Drinktec highlights 2023 challenges and opportunities
Last month, we were thrilled to be able to attend DrinkTec and connect with professionals across the world of beverage! Our team of experts visited Munich and we wanted to share some of our findings from the industry-leading event.
A Thirst for Perfection
There are many common factors that influence beverage packaging, and they apply whether you are a can maker or can filler dealing with soda, energy drinks, or canned cocktails. We were able to discuss many of these with attendees as they looked for better ways of protecting the integrity of their packaging, materials, and finished product.
This is something we explored last year in our guidebook, ‘A Thirst for Perfection’ – you can access these insights here!
Packaging has always had a significant impact on the customer experience and overall brand perception. This is just one reason why drinks manufacturers and brands are prioritizing the development of innovative, recyclable packaging materials. As the demand for green packaging continues to grow, the onus is on manufacturers and brands to implement more sustainable solutions.
It’s one of the reasons why sustainable packaging featured high on the agenda of visitors to DrinkTec… it affects so many aspects of operations, from production, to warehousing, distribution, and shelf appeal. In terms of the latter, research shows that 42% of US and UK consumers seek out products that are recyclable or that use sustainable materials when making day-to-day purchases.
With the proportion of consumers who seek ‘greener’ products increasing, manufacturers are responding with new sustainable packaging solutions. However, it is vital when they are doing this that they have the right test and inspection equipment and partner in place. That’s because our research identified that 71%of 255 manufacturers surveyed found that ‘quality control processes are ‘significantly’ or ‘somewhat more difficult’ with sustainable packaging materials.
Want to know more about how sustainable packaging is impacting quality control? Access ‘2022 Global Outlook of Sustainable Packaging’ here!
Shifts in packaging requirements
Other market developments were evident at DrinkTec and these are set to influence the market next year. It is clear that more types of drinks are being canned than ever before and this is being driven by more new products and the fact that the material used for canning offers high recyclability.
It was evident that both existing canners looking to maintain quality levels and those dealing with metal packaging for the first time are seeking test and inspection solutions. For both these groups there was considerable interest in our Steinfurth NICO equipment, the only non-invasive handheld CO2 analysis solution on the market that provides a non-destructive method to measure CO2 in filled beverage containers.
With both taste and shelf life influenced by the amount of dissolved CO2 gas in beverages, having a reliable measurement method is key to accurate and diagnostically conclusive monitoring. NICO uses a laser-based measuring technology that operates independently of packaging related parameters and headspace diameter. This extremely fast and non-invasive measuring principle allows measurement of the CO2 content throughout the complete supply chain of sealed transparent beverage containers.
With the pandemic ushering in new ways of consumption, manufacturers were keen to explore how they could respond to major shifts in consumer behaviour, such as the marked increase in home delivery. Visitors were reminded that having the right test and inspection instruments that prepares packaging against any turbulent journeys is an exceptionally important investment!
There are other seismic shifts taking place in the drinks sector, including a marked increase in demand for smaller sized containers sold in multipacks, as well as in a larger size. Associated with this has been a reduced demand for mid-sized containers.
With rising raw commodity prices, a topic on all visitors’ minds was discussion around how they could achieve efficiencies by investing in the right test and inspection instruments.
Visitors discovered more about how our CMC-KUHNKE Auto XTS system provides non-destructive, complete double seam inspection for beverage fillers. The fully-automated operation offers a truly unique solution – combining the internal X-ray seam measurements with a second station for external measurements into one robust unit, providing faster inspection results, and reducing labour costs. Against traditional destructive seam inspection systems, investing in equipment like this can save them time and money next year.
With decades of experience in the drinks sector, Industrial Physics’ beverage packaging test and inspection solutions ensure that brands are able to maintain safe, sustainable, customer-centric, durable, cost-effective, and reliable packaging.
Industrial Physics family of brands include CMC-KUHNKE, Quality By Vision, Eagle Vision, Steinfurth, TQC Sheen, TM Electronics, which have been supporting beverage manufacturers and production lines across the globe for nearly a century.
Typical test and inspection services being sought by visitors to DrinkTec covered crush testing tools to ensure cans can withstand the pressure, glossmeter checking to ensure the quality of inks and coatings, and seam inspection instruments to prevent cans from leaking. Alongside this there was considerable interest in leak detection and seam integrity through to labelling inspection, to code reading. All vital areas in the beverage sector where a torn label, scratched can, or a leaking seam can impact a consumer’s impression of a brand.
But this doesn’t even scratch the surface of what Industrial Physics can offer! If you have a specific test and inspection solution in mind, get in touch with us to discuss your unique needs.