The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) National Board is pleased to advise that Greg Roberts FAIP, Director of 4P Technical Services, and Peter Moore MAIP, National Industry Manager, Packaging and Inspection Systems for Heat and Control, were the latest recipients of the Institute’s 25 year award.
Between them, Roberts and Moore have contributed over 50 years of service to the AIP and over 70 years to the wider packaging industry.
Pierre Pienaar FAIP, National President of the AIP, personally awarded Roberts and Moore with their commemorative certificates at a recent function in Victoria, where they both reminisced about their time in the packaging industry.
Roberts started in the industry over forty years ago and his first job direct from school was as a Lab Assistant in the QA department at Cottee’s Jam and Frozen Food Factory, Blackburn, Melbourne.
“There was little specialisation in those days. QA was responsible for ingredient, packaging and product design and quality and this job was a great multi-functional experience,” says Roberts.
Moore started in the industry in the very early 80's with Ken Alexander at Alexander Packaging, where he was introduced to Case Over Packers (COP) and hot melt adhesives. He then moved onto Ink jet printers selling Domino thru RAWCO Packaging/Pemara.
“After smelling the roses, (not MEK), I moved to Kempster and Love who were taken over by Heat and Control; where I am still working today. This adds up to 30 years or thereabouts in the packaging machinery side of the industry,” says Moore.
Both Roberts and Moore have seen a number of significant changes in the packaging industry in the last 25 years.
“Firstly, the rate of new product development: During my first seven years at Cottee’s we introduced 6 new products. Now a packing technologist may manage 30 to 50 introductions or changes a year. Unfortunately many of these new products don’t last in the now very tough market place,” says Roberts.
“Secondly, a number of companies have embraced SAP as their business management system. Wherever I have worked, this change has tied Packaging Technologists to the desk, slogging away at complex data entering processes, rather than getting out on to the shop floor and working with suppliers to optimise material performance,” he adds.
“Thirdly, the consolidation of the Australian retail market is to me a major concern: Imported products that are copies of Australian icons are being given prime shelf locations. As this trend continues, we will see favourite products, whole brands and even whole companies disappear. I predict that this will backfire on the retailers, as there ultimately will not be enough people employed and with money to spend in their stores,” concludes Roberts.
The change which has made the biggest impact on the packaging industry according to Moore is safety.
“Safety starts with the design and carries all the way through to how the operator interfaces with the equipment and what emergency features are included. Of course there have been vast improvements in equipment itself in the last 25 years, with the ability to run faster produce packaged product more efficiently with minimum waste,” says Moore.
On winning the award, the pair were asked by the National President what they believe to be the most significant technology or advancement or product to revolutionise the packaging industry in the last quarter century. Moore felt that the automotion of the case packer had had the biggest impact in terms of technology, while Roberts was most impacted by the introduction of the computer, inparticular its communications and design systems.
“It is great to watch an automatic production line where from the primary packaging unit product is inspected, collated, packed in a carton (shipper) palletised, stretch wrapped, and moved off the warehouse all automatically, and as the full pallet moves out an empty one moves into to take its place. The system also monitors the empty pallet stack and loads this when required,” says Moore.
The Australian Institute of Packaging National Board would like to once again congratulate Greg Roberts and Peter Moore for their contribution to the packaging industry in Australia.