More than 1,150 exhibitors, around 32,000 visitors, three days of packaging in the spotlight – that’s a brief numerical summary of this year’s Fachpack. But that would hardly do justice to the full scope and significance of the packaging trade fair. After all, at the end of September in Nuremberg, not only were hands shaken, business cards exchanged and kilometres made, but ideas were compared, innovations presented and business relationships initiated. And packaging journal was right in the middle of it all.
One thing is already certain after Fachpack 2022: even after two years of pandemic, the concept of the “presence trade fair” is far from obsolete, quite the opposite. From 27 to 29 September at the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre, you could almost forget that last year’s meeting place for the German packaging industry had only taken place in a slimmed-down, but hybrid form. Especially on Wednesday, the second day of the fair, visitors crowded through the aisles of the exhibition halls and gathered at the various stands. It was human, you could say.
The trade fair motto “Transition in Packaging” was found everywhere in one form or another. Like many other branches of industry, the packaging sector is facing an unprecedented upheaval: the adaptation of the entire industry to the climatic and thus also economic challenges of our time. At the fair, this upheaval was expressed, for example, in the presentation of packaging materials that save raw materials or are made from renewable raw materials; in the form of packaging processes that achieve the same or even better results with far fewer materials than was previously the case; in the form of intelligent machines that, thanks to state-of-the-art software, have fewer runtime failures to report and can thus convert energy more efficiently. In short: the industry is already in the middle of the motto-giving transition. In the midst of change. This was also evident in the panel discussion at the end of the fair, which was moderated by packaging-journal editor-in-chief Jan Malte Andresen.
Organiser fully satisfied
The organizers are also fully satisfied with the exhibition. “Even though the overall situation is not easy for many companies at the moment, the European packaging industry showed itself to be extremely innovative and solution-oriented at Fachpack,” said Heike Slotta, Executive Director Exhibition, NĂĽrnbergMesse. “Trade fairs are melting points for new ideas, this is where the future becomes tangible. Of course, as a result of the pandemic, the Ukraine war, rising energy costs and inflation, our immediate future seems anything but rosy. But that is precisely why we need to talk about how we shape change. And here let’s use the jargon of the consumer goods industry: Change has become a ‘fast mover’ since sustainability, digitalisation have accelerated, consumer expectations and framework conditions are constantly changing.”
According to a survey at the fair, the visitors were also convinced. According to the organiser, more than 90 percent were satisfied with the trade fair offerings. In turn, 85 percent of the trade visitors said they were involved in purchasing and procurement decisions at their company, and more than half held executive positions. So Fachpack was a thoroughly top-class event, and not only in terms of the machines and materials on show.
Versatile supporting programme
There was a lot on offer not only at the exhibition stands, but also in the supporting programme, including numerous exciting expert lectures and panel discussions. There was a highlight right at the beginning of the fair. To kick off the first day of the fair – as is tradition – the German Packaging Award was presented along with the Gold Awards, which were only announced on that day. The coveted trophy was awarded six times in the categories of economic efficiency, sustainability, digitalisation, packaging machines and young talent. In the last category, the young designer HĂ©lĂ¨ne Fontaine from the Halle Art Academy was able to secure the trophy. With her pharmaceutical dosage packaging “Droplet”, it is also possible for people with motor impairments or visual impairments to dose medicines single-handedly and without assistance according to individual needs. Once again, this shows that packaging has far more functions than just product protection.
And it was also an exciting trade fair week for packaging journal. Because in addition to our editorial presence at Fachpack, we had our own stand in Nuremberg for the first time this year, where we had many interesting and promising encounters and discussions and our visitors could have their picture taken on the magazine cover with our photo box. Our conclusion: We will be happy to come again.
The next Fachpack will take place in 2024.
More packaging news
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Even if some company CEOs would prefer differently: Nobody can be the market leader in everything. Some companies therefore enter into cooperations to be able to offer their customers more comprehensive and adapted solutions. Around 86,000 cooperations outside the proprietary business group have been noted by the EU Statistical Office since 2020, involving small and medium-sized enterprises within the EU. The example of Koch Pac-Systeme and Zahoransky shows the details of how such a cooperation can work.
Next to the energy crisis, the lack of resources, problems along the supply chain and the constant issue of sustainability, it is the lack of trained professionals that continues to affect the industry. Added to this is the fact that existing staff keep being confronted with continually new machine technology and new materials. Schubert meets both challenges with an expanded training concept.
In December 2019, the European Commission unveiled their hitherto most ambitious plan: With the European Green Deal, the net emissions of all countries belonging to the European Union are to be reduced to zero by 2050. A circular economy is one of the most important components of this plan. The latest step of the EU Commission is a suggestion presented at the end of November for a Europe-wide packaging regulation.