All roads lead to Birmingham for packaging sector

exhibition crowd packaging innovations

MORE than 300 exhibitors are gearing up for Packaging Innovations 2020, which returns to Birmingham’s NEC on February 26 and 27.

Organisers have provided more information about the show’s new Cobot area and Start-Up Village, while innovations in sustainability will feature prominently.

With nine out of ten packaging companies now using robots, the show has chosen to introduce a new area dedicated to advancements in automated systems.

Exhibitors will include Reeco Automation, who will display its automated systems that use human-robot collaboration to reduce production costs by integrating with employees and factory equipment. Vikaso will also feature in this area, showcasing its Robotics 4.0 ready solution, alongside the Kuka LBR iiwa, a solution said to allow energy and communication to be conveyed to the robot. RARUK will unveil the SMARTSHIFT Tool Changer which provides ‘simple and fast’ tool shifting on different types of robot, while Simmatic Automation Specialists, the UK’s agent of SIASUN Cobots, will showcase the next generation seven axis cobots.

Sustainability will be a key theme, with several new environmentally-conscious products on show. Carlton Packaging will launch the X Taper, an automatic biodegradable handheld paper tape dispenser, while Plastimak will debut the EcoMak | Recyclable, a mono-PE structure with high-functional barriers. Giflor Closure Technologies will release its new 100% post-consumer resin closures, with Orbital Industries introducing its Orbi Eco Wrap, made from 51% sugarcane. FFP Packaging Solutions will launch Esterseal, a lidding film described as being widely recyclable. Foxpak Flexibles will debut its compostable coffee pouch made from plant-based materials, while Coveris will unveil RecyclaLite for the food-to-go sector featuring a peel-able function for consumers to separate film from board. Vetroplas and Eurovetrocap will launch their range of clear bottles and jars made from 90% recycled glass. Delipac will debut its Sustainable Suite: ‘Meal Deal’, said to be the first of its kind to combine a sandwich pack and coffee cup. A.Hatzopoulos S.A. will introduce its X-CYCLE recycle-ready, flexible packaging solutions with PP, PE, and mixed-poly variants.

Easyfairs said many exhibitors will also be launching their latest concepts for ‘improved efficiency and increased customer satisfaction’. These include Colpac’s Stagione range for the hot-food-to-go and delivered meals markets. Smurfit Kappa and Rollor will unveil its Rollor Packaging, which is designed to enable wrinkle-free shipping of fashion garments for the e-commerce market. Liquid Lens will launch a new resin said to create high-resolution mosaics that can be used in the same way as ceramics. Cambrian Packaging will unveil its Amazon-approved, e-commerce trigger spray head featuring leak-free patented technology. Granby will introduce SwiftReceipt, a service which utilises next generation technology to increase customer loyalty and interaction between brands and consumers. ETKİN will launch its latest lid design for the wet wipe market which utilises a tap to allow wipes to be easily pulled out of square or round buckets. Korozo will debut KORORCY, featuring an advanced PE formulation.

New packaging machinery will also be unveiled in Birmingham, with TAWI set to launch the Mobile Order Picker, which is the firm’s solution for mobile material handling and order-picking from pallet racks. Excel Packaging Machinery will unveil the Pentavac Piccola VFFS bagging machine, which is suitable for small to medium size production, while Epson will reveal new on-demand label printers, including auto-cutter and time-saving auto-peeler models.

Six up-and-coming packaging companies will present their latest innovations as part of the Start-Up Village. Combi Shots will present its container system that is said to be to mix two or more substances at the point of use. ReCircle Recycling will present a 100% closed-loop recycling solution that sorts, washes, and grinds recycling into pure materials then sells it to manufacturers. Triple Line Technology will showcase its TLT-Foamer technology that offers a sustainable method of foam generation for packaged goods, without VOCs. GUMIPOD is marketed as the world’s first patent-pending packaging with an integrated chewing gum bin that allows for the storage of fresh gum on one side and discarded gum on the other. Glancy 3D will showcase artificial intelligence for packaging design assessment and optimisation, designed to show which areas have high/low visual attractiveness. Packaging provides standard box templates for different applications that can be printed with any brands artwork.

Victoria Blake, event director of Easyfairs’ UK packaging portfolio said, “Our aim for the event is always to showcase the latest innovations in packaging for our visitors to discover to fulfil their own packaging needs, and this year is no exception. From sustainable solutions, clever designs, cutting-edge technologies, and robotic systems, innovation is alive at every point on the show floor.”