Offering a machine suitable for packaging products in trays, the two companies, Tevopharm and Doboy, claim their new Pack-401 is suitable for three-shift operations. The horizontal pillow-pack machine achieves "medium to high operating speeds for output levels of 20 to 400 products per minute or a film speed of up to 80 meters per minute," they assert in a recent statement. Tighter margins are driving increased efficiencies for businesses across the food sector. For confectioners, a lift in flexibility changeover rate and more competitive product life cycles could raise efficiencies at the packaging level. "Its design allows for flexible changeover to various packaging formats for product widths up to 450 millimeters or film widths up to 650 millimetres," add Tevopharm and Doboy, part of the €46bn german Bosch group. In addition, the design of the Pack-401 enables it to "operate as a standalone machine or to be integrated with other packaging systems such as Delta Robots, secondary packaging machines, product handling, and various infeed modules," add the firms. The "cantilever design of feeder, longitudinal and transverse sealing" also enables operators to have an "excellent overview during operation and facilitates access for cleaning," they continue. In today's competitive food sector, companies are, arguably, starting to recognise that brands are among their most valuable assets. Brands account for about one-third of the value of Fortune 500 companies, and a recent report from Milward Brown Optimor found that the combined value of its Top 100 Brandz, across all industries, topped €1.2 trillion in 2008, a 21 per cent rise from about €1 trillion in 2007. Harnassing this state-of-play, Bosch Packaging technologies stated in a report recently that 'successful brands build on innovative and efficient packaging solutions with high consumer benefit.' The firm claims that technologies can be applied that completely redefine a product category or, in some cases, create an entirely new product from an existing brand. An example of pro-active packaging technology design, Bosch Packaging cites the Pull Pack designed by one of its firms Sigpack Systems, that worked with existing equipment and knowledge of existing lines to create a new package that would require minimal alteration of those lines. "The Pull Pack enables consumers to simply pull off the short end of the wrapper for quick access to contents," says the firm. The cost of production, and efficiencies therein, are clearly also key factors for the evolution of a brand; when coupled with creative design, 'they can be a successful formula', adds Bosch, citing the advent of robots on the line. Once thought to be too expensive and too difficult to handle by food production and packaging facilities, according to Bosch, 'robots have come down significantly in price'. The german firm continues that 'a robot's enhanced flexibility adds to its process and production speeds.'