Cost-Reduction Methods for the Food Packaging Industry
Packed food items have already taken over households of western countries. People are on developing countries are also moving towards packed food items with more people getting employed in offices and corporate world. This reduces the time available to them to cook food by themselves. Hence, people move to ready to eat food items for convenience and to save time. This shift of people has given a boost to the food packaging industry.
With increasing demand from the food industry, global food packaging market has grown to USD 277.9 billion by the year 2017. Food packaging companies are working towards increasing shelf life, high barrier properties and safety. The steps that the industry is taking to improve on these aspects and also striving to reduce the cost of packaging.
The methods that the food packaging industry is adapting to reduce the cost are as follows,
1. Switching from tape to glue for RSC packaging: Glue can be used in place of tape to join the flaps of the cardboard in case of regular slotted containers (RSC). Using hot glue can reduce the size of end flaps and still provide effective packaging than using less corrugated cardboard. Since tape sealing has been in the industry for long, its initial cost is low for now as compared with the machinery required for glue sealing. If we consider the long term cost of this equipment, glue sealing costs less against tape sealing.
2. Changing from lap seal to fin seal: Fin seal proves to be a cost effective overlap seal because in case of lap seal there are chances of product getting in between and they are usually used for joining two different materials such as OPP and LDPE. Whereas in fin seals materials of both the flaps are already the same. Less reworking is required if the seal fails, saving more material. Film thickness can be reduced at the fin because they join to make a thicker film on sealing.
3. Introducing a case packer: Case packers are automated machines that fill erected cases on a conveyor belt with the product. It results in long term cost savings by reducing manual labour and speeding the process of packaging. This reduces labour cost and chances of injury to the employees while saving precious time.
4. Investing to increase automation: Automation not only increases the speed of production but it also saves cost. When manual packaging is done, there are more chances of damage of cases, the employee may fill the product unevenly and these acts result to discard the product package. It also alters the standards the brand adheres to. Reducing these errors saves cost of packaging.
5. Monitoring and measuring packaging waste: Monitoring and measuring the packaging waste helps monitor the efficiency of the packaging. Further, it also helps the plant manager to point out the processes on a packaging belt that may be generating more waste than it should and device methods to improve those processes.
6. Encouraging feedback from plant personnel
The employees working on the packaging line know their work more than anyone else. It is crucial to collect their input and feedback on the processes they execute. This can be achieved when employees are provided an open platform to discuss and brainstorm on the processes. It enhances that output of the plant and the employees are more productive.
7. Establishing a preventative maintenance schedule
Downtime hurts the plant production the most. Equipment maintenance is critical and necessary at regular intervals. It is often not given the attention it requires because plants are focused to meet the demands and get the product ready. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid the cost of downtime by maintaining the equipment on routine.
As per a report by Grand View Research, Asia Pacific is the largest market of food packaging accounting 35.9% of the total market revenue. Europe and North America stand next to Asia Pacific.
Apparently, North America and Europe seem to use more packaged food but in reality, Asia Pacific has the largest market because of the population density it has and the low cost labour it employs. And the industry is expected to show growth driven by the rising per capita income, increasing population and growing demand in emerging economies such as China, India, and Indonesia. China has the largest consumer base because of its large population and growing economy.
India is the fastest growing industry in food packaging due to the increasing number of retail chains. The latest food packaging solutions have penetrated the Indian market with rise in companies using automation. The food packaging companies are expecting growth due to the scope they see in Indian market. The report has presented the forecast for the period of 2018 to 2025.
Uniworth Enterprises LLP is an of Meghmani group company. It is a leading manufacturer and supplier of a wide range of industry products. The company is a global supplier of high-quality food and pharmaceutical packaging films that are manufactured and distributed under safe environments and industry-standard compliances. At Uniworth, the food-grade packaging materials and PVC films are also manufactured on the excellent calendar lines along with special care and under the controlled environment along with stationary packaging.