The Evolution of Packaging Machinery in Emerging Markets

The Evolution of Packaging Machinery in Emerging Markets

Though the term has come to be somewhat confusing, in general terms, an emerging market can be any area that is experiencing quick growth and industrialization.  For some countries, this may mean becoming more developed, while for others it simply means a gain in growth or industry.  Emerging markets play a key role in the packaging industry as growth and industrialization lead to a higher demand for consumer products such as food, beverages, household goods, cleaning supplies and almost any other product found on the shelves of a typical grocery or department store.  This demand, in turn, leads to a greater demand for the packaging machinery to deliver those goods.  Not surprisingly, some packaging equipment will be more in demand than others.


Filling machines will often be one of the first pieces of equipment to be automated in a packaging process.  This being the case, where there are an abundance of new businesses or large growth spurts, the demand for filling machinery tends to rise.  Automatic filling equipment will add efficiency to a process by both speeding up the process and reducing waste.  It may also reduce the space necessary for the packaging process depending on the amount of manual labor that would be required to complete production runs and the demand for the product.  


While capping machines can also increase the efficiency of a packaging line, automating this process will usually come early for other reasons as well.  Capping machines secure and protect whatever product is going into the bottle or other container.  While manual labor can often tightly seal these containers, capping machinery allows for both consistent and reliable closures without the issues that can come from fatigue, such as cross threading or loose caps.


Labeling machines will likely be in greater demand in developing or growing markets for many of the same reasons as the capping machines.  Labeling can take many forms, from a simple front label to a wrap label, front and back application or custom labeling design.  Consistency in applying the labels results in an aesthetically pleasing appearance on the shelf for the consumer.  Automating this process leads to consistent and reliable application, avoiding wrinkles or misapplied labels.  Like any automated packaging machine, labelers will likely add speed to the process as well.


End of the line equipment will normally bundle, pack or otherwise prepare products for shipment.  According to at least one author, in emerging markets the growth of end of the line machinery "...will likely be softened by the abundance of manual labor."  (See the full article by Tracey Schelmetic at ThomasNet).  In addition to the abundance of manual labor, setting up manual packing and palletizing stations for a packaging project are arguably easier to do efficiently.  While packing stations require boxes and finished product, filling, capping or labeling stations would require components such as product, caps and labels, as well as a touch of skill in performing each task consistently.  As a result, while the demand for packaging equipment like the fillers, cappers and labelers is likely to see growth early in emerging markets, those dealing in end of the line machinery, such as case erectors, pallet wrappers and case tapers, will likely experience a delay before seeing large growth in these areas.