Drives and Controls Magazine
Eastern Europe offers growth potential for packaging machinery
Published:  04 June, 2013

The European packaging machinery market was worth more than $12.62bn in 2012 and will reach $14.63bn by 2016, according a new report from the market analyst, Frost & Sullivan.

It says that demand for packaging machinery is being spurred by the high standard of living in Europe, which has popularised packaged goods including food, beverages, toiletries and cosmetics. The need to package products of different shapes and sizes, along with manufacturers’ use of automation to enhance process efficiency, will sustain investments in the market, F&S suggests.

In addition, demographic changes such as an ageing population and the increasing number of small households in Europe are driving a demand for single-portion packaging requiring specialised packaging lines and machinery.

“Intense competition and the economic downturn have forced industries across Europe to optimise their production processes and decrease operational costs,” comments Frost & Sullivan’s industrial automation and process control research manager, Sivakumar Narayanaswamy. “Automation packaging machinery that eliminates labour, generates less waste, and enhances productivity is, therefore, becoming widely accepted.”

Sales have been helped by the advent of multi-functional packaging equipment that cuts costs and provides better space management. Integrated systems also have more operational flexibility and can adjust to new production specifications.

But mature markets – such as Germany, France and Italy – are already well-equipped and are unlikely to generate many orders for these advanced packaging machines. High tax and labour costs in these countries are also dissuading foreign investors and limiting greenfield projects, limiting the uptake of new equipment, according to F&S.

In southern Europe, the downturn has affected both the process and discrete industries. End-users are looking to trim operating and maintenance costs, and are unwilling to invest in non-crucial automation processes, it adds.

“Machine suppliers need to concentrate on regions that have not been affected by the economic downturn,” Narayanaswamy suggests. “The markets in Scandinavia, Central and Eastern Europe, and the UK will offer the highest scope for adoption due to their stable economy and end-user growth.”