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Packaging Innovations - Q&A session with Gavin Ashe, Managing Partner at Kite Packaging

Europe, UK, Ireland, Primary Packaging, Bottles, Primary Boxes, Cases, Flexibles, Film, Sheet, Secondary Packaging, Secondary Boxes, Cases, Labels, Tertiary Packaging, Stretch Film, Machinery, Contract Packaging, Packing, Wrapping, Bagging, Shows, Associations, Media, Packaging Trade Shows, Events, Easyfairs

Packaging Innovations, the UK's leading packaging event, returns to Birmingham's NEC on 24 & 25 February 2016, alongside Empack and Label&Print, covering the whole packaging spectrum. The shows will demonstrate the most advanced innovations, inspire new developments and look at the latest machinery.

Show organiser, Easyfairs, has confirmed major names including Glossop Cartons, Hewlett Packard, Dantex Graphics, Epson, Durst Phototechnik, Xeikon, Etiq'Etains and Herma UK are all on board to exhibit at the leading event for branded and inspirational packaging in the UK.

Among them, will be Gavin Ashe, Managing Partner at Kite Packaging, who has just booked the biggest stand in the show's history - occupying a huge 104 Sq. metres. He shares his thoughts on the packaging machinery industry in 2016.

Q&A with Gavin Ashe, Managing Partner at Kite Packaging:

What is the next trend for the packaging machinery industry?

There are probably two really significant trends emerging in the sector at the moment, which are both driven by the ecommerce sector. They are Pack Volume Minimisation and Pack Velocity.

By Pack Volume minimisation we are talking about getting the smallest possible pack to dispatch. The really smart players in the industry have woken up to the fact that it is costing them five times more to ship its goods, than it spends on packing them. Amazon's latest figures show that they are spending up to 13% of its turnover on distribution and the truth is distribution in the ecommerce sector is all about cubic meters not kilos.

On the flip side we have the likes of DX saying that the physical size of a parcel is a very important factor in the cost of sortation and handling of parcels through its network. So it's going to be all about solutions that can reduce the shipping volume, which are likely to have a very strong year. Systems like the Box Sizer from Linx Systems or our own Wrap and Hold machine, which make a pack the right size, doing away with the need for void fill, are going to be key ingredients in reducing transport costs.

Pack Velocity has been on the radar for a while now and it is simply about getting more packs through the packing operation per minute. Space is at a premium, with a real shortage of commercial property, staff costs are on the rise and margins are being squeezed. Businesses will have to be more efficient or face some very tough choices. So the trick is going be finding ways of being faster, while maintaining flexibility.

Automation is very capital intensive and can often lead to bottle necks. However through clever pack design and simple, relatively low cost systems, like stretch wrap machines and automated bagging systems, it is possible to get some very big wins. We will be demonstrating both of these systems at the show.

What packaging materials are set to be big in 2016?

It is unlikely that there will be any significant change in the packaging materials that are to be used, but we are certainly forecasting that there will be some significant evolution. There is a continued drive from the corrugated industry towards lighter papers, with more recycled content, as well as the continuing adoption of thinner caliper boards. Kite was an early adopter of this technology and with the support of WRAP, brought Enviro Board to the market.

Plastics are also undergoing a similar evolution with scientific developments allowing the manufacture of thinner, more efficient films, which can far out perform those on the market at the moment.

Kite will be launching its new 5x5 Stretch Film range in the first quarter of 2016 which we forecast will save customers up to 30%, while giving them better load retention. So in answer to the question we think it is more evolution than revolution, but one thing for certain is there will be change.

What do you think will represent the single biggest threat for bespoke packaging suppliers in 2016, and why?

We don't think there is a threat per say to the bespoke packaging sector, it is a huge part of the market and will remain so. We see the emergence of the customised standard as being a much more significant play. The growth in digital print allowing customers to bespoke standard product is in its infancy, but showcased at all of the big international shows there are clever, relatively low cost machines that allow the production of bespoke packaging.

What's the one thing that the industry should do more of, or do better?

The industry should strive to create value through investing in innovation. Kite is a rarity in the sector in that we spend the time and effort to develop and patent new innovations. As a sector (admittedly often driven by our customers) we are all too prone to try and find the cheapest solution rather than the best solution.

See also

UK's largest packaging show enjoys record breaking year

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Global brands set to join The Big Plastics Debate

Experts from some of the world’s biggest brands, including Marks & Spencer, Pepsi Lipton and Church & Dwight Co., together with British Plastics Federation, A Plastic Planet and WRAP, will come together under one roof at Packaging Innovations 2019 to tackle the industry’s most contentious issue – plastics in packaging. The Big Plastics Debate, which will be hosted on the dedicated Ecopack stage, will welcome an array of industry experts to discuss the future of plastics and reflect on the pledges made by brands over the last 12 months.

Label&Print 2019 welcomes the future of the print industry

Label&Print, which returns to Birmingham’s NEC on 27 & 28 February 2019, will offer visitors an exclusive look at the future of the industry, showcasing the very latest products, services and technologies available to the packaging community. From leading sellers and manufacturers of print and labelling equipment, through to designing, branding and finishing experts, it is the must attend event in any packaging professional’s calendar.

UK’s largest packaging show welcomes global brands to seminar programme

Coca-Cola, Marks & Spencer, Iceland and Innocent Drinks are just some of the major names taking to the stage as part of Packaging Innovations, Label&Print and Empack 2019’s exclusive seminar programme. The UK’s largest annual event for the whole packaging supply chain, which returns to Birmingham’s NEC on 27 & 28 February 2019, will host an impressive two-day CPD accredited conference programme across five stages and will also feature experts from Britvic, L’Occitane and WRAP.

Rodney Steel, Chief Executive of the BCMPA, explains why contract packing has become an integral part of the packaging industry

Packaging Innovations 2019 is set to welcome back Contract Pack for the twelfth-year at Birmingham’s NEC on 27 & 28 February 2019. Supported by the British Contract Manufacturers and Packers Association (BCMPA), the Contract Pack 2019 zone will host 20 BCMPA accredited exhibitors, offering an unrivaled opportunity for brand owners and manufacturers to meet potential outsourcing partners.

Empack returns to the NEC with the latest in packaging technology

The UK’s premier event for packaging technology, equipment and machinery, Empack 2019, is returning to Birmingham’s NEC on 27 & 28 February 2019. The two-day event will focus on the future of packaging technology, with suppliers showcasing the most advanced capabilities and newest innovations to the UK market. Hosted alongside Packaging Innovations, Label&Print, and, new for 2019, Industrial Pack, Empack offers visitors the unrivalled opportunity to discover the latest developments and solutions for upgrading machinery and improving capacity, reliability and efficiency.

The future of packaging printing, labelling and converting showcased at Label&Print 2018

Label&Print, which returns to Birmingham’s NEC on 28th February & 1st March 2018, offers packaging industry professionals the opportunity to discover innovative finishes and techniques, learn about the latest trends and developments and find exciting new suppliers. The show, which is complimented by a programme of educational seminars, will also provide the perfect platform for visitors to get hands-on with a wide range of innovative new products.

Empack 2018 welcomes the latest packaging technology

The UK’s leading packaging technology event, Empack, will return to Birmingham’s NEC on the 28th February & 1st March 2018. The two-day event will offer a unique opportunity for decision makers from major brands, converters and retailers to discover the latest technological advances in logistics and transit packaging, packaging machinery, robotics and automation. The show will also offer visitors the opportunity to get hands-on with a range of new products, with many exhibitors choosing to launch their latest innovations live on the showfloor.

Leading Innovators set to take centre stage at the UK’s leading packaging event

British Gas, Mintel, Cambridge University, Blippar and Knowledge Transfer Network are among the major names set to speak as part of Packaging Innovations 2017’s newest show feature, The Ideas Factory. This brand-new theatre will welcome an array of non-packaging based experts to share skills, experience, knowledge and the newest techniques from their sector, in order to see how they can be applied to the packaging sector.

  • Interview
  • English
  • Modified 15 Jan 2016
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