paper machine No. 3 rounds off a 10-year investment phase. The press section installation has enabled the paper web to be guided traction-free to the dryer sec-
tion. As a consequence, there are fewer paper breaks and the paper production efficiency has risen. The surface of Vipap’s newsprint, and thus printability, has been improved in line with expectations. When the team from Vipap visited Bellmer’s premises for works acceptance, they expressed great enthusiasm about the excellent quality of their new press section. The new plant was started up in Krsko following an on-schedule installation. The required values for dry contents and bonding strength were achieved shortly after
startup, and Vipap is very satisfied with the new press section in day-to-day operation. Vipap’s customers have already expressed their enthusiasm about the remarkable improvements in paper quality. Mr. Daniel Ostir, TDS manager of Vipap: “I’m very satisfied so far with the performance of PM3, mostly because of very good feedback received from market. In terms of performance PM 3 is doing very well at this fine tuning stage.” www.packagingeurope.com/News/31797
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POLE POSITION FOR THOSE WHO KEEP SUPPLY CHAINS ON A SHORT LEASH
In today’s climate outsourcing to CEE production can be a winning option
While the manufacturing sector battens down its hatches as the global downturn continues to wreak havoc on worldwide markets, Hans de Haas, CEO of Bianor, a leading injection moulding firm based in Poland, argues that there has never been a more important time to revise supply chain strategy and keep a tighter rein on logistics.
into the global economy, the vast manufacturing powerhouses of the Far East are no longer the viable, cost effective, attractive option they once were. Outsourcing production to far-flung destinations such as China and India just cannot afford UK businesses the flexibility they require, particularly in these tough trading times when satisfying customer demand quickly and effectively is a must.
Shortening the leash
Looking closer to home and considering outsourcing options in Europe are a sure fire way for firms to combat the cost and time impact of lengthy overseas inspections helping to cut down order lead times. The decision to eshew the Far East in favour of more local opportunities is complex and not an easy decision to make. In order to maintain competitiveness, businesses need to pay due consideration to the total acquisition cost, time constraints on staff and lead times and not just focus on the more cost effective labour rates. A European location provides many commercial benefits for businesses compared to more far-flung countries such as China, where site inspections can take up to two weeks when flights, jet lag, transfers to production centres and problems with communication are factored in. For example, a quality
controller may visit a factory like Bianor in Poland in just one day at manageable costs compared to an extended trip and the high associated travel costs to Asia. Quality of output, cost of production and time requirements to inspect and ship tend to represent the ‘big three’ for businesses seeking to outsource production. Considering working with businesses closer to your domestic market and partnering with eastern European firms offers a real alternative in all three arenas allowing companies to reinvest time and save money that can be ploughed back into the business.
Taking the plunge
As a multitude of businesses put the brakes on advertising, recruitment and expansion plans in a bid to ride out the economic storm, it is vital that manufacturers resist the temptation to retreat into a corner to lick their wounds, and instead look at ways to buck the downward trend. It goes without saying that doing nothing is just not an option for manufacturers in the current economic climate. The supply chain manager’s challenge is to actualise cost reduction through innovation and optimised supply chain processes, in order to improve cost efficiency. This will result in a supply chain that provides a significant competitive I advantage when the recession is over.
omeone once said that drastic times call for drastic measures and while these are certainly unprecedented economic times, now is not the time to make knee-jerk reactions but rather to take a considered approach to optimising supply chain processes and improving cost efficiencies. According to a recent international study by Capgemini Consulting, the global financial crisis leads the list of most influencing factors for the supply chain agenda in 2009. In fact, 65% of managers involved in the supply chain argue that the worldwide economic slowdown will be the biggest issue they face this year. With the crunch continuing to sink its teeth
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FROM THE HEART OF EUROPEAN PLASTIC PACKAGING
As part of our focus on polymers, this month’s Big Interview explores the plastic packaging industry of Europe’s largest economy. Ulf Kelterborn, managing director of IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen e.V. (the German Association for Plastic Packaging and Films), shares his insights with Elisabeth Skoda.
Whom does the IK Industrievereinigung Kunststoffverpackungen e.V. (IK) represent, what are your primary functions and in what ways do you work with other associations?
With around 380 member companies, the German Association for Plastics Packaging and Films is currently the biggest plastics processor in Europe. The IK as a trade association is the mouthpiece of the plastic packaging industry in Germany and has an increasingly strong influence in Europe. All plastic packaging sectors from food to transport packaging and packaging for industrial product are represented by the IK. The association itself is structured in market oriented specialised groups. Currently, 40 panels within the association fulfil different tasks. One of the main tasks of the IK is
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communications and PR work. One of the major tasks is it to give out positive signals for a good image of plastics packaging to the general public. As an economic representation, the focus is on political lobbying, and research and development are covered in cooperation with institutes such as the Fraunhofer association.
How has the German plastics packaging industry developed, especially bearing in mind the stronger competition from Eastern Europe?
Europe. However, we have noticed that eastern European manufacturers are trying to get a foot in the door of the German market. But this concerns mostly ‘Me Too’ products, the availability of which doesn’t require any set timeframe. Looking at the growth of plastics packaging in the individual European countries, it becomes clear that especially some eastern and south eastern European countries have achieved high growth rates as there is a considerable backlog demand.
national laws. In addition, EU bureaucracy makes life difficult for companies. Packaging specific problems are especially caused by the packaging directive, and on a European level, because of REACH. It has been shown that this complex legal situation is causing problems especially to medium sized plastics packaging manufacturers. The IK is trying, through a wide range of activities, to support its members in dealing with these legal requirements.
The German plastics packaging industry is amongst the most innovative ones in the world. Therefore, German companies still are strong competing in the global markets. This is proved by the fact that the export share has increased strongly in the last few years, including exports to eastern
I’d like to ask you about the effects of the global downturn. How have your members been affected, and how have they reacted? And, given that Germany was the first major economy to come out of recession, what are your expectations for the short -term future?
Historically Germany has a strong green lobby and environmentally conscious consumers. Does plastic packaging in Germany have a negative environmental image?
Of course, the German plastics packaging industry has suffered losses due to the worldwide economic crisis. Industrial packaging has been hit particularly hard, whereas consumer packaging has actually experienced gains in some segments. In total, companies are cautiously optimistic about 2010. As an industry representative on political committees and publisher of position papers, what does IK regard as the most significant current legislative and regulatory issues affecting your members?
In the last 20 years, plastics packaging has time and again been the subject of discussions about the environment, be it recycling, littering or other environment-related topics. On the other hand, the image of plastic packaging also has improved. This has had the effect that nowadays, plastics are the most widely used material within the packaging sector. If you go into a supermarket today, you can see that most products have been packaged in plastics, and the share of plastics in packaging is still growing. What are the effects of the climate discussion on plastics packaging? What progress is being made in cutting the carbon footprint of plastic packaging?
The legal restraints for German companies have increased over the last few years, mostly in the area of
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At the moment, the climate discussion also concerns packaging. From the point of view of the IK, however, the assessment of the CO2 footprint as a major environmental parameter is given too much importance. Therefore, the IK is against a one sided focus on these parameters. The notion of sustainability is important in this context. Sustainable packaging means to package goods economically and environmentally friendly in order to save resources for future generations. A sustainable packaging therefore should bring the product to its destination as safely as possible and only use as much material as is strictly possible. Plastics are particularly suitable as packaging material, fulfilling all the criteria for a satisfactory sustainability. The most important parameter is the protective function of the packaging. Comparing the CO2 emissions of packaging and the foods
packed inside, it becomes evident that the CO2 emissions of the packaging are a lot lower than those of the actual food. If plastics packaging protects foods from going off, they therefore save a lot more carbon emissions than are caused by manufacturing it, especially if gone off food has to be replaced by new food. Lots of food goes off in our supermarkets, because they’re packaged in unsuitable packs. Plastic packaging has got various protective functions. It makes the products keep longer and prevents gone off foods having to be thrown away. From the point of view of IK, there should be a stronger focus on the protective function of packaging in the global warming discussion.
relation to all relevant environmental tracers. What were the results of this study, and what broader conclusions does IK draw?
The ifeu-institute in Heidelberg recently presented a life cycle assessment comparing bags made from polyethylene, polyethylene recyclate and bioplastics in
The life cycle assessment compared amongst others waste bags made from polyethylene as well as bio materials. The results of the study show that bio materials aren’t automatically more environmentally friendly than plastics made from fossil materials. Legal discrimination and penalty taxes on conventional plastics that have been discussed frequently of late, cannot be justified for environmental reasons. The IK therefore has been advocating a fair competition between conventional and bio based plastics. Both materials have their advantages. In addition, the plastics packaging industry has got a positive option for the future. Therefore, the IK German Association for Plastics Packaging and Films also represents I manufacturers of bio materials.
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FOCUS ON PLASTICS
he versatility of plastic – in terms of shape and functions – is what drives its growth,” says Ron Marsh. “I don’t know a single packaging market which has converted to plastics and then abandoned them, because once the consumer has got used to its advantages, there is no way back. There are classic examples such as lubricating oil, which used to be sold in an oblong can, something that would be unthinkable to consumers of Castrol GTX today.” The attraction of such versatility has of course been underpinned by cost advantages down the supply chain associated with using relatively cheap and lightweight plastics. In some European markets, rigid and semi-rigid plastics represent as much as 40 per cent of the packaging market. And the share continues to grow.
Whereas mankind has produced packs and containers from minerals, metals and paper for centuries, the mass utilisation of polymers can still be measured in decades. Today plastics are one of the most widespread and fastest growing packaging materials, challenging their venerable competitors in almost every market. Ron Marsh, CEO of RPC, and Søren Marcussen, regional director at Superfos, relate the industry’s big issues and future direction to Tim Sykes.
Yet despite this, the last two years have been challenging for plastic converters. Record oil prices in 2008 put unsustainable pressure on margins, before that problem gave way to the deeper crisis in the world economy. So how has this been experienced on the ground? “The weak European construction market has had a negative impact on the very important paint segment,” says Søren Marcussen. “But as the products for consumer foods have been more independent of the economic climate, Superfos has been able to show a stable development. On the basis of improved gross margins and completed action programmes Superfos has improved earnings in both Europe and the US and increased market shares in 2009.” Mr Marsh paints a similarly benign picture.
“There have been some volume issues in packaging, but nothing like as great as the other markets that use plastics,” he reveals. “Retailers’ volumes are slightly up on a year-on-year basis, and this is a good indicator. So packaging hasn’t been too severely hit. What has happened is a drop in the input costs, something that was desperately needed. The situation that existed at the end of summer 2008 was completely unsustainable. The costs of polymers, but also outer packaging, haulage and electricity all felt the impact of oil, and at $150 the whole industry was in dire straits. So while there have been pressures on sales over the last year, the cost environment has at least improved. Meanwhile, though polymer prices have gone up in recent weeks, I don’t expect them to increase in the longer term, particularly with a view to the capacity that is coming on stream, which we can expect to bring cost advantages.” Perhaps the greatest pressure of the European recessionary period has been the tendency towards destocking, a process which according to Mr Marsh has already come to an end. In fact, he raises the possibility that “we’ll see some bouncing back of stock levels: although everyone can see the advantage of
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preserving cash by keeping stocks low, there is a risk of missing out on sales as a result. Therefore, some companies swing back in the other direction after destocking.”
Throughout these hard months, which have of course impacted on other packaging materials as well as polymer-based solutions, the long-term favourable trends for plastics have remained on course, continuing to win market share. “Plastic holds several advantages over metal and glass: lighter product weight, easier stacking, lower transportation costs and easier handling in production,” points out Mr Marcussen. “Plastic is very hygienic and highly resistant. It reacts very flexibly to impacts, which means low risk of breakage. At the same time, it has a high degree of design possibilities, from transparent to all the colours of the rainbow, and that makes it very attractive to work with. New groundbreaking research has lead to extremely good barrier properties even in injection moulded packaging. As a result rigid plastic packaging has now become a very interesting prospect for conversions from metal or glass and also from other packaging material and production methods such as thermoforming. On top of this add all the freedom of shape, design, convenience and excellent decoration and you have a really good opportunity to stand out and increase sales.”
Mr Marsh supports this optimistic longerterm assessment. “I personally take a rather downbeat view of the recession, and don’t foresee a significant recovery in the next 12-18 months, which isn’t marvellous news for volumes in the short term. A significant part of our industry has been suffering severe difficulties, but I’m afraid there is more pain to come. A lot of the private equity groups have yet to refinance, but will have to in the end. However, in the medium to long term rigid plastic will continue to grow as it always has done.” In addition to further building on market share in Western economies, there is considerable scope for growth by ‘catching up’ in emerging markets. For instance, through its subsidiary Superfos has established a new factory in Algiers as part of its growth strategy for the fast growing markets in north and west Africa. “Plastics have penetrated most of the major markets,” concludes Mr Marsh. “The progressive penetration of plastics is the key trend. For example, tomato ketchup has existed in plastic bottles for many years, but only recently has it vastly outgrown glass as a competing material.”
tionally been dominated by glass jars. “Although glass jars have not been displaced for instant coffee, more and more coffee is consumed using closed loop systems, such as the ones we supply to the ‘Dolce Gusto’ and ‘Tassimo’ brands,” he points out. “These inevitably use plastic, because the disks or pods require such a high level of performance. This isn’t a case of like-for-like replacement, but we have a market moving towards consumer habits which require plastic because they demand something more sophisticated than a glass jar.” According to Mr Marcussen, innovation is a key driver in product development and the ongoing relationship with the customers. “In addition to developing new product solutions, Superfos
Suited to innovation
Given its unparalleled versatility, plastic packaging is often the beneficiary – and sometimes the instigator – when a market takes a big step forward. Mr Marsh brings up the example of its inroads into the coffee market, which has tradi-
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carries out a lot of testing for its customers as well,” he says. One such example is featured in this edition’s headline news pages: tests that show that the right combination of components increases the barrier properties and keep products such as cabbage and jam fresh for a long period in plastic containers. “The improved oxygen barriers can be used to either increase shelf life significantly - up to two years - or simply to secure a better product quality at the existing shelf life. The trend is clear in Europe. The combination of barrier properties and convenience in plastic is highly desired.” Convenience is – as ever – one major feature about rigid plastic packaging that constantly drives new innovations. “We have had great success with out patented SuperSeal design which eliminates the need for a membrane sealing foil and yet offers the convenience of a re-closable snap-on lid,” remarks Mr Marcussen. “Most of our packaging is customised – normally we are working with brands,” says Mr Marsh. “Closed loop coffee systems. Billion unit launches from a standing start. Innovation is the key to achieving these sorts of breakthroughs. Because the industry has been facing straitened times recently, there are not so many groups offering that level of innovation. The availability of innovation within our industry – and the willingness of players to invest in it – is much less than it was three or four years ago. It is very unusual at this moment to encounter rigid plastic packaging companies that are investing in capital equipment and innovation. Not many of them have a financial structure to enable them
to do it. Our share price has indicated that there is widespread recognition of what’s going on at RPC at present, and in particular that we are unusual in being financially robust and willing to invest, and the trading statements we have made up till now suggest the forward prospects are good.”
Responding to the green challenge
“Plastic packaging is adapting to a changing world, in which containers are generally becoming smaller, thinner, more economical and sustainable,” says Mr Marcussen. “Superfos only uses PP due to innovations, which can transform collected mixed plastic into perfectly usable recycled plastic. The use of recycled plastic brings massive reductions in the CO2 emissions of a packaging product. Generally speaking, it is possible to reduce the carbon footprint significantly through the use of post consume raw materials. A good example on these savings is Superfos’ first packaging solution produced from 100 per cent recycled material, UniPak Eco™. The solution is used by Aquados for laundry detergents. As Aquados use around 1,960,000 containers per year, the yearly savings add up to 92 tonnes of CO2 – equivalent to the emissions from an average car going around the world 14 times. “Growing demand for sustainable products calls for closer cooperation between companies with green ambitions. The reduction of CO2 emissions is very important to both Superfos and our customers’ green ambitions. Within our plastic products, we are doing a lot of research
into further weight reduction – without compromising the quality or design of our packaging solution. Superfos also focus on reducing CO2 emissions in our production processes and on raw material we continuously look into new methods for easier recycling.” We have also seen a growth in carbon measurement within the plastics industry, as it takes steps to reduce (and be seen to reduce) adverse effects on the environment. Superfos, for instance, has developed a CO2 calculator, which can work out the total CO2 emissions – from raw materials to factory gates, encompassing all processes in the production flow. The strain on the environment can then be estimated for different product solutions, so that every customer can make an informed choice about their carbon footprint. Meanwhile, Mr Marsh predicts a much greater role for biopolymers, which are derived from renewable biomass sources rather than fossil fuels, therefore offering carbon neutrality and biodegradability. “They will come, there’s no doubt about it,” he states. “I doubt whether they’ll appear in large volumes in the next three to five years, but in five to ten years they will be a substantial source of material for the industry.” …and if and when bioplastics arrive in sufficient volumes to present a viable alternative to oil-based polymers, they will remove the only question marks that hang over projections of continued long-term growth: plastic’s present dependence on a depleting resource I that contributes to global warming.
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PACKAGING INTEGRITY PROTECTED BY RFID
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is increasingly implemented in supply chain management to improve the efficiency of inventory tracking and management. Advances in technology now mean that brands can protect products at the point of manufacture whilst retaining the integrity of the packaging writes Steve Howells, Merchandise Visibility, Director Solution Sales EMEA at Checkpoint Systems.
eeping packages safe from thieves is a multi-billion pound a year problem for retailers and suppliers, as the recent Global Retail Theft Barometer highlighted. Small goods such as DVDs, CDs and video games have always been seen as targets for shoplifters as they are easy to conceal from store staff. This year, shrinkage accounted for almost 1.5 per cent of sales in the video, music and games software sector this year and what’s most worrying is that this figure is increasing each year, so the problem is only getting worse. However, retailers and suppliers alike are now beginning to open up to – and embrace – the concept that RFID may go a long way towards improving a retailer’s bottom line. In shops around the world, source tagging consistently reduces losses from shoplifting and employee theft. The process of applying a secu-
rity label during the manufacturing process, source tagging, ensures that items are protected throughout the supply chain and are only deactivated at the point-of-sale. The process not only solves the issue of security for retailers, but it also ensures it is done in a way that does not affect the packaging of the product. Source tagging addresses one of the main obstacles of using RFID, it effectively reduces the cost of applying the labels to zero when it is incorporated into the manufacturing process. Paper-thin labels can be integrated virtually anywhere onto a product or within the packaging, so as to not detract from the product image or the marketing messages. All too often, staff apply security tags in-store with no regard for where they are placed. Not only can this coverup legally required information, such as ingredient panels, but it also takes up a great deal of
valuable staff selling time, delays the speed-tomarket and damages brand integrity. The technique of source tagging offers retailers and manufacturers invisible and tamperresistant security labels that deliver uncompromising protection and eliminate labour costs for manual tagging by providing floor-ready secure merchandise. But source tagging can have other benefits too. By integrating RFID technology into the source tags, products are not only protected from theft but can be tracked throughout the supply chain, providing visibility and vital inventory information to retailers. In a marketplace that competes so fiercely on cost, consumer packaged goods manufacturers and their trading partners must streamline distribution, optimise inventory levels, whilst reducing retail theft and out–of–stock scenarios. It has become essential to optimise inventory
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management and supply chain logistics by implementing RFID tagging and labelling to help consumer goods manufacturers, distributors and third–party logistics providers comply successfully with RFID mandates, meet consumer expectations, increase inventory visibility and maximise their bottom line. In supply chains across a variety of industries, RFID is being used to streamline operations, increase efficiency, and enable real-time processes that have historically been manual and labour-intensive. RFID enables retailers to not only know that a theft event has occurred but also what specific merchandise was stolen. This insight gives retailers a far more accurate picture of inventory levels, allowing them to promptly restock shelves – improving on-shelf availability, leading to increased sales. Recently, Checkpoint Systems has been working with METRO Group to deliver standards-compliant, RFID-based Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) to both reduce loss and improve merchandise management. The effort is in line with METRO’s RFID strategy to use
security tags for multiple purposes along the supply chain. RFID based EAS represents a significant stepping stone to bringing RFID into the supply chain and store operations. As a result, we expect retailers to benefit dramatically from improved visibility, higher customer satisfaction levels, and increased sales. Consider one supply chain scenario involving the movement of dairy products from the farm to the processing facility, to packaging operations, through distribution, and eventually into stores. In each of these steps, there is movement of goods requiring shipping notification, goods receipt, inventory management, reusable asset tracking, cold chain management, and more. RFID improved each of these processes, integrating with existing enterprise systems to provide real-time insight into the movement of goods, without the need for manual processes that inherently cause latency and inaccuracy. One additional point that is often overlooked is the environmental effect of RFID. At the RFID Journal Live conference in Florida, one speaker
noted the technology’s green credentials. “More than 24 million people shop in our stores every day,” he said. “If 100,000 extra trips are avoided by having items in stock, we will save customers £11.4m ($22.8m) a year in petrol and reduce greenhouse emissions by 80,209 metric tons.” A statement not to turn a blind eye to, especially in this environmentally conscious age. According to research, source tagging is the best solution on the market to meet the needs of retailers, as well as that of the brand owners. It effectively protects retail profits and the packaging image – after all, if a product is not on the shelf its not there to buy! The continuing significant threat of shoplifting and subsequent impact on the profitability of a retailer outlines the importance of taking the issue seriously. By implementing RFID into source tagging, retailers can maximise the speed to shelf and security of a product, whilst maintaining the integrity of its packaging and design. The technology is fast becoming the first choice due to its integrated benefits along the supply chain in addition to the in-store advantages it delivers. I
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MARKET SPOTLIGHT ON PERFUMES & COSMETICS
The beauty industry represents the highest value market among the main consumer packaging segments, thanks to the importance of image in product differentiation and the particular demands of protecting and dispensing / presenting the contents. Two industry insiders share with Packaging Europe their thoughts about the ground rules and current trends.
Co-Founder, Yin & Yang Design uxury packaging has a special role to play, one that is different to other packaging. More than a conveyor of brand messages, it has to set the stage to launch the product in spectacular fashion. Luxury packaging is all about detail. It should have a level of craftsmanship and should look and feel justifiably expensive. It uses finishes and textures to add that extra level of ‘specialness’ appealing to all consumers’ senses. You could go as far to say luxury packaging goes beyond just being about ‘appearance’ and is actually about ‘feeling’. The packaging needs to inspire confidence and desire. The level of consumer experience with luxury packaging should be greater, in both emotional experience and time, and is likely to involve more senses, for instance the unwrapping or unravelling of packaging further extends the brand experience. Most luxury brands have certain visual rules and they embrace design at the heart of everything they do: from packaging to product to carrier bags to shop fronts to gift wrap… All have a signature (Louis Vuitton with LV and Veuve Clicqot Orange). Another salient feature of this market is that cosmetics and perfumes are often purchased as gifts, and secondary packaging is often designed with this in mind.
Cosmetics cf. perfumes
There is a fundamental difference between the requirements of cosmetics and fine fragrances. Both are about the image but for cosmetics the packaging is more guided by the product format and also consumer usage (such as the girl’s handbag). Fragrance is all about the image – ‘look at me!’ – and can be alternatively ostentatious, controversial and of course eye-catching. The product itself comes way behind the image and the communication. Being user-friendly is not necessarily a requirement in fragrance - think Jean-Paul Gaultier. And in fact the drama of the effort adds to the luxuriousness of the packaging. Meanwhile, for cosmetics the packaging has to be more functional and orientated towards usage. Cosmetics are the most visible thing on our face, our most precious thing (who amongst us is not vain?), so it’s a statement of their personality, and the packaging must support that.
Market trends differ slightly in each category. Fragrance is more lifestyle, provocative, controversial, elaborate (Baz Luhrmann, Calvin Klein, Guerlain etc.). Cosmetics have the ability to be funkier and cheekier if necessary and of course able to aim at a slightly younger audience if necessary (Bourjois and Too Faced for example). Recent times have seen a rapid growth in the male market as men come to care for themselves more. This requires a more masculine approach, and is taking the sector in new directions.
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Marketing director for Fragrance & Cosmetics Activities, Alcan Packaging Beauty
one word could can encapsulate the current market dynamic, it would be ‘innovation’. Despite... or we could say because of the economic troubles that have impacted on more or less all segments, innovation remains the driving force. But what is interesting to analyse is the orientation innovation takes towards something more subtle, more efficient and more creative. It pushes us to think outside the box and explore different angles. If we look at make-up and skincare markets, brands have done wonders with their formulae but now realise that the product itself is not everything. Applicators become the differentiation driver. To help the end-consumer to get the best results from the formula, using the right tool is essential. The latest launches, in mascara, in lip gloss or even in compact foundation, are the good symbol of this trend. For instance, for years now Alcan Packaging Beauty, with creative director Michel Limongi, has developed a solid expertise in creative and effective applicators, enabling us to meet this specific demand from brands. That’s why Dior has chosen SpinArt™, a rotating applicator flock for his new lip gloss Dior Addict Lip Polish. The latest compact foundation “Roll’ on Accord Parfait” created for L’Oreal Paris, with the first rolling sponge applicator in compact foundation history, is an other example of this I brand’s new focus.
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PHARMA PACKAGING: A NEW CREATIVE ERA FOR DESIGN
Jonathan Ford, Creative Partner at Pearlfisher – a London and New York future focused design consultancy – shares his insights on the growing overthe-counter segment.
he pharma sector has long been accused of being samey and formulaic and not as consumer friendly as other sectors. But, more recently, with a greater POM to P ratio, and an overarching trend for lifestyle branding, the over-the-counter sector has been trying to better tap into the consumer by moving the focus from highly functional design and messaging to highlighting the end benefits. In addition, we are
living in uncertain times and are more fearful for our health with, for example, the resurgent threat of a swine flu pandemic. As a result, we are seeing a category compounded by a conflicting story: a need to create difference and connect with the consumer by presenting a more humanised and less scientific approach alongside a need to potentially retain or reintroduce more clinical and hard-hitting messaging.
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The personal care offensive
The personal care category has been stealthily encroaching on the pharma territory and nowhere is this more obvious than with antibacterial – and now anti-viral – hand wipes and gels. Whilst we might appreciate that we can now purchase the ‘hospital disinfectant of choice’ with, for example, Spirigel Alcohol Hand Gel, the very clinical packaging is aesthetically quite offensive and intimidating purely because it is so informative and function driven. And this is where the high street personal care brand names, such as Milton Complete Protection Antibacterial Hand Gel, are stealing the march by using the names as clear descriptors and providing an attractive and efficacious offer by adding simple and clean graphic devices such as virus busting – ‘effective against Swine Flu H1N1 Virus‘ - stamps and flashes to their existing packaging. And, structurally, whilst we still want pocket / bag sizes, we are seeing squeezy nozzles being replaced by pump mechanisms as a way of providing a controlled and measured does that does not expose the product to the air and sources of cross-contamination.
A sweeter pill
Our 24/7 society and lifestyle demands a functional convenience and structural innovation has not disappointed: from portable hand gel
pumps to pocket blister packs for pain relief to single dose medicine sachets for children... But the graphic execution – and the emotional connection this engenders within the consumer has become even more important as these brands are brought out of the bathroom cabinet and into the public arena with the brand in the hand saying a great deal about who and what we are. Condoms are no longer seen as just a pharmacy purchase and the ‘safe sex’ message has positioned them as a personal care accessory for men and women alike. Elmwood’s redesign of Durex was about subtly softening and warming the imagery used to communicate ‘sexual wellbeing’, confidence, choice and freedom to a unisex audience rather than just having a traditional masculine and functional association. But, in some cases, the visual messaging is too blatant and has gone too far. Not only is Bassetts known as a confectionery manufacturer but their ‘Soft and Chewy’ vitamins for the 3+ age range look like fruit pastilles and the packaging uses a child-friendly – and maybe dangerously attractive looking – ‘jelly baby’ character. Essentially, we want all brands to fit into – and meet the needs of - our individual and personal lives but its not about such indulgent and stereotypical visual messaging but about creating a more fluid and flowing aesthetic
that still offers product and values but builds these through a simpler and more unique design approach.
Effective product, effective design
Help Remedies (soon to launch) may be one of the first pharma brands to truly challenge this sector and move us from the pain to the gain. Help has stripped right back. The uniform white paper pulp based packs are boldly and simply differentiated with primary colour coding and one simple but forthright ‘I have a …’ strapline. The embossed shape of the product is not necessarily for a visually impaired audience but another clever tactile and visual reinforcement of what the product is and what it is for. The overtly chatty tone of voice - particularly with inside pack copy - may be a step too far but is undoubtedly a refreshing breakthrough for this sector. It’s not just about being functional and convenient but being aesthetically pleasing and emotionally connected. It’s about finding the balance and using design to impart selected information in a defined but personable way. This sector, despite its best efforts has, to a large extent, remained fairly static in its look and feel. But the climate dictates that there is no status quo and so now is absolutely the right time for true innovation to be acceptable and for pharma to embrace and own a new visual rhetoric – a I new creative era for pharma design.
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PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE
In the second part of our special coverage of pharmaceuticals Joe Ringwood, COO of Systech International, argues the case for investing in a serialisation solution that can meet the requirements of today and tomorrow.
any countries around the world are preparing to adopt pharmaceutical coding and serialisation requirements. The EU has actively supported combating illicit practices in the area of piracy and counterfeiting of medicines with a wide variety of counter measures including serialisation. Recently, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) proposed the introduction of a unique barcode on every medicine pack. The Turkish Ministry of Health is implementing regulations that require unique identification of pharmaceutical packages. Outside Europe, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering the serialisation of both pharmaceutical products and medical devices. Asia and South America are proposing similar laws to combat counterfeiting and reimbursement fraud. In light of the regulations in Europe and elsewhere globally, pharmaceutical manufacturers need to consider their packaging information requirements and promptly employ serialisation solutions.
Although local and global serialisation requirements are expected, nobody knows what the regulatory requirements will be in each region of the world, and how they will change over time. However, preparing for future regulations does not require prior knowledge or massive investments in expensive technology infrastructure. Rather, manufacturers can prepare for the future by investing in serialisation solutions that are capable of easily adjusting to changing requirements while also protecting line throughput, data integrity, and system security. Furthermore, although many manufacturers are laying the foundation and infrastructure to enable serialisation for current and pending requirements, the value for serialisation extends beyond regulatory compliance. A serialisation application also enables manufacturers to utilise serialisation where they see competitive opportunities, including preventing deflection, protecting patient safety, enabling unique packaging/delivery solutions, safeguarding high value products, ensuring packaging authenticity, protecting from counterfeiting and enabling value chain visibility and control. The likelihood of diverse serialisation regulations globally, the unpredictability of future regulations, and the many ways in which serialisation can drive business value beyond compliance make it imperative that pharmaceutical manufacturers begin developing and executing their global serialisation strategies. Developing a strategy requires companies to consider both the current and future implications of the technology that they invest in.
Therefore, before manufacturers make a solution a part of their global serialisation strategy, they need to carefully develop educated decision criteria. These criteria include the solution’s capabilities in the context of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). TCO includes the costs of hardware, software, systems integrations, revalidation, line throughput, ongoing maintenance and support, and global rollout. Companies with their eyes on the future see current requirements, such as French CIP13, as strategic opportunities to employ a platform that they can continually leverage when addressing various regulatory requirements. These companies are investing in serialisation solutions that are productised, configurable, and expandable, as well as solutions that enable bi-directional communication between the enterprise and the packaging line. These solutions prepare manufacturers for the future while also controlling TCO.
As packaged software, a productised serialisation solution is ready to be quickly installed when it is bought, thereby increasing efficiency and speed of line set-up. On the other hand, non-productised solutions must be custom-built, increasing the cost and time of implementation. In addition to speedy installation, productised solutions are replicable, making each packaging line consistent. As more countries globally implement serialisation requirements, manufacturers benefit from investing in a serialisation solution that is quickly installed and replicable line-to-line or plant-to-plant. For instance, a manufacturer
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who installs a productised serialisation solution to address regulations in France can use the same solution at their plant in Turkey to meet regulations there. This repeatability reduces design, deployment, maintenance, and associated training costs. Moreover, since it does not require new code to be written, productised software is easily upgraded.
tion that addresses current needs and that can also meet changing demands as more complex regulatory requirements surface.
An expandable serialisation solution easily expands to meet new requirements. Expandable serialisation software is modular because it allows manufacturers to increase capabilities as they need it, such as post-lot requirements for serialisation and OEE. In light of current and pending global regulatory demands, it is essential for manufacturers to employ modular solutions. This allows companies to embrace new capabilities by leveraging existing investments in infrastructure rather than making large, expensive changes to the technology. Those who invest in software without the ability to expand implement dead-end technology that must be ripped and replaced. On the other hand, companies who deploy serialisation solutions that expand easily will manage investments over periods, protecting ROI.
separately with little interaction, enabling this bi-directional communication requires a new layer of control systems. This new layer of control acts as a gateway through which data flows. Data management between the enterprise and the packaging line is critical for all serialisation initiatives because it protects data integrity at the enterprise level while ensuring packaging line throughput.
Configurable serialisation software is designed with elements that can be assembled and realigned to quickly accommodate changing demands without requiring code re-writes. This eases handling multiple code schemas to comply with various regulations, enables in-house personnel to easily maintain the solution, and speeds implementation. In contrast, customised solutions are rigid, making them difficult to implement and modify. By simply making configuration changes rather than re-writing code, configurable solutions minimise the need to perform line re-validations. As a result, manufacturers see less line downtime, increased productivity, and reduced costs. Configurable serialisation software is flexible, enabling it to support a wide variety of packaging line functions. For example, if serialisation requirements change, the line needs to perform new functions. Configurable software already has the capabilities inside to create the instructions for these new functions, eliminating the need to write new code. Therefore, by investing in configurable serialisation software, manufacturers employ an adaptable and flexible solu-
Packaging Execution System (PES) Infrastructure
Many leading packagers are responding to the French CIP13 requirement with consideration of their future packaging environment. They are taking a strategic view of serialisation by addressing the need for bi-directional communication with a Packaging Execution System (PES) platform. A PES integrates all packaging line information systems, including vision inspection, line management and serialisation. Manufacturers need a PES infrastructure to ensure that bi-directional communication can occur between IT and packaging when executing serialisation. The ever-changing landscape of serialisation regulations require today’s packaging operations to be adaptable, flexible, and modular. Inability to respond to change or excessive time or costs to change can lead to deploying dead-end technology. Manufacturers who choose a productised, configurable, and expandable serialisation solution that leverages a PES infrastructure will be able to more quickly and cost-effectively respond to new demands and will be better positioned to take advantage of future opportunities. I
Serialisation’s various use cases are based on the need to communicate serial number information between IT and the packaging line. Therefore, a serialisation solution must have the ability to enable effective communication between the packaging environment and the IT environment. The IT environment must communicate serialisation data down to the packaging line, and the packaging line must send information back up to the IT systems. Because IT and packaging have traditionally been maintained
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SPECIAL REPORT: CLOSURES
Tim Sykes reviews the implications of Freedonia’s recent report on closures markets, with an overview of the key trends and growth areas.
he caps and closures segment is notable for its mixture of materials, from the most traditional, such as cork, to cuttingedge polymers. It is a particularly innovative sector, driven by the fact that the closure tends to be the focus of a pack’s interactivity. Ease of use can be an important criterion in a consumer’s product selection, while the growth in dispensing pumps and sports closures and the emergence of new drink carton closure systems testify to the value-adding potential of the closure. Big trends in the closures sector are closely connected with the particularities of the key consumer markets with which they are associated. As the beverage market in more developed economies shifts towards sports, health, and premium niches, so the industry is invited to offer aesthetic and functional variations on
the basic formats, such as twist caps, foil closures and ring-pulls. Re-sealable packaging has become a buzzword in the food industry across a variety of materials and formats. The beauty and personal care sectors place increasing emphasis on added value through packaging, and the closure is often the centrepiece, whether by dispensing the product in a novel or more convenient way or attracting attention and imparting a desirable image through use of unconventional materials – or nostalgic ones, such as cork or glass.
In its recent report ‘World Caps & Closures’, Freedonia provides an overview of the key trends in the global caps and closures markets. The report forecasts that global demand for
caps and closures will expand by 4.7 per cent per year up to 2011, reaching a figure of around $32 billion. Unit gains will continue to be driven by the penetration of closure-intensive plastic packaging at the expense of traditionally closureless formats such as gable-top and aseptic drink cartons and plastic pouches. Sales revenues, says the report, will be fuelled by a shift in the product mix in favour of valueadded closure types which provide increased product safety, user convenience and/or shelf appeal. Beverages will remain the dominant market for caps and closures, accounting for almost 65 per cent of unit demand in 2011. In the beverage sector, the strongest gains are expected in the bottled water segment, with non-traditional products such as sports drinks and flavoured milk also performing favourably.
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Cap and closure sales in western Europe are projected to rise by 1.4 per cent per year up to 2011 to reach 273 billion units and in value terms by 2.6 per cent per to $9.2 billion – significantly slower than the global average. As in other mature markets, rapidly growing use of value-added closure types will be the main factor behind these gains. Such products range from push-pull sports caps used with soft drinks and mineral waters, to cosmetic and toiletry dispensers and premium plastic and metal caps designed to replace costly glass and ceramic closures. Performance features of plastic caps and closures such as anti-counterfeiting in tamper evident closures are highly valued. A high level of innovation will underpin growth, offering new solutions to address the demand for leak-proof, child resistant and oldage-friendly closures. Meanwhile, markets such as Russia and the new EU members are also proving receptive to the innovative caps and closures associated
with the introduction of new pack formats and materials for established products. However, Freedonia forecasts that unit sales in eastern Europe will increase by only 4.1 per cent annually – slightly below the world average – to 110 billion units in 2011, attaining an eventual market value of $1.2 billion. Development of the domestic consumer nondurable goods sectors will be the leading growth factor, but further gains will be limited by declining populations and the penetration of multi-serving containers in segments such as soft drinks.
Plastic continues, and will continue, to grow fastest of all materials, boosted by its incomparable versatility and price competitiveness. On the other hand, metal closures, which have lost some market share over the last decade, look like stabilising in western Europe, benefiting from their association as
a premium product and remaining the closure of choice across a range of markets. In eastern Europe the outlook for metal closures is far brighter. Perhaps one of Freedonia’s most unexpected predictions is that their powerful growth since 1996 will persist over the next years, with the unit sales overtaking west Europe by 2016. Metal retains a particularly strong association with alcoholic beverages, where it has even won a share of the wine closure market. Meanwhile, the cork stopper – whose producers have grown more innovative in an increasingly competitive market – is expected to hold on to its core share of the wine closure market, despite having to defend itself against recent surge in popularity of resealable and non-glass bottles. The general growth in wine consumption in non-producing countries will fortify this industry, and if wine and premium spirits continue to benefit from growing incomes in the CEE region, the I outlook for cork will be even rosier.
WORLD CAP & CLOSURE MARKET (million euros) Item Cap & Closure Sales Western Europe Eastern Europe 2001 13357 4829 432 2006 17296 5528 589 2011 21714 6285 795 2016 27194 7192 1055
Source: The Freedonia Group, Inc.
% Annual 06/0 5.3 2.7 6.4
Growth 11/0 4.7 2.6 6.2
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MUNICH’S MEETING POINT FOR THE CONVERTING INDUSTRY
From 24-26 November 2009 the ICE Europe exhibition for the paper, film and foil converting industry, will take place again at the M,O,C, in Munich, Germany. With 319 exhibitors from 19 countries this year’s event is bigger than ever.
isitors to Europe’s leading trade exhibition for the converting of web materials, such as paper, film, foil and nonwovens, will find a comprehensive range of new and improved machines and cutting-edge systems. The exhibition profile includes materials, products and services for treating, coating / laminating, drying / curing, slitting / rewinding and finishing. Control and measurement equipment, accessories, toll coating, software, consulting and waste removal, round off the range of exhibits. This year many of the products and services on display focus upon solutions that aim to optimise productivity and enhance product quality. Currently, cost awareness plays a pivotal role in the converting industry and a large number of new products and services on show address issues such as energy efficiency, wastage prevention and the environmental sustainability of fabrication processes.
At the centre of converting
“In times where almost every company is more or less affected by the global economic crises, it is more important than ever to make wise decisions when investing in the future,” commented Nicola Hamann, exhibition director, on behalf of Mack Brooks Exhibitions. “Europe’s leading converting exhibition ICE Europe 2009 is therefore the ideal platform to gain an overview of the latest trends and innovative products. The positive feedback from exhibiting companies shows that even in times like these, ICE Europe is considered a major event for this industry sector. The dedicated exhibition profile in combination with the networking character of the show has proved to be very valuable for the participants. ICE Europe is an ideal platform for making rewarding business contacts and exchanging know-how and ideas.”
In addition to topping the 270 exhibitors that came to the last edition, the 2009 event will extend its geographical representation, including for the first time companies from Turkey and Poland – countries where paper, film and foil converting is a growing industry sector. Increasing international participation at the show in the future has been a key focus for Mack Brooks Exhibitions. “ICE Europe is already a very international exhibition. 46% of the exhibitors and 38% of the visitors at the previous show were from outside Germany,” observed Ms Hamann. This year we have the opportunity to raise these figures ensuring we bring the right visitors to Munich.”
Listen to the experts
A conference entitled ‘Converting processes for tailor-made packaging’ and organised by the Fraunhofer Institute will run alongside the
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exhibition on the afternoon of 25 November 2009. The conference programme covers the themes of ‘Coating and Quality’ and ‘Science’. These sessions comprise talks on production proven technology for cost-effective, robust and environmentally-friendly transparent barriers, engineering approaches for optimising drying processes, barrier laminates for retort applications, edge trim winders – a challenging success story, non-contact colour measurement, encapsulation of OLED devices, and multilayer construction for barrier films. Speakers are supplied by leading specialist converters as well as figures from Fraunhofer itself.
Meanwhile, among the highlights of the exhibition, Simec Group (Hall 4, Stand 4-F16) will be presenting its ‘revolutionary Simec Concept’, which the flexographic specialist claims will make the difference for flexible packaging printers with a range of new products for coating and finishing. Simec Concept is a mix of products, processes and services aimed at
allowing end users ( packaging printers or converters), to optimise production by reducing the overall costs and increasing the printing quality. This comprises FMRG testing certification, providing detailed data and volume assessment of each roller supplied, a wide range of configurations, designed for a consistent and precise ink release onto the printing surface, a special finishing for the anilox surface, a wide range of rolls and sleeves, a system designed to move sleeves safely from the printing unit to the cleaning device and store them, the ‘Profil’ dry cleaning unit, and customer tailored services. In addition, measurement and control technology specialist betacontrol (Hall 1, Stand 1V01) will be showcasing its intelligent measuring system IndiCam 100. Based on an innovative infrared technology, IndiCam 100 enables precise, 100% material measurements combined with extremely short measurement and response times, even at very high fabrication speeds. IndiCam 100 is mainly intended for use in production facilities with calendar or slot nozzle extruders. A camera provides full
coverage of the material up to a web width of 3.1 metres. In Hall 3, Stand 3-B05 the Swiss firm Polytype will be unveiling its new coating system available on pilot line. The technology centre of Polytype has been equipped with a chamber doctor blade operating in six o’clock position. The chamber doctor blade type AGS 2500 “System BASF” is able to coat solvent and solventless coating medias and works with two separate pressure chambers. Another noteworthy exhibit is the new PLC based touch screen for Enercon Compak™ 9000 corona treater power generators. Enercon offers a new touch screen PLC based interface for its Compak™ 9000 power generator. The new design saves converters and extruders time and money with installation while providing advanced corona treating process control. Visitors may pre-register for ICE Europe 2009, saving in the process queuing time and €10 off the entry price. Pre-registration is available now on the show website www.ice-x.com. The exhibition doors will be open from 09.00 to 17.00, closing one hour earlier on the final day. I
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SUSTAINABILITY’S IMPACT ON THE GLOBAL PACKAGING VALUE CHAIN
Julian Carroll, managing director of EUROPEN, articulates his vision for a global harmonisation of packaging regulation, along the lines of the European model, as the blueprint for both sustainability and significant supply chain efficiencies.
everal years ago we were facing increasingly strident demands for ‘more sustainability’ all along the packaging value chain. And all along that chain, our response was uncoordinated. Sometimes, it was even in direct conflict with what was happening somewhere else along that chain. We had to learn to deal with an unusual new type of risk, arising not directly from our own actions, but from our uncoordinated reactions to new pressures. Demands for greater sustainability have mushroomed across the global business agenda. They were, and are, being felt by companies everywhere. The consequences for our business have been farreaching. As packaging, the green lobby’s favourite whipping boy, increasingly came to be seen as a symbol of humanity’s fallen environmental state, recycling became more than a sensible household chore. It became an act of grace, a source of redemption.
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The European experience has been an ultimate success for both the environment and business
Packaging, the facilitator
This phenomenon is stoked by the fears associated with globalisation. For millions, packaging waste has become a symbol of a world suffering from the evils of global integration. As we know, those views are deeply mistaken. Far from being a source of iniquity, globalisation has brought extraordinary benefits to the world. In his fine new book, ‘Why Globalisation Works’, Martin Wolf of the Financial Times goes to great pains to show that at no previous time in history have so many people so quickly been lifted out of poverty. That should be a source of immense pride to our industry. We have played a crucial part in this extraordinary tale. Without packaging, there is no globalisation. No trade in manufactured goods. No Asian economic miracle. Global business models, and thus global prosperity, are impossible without packaging. Nevertheless, the packaging business is under
scrutiny. Consumers, environmentalists and regulators all have opinions – and these are seldom positive. They look at packaging in isolation, cheerfully ignoring its fundamental role in improving people’s lives. Sadly, this commonly held but uninformed opinion is not new. Governments everywhere are developing new regulations, adopting new policies and mandating new targets. Corporations are taking a multitude of initiatives all aimed at achieving sustainability goals. These efforts are sometimes counterproductive and often conflict with the well-intended goals of others in the supply chain. The French and British governments, as well as the European Commission, are encouraging retail to develop their own packaging reduction programs, often failing to recognise the dangers of contradictory demands being placed on suppliers. Germany is discriminating between beverage containers on criteria that have little to
do with overall environmental impact. South Korea, Taiwan and China all have rules dictating the allowable ratios between packaging space and product volume. When seen in isolation, each of these initiatives may have merits. The trouble is that collectively, they risk being counterproductive. Without coordination or commonly agreed goals, they are quite likely to disrupt supply chains. In the end, that means they may achieve little overall environmental gain. On the contrary, they may raise environmental burdens.
The European example
Thankfully, within Europe at least, this problem has become history. The European Union first introduced regulations about the environmental impact of packaging in the early 1990s. It did so not just for environmental reasons, but also, even primarily, to facilitate open trade within the different member states.
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In other words, the European Commission recognised that conflicting packaging policies and regulations were a technical barrier to cross border trade. This same regulation also introduced producer responsibility for the management of packaging waste. At the time, most of our industry was against it. And no wonder. Who wants fresh, onerous legislation? Despite this opposition, change came. In retrospect, it was inevitable. Municipalities and public authorities were facing the strain of dealing with increasing amounts of packaging waste. Yet it worked. Take the example of the country where I live, Belgium. Henry Meirsonne, managing director of the Belgian packaging waste recovery system FOSTPlus, has described how producer responsibility, shared between industry, the public authorities and consumers, has enabled Belgium to achieve a pack-
aging waste recycling level of more than 93% and an overall recovery rate of 96%. Those are outstanding numbers. Now, almost twenty years later, there is very little opposition to the principle of extended producer responsibility. Simply put, a common approach has made many of the headaches with which we are so familiar on a global scale a thing of the past in Europe.
The debate moves on
There’s no more producing different packages for different countries. No more hodgepodge of well-meant but in practice impractical, expensive or even counterproductive legislation. The high recovery rates achieved under extended producer responsibility have led to a remarkable reduction in the public criticism of packaging waste. In Europe, at least, we’ve
been let off the hook a little. The companies that operate under EPR have not gone bust because of it. On the contrary, EPR removed one irritant from the mix of pressures they have to operate under. The experience has had its costs, for sure, but has also had a hugely positive impact on the entire packaged goods sector. It also proves that embracing extended producer responsibility offers a much more certain future for our business. It is far less costly. It avoids the disruption caused by dozens, or even hundreds, of various rules in different cities, counties or states Today the debate in Europe has moved beyond contesting the advisability of EPR. Today the stakes are perhaps even higher: we have to ensure that all corporate packaging initiatives fit into the overall sustainable development picture. The packaging supply chain is
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often so very long and diverse that the risk of disruption due to uncoordinated initiatives remains very real.
The European advances I have described are significant and worthwhile. As far as the wider world is concerned, however, there is a lot of catching up to do. Many of the issues that bedevilled European trade twenty years ago plague global trade today. Different environmental rules in different markets constitute barriers to trade. They raise costs along the supply chain, and as a result they can actually lead to suboptimal environmental performance. In part because of the positive European experience, there are now serious global efforts to deal with this problem. Firstly, the biggest consumer product producers from both sides of the Atlantic have teamed up with the largest retailers in a Global CEO Forum packaging project. They have tasked themselves with developing a set of global principles defining the contribution packaging makes to sustainability. These, the Forum agreed, should include a common vision, indicators, metrics and definitions, designed to ensure maximum sustainability while avoiding disruptions to the supply chain. Secondly, to underpin this, the International Standards Organisation, has agreed that work is to be started on the formulation of international standards for packaging and the environment.
Work is progressing quickly: common indicators should be available in the first quarter of next year. They will be extensively tested in actual trading situations before being disseminated as widely as possible. But I need to stress one thing. These tools are the voluntary creation of industry. They cannot work miracles: national regulations will still exist, and some will still be barriers to trade. Thanks to these tools, however, we will have arguments and indicators that are the same from Beijing to Brussels, or Bombay to Boston. As we each work with our national regulatory authorities, we will push for common rules based on these common global principles. Over time, the differences between various regulations will diminish. The global consumer goods industry, up and down the supply chain, will help shape regulations that minimise the disruption to trade. The Asian Packaging Federation has adopted guidelines on ‘environmentally conscious packaging’ to achieve a harmonised approach within the Asian region and so respond to increasing government pressure to regulate. The Asian guidelines are very closely modelled on the European CEN Standards. Meanwhile, in the USA the Sustainable Packaging Coalition is working to raise awareness of these issues. Moving up from these European, Asian and American efforts to arrive at agreed global definitions is the logical next step.
A unified, worldwide set of metrics will enable companies and organisations to work together more effectively and allow them to reap numerous benefits: cost reductions flowing from fewer national versions, better coordination up and down the supply chain and greater compatibility between various regulatory regimes. We will also be able to reduce the global environmental impact of our business, because we will be able to analyse the data to identify and eliminate environmental ‘hot spots’. Up and down the supply chain, companies and organisations will have greater confidence that their legal and social obligations are being met, reducing compliance monitoring costs. Better data and common metrics will allow us to improve consumer perceptions, too, since we will be able to demonstrate, through solid data, the impact our efforts are having. One may ask whether these benefits justify the effort. The answer is an emphatic yes. The European example shows that common rules bring huge benefits, including some that were totally unforeseen at the time they were agreed such as much greater freedom to operate and innovate than before. The alternative to voluntary global standards is not business as usual. It is a confusing set of contradictory, mandatory, and perhaps even incompatible I national standards.
Packaging has been a powerful agent for globalisation
Greenland’s ice caps are melting at an increasing rate
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GERMAN EXCELLENCE IN PRINTING MACHINERY
Marking and coding specialist KBA Metronic is justifiably proud of its ‘Made in Germany’ quality assurance, especially as it promotes the company’s high quality products to an increasingly-global audience . Emma-Jane Batey spoke to international sales director Thorsten Schnatz and director of sales for printing technologies, Guenter Meyer
s a mid-sized printing machinery manufacturer specialising in marking, printing and coding equipment, KBA Metronic has built up an impressive operation that supports its customers through expertise and exceptional service. Based in the south of Germany and founded in 1972, KBA Metronic is an autonomous part of the global Koenig & Bauer Group (KBA), which has over 7,000 employees and an annual turnover of $2.2billion. The state-of-theart facilities over 12,000sqm, with 6000sqm of production space, houses the very latest machinery that’s CNCdriven to create the highest reproduction capabilities.
Initially called Metronic prior to joining the KBA Group, the company has a 300-strong workforce and a very strong reputation in the printing industry. International sales director Thorsten Schnatz said, “We are pleased to say that all our
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machines are created in-house at our state-of-the-art Bavarian facilities and our international client base has a very high acceptance of the ‘Made in Germany’ declaration that sets us apart from the competition. As a market leader in marking, coding and printing, this quality guarantee is a welcome change, especially in the Middle East and Asian markets where our products are gaining considerable market share.” In fact, KBA Metronic is the only solely German manufacturer in its field. The company started as a purely marking and coding machine manufacturer; then investment and technological developments saw Metronic move into feeding systems, particularly for the pharmaceutical industry. Enquiries from satisfied customers led the company to introduce flexographic printing applications as part of its portfolio, which eventually prompted the establishment of two distinct divisions; printing and marking and coding. This steady growth has given KBA Metronic a solid expertise that customers are able to rely on, with a consistently innovative product range that delivers the very latest in printing machinery. Its technical
capabilities include standard and niche market machines for printing optical discs and pre-paid telecommunications cards, as well as sheetfed printing machines by using the unique UV-offset short-inkingunit technology. KBA Metronic uses the latest design software that provides excellent inter-company connectivity, so that the teams can easily share design information with customers. In the marking and coding field, KBA Metronic offers a wide range of hotfoil-coding, continuous inkjet, thermal transfer and laser technologies. Its know-how in machinery building enables KBA-Metronic to also offer complete customised solutions.
Complete quality ‘from one hand’
It is perhaps KBA Metronic’s complete in-house control of the production value chain that enables it to deliver such bespoke customer demands, and it is this capability that underpins the ‘Made in Germany’ quality assurance. Mr Schnatz commented, “Our skilled personnel include engineers and product development specialists. We’re not box movers – we create and produce everything in house,
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“This situation allows us to be independent, totally secure, well-organised and able to react quickly. We like to say that we’re flexible in a familiar way because we can seamlessly fit in with our customer demands.”
every aspect of our business in under our control as no design process is outsourced, so we’re able to pass on this exceptional attention to detail and total understanding of our products and how they relate to our customers’ needs. We sit with our customers to talk about exactly what they need from their marking, coding and printing machines and then make sure we help them use our products to reach their potential within their facilities.” The KBA Metronic workforce is made up of both long-standing experts and young apprentices. It values the contribution of all members of staff, with some people dedicating their entire working lives to the company. Such continuity and appreciation of loyalty is reflected in the strong relationships KBA Metronic has with its customers. Mr Schnatz said that while the company is proud of its Bavarian roots, KBA Metronic is completely international in its outlook. As an autonomous part of a multi-national Group, the company has the best of both worlds, with clients in about 40 countries and a world-wide network of sales and service agents that are committed to upholding the values of the brand. He explained, “This situation allows us to be independent, totally secure, well-organised and able to react quickly. We like to say that we’re flexible in a familiar way because we can seamlessly fit in with our customer demands.”
In terms of ecological responsibility, KBA Metronic is equally committed to operating in a way which benefits its customers, its employees and the environment. Not only does the company offer an inkjet machine that uses the lowest solvent consumption of any on the market, but it also uses innovative water-less offset technology and no solvents wherever possible, which is proving to be a big benefit with its customers in Europe and the USA. The next 12 months will see KBA Metronic targeting potential new customers in the packaging industry, especially within pharmaceutical packaging, and introducing them to the extensive features and benefits of its recently launched newest marking, coding and printing machines. As a business that offers the best of being truly global and local, KBA Metronic is set to expand its presence considerably.I Visit: www.kba-metronic.com
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SOLUTIONS IN COLOUR
GMG is a leading developer and supplier of high-end colour management solutions and proofing systems as well as quality control solutions. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to Christian Schwarze, Vice President Sales, about the company’s commitment to providing the graphic arts industry with complete solutions.
ith 25 years of experience in the graphic arts industry, Germany-headquartered GMG has been a leader in colour management and proofing since the 1990s. Its GMG ColorProof system has become the de facto standard for almost the whole gravure printing industry in Europe. Today, more than 10,000 GMG systems are in use across virtually the whole spectrum of the graphic arts industry, from advertising agencies and prepress houses to newspapers and commercial printers. More recently GMG broadened its product range and targeted the offset and the packaging market with products like GMG ColorServer, GMG InkOptimizer and GMG FlexoProof. “The ColorServer is a must-have flexible product and it’s widely used across the graphic arts industry as it converts colour from one
state to another automatically, with no chance for error,” said Christian Schwarze. “Not only does this save a great deal of time for our customers, but it also reflects the growing trend for standardisation across various print media. Our FlexoProof product also offers benefits to our customers in the packaging sector as it creates exceptionally high quality contact proofs including spot colours, and substrate reproduction."
Appealing to the packaging industry
GMG FlexoProof also includes the GMG SpotColor application, the ideal solution for managing special colours. All standard spot colour systems such as the Pantone Library, supplied with the product, are supported. In addition to processing nearly all industry-standard prepress data formats, GMG FlexoProof can also work with final 1-bit data, such as that created by the imagesetter or CTP RIPs. The data is colour-profiled with the original screen information retained. This supports the early recognition of tonal break-offs, moiré artefacts and trapping errors before plates are ever exposed. A new feature is the simulation of misregistration already in the proof. This also helps to reduce the cost that would occur if the problem were identified only at a later stage. “We are permanently working on advanced developments in order to be able to supply our customers with complete solutions for standardizing and simplifying the colour management workflow,” Mr Schwarze said. “Our vision is to become the colour standard for the graphic arts industry and we’re doing everything we can to make this I vision a reality.” Visit: www.gmgcolor.com
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In just ten years the Segezha Pulp and Paper Mill (SPPM) has been transformed from Russia’s largest producer of kraft paper and paper sacks to the world’s second largest sack paper producer, selling its products to more than 50 countries across the world. Now it is about to undertake a further huge investment. Peter Mercer reports.
GOING GLOBAL IN PULP AND PAPER
he Segezha Pulp and Paper Mill is a vertically integrated pulp, paper, and sack making operation (including its own forestry division) that has a capacity of up to 400,000 tons of sulphate pulp, 350,000 tons of sack paper and more than 500 million paper sacks. SPPM was founded in 1939 in the north of Karelia, some 700km north of St Petersburg. Its location on the bank of Lake Vyg put it conveniently close to the Belomor-Baltic Canal, the railway and the motorway between St Petersburg and Murmansk and continues to offer significant logistical advantages to this day. By the 1990s, the mill was producing two thirds of all the paper sacks consumed in the former USSR. Although Segezha’s facilities, including its three kraft paper-making machines, were continually modernised over the years, its was in 2003 that the mill took a radical new direction with the signing of an agreement for complete modernisation and refurbishment between SPPM, Sberbank
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SPPM was already the clear leader in the Russian market for paper sacks and we currently have around 60 per cent
and the Republic of Karelia. This huge investment programme, which to date has included the modernisation of the pulp production line, the extensive rebuilding of PM10 and PM9 paper machines and the installation of a brand-new sack-making line, has not only vastly increased output capacity but has also ensured that the quality of the mill’s kraft paper and sacks is the equal of any producer in the world. “The quality of our products has always been excellent. In fact, as long ago as 1948, the Segezha mill was awarded the Order of Lenin – at that time the highest accolade of the USSR – but today we are among the best three producers of sack paper in the world,” says SPPM Marketing Director, Alexei Dovin. “We have, of course, a virtually inexhaustible source of raw materials in the pinewood forests of Karelia but it’s also true that kraft paper and sacks made from the chemical wood pulp from chipped wood – with no other secondary raw materials – are extraordinarily strong. “On top of that, our PM10 is now one of the most modern and efficient paper-making machines in the world and PM9 is also fully competitive. In the last four years we have put a lot of effort and resources into quality improvements. In fact, at a recent meeting with customers in Egypt, we were told that the quality of our sack paper and sacks is comparable only to that of Mondi’s mill in Austria.”
The huge modernisation programme for the Segezha mill has impacted on all stages of production. In 2004 the new €10m continuous pulping line went into operation. Supplied by the Andritz Group, this system features Andritz’s Lo-solids technology to continuously produce the highest quality pulp using the minimum quantity of chemicals and therefore producing the minimum quantity of waste. The line’s ‘lowlevel’ wood chip feeding system is claimed to be the most efficient in the history of pulp production. The new line increased capacity from 600 to 900 tonnes of pulp per day as well as improving quality consistency and reducing running costs. In late 2004 the rebuilt PM10 also came on line. This €70m reconstruction was undertaken by Finland’s Metso Paper and constituted the largest single order in the pulp and paper industry for the last 20 years. The rebuilt PM10 has a production speed of 750 m/min and a capacity of some 550 t/day. Then, in 2008, the first stage of the modernisation of PM9 was completed, at a cost of €30m. “The rebuilt PM10 is now one of the three most advanced paper making machines in the world, on all measures of high technology, speed and quality,” says Alexei Dovin. “And the cost of the paper it produces is also
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It will take SPPM into new global markets for bleached pulp and papers and transform our position in the world’s paper-making industry.
among the lowest in the world. The PM9 modernisation was always planned in two stages, which was perhaps fortunate since stage1 was completed before the global crisis developed. Although, in fact, the crisis has not had a great effect on SPPM; demand has held up well and we are confident that the results for 2009 will be better than 2008.” In 2003 SPPM decided to focus on the production of sacks and packages for the international packaging industry and, since then, three advanced sack-making lines have been brought into operation. These lines have made Segezha the first company in Russia to be able to offer a wide range of products with consumer-demand features such as high quality multi-colour print to international packaging markets. Today SPPM sacks are widely used to pack building materials (especially cement), food, agri-products, chemicals and animal feed. The latest product, sacks made with two, three and four layers of microcrepe paper, offer exceptional performance and strength and have been shown to be able to withstand repeated drop tests while filled with cement.
The answer was found in 2006, in SPPM’s acquisition of Korsnas Packaging, a division of Sweden’s Korsnas AB. At the time of the purchase, Korsnas Packaging was Europe’s second largest manufacturer of industrial paper sacks, producing some 850 million sacks per year from production facilities in Spain, Germany, Italy, Holland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. The combination of Korsnas Packaging and SPPM created a No 2 player in the global paper sack market, with annual production of some 1.1 billion paper sacks and strengthened both companies’ positions in the fast-growing eastern European, CIS and Russian markets.
Now SPPM is on the brink of yet another major expansion of its capabilities. In 2010 work will begin on project Polar Bear, a €900m programme to construct a new 850,000 tonne/a bleached kraft pulp mill. One of the most advanced plants of its kind in the world, the new pulp facility will process around 2.5 million cubic metres of wood raw material to produce both bleached coniferous cellulose and bleached deciduous cellulose. The work is planned to include a new wood room, fibreline, pulp dryer, recovery island and power plant and is scheduled to be completed in 2014. The addition of bleached pulp production to SPPM’s capabilities will pave the way for a significant expansion of the company’s finished product range to include white sack paper and cartonboard. “The Polar Bear project will give us the largest and most efficient pulp facility in the world,” says Mr Dovin.” It will take SPPM into new global markets for bleached pulp and papers and transform our position in the world’s paper-making industry.”. www.scbk.ru
The radical modernisation programme at SPPM was the key to its strategic aim of extending its reach into global markets. But it also made that expansion essential. “SPPM was already the clear leader in the Russian market for paper sacks and we currently have around 60 per cent,” explains Alexei Dovin. ”But the investment programme virtually doubled our paper-making capacity so that we could produce enough for two billion sacks a year. That is far more than can be absorbed by the Russian market so it became essential for us to find customers for our paper in European and Asian markets. Segezha decided four years ago that the best way to ensure that there were converters in these markets who would consistently buy our paper was to ourselves acquire companies in Europe that manufactured sacks.”
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Global company Husky is the world’s largest brand name supplier of injection moulding equipment and services to the plastics industry. With an ever-expanding global reach and a commitment to the satisfaction of both its customers and employees, Husky is set for continued success. Packaging Europe spoke to Hari Prakash, general manager for sales, SAARC. Emma-Jane Batey reports.
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“Husky is committed to offering customers a range of products and services that help them get the most out of their assets and remain competitive in the current economy.”
Hari Prakash,General manager for sales
usky has come a long way since 1953, when the company started as a small machine shop in a garage in Toronto, Canada. Today, Husky has operations all over the world, with a 3350-strong workforce and a network of 40 service and sales offices, generating sales in excess of $1 billion in 2008. What has always been important to Husky, however, remains so, with the continuing success of this injection moulding specialist deriving from its focus on innovation, quality and added value. General manager for sales, Hari Prakash, told Packaging Europe how the impressive growth and financial achievements of Husky have come from these long-term core values. “Since 1953, we have always looked to develop innovative technologies that help our customers to be more competitive and we’ve grown to become the leading supplier of injection moulding equipment and services to the plastics industry. It’s an industry that we know inside out, as we offer solutions from concept to completion. We design, manufacture and integrate the industry’s most comprehensive range of injection moulding solutions, including machines, moulds and hot runners, alongside a number of value-added services.”
Committed to adding value
Husky’s value-added services include factory planning, customer training, systems integration and complete asset management. Husky key product areas of injection moulding have grown from the company’s understanding of what its customers require, with a manufacturing solution provision that includes the right combination of tooling, systems and services. Mr Prakash explained, “We offer high productivity systems that are optimised for the specific needs of any application or volume, such as our Hylectric, HyPET, HyCAP and HyPAC systems, alongside custom-built hot runner technologies and integrated Altanium temperature controllers.” With more than 50 years of top-end experience in the plastics industry, Husky is able to support its range of injection moulding equipment with a comprehensive, global support system. This 24/7 sales support is locally executed, with teams of highly trained experts available that know both the Husky products and the clients’ needs and issues. Husky’s main manufacturing facilities are located
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The World of European Packaging
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The sustainability issue is one which is very close to Husky’s heart and the company is dedicated to operating in as responsible a manner as possible and helping customers to do the same. It achieves this by helping them streamline their businesses through minimising unplanned downtime and extending the life of their equipment, while reducing energy consumption and maximising productivity. Way before it was the ‘fashionable’ thing to do, Husky was focused on the need to reduce its impact on the environment using methods which are socially responsible, scientifically based and economically sound. The
“Our commitment to investing in local infrastructure allows us to continue to effectively serve customers in both emerging and established markets”
Truly global and local Ecologically aware
in Canada, the USA, Luxembourg and China, with the addition in 2000 of an operation in Mumbai to service its growing market share across the Asia Pacific region.
“Our commitment to investing in local infrastructure allows us to continue to effectively serve customers in both emerging and established markets,” says Mr Prakash.” We recently opened a larger Japan Technical Centre, completed the expansion of our Shanghai Technical Centre and we have plans to build a brand new facility in India. This increased local presence allows us to provide our customers with shorter lead times, a more responsive local service and underpins our 24/7 sales support network. We’ve also recently expanded our services to ensure that customers achieve the best return on their investment by maximising efficiencies through a system’s life cycle.” Customers use Husky equipment and services to produce a wide range of products for the beverage packaging, closures, thin wall packaging, medical and consumer electronics markets. The technologies the company works so hard to develop reflect its clients’ needs for better production costs, improved product performance and increased sustainability.
company offers system improvements, lightweighting initiatives and operational enhancements to customers and it has a lengthy track record of using recycled materials. An important step in this initiative is Husky’s recent introduction of its HyPET Recycled Flake System, the world’s first system specifically optimised to manufacture preforms with up to 50 per cent post-consumer recycled PET flake.
It is clear that Husky’s belief in excellence, bold goals, proactive environmental responsibility and loyalty to customers and employees are a solid foundation for its past, present and future success. Mr Prakash concluded, “Husky is committed to offering customers a range of products and services that help them get the most out of their assets and remain competitive in the current economy. As we move forward, we will continue to demonstrate this commitment by further investing in R&D that will allow us to offer new, state-of-the-art technologies I to the plastics industry.”
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Assan Alüminyum has been undergoing a massive investment programme in recent years. Abigail Saltmarsh looks at the development of the Turkish company and its increases in production capacity.
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he past two years have seen significant increases in capacity at Turkish flat-rolled aluminium producer Assan Alüminyum. According to assistant general manager for commercial activities, Bahadir Ozer, the operation has seen huge leaps in production following massive levels of investment in its facilities. “In the past two years we have seen a very big investment project to increase capacity in coil, foil and sheet production,” he said. “In 2005 we opened our new Dilovasi plant, which was one of the first rolling mills in Turkey. “Since then our €100 million investment programme has continued to increase capacity at all our plants. We have seen foil capacity at both plants reach about 70,000 tonnes.” He added: “We have improved capacity. Now gradually, every year, we are also trying to improve quality and invest in new market development as well.”
Here it produces a range of flat-rolled aluminium products for a variety of markets including packaging, building and construction, automotive and white goods. It also produces household kitchen foil and supplies a range of other sectors.
“In 2005 we opened our new Dilovasi plant, which was one of the first rolling mills in Turkey.”
Part of the Kibar Holding group, Assan Alüminyum is a dominant leader in the flat-rolled aluminium products sector in Turkey – and today is one of Turkey’s 50 largest companies. The company has two facilities, located in Tuzla and in Dilovasi, and currently has facilities with a total area of 535,000m2.
Today, Assan Alüminyum employs some 900 people and produces 125,000 tonnes per year of coil and sheet products, with a maximum width of 2250mm, and 50,000 tons per year foil products with a maximum width of 1600mm. It meets more than 50 per cent of the domestic market’s needs and exports 60 per cent of its products to more than 60 countries throughout the world.
As it has grown in size, Europe has remained Assan Alüminyum’s main market. Here it mainly serves the distribution, construction, transportation, consumer durables and packaging sectors.
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“Our aim is to achieve 55,000 tonnes of foil and 130,000 tonnes of coil and sheet next year. We would then like these figures to rise to 70,000 tonnes and 140,000 tonnes in 2011,”
“We have done very well through the economic crisis. We have been able to increase our sales in 2009 and to develop our market for our foil products,” said Mr Ozer. “We are now supplying sizeable quantities to our aluminium customers in the packaging market. “In 2008 we sold a total of 135,000 tonnes of coil, sheet and foil. This year that figure will rise to 142,000 tonnes. We have seen most growth in the foil area. Last year we sold 38,000 tonnes. This year it will be about 47,000 tonnes. This is more than a 20 per cent increase.”
Thin gauge potential
Investment is also ongoing at Assan Alüminium to produce ever thinner foils for packaging applications. The company’s research and development department, which is furnished with state-of-the-art equipment in mechanical, chemistry and metallography laboratories, focuses on this key sector along with other area of product development. “As we see market conditions improving then we would like to start another investment programme. We would like to focus more on our thin gauge production,” said Mr Ozer. “We believe there is huge potential here.”
Continuing to invest
He said volumes were low at the beginning of 2009 because of the global downturn. Therefore, the vast majority of the growth will have been achieved at the end of the year. And 2010 should see further increases, he went on. “Our aim is to achieve 55,000 tonnes of foil and 130,000 tonnes of coil and sheet next year. We would then like these figures to rise to 70,000 tonnes and 140,000 tonnes in 2011,” said Mr Ozer. “This is all based on the investment programme we have just completed. But we are thinking that if everything goes well next year then we will invest in a foil plant with new generations of technology. This will give us more capabilities for converting foil and will allow us to get capacity up to 100,000 tonnes.”
Optimistic about the future
Geographically, there are also opportunities for the company to grow, in particular across Europe and the Middle East, he said. “Our company is relatively young in European terms – and we believe there is huge potential. We see ourselves as a global company and so we concentrate on developing our different sectors everywhere we operate,” he said. “We would like to see further growth in flexible packaging, especially in Europe. There is huge potential for this in all areas. In both household and industrial foil, we believe there are opportunities for I great increases.”
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MESSAGE IN A
Filipe de Botton, Logoplaste CEO
ogoplaste is an industrial group that manufactures rigid packaging solutions for some of the world’s most reputable blue chip companies in the sectors of food and beverage, personal care, household care and oil and lubricants. The company has gained significant expertise in these fields and, consequently, enjoys a reputation as a reliable solutions provider. Logoplaste manages over 250 machines in 52 factories across 17 countries, using the very latest packaging technology in injection molding, stretch-blow molding and extrusion molding.
To reach this position over the past 17 years, Logoplaste has seen 18 per cent year on year growth. The last 18 months have been a difficult time for many businesses worldwide, but Logoplaste has been able to continue its upward trajectory with a further 10 per cent growth during the global economic recession.
Growth in difficult economic times
Packaging Europe asked Logoplaste CEO Filipe de Botton how the company achieved this against such a difficult international situation. He explained, “I am proud to say
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Major multi-national industrial packaging group Logoplaste has continued to enjoy a positive growth throughout the global economic downturn, supported by its proactive, community-focused approach and commitment to staying close to the customer. Emma-Jane Batey reports.
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that we have still managed to grow by 10 per cent by focusing on continuing with innovative product development and by staying close to our customers as their businesses were dealing with the downturn. Logoplaste is a very proactive company and we’re innovative across market sectors, so we have learnt the importance of anticipating the needs of our customers and their products.”
Rigid packaging for the food and beverage industry accounts for around 75 per cent of Logoplaste’s business activities, with home care and detergents for major brands also key areas. In fact, Mr de Botton was keen to highlight that all the company’s market sectors continue to be important because Logoplaste is highly skilled at maintaining a relevant and mutually-beneficial model. Mr de Botton added, “We see further
potential growth in all our market sectors, across all our products and customer areas, so we are certainly feeling positive. It’s an exciting time, which is very welcome after what has been a rather slow, negative period for so many people. Having stayed professional and credible through the hardest months of the crisis, we’re ready to share the good news of increased business across all our core markets.”
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OSIMAT, worldwide leaders in machinery and complete systems for the handling of empty plastic bottles (silos, unscramblers, orienters, air and mass conveyors, etc.) has sold and implemented different installations with LOGOPLASTE worldwide. POSIMAT gives the best treatment to empty plastic containers. POSIMAT´s range goes from small containers (vials, jars) up to the bigger ones usual in products such as household, chemicals, motor oil, beverages, food) even with the most difficult and unstable shapes, to suit all customer´s needs, from low to high speeds. The POSIFLEX range of unscramblers has a unique (patented) automatic and instant changeover. It allows to change from one bottle type to another by just pushing one button, in less than one minute. It also permits to handle future bottle sizes without the need to buy format parts. The POSISILO silos from POSIMAT handle the most delicate and light bottles due to its patented exit system which does not damage bottles. The POSIJET air conveyor is able to handle the most difficult bottles, even with short necks, and to transport bottles up and down from 0º to 90º with or without accumulation. Get in touch with POSIMAT for more information. They will with pleasure answer your queries. Phone: + 34 93 729 76 16 Web: www.posimat.com
epsol has been Logoplaste’s polyolefins supplier for over ten years. This collaboration was strengthened when Repsol acquired it’s Sines Complex in Portugal, making the already natural collaboration, even more attractive with new applications and technologies. Not only the proximity but also the developments of bimodal and new product lines, give an excellent technological advantage to both partners, leading to a long term commitment. Today Repsol mainly provides Logosplaste with polyethylene and polypropylene for blow moulding applications. “Logoplaste’s growth and international expansion is impressive and admirable. The corporate team has a very special and unique personal style, which is novel, open and direct. This has been transmitted throughout the company. We feel Logoplaste really wants to make a difference. We also see as notable Logoplaste’s interest in manufacturing efficiency based on a specific self-developed process to optimise model changing which reduces the machinery shutdown times.” says Esteban Gimeno, Repsol’s Polyolefins Business Director. In addition, Clara Rey Repsol’s Polyethylene Director, remarks “Logolpaste is remarkable and has a very innovative business model in the blow moulding of containers for dairy products which are manufactured on their clients’ premises.” Repsol Chemicals, as part of a large oil and gas company, benefits from a high degree of integration and its firm commitment to technology translates into constant product improvements, offering clients like Logoplaste competitive advantages helping them with their international expansion in the demanding packaging industry. Logoplaste acknowledges Repsol’s research and development team, with over 400 professionals at their Technology Centre located in Madrid. Repsol shares its active technical support with Logoplaste and together both partners are continuously looking for new product developments in order to create the next generation of materials and product applications that will enable Logoplaste and Repsol to take competitive advantages in the markets where both companies develop business. Both share their commitment with their clients. “Logoplaste focuses on product design and innovation by testing the new developments in their in-house pilot plant. These are the type of things we have in common” says Miguel Corvalán HDPE Product Manager. Logoplaste values Repsol’s personalized Customer Service, in seven languages, besides, Logoplaste has access to Repsol´s advanced ecommerce, to complement and improve know-how and services. Reposl is a polyolefin supplier for the packaging industry, wire and cable, fibres, agricultural films, pipes and automotive industries.
Lumicene® mPE and mPP: new horizons for metallocene polyolefins
umicene® , Total Petrochemicals new brand for metallocene polyolefins (mPE and miPP), has been launched recently. A good timing to reflect on a success story: “Today Total Petrochemicals sells more than 25 different grades of mPE and mPP in Europe and North America. These resins serve a wide spectrum of applications”, says Philippe Orts (Marketing Manager PE).
“In each of these applications, Lumicene® polyolefins help converters to make the difference and generate value at their customers in the value chain.
• In film, Lumicene® mPE’s exhibit a unique combination of stiffness •
and optical properties that makes them true downgauging enablers.
In caps and closures, Lumicene® M 5220’s excellent organoleptical properties make it particularly suited for the most demanding bottle screw cap applications. In addition, its excellent processing in injection moulding translates into lower melt pressure and significant cycle time reduction.
Sidel’s key role in Logoplaste’s worldwide drive
fter Sidel supplied its first blower to Logoplaste in 1996 for Coca-Cola Portugal, it quickly became the Group’s lead supplier for PET preform blowers on the grounds of its state-of-the art technology and service. Initially, Sidel covered Logoplaste’s requirements in the CSD sector. But the partnership developed further as PVC bottles began to be replaced by PET in the markets for water and edible oils, and H&PC substituted HDPE and PP containers. Sidel is now also playing a major role as regards the market for sensitive products (isotonic drinks, teas, etc). For all these markets in various countries (Portugal, Spain, UK, Italy, the Netherlands, USA, etc.) Sidel works side by side with Logoplaste, actively participating in the design stage of its projects requiring preform blowers. So far Sidel has installed over 60 blowers for Logoplaste, including a recent order for eight high-performance machines for the UK market with an overall production capacity of nearly 19 million bottles per day.
• In blow molding, Lumicene® M3509 is increasingly used as a skin
layer to make high gloss PE bottles for the personal care industry”.
In the area of metallocene PP, Total Petrochemicals also have a strong business in the textile sector where miPP accounts for stronger non wovens and a softer touch. “Total Petrochemicals also launched recently a new range of metallocene random copolymers for thin wall packaging and housewares”, adds Jerome Thierry-Mieg (Marketing Manager PP). “With unmatched transparency and excellent organoleptical properties, Lumicene® MR30MX0, is designed to compete with polycarbonate”. You can find further information on Lumicene® PE and PP on www.lumicene.biz
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“We take our recruitment very seriously so that we have the right people joining our company, which enables this winning approach to continue.”
Bringing Latin passion to the plastics industry
An illustration of this commitment is the ‘passion to the plastic industry’ promise that underpins the continued success of Logoplaste. This passion is instilled in its 1600 employees worldwide, resulting in a highly professional culture with a Latin approach that reflects Logoplaste’s Portuguese head office location. Mr de Botton continued “We mix passion and professionalism to create a culture that delivers on every level. We take our recruitment very seriously so that we have the right people joining our company, which enables this winning approach to continue. We offer a very good career progression and have a low staff rotation; most of our recruitment is through word of mouth referral, which I think says a great deal about how our multi-national workforce is motivated and fulfilled.” In order to utilise the skilled workforce, Logoplaste invests in its technical capabilities on a regular basis, with around €100million annually pumped into purchasing the best possible equipment, with the philosophy that spending such a high investment wisely
allows the company to satisfy its customers’ demands as they change with market trends. A very visible illustration of this belief is the steady stream of innovative product launches from Logoplaste, around 700 each year, created both independently and sometimes in partnership with its customers.
It’s not just in-house rigid plastic packaging capabilities that allow Logoplaste to flourish. Its passion extends to the local communities too, with the company fully dedicated to making a positive difference to the areas where its people live and work. Mr de
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“We’re expecting a positive mix of organic growth, the purchase of new factories and potential strategic acquisitions to ensure we achieve the levels of growth we predict.”
Botton was particularly pleased to mention the Cadin sustainability project, where over 12,000 families annually are given the chance to visit Child Development Centre for respite care. The next two years are expected to see continued growth returning to the pre-crisis levels, with 20 per cent growth predicted across the market and product sectors in
which Logoplaste is active. Supporting this aim will be the new factories currently under negotiation. There is a major new UK factory currently at the final stages of the agreement to purchase which will see Logoplaste extend its capabilities by 1 billion bottles each year. The company is also adding a newly built factory in the USA to its global portfolio, with this
modern facility due to open before the end of 2009. Mr de Botton concluded, “We’re expecting a positive mix of organic growth, the purchase of new factories and potential strategic acquisitions to ensure we achieve the levels of growth I we predict.” www.logoplaste.com
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Negri Bossi has planned a drastic business and commercial reorganisation to drive the company out of the impasse caused by the international crisis. Silvio Tavecchia, the new managing director of the Milan based company, explains the move to Maria Teresa Sette
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egri Bossi, established in 1947, has recently invested €2 million to reconstruct its plant in Cologno Monzese, near Milan. Improvements include new flooring, seven automatic stores for small parts, a new parts stores, overhead cranes, paint booth, and equipment for internal handling. Its main goal is to rebuild turnover by 2010 to the level it was before the global crisis. As regards the expected
2009 turnover, it may be around €70 million, with sales of 350 to 380 machines. The Italian company is one of European leaders in the production of plastic injection moulding machines for thermoplastic materials. Together with the BM Biraghi and OIMA brands, Negri Bossi constitutes the Injection Plastics division of the Sacmi Group. Over the years it has extended its operations by acquiring a series of companies.
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“Internal reorganisation is part of our strategy to face the global economic crisis that has significantly affected our turnover. Also, we are focusing on consolidating our production performance in Europe, above all in the UK,” Mr Tavecchia confirms. As part of the internal reconstruction plan, Sacmi has recently recapitalised the Negri Bossi group and a branch of it, which produces the large tonnage BiPower machines, is to be transferred to the associated Sacmi company in Imola.
Attention to Asian market
The Milan group has announced its intention to “conquer” Asian markets, and it has already begun production in India. At the end of last summer, at the Sacmi plant in Ahmedabad, Negri Bossi started manufacturing a series of hydraulic presses with clamping forces from 550 to 1000 tons, developed for the local market with technology taken in part from Negri Bossi, and in part from BM Biraghi.
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“For a company like ours, success will arrive by offering innovative, fast, efficient products, which are able to reduce at the same time energy consumption.”
As Mr Tavecchia explains, the goal is to conquer the Indian market by offering it injection moulding machines without any frills, in order to reduce costs, but with European technology in order to guarantee performance and reliability. “Our intention is not to compete on price with the local or Chinese manufacturers, rather to take a share of the medium-high market segment,” Tavecchia explains. With 3500 presses sold every year, the Indian market represents for Negri Bossi one of the most interesting new markets. brands, in the hydraulic, hybrid, or all electric configurations, providing obvious cost savings compared to traditional work. In the last 12 months the Negri Bossi has launched Janus, a new line of hybrid machines which aim to be a link between hydraulic and electric machines. They are designed to use the most suitable actuator, either electric or oil hydraulic, for the specific mechanism, thereby delivering the most productive machine and the highest energy savings. “This is the path we intend to follow in the future,” says Mr Tavecchia. “For a company like ours, success will arrive by offering innovative, fast, efficient products, which are able to reduce I at the same time energy consumption.” Visit: www.negribossi.com
Focusing on innovation
As a result of this reorganisation, production is now more flexible. They produce 14 modular subunits for each tonnage that, when suitably combined, allow the company to make any model of the two
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PROGRESS IN PLASTIC PROCESSING
The past year has seen great changes for Hungary-based plastics processing business Ongropack. Abigail Saltmarsh reports on the company that is a leader in its region.
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n March 28, 2009, leading Hungarian plastics processing company BC-Ongropack Ltd was acquired by a new owner. Several months later, in July the same year, the company’s name was changed to Ongropack Ltd and it began operating under its new identity. The majority owner of the company is ETIMO Ltd, represented by Mr László F Kovács, former chief executive officer of BorsodChem, the company that used to own Ongropack. Mr Kovács brought his strong management and financial backing to the company and now stresses that he is committed to providing the resources required to ensure Ongrapack continues to meet its clients’ needs both now and in the longer term. “After decades of management in the chemical industry and 15 years of experience acquired as a CEO of BorsodChem – a company operating firstly as a state-owned corporation, later as an enterprise listed on Budapest and London Stock Exchange and afterwards as an unlisted company operating in majority ownership structure – I have had the great opportunity of experiencing how a manager can serve the interests of the owner,” said Mr Kovács. “I have also learned what information, feedback or signs managers expect from the owner during board meetings, general assemblies or informal interactions. Owing to my former position, I know Ongropack’s business past, market positions, and its short term and future goals ripening in a recessive economical environment. I believe I will be able to build a harmonious and long-term goal focused relationship with the management of Ongropack who I know well and have great respect for.”
Growing the business
Ongropack was established by BorsodChem Zrt on October 1, 1993. It began production in 1994, with the manufacture of PVC rigid and stretch films. In 1996, it merged with PolyPlatt Ltd, another company that was fully-owned by BorsodChem, and the operation became known as BCOngropack Ltd. From that time onwards its activities were widened to include the manufacture of PVC sheets as well. Over the years since then, several investment programmes have been undertaken. These have seen Ongropack’s capacities multiplied, with the company reaching 20,000 tonnes today. As a result, Ongropack has become the dominant plastics processing factory in the region, and one of the largest PVC processors in the area.
Ongropack manufactures its products from PVC dry blend, which is now produced by the company itself at its site in Kazincbarcika, on the premises of its former owner, BorsodChem. The warehouses and factories are leased from BorsodChem. Products include PVC sheets and film. PVC film is marketed under the Ongrofol trademark while sheets are distributed under the names Ongrodur and Ongrofoam. Ongrofol products include PVC rigid films and PVC stretch films and Ongrodur products are PVC solid sheets. Ongrofoam products are PVC free-foamed sheets. PVC sheets are manufactured by extrusion technology while the PVC rigid films are non-plasticised and flexible products, which are manufactured by a calendering technology. PVC stretch films are plasticised, flexible, cold expandable products that are manufactured by extrusion blowing technology.
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“Our aim is to produce high quality, stable, reliable products and to ensure we maintain continuous product development initiatives and cost-competitiveness. This should result in the products themselves remaining competitive.”
The main application of Ongropack’s PVC rigid films are the thermoforming of pharmaceutical blisters, food and display packaging or sign making. PVC stretch films are used for manual and automatic food packaging. Solid sheets are mainly used by the construction industry as door skins, wall cladding and insulation panels, while foamed sheets are extremely popular in the sign-making industry.
After the purchase of Ongropack, besides having a management share in the company, Mr. Gyula Szabó continued to work in his position as a managing director, carrying on with his strategic goals
of increasing focus on quality improvement and customer satisfaction. In addition, the executive team of the company remained in their current roles. “Our aim is to produce high quality, stable, reliable products and to ensure we maintain continuous product development initiatives and cost competitiveness. This should result in the products themselves remaining competitive’’, said Mr. Szabó. “Products are continually being developed”, he added, “Ongropack’s research and development is carried out in response to its customers’ I needs to ensure a fast and flexible service.” www.ongropack.hu
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PACKAGING THE BEST OF ITALY
Boschi Food & Beverage is a leading Italian producer of tomato products and other food and drink products, simultaneously acting as a contract manufacturer/ packer and running its own internationally recognised brand ‘Pomì’. Sales & Business Development Director Cristiano Villani tells Tim Sykes about the packaging challenges involved in this multifaceted operation.
stablished at the turn of the century, Boschi Food & Beverage is 80 per cent owned by Consorzio Casalasco del Pomodoro and 20 per cent owned by CIO (Consorzio Interregionale Ortofrutticoli): a company of tomato grower cooperatives. Economic assets have been purchased from Boschi Luigi & Figli, which was a Parmalat company, but today’s company is no longer related to Parmalat. With a turnover of just under €135 million last year, the company possess two plants, in Fontanellato and Felegara, both around 20km from Parma. It employs an average of 250 employees, swelling to about 400 during the tomato crops harvesting season. Boschi has four different product divisions: tomato products, fruit juices (the largest two divisions), tea and beverages, and soup. Tomato processing is naturally one of its main activities, because its shareholders are tomato growers. “This is strategically important for us because it allows us to process the tomatoes directly,” remarks Mr. Villani. “We thus buy the raw materials for the other divisions.” The volumes are considerable. In 2008 Boschi processed 120,000 metric tonnes of tomatoes and processed the
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same quantity of fruit juice. Meanwhile, the company processed roughly 13,000 metric tonnes of soup in the same year. “We operate as a contract manufacturer and co-packer, and our main activity is producing goods for branded companies and private labels in Europe,” explains Mr Villani. “Although we bought the tomato based product brand Pomì from Parmalat in 2007, our main business remains co-packing.”
A broad spectrum of packaging options
Boschi has extensive production, processing and aseptic filling facilities and is able to supply packaging in a wide range of formats, from its aseptic carton filling lines and PET bottles to glass containers and aluminium cans. Recent investments have seen a widening of liquid carton options, including a new SIG Combibloc line offering the new one-litre ‘combifitMidi’ (a carton whose top can be modified flat or reclined) which responds to the demand for more attractive shapes. “The real added value of this consists in having one line capable of three different dimensional sizes, providing us with great flexibility,” comments Mr Villani. In addition, Boschi has enlarged and restyled its aseptic PET line in order to add smaller bottles to its range, a process that concluded in July 2009. “These smaller format PET packs enable us to offer fruit juice from single portion 200ml ‘on the go’ sizes right up through 250ml, 500ml and 750ml to two-litre bottles,” explains Mr Villani. “What is still missing is the 330ml bottle, because there is not sufficient demand for this size on the market, but we are ready to satisfy similar requests”
Packaging for different tastes
With extensive markets throughout the EU and beyond, Boschi’s flexibility in packaging solutions enables the company to provide products to suit the differing preferences and expectations of consumers in different regions. The advantages of this are neatly illustrated when one considers the varied acceptance of PET as packaging material.
Boschi is keen to extend its activity in the area of fruit juices in PET aseptic bottles, having until recently used PET primarily for its beverages and tea offerings. However, reception in different parts of Europe varies. “In Italy we are certain that consumers are now attaching more and more credibility to products packaged in PET,” observes Mr Villani. “This is because the major brands have begun using PET bottles, using new and attractive labelling systems utilising sleeve labels instead of the standard offset ones to reposition PET as a high-level material. Previously, PET in Italy was associated with budget products, and fruit juice was usually packaged in liquid cartons. “Meanwhile, if we think about the French market, PET is growing significantly and is very well accepted, partly because the quality of the PET was introduced with premium products, rather than initially appearing, as in Italy, as a material for budget products. However, the German market is still far away from accepting PET, mainly for legislative reasons. In some countries where the liquid carton is still relatively novel, PET bottles for juice are only just beginning to appear. For example, in Poland the carton is the market leader and PET has a very weak presence.” Despite the progress made by PET, Mr Villani believes that there remains a place for liquid cartons in the premium juice sector. “From my point of view, it is a fact that the top quality, the best preservation of the product is still provided by the aseptic carton for beverages or liquid food. PET has not yet really succeeded in protecting 100 per cent of the quality of certain products over a longer period. It is my belief that the carton is still the best package to protect the product, even if the market is moving forward.”
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Moreover, in the food segment the carton is benefitting from growing demand for environmentally friendly products – together with an increase in the price of metals. “In line with market trends, we are substituting tinplate and aluminium food cans with the aseptic cartons for food,” says Mr Villani. Green issues are proving an increasingly powerful factor in Boschi’s markets, although once again this tendency is growing at different rates in different parts of the world. “Italy is becoming more and more environmentally conscious, and being environmental friendly is an important part of differentiation on the market,” he states. “But this is still some way behind more eco-friendly markets such as the UK, Germany and Scandinavia. We cannot imagine delivering cartons without FSC certification in those markets, whereas in Italy this is still largely unknown. I think this will improve in Italy: the private label sector in Italy is working on this, for example. eastern European consumers are much less bothered about these issues, while Spain lags behind to an extent.”
have to take note of the different regulations, adapting the pack for the same product in different countries,” confirms Mr Villani. While a process of harmonisation of packaging regulations has been occurring for years, in practice local differences in implementation of regulations and – perhaps more importantly – differences shaped by market regimes prior to harmonisation require significant variations in packaging. “We also find that in the case of labelling there are so many differentiations across our markets, creating significant problems,” says Mr Villani. “Harmonisation is not easy but this is one of our challenges. For example, as mentioned before, in certain countries the use of PET is still restricted by the law.”
Integrated product design
Interaction between product development and purchasing at Boschi is strong, since as a co-packer for private label products the company has necessarily built up the expertise required to recommend new ideas and new packaging forms to customers. “Product development falls under the auspices of our purchasing department,” reveals Mr Villani. “It has to provide us with timely updates on the market, or to develop new ideas we have generated. This is one of the most important functions in our business development.” The extent to which this expertise is deployed is very much dependent on the needs of Boschi’s clients. Private label customers tend to have their own marketing departments and own ideas about product packaging and presentation, which need to maintain some coherence with the rest of an ‘own brand’ range. By contrast, a number of smaller customers turning over lower volumes often lack the resources to develop their own brands. “In response we have created a new division, aimed at strategically developing what we call service brand for such customers,” says Mr Villani. “This is a new strategy that we commenced last year. We have three brands that we use for different divisions of products, and for these we develop our own design. This is something we can give our customers, and eventually we can build up a sense of exclusivity.” Boschi’s innovative thinking, combined with the knowhow derived from running an established brand and meeting the needs of diverse customers as a contract manufacI turer, seems a tasty recipe for further success. www.boschifood.it
Harmonisation or disharmony?
Another challenge for exporters throughout the European market is the need to adapt packs to the regulatory demands of the respective domestic markets. “Because our company works with the European market, we
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IN THE BAG M
Meyer/Stemmle have been producing packaging for more than 80 years. Today its 250 members of staff produce bags and wrapping paper for more than 6500 customers, the majority of which are bakers and butchers. Cornelia Muller reports.
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eyer/Stemmle specialise in service packaging and carrier bags, including special bags for promotional purposes. However, their product range also includes paper cups for hot drinks, serviettes, and other flexible packaging for food stuff. Michael Wieder, the sales manager of Meyer/Stemmle, explained: “We offer our customers the possibility to use our all-round service, starting from the idea and the design, and including pre-printing, production, quality control and logistics. We can be the one-stop shop for our customers. We can produce simple carrier bags starting from a quantity of 100,000. However, for exclusive items, we can offer as few as 2000 pieces, for example for bags for special promotional events. We offer unusual materials, shapes and print designs, because we know that a fancy bag is a real
eye-catcher. Thanks to this combination of products and service, our customers benefit from our rapid and professional, yet flexible reaction.” Meyer/Stemmle have an annual turnover of €62 million and sell more than 2.5 billion packaging products. The greater part of its production is currently taken up by folding bags with and without a window. Recently the company has observed a strong increase in demand for more exclusive carrier bags, folding bags with windows and hot drink cups. Among the exclusive bags two deserve a special mention: the Kelly Bag, and the Triangle Bag. The first is a luxurious paper carrier bag with a magnet lock designed like the original Grace Kelly hand bag made of crocodile leather. The second has a triangular bottom, which makes it not only very stable, but more importantly thanks to its unusual shape it is a real eye-
catcher. Permanent carrier bags have become more and more fashionable, so Meyer/Stemmle have included a wooden handle or a shoulder strap to make the bags more attractive and practical. A growing number of shops sell these bags and in this way contribute to waste reduction.
Contributions to the environment
Meyer/Stemmle make a concerted effort to contribute to the environment. They advise regular customers on the latest development in the packaging industry, and continuously work on the improvement on innovation of their products. They put a special focus on the use of fewer primary resources, which allows a reduction in weight, transport costs and costs in general.
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Furthermore, they have launched an initiative called Climate Neutral Packaging. The principle is based on the idea of compensating or offsetting emissions that cannot be reasonably avoided. Instead they are balanced out elsewhere so that manufacturing processes can be implemented in a climate-neutral fashion. In line with this concept Meyer/Stemmle use green energy, electricity generated from renewable sources. They are also using more and more paper instead of plastic to produce carrier bags, and use raw material from a traceable origin. In case of exclusive bags, which have to be manufactured with fresh cellulose, Meyer/Stemmle paper suppliers replant more trees than they use wood. Michael Wieder commented: “Protecting the environment is very important. We have to preserve the living environment of our children and secure their future. Also living and acting in a sense of environmental awareness and responsibility do not stand in conflict with acting to be economically successful. Quite the opposite – it gives us a competitive advantage and secures our future.”
In response to the growing popularity of window bags, Meyer/Stemmle have recently extended the production facilities with two state-of-the-art machines for the production of window bags used for automatic bread
packaging. The window bags are produced in-house, therefore the delivery time in short, and virtually all requests with regard to size can be respected. This year they have also doubled their warehouse capacity in order to be able to take over a larger part of their customers´ logistics and to provide their customers with just-in-time delivery of bags and packaging material. The company also invests into their staff so that they are well qualified, to handle the products and production well. Manufacturing and printing techniques are becoming more sophisticated and require on-going training so that the company can improve its productivity and quality. Michael Wieder said: “It is very important for us that our customers enjoy working with us and that we can create a mutually beneficial partnership. We endeavour to make it as comfortable and cost effective as possible for them. A carrier bag is a promotional space for our customers, so we ensure that the bags have the desired marketing effect. We do not shy away from making the extra effort or investment to achieve I that goal.” www.meyerstemmle.de
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FOCUSING ON FOOD
Estonian packaging producer Estiko Plastar has opted to concentrate more on the food industry in recent times. CEO Triin Anette Kaasik explains more to Abigail Saltmarsh.
or more than 90 years Estiko Plastar has been producing in Tartu, Estonia. During that period there have been numerous changes in the company’s operation and today the packaging producer maintains the same philosophy – to adapt with the times. CEO Triin Anette Kaasik explains that production at the Estonian business is now concentrating more and more on supplying the food industry with packaging. As markets have evolved, she stresses, so has Estiko Plastar. “During the recession demand from the building materials sector dropped and so we decided to put a lot more effort into food,” she explains. “We have been launching new products for the food industry, focusing more on hygiene in the refrigerator and moving into supplying new sectors, such as packaging for coffee.” Estiko Plastar’s history goes back to the year 1917 when Albert Laretei founded a comb factory in Tartu. At that time, the combs were made from natural bovine animal horns but the business later moved over to synthetic materials.
Moving into packaging
1969 was the crucial year for the company’s product range – the production of polyethylene films was initiated. Having successfully completed the preliminary trials, several new film extruders were purchased at once. From then on, Estiko Plastar became known as one of the leading manufacturers of packaging materials in the Baltic region, also competing successfully in the local markets in Scandinavia, Russia, Ireland and other export markets. Today Estiko Plastar employs some 142 people and sees an annual turnover of €20 million. The company is in production 24 hours a day, seven days a week in a bid to remain as efficient as possible. Experience has grown over the years and a focus on the latest developments in the global packaging market and the continuing investments in human resources, technology and product research and development ensure that it remains professional, flexible and reliable both in the domestic and international markets, says Ms Kaasik.
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“Our export figures have been growing,” she adds. “We have much more of a focus on Scandinavia – on Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark – currently about 55 percent of our production is exported and I would like to see that grow. We are also selling into Ireland and Iceland and I would like to build up that business too.”
The aim is continue to invest in the development of food packaging. Packaging products for milk, yogurt, sour cream, mayonnaise, ice cream, curds, cottage cheese, butter, margarine and cheese are continually being launched, as well as products for the confectionery industry, biscuits, chips and nuts, the meat and fish industries, and other fresh food and food processing industries. “Recently we have been focusing on barrier films as the shelf life of products is becoming more and more important,” explains Ms Kaasik. “For food producers it is necessary to extend food shelf life to get better storing and logistic conditions. We have developed low – medium to high
barrier films and laminates. Also we have packages for pasteurization and sterilization which are mostly for ready meals. For restaurants and other food suppliers we are offering packages which are for boiling. For example they can boil peeled potatoes, carrots and beetroot in the same big cooking container without mixing the colours, flavors or odours. “A modified atmosphere package (MAP) extends the product’s lag phase at the same temperature compared to non modified package. For example for meat it is possible to extend shelf life 2,5-17,5 times by using MAP. There are more clients on the market who are using our low oxygen permeability films and laminates. “Laminate gives packages a better look as it is possible to choose a different gloss, haze, stiffness etc. Sandwich printing protects print from scratches and enables the package to stay perfect for a long period. Different aluminum laminates give the excellent barrier properties against light, oxygen and water vapour that are demanded by coffee, milk powder and baby food packers. We are seeing strong demand at the moment for these products.
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“For deep freeze seafood we also have developed a special film. It is flexible and elastic, it has excellent stiffness and sealing properties. We have launched some exciting new products, such as reclosable packaging for sausages, ham and cheese. Also we have a range of easy open and antifog packaging and have been focusing on thermoshrink film where our aim is to reach the minimum thickness and maximum strength.”
special kind of magnetic molecules that represent a unique code when read with a special reading device. Magnetic coding is a rather novel approach that Estiko Plastar has high hopes for in the long term as this is one of the potential replacement technologies for today’s printed barcodes. If it can be successfully implemented this technology could provide increased security in the packaging fraud prone supply chains of today.
Additionally Estiko Plastar has started several government co-funded high-risk research projects to develop additional products for future and emerging markets. So far the research has covered bio-degradable plastic films as well as creating a radio-frequency readable coded films for security and information tagging applications. Conventional, chemistry-based bio-degradability is rather well known in the industry so Estiko Plastar has initiated research on using non-conventional and cheap biological additives in the film production. The additives chosen were flax fibres. As a result of the project a successful demonstration of increased bio-degradability was conducted. Work on radio-frequency readable films is still a work in progress expected to yield results by the end of the first half of 2010. The main idea behind the project is doping the plastic films and packages with a
Plans for expansion
In the near future several million euros will be invested in marketing for food packaging, says Ms Kaasik. The aim is to continue to develop the food business and to grow at a rate of between five and seven percent per year. “We are currently investing in shrink sleeve production. We see this as a growing sector and want to go forward into the future with it,” she says. “We are also now working on BRC certification to ensure all our processes (and our production site) conform to standards. Then, long term, our aim is to look at buying up smaller companies, perhaps in the Scandinavian region, that will help us to add value and to develI op the business as more of a specialist in food packaging.” Visit: www.plastar.ee
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COMEXI GROUP was founded in 1954 and it is a global leading world-wide supplier of machinery and converting solutions for the flexible packaging industry. Our portfolio of products are 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 PROSLIT – Our brand for slitters and rewinders ENVIROXI – Our brand for Environmental and productivityenhancing 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. ESTIKO PLASTAR A/S has trusted on Comexi Group since 2004 to achieve the highest standard of flexo printing quality by the acquisition of one flexo press FL-2508, providing ESTIKO PLASTAR a versatile and reliable tool for many different kind of print jobs thanks to the design of the machine. The cooperation during the years has been first class.
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EXPANDING IN FOOD PACKAGING
Sirap Group is a European market leader in plastic packaging for the food industry. Ross Davies spoke to Mario Caviggia, Sirap Packaging Marketing, about the company’s investment in new products and new production facilities.
ounded in Brescia in 1957, the Sirap Group, which is owned by the Italmobiliare Group, is separated into two strategic business units: Sirap Gema Insulations Systems which produces insulating materials for the construction industry, and Sirap Packaging, one of the biggest producer of plastics trays for food packaging in Europe. The group has seen great development over the last fifty years which has included the Tamper evident tray acquisitions of Austrian packaging company Petruzalek in 2003, and the Amprica Group, a leading company in food packaging with OPS/PET sheet extrusion, in 2006. Acquisitions such as these have seen Sirap Group expand further as a market leader as explained by marketing Mario Caviggia: “These acquisitions have also had significant strategic value. In the case of Petruzalek, it has allowed us to enter new geographical markets such as Austria, and East Europe countries, whilst Amprica Group has seen as increase our product range further.” Sirap Group’s distinction as a European market leader in food packaging is also evident in its 12 factories on the continent and its various sub-divisions which aside from Petruzalek and Amprica, also include Sirap France and Sirap Iberica, operating in France and Spain respectively and Inline in Poland and Russia. What does Mr Caviggia consider to be the vital components of the company’s successful expansion over recent years? “It is down to a number of fac-
tors- research and development, investments in new products and a broad range of experience with regards to quality and business ethics have all been key ingredients to our success,” states Mr Caviggia. Aside from its acquisitions, Sirap Group has also recently invested heavily in a new production facility in Poland which has significantly expanded its activities in thermoformed containers for the food sector. Mr Caviggia also stresses his company’s drive for further technological enhancement; “2009 has also seen us launch a new range of PET tamper-evident products which we are currently in the process of presenting to the European market- we expect good results in 2010.”
Catering to market demands
In its efforts to broaden its product range and increase production capacity, Sirap Group has also invested in its research and development activities, predominantly dedicated to new and innovative technology. “Research and development is key for all companies in the modern era and we are certainly no different. In our R&D activities, we are not only looking to expand our product range but also to create more attractive and sophisticated applications. Recently, our main focus has been on rigid and foam plastic packaging with protective characteristics so as to give the food product a longer shelf-life whilst simultaneously creating an attractive design,” explains Mr Caviggia.
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In accordance with the Sirap Group’s core belief in a business ethic promoting transparency in the workplace and in relations with customers, the company operates a direct approach in its marketing activities, Mr Caviggia explains: “We really believe good human relations to be the key in our communication with the markets and customers. Therefore, our marketing activities revolve around selected events and conferences in various different European countries which also allow us to become aware of any potential changes in market habits prompting the development of new products to cater to subsequent market demands.” Conversely, the Sirap Group has decided to take a break from attending fairs on which Mr Caviggia also elaborates: “After regular participation at international fairs, we are currently evaluating the use of them as an efficient means of communication in a world in which there are more and more sophisticated technologies.” This push for expediency is also evident in Sirap Group’s standpoint on meeting the demands of its foreign markets. “Each of the 12 plants across Europe have been built according to the demands of the markets. We also see our foreign production plants as offering the opti-
mum service to our customers whilst reducing the inconvenience and cost of transporting goods between the factories and customers,” says Mr Caviggia.
The recession and the future
Having achieved a turnover of approximately €264 million in 2008, with a workforce of over 1400 employees and production figures of both rigid and foam containers reaching 2.5 billion trays, how has the global recession affected the Sirap Group in 2009 and what does the future hold for Sirap Group in particular. “We have tried to make the best of a bad situation- it has actually allowed us the opportunity to pay close attention to the evolution of new goods and the changing attitudes of consumers.” Mr Caviggia answers. “With regards to food packaging,” he continues, “up until today there have been areas of growth and likewise areas of contraction but the constant demand in all sectors has always been the optimization of I packaging costs and that will continue in the future .” Visit: www.sirapgroup.com
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KUNSTSTOFFWERKE ADOLF HOPF GMBH & CO KG
Founded in 1896 and still family owned, Hopf produces a wide range of packaging for the cosmetic, toiletry, pharmaceutical and food industries. Felicity Landon reports on recent investments and innovations.
is the packaging that sells your products! That is the slogan from Kunststoffwerke Adolf Hopf GmbH & Co KG, a family-owned company based in the historic town of Nördlingen, in Bavaria. Hopf produces high-quality plastic jars, lids, bottles, caps and twist-up containers, with state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities including both injection moulding and extrusion blow moulding. In the past year, the company has invested nearly €4 million in the construction of a new production hall and the installation of in-line production which incorporates printing, decorating and packaging of the finished products. “It works perfectly and it is running day and night,” says CEO Monika Reinhard. Hopf employs 240 people and reported a turnover of €18 million last year (2008). A key part of the company’s continuing success is its spread of clients – from the largest, most prestigious global brands through to the low-cost lines and private label customers. It is a good mix, says Mrs Reinhard. “We started doing very high profile brands but the market changed a great deal and we decided to move into other areas, including private label.”
To an extent, this has insulated the company from the worst of the downturn – as many end users have shifted to lower-cost brands. Another factor is that Hopf’s own customers are looking for more support. “Our customers now don’t want to invest in tools because these are very expensive; instead, they are looking at what lines we have and how we can use these to create something special for them, whether with colours, lacquers or hot stamping,” says Mrs Reinhard. “Everybody wants people to notice their products; we work with customers to find the best solutions.” Hopf can support customers through design, the production of pilot samples and the availability of a very wide range of stock moulds in various sizes and designs. Its decorating department can screen print in-line production four colours in one session and Hopf’s standards of metallised or lacquered caps and lids are world-renowned. For economic quantities, in-line production can include the production of injection mouldings, automatic transfer to assembly and screening machines, printing of up to four colours or hot stamp foil decoration, strip control and automatic packing into shipping cartons.
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Hopf was founded over 100 years ago and is still owned and controlled by the descendents of the original founding family. “The company was founded by my grandfather and the fourth generation is now working here as well,” says Mrs Reinhard. However, the company is not on its original site. “After the war, the old factory, with 2000 employees, was in the Eastern German sector – so my father decided to move to the Western part of Germany and start again,” she explains. “He rebuilt the whole factory, but just for 600 employees.” Being family owned offers significant advantages, she adds. “It helps us that the company has long experience and can produce what the customer wants. And being family owned, we are very fast at decision making. We make up our minds and react quickly.” Most of Hopf’s customers are in Europe, with Germany and France being the most important markets, although there are some exports to Australia, Canada, and elsewhere outside Europe. The company’s processes are all certified to the ISO 9001 quality standard, quality control of products is top priority. In-line control systems see experience quality controllers checking on a precise standard system; visually for decoration and appearance, with micrometers for accuracy of moulding, and manually to ensure the correct fitting of lids on jars, or caps on bottles.
Hopf has a team of specialist design engineers focused on creating new solutions and ideas, either independently or in partnership with clients. Most recently, the company has developed a whole range of new thick-wall jars, which are much in demand on the market, particularly for special creams, and can be easily adapted for a range of products. Hopf is also reporting an increasing interest in wooden caps and wooden outer parts for cosmetics and other products. “This is a real trend, the demand for real wood,” says Mrs Reinhard. “We don’t do that ourselves; we do the inner parts and these are then despatched for the addition of wooden outer parts.” Looking ahead, Hopf is planning further substantial investment. “We aim to invest in technology to produce, of course, perfect products,” she says. “We want to complete our line with cameras, density proofing and automated screening.” And the family influence looks set to stay. Mrs Reinhard‚s daughter also works for Hopf and her granddaughter is studying business at university. So the fifth generation is already on the way, says Mrs Reinhard. “And we plan to be here for I many more years!” www.hopf.de
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A GREENER FUTURE
The Slovenian-based company Vipap Videm Krsko d.d. is the leader in the newsprint market and the largest paper manufacturer in the country. Irena Alderson talks to managing director Oldrich Kettner about their continuing investment in machinery and improvements in the company’s environmental stance over the past few years.
he joint-stock company Vipap Videm Krsko d.d., based in Slovenia’s picturesque lowlands, is the country’s biggest paper manufacturer, and trades in board and paper. Moreover, it is the leading newsprint producer in the whole south western Europe region. Vipap, which exports the majority of its production, is an important chemical pulp producer, manufacturing mechanical pulp and de-inked pulp as a raw material for some of its new paper grades.
The history of the pulp-converting industry in the municipality Krško goes back to 1939 and began with 180 employees, when the founder Franc Bonaè designated a totally undeveloped area in Videm for the location of a new pulp plant. The main milestone in papermaking was the start-up of the first paper machine in 1955, which was designed to produce 30,000 metric tons of newsprint per year. This paper machine
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set the course for the following years of successful development of the plant, where three further paper machines and one new pulp mill were put into operation in the next two decades. In the nineties, Krško experienced serious trouble caused by various circumstances: externally, the company had to endure Yugoslavia's civil war and turbulent changes in the market situation, which resulted in a downward spiral for paper pricing and pushed the company into bankruptcy. Internally, the ownership changed, not once, but three times: in 1996, in 1998 and in 2000. Machines were refurbished in 1990, but the company went bankrupt during a difficult period in 1995. The mill was first bought by ICEC, a Czech private company, then it was taken over by the IPB bank of the Czech Republic and later again by CSOB, another Czech bank.
In parallel with the changes in ownership came technological investments, which have brought about a modern concern fit for the third millennium. “The investment related to the changes amounts to €115 million in total over the last nine years. The production of paper and pulp has grown to more than 240,000 tonnes and the net revenue over €100 million. The main change was the closing of the obsolete pulp mill in August 2006 after 67 years of production,” explains Oldrich Kettner. The main reasons for the closure of the mill, which employed over 350 people in the area, were spiralling energy bills (relating to oil prices), a shortage of beech wood and the subsequent high prices on the wood market, the need for more staff and other environmental limitations. As a result of the introduction of the new de-inking pulp plant in 2003, 90 per cent of the required fibres are now produced in-house. Since the 1998 change of ownership, when the mill was exceeding all environmental parameters regarding air, water quality and noise levels, major investment lowered the air pollution by an incredible 99 per cent and waste water by 96 per cent. There is much less risk from
“We are more flexible than the big capacity paper manufacturers with production of over 300 tonnes. They can be very effective, but on the other hand are more vulnerable to market changes.”
hazardous chemicals too, since Vipap stopped storing and using chlorine and chlorate in its processes. “The waste water, which used to end up directly in the local river, is now treated in a new waste water plant. There is a new waste incineration plant, all paper machines have been refurbished and natural gas boilers installed. We now produce around 180,000 tonnes of recycled paper annually and rank amongst the biggest and most technologically advanced producers in the region,” says Mr Kettner. “We now comply with all relevant legislation regarding the environment and are in the process of applying for the EC directive’s compliance as well,” adds Mr Kettner.
The production portfolio of Vipap consists of wood-based, recycled papers, such as Vimprint, Vipress, Vimag or Vipco, wood-free papers, newsprint paper as well as spruce and beech pulp made by magnesium-based processes (the former being produced in greater amounts). Viprint, a pigmented recycled grade paper, is used for periodicals, magazines, catalogues, advertising material, multi-colour or black and white picture books and heat-set offset printing. It is also suitable for sheet-fed printing. Vipress is used more for periodical newspapers, magazines, catalogues and other advertising material in multi-colour and black and white cold-set offset printing. Another new product is Vimag, a soft-calendered, pigmented, recycled grade that is also used for picture books. Vipco, on the other hand, is specifically designed for photocopying and other digital printing techniques, but has been used for books, brochures, periodical and promotional material in offset printing. These have all been developed over the past three years, after the closure of the pulp mill. Paper Sof is suitable for newspapers, magazines and pocket books in black and white and multi-colour offset printing. “Vimag, Vipco, Viprint and Vipress are all high added value products, with corresponding certification. They are versatile, but at the same time all serve quite specific
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purposes and are manufactured by our de-inking method from recycled fibres, thus being ecologically sound. Nearly two thirds of production is newsprint. However, we are continually striving to develop new, exciting products for our customers. We always follow new trends in printing, where the investment needed is much lower than in our industry. In this way the development of the industry can be faster, pushing the demand for quality paper. In our segment, the investment needed is always much higher.”
As part of its comprehensive investment strategy, the Slovenian mill has invested in new fibre production and the automation of fibre production, modernised paper machines, power plants and effluent treatment. “The new sheet cutter was bought in 1999 and the bleaching plant refurbished in 2000, together with the refurbishment of the paper machines. In 2004, the optimisation of technological processes in the integrated paper mill was carried out in order to improve the quality of the product; the consumption of raw materials, fuels and water was rationalised to improve the overall operation of the company,” states Mr Kettner. Finally, in 2006 the chemical pulp mill was closed. Owing to the extent of the improvements, the production in 2003 dropped, only to increase a year later. “It is likely that Vipap will have a new owner, through a public tender, in the next year or two. We are an important exporter for Slovenia, our main partners being Italy, Germany, Hungary and the traditional markets of the former Yugoslavia, Albania, Greece and Turkey. The Czech Republic and Poland also feature but, owing to the logistics and costs of transport, not so heavily. “We are more flexible than the big capacity paper manufacturers with production of over 300 tonnes. They can be very effective, but on the other hand are more vulnerable to market changes. This observation was also confirmed at the Prima conference in Vienna last March, which favoured smaller paper manufacturers. Vipap can react to the customers’ needs and changing requirements
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fast. The Slovenian market, with a population of only two million, is important to us as well,” says Mr Kettner. The USA market is showing a slight decline, while the Asian and Russian markets are experiencing a boom at the moment.
Investment in the future
Most recently, Vipap has invested in a turnkey DIP line technology supplied by Andritz, which is already yielding higher quality pulp. This project featured an automation system startup of PM2, and a 4.5 metre wire width machine producing newsprint with grammages from 42.5 to 90 g/m2. The automation includes complete paper machine process and quality controls and stock preparation controls. A PaperIQ Plus scanner measures grammage, moisture, calliper and multi-component ash. The original system included CD controls of moisture and calliper. The CD control capability of the PM2 system took a giant leap in 2008 with the installation of IQSlicePro CD grammage control in a new metsoACN control processor. Metso supplied a new slice lip for the Voith high turbulence headbox before the control was implemented. “Vipap is an important part of the local community. We have installed a new waste water treatment plant for the village. We also closely follow market development and are considering the impact of electronic media, but I am positive about our future. Our most successful product is Vimpac and we have new markets – Switzerland, Romania and Bulgaria. Turkey and Greece show great potential. We are reconsidering our product mix, looking for new niches and continuing to develop new, improved products,” concludes Mr Kettner. This is also the key to Vipap’s successful I transformation into a modern paper company in the region. www.vipap.si
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SHORTER RUNS, MORE FLEXIBILTY
Under one roof, Slater Harrison offers paper and board coating, laminating, embossing and self-adhesive manufacture – as well as a range of conversion services. Felicity Landon reports on a company that doesn’t believe in off-the-shelf solutions.
is easy to produce a smart looking perfume box or whisky carton that lasts two minutes – but what will it look like when it has been shipped across the ocean, stored in a warehouse, trucked to a department store and arrives on the shop shelf three months later? Will it still look good? Slater Harrison’s philosophy is that for a product to look good, the practicalities are essential. “You need to make sure it still looks good when the end user buys it or considers buying it – and that is something we can ensure by proposing the right materials and the right coatings,” says sales director Brian Bogie. “Our clients come up with ideas and rather than us offering them a product off the shelf, which rarely works, we ask them: what do you want this product to do in terms of technical performance, and what do you want it to look like?” Slater Harrison, which operates from one production site in Bollington, near Manchester, is a company with 80 years’ experience in the manufacture of speciality card, papers and board. Its products are used in boxes and packaging solutions for luxury items such as whisky, perfume, tableware sets, cutlery and crockery; usually its products leave the factory in sheets, decorated, and ready to be laminated, cut and creased. It also supplies the education, arts and crafts, greetings cards and gift wrap and paper merchants sectors. “Because we have a European base, we are able to give the customer a more reactive services; we are able to develop ranges according to their needs,” says Mr Bogie. “Lead times are also short, which helps the customer put his plans into action quickly. “Our strength is our ability and willingness to do things that the big industry people either can’t do or haven’t got the flexibility to do. Lots of people can produce label material at millions of metres a minute. We are slower but more flexible; we can do shorter runs and give the customer what he wants, rather than pre-packed solutions off the shelf.”
“Lead times are also short, which helps the customer put his plans into action quickly.”
Agile and flexible
The paper industry is fairly volume-driven and of course Slater Harrison likes large volume orders – but equally, where many paper mills would not consider an order of less than 10 tonnes, this company will produce half a tonne of material for a customer. “We are agile and flexible,” he says. “I suppose we do have ‘olden days’ virtues. A lot of businesses similar to ours have disappeared, but we are still here!” He highlights Slater Harrison’s technical expertise and knowledge, and its preferred approach of understanding the customer’s need, and then developing a bespoke solution. “As the European paper industry consolidates into larger groups, this approach is becoming harder to find,” he says. “We are not stuck with just using paper as our base raw material either; we can work on film (take out), polyester, PVC and all kinds of plastics. We can also make things self-adhesive, which is a whole different market. Labelling is where we really score because we can pro-
duce solutions perhaps for sticking a label to an unusual surface – fruit, for example, which is going to be damp and refrigerated. We have that kind of expertise.” Slater Harrison also makes various coated and embossed papers which are sold by customers under their own brand, and supplies into the more exclusive end of the gift wrap sector. Its main own-brand product is Centura Pearl, for which it has recently obtained the FSC Chain of Custody certificate; and it is launching four new fashion colours in this range at Paper World in Frankfurt early in 2010. I Visit: www.slater-harrison.co.uk
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Widely known as a preferred packaging provider for some of the world’s leading brands, Graphic Packaging International has built its excellent reputation as an innovator by delivering fresh, ecologically responsible packaging solutions. Emma-Jane Batey reports.
ith roots that reach back to 1923, US-based paper and carton packaging provider Graphic Packaging International (GPI) has long appreciated the importance of the relationship between the product and its packaging. The company understands that the right packaging is a key factor in successful product marketing. A senior representative from GPI’s Barcelona operation spoke to Packaging Europe to explain how the company achieves this aim. “The right packaging needs to work with your brand to broaden its appeal, deepen connections with consumers and unlock efficiencies that turn your supply chain into a value chain. We have the expertise to achieve this with any packaging project.”
Graphic Packaging International is a truly global business, with 15,000 employees worldwide and manufacturing locations including the USA, Australia, Brazil and China. Graphic Packaging International, Inc. is a
wholly owned subsidiary of the Graphic Packaging Holding Company, headquartered in Georgia, USA. The company has seven paperboard mills, 44 converting plants, three ink and coatings factories and three major machinery facilities, all of which are managed in as sustainable and responsible manner possible. The GPI representative continued, “Sustainability is a fundamental principle that impacts on every part of our business. As a global leader and manufacturer of innovative packaging solutions, Graphic Packaging International is committed to developing new and exciting sustainable packaging that delivers superior product performance along the entire packaging value chain. We ensure that our products are not only right for the world class brands that we support, but that they also use renewable energy, recycled content and reusable properties to sustain our world.” It is this ecologically responsible philosophy that underpins the worldwide manufacturing capabilities of GPI, all under the tagline, “We provide packaging solutions that improve the world in which we live.” The
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company is proud to offer a one stop shop for all its customers’ packaging needs, with a varied, integrated product portfolio that includes beverage packaging and consumer folding cartons, bags, labels, inks, coatings and flexible packaging. GPI also offers a range of paperboard grades, high performance packaging machinery and services.
Setting the standard
In the paperboard sector, GPI has created an innovative product that uses 100 per cent pine fibres to significantly reduce the need for additives. Known under the brand name Aquakote®, the paperboard is widely supplied to global retailer Wal-Mart for its beverage packaging requirements, and is quickly becoming the industry benchmark for re-pulpability, integrity and graphic quality. The GPI representative pointed out how the company’s reputation for innovation is a strong driving force in its continued success. “Packaging is our business, but it’s also our means to reach a broader goal. The world’s
leading consumer and commercial brands are drawn to us because we offer and deliver powerful, integrated and measurable results. We focus on innovative designs and broad capabilities to create packaging solutions that add value, by combining fresh ideas with the latest technology available.” By appreciating its own USP in combining innovation with competence and market insight, GPI is able to quantify the value it creates for its customers. The reliable materials it uses are engineered to meet rigorous performance standards, the converting capabilities utilise stateof-the-art equipment and the GPI machinery systems and technical support are in place to ensure higher operating efficiency for its customers.
Such high standards are clearly appreciated, with GPI regularly gaining industry awards for its attention to quality and packaging innovations. The representative added, “Our successes are not just on worldwide grocery shelves, they’re on award shelves too. We gained a consider-
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able amount of industry recognition for our innovative packaging solutions, which sits very neatly next to our ability to win the hearts and minds of consumers. Awards such as the AmeriStar Awards from the Institute of Packaging Professionals for both our QuiltWave® Kraft Oscar Mayer Fast Franks and the MicroRite® Wal-Mart Great Value Lasagne products are just two of our recent achievements.” As one of the world’s largest producers of folding cartons, coated, recycled boxboard and speciality bag packaging, GPI is keen to continue to find ways to capture the end users’ attention in order to increase sales for its customers. Part of this strategy is fuelled by the number of GPI Innovation Centres that have been created to ‘take packaging design to a new level’. Here, design and marketing experts regularly monitor the marketplace to spot trend setting ideas that can be incorporated into new packaging solutions. “We are always ahead of the curve. We master market trends by focusing our packaging development resources where innovation can best deliver a sharper competitive edge.” As Graphic Packaging International prepares for another positive year, 2010 is set to bring a number of new additions to the over 2000 patents for packaging and related ideas that the company holds. With the expectation that it will continue to broaden its packaging portfolio, GPI is looking to introduce ‘speciality products with world class perI formance that open up possibilities for our customers’. www.graphicpkg.com
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Click here to read this article in French
For 25 years Sparflex has offered its customers packaging solutions in the wine and spirits sector. Today the company employs a staff of 400 worldwide, and achieved turnover of almost €60 million in 2008. CEO Damien Destremau is confident that the company’s success will continue, thanks to its innovative strategy and its sound business structure.
parflex’s key products are its foils and wirehoods. It specialises in sparkling wines, and this looks set to remain the company’s core business. But still wines are also an important part of the company’s activity. Sparflex’s main factory is in Epernay – home to France’s leading Champagne manufacturers. It has a second factory in the region, specifically for the production of wirehoods, and an additional small factory in Bordeaux for capsules for still wine. The company also has a subsidiary in Germany and, for the last three years, has had a Californian facility in the Napa Valley. “We will probably have facilities in other countries in the future,” explained Destremau,
“Because it is our aim to continue to grow and to become specialised in these products. But we always remain in our own sphere. We haven’t diversified at all into other areas, but have continued to specialise.” Nevertheless, Sparflex has sought to extend and add value to its packaging offering. The company began with the production of foils, and later moved into label printing, followed by wirehoods and still-wine capsules. “With the labels, foils, capsules, wirehoods, we produce all the elements needed for the product. I believe we are the only group capable of offering a range as wide as this – And we remain in the high quality end of the market.”
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Its clients are – for champagne products – the big French champagne houses. But the company also has a very solid client base among small and medium-sized vineyards (producing between 50,000 and 150,000 bottles). In total, Sparflex has almost 4000 customers. In still wines it has a very large client base in the Bordeaux region. and it also now has 8–9 per cent of the Californian market. As for other geographic markets, Sparflex is looking very seriously at a number of developing economies – for example South Africa, where it is starting to build up a significant presence. Scotland is also important because of its whisky production, and Sparflex is also looking for a means to enter the more protected southern European markets in Spain and Italy. It is also keeping one eye on South America- in particular the markets in Argentina and Chile. Australia, on the other hand, isn’t a prime target for Sparflex. For strategic reasons, the company doesn’t produce screwcaps, and this is a growing area in Australia. For Destremau, though, this trend isn’t a significant problem. “Screwtops aren’t a serious threat to our own products. On the contrary, we have seen that with wines that have to be laid down for two years or more, the makers don’t generally use screwtops – primarily for technical reasons. The only market where there is a big demand for screwtops is England – and that’s often for business reasons rather than to meet client need. We’ve seen a strong growth in screwtops in Australia, and
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Bekaert, Better Together
Bekaert SA is a Europe based company that seeks sustainable profitable growth based on its two core competences: advanced metal transformation and advanced materials and coatings. One of our long-time specialities is the production of champagne cork wire. For this specific market, Bekaert offers a range of high quality coated wires. Examples of our products are Bekilacq®, a sophisticated lacquered wire, Bekipro® and galvanised wire. These wires not only look refined with their smooth and unblemished surface, they also offer superb corrosion resistance and don’t crack or flake during the forming process. Thanks to these excellent properties and our constant urge to innovate, Bekaert champagne cork wire is a reference product in the global market of muselets. Bekaert is active in more than 120 countries and employs over 23000 people worldwide. This makes us the largest independent wire manufacturer in the world selling wire to almost all countries. Contact: email@example.com Website: www.bekaert.com
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recently in South Africa, but North America is more resistant – so we think that a plateau will be reached. The act of opening a cork and having the capsule on top is still an important element for the consumer. For the moment we haven’t felt a need to invest in the screwtop business, but that isn’t to say that we never would.”
Above all, says Destremau, it is an innovative company which also understands the marketing needs of its clients. “Packaging is becoming more and more important in customer choice – in supermarkets and also in restaurants – so our aim is to give the bottle the most attractive appearance possible.” Research and development is key to Sparflex’s business. The company has made important advances in the area of printing inks, for instance, and recently launched its first range of foils using acrylic inks (its ‘Green Line’). “We will continue to bring innovative solutions to the market, continue to work on acrylic inks, and innovations in materials,” said the CEO. “In the future we see continued consolidation in our sector. But we are better protected than a lot of other smaller companies, and we have a very solid shareholding. What makes us competitive is our global approach. If someone buys foils for their sparkling wine, for instance, he is likely to come to us for the wirehoods. and if they need a labelling solution, we offer the customer a means to add value to his product. At the same time, our group has a very solid financial structure, and these factors will allow us to continue to innovate, and to bring new products to the market.” I
Above: Damien Destremau, CEO
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CARDBOARD GIANT OF RUSSIA
The opening of a new neutral sulphite semi-cellulose plant in the Koryazhma Arkhangelsk region will strengthen the market position of Ilim Group, already considered the leader in Russia’s pulp and paper industry. Artem Pryadko reports.
number of enterprises are united under the Ilim Group banner, producing raw materials and a variety of finished products, most notably containerboard. Last year a new plant was opened close to other facilities of Ilim’s West Branch – and high hopes are riding on this venture. The cellulose manufacturing plant is a vital link in Ilim’s chain of strategic investment plans, according to Artem Savko, the group’s director of information and public relations.
Focus on development
In the next few years, the Ilim West business unit will push forward with a large-scale investment programme to increase capacity in north-west Russia and shift to the production of products with higher added value – containerboard, paper for offset printing, office paper, etc. “Such a banal concept as price/quality ratio in this case actually works for us and allows us to feel fairly confident in the market,” says Mr Savko. “We are constantly improving the quality of service to our customers and hold regular workplace meetings with them so that they can see firsthand the benefits of our production. “Transnational corporations are major players in the Russian market and these companies are successfully implementing their projects and launching new production. It is difficult to compete with them but, nevertheless, we are confident in our abilities. We are in a much more advantageous position than other manufacturers, because we do not buy raw materials from abroad. Since we focus on quality control and improvement in the properties of containerboard, we can very effectively meet the needs of our clients for packaging.” “Our second advantage is modern Western equipment, mostly European from such names as Martin and BHS. Another major asset is the geographical location of our production. This combination of advantages together with increased volumes of packaging proves we are on the right path.”
“We are now one of the largest producers of containerboard in Russia as well as a leading manufacturer of corrugated packaging made of container cardboard,” he says. “Our investment programme aims to increase the production of both corrugated materials and finished corrugated packaging.” Plans to build five new processing plants have been temporarily put on hold due to the current global economic crisis. However, last year St Petersburg based Ilim launched the first of five plants with a production volume of 140 million m2 of corrugated materials a year. “The essence of our programme is to increase the production of packaging so that we integrate our production in the Arkhangelsk region, which produces carrier board, with the production of packaging at our new plants,” says Mr Savko. “Increasing production of containerboard was aimed at our own businesses and also to increase supply to our consumers. This focus remains but we have a different timetable.” The decision to build a new factory was taken on the basis of existing production of cardboard, says Mr Savko. “Around $60 million has been invested in fully automated production systems. Production volumes have doubled to 900 tonnes of cellulose per day. Today we are the largest producers of cellulose in the world. This project solves a lot of problems: it covers our needs for cellulose, reduces production cost, improves the quality of manufactured cellulose and addresses environmental issues, because emissions from the plant are virtually non-existent. Compared with the old production system, discharges into the water have been reduced by 15-20%. When investing, we concentrated on sourcing and using the best available technologies.”
Ilim works closely with its strategic partner International Paper, the world’s largest pulp and paper company. However, it is in its own right the largest in Europe and sixth largest in the world in forest resources and logging volumes. Given the geographical position of the group’s companies, deliveries are carried out to various regions of Russia and China. “Our long-term plans include becoming a world-class production company,” says Mr Savko. “We are successfully doing business in Russia and China as demonstrated by our leading position in these countries. We are extending production in many areas but intend to maintain our concentration on the Russian market.” www.ilimgroup.com
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IN SAFE HANDS
Swiss-based packaging equipment specialist PackSys Global is a truly international company. With multinational clients, employees and offices, PackSys is able to offer a range of technical solutions across the packaging equipment spectrum. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to marketing and sales director Thom LeFevre to learn more.
“We are extraordinarily good at making machines for tamper evidence
ackSys Global is one of the world’s leading packaging technology companies, producing machinery and equipment for the manufacture of laminate and plastic tubes, monobloc aerosol cans and for the production of plastic and metal caps In its 30 year history it has continued to grow steadily in response to changing customer needs and technological advances and has played a leading role in many of the key developments in the industry. Marketing and sales director Thom LeFevre said, “We have a long-standing history of careful and practical investment that maintains our
caps and closures. Not only that, but we combine this skill with the pieces per minute!”
Understanding the market
environmentally-responsible trend for reducing the weight and size of the caps. The newest caps for water bottles weight less than 1 gram. It’s really quite hard to hold and slit these very lightweight caps, but we’ve developed machines that do this with ease – at more than 2,000
market leading position. In the early days of PackSys (then known as KMK), the key development of using laminate tubes as a form of packaging led to our first major investment in dedicated machinery, with this area growing steadily until the late 1990s when we enjoyed a period of spectacular growth.” PackSys realised early on that the dramatic growth of the Asian markets of India and China in the early 2000s was going to have a major impact on its business, especially in
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terms of the laminated tubes sector, so it proactively made acquisitions that complemented its existing expertise and technological competencies in order to maintain its market leading position. Mr LeFevre continued, “We saw the market changes coming so we were able to act positively and decisively. Amongst others, we bought established companies in Switzerland and Thailand. The Swiss company, Oberburg Engineering, complemented our expertise in compression moulding and the German-owned Thai company, Wesco, broadened our portfolio into aluminium tube and monobloc aerosol can lines.” These decisions added a considerable number of new products to the PackSys portfolio,
including plastic caps, aluminium caps and aerosol cans. By the end of 2003, the company felt that its portfolio of products was complete. Mr LeFevre added, “Through cross-fertilisation of our markets and know how, we branched out into extruded tubes and, thanks to the experience we had gained with the new Thai plant, we were able to offer printing on plastic tubes and aluminium caps. Essentially, our long-term experience is founded on printing on cylindrical objects, which is a highlytechnical and much in demand skill.” One such application of this skill is the printing of screw caps for wine bottles. This growth market looks set to be a key part of the future of PackSys, especially as the inter-
national nature of the company means it has a wide global presence, selling to customers in the USA, Mexico, Brazil and, most recently, even the Congo. As Mr LeFevre said, “There are not many countries where there is no PackSys presence.” With 320 employees worldwide, PackSys has over 20 nationalities represented, including people from the most popular wine making countries in the world, giving them a unique insight into the demands of the end user.
Mr LeFevre explained the importance of strong market knowledge. “We pride ourselves on our market intelligence as it ensures we deliver
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exactly what our customers and their end users actually want. We’re regularly in touch with wine makers, cap makers and bottle makers to share the benefit of printed caps. We aim to promote a printed screw cap as another marketing opportunity that differentiates the product from the others on often-overcrowded supermarket shelves. All the signs in the market are that people are happy to move to screw caps on their wine bottles, which is good for both the wine industry and consumers as it eliminates the problem of “taint” from corks.” A key aspect of the number of long-term client partnerships that PackSys enjoys worldwide is the fact that its packaging machines really last. The company is committed to creating machines
that customers can rely on, with technical capacity that suits the daily demands of the beverage market. This, juxtaposed with the up-to-theminute products available from PackSys, has allowed the company to build an unrivalled reputation in the packaging machinery industry. One such product on offer are machines which introduce tamper evidence features into plastic caps. Mr LeFevre explained, “We are extraordinarily good at making machines for tamper evidence caps and closures. Not only that, but we combine this skill with the environmentally-responsible trend for reducing the weight and size of the caps. The newest caps for water bottles weight less than 1 gram. It’s really quite hard to hold and slit
these very lightweight caps, but we’ve developed machines that do this with ease – at more than 2,000 pieces per minute!” PackSys is planning to launch and relaunch products in 2010.The next twelve months are expected to bring a number of new product innovations appealing to both consumer trends and packaging manufacturers’ requirements. PackSys also expects that its best-selling aluminium cap machines will continue to appeal to customers. New and relaunched machines will be available for viewing at a number of upcoming trade fairs including the I K show in Düsseldorf. Visit: www.packsysglobal.com
PRESENTED BY... INKA
COMPANY NAME | PROFILE
Supermarket managers and brand manufacturers know - the correct presentation in the shop increases the speed of sale. Therefore, promotional placements in ½ or ¼ Euro format with a sales display are the way to go, especially for special offers or new products. In order to make it possible to transport goods on special offer with a pallet truck just like regular goods, these displays are put on pallets, partly on single use wooden pallet, partly on plastic pallets. However, more and more manufacturers choose a clever alternative for their display pallets: the compressed wood pallets by Inka, better known as good value pallets for transportation on lorries, trains or in shipping containers.
ord has got around on the advantages of single use pallets by Inka. They are good value for money, they can be stacked using up the minimum amount of space, they are free from plant pests ex works, and therefore are ideal for export. Slowly but surely, the pallets are conquering the sales floors of hardware stores, garden centres, pet food chains, petrol stations and supermarkets and they take care that the goods are always displayed in a clean and appealing way. This is their biggest advantage. As a single use product, the pallets are always delivered ex works and create an impressive display on the sales floor. “As opposed to reusable pallets from the exchange pool, there are no outlays for checks and necessary cleaning or repair works“, explains Andreas J. Heinrich, product manager at Inka Paletten GmbH. In han-
dling, there is no difference between Inka pallets and products from other manufacturers. The display pallets are available in the common one quarter euro format (400x600 millimetres), in the one third format (400x800 millimetres) and in the one half format (600x 800 millimetres) The ¼Euro-pallet can even be delivered with slits for a standard display mounting. In addition, bigger formats, like the ones used frequently in the USA, are also available. And of course Inka pallets can be picked up by forklifts and pallet trucks. And after use? There are several ways to dispose of Inka pallets, when they are disused in the sales room. Even though it is a single use product, the compressed wood pallets can be used several times without any problems. “Pallet traders like to buy used pallets and market them“, explains Andreas J. Heinrich. If the pallet is damaged, it can be disposed of via wood containers. It then is recycled into new chip boards, or can be used as fuel. The display pallet is growing in popularity. But Inka also has a lot to offer in other areas. “Our different container formats are getting more and more popular, “ Andreas J.Heinrich is pleased to report. The two pallets in the convenient formats 760x1140 millimetres and 1140x1140 millimetres are always used when containers have to be loaded as efficiently as possible. As opposed to the Euro formats, the container pallets use up the existing space exactly, so that there is no wasted space at all. “Loaders therefore save precious room and at the same time profit from the advantages of the Inka pallet“, explains Andreas J. Heinrich.
Inka – always close to you
All Inka Pallets‘ products, including display and container pallets, are available in Europe and many other countries through a comprehensive network of traders; they are also available in small amounts. A list of all distribution partners is available on www.inka-palettes.com
No display changes are necessary. The display pallet by Inka disposes of slits for mounting the displays.
The container storage room is ideally used with Inka pallets in the two container formats.
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SUPPORTING THE FUTURE
VitasheetGroup is launching a new range of environment-friendly extruded plastic sheets to meet the growing needs of its customers in the packaging industry.
itasheetGroup, a subsidiary of Vita Group, is the largest European manufacturer of custom extruded plastic sheets. It supplies more than 2500 customers in over 40 countries worldwide with thousands of different products that are used in applications ranging from packaging and graphic arts to automobile and aircraft interiors. Responding to the needs of a market, that is increasingly sensitive to the environmental impact of products used, VitasheetGroup has launched a new range of ecologically friendly
products, specifically aimed at the packaging and graphic arts sectors. “We noticed that our clients faced a strong demand from end users to improve the environmental impact of their packaging, while at the same time, there was a considerable confusion concerning the different solutions and their environmental performance,” explained Marketing Director Stephane Jacquet. “This is why we decided to provide a range of products that would respond to the different needs we had identified, and at the same time, provide clearly identified advantages in environmental terms. This will allow us to support our clients objectively to a point where they can make the best choice from a wide range of solutions.” Our effort has focused on a new range of PET films – ViForm Clear rPET – based on post-consumer recyclates. The recycled material is based on reground drinks bottles that have been reprocessed, giving the material most of the characteristics of virgin resin. VitasheetGroup can now offer tailor-made solutions for food packaging, automatic blister lines, cosmetic trays and display boxes. ViForm Clear rPET is already being used for the packaging of food in the UK retail sector and has been approved by leading brands in the cosmetic industry. The new range is produced at VitasheetGroup’s Carolex facility, its BRC/IoP hygiene certified site in Longue, France. “In packaging, our main sites are our Carolex and Axipack units. Carolex, in western France, specialised in the extrusion of PS
reels and PET reels and sheets. Axipack, in northern France, focuses on polypropylene sheets for printing applications,” explained Stephane Jacquet. VitasheetGroup has eight production sites throughout Europe, and each is both a centre of excellence for an area, and at the same time a reliable supplier to the local market. VitasheetGroup offers the widest polymer range in engineered thermoplastic sheets in Europe today. More than 3000 products formulated from a wide variety of different polymers meet the vastly different needs of customers in the packaging, transport, construction, household and leisure, industrial and graphic arts sectors. Its thick sheets are used in transport applications such as automotive interiors - car dashboards, headlining etc – as well as in agricultural and mass transit vehicle and aircraft interiors. Construction and industrial applications include for instance Sanitary ware, trays for material handling, cladding for wall protection, covers, doors, chemical storage cold room and cooling systems. Thin sheets are used in the Graphic arts for files, binders, advertising, displays and labels and in packaging for lids, containers, cups, blisters, trays and boxes for applications in the food, medical, cosmetic and general packaging sectors. Major clients in thermoformed packaging are either thermoforming specialists, or companies that package their products directly on
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the production line. In folding packaging, VitasheetGroup is working with printing companies or packaging specialists. The company also has partnerships with a number of industrial equipment manufacturers, which are particularly important as they allow it ensure that it can offer reliable products to its clients. “These partnerships allow us to test products and equipment for various applications and to develop our products in line with new developments in the equipment. Bobst is one of our long-standing partners in folding packaging, for instance,” says Stephane Jacquet.
Dual focus growth strategy
Looking ahead, VitasheetGroup’s expansion strategy has two tracks: it will attempt to increase its market share in selected key sectors, constantly offering new products and services that respond to the needs of the market. The ecological range is an example of
this, as is the investment VitasheetGroup has made in improving its capacity to provide quality PET sheets for the transparent packaging market. It also plans to launch an ‘ultratransparent’ PP called Pure Glass on the market, for folding packaging. “At the same time, we also want to expand the geographic coverage of our products, so we have reinforced our commercial team with packaging sales specialists in Germany, Italy and Scandinavia,” says Stephane Jacquet. ”We are also very interested in expanding our existing presence in Eastern Europe.” As to what gives the company its competitive advantage, Stephane Jacquet believes it is a technical rigour, combined with flexibility in researching solutions for its clients. “Our very wide range of products and development capabilities allows us to offer the best solution for the client, without forcing a product on I them that wouldn’t be exactly right.”
VitasheetGroup has eight production sites throughout Europe, and each is both a centre of excellence for an area, and at the same time a reliable supplier to the local market.
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ANY PLASTIC AS LONG AS IT’S GREEN
Turkish plastic packaging manufacturer Naksan Plastik has been in the top 500 Turkish Industrial Organisations for over a decade, thanks to its focus on technology, people and innovation. Export Marketing and Sales Manager Necat Yuksel shared the secrets of its success with Emma-Jane Batey.
ounded in Turkey in 1979, Naksan Plastik started with just three extrusion machines and one bag making machine. Today, the company is known worldwide as a leading manufacturer of printed plastic products such as bags, wrappers, greenhouse films, flexible packaging films and also oxo-biodegradable products, manufactured at its state-of-the-art production facilities. These advanced 250,000m2 amenities are able to produce over 200,000 tonnes each year, 550 tonnes each day, of customer-focused products that are tightly quality controlled to ensure consistent satisfaction.
Naksan Plastik has been growing consistently since it was established, with a long-term strategy of development. Export sales and marketing manager Necat Yuksel told Packaging Europe, “We’ve always taken investment very seriously, both in terms of technological and personal development in order to maximise the potential of our production facilities and human resources. In terms of commodities, we’ve added more value to our PE products and we’re continually enhancing our product ranges.”
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In addition to almost all types of PE film, Naksan Plastik converts BOPP, CPP and PET laminates for a wide variety of packaging applications. Its dedicated printing facilities complement these, with the ability to print on almost all products, including films, bags and pallet hoods, offering considerable flexibility and branding opportunities for its global customer base. The extensive product range offered by Naksan Plastik is achieved through its technologically advanced facilities and the extensive training given to its 1500 strong workforce. Naksan supplies almost all industrial and service sectors, with its products including packaging bags and films for detergents, nappies, refuse sacks and carrier bags for the retail industry.
“We can offer competitive prices on our oxo-biodegradable shrink wrap, stretch wrap, pallet covers and bags, as well as many others in our range.”
Desirable and oxo-biodegradable
A core initiative for Naksan Plastik is focused on its oxo-biodegradable products, which are rapidly gaining a worldwide following as clients across industry sectors appreciate the ecological necessity of such products and the end-user appeal of acting responsibly. Mr Yuksel explained, “We target potential B2B clients with our oxobiodegradable products incorporating world-wide known Totally Degradable Plastic Additives, in order to highlight the ability to reduce the environmental impact of products where the packaging is considered to be secondary. We can offer competitive prices on our oxo-biodegradable shrink wrap, stretch wrap, pallet covers and bags, as well as many others in our range. As companies take their social and environmental responsibility more seriously, we’re keen to provide a cost-effective, high quality product range to meet their demands.”
The Turkish retail sector is enjoying particularly strong growth, with Naksan able to provide a range of printed carrier bags, including oxobiodegradable carrier bags, for its large number of retail customers. Continual innovation is important to Naksan and its extensively equipped laboratory is testament to its focus on quality and development. It also houses the latest testing equipment to ensure that each product line is manufactured in accordance with the tightest international regulations, with highly trained engineers on hand to carry out the necessary checks.
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Excellence in export
The company has also enjoyed considerable growth in its export business Naksan Plastik Exported in 2008 to over 40 countries, with a global blue-chip client list that includes Coca-Cola, Carlsberg Bottlers etc. The company primarily exports to all its neighbouring countries as well as the majority of Europe and Middle-east and as far as the Caribbean, with recent territorial developments in Africa, which is a key area for future growth. Mr Yuksel continued, “We try to achieve the best we can with each project in each country as we offer standardised and customised products to provide the best match for each client. We have plans to further expand our export business – we have now established our Enterprise
Resource Planning System with SAP, which has helped us to reorganise our export marketing and sales department so that it’s even more efficient, especially on sales and CRM. We aim to increase our export sales to 50 per cent of our production capacity, with the export target of 36,000 tonnes by the end of 2010 and 48,000 the following year.”
Naksan plans to achieve its ambitious plans for continued global expansion by continuing to combine its strengths in building excellent customer relations, offering flexible and responsible plastic packaging solutions and ensuring its systems provide a reliable service from start to finish. The future for the company also includes plans for a 20 per cent growth across the operation over the next five years, with opportunities about to be seized in a number of international markets. Mr Yuksel concluded, “We study our markets and are able to make quick decisions. We will continue to position ourselves where we have built strong customer confidence and will deliver on our promise to be a I one stop supplier for plastic packaging.” Visit: www.naksan.com
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REALISING THE DREAM
VIBAC is a privately owned company that has achieved its ambition to become a world-class supplier of BOPP films and pressure sensitive tapes to the packaging industry. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to sales director Alberto Depaoli to gain an insight into the company’s success.
global company with key operational locations in Ticineto, Italy , Montreal, Canada, and Morristown, United States of America, VIBAC is a respected packaging supply partner, focused on the development and manufacture of a diversified line of speciality packaging films and pressure-sensitive tapes. The VIBAC Group is separated into two divisions, BOPP films and self-adhesive tapes, with each division having global operations. Alberto Depaoli is the commercial director for the European BOPP division and he explained how the structure supports the Group aims. “We use the same business model in our European and North American operations so that we’re able to share ideas and communicate effectively. Each has its own production facilities, mills, internal ops and sales, but we join together with a frequent and deep exchange of innovation, practices and skills, so we learn from each other and make the most of our collective expertise and experience.” This approach certainly seems to be paying dividends to VIBAC, especially as it is the only privately owned company in its field, a fact that’s certainly helped it continue to flourish through the global economic downturn. Mr Depaoli continued, “There are four major players in our sector and, as we are the only one which is privately owned We’ve felt particularly that this is well-appreciated by our customers during this difficult economic situation as we’re not only focused on the bottom line. We have a long-term view as we run our own ship and have a resilient sustainability.”
ket is very dangerous. Consequently, we’ve found that a core element to our continued success is to offer globalised standardisation that perfectly matches what our blue-chip clients want and need, exactly where and when they need it.”
High quality, high volume
Mr Depaoli went on to explain how VIBAC is able to provide both the BOPP films and self-adhesive tapes for global clients, something which is not mirrored by any of its competitors, allowing the company to grow in the two fields. “Our strategy is for high quality and high volume, which is good for us and our customers. Our sales figures are around 50 per cent standard commodity products and 50 per cent added value products, supporting our long-term stability. Our standard products are in the flexible packaging field for BOPP and the tape division, with the added value products addressing several kinds of niche applications in areas such as films, plastic labels and specific labels created for the automotive industry.” This global reach is important to VIBAC and its clients, as the company is able to supply standardised products that require the same technological processes, a highly valued service for increasingly global businesses. Part of this offer is the successful R&D/client communication recipe that ensures VIBAC continues to deliver the specific solutions that its clients demand. This provision extends to its niche products, too, especially as the company has a history of working in close collaboration with its customers in order to solve problems through developing ideally suited BOPP films or self-adhesive tape solutions.
Strong market position
VIBAC has a strong market position, helped by a number of factors including its ability to maintain high investment in its human and technical resources, its focus on long-term financial success rather than short-term results and its exceptional products, widely regarded across North America and Europe. “BOPP is an especially capital investment-intensive business. The only way to sustain profitability and growth on the mid-long term is to deliver high volumes and to keep on investing on innovative added-value products,” explained Mr Depaoli. “Huge volumes are required, both in terms of order numbers and global reach, and to concentrate only on one mar-
VIBAC has strong ecological credentials, with a wide range of wastereducing and avoiding processes working alongside improved efficiency across its plants in Europe and North America in order to minimise its environmental impact. This is gaining strategic importance for customers, too, although it’s long been a matter of importance to VIBAC. As VIBAC exports over 70 per cent of its total production, it makes perfect sense that the operation is multicultural, flexible and people-
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“We’re not planning any M&A activities, we’re committed to our own people and capabilities being the best they can be. By that token, we expect a good degree of vertical growth that gains success through expert manufacturing, rather than impressive financial trickery.”
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focused, both in terms of the 900 employees and its customers; “Our first asset is our market,” Mr Depaoli explained, “With our people making the difference to our continued success.”
Pack to the future
The next three years will see VIBAC continue on its journey of achievement, with a general focus on improving processes to maximise profitability and potential for added value. As a flagship global developer and producer of BOPP and self-adhesive tape, VIBAC aims to carry on growing through investing it itself and vertical progression. Mr Depaoli concluded, “We’re not planning any M&A activities, we’re committed to our own people and capabilities being the best they can be. By that token, we expect a good degree of vertical growth that gains success through expert manufacturing, rather than impressive financial trickery.” The company is also looking to expand in emerging territories, with flexible packaging hotspots including Russia, Africa and Asia, and it is keen to develop relationships with potential partners for new opportunities. Visit: www.vibac.com
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MEC LAT BREVETTI s.n.c., a company defined by a talent for innovation, has recently patented the unique E-PAK bottle. Menaha Thiru spoke to company owner and founder Eros Bettini to find out more.
LAT was founded in 1984 in Italy. It has 30 years of experience in innovating and supplying machines and plants for milk processing. The company’s main field of activity to date has been the design and commissioning of ready-to-use plants and individual machines for small and medium-sized dairies. Farmers who own these dairies’ seek to produce high-quality foodstuffs ranging from fresh pasteurised milk to either craft-made or industrial cheese. MEC LAT's current markets stretch as far afield as Greece, Iraq, Russia, Australia, the Middle East and North Africa.
stackable E-PAK bottle. Eros Bettini explains: “Some years ago PET bottles entered the market and were mainly targeted at the milk sector. The best way to create this bottle is by blow-moulding. This manufacturing process can be easily adopted by very large dairies. However, it poses problems for small and medium-sized ones that cannot afford complete lines of blow-moulding machines.” Therefore smaller plants usually have to buy ready-made PET bottles from manufacturers. The costs of transport and storage can be as high as 80 per cent. Dairies must buy a bottle-filling machine device, which is costly, as well.
Striving for originality
Eros Bettini is convinced that the fact that MEC LAT has always been a pioneer of innovation lies at the heart of its success. An example of the firm’s commitment to innovation is its introduction of computerised programming of certain milk processing machines at a time when this technology was otherwise solely in the hands of huge companies. It has also invented other machines for producing milk curd that have resolved problems inherent in this process. MEC LAT has recently decided to add another feather to its bow and emphasise its flair for innovation with its invention of the
One of a kind
E-PAK was designed to provide a container that eradicates these problems. MEC LAT has internationally patented this bottle that is filled from one end, but emptied from the other. This is the basic premise of the E-PAK innovation. Moreover E-PAK leaves a smaller carbon print, reducing the use of non-sustainable energy. The bottle is made entirely of plastic material which is suitable for containing liquid foodstuffs. It is completely recyclable, being made of one substance unlike the tetrapak cardboard container that contains a synthesis of aluminium, plastic and cellulose. In addition,
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"MEC LAT is looking for an international packaging investor willing to invest in a product that because of its unique qualities can capture a large slice of the market for containers of milk and other foods"
once the E-PAK container has been used it can be easily stacked to save space. Its rectangular shape also suits it to practical fridge use. E-PAK caters specifically to consumers and comes in three different sizes of 125ml, 500ml and 1000 ml. Eros Bettini points out: “MEC LAT has no plans to increase the size of the packaging because it wants to focus on dairy products such as fresh pasteurised milk, yoghurt and all other liquid foods for domestic rather than industrial use. It has plans to use these containers for UHT milk.” A plastic seal with a pull-off strap closes the bottle’s mouth meaning that the seal can be pulled off fully prior to the contents’ consumption. The bottle’s base when empty is completely open. It must be filled upside-down using special machinery. The next stage in the process is the heat-sealing of the base. Labelling is done at a labelling station next to the liquidfilling machine, which can apply the labels in paper or plastic. MEC LAT has also looked at the possibility of using a label sleeve to obtain a completely decorated bottle. E-PAK bottles also offer manufacturers several advantages. Prior to use, the space they consume during transport is reduced by 80 per cent; considerably less space is required to store them in warehouses. Washing and sterilisation of the container is not required; maintenance is reduced to a minimum and the oppor-
tunity exists to have the bottle personalised. MEC LAT has designed the E-PAK bottle. Now the next crucial step is to find the right international industrial partner to produce and market the final product. MEC LAT’s owner explains: “We are looking for an investor that is already active in the international packaging scene – one that is willing to invest in a product that because of its unique qualities can capture a large slice of the market for containers of milk and other foods.
feeding animals. Eros Bettini explains: “The world of packaging is so vast that the container could be used in various spheres of packaging, especially in developing countries where distances are significant and transport impacts dramatically on costs. We hope this will add to the allure of the product for potential partners.”
As far as geographical markets for E-PAK are concerned, the company has set no limits. It is eager to respond to demands from all corners of the world. Eros Bettini believes the product is of particular interest to manufacturers in developing countries that have used a nonrigid bag until now to contain dairy products. He concludes: “I think E-PAK would provide them with an important and valuable alternative allowing them to cut costs and break away I from the grip of large multi-nationals.” www.meclat.it
MEC LAT can offer its clients a series of expert ancillary services based on its long experience in its field. These include the ability to supply clients with complete lines of milk-processing machinery or ready-to-use fully equipped plants, feasibility studies, engineering expertise as well as milk-filling machinery. “Flexibility and a tailored service characterise the company’s policy when it comes to our clients’ needs,” Eros Bettini stresses. “For example MEC LAT modifies the scale of its solutions to meet the individual needs of each client, including those regarding energy conservation.” Apart from dairy products, there are other foods that E-PAK bottles could store to advantage. MEC LAT has received enquiries about the patented bottle from manufacturers of cereal, fruit juice, vegetable oils and dry products for
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MIDDLE EAST AWARD-WINNER
The past two years have seen rapid expansion for SAPIN, one of the Middle East’s leading producers of packaging products and solutions. Felicity Landon reports.
APIN was established in 1976 in the city of Dammam, Saudia Arabia with a first contract to manufacture metal cans for a single international paint company. Since then, the company has expanded beyond all recognition. The past three years have been particularly dramatic. SAPIN has invested more than €15 million in new equipment, built new production facilities and expanded its workforce considerably after winning huge contracts with Nestlé and Kraft Foods. Today, SAPIN employs more than 400 people, produces 300 million cans a year, and is busy at its factories in both Saudi Arabia (there are now three sites in Dammam) and Dubai. It uses 35,000 tonnes of tin plate a year, is reporting double-digit growth, and is planning for further strong growth.
“We are pretty optimistic that more and more fillers will come into the region and grow over the next five years,” says sales and marketing director Frederic Colombier. “In terms of sales, it is looking very good; now our main objective is to ensure we are well structured. We have grown so fast over the last year, so now we are looking for a stabilisation period.” For SAPIN, a privately owned company, the contracts signed with Nestlé and Kraft Foods were particular breakthroughs. “This was the first time that they considered looking for a supplier in the Middle East for a contract of this size,” says Mr Colombier. SAPIN is supplying 30 million cans a year to Nestlé in a unique “through wall” operation in Dubai. SAPIN’s lines are connected to Nestlé’s lines – something that required a huge amount of planning and preparation.
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“We also manufacture plastic cans for food, and we produce aerosol caps; so we are offering a one-stop-shop to customers and that is something that is growing extremely fast”
“Supply chain, maintenance, KPI and other issues had to be carefully considered to enable us to be systematically on time with them,” says Mr Colombier. “Together we have invested in the region of €15 million.” The Kraft contract is more of a “classical” contract where SAPIN supplies the cans by truck from Dammam to Kraft’s Bahrain facility, which opened two years ago. “We have doubled in size in the past few years; both these contracts significantly contributed to that, but we have also seen other new contracts and organic growth. Our customers are growing, at double digit rates. “We serve the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries, as well as customers in Syria, Jordan, Iran, India, Sri Lanka, Russia, North Africa and the UK. “There is strong growth in demand in the GCC region; the volumes are there and also more companies have decided to stop supplying full cans from Europe or the US and to fill them here. Both the demographic and economic situation help and there are more people investing.”
Mr Colombier says SAPIN’s strengths are its rigour and reliability. “And we don’t just deliver packaging; people choose us because they put their trust in SAPIN. That is why we also supply the big blue chip paint companies, for example. Many of the biggest companies are relying on us as their sole supplier.” Until now paint has remained the dominant market for SAPIN but food has been rapidly growing and is probably now almost on a par with paint, he says. Equally, business was always dominated by tin cans but plastic is catching up fast – it is already supplying plastic paint cans in Saudi Arabia. “We also manufacture plastic cans for food, and we produce aerosol caps; so we are offering a one-stop-shop to customers and that is something that is growing extremely fast,” he says. Environmentally, of course, metal has always been seen as an ecological packaging method – the manufacture of metal cans doesn’t pro-
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duce a lot of waste and the cans are easily recyclable. “The environment has now become an issue in this region where perhaps it was not before,” says Mr Colombier. “That approach is particularly the case in Dubai, and we are applying to become the first “green building” factory in the Middle East. We took advantage of the fact we were building this new factory to use ‘green’ standards, choose appropriate equipment and ensure the best metal and waste management.” SAPIN supplies both “standard” and bespoke cans and solutions. As well as producing cans for Nestlé’s powdered baby milk – for which there is huge demand in the region – SAPIN started manufacturing the unique octagonal shape Quality Street cans at the beginning of 2009. These are custom-made, requiring a unique technology system. “They are tricky and intricate to manufacture and we had to adapt a lot of tooling for Nestlé’s requirements,” says Mr Colombier.
SAPIN doesn’t have a fully fledged R&D department but tackles design challenges on a case by case basis. “We have an experienced technical team and we are members of the International Packaging Association, with which we share a lot of developments and information,” he says. “The association has members around the world; these people have exactly the same demands and needs as we do, and we share technical developments.”
In September 2009, SAPIN received a plaque from Kraft Foods in recognition of successfully supporting Kraft’s Ramadan sales drive. “SAPIN’s exemplary delivery performance ensured that Kraft were always in a position to deliver their Tang brand products to their customers on time and in full,” said Kraft. Earlier in the year, New Zealand’s Fonterra Dairy Products awarded SAPIN the title of best worldwide supplier in the category “Excellence in Print – Metal Packaging”. This was the first time a vendor from the Middle East had been recognised worldwide for packaging excellence, says SAPIN – clearly, this was a major step forward. Recession is barely mentioned at SAPIN. Dubai has been hit hard by the economic downturn but this is a very small market compared to those of Saudi Arabia and others. “The impact of the UAE ‘downtime’ hasn’t really affected our customers,” says Mr Colombier. “We are back I into double digit growth and looking forward with optimism.” www.sapin.com.sa
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ADDING VALUE TO
The ‘plus’ in DSM NeoResins+ is certainly appropriate; the company is focused on speciality resins and is renowned for delivering added value products. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to Ivo Lansbergen, global business director for adhesives and graphics arts.
Ivo Lansbergen, global business director for adhesives and graphics arts.
NeoResins+ is a part of the ‘Performance Materials’ cluster of companies within the diversified corporation DSM, based in the Netherlands. With its HQ in Waalwijk, DSM NeoResins+ has a global reach, thanks to its manufacturing and operational locations in China, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and the USA. Packaging Europe last spoke to DSM NeoResins+ in 2008 and the world has clearly changed since then. Ivo Lansbergen told us more about how the economic downturn has affected its business. “The world is certainly a different place now! We can actually pinpoint the exact time that the downturn took effect. It was the third week of October 2008 when the
“Working with renewable resources is a real drive for us at the moment, too, as it affects us all. Many of our customers want this, especially within the FMCG sector, with biodegradable or biomaterials at the forefront of development.”
orders started to dry up and that continued until Q1 2009. However, I’m pleased to say that business started picking up during January and has been steadily increasing. We’ve seen the rough end of the recession and now we’re back on track, having stayed positive and focused.” It is this positivity that has enabled DSM NeoResins+ to evaluate its offer in light of the downturn, as the company appreciates the potential longterm changes in how the market operates, customer cash flow impact and the possible effect on the value chain. Mr Lansbergen continued, “To some extent we are able to predict the changes, as we’ve used our expertise and industry research to gain an insight into what changes are likely to impact on us, our clients and the market. There is such an exponential knock-on effect down the value chain when demand is suddenly reduced, which we were prepared for, so we used the time to focus on innovative new product development without needing to reduce our sales force.” business, it’s more about adding value for customers so that they can differentiate themselves in the market.” The NeoRez TM U430 resin is also picking up new fans as it is great from both a cost and environmental perspective. Promoted as the best alternative for replacement of vinyl copolymers and PVB in inks, NeoREz TM U-430 is a mono-solvent based urethane resin for flexible packaging in gravure inks and it enables converters to reduce unit costs down the value chain, which is particularly appealing during these highly cost-sensitive times.
Understanding changing needs
Both products show how adept DSM NeoResins+ is at adapting existing technology to create totally new products in line with the changing face of customer demand. Mr Lansbergen continued, “We’re looking to launch some new food packaging products as well as keeping our innovation centred on more ‘traditional’ resins such as acrylics, while staying committed to the sustainability and carbon footprint of our products.” One such acrylic innovation is the development of a water-based acrylic for non absorbing substrates. Already used for the absorbing substrates of paper and board, this new product can be used to print onto filmic substrates such as carrier bags, instead of the usual solvent-based acrylics. The DSM NeoResins+ process for creating new products always starts with detailed communication with the market, supported by strict adherence to Product Stewardship Principles, ensuring all regulatory affairs, tracking and tracing and related safety issues are met at every stage of development. The department supporting this is a separate team employing six fulltime experts to manage registration of materials, deal with REACH information and be on hand to answer any technical questions its customers may have, across any stage of the DSM NeoResins+ product life cycle.
New products for 2009
It is clear that DSM NeoResins+ used the downturn to its best advantage as there are now a number of fresh products taking the graphic arts market by storm. Two of the latest products are the NeoRad TM R1500 and NeoRez TM U430 speciality resins. The new NeoRad TM R1500 is a UV varnish for use in packaging, with the highly desirable characteristic of making the packaging feel soft to the touch. Mr Lansbergen explained, “Although the technology was available before to create this effect, it was only possible through additives, which didn’t make the product very resistant, which is not good for packaging applications. The NeoRad TM R1500 is exciting because the softness is inherent in the polymer and is UV curable. It’s a great example of what we believe in – we’re not a commodity-driven
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MaxGrip ‘Engineering Maintenance’
Application for the future
As an application-driven company, DSM NeoResins+ is already researching new ideas for solutions-focused applications for its products for paper, board and filmic substrates. Its new business aims are based around working with manufacturers of adhesives, inks and films and DSM NeoResins+ is concentrating on customer relationship management with key players in these industries. Mr Lansbergen concluded, “Working with renewable resources is a real drive for us at the moment, too, as it affects us all. Many of our customers want this, especially within the FMCG sector, with biodegradable or biomaterials at the forefront of development. We’re really looking forward to a very I interesting and rewarding 2010.” Visit: www.dsm.com
you want to bring your maintenance to a higher level? Need support with reliability engineering? Still haven’t found the right tool for creating the right balance between risk, costs and performance? MaxGrip can help you find the right answers to these and similar questions. MaxGrip ‘Engineering Maintenance’ is the maintenance consultancy firm specialized in all aspects of maintenance and reliability engineering. Please have a look at www.maxgrip.nl and find out more about our services in maintenance. Also there you will find an article about a project MaxGrip executed at DSM NeoResins+ for the new plant in Waalwijk (NL). The project for the new acrylic resins plant has shown, in a positive way, that the ambitions of DSM NeoResins+ can be implemented in an objective and reproducible manner by performing risk based maintenance. DSM NeoResins+ has now decided to continue this approach at its other production locations in order to improve the company performance. More information: Website: www.maxgrip.nl Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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s one of India’s most loved food brands across product categories, Britannia Industries has a lot to be proud of. It has achieved sustained double-digit growth over the last three years, through a strategy of product innovation, cost-reduction and market expansion, but there is a lot more that the company wants to do and achieve, says CEO & Managing Director, Vinita Bali. The company has ambitious plans to develop innovative offerings in its Power Brands, as well as new categories, besides establishing a stronger presence in international markets. “Today Britannia is one of the foremost brands in the country, a diversified food and dairy products company,” she says. It has been rated in the top ten Most Trusted brands across all product categories in India and is in the top two in food (the number one is a salt company) in an independent survey conducted by A C Nielsen and Economic Times. “Our focus has been on expanding the portfolio of offerings across price points, while increasing penetration across demographics and geographies. We are simultaneously working to see Britannia more firmly placed in the international market.”
ADDING ZING TO LIFE
Britannia is one of India’s biggest and most popular food brands, known for its innovative approach to delighting consumers with exciting offerings and attractive marketing programs.
ment directly or indirectly to over 30,000 people and has an annual turnover of US$800 million. “Traditionally the core business of the company has been baking – bread, biscuits, cakes, rusks etc,” says Ms Bali. “Then we added dairy products and today this has become another area of major focus for us.” In the bakery division, fresh bread is produced and distributed for every day consumption. In biscuits, a range of products are manufactured to suit the entire market, from products that retail at just a few cents up to those that cost almost $ 10 a pack. The six power brands of the company i.e. GoodDay, Tiger, MarieGold, Milk Bikis, NutriChoice and Treat continue to grow and delight consumers. She continues: “Today we have three different areas in which we aim to grow our current business. We want to grow our bakery business in our existing geographical markets, by diversifying our product range; we also want to expand further into dairy products. Our third area is to expand internationally. To do this we need to find completely new markets.”
Health and Nutrition
Ms Bali says that over the past two years especially, Britannia has concentrated on enhancing the heath and nutritional benefits of its products. Not only has it removed 10,000 tonnes of trans-fats from its biscuits but it has also added micro-nutrients. Britannia is the only biscuit company in India to have done this. “In India there is a very high incidence of anaemia – 60 per cent of school going children are anaemic and 40 per cent are malnourished,” she explains. “One of our best selling biscuits, Tiger, for example, sells well in both urban and rural areas. Biscuits are an excellent carrier of nutrients so we decided to fortify Tiger with iron.” Several of the Company’s biscuit brands and bread have been fortified with essential micro-nutrients and constitute 50% of the Company’s entire portfolio today. “In our dairy portfolio, which offers a wide range of cheese, cheesespreads, low-fat cheese, milk, ghee and yoghurt, we have recently launched ActiMind, a milk based health drink with 7 Active Brain Nutrients in an attractive and convenient pack”. Britannia has recently launched the Britannia Nutrition Foundation to accelerate its understanding of various aspects of Nutrition. The Company has also been recognized at the Clinton Global Initiative for its work in nutrition.
A history in biscuits
Britannia’s origins go back to 1892 when a biscuit company was started in a nondescript house in Calcutta (now Kolkata) with an initial investment of INR 295. By 1910, with the advent of electricity, Britannia mechanised its operations, and in 1921, it became the first company east of the Suez Canal to use imported gas ovens. The company’s business flourished. In 1975, it took over the distribution of its biscuits from Parry’s, who had distributed Britannia biscuits in India till then. In 1997, it unveiled its new corporate identity – “Eat healthy, think better” – and made its first foray into the dairy products market. In 2002, Britannia’s New Business Division formed a joint venture with Fonterra, the world’s second largest Dairy Company, and Britannia New Zealand Foods Pvt Ltd was born. In recognition of its vision and accelerating graph, Forbes Global rated Britannia “One among the Top 200 Small Companies of the World,” and The Economic Times rated it India’s Second Most Trusted Brand. The Company’s offerings are spread across the spectrum – from healthy and economical – to delightfully indulgent and affordable. Today Britannia’s products are manufactured at over 50 different locations. From here they are supplied to over 3,000 distribution points to reach about 1 million outlets. The company provides employ-
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“We look at packaging very carefully. If you take Pure Magic, for example, our rich cream biscuit, those go into an up market tin”
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To some extent, Britannia’s innovative packaging reflects this emphasis on health. Some biscuit boxes now contain aluminium foil bags containing a three biscuit serving. Handy packs exist for the nutritionally fortified products making them easy to pack into handbags or lunchboxes. Packaging at Britannia is also eye-catching and carefully pitched at the right market. “We look at packaging very carefully. If you take Pure Magic, for example, our rich cream biscuit, those go into an up market tin,” she says. Ms Bali goes on: “Our packs come in all sorts of colours & formats and we are even taking steps such as putting individual packs of biscuits into glass jars for children to buy after school. We are trying to make these biscuits more fun. To move away from biscuits being seen as grocery items – something mother buys – to a product that a child might buy instead of sweets.” She adds: “All this works together towards our aim of Britannia products being seen as ‘healthy but delightful’ – as ‘enjoyable vitality’. Now we want to strengthen our position and take this message to the international I market.” www.britannia.co.in
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CLEAN, GREEN PACKAGING TEAM
Leading global producer of speciality films for packaging and labels Innovia Films certainly lives up to its name. Driven by R&D to create innovative packaging solutions to its wide-reaching client base, Innovia is at the forefront of solving technical challenges in an ecologically responsible manner. Emma-Jane Batey interviewed CEO David Beeby and global sales and marketing director Alexander van ‘t Riet to learn more.
he evolution of Innovia Films began over 75 years ago with a series of technological developments in the UK and France, centred round cellulose and more recently biaxially oriented polypropylene. A series of joint ventures and acquisitions resulted in a continually progressing expertise in the speciality films sector, eventually leading to the establishing of Innovia Films at its Wigton, UK headquarters. Today, the company has production sites on three continents, a €400 million annual turnover, 1350 employees and an annual production capacity of 120,000 tonnes.
Innovia means innovation
CEO, David Beeby told Packaging Europe Online how the focus of the company has not changed, even though Innovia Films is skilled at staying fresh and relevant to its customers. “Providing solutions in both production and service is at the core of our business and always has been – the name ‘Innovia’ says it all really; we’re all about innovation. As a speciality film supplier, unique BOPP and cellulose films are central to our success so we’re fully committed to investing
financial and human resources to delivering the very best technical solutions possible.” Active in the selected industries of tobacco, labels and packaging, Innovia Films is a true expert in its field and one of its most recent product developments is creating quite an impact. The new NatureFlex™ cellulose-based film has a range of benefits that is allowing Innovia to reach new customers as well as appealing to its list of existing blue-chip names. Mr Beeby continued, “Our NatureFlex™ range is fast becoming our leading offer. It’s a responsible packaging product that uses eucalyptus wood pulp to create exceptional results.” NatureFlex™ makes an excellent transparent paper with a high moisture, aroma and oxygen barrier, making it perfectly suited to food packaging and beauty product applications. It also offers a great dead fold character, giving the material natural ‘memory’, so that once it’s folded it stays that way; a characteristic that’s particularly desirable in confectionery twistwrap packaging. NatureFlex™ adds excellent machinability, high heat resistance and anti-static properties to its long list of benefits too, as well as being fully biodegradable and compostable.
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“Granola bars are also a natural match for our biodegradable, renewable packaging! It’s an excellent marketing tool as well as being the responsible choice.”
Excellent market response
Mr van ‘t Riet told Packaging Europe more about how positively NatureFlex™ is being received on the market. “We’re finding that the majority of our customers are finding it easy to convert to using NatureFlex™; it really is a win-win situation as the product is a pleasure to work with in technical terms, as well as delivering a premium in terms of sustainability and biodegradability. Although there is some cost increase over conventional plastic equivalents, the long-term future of the latter is less positive and more and more companies are committed to doing the right thing. They’re being customer-driven to using more sustainable products and NatureFlex™ is a great way to offer a greener alternative and command a premium price.” NatureFlex™ is seeing a number of FMCG clients using the product for board lamination purposes, too. This application uses NatureFlex™ in combination with board allowing product graphics to be added before or after the process resulting in a product that is both recyclable and compostable. Innovia Films has a growing portfolio of food applications for NatureFlex™, supported by the excellent barrier char-
acteristics. “Clients are using NatureFlex™ for pasta bags, snack foods and confectionery,” Mr van ‘t Riet said, “Granola bars are also a natural match for our biodegradable, renewable packaging! It’s an excellent marketing tool as well as being the responsible choice.” Innovia’s commitment to the emerging bioplastics market is further demonstrated by their increasing role within the industry as a whole. For example this year Andy Sweetman, Innovia Films’ Business Development and Sustainability Manager, became Chairman of the board of European Bioplastics, the Industry’s official European trade association.
Technical and environmental benefits
The Innovia Films marketing strategy is perfectly positioned to utilise the range of technical and environmental benefits that NatureFlex™ delivers. The company has historically talked only with converters but as renewable and compostable materials, such as NatureFlex™ attract increasing interest amongst major brand owners, Innovia is now working with different sales channels. It is selling products to large printing houses and going directly to FMCG producers and other brand
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owners; making the most of its ability to deliver exactly what buyers really want and making them aware of the ‘wise choice’ on offer. This strategy is proving successful, with brand owners appreciating that NatureFlex™ is an interesting and sustainable packaging solution option that appeals to the end user and consumers. Innovia Films is currently enjoying the green shoots of recovery in the NatureFlex™ product range after a relatively positive experience of the global economic downturn. Prior to the crisis, Innovia saw a very steep growth, giving way to a flat-to-slightly up curve over the past few quarters. The company expects to see a return to impressive growth, especially as NatureFlex™ has been so positively received. Mr van ‘t Riet concluded, “It’s a very exciting time for Innovia Films. I believe we’re at the beginning of a renaissance of cellulose packaging and our I products and teams are poised to make the most of it.” Visit: www.innoviafilms.com
“We’re finding that the majority of our customers are finding it easy to convert to using NatureFlex™; it really is a winwin situation as the product is a pleasure to work with in technical terms, as well as delivering a premium in terms of sustainability and biodegradability.
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IMA FLAVOUR TARGETS EXPANSION
Manufacturer of the machines that produce two thirds of the world's tea bags, the Italian based company IMA Flavour challenges the international economical crisis with new investments and new geographical conquests. Maria Teresa Sette interviewed General Manager Klaus Peters to find out more.
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MA Flavour, which specialises in tea and coffee packaging solutions, is one of four major business areas of IMA Group. Established in 1961, IMA is a multinational Italian company based in Ozzano dell’Emilia, near Bologna, and is a world leader in the design and manufacture of automatic machines for processing and packing pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, tea and coffee. IMA Active Division (solid dose solutions), IMA Life (aseptic processing and filling solutions) and IMA Safe (packaging solutions) are the other three main sectors of the Italian Group, which is present in over 70 countries and boasts 18 production plants in Italy, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, the USA, India and China.
More than 50 years of innovation
It was in 1961 that the Group entered the tea bagging sector. The first IMA machine for packing tea and herbs into filter bags was designed and manufactured in 1966 in a small workshop. Today the site of the workshop is the headquarters of the IMA Tea & Coffee Division, where more than 150 technical and sales staff work to maintain IMA's leadership for this type of packaging machinery. Since then, the company has experienced extraordinary growth and became the world leader in tea bagging machines, with a 70% market share. Aware of the fact that it was becoming one of the main
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protagonists in this sector worldwide, over the past 50 years, IMA Flavour has made major investments in cutting-edge technology and product innovation in products, which today include a wide range of machines for the packaging of tea and herbal infusions in filter bags and of coffee in filter paper pods, for both regular and espresso coffee.
“The Far East and south Asia are important emerging markets for us”
per cent of its turnover. IMA Flavour has been continuously investing in R&D for new machines and products and, at the same time, it has been focusing on all possible improvements to its existing machines to keep them always at the highest level of technology in the market. The company has been consolidating its presence in the countries where it is already strong, while simultaneously exploring promising new markets. Eastern Europe, in particular, continues to offer great opportunities for growth market for IMA Flavour and it is where the company is planning its next major investments. However, the Far East and south Asia lies at the centre of IMA Flavour’s future commercial interests. “The Far East and south Asia are considered to be important emerging markets in our particular sector, even though the tradition of drinking loose tea is still very strong in these regions,” explained Mr Peters. “We are convinced that in the future there will be a change in consumer habits which will allow us to establish a significant presence in these regions”. In this manner, the successes of the first 50 years look set to be I replicated on an even broader stage. Visit: www.ima.it
Beating the economic crisis
The company managed to close the year 2008 with a satisfying turnover of €84 million and – as Klaus Peters anticipates – the forthcoming 2009 turnover is expected to be a good percentage higher than the past one. But what are the reasons behind this continuous growth, despite the severe international crisis which has negatively affected so many companies over the past few months? The reasons for this success are various, as Mr. Peters pointed out. First of all, IMA Flavour’s success has always rested on its very high levels of technological competence and a general know-how unequalled in the industry. Secondly, the tea and coffee packaging sector is a relatively small business area so there are not a great number of machine producers to share the market with. Supported by its tradition and reputation, the company has managed, over the years, to acquire the biggest and most prestigious clients in the world, and this has had an insulating effect during the recent storms. IMA Flavour’s strength can also be attributed to a forward-looking strategy of geographical expansion. As Mr Peters remarked, the success of the company mostly depends on exports, which account for 95
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PERFECTLY LOCATED FOR SUCCESS
Strategically located to maximise its potential in the CIS and eastern European markets, Multipack in Belarus has become a significant producer of mono and bioriented polystyrene film. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to general director Sergey Stepanov to learn more about how the company is continuing to grow.
ounded in 1997, Multipack is located in the south of Belarus, near the Ukrainian border, giving it exceptional transport links to most of Europe and Russia. As part of the long-established Alcopack Group, which started in Germany in 1952 and specialises in packaging products for the bottling industry, Multipack is well positioned both in experience and technical capabilities. The Alcopack Group employs 1200 skilled workers and has three strategically placed operations; its head office, with sales and operational divisions, is based in Koblenz in Germany, and it also has an office and warehouse in Moscow. The Multipack location in Gomel, Belarus, is the perfect link between the two and delivers considerable support across the Group.
Europe, particularly Poland, Slovakia and Bulgaria, and we’re speaking to interested potential partners in the Netherlands and the UK. It’s hard to compete on price alone in all these areas, so it is particularly important to offer a value-added product with a very quick delivery time. We truly excel here, so these core benefits are our marketing focus.”
Realising great potential
It is clear that Multipack has carefully defined its USPs in order to maximise its potential in the European packaging market, having identified its competition from China and eastern Europe. “Yes, some other companies may be a little cheaper, but we deliver excellent value. We’re pretty cheap, but also with great quality products that arrive quickly and are solutions focused. We can offer OPS clear delivery in less than two weeks from the initial contact.” Multipack is also committed to investing in new product technology in order to maintain its impressive USPs. The company is dedicated to finding market niches that can provide profitable homes for solutions-focused products, such as its current focus on green packaging trends, illustrated by its development in low density OPS and BOCPS. With state-of-the-art production facilities that currently manufacture 1600 tonnes each month, Multipack can quickly redirect its machines in response to changing customer needs, while still guaranteeing high volume capabilities. The company is also currently undertaking a number of product trials that have been created directly with individual customers and is soon to launch new products to the market. Mr Stepanov told us, “The next few months will see us bring a wide range of innovative products to the market, including laminated films and polyester films that are especially popular in Europe. One such offer is our multilayered films that have many benefits, such as excellent sealing properties, improvement in sustainability and mechanical properties and reduced product density.”
General director of Multipack, Sergey Stepanov, told Packaging Europe how the company has developed substantially over the past two years. “We installed a new OPS system in 2006 which was a real catalyst for new product development. We’ve always been focused on innovation, but this new six film production line, which delivers thin film for packaging applications such as envelope windows and shrinkable film, was a great boost for business. In 2008 we also had a metaliser installed that produces six films for thermoforming, which is proving popular in the confectionery market.” Multipack has continued to enjoy positive success during the global economic downturn. The company’s main market is Russia, where it sells 50 per cent of all its output, with a further 10 per cent going to the neighbouring Ukraine. Mr Stepanov continued, “We’re aiming to extend our reach in the European market in the coming months and we’ve already had a number of positive responses to our metalised films in eastern
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Marketing strategy for great new products
The creation of more ecologically responsible film products is part of the current and future strategy for Multipack. The company is active in many European and Russian trade exhibitions and plans to make a series of presentations for its latest products in the coming months, including the SPE conference in April 2010. The marketing strategy also includes a strong network of personal contacts that have been built up over a number of years, creating a solid platform of professional relationships. This is ably supported by the German-based sales team for the Alcopack Group, which enables the Belarus operation to get its highly impressive samples direct to European customers. As a reliable partner, with its flexible product range, cost-effective solutions and short delivery times, Multipack is well-positioned for the future. The next 12 months will see an additional production line being I brought into use that will further extend its technical capabilities.
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SUSTAINABILITY – THE KEYWORD FOR THE FUTURE
Sustainable development is one of the hot topics today, but Südpack, the German specialist in packaging films, endeavours to give the concept a more complex meaning. Cornelia Muller reports
Jörg Nückel, sales director
örg Nückel, the sales director of Südpack, and Julia Mayer, the marketing and communication manager, use the term ‘sustainability’ in different contexts, ranging across the ability to provide long-term economic and sustainable stability to the customers, the continuous efforts to invest in new sustainable technologies, the commitment to research for the creation of sustainable packaging solutions and the provision of sustainable company and product development. In 45 years the company has grown from a small set-up in founder Alfred Remmele’s garage to a leading international manufacture of packaging material in the form of roll goods. Today the company is managed by his children Johannes Remmele and Caroline Grimbacher. They employ approximately 1000 members of staff and have a turnover of €260 million. The head offices are in Ochsenhausen, in Swabia, in southern Germany,
but there are also another three production sites in Switzerland, France and the Ukraine and in total 22 locations worldwide. In the future, Südpack is planning to expand further and broaden its market share in the industry. Jörg Nückel stressed however: “This will happen in an organic way from within.”
A film for freshness
Südpack specialises in the manufacture, refining and printing, including flexo and rotogravure printing, of films for the food industry, as well as the medical and non-food industry. However, the core business is the manufacture and refining of rigid and flexible films for fresh meat, meat products and cheese, consisting of a top and bottom film. Südpack can offer high quality films that allow the controlled maturing of the food item, but pre-
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“Co-extruded films are definitely the products of the future; they keep the food items fresh for a long time. Admittedly, there may be a shift towards packaging and films for convenience food.”
vent it drying out. Equally, the films protect against the effects of oxygen, moisture and light, but still allow a controlled exchange of gas. Jörg Nückel explained: “Co-extruded films are definitely the products of the future; they keep the food items fresh for a long time. Admittedly, there may be a shift towards packaging and films for convenience food.” Already Südpack offers its registered Ecovent® film that covers ready-made meals or burgers in a metal-coated carton, a so-called susceptor. When these are placed in the microwave, Südpack promises a cooked result just like that of a conventional oven. For fresh and frozen vegetables or fish Südpack has developed its Ecosteam® solution that keeps the food juicy and preserves the vitamins during the steam cooking process.
ogy.” Südpack carries out comparative analyses of its products eco-efficiency during their entire life-cycle. Julia Mayer explained: “This analysis goes beyond an analysis of the carbon footprint of a product, especially as there are no generally accepted foundations. We at Südpack believe in ecological sustainability. Together with economic sustainability, it will provide stability for the future.”
Sustainable customer relations
“We focus on the customers. Our customers are our partners.” Jörg Nückel said. “We only work with suppliers who have an above-average standard of quality, hygiene and environmental safety. With our customers we create long-term relationships that are based on mutual trust, honesty and openness. One of the greatest advantages for us and them is that we are an independent, family-owned business.” Julia Mayer added: “This gives both the customers and Südpack a feeling of security and stability in this ever changing market full of mergers and evolving company structures as well as increased competitive pressure. Südpack responds to this development by providing a stable relationship with both our customers and our suppliers. In this way, all parties concerned can plan ahead and know where they stand; and all three links in this chain are less susceptible to the insecure and unpreI dictable market environment we are experiencing at present.” Visit: www.suedpack.com
Südpack has a strong commitment to the environment. One of its main goals is to reduce the amount of waste created through packaging. The first step is the reduction of resources used. The second step is the development of thinner packaging solutions. Julia Mayer explained “We are working on more environmentally sustainable and ecologically friendly solutions and strive to use less resources. However, in case of composite material, which cannot be avoided in some cases, we are still facing a challenge. Nonetheless, we have been able to reduce our energy consumption by 7% over the last three years.” Jörg Nückel added: “We are putting a lot of time and effort into R&D to be able to have a leadership role in the development of innovative technol-
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ACTIVE BY NAME,
ADAPTA – the new capsule filling machine adapting to the ever changing requirements of the market.
ACTIVE BY NATURE
is a world leader in the design and manufacture of automatic machines for the processing and packaging of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, tea and coffee. The company was established in Bologna, Italy in 1961 and has grown to become the world’s leading engineering and packaging technology company, with many IMA companies and divisions that are focused on producing processing and packaging machines across industry sectors. The Active Division specialises in solid dose solutions and is the result of the integration of a number of strategically acquired compa-
The IMA Active Division is getting ever-closer to its ambition to be a global partner in solid dose solutions. Already a respected supplier of excellent products, IMA Active has undergone a strategic restructuring and offers specialist advice targeted to the needs of its customers. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to marketing director Elisa di Benni to find out more.
nies with complementary expertise, beginning in 1985 when the first automatic capsule filling machine company was bought. Further acquisitions followed, including the first rotary tablet press company and coating specialists.
Marketing employee Elisa Benni told Packaging Europe, “Our development was characterised by choosing companies that would support and enhance the considerable IMA know-how, so innovative systems and skilled employ-
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PERFIMA – coating pan with perforated drum (detail)
ees could generate far more than the sum of their parts. Our solutionsfocused products are based on the dedicated industry experience of our staff and our state-of-the-art technological capabilities.” The IMA Active Division is dedicated to the manufacturing and processing of solid dose products, such as granulation, tableting, capsule filling and banding, weight checking and coating as well as handling and washing systems, and is widely considered to be a strong partner in specific and integrated equipment. The company has a vast range of machines that enables it to provide solutions through the entire solid dose process, from the granulation of the product, for example, through to the integration of material handling for complex configurations. The company invested heavily in its early years, and continues to do so to ensure it stays at the top of its game.
IMA Active range of machines includes granulation equipment like high shear mixers for wet granulation and vacuum drying, as well as fluid bed equipment.
IMA Active is justifiably proud of its ability to offer a wide range of solutions also in the tableting field, in fact it is the only company able to offer two types of tablet press machines: force feed presses, produced by the German manufacturer Kilian and reaching speeds of more than 1 million tablets an hour, besides centrifugal die filling presses produced by IMA Active, in Italy. Mrs Benni continued, “We first developed our innovative Comprima tablet press in 1995 and it’s special because it works by centrifugal force, rather than gravity like traditional presses.” In the capsule filling field IMA boasts more than 50 years of experience and more than 5,000 capsule filling installations worldwide, both for laboratory and production applications: from 1,000 to 200,000 capsules an hour. The range of machines also includes two kinds of coating machines, with solid wall or perforated pans. The process and the technology offered by IMA coating equipment are the result of 25 years of experience and over 1,000 installations throughout the world. This knowhow, together with constant research, close collaboration with raw material producers and universities allows the development of high quality equipment for an optimal production process.
Powder and pellets
Elisa Benni, IMA Active Marketing Department
Solid dose products
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Solid dose products
Finally, IMA Active is able to offer handling equipment, from raw material dispensing to processing and feeding of the final packaging lines, as well as a wide range of washing equipment: from the simplest washing group to completely automatic washing cabins. Exceptional solid dose machinery is backed up by a wide range of services, especially for engineering and containment. It offers technical support for layouts from a single machine to a full solid dose layout, including the possibility to offer fully customised solutions for plants where a maximum level of containment is required, taking in consideration the whole process flow and not only isolated machines. Mrs Benni explained, “We offer full technical after-sales support, too, with spare parts advice and supply available across Europe within 24 hours and worldwide in only 48 hours. We have highly equipped testing labs in the USA, Germany and Italy as well as local engineering response across our global locations. Our after-sales service is second to none, with documentation and validation services that really add value for our customers.” With over 3,000 employees worldwide and a company culture of communication and strong group identity, IMA lives up to its website strapline of ‘Sharing Passions’. Mrs Benni explained that this newly devised branding was honestly representative of how the company likes to work, with joint goals of working alongside its customers and utilising the expertise of its employees in a positive, multi-cultural environment.
The IMA Active Division is also committed to sharing its innovative solid dose solutions to new and existing customers by attending a number of trade exhibitions. May is a particularly busy time for the Marketing Department, with participations including Hispack in Barcelona, Achema in Frankfurt and Embax Print in Brno. As a major international fair, Achema is especially important and saw the launch of four new machines and innovative technical applications on the already existing equipment. Mrs Benni told us, “The market is always moving and R&D is a major focus for us – our capacity for innovation is our priority to ensure we remain the market leader. We collaborate with our partners and are constantly developing new products, such as our latest capsule filling machine that’s being launched at Achema, with multi-product dosing at high speed with extreme flexibility and total in-process control.” It is clear that IMA Active Division is flourishing. The company is always adding value to its products and offers a solutionsfocused global partnership service that is supported by worldI leading group activities.
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A key manufacturer of air conveyors for empty PET bottles, Vetromeccanica srl has been established in the heart of Italy since 1989. Filomena Nardi spoke to the company’s sales director, Daniela Rinaldi, to find out more.
etromeccanica srl, based in Provazzano, a small village near Parma, employs around 40 people and can trace its origins back to 1989, when the company was first established to assemble conveyors made by other firms. According to Daniela Rinaldi, sales director for the company, the business moved forward in a few years, from the assembling to the full production of automatic conveying systems. “During the years we acquired a great amount of experience in conveying systems and at the
end of 2001 we launched our own brand – EOLO. Today we are a company which manufactures a vast range of conveyors for most of the major bottle producers,” she explains. Their full production includes air conveyors, table top conveyor, including accumulation tables, for glass, PET and HDPE bottles, jars, cans, crates, cartons and shrinks. Continuous investments in research and development as well as experience are key reasons for Vetromeccanica’s continuing success. Exploiting the strong competence that it had developed during its 20
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years of operations, it has now become famous worldwide as a prestigious brand in the beverage and packaging sectors. Results have exceeded expectations. Today, Eolo equipment is used, through direct and indirect supply, by beverage giants including Coca Cola, PepsiCo and Nestlé.
Committed to customer care
Nothing is more important for Vetromeccanica than to deliver the best quality for its customers. The company’s main objective relies on constant innovation in product design and technology and a close relationship of mutual cooperation with its clients. “We are not only a production company, but we make available to our customers an engineering service, which means that we can manage every step of the project development, and find the best solution according to the customer requirements, ” states Ms Rinaldi. From pre-sales consultancy to after-sales services and maintenance such as planning, installation, consultancy, implementation and processing test runs, Vetromeccanica offers its buyers comprehensive services of the highest level. Ms Daniela Rinaldi continues: “What makes us different from our competitors is our production. We have decided to take care internally of the entire manufacturing process, and for this reason we have
“During the years we acquired a great amount of experience in conveying systems and at the end of 2001 we launched our own brand – EOLO. Today we are a company which manufactures a vast range of conveyors for most of the major bottle producers,”
brought in all the metal sheet machinery necessary. Externally we buy metal sheets and few plastic components; everything else needed for the assembling of the conveyors is built here in Parma.” Vetromeccanica’s 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 kinds of application. However, all the solutions that they offer are ‘open’; in other words, the conveyors can be
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modified in time and customized to meet the real needs of the investor. So when a customer buys a conveyor system from Vetromeccanica, he is not going to have to spend money on further customising it. In a market where 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 Vetromeccanica is the answer.
Challenging times ahead
Vetromeccanica, like every other manufacturing company, is feeling the current negative economical circumstances, even if in 2008 it achieved a turnover of around €10 million. According to Daniela Rinaldi, in this climate they are trying their best to help the customers from a financial point of view, maintaining a good rapport between price and quality, “Our main objective has always been to guarantee the best quality at the most competitive price, even before
the recession. We do consider our customers economic needs, but we will never compromise the quality of our equipment. ” In the mean time, Vetromeccanica will continue focusing on the design and manufacturing of quality. It will maintain a continuous and ongoing research and development programme aimed at improving products and the advancement of new technology. The conveying systems are built to comply with the customer’s needs. The ‘open’ solution and the ‘modularity’of each element of their machinery, are money saving features, allowing the investors to adapt the old machinery to the new situation without additional costs. Ms Rinaldi concludes on a positive note : “Despite the continuing economic crisis, we remain optimistic and we will carry on with our strategy of delivering an excellent product. We can only keep doing our I best to ensure that we will be able to meet future demands.” Visit: www.vetromeccanica.it
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DIRECT FROM DOHA
Qatar Polymer Industrial Company (Qatar Pac) is a specialist packaging product manufacturer based in the Middle East. CEO Duane Henson tells Abigail Saltmarsh more about its operations and its plans for further expansion.
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atar Polymer Industrial Company (Qatar Pac) has only been operating for 10 years but already the company has become one of the largest woven bag producers in the Middle East. At the beginning of 2009, the company was acquired by the Al Delaimi group and now, says CEO Duane Henson, the aim is to extend the product range and to become more of an integrated packaging enterprise. “We have a simple but important product here and are in the early stages of planning for an integrated packaging operation,” he says. “We would like to increase the number of products we offer here and to grow our business significantly in the near future.”
“We have four locations and two manufacturing sites in Doha,” he says. “We want to develop all our operations and that means investing in all our manufacturing facilities. At the moment we are investing in new extrusion machinery to increase our output by about 30 percent over the next 12 months.”
Qatar Pac’s manufacturing facilities currently provide it with capacity for PP extrusion, tape production, weaving, printing and bag manufacturing. The company also operates a large capacity lamination line together with an LDPE blown film line for the production of bags and bag liners. It currently has an installed capacity of some 20,000 tonnes per annum. Today the production facilities produce a selection of packaging items used in a range of industries and sectors. These include woven bags, FIBC jumbo bags, container liners, blown film, fibrillated yarn and packing tape. All products are constantly checked and tested for quality at all stages of the manufacturing process to ensure consistent high quality finished product.
Plans for expansion
Originally founded by a local company back in 1999 in Doha, Qatar Pac has grown from a relatively small operation to become a significant Middle Eastern player in the production of woven bags. In January 2009, new ownership brought new direction and strategic plans, and the aim now, says Mr Henson, is to improve production facilities and expand the company’s markets. In fact, over the next 12 months the group will be investing some $5 million to $8 million in the programme for growth.
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Woven bags in all sizes
The company’s woven bags are a cost effective packaging solution available to suit a wide variety of needs and capacities (typically ranging from 25kg to 100kg). They come in a variety of fibre grades from 60g to 105g. Sack material can be laminated for additional waterproofing and dust retention qualities. The sacks can also be provided with liner inserts of various types to meet particular needs. Finishing can be in a wide range of colours and designs with additional printing. “These are our core products and we make them in all sizes, lengths and widths,” says Mr Henson. “We produce FIBC (Flexible
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Intermediate Bulk Container) bags and we are planning to move further into the production of some of the lighter weight versions to fulfill demand from European countries. We are planning to invest in new equipment to be able to do this. “At the moment we are producing yarn for our own needs as well as selling PP yarn to other packaging companies. Twine and tape goes to other companies too. Our aim is to become much more of a one-stopshop for packaging needs. We want to be able to serve customers from a number of different markets with a range of products.”
says. “Demand for the light weight bags mostly comes from Europe, where they are looking for a more sophisticated bag. Upgrading the quality of this material and of our printing is now a priority.”
An integrated future
When the Al Delaimi group took Qatar Pac on, staff numbers totaled 475, today the packaging manufacturer employs some 620 people. Annual turnover is at $24 million. “Our aim is to increase this by 30 percent with the investment in production facilities and the increased capacity,” says Mr Henson. “We see no reason why this should not be achieved. “As an integrated packaging company we will be able to serve our customers much better. We want to bring in a PET strapping line, plastic pallet production and an HDPE pallet line. Our focus will change and although we are still in the early stages we hope to be able to bring I these new products in before too long.” Visit: www.qatarpac.net
Qatar Pac’s customers currently come from across the world with more than 80 percent of its production exported to GCC countries, UK, France, Holland, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Algeria, Sudan, Somalia, USA and Canada. “We have recently started exporting to countries such Somalia, Sudan and Morocco, as well and occasionally to South America,” he
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MADE IN EU
A dynamic company with a history of innovation, Juta AS produces a wide range of products for the construction industry and agriculture, as well as packaging materials. Abigail Saltmarsh talks to Zdenek Prochazka, sales manager of Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers (FIBC).
zech producer of packaging materials and products Juta AS is pushing forward with its programme of innovation and is fully prepared to adapt to the changing demands of its customer base. Mr Prochazka said packaging would remain one of the most important parts of Juta’s overall business and that opportunities to develop this area still existed.
“This company is extremely dynamic and has a very strong management,” he said. “There are opportunities to develop our packaging sector as well as other areas within the business. We may well have to adapt to new conditions over time but we are ready to make the most of any opportunities and to continue to develop our innovations within the company.” Juta has a long history, stretching right back to 1880. In those days it operated several factories, converting natural materials, such as jute, hemp and sisal. “In 1946, the company changed and started operating in the way you see it today,” said Mr Prochazka. “In those days, however, it still produced yarns, fibres and big bags made from natural materials. “In 1970, the company changed its product programme and step-bystep moved away from natural materials to plastic materials, such as polypropylene and polyethylene. Today these remain the materials we use. Juta is a leading technical textiles producer, based on PP and PE.”
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Investing in the future
Today Juta is a joint-stock company employing some 1700 people. More than 80 per cent of its production is exported worldwide and its annual turnover exceeds €160 million. Its customers are largely based in western Europe but Juta also reaches out to the USA, the Middle East and Africa. In 2002, Juta Slovakia Ltd was founded as a subsidiary of the main company, with the aim of simplifying product distribution to Slovakia and to improve company logistics. The company does not operate in divisions, explained Mr Prochazka, but it has sales departments that focus on different product groups. Today it has 14 production sites in the Czech Republic. “In recent years we have seen massive investment in the company for its future,” said Mr Prochazka. “We have been looking for new possibilities and have been investing in our production. We now have two new facilities, for products that will bring us added value, such as geomembranes and special nonwovens .”
“Being able to produce these bags on rolls was a major innovation for us. It makes automatic filling much easier. It saves time and cost for our customers and offers them better strength and flexibility,” he said. The company also produces twine and netting for the packaging industry. Polypropylene twine, a seasonal product, is used by the agricultural sector. Round baler nets are made from high density polyethylene (HDPE ) with added UV stabilization. This is produced in various types, widths and colours and is ideal for high speed wrapping, again saving time and costs for the customer by at least 50 per cent.
Juta’s ‘big bags’ are made of polypropylene materials and are able to be fully recycled. They are produced for various industry sectors – including building, foodstuff, the chemical industry and agriculture. “These are produced for dry bulk material in four of our factories,” said Mr Prochazka. “They have different applications, including being used for the packaging of dried foods, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and building materials.” Despite increased competition in this field of business, JUTA still believe that their flexible packaging has its future and place in the conditions of European market particularly. There will still be a need for on time deliveries, in smaller than usual order batches, with putting a stress on quality and service in the same time. JUTA can offer all this by exploring their advanatges, being a fully verticaly integrated factory with production of all big bag components under one roof.
Strength and flexibility
In packaging, Juta focuses on a number of different products. These include its Raschel bags. When produced in singles, these are used for the packaging of agricultural produce, and for office and household use. When produced on rolls, they have applications for the packing of potatoes and vegetables on automatic filling machines. The raschel bags are made on Karl Mayer knitting machines from 100 per cent polyethylene tapes of food approved material in various colours, sizes and weights according to the customer’s order.
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Zdenek Prochazka, sales manager of FIBC
Other innovations at the company include the development of new membranes for the roofing industry, a unique water-resistant material for motorcycle covers and flexible bags with PVC linings that can be filled with water and used to build flood barriers, in the place of sand bags, marketed under the AquaFlex flood defense system name. The company also produces JUTAgrass, an artificial lawn for sports and landscaping, which is used for professional sports grounds, training facility grounds and recreational playgrounds. It is also used for embellishment of terraces, balconies, swimming pools or the surrounding of buildings.
GREENFIBER INTERNATIONAL SA,
GREENFIBER INTERNATIONAL SA, produces high volumes of very high quality PET strap in Romania for the European market Our production line is able to produce PET strap in various dimensions, from 5mm to 32mm width and in thicknesses between 0.5mm and 1.35mm. Our product is mostly green in color, smooth or embossed. Our high technology production equipment combined with the professionalism of our team, will enable GREENFIBER INTERNATIONAL SA to reach its goals –of providing solutions for a cleaner world and of becoming one of the most important players in PET strap production in Europe."
A strong future
Mr Prochazka stressed that Juta is being realistic about the current economic climate. It is looking at reducing labour costs, while also exploring new market possibilities and new customers. “The future is unpredictable but Juta is financially very strong and we are confident that we will survive these difficult times. In packaging in particular, we notice at the moment that customers are hesitant about making long-term contracts, so we tend to be going from day to day, order to order,” he explained. “But that is not a problem for a company like ours. We are flexible and can deliver the quality they need, when they need it. We are fully prepared to adapt to any new conditions whenever and however we need to. What is clear is that our packaging products will continue to remain an imporI tant part of our company as we move into the future.” Visit: www.juta.cz
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TOTALLY INTO PACKAGING
Total-Pack is one of the pioneers of the Polish packaging market. Since 1989 the company has been supplying its customers with a wealth of packaging materials, including stretch films, adhesive tapes, as well as packaging appliances. Piotr Sadowski reports
otal-Pack’s experience is its biggest capital asset, while the high quality of its products and services is its most important business objective. A combination of these two factors enables TotalPack to offer a range of over 500 different products which satisfy the needs of even the most discerning customers. Jacek Tetyk, the company’s trade manager, describes Total-Pack’s history of development. “The business was launched in 1989 as a Polish-Dutch joint-venture called Europe Trade,” says Mr Tetyk. “After a number of ownership changes the company has, since 1991, been operating as Total-Pack Ltd, an enterprise backed by 100 per cent Polish capital.” In 1992 the company opened a customs depot in Olsztyn, a major city in the north-east of Poland. In 1995 it invested in the production
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of hand-held stretch films and five years later carried out another important investment, this time to provide overprinting of packaging tapes. In 2003 Total-Pack set up a specialist waste recovery organisation, Total-Eko SA. In the same year, the company began selling agricultural films under the Agroperfecta brand. In 2004 a first line for recycling film waste was launched in Total-Eko SA. The company’s expansion continued. In 2005 a new headquarters office was opened in Olsztyn. A year later a further recycling line was added in Total-Eko SA, while in 2008 Total-Pack successfully implemented a modern CRM system. The year 2009 saw a three-fold increase in the company’s storage capability, thanks to the opening of a highvolume central storage facility in Olsztyn. “We boast 20 years of experience in the market for packaging films. We also have a separate department which produces packaging appliances. We employ around 30 technical and sales advisers who are highly mobile and, between them, can reach any client across the whole of Poland,” explains Mr Tetyk. “We offer an extensive range of products. In fact, by doing business with us, customers are able to buy all the types of packaging they require from a single source. Most of the products are readily available in our storage, meaning that a client can be sure of rapid deliveries and does not need to keep high levels of stock.”
Tetyk. “In packaging tapes, we control approximately 14 per cent of the Polish market, which makes us the largest supplier of such products in the country. In addition to these leading products, our offer consists of 20 assortment groups and around 300 other items, which makes the product offer highly complex.” In addition to its strong presence in Poland, Total-Pack has extensive global contacts with packaging manufacturers. This certainly helps to ensure that the company’s product offer is always competitive and that it is able to deliver even the most unusual orders. For a number of years TotalPack has been operating in eastern European markets, namely Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. It is planning to soon expand into activities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, followed by Germany in the longer-term. “Apart from export sales, we are also visible on foreign markets through participation in numerous packaging exhibitions and trade fairs, throughout the world,” adds the company’s trade manager. “This enables us to gain a tremendous amount of knowledge about new developments, trends and demand patterns in our industry.”
Competitive business player
The packaging market in Poland is represented by a multitude of companies, which means that no single business entity has a dominant position, making the market highly competitive. Total-Pack is characterised by a number of crucial factors: above all, professionalism, wellestablished market presence, country-wide reach, strong market position, a well-known and visible brand, effective logistics, its own production, efficient sales team, successfully implemented standards and procedures, including CRM. These enable the company to actively operate on the market and fend off competitors. “The Polish packaging market is still highly dispersed. Nevertheless, we can notice increasing consolidation and elimination of companies
Strong in Poland and abroad
Thanks to two decades of presence on the domestic market, Total-Pack has built an extensive database of customers. In addition to its head office and other facilities in Olsztyn, the company has regional branches in Pozna , Rzeszów and Warsaw. It is the leading, independent, distributor of stretch films in the country and its share in the Polish LDPE stretch film market is estimated at approximately 8 per cent. “Among our competitors, only those who have capital dependence with other producers enjoy higher levels of market share,” adds Mr
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which are unable to cope with business realities,” explains Mr Tetyk. “If western European markets are anything to go by, we can expect further consolidation in the Polish market, as well as a clear separation between production and distribution companies. Such a trend would be very beneficial for our development.” Of course another important factor which differentiates Total-Pack from other competitors is its wide-ranging product offer, which includes many innovative solutions, such as duct tapes, polyester tapes, pre-stretch films, masking tapes. A quick visit to the company’s corporate website, www.totalpack.pl, will provide interested parties with details on the range of offered products. In terms of customers, Total-Pack’s clients can be divided into two groups: end-use customers and wholesale clients. Those in the first category consist of all types of industrial, distribution, trade and service companies, which purchase Total-Pack’s products for their own use. The second group includes wholesalers who are involved in further stages of product distribution to their own customers. In all of its business partnerships, Total-Pack ensures direct contact and works on the basis of long-term contracts and customised contracts.
Plans for the future
Over the years, the company has been recognised with awards ranging from the prestigious Polish title of ‘Business Gazelle’, through a European Medal for packaging tapes with overprinting, a gold medal from the Cattle Farm for the specialist agricultural film Agroperfecta, as well as a humanitarian and sympathy certificate of the Polish Red Cross. Total-Pack is also recognised as an official friend of the Polish Red Cross and sponsors the highly successful AZS Olsztyn sports club. In its future development, the company will continue to deliver its business mission, focusing on helping customers to solve problems with packaging their manufactured, stored and distributed products. “We also plan to
maintain our position as the leading distributor of stretch films and packaging tapes in Poland,” adds Mr Tetyk. “Over the next three years we want to increase our share in the market for stretch films to 10 per cent, and in the market for packaging tapes up to 17 per cent. We also aim to double the volume of sales of agricultural films and develop new groups of products, which will enable us to penetrate market niches.” The company is planning further investments, to develop the manufacturing of stretch films and overprinting on tapes, as well as to implement an ERP-class IT system. Total-Pack will continue to improve the qualifications and efficiency of its sales team and the ability to better identify customers’ needs. “We will increase our product range and strengthen our market position in current brands,” concludes Mr Tetyk. “The company also plans to further strengthen its cooperation with its best suppliers, many of whom are price or quality leaders in their respective product areas. All of the above activities will help us to double the overall sales by 2015 and achieve a net profitability level of 5 per cent.”I Visit: www.total-pack.pl
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Italian-based Mach Flexopackaging Srl is an international market leader in the designing, manufacturing and printing of flexible packaging for the food industry. Its ability to tailor its product to create unique solutions that perfectly address customer needs is what helps the company maintain its position. EmmaJane Batey spoke to export sales manager Marco Chiossi to find out more.
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ach Flexopackaging Srl, located in Padova in the Veneto region of northern Italy, is a widely-respected flexible food packaging specialist. The company has an annual turnover of around €12million, generated from its five state-of-the-art production sites. Its focus on flexible food packaging has enabled it to become a market leader in its field, with a particular emphasis on laminated film products.
All products are personally checked in the laboratory for sealability, oxygen transmission rate and the slipperiness of the film – tight control is maintained across the operation. Export sales manager Marco Chiossi says, “We’re also about to introduce a new ten-colour printing machine that will offer the very latest techniques for colour options to our customers. Another recent investment is also very exciting – the new line ‘Smile’ machine will enable us to apply labels directly onto the film.”
Invest in the best
The company has continued to invest heavily in the very latest equipment, with its facilities including two printing machines, one solvent and two solvent-free laminating machines and a modified spreading and coating apparatus. Mach also has the laser equipment to perforate materials, with a dedicated team on hand to calibrate any machine in order to fulfil client expectations. The extensive facilities and operational departments at Mach need to be filled with the very best people in the business. Luckily, the company is located near a highly-regarded university that offers a distinctive ergonomic studies degree, meaning that Mach has direct access to well-suited graduates. The company also provides a steady stream of in-house and external training for all employees to ensure its competitivness and excellence continues.
Food and drink
Mach design and manufacture flexible packaging products for a range of foods, including vegetables, deli goods such as cold meats and prepared salads. Its largest market for sales is coffee packaging, with laminated film with aluminium its biggest seller. Over 80 per cent of the €12 million annual turnover comes from its coffee packaging sold across Italy, with the remaining 20 per cent sold largely in Portugal, Germany and Austria, although the company has a European-wide presence. “Italians take their coffee very seriously! There are only a handful of companies in Italy that are able to produce the type of laminated packaging that coffee needs,” Mr Chiossi explained. “The coffee needs a solvent-based packaging and that takes the type of specialist equipment that we have invested in.”
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Overall, export sales account for 20 per cent of the total turnover, with packaging for fruit, vegetables and fresh salad particularly popular. The rising popularity of individual coffee pods is also proving to be a key market for Mach, with this new area representing a key growth market.
This forward-thinking company is determined to continue its upwards trajectory in the flexible food packaging sector. The Mach plan for the coming three years is to extend its presence across Europe, in Germany, Austria and France in particular and find I new countries for export worldwide. Visit: www.mach.ws
Understanding trends across the market
Mach is committed to delivering new products, with at least ten innovative developments presented every year. The R&D division works closely alongside the marketing team to stay one step ahead of industry and consumer trends. Mr Chiossi told Packaging Europe, “We’re a converter, so we’re always keen to hear news from both our suppliers and our customers, that way we have a 360 degree understanding of the markets in which we operate.” The information that the company constantly gathers promotes its customer focus, with a greater knowledge of raw material possibilities, plastic substitutes and end user trends. Current research shows that the single portion packaging trend is rapidly extending, with Mach already leading the way in the individual coffee pod market. Mach is also keen to find improved ecologically-responsible solutions for flexible food packaging applications and is concentrating some of its research and development capabilities in this area. The company is looking at all sorts of ideas, including highly recyclable materials like paper with polyactic acid and new materials made from rice and grains.
Packaging the future
In order to generate valuable new business for its ever-growing portfolio of innovative packaging solutions, Mach is often present at the world’s leading industry exhibitions, such as Interpac for the packaging industry and the Milan-based coffee trade fair. “Our website clearly represents our fresh, modern marketing strategy,” Mr Chiossi explained. “We always bring that enthusiasm and high performance to all areas of the business, including our participation in exhibitions, which is a great way to share our latest products with our customers and potential customers.”
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THE SWISS SOLUTION
Cham Paper manufactures the outer packaging for Ricola Eucalyptus as well as the highly calendered twisting paper in which the sweets are wrapped
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Cham Paper Group has met the global recession with an ever sharper focus on value-added products for the flexible packaging market and big investments in ground-breaking technology. Peter Mercer talks to COO Peter Studer.
t’s at times of crisis that forward thinking really pays off. For Swissheadquartered Cham Paper Group, it is its continuing strategic focus on speciality grade papers that has enabled it to come through the depressed business environment that was triggered by the global financial crisis with higher productivity, greater production flexibility and an even more tightly focussed product range. In fact, between 2008 and 2009 Cham has been able to increase its volume of one-side coated papers for the flexible packaging industry by some 17 per cent, despite falling overall demand and massive destocking by many of its customers in the food and tobacco sectors. “We achieved this increase thanks to the recognised quality of our products and despite the fact that many of our competitors lowered their prices significantly over this period,” says Cham COO Peter Studer. “We were able to take advantage of the increased capacity in Flex Pack paper that we had brought on line at our Carmignano mill by completely overhauling the PM6 paper machine that we had transferred from our Tenero plant in 2007. As a result we were perfectly positioned to pick up sales from competitors that had been obliged to exit the market. This boost in flexible packaging paper was achieved against an overall decline in output across the group in the same period of 13 per cent”
Three mills, five machines
The Cham Paper Group has a history going back to the establishment of a paper mill on the river Lorze in Cham, Switzerland, in 1657. Its headquarters remain in the town to this day but, in addition to the Cham mill, it now also has two plants in Italy, at Carmignano and Condino. The Italian mills were acquired in 1993 in a period of rapid expansion that also saw the Group taking over the Norwegian paper company Hunsfos Fabrikker ASA. By the end of the 1990s, the Group had five mills in three countries. Over the last two years the pursuit of greater operational efficiency and the continuing focus on coated speciality paper has seen the closure in 2007 of the Tenero mill in Locarno, one of Cham’s first acquisitions in 1978, and, at the end of 2008, the sale of the Hunsfos mill. Today, the Cham Paper Group operates five paper machines at its three plants, with a total annual capacity of 225,000 tonnes of speciality grades. Its range of flexible packaging papers includes clay coated kraft, oil and grease repellent papers, and a variety of highly-calendered papers. The clay coated Kraft papers, with their excellent printability and suitability for coating and lamination, meet many of the
requirements of the flexible packaging converter. They find end-user applications in many product sectors, including yoghurt pots, bags and twisted wrappings and are widely used in both general purpose and top class flexible packaging. Cham’s oil and grease-repellent papers are treated with an organic fluorine compound which makes them excellent solutions for packaging foodstuffs such as chocolate, biscuits, cheese, stock cubes and pet food. Its highly calendered papers provide state-ofthe-art properties for traditional sweet wrappers. As well as its flexible packaging papers, Cham produces self-adhesive base papers, a wide range of technical papers for applications such as cigarette packs and bottle labels, and inkjet products for digital imaging. Constant innovation across its product range is a key to Cham’s strategy for growth – as Peter Studer points out, the company aims to launch at least one new ground-breaking product each year – but it is selling a complete service package quite as much as its products. “We are actually selling more than paper” he explains. “This means we are selling service, logistics and, above all, functionality; we are one of the leading companies on the European market and we are active on a world-wide scale so we are able to offer our customers a full service package wherever they are as well as a global supply of hi-tech products. We are well-known for our flexibility and closeness to our customers in the production sector.”
Picking up ‘Speed’
When the consequences of the dramatically slowing world economy became apparent in 2008, Cham’s response was to focus even more rigorously on its coated speciality papers while at the same time driving forward improvements in operating productivity. Its ‘Speed’ restructuring programme, which has been successfully completed at its Cham mill, aimed to significantly reduce manufacturing costs by increased standardisation of the product range and improved efficiency. “Our goal was to boost capacity, productivity and customer service by optimising the operation of our existing equipment,” says Peter Studer. “The result has been an increase in production capacity at the Cham mill of almost 18 per cent over the last two years – from 89,000 tonnes to 105,000 tonnes.” The ‘Speed’ programme is now also well-advanced at the Italian mills and is due for completion by the end of this year. Capacity has already been significantly boosted at both Condino and Carmignano.
COO Peter Studer
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Cutting edge technology
But production improvements at Cham Paper are by no means just about optimising existing equipment. Over the last five years, the company has invested CHF 20 million in a new cutting-edge coating machine at its Swiss mill. Cham launched its radical Curtain Coating operation in the middle of 2009 and is now the first user of this technology in its field to be able to apply two completely different coating formulations to the paper surface at the same time and with almost no mechanical impact. “This technology is not well known in the paper industry,” explains Peter Studer. “It is used, for example, in the production of photographic papers where seven or eight coating layers have to be applied in a single pass. For Cham, it means that we can apply two layers of coating liquid on the paper in one pass with no mechanical contact with the paper – that means no scratches or imperfections. But it also means, for example, that we can lay down on our flexible packaging papers a barrier surface and a print reader surface simultaneously. This enables converters to achieve significant reductions in their manufacturing costs. “The curtain coater has clearly demonstrated the technological skills of the Cham Paper Group and gives us the ability to develop, together with our clients, customised solutions with specific functions. That way we can help to generate added value for our clients along the value chain.” Cham Paper believes that Curtain Coating technology will open up new applications not only in its Flex Pack range but also in the release liners and digital imaging areas. As the market turbulence of the past two years subsides, Cham is confident that its increasingly sharp focus on high value products for the flexible packaging market and its commitment to innovative technology will enable it to emerge stronger and more profitable than ever. “It is perfectly clear that a major priority among multi-national food and beverage producers is to move away from plastic packaging into sustainable paper solutions,” says Peter Studer. ”Cham Paper Group is ideally placed to meet these changing needs and the new technology that we have developed is now allowing us to provide our clients with ever-higher levels of functionality. We see big opportunities to provide flexible packaging papers that score maximum points on sustainability, I added value and customisation.” Visit: www.cham-group.com
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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.
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“We still are 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.”
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 still are 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 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 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 tech-
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nical 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.”
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
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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.”
really increase their capacity. However, Bormioli Luigi has come up with a revolutionary solution to this problem, as the marketing director explains: “Our plants were 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 had allowed our company to increase production capacity by 30 per cent. “We’re also diversifying our activities by introducing a new line of products – the 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 lack of I confidence in future growth.”
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PACKAGING FOR ALL
The Hungarian packaging company, Kartonpack Dobozipari Nyrt, specialises in the production of printed folding cartons.
ver recent years Kartonpack, established in 1952, has followed a simple strategy: the company aims to offer high quality products at competitive prices. In order to achieve growth the firm is determined to satisfy the most demanding customer requirements and therefore has made significant investments in all aspects of production in recent years. As part of this project the company invested in a new five-colour kBA printing machine and is now able to print up to a 720×1020mm sheet size. The factory’s cutting (sheet size max. 720×1020mm) capacity has also been increased thanks to a new BOBST die-cutting machine. In addition, Kartonpack now provides several product enhancement services including embossing, hot foil printing (hologram, gold, silver options up to sheet size max. 720×1020) and box gluing. A new BOBST gluing machine capability has also been introduced; this technology is equipped with an AccuBraille system enabling Kartonpack to offer Braille embossing on their products. To guarantee the highest quality standards the company has implemented a number of quality control systems including the DensiTronic Professional densitometry system, the Kurandt system and HHS system.
Looking to extend
In addition to the wide spectrum of technological solutions and its highly qualified professional team with 50 years experience, Kartonpack acquired a competitive edge due to its flexible approach in relation to production, deliveries and prices.
Located in Debrecen, north-east Hungary, Kartonpack today is among the most significant printed folding carton manufacturers in Hungary. The company predominantly targets the pharmaceutical industry and has acquired approximately 25 per cent of the market share of this segment in the domestic market. Currently its main customers are large Hungarian pharmaceutical companies; however, Kartonpack has also built valuable relationships with partners in other industries that use folding cartons for their product packaging. These include manufacturers that produce food, curative products, hygiene products, therapeutic aids, toys and electronics. The company is now on a mission to extend its customer base even further, and is determined to meet the diverse needs of potential clients in any industry. At present the majority, 75–80 per cent, of the products are distributed in Hungary, however, the company has recently begun to serve prominent European manufacturers following its successful efforts to extend its foreign market share. Kartonpack has gained an excellent reputation in serving the pharmaceutical industry with its high quality specialised products. The company has recently made significant investments that not only assist the firm to meet the demands of their existing customers, but also provide the potential for new business relationships and the opportunity to increase their market share. Although Kartonpack primarily targets pharmaceutical manufacturers the company seeks new partners in other industries both in Hungary and in Europe. Visit: www.kartonpack.hu
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ON TOP OF IT ALL
Tim Carr, CSI Europe General Manager Omni-Lok mini 28mm
CLOSURE SYSTEMS INTERNATIONAL . . .
Closure Systems International (CSI), formerly Alcoa CSI, has introduced numerous new products since being acquired by Rank Group Limited a little over a year and a half ago.
has taken its “new beginning” as an opportunity to refocus in the direction of growth and innovation. “Being a part of a private company has generated a refreshing entrepreneurial spirit, but we still have the resources of a large global packaging company,” said Tim Carr, CSI Europe General Manager. CSI, recognized as the global leader in beverage closure systems, now offers a comprehensive portfolio of short-height mini® closures, a variety of other new light-weight plastic closures for cold-filled, hot-filled, and aseptically-filled beverages, a number of new metal closures, innovative alternative wine closures, and a complete array of capping equipment and expert technical services. Beverage packages sealed with CSI closures delight end consumers, brand owners, and bottlers all over the world. The company’s global market teams track emerging trends and conduct end-user consumer research, while constantly interacting with beverage customers to stay abreast of marketplace needs. These needs drive CSI’s innovation focus. One of the biggest trends driving CSI innovation today is the customers’ need for lighter-weight, more cost efficient packaging without sacrificing performance. CSI has met this need through the development and introduction of its' short-height mini® closure portfolio and other reduced weight beverage caps.
New additions to the CSI mini® short-height closure family
For carbonated and sparkling beverages, CSI offers 1881 Xtra-Lok mini, a lined short-height 28mm closure, and Omni-Lok mini, a onepiece linerless short-height 28mm closure. For bottled water, CSI's mini portfolio includes Nitro-Lok mini 28mm and Aqua-Lok mini 26mm. For aseptically-filled beverages, such as juices and teas, CSI has introduced Asepti-Lok mini 28mm. And for beer and other malt beverages, CSI provides MB-Lok mini with a scavenger liner. In addition to the 20%-40% material savings resulting from mini closure systems, bottlers have realized unprecedented line efficiency improvement when partnering with CSI capping experts for their short-height conversions. Two of the newest mini profiles as well as other new and innovative CSI closures which are currently driving bottler conversions are described below. Omni-Lok mini’s patented Omni-Seal design ensures high-performance seal integrity and carbonation retention across the widest range of temperature cycling conditions. This versatile closure is engineered for packaging sizes from 250 ml up to 2.5 liters in size. In addition, the Omni-Lok mini closure assures consumer security and trouble free application performance with its patented “bead-behind-the-wing”
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tamper band design. Omni-Lok mini has enjoyed wide commercial success, having been adopted by major bottlers for use on their flagship brands around the globe. The Aqua-Lok mini 26mm cap is compatible with 1901 and other 26mm short-height 3-lead bottle finishes. This low-profile closure and short-height bottle finish provide resin material savings of up to 40 percent over existing 1844 26mm standard finishes. Despite their short-height, these new ultra light-weight closures are packed with important performance features, including tamper evidence before seal release for maximum product security, 3-start thread design for easy opening convenience, and organoleptically tested and approved resin. Aqua-Lok mini 26mm establishes a new standard in material reduction while maintaining all the sealing performance, reliability, and ease of application that bottlers rely on CSI to provide. Aqua-Max 30.25 is another important recent addition to CSI’s water closure family. Aqua-Max closures offer up to 30% weight savings versus current 30.25 closures in the marketplace. As one of the lightest weight closures commercially available for the 30.25 bottle finish, the Aqua-Max advanced light-weight design is the best choice for improved sustainability and material savings on existing 30.25 finishes.
topic of growing global importance and concern for both producers and consumers,” said Wasillios Pegnoglou, CSI Europe Marketing Manager for non-carbonated beverages. “CSI offers a full range of the safest and best performing aseptic closures available anywhere in the world.”
Vino-Lok adds premium image, product preservation, and ease of opening
CSI’s elegant and award-winning Vino-Lok glass stoppers and decorative aluminum Long Caps and Short Caps are ideal for wine packaging. The Vino-Lok closure looks like a decorative decanter stopper, but incorporates a special “o-ring” style sterile seal that prevents contamination and oxidation of the wine. An aluminum cap or aluminum capsule placed over the stopper ensures mechanical protection of the stopper and secure tamper evidence. “The Vino-Lok closure system is now enhancing the brand image of leading wine producers on many continents, while also drawing rave reviews from wine connoisseurs,” said Siegfried Landskrone, CSI Europe Commercial Director for wine & metal closures.
CSI Global Technical Services Team . . . conversion experts
In the current climate of packaging optimization and major changes in beverage bottle designs, CSI is uniquely qualified and equipped to provide seamless and trouble-free conversions. CSI’s integrated closures, capping equipment, and expert technical services help customers all over the world enhance the marketability of brands and optimize their total cost of operations. I For more information, visit: www.csiclosures.com
CSI closures offer superior venting for aseptic and hot-fill closures
CSI also offers a family of superior venting non-carbonated beverage closures for aseptic and hot-fill packaging applications in both 38mm and 28mm sizes. The latest aseptic closure design is the Asepti-Lok V38 3S closure. In addition to providing consistent, consumer-friendly opening torques, this one-piece, 3-lead closure incorporates a precisely designed safety venting feature that, combined with CSI high performance tamper evidence features, provides the ultimate in consumer safety. Bottlers will also benefit from the closure’s lube-free design, which prevents contamination of the sterilization bath for superior line efficiency. “Improving product safety is a
Aqua-Lok mini 26mm Asepti-Lok V38 3S closure
BEAUTIFUL HAIR COMES IN
Over 3 billion people worldwide use Procter & Gamble products each day. Since 2003, professional hair care brand Wella has been a part of the P&G brand family, gaining even greater scientific know-how and enhanced global reach. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to Franz Steigerwald, packaging development director for P&G Salon Professional, to learn more about how these two respected names have joined resources.
hen German hairdresser Franz Ströher established wig and hair piece company Wella in 1880, he could not have known that it would grow to become one of the most respected professional hair care brands in the world. Since 2003, Wella has also been under the umbrella of Procter & Gamble, the world’s number one consumer goods company, giving it even greater consumer reach and technical resources.
Part of a global family
Global FMCG giant Procter & Gamble has over 138,000 employees across more than 80 countries, providing leading products to consumers in 180 countries. With immediately recognisable brands such
as Duracell, Braun and Pringles in the P&G portfolio, Wella sits neatly alongside a long list of valued brand names, all with a strong customer- and quality focus. Packaging development director for P&G Salon Professional Franz Steigerwald is a real expert in premium packaging solutions for hair care products. He told Packaging Europe Online, “Wella is a key part of the P&G dedicated packaging development division, internally called PackDev, where we are all able to share our expertise and work with the engineers and designers to create ever more future-proof packaging ideas. We are able to take advantage of the considerable R&D facilities and budgets, which has enabled Wella to reach an even greater potential than before we joined the P&G brand family.”
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Well-known hair care brands
The professional hair care range offered by Wella includes Hair Color, shampoo, conditioner, treatments and, styling products for both home and salon use. Sitting alongside P&G hair care brands Pantene, Aussi and Herbal Essences, the high-end Wella products include the just relaunched System Professional premium brand, which is only available in salons. The packaging aspect of Wella products is largely determined by its functionality, as domestic products are used perhaps only once a day whereas a salon product is used up to 50 times. Mr Steigerwald explained, “The retail and salon environments require different packaging solutions, both in terms of functionality and design. A retail product needs to be distinctive in the sales environment, with a strong brand identity and clear product information, so that a consumer is able to easily repeat buy or quickly discover the Wella products. With a professional salon product, they’re sold through recommendation and careful diagnosis of hair conditions by the stylist, so the packaging can be more restrained with information but easier to manage physically.”
Dedicated ‘PackDev’ team
With packaging taking a key role in the continued success of P&G brands, with strategically acquired equity brand Wella hair care no exception, it comes as no surprise to know that the dedicated PackDev team has a considerable R&D budget behind it. The R&D philosophy for packaging within the Group is centred around ‘the consumer is boss’ which means for Professional: Stylist is the boss, so all research starts from understanding the consumer needs, with the team then working to create the technology to fulfil that need. The extensive P&G facilities available to Wella range from state-ofthe-art CAD technology to tightly controlled testing laboratories. As Wella do not manufacturer hair care packaging in-house, its testing facilities are paramount for maintaining its strict quality standards. Mr
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Steigerwald pointed out, “We’re focused on creating the perfect product specification to meet the needs of our retail and professional customers, so we concentrate on detailed definition of technical requirements and product stability. We have a tight communication process with our suppliers, all of whom must be totally reliable and trusted in order to reach our high standards. Our strong supplier relationships allow us to get the best out of every stage of the product development process.” The portfolio is broad and contains: folding boxes, bottles, tubes, labels, pumps , aerosols and more.
Clean and green
Ecological sustainability is a major subject across the whole of P&G, with the global Group fully committed to its top priority of reducing raw materials, waste and energy consumption throughout its manufacturing processes. The company understands that it needs to maintain a positive consumer value perception with its premium products, such as Wella hair care, and so is working to develop packaging solutions that offer value (e.g. by rigidity) while still using fewer raw materials, to offer quality, value and sustainability. As beauty and hair care is an important growth sector for P&G, of Wella is taking its role in the continued success of the sector very seriously, working on new product launches as well as more efficient plant management. Mr Steigerwald concluded, “Excellent packaging provides a strong business element for P&G and we’re constantly looking for ways to use the latest technology to offer increased packaging innovation. We ‘connect and develop’ in conjunction with our suppliers and we’re always open to new innovation ideas to ensure we continue to I stay at the very top of our game.” www.pg.com
“Excellent packaging provides a strong business element for P&G and we’re constantly to offer increased packaging innovation.” looking for ways to use the latest technology
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CombiPac SUPPORTS PROMENS’
Promens Food & Beverage Packaging already holds a dominant position on the Scandinavian markets with its unique CombiPac technology and a range of other innovative packaging solutions. Now it is intensively targeting the rest of Europe. Felicity Landon reports.
romens Food & Beverage Packaging has huge growth potential, says its sales and marketing director, Niels Christian Schou. “We have a clear path that we must and will bring our CombiPac to the European market,” he says. “In the past two years we have been intensively targeting the German market especially, to convince customers to try something else – and it is starting to bring results.” A subdivision of global plastics giant Promens’ packaging division, Promens Food & Beverage currently has 70 per cent of its sales within Scandinavia, including Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. But as well as Germany it is also seeing growing exports to Austria and Switzerland, particularly for its CombiPac products, and to Spain, where its food trays are in demand from the fishing industry. Mr Schou says the subdivision’s success is built on long-term customer relationships and sales teams with clear focus – “our sales teams are very defined, working with their own areas of specialism rather than across many industries,” he says. “We have a very customer-focused approach. We serve amongst others more or less the entire Scandinavian dairy business – and that is an industry which has very long-term relationships. You can’t make a hit-and-run sale. Implementing new packaging formats and technologies can be a time consuming process in this industry and this is where we can utilize our long term relationships and knowledge of the market we are working in, to make such transitions as smooth as possible".”
He defines the Promens Food & Beverage approach as ‘imagination, courage and team spirit’. “We use the phrase one-stop-shopping. You can contact us and have a discussion about any type of packaging and via our local sales offices in Spain, Germany, UK, Finland & France we also are close to the customers..”
Promens Food & Beverage Packaging employs about 600 people at five factory sites: at Kolding and Stilling in Denmark, Lidkoping in Sweden and Kambo and Kristiansand in Norway. Each factory has its own focus – Stilling, for example, works almost exclusively with the butter, spreads and margarine sector, while Lidkoping is focused on yoghurt pots and vending cups for hot and cold drinks. In Norway the focus is on chilled and frozen products, including tray packs for retailers – for items such as pre-packed fish and ready meals. Promens also develops and supplies packaging machinery, as part of its ‘value-chain selling’ concept. “In Kristiansand we have sold the concept of tray and machines to pack them in – our machine grabs the trays, puts the fish in, then seals and stacks the packs up at the other end,” says Mr Schou. The company’s product range is based on ‘standard’ products but these are available in a wide range of sizes and widths to create a very large portfolio offering, he says.
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“We have a very customer-focused approach. We serve more or less the entire Scandinavian dairy business – and that is an industry which has very long-term relationships.”
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Adding function to plastic packaging
lastic has long been a light-weight alternative to glass and metal, but standard polyolefines alone cannot provide product long shelf-life because of oxygen and flavour permeation. One way to solve this is to add preservatives and anti-oxidents into the food. A much better way is to add a functional layer of EVAL™ EVOH barrier resins to the packaging structure. Product freshness and quality, as well as valuable vitamin content, are protected over an extended shelf-life, while maintaining all the weight, design and anti-breakage benefits of plastic packaging. One millimetre of EVAL provides the same oxygen barrier properties as a ten-metre wall of low density polyethylene. EVAL is usually used as an optimized barrier layer in a multilayer plastic structure, with thicknesses measured in only microns. These few microns however add enough functionality that plastics can be considered as a real alternative to glass and metal. Since barrier plastic packaging with EVAL is lighter in weight and recyclable, real savings are possible not only during transport, but at several stages in the product life cycle, reducing overall environmental impact. At EVAL Europe, we are proud to help our customers develop packaging that help meet both the quality and environmental goals of their clients.
Further information EVAL Europe NV Tel: +32 3 250 97 33 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.eval.eu
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Customers purchasing bottles and canisters want something unique; Promens bases most of its products on standard formats but uses its expertise in blow-moulding to create unique shapes and sizes. Promens is also focusing on PET jars, and reporting a large number of customers that are considering replacing glass with PET. “The filling of glass bottles is noisy, glass is heavy to transport, and customers want to replace glass from the environmental aspect,” says Mr Schou. “There is also the food safety aspect – if one bottle is broken on the filling line, so much food has to be thrown away and everything cleaned and restarted, because of the risk of glass splinters in food. That doesn’t happen with PET jars.” There are limitations in terms of hot-fill products but many customers are looking at PET for products such as caviar, herrings and pickles, he says. Plastic yoghurt and crème fraiche pots are made in a huge variety of sizes and shapes, and offset printed to meet the customers’ requirements.
“The past year has been spent taking important decisions, and the future will bring further developments, investments and innovations.”
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tic granules required in a pack – using just the minimum amount of plastic required for UV protection and fat barrier. Promens produces CombiPac containers from 20 ml to 1.0 litre capacity and has recently launched a version fitting the standard euro tub formats in 250 & 500 gr. pack sizes. At present, CombiPacs are predominantly used in the butters, spreads and margarines sector and for ice cream, but other sectors are also taking up the opportunities, he says. One example is a company using CombiPacs for hot-fill cheese. A special coating and barrier enables filling at a temperature of 90°C, and the finished product does not need to be kept in the fridge, because it has been sterilised. “Another company is using CombiPac for a cheese in brine, so you can fill these packs with quite aggressive content and liquid,” says Mr Schou. “The next string will be to develop new ways of using the CombiPac for other lines such as yoghurt.”
Promens Food & Beverage Packaging has secured a series of significant new contracts recently. Among these is an agreement with its largest customer, Arla Foods, for the continued delivery of CombiPac packaging for brands such as Kaergården, Dansk Lurpak, Bregott, Anchor, Lätt & Lagom and Dana Zola. The Stilling factory will supply packaging for these products for Arla’s dairies in Denmark and Sweden. Among recent developments, Promens has developed a larger Duocup for Procordia Food’s Risifrutti, and an exclusive bottle for a new orange juice from Rynkeby Foods, part of Arla. After some acquisitions and rapid growth in 2007/08, Promens Food & Beverage Packaging is now focusing on synergies, consolidation and optimising its cost structure, says Mr Schou. “The past year has been spent taking important decisions, and the future will bring further I developments, investments and innovations.”
But it is the CombiPac which probably defines Promens’ ambitions most clearly. A unique combination of plastic and carton first launched in the 1960s the CombiPac has been continuously developed and refined over the years – and further innovations are on the way in the next few months. “We are doing intensive work on new shapes and sizes,” says Mr Schou. “Sales of the CombiPac technology have increased enormously over the past year because customers are searching for eco-friendly products – and they also want their products to look unique and different. We have developed triangle shapes, hexagon shapes, and we have sold a huge amount into the dairy business.” The CombiPac process is an inline thermoforming process, producing a tub that consists of a printed blank (carton) and inner thermoformed plastic sheet. CombiPac technology reduces the amount of plas-
Contact: Niels Chr. Schou Sales and Marketing Director Food and Beverage Packaging Promens Stilling A/S, Industrivej 12, Stilling, DK-8660 Skanderborg, Denmark Phone : +(45) 87935300 Dir.Phone : +(45) 87935316 Email: email@example.com Website: www.promens.com
Kristiansand (NO) Kambo (NO) Lidköping (SE)
Stilling (DK) Kolding (DK)
THE WORLD-WIDE WINDING OF VORWALD
Vorwald is a global player in core holding products and air shaft markets. Cornelia Müller spoke to Erhard Veenhuis, general manager, about the secret of the company`s strengths, its growing markets and vision for the future.
orwald was originally founded in 1920 by Heinrich Vorwald as a wood working processor. In the 1950s it started to develop core holding equipment and in 1997 it was bought by the machinery construction company Neuenhauser. Today Vorwald is Germany's No 1, and worldwide leading manufacturer for core holding products and shafts, including pneumatic and mechanical expansion shafts, friction and knife shafts, used in the paper, plastic foil and aluminium foil industry General manager Erhard Veenhuis explained that the shafts and core holding equipment provide the best way to store web-shaped mass products on rolls in close spaces and to handle them and wind them on or off while they are cut or processed. As all web-shaped products have to be wound either on or off the roll and the shafts, the Vorwald products are widely used in machines where large quantities of rolled material are required. Typical measurements of the interior diameter of the shafts are three inches and six inches, which make up approximately 60 per cent of the production. Yet Vorwald offers a much wider range from 0.5 inches up to about 28 inches. With respect to the width of the shaft Vorwald is equally flexible and
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“Additionally, more and more packaged products enter the markets there; therefore particularly the demand for flexible packaging material for the food and medical industry is growing rapidly. They are usually processed in rolls where our products come into play.”
can offer shafts as narrow as 10 mm or as wide as 10 m. They can hold weights of as little as 1 kg or even as much as 20,000 kg. The latter is necessary for example for a roll of a 6 µm multi core aluminium foil for drink cartons. Speed is another important aspect: Vorwald produce shafts for many different applications. They range from shafts for slower equipment, for example in the textile industry for the weaving of airbags, where only one metre of material per minute is required, to shafts, from which up to 2500 metres per minute can be wound off (which is as fast as driving on a motorway), a speed that is needed for the production and processing of paper, where demand and cost pressure are very high. Vorwald provide shafts for all purposes and in all sizes, starting from the mother roll, which is cut into smaller pieces and wound onto smaller rolls. It also covers low-cost and high-tech shafts, as well as mechanical shafts. The high cost versions tend to be used more in the material manufacturing industry, whereas the lower part of the spectre is more widely applied in the packaging industry.
Vorwald makes a point of giving its customers advice independently from the systems they use. “It is most important for us to provide them with a product that exactly fits their requirements, rather than offer them the most advanced product that leaves them over-engineered,” Mr Veenhuis stressed. “Vorwald can always offer the best product to the customer, because we really assess what the customers need for their purposes. Only if you are sustainable with your customers and communicate and listen to their needs, can you develop a long-term trusting relationship. On this basis the customer can be successful, and when the customer is successful, Vorwald is successful.” As Mr Voshaar, the owner of the Neuenhauser Group to which Vorwald belongs, put it: “Say what you do, and do what you say.” A typical Vorwald customer would be an OEM, but now in the more challenging economic climate the company also fosters contacts with endusers, large companies from around the world, that contact Vorwald for new products but also for the repair of shafts for their machines.
Mr Veenhuis, general manager
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In recent years the Far East has become a focal market for Vorwald. Mr Veenhuis said: “60% of the world population lives there. Additionally, more and more packaged products enter the markets there; therefore particularly the demand for flexible packaging material for the food and medical industry is growing rapidly. They are usually processed in rolls where our products come into play.” Vorwald has also been able to expand its market share in many other markets, as it was able to lower the prices for some of its products. “In that sense, most areas are growth areas.”
breakdown and may even have to throw away that roll,” Mr Veenhuis commented. “Or simply having to change it is a complex undertaking. Or in case of newspaper printing, time is money; we all want to read the latest news early in the morning, and the later the newspaper paper can be wound through the printer, the more up-to-date are the news. Not all papers are as advanced as your information magazine I and use the online medium to bring out the latest news.” Visit: www.vorwald.de
Mr Veenhuis continued: “Furthermore, the overall trend is that everybody wants to produce faster and better. Speed and quality are key words. Any downtime of the machine is lost money.” To keep up with the ever faster changing demand, Vorwald renews its production machines frequently to be able to always offer the latest, stateof-the-art products. “About 30 per cent of our turnover is made with products that did not even exist four years ago. The latest trend is hybrid shafts made with a combination of carbon fibre reinforced plastic and aluminium, which enables the weight of the shafts to be reduced. While they operate in the machines their weight is not critical; however, when the rolls have to be changed, the weight of the shafts becomes important as often the rolls and shafts are handled manually.” Another important advantage is that Vorwald is one of the few manufacturers that offer not only pneumatic shafts, but also mechanical ones. Apart from the fact that they work very precisely, they also have another very important advantage. A pneumatic expansion shaft works, as the name suggests, with compressed air. When a hose breaks the machine loses the tensioning force and the material cannot be wound on or off any further. The mechanical expansion shafts (version safety shaft) in turn, require compressed air to become loose; therefore, when a hose breaks and loses air, the springs tighten and hold the shaft and the with it the roll in place. This means the Vorwald expansion shafts complement each other and allow a smoother functioning of the machine and shorter and less breakdown periods. While one type of expansion shaft needs the compressed air to stay in place and function, the other one only comes into place and action after it has lost the compressed air. “These are quantum leaps for the industry, because when you use a roll that weighs up to five tonnes, it can be a lot of money if you have a
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INNOVATION LEADS THE WAY FOR A&R CARTON
A&R Carton has a target of increasing turnover from €358 million to €500 million by 2012 – and innovation is at the core of its strategy. Felicity Landon reports.
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ision 500 is the name of a programme set up by Sweden’s A&R Carton which sets out ambitious plans over the next three years. The target is to achieve turnover of €500 million by 2012 and the key to achieving this is moving the company away from the commodity packaging sector and increasingly towards innovation, while growing in parallel with its key customers. At Drinktec 2009, A&R Carton’s theme was “innovation instead of economic crisis.” The company, which saw turnover increase by 4 per cent in 2006, 11 per cent in 2007 and even 2 per cent last year, when the total market declined by 4 per cent, is predicting results for 2009 in line with 2008. The development of its unique Cekacan packaging has played a central role in this success, and is an important part of the company’s growth as it moves forward, says Henrik Herlin, sales manager Europe – Packaging Systems for A&R Carton. “There is always a place for innovation, even in economic crises,” he says. “Producers that invest in recessions will find it easier and faster to increase their market shares. We have developed some important new innovations and implementations that have reached the market in the past two years.” Among these are wine cases, beer cases, new technologies for catfood boxing, and chocolate boxes. Other innovations are ready to hit the market in 2010 – some have been on ice due to the recession “but hopefully they will be defrosting during 2010 as the financial situation gets better,” says Mr Herlin. “A&R’s Carton’s sales have been performing better than the market overall during the past few years and our Cekacan concept in particular has seen incredible growth,” he says.
The Cekacan concept, aimed at dry products such as flour and baby formula, offers the convenience and keeping qualities that are not provided by the traditional paper bag pack. It was taken up by Homepride Flour – which saw a four-point rise in market share as a result. And it was chosen by Numico/Cow & Gate, after market research showed low consumer satisfaction with infant milk packaging which was mostly cans and bag-in-boxes. The key priority for parents was ease of use – a packaging format based on the Cekacan concept included a tamperevident lid, easy-open membrane, scraper bar for correct dosing, a leaflet and scoop inserted above the membrane, and a clip for stor-
ing the scoop clear of the product. Danone (Numico) increased its European market share from 5 per cent to 20 per cent after launching this new package. The latest success story for Cekacan involved a major project with Danone, which has rolled out the use of the Cekacan for its infant formula in Europe and Asia. A&R Carton developed the new machinery for Cekacan intelligent packaging over several years, spending thousands of design hours focusing on flexibility, efficiency and hygiene. “The development was fully within the closed walls of A&R Carton’s machinery intelligence but designed to meet demands from the baby food industry,” says Mr Herlin. “This ensured the features matched higher ‘medical’ standards.” Because of the method of construction of the Cekacan, a wide range of footprint shapes can be offered – including rectangular or hexagonal with rounded corners, triangular, circular and oval. The Cekacan equipment supplied by A&R Carton normally comprises three pieces of equipment. The can maker (CM120) forms and seals the Cekacan container out of three pieces of packaging. It is topfilled, after which the can sealer (CS120) seals it with a membrane and the lid applicator (LA120) applies the hinged lid, called the Toptainer, using hot-melt. There are key advantages of the package for marketing, for the consumer, and for the packer, says Mr Herlin. “For marketing, the package offers excellent shelf presence, the opportunity to include a gift above the membrane, and tamper evidence. For the consumer, there is easy opening, a good hinged reclosure, and a scoop above the membrane. And for the packer, Cekacan components are delivered flat, there are options for low/high barrier and gas-tight solutions, and height changes are possible.” The concept of Cekacan is to offer food packers or manufacturers, including contract packers, an in-house packaging line which assembles, fills and seals the packs and then applies the lid. “Any powder or granular product which can be filled into a container vertically can be packed in a Cekacan. This makes it suitable for coffee, instant coffee, chocolate powder, flour, sugar and milk products. The equipment is designed to be run in a food factory, with the components supplied either flat or – for the tape – in reels. A&R Carton is carrying out a large amount of research and development to develop more features – for example, alternative body
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materials, new types of openings, in-mould labelling and the use of non-PP lids – to enable the use of Cekacan for other products and also meet market demands for increased sustainability. “Appoximately forty per cent of the CO2 rating of the Cekacan comes from the plastic lid, so if we can find a different solution we could reduce the already good overall CO2 rating from the present 81g/litre to c. 50-60g/litre says Mr Herlin. “We have a project ongoing to find a paper pulp/PLA lid that still gives consumers a ‘plastic’ feel – normal board looks too cheap.”
Growing with customers
A&R Carton has 15 factories and 1800 employees across nine European countries. Its growth has been in parallel with the growth of its key customers – many of which are expanding at rates of 10 per cent a year. The company is number three in Europe and is looking for increased demand in the eastern part of Europe, where it is focusing heavily. When it was founded in 2000, the aim of A&R Carton was to create a pan-European company at the heart of the folding carton industry.
Today, its integrated offering of folding cartons and packaging machinery solutions, with a converting capacity of 240,000 tonnes of cartonboard, has put it among the market leaders. It serves the needs of many industry sectors including beer and beverage, baby goods, confectionery, cigarettes and chocolate. Ahlström Capital is the majority shareholder – during 2009, joint owner Capman reduced its share to 32 per cent. Sales are mainly in Europe but are broadening out, especially as European customers continue to buy companies in the USA, South America and elsewhere. That will bring more opportunity for growth. “We have invested heavily in the past few years so our production facilities are prepared for growth,” says Mr Herlin. “We are also focusing more on innovations to build a solid future product platform that creates business in existing and new product segments for our cusI tomers and A&R Carton.”
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he Czech company Aerocan CZ s.r.o. (Ltd), based in Velim, specialises in aluminium aerosol cans and bottles for various industrial segments. Aerocan has taken advantage of the rising price of steel over the last eight years and the resulting boom in the aluminium market in the last five years. Aluminium offers several advantages compared to tin; there are no seems, and consequently no need for welding. The shaping of the can is easier, making attractive innovative packaging a reality. Last but not least, the printing is done within the production process, making it much more convenient for our customers. One of the latest investments is a new robot for aluminium beer bottles, says Mr Pavel Valcik, the plant director. The plant in Velim employs 235 staff with a turnover of €50 million and is a part of the internationally renowned Aerocan Group, formely known as CEBAL. It includes two other production plants – Aerocan France, located in Bellegarde sur Valserine and Aerocan UK, in
Aerocan CZ s.r.o. offers aerosol cans and aluminium bottles to a range of global clients. The company has completed a major investment and Irena Alderson speaks to general director, Mr Pavel Valcik, to hear more about it’s ambitions.
Devizes. The Aerocan Group is number two in Europe in the total amount of cans produced, following the Dutch company Boxal. Aerocan CZ exports nearly all of its production, consisting mainly of cans for the cosmetic industry. About one per cent is aimed at the domestic flagship in hair spray, Lybar, but a lot of products are sold back in Czech Republic shops. Over half of the output is shared between several big clients, such as Schwarzkopf &Henkel (Gluskur, Fa), Unilever (Rexona, Impuls), CCL (Adidas) and Avon. The aerosol cans produced are available in 35-53mm sizes, in various shapes and lengths. We are now planning to introduce a new size up to 59mm. Also we are expanding the production facilities and installing cutting edge automated technologies, allowing us to produce more complex and ever more demanding products. Last year, our production reached 274 million cans, say Mr Valcik.
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Backed by international expertise
Nowadays, Aerocan offers a traditionally high quality service in all sectors, combining this with unique technical support to very different markets, be it cosmetic, food or pharmaceutical. The company can satisfy a customer looking for a small run, as well as series production. Aerocan’s designing skill for cans was rewarded by the Canmaker magazine, when the company won a Can of the Year 2008 prize for a hot stamping, registered on standard offset printed design, focused on the premium can segment. The history of the Czech branch goes back to 2001, when a new plant was built for CEBALSOL aerosol aluminium cans. Until 2003, CEBAL, Aerosol and Aluminium Bottle Division, was part of the Pechiney Group. In December 2003, PECHINEY was bought by ALCAN. CEBAL Aerosol Europe was incorporated into the Canadian ALCAN, within the Alcan Packaging Beauty Sector. In July 2006, Alcan sold its Aerosols and Bottles activity to CEBAL Aerosol Europe Management, in an LMBO (Leverage Management Buy Out), Mr Valcik explains. In 2006, CEBAL Aerosol Europe changed its name to AEROCAN. The group owns all the CEBAL Aerosol Europe plants and also has co-ownership of COPAL, a company that manufactures aluminium slugs, in order to guarantee
its supply. The AEROCAN Group always ensures the highest standards, having obtained ISO 9001: 2008, environmental ISO 14001: 2004, as well as health and safety through OHSAS 18001.
Focus on innovation
In September 2006 Aerocan CZ launched its third production line and a year later built its own well and opened another line. The second well, opened in 2008, covers the total water requirement for the company. The new production lines, with a new necking machine, support more effective and demanding production processes, including complex shapes of can. The new market trends, such as various new embossing, de-bossing, ribbing or irregular shapes, which stand out on the shelf in a supermarket, are now easy to achieve. Aerosol CZ also offers design and industrial print. “The annual investment since 2002 amounts to €10 million. Another proof of our continuous focus on improving our services can be seen in our own new studio, which has replaced our previous outsourcing printing to a Prague-based firm”, adds Mr Valcik. Aerocan is expert at catering for a wide range of applications with various technical, as well as aesthetic needs. Aluminium aerosol cans or bot-
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Mr Pavel Valcik, general director
tles are appreciated by various market segments. The biggest, of course, is cosmetics with body sprays and deodorants, hairspray and mousses. Amongst the newer applications are shaving gels, shower products, depilatory and tanning products. There is also a food market segment, using aluminium for its preserving quality and capability of keeping food chilled, beverages for its innovative aspects and unbreakable light packaging. Technical products, such as paints, insecticides, lubricants and foams are safe in aluminium bottles with pressures up to 30 bar. Aerocan is the world’s leading producer of medicinal sprays, such as those containing water, for use by ENT patients, to dispense asthma drugs and vitamins. The company always provides highly customised products, available as primary packaging, secondary packaging or as decorative objects using innovative colour effects, glossing, hot stamping or matt finish.
“Over half of the output is shared between several big clients, such as Schwarzkopf & Henkel (Gluskur, Fa), Unilever (Rexona, Impuls), CCL (Adidas) and Avon.”
Embossed cans were first mass-produced in 2002 as part of a joint development project with overseas partners. Since 2000, shaped aerosols have appeared on the market in a bid to meet new demands for differentiated ranges. Aerocan CZ is well equipped to tailor its products to the most discerning customers. Aerocan is the first manufacturer to have launched standard shaped cans in diameters of 35, 45 and 50 mm, compatible with a wide range of caps and actuators. Our French plant is also a specialist in pharmaceuticals, using GMP systems, explains the director. Aerocan CZ supplys various Western customers from its strategically positioned plant in Central Europe. The focus nowadays is on the emerging market of Russia, which offers a big potential for cans. The Velim plant, with its new production lines, is well positioned to keep satisfying new territories in the future. Visit: www.aerocan.cz
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PACKAGING FROM PORTUGAL
Alcan Packaging has had a strong base in Portugal for more than 50 years now. Abigail Saltmarsh looks at the operation and talks to managing director of the site Ricardo Soares about its future.
or more than half a century now Alcan’s packaging business has been growing in Portugal. Today an important cog in the wheel of the global materials company, it operates from a site south of Porto, where it focuses on a number of different operations in flexible packaging. “The plan is to develop the facility here,” said managing director of the site, Ricardo Soares. “We are at the centre of a programme of investment and therefore we expect to achieve continued growth here in Portugal over the coming years.”
Part of Alcan Packaging Food Europe
Alcan Packaging – Food Europe is the European leader in flexible packaging for the food and beverages market. Alcan Packaging – Food Europe registered sales of $2.4 billion in 2008. It operates 31 plants in 18 countries and employs 6,500 people. “In common with all Alcan Packaging companies, we are very much part of the group and in many ways there is a global approach,” said Mr Soares. “We have for instance, continuous improvement and human resources programmes that are integrated, and there is a clear interaction between the plant here in Portugal and the group. At the same time the plant is itself a business unit with its own objectives and manufacturing specializations.
A global leader in Packaging
Alcan Packaging is a business unit of Rio Tinto Alcan. www.alcanpackagingfood.com It is a world leader in value-added specialty packaging, ranking No. 1 in flexible food, pharmaceutical, beauty and tobacco packaging, and delivering innovative solutions using plastics, engineered film, aluminium, paper, paperboard and glass to customers around the world. Chaired by Jean-Christophe Deslarzes, President & CEO, Alcan Packaging is headquartered in Paris, France, with 131 facilities and 29,000 employees in 31 countries, it generated US$6,5 billion revenues in 2008.
Wide range of operations
The Portuguese plant was established back in 1950 by a young engineer, explained Mr Soares. Since then the operation has been owned by a number of big players before being bought in 1992 by Soplaril (Elf group) and becoming later part of the Alcan family. From Portugal, Alcan Packaging serves its home market as well as customers located mainly in Spain and Morocco but also in several western European countries. The company employs some 145 people
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at its site in the country and sees an annual turnover of €30 million. “Today we have a set of different operations here at the plant. In flexible packaging, we have the capability of extruding Pe, printing and laminating a large number of supports “explained Mr Soares. “We also have integrated operations for spout welding and the manufacture of stand up pouches, special coatings etc.”
ment. We have recently invested €4 million in a complex system for recovering solvents so they are fully reused in the process, highly reducing the carbon footprint of our activity”
“We work very closely with our customers to develop the products they need”
A specialist in packaging
The company has become something of a specialist in the manufacture of stand-up pouches, as well as packaging for coffee and condiments , he said. It has developed a number of unusual, specialist products, including high quality but very thin and light laminates, giving excellent barrier properties to cardboards cans, free of any metal parts. “We work very closely with our customers to develop the products they need,” said Mr Soares. “We had one customer who required a container that was “100 per cent” cardboard. The idea was that it was completely recyclable and yet was also a good barrier against oxygen and water vapour etc entering the product. We worked together on it, giving a good contribution to the great success of our customer.”
An attractive position
The aim is also to continue to develop specialist packaging solutions, such as different shaped pouches and customer-specific laminates. Alcan Packaging in Portugal wants to be able to respond quickly and effectively to its customers’ needs, right through from unusual product concepts to the possibility of short runs. “We need to be flexible,” said Mr Soares. “If we can continue to bring all these things together then we believe we can have a very attractive position in the market and I can continue with sustainable growth.”
Responsibility for the environment
Environmental responsibility is key to the entire global Alcan Packaging operation. As a group, it focuses on increasing the social and economic benefits and reducing the environmental impacts of its activities over the short and long term, as well as becoming a more profitable and competitive organisation. “We have a special eco-strategy for the future of this plant as well,” said Mr Soares. “We are seeking to run an operation here that is clean and is responsible to the environ-
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IMPRESSING THE WORLD
International metal packaging specialist Impress certainly lives up to its name, with high quality products represented in all aspects of everyday life. The company works closely with its customers and is committed to innovation that’s clean and green. Packaging Europe Online spoke to managing director Specialities Woep Möller. Emma-Jane Batey reports.
ased in the Netherlands, the Impress Group is a multi-national metal packaging manufacturer that reaches across product sectors, including food, paint and personal care. All Impress products are created with the same aim in mind; to offer innovation and differentiation to create consumer convenience and appeal. The company achieves this by working closely with customers, creating market-leading products and respecting the environment. With state-of-the-art facilities and a strong presence on five continents, Impress creates 11.5 billion cans each year for global and local clients in all sectors. Its financial results reflect the company’s extensive achievements, with year on year growth seen in the €1.2 billion in sales in 2004 compared to the €1.7 billion generated in 2008. Although the global economic downturn has affected certain business areas, such as paints and cosmetics which have both seen a lower demand across the sector, Impress is positive as its present and future business prospects look buoyant. The history of Impress reaches back to 1877 with the start of Pechiney by Alfred Rangot. A series of strategic cross-European and international mergers and acquisitions led to the creation of Impress BV in 1997, a company that likes to characterise itself as a ‘young company with deep roots’.
a company that offers true solutions. “We’re always listening to our customers and getting to the bottom of how their end users utilise their products so that we can maximise the potential in every product. This helps to strengthen the relationships we share, too, as well as supporting our business.” The customer focus is clearly working, as Impress conducted a detailed survey in 2008 in order to gain feedback on its service and products. The results noticeably highlighted how clients appreciate Impress, with over 80 per cent ranking the business as their top supplier, that they would happily recommend. Comments consistently include praise for the high quality, reliability and flexibility of the company’s products and services. The product range offered by Impress is centred on metal packaging, with food cans being the biggest seller. Impress believe that metal is a superior packaging material, offering a variety of benefits over other materials. Mr Möller explained, “Metal packaging provides a superior barrier for foods and liquids, with improved safety and longer shelf life. It also supports food nutrition retention, keeping valuable nutrients contained in the product, especially with the most modern cans. There are tamper evidence benefits, too, which helps keep the cans cost effective.”
The added value of metal
Impress MD Woep Möller is a firm believer in the added value that its metal packaging delivers to its world-wide customers, explaining how steady development and a focus on innovation and quality has created
Close to the customer
As Impress delivers metal packaging solutions to all key industry sectors – its product range goes from baby foods to soups, paint cans to cigar boxes and from hairspray to tuna cans – it makes perfect sense
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that the company works in tight coordination with its clients. Developing new packaging products that help its clients’ merchandise stand out on the supermarket or retailers’ shelves is a major motivation for the company’s continued success. “We try to innovate alongside our customers so that we can both enjoy a healthier business,” Mr Möller told Packaging Europe. “We won the Best in Metal award for our self-dispensing five litre beer keg that we designed together with Heineken, which has been a terrific shared relationship of innovation and progression. We have a number of valued partners and we’re widely considered a reliable packaging solutions provider.” Innovation at Impress is promoted by its team of experts in the various production locations and at the R&D centre in Crosmières (France), where the performance of raw materials is explored alongside fresh ways of opening cans, such as the latest new product launch. Impress is proud of the new Ringo® cans, a closure system
specially designed for the paint market that offers easier opening. The company is also planning a number of exciting launches in the coming months, including a new baby food product that’s currently in prototype stage.
Clean and green
A key benefit to using metal for packaging is the environmental sustainability of the main raw material – tinplate. Mr Möller continued, “Our knowledge of metal packaging in unsurpassed. We allow our customers to do what they do best by offering them what we do best – developing and manufacturing innovative, reliable metal packaging cans. The advantage of metal is that it’s totally recyclable, over and over again, without any reduction in quality. As metal is endlessly recyclable, the tinplate we’re using now could have been used in Roman times – it’s a fantastic material!”
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nemur is an engineering company with more than 20 years of experience in the design, production, automation and installation
of equipment and lines for handling cans, packages and pallets. Inemur enjoys a widely recognised international reputation, with a presence in more than 40 countries in different market sectors, and having installed its machinery and lines in leading companies around the world, such as Impress Group. The company’s engineering department can handle any palletising solutions project. For example, at Impress Sutton in England, Inemur installed a robot palletiser using a magnetic plate for palletising 2100 c.p.m. – the highest speed machine in the world – together with a top metal frame. Another example is the project at Impress Merthyr in Wales, where Inemur installed a robot palletiser to pack shape aerosols into trays (with dividers) and palletising the trays, wrapping a film around the pallet with a stretch hood machine (without needing to strap the pallet). Inemur installs palletisers, using transfers (shuttle wagons) to take pallets with cans from different palletisers to a common line with automatic positioned of top frames, strapper machine, stretch wrapper machine or stretch hood machine, elevator of single height pallets, which puts one full pallet of cans on top of another one, then the forklift driver can take two pallets in one go. Inemur’s full range includes palletising and depalletising equipment, box erecting and closing machines (hot-melt and adhesive), top case packers, wrapping, strapping and stretching technologies, loading and unloading machines, check weighers, as well as transport and maintenance solutions.
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Eco-responsibility is also a theme across the business operation, with a company-wide programme to effectively reduce waste and energy consumption. In terms of the products, Impress is also committed to reducing the thickness of the cans, without any reduction in quality or effectiveness. The added benefit is that transportation costs are reduced for clients. Impress is set to continue to enjoy positive results, with plans to increase its current expansion in Spain, Thailand and Korea, where its newest operations are based. With a ‘follow the customer’ policy that’s already achieving excellent growth potential, Impress will bring its customer-focused speI ciality metal packaging solutions to an increasingly global audience. Visit: www.impressgroup.com
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THE SIMEC CONCEPT
Click here to read in Italian
Best in class Simec sleeve: Starlox Gold
When the quality of printed packaging also depends on the least obvious detail
hen we talk about the quality of a printed product, we think straight away of the equipment used, the printing presses, or the materials, plates, substrate and inks, or maybe of the professionalism of the staff involved in the printing process. All these are fair considerations. What most people, especially many printed packaging buyers, do not realize, however, is that another element can have a significant influence on print quality, particularly in flexographic printing. Used in conjunction with a properly designed and organized production system, it can deliver high-quality results, with excellent repeatability and considerable savings in production costs. This key component is the anilox roll, with its surface engraved with thousands of tiny cells that transfer just the right quantity of ink onto the printing plates or sleeves. Simec Group is one of the leading companies on the world scene in the production of anilox rolls. For Simec, as we shall see, the anilox roll or sleeve is just one of the elements which contribute to ensuring high print quality and maintaining this quality over time. To all intents and purposes, then, anilox can be considered of as the prime element in the Simec Concept.
machines and systems designed for the various production processes in which the rolls are used. Simec products are used everywhere and in all kinds of plants, ranging from printing to lamination and coating and, last but not least, for embossing, both technical and ornamental, which are the main applications where rolls are used. All these solutions are recognized and valued by most plant manufacturers at world level. What really makes Simec unique among packaging printing industry suppliers is the “Concept” at the heart of its mission. This is destined to make an impression not only with printers and converters, but also with brand owners and buyers for own-brand labels: to offer packaging printers from their first supply order a maximum guarantee of quality, service and reliability, in order to allow them in their turn to offer a successful service to the end customer. “This is the only way to obtain results like those achieved by GPS (see panel), who create products using flexographic printing technology, with production times and quality which have never been seen before,” says Emilio Della Torre, M.D. of the Group, who has been working for years with Chairman Renato Della Torre in running the family firm.
Company history The company
Simec Group has three production plants in Italy with a total area of 62,000 square metres (of which 21,000 are under cover), over 80 production staff and an annual turnover of about 16 million Euros. It is in the business of developing, engineering, producing and marketing rolls, Simec Group started trading in 1960, initially as a plating company oriented towards the textile and rotogravure sector. With the development of flexographic printing, the company changed direction completely and dedicated itself to this new industry, supporting both manufacturers of printing equipment and the first Italian flexo printers. In
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Emilio Della Torre, Managing Director at Simec Group
Simec Group plant at Olgiate Olona
the second half of the 1980s, Simec bought its first laser engraving system for producing anilox rolls. In 1987, after perfecting the process, it started marketing its first “Starlox” anilox rolls. Simec Group activities expanded into three production plants, located in different parts of Italy, each one devoted to specific product lines. Regarding this specific product sector, the key plant is the one situated in Montefino, where the “Starlox” family of rolls and sleeves are produced. This industrial complex is divided into three separate production facilities, each of which performs a specific stage in the process. Simec has recently set up one of these facilities to assemble the “Gold” series of anilox sleeves and rolls, and also to carry out all kinds of routine and non-routine repair, so as to guarantee that each new or reconditioned anilox roll conforms to the specifications of the plant manufacturer, thus ensuring the maximum attainable performance. Simec is represented, or operates directly from its Italian head office, in countries all over the world, for certain specific types of product. As regards anilox, the company has a presence in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South America. An important turning-point in Simec commercial development in flexographic printing can be traced back to the success of the “Simec Concept”, which is very popular abroad, particularly in countries which do not have a manufacturing capability able to provide suitable technical support and deliveries such as those offered to loyal Simec customers. These customers can purchase anilox sleeves on the Fast New service, which guarantees delivery within three days from receipt of order, and can buy anilox rolls/sleeves complying with original specifications, thanks to the FMRG system, which measures the volume of the cells by interferometer.
the user to set up production with maximum precision, with absolute certainty about the final result. This makes it simpler to set up the production plant so as to guarantee the end customer a quality product. There is a further advantage in the fact that this document enables production to be standardized, so that the same level of quality and repeatability is also guaranteed in other printing plants, with the certainty that the printed product will provide absolutely consistent results everywhere. In addition, certainty about the original carrying capacity of the roll means that the customer will be able to make use of other less precise but less costly and more readily available instruments, making it possible to keep the anilox condition monitored. The certificate enables the user to make certain and unambiguous comparisons with subsequent measurements to understand whether, and by how much, the capacity of the roll has altered over time. Each Simec roll comes with an FMRG certificate, which represents its “pedigree” and which contains the specs of that particular product: shape, volume, profile, surface tension, upper shoulder. The shape of the cells merits a special note, as this is something over which Simec takes great care. The attention that Simec pays to this detail of production means that the way the ink is released is precise and constant over time, and this prevents unexplained reductions in the volume of ink transferred (apart from the normal slow reduction due to wear on the anilox roll). A fixed and constant rate of ink release allows greater control over production during printing, and therefore means less waste, faster start-up times and, essentially, lower production costs.
Simec products and the importance of coatings
The quality and the duration of an anilox roll transfer capacity (and therefore its value) is closely connected with the structure of its coating and the characteristics of the engraving of the cells destined for receiving and releasing the printing ink. In order for the engraving to meet the required quality standards, it is essential that the surface to be engraved is suitable for the type of roll, the type of cells to be formed, and the industry for which the product is intended. Over the past few years, the development of flexographic printing machines has meant that various types of anilox have come onto the market, ranging from traditional rolls to light and ultralight rolls, and also to anilox sleeves. This variety of structures has led to great improve-
The FMRG test certificate
An anilox roll is difficult for an end user to inspect. The certification supplied by the manufacturer is rarely complete, or else it provides data which is difficult for the customer to check except when actually using the product. Years ago, Simec adopted a policy of total transparency towards its customers, and uses FMRG test certification to provide extremely precise data and values for the carrying capacity of each roll. In many cases these figures are sent to the customer even before despatching the roll. As a result of this certainty about the capacity of the cells, and the standardization of the engraving characteristics, the FMRG certificate allows
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FMRG testing certificate
ments for Simec as regards the ceramic coating applied to the anilox. Consequently, it has reached a point where there is diversification both in the coating systems and in the methods of application, but the characteristics of the powders used and the thickness at which they are applied has remained unchanged. Coatings applied with Flame Spray technology need to be deposited at high temperature. Some types of structure, such as anilox sleeves and extra light rolls cannot tolerate these temperatures, whereas traditional types of rolls can. The type of base structure therefore determines both the method of application and the type of plasma to be used. The same selection criteria apply to other characteristics of the roll, such as the dimensions of the anilox. In the case of a big-sized roll, as used for printing corrugated cardboard, for example, or Tissue, or spreading coatings, special high-speed plasma equipment with specific properties is used, which cannot be employed for the deposition of chromium oxide on smaller rolls. The quality of the coating applied to the surface of the roll is also determined by the purity of the material (chromium oxide). These days, there are coatings available on the market at considerably reduced prices, composed of a percentage of chromium oxide and a percentage of titanium alumina. These are certainly cheaper than traditional coatings with 99.9% chromium oxide. Setting aside the economic advantage, however, these coatings do not provide the same durability and performance in production as Simec rolls. To guarantee the quality and durability of its rolls, Simec uses dedicated production lines and carries out a special selection and sieving of the powders used. This operation is essential in order to start out before engraving with a coating surface suitable for the micro perforation, which is to be carried out on the anilox. For the buyers, this production method (which lies at the heart of the “Simec Concept”) translates into a guarantee that the printed product will show the same quality even after years with identical features on quality and repeatability. The net result is containment of costs in the medium-long term, and
a reduction in printing start-up times, with consequent advantages both for the printer and for the customer who needs the finished article in the shortest possible time. In addition, given that print runs today tend to be considerably shorter, it is quite likely that printing machines will be producing 6, 7 or even 10 different jobs in a day. Having an anilox with guaranteed and precise performance makes it possible to standardize other parameters (such as inks), so as not to have to make changes or alter settings, which both lengthens start-up times and also leads to significant production wastage. “Another aspect which we at Simec make particularly sure of is to continually update our production machinery,” continues Emilio Della Torre. “This is something that we do internally, but we also ask the same of partners who are entrusted with parts of the processing lines. No Simec roll or sleeve can call itself worthy of the name if it is produced on machinery more than five years old.”
After-sales service: from maintenance to designing added-value accessories such as the washing units and the Revolver
To support its sales activities and its loyal customer base, and particularly in support of contracts signed with important foreign customers, Simec has created two dedicated services: Fast New and Fast Repair, to guarantee delivery of anilox rolls and sleeves within three days from receipt of order. The new computerized system will allow the customer to receive a large amount of information about the stock position for the Fast New service, and about the current status of orders in progress, until receiving the test certification prior to despatch from Simec. The customer will be able to check and compare that the goods purchased conform to the previous certification. As regards refurbishment of rolls or sleeves, when quoting for the materials, Simec immediately provides an estimate for all the possible costs of repairing each element of the roll. As soon as the material is received at the production plant, Simec checks it and documents what it finds (which will be incorporated into the certification of the end prod-
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The latest Simec revolutionary vertical cleaning unit Profil
Revolver Simec: the winning solution to safely store the rolls
uct). This means that the Simec customer is aware right from the beginning of what the cost of a repair might be, and does not find himself, as often happens, faced with a greater expenditure than was estimated. Another important aspect of paying attention to the end customer consists in ensuring maximum continuity and precision in the printed material, irrespective of the time and place where production takes place. For this reason, great care must be taken in storage and cleaning of rolls and sleeves. Another element in the Simec Concept consists in the availability of accessories designed to meet these two needs. The solution designed for storing rolls and sleeves is called Revolver. This enables the user to move the anilox sleeves from the printing unit to the cleaning system (Profil) and subsequently to the storage warehouse, with devices and mechanisms to allow these movements to be made in maximum safety and with the certainty of not damaging the anilox or cliché-holder sleeves. It is precisely during these movements that accidental damage may be caused to anilox sleeves, and it may be so severe as to require total refurbishing. Revolver therefore enables anilox rolls and sleeves to be manipulated reducing refurbishment costs, optimising the logistics of storing printing materials without the need to purchase bulky and expensive storage systems, and improving the quality of production in the long run. The Revolver is provided with protective rings for fitting to the two ends of sleeves when they are removed from the printing machine. These rings are compatible with (i.e. designed to fit) the mandrels of the machine for washing the sleeves. In this way the system enables the storage of sleeves to be properly managed, moving them from the printing machine to the cleaning unit and subsequently to the warehouse, and taking the greatest care of them while they are being moved. Revolver allows sleeves to be protected against accidental damage, speeds up and optimizes changeover, stores them properly and consequently lengthens their lives. This causes an increase in the level of attention of press operators, reducing the production problems due to an incorrect storage and, above all, long term cost reductions for the supply of anilox, which have been accidentally damaged or are refur-
bished because of structural problems. It is good practice to carry out washing at the end of each production cycle, as soon as the anilox rolls are extracted from the printing unit. Here is another example of how Simec is committed to providing its customers with all the solutions necessary for making their activities profitable. Simec cleaning units originated historically to satisfy the requests of a very important Italian publishing group, the printer of a leading Italian daily newspaper. The object was to lower the cost of the printed product which, in the late 1990s, was being pushed up by the consumer price of anilox rolls, and the increase could not be recovered by raising advertising rates. As a result of the introduction of these roll-cleaning machines, together with a design for the cylinders and the engraving to suit, the Group reduced expenditure on anilox rolls by 50%. The increase in the quality of the output and the reduction in print runs favoured the spread of flexographic technology for printing packaging. This led flexographic printers to encounter similar problems and consequently to pay more attention to cleaning and storage operations. Simec then started regular production of cleaning units to allow its customers to ensure consistent quality in the finished product over time with lower material costs, sufficient to make their offer to the end customer increasingly competitive. The cleaning units (now available in various versions: in-line on the printing machine, off-line, vertical for sleeves, etc.) operate completely dry and are eco-friendly, in that they do not require the use of chemicals or water, and there are no detergents to dispose of. They are automatic, and therefore do not require personnel to be tied up using them; and especially, they are the joining link in the Simec Concept because, together with the production methods, the test certificates, the technical assistance service and the storage accessories, they offer flexographic printers all the elements they need to guarantee their customers quality, repeatability, precision and low cost. In conclusion, the message is very clear: transparency with the customer, certainty of quality and repeatability of the product, technical support and solutions for cleaning and storage: This is the future I for anilox.
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A view of one of the GPS Packaging production plants Mr. Grotto (GPS Packaging president) and Mrs. Della Torre (Sales Manager at Simec Group)
The vertical Profil cleaning unit installed at GPS Packaging
ounded in 1976, GPS Packaging is today one of the most important companies in the international flexographic sector, specialized in labels and bags production, with a yearly turnover of 50 Million Euros, equally divided between Italy and foreign countries. In more than 30 years, GPS Packaging has acquired high valuable customers, such as Danone Eaux Francia, Coca-Cola, Nestlè, Pepsico, Acqua San Benedetto, Barilla, Rocchetta, Granarolo, Unilever, Schwepps, just to mention some of the most well-known brands. The flexographic production, from the preparation of the printing cliché to the delivery of the final product, is managed internally in two different plants, both situated in Schio (VI). The plants can ensure a production up to 1.200.000 m2 of printed material per day, using six last generation 9 colors machines (3 of them started working in February 2009) plus one 8 colors UV machine.We met Daniele Grotto, President of GPS Packaging, and asked his opinion on the importance of anilox and “Simec Concept” for such a successful company like GPS. Q. Which are the factors that can influence the choice of an anilox rolls and sleeves supplier? A. Working on an international level with the major industries, we have to select our suppliers very carefully, in order to provide the highest quality on the product printing. Consequently, also choosing the best anilox is a key factor for us. The criteria we followed to select Simec as the unique supplier of rolls and sleeves, are many and different. First of all, the type of company, which is based on a family ownership with whom we can still have a direct relationship. Also the quality of the products played a very important role, since Simec gave us the guarantee of repeatability of each single printed product, and they proved this to be true many times. This aspect is crucial to us, since we have to provide our customers with a consistent result for a long time. Last but not least, the availability of accessories and options like, for example, the washing units. These can really improve printing quality on a long period, reducing the wear and the ink deposit on rolls and sleeves.
Q. Let’s focus on anilox for a while: what do you think about the current offer of the market? A. At a first sight, anilox can not be easily judged from a qualitative point of view, as today there are no standards, established by independent agencies, to which the testing and warranty certifications provided by the anilox suppliers have to suit. Each manufacturer uses its own measurement criteria, but in my opinion it would be very helpful for everyone if a unique certification was used by each manufacturer, so that end users can benefit both on a deeper knowledge of the product and on a perfect ink carrying capacity from the start of each press running. Moreover, today’s manufacturers often do not offer the necessary guarantee of repeatability to companies like ours, who, using different flexo printing units and working with very demanding customers, have to ensure best-in-class products all the time. Fortunately, Simec works differently: they provide detailed and reliable certifications with their products, thus allowing us to use their equipment with confidence, easily managing changeovers, setting the printing units quickly and with minimum wastage. Q. Going back to the suppliers of anilox and sleeves, which role does their service play? A. Service is as important as the quality of the product they offer. Today service is really influencing the choice of a product or a supplier: we often have to prepare samples, which if successfully printed, lead us to get new customers or new orders. When this happened with a big customer of ours, we needed to receive a special set of anilox rolls in very short span of time… and Simec was able to produce and to deliver them to us in just one day! The test went smoothly and the customer confirmed the order. This is just an example of the support we receive daily from Simec and it perfectly reflects my idea of a winning service. This is why I usually refer to Simec more as a Partner I than a supplier. Visit: www.simecgroup.com
Some samples of bags printed at GPS Packaging
Various label brands produced at GPS Packaging
Some San Pellegrino labels printed by GPS Packaging
Romanian cosmetics company Farmec celebrates 120 years in cosmetics this year but its international story begins 40 years ago with Gerovital and its future still looks strong. Abigail Saltmarsh reports.
A BEAUTIFUL BUSINESS
was 40 years ago that Prof Ana Aslan developed Gerovital, thought to be the first anti-ageing product in the world. Since then, Romanian laboratory Farmec has developed hundreds of products, ranging from personal care to household care products. Today, said the company’s manager of operations Turdean Mircea, some 10 per cent of Farmec’s production is sold on export markets – and it all started with Gerovital. “Leveraging the excellent reputation of Gerovital and then introducing our other brands to the international markets, we managed in time to cover countries in all the five continents,” he said “Most of our sales are on the domestic market, for efficiency reasons and also due to the fact that the market is not saturated yet.” Among the company’s most successful products are the Doina cleansing milk, Farmec’s best seller to date. Others include the AslaVital range, based on clay from the Piatra Craiului mountains, the Gerovital Plant range, making use of the beneficial properties of indigenous plants and vitamins and the Farmec range, a good value for money eco range of products. “For about two decades now, as the largest Romanian manufacturers of cosmetics, we have borne the responsibility of representing the Romanian cosmetics industry and I guess we are doing so successfully, given our strong market results,” he added.
A leading position
In fact, Farmec ended 2008 with a turnover of €24.5 million and market leadership in volume sales on multiple market segments. For the first quarter of 2009, the company saw an increase in sales particularly on the domestic market, in retail volumes. According to the latest Nielsen report (April 2009), Farmec holds a 30.93 per cent market share in the general category of face care products, giving it a market leading position in terms of sales volume. “Gerovital is the leading brand on the market, in the face care creams category, with a 12.75 per cent market share, while in the cleansing milk segment, Doina, one of our longstanding products, is still accounting for the leading position with a market share of 15.48 per cent,” said Mr Mircea. “For 2009, we’re estimating an overall five
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“It’s a continuing process that we are conducting every three to four years for each product range. By constantly bringing good products to consumers, solid, down to earth benefits at affordable prices, and by confirming their trust with each new formula we bring to the market, we will be able to maintain and consolidate our market leadership position.”
per cent increase, competing on a very tough market, where all the international players are present. We have kept investments to a minimum required, being extra careful with any money spent in order to maintain a positive cash flow.”
Farmec’s latest large scale project is the development together with Carrefour of a vast range of cosmetics under the supermarket chain’s proprietary brand. As part of this project, the Farmec specialists have researched, developed, manufactured and launched more than 30 cosmetic products – creams, emulsions, lotions, shampoos, conditioners and deodorants. “We have gained and retained the trust of our customer base by bringing them products with a very strong price/quality ratio,” said Mr Mircea. “Our products have traditionally leveraged the therapeutic
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properties of local raw materials, combined with the latest developments in the modern world of cosmetics. “Earlier this year, we launched AslaVital Lift Instant, a range of products with a unique formula incorporating both our local clay from the Piatra Craiului Mountains and gatuline, an exotic composite. The range was extremely successful, accounting for some of our increased sales this first half of the year.”
“So I guess from more than one perspective, we are in a very good position when it comes to environmental standards and productivity.”
Consolidating its position
Farmec is the largest local manufacturer in the cosmetics industry and one of the bigger regional players, and is competing with the major multinationals, but Mr Mircea believes it has its strengths as well as considerable growth potential. “There are smaller players on the market, some of them have already been bought by regional or international players, so nothing is off the table,” he said. “We have started to work and upgrade all the major product ranges – we’re talking about formulas, packages, marketing, distribution. “It’s a continuing process that we are conducting every three to four years for each product range. By constantly bringing good products to consumers, solid, down to earth benefits at affordable prices, and by confirming their trust with each new formula we bring to the market, we will be able to maintain and consolidate our market I leadership position.” Visit: www.farmec.ro
For several years now Farmec has started to review its product formulations so that they are ecological, and are tested only in laboratories. The company is working with world class manufacturers of raw materials that can ensure its products observe the EU quality regulations and standards. “We have invested in our manufacturing and packaging lines in order to observe the EU regulations, but also the internal requirements of multinational cosmetics manufacturers,” he said. “We have been audited by our international competitors more than once and we have had joint manufacturing projects for them, as the results of their audits came out very positive.
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The Swiss company PetroplastVinora AG manufactures a highly successful range of packaging films and plastic bags, supplying to some of the largest supermarket chains on the domestic market. Cornelia Muller talks to marketing manager Roger Wehrli about the company’s growth since its establishment and its increasing focus on developing more environmentally friendly solutions.
etroplastVinora AG was formed after the two largest Swiss producers of packaging films, Petroplast and Vinora, recognised that further growth was not possible in Switzerland unless they joined forces. The company’s head office is now located in Andwil in the Canton of St Gallen. Petroplast also has its main office and manufacturing site in Andwil, whereas the headquarters of Vinora are based in Jona. PetroplastVinora AG currently employs around 400 people and has a turnover of roughly CHF 160 million. The two manufacturing companies have a similar product range. Their products fall into eight groups, all of which have brand names starting with ‘quali’. These are: qualiFILM® for films, foils and small bags; qualiPOCKET® for carrier bags; qualiSAC® for rubbish bags; qualiSLEEVE® for bottle sleeves; qualiCOMP® for biologically degradable products; qualiAGRO® for food packaging; qualiVIP®, which is a multilayer film; and finally qualiMULTITEC®, which is a composite film. The multilayer films are a particular speciality of Vinora and have up to seven layers, used in various industries for special purposes, for example keeping products fresh in the food industry. Mr Wehrli commented: “We want to offer a broad range of products that have excellent quality and are all produced by one company.” The annual production capacity today stands at around 30,000 tons. The company’s high-profile customers include large supermarket chains in Switzerland that offer their own brand products. A second major customer group consists of converters who buy the bare film and refine it themselves. The core customer base consists of members of the food and pharmaceutical industries, which have strict packaging regulations. Lastly, rubbish bags make up an important share of products, as it is compulsory in Switzerland to use official rubbish bags to process household rubbish.
Qualified and certified
The company holds the ISO 9001 certificate for quality and the ISO 14001 certificate for environmental management. It has also obtained the BRC-IoP, which was developed by the British Retail Consortium in
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conjunction with the Institute of Packaging to assist retailers and food manufacturers in meeting their legal obligations with regard to hygiene, contamination, technical production and storage standards, especially in the food, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. In addition the Vinora plant in Jona holds the FDI certificate. The two companies have traditionally concentrated on smaller quantities of products to provide specialised items for specific companies. Today this type of production still takes up the majority of the company’s output, at nearly 80 per cent. Because it concentrates on smaller production runs for a large number of orders, it has opted for flexo printing technology. Today this type of technology is already so advanced that the results have photographic quality. It also allows for the more cost-effective production of smaller amounts. Today PetroplastVinora AG has a state-of-the-art 10-color printing facility. Thanks to an in-house graphic design department, the customer only needs to have an idea and then the design team can go ahead and prepare the data for printing and production. Even last-minute changes are no problem, and the order can be ready for the customer in as little as four weeks.
PetroplastVinora AG has produced a biologically degradable plastic bag for carrots for Migros, one of the largest supermarket chains in Switzerland. The consumer can peel the carrots and throw the peel together with the plastic bag onto the compost heap. The invention was awarded the Swiss Star. Nevertheless, Mr Wehrli pointed out: “Even if you want to go green, you should consider whether it is feasible to use natural food as raw material. You need a lot of sweetcorn and water to produce bags, which is wasteful, and you use valuable food. It must also be remembered that polyethylene is a by-product of mineral oil production.” Hygiene regulations are also becoming much stricter and multilayer films are the best way to comply with these. The latest films have two outer layers made from polyethylene and a middle layer which is made from an organic raw material. PetroplastVinora AG has also chosen to make another contribution to the environment by cleaning and recycling its solvents in a closed circuit.
Times may be hard, but food, rubbish and medications still need to be packaged. Mr Wehrli concluded: “People must always dispose of their rubbish, and they will always use bags for this purpose so this is a secure product – but food packaging also has a promising future. It will become more ecological – either it will be thinner or the threelayer films will spread further – which will have a biodegradable or regrowing middle component. The aim is to use less raw material in I order to create less waste.” Visit: www.petroplast.ch
PetroplastVinora AG is increasingly focusing on the incorporation of environmentally friendly production and waste management, suggesting to the customer the use of biodegradable products whenever it makes good ecological sense. Despite the fact that its customers are still focused on high printing quality, films that keep products fresh for as long as possible or are compatible with pharmaceutical regulations, there is also growing demand for green solutions. In response to this,
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MEETING MULTIPLE DEMANDS
Germany’s Gizeh is one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of rigid plastic packaging for the food industry. With international dairies and major FMCG companies among its customers, the company offers the flexibility required to keep up with fast-changing consumer demands. Emma-Jane Batey reports.
ounded in Germany in 1920 as a converter of cigarette papers, Gizeh is still recognised in this field. The company began its highlysuccessful partnership with the dairy packaging business in 1958, when it began to offer paraffin-wax coated paper packaging for milk. By 1964, following considerable technological investment, Gizeh had started to include injection moulding and thermoformed plastic packaging for its dairy customers, a move which proved to be a key element to the company’s long-term success. Another important milestone came in 1998 when Gizeh was bought in its entirety by the Jung family. Robby Schroeder, Sales Manager of Gizeh told Packaging Europe Online, “The fact that we are privatelyowned is just one of the elements that make Gizeh unique. Our owner is very active in our daily business and it means that we can make important decisions quickly and run a highly effective operation.” The development of Gizeh has also seen the company acquire a number of complementary operations, including the French thermoforming company Coembal in 2005. Today, Gizeh employs some 600 people and operates across five state-of-the-art production sites in Germany, France, Poland and Switzerland, where it manufactures over three thousand million plastic containers each year.
Gizeh has primarily built its reputation for excellence on its vast range of plastic packaging for the dairy and food industries. Offering new packaging solutions for milk, ready meals, ice-cream, confectionery and delicatessen products, Gizeh designs, manufactures and distributes containers of many shapes and sizes. Its offer includes bottles, pots and dishes as well as the closures and accessories required for a full packaging provision.
Mr Schroeder continued, “We have over 800 existing shapes and sizes, so we can often customised a product to suit the customers needs without engaging in the new product development process. But we also have a dedicated R&D department that enables us to create the exact packaging solution for our customers’ need if there is something specific they’re looking for. We also offer thousands of possibilities for manufacture, decoration and choice of materials, whether that’s a bespoke or customised solution.” The Gizeh name is a well-respected brand nationally and the company works in partnership with a number of internationally-recognised brands, especially in the dairy and consumer goods fields. Mr Schroeder believes this is largely thanks to the company’s commitment to staying close to the customer and providing them with an exceptional quality of service. “It’s quality, flexibility and reliability in equal measures,” He explained. “We achieve this through continual investment in the very latest technology, listening to the real needs and concerns of our customers and ensuring all our products are tightly checked so that they are always of the very highest standard.” The dedicated R&D department housed at Gizeh’s Bergneustadt Head Office plays an important role in the operations of the company, with 10 highly-experienced designers and engineers working to create new plastic packaging solutions. The company prides itself on staying ahead of the curve and doing its own research into market trends and new developments in raw materials that may affect its core business.
Clean and green
A major focus for Gizeh across its operations is the ecological impact of its business. The R&D department is working to uncover ways in which responsible, renewable materials can be utilised and the company is
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“We have over 800 existing shapes and sizes, so we can
often customised a product to suit the customer’s needs without engaging in the new product development process.
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already using as much recycled and recyclable materials as possible. Mr Schroeder pointed out, “It’s an issue that affects us all and it’s certainly important to our customers and their end users. A large part of our latest technological investment has been to incorporate machines that are both more effective in terms of energy and waste, but also those that maximise recycled materials.” Although Gizeh has experienced some impact from the global economic downturn, Mr Schroeder explained that the company has been
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able to utilise this difficult period to invest in the latest technology and build new relationships while still maintaining its excellent existing partnerships. The dairy business remains a most important sector for Gizeh, with a growing market share forthcoming in the wider delicatessen business, such as individual salads, processed meats in single serving-type packaging and salads with various component ingredients in separate sections of the same container. Such products are particularly popular in Germany and the Netherlands. The next three years will bring further new product development to Gizeh, particularly in the dairy, delicatessen and the confectionery sectors where it already is a leading supplier. The company is also seeing positive signs for its injection blow moulding packaging in the cosmet-
A large part of our latest technological investment has been to incorporate machines that are both more effective in terms of energy and waste, but also those that maximise recycled materials.
ics industry and expects to capitalise on this at upcoming international packaging trade fairs. With a major new launch also expected in the I next twelve months, the future looks bright for Gizeh. Visit: www.gizeh.de
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FRUITS OF THE FOREST
The Finland-based global forestry products company UPM really lives up to its ‘We Lead. We Learn.’ philosophy. The company is leading the way in sustainable development and is committed to continuous learning at all levels of the organisation. Emma-Jane Batey interviewed new marketing director for Paper Business Group, Mr Kari Ylonen, to find out more.
Mr Kari Ylonen
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one of the world’s leading forest products companies, UPM is totally serious about its role as a paper provider. The company is focusing on producing magazine papers, newsprint, fine and speciality papers, utilising its 19 state-of-the-art production facilities worldwide and generating total sales of €9.5 billion in 2008. In addition to paper, UPM's core business areas also include energy, pulp and engineered materials. Mr Kari Ylonen, the recently appointed marketing director for the paper business group, is passionate about the organisation’s position of responsibility. “The company has grown as a result of many strategic acquisitions and mergers, with the roots of UPM reaching back to the 1870s and the very oldest paper mill in Finland. I’m pleased to say that the future also looks very encouraging for us, too, even though the times at the moment are very challenging as a whole.”
“A wise man knows that when he plants a tree, he will never get to enjoy its shade.”
The FIPP World Magazine Conference that took place in London on 5–6 May 2009 is one reason why Mr Ylonen is feeling so positive, as the magazine publishers present – UPM’s customers – were generally buoyant about the potential for the industry. He continued, “It’s widely appreciated that the internet has far-reaching implications for the paper products industry, especially as the reading habits of the young generation change, but I was heartened to hear our customers talk of a new wave of appreciation for the different surfaces and different emotions that paper can provide, with good levels of sales across titles and media.” Paper is at the very heart of UPM’s activities. It provides printers, publishers, merchants and converters with a wide range of papers, with production mills across Europe, China and North America. Indeed, while the North American market is rather saturated, with the current
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economic situation putting growth on hold, the company is still enjoying strong demand in China. The restructuring of the company's three separate paper divisions into one paper business group last year helped to increase flexibility, with a more streamlined decision-making process that means quicker reaction times to customer needs. Mr Ylonen pointed out, “We’re especially easy to do business with now. We have an effective supply chain, competent sales network and top notch after-sales that support our products. But there is always room for improvement so we are constantly listening to feedback from our customers and implementing new ideas. This is where the ‘We Lead. We Learn.’ philosophy comes full circle, because we know that to stay at the top of our game we have to be adaptable and light on our feet, as well as maintaining an exemplary paper products range.”
It seems that the competitive advantage of UPM comes from its ability to utilise its knowledge of wood and fibres, transforming them into different products that appeal to, among others, the paper printers, publishers, merchants and converters worldwide. These skills work well with the ‘not revolution but evolution’ approach to product development that underscores the company philosophy. With a highly motivated workforce of over 24,000 people worldwide, its reputation for creating innovative products based on expert knowledge of fibre is solid. Continuous innovation is another crucial ingredient in the UPM philosophy, further illustrated in its latest marketing strapline – ‘The front runner of the new forest industry’. Mr Ylonen explained, “We have 19 production sites in 14 countries, with an investment of millions of euros into the latest paper machines. We also have dedicated R&D centres in Finland and China that work in close cooperation with our other operations. As paper machines can be up to 170m long and with more electronic parts than a jumbo jet, it’s no wonder we take our work very seriously!”
Sustainable development sits closely alongside product development at UPM. Ecological responsibility is a key part of the company’s vision for the future that’s identified by the ‘front runner …’ tag. The company appreciates that acting in a sustainable manner is simply ‘the right thing to do’ and is passionate about being an environmental leader in its day to day operations and long-term strategies. As Mr Ylonen put it, “A wise man knows that when he plants a tree, he will never get to enjoy its shade.” As a one-stop-shop for high quality paper products with an appealing approach to life and business, the future for UPM looks bright. With its active strategies, great offer of different types of paper and excellent industry relationships, it makes sense that Mr Ylonen says, “We can best be described as a one-stop-shop for any customers that would want to print or convert paper.” The company is confident in its short-, mediumand long-term success, with clear signs that it will come through the current economic situation as a stronger, more profitable and totally cusI tomer-focused operation. Visit: www.upm-kymmene.com
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“It’s all about each department, each person, being able to do what they do best and flourish in a supportive environment. It’s good for us all.”
TOTAL CONVERTING SOLUTIONS
As one of the world’s leading suppliers of converting solutions for the flexible packaging industry, Comexi is a widely respected name. Marketing director Agustí Combis tells Emma-Jane Batey how the company has achieved its success, and outlines its plans for continued growth.
Indeed, R&D and technical development form one of the cornerstones of Comexi. The company enjoys a market-leading position as a major European manufacturer of flexographic presses and converting machinery, primarily for the flexible packaging industry. With around 65 per cent of the company’s manufacturing capabilities dedicated to flexographic printing presses, staying at the forefront of technological advancement is imperative. Comexi has two factories. The Girona factory serves its European, North America, Asia and Middle-East and parttically LATAM customers and a Brazilian factory meets the needs of customers in Brazil and the Southern Cone market. “We have additional bases for our sales and marketing functions running alongside the manufacturing amenities, although we all work closely together to ensure we offer our customers a clear point of contact,” says Mr Combis. “It’s all about each department, each person, being able to do what they do best and flourish in a supportive environment. It’s good for us all.”
t’s over 50 years since the Comexi Group bought its first machine and the company continues to invest in the latest technology today. Originally founded as a maintenance workshop for machines for use in the paper industry, Comexi’s core business has long been flexographic technology. Since 1999, the Comexi Group has been based at a site 6 kilometres outside the Spanish city of Girona, where it has a 100,000 square metre production facility and its HQ. A technological centre for business has opened near the new Girona airport, which also offers excellent transport links. The group consists of four core business brands: Comexi for flexo printing, Nexus Comexi for solvent and solventless laminators, Enviroxi offering environmental and logistics solutions and Proslit providing slitter-rewinders. Marketing director Agustí Combis appreciates that the juxtaposition of old and new is a key factor in the continued success of Comexi, which has grown to become one of the world’s leading suppliers of converting solutions for the flexible packaging industry. “Our strategy across the Comexi Group is that all four brands are able to work together in an interdependent manner so that we offer a total solution for our worldwide converting customers,” he says. “Even when the company was established over 50 years ago, the founders were committed to investing in the latest available technology and equipment – and that philosophy has continued ever since.”
Solvent and solventless laminator
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today’s challenging market conditions, achieving high, predictable product quality while reducing cost of quality is essential to improve competitive edge. AVT Automatic inspection solutions (AIS) are designed to answer these challenges by monitoring and managing the print process and product quality during the different converting process stages, enabling dramatic production waste reduction, better production utilization and higher, consistence product quality. AVT’s industry leading PrintVision/Argus process control & 100% quality assurance solution for print applications is designed for this fast-paced, high demanding, cost-conscious production environment.
During production and throughout the finishing stages the PV/Argus ensures detection and traceability of all critical print production defects. Mounted on any press machine, the PV/Argus is devoted to it’s main task of print defect detection, finding, alerting & recording various types of faults such as color variations, doctor streaks, misregistration, spots & splashes, and many more. Among the platform’s various cutting edge modules are: IΔeal -providing ΔE & ΔLab color monitoring, master verification, Varnish & Cold seal inspection , PrintFlow data management tool and the SpectraLink – a unique color measurement solution that links between an offline color management software and AVT’s IΔeal inline color measurement technology providing calibrated online L*a*b* measurements. Mutual development projects with fellow leading partners in the industry has always been an engine for AVT’s innovation and progress, such is our long lasting cooperation with the Comexi group which resulted in important technological leaps over the last years. Such development project pioneered press control for Flexo CI during press make ready ,allowing major cost & waste reduction and quick turnover contributing to the entire flexible packaging market & the environment.
Even before production run begins, the system enables a dramatic reduction of set up time and material waste using the combined Automatic register and pressure control solutions for CI Flexo presses. The technology, already proven at hundreds of worldwide production lines, utilizes unique, sophisticated communication interface protocols for fast control of the press. This integrates the AVT platform as an intimate part of the press, resulting in fast register & pressure setup for an automated press control process.
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Comexi employs a total of 450 people – the whole workforce receives extensive training so that they understand the history of the company as well as the highly technical production procedures. The workforce includes a high number of engineering, electrical and technical experts, as well as a considerable team of skilful assembly people.
“We’re able to talk to our customers and understand not only what they need now, but what they will need in five years’ time,” Mr Combis concludes. “We can work towards their perfect solution in a way that is positive for their business. We understand our customers’ business and we work hard to utilise their resources by exceeding their expectations.”
COMEXI | PROFILE
The entire workforce is committed to its ultimate goal, as clearly stated in the Comexi mission statement, which focuses on being “a company of global solutions for the converting world, specialised through the creation of different brands, autonomous yet with strong relations”. This means that “total solutions” for its converting customers are at
the heart of the organisation. As one of the first stages in the chain for converting, Comexi stands after the raw materials providers and before the brand owners, so the company is understandably proud of its positive long-term relationships with contacts in all aspects of the flexible packaging industry. Comexi also appreciates the value of attending high-profile trade shows and exhibitions. The company attends local, national and international events, especially those near important customers and its own manufacturing facilities. “It’s part of our brand identity,” explains Mr Combis. “The Comexi Group is promoted all round the world and we are present in fairs in India, China, the US, Europe … all over. Even with the global economic slowdown we have found it imperative to see and be seen at the major shows, especially as we are constantly promoting new technologies. It is especially important for us to attend the major fair in Barcelona and we take a pride in our stand and marketing activities.”
‘Ready for the future’
The short to medium term for Comexi is based around its strapline, “be ready for the future”, reflecting how prepared the company is to create and manage new developments that benefit the converting industry. The highly innovative operation is keen to show that it is able to prepare its customers for any uncertainty they may face, thanks I to its own ability to be flexible and forward-thinking. Visit: www.comexi.com
omexi and eltromat have been working together for over fifteen years. eltromat would typically supply register control systems, web viewing and 100% web inspection systems for the type of machines Comexi build. Since 1960 eltromat has been developing and producing equipment to optimise printing processes. The reliable and innovative company has installed its systems worldwide in printing companies that have high demands regarding efficiency and quality. eltromat develops, produces, integrates and services drive systems, register controls, print view systems, inspection systems, colour control systems, colour measurement systems and workflow software. The company’s products are used in rotogravure as well as flexo, offset and screen printing processes. The customer benefits from increased productivity and quality, as well as cost reduction. Users of eltromat products quickly see good print results, reduced waste. Meanwhile, the special advantage of eltromat’s products is their modular design. It allows installations, from the easiest web viewing system to a complete 100% inspection system.
Regenerative thermal oxidiser
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“At Lumen this is a key interest of ours at the moment. We want to take the high ground in this area and we want our clients to start asking themselves how they can give consumers want they want into the future.”
orward-thinking green innovation is about more than simply reducing packaging, insists Drew Smith, founding partner of European design and brand specialists Lumen. The Milan and London-based operation has recently been focusing on workshops to develop eco ideas in packaging that will see customers into the future. The aim, says Mr Smith, is to set them thinking. “We have always been keen on offering more than just simple packaging design to our customers,” he explains. “So more than half a year ago we started to hold innovation workshops in which we talked about new ways of thinking and new services to offer our clients. “We still want to be driving innovation in the coming years so that means coming up with new ideas – and that means ensuring we pay attention to the emergence of the ethical consumer and the green ideas of the future.”
A GREEN PATH FOR THE FUTURE
Packaging design experts Lumen are leading the way in innovative eco thinking. Abigail Saltmarsh reports
been the creative director of several leading international design consultancies. Pietro Rovatti is a specialist in corporate identity, communication and retail design with experience in the financial, pharmaceutical, entertainment and hospitality industries. From its offices in London and Milan, Lumen works for both national and international clients in corporate identity, consumer branding and retail design. The London office is headed by the innovations and NPD specialist Robert Monaghan. The company’s designers come from all over the world and each brings to Lumen their own unique vision and experience.
Multi disciplined brand design agency Lumen was founded in 2003 by Mr Smith and Pietro Rovatti. Mr Smith is an award winning designer in consumer branding and packaging design. He has
Mr Smith says the “emergence of the ethical consumer” has arisen as a result of serious global issues. Poverty, lack of clean drinking water, famine and global warming are just a few of the concerns that are increasingly worrying the wider public. “Yet we do not see many companies moving towards greener thinking,” he says. “Yes, some of them are reducing the amount of
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packaging they use or are changing to the use of more eco-friendly materials but we want them to be going further than that, to be thinking about new ways of using their products as well. Reducing packing is not the only answer,” he adds.
A different way of thinking
With clients ranging from Barclays, Unilever and Alfa Romeo through to Heinz, Ferrero and Sky, Lumen has a reputation for innovation. The company believes a brand must first of all understand why it exists and what it represents for the consumer and has developed an in-depth method for defining the true identity behind a brand, its relationship with the consumer and how it can evolve in the future. Lumen positions itself as a ‘different thinker’, a company that helps its clients to challenge the status-quo, create meaningful relationships with consumers and build long term brand value.
“One of the reasons for focusing on this green future now is to encourage our clients to risk a bit more and to go even further. We want them to be setting themselves as world examples and going forward as soon as they can in these new areas,” says Mr Smith. Bottled water producer Ferrarelle is held up by the company as a good example of what can be achieved. Lumen was asked to create a new identity and packaging for Boario. The objective was to reposition the brand, increasing perceived quality and emphasising the products health benefits and spa heritage. The new design is a balance between contemporary design and authenticity. It also celebrates the history of the product. “But Ferrarelle was also the first company of its kind to start a programme of collecting plastic bottles for reuse,” says Mr Smith. “This is the kind of trend that consumers want to see.”
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Adding green value
With packaging reducing, those in the industry need to be part of the innovative developments of the future. It is vital to be ahead of the game or at least move with current thinking in order not to be left behind. “All these green trends we are seeing are going to influence the packaging industry so we need to think about how to add value – and how to continue to add value to something we don’t have as much of, packaging?” he says. “There will always be packaging for luxury goods because it defines them, but what about bulk items? What will happen there? We have to come up with some new ways of thinking in this area particularly.” And he adds: “At Lumen this is a key interest of ours at the moment. We want to take the high ground in this area and we want our clients to start asking themselves how they can give consumers I want they want into the future.” Visit: www.lumengroup.com
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IS IN THE POD
Green Peas Solutions is a new breed of sustainable packaging company whose mission is to become the globally recognised leader in providing eco-friendly shipping solutions. Philip Yorke talked to Dan Holjo and Stephen Piper, the company’s co-founders, about their ground-breaking, sustainable packaging solutions.
reen Peas Solutions was formed early in 2009 by Dan Hojlo, Stephen Piper and Ken O’Rahilly, who between them have more than 80 years experience in designing global supply chain management solutions with companies such as Fed Ex, DHL and Unisys. Based in London and with a subsidiary office in Philadelphia, the company has implemented extensive trials with Fortune 500 companies, and other high profile clients in the aeronautical and medical devices sectors. Green Peas Solutions’ design and manufacturing plant is located in Derby and it has outsourcing partners employed across the globe. This global reach has enabled the company to deploy packaging solutions to meet a variety of customer demands across a variety of industry sectors. At the moment the company is running various pilot programmes with some of the world’s largest OEM’s and ODM’s in both EU and US, focusing on extending the reach and depth of its customer relationships and enhancing its product specifications to build competitive advantage whilst improving the environment for current and future generations and enabling it to become a market leader in sustainable shipping solutions in the after sales reusable packaging market.
Green Peas products offer a fresh approach to packaging
The latest EU directives on packaging and packaging waste have accelerated the acceptance of reusable shipping products. The company’s products have been designed to support its customers’ low carbon strategy combined with improving their packaging cost efficiencies.
Green Peas Solutions’ delivery model provides its clients with a ‘One Stop Shop’ to support their sustainable packaging strategy through flexibility of design, manufacturing, asset management and supply-chain consultancy. The company has a strong foundation in quality management, verified by its ISO 14001:2000 certified operations. One of the unique features of Green Peas’ reusable containers is their ability to be reused in excess of 24+ cycles (depending on customer requirements), therefore further increasing customers’ financial and non- financial efficiencies. The raw material used in the external packaging has twice the impact resistance of cardboard of similar dimensions. More importantly, switching to re-usable packaging will reduce the need for continuous purchasing of corrugated packaging; disposing of cardboard in the landfills where it releases harmful methane during the process of biodegradation; or recycling, which in the case of corrugated packaging materials (in most cases made of kraft paper) may actually require more fossil fuel than does the production of paper from virgin materials. The realisable long term benefits of using these products will vary according to customer type and size and industry sector. Their relative degree of success will be measureable and dependent upon individual companies CSR strategies. The expertise afforded by Green Peas Solutions in partnership with their customers will enable a focused approach to unlocking mutual benefits. These unique products can be designed according to customer’s product specifications. Every aspect of the bespoke product / solution
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“Currently there are very few companies if any in the high-tech after sales markets – especially the high volume, low value commodity space that typically moves through the parcel channel.”
enables the customer to cater for all future design changes without incurring the high cost of packaging redesign. What’s more, Green Peas Solutions designs in the maximum reusability criteria to ensure they cater for existing / emerging environmental legislation. A key consideration in the design process is ensuring ergonomic considerations for packing and unpacking goods have equal prominence. The company also uses innovative, multi-use labelling systems, the benefits of which include easy removal of labels, prevention of mislabelled containers and improved aesthetics, accommodating for the latest customs inspection protocols and quicker turnaround of shipments. The company’s Air Pods offer an extremely cost effective sustainable alternative to the packaging void filling which through enhanced packaging protection reduced warehousing-, shipping – and packaging cost results in a lighter carbon footprint to its clients. Dan Hojlo, (USA) said, “We are dedicated to developing ethically responsible packaging solutions to resolve global sustainability challenges, in order to help organisations immediately ‘green’ their supply chains. Our problem-solving experts will review our clients supply chain processes and articulate the core issues that are creating the inefficiencies. We will work with our clients to set the goals for change, test alternative solutions, and guide them to a more sustainable operation in their service organisationsultimately saving money to our clients and increasing their profitability”.
Empowering Corporate Social Responsibility
Green Peas Solutions believe that source reduction, including re-use, can significantly reduce waste disposal and handling, because it avoids the cost of recycling, municipal composting, land filling and combustion operations. Stephen Piper, (UK) added, “Our unique, innovative packaging solutions empower organisations to become pioneers in creating positive change in our global environment. We are working intensively with several early adaptors of CSR programmes, across a range of their products lines, to help those Fortune 500 companies meet their CSR objectives. “ The company provides a wide range of services which includes ewaste management, packaging avoidance strategies, order management, global billing, sustainability scorecards, transportation management, and the recycling and refurbishment of its own reusable containers. Overall, the adaptation of sustainable supply chain strategies means that significant savings can be made to reduce overall operational costs, as resources are used more productively and efficiently, and waste is minimised or eliminated altogether. The secondary benefits of the social and environmental commitment to the implementation of improved materials and processes into the supply chain include broader brand appeal, wider consumer base and higher customer retentionagain, contributing towards more sustainable profits and materialisaI tion of corporate social responsibility goals and objectives.
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CONTINUOUS INVESTMENT DRIVES GROWTH
Bulgarian closures manufacturer Herti JSC has seen its product range grow considerably during its 16 year history, encouraging a wider customer base and rapid European expansion. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to CEO Mr Zahari Zahariev to gain an insight into the secret of the company’s success.
stablished in Bulgaria in 1993, closure manufacturer Herti JSC started out with only one production line offering two types of screw caps. However, founder and CEO Mr Zahari Zahariev’s energy and enthusiasm and a sharp focus on quality products and service has driven considerable growth in the company’s relatively short history. By 1997, Herti JSC’s investment in specialist varnishing and printing machines had created a more flexible product offer that introduced the brand to a European wide audience of new markets. Mr Zahariev explained, “Our continued investment in new technology and equipment makes us totally flexible in producing printed caps. Moving into new territories and markets also allowed us to add machines for different caps to our portfolio as we stayed ahead of our customers’ changing requirements.” Herti was listed on the Bulgarian stock exchange in 2008 and today has four daughter
companies; Herti France, Herti UK, Herti Group International Romania and Tihert in Bulgaria, as well as a network of distributors across Spain, Argentina, Chile and the USA. With solid partnerships also in Russia, eastern Europe, Canada and South Africa, Herti now delivers its quality product range on a major scale.
Building strong relationships
Mr Zahariev strongly believes that its excellent relationships are what help Herti stand apart from the competition. “We keep close relations with our partners and make sure we know the needs of our customers. We are also proud to maintain excellent bonds with all our 317 employees, even though the company culture has changed during the last year as we became a public company and have new professional management.” This focus on developing and maintaining strong relationships is reflected in the company
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strapline, ‘Your brand tomorrow is our business today’, which illustrates how Herti products help its customers products reach consumers in a positive way. This message is also delivered at the numerous trade exhibitions that Herti attends throughout the year, such as the Drinktec event in Munich, which is integral to the beverage industry. "We exhibited our latest products at Drinktec in
September," Mr Zahariev told Packaging Europe. "We will also be at Sitevi 2009 in France and at Intervitis 2010 in Stuttgart- Hall 5, Stand 5D21. These events are the best way to meet with existing clients, future clients and our partners." The exciting new Vinstar product range is set to be the star of the show, with its aluminium screw caps that have an internal thread which is specially designed for wine bottling applications.
Closures for a wide range of applications
Herti JSC offers a range of closures and articles of various materials, each carefully designed to provide a particular application for the food industry and pharmacy sector. The aluminium, plastic and composite products created and manufactured by Herti are widely regarded as outstanding quality,
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which guarantees their effective use on highspeed equipment. Herti’s best selling product is its aluminium screw caps; ‘pilferproof’ closures that range in diameter from 18 to 43mm and height from 12 to 60mm. They can seal bottles of capacities between 50 ml up to a gallon and have a variety of applications including bottling of spirits and olive oil, which also uses a drop stop liner to seal the product. As screw caps for wine bottles become more popular, both in retail and hospitality sectors, Herti can provide an aluminium screw cap for small (187 ml, such as on aeroplanes) and large wine bottles, offering excellent preservation of wine quality and easy opening and closing.
Looking forward to a greener future
In an extension of its commitment to building strong relationships, Herti offers closure solutions in response to its customers’ needs through regular communication, relying on the experience gained through succeeding in
various challenging environments. As a member and co-founder of Ecopack Bulgaria JSC, a company dedicated to collecting and recycling scraps, Herti is also committed to continually reducing the ecological impact of its products and manufacturing facilities and encourages its customers to do the same. Almost everything left behind by the manufacture of Herti products can be recycled. The next 12 months look set to continue in the same positive, productive manner for Herti JSC, with a European customer expansion programme targeting potential customers and partners, especially in the UK and France. Beyond that, Herti has ambitious plans to be among the top five producers of closures in Europe within the next ten years, a goal it will pursue through its excellent human resources, dedicated product knowledge and manufacturI ing expertise. Visit: www.herti.bg
“Our continued investment in new technology and equipment makes us totally flexible in producing printed caps. Moving into new territories and markets also allowed us to add machines for printing aluminium sheets to our portfolio as we stayed ahead of our customers’ changing requirements”
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A BEAUTIFUL PARTNERSHIP
Croatian cosmetics and toiletries outsourcing partner Wachem d.o.o. knows all about creating added value for its customers. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to managing director Mario Smrcek to see just how the company has achieved is fresh approach and reputation for innovation.
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element to the evolution of Wachem is its ability to control the whole process from start to finish. “It basically developed out of necessity, because we were starting to feel as though certain outsourced aspects of the packaging creation and delivery process were not up to the high standards that we expect, so we decided to do everything in house. This required a considerable investment and it’s proved to be very successful.”
Wachem is in control of the total development and manufacture of branded cosmetics and toiletries for its wide-reaching list of global clients, with a particular focus on European customers that require high-quality products. With Wachem owning and operating the whole supply chain, its customers are offered a service which is second to none, right from the concept to completion and delivery of its products. The company’s successful investment in its ‘sourcing to depot’ service is strongly supported by its team of 120 employees that are carefully recruited and trained in order to sustain its reputation for added value excellence. Mr Smrcek explained, “Our people are the key to our success because we know that even the very best systems and equipment grind to a halt without the right people. Part of our recruitment strategy is to employ people with the right skills from day one, then train them even more so that we truly have experts at every stage of the operation. We recruit the best known people in each area, such as transportation, logistics and product development, and then build a strong partnership that’s mutually beneficial. We’ve found that this underpins our business as much as any investment in equipment. We believe in investment in people and it rewards us ten-fold.”
Mario Smrcek, managing director
ased in the north of Croatia, Wachem is ideally located in the centre of Europe, a key factor in the continued success of this highly regarded cosmetics and toiletries outsourcing partner. The company has evolved as a total solutions provider in response to a fast-paced commercial market and has established a reputation for reliability, flexibility and creativity. Recently promoted from international sales manager, managing director Mario Smrcek is a great ambassador for the company, with his passion for perfection and complete understanding of adding value for customers. He told Packaging Europe, “We have found that our winning strategy in the fast moving market of cosmetics and toiletries is to be flexible and totally responsive to our customers. We listen very carefully and take on board clients’ needs at every step, which has allowed us to create a very fluid, open culture that delivers over and above expectations.” Mr Smrcek was quick to point out that it is the total solutions provision that really sets Wachem apart from the competition. A major
Trust for success
The open, flexible company culture at Wachem is a positive continuation of the operational philosophy of the company. As the managing director, Mr Smrcek is proud to have created a strong business that supports and rewards its employees while remaining a strong commercial venture. The company thrives on trust in a way that seems to bring out the best
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of each person; a very modern approach that is clearly working. Mr Smrcek is clear that the positive atmosphere across the business has fostered a unique culture. “It’s important to trust each other, that way, we achieve more. During the global economic downturn this has been particularly evident as we’ve had an open door policy for our employees regarding their personal financial concerns. We have the resources available to make their lives a little easier at this time and we’re fully aware that they have the loyalty and skills that we need. It’s a true partnership. I’m proud to say that this is the business I always wanted to achieve and now it’s happening. The world has changed a great deal in the past 18 months and nowadays it’s about appreciation, partnerships, feeling safe in our employment … that’s the Wachem way.”
This focus on communication and respect is echoed in the strong client relationships, too, with Wachem enjoying excellent partnerships with clients such as premium UK packaging experts CODA
Plastics. Wachem is able to turn ideas around quickly, with concept to shelf possible in only three months, proving the company to be a perfect partner in both product and timing. The state-of-the-art facilities at Wachem are a crucial part of the process, with exceptional quality control, microbiology and manufacturing equipment in-house, allowing any issues to be swiftly resolved. As an illustration of the continuing success of Wachem, the company is already booked to capacity until 2011, although it’s keen to develop new ideas and gain even more referrals, which has been a core ingredient in its full order book. Mr Smrcek concluded, “We’re going in the right direction to achieve our full potential. We’ve already achieved so much, and in a way that makes me proud to be the managing director. Wachem is a very modern business, with an excellent reputation as an outsourcing partner to the cosmetics and toiletries industry. Croatia I has terrific resources and we’re really making the most of them!” Visit: www.wachem.com
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Dutch integrated logistics specialist CSi industries BV prides itself on providing a turnkey service to its wide range of global clients. Emma-Jane Batey spoke to managing director Jan de Bruijn to learn more about how the company’s customer-focus supports this achievement.
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ounded in its current form in 2001, CSi has strong roots that reach back to 1964, including the operation becoming a part of the Stork Group, giving the company a respectable history in the global logistics industry and over 45 years experience in the material handling business. With its head office located in the Dutch city of Raamsdonksveer, CSi also has branch offices in Germany, United Kingdom, Russia and Mexico, and a network of agents across the rest of Europe and Asia.
able to maintain our exceptionally high quality and reliability while reducing costs, as the labour expenses are much lower. We offer a very strict quality control promise across every aspect of our business and we brought some of our Dutch staff to train people at the Romanian plant to ensure the same high standards were fostered from day one. Our COO is at the Romanian plant for a week each month and it’s very much a part of the global CSi family.”
The company has enjoyed a rapid development since 2001, with the establishment of a dedicated division in 2003, which has now been integrated into the CSi operations. Under the Ivanhoe label CSi focuses on working with standardised solutions for both white label and private label producers. While CSi services international accounts including some of the world’s biggest brands such as Pepsico, Unilever and Philip Morris. There was a major strategic development in 2005 when the company repositioned its services business and created a full life cycle support provision, which has developed to be a considerable success. This was also the year that CSi created its Romanian production facilities, which now employ 120 people. MD Jan de Bruijn continued, “The Romanian plant has been a really exciting development for CSi because we’ve been
“We know that by recruiting people that
Family values, commercial success
The CSi family is a philosophy that’s shared by the 400-strong workforce, with a strict recruitment policy that focuses on finding the right people for the organisation. Mr de Bruijn explained, “Discussing our norms and values is part of our selection process. We know that by recruiting people that share our passion for customer service and innovation, we can keep the high standards we are famous for.”
share our passion for customer service and innovation, we can keep the high standards we are famous for.”
Jan de Bruijn, managing director
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Rockwell Automation is a leading global provider of industrial automation power, control and information solutions. The company helps customers across a wide range of end markets achieve a competitive advantage for their businesses through leading technologies and a comprehensive portfolio of products, software and services. With a focus on always putting customers first, anywhere in the world, the company helps manufacturers use industrial automation, information technology, and intelligent motor control to meet their productivity objectives. Capabilities extend through partnerships with a network of 5,600 reliable, local companies in distribution, software and product referencing. Leading brands and strategic partnerships uniquely qualify Rockwell Automation to deliver industry solutions in more than 80 countries around the world. Rockwell Automation is financially strong, and continues to acquire expertise and invest in innovation and aggressive research and development. Together with its business partners, Rockwell Automation delivers value to its end-user and OEM customers, as evidenced through: • Faster time to market – through speed, responsiveness and flexibility of automated manufacturing • Lower total cost of ownership – through scalable, modular, energy-efficient and open automation control and information systems • Better asset management/optimization – through diagnostics, condition-based monitoring, failure analysis, storage management • Broader manufacturing business risk management – through process variability analysis, regulatory compliance, safety
Architecture & Software
The Architecture & Software segment provides a comprehensive suite of automation solutions. The applications range from unique Logix control disciplines for process, batch, motion, and discrete control to safety and drive systems. Through an integrated architecture, these control products seamlessly operate with FactoryTalk® production disciplines for design & configuration, production management, data management, quality & compliance, asset management and performance & visibility.
Control Products & Solutions
The Control Products & Solutions segment provides a comprehensive suite of products and services that range from intelligent motor control and industrial components to global manufacturing support services.
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CSi prides itself as a turnkey partner in logistics solutions, mainly for the global FMCG sector. Providing fully implemented, integrated logistics systems including conveyors, palletisers, robots and automatic truck loading, CSi’s continued success is centred round complete solutions. The company is also pleased to offer a six-month trial of its well-received iPal stand alone palletiser system until February 2010, giving customers across Europe a chance to try out its latest flexible solution for free. The client process starts with product experts and engineers from CSi visiting the operations of the customers to totally understand what they require from a logistics system and to give them the best possible advice for a smooth-running business. The initial consultation aspect of the process is part of what sets CSi apart, as Mr de Bruijn explained, “Although it’s a bit of a cliché to say we offer the best possible solution, we really mean it. We get inside our customers’ business and make a proposal that realises a maximum benefit. Our consultancy expertise and professional advice is a core strength, as well as our ability to perform a complete project execution on time, on budget and
exceeding our customer expectations. Our systems have 99 per cent reliability or higher because we take the time to understand what’s needed and then integrate it perfectly into our clients’ businesses.”
Mr de Bruijn passionately believes that the close relationships CSi builds is what keeps its customers satisfied, with the majority of its business from referrals and repeat contracts. Part of the CSi approach is to ‘think like the customer’ and put itself in their shoes, so that the CSi employees understand the customer’s business from the inside out, promoting the reliability and specific performance required from the logistics solutions. CSi tries to involve everybody in its customer-centred approach so that engineers too think as the customer, going one step beyond being simply customer-orientated. In terms of technological expertise, CSi excels at innovative product development for FMCG packaging, with folded carton blanks a particular strength. Mr de Bruijn told Packaging Europe Online, “This is a real growth area for us, which is particularly exciting because we provide the full service solution of handling systems and palletising, all at high speeds with exceptional accuracy.” Having enjoyed a year on year growth, the future looks positive for CSi , with planned expansion in territories across Europe and Asia and ambitious plans for continued product innovation. Standardisation and modularisation of products in order to improve them further and reduce costs stays a major focus. Mr de Bruijn concluded, “We’re always moving forward, while retaining our core strength and staying true to our customers. We’re working to further strengthen our account management to offer even more dedicated services and we expect to see sustainable, profitable growth.” I Visit: www.csiind.com
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The German company Ucon is a leader in the production of industrial bulk containers, serving a number of leading players including Bayer and Schering. Cornelia Müller talks to managing director Mr Müller to find out more.
we developed in 1994 an optimized cylindrical lacquer container for the automized cleaning facilities of one of the biggest manufacturer of lacquers worldwide. After the end of the patent period it was adopted by its competitors, and now it is used by nearly all manufacturers of lacquer. We have worked in nearly every industry sector and developed and manufactured products together with our customers, which over the years have become the standard. Our competitors had to follow us, and we do everything to ensure it stays that way.
con was created in 1999 after a merger between Umformtechnik Hausach, which contributed the ‘U’ to the company name, and Thielmann Containersysteme KG, which contributed the ‘con’ to the name. Its main products today are industrial bulk containers (IBCs). These are reusable containers with a capacity of 5–3000 litres in the form of mobile units, and up to 100,000 litres in the form of stationary immobile units. Umformtechnik Hausach used to be a member of the Thyssen Group, but in 1989, when sales figures had reached a peak, Thyssen put it up for sale. The commercial and technical managers of Thyssen Umformtechnik decided to take advantage of the management buyout procedure. Today Ucon has three factories – Hausach, Haiger and Gelsenkirchen. Hausach in Baden has always produced small containers for the pharmaceutical, chemical and construction industries. The factory in Haiger in Hessen focuses on the manufacture of food containers and the site in Gelsenkirchen in North-Rhine-Westphalia produces mainly components for heat engineering technology, such as heat exchangers. Their combined annual turnover amounts to around €60 million.
Mobile storage and transport
IBCs are the modern alternative to steel barrels, plastic tanks, big bags or drums. They are cleaner, safer, more mobile and much easier to handle. A barrel or tank, which is traditionally used for the storage
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and transport of liquids, must be put onto a palette to be transported. Before it can be emptied it must be turned upside down and fitted with a tap. A big bag, which has traditionally been used for pulverised and fine-grained material such as flour, does not protect and seal the contents sufficiently against the environment both during transport and when the big sack has been opened. Small containers, on the other hand, are more mobile, reusable and more easily handled. They have a manhole at the top to fill the IBC, and a stop valve at the bottom, so once the IBC has been opened the contents are still protected against environmental impact. Because they have either handles or a frame they can also be lifted and transported without any difficulty. All small containers are made of normal or stainless steel, which allows multiple usage for up to 30 years. The first IBCs were produced in the 1970s, when Thyssen was approached by some members of the paint industry to develop a new container for paint, lacquer and varnish. Ucon adopted the new development and by the mid 1980s the majority of its production consisted of the manufacturing of IBCs. Today, Ucon is a leading player in its industry sector. Its portfolio contains around 100 different container models and it sets the standard for small containers. It puts a lot of effort into the research and development of new or improved models, which offer a better filling or
emptying standard, a sterile interior environment and optimum logistical possibilities. It often happens that a container which was originally developed for one specific customer is then adopted by a competitor, and in this way spreads across the entire industry sector. Mr Müller explained: “We developed in 1994 an optimized cylindrical lacquer container for the automized cleaning facilities of one of the biggest manufacturer of lacquers worlwide. After the end of the patent period it was adopted by its competitors, and now it is used by nearly all manufacturers of lacquer. We have worked in nearly every industry sector and developed and manufactured products together with our customers, which over the years have become the standard. Our newest project is the intelligent Container, which will be able to communicate its filling state wirelessly via internet to the logistic systems of our customers. This system will be ready within the next two years and will revolutionise the existing container management systems. Our competitors had to follow us, and we do everything to ensure it stays that way.” Owing to the fact that containers can be reused many times, Ucon makes a valuable contribution to the protection of the environment. Resources for other storage containers, such as plastic, paper or fabric, can be saved and therefore the need to recycle them does not even arise.
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Today, about one-third of Ucon’s production is exported into other countries throughout Europe, the USA and Asia, and Mr Müller also pointed out that the company is planning to expand its international presence and put more emphasis on the export of its finished products. Ucon’s production activities will remain in Germany, but in order to be competitive on the international marketplace it will install more automated production processes, which will increase both the quality and quantity of the containers produced. While IBCs are commonplace in western Europe and the USA, they are relatively unknown in other markets. Ucon is hoping to exploit some of these in the not-too-distant future. Mr Müller said: “We established new contacts in Eastern Europe at the European Coating show this year. This is a new untapped mar-
ket.” Ucon recently opened representative offices in the Czech Republic and in Poland. The company is also considering India as a market for the future, where it has already opened a representative office. And Latin America is not yet familiar with the concept of IBCs, but has greeted them with a lot of interest. This, however, raises another challenge, as the local markets have less purchasing power than the European markets – but Ucon I is prepared to take this on. Visit: www.ucon.de
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TIME FOR INVESTMENT
Kyiv Cardboard and Paper Mill is one of the biggest enterprises in European cardboard and paper production. Felicity Landon finds out how the company is working its way through tough times.
he ongoing implementation of a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and the recent commissioning of a new cardboard sheet production line are among the latest developments at JSC Kyiv Cardboard and Paper Mill. A new converting line for recycled and cellulose tissue production, supplied by GAMBINI, has also been recently put into operation. This is a fully automatic line for the production and packaging of tissue goods, including toilet paper rolls and kitchen towels. This is the first line of such a level of technology to be installed in Ukraine and it makes possible the production of nearly 210 rolls of tissue goods per minute. These are key investments for the company, which continues to hold a dominant share in several market sectors, despite the recession. Kyiv CPM produces about 30 per cent of Ukraine’s pulp and paper production, and has the capacity to process more than 850 tonnes of secondary raw materials – waste paper – per day. It has three basic production areas: cardboard production, including coated and uncoated packing (box) cardboard, container board and corrugated paper; paper production, including tissue paper for consumer goods and ready-made paper goods such as toilet paper rolls, napkins and towels; and corrugated cardboard production. Both Ukrainian and international brands pack their products into KCPM corrugated cardboard products; its high-quality tissue paper is in
demand from sanitary and hygiene products manufacturers; and its own brands of toilet paper, Obukhov and Dyvo, are best sellers in Ukraine. Ukraine has been hit hard by the economic recession. Industrial products manufacturing fell by 31.1 per cent in the first seven months of 2009. But food manufacturing has been less severely affected, falling by only 5.8 per cent in the same period. The Ukrainian food sector consumes more than 75 per cent of cardboard packaging, so the food sector’s fortunes have a direct impact on demand for corrugated board and consumer cardboard packaging. At the same time, the falling value of the hryvna has led to a flood the substitution of importss by native products into Ukraine, including in the pulp and paper and cardboard market. KCPM, however, is holding its own. In the first six months of 2009, corrugated board production in Ukraine was down by 15 per cent, reflecting the fall in general consumption. “In this difficult situation, KCPM has kept its market share at the level of 22–23 per cent,” says a spokesman Andrey Fesun, deputy sales director. Two years ago, the company purchased a second corrugator, and also installed the first line in the Ukraine with the ability to convert corrugated cardboard into four-flap boxes with chromatic printing. Investment also included a Flexo Vision 160 line for production of complex cutting products with printing.
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“The usage of chromatic flexoprinting allowed us to gain new clients who need full-colour printed packaging – mainly in the alcoholic beverage sector”
“The usage of chromatic flexoprinting allowed us to gain new clients who need full-colour printed packaging – mainly in the alcoholic beverage sector,” says the spokesman.
Increasing market share
KCPM converts most of the cardboard containerboards it produces into corrugated cardboard, selling the ‘leftover’ product after it has met its own needs. Demand for these cardboard containerboards started to decline in 2008, and in the first half of 2009 total production and consumption volumes of containerboards and paper for corrugating dropped by nearly 13 per cent. However, in the same half-year period, KCPM’s share in Ukrainian general production of containerboards increased by 1.5 per cent, to about 26 per cent. KCPM is the only operator in Ukraine that produces “thin” boxboards, both coated and uncoated – both showed a dramatic decline in the first six months of 2009. However, Imports of recycled cardboard, have been partially replaced by KCPM boards in the sphere of chrome-ersatz type cardboard consumption. And KCPM’s share of the coated recycled cardboard market has risen significantly, from 40 per cent in 2008 to 60 per cent in 2009. Toilet paper manufacturing consumption fell by 4,4 per cent in Ukraine in the first six months, but KCPM increased its production by 11 per cent. “At the present time, this is the most profitable area of production,” says
the spokesman Andrey Fesun. “According to the official statistics, our share in this sector Ukrainian production amounted to 51 per cent. Last year, the company installed and commissioned new complex equipment for the production and packaging of recycled toilet rolls from pulp and waste paper, expanding its market share possibilities significantly. While the general volume of tissue paper production in Ukraine decreased by 4 per cent in the first six months; KCPM’s tissue paper (from pulp and waste paper) production took a 58 per cent share of the market. Recycled base paper Recycled tissue for tissue products is almost completely processed by the Kyiv mill in toilet paper rolls. The cellulose tissue paper is used to produce toilet paper, towels and napkins, the biggest part of tissue paper is realized in the form of the end-products. According to official statistics, the cellulose tissue paper market share of Kyiv CPM production amounted to 70%.
KCPM is in the process of implementing a management and control system at the mill, and in this context took the decision earlier this year (2009) to speed up work on the implementation of a new ERP system. Developed on a Microsoft base, the new system will enable automation of purchases, sales, stocktaking, finances, accounts, planning and cost calculations. The project group responsible for its implementation is drawn from key users at the mill; the preparation stage is finished and a process of analysis has
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“The new line provides an ideal cut of cardboard in the longitudinal and cross direction; flatness of the sheet, which is provided by the decurling system; absolutely flat-laying cardboard over the entire height of stack; and elimination of gloss spots and stripes on the smooth surface of coated cardboards”
been started. The system is due to be operational at the start of 2011. Another key moment for KCPM has been the installation of the new Pasaban sheet cardboard production line. Transition to this new equipment has enabled the production of a cardboard sheet of top European quality, says the spokesman. “The new line provides an ideal cut of cardboard in the longitudinal and cross direction; flatness of the sheet, which is provided by the decurling system; absolutely flat-laying cardboard over the entire height of stack; and elimination of gloss spots and stripes on the smooth surface of coated cardboards,” he says. “The sheeter machine is also equipped with the optical recognition of defects on the cardboard surface, the use of which guarantees 100 per cent elimination of any problems inside rolls and at the stage of I cutting rolls into sheets.” Visit: www-us.papir.kiev.ua
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RUSSIA’S GLOBAL PLAYER IN PULP
The open joint stock company ‘Solombala Pulp and Paper Mill’ (OAO ‘Solombalskii TsBK’) has emerged since privatisation as a modern manufacturer with a global reach. Tim Sykes speaks to Anotoly Dratchev, Director of SPPM, about the development of the company and an ambitious investment programme that is making it bigger, greener and more profitable.
mploying a workforce of around 2000, Solombala Pulp and Paper Mill is located in the industrial zone of the north west Russian city of Arkhangelsk. It annually produces more than 250,000 tonnes of cellulose pulp, 7700 tonnes of paper and 12,000 tonnes of raw tall products.
The history of the plant stretches back to the industrialisation of northern Russia in the 1930s and 40s. This phase of economic development sought to exploit the wealth of coniferous forestry resources in the Arkhangelsk region and the sea port of Arkhangelsk, which enjoys year-round navigation. “These factors represented an opportunity for the young Soviet state to boost exports, and the area became the home of a chain of wood processing and saw mills,” explains Mr Dratchev. “As such, the Solombala Pulp and Paper
Mill became the first such plant in European Russia and commenced production in 1936.” The mill continued to operate throughout the era of the centrally planned economy. “Until the beginning of the 1990s all major decisions were made by the relevant ministries, so the plant’s management had no need to consider basic issues such as procurement of raw materials or sales,” remarks Mr Dratchev. Things were of course destined to change drastically. “Immediately after privatisation the long-established supply chains continued to function as before,” Mr Dratchev continues. “However, in the course of the 1990s the Russian forestry industry began to adapt to market conditions by developing according to internationally proven models. By the end of the 1990s more efficient corporate structures were created, based around the most profitable business unit – the pulp and paper
mills. Raw material supplies were made secure by acquiring the assets of logging and transportation companies.” The modernisation of Solombala Pulp and Paper Mill was complete when in 2006 it acquired the assets of Solombala Saw Mill and Woodworking Plant, including all of its logging and transportation assets. On this basis the Solambalales (which means ‘Solombala Forest’) Holding was created in 2007. This entity, through a new management company, came to provide coordinated corporate management looking after supply, sales, finance and accounting, safety, and legal services.
The complete cycle
The resulting enterprise handles the entire production cycle for pulp, paper and woodbased chemicals – from raw materials to final product – on an impressive scale.
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or nearly 40 years Morbark has been manufacturing debarking and chipping equipment for the pulp and paper industry worldwide. Standards for chip production are very stringent in the pulp and paper industry. Bark and limbs must be removed, the remaining heartwood or sapwood is then chipped and screened to provide clean, uniform sized chips. Morbark units are precisely engineered not only for high production and maximum fiber yield but specifically to produce a clean, uniform, high quality chip, even when working with juvenile and non-merchantable timber. Portable, in-woods systems process whole trees ranging from 2 to 27 inches in diameter. Morbark design provides unmatched flexibility in controlling flail speeds, chipper RPM, feed rate and other adjustments while meeting the challenges presented by varying timber, climate, species and conditions.
Mr Dratchev outlines the process: “Lumber is transported by river and railway, and then in our ‘Lesnaya birzha’ facility pulpwood is turned into chip by our ‘Rauma’, ‘Morbark’, ‘Kesla’ chopping machines. This feeds an annual output of continuously and non-continuously boiled pulp. Our two drying machines have a combined capacity of 780 tonnes a day. And finally, we produce paper on our Yankee paper making machine, made by Wagner.” Solombala Pulp and Paper Mill is Russia’s leading producer of high-quality unbleached coniferous sulphate kraft pulp and is a world leading exporter in this product area (alongside the Chilean company Arauco y Constitución and Sappi in Swaziland). In addition, the plant produces high-quality kraft paper, wood-based chemical products and gaseous oxygen. In its core business of kraft pulp, the company now claims a ten per cent share of the world market, and roughly 50 per cent of the Russian market. Some 89.5 per cent of the mill’s production is destined for export, with purchasers located across eastern and western Europe, north Africa, south-east Asia, the Middle East, and
north America. Pulp is supplied for paper and board production, as well as to the building sector, where fibre-based materials provide a harmless alternative to asbestos.
Coniferous quality conquering markets
Despite its success in such widespread markets, the company does not intend to rest on its laurels. “Retaining our global market share and seeking out new customers was set as a strategic priority at the last annual shareholders’ meeting,” reveals Mr Dratchev. “In 2008 we significantly increased supplies to Belarus and Ukraine, and concluded agreements with clients in Azerbaijan. Very recently we have also signed
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a major contract to supply pulp to Poland.” The receptiveness of global markets to Solombala’s products can be attributed to their quality. “The primary strategic advantage of our main product, kraft pulp, is its high quality,” explains Mr Dratchev. The unique structural properties of our cellulose are thanks not only to our tried and tested technologies, but also to the superior attributes of northern coniferous timber.” This reputation is confirmed by the awards with which Solombala Pulp and Paper Mill has been nationally and internationally recognised, including the International Club of Commercial Leaders’ platinum ‘21st century quality’ prize and the title ‘best forestry industry company’ in the 2007 competition ‘1000 best companies in Russia’. Solombala’s products have also won regular prizes in competitions such as ‘The 100 Best Products of Russia’.
Concern for the environment
The management and exploitation of forests is a sensitive issue the world over, and Solombala Pulp and Paper Mill takes the ecological responsibilities of wood-based industries seriously, a stance underlined by the fact that it has been using ecological management systems for several years. Therefore, in addition to operating within Russian legal guidelines and the company’s own ‘Policy on Ecology and Quality’, the company regularly undergoes independent audits to confirm the conformity of Solombala’s eco-management system with the demands of the latest international standards. “Of course, our chemical production processes prompt the attention of environmentalists and society in general,” says Mr Dratchev. “We can report that our plant has implemented a significant range of measures to reduce the human impact on our atmosphere and hydrosphere – and these have had
convincing results. We are acting in accordance with a ‘clean production strategy’.” Expenditure on environmental protection tends to be invested in improving production processes, and almost all of Solombala Pulp and Paper Mill’s technological upgrades have an ecological basis. “Over the last five years some one and a half billion roubles (over €13 million) have been invested in such projects,” Mr Dratchev testifies. “One of these, for instance, was the installation of a smoke exhauster and gas purifying equipment on our lime regenerative furnace no. 3, enabling us to significantly reduce lime dust. Another development was the modernisation of our soda boiler no. 1 and installation of an electrofilter, resulting in a marked drop in the sulphate of sodium content in our discharge. We installed an electrofilter on the boiler that burns bark. Smoke from some boilers is now emitted through taller chimneys, protecting air quality in urban areas.” Considerable effort has been devoted to improving the production site’s waste disposal facilities, including optimisation of aeration pools. Meanwhile, consumption of fresh water in the production process has been cut, and as a result waste water outflows are also down. In addition to minimising its own impact on its surroundings, Solombala Pulp and Paper Mill also performs an important ecological service for its home city. Since Arkhangelsk does not have its own disposal facilities, the plant processes a significant proportion of the city’s household waste.
Investing in cutting edge technology
Since the turn of the millennium Solombala Pulp and Paper Mill has continuously invested in modernisation of its production facilities, and to enumerate each project would require an entire article. Although this transformation
of a Soviet giant already makes the company competitive on the global market, modernisation continues apace. In August 2009 the plant opened ‘Morbark’, a new wood stripping and chopping complex. “It is our second such facility: the first has been operational for around eight years,” explains Mr Dratchev. “It has the capacity to produce around 100 cubic metres of wood chip (for the production of cellulose) per hour. This addition enables us to increase production of our own wood chip by 25 per cent.” Meanwhile, another ambitious development lies ahead. The investment project ‘Reconstruction of pulp and paper production’, launched in 2008, is part of the investment programme of the Solombalales Holding. Designated a priority by Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, the project consists of three stages. “The first is to boost production by opening a new manufacturing unit that will process one million cubic metres of chip per year,” says Mr Dratchev. “The second stage sees our boilers refurbished to run on more modern and flexible fuel sources. The third is the modernisation of vacuum-evaporation equipment, to both raise productivity and increase dryness of lye prior to burning.” The project, representing a total investment of one billion roubles, will be realised from 2011 to 2015. All in all the project will result in an increase of pulp production by 30 per cent to 280,000 tonnes per year, a 25 per cent reduction in manufacturing costs, and a further improvement in the ecological impact of Solombala Pulp and Paper Mill’s activities. The company’s recipe of improved productivity, quality and environmental impact looks set to please shareholders and ecologists alike – not to I mention the citizens of Arkhangelsk. Visit: www.solombala.com
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MORE THAN PACKAGING
Rosinski i S-ka (Rosinski & Co.) manufactures packaging bottles and containers, plastic caps and other HDPE and PP items. The company offers high European quality standards at a competitive price.
osinski & Co, launched in 1984, has become an important player in the European packaging industry. Every year, the company delivers 270 million injection-moulded products and 160 million blowmoulded items. Around 80 per cent of all products reach the household chemicals sector, 15 per cent – the cosmetics industry, while the remaining 5 per cent – the food industry. The annual turnover is approximately €23 million.
with new, electrically operated equipment, which is eco-friendly and quiet. The programme is also maximising automation in our manufacturing.”
Innovator and market leader
By ensuring a transparent pricing policy, the company is considered a trustworthy business partner. It is a flexible manufacturer, capable of rapidly adjusting its operations to newly developing market conditions. “The rapidity of our response to customer needs is one of our most important advantages,” says Mr Pokładnik. “We also draw crucial information from the markets. We know that the growth of the highly saturated Polish market is approximately 5–10 per cent. We therefore focus primarily on developing export sales to Germany, the Netherlands, Czech Republic or France. We plan to substantially increase our sales there.”
Focusing on excellence
Client satisfaction is essential for Rosinski. In addition to Reckitt Benckiser, with whom it began cooperating in 1994, the company also delivers solutions to Royal Sanders, Tomil REAM GmbH, Intersilesia McBride and Ziaja. Year ago, Rosiński & Co. embarked on a €7.5 million investment programme. “We are now two-thirds of the way through this programme and will complete it in 2010 by installing a brand new tool-room,” explains Marek Pokładnik, sales director. “We have already completely overhauled the machine park, fitting it
Products such as bi-component screw-caps have been popular in western Europe for 2–3 years. In Poland they are still new, but the com-
pany has already secured its position in this market in the country. It also produces other novelties: multilayer plastic bottles, caps sealed with an evaporation vent and packaging created using a combination of blow- and injectionmoulding technologies. It is also establishing activities in the private label sector in Poland and across Europe. In terms of its future plans, Rosinski will retain its current market, but also gain new customers. The company has a clearly defined business strategy until 2013, which dictates market I share gains of 5–10 per cent per year. Visit: www.rosinski-ska.com.pl
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Sustainable packaging solutions are a top priority for packaging machinery manufacturer Multivac
ALWAYS CONSIDER THE WHOLE
order to evaluate the sustainability of packaging solutions, the entire value chain must be considered. At best, optimising individual components or set screws often yields only a slight improvement and at worst, the overall quality actually declines. Sustainability always means thoroughly considering the individual components and their interaction. Many food products are already spoiled before they reach the customer. An August 2008 press release from the sustainability council appointed by the German federal government cited a scientific study according to which in many countries between 10 and 15 per cent of food products degrade during the manufacturing process, transportation and in storage such that they are no longer usable. Not only is this food no longer available for feeding the populace, but it also provides an indication of the huge amount of water wasted on processing food that spoils before it is used. Given that over a billion people worldwide do not have access to a sufficient supply of clean water, food waste related to transportation and storage cannot be justified morally, ecologically or economically. Every measure that contributes to reducing this waste is a contribution to sustainable living. society are the engine,” says Professor Dr Jürgen Rimpau, plant geneticist and member of the sustainability council. This is the common denominator toward which manufacturers of packaging machines such as Multivac are striving with their leading technology and sustainable economic practices. Given that the amount of fossil fuels and the ability of the environment to absorb waste of any type are dwindling fast, sustainable production methods and products are at the top of the priority list for the Allgäu-based world market leader in thermoformers. The goal of sustainable development is to have the entire natural cycle in mind when considering specific solutions. Considering only some of the factors creates a risk of distorting the ecological assessment. For exam-
Taking the entire natural cycle into consideration
“Sustainable development starts in the imagination, freeing up ideas for progress. An impulse to research and an inventive spirit drive the process. Entrepreneurship and civil
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ple, when comparing the ecological impact of packages made from a variety of polymers, their influence on the shelf life of the food products to be packaged must be considered, e.g. the polymers’ various barrier properties.
safety of the food products packaged on the line. Multivac has implemented this design in its new generation of machines.
Sustainability through top-class technology
Of course, technology leaders like Multivac also generate innovations in packaging materials to meet the needs of sustainability. One example of a packaging development with reduced consumption of packaging materials is the FormShrink application for the packaging of whole chickens. Shrink packaging was developed in this case that, despite a film thickness of only 40µm, has such superb mechanical properties that the customary tray used for packaging chickens can be eliminated. In addition, the barrier properties of the film, which is tightly wrapped around the product with no folds or wrinkles after sealing the formed lower web to the upper web, are so good that the product life is extended by several days. Shrink packaging suitable for use with thermoformers combines optimal material usage, safety due to the high tear strength and puncture resistance of the film, and a long product shelf life. The packs are also visually very attractive.
Conserving resources and more
To evaluate the sustainability of a packaging solution, all of the factors must be considered together as a whole. The resource-efficient use of packaging materials or the use of materials made from renewable resources are important parameters here, but they are by no means the only ones. The central character of a packaging solution is ultimately determined by the product being packaged and by the need to preserve products during transport and storage. In other words, discussions about the sustainability of a packaging solution do not make sense if the solution cannot guarantee the lasting quality of the packaged product or keep it in the best possible shape. ‘Best possible shape’ can be interpreted in a broad sense here. For example, vacuum packaging technology or packaging with modified atmosphere (MAP) can eliminate the need to add preservatives so that the customer receives natural, vitaminrich food products. In addition, the gentle handling and processing of the product in the packaging line itself guarantees sustainability. When all modules – from the delivery and cutting units to the weighing module and the sealing and separation processes – are seamlessly integrated, the very precision of the machines used sharply reduces rejects and food waste. Likewise, rigorous hygienic design that simplifies the cleaning process in packaging machines improves not only the hygiene of the packaging line, but also the shelf life and
this film. In terms of processing film, the Multivac machine technology is quite flexible. Here in particular, the ability to make accurate and flexible adjustments to the processing parameters on the company’s packaging machines plays a significant role. It means that film can be used exceptionally efficiently. For example, highly efficient film feed systems help to keep film waste in the form of edge strips and punched lattice that accrues during the packaging process to a minimum. Finally, in the future, advanced machine technology will also allow mono materials without sealing layers to be processed. In this case, for certain applications multilayer films will not be necessary and the film waste can be segregated by type.
Considering the packaging line as a whole
A holistic consideration of sustainability does not end with the interaction of the film and the packaging machines; instead, it should include the entire packaging line. Solutions which are overloaded with functions, for example over dimensioned handling modules, are a drain on both the financial and the technical resources of the customer, making process safety and maintenance tasks more difficult and thus increasing training and operating costs unnecessarily. Last, but not least, professional maintenance and regular service work as well as flexibility in terms of conversion for new packaging tasks contribute to long service life and longer usability for the packaging machines. This is certainly another factor in sustainable development and clearly I not unimportant. Visit: www.multivac.com
Standard film for many purposes
The FreshSafe concept is another example. With this process developed by Multivac, fruit and vegetables are packaged according to type, so they stay fresh much longer than they would in conventional packaging. Because customised variations are achieved with a micro-perforation application integrated into the line, the packaging process requires just one standard film. For a sustainable innovation, not only the film is important, but also the processing of
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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 lowcost 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.” Visit: www.kantemir.fr
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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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“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
“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.”
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.” Visit:www.madern.com
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.
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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