Future trends will see the packaging of delicate products by using artificial vision systems, labelling and marking, and control of essential parameters and packaging characteristics such as airtightness, weight and volume.
Sophisticated machines in response to market demand
“Over the years our companies have developed increasingly sophisticated automated technologies in response to the constant demand for flexibility and customization,” said Giuseppe Lesce, chairman, Ucima.
“Sustainability is now one of the major growth drivers in the packaging industry. We expect to see considerable progress in terms of energy efficiency of plants, fuelled in particular by the constant regulatory obligations affecting our sector.”
According to an Ucima 2014 Statistical Survey, the Food and Beverage industry makes up more than 63% of the Italian packaging machinery total turnover.
Speaking to FoodProductionDaily, Lesce added sales to beverage sector companies account for 35.2% of its turnover and make up the highest export share (88%), while sales to food sector companies amount to 28.5% with an export share of 77%.
The pharmaceutical, cosmetics, chemicals and other sectors have smaller market shares.
“Our best-selling machines are packaging machines (38.2% of the total), followed by filling and dosing machines, sealing machines (including capping machines) and control machinery (26.2%),” he said.
Lesce said other trends include: application of concepts and procedures of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM).
He added there will be a strong emphasis on energy aspects; the construction of increasingly compact and modular and multifunctional machines capable of delivering ever higher manufacturing efficiency.
“We will see the design of user-friendly technologies and machines increasingly capable of interacting amongst themselves and with the rest of the factory,” he said.