About: Mr. Gianluca Alcheri - VP Sales
Gianluca has been working in Maillis since 2001 where he started as salesman for tools, and then moved to SIAT in 2005-2006 as export sales manager. He then moved back to tools as General Manager. In 2013 he came back to SIAT first as export manager for machines, then in 2017-2018 as an export manager for the Maillis Group. Since January 2019 he’s been promoted to VP machines sales.
1. What are the contributions of Siat Maillis to the packaging sector?
Since 1970 Siat is an innovation-driven company. Just as an example we have “invented” the first “modern” tape dispenser and various other products. Our standard machines and special execution have always started from a customer need to develop an innovative system or implement new technology to better satisfy any challenge the packaging might require. Siat has always contributed to raising the standard of the sector both in performances and in safety. I guess that in the packaging sector almost only when a company raises the bar the other follows. Siat has always been the one raising the bar. The current focus for us is the development of the packaging supply chain for e-commerce, to fulfill the needs of customers active in this sector.
2. Listed among our A-Z suppliers, you have a page exclusively dedicated to your organization. Would you say this has contributed to your market visibility?
I guess that everything helps the business to fly if there is a serious work behind. We are a partner for a few months and hope that this partnership will bring both of us a huge benefit.
3. What are the large-scale projects that the company is currently engaged with?
We have a lot of open projects and each of them is very important. Nevertheless, the one that connects all our products is the implementation of IoT technology across our product ranges.
The IoT allows the customer to save money, to keep the production under control and to receive a better and faster service from our company. Currently, we are ready with stretch wrappers: our Prowrap is the first machine to be connected online and able to optimize the customer working output and resources (film/energy ..). It communicates data in the cloud that can be visualized and exported and used. It is possible as well to set data remotely into the machine to improve its performances. As well we do want to extend the innovation to other product ranges.
Another big trend for us is to develop customized lines mainly with Multinational companies, primarily food, to improve their packaging experience. The repeatability of the solution not always is possible, so we need to standardize as much as possible taking advantage of their peculiarity according to our deep experience in packaging.
4. What according to you is the most disruptive technology in the packaging industry right now?
In general, there are a lot of possible innovations that are already performing a revolution in the packaging industry and not only. We see daily the development of AI (artificial intelligence) or the collection and usage of big data. In our opinion, the most important in our sector is the implementation of packaging machines of the IoT. The second very important revolution is packaging sustainability. We are moving more and more toward a circular usage of our resources and its more and more required to reduce plastic usage and waste. For this reason, the packaging is requested to be recyclable, sustainable and the less possible amount always having an eye to the load stability and safety during transportation and storage.
5. What are the challenges being faced by companies in the various stages of packaging development?
For packaging, the most important challenge for our customers is to maintain the perfect quality of the good. As Siat, we put a lot of effort into load stability and containment force while not wasting (to allow the customer to spend as less money as possible). Packaging has also other functions - to protect the goods inside, and we learned that each customer has its specific requirements in terms of packaging.
For this reason, what are the real crucial things for us is to help the customer in understanding its goal and achieve it at a correct cost, not only considering the capital investment of the machine but the total cost of ownership of the packaging.
All the above arguments need to live together with the new trend of sustainable packaging that uses compostable materials and that can be recycled as much as possible.
6. How do you think packaging affect supply chain efficiency?
Well, the packaging is an often-neglected component of the product but if we think about that, it is something that allows to move the product itself to the different distribution point (so packaging is a part of a product). In general, packaging protects the product while it is stocked or while it is moved. So basically, a cheap packaging in the short period can make to customers to save some money but considering the damaged goods, in the long term, we can understand that the company lost a lot inefficiency.
7. What are the key factors that can help in retaining the quality of the packaging?
First of all, a serious analysis and packaging review made by expert people to identify the best possible solutions related to safety and also cost-saving. Extremely important is the high quality of consumable (stretch film). The same concept for the machines, they need to be reliable and made by high-quality components (as Siat machines are) but this is not enough: to keep high performances over time, is also required a punctual and proactive service level.
8. In the next couple of years, what would you like to see in terms of innovation in packaging?
The major trends as anticipated will be to be “green” concerning the consumable. Companies that will not have a recycling stretch film (not compromising the film quality) will be out of the market, and this future is not so far at all. The PP strap has less and less market so this will disappear shortly. More in general for machines the increase of digitalization and Artificial Intelligence will drive to machines more and more automatic and able to interact inside and outside the customer building walls (It is a deep concept called “widespread factory”). And across above topics safety will gain a fundamental place: already today is a MUST to built up machines safer and safer.