Australian Institute of Packaging National Technical Forum

With talks covering issues as broad as the future of bioplastics, to retail ready packaging solutions; the AIP National Technical Forum has been designed to bring together packaging technologists and other Members of the AIP from around the country, to gain further insight into the advancements and technologies currently available to them in the world of packaging.

These forums will provide an opportunity for professional development and learning for AIP Members, so that they have the knowledge to lead the way in packaging technology.

This year the theme for the forum will be ‘The Packaging Supply Chain’, with over 35 speakers tackling issues related to this theme.

The list of notable speakers will include, Associate Professor Brian Burns from the School of Industrial Design, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada; Ian Hayes FAIP, Group Packaging Manager, HJ Heinz Australia; Travis Fuller, Senior Brand Manager, Casella Wines; Mathew Heaver AAIP, Implementation Manager – Retail Ready, K-Mart Australia; Paul Haberland FAIP, Corporate Packaging Specialist, Nestle Oceania; Bassam Hallak, Global Segment Director-Fod, Avery Dennison; and Rick Fox, Vice Chairman of the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute in the United States.

Bringing together people from all areas within the packaging industry and from food, beverage and manufacturing companies, the AIP National Technical Forum is designed to provide education and training for the packaging industry.

Supported by the Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association (APPMA) and Exhibition & Trade Fairs (ETF), Viscount Plastics, Labourforce International, Matthews, Wellman Packaging, Result Packaging and Cormack Packaging, the AIP National Technical Forum is a significant event on the packaging calendar every two years.

National Technical Forum speaker Brian Burns

One of the highlights of the AIP National Technical Forum will be Engineering the Designer: Packaging Design, Consumer Behaviour & Labelling, by Professor Brian Burns.

Brian Burns is a University Professor in Industrial Design, with a great interest in sustainable design and especially how we design for making sustainable activities sustainable. Professor Burns is British, although he has been living and working in Canada for the past 30 years.

 1. What does AUSPACK mean to the packaging industry/what opportunities does it offer a business?

I have not attended AUSPACK PLUS before and I look forward to sharing some Canadian experiences. From the Schedule it appears that AUSPACK has assembled an excellent array of experts in a broad range of fields. It will be an exciting time; clearly they mean business.

 2. What are the main trends driving packaging design?

There are so many new influences on packaging; the changes in the way we buy goods; the need for increased product labelling; the optimised dimensional modularity of shipping; security and visibility in serve-yourself shopping; the introduction of closed loop material usage; the global competition for materials and markets; the ongoing challenge of the plastics industry to similarly attain the maturity of understanding of metals; dealing with the trend in the food industry to charge more for items, to encourage customers to buy more, and to create foodstuffs for less money; plus the eternal challenge in offering a protected packaged product in a cost effective way that makes the customer want to pay (a lot) for it.

3. In your opinion, what does “good” packaging achieve and why?

I believe that packaging is growing significantly in importance. Like transportation it exists as a means to an end, with most of its valuable attributes dismissed as we dismiss or take for granted a good hand….but noticed and maligned by a small failure akin to a small cut on the finger. Packaging is an unsung hero of the modern world and I believe it will become more important as time goes on. So ‘Good’ packaging achieves all of the above, but must now do it in a cyclic and responsible way – Environmentally sound magic.  

4. What are the major challenges facing the Australian packaging industry today and how should these be addressed?

The challenges we all face must be dealt with through sharing our ignorance in developing standardised approaches, that can be legislated where necessary and that offer sufficient freedom to show product differences…and for designers to see these challenges as tremendous holistic opportunities.

5. How is the packaging industry adapting to this age of environmental responsibility?

The packaging industry is between a rock and a hard place, but continues to adapt and develop exciting new techniques. I believe it should be seen to be taking more of a lead in sustainable issues – quite difficult at a time of global economic recession. For exemplary packaging I constantly look to Nature, which has no labels, and provides us with fruit, like oranges…we have a long way to go before we are as good as an orange.

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