Packaging a milestone: AIP celebrates 50 years

For half a century, the Australian Institute of Packaging has been serving the education and training arm of the Australian packaging industry, writes Ralph Moyle.

The starting date was 12 September, 1963. Fourteen industry experts had a vision to create a packaging institute that would provide a professional identity for packaging technologists in Australia.

To put this date into perspective, do you remember what you were doing in 1963? Petrol was $0.29 per gallon (yes, gallon) or today that is $0.06 per litre. A new band called The Beatles released their first album. Diet Coke hit our shelves, Channel 9 was founded and Robert Menzies was re-elected Prime Minister.

The Australian Institute of Packaging, this year celebrating a remarkable achievement of longevity, was put into motion by the foundation president, Noel McLennan, together with Arthur Harris, Frederich M. Flentje, Edward R. Dann, William A. Ross, Marcus Heselev, Leslie Buck, Ray Cox, A. Hislop, J. Trotter, G. Jeudwine, W. Smith, F.H Ottaway and E.G Davis. These individuals are recognised as the official foundation members of the AIP, and without their vision, the Institute would not be as relevant today.

Ever since that memorable day in September 1963, the AIP has moved forward to provide a professional identity for individuals within the industry. For 50 years, the primary function of the Institute, which is not-for-profit and based on individual- not company-membership, has been to enable professional development of its members and to disseminate technical knowledge of packaging throughout the industry via education and technical training as well as providing cross-functioning networking opportunities.

Don Ferguson FAIP – national president of the AIP between 1985 and 1986.

AIP members come from a wide range of industry segments; some are energetic and youthful, others are more mature and knowledgeable. Regardless of who they are and where they’ve come from, one of the AIP’s core reasons for success over its half century is the continual exchange of knowledge and sharing of experiences. Packaging is a diverse field and no person knows it all.

Education is at our core. We continually speak to our members and the industry about what is relevant at that time. Our members tell us what topics our monthly seminars should cover; as well as the topics required for training industry staff at our half-day training courses. Students who undertake our tertiary studies at internationally accredited Diploma and Certificate courses (available for the past 32 years) gain support from a network of fellow members.

From the beginnings in Melbourne 50 years ago, the AIP is now a respected part of the World Packaging Organisation (WPO) and conducts training courses across Australia and New Zealand and more recently in Asia and Africa.

Our objective is simple – knowledge is growth.

The AIP Mission Statement is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago and it will be the basis of our continual growth moving forward.

  • To serve as an independent professional body of packaging specialists
  • To promote professional standards of competency through education and training
  • To advance and promote the standing of packaging specialists as a profession
  • To serve and establish the confidence of the community in the packaging profession
  • To aim towards professional qualifications for all members
  • To uphold professional integrity and ethics within the profession of packaging

If your company or staff is looking for education and training within the packaging industry, the AIP can help you. We’re here for the individuals who make up this industry, fostering their growth and development in this dynamic industry. We look forward to working with you in the future and to representing our beloved industry for another 50 years.

Ralph Moyle is national president of the AIP.


 

Packaging design – keep the end in mind

As a packaging consultant I would love the opportunity to be able to consult a reliable crystal ball to see what lies ahead for this very important industry we represent. Reaching consumers these days is difficult. No longer do traditional methods of advertising and marketing warrant the attention of consumers or their dollars.

Business owners and advertisers alike, struggle to come up with creative ways to grab even the smallest bit of attention for their products. Creating an effective package design is one of the simplest and most cost effective ways to do this but requires originality, creativity, and the ability to connect with consumers.

Originality
Most consumers are not readily open to changing their purchasing habits or experimenting with new products. Why fix it, if it is not broken? When introducing your product to consumers one needs to display originality in your packaging design. Consumers look for packaging that is visually pleasing and representative of the actual product. The package should demonstrate the company’s ability to uniquely display the product through color, size, and/or logos.

Point of difference
As with people, packages that are different tend to stand out. Using unusual colours, containers, and catchy phrase are all effective ways to attract consumer’s attention. You can reap substantial rewards by using packaging design to market the same product to multiple target groups. Product packaging can give new meaning to the same product for different consumers. It is important to note however, that creative packaging is no substitute for a great product.

Connecting with consumers
Therefore, your package design must demonstrate a fulfillment of a need of some sort, as well as the benefits of choosing your particular product. Consumers will purchase products because of a perceived need for them. Your package should elicit emotion from your consumer, whether it is happiness, serenity, or even hunger. If there isn’t a feeling of excitement or necessity, the product will not sell. Consumers like to feel that a company is in touch with their specific needs and offers them something special. You must connect with your target audience.

Effective package design keeps the consumer’s needs at the forefront while still remaining effective in demonstrating the product and its benefits. For better or for worse your packaging design will be a significant deciding factor in whether or not your product is purchased.

Cost effective packaging
There is probably no other area of packaging that has been less understood than cost. Although many organisations calculate the cost of the package material itself as the total cost, the true cost is in reality the total cost of the entire packaging system involved. A simple replacement of one component of a packaging material for a less expensive one may not be a true reduction and vice versa. The question to be asked is, “How will the change affect the entire packaging system, and ultimately increase (or decrease) sales and/or profits?”

Standardise whenever possible
All incoming packaging materials and outgoing finished packages should where possible be standardised. If a multi-plant operation is involved, standards are an absolute necessity. If standards are changed then clearance should come through a central authority.

Now more than ever before, packaging technologists must design with the end in mind, how it must function, who is to use it and the easiest and most suitable format for reuse, recycle or refill.

 

International insights from the World Packaging Organisation

The seven international speakers who formed part of the World Packaging Conference at the recent AUSPACK PLUS in Sydney, had some very valuable lessons to share with Australia's packaging community.

At AUSPACK PLUS 2013, the AIP conducted the National Technical Forum with the theme ‘Global Packaging Trends’. The seven international speakers were part of the World Packaging Conference organised by the AIP. These were leaders in their fields from USA, Austria, Indonesia, India, Brazil and South Africa.

The world cannot do without packaging was the core message from Tom Schneider (USA) – president of the World Packaging Organisation (WPO). The WPO does provide a global advantage under its motto of “Better quality of life through better packaging for more people” and Tom reminded the audience that we as packaging professionals are making a difference, but it starts with education.

Jin Zhe (Jack) from the World Packaging Centre (China) spoke on the scale of the changes and future of the Chinese packaging industry. The value of the Chinese packaging industry was $248 billion in 2012 or 50 percent of the world’s output and growing.

Dr. Johannes Bergmair of the Austrian Packaging Institute presented Packaging and Food Safety on a Global Level. This presentation was full of alerts to packaging and food technologists about the risks to food safety with the core message being “the problem is already out there.” There is relevant legislation in many parts of the world but there is little cohesion between them and they are not complimentary.

Global Trends in Packaging in Indonesia and Within the Region was the presentation from Ariana Susanti of the Indonesian Packaging Federation. Our nearest neighbour has geographical challenges of 17,500 islands and 250 million people, which affect the required packaging formats to serve its culturally diverse people with the limited supply chain resources. The radically changing retail environment provides another dimension.

Professor Narayan C. Saha represented the Indian Institute of Packaging and spoke on Economical, Social and Ecological Aspect of Packaging and Indian Market Potential. With a population 55 times that of Australia, diverse food habits, economic growth rates of 6.9 percent, an emerging middle class and booming retail market, India has addressed its ecological aspects across the country. Government controls on certain packaging formats are being applied. Rural India, where 74 percent of the people reside, is the “challenge of distribution – the market for the future.”

Luciana Pellegrino represented the Brazilian Packaging Association on the topic of Packaging as a Marketing Tool – Global Approach. The marketing strategy of a brand has to be materialised to consumers through its packages, Luciana insisted. For consumers, packaging and product are one single element that cannot be disassociated. Luciana’s last and most telling comment was the impact that an online presence can have on influencing consumers’ buying decisions. Be online; be connected with the real world.

Keith Pearson provided the closing presentation on Discovering the Missing Link – Sustainable Advances in the Packaging Supply Chain, which was directed at all parties in the packaging industry, encouraging them to change the way they think and act. Food waste is becoming an increasing concern for consumers and industry members, with the former buying more than is needed and the latter often not packaging their products appropriately.

Keith shed light on the implications of our growing waste, especially in regards to sustainability, with one-third of global food production lost or wasted annually. His messages were simple: good packaging saves food; and recycling is not about removing waste but extending a material’s value and usability. A fine end to a global review of packaging.

Ralph Moyle MAIP
National President
Australian Institute of Packaging

 

Australia praised at WorldStar Packaging awards

Presented at last week's AUSPACK PLUS exhibition, the 2013 WorldStar Packaging awards celebrated the best of the best in packaging, with Australia claiming a number of gongs.

Hosted by the World Packaging Organisation, this year's event comprised 316 entries from 33 countries, with 159 winners overall.

Categories included Beverages, Electronics, Food, Health and Beauty, Pharmaceutical and Medical and Other.

WorldStars are presented only to those packs which, having already won recognition in a national or regional competition, are compared by an expert panel of judges to similar packs from around the world.

Awards are based on the judges' consensus that a pack is superior in its category and market and better in its class in execution or innovation by comparison to others.

Outerspace Design Group led the way for Australia, taking home three separate awards. The brand's work with Hydralyte Sports saw it praised in the Health and Beauty category, while its Sprout mobile phone accessories packaging helped it secure a win in Electronics.

Outerspace's association with Lion Dairy Drinks was also praised, taking out a win in the Beverages category for the  Daily Juice 'on-the-go' range.

The beverage category comprised a number of Australian companies, with Coca-Cola Amatil and Poppet International both claiming wins here – CCA for its Mount Franklin Easy Crush and Poppet for its Bebi Infant Suitable Drinks.

The Mount Franklin Easy Crush was also named a bronze winner in the Sustainability category.

A full list of winners can be viewed here. To get more information on Australia's winning products, click here.

AIP Fellowships
The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) used the WorldStar Awards to announced they had upgraded two members to the Fellowship grade.

The first of the two members was Ron Mines, who's been a member of the AIP since 1987 and has been in the packaging industry for 47 years. He started his packaging career in 1966 as a production planner with Alliance Cartons and worked for Visy from 1972 until he retired. Mines was awarded his Fellowship for his significant contribution to the cartonboard and corrugate box side of the industry.

The second Fellowship went to Richard Smith, general manager of Technical Development, Amcor Flexibles Asia Pacific – ANZ. Smith received his Fellowship for the significant contribution he's made to the development of polymers and innovative plastics packaging across a diverse range of packaging mediums including rigid containers, closures, trays and more recently flexible packaging.

Also presented last week at AUSPACK PLUS was the 2013 APPMA Awards of Excellence, which recognise innovative and outstanding packaging and processing solutions. Categories included Export Achievement, Design Achievement, Customer Partnership, Imported Equipment and Best New Product, as well as the APPMA Scholarship.

Image: Ralph Moyle, AIP national president

 

Packaging change: how far we’ve come

Ralph Moyle, national president at the AIP, says happy birthday to the APPMA and reflects on 30 years of change in Australia's packaging industry.

Congratulations to the APPMA from the AIP on reaching 30 years. The value the APPMA has brought to the Australian packaging industry over these years is immense and nothing displays this better than the quality of AUSPACK PLUS. 

Thirty years ago, Australia was a very different place. In 1983, Malcolm Fraser was PM until replaced by Bob Hawke in a landslide; Ash Wednesday bush fires claimed 71 people, Australia II won the America's cup and the Australian dollar was floated; and Hawthorn defeated Essendon for the VFL premiership. Yes, it was a while ago.

Packaging in Australia 1983 was predominantly cans, glass and corrugated cardboard. Cartons did not yet have to have barcodes and plastics were in their infancy. Materials were simple mono-based and environmental/sustainable factors were not prominent. Today, the range of packaging formats is vast. The materials are composite and are designed to suit a purpose.

A packaging technologist today has to ensure packaging is not only 'fit for purpose', but is also lighter, sustainable, environmentally friendly and accessible to all ages, while meeting the rigors of a fast and extensive supply chain. Packing lines run faster than ever and inventory movements are smaller and express.

APPMA and the AIP have shared many links over this period. The Foundation Treasurer of the APPMA was also a Fellow of the AIP – Robert Brook. We continue this fine tradition of sharing today.

Knowledge is the core to working successfully in this fast changing world and "Packaging Education" is the mantra of the AIP. We believe in training our members in the latest trends and technical developments from around the world.

Through improved packaging education, Australian packaging technologists can continue to make significant commercial and social impacts.

The AIP applauds the APPMA's 30th year milestone and we look forward to working together for another 30 years.

 

Australia must be part of the global packaging community

Australia can’t operate in a vacuum, and must be part of the global market, Ralph Moyle, president at the Australian Institute of Packaging explains.

We all know the words and have sung them countless times: “We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil; Our home is girt by sea.” This extract from our proud Advance Australia Fair anthem remind us of our richness and isolation. But as our manufacturing base continues to shrink, we must be alert to the core fact that we are part of the global community and not just the “Land Down Under”- whether we like it or not.

The global market is not uniform or always fair. Every region has its own challenges and opportunities. Australia does share some of the trends of the global market, but not all of them. Globally, the demand from emerging markets is a growth area while low growth, low investment and price conscious consumers limit traditional markets.

Australia is a mature market and many local manufacturers are challenged by the high Australian dollar. Aspects that affect packaging performance in the manufacturing, supply chain as well as retail sectors will continue to be important as companies zone in on getting more out of every section of their business for less cost. With this directive, lighter, faster, consistent materials and designs will succeed. The usual features of being environmentally friendly, retailer friendly and accessable to a wider group of consumers are no longer exceptions but the rule and are necessities in being accepted by today’s very educated and discerning consumer.

World Packaging Organisation: National Technical Forum
The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) is assisting our manufacturing community by reinforcing the importance of packaging as a strategic social, economic and commercial tool. Several years ago, the AIP became an active member of the World Packaging Organisation (WPO), thus becoming part of the global packaging community.

We now have the WPO in Sydney as part of our National Technical Forum at AUSPACK PLUS 2013 on Thursday,  9 May. The AIP is bringing together remarkably diverse cultures that are eager to learn from each other on how to employ and improve packaging for their people. The WPO board members will be our presenters at the not-to-be-missed National Technical Forum.

With the theme ‘Global Packaging Trends’ and international speakers from the World Packaging Organisation coming to present from countries incluincluding Brazil, Austria, India, South Africa, Indonesia and the United States of America, the AIP National Technical Forum will be a must-attend event on the 2013 calendar.

Speakers and topics
Keith Pearson, general secretary, World Packaging Organisation will be speaking about ‘Discovering the missing link: sustainable advances in the packaging supply chain.’ Pearson is based in South Africa. 
Patrick Farrey, executive director, Institute of Packaging Professionals, will be presenting a paper on ‘Economical, social and ecological aspects of packaging and the American market potential.’ Farrey is based in the United States of America.

Dr Johannes Bergmair, head of Life Science, Food Packaging, Pharmaceutical and Medical Products, will be discussing ‘Packaging and food safety: the Global Approach.’ Dr Bergmair is based in Austria.

Thomas L Schneider, CPP, president, World Packaging Organisation, will be talking about ‘WPO: A global advantage.’ Schneider is also based in the United States of America.

Ariana Susanti, business development director, Indonesian Packaging Federation, will be presenting a paper on ‘Global trends in packaging in Indonesia and within the region.’ Susanti is based in Indonesia. 

Professor Narayan Saha, director & principal executive officer, Indian Institute of Packaging, will present a paper on ‘Economical, social and ecological aspects of packaging and the Indian market potential.’ Professor Saha is based in India.

Luciana Pellegrino, executive director, ABRE – Brazilian Packaging Association will be presenting a paper on ‘Packaging and marketing: global approach.’ Pellegrino is based in Brazil.

How to attend
The 2013 AIP National Technical Forum is open to members and non-members and there are limited seats available. Visit our events section on www.aipack.com.au for an online booking form.

There is a big wide world of global packaging out there and every manufacturer, big or small, has something to learn. So please join us at the National Technical Forum and share in this very valuable experience.

 

AIP and SCLAA get into Xmas spirit with Foodbank donation

Over 95 members of the Supply Chain & Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA), Queensland Division, together with the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), spent their Christmas party this year packing 600 hampers for Foodbank.

Three hours were spent packing hampers for the food donation charity, Foodbank, to donate to those in need this Christmas, including the unemployed and the homeless.

The packing of the hampers was a culmination of twelve months of work, over $60,000 worth of goods raised to go inside the hampers and support from many companies across the country.

Each hamper is worth $100 and is made up of food and personal hygiene products.

If you would like to be a part of this event in 2013, or wish to donate items for the hampers, contact the AIP on info@aipack.com.au

 

Woolworths to present at AIP dinner

Woolworths will be shedding light on its packaging techniques and trends at an upcoming dinner hosted by the Australian Institute of Packaging.

Speaking on 27 February at Oatlands Golf Course Club House in Sydney, Woolworths Limited's environmental manager, Kane Hardingham will join Daniel Bone, global director consumer insights, Datamonitor, as presenters.

Hardingham will present a paper on Woolworths' packaging trends, looking at balancing efficiencies, costs and sustainability for retailers and suppliers.

In his work, Hardingham works with sustainable packaging specialists to implement processes to review packaging on own-brand products and to introduce packaging improvements.

Datamonitor's Daniel Bone will speak about the 10 new pack innovations from Packtrack, Datamonitor's packaging innovation platform.

Bone will explore and challenge the economic difficulties brands face and will provide detail on real opportunities these packaging innovations could provide.

To book your place email info@aipack.com.au for a booking form or head to www.aipack.com.au

 

Entries open for APPMA scholarship

Entries are now open for the fifth annual scholarship program organised by the Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association, together with the Australian Institute of Packaging.

The scholarship will offer a packaging engineer the opportunity to complete a diploma in Packaging Technology.

Mark Dingley, chairman of the APPMA, said "The Diploma in Packaging Technology is a Level 5 qualification which is internationally recognised for those wishing to pursue a career in the packaging industry or for those who are already in the industry and who wish to extend their knowledge and expertise.

"The Diploma prepares students to take responsibility for packaging operations at any level through the supply chain. The qualification is comprehensive, and provides an opportunity to study the principles of packaging, packaging materials and packaging processes."

There are two target groups for the scholarship:

1. People currently employed in parts of the packaging industry who want to broaden their knowledge and take on greater levels of responsibility.

2. People who already have an undergraduate degree who want to continue their studies focusing on packaging technology

Application forms are now available for the APPMA 2013 Scholarship program and can be accessed by emailing appma@appma.com.au or info@aipack.com.au or visiting either www.appma.com.au or www.aipack.com.au

Submissions close on 22 March with the 2013 winner announced during the APPMA Awards of Excellence, held on 8 May during AUSPACK PLUS 2013 at the Sydney Showground.

 

Malik takes out AIP scholarship

Now in its fourth year, the Australian Institute of Packaging, in conjunction with Cormack Packaging, has presented its scholarship to Nancy Malik, a UTS Sydney student.

The scholarship is given to one of 20 students in the Cormack Innovation Awards and gives the winner the opportunity to undertake packaging education through AIP-run half day training courses and conferences.

The scholarship recipient also wins an all expenses paid trip to attend either the AIP biennial National Conference  in either Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, or the biennial AIP National Technical Forum, which is held alongside AUSPACK PLUS and alternates between Sydney and Melbourne.

The winner also receives complimentary registration to three half day training courses in NSW and a free one year membership to the AIP.

Nancy Malik from Sydney's UTS is this year's AIP Scholarship recipient.

"It is wonderful to be at the frontline of innovation in packaging and the AIP Scholarship is a great opportunity for me," she said.

"I have always had a passion for plastics and for common-type products and fulfilling the needs of everyday people. FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) is an area I would like to be involved in. I have been interested in packaging and really enjoyed an internship I completed at a consultancy firm working on packaging, seeing  how things evolve in a 3D form and how packaging affects the way that someone uses a product."

Malik was also a Highly Commended winner in the Cormack Packaging Awards for her 'Fairy's Castle' design, which is a two-part packaging solution aimed at children. Part one is a hygienic, touch-free plastic housing to be mounted on a wall at a child-friendly height, and part two is a Colgate junior pump pack, re-engineered to dispense an appropriate amount of toothpaste for a child.

 

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