XSYS is expecting next year to be a mix of apprehension and hope, as challenges persist in the short-term but the packaging industry will endure and grow further in the mid- to longer term.

The company’s commercial vice president, Friedrich von Rechteren, made this prediction as XSYS reflected on 2021. This was a year when supply chains have struggled to cope with the challenges and pressures presented by the pandemic, whilst manufacturers at all levels have had to work harder to ensure that their customers could deliver in a business climate never seen before, the company stated.

More specifically, customers are challenged on margins, efficient manufacturing and on delivering sustainability improvements, as shorter run lengths and demands for quicker turnaround call for increasing OEE and a faster ROI. Also noted is: the need to manage increasing complexities in the process, including multiple SKUs; brand colour consistency across many different packaging types; and printing on a broad variety of substrates. This is at the same time as trying to remain competitive against digital printing technology and reducing the impact on the environment.

‘As we exit another challenging year, we enter 2022 with some apprehension but also with hope on the horizon,’ said Mr von Rechteren. ‘In the short term, we will all need to manage raw material shortages, soaring energy costs and supply chain issues that will invariably cause more price increases across the board, affecting the entire value chain and the end consumers alike.’

One area that has seen significant growth is the corrugated market, and this trend is expected to continue in 2022 as brands seek to further improve the consumer experience on shelf and in the home. The flexible packaging segment is also thriving, due to the growing need for consumer convenience.

Mr von Rechteren continued, ‘The mid-to longer term always carries some uncertainty, but we know that the packaging industry will endure and grow further. For XSYS, the mission is, as always, to enable converters to succeed in a highly competitive market even as we face a very unpredictable future. They can rely on our dedication to bring brilliance to our customers and to our industry.’

This will be realised through developments such as the introduction of a new plate that has been fully optimised for LED exposure.