IFCA's emphasis on knowledge-sharing yields fruitful conversations

IFCA Knowledge Seminar, held at Holiday Inn Hotel in Mumbai, on 22 February, witnessed industry stalwarts talking about various aspects in the packaging industry such as AI, materials, machineries, R&D and developments.

22 Feb 2024 | By WhatPackaging? Team

Chandrasekhar Rajagopalan, president of IFCA addressing the audience

The seminar focused on AI and technology advancements in the field of packaging. The event started off with a keynote address by Chandrasekhar Rajagopalan, president of IFCA.

Chandrasekhar said, “There have been a lot of technological developments happening in the packaging industry. But there is no framework to update the industry with this knowledge on a regular basis. Also, the interaction between packaging professionals has been reduced.”

The knowledge-sharing session aims to bring the industry professionals together, share insights, knowledge, updates in terms of the technology front, and help the industry grow.

Several topics were discussed at the conference. Varsha Chaware, R&D head, PVG College talked about R&D activities in institutions and developments. She emphasised on printed electronics and highlighted, “From 2021 to 2026, the printed electronics market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 18.3%.”

PVG's R&D activities include, smart packaging, food packaging, inks, printed electronics, flexo and many more. PVG College developed a smart ink for VOC gas sensing, along with a label which senses the life of the product inside. Chaware said, “Students are working to create sustainable food containers.”

Then, Nitin Satankar, general, Jio Industrial and Data Science, spoke about AI in manufacturing. “A lot of information about AI is restricted to only certain corners of the industry,” Satankar said. He said that adoption of technologies becomes a challenge in organisations.

Satankar also highlighted the use of AI in the industry, such as for QC, F&B and FMCG industries, and also the plastic recycling industry uses AI. “AI can also be used for predictive maintenance, supply chain optimisation, process control and material research - polymer research,” he added.

One of his quotes which the WhatPackaging? team found interesting was, “Computers allow ambiguity, but they know what exactly is required.”

Later in the evening, Chidambara Vinayagam, deputy general manager, ITC PSPD talked about developments in the carton industry. He began his speech by stating how cartons provide brilliant reproduction for printing. He pointed out that there are EPR guidelines set for plastic waste categories such as rigid, flexibles, multilayer plastics, and biodegradable plastics. While segregation of microplastics is difficult, cartons are beneficial in terms of recycling and support the EPR very well.

Vinayagam also highlighted some of ITC PSPD's carton projects on premiumisation. The company also develops fusion boards, print value addition and anti-counterfeiting, and development of emulsion coated tubs and lids.

Lastly, Ravi Fotedar of Haydale spoke about functionalised nano graphenes. He brought the audience to the attention about the advantages graphenes hold and how it is revolutionising the industry.

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