The packaging industry has come a long way. It has undergone several significant changes in the last decade, making it more brand- and consumer-center and more eco-friendly.
Based on this dynamic, the innovations in this sector have never stood still. It has continued to adapt to more innovative and advanced technology, producing solutions that benefit not only the brand or company but the consumers and the environment, as well.
In the last few years, the industry has seen various shocking trends that have links to general technological advancements. If you are looking for some ideas that you may want to adopt, here are some of the “mind-blowing” applications:
- Fiber-Based Materials
Plastic is one of the top raw materials that companies use in their respective packaging systems. As scrutiny toward the usage of such material continues, manufacturers are looking for alternatives. One of the latest in the field is plant-based fibers, and a great example of this is the so-called MFC or micro-fibrillated cellulose.
The way it works is that the plant fiber is broken down to micro levels. Following the process, experts reconstitute them into packaging materials.
The end results are highly encouraging because it produces a much stronger and lighter raw material. Moreover, they can be supplemented, as well, to other packaging materials, even in spirits packaging, for added strength and durability.
The application of robotics in the packaging industry is quite straightforward. Robots are utilized for better, faster, and more efficient packaging systems.
Various types of robots now exist in the industry. One example is the robotic arms that sort items into boxes. Data reported shows that retailers and manufacturers are the most apparent users of such robots because they convert to much quicker and more accurate delivery responses.
Apart from the robotic arms, there are other types and kinds of robots that companies use in their packaging systems. This shows how flexible and versatile they are, considering that they can be reprogrammed to do other functions.
- Packaging Automation
Packaging automation has links with robots because the trend largely utilizes robotics applications and artificial intelligence platforms. Nevertheless, this aspect focuses more on precision and quality control.
When automating the packaging processes, these include the likes of depanning, filling, packing, sealing, and labeling. This is why it is more seen in bigger industries or manufacturing bases.
While robotic arms also fall under packaging automation, it appears to have centered on AI-powered systems, which help the overall quality control. Some examples include a robot with AI integration that analyzes the products in the post-packaging and manufacturing processes, ensuring that each and every item passes the standards.
- Smart Packaging
Smart packaging, as the name implies, has something to do with the internet of things. Upon its emergence in the industry, it has since helped cut down waste and improved supply chains in various settings and sectors.
The most apparent issue that it resolves is product piracy. This is a concern that brands and manufacturers continue to face today.
With smart packaging, the quality and authenticity of the products can be ensured from their shelves up to the consumers. Some of the applications today include Radio-Frequency Identification or RFID and QR codes.
In parallel with smart packaging, nanotechnology seemingly falls, as well, under this trend. It has applications at various phases and steps of the overall supply chain.
Nanotechnology can be applied in the actual packaging process. These days, there are already brands that use nanoparticles in their packaging for better material durability, strength, and quality.
The technology can also be applied in the overall packaging supply chain to resolve several common concerns in supply chain management, like piracy and counterfeiting. As it happens, nanomaterials in packaging can be utilized for tracing the items and ensuring authenticity, and many brands, particularly in the food and drinks sector, are already in the trend.
- 3D Printing
3D printing is a real game-changer in the packaging sector. Its uses and application, though, lies more on the scaling packaging, alongside customization and creativity.
As you may know, 3D printing works by “printing” a design using molten plastic. The system gradually builds up the material according to the design by layers. This is why the industry refers to it as “additive manufacturing.”
Some companies utilize it for printing robots that may aid the packaging system in general. Meanwhile, others take advantage of the technology by printing additional accessories that can be combined with the initial packaging of the product.
Transform Your Packaging System Today
These are only some of the “mind-blowing” technology trends in the packaging sector today, and there are a lot more that you may find fitting and appropriate for your brand.
Apart from becoming “smart” and “trendy,” these applications can benefit you and your company significantly. Alongside helping your venture grow and expand, you are also building a better base for your products, as well as your audience.