Drives make headway in the packaging industry

18 August 2011

The profit margins associated with the implementation of electric drives will see them experience widespread acceptance in the European packaging industry over the next seven years, according to recent analysis from Frost & Sullivan.

“The need to maximise profit margins, while maintaining the competitive pricing of the end product, is motivating the implementation of drives in the packaging production line,” said Frost & Sullivan research analyst Ramasubramanian N.

Rising energy costs have impacted the profit margins of packaging manufacturers. “Methods to reduce energy consumption by coupling electric drives with inefficient motors and running them at optimally desired speeds helps reduce the power consumed by the motors,” said Ramasubramanian. “This results in lowered production costs and, thereby, maximised profit.”

New developments in drives technology will further expand their role in packaging. At the same time the demand for packaged goods and growth in packaging applications will attract newer investments in packaging industry and thereby fuel the sales of drives in the industry. The rise in automation activities across Eastern Europe in countries such as Bulgaria, Hungary and Poland will heighten demand for drives in packaging applications.

“Most end-users are unaware of the potential benefits of using drives and are not readily willing to implement them in their production line,” states Ramasubramanian. “Only 50% of the motors used in European packaging applications have drives attached to them, underlining the importance of awareness raising strategies.”

In addition to benefits related to energy conservation, end users need to be made aware of other advantages, such as reduced downtime and enhanced productivity.

“Drives that are compatible with existing packaging infrastructure and customised drives for specific packaging applications such as drives that meet the cleanliness standards in food and beverage packaging industry are expected to experience higher demand than generic, multipurpose drives,” concludes Ramasubramanian. “Market participants, therefore, have to focus on sustained research and development initiatives to meet the specific demands of varied end-user industries involved in packaging.”

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