The not-for-profit organisation is based in Switzerland near Zurich and has five sponsors and two affiliates, including Dow, Medipack, Perlen Converting.
Stephan Schüle, managing director, IPI told FoodProductionDaily it organizes tailor-made seminars for employees of Bosch Packaging twice a year as well as public seminars and part masters study programmes.
“One of the main reasons for the seminars is that even though it’s easy to hire people within the industry including food scientists, chemists and engineers, its difficult employing skilled packaging trained personal,” he said.
“Most can learn on the job but the most efficient way is to train them ourselves. We do a similar program with Amcor over two days with an overview of new technology, the environment they are in, the market, the value chain and understanding of the company within the market.
“If a company has a group of engineers who want to know more about a particular topic, we can arrange specific training tailored to them with our network. We can talk about important issues within a closed group.”
The next Bosch training sessions will be in May/June next year and there are workshops including Improving shelf life by proper packaging and Peel systems for convenient packages in February Virtual commissioning and packaging process design and packaging materials in March and packaging machine in June.
Looking for sponsors
“Every year we have new topics coming up, and we just received an order from the local authorities in Switzerland to support local SME in terms of innovation, organising specific events about technical subjects. Our programmes are normally in English, because we address not just Swiss and German experts, but this is somewhat a hurdle for local companies so we will run them in German,” added Schüle.
“We are always open to inviting members and constantly talking to companies about sponsorship, but the main focus is to develop the programme of seminars as this is helping the industry more.”
According to Schüle, the global demographics are changing with growing demand in two main areas; an ageing population where industry needs to make sure instructions can be read on the labels, easy opening, and digital consumers which affects packaging, bringing real and virtual worlds together.
“This brings us opportunities in terms of intelligent packaging, user friendliness, sustainable materials, and addresses the whole topic of reducing the weight of packaging materials or replacing cans or glass with flexible packaging,” he said.
“One of the personal interests is the best-before-date which I believe we can eliminate on most food types.
“There are so many assumptions that food stuff is longer good to eat, which is then thrown away, but a lot of the time it is still edible for example sugar and salt. If we could eliminate that with intelligent systems which measure transport and the condition of the product inside and the condition of the packaging we could save millions.
“I’m not saying there is an answer yet but attempts have been made but we need them to be more successful.”