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SEPTEMBER 2010 | $10

Michael Orsini, President,

Publication mail agreement #40070230. Return Canadian undeliverables to: Canadian Packaging, Circulation Department, 7th floor, 1 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, ON, M4Y 2Y5

Les Aliments Bercy

GROW & PROSPER Organic Product Mix and Sustainable Packaging Pay Off for Bercy Foods Story on page 17

CANNED HIT HIT Story on page 20


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QuickLabel prints your custom labels using our own digital label printers or our flexographic presses. Fast turnaround, artwork assistance, and low minimum order quantities. QuickLabel Systems 877-757-7978 (Toronto & western Canada) 800-565-2216 (Québec & eastern Canada) FOR MORE INFORMATION CIRCLE 128

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QuickLabel’s Xe series of digital color label printers can be addressed by an ERP system and integrated “in-line” with automatic label applicator systems. They produce color labels faster than any other in-house label printers, with highest speed processing and printing of variable label content. Ideal for industrial applications, with “peel off” option for faster label application. Speeds of up to 7 ips (in spot color print mode) or 4 ips (in process color print mode). Prints on flexible rollstock up to 8.3” wide. QuickLabel Systems 877-757-7978 (Toronto & western Canada) 800-565-2216 (Québec & eastern Canada) FOR MORE INFORMATION CIRCLE 125

Do you ever need “short runs” of labels? Would you benefit from getting labels faster or being able to make quick changes to your labels? With a QuickLabel printer, you can print your own custom labels for any product. It’s affordable, fast, and easy to print your own labels on-demand for each product variation, for private label customers, and for labeling short-runs of seasonal products and prototype products.

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ruth in advertising seems to be an elusive commodity in today’s feverish, hype-driven world of brand marketing, and it would be naive to think that leading multinational foodand-beverage producers are somehow immune to the temptations of taking liberties with medicinal facts in their quest to steal consumers and market share from competition by trumpeting the purportedly science-backed health and nutritional benefits of their brands on their product labels. It’s one thing to offer consumers healthier eating and drinking options—transfat-free, calorie-reduced, low-sodium, no cholesterol et al—by eliminating known health risks from their products and letting consumers know about it in direct, to-the-point, matter-of-fact fashion right on the product packaging. But that’s very different from throwing in some fancy or exotic new ingredients into their recipes in order to proclaim their products to be just the sort of “enriched” and “functional” magic potions that hold key to healthy and well-balanced nutritional health—without backing such claims with indisputable scientific evidence. Simply proclaiming a product to contain “all 12 essential mineral and nutrients,” to use an example, does not in itself make this product “essential” to maintaining a healthy dietary regimen. There is a world of difference between a product not being unhealthy and a product being a bona fide health aid, but one would have a hard time telling this from looking at some of the packaged cereals, yogurts and other trendy foods vying for consumers’ affection in the supermarket aisles these days. With the average consumer spending only an estimated six seconds or so to select a particular item from a crowded store-shelf, it seems that thinly-disguised promises of instant health benefits deserve closer scrutiny and oversight than the “functional foods” marketers have been allowed to


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september 2010

By Andrew Joseph Montreal fruit importer embraces sustainable packaging to market its growing range of organic produce.

GrOW & prOsper

5 7-8 9-10 12 14

36 38


| $10


Organic product mix packaging pay Off and sustainable for bercy Foods

Story on page 17

In thIs Issue: FILLING


Story on page 20






Organic Growth

Cover photography by Pierre Longtin.

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get away with so far. That’s why the recent move by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to challenge the nutritional health claims of two of the world’s leading beverage brands is a welcome, if overdue, development in checking the spread of truthiness in the packaged foods marketplace. Earlier this month, the FDA sent out official warnings to the makers Lipton Green Tea 100% Naturally Decaffeinated (Unilever) and Canada Dry Sparkling Green Tea Ginger Ale (Dr. Pepper Snapple Group) to put them on notice that their claims about the health and therapeutic benefits of their green tea products were in violation of the U.S. federal laws. According to the FDA, Lipton crossed the line through its advertisements and website with claims that drinking its product could help consumers with cholesterol and heart problems—in effect not only hailing it as a new drug, but doing so for a drug that FDA had neither approved or ever intended to do. As for Canada Dry, the agency takes issue with the brand’s claims about the drink being “fortified” with antioxidants and Vitamin C, saying the bulk of the antioxidants cited by the company comes from sources the FDA does not recognize and, moreover, “The FDA does not consider it appropriate to fortify snack-foods such as carbonated beverages.” With both beverage brands being widely marketed and retailed throughout Canada, it will be interesting to see how the two companies respond to the FDA’s no-nonsense letters, which are not legally binding but give the agency the right to drag the brand-owners to court if ignored, and also to see whether our own consumer watchdog Health Canada decides to stay on the sidelines or follow suit. At the end of the day, a misinformed consumer is little better that an ignorant consumer and that, dear reader, is why we think the agency deserves due credit for standing up for the little guy on this critically important issue of consumer trust and education. We don’t ask for much—truth will do just fine.

UPFRONT By George Guidoni NEWSPACK Packaging news round-up from across Canada. FIRST GLANCE New technologies for packaging applications. ECO-PACK NOW All the latest on environmental sustainability. IMPACT A monthly insight from the PAC. EVENTS Upcoming industry functions. ANNOUNCEMENTS Company briefs and updates. CHECKOUT By Elena Langlois Joe Public speaks out on packaging hits and misses. NEXT ISSUE: PACK EXPO International 2010 preview


POURING IT ON By Andrew Joseph Canadian craft brewer upgrades its canning line to maintain steady market share growth. HEALTHY LIVING By Andrew Joseph Soy-based beverage producer making big strides with aseptic packaging technologies. NUTS AND BOLTS By Andrew Joseph Nut processor refines its packaging process to keep up with stellar market growth.


THE COST OF GAS The cheaper way to run your MAP process.


SOUNDING THE ALARM By Bill Melville The proper way to handle pest infestation at your plant.


WATCHING YOUR MOUTH By Del Williams Why big-mouth containers are shrinking.


FLEXIBLE RULES The green benefits of flexographic printing.



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Kokanee making a fresh new start with an oxygen-absorbing cap While there has been plenty of packaging innovation in the global beer business over the last several years, the humble beer-bottle cap had remained basically unchanged since the introduction of twistoff caps way back in 1984. At least until this past summer, when the Creston, B.C.-based Columbia Brewery of the Labatt Brewing Company has launched the Glacier Seal oxygen-absorbing cap liner on the bottled beers of its flagship Kokanee brand—designed to allow the beer to maintain its freshness longer by greatly reducing its exposure to oxygen. (See Picture) “Oxygen is the Number One enemy for beer,” says Scott Stokes, the Columbia Brewery brewmaster. “When beer is exposed to oxygen for an extended period, like in a bottle, it results in f lavor changes that ultimately make the beer taste stale. “The new Glacier Seal cap means Kokanee will now taste fresher.” According to the Kokanee brand marketing

manager Mike Bascom, the brewery’s extensive tests on samples of bottled beer found that the oxygen levels for bottles of Kokanee capped with the Glacier Seal registered below five parts per billion (ppb) total package oxygen per bottle— compared to the average of around 55ppb total package oxygen per bottle for bottled beer without the new cap liner. “The Glacier Seal Cap is an example of our absolute dedication to ensuring that Kokanee stays as fresh as possible until you drink it,” says Bascom. “The Glacier Seal essentially locks more oxygen out of the beer bottle and keeps Kokanee’s Glacier Fresh taste in.” Bascom explains that the Glacier Seal Cap contains an oxygen-absorbing liner incorporating special active ingredients—anti-oxidants commonly used in the food-and-beverage industry—that react with oxygen as it migrates through the liner to reduce oxygen exposure and protect the beer’s flavor.

Government grant to spur job growth at food packaging products plant Reynolds Food Packaging says it expects to create 45 new jobs at its manufacturing facility in Summerstown, Ont., after receiving a $102,225 grant through the province’s Eastern Ontario Development Fund to help finance an extensive facility retrofit and an upgrade of the plant’s production equipment. The company says the capital investment will help it implement a more eficient production process at the plant, manufacturer of semi-rigid plastic packaging for baked-goods and other food products, which will double its existing manufacturing capacity. Operating in Summerstown since 1989,

Reynolds Food Packaging Canada Inc. produces numerous shapes of plastic containers to serve markets in North America, South America, Europe, Australia and the Middle East. “Ontario is thrilled to partner with companies like Reynolds Food Packaging, who are committed to innovation and building economic sustainability,” says Jim Brownell, member of provincial parliament for the Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry riding. “The Eastern Ontario Development Fund provides exactly the type of targeted, strategic investments that will help realize Summerstown’s full economic potential.”

Ball shatters Canadian canmaking operation in Richmond, B.C. Blaming falling market demand, canmaking giant Ball Corporation of Broomfield, Colo., has decided to mothball its steel-can manufacturing facility in Richmond, B.C.—laying off 40 staff and moving all its production equipment to the company’s U.S.-based can production factories in Milwaukee, Fort Atkinson and DeForest, Wis., Originally started up in 1985, the Richmond plant specializes in the manufacture of steel cans for the Canadian and Alaskan salmon processing industries—supplying virtually all the cans used for packaging processed salmon in Canada and accounting for about half of all the canned salmon products produced in Alaska. Scheduled to cease operations in early 2011, the 194,000-square-foot facility—housing two production lines manufacturing five different can sizes—appears to have fallen victim to falling salmon stocks along the Pacific Coast in recent years, as well as shifting consumer tastes. “Over the past Production equipment at the two decades, our mothballed Richmond plant manufacturing is to be transferred to several operations in the other Ball facilities over the Richmond plant coming months. have decreased as

market demand and customer needs have changed,” says Michael Feldser, president of Ball’s metal food and household products packaging division for the Americas region.

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NEWSPACK Famed mineral water brand gets a stylish packaging makeover Water may be just water to some, but a dash of packaging design f lair can make it a real one-of-a-kind beverage experience—as Nestlé Waters Canada (NWC) has just done with its iconic S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water brand a few a weeks ago. Created by the renowned Italian design agency Missoni, the special-edition one-liter glass bottles of the venerable S.Pellegrino mineral water brand, which dates back as far as 12th Century, have been reserved exclusively for sale at fine restaurants and other upper-end dining establishment across Canada since early September for a limited time, according to its Puslinsch, Ont.-based Canadian brand-owner NWC, which commissioned the redesign as part of the brand’s international Italian Talents marketing campaign. Available in four colors, the new special-edition bottle also marks the first time in more than 100 years that the S.Pellegrino label has been altered, according to the NWC senior marketing manager M.J. Somerville.

“The goal of this initiative was to create synergies, by involving S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water with Italian companies of international renown that express Italian culture and style, while showcasing the brand’s unique characteristics,” Somerville says. “Clothing a bottle and exteriorizing the tones, ref lections and nuances that the light creates on the water’s surface was a task we assigned to ourselves to give shape to our interpretation of S.Pellegrino—an object capable of evoking and amplifying water’s characteristics of freshness, transparency and radiance through our distinctive zigzag motif,” explains Angela Missoni, creative director for the famed Venice-based fashion house Missoni. “Our approach has been about making an intervention aimed at exceeding the confines of a simple marketing operation,” Missoni adds. “We have not invented anything new; we simply tried to convey an experience and taste in things in our most f luid and congenial manner.”

Clear tubes hit a packaging sweetspot for air travelers Foreign visitors and travelers can now take a bit of true Canadiana home with them without any worries about an accidental spill or breakage leaving a bitter taste in their mouths—thanks to the innovative new packaging developed for Turkey Hill Sugarbush Ltd., one of Canada’s leading maple syrup producers based in Waterloo, Que. Manufactured by the Montifello division of the Hawkesbury, Ont.-based Montebello Packaging, the new 100-ml squeezable plastic tubes—small enough to meet most airport carry-on restrictions for liquid products—are already retailing at dutyfree shops of international airports in Montreal, Ottawa, Halifax and Winnipeg. The lightweight and shatterproof construction of the Pure Maple Syrup tubes, which are filled right at Montfitello’s production facility in Lachine, Que., makes them ideal companions for hiking, camping and countless other outdoor activities, according

to Turkey Hill, which has in recent yeas picked up numerous prestigious international awards from the global tourism and hospitality industry for the company’s product and packaging innovations. Featuring easy-open f lip-top closures and made from clear EVOH (ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer) material—ensuring a superior oxygen barrier while fully showcasing the 100-precent natural product’s rich color—the tubes got formal approval from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency of Health Canada for use in a federally-registered food establishments, according to Montifello, which is currently in the process of obtaining similar site licences for packaging honey, natural health foods, and various processed foods at its Lachine plant.

Fledgling producer just adds water to clean up in the household care market While many manufacturers of household cleaning products have taken steps to reduce their packaging footprints by concentrating their formulations and downsizing their packages accordingly, the Toronto-based upstart Planet People has taken a giant leap into the future of sustainable packaging this past summer with an ingenious new packaging approach for the company’s iQ line of liquid cleaners, which it claims are derived entirely from plants and other non-toxic, renewable natural sources. Offered in four different application-specific formulations— All Purpose Cleaner, Window Cleaner, Bathroom Cleaner and Floor Cleaner—the iQ cleaners are retailed in reusable 700-ml plastic containers supplied by the Concord, Ont.-based Salbro Bottle Inc. The clear bottles—topped off with high-performance spray dispensers manufactured by the Korean-based Darin Co. Ltd.—also have 9.8-ml replacement cartridges containing a highly concentrated version of the same product attached to them with special shrinkbands supplied by Sijovy Plastics of Montreal.

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Once a container is emptied, the consumer only needs to dump the REFILL replacement cartridge’s contents inside and add tap water to produce a full new bottle of the identical product. Produced and packaged almost entirely in Canada—except for the REFILL cartridges shipped in from the U.S.—the iQ line is currently retailing throughout western Canada at naturalfood stores such as Whole Foods and Planet Organics, at another Whole Foods outlet in downtown Toronto, and through a growing list of U.S.based retailers. Because the company’s inventive packaging approach cuts the use of plastic bottles virtually in half, Planet People is able to price its iQ cleaners at about 25-percent less than most of the competing similar products in the household cleaners market segment, while reducing the plastic waste and the associated carbon footprint by an estimated 80 per cent.


FIRST GLANCE DELTA FORCE A newly-developed robotic system from ESS Technologies, Inc. integrates Fanuc’s new M-1iA delta-style robot with its own custom end-of-armtooling (EOAT) and programming to create a very compact system for machine loading and unloading applications, such as unloading filled and capped microtubes and placing them onto a labeler infeed conveyor at a rate of 60 tubes per minute. (See Picture) In this particular application, the M-1iA loading system is integrated directly with the machine, eliminating the need for a separate stand or robot base, while the robot’s line-tracking capabilities enable it to accurately pick the micro-tubes from the monoblock starwheel and place them onto a labeler infeed conveyor, with the custom-made, gripper-style EOAT handling two vials at a time. Other well-suited applications for the robotic system include loading blisterpacking and thermoforming machines, loading or unloading pucks, high-speed sorting, enhancing assembly systems, loading moving conveyors, or picking parts from moving conveyors. ESS Technologies, Inc. For more information, circle


UNDER WRAPS The new SEMIAUTO overwrapping machine from Marden Edwards— designed primarily for applications featuring a wide variety of pack sizes and carton shapes—can perform up to 10 wraps per minute via semi-automatic operation whereby the operator activates the wrap cycle with a footpedal to drive the film to the correct length, cuts the film with an onboard guillotine, makes a lateral seal by hand, and deposits the packs into the folding deck to complete the tucking and folding process. Compatible with any reel-fed OPP (oriented polypropylene) film, the SEMI-AUTO system can accommodate size changes in less than 10 minutes without any tooling changes, according to the company, with its optional tear-tape applicator enabling easy-open unwrapping of each pallet wrap after shipment delivery. Marden Edwards For more information, circle


DUMPING THINGS The new Open Chute Box Dumper from Flexicon Corporation is designed to offer a safe, low-cost method of discharging bulk solid materials from boxes, totes and other containers in applications without strict dust-containment requirements. The Dumper’s reliable box-container lift assembly is tipped hydraulically until material discharges from the container onto a smooth, f lat chute that allows unobstructed discharge of free-f lowing materials, as well as nonfree-f lowing products containing large agglomerates, into receiving ves-


sels. Utilizing twin hydraulic cylinders to pivot the platform-chute assembly—with the container secured from sliding by transverse sidewall braces—the system can discharge at 45- or 60-degree angles, and it is offered with optional receiving hoppers configured with the company’s mechanical or pneumatic conveyors to transport discharged material to any plant location. Flexicon Corporation For more information, circle




BIGGER & BETTER The new model B610 belted chamber packaging machine from Multivac Inc.— claimed to be the largest and highest-capacity machine of its type available in North America— offers several key new innovative performance, hygienic and ergonomic features, including: • Two 60-inch seal bars—positioned 33 inches apart—to allow for the packaging of an extended range of large product sizes and quantities; • A patented tilting lid to facilitate easier and more ergonomic cleaning and seal-bar maintenance; • Easy and tool-free seal-bar height adjustments through the IPC touchscreen; • Incorporation of innovative valves for enabling improved operational performance, faster ventilation and reduced energy consumption; • Patented vacuum porting on the deck of the machine to provide for faster cycle-times, while keeping moisture out of the vacuum pumps; • Automatic control of lid movement and belt speed via the IPC touchscreen panel; • Powerful servo motors to drive the movement of the lid and belt—resulting in reduced utility consumption by allowing for their simultaneous motion, thereby using less compressed air. Multivac Canada Inc. For more information, circle


PEELING AWAY The new interactive IntegraPeel peel-off technology from the Curwood division of Bemis Company was developed to enable packagers to integrate various peel-off promotions—coupons, recipes, inserts, etc.—directly into f lexible packaging without using any adhesive labels, according to the company, while leaving the brand messaging and the packaging barrier fully intact. Constructed to ensure a smooth, effortless peel, the IntegraPeel offers brand marketers a consumerfriendly alternative to adhesive-based labeling while allowing the pouch to retain its full barrier properties and keep the package’s contents fresh, and also significantly reducing the cost-perpackage by eliminating the associated expenses of adhesive labels, added logistics and extra labor. Unlike with labels, the IntegraPeel system is able to guarantee consistent placement of the promotion on every package—solving the nuisance and hassle of misaligned labels or cover-ups of critical package text and/or graphics, according to Curwood. Curwood (Div. of Bemis Company) For more information, circle



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FIRST GLANCE METAL METTLE Designed for use with both pneumatic and vacuum conveyor systems, the new GF-4000 metal separation system from S+S Inspection Inc. is a high-performance machine for detecting and removing metallic, ferrous and nonferrous contamination in bulk materials carried by conveyors in both goods-in and in process applications. Mountable in any orientation from vertical to horizontal, the system offers a choice of two remotely-mounted control units—SENSITY and GENIUS+—using digital signal processing with quartz-stable search frequency to allow the performance of the system to be matched to any application. Boasting two-channel technology to ensure the highest sensitivity to all metals, coupled with microprocessor control to ensure reliable selfmonitoring, auto-balancing and temperature compensation, the GF-4000 facilitates fast and efficient product changeover via its operator-friendly ‘autolearn’ function, combined with nonvolatile memory for the storage of product characteristics that can be quickly recalled from the control unit keypad. Upon detection, all the metallic contaminants are rejected by the fast-acting Quick Flap system with the minimal material loss and no interruption to the process flow—even at very high throughput rates. S+S Inspection Inc. For more information, circle


HONORABLE DISCHARGE The new model T11 Bulk Bag Super Discharger (BBD) from Spirof low Systems, Inc. is designed for critical and demanding applications in the pharmaceutical, dairy and food industries where rapid dismantling of components without tools are essential to avoid microbiological growth and/or cross-

contamination between batches. Manufactured entirely of stainless steel for a bead blast or mirror polish finish, the Discharger is designed so it can be completely stripped down within minutes by two plant employees. Without any dead pockets in its design, the T11 unit is easy to pressurewash, steam-clean, sterilize or clean manually, with all the electrical and pneumatic connections interlocked to IP 67 or better dust/ingress protection, depending on the application and cleaning regime. Outfitted with a safety-tested bag-lifting frame to holds the bag securely in place during discharge, the Discharger boasts spring-loaded support arms to stretch the bag as it empties of the material to ensure total discharge of contents, with a high-performance dust cabinet ensuring total containment during discharge. Spiroflow Systems, Inc. For more information, circle


BUILT FOR SPEED The new H-Series printers from Tharo Systems, Inc.—designed to ensure high-speed data transfer— feature multiple interfaces for every application. Boasting ultra-fast USB 2.0 for realtime high-speed data transfer from a Windows PC, Mac, Linux or Unix system, the H-Series printer is especially well-suited for label-generating applications utilizing graphics or TrueType fonts, as well as applications requiring for each and every label to be different from others. Tharo Systems, Inc. For more information, circle


STRICTLY NEUTRAL Schreiner MediPharm L.P. has just introduced a new, highly innovative, self-adhesive film formulated specifically to neutralize color differences between placebo and drug solutions used in clinical trials—helping maintain trial integrity by ensuring that neither the test subject or the investigators will know whether a real drug or placebo is being administered, while still allowing the per-



son dispensing the substance to know exactly how much liquid is contained in the vial or syringe by preserving full view of the fill level. Easily adapted to suit many different colors of various types of liquids, the film can also be printed with graduation lines and product information, according to the company, as well being outfitted with a unique “proof-of-first-opening” feature. Schreiner MediPharm L.P. For more information, circle


GRIPPING NEWS Jointly developed by Plastic Technologies, Inc. (PTI), Sidel and Procter & Gamble, the new DeepGrip packaging technology is an outcome of a breakthrough process which uses injection stretch blowmolding (ISBM) to create a new type of container handle with superior grip depth— more than 25-mm on either side—with an extremely thin grip “web” thickness of less than 0.3-mm to ensure a grip deep enough for the average hand to completely close around without having fingers touching the container wall, with the comfort and handling ability similar to that of a traditional handle. Available in a broad range of container sizes up to six-liter capacity and beyond with maximum bottle diameter of up to 220-mm, the DeepGrip containers’ unique grip geometry provides many structural benefits to enable a reduction in bottle gram weight of between 20 and 25 per cent, without compromising any mechanical benefits of top/side loading and superior drop and creep resistance, or the functionality of higher output per cavity and smaller equipment footprint. Plastic Technologies, Inc. For more information, circle


Great Products Deserve the Best Labels. See us at Pack Expo in Chicago, October 31–November 3, in Booth N3963. LX400 Color Label Printer

New! LX900 Color Label Printer Ideal for short runs of 1 to 1000 labels.

Label Applicators

LX400 is Primera’s most affordable desktop label printer. It has a convenient single-cartridge ink system and up to 4.25" maximum print width. With LX400 you’ll be able to print highly professional full-color labels for all of your short-run products, helping you to sell more! Call Primera at 1-800-797-2772

The LX900 Color Label Printer is Primera’s newest, fastest and most economical to operate color inkjet label printer. Features include print speeds of up to 4.5" per second, individual ink cartridges and up to 8.5" media width. You’ll save time and money on every label you print! Call Primera at 1-800-797-2772

Primera’s AP-Series Label Applicators are the perfect semi-automatic labeling solution for cylindrical containers as well as many tapered containers, including bottles, cans, jars and tubes. See how fast and easy it is at Call Primera at 1-800-797-2772







New! Digital Label Press and Finishing System

Label Supplies

Ideal for 10 to 10,000 labels at a time.

Primera offers ink cartridges and a large selection of stock label sizes in various shapes. Need a quote on a custom label size? Just complete our custom label form on Call Primera at 1-800-797-2772 FOR MORE INFORMATION CIRCLE


New Product Videos

Want to see any of our digital color label printers, digital presses or label applicators in action? Just go to Call Primera at 1-800-797-2772 FOR MORE INFORMATION CIRCLE


Custom Label Design Service

Primera’s Custom Label Design Service can help with all of your label and logo designs. Call us at 1-800-797-2772 or go to Call Primera at 1-800-797-2772 FOR MORE INFORMATION CIRCLE


The CX1200 Color Label Press delivers short- to medium-run, full-color digital label printing at a breakthrough price. Utilizing one of the fastest and highest-resolution color laser engines available, CX1200 delivers the quality, speed and flexibility of digital presses costing many times more. Add Primera’s new FX1200 Digital Finishing System to laminate, die-cut, slit and rewind. CX1200 and FX1200 provide a complete digital label printing and finishing solution for less than US$50,000.* FOR MORE INFORMATION CIRCLE

See a demo at Pack Expo


Call us today at 1-800-797-2772 (USA and Canada) or +1-763-475-6676 for more information. Ask about our special limited-time bundle pricing when you purchase both machines together.

Ph: 1-800-797-2772 Ph: 763-475-6676 Fx: 763-475-6677

Ph: +49 (0)611 - 92777-0

Ph: +61 3 8586 3030

*Price is MSRP in USA and Canada. CX1200 is US$18,995, as shown with options, US$19,990. Computer and monitor not included. FX1200 is US$29,995. ©2010 Primera Technology, Inc. Primera is a registered trademark of Primera Technology, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies.



Packaging milk in plastic bags is something that Canadian consumers have taken for granted for decades, but it is causing quite a sensation in the United Kingdom, with the country’s leading grocery chain Sainsbury’s becoming the first British-based retailer to relaunch its full range of milk in low-density polyethylene bags. Launched a few months ago as part of its drive to reduce the packaging handled at its stores by a third by 2015, bagged semi-skimmed milk has become a runaway bestseller for Sainsbury’s— now selling an estimated 120,000 bags of semiskimmed milk bags per week—prompting it to start selling bagged whole milk at about 100 stores this past summer. “We’ve been blown away by the positive response,” says Sainsbury’s senior dairy buyer Emma Metcalf King. “Sales are so good we are now investing in new processing plant to keep up with demand.” By offering milk bags for its skimmed and one-percent-fat milk starting next

June, Sainsbury’s expects to save up 1,400,000 kilograms of packaging per year, according to Metcalf King, who notes that more than 60 per cent of consumers in Canada, China, South Africa and Poland purchase their milk in plastic bags. The retailer and its milk supplier Dairy Crest are investing about $5 million in a new processing plant in Gloucestershire —creating 20 new jobs—to extend the use of these bags, containing 75 per cent less packaging than plastic bottles. “Rather than being wary of new packaging, customers have lapped up the bags, so we are expanding the milk bag range to all varieties,” says Metcalf King. Since April, Sainsbury’s has given away an estimated half-million reusable JUGIT plastic jugs for holding the milk bags upright to promote the packaging switch, according to Metcalf King, and is now selling an estimated 4,000 jugs—outfitted with a built-in bagpiercing spike that forms a leakproof seal—per week.


Computer giant Dell Inc. says it has eliminated the use of more than 18.2 million pounds of packaging material since 2008—an equivalent weight of 226 fully-loaded 18-wheelers or almost 4,184 small pick-up trucks—while increasing the amount of recycled content in its packaging to 32 per cent. According to the company’s recently-released FY Corporate Responsibility report, Dell is now within touching distance of its self-imposed goal of boosting recycled content in its packaging to 40 per cent by the end of this year—compared to 2008 levels—while making big strides in making 75 per cent of its packaging recyclable through local curbside pick-up programs by 2012, having reached 57 per cent recently. The Round Rock, Tex.-headquartered computer hardware manufacturer says these gains underline its commitment to the so-called “Three Cs” packaging strategy it unveiled in December of 2008 to “revolutionize” computer packaging, focusing on the cube (packaging volume); content (what it’s made of ); and curbside recyclability of its packaging materials. “Establishing these packaging goals has transformed my team from great packaging engineers to inspired environmental champions,” says Oliver Campbell, Dell’s senior manager of global packaging. “The progress we’ve made has kept a lot of materials out of landfills, made responsible packaging disposal easier for customers, and is making Dell a more environmentally-responsible company.” Some of the more notable examples of Dell’s efforts in improving its packaging sustainability performance include: • Being able to fit 63 model Inspiron 15 lap-


top computers on a single shipping pallet—compared to 54 before— by putting fewer accessory items like disks, catalogs, etc. into the box, enabling it to use smallersized boxes. “More laptops on each pallet means more laptops fit into each vehicle, which can result in fewer shipping vehicles and less shipping-related environmental impact,” the Dell report states. • Increasing the use of recycled foam for shipping heavier products requiring sturdy support, as well as increasing the use of post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastics from items such as milk jugs and detergent bottles. The company claims to have integrated the equivalent of more than 9.5 million half-gallon milk jugs into its packaging, which it says is enough to stretch from Florida to Maine—more than 1,500 miles. • Last November, Dell became the first technology company to integrate bamboo into its packaging portfolio, hailing it as a strong, renewable and compostable alternative to the molded paper pulp, foams and corrugated cardboard often used in packaging. First used to package the company’s Inspiron Mini 10 and 10v netbooks (see picture), the use of bamboo packaging has since been extended to its new five-inch hybrid device called Streak, as well as several Inspiron laptop models. While bamboo packaging is yet accepted by most existing municipal curbside recycling programs in North America, Dell says it has teamed up with Georgia Pacific, Unisource Global Services and Environmental Packaging International to spearhead a concerted effort to certify its bamboo packaging for recycling.


Although packaging accounts for the biggest share of the overall environmental footprint of cosmetic products, it generally gets overlooked in the global beauty industry’s sustainability efforts, according to research conducted by the U.K.-based consultancy Organic Monitor. Instead of reducing their packaging or utilizing more sustainable packaging alternatives, most beauty companies are instead focusing on the so-called ‘green formulations,’ resource efficiency and life-cycle assessment (LCA) studies of their products when developing sustainability plans, Organic Monitor reports. Moreover, even organic cosmetic companies marketing themselves as champions of Fair Trade and ethical sourcing practices appear to be reluctant to engage in meaningful reduction of their packaging footprints. Overall, the beauty industry lags significantly behind the food industry, according to Organic Monitor, in adopting and implementing meaningful packaging sustainability initiatives. While many supermarkets now offer at least some types of bioplastic packaging, and also reducing the use of plastic carrier bags, there has been very little use of biopolymers in cosmetics packaging to date—due to the high heat sensitivity and water permeability preventing their use for products such as creams, lotions and shampoos. However, it’s not entirely a lost cause, Organic Monitor relates, citing ongoing efforts by biopolymers producer Telles to improve the performance of its Mirel brand of biopolymers to become a viable replacement option for petroleum-based polymers such as polypropylene (PP), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polycarbonate (PC). There are also some cosmetic companies taking steps to increase the use of recycled packaging materials, says Organic Monitor, citing the use of post-consumer regrind (PCR) polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles by Neal’s Yard Remedies; the introduction of paperbased Terra Skin Wraps packaging for bar soaps by Burt’s Bees; and the extensive use of PCR plastics by the U.S.-based Aveda, which claims to have recycled over 37 polypropylene caps through its ‘Recycle Caps with Aveda’ marketing campaign, in addition to commencing the use of wind power to supply electricity to its Minnesota production facility.






Fast Tracking Sustainable Packaging Innovation Open, innovative approach connects innovators and buyers Show attendees


This is a must-attend event at PACK EXPO 2010

Apply now for an exceptional opportunity to pitch your sustainable process, product or service. Only the “best in class” will be selected.

• Innovators present the ten best in class sustainable innovations of 2010 to the audience & a panel of sustainability experts • Learn from expert panelist feedback • Vote for your favorite sustainable process, product or service innovation

Select the PAC Green Den option when registering for the show at

Brand owners

• Private meetings with some of North America’s most influential brand owners • Present to industry expert panelists for constructive feedback • Present in a public forum of up to 350 packaging community leaders

Register now at

Keynote speaker

PMS 485 100Y/100M

PMS 286 100C/50M/10K

PMS 110 12M/100Y/7K

Tom Szaky Founder & CEO TerraCycle

Hear one of the greatest innovators of UPCYCLING packaging of our time tell his TerraCycle story.

Deadline for PAC Green Den innovator applications is October 1, 2010

Contact Lindsey Ogle for info at: 416-490-7860 x222 -OR-

2010 Packaging Certificate Program - Calendar Module 1

Module 2

Module 3

Module 4

September 21, 22 & 23

October 19, 20 & 21

November 9, 10 & 11

November 30, Dec. 1 & 2

Graphic design, printing, digital printing, printing prepress, bar codes, food safety, food preservation, HACCP, labels and perspectives on packaging. Plant tour at Southern Graphics/ Evolution Designworks.

Packaging polymers, sheet & film extrusion, flexible packaging, injection molding, blow molding, bottle design and bio plastics. Plant tour TBC.

Paperboard & folding cartons, specialty packaging, closures, adhesive and introduction to sustainable packaging. Plant tour at Peel Recycling Facility and Cascades Folding Carton Plant

Corrugate, distribution, and machinery, packaging law, quality management systems and planning a production line. Plant tour at Atlantic Packaging Brampton Plant

All certificate program modules held at Toronto Congress Centre, 650 Dixon Road, Toronto, Ontario M9W 1J1. Contact Lindsey Ogle at, (416) 490-7860 or visit for more information.

Join PAC today - Access the global packaging network. 14 • WWW.CANADIANPACKAGING.COM






Parallel Helical Gearmotors SEW-Eurodrive’s F-Series parallel helical gearmotor lives up to its name as the ideal drive for tight space conditions. This compact drive, with its multiple mounting configurations, is a rugged alternative to right angled gearmotors.

SEW-Eurodrive has introduced a new line of aseptic gearmotors to meet the high levels of hygiene crucial to the production of food and beverages, as well as the stringent demands of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. SEW has solved this challenge with the aseptic design of helical, parallel shaft helical, helical-bevel and helical-worm gearmotors made entirely of smooth stainless steel, cooled by pure convection cooling — eliminating conventional fan and cooling ribs, which prevents the build-up of germs and bacteria on the surface and allows for easy regular cleaning.

CORROSION PROTECTION PRODUCT RANGE Power ratings from 0.34 to 2.0 HP Can be mounted directly onto R, F, K, S-Series gear units in all standard positions FOR MORE INFORMATION CIRCLE


F-SERIES PRODUCT RANGE Power ratings from 0.05 to 336 HP Output speeds from 0.06 to 464 rpm (based on 4 pole motor) Output torques to 159,300 lb-in. FOR MORE INFORMATION CIRCLE


Energy Savings. Cost Savings. Together at Last.

K-SERIES Helical-Bevel Gearmotors SEW-Eurodrive’s K-Series right angle helicalbevel gearmotors deliver maximum performance and reliability with 95%+ efficiency and high torque density. Durable gearing designed for long service life makes this drive an ideal choice for demanding around-the-clock applications.

K-SERIES PRODUCT RANGE Power ratings from 0.05 to 615 HP Output speeds from 0.05 to 326 rpm (based on 4 pole motor) Output torques to 442,500 lb-in. FOR MORE INFORMATION CIRCLE


S-SERIES Helical-Worm Gearmotors SEW-Eurodrive’s S-Series right angle gearmotors offer helical-before-worm gearing combining durability with power-packed performance in a compact design that requires no motor belts or couplings.

S-SERIES PRODUCT RANGE Power ratings from 0.05 to 46 HP Output speeds from 0.05 to 257 rpm Output torques to 35,400 lb-in. FOR MORE INFORMATION CIRCLE


Introducing DR Series

AC MOTORS and Brakemotors SEW-Eurodrive’s squirrel-cage motors and brakemotors deliver exceptional performance and reliability combined with low maintenance. Designed for continuous duty under tough service conditions, these low-noise brakemotors are used wherever fast, safe braking is a major application requirement.

The built-in encoder is fully integrated into the motor, reducing the cost and complexity of encoder engineering as well as its footprint.

SEW-Eurodrives’s new DR Series of AC motors have been engineered from the ground up to meet motor demands of the 21st century: like high efficiency performance that complies with international standards; a compact footprint that saves space; a modular design that allows for three different brake sizes to be used with a single motor size; and a simple, integrated encoder that can be easily retrofitted. What’s more, these new motors can be integrated into SEW gearmotors, used as stand-alone motors or in decentralized control architectures. The DR Series also comes in two energy efficient options: DRE (energy-efficiency) and DRP (premium efficiency). FOR MORE INFORMATION CIRCLE


Driving the world AC MOTORS PRODUCT RANGE Power ratings from 0.25 to 100 HP 2-, 4-, 6-, 8-, 4/8-, 2/6-, 2/8-pole plus others Integral brakes to fit all frames FOR MORE INFORMATION CIRCLE

Toronto (905) 791-1553


Montreal (514) 367-1124

Vancouver (604) 946-5535


• multiple 6 and 8 color central impression presses print up to 150 line screen • up to 10 color printing • laminate all types of opp, polyester, nylon, cello and foil for food packaging • environmentally-friendly solventless laminator • latest pouch-making equipment with “Ziplock”, stand-up and slider zipper capabilities. • all rollstocks for VFFS and HFFS machines • new fully operational laboratory FOR MORE INFORMATION CIRCLE

Improve your flexible packaging! Improve your product’s shelf life! Improve your sales!



Michael Orsini, president of the Montreal-based Bercy Foods, shows off some of his company’s Bio Buenisima organic fruits that are shipped in Norampac’s waxless NorShield boxes.

ORGANIC GROWTH A healthy mix of organic products and sutainable packaging keeps Montreal produce company in the green



diet rich in fruits and veggies has long been touted as a key prerequisite for sound nutritional health and lifestyle, and it has done absolute wonders in the last three years for the financial well-being of Montreal-based Les Aliments Bercy (Bercy Foods)—a familyowned processor and packager of fresh produce that is quickly emerging as one of the Canadian industry’s more progressive and environmentallyconscientious players. Operating as an offshoot of Courchesne Larose Ltd.—one of Canada’s oldest and largest fruit and vegetable importers and distributors—Bercy may not yet be quite the household word its owners want it to become one day, but with revenues of over $20 million in 2009, there appears to be plenty of growth upside and momentum for a business that has only opened up its doors in 2007. “Business has been great for us since we began operations,” says company president Michael Orsini, who is also a co-owner of the fast-growing enterprise named after a downtown Montreal street where Courchesne Larose, owned by the Routhier family, was founded more than 90 years ago. So great in fact, Orsini relates, that the upstart company has already had to move its operations twice to a bigger facility—having relocated to its current state-of-the-art, 40,000-square-foot premises in Montreal’s north end last year.


“It already feels as though we may need to move into an even larger facility yet again to keep up with our growth, so that we can add processing lines for both fruits and vegetables,” Orsini told Canadian Packaging in a recent interview. Serving high-profile foodservice operators and retailers across eastern Canada—including the likes of Metro (Metro Richelieu Inc.), Sobeys Inc. and Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd.—the company offers an extensive range of processed and packaged produce, with certified organic products now accounting for about half of Bercy’s 300 or so SKUs (stock-keeping units). According to Orsini, being able to offer clients an organic alternative to the conventionally-farmed fruits and veggies gives Bercy an important competitive advantage and point-of-differentiation in a fiercely competitive industry, despite the considerable extra effort required in sourcing the product from farmers in places like Mexico, Guatemala, Morocco and the U.S. state of Florida. “Dealing with organics can be quite difficult,” says Orsini, citing the company’s extensive product portfolio comprising products such as grape and cherry tomatoes, snow peas and sugar snap peas, avocados, all types of citrus, and stone fruits such as peaches, plums, cherries, etc. “While the growing consumer demand for the organics is a good thing, the sourcing of a full line of organically-grown produce is a considerable challenge—especially now that we are promoting more and more Fair Trade-sourced prod-

ucts, utilizing a market-based approach to help producers in developing countries obtain better trading conditions and to promote more sustainable farming practices. “Organic, pesticide-free and chemical-free products are what we insist on,” says Orsini. “Also, because we know that taste plays a huge role at the end of the day, we have purposely opted to source only the closer-to-maturity harvests—thus ensuring that our organic fruits and veggies get a chance to gain more body and taste.” The current Bercy Foods facility already houses a total of 12 packaging lines—comprising equipment supplied by PFM Packaging Machinery Corp., SACMI USA Ltd. and some custommade machinery—to turn out the company’s own Buenisima and Bio Buenisima produce brands, as well as private-label offerings such as Delicioso and Bio Delicioso for the Metro stores and Think Bio for Sobeys. “We also package veggie snack trays with health-conscious dips on a side, as well as many consumer-ready packages of all types of fruits and vegetables,” Orsini points out, adding that Bercy guarantees its customers delivery of all its packaged and unpackaged products within 12 hours of order placement. While Orsini says the company is currently looking to add another dedicated packaging line for fruit processing applications, he stresses that Bercy Continues on page 18


COVER STORY ORGANIC GROWTH Continued from page 17

has made a concerted effort to ensure that all of its existing lines keep their environmental footprint as low as possible by using as many sustainable packaging products and systems as they can from start to finish. For example, Bercy uses only vegetable-based inks for its produce labels; 100-percent recyclable and/or compostable corrugated trays; and the fully-recyclable RD45g Anti Fog f lexible film from the Sealed Air Corporation, which is processed into plastic packaging on Shanklin Corporation’s model Omni S form/fill/seal and shrinkwrapping system. “Our goal is to go ‘100-percent green’ by using a lot of creativity,” Orsini states, “while still keeping our value-added benefits as simple, safe and costefficient as possible for our retail customers. “We have determined that nowadays the consumer has a greater awareness of packaging and its disposal ... that not everything is actually recyclable and that there are issues with cross-contamination, but for all that the consumers are still demanding to have more convenient, pre-packaged products that are ready-to-serve.” Maintaining this careful balancing act between environmental concerns and demands of its customers and consumers has gotten a little easier, according to Orsini, since the company began using the recently-developed NorShield waxless boxes manufactured by Canada’s leading corrugated packaging producer Norampac, a division of the Kingsey Falls, Que.-headquartered forest products group Cascades Canada Inc. Containing no wax, nylon or plastic, the highly waterproof and humidity-resistant NorShield box made a big splash in the Canadian packaging industry circles last year for providing produce growers and shippers with a completely recyclable and 100-percent recycled fiber alternative for shipping and distributing their products—picking up the Green Innovation prize from the Quebec Association of Industrial Research and the Gold Award in the 2009 Sustainable Packaging Leadership Awards

PET clamshell packages containing cherry tomatoes pass by the Linx model 7300FG continuous inkjet coder.

Part of the Vassoyo trayformer, a Nordson ProBlue 7 adhesive melter seals the corner flaps of the trays.

The brown-colored Norampac NorShield boxes used by Bercy for shipping its Buenisima brand of produce.

competition of the Toronto-headquartered PAC The Packaging Association. “It’s a perfect sustainable packaging solution for us,” explains Orsini. “Norampac has long been known a green company with deep commitment to sustainability, so it didn’t really surprise me when they came out with this wonderful new product. “After plastics, corrugated waxed cartons are the second-largest component in landfills,” he expands, “so using the NorShield box enabled us to act in a more environmentally responsible way by not contributing to the landfill problem further.” Unlike the traditional shipping carriers that were coated with wax to achieve the required water resistance, the NorShield box incorporates a waterbased acrylic that is size-pressed into both sides of NorShield paper at Norampac’s linerboard mil in Mississauga, Ont., to penetrate the paperboard fibers by 50 to 70 microns to achieve the adequate level of water protection.

Orsini says Bercy uses the plain NorShield boxes for shipping its conventionally-farmed produce, while utilizing the green-colored versions for all its organic products packaged in the clear, food-grade PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic clamshells, supplied by Reynolds Food Packaging LLC and other packaging producers. With packaging being such an integral part of Bercy’s operations, the company naturally makes a constant effort to keep its extensive arsenal of packaging machinery on the leading edge of technology, according to Orsini. “We have a vast array of packaging line equipment that we utilize in our day-to-day operations,” reveals Orsini. “We have everything from weighers, shrinktunnels and cutters to overwrappers, fillers, netting and punnet equipment.” Orsini says the company is always on the lookout for new high-performance packaging machinery that can improve its operations, citing

A worker places clear PET plastic clamshell containers manufactured by Reynolds Foods Packaging onto an inserter line as tomatoes move up the food-grade conveyor for packing.


A close-up view of the Vassoyo trayformer used to erect NorShield boxes at robust throughput speeds of up to 45 trays per minute.


COVER STORY recent purchase of the Vassoyo model trayformer key product information onto packaging using manufactured by Eagle Packaging LLC, a food-grade inks; Miami, Fla.-based subsidiary of the Montreal• Several custom-manufactured brush- and tsuheadquartered machine-builder WeighPack nami-style produce washers; Systems Inc. specializing in end-of-line pack• High-end X-ray inspection and metal detection aging systems and equipment. equipment, purchased in 2008 from the Toronto“Because of our company’s quick growth, we disbased Smiths Detection Canada Ltd. covered that in order to keep up with the soaring “Food safety is naturally a huge priority for us— demand, we urgently needed a trayformer,” recalls not only in respect to our customers’ safety but also Orsini. “After seeing what Eagle had to offer, for the safety of the end-user, the consumer,” says and establishing that they were able to meet our Orsini, pointing out that the plant’s staff is fullyspecific application demands, we had it installed in trained in all aspects of rigorous product traceabilno time at all.” ity compliance and quality assurance. Designed and engineered for optimal reliabil“We go through great lengths to ensure that ity and low maintenance requirements, the highevery single item that leaves our door is pre-washed Canadian Packaging, x ��� mm,all CC-en��-AZ0��_0�/10 wide efficiency Vassoyo trayformer can run a Contiform, before packing,” he�00 adds, “and of the disinfectassortment of tray sizes and styles—including ants we use in our facility are fully-biodegradable standard end slot, side slot and clamshell, with or and organic-certified, without exception. without a lid—at throughput speeds of up to 45 “It is a natural extension of our commitment to trays per minute. “I can truly state that in the seven months we’ve had the machine, it has run smoothly for us since Day One,” relates Orsini, while complimenting the attached model ProBlue 7 adhesive melter—manufactured by Nordson Corporation—used to seal shut the corner f laps of the trays. Boasting a Teflon-coated tank with seven-liter capacity, the ProBlue 7 features reliable piston-pump technology and three-sided access for quick cleaning and filling, notes Orsini, ensuring optimal machine uptime and easy upkeep. “We are very happy with our Vassoyo trayformer and the ProBlue adhesive melter—both have been working great for us,” Orsini extols. Other equipment utilized in Bercy plant’s day-to-day operations includes: • Four model Linx 7300FG continuous inkjet coding machines—manufactured by Linx Printing Technologies Ltd. and supplied by the Saint-Léonard, Que.-based Visuascan Inc.—to apply all the relevant time, date and other

using eco-friendly packaging,” Orsini concludes. “It has always been my opinion that if you are going to purchase fruits and veggies for public consumption, they should always come from the greenest and cleanest sources possible.”

For More Information On: PFM Packaging Machinery Corp. SACMI USA Ltd. Sealed Air Corporation Norampac Reynolds Food Packaging LLC Eagle Packaging LLC WeighPack Systems Inc. Nordson Canada, Limited Linx Printing Technologies Ltd. Visuascan Inc. Smiths Detection Canada Ltd.

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Some of Bercy’s organic products packaged in RD 45g Anti Fog recyclable film.

This amazes even the professionals: oval shapes can also be blow-moulded. Using ProShape – the latest module for the krones Contiform. FOR MORE INFORMATION CIRCLE

A fully-packed tray of cherry tomatoes sorted, washed and packaged into food-grade PET clamshells.



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POURING IT ON! New filling line puts Ontario craft brewer on solid footing for future market growth



ize and craftsmanship are fairly contradictory concepts when it comes to quality beermaking, but for folks at Creemore Springs Brewery Limited—part of the multinational brewing giant Molson Coors Brewing Company—there is nothing wrong with enjoying the best of both worlds, especially when doing so within the confines of a quaint and picturesque village of Creemore, Ont., located about a 90-minute drive northwest of Toronto. Founded by a trio of local entrepreneurs back in 1987, Creemore Springs quickly made a name for itself in local beer markets with its highly successful f lagship Creemore Springs Premium Lager brand, which in fact remained the company’s only product until the launch of the urBock brand to mark the brewer’s 10-year anniversary. And while the company has since gone on to introduce a number of new beers into selected Canadian markets, the sheer success of Creemore Springs Premium Lager—accompanied by remarkable brand loyalty among the beer’s many fans—has remained the brewer’s core prized asset, according to the Creemore Springs executive vice-president and general manager Gordon Fuller. “We’ve had great success with all of the beers we’ve introduced, but our Creemore Springs Premium Lager remains our bread-and-butter—a fact backed up by our constantly increasing sales,” Fuller told Canadian Packaging during a recent visit to the 28,000-square-foot, 75-employe operation that was purchased by Molson Coors in 2005 for about $50 million. “Some thought that would be the end of us as a craft brewery, but they [Molson Coors] have pretty much left us alone,” says Fuller. “In my opinion, Molson Coors did not feel there was a need to meddle with a good thing. “They saw that we knew what we were doing, and they made a conscious effort to minimize thir


inf luence on our operations.” In fact, having the financial muscle and marketing clout of one of the world’s leading brewers behind it has allowed Creemore to diversify its product portfolio quicker and more effectively than it would have been able to in the past, explains Fuller, citing the 2007 launch of the Traditional Pilsner brand and last year’s launch of the unfiltered, limited-release Kellerbier brand—with each new product quickly finding and establishing their niche markets with enough aplomb to ensure their ongoing production at the Creemore plant. “We brew good-tasting beer that we know will find an audience,” says Fuller, noting that it is critically important for any aspiring beermaker not to take its audience for granted by tinkering too much with the original recipes—especially for a well-respected brand like the Creemore Springs Premium Lager. “We only use four ingredients to make it,” proclaims Fuller. “Malted barley, hops, yeast and clean, fresh spring water—and it helps that we have our own local source of spring water,” says Fuller, adding that the f lagship beer brand—direct fire-brewed in small batches—is today distributd through The Beer Store and LCBO outlets across Ontario, as well as to countless pubs, bars and restaurants throughout Ontario, Quebec and Alberta. While the Creemore brewery has annual capacity to produce about 75,000 hectoliters of beer— a hectoliter being an equivalent of just over a dozen 24-bottle cases—it currently sells about 55,000 to 57,000 hectoliters a year, says Fuller. “We’ve got some latitude to grow our volumes,” Fuller remarks, “but we know that we need to have all the right equipment in place to make it all come together.”

Stretchwrapped by Fox Packaging machinery, cases of Creemore Springs Premium Lager await delivery to customers.

Gordon Fuller, Executive Vice-president and General Manager, Creemore Springs Brewery Limited.

According to Fuller, the brewer began focusing on this spare capacity in earnest in 2006 by starting to package some of its Creemore Springs Premium Lager output in 473-ml aluminum cans supplied by Vaughan, Ont.-based Crown Metal Packaging. Retailing the canned product in eight-packs proved to be a successful marketing move for Creemore, which until then only sold the brand in six- and 12-bottle packs, but it soon became apparent that the company’s existing canning capabilities would not be able to keep pace with market demand, Fuller recalls. “When we first began producing our beer in cans, we used an old inline canning line capable of only 25 cans per minute,” relates Fuller. “By 2008, it became very apparent that it was not going to be able to keep up with our rising production

A Krones Volumetic VOC-C 30030 fills cans at a rate of 200 per minute at the Creemore Springs brewery.


FILLING & CAPPING demands, so we began looking for something bigger and faster—something that could handle our anticipated growth.” After evaluating several filling machines and technologies out in the marketplace, Creemore ultimately selected the model Volumetic VOC-C 30030 can filler manufactured by the German beverage processing and packaging machinery group Krones AG, which serves the Canadian market out of its Krones Machinery Co. Ltd. subsidiary in Brampton, Ont. Capable of reaching throughput speeds of 200 cans per minute, the Volumetic VOC-C 30030 filler quickly became an indispensable piece of production machinery at the Creemore plant, according to maintenance manager Gary Melenhorst, who personally oversaw the filler’s delivery, installation and startup. “It took us about three weeks to set up the canning line,” recalls Melenhorst, “but what really impressed me was that it took us only half a shift to get the all the bugs out of the system and get it running up to full speed. “The day we actually turned on the canning line, and saw it work as quickly as it did, was one of the most amazing days of my life!” In operation, the Volumetic VOC takes the beer from a product feed pipe and moves it into a metering chamber, using an inlet valve to halt intake whenever the pre-programmed amount of liquid reaches the measuring chamber. This process is constantly regulated by a magnetic f loat and monitored by a trans-sonar probe, with the probe’s switching points set so that the volume of removed liquid will only empty the metering chamber down to the pre-set level. This ensures that the filling valve is continually f lushed with the product to ensure a gentle bottom filling, explains Melenhorst, meaning that there is very little frothing of the beer taking place throughout the filling process. “As each can enters the filler, it’s placed underneath the electro-pneumatic filling valve, which opens when the centering element is lowered by a controlling cam-roller, allowing the beer to f low into the can in a smooth and controlled way,” explains Melenhorst.

The Krones iPanel Cd monitor makes the Krones Volumetic VOC-C 30030 can filler easy to use for operators.

Once the magnetic f loat in the metering chamber has fallen past the desired fill level, the filling valve is automatically closed and the filled cans make their way along a discharge transfer chain and towards a Swiss-made Ferrum F505 model mid-range seamer—distributed in North America by ShoreLine PPM LLC—which quickly crimps aluminum lids onto the freshly-filled cans. The canned beers are then whisked through further packaging stages along a network of Gebo conveyors—supplied by the Laval, Que.-based Sidel Canada—which are powered by a series of strategically-placed SEW-Eurodrive gearbox motors. After being inspected for proper fill height and seam integrity by an X-ray inspection system manufactured by the German-based Heuft Systemtechnik GmbH, the cans pass by the model 9040 small-character inkjet coder from Markem-Imaje, which quickly applies all the pertinent lot and filling date data onto each can. All the coded cans are then quickly loaded into cartons by a high-performance case-

packing machine from Graphics Packaging International, which Melenhorst calls “the best machine of its type on the market,” that uses a Melton adhesive applicator to glue the f laps of each case with food-grade packaging adhesive supplied by Henkel Canada Corporation. Each packed case of canned beer is then marked and coded with a second set of product data and brewing information by a model A100 inkjet printer from Domino Printing Solutions Inc. and transferred into the plant’s end-of-line packaging area. At this point, a Priority One robotic palletizing system—operated via an Allen-Bradley PanelView 550 control system from Rockwell Automation—stacks the cases into neat palletized loads that are hauled by forklift to a customized stretchwrapping system, supplied by Fox Packaging Services of Toronto, to be readied for delivery to customers. Continues on page 22

Powered by SEWEurodrive gearbox motors, a Gebo conveying system moves empty cans towards the Krones filler.

A birds-eye view of filled cans moving past a Markem-Imaje 9040 small-caharcter inkjet coder to apply lot code and fill date information.




SEW-Eurodrive motors help ensure smooth operation of the entire can filling process.

A Domino A100 series coder applies product information onto the passing eight-packs of Creemore Springs Premium Lager cans.

POURING IT ON! Continued from page 21

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Both Fuller and Melenhorst say they’ve been very impressed with how the brewery’s upgraded canning line has been performing so far, singling out the Krones filler for special praise. “While it is true that we did have some experience in filling cans with a low-tech system, we really needed something at the other end of the spectrum,” Fuller ref lects. “We seriously examined the equipment of several manufacturers, but what ultimately swayed us in our decision was the fact we always thought we had the highest level of customer and technical support offered to us by Krones. “Of course, it turns out the filler works so well that we haven’t actually had much need of their support so far,” Fuller points out. Adds Melenhorst: “Krones has a very active cadre of knowledgeable and talented service people who are always interested in looking after all our needs. “I think it was a pretty good decision for us to have purchased from Krones,” he sums up, “because it has helped take us into the future faster.”

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HEALTHY LIVING Canadian producer of soy beverages grows sales and market share with its sharp new aseptic packaging


ealthy new lifestyle habits seem to be much easier to swallow when there’s good company around. And with a company such as Nutrisoya Foods, switching from milk to non-dairy, soy-based alternatives has never been easier for Canadian consumers who, for one reason or another, are unable or reluctant to consume everyday milk products. Formed in 1992 in St-Hyacinthe, Que., Nutrisoya originally started out as a processor of pasteurized tofu, according to company president Nick Feldman, before becoming aware of the much more lucrative opportunities in the f ledgling hot new markets for non-dairy beverages at the turn of the century. “We sold our tofu division in 2002 to focus our attention on the growing soy beverage market,” Feldman told Canadian Packaging magazine in a recent interview. “We wanted to examine new ways to bring the healthy benefits of non-dairy beverages to the consumers, and it wasn’t too big of a step for us to move into the beverage industry.”

An assortment of Nutrisoya Foods’ soy-based products.

Since making a big marketplace splash with its 2001 launch of the natur-a brand of refrigerated soy beverages—now retailing in Canada at Sobeys, Loblaws, Metro and Costco outlets, along through countless independent grocers and healthfood stores—Nutrisoya has gone from strength to strength, relates Feldman, citing ongoing diversification of the company’s growing product portfolio that now also includes rice beverages and soy-based ‘ice-cream’ alternatives. “In 2001 Nutrisoya and our industry as a whole enjoyed a major victory when the Canadian government began promoting enriched soy beverages at the same level as milk,” explains Ignace Daher, Nutrisoya’s vice-president of sales and marketing. “Back then, we were the first company to create an unsweetened soy beverage for the market, and


maintained that position by having the bestselling unsweetened soy beverage. “When you have a line of products that are delicious as well as nutritious, it sells.” There is no doubt that Nutrisoya is still making the most of its opportunity. Today exporting to 15 countries worldwide and recently expanding its f lagship natur-a brand of beverages to seven f lavor varieties—comprising natur-a Soy Original, natur-a Soy Vanilla, natura Soy Strawberry, natur-a Soy Chocolate, natur-a Soy Unsweetened, natur-a Light Vanilla and natura Soy Original—Nutrisoya pulled in revenues of $30 million last year, according to Daher. “We’re more than pleased with our brands’ success,” Daher states. “Right through this recent recession, we were the only soy company in Canada whose business kept on growing.” According to Daher, part of the company’s strong growth record can be traced to its unwavering commitment to high product quality and process integrity.

Dual-sport Canadian Olympic medalist and Nutrisoya spokesperson Clara Hughes holds a Mini Prisma carton of the natur-a soy beverage.

actually found to have improved the nutritional content and the beverage’s overall flavor profile, while facilitating better digestion in the human body. “Our soy beverages are not made from concentrate—they are rich in protein, vitamin D and calcium, and contain 14 other essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients,” states Daher. Pulp Fiction “It is a very healthy beverage—free of lactose, “Back when we started, we would soak the whole gluten and cholesterol—that is also a good natural soy beans for eight hours prior to washing, cooksource of Omega 3 and folic acid,” says Daher, ing and separating the pulp,” recalls Daher, while explaining the company’s rise through industry few of its competitors wasted their time with the ranks to become the Number One supplier of soaking procedure. organic soy beverages in Canada. “We were considered ‘old school’ in our preparaFor all that, Daher readily acknowledges the tion methods, according to global standards, and important role that packaging has played in the we were somewhat embarrassed. company’s success—giving full credit to Nutrisoya’s “But then a funny thing happened—we discovexclusive co-packing partner Kerry Inc.C ered that the soaking aspect was Co-packing Nutrisoya’s products since actually good for the soy prod1996, Kerry specializes in the asepuct, as it naturtic filling and packaging ally boosted the process, machinery and nutritional value materials developed by the and f lavor of the leading globally-operatsoy bean.” ing aseptic technoloIt was a monugies group Tetra mental discovery, Pak, which serves according to Daher. For the Canadian marone thing, it meant ket out of its Tetra there was no need Pak Canada to add folic acid Inc. national to the beverage, as headquarters in Nutrisoya’s soy beverages are it was already there natRichmond Hill, filled via this Tetra Pak A-3 filler. urally. Moreover, the soaking process was Ont.


Photos courtesy of Nutrisoya Foods and Tetra Pak Canada


FILLING & CAPPING According to Tetra Pak Canada key accounts director Scott Thornton, Kerry has been Nutrasoya’s co-packer since Day One—utilizing its Tetra Pak TBA/21 filling machine to package the early versions of the natur-a brand beverages into one-liter Tetra Brik Aseptic Square paperboard cartons. While the model TBA/21 filler is these days still dedicated to packaging all seven of the natur-a stock-keeping units (SKUs) in the updated, 946ml Tetra Brik Aseptic Square cartons, the recent arrival of a new Tetra Pak A-3/Flex filler at the Kerry plant has enabled Nutrisoya to turn its focus on the promising single-serving segment of the beverage marketplace. “It was a timely opportunity for Nutrisoya to innovate,” Thornton remarks, saying the new filler, dubbed the Tetra Pak A-3/Flex iLine, was quickly put to work at the Kerry plant to package soy drinks into the smaller Tetra Prisma Aseptic 200-ml cartons. “The new Tetra Pak A-3/Flex purchased by Kerry came at the time—just when we were looking at ways to increase market share by creating a more convenient, on-thego, take-along package size for the consumers,” says Daher, adding that recruiting speedskating and cycling star Clara Hughes, Canada’s most decorated Olympic medalist, as the company’s celebrity spokesperson turned out to be a stroke of marketing genius that fueled rapid sales of the 200-ml cartons. “Of course, it also helps a great deal that we have a tasty and healthy product to sell,” Daher adds.

empty Tetra Pak cartons.” Outfitted with a Rockwell Automation platform and controls, the Tetra Pak A3/Flex filler— designed for use with various-sized Tetra Brik Aseptic, Tetra Gemina Aseptic and Tetra Prisma Aseptic packages—is designed for optimal operator-friendliness, according to Thornton. Its full integration of all line components, including line control, enables it to automatically adjust the line speed for a smoother f low, while ensuring optimal line management, supervision and performance. Requiring just one person to operate, the new Tetra Pak A-3/Flex iLine at the Kerry plant consists of five main machinery components: the A3/Flex filler, which fills and applies a pull-tab to the carton as it is formed; the Accumulator Helix 30; Line Controller 30; Cap30 Flex; and the Cardboard Packer 32. Continues on page 26

A close-up of a Tetra Pak carton on the A-3 filling line.

Long Life While Daher says he’s very fond of the good marketing possibilities offered by the new package’s attractive shape and a large display area, he is even more impressed with the shelf-life properties enabled by the Tetra Pak aseptic process and packaging. “After we fill and seal a soy beverage within a Tetra Brik Aseptic and Tetra Prisma Aseptic carton, we know that it will remain shelf stable for six months prior to opening—and that’s without refrigeration,” states Daher. “These octagonal-shaped cartons provide a much trendier-looking package for Nutrisoya,” notes Thornton, “while also offering excellent, consumer-friendly gripping properties.” Moreover, the Tetra Pak cartons— typically comprised of 75-per cent paper, 20-percent plastic and five-percent per cent foil—inherently provide vast distribution cost-savings for both processors and brand-owners, according to Thornton. “For example, the 250-ml cartons can sit about 12,000 packages per pallet—thereby saving a lot of warehouse space,” he states. “We call it a 10:1 ratio, whereby for every empty bottle or can shipped, you can alternatively ship 10

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Nutrisoya’s new 200-ml Tetra Prisma Aseptic single-serve packages have helped the soy beverage producer to grow its market share and reach.

HEALTHY LIVING Continued from page 25

After the cartons travel through the filler stations

at a speed of 116 packages per minute, they pass through a hydrogen peroxide shower that sterilizes the carton before it is formed into shape and filled with the soy beverage, just before being sealed shut.

After all the required lot and date information is added onto the packaging, the cartons are automatically placed into shipping boxes by the Cardboard Packer 32, and the boxes are sealed via a model ProBlue4 adhesive applicator supplied by Nordson Canada, Limited of Markham, Ont.

A reel of Tetra Pak paperboard awaiting its turn on the Tetra Pak A-3 Flex filler.

“It is a real nice machine that works very well to offer the speed and performance that it does,” states Daher. “Kerry has not had a problem with it, and therefore neither have we. Our products have always been produced for us on time. “We’ve been very happy with the look of our soy beverages obtained with the Tetra Pak Aseptic packaging,” Daher sums up. “I think it is safe to say, in fact, that our customers associate soy beverages with the aseptic cartons, and they have played a huge part in the development of our brand.”

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Keen business acumen and product quality commitment propel Montreal nut processor into the snack-food industry big leagues Fadi Bassé, President, Bassé Frères Alimentation Orientale Inc.



tarting a new business in a new country and in a fairly mature market can be a pretty tough nut to crack, but overcoming the odds seems to come quite naturally to folks at the Laval, Que.based Bassé Frères Alimentation Orientale Inc. (Bassé Nuts), a family-owned enterprise specializing in the roasting, blending and packaging of high-end nuts and dried fruits. “People know nuts, but if you asked them what nuts were, they might find themselves hard-pressed to answer,” notes Bassé Nuts president Fadi Bassé, who co-owns the 20-year-old company along with his brother and vice-president Aboud Bassé. “A nut is essentially a hard-shelled fruit of some plants having a non-opening seed.” Bassé insists that the nut packaging business is about much more than simply taking bulk nuts and placing them into a package for sale, pointing out that in-depth knowledge of the product and the industry is what ultimately enabled the f ledgling business to grow into one of Canada’s pre-eminent suppliers of packaged nuts and nut mixes. “To be successful in this industry, along with being armed with a knowledge of the product, Bassé Nuts always insists on procuring the best quality nuts, along with dried fruits, from all around the world,” Bassé told Canadian Packaging in a recent interview. “We also have a superb roasting process in place, and you must have the best packaging equipment you can find to really succeed,” states Bassé, noting that the company’s annual sales grew by 30 per cent last year, despite the recession, to between $10 million and $15 million. Operating out of a modern, 40,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, with 80 per cent of pro-


duction dedicated to nuts and the remainder to dried fruit, Bassé Nuts has the capacity to roast over two tons of nuts per hour and package over 100,000 units of product each day, according to Bassé, who also cites some 100 years of hands-on industry knowledge acquired by his family over several generations. “When my father, Farid, started the company 20 years ago, Bassé Nuts became the first company in Canada to utilize the traditional Mediterranean dry-roasting process, which allows the nut to retain its original taste and freshness,” explains Bassé. “Until that time, packaged nuts in Canada were all cooked in oil.” In the Mediterranean process, the nuts are placed in a large drum and f lavored with sea salt and the drum is heated to a specific temperature for roasting the nuts to produce a delicious f lavor, Bassé relates, while maintaining the nuts’ nutritional properties. Nowadays, Bassé’s Mediterranean roasting process is performed by the latest equipment on the market—an all-in-one machine from Heat and Control, Inc. that automatically roasts, dries, glazes and seasons the product. During its first six years of operation, Bassé recalls, the company acted mainly as a nuts and dried fruits wholesaler, and while the business was doing fairly well, Bassé says he saw a promising opportunity to expand market share by creating its own brand and moving into the retail market. “We first starting selling the Bassé line of nuts in 1996,” Bassé recalls, adding that quitting the wholesale business was always going to be risky. “But while any initial change in business plan can be somewhat contentious,” he ref lects, “we were very relieved early on when our high-quality brand started moving quite quickly off the shelves.” While the Bassé Nuts brand can today be found

A pair of Domino V300+ thermal-transfer coders positioned above a roll of flexible film on an Arty 80V vertical bag-forming machine at the Bassé Nuts facility.

An RP-8BT/Z-S horizontal pouchmaking machine from PSG Lee is used to manufacture flat-bottomed bags.

at leading Canadian retailers Walmart, Sobeys, Loblaws, Costco and other grocers throughout North America, the company also supplies many Canadian food distributors with private-label product offerings, which now account for about 40 per cent of its output. Now considered to be a leader in the privatelabel segment of the industry in Canada, Bassé first began offering co-packing services in 1997 for grocery retailers Provigo, Dollarama and Subway—according to the company, which today employs 45 people over a two-shift, six-days-aweek work schedule to keep up with the demand. When the company got out of the wholesale business to concentrate on retail markets, it quickly realized the need to invest in some efficient, high-quality production and packaging equipment and supplies, recalls Bassé, which laid foundation for a longterm relationship with the Montreal-based f lexible packaging products manufacturer Pentaf lex Packaging Ltd.



A Markem-Imaje 18i thermal-transfer coder is mounted on a PSG Lee bagger to apply lot and best-before data.

Festo pneumatics on a Speedway jar cap tightener.

Flexible pouches placed in retail-ready corrugated displays and cartons supplied by Emballages De La Beauce.

“To this day, Pentaflex remains our major packsupplied by the Oakville, Ont.-based Domino struct the new Laval facility, which has since been aging supplier,” explains Bassé. “They provide us Printing Solutions Inc. fully-certified under the strict HACCP (Hazard with all of our rollstock and clear stock film, printed As production volumes continued to rise, in 2006 Analysis Critical Control Point) protocol for food safety. pouches and clear pouches—all of them featuring Bassé realized that time had arrived to move into a “We are also BRC-approved,” states Bassé, citing the specified closure mechanisms. bigger facility—selecting current 7:05 LavalPM location. SupervacSeals_Small_CP_J:Layout 1 the 5/14/09 Page 1 Continues on page 30 “The quality of printing on the bags we get from Bassé says the company spent $3.5 million to conPentaflex is really unparalleled, and so is the performance of the bags themselves,” Bassé extols. “And to top it off, they are a local company that always offers great service at very competitive prices.” Another major packaging supplier Heat and to earn high praise from Bassé is the pressure IF YOUR FIRST SEAL Brampton, Ont.-based Peel Plastic from above and below Products Ltd., which manufactures DOESN’T DO THE JOB, create two a range of stylish f lat-bottomed plastic superior bags that Bassé Nuts launched to conseals. siderable acclaim at the SIAL Paris international food exposition in 2008. “We have over 16 SKUs (stock-keeping units) of these f lat-bottom bags,” What do bad seals really cost? Rework. Returns. Food Bassé notes. “We use them mostly for safety problems. Lost customers. Supervac automatic belt our export products, since we’ve found vacuum chamber packaging machines feature a Double them to be the best-performing bags in Biactive high-pressure sealing system that provides two terms of retaining freshness of the prodsuperior seals to every bag, virtually eliminating leakers uct over extended periods of time.” and the problems they cause. As for the production and packaging Superior seals are just the start. Supervac machines reduce labor costs while increasing productivity. Their equipment, Bassé started off in 1996 ergonomic design allows a single operator to load, style by acquiring an Arty 80V vertical bagand run the packages. Supervac’s exclusive Expansion forming machine from the nearby, Cushion reduces evacuation times by up to 30%, pushing the operator to keep up with the machine and resulting in more Laval-based equipment manufacturer packages at the end of the day. Their small footprint allows the Supervac to fit into tight areas where other machines cannot. Artypac Automation Inc. and, Its low cost of ownership and stainless steel construction make Supervac the smart choice. according to Bassé, actually became the first Canadian-based company to use a weighscale manufactured by the Yamato Corporation’s Dataweigh Division, which was installed directly above the Arty 80V bagger. These days, the Bassé Nuts plant employs three Yamato weighscales: a 10-head Sigma F1 Series for highspeed applications; and a pair of lowcost, high-performance 10-head and 14-head Alpha Series weighscales, with each of the three models boasting maximum capacity of a one-kilogram Supervac GK501B load per dump. To keep the weighscales supplied with product on just-in-time basis throughout production, the plant also installed three bucket elevators manufactured by the Port Hope, Ont.-based bulk packaging machinery specialists UniTrak Corporation Ltd. All of the pillow-bags packaged by the Arty 80V bagging system are clearly marked and coded with the required lot numbers, expiration dates and product code data by a pair of high-performSupervac GK169B ance V300+ thermal-transfer coders

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British Retail Consortium certification for meeting food safety requirements in the U.K. markets. Today, the new Bassé Nuts plant houses a total of four production lines—processing flexible film bags, glass and plastic containers, and the flat-bottomed bags. For the f lat-bottom bags line, the company installed a high-performance model RP-8BT/Z-S pouchmaking machine manufactured by PSG Lee—an intermittent rotary machine with eight stations specifically designed to handle pre-made pouches like the f lat and stand-up types. For container packaging applications, the company had installed a custom-built cap closer supplied by the Toronto-based machine-builder Nuspark Engineering Inc., which is used extensively for all the glass, PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and acrylic

An LP2100 strapping machine from Cousins Packaging preps retail-ready displays for delivery to customers.

containers ranging from 10- to 40-ounce sizes. To fill out the capping capabilities, the plant also employs a Super Seal induction cap sealer from Enercon Industries, which uses proprietary HIS (Heat Induction Seal) technology to affix safety seals around the plastic bottle caps, as well as a Criotech machine from the Colombian-based

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Criotech S.A. to add MAP (modified-atmosphere packaging) gases into the containers to extend shelf-life. After each jar or bag is filled and properly sealed, the finished packages are either packed into corrugated cartons by hand or an automatic cartoner, with the Vallee-Jonction, Que.-based Emballages De La Beauce Inc. Nuts are moved up a supplying the corrugated UniTrak elevator and carriers and retail-ready conveyor into a Yamato displays. weighscale atop the Other key equipment PSG Lee bagger. utilized at the Bassé Nuts facility includes: • an 18i inkjet coder from MarkemImaje Inc.; • a Sentra XR metal detector with X-ray detection from Loma Systems; • an LP2100 strapping machine from Cousins Packaging, Inc.; • a wide assortment of automation components, including Festo pneumatic devices, Numatics valves, and controls from Schneider Electric. Despite all its success to date, Bassé Nuts is certainly not the sort of company to sit on its laurels, according to its president. “We are always ensuring we only bring the best quality product to our customers,” Bassé states. “I am constantly traveling the globe to the producer countries to examine the product at their farms and distribution centers. “This constant search for quality, our unique roasting process that gives the nuts a superior f lavor, and our factory being equipped with the best equipment on the market, have all made a key contribution in helping us achieve all of the goals we set out to achieve,” he sums up. “You certainly don’t have to be nuts to work here. You just have to know the industry, and we do.”

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he modern food packaging industry has been using industrial gases—including nitrogen, carbon-dioxide, oxygen and their various combination mixes—for many years as an integral part of the so-called MAP (modified-atmosphere packaging) process. Used primarily to extend the products’ shelf-life, the MAP process can also be highly beneficial in terms of suppressing and inhibiting bacteria growth inside the packages, while also assist in maintaining attractive product appearance for various packaged meat products. Historically, most packagers who wanted to incorporate MAP into their packaging process had to rely on large industrial gas companies to supply the required gases in one of three basic formats: high-pressure gas cylinders, small liquid dewars, or bulk liquid gas. But that was then. “There is now a reliable product available that can supply nitrogen or oxygen for MAP applications on true ‘as needed’ demand basis, and at a much lower cost than with the conventional forms of gas supply. “That product is an on-site gas generating system,” states John Nikiforuk, president of Advanced Gas Technologies Inc., Markham, Ont.-based supplier of industrial gas generating and compressor systems. “Although this technology has been around for over 30 years, it is only now beginning to gain widespread acceptance as a practical alternative means of MAP gas supply.” According to Nikiforuk, on-site gas generating technology is well-suited to MAP applications because the gas purity requirements are typically

A large-capacity model N-750 gas generator from On-Site Gas Systems at a Lassonde beverage plant in Toronto can produce up to 200 cubic meters of MAP nitrogen per hour.


not excessively high, and also because MAP packaging is a relatively continuous process. Naturally, those costs will vary depending on the geographic location and the associated electricity costs. According to Nikiforuk, the typical operating costs—covering energy and maintenance expenses— for generating 99.5-precent pure MAP nitrogen to produce a cubic meter can range between $0.025 in Quebec to $0.045 in Ontario, while producing a cubic meter of 95-percent pure MAP oxygen will run from $0.06 in Quebec to $0.10 in Ontario. In either case, Nikiforuk points out, these costs are a mere fraction of what it costs to produce a cubic meter of nitrogen or oxygen from conventional sources: $3 to $15 for cylinders; $0.70 to $1.50 for liquid dewar; and $0.15 to $0.75 for bulk liquid. “When comparing the costs of on-site gas for MAP applications versus conventional sources of gas supply, it becomes readily apparent why the ROI (return-on investment) for on-site MAP gas generating systems can typically be recouped in 18 months or less,” Nikiforuk states. There is nothing inherently complicated about on-site gas generating technology, according to Nikiforuk: “It is simply an air-separation process.”

Air Support Nikiforuk explains: “By passing a supply of compressed air through an on-site gas generating system, nitrogen or oxygen can be produced from atmospheric air. “Normal breathable air is composed of 78-percent nitrogen and 21-percent oxygen, while the remaining one per cent is trace gas. “Nitrogen molecules are much larger than oxygen molecules, and on-site technology uses the size difference between these two primary components of atmospheric air to separate them from each other.” There are two main types of on-site gas generators available for capturing nitrogen or oxygen from air: pressure swing adsorption (PSA) systems for producing both nitrogen and oxygen; and membrane systems for producing nitrogen only. The PSA-type generators have two pressure vessels that are filled with a material called “sieve.” Available in many different types, sieves consist of microscopically porous material with the ability to adsorb, under pressure, right down to the molecular level. Producing nitrogen requires the use of a sieve material called CMS (carbon molecular sieve), Nikiforuk explains. As a stream of compressed air is passed through a pressure vessel filled with CMS, the porous structure of CMS allows the material to capture and adsorb the smaller oxygen molecules—leaving a stream of nitrogen to f low out of the opposite end of the pressure vessel. To produce MAP oxygen, a sieve called zolite is used to fill a pressure vessel to transfer a stream of compressed air, with the zeolite utilizing its porosity properties to capture and adsorb the larger nitrogen molecules as the compressed air f lows

Photos courtesy of Advanced Gas Technologies

On-site gas generation offers a low-cost MAP solution for food packagers

The model Pro N-10 gas generator from On Site Gas Systems at the Manitoba Harvest plant in Winnipeg can produce up to three cubic meters of 99.5-percent pure nitrogen per hour.

through the vessel, leaving a stream of oxygen to f low out the vessel’s opposite end. For their part, membrane-type generators are used only to produce nitrogen. With these types of generators, a compressed-air stream is introduced into the pressurized, semi-permeable membranes that filter out the smaller oxygen molecules—leaving a stream of nitrogen f lowing out the opposite end of the membrane. “It should be noted that membrane technology is not especially efficient or cost-effective if nitrogen purity requirements exceed 97 per cent, as compressed-air requirements are significantly higher than for PSA systems—meaning higher operating costs,” points out Nikiforuk. “Moreover, the life-cycles of membranes are anywhere from five to 15 years when properly maintained, whereas the life-cycle of a properly maintained PSA system is generally 20 years plus,” he adds. That said, Nikiforuk maintains that both types of technologies offer a welcome pragmatic option for food packagers who have not yet gotten into MAP packaging because of the high gas costs, as well as those looking to pare down their existing MAP costs. “On-site gas generators are ultra-reliable and ultra-economical alternatives to supplying nitrogen or oxygen for MAP when compared with conventional sources of nitrogen or oxygen supply,” Nikiforuk sums up, “which can help food packagers to cut MAP gas costs dramatically.”

For More Information On: Advanced Gas Technologies Inc.




SOUNDING THE ALARM How to Handle a Pest Emergency at Your Plant BY BILL MELVILLE

• Confine and Assess the Situation: There are a few indicators that suggest the presence of pests: droppings, cast skins that pests shed off, and live or dead pests. Upon discovery of any such signs inside your facility, close off the area where the sighting occurred.

Packaging one-third of our trash?

More often than not, one pest can suggest that there are many more in your facility, so whether you find evidence in the break-room, on the main f loor or in employee lockers, consider restricting access to the area until you can identify the pest in question and determine how it entered the building. Inspect any products in the immediate area for signs of infestation, including gnaw marks from rodents and droppings from rodents or cockroaches. Dispose of any damaged product you find and remove it from the building, and only allow a licensed pest management professional to address the pest issue. • Partner with your Pest Management Professional: A licensed pest management professional trained in pest biology and behavior can identify the pest, which will then determine the best approach for treatment. A professional can also help to locate where the pest entered your building. The main reasons pests find their way inside—food, water, shelter and optimal temperatures—can all be found in your facility. When the pest management professionals arrives, be ready to partner with them on next steps. Once the situation is under control, ask your pest control technician to meet with your staff to discuss proactive measures to prevent a problem from reoccurring. • Be Transparent: Most companies prefer

Get the Inconvenient Truth about Packaging Waste in Canada FOR MORE INFORMATION CIRCLE


not to share negative news. However, a pest crisis is something you would want to acknowledge before the media does, so open and honest communication is a key step in the right direction. Employees. Share all information about how the situation is handled with your staff. Employees are often approached by media and even customers, so you’ll want to educate your staff on key messages. Customers and Vendors. Don’t let your customers and vendors be the last to find out about issues at your facility. It is your responsibility to keep them informed about your operations, and most will be thankful for your proactive communication. Media. Consider breaking the story to the media before they publish their own negative story. Preparing a media statement that explains the situation, and how you’re taking steps to resolve it, can often neutralize the possibility of an unwanted media storm. With news traveling as fast as it does through online channels, it’s wise to stay ahead of any rumors by sharing the truth. Bill Melville is Quality Assurance Director for Orkin Canada PCO Services in Mississauga, Ont.

PPEC Special Report


Photo courtesy of Orkin Canada


inding one f ly in your packaging facility might not be a reason to sound the alarms, but finding one rodent should undoubtedly make heads turn. In a packaging plant, one pest can make its way into one packaged product and then to on to the customer and even the consumer. It takes just one bad customer experience to do irreparable damage to your plant’s reputation through widespread negative media coverage and the resulting customer mistrust. But pests don’t even have to appear in your pack-

aging to cause concern. An infestation in your facility can pose a major health threat, as pests can spread disease to your employees and your products. Like with any other type of emergency, it is critical to have a sound plan in place after a pest sighting. Here are the three basic steps that should be the key pillars of any such plan:




he so-called “big mouth” bulk plastic containers are shrinking all the time, and everyone from food manufacturers to club stores, grocery chains, consumers and the environment are going to benefit from this trend. Plastic wide-mouth containers are widely used to sell bulk items such as nuts, chips, cookies, chewing gum, pretzels and toys—typically in the Big Box-type club stores. These containers are not limited to dry goods, being also used extensively to package everything from bulk size salsa to pickles in brine. Although manufactured from the same stretch blowmolding process, these plastic containers are distinguished from the mass-produced water bottles, for example, by their “wide mouth” design for easy access and pouring. In recent years, however, these bulk containers have been undergoing a literal “shrinking” process on multiple fronts. At club stores, bulk container sizes are shrinking— often imperceptibly to the consumer—to maintain competitive price points, while the traditional grocery chains eager to jump into the bulk goods market are also working with manufacturers to introduce new “small bulk” sizes, down to 48-ounce capacity, to compete with the club stores. “The new design techniques are enabling the manufacture of 15- to 25-percent lighter jars with less plastic, less cost, and greater environmental sustainability attributes,” says Jack Podnar, president of Rez-Tech Corp., Kent, Ohio-based manufacturer of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and vinyl plastic containers. At Podnar’s company, new packaging-specific CAD/CAM (computer-aided design/computeraided manufacturing) software has enabled the use of significantly less plastic going into the manufacturing process due to improved jar geometry, design ribbing, design simulation, and other design techniques—maximizing the strength and performance properties required for stacking, while minimizing material costs. The problem with traditionally-made containers, according to Podnar, is that they often tend to be “overbuilt”—thereby wasting material and capital, especially if they are not being recycled. At club stores, bulk container sizes are shrinking to maintain price points for recession-weary consumers, who are leery to spend more but still want to have their brand-name products. The solution is to subtly reduce club store container sizes while upholding the brand—ushering in more smaller big-mouth containers made with improved design techniques. “Tweaking container size and shape is becoming faster and easier than ever before, and it can deliver significant payback,” explains Podnar. “Reducing diameter by a quarter-inch may be virtually imperceptible to consumers, but it can help a food manufacturer hit a critical price point by reducing total costs by eight to 10 per cent or more. “Amid today’s cutthroat competition, this can


really help to win bids and shelf-space.” The new “small bulk” containers—typically ranging in size from about 48 ounces to a half-gallon— are helping the more traditional, smaller grocers to enter the bulk-foods market that has long been dominated by the club and warehouse-type stores. “Non-club stores who may have wanted to do efficient pallet pack merchandising, but without the excessive bulk of club stores, are now offering ‘small bulk’ containers at their end caps,” says Podnar. “This minimizes stocking and handling, and it can be especially effective with the widemouth containers.”

Clear Choice Since the “small bulk” wide-mouth containers are clear, strong and presentable, they eliminate wasteful packaging practices such as partitioning, outer wrappings, or using protective boxes within boxes, according to Podnar. “Another big plus for the ‘small bulk’ widemouth containers is that consumers often actively seek them out, so that they can later reuse them at home to store cookies, cereals, toys, nails, crayons, craft items and many other objects,” says Podnar. “Today’s marketers and brand managers are really starting to appreciate how the reuse of their containers can keep their brand in front of the consumer indefinitely.” Whether food manufacturers are rushing to make last-minute changes or to meet customer deadlines, speed-to-market can often make the difference between winning the bid and shelf-space or not, points out Podnar. “And in this rush to merchandise, the brand must never be compromised,” he asserts. “From stock to custom packaging, container shape, size, and even color can be as much a part of brand as the label. “That’s why it is important to partner with a supplier with sufficient container variations in stock, with the ability to quickly make containers from stock molds, and ability to rapidly create new designs. “To win shelf-space

and persuade consumers to buy your product, the right packaging has to be ready at the right time,” concludes Podnar. “Shrinking ‘big mouth’ bulk containers are part of the solution for food manufacturers selling to club stores and non-club stores. Hitting the desired price points, while enhancing the brand and environmental sustainability, can dramatically help them maximize their sales and cash f low.” Del Williams is a technical writer based in Torrance, Ca.

For More Information: Rez-Tech Corp.




Photos courtesy of Rez-tech

Why Big-Mouth Bulk Containers are Shrinking Fast





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Sun Chemical Names Charles Murray President of North American Inks Sun Chemical named Charles Murray president of North American Inks. In this role, Murray will be responsible for all of Sun Chemical’s North American ink business. Murray brings 27 years of industry experience and knowledge to the position and most recently worked as the managing director and corporate vice president of Sun Chemical’s business in the UK, Ireland and Nordic markets since 2004. “Charles is very familiar with the issues and challenges currently impacting Sun Chemical’s customers in North America, because those same trends are facing our customers in Northern Europe,” said Rudi Lenz, President and CEO, Sun Chemical. “Charles’ understanding of our markets and his hands-on leadership style is exactly what NAI needs. I am confident he will further strengthen our business and the partnerships with our customers.” For at least five consecutive years, Murray has appeared as one of Print Week’s “Power 100,” a list of the most powerful people in print in the UK. He ranked #33 on the list in 2010. FOR MORE INFORMATION CIRCLE

Photo courtesy of Flexo4All


he general rise in living standards over the last few decades has vastly accelerated growth in the consumer goods production and, consequently, in the packaging and labeling of goods—putting growing pressure on today’s leading CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies to come up with new ways to serve consumers quickly, safely and efficiently with the most sustainable solutions. Packaging is usually viewed by consumers and media as a stand-alone product—a view which ignores its fundamental role to protect, distribute and display goods. Without packaging food rots, fragile products get broken and distribution becomes hazardous—rendering the entire supply chain inefficient. Because packaging makes a major contribution to the prevention of waste, it is only logical to use more ‘sustainable’ packaging to help in preserving the environment. Increasingly, companies wanting to lower the environmental impact of their packaging without downgrading its attractiveness or brand image are turning to the f lexographic printing process. Some market segments have already been longtime converts to f lexography for f lexible packaging—including dairy products, cheeses and groceries—leveraging f lexo’s considerable advantages over other printing processes in terms of cost, time-to-market, production f lexibility and the constantly improving print quality. These days, the f lexography process can provide an important competitive edge in fulfilling the sustainability demands of the CPGs, brand-owners, private-label producers and retailers alike. Of course, no package can be truly sustainable in isolation—it must be so as an outcome of a process integration of equipment and materials involved from the design stage to the final printed package. Last year, DuPont Packaging Graphics ran an updated Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) aimed at measuring the environmental benefits of using thermal technology during the flexographic plate-making process—compared to the traditional solvent process. Compared to the original LCA from September of 2008, the objective of this update was to use data from a long-term continuous operation of a tradeshop installation, with the new data collection focusing on equipment electricity used over an extended period of time, which included idle time. The updated results validated the findings of the original study, according to DuPont. For plate processing, digital thermal (with PET developer material) recorded a 63-percent lower non-renewable energy consumption and 52-percent lower GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions compared to digital solvent plate imaging process for a 0.067 plate (1.70-mm thickness). The thermal plate-making process is a dry system which does not use solvents and brushes to process photopolymer plates. This brings the overall process to take between 30 to 45 minutes, whereas a solvent plate-making lasts typically from three to four hours. Since solvent is eliminated, the thermal plate-

With high print quality that sometimes rivals rotogravure, flexography offers a number of key environmental advantages over other package printing processes.

making process also eliminates all steps directly related to solvents—manufacturing, transportation, storage, distillation, and the recovery of solvent. The prepress room is another part of the f lexo process that offers good sustainability payback, with the direct digital plate-making allowing the production of printing plates with no manual lamination—and hence no film to dispose of once the plates have been imaged. Flexo package printers and converters can achieve even bigger sustainability improvements still by incorporating the EB (Electron Beam) ink curing in their process, which is already widely used in the pharmaceutical industry to dry medicines and in the sterilization of milk and medical instruments. In EB curing, a curtain of accelerated electrons is emitted towards the web in an evacuated chamber. When the energized electrons hit the ink or the coating, the curing takes place instantaneously. Because energy-curable inks do not contain any diluents and are pure 100-percent ink, evaporation plays no part in the curing process—resulting in clean and sharp dots and optical densities far better than those of solvent-based or water-based inks. Furthermore, EB-curable ink consumption is less than half that of solvent-based printing, and as there no solvents or water have to evaporate and no additional solvents to be added during production—there are no major energy requirements involved with the use of hot air dryers, incinerators and VOC abatements. As the f lexible packaging market continues to grow, it seems inevitable that the focus will shift to predominantly shorter run lengths due to shorter time-to-market, smaller pack quantities, and a migration of paper-based packaging to film and foils. This shift will be accompanied by increasing changeovers per day and lower production uptime. For an industry facing increasing regulatory and competitive pressures worldwide, the ongoing improvements in the print quality, reduced waste, cost reduction, and environmental advantages offered by the f lexographic printing process amount to a truly sustainable packaging solution with virtually unlimited potential. Text for the above article was made available courtesy of Flexo4All, an international strategic alliance of flexography experts from leading global suppliers to the graphic arts and package printing industries. For more information, go to: www.f





OCT. 17-21

OCT. 31 - NOV. 3

Indianapolis, Ind.: National Robot Safety Conference XXII, by Robotic Industries Association (RIA). At Indianapolis Marriott East. To register, go to:

Paris, France: SIAL 2010, worldwide food industry exhibition by Comexposium. At Paris Nord Villepinte. In Canada, contact Tamar Kantarijan of Comexposium Canada at 1 (866) 281-7425, ext. 2239; or go to:

Chicago: PACK EXPO International 2010, international packaging technologies exhibition and conference by the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI). At McCormick Place. Contact PMMI at (703) 243-8555; or go to:

SEPT. 28-30 Rosemont, Ill.: PLASTEC Midwest, Design & Manufacturing Midwest, Assembly & Automation Technology Expo, Electronics Midwest, MD&M (Medical Design & Manufacturing) Midwest and Green Manufacting Expo, by Canon Communications LLC. All at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. Contact Canon at (310) 996-9427; or go to:

OCT. 1-4 Bangalore, India: PROMACH 2010, international exhibition of process and plant machinery by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). At the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre. To register, go to:

OCT. 21 Mississauga, Ont.: State of the Industry, paper packaging forum by Paper Packaging Canada (PPC). Contact Michelle Connolly of PPC at (905) 458-1247; or via email:

OCT. 20-22 Monaco: Luxe Pack Monaco, luxury packaging exhibition by Luxe Pack Monaco. At Grimaldi Forum. To register, go to:

OCT. 4-6 New York City: PXA Expo, perfume, beauty, jewelry and accessories packaging exhibition by Perfume Expo America LLC (PXA). At Hilton New York. Contact PXA at (305) 397-8025; or go to:

OCT. 4-8 Baltimore, Md.: Corrugated Week 2010, joint fall meetings and supplier trade fairs of the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI) and the Association of Independent Corrugated Converters (AICC). At the Hyatt and Hilton hotels. To register, go to: or

OCT. 6-8 Boston, Mass.: North American Forest Products Conference, by RISI. At Seaport Hotel. To register, go to:

OCT. 13-14 Minneapolis, Minn.: MidPak and MD&M (Medical Design & Manufacturing) Minneapolis by Canon Communications LLC. Both at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Contact Canon at (310) 996-9427; or go to:

OCT. 17-20 Norfolk, Va.: TAPPI PEERS Conference, technical symposium on Pulping, Engineering, Environment, Recycling and Sustainability (PEERS) by the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI). To register, go to:




NOV. 1-3 Chicago: AIM Expo, auto ID (automatic identification) technologies conference and exposition by the Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility (AIM). At Hyatt Regency O’Hare. To register, go to:

NOV. 3-4 Orlando, Fla.: 2010 Automation Fair exhibition by Rockwell Automation Inc. To register, go to:

ANNOUNCEMENTS  Philadelphia, Pa.-headquartered been at the heart of achieving strong canmaker Crown Food Packaging results at Hormel Foods, and havNorth America has been awarded the ing committed partners like Crown annual Spirit of Excellence award of the provides us with ongoing innovation packaged meat products manufacturer and collaboration, which has helped Hormel Foods Corporation for support our company’s reputation for ninth consecutive year in recognition excellence.” Adds Crown Food packof its ongoing contributions to enhan- Crown has supplied Hormel aging president David Underwood: cing the efficiency and sustainability Foods with cans for the “Our team approach with Hormel of Hormel’s operations. A supplier of SPAM luncheon meat brand Foods allows us to develop effectcans for Hormel’s iconic SPAM brand for 40 years. ive solutions that have a real impact of canned luncheon meat since the on the company’s manufacturing product’s launch in 1970, Crown was recognized for operations. We are proud to be a valued partner of the superior customer service, including regular onHormel Foods and to be recognized for our consistsite visits, by its Customer Technical Support (CTS) ently high level of service and quality packaging.” personnel, which helped Hormel maintain optimal production line efficiencies and energy use at its  The Amcor Rigid Plastics unit of the Australianplants, according to Hormel’s director of purchasing headquartered packaging products group Amcor Melanie Faust. “Quality and innovation have always Limited has reached an agreement to acquire five

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North American-based plastic container manufacturing plants of Ball Plastic Packaging Americas from the Broomfield, Colo.-based Ball Corporation for US$280 million, subject to regulatory approvals. According to Amcor, the acquisition will significantly enhance the product portfolio of the company’s Diversified Products business with expanded capabilities in the development of multilayer, retort and barrier technologies, as well as the manufacture of wine bottles and HDPE and PP extrusion-blowmolded containers. “This is an important strategic opportunity to further expand our position in a high-growth market, and the capabilities of the Ball acquisition will help us expand our business in North America and to leverage new technologies and products in our growing Latin America business,” says Amcor’s managing director and chief executive officer Ken MacKenzie, estimating the annual sales for the Diversified Products division to increase to about US$425 million after the sale is completed. “In the current global economic environment, there are opportunities to acquire businesses at prices that are substantially lower than a few years ago [and] the significant synergy opportunities this acquisition generates will underpin strong returns from the first full year, with positive impact on earnings per share.”  Profecta Labels Inc., manufacturer of f lexographically- and digitally-printed labels, says it plans to complete its recently-announced move to a new, 39,300-square-foot production facility in St-Hubert, Que., by the end of September 2010. According to company president Pierre Roberge, “This new location will not only provide Profecta with the much needed additional room for future expansion investments, but will also allow the operation’s reorganization into a more productive and efficient workplace for our employees.” Contact: 5050 Armand-Frappier, St-Hubert, QC J3Z 1G5. Email:

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 Glassmaking giant OwensIllinois, Inc. (O-I) of Perrysburg, Ohio, has acquired the assets of Brazil’s largest glass container manufacturer Companhia Industrial de Vidros (CIV) for US$603 million in an all-cash transaction that will boost O-I’s manufacturing capacity in Brazil by about 50 per cent. The deal —covering the purchase of two plants in northeastern Brazil employing about 1,300 workers—is expected to boost O-I’ net regional sales by about US$200 million within the first year, according to O-I. “The acquisition of this well-managed company in South America, our fastest-growing and most profitable region, directly supports our strategy of expanding our presence in emerging markets with robust earnings growth potential,” says O-I chief executive officer Al Stroucken.

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Contest Closes October 29, 2010. Must be a Canadian resident over the age of majority in their province or territory of residence to enter, who are small business owners, excluding residents of Quebec. One entry per business. For full rules and entry visit Odds of winning depend upon the number of eligible entries received. Mathematical skill testing question to be correctly answered to win. No purchase necessary. There is one Grand Prize available to be won, consisting of $35,000 to be used towards advertising to be provided by Rogers, in the sole determination of Rogers, and $5,000 to be awarded in The UPS Store® products and services, to be decided by The UPS Store® Canada. No Purchase Necessary. ®Registered trademark of MasterCard International Incorporated. ™ Trademarks of or used under license from Rogers Communications Inc. or an affiliate. © 2010 Rogers Communications.

 York, Pa.-headquartered plastic container manufacturer Graham Packaging Company Inc. has


ANNOUNCEMENTS reached an agreement to acquire the assets of Liquid Container, L.P. and its subsidiaries for US$568 million. Operating 14 blowmolded plastic container plants in the U.S. serving food and household product industries, Liquid Container is expected to post North American sales of US$400 million in 2010. “This deal takes our technology capability, customer base, and domestic footprint to the next level,” says Graham Packaging chief executive officer Mark Burgess. “Liquid Container’s business model has been similar to Graham’s in its use of technology to service categories in the market that require value-added products, having solid long standing relationships with customers that are complementary to ours, with very little overlap.”

today the leading global supplier of CPET containers, we believe its proprietary material formulations and rotary thermoforming technology provide a strong platform for significant product development and growth,” DeLoach states. “In addition, this acquisition will help accelerate Sonoco’s current development of multilayer barrier polypropylene food containers.”  Neenah, Wis.-headquartered flexible packaging products group Bemis Company, Inc. has completed the sale of its discontinued operations in Menasha, Wis., and Tulsa, Okla., to Exopack Holding Corp.—an affiliate of private investment firm Sun Capital Partners, Inc.—for approximately US$82 million. Manufacturing flexible packaging for retail cheese and shrink bags for fresh red-meat products, the sold businesses—generating combined annual revenues of about US$156 mil-

 Food packaging products manufacturer D&W Fine Pack has announced plans to expand the company’s headquarters in Fountain Inn, S.C., in order to accommodate the additional personnel joining the company following its recent acquisitions of packAdvertorial aging producers Dispoz-o Products, Wilkinson Industries and C&M Fine Pack, according to the company. “We had several options when we looked at accommodating all of the additional personnel,” says D&W Fine Pack president Joseph Lancia, “but the best decision was to locate our new corporate offices on the campus of our manufacturing facility here in Fountain Inn. Not only did we have the available land, but we thought it would serve our employees and customers best to have our key personnel close to one of our facilities,” says Lancia, adding that the expansion is expected to be comwners of small and medium-sized pleted by December of 2010.  Hartsville, S.C.-headquartered consumer packaging products group Sonoco has completed the acquisition of Associated Packaging Technologies, Inc. (APT)—North America’s largest manufacturer of CPET (crystallized polyethylene terepthalate) containers for frozen-food packaging applications—in an allcash transaction estimated at about US$120 million, which includes the cost of paying off APT’s debts. Founded in 1993, APT employs about 400 people at manufacturing plants in Cambridge, Ont., Carrickmacross, Ireland, Chillicothe, Mo., and Waynesville, N.C., with combined capacity to manufacture over three billion dual-ovenable CPET containers per year—generating annual revenues of about US$150 million. “With this acquisition, Sonoco has significantly expanded its existing thermoforming plastic container capabilities into the growing global frozen, chilled and ready-to-eat food markets,” says Sonoco chief executive Harris DeLoach, citing APT’s leading market shares in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, as well as strong pioneering efforts in the development of recycled PET (rPET) frozen-food trays. “While APT is


businesses (SMBs) are known for their entrepreneurial spirit and their ability to spot opportunities others miss. They’re usually incredibly driven, taking a hands-on approach to just about every facet of their business. Such attentiveness is what makes these companies successful in the first place. The challenge, though, is having enough time to craft a plan to take your enterprise to the next level. Many small business owners aim to grow their customer base, while balancing cash flow and inventory levels. Others strive to enter new markets. Though the end goal might be different, there’s one key commonality: each business requires its own unique plan, developed through research, networking and a clear vision of the company’s ideal trajectory. On that note, David Wilton, director of small business banking with Scotiabank, sees immense value in careful planning. Scotiabank’s advisors across the country work with small enterprises from all callings—manufacturing to retail to services—and have noticed the all-toocommon hitches faced by small companies. “With growth often comes cash flow challenges,” Wilton says. “That’s why it’s important to have a strong business plan that you use as a roadmap to deal with challenges and opportunities as they become evident.” One company keeping an eye out for those opportunities is GRI Simulations Inc.



lion—were divested in accordance to the terms set out by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to approve Bemis Company’s acquisition of the assets of Alcan Packaging Food Americas earlier this year. “This purchase of the Menasha and Tulsa facilities reflects our commitment to our customers and other key stakeholders that we will continue to expand our capabilities and product offerings and strengthen the presence of the Exopack brand in the global marketplace,” says Exopack chief executive Jack Knott. “We are pleased to welcome our newest Exopack employees and look forward to integrating these new facilities into our business.” Headquartered in Spartanburg, S.C., Exopack is a full-service manufacturer and converter of paper and plastic flexible packaging products such as microwave packaging, printed collation shrink films, laminated materials, specialty bags and pouches, heavy-duty shipping sacks, and optical and electronic films.



Although it was founded only seven years ago, this developer of software and computer modeling technology for underwater operations has found its niche. “There isn’t another company in the world doing what we’re doing,” reflects Russ Pelley, co-owner and president of the Mount Pearl, Nfld. based company. “That in itself was a challenge—trying to project what our income would be.”

50 per cent, how much incremental cash flow would I need to increase inventory and receivables 50 per cent?” With receivables, you could review policies, payment terms and methods— cheque, Visa or a number of other mechanisms—that might allow remittances to grow at a slower rate than revenue growth, thereby protecting cash flow.

“With growth often comes cash flow challenges. That’s why it’s important to have a strong business plan that you use as a roadmap to deal with challenges and opportunities as they become evident.” Cash flow was another pressing issue, in part because growth in international markets required the company to be present at trade shows in the U.S., Europe, Central and South America. To help forge a game plan, Pelley brought in Scotiabank. “My philosophy is let your bank know pretty much everything you’re doing,” he says. In fact, regular communication with a trusted advisor underpins any successful expansion plan, adds Wilton. Growth is typically more complex than it first appears, so getting the right advice, and making use of tools such as business plan writers and forecasting guides are key steps. “These tools allow you to investigate the natural outcomes of various levels of growth. They include a financial projection tool that let’s you play ‘what-if?’ So, for instance, it lets you model questions, such as ‘if my revenue were to increase

“You can also determine if you have the right level of owner equity invested in the business, if you should arrange for a higher credit limit, or potentially bring in partners that might invest. These are all things you can investigate once you understand the implications and financial impact of different strategies,” Wilton said. Through his day-to-day conversations with SMB owners—getting to know their companies, goals and challenges—he notes the most successful ones have built themselves a trusted network of advisors, comprised of accountants, lawyers, financial planners and small business bankers. With the right advice, tools and partners in place, small business owners realize being pressed for time doesn’t mean putting growth on hold. A solid plan and regular check-ups will keep your company on course—through the commotion, busy days and overall juggling act that comes with owning a business. Get growing!


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For a full a month, fervent soccer fans and bandwagoners alike gathered around television screens to watch the 2010 FIFA World Cup from South Africa—with big-time international brands sparing no expense to declare their official ‘partner status’ throughout the gripping tournament. Here in Canada, the Coca-Cola Bottling Company did a great job capitalizing on the fever pitch with its own special collectors’ edition Coca-Cola packaging. Offered exclusively in the Classic Coke flavor, with no Diet Coke option, the 400ml plastic bottle is in fact a nine-centimeter-diameter round sphere topped off with the traditional bottle cap, standing 12-cm-tall and virtually jumping off the shelf with a red-and-white soccer patchwork providing fitting background for the iconic Coca-Cola logo on a red dial. Graphics of outstretched cheering hands, shooting stars and soccer balls complete this colorful display of festive event packaging, despite the fact that the container’s round shape makes it rather cumbersome to hold for drinking. This is definitely one of those cases where aesthetics trumps functionality hands down.

For a life-long technophile and a self-professed Apple enthusiast, the recent launch of the company’s long-awaited iPhone 4 was arguably the past summer’s true crowning moment—despite a 16-hour wait in a line-up that started forming outside a local Apple store at 4:30 a.m. While the product itself has ‘hit’ written all over it, the ingeniously compact packaging—measuring a mere 7.5x13x5 cm—deserves its own special praise, with the simple partial image of the device on a black background setting off nicely from the pristine white sides bearing minimalist silver embossing of the Apple logo and the product name iPhone 4. Just open the lid, and the slim new device appears cradled inside a white formed plastic tray—just begging to be picked up to reveal the user manual, cable, power adapter and earphones all tucked efficiently into their little spaces just underneath the new phone.

One of the sure signs of summer is dining al fresco. Whether it is a drinks-and-nibblies on a patio, a backyard barbecue or a picnic at the park, good weather, food and company are best enjoyed outdoors this time of the year. And thanks to the famed champagne house Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin of Reims, France, even enjoying chilled Brut outdoors was possible this summer without the inconvenience of lugging an ice-bucket around, thanks to clever packaging whereby a chilled 750-ml bottle of champagne is placed inside a neoprene-lined jacket—fitted with a well-hidden zipper—that keeps the bottle condensation-free, while eliminating slipperiness


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R.S No. 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114, 115 116 117-123 124-129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142

ADVERTISER’S INDEX Page Advance Gas Technology 34 Atlantic Packaging Products Ltd. 4 Bobst Canada Inc. 6 Canadian Packaging 39 CombiScale 26 Festo Inc. 25 Flexlink Systems Canada 7 HSBC Business 35 Harlund Industries Ltd. 33 Kinecor 30 Krones Machinery Co. Inc. 19 Markem-Imaje 27 Multivac Inc. 22 Paper Packaging Canada 13, 32 Pentaflex Packaging 16 Primera Technology Inc. 11 QuickLabel Systems, An Astro-Med Product Group 2 Robert Reiser & Co. Inc. 29 36 Rogers SEW-Eurodrive Co. of Canada 15 Salbro Bottle Inc. 7 Schneider Electric 8 Schunk Intel Corp. 34 Scotiabank 37 StrongPoint Automation 9 Sun Chemical Canada 34 Tsubaki of Canada Ltd. 23 VC999 Packaging Systems 10 Videojet Technologies Canada 3 WeighPack Systems Inc. 40

and the dreaded ‘ring-marks’ on the table. The exterior of the form-fitted Ice Jacket2 is made from an iridescent woven fabric in the famed Veuve Clicquot yellow, with a smart brown leather strap embossed with the champagne house’s name securing the neck closed, and a matching window bearing a label for the contents inside. A very practical and classy bit of value-added, reusable packaging to tempt shoppers to splurge a little on the finer things in life.

While I normally tend to smirk at the touristy kitsch of souvenirs that get passed my way as ‘wish you were here’ mementos from traveling friends and family, I was quite taken in when my mom retuned from an early-summer excursion through Central Europe bearing a box of marzipan-filled chocolates purchased in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s birthplace of Salzburg, Austria. Made by Kraft Foods Österreich, this 200-gram box of Echte Salzburger Mozartkugeln chocolates is something of an artistic masterpiece in its own right—using a high-end, gold-trim paperboard box ingeniously formed in the shape of a violin and bearing an attractive, regalesque image of one of Austria’s greatest national cultural heroes. Inside, a dozen gold foil-wrapped balls sit neatly in a molded plastic tray—each bearing the same famed cameo image—as well as a detailed information sheet describing the chocolate and making tongue-in-cheek references to the conventional, run-of-the-mill, square-shaped chocolate boxes that are typically used to package such a product. Elena Langlois is a freelance writer living in Toronto.




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Photos by Elena Langlois


he end of summer is always tinged with a touch of sadness and regret, but thanks to some record-breaking summer heat in eastern Canada and some outstanding world-class events, the summer of 2010 will not be one that is soon forgotten—thanks in part to some unforgettable new consumer packaging that has left a longlasting impression in this corner.

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SEPTEMBER 2010 | $10 Story on page 20 Story on page 20 Story on page 17 PACKAGING FOR SHELF-LIFE PACKAGING FOR SHELF-LIFE • BULK PACKAGING I...

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