Trends in packaging

Trends in packaging

The level of demand for sustainable and recyclable packaging. Using resources efficiently has become even more important due to high raw materials prices. Ever increasing demand for custom-made packaging. These are a few of the trends we are seeing. All these trends and requirements come together in the Quality & Development department at Smart Packaging Solutions. A look behind the scenes in the department where new packaging products are designed. “It's a continuous search for a great product at the right price.”

Hans Kools works as a process technologist in the Quality & Development department of Smart Packaging Solutions. “"I develop packaging, supervise the introduction of new items on the production line and randomly check the finished product. Developing new packaging products is a continuous search for the right balance between price and quality, while also considering all kinds of factors. What will be placed inside? Will the product be frozen or do wet products need to be packaged? Where will it go and under what conditions will it be transported? And so on. A packaging solution that is too heavy for the product being packaged is unnecessarily expensive. However, a packaging solution that is too light and not strong enough will fall apart, leading to product damage.”

Win-win situation

In line with the times, the market of today demands sustainability and efficiency. “When you combine those factors, you create a win-win situation for the environment and the customer. The lighter a packaging solution is, the fewer raw materials are needed to make it. That is better for the environment and more efficient for the customer. This is even more relevant now, in the light of the current prices for raw materials. We also constantly look at how we can improve existing packaging products and make them more efficient, for example by constructing the corners differently to reduce the weight of the packaging without compromising the strength needed for the customer's product.”


More possibilities with new machines

New developments open up new opportunities. “More and more is possible. We are constantly evolving at Smart Packaging Solutions and there is plenty of investment in new machinery. At our plant in Meer, we recently put a Bobst Expertcut into production: a new die-cutting machine that offers more possibilities in terms of die-cutting performance. At our plant in Oudegem, we recently installed a Koenig & Bauer Celmacch High Tech printing machine, which allows us to print heavier board types with greater precision and efficiency.”

Integration in the customer's line

“When we come up with ideas and produce a design drawing, actually being able to produce the design is obviously very important. So, in addition to producing the design drawings, we look at how to implement the product in our production environment. When a new packaging product goes into production, I am also responsible for production coordination and making sure that everyone knows what aspects require special attention when printing, die-cutting and folding. As you would expect, another point we consider is how to integrate the new packaging in the customer's packaging process. The speed of packaging must be optimally efficient. To make sure we get everything right, our team in Quality & Development works closely with the sales office and our sales representatives who know the customer like the back of their hand. Developing a packaging product requires perfect teamwork to offer our customer the best solution. That is the strength of Smart Packaging Solutions!”

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