The launch pad for innovation | Packaging Innovations preview

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The launch pad for innovation | Packaging Innovations preview

February 01
09:58 2013
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Packaging Innovations returns to the NEC this month, boasting a raft of ideas for the industry. Packaging News picks out some of the exhibitors under the spotlight plus a look at all the show features and seminars

If you’re planning to stroll around this year’s Packaging Innovations show the chances are that you’ll bump into a concept that’s brand new. At this year’s event, which runs on 27-28 February at Birmingham’s NEC, 63% of exhibitors will be showcasing new products or services.

With that in mind, there will be plenty of food for thought for the visitors. The latest equipment will be highlighted in PackTech, while Contract Pack while present the runners and riders in the vital outsourcing sector. Exhibitors in Ecopack will also be on hand to present the latest green developments, while the flagship Packaging Innovations zone will host the gamut of everything that’s new in materials and formats.

Moreover, the event is expanding, with the launch not only of a Labelling Innovations zone alongside the Print Innovations zone but also a new two-day conference, not to mention the ever-popular learnShops seminar theatres, the Big Packaging Debate, pack innovation clinics run by the Packaging Society and much more.

With all that in mind, PN has picked some of the highlights of what’s on offer – and don’t forget, there is much more information in the official Show Guide, produced by PN and distributed both with this issue and at Packaging Innovations.


The Packaging Innovations zone will feature a wide range of new materials and formats to whet any packaging buyer’s appetite. On the finishing side, hot foil and embossing specialists Blockfoil(stand B45) will be highlighting a raft of eye-catching effects. In addition to its foil application expertise, the company manufactures brass, copper and magnesium foiling and embossing dies. Denny Bros (F54), meanwhile, will be showcasing its Fix-a-Form multi-page labels to support brands’ informational, advertising, PR, social seeding and experiential campaigns.

Those looking for interesting closures should head to Global One-Pak (H46), where the company will be launching the Infinity pump, a foaming pump aimed at the personal care market. A new range of bottles will also be on show to complement the pump. Intelligent Packaging Solutions (D46) is set to launch its TE-cap; a new tamper evident packaging solution designed for the ice-cream market. The development has been designed into injection moulded plastic pots.

In the luxury packaging market, Leo Luxe (C39) will be presenting its new concepts under the theme ‘Put your best look forward’; it will be showing a range of beautiful foldable rigid setup boxes, rigid boxes and luxury paper bags. Stölzle Glass Group (D43), meanwhile, will be demonstrating its range of high-end decorated glass bottles – a must-see for anyone in the perfume or spirits markets. Quadpack (stand C45) will be also showcasing a range of options for beauty brands in the premium and mass markets, including the latest offerings from manufacturers Yonwoo, Apollo and Brivaplast.

Elsewhere, Tinware Direct (A58) is back at Packaging Innovations presenting its range of bespoke tins. One highlight is Pressitin, a can that can be sealed with one push. And Visican (A34) will be showcasing its range of card and plastic containers. Innovations in the cardboard range include two piece tubes and telescopic tubes.

Of course, there’s much more to see – check out the Show Guide for a full run-down of all the exhibitors at Packaging Innovations and in all six zones of the event.


The Contract Pack zone has become a popular fixture in recent years at Packaging Innovations shows, offering the ideal place for brands to meet potential outsourcing partners. Hosted by theBritish Contract Manufacturers and Packers Association (J29), the show brings together firms offering packing, fulfilment, warehousing, product manufacturing and blending, logistics and much more.

Among the exhibitors are major names in logistics such as DHL(G34) and Norbert Dentressangle (J28), medical packing specialists such as Chester Medical (H31) and Flexible Medical Packaging (G38), cosmetics specialists like Hampshire Cosmetics (H33) and Design Plus Packaging (J33) and many more.


Recent leaps forward in print technology, not least the growth of digital print, are changing the way that packaging buyers think about their packaging. In the Labelling Innovations zone, Amberley Labels(B23) will be one of the companies showcasing the benefits of digital print. David Beeby, sales manager explains: “Now is a great time for buyers to re-evaluate the way they specify their print. Digital, print-on-demand, label and package printing opens up a range of options that can improve costs and reduce risk in the supply chain, in support of lean manufacturing initiatives, as well as presenting a host of new and innovative possibilities for brand marketing.”

Friedheim International (B18) will be promoting its extensive range of finishing processes and equipment for commercial print, digital print, packaging and converting, while mailing and packaging equipment supplier AMS (B22) will be launching the M1C Labelmaxer, a short-run desktop digital colour label printer; the latest addition to its product line. Digital print technology giant HP(B28) is another of the firms on hand to demonstrate the value of digital print for labels and packaging.

In the Print Innovations zone, Esko (D4) will be emphasising its Color Engine 12, which ensures accurate colour reproduction, and its integration with PantoneLIVE. Sharing Esko’s stand will be Roland DG, which will be showing its LEC-540 printer/cutter that is designed to create packaging prototypes.

Intelligent Finishing Systems (IFS) (stand F11) is eyeing the short-run packaging arena with the Foliant Mercury 400SF laminator taking centre stage. The machine incorporates a feeder and sheet separator as well as a rising pile back separation stream feeder and a suction paper feed head. Bryan Godwyn, IFS Joint Managing Director, explains: “We have carefully created a portfolio of select solutions to service a growing market demand and are looking forward to showing commercial printers how we help them deliver new creative solutions to open up additional revenue streams.”

Elsewhere, Xeikon UK (E11) will be showing its range of digital print systems for labels, industrial and commercial printing whileXanté Europe (A28) will be promoting its own digital products.
The PackTech zone has become a hub for innovation in packing and filling technology in recent years and this year promises to be no different. Supplier of shrink wrapping equipment Yorkshire Packaging Systems (stand A16) is now in its 35th year of trading and will be exhibiting a number of systems at the show. On display will be its own British built low cost palletising product designed specifically to make it cost effective for low and medium speed packing operations where traditionally this end of the market was not catered for. The system is built around a modular design so can be upgraded as time goes on.
Bell Packaging (stand J43) is to unveil what it says is a completely new concept in the production of fibreboard boxes. Jetbox is supplied packed flat in over 200 standard sizes, whether round, square, rectangular and even triangular tubing.

The focal point for Enercon (stand B3) will be the Super Seal Touch induction cap sealing machine. The company says it is the industry’s first multi-language and multi-functional touch screen induction sealer. Designed for use in a wide range of packaging applications, from food and beverage, to pharmaceutical, agrochemical and household, the Super Seal Touch can be used as a stand-alone line-side unit or be fully integrated into a continuous filling and capping line, giving complete flexibility of operation.

Cerulean (C15), the packing and testing machinery maker, will be launching a new carton testing machine, the Newton Laboratory Carton Tester (LCT), which combines three quality control tests – crease strength and box-forming force, spring-back force and friction – in one instrument, eliminating the need for three separate machines. Advanced Dynamics (A13), meanwhile, will be demonstrating its feeding, counting and wrapping systems for flat products and labelling equipment that run the gamut from entry level to high specification machines for all products.


Sustainability is a subject close to the hearts of all packaging specifiers and suppliers, and this year’s Ecopack will show the latest in packaging products that can improve a product’s use of resources.
Nicholl Food Packaging (E22), for instance, will be showing a variety of aluminium trays with enhanced convenience and a new ‘eco-friendly’ range from the company’s extended product portfolio. The Sherwood Press Group (J5) will be demonstrating Pura, which is the company’s sustainable packaging method combining innovation in 2D/3D design with carbon reduction and waste minimisation. And, among many others, Biobag UK (E21) will be showing its range of compostable and biodegradable liners, sacks and films.

Check out the Show Guide for more – and enjoy the show.

Learnshops and debates

A show regular is the Big Packaging Debate – a Question Time- style feature with a panel of experts discussing a key topic in the industry. This year’s panellists, including PN’s Josh Brooks, will examine the statement ‘Consumers don’t buy sustainable packaging’. Kicking off at 3.30pm on Wednesday 27 February, it will tackle questions around why we invest so much in making improvements in packaging recyclability, whether customers really notice, and whether they make conscious buying decisions based on a pack’s sustainability credentials.

Around the show, more than 50 learnShops will be running with leading speakers from the likes of Sunny Delight and Warburtons. In Packaging News’ learnShops theatre, Arla Foods’ Phil O’Driscoll will present the latest in milk bottle technology while brands including Little Dish and Taylors of Harrogate will also tell all on their approach to packaging.

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