Mentions of industrial automation within the filings of companies in the packaging industry were 261% higher between July 2021 and June 2022 than in 2016, according to the latest analysis of data from GlobalData.
When companies in the packaging industry publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other filings, GlobalData analyses the text and identifies individual sentences that relate to disruptive forces facing companies in the coming years. Industrial automation is one of these topics - companies that excel and invest in these areas are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.
To assess whether industrial automation is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of companies in the packaging industry, two measures were calculated. Firstly, we looked at the percentage of companies which have mentioned industrial automation at least once in filings during the past twelve months - this was 70% compared to 54% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to industrial automation.
Of the 30 biggest employers in the packaging industry, Sealed Air was the company which referred to industrial automation the most between July 2021 and June 2022. GlobalData identified 181 industrial automation-related sentences in the United States-based company's filings - 2.9% of all sentences. WestRock Co WestRock mentioned industrial automation the second most - the issue was referred to in 0.2% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high industrial automation mentions included Avery Dennison, Oji Holdings and Toyo.
This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on industrial automation and how important the issue is considered within the packaging industry, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted carefully. For example, a company mentioning industrial automation more regularly is not necessarily proof that they are utilising new techniques or prioritising the issue, nor does it indicate whether the company's ventures into industrial automation have been successes or failures.
In the last quarter, companies in the packaging industry based in the United States were most likely to mention industrial automation with 0.3% of sentences in company filings referring to the issue. In contrast, companies with their headquarters in Western Europe mentioned industrial automation in just 0.07% of sentences.