SENSES IN FOOD
Behind every food we put in our mouths there are multiple procedures to make them appetizing and of good quality for consumption. One of them is sensory analysis, which is recognized as one of the most important ways to ensure consumer acceptance of the food. Based on this analysis, companies design their products. ● Juan Thuemme (*) (*) Flavorist of Etadar by Deiman. Why should a sensory analysis be used and done in the food industry? Flavor houses should be guided by sensory analysis especially when it comes to creating new products or when there is not yet a certain sensory experience. For this purpose, we are looking for a focus group whose main objective is to develop what is known as Quantitative Descriptive Sensory Analysis (QDA), a test that allows us to obtain a complete description of the sensory characteristics of a product. The QDA, shows us through a graph where all the trends are, tells us how mature the product is, and allows us to identify the notes to define the flavor. Each note is represented by aromatic chemicals. The QDA can be considered as the first step when characterizing a product, providing its own terminology that defines it. In view of the lack of knowledge, one could think that the sensory analysis of food is a somewhat subjective science, since there is a tendency to believe that we let ourselves be carried away by the senses and by what we really like or do not like. However, each sense turns out to be the instrument that provides valuable and specific information. There are some universal terms for the classification of the sensory attributes of foods and others particular to specific areas. Sensory properties are the attributes of food that are detected by the senses and are therefore the appearance, color, aroma, taste and kinaesthetic or textural properties. Technological methodology Sensory chromatography* is a method used by all flavorists that basically consists of taking the flavor and equalizing it, which allows identifying the composition of a flavor. It has to do with saying: "I want this taste, but now with certain characteristics." It is a work of equalization where there is no free creation. With this model, four thousand 500 flavors can be created for the culinary, meat, confectionery, bakery, dairy, and seasoning sectors, as well as for beverages at the national and global levels. The first part of the sensory chromatography is that you must have a trained person, who must smell the flavor, make a description, and detect what is called the volatiles. This part is called the headspace of the flavor, but this is only one part, because it is then followed by the next phase, which is to dilute the flavor, whether it is a concentrate, a base or essence. For example, if it is a base it must be diluted, or else it will burn the tongue when testing a base chemically, as it is very strong. Then it is necessary to make a dilution to 1% in alcohol that is generally the first part of the study, this is tested in syrups, both pure water with sugar at 7% and in cold and hot water with salt at 0.5%. The flavorist who is going to duplicate in a first division is going to detect the most important chemicals that are known as "key", and those are noted in the first 1% dilution in all solutions (water, water with sugar, water with salt and water with sugar and acid), then the flavorist has to define those chemicals that are the most important. In this way, another dilution is made at 10% in the same conditions where the flavorist tries again and detects others that did not come out in the first. This is the second step of the sensory evaluation. Then comes the third dilution, where the little ones will come out in the same conditions, but there are flavorists who have so much perception that they detect the little notes that are the most difficult. This is what sensory chromatography is all about, a model that duplicates flavors from those already existing in nature such as strawberry, pineapple, orange, lemon, among others, by fragmenting their chemical composition, equalizing their characteristics and successfully duplicating their flavor. Perceiving and equalizing flavors Once you have the first, second and third dilution, the flavorist begins to taste the concentration in which it will be applied and that will be tested. Then, at his discretion and from the analyses he begins to build the skeleton of flavor on trial and error. The flavor is created once the volatile notes are identified. Once assembled, the flavorist applies it one by one to the product he was given to match. Then it goes to a panel of people where preference tests are made, or if it is an equalization, then it is a sensory test of three samples, two of them are separated and the one of the flavorist or they can be the one of the flavorist and two of the client, and this is known as a sensory discriminative test that goes through 20 or 30 people depending on the project. But how do you innovate in a new flavor? Today, flavor combinations are a trend and mixtures are explored that might seem unthinkable, but which are compatible by their chemical composition. In that line, a collection** was developed based on the comparison of the volatile aromatics of all fruits, food and everything that human beings eat. In this case, the creative flavorist begins to study which fruits are the most similar chemically. For example, tangerine and banana have 30% of similar chemicals, but there is also the pitahaya, and why not join them in such a way that they fit together? This is called "assembly." With this methodology it is achieved that a food doesn't know neither one nor the other, but when joining the chemicals it is promoted and something that we call Tune is presented, a neurological effect with which the brain is activated, that is to say, it is achieved that it is confused, it reacts and it begins to change of attitude, either favorable or unfavorable. What is the advantage of tuning in and identifying the similarity of aromatic chemicals? Combining them with a mixture of flavor, but with neurological purposes, that is to say, it is a combination that brings neurological bases, this means that if it is combined without this technology (for example, chocolate with lime) nobody is going to eat it, and it becomes a destructive tuning unpleasant to the palate. Therefore, the flavors must be chemically compatible. Based on a chemical analysis, a list of the molecular flavors that make up food is established. The development of this methodology allows the creation of unimaginable flavors through the fusion of ingredients never before combined in this way. But what kind of ingredients have similarity between them? We can know through proven studies. There are over 300 volatile compounds in each fruit, all of which are recorded. For example, kiwifruit has ethyl acetate and exenyl acetate, and this is what makes both kiwifruit and strawberry enjoyable, but in different proportions. If the compounds of these two fruits are combined and it is achieved that from the flavor those predominant notes come out, then there will be aromatic synergy. Once you have the product or flavor, the second part follows and consists of knowing what category of products would be added (drinks, milk drinks, ice cream, gum, jellies, etc.). It works in all of them, but there are others that are more convenient to apply. Flavor enhancers To generate sensory experiences and rich flavors for the palate, a process called esterification has been found, although it is still in the experimental stage. What is esterification? As its name indicates it is the combination of the volatiles of a fruit or a natural food by means of a reaction synthesis by which the food combines and forms esters, which is a volatile but already captured in a form of aroma. Those ethers come from the fruit, however if it is not esterified it becomes very weak and you could not make a flavor with pure extract, then you have to enhance it because a flavor is not going to be eaten like a fruit. A fruit has the right flavor, but a flavor does not, so one of the methodologies is to esterify the volatiles to obtain natural and enhanced flavors. Hence, the challenge is to be able to duplicate. Nowadays, food is no longer enough, because how much coffee is needed to give to a whole country? We can talk about dairy, how much casein can be fed to them? The consumer however demands his cream or goat cheese. The trend is to perfect the virtuality of flavor, based on advanced sensory studies to achieve congruence with the brain because there are flavors that we eat by necessity, because when we taste a strawberry, its flavor is natural, but when we try strawberry-flavored products we realize that it is not a real strawberry. Then you have to synthesize, bring out the closest thing to nature so that there is brain congruence and get the consumer to trust the food. This is a challenge for the taste, which is achieved with the scientific advance. They are developing chemicals again in the world, there are molecules day after day that do not exist today, but a molecule is already developed for tomorrow that is in the strawberry, and that had never been able to synthesize. There is a challenge to continue synthesizing and creating. Likewise, one of the trends is to find exotic, diverse and versatile flavors. How to achieve this? With the methodology* you can look for the similarity of a fruit with another to achieve a third, and the latter would be the innovation. By combining perhaps a chili with a fruit you can achieve something more exotic because both are similar, without the need to bite. This is the goal and the trend. * Refer to the technological development of the Deiman Creative Center headed by Engineer Juan Thuemme, a model of sensory chromatography that has the capacity to create 4500 flavors for the culinary, meat, confectionery, bakery, dairy, seasoning and beverage sectors both nationally and globally. ** Refer to the new collection called Sintonía (Tune) created by the chemist Juan Thuemme Canales. The name comes from the ability to achieve a balance between two or more ingredients and thus obtain mixtures with great acceptance. It is characterized by unthinkable flavors that are extraordinary. This development is obtained thanks to the technology of a chromatograph and the analysis of chemicals that make up each flavor.
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. Sustainability initiatives 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.
WALKING TOWARDS ROBOTICS, AI and IoT
Collaborative robotics, IoT and Machine Learning/AI will lead robotics in the coming years. Collaborative robots have become the perfect ally for workers on the production line. They are support tools for operators in order to free them from repetitive and boring tasks, so they can take advantage of the time to perform other activities. Sources: AER Automation, Propia, IFR, MarketsandMarkets and Planeta Chatbot / www.aer-automation.com/mercados-emergentes/robotica-colaborativa/ Digitization, Industria 4.0 and Intelligent Production. The name varies internationally, but the central idea remains the same. What it proposes is nothing less than a long-term transformation of the world's perception of industrial production through the seamless connection of the digital and real worlds. Complete digitization of networked processes, innovative business models, new processes and materials will make it possible to manufacture products in a much more flexible, energy-efficient, resource-saving way and with a high level of customization. The rapid advance of robotics will permanently change the world, just as the Internet has already done. Today, robots are a key element of Industria 4.0, they provide answers, with new production methods, to the main questions of our times. What is a collaborative robot? Collaborative robots are designed to perform tasks in collaboration with human workers. The International Federation of Robotics defines two types of collaborative robots: A first group includes robots designed for collaborative use that comply with ISO 10218-1, which specifies the requirements and guidelines for safe design, protective measures and usage information. A second group includes robots designed for collaborative use that do not comply with ISO 10218-1. This does not mean that these robots are not safe, since they can follow different security standards, for example, national standards. The so-called "cobots" are designed with a series of technical features that ensure the safety of a worker when he comes into direct contact with the robot, either deliberately or by accident. These features include lightweight materials, rounded contours and sensors at the base of the robot or at the joints that measure and control force and speed and ensure that defined thresholds are not exceeded in the event of contact. Human-Robot Collaboration Far from re-employing human workers, robots improve their productivity, freeing them from monotonous and repetitive tasks and allowing them to focus on more complex tasks or finish the task in collaboration with the robot in a shared space. Workers are more willing to accept the introduction of a collaborative robot in their work environment because they see them as tools that help them and make their work easier and not as a technology that will replace them. It's like working "with a partner", with unlimited possibilities. In a collaborative environment, a staff provides skill, flexibility and the ability to solve problems, while a collaborative robot provides strength, endurance and precision in performing the task at hand. Currently the most common collaborative applications are shared workspaces, but other situations occur (see picture 1). Picture 1. Types of collaboration with industrial robots Collaborative robots provide cost-effective access to industrial automation. They allow to automate parts of a production line with minimum changes with respect to the rest of the line providing to the SMEs -- that are not automated -- the option to be able to adopt these technologies. This means access to a market that represents 99% and where traditional industrial robots have not been able to penetrate. The programming of "cobots" is increasingly simple and intuitive and offer maximum flexibility for the robot to execute a function different from the previous one. They are lightweight and can be easily moved around the factory. Future Trends The collaborative robotics market is still in an initial phase with a high projection of future. End users and system integrators are still gaining experience in designing and implementing collaborative applications. Technological advances in sensors and grippers hold promise for expanding the range of actions the robot can perform. The programming advances to be more and more intuitive, not only for cobots but also for traditional industrial robots. An unprecedented growth According to the information published by the MarketsandMarkets portal, we are looking at a market of 710 million dollars that will grow to over 12,303 million in 2025, which implies a compound annual growth rate of 50.31%. These figures include all the collaborative robots both by payload capacity (up to 5 kg, between 5 and 10 kg, above 10 kg), by sector (automotive, electronics, metal, plastic and rubber, food and beverage or health), applications and geographies. According to the analysts, this great growth responds to the high rate of return of investment and the low price of the collaborative robots, which results in the great adoption of robots on the part of the SMEs, the increase of the investments in automation to support the evolution of Industria 4.0, the improvement of the man-machine interface (HMI) and the increase of the AI capacity to imitate human behavior. By use cases, the "pick and place" application represents the majority of the world market for collaborative robots. However, analysts believe that assembly applications will grow at the highest rate in the coming years. According to the 2017 World Robotics Report, more than 1.7 million new industrial robots will be installed worldwide by 2020, paving the way for increasingly flexible automation. Without a doubt, it is an indication that we are moving towards an increasingly connected world where machines and intelligent automation systems will revolutionize professional life. IoT, ALONG WITH OTHER DATA SOURCES as a CRM or ERP will be in charge of providing the data. The AI will be in charge of processing and converting them into information, while blockchain will be in charge of storing them in a way that ensures their reliability The truth is that this is not a new issue. Since the 1960s, it has been common for companies in the automotive sector to see industrial processes supported by automatons. However, artificial intelligence and everything that surrounds automation related to Industria 4.0 has brought them back to the playing field in the different areas of the company. The productive area will be the area where the presence of robotics will be most noticeable, where its presence will increase notably in the next few years in spite of having been in the industry for years. Companies have been able to find new competitive advantages in industrial processes, supported by robotics and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, which -- thanks to its combination with artificial intelligence -- has triggered the presence of robots in the production processes of companies. In the commercial field, the application of robotics is still in a very early stage of prototype testing and field trials. The use of drones in logistics services is perhaps the most tangible exploitation, but it is still in a very experimental phase, far from being adopted as the main option when shipping goods. In the financial field, its use in the company is also testimonial. There are functional prototypes, for example, in Shanghai, where the first bank office with robots instead of humans was born, but we are still far from being widely used and served by robots, despite the great advance of Artificial Intelligence (AI). As far as the labor force is concerned, it is perhaps, along with the productive sphere, the main one affected by robotics. Human beings will be displaced towards tasks that can provide greater intellectual value, leaving the more tedious and repetitive tasks of the production chains to robots. IoT It is a concept that refers to a digital interconnection of everyday objects with the Internet. It is a revolution in the relationships between objects and people, and even directly between objects, which are connected to each other and to the Internet, and offer data in real time. To talk about the implementation of IoT, it is necessary to talk about 5G connections, which will be essential for its development by providing millions of sensors, devices and all kinds of appliances, as well as the ability to connect to the Internet, thus overcoming the current barriers of transmission (especially reducing latency) and energy, since these are the main drawback so far for which it has not been massively adopted. In the production area, the connectivity of a multitude of sensors in the robotic elements will boost the speed and efficiency in the supply chains. It will allow you to detect bottlenecks, efficiently measure each production process and better manage inventories. It will be one of the sources of information that the AI will take advantage of to carry out analysis and convert the data into information, which can be interpreted by a human or by another robot. In the commercial field, the value proposals related to logistics are already a reality. By installing IoT devices in sea containers, companies are able to monitor their cargoes seamlessly anywhere in the world, as the devices are able to automatically recognize local standard radio frequencies that are adapting to them. These devices, in addition to serving as trackers, also have access to a data analysis platform in order to provide all skateholders (stevedores, transporters, receivers, shipping companies, etc.) with accurate data on the situation of the container at all times, which allows to speed up the supply chain and the quality of service offered to the customer. After the first investigations, it was concluded that this would reduce the maritime inventory by 10% and increase the ETA (estimated time of arrival of shipments) by 40%. As for the workforce, there is a great opportunity to measure the performance of workers with the sensors in order to improve work performance. If the sensor data is processed by an artificial intelligence algorithm, which in turn writes a transaction in a blockchain network on the worker's unique digital identifier using a SmartContract, we could objectively evaluate each member of the company based on objective and totally reliable data.
THE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION as an agent of change
The 21st century is known as the age of digitalization. Globally, in all areas and sectors of industry and institutions, there are more digital platforms and programs that help us to control, streamline and have visibility of the processes, have recent and accurate information, reduce operating costs, share data in real time, and so on. l Erika Grados (*) (*) Marketing Manager of the Food and Beverage Division of Ecolab Mexico. Today's digital transformation impacts processes and people alike. Digitalization is already part of the way we interact, work and produce. In this sense, food and beverage processing companies are no exception. In addition to administrative processes, more and more operational processes are being added to the digital age. Today, the entire process of food generation, from planting to packaging, can be controlled, monitored and measured thanks to digital tools in virtually all sectors. The production, automation, monitoring, transport and sales processes have been directly impacted by the technology. If we compare methodologies used ten years ago (a period not too long, not too distant) we can see that although the essence is the same, the efficiency is much higher, as are the quality standards, in contrast to the times that are now shorter. There are numerous benefits within the plant: Making the operation efficient Ensuring the product quality and safety Have visibility and control of the process Cost reduction Safety for operators Generate operational savings, standardization, among others. In short, producing more while taking care of the final product at the lowest operational cost, so it becomes more critical every day to have a digitized operation. In addition to the company's own process, it is also important to consider external tools that help in this digitalization, i.e. technologies, applications or software, where input suppliers also have a way to be monitored and controlled through some platform or digital media. The digitalization of the manufacturer and its direct and indirect suppliers will strengthen the operation, maximizing its efficiency and reducing its cost. The visualization and control of the whole process in real time can avoid many headaches and significant economic losses, in addition to caring for the brand, which is invaluable. Also, with the help of digitalization: Reprocessing can be avoided Stop any harmless (or off-spec) product before it goes to market Reduce water and energy consumption Ensure proper cleaning and disinfection of equipment and surfaces Maintaining the correct process temperature Monitor the indicated concentration of the chemicals Dairy sector makes way for technology There are thousands of examples of the applications of technology and digital tools in this industrial age. But how can we use technology to ensure products that exceed all standards of taste, quality, safety and also save resources and have an optimal process? One of the answers would be: to have eyes on all parts of the process and in case of contingency to take the relevant and timely decisions. That's where technology comes in. When it is impossible to have a person inside a pasteurization tank, for example, devices can be placed that report changes in temperature or the presence of some substance that compromises production excellence. Technology can be where a person is not, and provide information to those who solve problems and make decisions. Another example in this same industry would be the dryers and evaporators, two of the most energy-consuming equipment, elements whose correct operation is vital to reduce costs and comply with the specifications of each product, so using technology to make their performance efficient represents a significant advance. Real-time monitoring Suppliers* understand the challenges and concerns, so they have technology that can help in the quality assurance of the final product. Imagine how one of the most critical issues in the process, such as cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and equipment, can be monitored in real time and be visible to all previously defined personnel. What would it be like to have visibility of all CIP (Clean In Place) cleaning, would it be useful to share in real time not only the results of the cleaning but also the cost behavior associated with it? Plant managers or senior staff can now have real-time visibility of cleaning data from all their CIPs across their company's plants, so they can maintain corporate standards, ensure KPI compliance, avoid financial loss and optimise their operating costs. The 3DT CIP* technology is an example through which it is possible to monitor, detect and control the CIP process in real time, thus achieving through a digital platform, total visibility of the process, ensuring the quality and safety of products with more efficient, safe, productive and sustainable operations. Ensuring consistent cleanliness at all levels - microbiological, physical and chemical - is a task that requires extensive knowledge. For example, 3DT CIP identifies and solves a number of problems in a cheese and other dairy production plant, including fixing a leak in the heat exchanger valve, reducing cleaning times and optimizing chemical consumption. The combination of technology and personalized service helps the plant save nearly $34,000 in energy costs, improve food safety through early identification of 1,800 emerging issues and reduce washdown times by more than 2,000 hours, in addition to reducing total costs by $244,000. On the future of technology, there is still much to be advanced, discovered and innovated, however, it is likely that the digitization of this new industrial era will change the way production processes evolve, that automation will have a greater reach or why not, that artificial intelligence will take over entirely the processing and safety of food. The possibilities are virtually endless. Issues such as Cloud Computing or Big Data, two of the tools with great potential in the medium term, will allow the management of high volumes of data, which will provide ease of use and customized functions, free access at any time from anywhere, information security, constant updating and, consequently, cost savings. What should not be lost sight of is that the end user is the important part in the whole process. Today, consumers expect foods to have minimal processing, additional value and high nutritional qualities, so designing methods and processes that maintain and enhance these characteristics must be one of the primary parameters in all product processes. * Refer to the 3DT CIP technology from Ecolab, a multinational company that contributes to a cleaner, safer and healthier world by offering comprehensive solutions and on-site services that promote food safety, maintain clean environments, optimize water and energy use and improve operational efficiency.
NEUROMARKETING the emotion behind the purchase
If reaching the consumer's mind has been the goal and object of multiple researches around high impact marketing, touching the innermost fibers, those connected with emotion, is still a challenge for every brand if it seeks to know more in depth how to create strategies of persuasion and influence in their purchase. l Diana Segovia (*) (*) Creative Marketing Consultant of Vestiga Consutores. Joy, disgust, anger, fear, surprise, sadness... emotions, without stopping the scientific debate around them, are internal responses in which thought, sensation, physiology and behavior (all of them subjective and diverse) converge. Emotional competencies connect the human being with the environment, allow him to communicate and lead him to make decisions. In his article, "Culture and Emotion", published by the Grupo Estudios en Microeconomía Aplicada y Regulación, Luis Alejandro Palacio Garcia describes that "emotions are closely linked to some aspects of culture". The author is based on three statements: Emotions are the mainstay of social norms. Not all cultures recognize or conceptualize the same emotions; even if the emotions themselves were universal, this does not mean that they are universally recognized. When an emotion is integrated into the conceptual repertoire of a culture, it can also become the target of imperative or prohibitive social norms, which leads to the emotion being produced more or less frequently than would otherwise have been the case. This means that emotions, although universal, have a cultural-social component. "It seems that in all human groups, there are social norms and the emotions of contempt and shame that sustain these norms'. On the other hand, the actions prescribed or prohibited by the rules can vary greatly from group to group. What this shows is not that the same emotions are subject to cultural variations, but that some emotions maintain rules that in turn support variations in behavior," Palacio Garcia abounds. Why is this important for neuromarketing? Because the norms, non-instrumental demands to act or abstain from acting, are sustained by the emotions they generate in the environment. "Cognition is the cause of complex human emotions. Emotion can be a cognitive product. Cognition can be the effect of emotion. It could be that, in many important cases, the three relationships occur simultaneously and interact with each other". Recently, Havas Group presented its "Meaningful Brands 2019" study, which aims to link brand performance to people's quality of life and well-being. The findings are directly related to the topic we are addressing: In Mexico, 84% of consumers expect brands to actively participate in solving social and environmental problems. Google, YouTube, and WhatsApp lead the Meaningful Brands 2019 ranking in Mexico. Mexican brands such as Bimbo, Cloralex, Lala, Cinépolis, Aeroméxico, Gamesa and La Costeña are positioned among the first 30 in the list in our country. Mexican consumers wouldn't care if 77% of the brands disappeared. In Mexico, 46% of the content offered by brands is not meaningful to consumers. 89% of the country's respondents think that brands should honestly communicate their commitments. Only 39% of Mexicans believe that companies actually do so. Significance and power of the brand The emotions that make a brand significant, and which can be useful for neuromarketing, are increasingly related to social and environmental issues (let's talk, feel, sell emotions of empathy and ecological awareness), while 65% consider that brands really have a more important role to play in creating a better future. In this year's edition, the study (created by Havas Group from a base of 1,800 brands in 31 countries) indicates that significant brands considered to make the world a better place reap greater financial benefits by outperforming the stock market by 134% and increasing their share of wallet nine points more than other companies. In this regard, Maria Garrido, Chief Insights & Analytics at Havas Group and SVP Brand Marketing at Vivendi, is confident: "Brand activism (in relation to sustainability issues, health, among others), will become a crucial part of the companies' strategy, so there is no doubt that a significant brand is good for business". Patricia Molina, CEO of Havas Group Mexico, explains, "This type of study helps us to measure the importance of what we do as brands and the effects it has on society and the world". In relation to those who occupy the top positions in the ranking in Mexico, Alejandro Torres, Head Of Strategy at Havas Group Mexico, states, "brands have to be relevant to survive, that is, they have to go beyond the product by exploring how brands tangibly improve people's lives in three aspects: functional, personal and collective benefits". "Of all the content launched by brands, almost half is not relevant to consumers in Mexico and it is just the content that has the best correlation with consumers' perception of personal benefits“. In terms of the most significant industries for consumers in the Mexican Republic, the following stand out in the first three places: home care; travel and tourism, and food. "The brands still have important challenges to face, because it is in the issue of content where there is an area of opportunity, although they comply with the functional benefits despite the fact that it is in the collective and personal benefits where the most meaningful brands manage to stand out", emphasizes Alejandro Torres. According to the report's results, 94% of consumers in Mexico expect brands to provide entertainment through experiences that touch their emotions: events, or that help them get informed, be entertained or solve some aspect of their lives. However, they also show that 46% of content in Mexico is not meaningful to people. Culture on the move Linked to culture in an immanent way, it is the subcultures, signs and meanings that allow the cultural insertion of a brand in the market. Mariana Carreon, BigFoot Cultural Intelligence Lead, consultant in consumer culture and brand strategy, states that all the work of individuals, including thoughts, beliefs, and creations, is vigorously understood by the culture in which they develop, that defined by society, time, territory and what happens and manifests itself: from beliefs and meanings to codes, symbols, emotions and actions derived from these social and temporal factors. "In this context, within these socio-temporal spaces a dominant culture manifests itself, that is, a massive culture in which we are all immersed," considers Carreón. "Subcultures are small cells within the great organism that is mass culture and they are shaped and distinguished from each other by having beliefs and actions that go in another direction of the status quo. Subcultures inject new meanings into the mass, moving it, transforming it and allowing new identities to form. They are signs and meanings that allow the cultural insertion of a brand in the market". In the specialist’s opinion, constantly studying a subculture allows to identify its morphology, the meanings that define it, and the signs and codes that manifest and evidence it. "A brand can dialogue with subcultures, culture the signs and codes of a subculture, and be a subculture. What neuromarketing proposes is the consideration of these subcultures, because they are living organisms in constant transformation. "With the deep understanding we have of them, helping brands to insert themselves in the emotion or better yet lead, endowing them with fresh and relevant meanings in the Zeitgeist (spirit of times) in order to stay in force through the codes and languages of what is interesting for the mass culture of the subcultures", analyzed Carreón. Basic Principles Neuromarketing is not a technique to sell more or to manipulate the consumer's brain. It consists of the application of techniques belonging to the neurosciences to the field of marketing, through biometric measurements of brain activity, which allow a better understanding of how consumers react to advertising stimuli. Dr. Javier Cervantes, from the Faculty of Accounting and Administration at the UNAM, states that "marketing is amoral; it can be used for good, to say, for example, 'put your trash in its place or get emptied'; or used for a purely commercial purpose which is to try to sell you a product. This is not wrong, as long as you do it ethically“. "The knowledge provided by neuromarketing will help marketers create better designed products and services, and marketing campaigns will be more focused on the brain response“. For the academic, the real benefit of the application of neurosciences to marketing is to obtain knowledge of the brain’s reactions to various stimuli derived from marketing, such as the presentation of new products to find out their tastes, as well as the type of packaging and advertising that most attract their attention: Understanding the relationship between people, products and brands. How the tangible and intangible benefits of a brand impact the consumer. Knowing why they choose a certain brand. Identify how people create neural connections, allowing them to recognize and become familiar with a particular company.
PROPAK ASIA 2020 HYBRID EVENTS - A SUCCESS
Publishing Area：Bangkok, Thailand
ProPak Asia, the Premier Processing & Packaging Exhibition for Asia, successfully concluded two events in Bangkok, Thailand. A combination of physical exhibition at BITEC on 20-23 October 2020, and overlapping virtual exhibition platform where exhibitors & visitors remotely connected online. And through hybrid pavilion, ProPak Asia allowed visitors at BITEC to meet exhibitors who couldn’t travel but participated & showcased products at ProPak Asia from around the world. “The impact of the current health crisis has forced many producers to become more digitalised. I realise a great effort from Informa Markets, the Organiser, and its partners to organise ProPak Asia in these challenging times. I’m impressed by the variety of innovative methods used in the event such as digital platforms, online seminars, and a virtual exhibition,” said Dr. Nattapol Rangsitpol, Director-General, the Department of Industrial Promotion, Ministry of Industry, Thailand. The physical exhibition attracted 554 participating companies from 34 countries with 1 Italy Pavilion and 20,546 attendees walking through the doors. Concurrently, the virtual exhibition was participated by 640 exhibitors from 33 countries and welcomed 4,745 online visitors. And the hybrid pavilion received 1,290 visitors onsite, generating 194 confirmed business matches. Nine industry focused shows: ProcessingTechAsia, PackagingTechAsia, DrinkTechAsia, PharmaTechAsia, Lab&TestAsia; Coding,Marking,LabellingAsia, MaterialsAsia, Coldchain,Logistics,Warehousing&FactoryAsia, and PrinTechAsia connected stakeholders, brand owners, vendors, buyers, and experts both local and global through variety of activities. We greatly appreciate the support of all exhibitors and visitors, speakers, attendees, sponsors, and partners in government and private trade associations. Various restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic caused the drop in overseas buyer attendance. Despite the impediment, exhibitors’ confidence has remained high with 8,000 sqm booked for the 2021 edition, 104% of this year, an indication of the prospects generated during the 4-day event. Likewise, the thrust of the Thai Government to sustain business for Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs) as highlighted in the ProPak Asia 2020 event exemplified opportunities yet to come. Thailand has once again showcased its competitive edge in packaging and processing for food, beverage, pharmaceutical, household & consumer goods, and agro-based products. ProPak Asia 2021 is taking inquiries now through Ms. Nongnaphat Jeerakitlert at +66 (0) 2 036 0500 or email@example.com and we look forward to seeing you again on 16-19 June 2021 at BITEC, Bangkok.
FLEXIBLE PACKAGING LINES in response to new demands
Given the demand for a wide variety of packaging, optimal planning is necessary to generate feasible, predictable packaging with low processing costs, print quality, brand consistency and great impact on the consumer: achieving transformation and tangibility from the digital world to the final physical packaging. l Patricia I. Christensen (*) (*) Business Developer of SGS. The main objectives of the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) are: 1. Physical-mechanical functionality. A packaging with high physical-mechanical functionality will guarantee high levels of productivity in the filling lines, the integrity of the product for the time of its life, as well as an optimal handling in the transport and storage. 2. Brand uniformity. One of the main marketing objectives is to maintain consistency in the creation of the original image concept to market your product and make it attractive through the image achieved on the packaging. Having therefore the conceptualization of design/branding with printing feasibility as a premise, it is essential that the process of centralized graphic and prepress production is carried out properly, with the aim of: minimizing the pre-production, graphic production, print and post-production steps of brand continuity. eliminating the duplication of processes where a graph is generated individually and then distributed in several channels, which in an isolated and different way generate their own flow producing divergences and inconsistencies within the same printing method and even more between different printing processes. cost reduction. Once the graphic is centrally managed, the preparation and development of the packaging is done once, with the adaptations of each process output, but always maintaining the image uniformity in the graphic generation stage at a digital level. 3. Speed to market. The centralized prepress model will be the main support to achieve the key points of interest of the CPG, having as final result: process efficiency. cost reduction. uniformity and consistency of the brand. Opportunity for market impact by accelerating product release in a shorter period of time. In the production process it is essential to foresee how the product will look before it is printed. This process starts with the print feasibility analysis. For this item, the following is necessary to be considered: Available printing technologies. Reproduction capacity and ranges possible to achieve with the printing tools, offset, rotogravure, flexography, letterpress, digital printing, etc. Measurement and control of processes. This leads us to obtain consistency within each process once an acceptable result has been achieved for each technology. Evaluation criteria by the CPG at the time of receiving the package on the graphics achieved in production. When production standards are available and the process is finished, the CPG creates the evaluation criteria for an objective evaluation of the color reproduction of the packaging: color standard applied to the profiled target in the printing process; color measurement equipment and its calibration; tolerances and measurement ranges, and measurement method and target values for both color and tonal ranges. For a good result in production it is very important during the design phase to create art with the end use in mind. The recommendation Centralized management of the prepress process and color management in packaging production ensures brand consistency on packaging substrates and printing technologies: Workflow considering production feasibility, print technology, color management from design to print Digital graphic development management systems where the different parts of the process flow interact: packaging user, design agency, pre-press process management agency, printer. It is fundamental that the centralized pre-press process management agency supports the brand managers and packaging suppliers by providing its expertise and aligning all parts to create the best possible results, characterizing printing processes and generating color profiles where the printing processes interact and are homologated with the different substrates where the packaging will be produced.
CLEAN LABEL, beyond a fad
The consumer is paying attention to the food they buy and this means that they are reading the labels and the ingredients that make them up, because they want products that make them feel confident. This is why today aesthetics and smart slogans are no longer sold: safety is the attraction. Fresh, clean and sustainable become a priority. l Griselda Vega (*) and Sandra Huchim (**) (*) General Editor of Contents at Enfasis Alimentación. (**) Editor in Chief Mexico and Central America. Any packaged food (regardless of whether it is in the form of a box, can, bag, carton or bottle) has to carry a nutrition label listing its contents, which is causing more and more consumers to become experts in reading it and an increasing number of companies to avoid ingredients that do not correspond to what any of our grandmothers and grandfathers would consider to be a healthy food. In that context, a concept that is advanced and booming within the food industry is the clean label, which, according to the Harvard Business Review, is one where the ingredients are clear about their origins, as well as recognizable. Terms such as "natural", "no additives" and "organic" are leading the way in this guideline, which has been a slow but steady transformation rather than a trend. Within the framework of the IFT18: Annual Meeting & Food Expo which took place from 15 to 18 July. Enfasis Alimentación gave an exclusive interview to Gary Agustine, Executive Director of Market Development at Kalsec, who explained that clean labeling is a phenomenon that runs through the food and beverage industry, involving both consumers and authorities. There is still a need for greater clarity and specificity from all those who are driving the demand for greater transparency in food labelling. The challenge is to provide innovative ingredients that allow manufacturers to use new claims that together with technical support can result in the launch of successful products that conform to the clean label concept. What is the current definition of "clean label"? The definition of clean label points to the difference between ingredients from natural sources versus artificial ingredients. In this sense, all the ingredients that companies use to make the products they sell come from natural sources. As we know well, there is no definition for the concept "natural". Trying to define this term is impossible, as it means different things or aspects to different people. It can, however, be summed up in something simple: ingredients of natural origin versus those of artificial origin. Speaking of natural ingredients, what are the most important elements observed in this scenario? In terms of the amount of natural ingredients available on the market today, several options can be identified. First, there is a trend towards the replacement and removal of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. This is the most marked trend. The aim is to eliminate them and replace them with their natural counterparts. There is also a trend towards products "free of" various ingredients (gluten, sugar, sodium, etc.), but it should be reiterated that the main trend is towards the elimination of synthetic ingredients. How does this trend impact on product formulation, and are there any problems or issues that the industry needs to address? In fact, artificial ingredients offer extensive cost advantages compared to natural ones and are very stable in most environments. Therefore, the challenge for food companies, as suppliers of natural ingredients, is to be able to provide stable and economical natural colors, flavors and preservatives. NATURAL AND HANDMADE FOODS Products with clean labels, as reported by Euromonitor International, are the first to be recognized according to different food and beverage brands, which associate the benefits of this concept with the added value of the product due to the success and attraction they achieve with their consumers. Hence, clean labelling with natural alternatives are the market trends in the food industry at the moment. This is because consumers are now more aware of what they are eating, so transparency and clarity of ingredients are key aspects when developing and selling a product. "There is no doubt that the food and beverage industry is following trends that are increasingly sophisticated by the generations that are consuming the products. Avoiding additives has also become a priority for many consumers and transparency is valued as well as the artisan values of food and beverages. In this respect, the craft beer market* has an important application for different types of food. Today we are producing that naturalness in beers and hop extracts to achieve artisanal flavors to meet consumer demand," explains Héctor Reséndiz, Sales Manager for the Latin American region at Kalsec. "The craft concept is a very strong theme in the United States, but it's a trend that is being reflected throughout Latin America. If we talk only about beer, there are many artisanal brewery brands in Mexico as well as in Latin American countries, and this same trend is being seen in other types of foods and applications. As a company, we are translating the artisanal brewery part to be able to apply it to the flavors we eat every day," adds Héctor Reséndiz. * Refer to the developments and/or line of craft beer products that Kalsec presented at the IFT18: Annual Meeting & Food Expo, and their application in: cheese, bakery, dressings, seasoning blends and meat, whose purpose is to achieve a characteristic taste of the craft brewery in this type of food. The challenges point to these issues. Natural colons, for example, are not stable versus their synthetic counterparts, but alternatives are being developed to address this issue. Natural colors are taken and antioxidants are added from natural sources, applying innovative technologies or solutions* to stabilize natural colons in a way that other manufacturers do not co-exist, through antioxidant expertise and the development of more stable natural colors How to solve the cost issue? It must be approached from two different perspectives. One is the cost of use. The percentage of natural colors used in the final products is, in general, still very small. The other is that of product development and shelf placement. The truth is that it is possible to provide an alternative with clean labelling, and this is exactly what consumers are looking for, since they prefer to buy that product and not the one containing artificial ingredients. This represents an opportunity for new formulations and the development of new products with different positioning on the shelves. In these two ways it is feasible to balance the issue of costs. Is the number or percentage of consumers looking for products with clean labels increasing? Possibly 6 to 8 years ago the issue of clean labeling was seen as a new trend. Today, it is a standard. People are associating clean labels with healthy foods, although there is no scientific basis for this association. Today, when people see clean labels with a shorter list of non-synthetic ingredients, they believe the products are better for them, healthier, and are thus choosing them. We can also see, from a demographic point of view, that younger generations, like the Millennials, are paying attention to clean labels more often than other more mature generations, so they are making their purchasing choices on that basis. The Millennial generation (which governs consumption today) acts as a catalyst thanks to its concern for corporate transparency, market practices, sustainability, reduction of pollutants, local agricultural development and well-being. This has brought about a re-evaluation of consumption and production models, and with it a change in the philosophy and shape of food and beverages, where food labeling is not exempt. What can be done to make a product look and feel better? For example, suppliers are testing various color combinations in terms of the raw materials they use or produce, in a unique and interesting way. We know that many raw materials are exported and imported to and from different countries, and that they are subjected to different types of handling and storage. Our work and commitment is to ensure that products are well handled and stored at the right temperatures and in the right way, and that they remain stable under different storage conditions. One must be very aware that consumers buy a product firstly because of its color and appearance, but if they like its taste, they will buy it again. That is, if the product looks good, they buy it; and then, if they don't like the taste, they don't repeat the purchase. That is why it is essential that the colors remain stable and the flavors are intense. One of the positive aspects that products must contain compared to others made with natural ingredients is that of dry powders or purees, as there are sometimes challenges associated with them, as they are not very stable or are variable in terms of their properties. If the raw material has different moisture levels in terms of exposure to sunlight, the color and taste of the products made from it may vary. Therefore, the extracts must be standardized in both aspects, so that they are consistent and when consumers see them, they know that these are reliable products. What message would you give to the food industry for the development of new products based on current trends? In terms of clean labeling, which consists of replacing artificial ingredients with their natural alternatives, it is really important for a formulator to work with suppliers so that they understand what is happening during the process. How they process the product and how they package it are important variables. You have to work with them so that they can determine and recommend the best natural ingredients, because sometimes - given the conditions of their processing - it is challenging to choose them for what you want to achieve in terms of appearance, color, taste and shelf life. Working with suppliers is very important during the development of the process. With these appreciations it can be concluded that the strength with which the concept of clean labeling is gaining space is reflected in that this year was mentioned as the most important trend for the sector by the consulting firm Innova Market Insights, which sees it more as the new rules of the game, in addition it is estimated that by 2021 the products with this type of labels will come to represent a great global growth, according to projections of Euromonitor International. * Refer to the "Durabrite" stabilisation technology from Kalsec, a producer of natural spice and herbal extracts, colors, anti-oxidants and advanced hop products for the food and beverage industry.
How a GOOD PACKAGING can help the growth of a brand
The packaging acts as an extension of the brand, and if attention is paid to the brand strategy, it is appropriate to do so when reaching the end of the cycle with delivery to the customer as well. l Carlos Puig* * President of Branward. firstname.lastname@example.org A good packaging sells. No company that invests millions in developing a product can afford the luxury of not having a good packaging design strategy. This however does happen. In many cases, the packaging is in the hands of a mere subjective evaluation. The act of purchase represents in itself a moment of maximum emotionality in relationship with the brand, regardless of the category where our product is located. With more than 80% of purchase decisions made at the sales outlet, the presentation of the product is the only form of marketing that 100% of customers can see. Consumers tend to repeat the purchase of those products of brands that generate confidence. When a brand manages to correctly transmit its attributes throughout all its products, recognition will be immediate. In this process, emotions play a fundamental role. The packaging that sells connects directly with the consumer’s mind and heart, which filter all the attributes with maximum efficiency and speed. When something catches our attention, the brain will keep it in our memory, and it first has to connect it with the heart. Creating a packaging that clearly synthesizes the values of the brand and knows how to tell the best of the product in an instant is essential to gain the trust of the customers. This packaging does not only look for a visual impact, it values the easy understanding of a promise to link it to a brand of the consumer’s trust. There are three levers on which an effective packaging can help to grow the brand: 1.- It facilitates the synthesis: The shelves are saturated with products. Nobody can afford to be the same as the other one; a good packaging helps to achieve a differentiation of a brand. For this, a process capable of synthesizing the attributes and benefits of the brand in a simple and clear packaging, which connects easily, is necessary. 2.- It promotes the innovation: Innovation needs the brand as a guide to connect the benefit that the organization has with the wishes and needs of consumers. An effective packaging increases the competitive efficiency of the company increasing the value that customers perceive. 3.- It strengthens the emotional bonds: Packaging is an excellent platform to generate emotional bonds with customers. It is a perfect base to connect with them throughout the life of the product and to strengthen the dialogue with the brand, and even opening it to other channels. Without any doubt, packaging is part of the brand-building strategy. An effective packaging has a significant impact on the knowledge and recognition of the brand, in the management of customer expectations and is configured as an excellent way of information between the organization and the user. To achieve this, marketing, branding and packaging must be aligned in the construction of messages, value proposition and communication. In this context, the effective management of a brand requires total commitment to its differential promise, which must be built around the way in which the customer experience affects even their own behavior. At present, brands must be very close to the customer if they want to last over time. Companies that know how to identify why customers act and feel in a certain way will achieve a competitive advantage that will help them build long-term relationships. Let's not forget that we all like to be heard.
FOLDING PLASTIC CAPS and push-pull add value to the beverage sector
Although the format of plastic screw caps has many benefits, a relative weakness compared to sports-type caps is that it cannot be used for opening the bottles with one hand. l Silvia de Almeida* * Analyst of the Packaging Industry at Euromonitor International. linkedin.com/in/silvia-de-almeida-6840683a Bottled water is by far the largest category of beverages in the packaging industry. It reached worldwide sales of 236 billion units in 2015 and is about to represent 63% of the total growth volume of caps for soft drinks in the next five years. This translates into an overwhelming increase of 62 billion units in just five years. There are two trends that drive this growth in volume: the rising global trends towards healthier beverages and the smaller and lighter types of packaging, such as PET bottles for on-the-go consumption (on-the-go). Although plastic screw caps were the most preferred ones in these trends, it is expected that its volume covers sport beverages in terms of volume, flip-top type, and shows a dynamic growth in many countries. The growth of water in PET bottles, which are leading in Asia and in North America, is the key for plastic screw caps Despite being a staple product in many countries, it is forecast that bottled water will show a greater volume of growth in all regions, which is driven by a packaging type: PET bottles. Because of its lightness, transparency and flexibility in size, PET bottles accounted for 89% of the retail bottled water packaging worldwide in 2015. The Asia-Pacific region and North America are expected to reach 74% of the total world volume of water in PET bottles in the next 5 years. Whereas the growth of bottled water is driven by consumer concerns due to the contamination of tap water in Asia Pacific, China, India and Indonesia, the growth in North America, particularly in the United States, is due to a change of consumer demand for substituting sugary drinks, such as carbonated drinks, with healthier beverages, such as water. The plastic screw cap is the preferred closure means for this type of packaging, which represents 86% of the water sold in PET bottles all over the world. Apart from historically being the accepted standard type of closure for PET and other rigid plastic bottles, the plastic screw cap has the capacity to be used for many sizes of bottles, be it a 19-liter family size bottle or a 200-ml bottle for use on the fly. In addition and throughout the supply chain, the plastic screw cap is often seen as an economical closure, particularly when compared to flip-up and push-pull covers for beverages. The threaded plastic lid is relatively lighter than the lids for bottles of sports drinks, is less complex to produce, and needs less plastic. This, in turn, allows manufacturers to save on transportation costs, which could contribute to the affordability and retail price of bottled water. Flip-top functions are preferred by children and consumers on the go Even if the bottle bears a "sports drink" label on drinks with valve-type covers and hinged covers, customer segmentation for these goes beyond sports enthusiasts. Children, drivers and other consumers in motion benefit from the convenience offered by these caps to easily open the bottle with one hand. It is expected that the folding formats and push-pull type will grow 35% in the next five years, driven by the emerging and developing regions of Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. However, it is predicted that the push-pull format will increase at a much slower pace than that of the folding lid as a consequence of the continued drop in demand in the United States, the largest country in the beverage industry in terms of demand. This deceleration is caused by a change in the demand for push-pull lids of beverage bottles to folding lids, aligned with the tendency of consumers in the United States to consider the earlier one as being less hygienic, since when opening the hand comes in contact with the piece which is then brought to the mouth. This has resulted in some bottled water manufacturers in the United States investing in collapsible lid closures. For example, in 2016, the brand of bottled water GlacéauSmartwater (Coca-Cola Co.,), which used plastic screw caps on all its bottles, launched its first closures for sports drinks with folding lids on deAptar beverages with the goal of differentiating them. In conclusion, although the formats of folding and push-pull lids are effectively more functional than the plastic screw caps while being on the move, the latter will continue to be the most important type of closure even beyond the next five years. The ability to adapt to most bottles sizes and the recent innovation to make this closure lighter will ensure its place as the number one closure for bottled water in the following years.
Challenges of INDUSTRY 4.0
The digital transformation 4.0 or the Internet of Things (IoT) are gaining momentum. Numerous applications of the fields of product and process monitoring, labeling technology, packaging, logistics, maintenance and repair nowadays are manifesting the potential for optimization, which is involved with the Internet of Things. l Hans-Peter Fritsche* * Professional journalist at Interpack 2017 – linkedin.com/in/hans-peter-fritsche-6558ab75 In the future, sensors, chips, RFID (radiofrequency identification), equipment, machines and plants are not only expected to address information on all important process and system conditions in an independent and continuous manner, but also to communicate between them through the Internet, and intervene in manufacturing processes in order to correct and optimize them without human intervention. The basis of communication on the web is the Internet Protocol (IP) with its unique identification IP addresses. However, the old IPv4 was only able to offer a space of just under 4.3 billion IP addresses. This is the reason for its development to the new IPv6 standard, which has a space of 3.4 x thousand 38 IP addresses. So the lack of space is no longer a concern. Therefore, the challenge is the flood of data caused when billions of sensors on a day will be transmitting thousands of data per second. These data must be evaluated for visualizations and simulations, and saved for documentation purposes (traceability). So to be precise, the IoT is principally based on data, on the information retrieved from them. And this is the domain of software and algorithms. What can be achieved with this must be enough reason to actively promote this transformation. The following examples show the applications achieving their short-term objectives. Change in the paradigm of maintenance Damaged transmissions, pumps or filling and dosing systems give no warning until the problem is already present, but "give notice" long before the damage is caused by unusual deviations from vibration and temperature or by changes in the power consumption, loss of pressure, and similar. These deviations detected by the sensors can be evaluated and visualized in real time due to highly complex analysis and simulation programs, and therefore it will be seen in the context of process engineering. Based on this information, the operators of machines and plants can selectively intervene in the system by remote control and, above all and regardless of the location, introduce any changes in the program or install new applications and control software in order to always execute the systems in the optimal way. In addition, the results of the simulation allow precise forecasts on the remaining useful life of the machine’s critical parts, which opens completely new perspectives for maintenance. This means, we are moving away from both the reactive and preventive maintenance with its component replacement intervals, which are based on cycles and going towards predictable maintenance measures up to the so-called predictive maintenance. The advantages are a greater availability of machines and plants, a substantial reduction in downtime risks, an increased operational and production safety, as well as lower investment costs in maintenance. Beyond this, predictive maintenance is a key element in sustainability. In fact, operators have always replaced the components at fixed intervals, but also wasted the useful life of the remaining and expensive components because they lacked reliable data on the behavior of the parts. Chatting with machines The increase in performance, flexibility and intelligence of machines and plants is increasingly complex, and poses greater challenges for concept developers in the operation of human-machine interfaces (HMI). A central aspect in the development of graphic interfaces is to ensure that these machines can also be operated safely by people who do not have any professional training and lack a sufficient linguistic knowledge. In order to avoid operating errors, GUI developers rely on intuitive graphical elements instead of language. Moreover, photo-realistic 3D CAD screens of machines, plants and components are presented. In addition, the HMI has to be up to the needs of several users according to their abilities so as to ensure an easily understandable visualization and an instant presentation of the key parameters of the machine and the production data. There is a tendency towards mobile devices, with which the user can remotely control the machines and equipment depending on their level of authority. This saves time and travel expenses, especially in the field of service and maintenance. Working in virtual worlds When it comes to the IoT, there is hardly one issue currently causing a stir as virtual or rather digital twins. The technical basis of these are high-performance CAD 3D graphics, simulation and analysis, as well as virtual 1:1 copies of real software for controlling the machines and equipment. Based on these software tools, the digital twins map the entire manufacturing process, including components, machines, plants and their controls as a virtual model (complete with all the physical data required for the simulation). In addition to this, digital twins enable the offline programming. All this makes them universal tools for developers, operators and maintenance personnel. Thanks to these simulations of near reality, design errors and/or weak points can already be detected and eliminated in the development stage without having manufactured a single real piece in advance. This also applies to the programming and optimization of controls. The digital twin is the flight simulator for industrial processes, machinery and equipment. The virtual pre-boot before the actual start-up is worth it in more than one way. In case there are still errors in the system or concept of control, they can be remedied without compromising the components of the real system. In turn, the offline programming enables production planners to virtually test various modes of operation. However, the most important aspect is that the virtual twin brings the experience of many specialists who can then be used for other projects. In short, thanks to sophisticated simulations, manufacturers and users of the plant can achieve significantly shorter project execution times, faster starts and considerable efficiencies in the development of similar plants and processes. This saves time, but above all, resources, energy and manpower. The old systems are able to handle 4.0 Numerous old machines, lines, motors and compressors are not equipped with sensors and communication technology for Industry 4.0. They are sometimes not even able to operate as part of networked systems. However, this does not mean that they are obsolete in view of the digital transformation. Smart sensors can be adapted here as an entry-level solution for Industria 4.0. These sensors regularly measure important condition parameters of the machines and systems, and transmit the data through communication interfaces, which are wirelessly integrated in the employees’ HMIs or in smartphones or tablet PCs for their evaluation. With these and other simple methods, companies can enter the world of Industria 4.0 at no high costs, and continue to benefit from reduced downtimes, longer machine run times as well as from lower energy consumption, etc.
Customizing the packaging: THE FUTURE OF PACKAGING
Adapting the pack to the product, which we are marketing, is a trend that is becoming stronger because of its effectiveness: it generates added value and identifies the brand. Getting to that customized pack requires a long process and consumes resources, but despising it is an error, given that it can contribute rather much. l Cecilia Pont* * Designer and director at Cecilia Pont. When making the first sales, each one of us carrying out an endeavor is facing the same question: how to develop the packaging in an attractive, but not very expensive way?When you start a business, the concern is usually exclusively focused on the product you are trying to market. The packaging is then relegated to a second plane. This type of thinking is associated with the initial instance of a project: when there is a concrete need to choose where to focus since the resources are scarce. As the business grows—and I found that this happens in many cases—the way to present the product becomes increasingly important, while the time and resources devoted to developing it become more important as well. As a designer, I understand that there are basic principles, which must be taken into account so as the design of the packaging will be effective: above all, it needs to be functional, but at the same time it must be simple enough so that the product is not eaten. Thinking of a package, which accompanies the product instead of choosing a generic one, is the best way to take advantage of the presentation to enhance our business. Customized development The first step to thinking about a package, which is organic to the product and which we try to market, is to conduct a market research. It is necessary to explore all available options, make comparisons and to do a detailed study on the advantages of each of the proposals with which we meet. Finally and after an exhaustive search and analysis process, it is time to create your own proposal. Most of the time and at the beginning, what happens is that we do not have the necessary resources available to invest everything we would want in the packaging. The main focus is on the quality of the product, and there is a conscious choice to allocate most of the resources there Most SMEs grow organically and, unless you have a large initial investment, it is a long process until we have the resources we intend to develop the packaging, which is most consistent with the product. During this process, it is necessary to remember that the pack is a great ally for commercialization. Aesthetics of the hand with functionality One of the first decisions to be taken upon deciding to move forward with the creation of a customized packaging is related to materials. There is always a difference between those being cheaper and those having an added value, such as being eco-friendly or handmade. This decision must be taken while bearing in mind that the packaging represents the product and the ideals of the company to align with what the company proposes. Moreover, the material has the ability to be durable or disposable. Durable packaging has a double function: not only do they add an extra value to the product, which the customer appreciates, but they are also a constant reminder of the brand. For my pieces of jewelry, I choose a durable packaging that my consumers keep to store their pieces. Aesthetic values are an important choice as well. A good idea is to stay in the classic lines and colors if we are marketing a colorful product. In this way, we generate a contrast and avoid the competition in the product packaging. You can opt for a colorful packaging to generate an impact when we are working with a product of more neutral tonalities or when we seek to generate a strong identification of the brand. Another dimension of aesthetics has to do with sizes: generating specialized packaging for each product adds a value that is not negligible. It generates a sense of personalization that dresses the product and makes it look more important. When the packaging besides being cute is designed to serve the product, you feel when you open it that you have bought a piece with the value of the work printed on it. In addition to thinking about the packaging depending on the market and the product in the catalog, we must take into account which consumers we are targeting. If you are a wholesaler, it is important to think about the way how you want to present the product. It is convenient to discuss all these issues with a designer, be present in the design process, and allow him to propose ideas. The choice of that professional designer is very important, since he will have a lot of influence on the realization of the pack. Your point of view is paramount to achieve a result, which is effective in quality, design and price. A packaging for each product The packaging is the basics for all products, but we must recognize that its importance also depends on the type of product, which we are marketing. When we work with a design product, we expect the packaging to be up to it. As in any case, if it is a female accessory, we are facing a pack that acquires even greater importance. This must be taken into account because many times while embarking on a venture we fail to consider it. There are masculine, feminine, youthful packs, and this can be imagines for each packaging. The packaging design is a separate world in which it is necessary to submerge so as to find the most appropriate one. The way of presenting the product can be defining when placed in prestigious outlets. Of course, it is always the quality of the product that makes them competitive and attractive, but detracting from the importance of packaging is an error, since it is the framework, which surrounds what we intend to market. In addition to punishing the packaging depending on the market and the product in the catalog, we must take into account which customers we are going to target: whether it is a retailer, wholesaler, in case if we are working with other brands. If you are a wholesaler, it is important to think about the way how you want to present the product to your customers. Valuation by customers Experience has shown me that thinking of an ad hoc packaging is highly valued. This can be seen in the feedback given by customers, which is a very important element for evaluating the actions taken in an enterprise. It is crucial to listen to the voice of those who consume our products so as to identify if we are falling into any of the most common mistakes when designing a packaging. We can finish with an uncomfortable pack or if the materials are not of good quality and do not support the product well. It may also be that it does not completely identify the brand or that it becomes unusable once the product is removed. One way to evaluate if we fall into any of those examples is to listen to our customers, establish a dialogue to find out what happens with that package once it leaves our store.
The challenge of a SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAIN
The concept of a sustainable development covers a huge range of topics and approaches, and has touched different areas of human activity in recent decades, including business. Thus, the convergence of business and the environment has not been more relevant as it is currently. l Roberto Piña* * Manager of the Mexico City plant of Ecolab. In the field of sustainability, resource efficiency is a practical way for producers and suppliers in the food industry to work together with the purpose of delivering tangible and valuable results to the company and its customers. Hence, the term Sustainable Supply Chain is used here to describe from the selection and supply of raw materials, which are the basic components of almost all products, to the production and manufacturing, retail and service, where products meet with people through logistic activities inside and outside the company. Examples of the efficient use of vital resources, especially energy and water, and the management of final waste are frequently used to cite that good logistic practices within the chain is positively contributing to the energy efficiency and to the reduction in emission of greenhouse gases, However, there are the environmental benefit beyond it, and this is where there are advantages and great business opportunities for companies that know how to take advantage of different technologies and solutions in order to improve the efficiency when using their resources. In the 1980ies, it was common to look for ISO 9000 certifications. Subsequently, it became a standard and a "must" to close deals or attract customers so as to demonstrate that the company has and applies a sustainable philosophy in its operations. Today, there are at least three levels in which a company from any sector can work in order to make its supply chain more sustainable: a) External: with the community and government institutions to meet the state and municipal requirements, which allow for obtaining certifications, such as clean industry. b) Internal: with distinctive processes for the use and management of its resources and with corporate goals, which are higher and permeated throughout the organization (for example, there are companies* seeking to reduce annual energy consumption by 7%). c) External with its clients: by inviting them to implement the processes and technology or by stimulating the strategic alliances so as to take advantage of the services that they can offer among themselves. The three levels have interesting edges. However, there is no doubt that beyond the focus of corporate social responsibility by way of linking the performance results with sustainability metrics and cost savings, the profitability of implementing sustainability solutions in the chain. In any case, it results in an investment in the future and in competitive advantages for the business. Some solutions and technologies applied to logistics and sustainability within the plants of certain companies* and those of their customers are related to the efficient energy consumption, the handling of trash, and the use of water. For example, they have made a technological conversion of LP gas to natural gas in the field of energy, which implies less carbon dioxide emission. Moreover, the use of solar cells for the generation of hot water and Plep technology saves up to 90% of electricity. In waste management, PET, cardboard, and paper waste are recycled for the production of books thanks to an agreement that cooperates with the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP). The internal use of water has been linked to technologies of dry urinals and the water management of Clean-in-Place (CIP), which reduce 70% water consumption in productive areas. Towards the outside, technologies* which help monitoring and optimizing the use of the liquid in the heating and cooling towers, serve as a key tool to help plants to reduce their use. Lowering the production chain is vital for all industries. With this type of technology, there is an area of opportunity for companies both internally and externally. Tax incentives are often the main motivators to incorporate the aspects related to sustainability in the management of chains. In Mexico, for example, there is also another area of opportunity in the possibility of partnerships with companies for the self-generation of electric power. However, there are also challenges, such as working together at all levels and cultivating the corporate culture of sustainability. Countries, such as the United States and several more in Europe, implemented diverse strategies in the 1990ies in order to motivate sustainability in the industry. They worked with companies and citizens to consolidate that culture. In the case of Mexico, recycling is not seen as a business nowadays. It is necessary to stop seeing sustainability as an expense, and instead to look for the opportunity. In our experience, it is an investment and a long-term commitment in the long run (it takes about three years to transform an organizational culture and implement a technology). As a country, it is a difficult path, but profitable at the end, and it can take advantage of the great inventiveness and creativity that characterizes Mexican entrepreneurs. Finally, the extension of sustainability practices throughout all phases of production poses the challenge of their coordination. Therefore, it is advisable to have a specific area in the company and with the appropriate profiles in order to monitor the necessary corporate initiatives so as to reach the goal. It is necessary to raise the awareness about the actions, which must be implemented to improve the quality, efficiency and sustainability throughout the chain. * Please refer to Ecolab México and to its technologies, such as 3D TRASAR.
MICROFOAMING TECHNOLOGY: changing world, changing packaging
Microfoaming is a technology developed in order to meet the demands of the packaging market by way of a more sustainable solution, which reduces the greenhouse gas emissions. l Cladia Hernández* * Scientific Researcher TS&D Latin America at Dow. Micro-foaming1 is a technology, which decreases the weight of coextruded polyethylene films by way of controlled physical foaming. In addition, it allows a reduction in the material without compromising the performance requirements of the packaging. The best thing about this technology is that more packages can be produced with the same amount of raw material. A solution for the Challenges the Packaging Industry is facing The rapid growth of the world population is creating an even greater demand for food, which implies new challenges for the packaging industry. In order to minimize the impact of the carbon footprint, flexible packaging solutions meeting the sustainability goals in the value chain are required, and without affecting its performance. The trigger for the development of this technology was a deep scientific knowledge, both to modify the molecular architecture, and the processes of foaming and extrusion of the design, which is tailored to the final properties of the films. This innovation comprises the injection of atmospheric gases into a co-extruded polyethylene structure so as to physically foam the films, and to reduce their density, which then allows to produce between 15% and 25% more packages with the same amount of raw material. This process preserves or increases the thickness of the film so as to obtain an equal or better stiffness and functionality. Thanks to the presence of uniform cellular structure, foaming provides a pearlescent optical effect. Micro-foaming technology addresses the sustainability issues of those who participate in this innovation, since it offers the converter the possibility of improving the profile so as to reduce the impact of the carbon footprint, and which helps the brand owners to meet their corporate objectives in this respect, while their market share is increased by offering new and lightweight packaging. Saving the amount of material used in the production of these packages enables the plastic converters to considerably reduce the greenhouse gases (GHG). Accessible Implementation The implementation of the technology with converters requires a minor modification to the existing co-extrusion equipment. The project has been implemented in converting plants located in multiple countries in Latin America3. The technology of micro-foam films was developed in order to meet the needs of the packaging market, along with the solutions to reduce the weight of the films and to improve the sustainability indicators. This process generated important innovations, which are facing the challenges the market is presenting nowadays, namely the conservation of the properties of the packaging, its form and performance during the filling process, among them. The result is to increase the number of high quality packages, which are produced with the same amount of resin. Technical propertiesof Microfoaming This technology allows for a reduction in weight, while the thickness and packaging performance requirements are kept up. Among the most outstanding features of the micro-foam films are toe following ones: a) a reduction in weight of up to 30% without reducing the size, which increases the number of packages produced of the same amount of resin; b) thicker films and higher stiffness with less resin consumption; c) films with differentiated organoleptic properties, such as both being soft to the touch and a pearly appearance. Competitive advantages In addition to the increased production of more containers with the same amount of raw material, the contribution to the reduction in weight has a lower impact on the environment and, therefore, it reduces the carbon footprint, while this technology is versatile. It can be used in the development of flexible packaging for various fields, such as food, cosmetics and packaging, and in turn, it translates into competitive advantages, such as an environmental profile, which is better than the traditional packaging, a better maintenance of thickness, while the strength of the sealing and the structural and tear strength are improved, and a transparent packaging with differentiated optical properties and perception and/or lamination, a softer external surfaces allowing for a better printing quality, an isolation of packaged products, a reduction of direct and indirect costs due to savings in energy and final packaging. 1 Developed and patented techology by Dow. 2 Please refer to DOWLEX, GM, ELITE AT, AFFINITY and INNATE 3 MuCell Extrusion LLC is the company supplying the equipment necessary for the adaptation of the machinery and to achieve micro-foaming.
The beverage sector needs to "kill two birds with one stone." On the one hand, consumers expect personalized, functional and ecological packaging, while on the other they take into account the care of the planet. The sector gets better and better with new packaging concepts and an efficient production technique. l Sebastian Pflügge* * Department at Interpack, Packaging and Processing Press / PflueggeS@messe-duesseldorf.de Nowadays, the packaging sector needs to satisfy the consumer demand. On the one hand, buyers expect customized design packaging, preferably with additional features, while on the other hand beverage consumers are thinking more and more about ecology, and want to protect resources, and that the packaging is ecologically made. The detail of giving the hosts just a bottle of champagne or wine as a small gift is outdated. The new trend in gift packaging is to give something complete and awaken emotions with new materials and improvements. Companies in this segment develop cardboard boxes and boxes, baskets, wooden boxes, decorative items and bags to give gifts a special effect. That is, wine and champagne bottles can be presented in exclusive gift cassettes with touch and authentic wood appearance. Or there are attractive additional features integrated in the packaging. For example, a small lamp shade with which the empty bottle can easily be transformed into a decorative table lamp, since exclusivity and variety are the success in gift packaging. What can be applied in this segment of packaging can also move to the market of beverages in general: wine, champagne or beer alone in normal bottles cannot excite consumers. Therefore, the variety of alcoholic, combined and flavored beverages, which are also sold in bottles with original designs, is so great that the consumer can afford to be difficult to satisfy. If you want to convince consumers, it is necessary to highlight the products of the rest at first sight. "The aesthetic and with it, the emotion are placed more and more in the foreground, and are playing more decisive role in the consumption of the products. In a complex world, it is important to let the stomach and not the head decide, since this saves time," says Andreas Steinle of the Zukunftsinstitut, a factory of ideas for the investigation of tendencies and the future. The maintendency is individuality and differentiation For example, the evian mineral water brand, distributed by Danone Waters, makes an immense effort to highlight the product’s exclusivity. In its plastic bottles with an exclusive design, it uses the new technology "Nature MultiPack," an innovation in the field of packaging that links individual PET bottles through the use of specific adhesives, so that they are individually aligned and then can be separated without problems. Moreover and concerning the design, Danone continues unusual ways: for the ninth time since 2008, evian launches a limited edition, in which water bottles are designed by well-known fashion designers. In 2016, it was the turn of the American fashion designer Alexander Wang, who took the barcode as the theme for packaging and transferred it to the glass bottles by means of white and black bars. The spaces between the bars and the purist design should visualize the natural purity of evian. But not only the exclusive brands are using individuality and differentiation. Beverage manufacturers increasingly use returnable 0.5-liter bottles for their mineral waters and soft drinks to reach even the smallest households, or they offer their product in artistically designed bottles to enter the high segment of the restoration. The packaging of original designs have advantages, but also disadvantages. The more individual and versatile the products’ packaging is, the more laborious and expensive their production is. Higher manufacturing costs are passed on to customers in the form of higher prices, a situation frequently criticized by consumer associations. In addition, laborious manufacturing procedures and non-returnable bottles contaminate the environment. To reduce pollution, some countries have set ambitious targets for the return of packaging. For example, Germany wants to reach 80%, however, the quota has dropped from two thirds to 45% instead since 2004. At the same time, the amount of waste from non-returnable beverages packaging has since increased by about 30%. The causes of the boom of non-returnable packaging are the merchants and manufacturers. In the mineral water sector, there are price wars in beverages and supermarket establishments, but the special offers only work with non-returnable bottles, since the collection, cleaning and refilling of the plastic bottles are laborious. Therefore and among other things, politicians propose to agree on the payment of a deposit on the non-returnable bottles in the form of an ecological tax, and to extend the obligation of the deposit to juices and nectars. Demand for a technique of resource-saving packaging Moreover, packaging manufacturers are subject to this obligation. On the one hand, they must achieve an effective presentation of the packaging and be comfortable for users, while on the other they have to save raw materials and cause less pollution of the environment. In this way, the requirements for packaging machines also increase. A responsible treatment of natural resources and an ecological conscience are very important for the manufacturers of feeding machines and packaging machines. They know that sustainable production processes are very important for their customers, says Vera Fritsche, person in charge at VDMA, the Technical Association of Packaging and Packaging Machines. The technique of intelligent control and automation, the drives, compressors, fans or thrifty pumps were among the classic solutions to save current and production means, and increase the energy efficiency. The efficient motors, which are optimally adapted to the movements and acceleration processes in the machines, reduce the current consumption. In addition, innovative and optimized processes decrease the energy and water consumption, the concepts of innovative machine extended the service and maintenance intervals, as well as service dimming, and thus energy was saved, said to Fritsche. Upcycling—a second life for packaging Environmental protection has become a decisive factor in the beverage sector, and can even be used for profit, as exemplified by the smoothie maker True Fruits. Unlike many other producers, it does not pack its beverages in plastic bottles, but in 250-ml and 750-ml cylindrical glass bottles printed in ceramic, so as to transmit the design of the required values, such as honesty, purity, high value and transparency. In order that the bottles do not simply stop at the glass container when they are empty, the True Fruits team has thought about how to reuse them. They found the solution in the so-called Upcycling, where the object after use is used as a basis for a new product. True Fruits created supplements that can be easily placed on empty bottles: until now, the company offers permanent caps to convert the containers into a sugar bowl, salt shaker, an oil, cruet or sauce boat, or a filter for tea. A combination of vitamins, originality and sustainability clearly pleases customers, as True Fruits is one of the leaders on the smoothie market. Another focus of organic beverage packaging is bioplastic. Last year, Coca-Cola introduced the new generation of "PlantBottleTM", made 100% of reusable raw materials, and announced an immediate introduction to the market. The bio-based materials of the so-called "First Generation" must be manufactured in the long run from biomass, for example, from wood waste. In a research project, scientists at the University of Hohenheim are testing another promising natural raw material for bottles—the tuberous roots of endives, which until now were used to generate biogas. The non-consumable tuberous root accounts for 30% of the plant. The researchers obtain hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) without depurifying, which can be used to make the so-called PEF bottles.