The packaging industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by urbanisation, sustainability, safety & trust, and convenience, and growing importance of technologies such as sustainable/eco-friendly packaging, active packaging, near field communication (NFC), and bluetooth low energy. 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: Vial Filling & Sealing Conveyors.
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, 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
Vial filling & sealing conveyors is a key innovation area in robotics
The vial filling and sealing machine is used in the pharmaceutical industry to fill medicinal contents into the vials and perform the function of sealing the top of the vial with rubber stoppers.
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 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established packaging companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of vial filling & sealing conveyors.
Key players in vial filling & sealing conveyors – 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 vial filling & sealing conveyors
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2021)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Amgen||95||Unlock company profile|
|F. Hoffmann-La Roche||80||Unlock company profile|
|Danaher||62||Unlock company profile|
|Sanofi||46||Unlock company profile|
|Robert Bosch Stiftung||45||Unlock company profile|
|Becton Dickinson and||41||Unlock company profile|
|Schott Kaisha||40||Unlock company profile|
|Pfizer||39||Unlock company profile|
|Carl Zeiss Stiftung||37||Unlock company profile|
|Vetter & Apotheker||36||Unlock company profile|
|Medical Instill Technologies||32||Unlock company profile|
|Telebrands||29||Unlock company profile|
|Automobile Reseau Tunisien et Services||24||Unlock company profile|
|Marchesini Group||21||Unlock company profile|
|Kocher-Plastik Maschinenbau||16||Unlock company profile|
|West Pharmaceutical Services||15||Unlock company profile|
|Baxter International||14||Unlock company profile|
|New Injection Systems||13||Unlock company profile|
|Terumo||13||Unlock company profile|
|3M||12||Unlock company profile|
|Syntegon Technology||11||Unlock company profile|
|AMW||10||Unlock company profile|
|Truking Technology||10||Unlock company profile|
|AptarGroup||9||Unlock company profile|
|Skan||8||Unlock company profile|
|GSK||7||Unlock company profile|
|SO.FI.M.A. Societa Finanziaria Macchine Automatiche||7||Unlock company profile|
|Fresenius||7||Unlock company profile|
|GE Healthcare||7||Unlock company profile|
|Kiefel||7||Unlock company profile|
|ProJect Pharmaceutics||6||Unlock company profile|
|American Securities||6||Unlock company profile|
|Sun Pharmaceutical Industries||6||Unlock company profile|
|Muffinorporated||5||Unlock company profile|
|Gerhard Schubert||5||Unlock company profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Amgen is one of the leading patent filers in vial filling & sealing conveyors. Amgen recently announced its plans to construct a new pharmaceutical product assembly and packaging unit in New Albany, Ohio, US. The unit will be used to assemble and pack vials and syringes that will support the company’s increasing demand for medicines. Some other key patent filers in the space include F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Danaher, Sanofi, and Robert Bosch Stiftung.
In terms of application diversity, Sanofi leads the pack. Amgen and Becton Dickinson stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Pfizer held the top position, followed by Vetter & Co Apotheker and Sanofi.
Vial filling & sealing conveyors will gain popularity in the pharmaceutical packaging market with players in the industry using this technology for the safety and integrity of their products.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the packaging industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Packaging.