BMB, based in the packaging district of the province of Vicenza, is a company specializing in vacuum packaging, with over ten years of history and presence on the Italian and European market. We asked Massimo Binotto, Technical Sales Manager, what a player with a strong vocation for innovation and sustainability sees in this market in the coming months.
What kind of technologies are you pushing right now?
"Despite being a relatively young company, BMB is very dynamic," Binotto tells us. “In this very special year, in fact, we have accelerated some projects that have been in the pipeline for some time. Paradoxically, the pandemic has increased demand and sensitivity over packaging. We are talking about necessity and sensitivity, both for hygienic reasons and for the increase in delivery, chosen by many businesses as an alternative to closures. Therefore, some processes that were already on the line, have been accelerated; that's why we will soon market some news regarding the world of packaging. In particular, a purely technological one, linked to a new system for closing trays, characterized by energy and time savings and process simplification; the other is a process innovation on packaging, where we tried to develop a brand new sealing system. This will allow us to obtain a machine with an operating principle, energy consumption and technical advantages that are currently unthinkable."
You told us about sustainability....
"Ever since the plastics reuse law started being talked about, there has been quite a bit of traffic in our industry because all of our machinery works with bags or tubs that are made of plastics." Binotto continues, "Initially, there has been some confusion: the law came in and, honestly, few people were ready to comply with the new rules. Now a lot of products have been released, including very interesting ones, with the aim to reduce plastic consumption or recycle it. Consequently, our machines have to adapt to this type of product. We collaborate with some raw material producers; all our products are ready to use special or new generation materials. From machine’s point of view, there is not much we can do in terms of reducing plastic consumption, in the sense that our technology closes the bag or tray that the customer intends to use. Clearly, if bags or trays are made of a particular material and require special precautions, the machine must be ready. What we are trying to do, with the personal commitment of our technical department, is to limit the energy consumption of the machines: if until today a machine needed a thousand watts to run, now with new technologies, with new systems we can try to reduce this power. In some cases, we have had considerable reductions in energy consumption, perhaps even slightly modifying the work process. To give an example: we have machines that have to heat water to perform a certain type of operation; until a few years ago the tendency was to use a certain volume of water and to completely immerse the product inside it. We have changed the process: the amount of water we heat is less, but through a pump, an evolution of the system, we go to cover the product, recirculating the water. So, instead of 1000 liters I have to heat 200. At the end of the day and the process I have saved a considerable amount of energy and I have obtained the same result, also lowering water consumption. This is what we are doing and what we will propose at the fair, with a daily commitment in the direction of sustainability.
What are your expectations for the exhibition?
"The company is still in the development phase and we are very interested in participating in the fair because BMB needs to show its products to potential customers, but also to potential dealers or people who may also be interested in working with both our machines and BMB. MEAT-TECH is the most important showcase in Italy for this type of event, so it is necessary to be there, also because of the international level of this fair. Honestly, I don't think I'm saying anything new: we don't go to the fair with the idea of bringing home big orders, because our product tends to be very technical and it's difficult to sell directly at the fair; however, at the fair we collect contacts of people who are interested in collaborating with BMB as a company or who are interested in the product. From there, the whole process of in-depth analysis of the themes and development of the projects begins, right up to the conclusion of the order. We also have new products to present at the fair. I can't say too much about it because we are in the process of studying and patenting, but we will certainly bring to the show some new products that match what the market is asking for.
Unfortunately, someone from abroad will not be able to attend the fair in person due to the various difficulties related to the health emergency. However, we are very confident and ready to do our part."
What prospects do you see in the coming months?
"Sensitivity, both from the point of view of energy saving and the environmental factor, is increasing," Binotto tells us. "We pollute less, we consume less plastic, we understand what impact the process we are following has on the environment. A very high level of attention, both from the final consumer and from the producers. Also because this has become a sales vehicle, in the sense that if I roll out certain sustainability campaigns, I gain more confidence in the final consumer. So everyone, especially the big groups, is moving in this direction. There are those who propose sustainable packaging, recyclable packaging, processes that have a carbon-free impact... Clearly - and we cannot hide this - everything clashes with the economic impact of these processes. Especially at this time, cost control has great importance. So sustainability is good, but we must not lose sight of the economic aspect and production efficiency at 360°. It must also be said that, over time, costs will tend to realign themselves, becoming comparable to today' most common materials. It is certainly not a transformation that can be ignored by continuing with traditional methods, the issue must be addressed. That's why the packaging industry must find solutions that allow it to achieve those results today at acceptable costs. Those who succeed will have a future, while those who ignore the changes underway are probably destined to have less and less market share. A path comparable to the technological path of industry 4.0 is the interconnection between systems. Beyond the economic advantages that a company can have, the node is the innovation of process, the mentality that underlies the work and its advantages. This to prescind from the reliefs; if I want to be competitive, I must follow that road, there is no alternative. So whether you like it or not, you have to adapt to this system, these technologies and these changes. Again, those who are more dynamic and get there first have a better chance. Those who can anticipate these events are even better off, and it's those companies that will lead the way for the entire industry."