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How current events and trends in packaging are influencing intralogistics in companies

How current events and trends in packaging are influencing intralogistics in companies


  • Some of the new changes that will affect intralogistics in the plastics sector are related to the circular economy and sustainability, AI technology and rising raw material prices.

  • Singular Logistics’ flexible solutions ensure that all types of companies can adapt to these new trends.

Following the events of the last few years, the packaging sector has been considerably affected. Among the main changes we find the new tax on non-reusable plastic packaging approved since January 1, with the intention of promoting the recycling of plastic waste and prevent the generation of waste. This tax includes non-reusable packaging, but also semi-finished plastic products, as well as those products that only have a single use, such as packaging tapes or film rolls. Due to this tax, as well as the complexity of the market and its fluctuations, partly caused by the war between Russia and Ukraine and the supply crisis, the packaging industry is facing numerous changes. Some of the upcoming trends and transformations of this industry, can be known thanks to the study of Berndt + Partner consultant conducted for 2023, in this research highlights the main points to be addressed during this next year. Of these points we highlight:

1.Sustainability and circular economy

Legislation, as well as the interest of companies and consumers continue unstoppably to achieve greater sustainability in the production and packaging of products. Circular economy should not be a strategy but the main action to be taken into account in any type of packaging production; this industry is facing profound changes with the arrival of recycled plastic, up to 7 different categories.

From small companies the effort to integrate this type of changes is usually even greater, the change of infrastructures or systems for other more sustainable ones is usually costly. For this reason, Singular Logistics uses a much more economical air freight system in its installation, and more importantly, being built in steel beams and using BLDC engines, its operation is much more sustainable and energy efficient. Their solutions also save space; as the trolleys are suspended on the electrified monorail, the floor can be used for other productive uses, which helps not only to offer greater speed but also to free up space for other destinations.

2.Changes in purchasing habits

The various events of the last few years have accelerated a series of changes that were about to take place, such as, for example, the increase in digitization and the use of AI. Precisely, one of the main changes that have had an impact on the packaging industry is the increase in the electronic sale and purchase of products. As a result, in many cases, production has been expanded to respond to the immediacy demanded by consumers, and logistics in the supply chain have been improved. This digitalization has given the ability to know at all times the status of the product (materials with which it has been made, characteristics or special needs, order tracking, etc.).

However, in order to establish greater speed in the transport of goods, it is necessary to organize and automate processes inside logistics warehouses. For this, especially in SMEs, a system capable of adapting quickly to changes without high economic and time investment is required. One solution offered by Singular Logistics is the SL-100 system, which is adaptable and flexible to the needs of any industry, thanks to its system of fixed electrified monorails whose automation is located in the carriages. Thus, if modifications are required in the circuit, the number of trolleys can be incorporated or reduced according to the needs without stopping production, and not even reprogramming the circuit. The configuration of the trolleys is done through a software developed by Singular Logistics, this configuration is done graphically so it is not necessary that the person who must establish the circuit through the software has programming knowledge, thus facilitating even more the start-up.

3. Prices of raw materials

As mentioned above, due to the political and economic instability of recent years, the prices of raw materials and energy have risen considerably and it is expected that this situation will continue to increase throughout this year. Many containers contain a large proportion of raw materials, and in the case of recycled containers this proportion is even greater. It is not surprising that, faced with this increase, SMEs are looking for more energy-efficient alternatives. The SL-100 solution uses low-voltage 48-volt systems, and its accessories such as elevators are powered by the system itself, eliminating the need for additional power lines to the loading and unloading points of the circuit. Also, to build the circuit it is only necessary to splice beams and rail changes, built in standard IPE steel profiles, by welding, which allows a high quality installation at reduced cost.

4. AI technology

Process automation is not a novelty in the supply chain sector, although we must bear in mind that this technology is more difficult to achieve for companies of certain sizes because they do not adapt to their needs and budget. However, there are medium-sized industries that due to the characteristics of their products (heavy materials, products processed at high temperatures, etc.) require a system for picking and transferring loads within the warehouse itself that cannot be done manually. With the intention of solving this type of requirements we find Singular Logistics solutions, fully automated and with its own software called E-MAP, graphically configurable in two simple steps: the circuit is drawn and then the loading, unloading, parking and control points are placed. Subsequently, the corresponding properties are assigned to each point, thus configuring and programming the system.

In addition to being autonomous, these trolleys have the ability to make decisions and recognize the trolley with the shortest time of arrival at the origin of the transport to assign the request. This operation is simple, the trolley will move to the origin, request permission to load and once loaded will calculate the best route to the destination based on the maximum speed of each section, traffic and maintenance conditions, etc.

The reality is that the packaging industry finds itself in a volatile and uncertain environment, especially for these small and medium-sized industries that must face multiple challenges without the resources of large corporations. While this environment may present difficulties, it can also give rise to new opportunities.

At this juncture, traditional air transport solutions were presented as a great way to respond to the needs of an increasingly competitive market thanks to their ability to not interfere with production work, neither during installation nor during their service life.

However, the Singular Logistics system goes one step further, not only clearing the way for production and plant maintenance, but also making installation and future modifications much simpler, giving the company that implements it the flexibility and scalability it needs to respond and adapt to the ever-volatile demands of the market.

All this, moreover, in a more sustainable and efficient way. By removing moving parts from the equation, the system results in far fewer failures, requiring fewer repairs and replacements. This in itself not only results in a shorter payback time, but also significantly reduces the plant’s carbon footprint by eliminating the emissions associated with manufacturing these extra devices.

Finally, it also reduces operating costs and increases safety by operating at a very low voltage, which allows employees to work in a less threatening environment and significantly reduces the company’s energy bill.