Seven Major Challenges Facing The Packaging Industry And Its Implications For Print Processors

- Feb 14, 2019-

The printing and processing industry, which is used in the production of labels, flexible packaging, folding cartons and corrugated packaging, is undergoing a major transformation. All players must understand the challenges ahead and be prepared. At Bobst Group, we closely evaluate the market to ensure that our customers and future customers have the solutions they need in a changing environment. Therefore, we actively propose the following seven directions to address.

1. The role of packaging as a protection, transportation and attraction

The role of packaging has evolved over the years. While protecting goods remains the number one priority, it needs to be done in a sustainable manner, often using thinner materials and more complex designs. With the rapid development of new retail models (especially e-commerce), the production mechanism of packaging boxes has become more complicated, and packaging production needs to be completed at different speeds and speeds with more efficient and sensitive machines, while providing the best Quality. Brands want to use packaging to stand out on the shelves, attracting customers' current trends requiring shorter production times, order repeatability and mobility, which puts pressure on processors to increase productivity. This is a good introduction to the second topic.

2. The era of tradition and digitalization

Packaging and processing of packaging have been using traditional methods for decades. But now, the new digitalization has a significant development, which means that brand manufacturers and processors can do things that were previously impossible. Digital does not completely replace the simulation, but will provide the flexibility needed to shorten the new driving trends required for production operations, such as customization, security and traceability requirements. Our Bobst Group is investing heavily in the digital printing capabilities of various substrates. While digitalization will undoubtedly make a positive contribution to packaging production, more efficient digital packaging is needed to achieve effective packaging production. This also brings us a third challenge.

3. Digitalization of workflow

One of the biggest challenges we face is the interface management between different machines and brands, agents, and printers. Automation will help optimize machine uptime and provide effective communication between different machines on the production line. Although the printing and processing industry spends a lot of effort on selecting machines and equipment, it often underestimates the complexity of the entire workflow. This is where Bobst's expertise is critical; we understand that the maximum printing speed or conversion speed indicated on the machine is theoretical until it is well managed to produce the most efficient packaging at the right price. Therefore, we have the next challenge.

4. Price pressure

We are in a world where everyone is pursuing "value for money" and "good value for money". Brands are the ultimate decision makers of packaging who want better, faster, more personalized, and safer products, but don't want to spend more. In fact, the cost of packaging production should not be higher than today's price. The price of the overall packaging manufacturing industry is affected by three main factors: quality, productivity and cost. These three factors are very important and should not be considered separately, but should be measured from design, printing and packaging to packaging. We are all familiar with the concept of the chain, the strongest part of the chain, and the weakest place. The same is true for packaging production, especially in an integrated workflow. At Bobst, we integrate digital printing, quality management and zero errors into the entire production chain so that our customers can get the best quality at the best price.

5. Sustainable development

This is a question we should all think about. The packaging industry needs more advanced substrates, thinner materials and more rigorous designs, of course, with the same productivity, greater maneuverability and the same cost. The ideal zero waste management means zero error packaging. Order management and adaptation regulations will also become indispensable capabilities. In order to continue to operate, we must always look to the future: not only to pay attention to the products manufactured today, but also to the future.

6. Talent training and introduction

Packaging manufacturing is facing the challenge of recruiting talent – there are few people with knowledge in this area of expertise, and packaging manufacturing is sometimes considered less attractive than other industries. Therefore, applying a new digital approach to the production chain will make the industry more attractive. Training for existing staff also needs to be included in the workforce plan. Within the Bobst Group, we face the same challenges, but through close internships with universities and vocational schools, we are able to help our clients prepare for future challenges.

7. Service

Service does not refer to the maintenance and repair of machinery and equipment, but to the daily communication with suppliers. In fact, it is more appropriate to call it "partner" than the "supplier". With the development of the Internet, more and more machines and equipment can directly network and communicate with suppliers, and preventive maintenance is no longer a fantasy. At Bobst Group, we have a complete range of services, including the entire printing and processing process. We have spent more than 125 years of global customer service experience and have never stopped pursuing excellence. These factors increase our production time, extend the life of our equipment, optimize production quality and cost, and increase overall return on investment.