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5 Technology Trends That Are Revolutionising Packaging 

  • 4th September 2023
  • 6 min read

Digital transformation has impacted every single industry, and packaging is no exception. Conventional approaches to packaging, from design straight through to processes are undergoing a shift, driven by the seamless integration of cutting-edge technologies. 

From automation and robotics to social media and digitalisation, technology has sparked a packaging revolution marked by unwavering quality, consistency, and remarkable efficiency. Here are five technology trends that are changing the future of packaging.

Automation and machinery: Precision and efficiency unleashed

Automation and machinery have been at the forefront of packaging innovation for decades, but recent advancements have propelled these technologies to new heights. From taping to labelling and even quality control, automation has revolutionised the packaging process by ensuring consistent, high quality packaging time and time again.

Complex tasks that were once labour-intensive and prone to human error are now seamlessly executed by state-of-the-art machinery. From void fill machines to conveyor systems and sealing machines, automated packaging lines can handle a diverse range of products and packaging formats with minimal reconfiguration, thanks to robotics and computers. 

This flexibility translates to reduced production times, safer working conditions, lower costs, and ultimately, increased output. Moreover, automation contributes to sustainability efforts by minimising material wastage and energy consumption, aligning with the growing demand for sustainable packaging solutions.

Robotics: Reducing manual labour and streamlining processes

In the realm of the packaging supply chain, cutting-edge robotics are making a significant impact, particularly in operations. Robots are playing a pivotal role in enhancing operational efficiency throughout the packaging process.

One remarkable (and new) example is the integration of warehouse robots developed by the Polish startup, No Magic. These robots have revolutionised the traditional manual process of human item retrieval from boxes. By automating these repetitive tasks, these robots are driving efficiency gains in warehouses, which were previously reliant on manual human labour.

VR, AR and Digital Twins: Getting the design right the first time

The introduction of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Digital Twin software has given packaging designers and consultants the power to craft virtual prototypes and 3D models of their packaging concepts and simulated real-world environments.

This testing offers profound insights into how their designs will appear, function, and engage users. As a result, the overall process is streamlined, along with the need for physical prototyping, enabling faster iterations and innovation.

VR and AR technologies are not just tools; they're catalysts for packaging creativity. Visualising and refining packaging concepts is more dynamic and cost-effective. Designers can explore every facet of their creations, envisioning how a product will look, feel, and interact with users. This empowers them to make precise adjustments before committing resources to physical prototypes, saving both time and money.

The incorporation of digital twin software increases this potential beyond the initial design phase. Packaging designs can be continuously tested and monitored against a range of scenarios. Real-time data and analytics can be harnessed to optimise designs for enhanced durability, sustainability, and cost-efficiency. This data-driven approach ensures that packaging not only meets but exceeds customer expectations.

QR Codes: The bridge between physical and digital realms

Quick Response (QR) codes have emerged as a bridge between the physical and digital worlds, transforming packaging into an interactive experience. 

QR codes are redefining how consumers engage with products, enabling them to access information on-demand and in a personalised manner. For example, a beauty brand’s packaging might include a QR code that when scanned, takes them to the brand’s website, with specific beauty tutorials and information about the ingredients in the beauty products. 

This level of transparency and engagement not only enhances consumer trust but also opens up avenues for brands to tailor their marketing efforts directly to their customer’s preferences.

Social Media: The gateway to enhanced consumer engagement

Platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and Facebook have become virtual runways where brands and consumers interact, share experiences, and forge connections. For the packaging industry, this dynamic has led to an incredible transformation in how products are presented and perceived. 

Packaging and social media are the perfect recipe for online unboxing phenomena, where customers and influencers ‘unbox’ products they’ve purchased from retailers. From reviewing the materials used to branding and the way in which the products are packaged, every aspect is under the microscope. 

In fact, unboxing has become so popular, that according to Think With Google, “the amount of time people spent watching unboxing videos on their phones is the equivalent of watching the holiday classic "Love Actually" more than 20 million times.”

Now, retailers must craft packaging that finds the right balance between practical and experiential, without compromising on branding and aesthetics. Find out more on how to create the perfect unboxing experience.

Embrace packaging technology with Titan

Thanks to the advancement of packaging technology, the industry can expect greater a more connected, and streamlined global packaging industry. Embracing digitalisation is no longer a trend but an essential - if brands don’t get on board, they will be left behind. 

At Titan Packaging, we’ve got years of experience in delivering retail packaging consultancy to brands across the globe. Using the latest packaging technology, automation and machinery, we can help you deliver a truly exceptional packaging experience. Get in touch and find out more. 

Written by: Samantha Hanson Procurement Director

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