Tackling the Challenges of Italian Plastic Packaging Producers

Industry specialists Ferdinando Caridi and Daniel Kajan address the core challenges in the Italian plastic packaging industry. Learn more in our interview.

On September 5, 2023, the Plast Milan, an international event for the plastics and rubber industries, took place at Fiera Milano, Italy. Prior to the event, we interviewed the industry specialists Ferdinando Caridi of Reifenhauser Srl and Daniel Kajan of RE: GmbH, as they address the current challenges in the Italian plastic packaging industry. In our interview, they discuss how the synergy between Reifenhäuser's manufacturing expertise and RE:'s digital know-how can provide transformative solutions for the sector.

Welcome, Ferdinando and Daniel. Let’s discuss Plast Milan. What are the key topics for packaging producers in 2023?

Ferdinando: The Italian plastic packaging industry, echoing trends across Europe, is experiencing pivotal shifts, driven by sustainability requirements and market demands. The heart of our industry consists mainly of small to medium-sized family businesses. Italy boasts a rich culture of innovation intertwined with tradition. This duality, however, canpresent obstacles, especially when venturing into contemporary technologies.

Could you elaborate? What are the central challenges?

Ferdinando: Italian packaging producers focuson three main areas: Efficiency, Quality, and Sustainability. They are keen on resource optimization, delivering superior products, and enhancing Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). The dilemma is often the uncertainty of initiating this process. The need for digitization is clear. Yet, some producers remain hesitant, possibly due to unfamiliarity or misinformation.

Daniel: This is where our c.Hub Middleware and ExtrusionOS come into play. At Plast Milan, we will demonstrate how RE: and Reifenhauser can simplify the digital transition. Our solutions bridge technological complexities, offer intuitive interfaces, and enable to optimize operations. The interest in our solutions isn't limited to Italy; it resonates across Europe. Our clients appreciate our user-friendly, supportive approach, ensuring they’re not left in the lurch post-purchase. At RE: GmbH, we tailor our offerings to client needs and provide comprehensive onboarding, training, and ongoing support.

Example dashboard in ExtrusionOS providing valuable insights into the current production and compliance with EFSA standards

Could you touch upon the legal context relevant to Italian producers currently?

Ferdinando: Absolutely. The urgency to minimize plastic waste has always been present, accentuated by policies like Europe’s plastic tax and recycling initiatives. For Italian manufacturers, the digital leap is not merely about staying competitive but about embracing innovation to reinforce their historic standing. They must ensure, that they remain pivotal players in Europe's packaging saga.

Daniel: Moreover, Italy's "Industry4.0" initiative aims to rejuvenate the nation's industrial sector. It promotes investment in cutting-edge technologies and machinery. The main goal here is to accelerate the digitization of the industry and make it more compatible with modern technologies.

Ferdinando: Precisely, and a vital aspect for subsidy eligibility is demonstrating two-way communication between software and machinery.

Daniel: This underscores the importance of a seamless digital ecosystem, like c.Hub. Traditional Italian businesses, especially in packaging, are ideally positioned to benefit from such government incentives. By integrating modern systems and ensuring two-way communication, they not only meet "Industry 4.0" criteria but can also revamp their operations. Adapting to tech trends and national digital goals is crucial.

That sounds great! Can you offer a glimpse of what you will be presenting at Plast Milan?

Daniel: We look forward to demonstrating our latest ExtrusionOS features. These include the brand new Downtime Manager and insights into the added value of connecting printing and recycling equipment. And we are of course excited to engage with our customers, learn what's on their agenda - and how we can support them.

Thank you for the interview!

About the Interviewees

Ferdinando Caridi, Sales Manager at Reifenhauser Srl, Italy

Ferdinando Caridi


is Sales Manager at Reifenhauser Srl, a leading provider of innovative technologies and components for plastic extrusion. He is a renowned expert in the field of plastic extrusion technologies for the Italian market.

Daniel Kajan, former Director of Product & Operations at RE: GmbH

Daniel Kajan


was Director of Product & Operations at RE: GmbH until December 2023. Daniel co-founded the RE: in 2020 together with Andreas Wagner. He is a strategic pacemaker and fueled by the motivation to build products with impact on customers operations.

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