Packaging goes green

The packaging industry faces changing times and environmental challenges.

Packaging goes green

Even if much is being overshadowed by the current Coronavirus situation ‒ there were important subjects in the months leading up to it, which will be back on the agenda again in the near future.

Large crowds of people will once again take to the streets of our cities to demonstrate and protest for better climate policy and sustainable consumption. Even those who aren't demonstrating are experiencing a form of awareness of ecological issues that we haven't seen to this degree of resoluteness in recent decades.

In short: climate change and its consequences for us all are on everyone's lips, and these consequences will remain with us for a very long time to come. 

packaging is going green…

The resulting pressure on the packaging industry to act is great, and a wide range of new technologies is being developed and new materials are being tested. Currently, new or modified machine types are being developed by manufacturers, and innovative production techniques and processes by operators.

This new generation of machines, which is only just emerging, will of course pick up and continue the trends of digitisation and IoT. In specific terms, this means that many machine manufacturers are implementing innovative technologies such as predictive maintenance, digital twins and intelligent data exchange in their new machines.

Not only the data itself, but also the quality and presentation of information about the machine, its use, as well as service and maintenance are of vital importance. 

If, instead of thousands of pages of operating and service instructions in paper form, we could make the required information available on an HMI (Human Machine Interface), in the content delivery portal or on data glasses, depending on the target audience and context, this will save search times, reduce repair times and increase machine uptime. At the same time, we can make a valuable contribution to both forest and overall climate protection. 

Our experience in current projects within the packaging industry shows that this technological change can be combined very well with a reorganisation of information production and publication to the user.  

If, for example, a service procedure could be sent precisely to the technician on-site, the technician could then intuitively find the required information within a very short time and get the machine up and running again. Such a solution would make sense, in terms of availability and in the best possible benefit, be a value-add, as well as being environmentally friendly.

When we consider how many business trips (preferably by plane) the service technicians of our customers in the packaging industry travel around the globe, in order to maintain, repair, and put machines back into operation, then intelligent, digital information management is a sustainable measure that can certainly make a positive environmental impact.

Manuel Welter
Blog post Manuel Welter