is a quarterly review which summarises current events and technical information about printed packaging.

From the initial idea to the production of the packaging, you will find useful information which is essential for professionals in this industry (such as buyers, decision-makers, buyers, packaging manufacturers and suppliers of raw materials).

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January 2018



Serge German, director of ESEPAC - School of Packaging Engineering


The Digital transformation: A matter of urgency

In the network of consumer packaging industries and packaging processors, the report is irrevocable: there is a lack of packaging developers. The responsibilities, the attractiveness of remunerations and the stakes related to digital technologies are the key.
Serge German, director of ESEPAC - School of Packaging Engineering based in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes - alerts the industry of the impact of the digital transformation on their business and their imperative involvement in the training of their future employees.

Companies must strive to enhance their professions, especially those of packaging.
On the one hand, a demand from companies of quality candidates, that does not diminish and even reaches the heights, in anticipation of retirements, especially in the world of paper and cardboard.

On the other hand, an insufficient pool of candidates and a disaffection of students going in to science and industry.

Managers and recruiting firms show, that it is now more difficult to recruit than in 2012. The shortage is such, that graduates within a higher education in packaging, barely cover half of the current needs. This observation is even more glaring for positions within design or for managers in the office of studies. Graduates will benefit from this, since there are at least five vacancies that await them at the end of their training and earnings are rising.

At the same time, digital technology is revolutionising businesses, and particularly the expectations about packaging.
The digital age is here, it will not wait; we must now succeed in this digital transformation ... it is a tidal wave that strikes at the economy and our society, a dynamic that crosses all the sectors, including those of training and packaging.

The consumer seeks convenience and competitiveness; he is now shopping in online stores. In the highly competitive e-commerce sector, the deal in terms of design, logistics and packaging has been totally shaken up.
Packaging must reflect the obvious and implicit qualities of the product at a glance. The presentation of the product will take precedence over the photo in the years to come.

Augmented reality is also inviting itself into our lives: the customer, can today, discover a virtual product, presented in a realistic and pleasing atmosphere; they can manipulate the product in 3D and even be connected, in an immersive way, with the sensations related to its use.
The representation of the product on the web and the comments on social networks have become the essential requirements in the act of purchase.

This requires specific skills that training organisations must integrate, with the support of companies.
We are thinking about 3D printing, augmented reality, intelligent robotics, e-commerce, machine-to-machine communication or technologies to manage production operations in real time.

Anticipating the evolution of packaging and the emergence of new professions is a major focus of reflection in packaging training: the student must acquire, not only the foundation of knowledge and professional skill expected, but also be disposed, at the end of his training, with an agility, regarding the new technologies and the regulations attached.

The training hybridises, fertilises, combines face-to-face training, digital training that can be activated remotely and by webinars, amongst others. The younger generation, familiar with digital tools, combines this pedagogy with informal peer-learning schemes, including through e-community FAQs. Trainers no longer transmit knowledge but become the accompaniers in the acquisition of knowledge.

The boundary between continued training for employees and the initial training of young people is becoming blurred: an apprentice can receive lectures at his or her place of apprenticeship, just as with an employee, receiving technical training at a distance.

It is through the valorisation of their sector of activity and associated trades that companies can arouse the interests of graduates; their fulfilment and loyalty are directly related to the integration of digital technology within the company.

Have companies become aware of the extent of this evolution and their necessary involvement with training organisations through the provision of knowledge, technical and economic resources?