Exhibitors reported that promising business contacts and even concrete deals were concluded in the seven-digit range. Visitors benefitted from a multitude of innovations on display and a unique market overview. This was also reflected in the corresponding high scores they gave the trade fair: just under 98% stated in the official survey that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their visit to interpack 2017. They took an interest in all ranges and segments of interpack but packaging media received significantly more attention than at the previous event.
“interpack is an absolute must-go event for companies in this industry and provides unique momentum. Every three years it is not only a one-of-a-kind performance showcase but also the place where suppliers and customers from all over the world get together to network and do business,” noted Friedbert Klefenz, president of interpack 2017.
Top Trends: Digitalization, Industry 4.0 and Sustainability
Proving a top trend at many stands was the further digitalization of production processes on the way to Industry 4.0 applications. Production linked along these lines makes it possible to manufacture personalized packaging efficiently or to guarantee traceability, to name but two options.
The modular design of packaging machines and process lines and optimized digital operating concepts play a pivotal role in order to reduce complexity in manufacturing and achieve the highest degree of flexibility possible for changing batch sizes or product versions. Some companies even focused on virtual reality applications that allow machines or equipment to be experienced holistically in order to manage complexity better even in the manufacturing process of machinery and equipment as well as in training and operation.
The sustainability theme also remained omnipresent at interpack 2017. Companies presented improved resource efficiency in terms of both the material used with ever-smaller wall thicknesses and of manufacturing processes. Moreover, alternative packaging materials are gaining ground.
Not only the exhibitors had innovations in store for Industry 4.0 – the interpack special show of the same name organized in cooperation with the German Engineering Federation VDMA (Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau e.V.) also showcased the latest ideas.
Six years after SAVE FOOD was launched, the initiative has grown into a broad-based alliance of more than 850 international members from industry, associations, NGOs and research institutes. The Congress pursued a multi-dimensional approach in order to address the issue of food losses and waste comprehensively. Over the course of the Congress the perspective changed, focusing either on global views or national details and conditions, with India as a focal theme this time.
innovationparc, the special show organised as part of interpack 2017, also addressed the theme of SAVE FOOD and presented very practical solutions for minimizing food losses and waste. These also included the finalists and winners of the WorldStar Awards of the World Packaging Organisation (WPO). Awards went, for instance, to plastic bags for fruit that can enormously prolong shelf life thanks to built-in ripening-gas absorbers.