Bobst sells diecutter and folder-gluer to Fivestar at Kochi

Commercial printers migrate to cartons

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L to R. Somashekarant sales manager (South India) business unit -sheet fed, Venugopal Menon vice president Bobst India and Puneet Aggarwal zonal sales manager, North, East & South India and Bangladesh business unit - sheet fed. Photo PSA

Food freshness indicatorIndicatorium to commercialize UPM’s innovationUPM and Indicatorium have entered into an agreement for the international commercialization of the food freshness indicator technology developed by UPM. Food freshness indicator is a smart label that reacts to certain chemicals and helps to determine whether a food product is still fresh and safe to eat. Indicatorium is aiming to introduce the food freshness indicator to the global markets. The Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes) will finance the initial stage of the project.
Jyrki Ovaska, executive vice president, technology at UPMFood freshness indicator is a reliable and cost-efficient label that can be easily attached directly to food packaging. It can also be integrated with NFC or RFID technology, and it has several potential applications. Consumer acceptance testing has been performed for the use of the food freshness indicator in poultry product packaging. Next we are planning to extend the product range to fish packaging and fresh cut fruits and vegetables. “Food freshness indicator offers clear financial and competitive advantages to our customers, and it reduces the amount of food waste,” says Tomi Siimes, managing director at Indicatorium.

“The Innovation Mill programme funded by Tekes is a great way for UPM to find partners to commercialize ideas and patents that are outside our key competence areas. We are constantly looking for innovative partners for cooperation on bioeconomy projects and the utilization of by-products, developing new business models and utilizing patents that would otherwise be neglected,” says Jyrki Ovaska, executive vice president, technology at UPM.

This agreement is UPM’s first commercialization project within the Innovation Mill programme, which is managed by Spinverse. Other large corporations that participate in the programme include Fortum, Nokia, Kemira, Metso, Ruukki and Wärtsilä. “Innovation Mill was originally developed with Nokia, and since then the programme has been a huge success based on both the amount of projects and their success rate. It is great that large corporations have been actively participating in the programme and can benefit from the internationally ground-breaking practices developed by it,” says Kari Tilli, service director at Tekes.

Since 2009, Innovation Mill has been involved in the commercialization of more than 100 technologies developed by large corporations, which in turn has created over 1,000 new jobs. “We are currently renewing the programme to cover the extending network of small and medium-sized enterprises and large industrial partners so that ideas and products can move in both directions,” says Pekka Koponen, CEO at Spinverse.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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