Positive start to the year as innovation abounds

16 January 2006

This month's issue kicks off the New Year in positive frame. Not only has Tetra Pak launched what it claims is "the world's first high barrier, transparent, aseptic pouch (see story below)", but there is news too of a radical two-stage PET paint can (p4) the inventor believes could "revolutionise" household paint packaging while simultaneously saving brand owners substantial sums on storage and transportation.

As usual our feature articles this month focus on the most topical issues, with one, for instance, examining the ongoing challenge faced by brand owners in making convenience food packaging, not only impactful on shelf but equally functional in the kitchen too. Another article this month examines the growing importance of efficient production line planning in the glass packaging arena – a look at factory efficiency in a specific material sector, but one that provides interesting lessons for any high-turnover converting environment.

Packaging and indeed FMCG manufacturers are not, of course, the only ones seeking to pare costs; savage competition among Europe's supermarkets is seeing the likes of Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Carrefour enthusiastically embracing new technologies like RFID. Readers with a strong interest in RFID, a technology set soon to pose significant converting challenges, will be keen to attend RFID Solutions '06, which will be an informative and highly topical conference, and include a dedicated manufacturing and packaging stream (see p4 for full details).

Meanwhile, earlier in the year, readers with an interest in cartoning should find much to excite and enthuse them as debate gets under way at February's Pro Carton/BPIF Cartons Carton Conference in Daventry. Plenty to occupy you then, not forgetting the chance to experience first-hand the latest in food packaging and processing at Food & Drink World '06, a new, all-encompassing exhibition at Birmingham's NEC in March (see this page) which promises to lift the lid on everything from the latest shelf-ready packaging innovations to outsourcing's growing role in successful packaging procurement.

Jonathan Baillie

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