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To mark 30 years in business, Sydney-based global packaging solutions specialist tna announced it will add next-generation vertical form/fill/seal (VFFS) conveying and seasoning machines for food production to its portfolio. As global packaging revenues outstrip predicted economic growth in most other sectors, companies need to position themselves to take advantage. Celebrating 30 years in providing packaging equipment solutions, Alf Taylor, co-founder and CEO of tna, offers a unique perspective on the trends and challenges facing the industry and how he has built a multimillion dollar business operating across five continents.
The state of the worldwide packaging market today can be best summarized as fluid, Taylor says. “From a tna perspective, there has never been a better time in the last 30 years to be in packaging,” he explains. “With a diverse range of challenging manufacturers, product lines, portfolios, materials and trends in food innovation, there are naturally areas with real growth opportunity and areas where the uptake of technology and investment is fast tracked. It is a challenging environment to operate in because customers around the world are trying to achieve higher production output from existing, streamlined or reduced capital equipment.”
Companies are looking to make their production processes more efficient and to work smarter, harder and longer. So, as an industry, packaging is in general expanding, but there is also a trend toward more automation and a reduction in manual labor, tna reports.
Taylor views the U.S. snack industry as one of huge potential for food manufacturers. The market responds to the latest flavor trends while maintaining product quality is crucial to gaining a competitive edge in this dynamic market, he says. The market for manufacturing equipment and machinery alone is worth more than $4 billion. However, providing consumers with the delicious on-snack taste they crave can be a challenge.
Taylor says that in food processing and packaging, manufacturers are looking to improve their line productivity and up-time through optimal conveying and snack flavoring processes that apply consistently and evenly and by employing the fastest baggers on the market.
“It’s telling that many of the more recent advancements look to speed up output, with machinery evolving to embrace the latest technological advancements,” Taylor says. “During the last 10 years, particularly, we’ve seen an enormous shift in the ability of systems to increase capacity over time. And we fully expect customer demand to push for a comparable improvement again over the next five to 10 years.”
Innovation is key, Taylor emphasizes. “Looking ahead, greater output from machinery is an unquestionable key trend for the future,” he says. “But customers will also require greater flexibility in package formats that have a knock-on effect to the capability and flexibility of machinery to deliver. Much of this is driven by market research and consumer trends that indicate a continued rise snacking ‘on-the-go.’ Some markets, particularly in Asia, are more advanced and therefore more demanding in this respect. To demonstrate how things have evolved, 10 years ago, everything was packed in pillow packs, but we are now seeing a rise in other forms of packaging such as block bottom and the Quattro.”
More information is available from tna at www.tnasolutions.com.