Driven by the dynamic economic development, accelerating urbanization and improvement in people’s quality of life, the consumer market has a surging demand for safe, convenient, unique and environmentally friendly packaging. Meanwhile, the packaging industry is in a difficult position due to more stringent VOC regulations, fluctuating raw material prices, regional industrial transfer, uncontrollable costs, and recruitment difficulty. In light of the increasingly diverse user requirements and fierce market competition with more homogeneous products, the packaging industry has a pressing need for transformation and upgrading.
With the growing complexity of the business environment, how can one read the market trend, adapt to changes with technological innovations, and thus find a way out? CHINAPLAS 2019, a technology-oriented and innovation-driven trade fair, provides an international platform for showcasing and exchanging advanced technology. The show has a large display of innovative solutions featuring cutting-edge materials, machines, and technology, spotlighting customized, green, functional and intelligent manufacturing with reduced cost and improved efficiency, which helps packaging enterprises stand out.
Customized packaging in great demand
The packaging industry is playing an increasingly critical role across various sectors. Brands are looking for crowd-pulling customized packaging. Whether packaging can serve as the driving force behind a brand and how it becomes an important means for enterprises to implement their business strategies are currently hot topics in the industry.
Compared to Europe, the US, Japan, and other countries, China is a late starter in the packaging industry, which, however, has grown to a fairly large-scale industry over the past few decades. And thanks to China’s 40 years of reform and opening-up, the income and living standard of people in the country have improved significantly. As a result, the market has a rising demand for technology that helps deal with small and customized orders in a precise, quick and flexible manner, and brands are going through substantial upgrades with unprecedented frequency. The importance of packaging to products is growing exponentially.
HP Inc. will present its Indigo digital printing solutions for flexible packaging at CHINAPLAS 2019, provides a timely solution of on-demand customization, enhancing product value through personalization. The digital printing technology can be employed to shorten delivery lead time, boost business growth, save costs, streamline work processes, achieve automated prepress workflow, and directly increase profits. HP Indigo supports one-pass printing to allow the use of micro-text, anti-counterfeiting and traceability solutions, and special inks. HP Indigo 20000 Digital Press can be used for manufacturing labels and packaging. With a printing speed up to 42 m/min in color mode and a maximum web width of 76 cm, the press can address SKU diversity and operate per specific requirements. It has a print quality comparable to gravure printing and meets the safety standard for food packaging.
Towards a green and sustainable development path
Under the rapid emergence of the e-commerce industry and continuous changes in the business environment, consumer’s demographics and marketing channels, a “packaging revolution” triggered by the “consumption transformation” is taking place quietly. According to figures of the National Bureau of Statistics, the quantity of courier packages in China has topped the world ranking for consecutive years and increased more than twentyfold over the past decade. Behind the rapid growth, however, is a shocking waste of packaging materials, which are usually non-degradable. At the same time, the total recycling rate of packaging waste materials in China is less than 20%, which is disappointing. How to protect the nature while developing the economy and reduce the burden of logistics packaging on the environment has been a public concern in recent years.
Hubei Guanghe Biotechnology Co., Ltd. is a major player in an environmental protection campaign of Alibaba Group. The exhibitor will display a fully biodegradable material, GH7-1-360, and a bio-based material with a biogenic carbon content of almost 20%, JH330-D16A, which were developed in collaboration with the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The materials, designed for courier bags and bubble courier bags, have passed the European DIN CERTCO’s certification for fully biodegradable and bio-based products.
The bio-based and compostable material of Suzhou Hanfeng New Material Co., Ltd. has changed the situation of traditional plastics being difficult to degrade and combustion producing harmful gases. With the technology for blending PLA and PBAT, customers' various requirements for the physical properties of products and cost control can be satisfied, and the softness and environmental friendliness of products will be enhanced. Users can opt for such degradable and non-toxic packaging with higher quality when purchasing products in the future. The material can be used to manufacture green courier bags, disposable lunch boxes, bowls, cups, supermarket shopping bags, bags on a roll, flat-top bags and so on.
CHINAPLAS 2019 will also feature a “Recycling Technology Zone”, a “Recycled Plastics Zone” and a “Bioplastics Zone” to address the industry’s need for green and circular solutions.
Packaging innovations meeting consumers’ needs for freshness, taste and aesthetics
Consumers care about the freshness and taste of their food and drinks. They think that the packaging should not spoil or alter the taste, but retain nutrients in a product. Concerning the loss of taste and nutrients of food and drinks upon exposure to light and air, innovative packaging solutions can keep products fresh without adding preservatives.
NatureWorks LLC will showcase a new generation of tea and coffee bags made of Ingeo PLA-based biopolymer, which is not only compostable but also helps improve consumer experience in terms of flavor and aroma with better organoleptic properties. The product is applicable to various fields.
Epseal thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) of HEXPOL TPE are custom-made liner sealing compounds for the food and beverage industry. They are PVC free and conform to FDA and EU regulations. They offer consistent short, medium and long term opening torques, which provides consumer-friendly functionality, making it easier for children and senior citizens to open the bottles. Each individual sealing packaging system has extraordinary sealing property, great elasticity, and necessary flexibility and is shown in an organoleptic evaluation with the capability to preserve the original taste. The solution can be used for carbonated soft drinks, beer, wine, juice and milk-based beverages, and still performs satisfactorily after cold fill, hot fill, pasteurization or sterilization processes.
Let people see it’s fresh! Transparent packaging is popular among consumers. Millad® NXTM 8000 polypropylene clarifying agent of Milliken Enterprise Management (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. allows products with higher thickness to be as crystal clear as glass or amorphous polymer materials, which is now no longer a privilege of high-end thin-film products. Millad® NXTM 8000 can replace the expensive transparent materials with limited functionalities and improve the aesthetics of current polypropylene materials.
Packaging industry to find a way out and pursue an alternative path
As the market competition becomes progressively fierce, and the printing and packaging industries step into a micro-profit era with extremely low profits, how do enterprises extricate themselves out of the low-level homogeneity price competition? How to develop properly while fulfilling social responsibilities? How to reduce the pressure of recruitment difficulty and increasing labor cost? We know that robots will never take over all human jobs in the packaging industry. However, working efficiency and profits derived from products can be boosted through effective resource integration and higher level of automation, which is also the only way for companies nowadays to survive and grow business.
IML lids with spoon automation solution by Switek Technology Automation Co., Ltd. can produce up to 160,000 pieces of such IML lids with spoon daily. The new system will have all the steps, from the IML injection molding to packing, done automatically, significantly reducing the labor costs. At the same time, secondary contamination is prevented throughout the processing to ensure food safety. The solution is applicable to the manufacturing of spoon-in-lid packaging for ice cream and yoghurt cups.
Jandi's Industrial Co., Ltd. will showcase their manufacturing line for biodegradable T-shirt bags, where the steps of processing raw materials, film blowing, printing, bag manufacturing, recycling of residual materials and automatic packing all take place in a single production line, reducing workspace, managing costs, and human errors. As hot films are immediately processed, the sealing quality is satisfactory. The residual materials are recycled right away as well. Green materials are an excellent option because they are clean, simple, economical and energy-saving, resulting in lower carbon emission and carbon footprint. The solution can be used for single-layer blown films, high/low-density polyethylene, biodegradable raw materials or ABA three-layer blown films.
Sneak Peek at Concurrent Events
The show will not only feature more than 3,500 exhibitors but also will organize a series of concurrent events to explore how upstream and downstream enterprises can work together to overcome business hardships, enabling the packaging industry to flourish.
CHINAPLAS, now on a par with K Show in Germany, will return to the China Import and Export Fair Complex, Pazhou, Guangzhou and run from May 21 to May 24, 2019. The show will focus on “Smart Manufacturing”, “Innovative Materials”, “Green & Circular Solutions” to effectively address the exact need of high-end downstream buyers, presenting a high-quality and high-standard extravaganza of the plastics and rubber industries with an exhibition space of more than 250,000 square meters. The show will gather together more than 3,500 leading exhibitors from all over the world, in which more than 1,800 of them are related to the packaging industry, such as BASF, Dow Chemical, NatureWorks LLC, Milliken, LOTTE Chemical, HEXPOL TPE, Hubei Guanghe Biotech, ARBURG, ENGEL, Haitian, Yizumi, Akei, Tech-long Packaging Machinery, Totani, Han King, Jinming, Kurz, Brückner, Aoki, HP, ShaanxiBeiren, and SACMI, introducing plastics machines, materials and technical solutions to buyers from around the world.
It is expected that CHINAPLAS 2019 will attract more than 180,000 professional visitors from 150 countries and regions. The show has attracted a lot of well-known brands and enterprises, such as Nestlé, Jianlibao Group, Fujian Dali Group, Procter & Gamble, Colgate, Mentholatum, Amcor, Bemis Company, and Essel Propack etc.
Visitors can enjoy admission discount through online pre-registration from now till May 13, 2019, at an early-bird rate of USD 7.5 for a four-day pass. To pre-register, please visit www.ChinaplasOnline.com/prereg. For more information about CHINAPLAS 2019, please visit www.ChinaplasOnline.com.