CHALLENGES of the converters and how to deal with them
We are currently seeing quite an interesting approach to the challenges facing converters. Among them is the satisfaction of the needs of the consumer, who is currently much more informed, lives connected, but now seeks to have its own space, ie. be connected and yet not so public. ● Hiram Cruz (*)
(*) General Director of the Mexican Association of Packaging (AMEE).
Converters meet this challenge by adding value to their products through packaging, so that it is not merely a matter of containing, protecting and presenting the content, but they are seeking to add value to packaged products through implementing information technologies.
Another aspect that is observed when analyzing the consumer is that they are focusing on the basics, "back to basic," as they say, in different consumer products.
Converters are paying a lot of attention to factors that have to do with sustainability: greenhouse gas emissions and their control, use of renewable energies, structural analysis of the packaging life cycle.
The aim is to find a way in which the emission of gases and the emission of waste are perfectly identified in order to control and reduce them.
In addition, this is related to the social impact, that is, through the containers providing information about the waste management, since the consumer uses these containers because they are buying single-use products, and it is necessary to encourage the proper management of containers.
SME investment in automated technology
Acquiring technology implies investment and it has to be acquired little by little. Currently, large companies are investing in high technology, but this has been gradually permeating and scaling up to SMEs.
From the point of view of low-volume printing technology, such as offset or flexography, SMEs have currently access to digital printing systems that may be accessible, but later on other automated processes could be considered, such as filling and closing of containers in an automatic way.
In fact, the use of technologies for packaging is being promoted, but it is necessary to consider the production capacity of the company, so that the investment is adequate and is surplus to requirements. It is important to consider investment in automated technologies for SMEs, but this under a comprehensive analysis of their production processes.
Packaging design and integrity
In terms of innovation challenges, we can find trends in design that are much more striking and focused on the target market. Also in the aspect of integral innovation in the whole supply chain as: seeking efficiency in the logistics of production, distribution and consumption of packaged products in which packaging plays a very important role.
Another characteristic has to do with the integral security, not only of the product but of the use of solutions for a better security (either through holograms, labels with security inks or with traceability chips), which allow to guarantee the integrity of the package and the product. The challenge in this strategy is to find an effective way to show consumers that packaging is recyclable, but that it has to be properly sorted for recycling to be effective.