Corrugated inkjet leads digital printed packaging

Digital print for packaging is worth $13.2 billion in 2017, and will climb to $23.2 billion in 2022, according to the latest research from Smithers Pira, The Future of Digital Print for Packaging to 2022 .
The demand for inkjet and electrophotography print in packaging will see an 11.2% annual increase in value across the forecast period (2017-2022) and annual 15.4%growth in volume output (A4 sheets equivalent) – up from 163 billion A4 sheets (equivalent) in 2017 to 334 billion in 2022. This reflects the arrival of new higher throughput equipment.
Penetration for digital print technology is not uniform – the labels sector is the early adopter and mature in some regions. Consequently future expansion will rest heavily on less-developed packaging formats principally, including corrugated board, folding cartons and flexible plastics.
In 2017, the mainstream corrugated sector has a real appetite for high-volume inkjet liner and postprint systems, to provide new functions and gain plant efficiencies. Implementation is being led by some of the largest companies in the corrugated sector – as well as by more agile independents – leading to the arrival of new dedicated equipment that will enable volume production at a much more economical price. 
For more information on this report, please contact Julie Bostock.


Flexo goes Green to be continued in China

imagePrinting on corrugated boxes was quite simple just to meet the needs of a transportation container. To push the development of corrugated post printing in China, Bobst started together with Flint Group, Esko and other partners the initiative “Flexo goes Green”, which stands for sustainability, productivity and quality. This project was presented during the Sino-Corrugated 2013 fair in Shanghai, gaining a lot of attention. Meanwhile, there is a trend to more sophisticated packaging, and the new role of corrugated can be described as “from the brown box to branding”. By this means, packaging is becoming part of marketing and sales activities to more and more attract the consumer’s attention.

To further develop this important market segment, the partners decided to proceed with the “Flexo goes Green” initiative and to present two new corrugated boxes at the Sino-Corrugated 2015 fair. The boxes have been printed in a joint cooperation of the project partners with Flint Group’s environmental friendly water-based ink, FLEXOPAK C, and photopolymer printing plate, nyloflex® ART 284 Digital. This plate is ideally suited for printing on all kinds of fibre surfaces, e.g. high quality post print on corrugated board with very good reproduction of highlight dots and excellent and consistent ink transfer. The job with screen ruling of 133lpi ran on a Bobst 160 Vision VI press, with die-cutting on a Bobst SPO 160 Vision. In this specific segment of premium post printing with a thin flexo plate (thickness 2.84 mm), Bobst is in a leading position in China. The artwork was delivered by the local tradeshop, Kunshan Fuhua, with an Esko system.

FEFCO Standards for Converting Equipment

image_thumb[1]On Thursday 7 May FEFCO launched its new book presenting 43 conversion equipment standards developed under the guidance of the FEFCO Production Committee. These standards will help the industry to:

– Enable the like-for-like comparison of equipment properties;
– Avoid the under or over specifying of equipment;
– Help customer and supplier to agree on a level when equipment is ordered and check it when it is delivered;
– Measure and record over time the state of equipment;
– Set quantitative targets for process improvement for existing and new technologies.

More than 60 delegates attended the Workshop on Acceptance Procedures for Converting Equipment. On the occasion of this workshop the FEFCO book of Standards was distributed to the participants. Later this year, the book will be more widely spread and will be handed out to the 800 delegates who are expected to attend the next FEFCO Technical Seminar (Barcelona, 28 – 30 October 2015). After this seminar it will be available on the FEFCO website.

Packaging can reduce global food waste

The United Nations estimate that over a billion tons of food is wasted globally every year, a figure that could be significantly reduced with the right packaging, according to the European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers (FEFCO).

In the industrialised world 40% of food at retail and consumer level is thrown away, while a similar figure is wasted in developing countries during post-harvest handling and processing (source UN). FEFCO is convinced that appropriate food packaging can help tackle the problem and reduce the huge impact this is having in environmental and financial terms.

Some may see packaging as contributing to waste, but FEFCO is resolute that this is misleading: far more resources are used in creating the product than the packaging. Therefore product and packaging should be viewed together and appropriate levels of packaging, not less, should be used to protect food.

FEFCO’s Secretary General, Angelika Christ, said: “Downsizing packaging makes no sense if product loss occurs as a consequence. Packaging should be optimised according to the requirements of each and every product. Sometimes increasing packaging significantly reduces impact on the environment.”

Vitacress (Portugal), one of Europe’s leading growers of watercress, asked for a corrugated packaging solution that would increase shelf life and reduce product loss in distribution. The result included a drain tray of crushed ice that sits on the top rim of the pack and trickles melting water over the watercress to keep it fresh for up to 48 hours.

Corrugated packaging can also be tailored to fit each product precisely and hold it securely during transport. It can be designed to ensure easy opening and handling without product damage. The flexibility exists to introduce bespoke solutions quickly, and cost-effectively.

A vital role is played by corrugated packaging throughout the supply chain: It protects 75% of European goods in transit and ensures that more food reaches the consumer’s table as safely and efficiently as possible.

In Germany ethylene absorbing corrugated board is being developed for fresh produce to slow down unwanted ripening. Ethylene triggers the ripening process in certain fruits and vegetables.

Food packaging ensures food security and safety, enhances both logistics management and product identification. Corrugated’s versatility, 100% recyclability and protective qualities makes it an integral part of the range of measures needed to solve the problem of food waste.

Global Packaging market expected to grow 3% per annum

The global packaging industry will swell to almost 820 thousand million USD by 2016 predicts Smithers Pira in a report released in January. Driven mainly by increasing demand for packaging in emerging and transitional economies, a 3% per annum growth rate will focus on board products (40 th M USD) and rigid plastics (30 th M USD).

The Future of Global Packaging Market and Technology Forecasts to 2016 provides market sizes and forecasts broken down by packaging product, end-use sector and geographic market, in a comprehensive overview of the status of the packaging industry in 50 countries globally.

Continue reading

Corrugated of Course

image FEFCO, the European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers, has launched a new communication platform entitled "Corrugated Of Course”, a website with information and commentary on topics of relevance to user groups and policy makers.

Its goal is to communicate the many strengths of the corrugated industry to producers, retailers and political institutions at European level. Over time, guest blogs and comments will be included with the aim of establishing a two way conversation between the corrugated industry and its stakeholders.

To visit the website CLICK HERE.

EHEC bacteria cannot survive in Corrugated Packaging – says FEFCO

Corrugated packaging is clean and hygienic, because of very high temperatures applied during the manufacturing process and because each package is used for only one delivery. These are important factors in the light of recent tragic incidents involving EHEC (Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli) bacterial contamination of food whose source is yet to be identified.
Corrugated packaging has for many decades been, and still is, the preferred transport packaging for food products. It is storage, transport and display-friendly and able to carry important handling and branding messages.
EHEC is a strain of E. coli (Escherichia coli) which belongs to the bacteria group called Enterobacteriaceae. The optimum environment for these bacteria is a temperature between 25 °C and 40 °C, combined with sufficient moisture. However, they are not able to survive temperatures above 70 °C.
Corrugated board is manufactured by combining layers of paper in a unique structure that gives the packaging its lightness and strength. The manufacturing process uses heating elements with temperatures between 180 °C and 200 °C. The material itself reaches temperatures of at least 100 °C three times, once during the manufacture of the paper itself, and twice during the process of conversion to corrugated board.
According to FEFCO ( the European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers), contamination of one product with another is impossible because each packaging is used only once. After use the packaging is sent for recycling back into new paper during which the material is again heated to temperatures exceeding 100 °C.
With temperatures far above levels than those at which EHEC bacteria can survive occurring three times during the manufacturing process, the corrugated board industry offers an efficient solution for a safe food logistics chain and can give reassurance that the current serious outbreak will not be spread by the use of corrugated packaging.