Interpack 2023: Next-gen cosmetics packaging solutions for flexibility and efficiency
15 May 2023 --- At Europe’s biggest trade show, Interpack 2023, suppliers presented solutions for the evolving needs of cosmetics packaging. We speak to industry experts Schubert, Sidel and Stora Enso on the show floor to spotlight the latest developments.
“What we see is that lot sizes are becoming smaller and smaller because of the market dynamics,” highlights Marcel Kiessling, managing director of sales and service at Schubert.
Marina de Barros, executive vice president for Europe and Central Asia at Sidel, adds that companies must provide flexible solutions that address changing formats and consumer habits, particularly in the food, home and personal care areas.
According to global market researcher Innova Market Insights, the growing cosmetics market has led to many packaging solutions. “The rigid tube is the leading packaging type, while the squeezable tube is witnessing an 86% average annual growth (Global, CAGR 2018 to 2022),” the researcher states.
“With consumers becoming more environmentally conscious, there is also a growing demand for sustainable packaging solutions. Bio-based or plant-based packaging, carbon labeling and Green Dot-certified are among the fastest-growing environmental filters.”
Schubert demonstrated a compact filling line developed by the company for cosmetics manufacturer Börlind. On a compact 2 x 4 meter space, liquid cosmetics can be filled either into glass bottles with screw pumps or glass jars with screw caps – then closed, weighed, sealed and checked, Schubert details.
Furthermore, two Schubert cobots automatically and gently feed the individual packaging components to the machine via pick and place. Using a Hygienic Design Standard-compliant transport system, the packaging materials are transferred to two alternating filling stations in an “exceptionally” space-saving way.
The fully automated filling line is suitable for applications involving liquids such as perfume. The Schubert image processing system ensures all necessary quality controls, including checking breakage at the edges of the glass jars.
“We trust that our new machine for cosmetic filling and packing, capable of going up to 60 products per minute and changeover time of five minutes, could be a game changer in the cosmetics industry regarding the footprint and the flexibility,” says Kiessling.
He shares that the machine uses 3D-printed format parts, which guarantee flexibility.
Asymmetric container packing
At Interpack 2023, Sidel unveiled its Cermex ProSelex case packing infeed module for shaped containers. According to the company, based on a simplified and streamlined kinematic process, this new generation machine improves on the performance of the previous module with an increased speed capability of up to 300 products per minute, in addition to a more compact footprint.
De Barros tells us that Sidel’s Cermex ProSelex provides a “unique and flexible” setup. “We know that a package’s attractiveness is essential. Hence, it’s important for us to be handling the products with care and be able to pack them correctly. [Cermex ProSelex is] a great innovation that allows irregular shapes to be handled industrially,” she states.
“This machine can also manage the changeover in a very short time. Changeover can be done in 10 minutes, and you can quickly move from one product to the next. What we are looking toward is minimizing the change over time, still managing many different products to fulfill the end consumer needs.”
According to Sidel, productivity is also delivered by additional timesaving, achieved through a reduction in changeover time, courtesy of a simplified and repeatable process for operators, which anticipates an average changeover to last between 1 minute for a new collation to 2 minutes 30 seconds for a complete bottle change.
Didier Saussereau, portfolio director for Packing Product Line at Sidel, summarizes: “In addition to SKU proliferation, differentiation through innovative container shapes is particularly necessary for customers from the food, home and personal care sectors. Their innovative products convey their brand identity and therefore need to remain in perfect condition, yet these creative shapes also lead to complexity when conveying and handling them.”
“Shocks and scratches to packaging are prevented with exclusively servo-driven gentle handling operations, while product jamming or shingling is avoided thanks to a continuous flow motion with minimum accumulation. The Cermex ProSelex system addresses product care and efficiency without compromises and can really challenge traditional grouping solutions, such as a screw or channel infeed.”
With the world moving toward eco-conscious purchasing habits, Blue Ocean Closures, Stora Enso and Aisa revealed the “first ever” paperboard tube with a fiber-based closure consisting of more than 85% fibers at the trade show.
“The paperboard tube is an interesting application for many end-uses, such as cosmetics and personal care. It would be an even more sustainable and attractive solution if the closure were fiber-based and not made of plastic. The ability to recycle the whole package after use is also an important goal,” Mandi Alaterä, senior vice president of communications and marketing at Stora Enso Packaging Materials, told us on the show floor.
The new wood fiber-based concept is said to support brand owners in increasing the share of renewable material in their packaging. All components of the tube are designed for recycling. The paper tube is expected to be commercially available in 2024, intended for use in cosmetics, personal or home care.
By Radhika Sikaria
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