Andy Hanacek: Hi viewers! Thanks for joining us today. I’m here with Jorge Izquierdo of PMMI at Pack Expo. Thanks so much for joining me today. We are going to talk a little about the show itself and some research you guys have done that our viewers should be really interested in, so thanks for joining me.
Jorge Izquierdo: Andy, it’s a pleasure. Thank you very much. First, let me tell you some of the things I’ve seen on the show floor these past few days. Number one thing is certainly flexible packaging. It is still very relevant in the industry. The throughput of the equipment I’m surprised at the speeds you can see now. It’s significant. It’s not the same as the rigid packaging, but it’s getting closer. I guess that’s one of the highlights. Of course, new attachments, new presentations, new applications. Also, around flexible packaging, more and more robotics with case packing with different applications. … More robotics [are being used in] not just in palletizing but also secondary packaging and primary packaging. More robots take care of two functions like case packing and palletizing, taking advantage of the flexibility of the robots. They can handle one product, and then quickly change to handle a different product. Also, interesting and new for me, from the fulfillment area of e-commerce packaging, boxes and containers, depending on what percentage of the box is filled, it’s how they fold, how they present it. Basically, if you are only using half of the box, the volume at the end is only half of it so when you are shipping you are not paying a higher rate than you should. Those are some of the neat things we’re finding.
Hanacek: Let’s shift into the research you guys have been working on. Some of the recent studies really pertain to our meat and poultry viewers, the State of the Industry type things and what-not. Can you give us a little top-line insight as to what you guys have found? Just briefly, nothing really deep-dive.
Izquierdo: First, on the State of the Industry, packaging machinery is doing well. Last year, we had very decent 4.2 percent growth. This year is going to be a little slower, about two to 2.5 percent for the next few years. In terms of flexible packaging, it is taking relevance in every area of food processing, mainly on cut meats, prepared foods and convenient foods that make it easy for the consumer to find the right time to use them.
Hanacek: And the technology is getting better and better as well, right?
Izquierdo: Absolutely. The technology, shelf stability of the product, it’s certainly making a difference. It makes it easier for the consumer to use.
Hanacek: So where can the viewers get more information on this research if they want to dig deeper?
Izquierdo: It’s PMMI.org/research, and to be honest, all of our executive summaries are for free so they are more than welcome to get them.