With 2,865 exhibiting companies and approximately 170,500 visitors (74% of them travelling from abroad), the latest edition of the Interpack trade fair, which was held from 4 to 10 May 2017 in Düsseldorf, was the biggest ever.

Top Trends: Digitalisation, Industry 4.0 and Sustainability

Proving a top trend at many stands was the further digitalisation of production processes on the way to Industry 4.0 applications. Production linked along these lines makes it possible to manufacture personalised packaging efficiently or to guarantee traceability, to name but two options. Furthermore, the modular design of packaging machines and process lines and optimised digital operating concepts play a pivotal role in order to reduce complexity in manufacturing and achieve the highest degree of flexibility possible for changing batch sizes or product versions. Some companies even focused on virtual reality applications that allow machines or equipment to be experienced holistically in order to manage complexity better even in the manufacturing process of machinery and equipment as well as in training and operation.

The sustainability theme also remained “omnipresent” at interpack 2017. Exhibitors presented improved resource efficiency in terms of both the material used with ever smaller wall thicknesses and of manufacturing processes. Moreover, the show was also the occasion to note that alternative packaging materials are gaining ground.

The next edition of Interpack will be held in May 2020 in three years’ time at Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre - then with a completely new South entrance and a new Hall 1. The exact dates will be published at a later date.