May 16, 2020

Smurfit Kappa and HP partner on corrugated press project

HP
Smurfit Kappa
Corrugated packaging
Austria
Sophie Chapman
2 min
HP press to be used in Austrian Smurfit Kappa facility
The corrugated packaging firm based in Ireland, Smurfit Kappa, is to install a new industrial-scale HP PageWide C500 digital press in its Interwell plan...

The corrugated packaging firm based in Ireland, Smurfit Kappa, is to install a new industrial-scale HP PageWide C500 digital press in its Interwell plant in Austria.

The digital press aims to provide greater customisation and flexibility for Smurfit Kappa customers.

The press will be the first commercial HP single pass press in Europe, and HP’s most advanced corrugation press yet.

The technology will feature a fully integrated stack-to-stack workflow which is anticipated to drive sales both traditional and online sales.

The HP ink used in the press can be used on primary and secondary food packaging without additional barriers, complying with most global food safety regulations.

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“This new press is the perfect solution for our Interwell plant. It comes after a successful collaboration between Smurfit Kappa and HP,” commented Saverio Mayer, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Europe.

“We are both early adopters in our respective industries and constantly strive to provide pioneering, market-leading solutions for our customers.”

“We are delighted that Smurfit Kappa will be the first in Europe to install the C500 Press which showcases brand new technology and offers all the flexibility of digital printing,” stated Cristóbal Macedo, EMEA CorrugatedBusiness Director at HP Inc.

“This press is going to fundamentally change the corrugated industry by digitalising it.”

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Jun 8, 2021

IMF: Variants Can Still Hurt Manufacturing Recovery

IMF
Manufacturing
COVID19
Musk
Elise Leise
3 min
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) claims that while markets are rising and manufacturing is coming back, it’ll push for global immunisation

After a year of on-and-off manufacturing in the US, UK, and the eurozone, demand for goods surged early last week. Factories set growth records in April and May, suppliers started to recover, and US crude hit its highest price point since pre-COVID. As vaccination efforts immunise much of the US and UK populations, manufacturers are now able to fully ramp up their supply chains. In fact, GDP growth could approach double-digits by 2022

Now, the ISM productivity measure has surpassed the 50-point mark that separates industry expansion from contraction. Since U.S. president Biden passed his US$1.9tn stimulus package and the UK purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 65.6, both sides of the Atlantic are facing a much-welcomed manufacturing recovery. 

Lingering Concerns Over COVID

Even as Spain, France, Italy, and Germany race to catch up, and mining companies pushed the FTSE 100 index of list shares to a monthly high of 7,129, some say that UK and US markets still suffer from a lack of confidence in raw material supplies. Yes, the Dow Jones has made up its 19,173-point crash of March 2020, and MSCI’s global stock index is at an all-time high. 

Yet manufacturers around the world realise that these wins will be short-lived until pandemic supply chain bottlenecks are solved. If we keep the status quo, consumers will pay the price. In April, inflation in Germany reached 2.4%, and across the EU’s 19 member countries, overall prices have increased at an unusual pace. Some ask: Is this true recovery? 

IMF: Current Boom Could Falter

Even as Elon Musk tweeted about chip shortages forcing Tesla to raise its prices, UK mining demand skyrocketed; housing markets lifted; and the pound sterling gained value. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), however, cautioned that manufacturing recovery won’t last long if COVID mutates into forms our vaccinations can’t touch. Kristalina Georgieva, Washington’s IMF director, noted that fewer than 1% of African citizens have been vaccinated: “Worldwide access to vaccines offers the best hope for stopping the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing a broad-based economic recovery”. 

Across the globe, manufacturing companies are keeping a watchful eye on new developments in the spread of COVID. Though US FDA officials don’t think we’ll have to “start at square one” with new vaccines, the March 2021 World Economic Outlook states that “high uncertainty” surrounds the projected 6% global growth. Continued manufacturing success will in large part depend on “the path of the pandemic, the effectiveness of policy support, and the evolution of financial conditions”. 

Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concurred—without global immunisation, the estimated economic boom expected by 2025 could go kaput. “We need to...pursue an all-out effort to reach the entire world population”, Australia’s finance minister added. US$50bn to end COVID across the world, they imply, is a small investment to restart our economies.

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