Hispack shows how packaging is changing


CATEGORY: JAVIER ROMERO, editor of Infopack

At a time when the transition towards circularity in containers and packaging is accelerating, Hispack met all expectations. Its 18th edition brought together 643 exhibitors, represented 1,027 brands, attracted 31,118 visitors - 11% of whom were international – and, together with the Graphispag show, the main trade fair for the Spanish graphic industry, covered 3 pavilions with an area of 35,000 m2.

Time is short in an emergency and public administrations are legislating for containers and packaging to reduce their environmental footprint. The Waste Law that came into force last month seems to have declared war on plastic. For this reason, Hispack mostly demonstrated sustainable proposals.

From alternative materials to plastic, such as cardboard or paper, to fibre made from excess plant material, as well as alternatives such as reuse, with anything single-use being avoided.

The Hispack organising committee chairman, Jordi Bernabeu, was convinced of the multiplier effect that holding the fair would have on the packaging industry business in the coming months, "We have attracted top quality visitors and customers with specific projects that need to apply highly-focused, sustainable solutions and this dynamism in demand will be reflected in turnover in the sector,” he said.

The contribution from speakers and content from technological entities and centres such as ITENE was also significant. Carlos Monerris, director of technology transfer and markets at the technology centre, which helps different companies find more sustainable packaging solutions, considers that, "Significant changes are taking place towards the circular economy.” At its stand, ITENE exhibited examples of compostable containers for liquids usually ingested by athletes and by-products made with agri-food sector surplus material.

Pavilion 3 addressed trends and results from manufacturing process and supply chain automation, where packaging is increasingly important in guaranteeing efficiency. They talked about artificial intelligence in logistics centres; robotics to make warehouse operations more flexible; systems to achieve more efficient reception and preparation of orders; packaging for e-commerce; and inventory management and traceability. In these conferences, Hispack had the collaboration of various technology suppliers who gave a voice to their customers in jointly explaining applications of their equipment in companies and the results obtained with them. There were also notable sessions from the Spanish Logistics Centre (CEL) on intralogistics.

Holding the conference at the same time and place as Graphispag was highly valued, since it contributed to increasing the commercial proposals and the attraction of both fairs, as well as making synergies between packaging and printing more visible. The size of the combined Hispack/Graphispag convention places it among the largest industrial fairs of the year in the Iberian market.

For its part, Graphispag offered printing in a single pavilion that brought back memories of previous editions. The graphics industry has suffered the effects of digitisation and, with those of the pandemic, it means that certain sectors are printing less and less. However, solutions to increase the sustainability of the sector were shown, such as new supports and inks. As well as container and packaging innovations, there were other products on display, such as books printed with fluorescent inks that can be read in low light; print with texture and relief; and finishes that simulate materials such as wood or marble.

Hispack and Graphispag 2022 arrived at a more than opportune moment. Let’s not miss the opportunity that they have given us to ride the wave of the future; whose passage through internationalisation, innovation and, of course, sustainability, is inescapable.


Fco. Javier Romero

Editor jefe de la Revista Infopack

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