The packaging industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by rising environmental awareness, urbanisation, safety & trust, and growing importance of technologies such as connected 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 Robotics in Packaging: Mechanically Actuated Dispenser Packaging.

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.

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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, automatic garment packaging, cigarette packaging conveyors, and autonomous vehicles for warehousing are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Mechanically actuated dispenser packaging, automated bundling tools, and automated storage and retrieval containers are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are vial filling & sealing conveyors and automated tissue dispenser, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for robotics in the packaging industry

Mechanically actuated dispenser packaging is a key innovation area in robotics

Mechanically actuated dispenser packaging systems are increasingly being used for industries with automated process that uses fluids with fluctuating viscosities. For example, the technology is being increasingly used in the LED assembly industry for a variety of reasons including efficient storage, safer handling, easier opening and portion control.

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 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established packaging companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of mechanically actuated dispenser packaging.

Key players in mechanically actuated dispenser packaging – 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 mechanically actuated dispenser packaging

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Kimberly-Clark 97 Unlock Company Profile
Procter & Gamble 49 Unlock Company Profile
Unicharm 47 Unlock Company Profile
SCA Hygiene Products 35 Unlock Company Profile
AptarGroup 32 Unlock Company Profile
Unilever 29 Unlock Company Profile
Daio Paper 23 Unlock Company Profile
Essity 22 Unlock Company Profile
Altevo 19 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 16 Unlock Company Profile
C. H. Boehringer & Sohn 15 Unlock Company Profile
LINDAL Dispenser 14 Unlock Company Profile
Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget 10 Unlock Company Profile
3M 9 Unlock Company Profile
Taiki 9 Unlock Company Profile
SmartWave Technologies 8 Unlock Company Profile
Coster Tecnologie Speciali 6 Unlock Company Profile
L'Oreal 6 Unlock Company Profile
Sca Tissue France 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Kimberly-Clark is one of the leading patent filers in mechanically actuated dispenser packaging. Some other key patent filers in mechanically actuated dispenser packaging include Procter & Gamble, Unicharm, SCA Hygiene Products, and AptarGroup.

Johnson & Johnson leads the pack in terms of application diversity. Sca Tissue France and 3M stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, C. H. Boehringer Sohn held the top position, followed by Altevo and Unicharm.

Mechanically actuated dispenser packaging in the field of robotics will be a revolutionary innovation in the packaging industry as it provides efficient storage, safer handling, and easier opening from the container.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the packaging industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Packaging.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.