In line with the broader economic scenario and a general slowdown experienced in all industries, packaging equipment demand is also projected to be affected. As per an upgrade in the guide to the key trends affecting US packaging equipment purchasing, the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) has updated its 2008 US Packaging Machinery Purchasing Plans Study. In a recent revision, PMMI revises anticipated packaging equipment spend to US$6.292 bln, just slightly less than the US$6.304 bln predicted earlier in the year. In an unprecedented move, the Institute has issued a revised forecast, predicting an increase of 0.4% over 2007 spending, which is a reduction of 0.2% on its initial forecast. The food and beverage sector accounts for 59% of the annual purchases from PMMI's members. End users are also demanding additional flexibility in machinery to handle a widening range of packaging requirements, including more changeovers, with a minimum of downtime, claims the report.
The Institute asked respondents from the initial survey to reexamine their purchasing plans in light of spiraling raw material and energy costs. The updated study shows that large-sized companies (with more than 25 packaging lines) have the highest rate of cutbacks. 55.6% of those surveyed online and by telephone interview in April and May, said they would not be making any change to their budgets for the year, 21.9% said they have scaled back and the balance 22.5% said they have revised their budgets higher.
Of the study's respondents who are planning to purchase packaging machinery this year, 48.3 per cent said that sustainability was a key reason for the investment, with a growing focus on issues such as energy use and greenhouse gas emissions as well as material waste.