Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 73

EQUIPMENT
Packaging Innovations
So What's
the Problem
Advances in packaging technology answer the
call for automation with practical applications
that address a host of everyday challenges.
by Dan Malovany
A
Almost everyone who attended Pack Expo 2022 seemed to have an issue
with their operations or a situation that needed straightening out. At least,
this was the message from the exhibitors at the nation's largest packaging
trade show held recently in Chicago. Throughout the 1.2 million square
feet of exhibit space, packaging suppliers focused not only on showcasing
the latest in technology, but also on problem-solving alternatives.
Certainly, consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies face a litany of
operational challenges at a time when many of them see ample opportunities
for expanding their businesses. The combination of changes in consumer
behavior, workforce challenges, requests for new packaging formats
and the often-frustrating need for greater capacity has driven a record 40%
increase in sales in packaging between 2019 and 2022, according to justreleased
research by PMMI, the association for packaging and processing
technologies and sponsor of Pack Expo. PMMI also stated that sales are
projected to remain above average for the next few years before stabilizing
around a 4% growth rate.
Moreover, two-thirds of CPGs have increased their spending on automation
in the past three years while almost none have reduced it,
noted PMMI's 2022 report on " The Future of Automation of Packaging
and Processing. "
Jorge Izquierdo, vice president, market development, PMMI, pointed
out that COVID-19 and the associated health concerns initially fueled
primary packaging demand as consumers made the most of their meals at
home and relied on supermarket sales of packaged food to get all the ingredients.
Then as these issues abated, the labor shortage hit with a vengeance,
and CPGs flocked to buy case packing and other forms of automation to alleviate
labor-intensive secondary packaging and end-of-the-line processes.
" The situation went from 'Let's push more product out of the door' to
'Let's do the same but with fewer people,' " he explained. " We thought this
aggressive growth would come to an end, and it did not. We just changed
the drivers that are causing this growth. "
It's not just about the shortage of workers but also about skill levels.
Labor-saving automation makes it easier for
one or two operators to efficiently do the
work that required several in the past.
Donald Phelps Photography
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Baking & Snack - December 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - December 2022

Baking & Snack - December 2022 - Intro
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 1
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 2
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 3
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