Leading UK carton converters have attended a BPIF Cartons conference in Northamptonshire to hear professional advice on the different stages of the carton making process.
The theme of the conference, ‘Knowledge Adds Value’ was part of the BPIF’s ongoing educational programme to provide its members with vital knowledge and skills to advance their businesses. Around 100 professionals attended the event, which addressed key issues and technical challenges.
Discussions and presentations focused on the qualities of cartonboard in terms of sustainability, product safety and the many structural and design options cartons offer to communicate product and brand values to the consumer.
Speakers included John Monks (President BPIF Cartons), who gave an opening speech as well as presentations from Roland Rex (President Pro-Carton), Avon Joyce (Flint Ink UK), Richard Gill (Huber Group UK), Mr Curtis Wells (Sun Chemical). The afternoon session included Steve Boyd (Arden Dies), Alistair Baxter (Lasercomb Dies), David Bamfield (Pip Associates) and a closing speech from BPIF Chairman Robert Davison.
In his speech, Roland Rex, President of Pro-Carton highlighted the importance of promoting cartonboard’s sustainable qualities as a key motivator for using cartons as packaging.
He also explored the many creative converting opportunities that cartons offers to brands and explained to the audience that they are the ‘artists’.
“Real selling happens in the supermarket and two thirds of purchasing decisions are made spontaneously and are not planned. Packaging can sell more efficiently because it works in a multiple way.”
Roland also explained to the audience the key benefits of packaging manufactured from cartonboard and how it plays an essential tool in the marketing mix for brands.
The challenges caused by the mineral oil contamination issue to the industry were also addressed. However Rex reminded the audience that the board making industry has an excellent track record at solving industry issues in the past and now has the technology to offer additional solutions.
Exploring the subjects of overcapacity and end markets, Rex also outlined the outlook for cartons in the retailer environment and their role in competing with the popularity of the flexible plastic pack format.
Continuing with the mineral oil issue, Avon Joyce of Flint Ink (UK) explained the complexities of mineral oil migration and ink legislation.
“The strength of the packaging industry is evident when looking at the global print market with the use of packaging inks taking over other forms of inks.”
Product safety was also high on the agenda, and he emphasised the seriousness in which ink manufacturers take the subject of product safety and maintaining relationships. “It is important for all aspects of the cartonboard industry to work together. We only use the safest inks possible and do our best to stop European legislation until it is workable.”
Joyce also explained that ink development is also a two-way relationship between supplier and user. “Innovation is essential as new substrates come through and we need to have the inks for this. It is a two-way street – tell us what you are doing.”
Sun Chemical Colour Service Manager Curtis Wells delved into the technical side of ink and colour production including colour blindness and its impact through to colour differentiation issues on press.
BPIF’s Chairman, Robert Davison speaking afterwards, summarised the importance of the BPIF knowledge events in educating and informing aspects of all aspects of the industry.
Robert Davison concluded: “The conference provided a great opportunity for our members to be able to hear in greater detail about the different aspects of the carton production process. BPIF Cartons will continue to provide our members with an informative conference schedule to inform and educate on the key trends that impact on the carton industry.”