Shemesh Automation asserts packaging sector’s environmental improvement goals remain vital
With major logistics and energy challenges facing the sector in 2023, addressing climate change through improving company environmental performance is set to continue play a central role within the packaging segment, according to a key firm in the sector, writes Neill Barston.
Mike Lynch, US regional director of Israeli-headquartered Shemesh Automation, who has 30 years machinery business experience, believed that as supply chain disruptions are likely to continue for some period, seeking flexible solutions to sustainability tests within the equipment business is of key importance.
As Confectionery Production has recently reported, the confectionery industry in particular has faced notable tests with rising energy costs, with many companies traditionally requiring considerable energy use for manufacturing output. But the ongoing war in Ukraine, and wider supply chain disruption has meant the market is facing a number of largely un-anticipated factors that have brought trading uncertainty.
Despite present challenges, Lynch, who serves as its capital equipment specialist, believed that delivering on environmental goals remained vital. He added: “Sustainability will again be at the forefront of people’s minds. Everyone in the entire packaging supply chain will be challenged to provide ecologically friendlier solutions and food safety and speed to market will also feature highly. Today’s consumers are calling the shots. They are well informed and have access to data that influences their spending decisions.”
According to the company, which has devised machine lines for a number of segments including confectionery and snacks, it also sees innovations in the pipeline for ensuring that packaging machinery can adapt quickly and flawlessly to all the diverse sustainable packaging materials that are now available, including recyclable, refillable, biodegradable and compostable materials. Meanwhile growth in the e-commerce sector will continue to stimulate the packaging market leading to increased demand for automation and the increasing reliance on robotics in packaging lines.
Shemesh has reportedly been early to move in this regard, using robotic technology to make a number of its machines faster, more efficient and more adaptable. For example, its Attilus capping machine which can be incorporated in a single line solution of automated equipment that can multi-task all aspects of food packaging. A robotic sorter and an advanced vision system enable the system to sort and orientate caps from the most complex screw tops to trigger and pump caps.
As the business notes, it is not enough to develop better packaging alone; products and packs must come together as part of the sustainability path. Businesses need the most efficient process available to help reduce energy consumption, while meeting consumer demands and the ever-present food safety regulations.
Food safety is paramount and packaging solutions suppliers will need to respond with machinery that combines minimisation of waste and product breakage with consumer convenience at low costs. Mike added: “Like Shemesh, they will need to be connected to the market via skilled teams of R&D engineers who can design and build innovative and highly effective packaging systems. We look at technologies every day to find the biggest benefits in efficiency, energy consumption and overall costs.”
The biggest challenges for businesses looking to modernise their factory processes to handle these transformational changes will be integrating automation that is flexible and can adapt to multiple platforms quickly and cost effectively. However, there are already cutting-edge single-line machines on the market that can help reduce the carbon footprint while enhancing production efficiencies.
In terms of its own developments, the company has created space-saving complete monoblock solutions for products in flexible packaging. Its Citadel series offers manufacturers of jumbo-sized flexible packs the ability to fulfil all aspects of the downstream packaging process from bag feed, rolls stuffing, and liquid filling to bag sealing and QC with one compact, economical unit.