Interpack 2017

Interpack  — Hardly a Trade Is so Diverse as the Dusseldorf Industry Event

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The expectations from the sector enterprises are high in 2017 with machine manufacturers hoping for clear impetus from Interpack for the business years 2017 and 2018. The package manufacturers have to do the balancing act of effectively setting the packages and of designing them in a customer-friendly manner, and saving raw materials on the other hand and thus unburdening the environment. That increases the requirements for packaging machines.

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Intelligent control and automation technology, economic drive systems, compressors, ventilators or pumps are among the classic solutions to save power and raw material or equipment and to improve energy efficiency. Efficient engines, optimally adjusted to the movements and acceleration processes in the machines, help to further reduce power consumption.

Active Packaging Materials Ensure Freshness

41 percent of all packagings in the D-A-CH-area are food packagings. Those who deal with the latest packaging technology related to the food sector cannot circumvent nanotechnology or printed or organic electronics. Intelligent and smart covers, which detect the level of freshness of the food and influence it in a targeted manner have long been more than just a Utopian dream. Active packagings regulate the moisture level, prevent germ formation or even destroy these germs in a marked manner — e.g. through so-called absorbers. Iron ensures longer freshness for oxygen-sensitive drinks like beer or juices. Special sensors on modern packagings can display whether food is still edible. These sensors react if specific substances or gases are emitted, and show this by changing colour or fluorescence. Thus, one can quickly identify the condition of the food. An interrupted cold chain is one of the most common reasons for food spoilage. This can be indicated with the help of intelligent time-temperature-indicators, mostly in the form of colour change.

Pharmaceutical is Counting on Digitisation

Indeed, the pharmaceutical industry is growing. But it has to deal with challenges like price limits, mandatory discounts or use-based price structuring and refund models as well as the increasing sales of generic drugs. This competition demands efficient technologies and processes.

This means that the requirements in the whole process chain for manufacturers and packers of drugs are about to increase once again. Therefore, integrated systems have to move beyond the context of Industry 4.0 and keep a watchful eye on the whole value chain, as the customer wants to reduce the costs per package across his whole process. That requires suppliers to improve the overall equipment effectiveness.

Especially interesting, regardless of the industry, is the implementation of smart packaging technology principles. Conductive plastics, ink on film, paper or glass in combination with extremely thin, flexible and transparent electronic components, as well as in interactive displays, light effects and sensor technology stand ready to convert humble packaging into hi-tech products, of which there are many to be discovered at Interpack.