Technological Disruption, Natural Calamity or Geopolitical Rift, The Packaging Machinery Market Is the Mammoth Unstoppable

The packaging machinery market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.29% to reach a market size of US$73.034 billion in 2025 from US$53.605 billion in 2019. The market for packaging machinery is expected to see exponential growth during the forecast period. The factors are driving the growth of this market are two-pronged. The first is the wide range of applications. There a quite few notable applications, but with packaged food & beverage industry organizations around the world are increasingly embracing these solutions to ensure the quality of their product is maintained at the highest standards. Secondly, the rise of convenience snacking due to the fast-paced urbanization is also another factor that has made read-to-eat food the go-to preference for today’s urbanites. This is also in part due to the increasing relaxation of food and agricultural trade. Further, today's citizens are global citizens so the inclination to sample exotic preparations is leading to the rise in imports of various foodstuffs that are not native to the region where they are being demanded.

The packaging machinery market trend is also set to surge upwards due to the rise of disposable income and the resulting increase in the standard of living. Besides the aforesaid food and beverage sector, the demand for high-end personal care products is also poised to drive the growth of the market since personal care product requires sturdy packaging solutions to ensure the durability of the products during transit. Further, the packaging machinery market is also witnessing a steady rise in the adoption of smart technologies that enable the integration of numerous smart features that are allowing the various end-users to enhance their productivity.

Key competitive strategies:

To this end, there have been a few key developments, which have been set in motion by certain major market players in the global Automation segment. They are as follows:

In February 2020, bioproduct developer Novamont based out of Italy introduced a new grade of transparent cling film to the Mater-Bi product range that is specifically designed for automatic packaging machines. It is mainly intended for packaging fresh produce and targeted at large scale distribution which engages in retail trade. This clingfilm is also used for medium-sized packaging centers. The unique selling proposition of this product is that along with any probable investment to upgrade the line of packaging machinery a consumer needn’t invest in ad-hoc handling. Further benefits of these integral components are that it is biodegradable, it ensures a great degree of breathability, high transparency, it offers anti-fog properties and last but not the least mechanical strength. Therefore, with projected packaging machinery growth there will be a requirement of such versatile components that will aid in the growth packaging materials as well. Further with the focus on eco-friendly products, both suppliers and consumers are increasingly preferring packaging materials that will intron help in reducing the carbon footprint of the packaging machinery market.

In January 2020, poultry and meat flow wrapper was unveiled by packaging machinery manufacturer Harpak-ULMA that is based on the previously patented technology. The ULMA FS-400 flow-pack machine is marketed to wrap inconsistently shaped and sized items on trays in leak-proof film packaging. Among many benefits extended by this new product is the ease of accessibility as far as the internal components are concerned. The other benefit is that that the new machine also includes a single mechanical cabinet for motors and drive components as well as an electrical cabinet for ease of access. The aforesaid is facilitated by the cantilever design which is an enhancement of the twenty-year-old design of its predecessor.

However, in 2019 a newly incorporated entity managed by Luxemburg based CVC Capital Partner acquired Bosch’s packaging machinery business that is based in Waiblingen. CVC is a private equity and investment advisory firm that has 24 offices in Europe, Asia and the U.S. This agreement includes the transfer of all the associates spread across 15 countries.

Moreover, in March 2019 WestRock a paper and packaging solutions firm has acquired automated packaging machinery firm Linkx Packaging Systems with the objective to expand the former’s automated packaging system offerings portfolio. This acquisition had reported enabled WestRock to address the on-demand packaging for eCommerce applications. The latter’s BoxSizer technology platforms enable consumers to produce multiple sizes of cartons on the same machine. The other benefit which WestRock reportedly would reap is the reduction of the height dimension of custom-sized boxes. Further, this technology will reportedly reduce space, void fill, materials, labor and shipping costs. This by removing excess packaging materials the customers would reduce their environmental footprints and engage in ecofriendly packaging.

In 2019, the Azimuth EVO bagging system has been designed by the Italian manufacturer PFM Packaging Machinery to reduce the downtime for reel changes concomitantly offering automatic film web tracking and a space-saving footprint. This machine will best be suited for stand-up, four-side-seal bags that are increasingly popular for a wide range of food and beverage applications.  Apart fork the aforesaid, another notable launch by this packaging manufacturers includes the latest version of its flexible Pearl flowrapper that is made out of stainless steel for hygienic purposes; the PFM Scirocco, which is an inverted web MAP flowrapper for products that range from wet wipes to dairy products.

Rewinding to 2018, the North American brand of UK-based Riverside Medical Packaging. Ltd. called SP Thermoforming brought about a line of flexible and rigid blister thermoforming machines that feature a new concept of carousel design. It marked the departure from the linear, meters-long chain-pulled thermoformers. All the functions performed by this machinery are via a rotating drum through its radial workstations. SP Thermoforming finds its application in food, pharmaceutical, and medical devices. It is capable of forming both rigid and flexible/soft blisters. This breakthrough design facilitates manufacturers to reallocate manpower which was earlier required to operate an earlier type of packaging machinery. With single-phase low energy consumptions and easy repositioning, this machine reduces its overall footprint which is inclusive of but not limited to the operating cost and energy consumption. Moreover, this peace pf machinery also does away with water cooling, gripper chains and trims reducing the need for high maintenance, contamination, and downtime.

Thus, from the aforesaid key development, it could be discerned that due to a plethora of factors that are stimulating fast-moving consumer goods consumption as well as the need for self-sufficiency in packaging is driving the packaging machinery growth.