With increasing purchasing power and consumer spending among the expanding base of middle class population in emerging countries, the FMCG industry is characterised by globalisation of brands, expanding footprint, smaller unorganised players, overcrowding of me-too brands; intensifying competition, pricing pressures, and greater need for faster product innovations and launches are the factors pushing up the importance of time-to-market and its role in influencing market competitiveness.
Faster time-to-market or time-to-market acceleration is vital to ensure that innovations reach consumers quickly and the narrowing window of opportunity is optimally leveraged to ensure revenue realisation. A key aspect of improving time-to-market is speeding up the production processes through resource efficiency and flow efficiency.
Packaging is a critical part of production which influences resource efficiency and ensuring smooth workflow from one process to another is important to eliminate delays and process efficiencies. Investments in automated packaging machinery have therefore become critical Capex expenditure for companies. The market also stands to benefit from increasing investments in packaging engineering science and technology.
In the consumer goods industry, demand is benefiting from the growing demand for processed and packaged foods and beverages as a result of the ‘on-the-go’ lifestyles of time-poor consumers. Advancements in electronics, computing technologies and rising awareness over the inherent benefits of automation have encouraged conventional industries to embrace integrated packaging machinery solutions.
Given the advantages of an automated production line, robotic packaging automation is poised to emerge as the future of packaging in the coming years in both primary and secondary packaging applications.
Benefits of integrated robotic packaging include reduced production and labour costs; lower risk of personnel injury; elimination of errors and re-working; enhanced productivity, efficiency and accuracy; ability to keep up with production speeds; reduced risk of contamination during the packaging process; additional flexibility, reliability and versatility.
Pressure filling and vacuum packing often get a boost in quality and consistency when automated. The shift towards lightweight packaging solutions led by trends such as rising logistics costs and growing environmental awareness are encouraging companies to upgrade their production equipment.
Other major trends in the market influencing growth include proliferation of ‘smart factory’ concept and the resulting popularity of highly innovative industry 4.0 enabled packaging machinery; strong demand for coding/ marking/labelling machinery against the backdrop of stringent enforcement of environmental and labelling regulations; rapid adoption of modular packaging machines against the backdrop of strong demand for single serve and smaller package sizes; growing demand for bottled and canned beverages and a parallel increase in opportunities for liquid filling and capping machinery.
The United States and Europe represent large markets worldwide with a combined share of 53.2% of the market. China ranks as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 5.1% over the analysis period supported by the changing landscape of consumerism in the country; and the Made in China (MIC) 2025 initiative that aims to bring the country’s massive manufacturing and production sector into the forefront of global technology competitiveness.
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