The clear message from the highly successful AIPIA China Summit in Shanghai this July is that the country is ready to embrace the new technologies on offer from the Active & Intelligent Packaging (A&IP) sector and is eager to adopt ways to improve supply chains and reduce counterfeiting. Additionally more than 50 Brand owners who attended showed particular interest in increasing engagement with their tech-savvy customers via smart and connected packs.
Key messages were delivered to the 200 delegates in a very direct way by Kang Yufei, a senior associate principle engineer at Mondelez in China. He told delegates his company was embarking on ‘long term technology development’ and is looking to ‘reach out’ to Active & Intelligent Packaging product providers so his company can ‘lead the future of snacking around the world’. He said this message comes from the highest levels of management at Mondelez and several of the Active & Intelligent Packaging technologies he had seem during the Summit were ‘very promising’ in that quest!
The two day event focussed very heavily on explaining the potential of various Active & Intelligent Packaging technologies for China. A major theme which emerged was protecting products and providing consumers with clear and easily accessible codes and tags to authenticate them. The opening keynote by John Beerens, head of sales at Kezzler set the scene with a talk on how to use unique identities to empower businesses and helps them meet the consumer demand for more information and transparency.
Kezzler also announced it is about to open an office in China to further develop its market and respond to the growing interest and demand for Active & Intelligent packaging in the market.
This theme of consumer demand for more knowledge was a message which recurred through the first and second days in presentations from Toppan, Systech, Advanced Track and Trace, SiliconCraft and NXP. Stora Enso’s smart packaging business development manager Zhang Xiaoxiang overlaid this message with his company’s strong sustainable credentials with its paper based RFID range ECO RTT.
Michael Elias, chief revenue officer at EVRYTHNG also echoed this theme and pointed to the dramatic increase in the use of QR codes in the last 18 month in the APAC region. He believes standardisation is the key to scalable connected products and his company is working closely with GS1 to develop an open stsandard which everyone can use globally. His company too is opening its first office in China ‘within the next 60 days’.
Zhu Taobo, business development director at Amcor explained his company’s approach to using cutting edge technology to accurately predict the trend of the market. Along with 100% recyclable and re-usable packaging he predicted ‘intelligent packaging is an inevitable trend’. Antii Kemppainen from Finland’s VTT technical research centre outlined the many possibilities open to Active & Intelligent Packaging from new printing technologies.
Evigence Sensors and Insignia both offered insights into the benefits of using condition monitoring sensors and labels to accurately show the real-time condition of perishable goods; while marker specialists YPB gave delegates a preview of its Motif Micro technology which it claims ‘ is the best tool yet for connecting the physical and digital world’.
In his opening and closing remarks Eef de Ferrante, head of AIPIA told the audience “We are not running a conference, but building a new industry. China is vital to this, without China there will be no Active & Intelligent Packaging”, he said. This was endorsed by AIPIA’s partner in China, Prime Business Consulting. Wu Chaowu, AIPIA’s chief representative in China express great satisfaction at the outcome of the first Summit. “We can expand and develop the event from this great start”, he said. “China is ready for what A&IP can offer and is fully open for business,” he added.