Pack-Market Portal International Edition

OBALY (PACKAGING) Trade Fair in Prague

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The OBALY (PACKAGING) Trade Fair newly in connection with the Package of the Year!

The OBALY (PACKAGING) Trade Fair ( will be held between 29 – 31 May 2018 not only in connection with the REKLAMA POLYGRAF Trade Fair, but also, like during the last year’s edition, it will have its professional sponsor - the SYBA Czech Packaging Institute. SYBA will have presentation activities at the trade fair as well and will follow up to the successful seminar of the cycle known as “Specialities of the Packaging Design”, which will not be missing at the PVA Expo Letnany Exhibition Centre (Prague, Czech Republic) next year either. On the other hand, an absolute innovation will be interconnection of the national competition “Package of the Year” and the OBALY (PACKAGING) Trade Fair.

The Package of the Year is the only certified package competition which is intended for both Czech and foreign companies taking part in interesting packaging solutions. During the evaluation process, the Jury assesses packages from the viewpoint of innovations, product protection, requirements of the users and environmental impacts, as well as from the viewpoint of legislation and marketing. The aim of the competition is to highlight and subsequently promote the best ideas, innovations and technologies in the area of packaging, which can be found on the market.

Whilst last year the Expert Jury had a meeting in the Meet Factory for evaluation of the record-breaking number of 99 exhibits registered in the competition, this year the competition organiser, i.e. the SYBA Czech Packaging Institute, has made a change. This time the evaluation will take place directly at the PVA Exhibition Centre in Letnany at the time of the OBALY (PACKAGING) 2018 Trade Fair organisation!

The winning exhibits of the Package of the Year competition will be evaluated at the OBALY (PACKAGING) Trade Fair. The Package of the Year has been assessed for a number of years as a highly prestigious competition for manufacturers, designers or users as well as suppliers of packaging solutions. The awards are traditionally handed over to winners always in autumn within the framework of the Pack Summit international conference. Also the holders of gold, silver and bronze awards of the Chairperson of the Jury are regularly announced during the main evening party. The announcement of other prizes is not missing either – Consumer Award, Save Food Award or Sympathy Award.

From the Package of the Year to the international WorldStar
With regard to the fact that the Package of the Year is the only certified competition, the success in this national competition is the only way of how to enter into the WorldStar competition (organised by the WPO – World Packaging Organisation) and to try to obtain the package “Oscar”. Both the Package of the Year and WorldStar use the same categories, which include FOODS, DRINKS, COSMETICS, PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS, CLEANING AGENTS AND DETERGENTS, ELECTRONICS AND APPLIANCES, AUTOMOTIVE (transport and industrial packages), GIFT PACKAGES, LABELS, POP&POS displays, TECHNOLOGIES and OTHERS.

Inspiration by winning solutions directly at the Exhibition Centre
The closing deadline for the next edition of the Package of the Year competition is by 15 May 2018, and the Expert Jury will subsequently assess the packages registered during the OBALY (PACKAGING) 2018 Trade Fair, i.e. for the first time in the “live” transmission directly in the view of visitors. They will be able to see not only the winning, but all registered packages during organisation of the Reklama Polygraf and OBALY (PACKAGING) Trade Fairs directly at the Exhibition Centre.


WPO announces finalist candidates for the Special Award Categories

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January 2018  WPO (World Packaging Organization) has just announced the list of candidates for four special awards, within the WorldStar Awards 2018 programme.

In no particular order, as follows: 

President’s Award Finalists

  • DuoSoft Cleanpack (OPTIXON)
  • iPaint (CLP INDUSTRIES LTD., Israel)
  • Green Packaging: Packnatur® Cellulose Net Packaging and Packnatur® Organic Wineglass Labels  (VPZ Verpackungszentrum GmbH, Austria)

Sustainability Award Finalists

  • iPaint (CLP INDUSTRIES LTD., Israel)
  • BIO-LUTIONS (BIO-LUTIONS International AG, Germany)
  • Green Packaging: Packnatur® Cellulose Net Packaging and Packnatur® Organic Wineglass Labels  (VPZ Verpackungszentrum GmbH, Austria)
  • rPET PP*STAR®: from bottle to bag – closing the loop to 100% (Starlinger & Co. Gesellschaft m.b.H., Austria)

Marketing Award Finalists

  • Störtebeker Eisbock-Biere (Störtebeker Braumanufaktur GmbH, Germany)
  • Beer Can/ALFA Weiss "Upside-Down" can (Athenian Brewery, Greece)
  • Pelikan Embossed Nutella Jar ( MrSmith Studio, Italy)

Packaging that Saves Food Award Finalists
Fresh Technologies Ltd and Sealed Air Cryovac® Freshness Plus® (Sealed Air, Australia)
Woolcool (Woolpack Australia Pty Ltd , Australia)
Compostable Tray that Reduces Food Waste (ONEWORLD PACKAGING, S.L., Spain)
Vegetable Oil Wrapper with High Barrier Polylaminate Film (SHONGAI TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED, Nigeria)

Bronze, Silver and Gold awards for each category will be announced on 2 May 2018, at the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.  To register for the Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner visit

A complete list of 2018 WorldStar winners can be found here >>
Entries for the 2019 edition of WorldStar Awards will be open in June 2018 and the judging will take place the week commencing 22 October, in China.


What does 2018 hold for NFC and RFID enabled smart packaging?

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Scott White, CEO at PragmatIC, predicts the year ahead for smart packaging featuring NFC and RFID technology.

Over the last few years, smart packaging has been something of a hot topic within the labeling and packaging industries. Will it actually happen? When will it arrive? How much will it cost? Where and how will it be applied? And will it live up to the hype?

Up to now, the idea of affordably integrating intelligence and interactivity into the packaging of everyday products seems to have amounted to just that – hype. However, as we move into 2018, we’re starting to see some genuine traction. It’s an exciting time.

So, as a company focused on reinventing flexible electronics to enable ultra-low-cost NFC and RFID solutions for mass market smart packaging, what are PragmatIC’s top predictions for this market in 2018?

2018 will see increasing traction for NFC, with mass-market deployments becoming viable for the first time.

Developments in 2017

We have seen two major NFC trends in 2017.

The first relates to the increasing penetration of NFC readers on consumers’ phones. Apple iOS 11 has finally opened up its NFC APIs, allowing third party apps to read NFC tags using the latest iPhones. It is possible that in 2018 over 50 percent of iPhone users will be able to read NFC tags. Android phones have had this functionality for some time, but although iPhones represent a smaller percentage of the smartphone market, Apple’s move is nevertheless a significant development for brands looking to leverage NFC technology and smart packaging for consumer engagement.

Secondly, and perhaps more important, we are seeing significant reductions in the cost of NFC tags. New developments in flexible electronics are allowing the production of NFC tags at an order-of-magnitude lower cost than ever before, as well as radically reducing the cost of the assembly processes used to produce tags and inlays. PragmatIC is at the forefront of this with our flexible integrated circuits (FlexICs) and FlexLogIC low capital, high capacity fab-in-a-box production system. Finally, there is a demonstrable route to the much-touted one cents tag, the price point at which NFC is predicted to move from a ‘premium’ product feature implemented at limited scale or on high value products, into everyday high volume, low cost FMCG packaging. As a bonus these new FlexICs are inherently more suitable for the real world challenges in FMCG packaging. They conform to the varied product shapes and are robust enough to withstand the journey through a high speed packaging production line.

While it is unlikely that the one cents (at volume) price point for NFC tags will be reached within 2018, it does seem feasible that prices could fall by up to 80 percent, and will continue to drop from there on. So, NFC and RFID enabled smart packaging for the mass market is approaching faster than many might think.

New mass market applications for simple sensors

The electronics industry has seen an explosion in the use of sensors in everything from phones to smart watches to smart home appliances. However, to-date, these sensors have tended to be relatively complex and require significant computing power to interpret them.

By way of contrast, low-cost, mass market consumer applications often require a much more focused approach in order to be viable at an appropriate scale and cost point. This leads to the integration of much simpler sensors, often designed for single use.

We predict an interesting trend in 2018 will be the addition of these simple sensors to tags to provide greater contextual information about the environment or status of the tags and the products to which they are attached. This might be anything from temperature, to humidity, to the ‘freshness’ of the product or integrity of the packaging. We expect several compelling product concepts and use cases to be developed in this area in 2018, scaling up to volume until 2019.

2018 will be all about simplicity

Beyond NFC, and RFID tags and sensors, we are seeing a large number of exciting ideas for smart packaging. For example, integrating flashing lights, displays, audio, etc onto products.

However, practical considerations such as implementation complexity and cost are likely to remain as barriers to volume deployment of such niche concepts in 2018. These concepts generally require a power source for standalone operation such as printed batteries which are still relatively expensive and impose significant constraints on the form factor of the target product.

In comparison, RFID and NFC, in its simplest form can harvest energy from the RF signal transmitted by the reader/smartphone. In this way the cost of the application is minimized. We predict that these simpler RFID and NFC consumer engagement projects will be the majority of the new use cases in 2018, the more complicated ones will remain niche and low volume.

(Source: Labels & Labelling)


Printed electronics: from vision to product

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10th LOPEC in Munich, Germany, in March 2018.

From March 13–15, 2018, LOPEC, the international exhibition and conference for the printed electronics industry, will take place for the tenth time. As the leading event in this sector, it has always covered the entire value chain—from materials development and plant engineering to applications. In this interview, Hans-Jürgen Lemp (Director Global Sales & Business Development New Platforms, Merck KGaA), Thomas Kolbusch (Vice President, Coatema Coating Machinery GmbH) and Dr. Wolfgang Clemens (Head of Product Management, PolyIC GmbH & Co. KG) talk about a decade of printed electronics and the markets of tomorrow.

Mr. Kolbusch and Mr. Clemens, you presented your companies at the first LOPEC in 2009. Do you still remember it?
Thomas Kolbusch: “Yes, very well in fact. The first LOPEC took place in Frankfurt—it was much smaller than it is now in Munich.”

Wolfgang Clemens: “And much more technical. In the early days, the event focused on science and technological developments. Nowadays, we exhibit more and more products that you can buy.”

Progress in printed electronics depends on new materials. What has happened over the past decade?
Hans-Jürgen Lemp: “With organic electronics, the area that we are concerned with, you do not only need materials expertise but also an in-depth understanding of how individual printed layers interact and how they can be optimally matched to each other. The mobility of electrons is important, otherwise electricity cannot flow. In recent years, we have significantly increased this mobility. This is important, because the more mobile electrons are, the more applications are possible.”

Kolbusch: “Organic photovoltaics is a good example. Initially, the solvents in the printing materials were problematic and you had to work in a nitrogen atmosphere. Now there are stable systems with safer solvents that are suitable for large-scale production.”

Clemens: “We are not against organic conductors but our basic material is silver. We can now print tracks on polyester film so finely that you cannot see them with the naked eye. Such transparent, conductive films are, for example, suitable for displays with a touch function. This remains a major market.”

Kolbusch: “Hybrid systems which combine printed and conventional electronics are also an interesting prospect. One example is the integration of silicon components into the printing process, i.e. the placing of chips while the production line is running.”

Printed electronics has developed very quickly. To what extent has LOPEC changed over the years?
Kolbusch: “I still remember trade fairs where we were the only mechanical engineering company. The printing systems are now much more advanced and this plays a key role in market success. Anyone who would like to turn an idea into reality will find a suitable system.”

Clemens: “We have noticed that more and more sectors are showing an interest. Large companies, especially those from the automotive or consumer industry, send their technology scouts to LOPEC. They look at what technologies they can use in product development rather than research.”

Lemp: “LOPEC was always an ideal platform for us. More and more of the latest prototypes are shown here. This attracts large numbers of visitors who are looking for smart solutions. At LOPEC, we can present such innovations and discuss possible applications.”

Where is the greatest potential for printed electronics at the moment, in your opinion?
Clemens: “A great deal is going on in the automotive industry. There are still a lot of buttons and knobs inside a car, but these will disappear. The older generation might like to press a button but our children already prefer touch displays. We are seeing big changes everywhere—this includes household appliances and consumer electronics.”

Kolbusch: “As far as sensors for medicine, sportswear and other wearables are concerned, we are also seeing a breakthrough because we have solutions that you can put in the laundry.”

Lemp: “The adaptability of printed electronics is making entirely new applications possible. Take the Internet of Things: how do objects and devices communicate with each other? What material properties do I need for this? Things that already exist today are becoming smarter, more interactive and more communicative. Printed electronics is helping to make visions reality.”

What role does LOPEC play in realizing future trends?
Kolbusch: “For us, it is important to get involved with new sectors and maintain contact with our existing customers. At LOPEC, you can see new projects and talk about them. Our systems can be found in research institutions—we see them too at LOPEC because they are involved in the Scientific Conference.”

Clemens: “For us, LOPEC is the trade fair where we can show an international audience what sensor systems are capable of. We are open to all sectors and believe that now is the right time.”

Lemp: “We see ourselves as more than just material developers. We offer solutions which allow entirely new possibilities. For us, LOPEC is a stage, a place for inspiration, where inventors and users meet.”

Thank you for the interview and good luck at the upcoming LOPEC!


Registration for interpack 2020 Now Open

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… parallel Exhibition Registration for components.

Companies in the packaging branch and the related processing sector with ranges for the food, beverage, confectionery, bakery, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, non-food and industrial goods sectors as well as those offering sector-related services can now register online for interpack 2020. Internationally the most important event in the packaging sector and the related process industry, interpack will be held at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre from 7 to 13 May 2020. Both exhibitors and visitors can look forward not only to an entirely new Hall 1 and a new Entrance Süd but they can also benefit from an overall clearer hall structure with even more sharply focused segments. This means even shorter distances thereby making for more efficient trade fair visits.

interpack’s unique selling point is its distinctive solutions package and coverage of entire value chains. This includes processes and machinery for the packaging and processing of packaged goods plus packaging media and materials and the manufacturing of packaging aids as well as services for the packaging business. The last edition of interpack in May of this year attracted 2,866 exhibitors and 170,899 visitors from 168 countries and thanks to busy orders from three-quarters of the decision-makers among them made for significant impulses in the sector.

Registration for the supplier trade fair, “components for processing and packaging”, is also now open. The trade fair is being organised for 2020 in line with the tried and tested concept – in parallel with interpack at a central location at the exhibition centre. In terms of exhibitors it is aimed at companies that offer drive, control and sensor technology, products for industrial image processing, handling technology, industrial software and communication as well as complete automation systems for the packaging industry. Furthermore, manufacturers or suppliers of machine parts, components, accessories and peripheral devices as well as components and auxiliaries for packaging media can take part.

Companies can register online at or Existing exhibitors at interpack 2017 can use pre-completed forms. The official registration deadline is 28 February 2019. There are numerous other trade fairs in the interpack alliance taking place between now and interpack 2020. For instance, once a year in January the upakovka trade fair in Moscow.


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