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Focus on sustainable packaging and smart auto ID solutions
LogiMAT 2020 in Stuttgart
The manufacturers of packaging and packaging equipment, as diverse as their portfolios may be, face some intriguing challenges: Equipment manufacturers generated €7.1 billion in revenue in 2018 with record growth of 8%—the highest in the past decade. But the VDMA Industry Association of Food Processing and Packaging Machinery expects a moderate growth rate of no more than 2% in the year just ended. The situation among packaging and packing material manufacturers is not much different. The corrugated cardboard industry had posted growth of only 0.6% back in 2018, falling short of the forecast growth rate of 3.9%.
For 2019, the Association of the Corrugated Cardboard Industry is anticipating revenue growth of 1.0%. The latest figures of the other industries are not much different: Germany’s folding carton manufacturers increased their production value in fiscal 2018 by a moderate 0.4% over the previous year to €1.98 billion euros. Sales of container glass grew by 1.3% to 4.3 million metric tons in 2018, while aluminum foil was up 3%. And PET packaging, which is used primarily for beverages and meat products, had already collapsed in 2018. The operator of the Petcycle pool system for beverage packaging reports an 11.8% drop in sales of PET packaging in the beverage segment for 2019. “The ‘plastic equals garbage’ mantra propagated by the media and politicians has led to growing uncertainty among consumers,” observes Hans Baxmeier, Managing Director of Petcycle GmbH, explaining the results.
No question about it: The industry is facing great challenges and is working to create a forward-looking positioning for its product portfolio. The “Generation Greta” of sensitized consumers is reshuffling markets and forcing manufacturers to develop innovative products and solutions. In response to the demand for “green,” “sustainable,” and “climate-neutral,” leading manufacturers of packaging machines and solutions are presenting their latest innovations March 10–12 at LogiMAT—the 18th International Trade Show for Intralogistics Solutions & Process Management. “Alongside the security aspect and the increasing integration of smartphones and smart packaging, sustainability is becoming a major driver for the solutions that the packaging industry hopes will generate further growth,” explains LogiMAT Exhibition Director Michael Ruchty of Munich-based event organizer EUROEXPO Messe- und Kongress-GmbH. “Almost no other exhibition area is seeing such a clear shift as the packaging segment.”
Sustainability was already emerging as a strong trend in the packaging industry in recent years. Consumers are increasingly demanding packaging solutions that are green and versatile, and manufacturers must respond accordingly. Solutions that once seemed completely outlandish are now penetrating the market. The Carlsberg Brewery Group, for example, has developed the Green Fibre Bottle, the world’s first paper bottle for beer—made of wood fibers, 100% bio-based, completely recyclable. Exhibitors from the packaging industry are coming to LogiMAT 2020 in Stuttgart with similarly innovative surprises. Their latest developments in sustainable packaging solutions will be on display in Halls 4 and 6. The TradeWorld platform in the Atrium (East Entrance) also offers industry professionals from around the world the opportunity to experience numerous innovative solutions focused specifically on trade logistics.
Green solutions for secure and affordable packaging
Antalis Verpackungen GmbH (Hall 4, Booth C71), a leading specialist for smart packaging concepts, is presenting its “Rethinking Packaging” concept in Stuttgart as a consultant for sustainable packaging concepts, secure product protection, and the optimization of existing intralogistics concepts. Film manufacturer DUO PLAST (Hall 4, Booth C35) is presenting “DUO PLAST Earth No. 4,” a stretch film made from post-consumer recycled material.
Kern AG (Hall 4, Booth G70) is among those presenting material and equipment innovations with its PackOnTime® customizable packaging system, which works with sustainable recycled cardboard and eliminates the need for additional filling materials by measuring single or multiple articles in 3D and then placing them in custom-sized packaging. The use of recycled cardboard, the reduction of filling materials, and better utilization of delivery vehicles are all expected to cut down emissions. Bartsch International (Hall 6, Booth G21) is coming to LogiMAT with its RFP Box made of eco-friendly packaging material for fast packaging. The consultants from Carl Bernh. Hoffmann Verpackung GmbH & Co. KG (Hall 6, Booth A61) are presenting green solutions for secure and affordable packaging with the brand new Packgreen product line: Tried and tested filling and cushioning materials made of paper securely fix the goods in the carton and, as a natural product, are 100% recyclable or biodegradable. The manufacturer is also presenting its Qwikbox, made from a raw material consisting in part of grass.
In the East Entrance area, BVS Verpackungs-Systeme GmbH (Booth EO03) is presenting PurePaperPak, an environmentally friendly packaging made of industrial starch (potatoes), paper fibers, and water, including admixtures, which is 100% biologically produced and completely biodegradable. And Kraus Maschinenbau GmbH (East Entrance, Booth ES50) is coming to LogiMAT with a newly developed automatic packaging machine that can be used to produce environmentally friendly paper bag packaging for e-commerce.
Several exhibitors in Stuttgart are also focusing on the idea of reusable packaging and presenting corresponding solutions—for example, from the container sector. Cabka Group (Hall 6, Booth C21), a specialist for plastics recycling, is showing the latest generation of the CabCube foldable large load carrier together with the new CP3 and CP9 light and robust container-optimized chemical pallets. Georg Utz GmbH (Hall 6, Booth F51) is presenting new climate-neutral reusable packaging under the UIC® brand (Utz Industrial Compound). UIC® stands for high-quality secondary raw materials with documented and certified properties, offering customers the opportunity to reduce their own carbon footprint. “The market and consumers today are fully sensitized to the issue of sustainability,” notes Exhibition Director Ruchty. “With their innovations and new developments for environmentally friendly packaging solutions, the exhibitors at LogiMAT 2020 are showing the major progress that has already been made here and what we can still expect to see in the coming years.”
Auto ID solutions—from recyclable label material to image processing
Companies in the auto ID and labeling technology sector face similar challenges with regard to sustainability. “When people today talk about ‘data goldmines,’ and when artificial intelligence algorithms with automated and radically accelerated computing and analytics processes generate new insights and business segments, all this happens using data collected in intralogistics and the supply chain,” Ruchty points out. “The foundation for this was laid almost 70 years ago with the barcode as the basis of today’s auto ID technologies.” The industry association AIM-D e.V. describes auto ID technologies as “enablers” of current optimization and transformation projects, process automation, and the smart integration of production, logistics, transport, and traffic data.
The spectrum of solutions presented by auto ID exhibitors ranges from data carriers, labels, and tags to encoding and writing devices and recording instruments. It includes barcode, QR code, 2D and 3D code printers, the integration of radio-frequency identification (RFID), navigation and real-time location systems (RTLS), and extends to the use of the latest advances in the fields of Bluetooth and near-field communication (NFC) as well as imaging, scanner, and sensor technology. “This means that auto ID technologies offer solutions for almost everything today’s digital, automated industry needs,” notes Ruchty.
All the same, sales of identification technology hardware have flatlined in recent years at around €26 billion per year. “Given the growing environmental awareness, manufacturers are called upon to develop more smart solutions that can tap into these resource-saving optimizations,” says Ruchty. The international exhibitors in Halls 4 and 6 of LogiMAT, March 10–12 in Stuttgart, are showing the innovations that manufacturers in this segment have to offer. The event’s accompanying program, with the Tracking & Tracing Theatre of industry association AIM-D (Hall 4, Booth F05) and the two forums “Optimization of the Digital Supply Chain” (March 10, Forum C, Hall 4) and “Automation in Logistics with Auto ID” (March 11, Forum C, Hall 4), offers attendees everything they need to know about the future role of auto ID technologies as enablers of digital transformation.
The spectrum of innovations for measuring, labeling, and recording and for new wearables and scanners ranges from new label materials, add-on modules that transform analog load cells into modern digital weighing systems, and new developments in inkjet and industrial printers, to specialized identification solutions with RFID and NFC transponders as well as new RFID and 3D laser scanners. Logopak Systeme GmbH & Co KG (Hall 4, Booth F05), an active partner in the auto ID live scenario Tracking & Tracing Theatre, is presenting a new system printer for barcode and RFID solutions as well as semi- and fully automatic labeling solutions. Also on display: the resource-saving Eco-Labelling Linerless for labeling without liner material. Neosid Pemetzrieder GmbH & Co. KG (Hall 4, Booth D05) is showing NeoTAG® Plug, a new HF transponder for RFID applications, as well as new RFID adhesive transponders in individual designs and the new NeoTAG® Flag for fastening with standard cable ties.
TOKO Etikettier- und Drucksysteme GmbH & Co. KG (Hall 4, Booth B05) is coming to Stuttgart with several innovations never yet seen anywhere in the world. On the hardware end, TOKO is presenting the new Epson C6000 inkjet printer with a label dispensing feature. For more sustainability, Toko offers label paper consisting of up to 50% grass as well as self-adhesive film labels containing up to 20% recycled post-industrial waste (PIW) and up to 30% post-consumer waste (PCW).
Dynamic Systems GmbH (Hall 4, Booth D05) is offering information about special materials for labels in demanding applications: DE-F470 and DE-F480 are white polyester films in matt and glossy finish with high tear and tensile strength. The DE-F702 film offers transparent, very strong adhesive dots designed especially for application onto difficult and rough surfaces. DE-F965 is a white, glossy composite material made of paper and polyester without adhesive featuring high tensile strength as a standard variant for KLT containers, and DE-F379 consists of polypropylene material for labeling and tracing industrial components and cable harnesses. DYNAMIC SYSTEMS is also exhibiting a large number of industrial printers for various applications.
Cognex Germany Inc. (Hall 6, Booth B03) presents the 3D-A1000 smart camera, an image processing system for measuring and optimizing the volume of parcels. ProGlove (Hall 6, Booth D14) and Newland EMEA (Hall 6, Booth B26) will be on site with the latest wearables for efficient scanning processes. “At LogiMAT 2020, the innovations of auto ID companies are evident in almost every hall,” Ruchty concludes. “No company that manufactures systems, machinery, or forklift trucks would be able to function today without identification technology. Halls 4 and 6 are also concentrating on the latest developments in the full range of auto ID technologies. This makes LogiMAT, in the words of our partner AIM-D, a ‘major event for the auto ID sector’ and therefore a must for everyone who has to make forward-looking decisions in this area in the coming months and wants to invest in future-oriented technologies.”
LogiMAT, the 18th International Trade Show for Intralogistics Solutions and Process Management, is coming to the Messe Stuttgart convention center, directly adjacent to Stuttgart International Airport, March 10–12, 2020. Presented by EUROEXPO Messe- und Kongress-GmbH, LogiMAT ranks as the world’s largest trade show for intralogistics solutions with a complete market overview of everything driving the intralogistics industry, from procurement to production to shipping. International exhibitors gather early in the year to showcase innovative technologies, products, systems, and solutions for streamlining operations, optimizing processes, and cutting costs in a company’s internal logistics. Beyond the exhibitor booths, visitors can also experience a different program of presentations each day covering a wide range of topics.
EUROEXPO has also partnered with Landesmesse Stuttgart since 2014 to present the annual LogiMAT China, which returns to Shanghai alongside transport logistic China, June 16–18, 2020.
Bangkok, Thailand, is a new venue in the portfolio. “LogiMAT | Intelligent Warehouse” makes its debut May 13–15, 2020. It focuses on the Southeast Asian market and follows in the footsteps of “Intelligent Warehouse,” which was presented by local organizer Expolink Global Networks Ltd. from 2015 to 2019.
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