With the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic, the volume of packing materials has increased significantly.
The worldwide packaging sector invests more heavily in intelligent automation and environmentally friendly solutions, tailoring its offers to various end-use verticals.
With increased sales of consumer devices and a commitment to zero plastic waste, innovations such as 3D printing, automated processes, and circular economies will receive brand and consumer attention in 2021. Various notable developments in the packing industry include the following:
Attention Is Drawn to Augmented Reality: Several consumer product businesses, like Coca-Cola and Pizza Hut, have incorporated augmented reality technologies into their package styles. This initiative is principally focused on increasing consumer interaction.
For example, Pizza Hut started a limited-edition augmented reality carton that enabled users to play games using QR codes. In addition, Coca-Cola released drinking cups for use in White Castle locations, intending to increase brand exposure using augmented reality.
Flexible Packaging Formats Gain Adherence:
Digitalizing packaging activities in smart retail is an important factor impacting packaging formats. Flexible packaging allows retailers to automate various processes, including intelligent labeling, RFID labels, and smart tags. In addition, consumers' increasing emphasis on sustainable purchases is also critical to adopting flexible materials as primary packaging.
For example, UFlex developed and revealed a novel laminate structure based on BOPP film for food goods. Moreover, the company introduced a 40-gsm LDPE, paper, and foil structure for pharmaceutical packaging applications. The product allows the cross-linking of coatings and inks, expanding their resistance to abrasion and chemicals while discharging no greenhouse gases. Repositioning in the retail space, especially for the FMCG sector, will encourage production to extend the shelf life of products.
Cybersecurity in the Packing Industry: With the rising adoption of Industry 4.0 connectivity, the packing industry is now vulnerable to hackers and other harmful actors due to the sector's growing usage of IIoT. Businesses attempt to adhere cautiously to best practices while eliminating operational and information technology compartmentalization.
Firewalls among systems and manufacturing and processing facilities are becoming more prevalent. In addition, Analytics' importance in operations like warehouse management will also create the potential for cybersecurity products, which will support limiting the probability of interruption.
AI to Complement Automation: Automation of packing operations has become more critical than ever in the aftermath of the Covid-19 outbreak. Enhanced emphasis on user health and safety and advancements in blockchain technology's advantages for quality control, productivity, and downtime contribute to the quick use of automation technology.
Investments in AI(artificial intelligence) and analytics by startups and mid-sized businesses will be crucial in pushing improvements in operations such as direct-to-consumer e-commerce and government attempts to distribute the vaccination. Moreover, artificial intelligence will increase return on invested capital (ROIC) by enabling predictive maintenance and the production of package format prototypes without human intervention.