- September 01, 2002, Stanley Sacharow, The Packaging Group
Pira Intl., the U.K.-based R&D and marketing institution, has published two journals destined to be “must” reading.
Flexible — the journal of plastics packaging technology provides independent analysis of flexible packaging technologies. Published six times a year, the first issue appeared in June and contains six articles and a round-up of the latest technology and market news for flex-pack converters and users.
The most interesting mention is that Gunze KK in Japan has developed an “easy-open seal film in response to the demands of an aging society.” The film reportedly is available in two types: EPI, suitable for automatic wrapping, and ESI for bagmaking. Previously, it was difficult to achieve a film that provided both secure sealing and an easy-open feature, as they were contrary properties to demonstrate.
There are several tables of film usage in Western Europe, with one table breaking down all OPP usage. “OPP is set to remain a buoyant sector of flex-pack to 2006 thanks to predicted uses in demand for dried and baked food,” the journal reports.
There is an excellent report on metallocenes and their future use written by Nnamdi Anyadike. Despite some obvious advantages to the packager, the report states, high costs have thwarted use of metallocene-based polymers, and concludes this “situation may be about to change as capacity increases and new products look to make metallocenes mainstream.” Indications are that “as the technology develops and catalyst costs decrease, metallocene-based polymers are expected to compete in the broader plastics market.”
Other articles include one on bag and pouch growth (stand-up stands out as the only growth area), digital printing (poised for growth in flex-pack), and innovations in polyethylene use for goods (PE to climb rapidly). Flexible costs d855 per year.
Brand — the journal of brand technology offers independent analysis of brand protection and packaging technologies; it's available six times a year for d920.
Advanced Graphic Systems in Switzerland has launched its Watermark System in the U.K. This newly patented technique makes it possible to add watermarks onto any paper during the printing process. Any quantity of paper now can be watermarked, “negating the need for large bulk orders of personalized paper and eliminating the undesired advertising of the mill's watermark.”
Graham Cox's article, “Borderless Brands,” details the growing role of global packaging in a product's success. Brand owners increasingly are implementing global packaging strategies, creating new challenges for package design, procurement, and branding. An excellent table, “Emotional Attitudes to Colour,” offers a country-by-country breakdown of what colors mean in package design. While yellow denotes “treason” in Spain, Portugal, and most of Western Europe, it denotes “sunny” in Latin America and Eastern Europe.
An article by Chris Williams discusses the future transfer of security ink technology from banknotes, checkbooks, and documents to packagers and brand owners seeking to stop counterfeiting attacks. He categorizes these inks into fugitive inks, erasable inks, and penetration numbering inks. Just as a supermarket reads a UPC, there may be a future scanner for brand/package authenticity using security inks.
Digital printing, new materials, and markets are discussed by Philip Swonden, Pira. One interesting observation: “Beer consumption has been on the increase in traditional wine-drinking nations, with the converse true in traditional beer-drinking nations such as the U.K.”
For information, contact Denise Davidson, PIRA Intl. Ltd., Randalls Rd., Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 7RU, U.K., +44-1372-802080; pira.co.uk.
Stanley Sacharow has been in the flexible packaging industry for more than 35 years. His company, The Packaging Group, is an organizer of targeted conferences and a consultant to the international packaging/converting industry. Contact him at 732/636-0885; firstname.lastname@example.org.