Recently, Smithers Pira, an intelligence on the packaging, paper and print industry supply chains, reported that the market size of the packing industry in Korea to be estimated at 60 trillion won to grow at, approximately, 6-7% per year. The market is a sizeable volume, encompassing the Food and Beverage, Cosmetics, Pharmaceuticals, and other sectors. In the figure, it includes the Packaging Machine sector that is growing at more or less 10% per year, as noted by the Korea Packaging Machinery Association (KPMA), a local establishment that represent the members of the association. This sector is obviously where PFB business belongs the most and most relevant to our discussion. The market size of Packaging Machine sector is estimated at 12 trillion won, which 12% of the entire packaging industry.
Packaging Machine sector in Korea is not just growing in terms of the market volume, but also growing with transformative change: fully automated system. Korea Pack 2020 (https://www.koreapack.org/eng/main.asp), an event similiar in nature to InterPACK, was the venue where people could witness just that.
Most of the packaging machines on display could turn every step of the packaging process, from inserting the materials to processing to sealing, into a fast, precise, and fully automated way. The throughput, accuracy, and reliability of the machines seem to get even better every time the audience gets to see them, A reason why the packaging Machine sector is so dynamic.
|[Image 1 : Korea Pack exhibition overview]|
The fact that the packing process is the bridge in between the production and consumption of the output - where the output may be food and beverage, pallet, pharmaceuticals, or else - the market called for the development of technology to meet the demands from the both aisles. Should it be safer, faster, more accurate or highly adaptive to changing formats, the packaging machines have evolved in response. In doing so, sophisticated sensing and connection technology and vision system have contributed to that advancement, enabling the packaging process to keep up with today's supply chain.
Speaking of sensors, it is what enables the packaging machines to operate without much of the human engagement. For example, pharmaceutical machines can now measure less than 1mg of the pills with an assistance of the proximity sensor. It was not uncommon to see at the exhibition how proximity sensors were attached to the machines and moving systems basically at every angle to perform complicated tasks : triggering the object to actuator to stop, move, spin, and drop. The usage of sensors to make the machines "smarter" and "autonomous" was something that manufacturers and consumers could ask for more for running the business at high economies of scale.
|[Image 2 : Proximity Sensor] Proximity Sensor (Inductive Sensor) Balluff offers a wide range of inductive sensors in various designs for almost every application : from standard sensors with increase switching distance, hygienic, high-pressure and EX sensors, factor 1 or all metal sensors.|
|[Image 3: Smart Vision] The BVS SC Smart Camera makes it possible to detect production faults in the manufacturing process early on. It carries out the quality control of objects or supports the positioning of robots.|
The packaging industry in Korea will continue to grow in terms of market volume and advancement of technology as the market demand from producers and consumers are increasing. As the industry expands to fulfill the demand in global and local market, it is obvious that existing players are going to upgrade the machines and expand the product portfolio and that more players to come into play. Amid all this, Balluff needs to step into the scene. The future for PFB business in Korea is bright. At the end of the day, Balluff Korea needs to make sure that our brand is well recognized among the players and PFB solutions are offered at the right time.