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Study Confirms Cleanliness of Corrugated Shipping Containers
Corrugated, CPG, News

Study Confirms Cleanliness of Corrugated Shipping Containers

Single-use corrugated minimizes risk of contamination, supporting food safety Periodic testing performed to a protocol designed by food safety, microbiology and toxicology experts from the University of California-Davis and Haley & Aldrich, and sponsored by the corrugated industry confirms corrugated containers used to transport fresh produce are safe and clean. “Ninety-nine percent of the samples evaluated were well below the sanitation levels of 1000 colony forming units (CFU) per swab for the organisms tested,” said Maryann Sanders, Product Stewardship Leader and microbiologist. Conducted as a follow-up to prior industry‐wide corrugated container cleanliness studies performed in 2014 (initial) and 2016 (annual), the study examined corrugated containers from various manufacturers, at three separate end-user locations, for the presence of two pathogenic indicator organisms: Enterobacteriaceae and thermotolerant coliforms. “The data show continued due diligence on the part of individual manufacturers and the corrugated industry to mitigate potential sources of contamination and provide clean containers,” said Dennis Colley, executive director of the Corrugated Packaging Alliance. “Corrugated containers are used once before they are recovered for recycling, which eliminates the potential for lingering contamination that can result from multi-use shipping containers. After use, 90 percent of corrugated containers are returned to the paper mill for recycling, where high temperatures effectively kill any bacteria that may have been transferred from the product,” Colley explained. The 1000 CFU per swab threshold used in the study was defined by Dr. Keith Warriner, a Food Science Professor at the University of Guelph. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not established guidelines for allowable microbial levels on packaging or fresh produce. Source : www.corrugated.org
20 Corrugated Box Industry Statistics, Trends & Analysis
Corrugated, News, Trends

20 Corrugated Box Industry Statistics, Trends & Analysis

The first corrugated box was produced in the United States in 1895. In the span of just 10 years, almost all of the wooden crates or boxes that were being used for various purposes were replaced with corrugated cartons. By 1908, corrugated cardboard and paper-board were used interchangeably by the industry. Corrugated boxes provide a number of advantages. You can print on the exterior material. They are durable enough to withstand standard shipping processes. Modern corrugated boards can be provided in several color varieties, graphics options, and box designs.

Important Corrugated Box Industry Statistics

#1. Container manufacturing and cardboard box manufacturing in the United States is an industry currently valued at $66 billion. (IBIS World) #2. From 2013-2018, the corrugated box industry grew at an average annual rate of 1%. (IBIS World) United States Corrugated Box Industry Statistics #3. About 2,000 businesses are currently active within the corrugated box industry in the United States. These firms are responsible for the direct employment of more than 141,000 people. (IBIS World) #4. The four largest manufacturers of corrugated boxes, cardboard, and shipping containers hold a 33.1% share of the industry. West-Rock holds the largest market share, at 12.3%. (IBIS World) #5. In 2016, corrugated industry shipments rose by 2.1%, reaching over 376 billion square feet. (Advance Packaging Corporation) #6. 80% of the shipments generated by the industry originate from corrugator plants. The remainder of shipments for the corrugated industry come from sheet plants. (Advance Packaging Corporation) #7. The total value of industry-related shipments in 2016 was $30.8 billion. (Advance Packaging Corporation) #8. 31% of corrugated box manufacturing products are consumed by the food manufacturing industry. In second is wholesale trade, at 16%. These industries are followed by paper manufacturing (9%), agriculture, forestry, and fishing (8%), and beverage manufacturing (6%). (Numera/FBA) #9. IP holds 32% of the current American capacity for corrugated manufacturing, producing more than 12.6 million tons per year. West-Rock, which leads in market share, holds 18% of the industry’s total capacity. (Alternative Paper Solutions) #10. The corrugated box industry has been rapidly consolidating since 2007, when there were 806 sheet plants and 554 corrugator plants in operation. In 2016, there were 690 sheet plants and 465 corrugator plants. (Fibre Box Association) North America Corrugated Box Industry Statistics #11. Domestic consumption of Kraft liners has remained relatively steady since 200, with about 15.5 million tons consumed in the U.S. each year. The same is true for recycled liners, with 5.5 million tons consumed each year. (Fibre Box Association) #12. Although the number of corrugator plants has decreased by nearly 200 since 1992, the total production levels have risen by over 500 million square feet in total yearly production at the same time. (Fibre Box Association) #13. In 2016, paper mills in the United States averaged higher than 95% operating rates, thanks to strong levels of demand and higher pricing structures. (Advance Packaging Corporation) #14. In July 2017, medium mills within the corrugated box industry achieved an operating rate of 99.4%. For 2018, the projected operational rate is expected to be above 97%. (RISI Info) #15. The mill cost per ton for medium production is $325 for virgin materials and $351 for recycled materials. For liner production, the cost per ton is $328 for Kraft and $362 for recycled. (Advance Packaging Corporation) #16. Inventory levels in Q4 2016 (2.3 million tons) reached the lowest levels since Q3 2012, when there were 2.1 million tons of inventory available. (Fibre Box Association) #17. Asia leads the world in total corrugated production and shipments, with more than 120 billion square meters produced in 2017, or 52.8% of the market. Europe is the second-leading producer, with nearly 6 billion square meters (22.2% of the market) produced and shipped. (International Corrugated Case Association) #18. 40% of the corrugated boxes produced in Japan are used for processed foods. This is followed by fruits and vegetables (10.8%), electrical appliances (7.6%), pharmaceuticals (6.1%), and ceramics (5.5%). (Statista) #19. Just 1.1% of the corrugated boxes which are manufactured each year are used for a purpose other than packaging. (Statista) #20. 34% of the global packaging industry is dedicated to paper and board products. (Ernst and Young) US Corrugated Box Industry Statistics Forcasted Market Size

Corrugated Box Industry Trends and Analysis

With online sales increasing, production levels rising, and several new plants beginning operations between 2018-2024, the corrugated box industry looks poised for rapid growth. Although only 3 projects are deemed to be “certain” additions to the industry in the United States, the improved capacities and innovative production methods will keep production levels above 1 billion square feet for the foreseeable future. Improved pricing structures within the industry will continue to help revenues grow as well. Using 1987 as a base year for a price index of 100, in 2016, the industry achieved a price index of 168.2. Since 2008, the price index has been above 140, according to data provided by the Fibre Box Association industry annual report. Nothing on the economic horizon points to a reduction in the need for corrugated boxes. Even in times of recession, this product is used by domestic and international organizations in a variety of ways. Households will still need access to food and beverage products, which make up nearly 40% of total industry revenues. A strong economy means a strong push for new revenues by the corrugated box industry. A weaker economy means stable revenues. That’s a win/win situation for everyone involved with the industry.   Source : www.brandongaille.com
Finding the Sweet Spot in Aseptic Packaging
Corrugated, CPG, Retail, Sustainability

Finding the Sweet Spot in Aseptic Packaging

In developed and maturing markets, food and beverage manufacturers are struggling with slowing growth and are therefore, seeking new growth opportunities. The challenge is establishing the right consumer space to identify the right customers and create the right kind of products. It’s a similar story for emerging markets where the challenge is to provide relevant consumer products, and service areas where there’s unlocked potential.

Product innovation is becoming important

The ways we live, work and consume are changing. From digitalization and urbanization, to faster on-the-go lifestyles, a whole series of megatrends are transforming the way people think of products. What we’re seeing is that mobile and connected consumers want more from their products of choice. They want high quality, authentic and convenient packaging that’s easy to use, enhances their experience and scores in terms of sustainability. This means consumers are willing to pay premium prices for innovative, sustainable and differentiated products with real benefits.  
SIG’s drinksplus aseptic cartons
SIG’s drinksplus aseptic cartons make the added value of a product perceptible by adding natural extras such as pieces of real fruit and vegetables to beverages.

The challenges of developing new products

It’s clear that consumers are no longer driven purely by price. So, to gain a competitive edge, producers are battling it out to offer products that can offer better health, quality and experience. But achieving greater product novelty requires the right consumer insights to realize new opportunities — all while meeting individual consumer needs and ensuring products stand out at the point of sale.

How to Overcome the Challenges

Producers need to develop products for the next generation that enable them to meet changing needs and capitalize on market trends. But to do this, they need more creative design concepts, more filling potential for products and more unique packaging possibilities. Food and beverage manufacturers need to find that “product sweet spot” that enables them to open up new segments and reach new target groups, while also growing their existing and well-established core markets. SIG is one provider that offers complete solutions, from concept development to final product to create the right product together. This means everything, from analyzing a company’s portfolio and prototyping packaging solutions, to tailor-making filling solutions that maximize production.

How to Stand Out in a Crowded Market

Creating more convenient or premium products is one thing. Making them authentic and unique is something else. To truly stand out from the crowd, producers can be the first in the market with real product innovation. They can broaden their portfolio and open up new consumer segments. And they can move beyond standard offerings, which, in turn, will help.  
Drinksplus aseptic carton packs
Drinksplus makes it possible to fill products containing up to 10% particulates in aseptic carton packs using standard SIG filling machines for liquid dairy and NCSD products.

Product and packaging innovations for the future

We can expect product innovations to come to life faster than ever. But a growing trend for the future is the development of more individualized products with smart packaging — those that can be perfectly tailored to fit a consumer’s personality, lifestyle and image. This move from mass production to mass personalization will gather pace and have a significant impact on producers, from driving new technology and business models, to unlocking value-rich data. It will require investment but the rewards will be great. In fact, according to Deloitte research*, one in five consumers interested in personalized products are willing to pay a 20 percent premium. SIG is a world-leading solution provider for the food and beverage industry within the field of carton packs and filling technology. As part of its Value Proposition, SIG aims to drive product innovation and differentiation in the beverage and food industry. With consumer-focused insights and marketing intelligence, the company delivers innovative product and packaging solutions that enable businesses to satisfy ever-changing needs. Source : www.packagingstrategies.com
Hot Markets in the Printing Industry for 2018-19
News, Trends

Hot Markets in the Printing Industry for 2018-19

The printing industry overview forecast of Vincent Mallardi’s “Hot Markets for Print Demand 2018-19” marks the 38th year this proprietary analysis of historical and projected patterns among principal purchasers of printing in the U.S. and Canada has been published. The annual research project is undoubtedly a complicated undertaking that requires Mallardi to correlate and aggregate direct, consensus forecast and statistical information from multiple sources to determine the overall revenues and subsequent print-buying potential for the top 25 industries/sectors.

The trends that result are undeniable, as a result, and provide an extremely valuable sales planning and prospecting tool for printing industry companies.

Combined, Mallardi contends that the Top 25 “Hot Markets for Print Demand 2018-19” account for nearly 95% of total print-related purchasing. It stands to good reason, then, that printers study these Top 25 industry verticals closely and Mallardi's accompanying expert commentary on the types of printing that they purchase.

Top 3 Hot Markets for Printing Industry: Packaged Foods, Medical/Pharma, Publishing

Not surprisingly, Packaged Foods maintains its top spot among the Top 25 sectors with the highest demand for printed products. As Mallardi points out, the advantages of aseptic, reclosable bags are supplanting the demand for canned, jarred and dried goods and for frozen microwave offerings. This trend can best be illustrated by the very high EBITDA multiples that buyers seeking M&A deals are willing to pay for flexible packaging printers/converters in comparison to other types of printing industry businesses.

The Medical/Pharmaceutical industry maintained its No. 2 ranking compared to the previous year among categories with the highest print demand, but the traditionally print-centric Publishing/Non-Newspaper sector jumped to No. 3 from its No. 5 ranking in 2017. At first blush, it seems a bit counter-intuitive - given the print issue frequency reductions or complete demise of some consumer magazine titles. But that doesn’t take into account the proliferation of short-run, special-interest printed publications.

The book publishing market has also proven to be resilient. E-books have not replaced the demand for printed books. And high-speed production inkjet printing, coupled with on-demand fulfillment workflows, are fueling the market for short-run backlist titles, self-publishing, university presses and personalized content used within higher education.

Banking/Insurance fell from No. 3 to being ranked No. 5 for 2018. Commercial banks are being threatened by the potential rise of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. And the insurance/property/casualty industry has been pummeled this year from all of the claims payouts resulting from multiple hurricanes and major forest fires.

Those are just a few of the Top 25 sectors/categories that offer the highest print purchasing revenue potential.

Government, Federal/State Falls Off Top 25 Hot Markets for Print Ranking

Off the Top 25 Hot Markets list from last year is Government, Federal/State, with predictions for an 8% reduction in print demand due to spending cuts - despite a major increase for the federal budget in 2018. Mallardi points out that print opportunities still exist for those agencies that remain in political favor, such as the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. By contrast, demand will weaken for programs tied in with the United Nations, Public Broadcasting, as well as for the educational initiatives sponsored by NASA and by the Department of Agriculture.

Energy, too, failed to crack the Top 25 again this year, with predictions for a further 15% drop in print demand.

Need for Printers to Target Specific Verticals Alters Print Sales Job Requirements

The days of finding financial and market success as a general commercial printer have long passed. Consequently, highly targeted sales expertise about how to service, problem solve and fully understand the pain points of specific industries has become more critical than ever.

This may require a re-evaluation of existing salesforces, and perhaps replacing - or at least supporting - generalists with more specialized sales reps who possess strong subject matter knowledge and experience, so they can 'walk the talk' when calling on specific verticals that are being targeted. Just as digital printing has enabled greater customization, vertical market sectors also require salespeople with personalized, nuanced expertise in that given industry.

Source : www.piworld.com
2019 Print Forecast : Tight Paper Market Will Continue Squeezing Publishers
Designers, Innovation, Sustainability, Trends

2019 Print Forecast : Tight Paper Market Will Continue Squeezing Publishers

At the beginning of next year, magazine publishers will be paying about 25% more for paper than they did just 18 months earlier -- assuming they can find any paper to buy. There are no signs that the scarce supply and rising prices afflicting all U.S. buyers of publication papers will abate in 2019. Magazine-quality paper is in such short supply that some publishers, unable to obtain their usual stock, are having to fall back on whatever they can get their hands on to print their issues. “Keep an eye on your favorite magazines the next few months,” one industry source says. “You’re going to see issues containing an odd mix of papers.” Some U.S. mills stopped taking orders for coated papers recently while they cleared their backlogs. Others are quoting lead times of about three months to existing customers and capping how much they can buy. If you need additional paper or don’t already have a regular supplier, good luck. “If we place an order today, it may not arrive until early next year,” says one publishing manager who buys from a European mill. “We’re selling more ad pages than expected, so we’ll have to cut back on newsstand distribution to be sure we don’t run out of paper.” Shortages and price spikes are usually driven by spikes in demand, but the irony of the current paper squeeze is that it was caused by decliningdemand. Expecting the market for coated paper to continue shrinking rapidly, paper companies have been shutting down coated-paper machines or altering them to make products for which demand is growing, such as packaging grades. (You can thank Amazon for the boom in boxes and other packaging materials.) The ability to ratchet down the amount of coated paper they make while ratcheting up the non-publication papers produced on the same machines has enabled the paper companies to keep supply and demand in balance. But things don’t always go as forecast. Sappi has struggled with a project enabling it to produce packaging grades on a machine that used to making only coated freesheet (the bright, glossy kind used in fashion and photography-oriented magazines). As a result, North America’s #2 CFS producer fell behind schedule this summer, forcing it to limit what even regular customers could buy and, for a while, to stop taking orders altogether. I suspect the demand for magazine papers didn’t drop as much as expected. Magazine-industry statistics tend to report results mostly for the type of big-name, big-circulation titles that are cutting back or closing while overlooking the regional, enthusiast, and other niche titles that seem to be thriving. Also flying under the radar may be an increased use of coated papers for direct mail. Better audience targeting leads to smaller mailing lists but also, judging by what’s in my mailbox, a willingness to spend more to create visually arresting mail pieces. Duties and tariffs on uncoated paper from Canada probably drove some demand up the value chain to coated papers. (Side note: The tariffs on Canadian newsprint are jacking up costs for U.S. newspapers and could be the last straw that drives many out of business. That could be a boon for publishers of regional magazines.) And there’s no question that, as prices bottomed out in mid-2017 and then started rising, buyers ordered extra paper to beat future increases. Major printer Quad/Graphics recently said it had built up an extra $15 million worth of paper inventory in anticipation of a tight market and rising prices. Even if the shortage eases next year, prices may continue rising as buyers restock their depleted inventories. That has usually led to a market crash, with rapidly falling prices, once the inventory building stops. This time may be different, however, because high pulp prices limit how much the paper companies can discount their products. The forces driving up pulp prices -- such as ecommerce-related packaging production (thanks to Amazon) and the recent trend of recycled paper ending up in landfills rather than pulp – seem unlikely to abate. And more so than in the past, paper companies have the ability to shift production to other products rather than creating a glut of magazine papers. One paper-company CEO recently summed up the industry’s attitude in predicting that more firms will stop producing publication papers: “Why not just make more tissue or toilet paper? That would be easier.” Publishers should be used to such a dismissive attitude because it’s rampant at our industry’s largest supplier, the U.S. Postal Service. Postal officials are focused on boosting their growing package business (thanks to Amazon) and seem to have given up on fixing the problems that bedevil magazines and other flat mail. A decade ago, the postal officials’ strategy was to save money by automating the sortation of flat mail. But now that they have botched that strategy so badly that costs actually rose, their flats strategy amounts to trying to pass the additional costs along to the customers rather than fixing the problems or reducing costs. Various proposals are floating around Congress, the Postal Regulatory Commission, and a presidentially appointed panel that could lead to radical changes, such as double-digit rate hikes for publishers. Congress can’t even appoint members to the board that governs the Postal Service, much less pass any meaningful postal legislation. And any move by the PRC to implement above-inflation-rate price hikes -- as it suggested early this year -- is likely to be tied up in litigation for months. So the most likely scenario for 2019 is an inflation-based rate hike of about 3% early in the year, followed by much back and forth but nothing else definitive being implemented during 2019. Some magazine printers that also produce free-standing inserts are being hurt by the newspaper industry’s collapse. But until the tight paper market eases, 2019 won’t be a good time to switch printers unless you have your own paper supply. Because of a trucking shortage (Thank you, Amazon.), you should expect printers to hike their freight rates, adjust schedules, and perhaps cut back on dropshipping. Here’s a recap of my predictions for 2018, which Publishing Executivepublished in September 2017:
  • Paper: Prices could rise even more than “the percentage point or two” predicted by the major paper-market analytics firm. Actual results: I was right, but I certainly didn’t foresee double-digit increases.
  • Postal: A 2% rate hike, with any additional increases occurring no earlier than late in the year. Actual results: 2%, plus lots of talk about reforms and rate overhauls, but no action.
  • Advertising: I quoted a forecast that advertising would decrease in the 6% to 9% range, while noting that the outlook was better for niche titles. Actual results: About as predicted, though it didn’t take a genius to see this coming. I was probably overly optimistic about the potential growth for targeted inserts and custom publications.
  • Printing: Industry consolidation may enable printers to stem the long, slow decline in printing prices. Actual results: I thought publishers’ printing prices had bottomed out in 2017 and were inching up, but Quad/Graphics recently reported that its prices across all types of printing had declined 1% to 1.5% in the past 12 months.
Source : www.pubexec.com
Top Three Packaging Trends Shaping Up for 2019
Innovation, Trends

Top Three Packaging Trends Shaping Up for 2019

The packaging industry today is buzzing with "influencer packaging" to deliver likes, shares and to create an ongoing dialogue across a bevy of social networks. Brands are also becoming aware of the benefits that size audits can deliver to the bottom-line: economies of scale, reductions in consumer transaction costs and reduced storage costs. Visually, packaging is always in flux, from essentialism to street inspired graphics. The business of packaging is changing along with everything around us—politics, trade and sustainability. Always seeking new opportunities to address the ever-changing business of retail, we’re asking “Why?” Why does packaging still operate in the same manner it did 50 years ago? Why is recycling the sole responsibility of the consumer? Why aren’t we trying to do more with less and take responsibility for what we create? As the teams at Design Packaging continue to look ahead to the future of packaging, here are the top three things you can expect: (See Image 2) RETHINKING RETAIL PACKAGING Brands looking to innovate and deliver new consumer experiences have blue ocean possibilities, but it's been hard to break from the norm until today. In retail, consumers exit shops with shopping bags and gift boxes full of tissue, as they have for what feels like a millennia. Driven by rising costs of materials, manufacturing, as well as environmental pressures, packaging is being downsized. We’re guiding brands away from the old model and into experience-driven packaging that can be reused, repurposed and has the potential to become a marketing component beyond share-worthy packaging. Don’t look back for inspiration, but look ahead to endless possibilities. (See Image 3)


The U.S. is in crisis mode when we look at recycling. The number of instances where curbside recycling is being taken to the landfill or incinerated continue to increase. Even in municipalities with stricter than normal compliance laws, we’re seeing recycling plants impacted by China’s National Sword policy. Compliant packaging is becoming more expensive. Demand for PCW continues to rise while its supply is being diverted to landfills. Brands need to explore creative partnerships and rethink what sustainable packaging can be. (See image 4)


How design goes from on-screen to in-hand is becoming a lost art in today’s production world. We’re working more frequently with designers wanting to learn mechanical processes, production techniques and material sciences that allow brands to make better decisions. From color paper stocks, to the impact PCW content can have on your ink mix, it’s important for in-house designers to be part of the manufacturing conversation. Source : www.brandpackaging.com
5 ways healthcare packaging lines can be more sustainable

5 ways healthcare packaging lines can be more sustainable

Life science companies look to utility savings, collaborative product development and serialization to boost their sustainability contributions. An aging world population and improved healthcare availability in emerging markets are driving demand in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries while creating new norms throughout the marketplace. As a result, manufacturers must cater to the need for a greater variety of pharmaceutical products. This can require changes to production that conflict with sustainability objectives. Notably, a shift toward smaller batch runs that enables product diversity but requires more frequent changeovers can create significant obstacles to companies looking to reduce energy consumption and overall environmental impact. Additionally, advancements in drug delivery add to this variety. Accurate dosing is of the utmost importance, so when patients and consumers achieve better results with different formats—such as injectables, transdermal patches or nasal sprays—companies have strong incentives to offer those other delivery mechanisms. The resulting challenge to the industry is accommodating ever more demanding production schedules and product and package variety in as sustainable a way as possible. To do that, healthcare product manufacturers must implement packaging solutions that minimize the environmental impact of expanding product portfolios, build sustainability practices into the development of new delivery systems, seek utility savings in new automation strategies and leverage serialization. While this is a tall order, companies can get a handle on it by exploring the latest sustainable solutions at Healthcare Packaging Expo, which is co-located with Pack Expo Intl., (Oct. 14-17, 2018; McCormick Place, Chicago). And here are five tips on how manufacturers of medical devices and pharmaceutical products can make their packaging operations more sustainable and efficient. 1. Put functionality first In a sustainability strategy, it is important to remember that any packaging that falls short of serving its purpose is never sustainable—no matter the material reduction, recyclability or use of recycled materials. In the healthcare market, the patients’ needs are the most important considerations. The goal is to achieve a safe delivery to the patient along with all necessary components and instructions for an effective application. Packaging operations of life sciences companies must balance the most important elements: the patient, efficacy and sterility. For example, a pain relief product must maintain its promised levels of effectiveness while that drug travels throughout the supply chain. Failure of the packaging to protect against elements like light and air that could jeopardize product effectiveness is not characteristic of a sustainable solution. Neither is any packaging that fails to protect the product or pharmaceutical industry workers against contaminants. Lightweighting blister pack materials, for example, may leave healthcare workers handling the product vulnerable to contamination. Such was the case with dutasteride, which contaminated both the inside and outside of Avolve capsule blister packs, and cyclophosphamide (CP), an anti-tumor drug with dangerous contaminants. Therefore, manufacturers must look to other areas where savings are possible. Plausible strides can be made with machinery technology. More efficient sealing, for example, has the potential to reduce material usage and waste. However, given the tight parameters enforced by the regulators, it can be a challenging balance to achieve. Packaging also plays an essential role in providing the track-and-trace and authentication measures that guard against counterfeiters and tampering. Packaging that cannot support these functions is no longer part of a sustainability-enhancing strategy and only contributes to fully costed waste.   2. Build waste reduction into product development Though the high efficacy, sterility and safety standards of the pharmaceutical and medical device industries provide some barriers to traditional avenues of material savings, these two sectors have seen a rise in collaborative problem solving to drive innovation in many areas, including sustainability. Combining pharmaceutical products with medical device delivery systems means overall products become simpler and more convenient, ultimately requiring less packaging. An example of this collaboration in action is the work carried out by both pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in creating implantable devices that also deliver drugs. And pill bottles can now be equipped with digital timestamp readouts that remind patients to take their medication, and are able to be monitored remotely by a doctor to ensure patients are taking their correct dosages. As healthcare treatments continue to become more complex, the pharmaceutical and medical device industries will continue to merge their technologies and expertise to deliver patient solutions that combine both pharmaceuticals and medical devices into one simple and convenient product—ultimately presenting opportunities to become more sustainable through consolidation. The approach is a win-win, enabling innovation to address better patient compliance, to use unique drug delivery methods, and to improve package integrity and product safety.   3. Invest in energy- and utility-saving solutions Medication for patients is becoming more personalized and specific. As a result, the concept of million-bottle runs for a particular dosage is becoming a thing of the past for many companies. To meet the demand for more personalized products—driven largely by the decline of blockbuster drugs, the explosion of biologics and the growing use of generics—so-called micro runs are now commonplace. These require lines to be stopped often for small tweaks, such as for more tablets or different dosages. And during that time the lights are on, the line is operational but not producing. The additional energy required for all of that changeover presents a challenge on the sustainability front, prompting manufacturers to re-evaluate their operations for opportunities to gain back efficiencies, energy and utility savings. Pharmaceutical companies work tirelessly to reduce the amount of power, air or water used on a line. For example, reducing the amount of heat used to shrink a lid is sustainable, as is looking at ways to reduce water consumption, or to optimize utility usage such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). Some are also giving serious consideration to clean energy technologies, such as solar, wind or power generated by biofuels, which is a huge step forward for sustainability.   4. Achieve sustainability through serialization A new need that can be related to sustainability is serialization. The serialization of pharmaceutical products has been mandated for six years now and asks that pharmaceutical products are tracked from their point of manufacture, to when they reach the patient. Where serialization is concerned, manufacturers need to make sure the information used to track products is readable throughout the supply chain—including human-readable codes. The package therefore needs to be big enough to carry that information. Where sustainability enters the equation is that serialization provides a much better insight to the manufacturer as to a product’s location and eventual distribution. This allows them to create the correct number of products, which saves on production and therefore elements such as material and energy usage and even distribution. While it is not designed to be more sustainable, serialization increases supply chain visibility and therefore adds to the overall control and sustainability of a product.   5. Share ideas and experiences For pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, sustainability will always be a challenging area to address, but a multifaceted approach can provide the most effective results. Operating amid a strict regulatory environment that governs patient safety and product effectiveness, these companies must often look beyond the more traditional paths to achieving strides in environmental responsibility. Through collaboration, innovation and thoroughly evaluating existing operations and practices, life science companies can implement sustainable initiatives with impact. And, importantly, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers can lean on the suppliers of packaging equipment as well as materials and containers to support their mission. Source : www.packagingdigest.com
4 emerging paperboard packaging trends
Corrugated, Designers, Innovation

4 emerging paperboard packaging trends

Four paperboard packaging trends emerged during the recent judging of the annual North American Paperboard Packaging Competition, organized and managed by the Paperboard Packaging Council. This year’s winners will be announced at PPC’s upcoming fall meeting (Oct. 24-26; Atlanta). But here’s a peek at what’s new in the market. 1. Digital escalation In response to an increase in entries of digitally-converted cartons in previous years, the association added a new “Digital” category this year—and saw related entries soar to a record number. High-quality digital printing on paperboard packaging may be more than a trend, according to one judge, who says it might become the standard for short-to-medium runs. Yet the excitement moving forward will probably be digital finishing enhancements, which first surfaced in the competition this year. PPC gives an example for an entry this year: “Liquor giant Brown Forman asked TPC Printing and Packaging to create personalized Old Forester bourbon cartons that would be gifts for graduates of its Executive Leadership Program. The cartons were printed black (traditional technology) and then digitally enhanced with foil and polymers ranging from five to 120 microns in height. The most exciting design element? Each carton was foiled with a different executive’s name. TPC was able to do this efficiently in-line, and one after another.” According to PPC, the judges suspect that digital finishing enhancements may become the rage in the next couple years. 2. Everyday upscale Luxury goods know the value of leveraging the upscale printing and finishing effects of paperboard packaging. Turns out, even everyday brands can take advantage of premium branding and graphics to help boost consumer excitement and sales. Two examples from entries this year are: A soft-touch coating on a six-pack beer carton. Kellogg’s Extra Creations black, gable-top cereal carton has overall matte varnish, spot high-gloss coating with embossing and gold foil stamping. According to PPC, “The nontraditional shape, color and effects all work together to create a unique, upscale feel that grabs consumers’ attention amongst the sea of rectangular cereal boxes in the grocery store.” 3. Dual- or multi-use designs When is a carton not a package? When it becomes an ice bucket, of course, as is the case with Asahi beer. Developed by WestRock, not only are the carton’s graphics unique for the beer segment, the structural design enables the package to hold ice so consumers can keep their beer cans cold “on the beach or wherever their adventure takes them,” says PPC. Judges also cited other examples from among the entries, including a spooky, glowing Jägermeister carton designed to illuminate consumers’ Halloween parties; a rigid paperboard Ferris wheel that served as a showpiece for upscale cosmetics; and several packages that use augmented reality or allowed consumers to access virtual content with their smart phones. 4. The cannabis craze There’s no denying the potential for packaging innovation in the fast-growing market of products containing THC, the chemical in marijuana that produces a euphoric high. As Packaging Digest reported in 2015, “branding and safety are now coming to the forefront for packaging of cannabis products, as the market for medicinal and recreational marijuana intensifies.” Last year, the top award winner was a unique cannabis carton manufactured by All Packaging Co. More entries this year show paperboard’s structural and graphic strengths for branding, such as using soft-touch coating, foil stamping and spot varnish. For required child-proofing, PPC says, “Other designs took it a step further by adding creative locking mechanisms made entirely from paperboard.” Source : www.packagingdigest.com
Antalis calls for e-retailers to prepare their packaging for seasonal opportunities
Corrugated, Innovation, Online

Antalis calls for e-retailers to prepare their packaging for seasonal opportunities

Antalis is calling on e-retailers to be prepared for the Christmas period with suitable packaging. Ian Whitcombe, packaging specialist – office trade at Antalis, said there is an increased onus on businesses to plan well in advance to ensure their packaging and logistics operations are able to withstand the spike in demand during seasonal holidays such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day – an area which office dealers can play a vital role in, says Antalis. “There are lots of different ways dealers can help businesses to easily and effectively improve their packaging offer, especially during busy seasonal periods such as Christmas and Easter. “In the age of next day delivery, convenience – in particular the importance of saving time – has become critical to consumer demand, which is driving record online retail sales. As such, it’s important for dealers to remind businesses that ordering essential packaging products such as boxes, bubble wrap and other fillers during peak times in November and December will usually add 3-5 days to the lead time – having a knock-on effect on those all-important delivery targets.” He said e-retailers should ensure their existing packaging capabilities are sufficient enough to cope during the busiest periods of the year.
“One of the key questions to ask in terms of packaging supply is simply; is your existing supplier capable of meeting your demands for an increase in packaging supply? Can they turn things around at short notice? Is their service reliable? What is their availability of packaging products? Can they cope with large fluctuations in supply and demand? And if they can’t what will be the impact on your business?”
Corrugated plays pivotal role in e-commerce supply chain equation
Corrugated, News, Trends

Corrugated plays pivotal role in e-commerce supply chain equation

The packaging industry needs to get a clear picture of where the growth is, and the public needs to learn about environmental footprint. Determining the number of “new” corrugated boxes entering the supply chain is not so easy. In many cases that very same box from the retail shelf is being reassigned to residential delivery. “It is a popular misconception that if e-commerce is growing 15 to 20 percent a year, corrugated must be growing at the same pace,” says Dennis Colley, President and CEO of the Fibre Box Association. “The data is complex and it’s difficult to quantify trends. We are working with transportation and delivery companies to get a clearer picture of how many of those packages delivered are in corrugated boxes ,” Colley says. First, there are other materials being used such as flexible plastic pouches or paper-based envelopes. One of Amazon’s levels is SIOC (ship in its own container) which does not call for any “new” boxes to be sold at all. SIOC does lend itself to theft as contents are advertised as the box sits on the front porch. So now, sometimes an outer opaque wrap of flexible film is applied, but it is essentially the same box that sat on the shelf at the big box store. Second, a lot of really cool social media promotions are scoring brand awareness and growth for smaller and mid-size companies, often with digital printing in the equation, but the targets tend to be smaller, well-defined market niches, and the promotion is often time sensitive so volumes are not huge. “Basically, it might be the same 100 boxes that sat on a shelf at a club store, but now they are distributed to 100 homes across the region.” It’s many times redistribution of the boxes, and not necessarily growth in corrugated sales. But it causes the public to see more packaging being delivered on the door steps. Colley sheds light on the social media complaints about too much packaging involving e-commerce. “What a lot of people don’t consider,” says Colley, “is that Amazon or any other dot com is going to package your product to arrive quickly and safely. Certain breakable items may need a bigger box to hold cushioning to absorb the shock of a drop or fall. Without the larger box and cushioning, if the box is dropped, the item itself will have to absorb the shock and possibly become damaged.” Consumers may complain about the “excess” packaging, but they can and do change brand loyalty if items are consistently damaged, need to be returned, refunded, etc. This dynamic tension, better protection with less packaging, is at the root of the e-commerce challenge. “My mission is sharing with the public what this industry is doing to promote easier access for residentialrecycling,” says Colley, “and to provide information for residents to recycle that e-commerce box properly. “That’s a very valuable fiber and we do not want it in a landfill.” Colley estimates that up to 93% of all corrugated boxes are recovered and reused. And there is very little that a containerboard mill can’t reuse to make new boxes. Staples can be removed, water-based inks can be dissolved away, labels and tape removed. “Only boxes with heavy wax, or stained with too much grease are rejected by mills using more sophisticated filters. Wax is often used for produce shipments, but aqueous coatings are becoming more popular and eventually wax will go away,” Colley predicts. Grease, usually associated with food use, can cause spotting on new boxes during the papermaking process. In either case, these boxes can be composted or incinerated, or chopped up and added to garden soil. The landfill is the last place you want to see a corrugated container. Colley briefly touched on a recent growth area, box on demand. “An on-demand machine takes an entirely different approach to making a right-sized box,” explains Colley. “Lasers are used to measure the product and to create a custom-size box for a perfect fit. But the process is much slower than conventional corrugated machines,” cautions Colley. “It has a role in low-volume output, but will not approach speeds for efficient high-production runs.” Source : www.packworld.com