Challenges in the industrial manufacturing industry in focus when FlexLink visited PACK EXPO

Trends at PackExpo 2016

High consumer demands, keeping up with technology and supporting sustainability throughout the supply chain. These are just a few of all the challenges in the industrial manufacturing industry addressed at PACK EXPO 2016. FlexLink visited the trade show and gained new contacts, experiences and a lot of inspirational thoughts on how to tackle what is yet to come.

PACK EXPO – the main event for processing and packaging

PackExpo 2016With over 2 300 exhibitors, PACK EXPO International 2016 is the largest, most comprehensive processing and packaging trade show in the world. The trade show is owned by the trade association PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, formerly called Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute. The trade association consists of more than 700 member companies from the United States, Canada and Mexico. The member companies manufacture processing and packaging-related machinery including packaging machinery components.

Challenges facing the industrial manufacturing industry

This year’s trade show brought up a few of the major challenges facing the industrial manufacturing industry today. Here is a brief summary:

  • Constantly changing consumer demands. Consumers no longer accept “one size fits all” and the approach is spreading up and down the supply chain. Consumers want packages that meet their specific needs, such as eco-friendly packaging, extended shelf-life packaging and packaging that is easy to open and reseal. Therefore, each company in the industry must look for ways to differentiate themselves.
  • The pressure to do more with less. There is a number of cost-cutting measures to consider that are designed to improve overall profitability and increase shareholder value. This results in an increasing need for manufacturing companies to ascertain the true cost of ownership of their equipment. Thus, innovation to improve performance and profitability is crucial.
  • Difficulties attracting and retaining talented workforce. Several reports conducted in different segments of the industrial manufacturing industry confirm that attracting and retaining talented workforce is a huge challenge facing the industry today. Therefore, manufacturing companies must better utilize the resources they have, both internally and externally, to stay attractive and competitive.
  • Keeping pace with exponential advances in technology and connectivity. Technologies such as automation that allow time and cost savings have increased in popularity in the industrial manufacturing industry. However, keeping up with the technical development can be a challenging process. The technology is meant to make operations easier, but choosing between all different options can be tricky, even for the experts. The industry needs to start by understanding ideas like the Internet of Things (IoT) and prove that the benefits outweigh the costs.
  • Supporting sustainability throughout the supply chain. Consumer awareness and their demand for sustainable products have increased the pressure on the industrial manufacturing industry. The need to be frugal with the earth’s resources has become more evident, particularly when it comes to products related to food and beverages, household, personal care and healthcare. Offering more green options in processing and packaging equipment, increasing the use of recycled materials, minimizing material usage and meeting the growing demands for energy efficient machines are just a few of the challenges ahead.

FlexLink stays updated with future customer and market trends

It is important for us, as a provider of smart factory automation, to stay updated with future trends and challenges. At FlexLink we focus on delivering top-quality industrial automation equipment suitable for our customers, our industry as well as our environment. Therefore, FlexLink’s visit to PACK EXPO International 2016 was given. We found the trade show very successful with fruitful discussions, inspirational ideas and rewarding meetings with both existing and future customers. If you missed the trade show, you hopefully gained some inspiration and new thoughts while reading my article.

If you have any questions about the trade show or FlexLink’s offer, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Also, visit our website to keep track of the other events that FlexLink will attend and to learn more about how FlexLink work with sustainability.

Tommy Karlsson 2 Articles
Tommy Karlsson, started working at FlexLink in Sweden, in 1990. He is the Head of Product Management and Research.

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