The packaging industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by automation, recyclability, and increasing the shelf life of the product and growing importance of technologies such as biodegradable packaging, Internet of Packaging, and active packaging. In the last three years alone, there have been over 310,000 patents filed and granted in the packaging industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Internet of Things in Packaging: Automated Tissue Dispenser.
However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.
Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.
80+ innovations will shape the packaging industry
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the packaging industry using innovation intensity models built on over 87,000 patents, there are 80+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, autonomous vehicles for warehousing, shipment tracking and authentication, and automated mixers and dispensers are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Automated bundling tools and mechanically actuated dispenser packaging are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are automated tissue dispenser and dosage metering type vials, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the packaging industry
Automated tissue dispenser is a key innovation area in Internet of Things
An automated tissue dispenser operates using a motion sensor, which dispenses paper towels for the purpose of drying the hands after washing.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established packaging companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of automated tissue dispenser.
Key players in automated tissue dispenser – a disruptive innovation in the packaging industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to automated tissue dispenser
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Kimberly-Clark is one of the leading patent filers in automated tissue dispenser. Some other key patent filers in the automated tissue dispenser space include Unicharm, Daio Paper, and Procter & Gamble. Recently, Kimberly-Clark introduced a new dispenser and hand towel recycling scheme with an aim to reduce waste to landfills. Under this scheme, the company will help businesses to recycle their old dispensers and used hand towels.
In terms of application diversity, Essity leads the pack, while SCA Hygiene Products and Sca Tissue France stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Kuraray held the top position, followed by Unicharm and SCA Hygiene Products.
Automated tissue dispenser will potentially become an important aspect in the packaging industry. With consumers looking for greater safety and hygiene, this packaging format will gain popularity.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the packaging industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things (IoT) in Packaging.