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October 20, 2020

W/C 19 OCTOBER 2020: TO HELP YOU NAVIGATE THE ‘NEW NORMAL’, WE ARE MONITORING AND HIGHLIGHTING THE TOP STORIES IN THE MANUFACTURING AND TRADE SECTOR ACROSS THE WORLD. KEEP CHECKING BACK TO STAY INFORMED AND INSPIRED! 

Trade shows: 

Packaging 

  • Neue Verpackung reports: “For the first time in years, the packaging market showed a slight decline in earnings. According to the Joint Committee of German Packaging Manufacturers (GADV), around 19 million tons of packaging were produced in 2019. The production volume thus fell by 1.8 percent. The production value decreased by 1.0 percent to around EUR 33 billion. As in previous years, plastic packaging generated the largest share of production value with a share of around 45 percent”. 
  • Asia-Pacific Food Industry Magazine reports in its October issue (p 18-20) that antimicrobial materials, the demand for tamper-evident packaging, hand sanitiser dispensers and killing bacteria with UV light are four innovations that drive hygienic packaging.

F&B

  • New Food writes: “In a new report published by the UK’s Food and Drink Federation (FDF), exports of food and drink fell by 13.8 percent in the first half of the year, compared to 2019.”
  • New Food also reports that Orkla Foods brand Felix (for products such as ketchup/mustard, pickled cucumbers, ready meals) launches a world’s first store in Sweden that prices goods based on carbon emissions. 
  • In Asia Pacific Food Industry’s (APFI) October issue Mintel states that vegan ice cream is trending and represented 7 percent of worldwide icecream launches in the past 12 months. 
  • “The food waste initiative “Too Good To Go” has launched a new campaign designed to train consumers to use their sense of smell – and common sense – to gauge whether food is safe to eat,” writes New Food

Sustainability

  • Umweltwirtschaft analysed new analysis The efficiency of hydrogen rethought by strategy consultancy Arthur D. Little on the energy efficiency of green hydrogen compared to the direct use of electricity by e.g. battery vehicles from manufacture to use, and comes to the conclusion that imported green hydrogen is competitive end-to-end in terms of energy efficiency.
  • BDEW: In 2020, emissions from electricity generation fell significantly in Germany - by 22 percent - with preliminary calculations by the Federal Association of Energy and Water Management (BDEW) showing that electricity generation emitted 36 million tons less CO2 in the first three quarters of this year than in the same period last year.

E-Commerce

  • Despite longer delivery times, occasional difficulties at customs and additional required tax payments, e-commerce marketplaces like Wish, AliExpress and Joom are highly successful in the German market. EuroShop explores why. 

Automation:

  • As we all practise social distancing, robots are being used for everything from cleaning to taking temperatures. The Guardian has assembled a series of pictures of robots during the pandemic. 
  • Robotics and Automation News reports that, “Data presented by Buy Shares indicates that China, Japan, and the United States cumulatively control about 58.71 percent of the global industrial robot installations.

W/C 5 OCTOBER 2020

Trade Show Updates 

  • automatica 2020 will not be held as an in-person event. Messe München is developing a new event format for summer 2021 in cooperation with the industry. The next automatica will take place June 21 to 24, 2022.
  • Data Centre World Frankfurt has been moved to 8-9 December 2021. There will be a short-notice Data Centre Online Summit on 7 October 2020 which can be attended free of charge.
  • Fi/Hi Euope (food/health ingredients), which was supposed to take place 1-3 December 2020 in Frankfurt, Germany, is now officially postponed to 30 November – 2 December 2021 in Messe Frankfurt. In 2022, the event will take place in Paris, France. Instead of the in-person show there will be a virtual event called Fi Europe CONNECT 2020 this year.
  • ISH 2021 (22-26 March 2021) will take the form of a purely digital event and offer a wide variety of interesting features including, for example, exhibitor presentations (products, videos, chat function, one-to-one video calls), as well as intelligent, AI-aided matchmaking with suitable business contacts for lead generation. Additionally, there will be live streams and on-demand transmission of the programme of events, as well as an appointments system for online meetings with exhibitors.
  • LogiMAT, the international trade fair for intralogistics solutions and process management, which takes place annually in Stuttgart, Germany has moved from March to June 2021 as a precaution.  

Recycling 

  • German recycling associations question EU database: the Federal Association of German Waste Management, Water and Raw Materials Management (BDE), the Federal Association of German Steel Recycling and Disposal Companies (BDSV), the Federal Association of Secondary Raw Materials and Disposal (BVSE) and the Association of German Metal Dealers (VDM) see the SCIP (Substances of Concern in Products) database as a potential barrier to shredding and other large-scale recycling writes Recycling Today.
  • In Sweden approximately a quarter of all household trash is recycled incorrectly. Out of all materials, metal packaging is the most mishandled. Read more about it in Nord Emballage, page 8, issue 4/20 (in Swedish).

Social Media

  • Mintel: In an attempt to improve the overall positivity and well-being of users, Instagram now allows for three comments to be pinned to a post which can improve the perception of others. 
  • Linkedin has a new stories feature which allows update posts which last for about 24 hours. But Business Insider says, you shouldn't treat it as Instagram or Facebook. 

Industry News 

  • Retail: #gifting, a global shopper study by STI Group shows that even if buyers get inspired in physical retail stores, they often buy online. Moreover, retailers would sell more if they gave gifts a dedicated space in the store. Still most popular are gift cards amongst store buyers. Read more about it in German here.  
  • Food Ingredients: A Mintel report shows that 45% of chocolate buyers would buy more chocolate if it was low in sugar. This rises to 50% among 16-24 year olds. 
  • ACHR: According to acr-news.com, the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) aims to influence EU quotas for 2030-2036 responding to the European Commission consultation 'Fluorinated greenhouse gases – review of EU rules (2015-20) which aims to collect opinions and suggestions about the update of the F-gas Regulation (EU) No 517/2014.
  • Automation: The year book “World Robotics 2020” by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) found that with 221,500 industry robots, Germany is the most automated country in the EU. This is three times more than in Italy, five times more than in France and ten times more than in the UK. Worldwide, 2.7 million robots work in factories. 
  • Sustainability: On Netflix, David Attenborough’s autobiographic documentary “A Life On Our Planet” started last week with a focus on sustainability and the importance of nature. Read The Independent’s review

W/C 21 SEPTEMBER 2020

Trade shows

  • All4Pack - the Paris trade show for packaging and logistics sectors - has postponed this year’s show to 2022.
  • Munich-based trade show for lab technology, analysis and biotechnology Analytica 2020 will be held virtually from 19 to 23 October 2020.

Automotive

  • Springer Professional in Lockdown hit automotive and mechanical engineering harder than others writes: “In mechanical engineering, productive output has now fallen by 25 percent, and in the automotive industry by as much as 75 percent. The pre-crisis level will probably not be reached until 2022.”
  • Springer Professional writes: “The research project "Bat4ever" examines the ageing processes in lithium-ion batteries. The use of self-healing polymers is intended to make future batteries more efficient and extend their service life.”

Recycling/Packaging

  • Recycling Today: US-based waste and recycling company Waste Management Inc. (WM) has issued its Report on Recycling to, “identify gaps in recycling infrastructure, disclose the types of plastic collected by the company and their markets, provide an assessment of the effectiveness of its material recovery facilities (MRFs) and convey updated policy and advocacy positions on recycling.”
  • Neue Verpackung reports that: “The project partners Institute for Polymer Materials and Plastics Technology at Clausthal University of Technology, Profol Kunststoffe and SN Maschinenbau will be researching the development of bio-based plastic packaging for food under the name Tech-Bio-Pou-V over the next 3 years.”

Retail

  • The coronavirus pandemic is changing the way we use retail spaces and is generating new store concepts. From order pickers to handle increasing online orders and more shipping from stores, EuroShop editor Julia Pott examines the trends. 
  • Data/AI/Automation
  • It might be the case that the customer and company data that your firm gathers are not yours. And what if your artificial intelligence (AI) is built on it? More on this topic from FACTORY (in German).
  • Manufacturing Global writes: “Whether you are moving towards a fixed automated process with Computer Integrated Manufacturing, or are looking to incorporate some aspects of fixed programming within your existing system, there are three key uses which automation can bring.”

w/c 7 September 2020:

Packaging & Recycling 

  • Deutsches Verpackungsinstitiut: the winners of the German Packaging Award 2020 have been released. In total, 38 companies have been awarded in 10 categories for their innovative designs. Most applications came in the categories sustainability and digital solutions which shows that those areas are very important amongst companies right now. 
  • Recycling Today writes: “The Düsseldorf, Germany-based Bundesvereinigung Deutscher Stahlrecycling und Entsorgungsunternehmen e.V. (BDSV) says collection rates in Germany for electronic scrap and larger appliances could be improved if private sector scrap recyclers would be allowed to ‘provide significant support.’” (11 Aug)
  • Verpackungsregister writes that The German Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (ZSVR), “publishes new minimum standard for determining the recyclability of packaging. With the new version of the minimum standard, application has become much simpler. A more detailed description of the determination procedure makes it even easier for companies to check the recyclability of their packaging.” 

Nutrition & Foods

  • New Food Magazine reported on a checklist to assist the food industry during COVID-19. Coming from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), it: “aims to serve as a quick reference to help the food industry assess and react to situations brought on by COVID-19.”
  • New Food: current poultry guidelines do not stop Salmonella, finds US Department of Agriculture (USDA) study, with New Food reporting that the study author suggests, “that current food safety approaches to poultry processing and distribution need to be reviewed and consider more risk elements than the current two-pillared approach in the US.” 
  • Last week, New Food revisited an article from 4 August in a newsletter to its subscribers. The news post reported on an innovative and sustainable food manufacturing campus to be launched in Derby, UK generating 4,500 new jobs.
  • Vitafoods Europe 2020 in Geneva is transitioning to a large-scale virtual event, 7-11 September. 

Economic Development

  • BVDM writes: “After the business climate of the German printing and media industry improved exceptionally strongly in July, it cooled down again in August. The business climate index, calculated by the German Printing and Media Association, fell by a seasonally adjusted 4.8 percent in August compared with the previous month and recorded a decline for the first time in three months. As a result, the index is now 8.2 percent below its previous year's level. At 90.1 points, however, it is 9 points above the ten-year low in April this year.”
  • VDW: the corrugated board industry had stable sales in the first half of the year with a 1.1 percent sales decline (adjusted for working days) in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the same period of the previous year. 

Innovation

  • Springer Professional explores the fuel cell, noting that: “Germany was once a pioneer in fuel cell technology. But now other countries are leading the way. This is also due to the fact that the use of technology in this country does not seem to be intended for passenger cars.”
  • Last week, in a newsletter to its subscribers, Factory.net revisited an article of 21 July examining the results of a Bitkom survey. The survey reveals that almost half of German start-up claims to use artificial intelligence (AI) while more than one in three is planning or discussing its use. The Bitkom study also reveals that 68% of the questioned start-ups use cloud computing.

Manufacturing 

  • Forbes explored the factories of the future in an item last week writing that, despite coronavirus exposing “the fragility and rigidity” of operating models, “less than 10% are taking steps to build a truly technology-enabled shop floor that will be more resilient and agile when other disruptions arrive in the future. It also means more than 90% risk missing out on the significant performance and productivity opportunities on offer.”
  • Forbes also wrote on the topic of HR and digital transformation: “When building your digital transformation leadership team, HR and people operations should be considered as a crucial voice. These teams will help ensure your workforce is receiving the right training, and their professional development is aligned with the changes that are occurring throughout your organization.”
 

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