Bobst – Trends in functionalized packaging
Thursday 24. February 2022 - In 2021, FACHPACK published its Trendradar 2021 report. The report outlines the current hot topics and trends in the packaging industry and picks out the ones that will be transformative for the industry over the next three to five years.
At BOBST, we agree with the assessment of these trends and have some very relevant developments that will help the packaging industry to stay ahead of them.
In total, the report includes 21 trends across the following four categories:
Production and logistics technologies
In the first two articles in the series, we looked at the trends in packaging materials and packaging design. In this third article, we will look at the key trends in functionalized packaging and some of the exciting pioneering work at BOBST ongoing in this area.
Progress in functionalized packaging
The FACHPACK report highlights three key trends in this are as follows:
1. Digital watermarks to improve sorting in recycling facilities. The goal is precision identification and sorting of plastic packaging waste through digital watermarks, with the potential to revolutionize the sorting and recycling process of packaging. A key challenge mentioned in the report is that one data standard must be defined for all market participants.
With this in mind, the Alliance to End Plastic Waste is currently working on the Digital Watermarks Initiative HolyGrail 2.0, with the objective to prove the viability of digital watermarking technologies for accurate sorting and the business case at large scale.
A complementary initiative is R-Cycle, a cross-industry initiative consortium working on an open and globally applicable tracing standard to ensure the seamless documentation of recyclable packaging along the value chain.
BOBST is part of the R-Cycle initiative and has recently launched a pilot project aimed at promoting the industry move towards a circular economy. The aim of the project is to store production data in so-called Digital Product Passports (DPP) and make the information usable for recycling the end products. This approach enables more precise waste sorting and thus the recovery of high-quality recyclates.
2. Intelligent Packaging for Quality Assurance – including optimized packaging to help minimize food destruction, innovations such as time-temperature indicators (TTI) to record the path of a product along the entire food chain, and the use of other monitoring technology, such as near field communication (NFC) and Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology.
BOBST is a leader in quality assurance solutions, which are complementary to those mentioned above. For example, BOBST has launched OneINSPECTION, an integrated set of quality control technologies developed to achieve zero-fault packaging across several industries including labels and flexible packaging. oneINSPECTION will enable end-to-end quality control solutions, closing the loop from artwork design to the final product reducing production recalls and resulting waste.
3. Track and trace – to enable complete transparency and real-time tracking. And through technology such as RFID tags, the reading and writing of tags can take place without direct, optical visual contact.
In the field of labels, the deployment of variable data enables proper track and trace labels capabilities. Such labels can only be produced using digital technology like the BOBST-developed digital inkjet technology, which is embedded in the BOBST MASTER DM5, an all-in-one and all-in-line press. In addition, BOBST offers security printing features for anti-counterfeit and track & trace solutions in its folding carton production line.
As more industries look for solutions to protect the authenticity of their products, holographic materials offer an ideal solution. The BOBST VISIONFOIL 104 H has been designed to deliver ultra-precise hologram application and provide a distinctive advantage in the fight against counterfeiters. It is the perfect tool for placing holographic protection onto the packaging of almost any product and just as effortlessly can apply holograms or metal stripes to banknotes, visas, vouchers and tickets.