March 2014 | $10
Bret Mason, Associate Director of Operations, Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
Ark Skupien, Technical Manager, Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
Rob Maarse, Packaging Manager, Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
Bottoms Up! A palletizing overhaul keeps Sleeman’s home brewery up to speed with soaring marketplace status
Publication mail agreement #40069240.
Story on page 12
Flying the coop Page 20
In this issue: Packaging for Shelf-Life • Stretchwrapping • Product ID Now
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SOMETHING TO CHEW ON
hen it comes to modern-day eating out in this day and age, an ill-informed consumer is often an ill per-
VOLUME 67, NO. 3
FEATURES EDITOR Andrew Joseph • (416) 510-5228 AJoseph@canadianpackaging.com ART DIRECTOR Stewart Thomas • (416) 442-5600 x3212 SThomas@bizinfogroup.ca PRODUCTION MANAGER Cathy Li • (416) 510-5150 CLi@bizinfogroup.ca CIRCULATION MANAGER Anita Madden • 442-5600 x3212 AMadden@bizinfogroup.ca EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Lisa Wichmann • (416) 442-5600 x5101 LWichmann@canadianmanufacturing.com EXECUTIVE PUBLISHER Tim Dimopoulos • (416) 510-5100 TDimopoulos@bizinfogroup.ca
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HOW TO REACH US: Canadian Packaging, established 1947, is published monthly by BIG Magazines LP, a division of Glacier BIG Holdings Company Ltd. 80 Valleybrook Drive, North York, ON, M3B 2S9; Tel: (416) 442-5600; Fax (416) 510-5140. EDITORIAL AND ADVERTISING OFFICES: 80 Valleybrook Drive, North York, ON, M3B 2S9; Tel: (416) 442-5600; Fax (416) 510-5140. SUBSCRIBER SERVICES: To subscribe, renew your subscription or to change your address or information, contact us at 416-442-5600 or 1-800-387-0273 ext. 3555. SUBSCRIPTION PRICE PER YEAR (INCLUDING ANNUAL BUYERS’ GUIDE): Canada $72.95 per year, Outside Canada $118.95 US per year, Single Copy Canada $10.00, Outside Canada $27.10. Canadian Packaging is published 11 times per year except for occasional combined, expanded or premium issues, which count as two subscription issues. ©Contents of this publication are protected by copyright and must not be reprinted in whole or in part without permission of the publisher. DISCLAIMER: This publication is for informational purposes only. The content and “expert” advice presented are not intended as a substitute for informed professional engineering advice. You should not act on information contained in this publication without seeking specific advice from qualified engineering professionals. Canadian Packaging accepts no responsibility or liability for claims made for any product or service reported or advertised in this issue. Canadian Packaging receives unsolicited materials, (including letters to the editor, press releases, promotional items and images) from time to time. Canadian Packaging, its affiliates and assignees may use, reproduce, publish, republish, distribute, store and archive such unsolicited submissions in whole or in part in any form or medium whatsoever, without compensation of any sort. PRIVACY NOTICE: From time to time we make our subscription list available to select companies and organizations whose product or service may interest you. If you do not wish your contact information to be made available, please contact us via one of the following methods: Phone: 1-800-668-2374 Fax: 416-442-2191 Email: email@example.com Mail to: Privacy Office, 80 Valleybrook Drive, North York, ON M3B 2S9 PRINTED IN CANADA PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 40069240, ISSN 008-4654 (PRINT), ISSN 1929-6592 (ONLINE) We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage for our publishing activities. Canadian Packaging is indexed in the Canadian Magazine Index by Micromedia Limited. Back copies are available in microform from Macromedia Ltd., 158 Pearl St., Toronto, ON M5H 1L3
COVER STORY 12
Bottoms Up! By George Guidoni
Bret Mason, Associate Director of Operations, Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
Crafty Canadian beermaker with a proud notorious past soaring into a bright future with rising sales and output, growing market share and brand portfolio, and modernized end-of-line packaging capabilities and competence.
Ark Skupien, Technical Manager, Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
A palletizing overhaul keeps Sleeman’s home brewery up to speed with soaring marketpla ce status Story on page 12
UPFRONT By George Guidoni NEWSPACK Packaging news roundup. 6 FIRST GLANCE New packaging solutions and technologies. 8-9 ECO-PACK NOW All about environmental sustainability. 10 IMPACT A monthly insight from PAC-The Packaging Association. 32 EVENTS Upcoming industry functions. 32 PEOPLE Packaging career moves. 34-35 NOTES & QUOTES Noteworthy industry and marketplace updates. 36 CHECKOUT By Rhea Gordon Joe Public speaks out on packaging hits and misses.
FLYING THE COOP FOR SHELF-LIFE •
PRODUCT ID NOW
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DEPARTMENTS & COLUMNS 3 4-5
Rob Maarse, Packaging Manager, Sleeman Breweries Ltd.
IN THIS ISSUE: PACKAGING
Cover photography by Cole Garside.
NEXT ISSUE: interpack 2014 show preview
MARCH 2014 • CANADIAN PACKAGING
| $10 www.canadianpa ckaging.com
EDITOR George Guidoni • (416) 510-5227 GGuidoni@canadianpackaging.com
son in the making. While most Canadians are nowadays fairly aware of the dangers of excessive fast-food consumption—obesity, diabetes, heart risk et al—many of them would be shocked to learn that a muffin at a their local coffee shop contains more calories than a cheeseburger at a prominent burger-chain outlet. And who could really blame them? So in this light, we are strongly in favor of the Ontario government’s long-pending Bill 59 legislation (Healthy Decisions for Healthy Eating Act), which aims to force the province’s fast-food chains, restaurants, supermarkets and convenience stores with 20 or more locations to disclose the caloric intake of their food servings right on the menu. Naturally, there is bound to be a vocal minority of skeptics griping about the dangers and excesses of ‘nanny state’ dictatorship running amok, but most right-thinking people will agree that letting consumers know exactly how many calories they can choose to consume with their next meal right there on the spot is a ultimately a good thing for consumers and, in fact, for the foodservice operators themselves, who may in some cases may be inspired to modify their own menus to offer more healthy choices than some of their current offerings. The only real negative in the whole debate on the pros and cons of Bill 59 is the fact that any debate is really necessary at all, as this is a perfect ‘can’t lose, no-brainer’ proposition whose time has come some time ago, really. If there are any reservations in this corner, it is that Bill 59 probably does not go far enough, in our view, which will inevitably force some future government to revisit the issue that it did not have to if the original legislation had more teeth to it.
SENIOR PUBLISHER Stephen Dean • (416) 510-5198 SDean@canadianpackaging.com
For one thing, the threshold for compliance with Bill 59 appears to be lenient to a fault. Under the tabled legislation, the proposed act “applies to all persons who own or operate a foodservice premise that is part of a chain of foodservice premises that has a minimum of five locations in Ontario and a gross annual revenue of $5 million.” Frankly, this provision seems to be letting far too many restaurants and other foodservice operators off the hook, but at least it’s better to have a starting point of reference of any sort than none at all. The hope is that once the bigger outlets make calorie postings so commonplace, that the consumers themselves will pressure the smaller guys to do likewise or risk losing their business. This may or may not be giving too much credit to the average Ontario consumer, but there is also a strong business case to be made for smaller restaurant operators being honest with their customers as a matter of principle and sound ethics. In fact, the savvier among them may even want to consider going beyond the bare minimum requirements of Bill 59 and extend the disclosure to other critical nutritional information such as sodium and sugar intake, with other content revelations about the amount the amount of carbohydrates, protein, essential vitamins and so on. All of this is already being done on a mass-scale with the lion’s share of packaged foods that Ontario consumers buy on a daily basis, so asking foodservice operators to get in on the spirit of the game is hardly asking for the moon. A menu, after all, is a key part of the foodservice product’s overall packaging, and if we insist on food packaging to be a vehicle for clarity and transparency between the brand and the consumer, then why not be as clear and transparent as we can when the opportunity presents itself. In the long run, most customers will be all the more grateful, loyal and knowledgeable for it. Just a thought, mind you, with zero calories in it.
FLYING THE COOP By Andrew Joseph Innovative Quebec poultry processor takes the high road processing innovation and high-end packaging automation. 26
HIGH MARKS FOR QUALITY Alpine water-bottler in high spirits with top-grade laser-coding technology.
TRIAL AND NO ERROR Zero tolerance for pharma co-packer.
STRETCHING THE TRUTH By Uffe Steen Kristiansen Making a proper investment decision on new stretchwrapping equipment goes far beyond simple price shopping.
A GOOD HAIR DAY Stylish upgrade for hair-dye plant.
WWW.CANADIANPACKAGING.COM • 3
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NESTLÉ’S PET PROJECTS EXTEND THE PREMIUM BRANDS’ PACKAGING CHOICES Sometimes a good idea can go a really long way in the packaging business, and it seems there’s no limit to how far PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic bottles can go in enhancing consumer convenience and reinforcing brand loyalty—even for some of the world’s most beloved brands of bottled water. Originally launched in Canada back in 2002, the 500-ml PET containers of the famed Perrier Sparkling Natural Spring Water brand—marketed in Canada by the Puslinch, Ont.-headquartered Nestlé Waters Canada (NWC)—will soon be joined on the shelves by the newly-launched oneliter PET bottles, while the company winds down distribution of the 750-ml containers in coming months. Nowadays available in four sugar-free, zero-calorie f lavors—lemon, lime, pink grapefruit and original—the new one-liter bottles demonstrate the company’s commitment to continuing the transition from glass to the more convenient, lighter and safer plastic bottles, according to NWC. “The new one-liter PET bottle is an elegant fusion
of design, function and environmental sustainability,” says Jennifer Semley-Robert, NWC’s marketing manager for international brands. “Incorporating the classic Perrier branding, look and feel known around the world, the new packaging will be a sleek addition to any setting, whether dining or entertaining,” she says, noting that all four Perrier brand f lavors are also available in fully-recyclable 250-ml aluminum cans and in 330-ml glass bottles. According to NWC, the proprietary PET structure used for the brand comprises two separate layers of PET plastic ‘sandwiching’ a layer of MXD-6 nylon in between—providing a high-barrier packaging solution that preserves the product’s unique, naturally-carbonated bubbles by significantly limiting carbonation loss. “The new plastic PET bottle guarantees the true taste of Perrier, combined with accessibility for everyone and transportability anywhere,” Semley-Robert states. “Perrier delivers on Canadians’ growing desire for a f lavorful yet natural, no-calorie alternative to artificial-f lavored
PROTECTS WITH HARDWOOD FROM 100% CANADIAN FORESTS.
CAN YOUR PALLET PROVIDER DO THAT?
and high-calorie beverages by offering a tasty, thirst-quenching healthy choice that will keep consumers properly hydrated in the most convenient, satisfying and pleasurable way possible.” In addition to Perrier repackaging , NWC has also extended the one-liter PET plastic bottle format to the S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water brand, which the company says ranks as Canada’s top-selling imported sparkling water. Marketed as a ‘fine dining sparkling beverage,’ according to NWC, the S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water is now available in four 100-percent recyclable sizes that also include the 250-ml and 750-ml glass bottles, along with 500-ml PET containers. Unlike the Perrier bottles, the PET containers used for S.Pellegrino are designed to protect product freshness and preserve the naturally carbonated bubbles by coating the internal surface of the bottle with a thin silica film commonly called silica dioxide. “The S.Pellegrino PET bottles were developed for at-home and on-the-go consumption to provide a perfect solution with which to enjoy its sparkle and freshness everywhere,” says Semley-Robert. “The PET version has been specially researched and created in the same Vichy shape of the glass to ensure that the effervescence and perfectly-sized bubbles of S.Pellegrino’s unique style and personality would be immediately recognizable.”
Protecting your products throughout the supply chain requires a strong platform and an equally strong pallet provider. For 35 years CHEP Canada has helped manufacturers and retailers safely ship to over 10,000 locations across the country. Combine that with three proven pallet options, a dedicated service rep for your account, and the confidence that comes with a trusted business partner, and your choice is clear.
To learn how CHEP can help you, visit www.chep.com
CHEP CANADA CAN FOR MORE INFORMATION CIRCLE
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INGERSOLL PAPER BOX PRESSING AHEAD WITH MAJOR CAPITAL INVESTMENT
Major capital investment decisions are rarely taken in a hurry, but having decided to take the plunge last year, the fold at the family-owned folding-carton producer Ingersoll Paper Box of Ingersoll, Ont., certainly have many good things to look forward to next month. Scheduled for the much anticipated April delivery, the brand new KBA Rapida 106 model 41-inch, seven-color press—equipped with a coater, full UV (ultraviolet) coating capabilities and inline color control—will provide Ingersoll with extensive new production capabilities, says managing director Sarah Skinner. “We welcome 2014 as an exciting year for our company and we’re eagerly anticipating the delivery of our new KBA Rapida 106 41-inch, seven color press because it gives us added capabilities to broaden our customer base,” says Skinner, adding the company plans to hold a special open-house event for its customers after the installation. “We cannot wait to unveil our new press capabilities to our existing customers, as well as our new automatic sheet inspection machine and other enhancements to our sheet-fed operation,” Skinner states. Operating out of a modern, 120,000-square-foot production and warehousing facility, Ingersoll Paper Box is a fourth-generation familyowned business—founded in 1922 by Robert Skinner—that has earned itself a glowing reputation for the ability to meet its customers’ needs for highly f lexible production anywhere from a thousand up to a million folding cartons, backed up with superior customer service. A long-time practitioner of continuous improvement work practices and methodologies, according to Skinner, the firm produces quality folding cartons ranging from standard designs to custom design solutions, offering the full array of services from computeraided design (CAD) to printing, diecutting, embossing and folding-gluing. “Seventy-five percent of our work is derived from the pharmaceutical industry, while the rest of our customer base hails from food, consumer goods, and the health and medical industries,” Skinner relates. “The inline color control system on the new KBA press is new for our company,” Skinner enthuses. “Our clients expect innovation and this latest technology delivers. “What really attracted us to the KBA press is that it offered so many features in one press—from sevencolor processing and automated inline color consistency, to UV coatings and inline color control,” she points out. “The KBA enhances our ability to provide our clients more intricate colorful designs.” Despite boasting a wealth of features and capabilities, Skinner recalls that choosing the KBA press—manu-
factured by Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) in Wuerzburg, Germany, and distributed in North America via its KBA North America subsidi-
From Left: Ingersoll department area leader Brian Dickert; KBA regional sales manager Mark Norlock; Ingersoll managing director Sarah Skinner; Ingersoll president David Skinner; Ingersoll operations manager Jeff Brooks.
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ary in Dallas, Tex.—was not a foregone conclusion from the outset. In fact, Ingersoll visited three leading press manufacturers and spent 10 days in Germany listening to presentations, Skinner recounts, before ultimately settling on the KBA Rapida 106 model. “We were attracted to KBA’s consistency throughout the production of our press,” says Skinner. “Unlike any of the other press manufacturers, KBA has a devoted engineering team for each press that knows your particular model and accessories, how it works, and caters to your specific needs—giving us an unprecedented comfort level. “Moreover, KBA accompanied us to three different locations in California where we were impressed to see our press model in action,” she adds. “So in the end, we felt very secure placing our order with KBA.”
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FIRST GLANCE THE RING LEADER
THE GOLD STANDARD
The new Octopus C series automatic rotaryring stretchwrapper from ITW Muller is designed as a compact, cost-effective and highly versatile stretchwrapping system for handling a broad variety of applications in a smaller footprint at speeds of up to 40 loads per hour—depending on loads size and wrap pattern. Featuring aluminum frame structure to provide dependable construction with minimal maintenance requirements, the Octopus C comes equipped with the company’s patented Easy S film carriage to enable simple film loading and optimized pre-stretch performance, thanks to the positive-contact S wrap pattern. Designed for easy installation and set-up, the Octopus C stretchwrapper is offered with many productivity enhancing options—including OctoFACE operator interface touchscreen, maintenance ring locking, low-film alarm, and external grace port—along with modular components such as a load stabilizer, a roping mechanism and a pallet-lift device.
The new Gold Seal line of label applicators from Action Packaging Systems—available in choice of GS-60 print-apply and GS-90 apply-only models—are designed as simple, compact, economical applicators for stand-alone or integrated industrial or consumer applications, with output speeds ranging from five to 80 labels per minute. Available with Sato or Zebra print engines and in choice of fixture or conveyor configurations, the GS-60 printer-applicators feature a soft-touch tamp pad that automatically retracts upon impact—requiring only minimal operator adjustments. For their part, the GS-90 apply-only models feature built-in label sensors in the strip edge, which automatically adjust to any label size and advance automatically if there’s a missing label, according to the company, thereby requiring no operator intervention at all.
BEST IN CLASS Designed for minimal user intervention, the new C80 Series continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers from BestCode incorporate a large 10.4inch EZTouch touchscreen interface and display to allow for easy visual viewing of all operating information, along with robust industrial design and construction that enables their long-term use in all sorts of wet, dry, dusty, hot or cold industrial environments. Featuring LargeVolume ink and solvent tanks for demanding high-volume runs and applications, the printers use the company’s SmartFill f luids that are filled externally onthe-f ly without machine shutdown or opening the enclosure, with the different-shaped ink cartridges preventing the risk of inks or solvents ending up in the wrong tank. Employing highspeed processing and CIJ-specific electronic hardware, BestCode’s proprietary operating system—incorporating a high-speed, state-of-theart 208 MHz processor core integrated into a single electronic board—can control and operate multiple printing technologies in a true multitasking environment to allow for multiple events and operations to operate simultaneously, further enhanced with large memory storage, external USB connectivity, Ethernet communications, and multiple inputs and outputs. Featuring BestCode’s proprietary micro-disk drop generator, the stainless-steel C80 Series printheads employ a single small bore tube to deliver inks and solvents to ensure pin-pointed jet startup in less that one minute, according to the company, with no need for multiple inlets and outlets. BestCode
6 • WWW.CANADIANPACKAGING.COM
Action Packaging Systems
THE BIGGER PICTURE Designed to meet product inspection requirements of large food packages, the new Xpert C600 X-Ray inspection systems from Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. are outfitted with large-sized apertures for detecting metal, glass, dense plastics and other foreign objects in large individual product, packages and filled cases. Equipped with a highpower 160-W X-Ray source for better penetration of large objects, the Xpert C600 employs highly sensitive detectors in 0.8-mm resolution, enhanced with advanced algorithms that enable it to find small contaminants in complex images with virtually no false rejects, according to the company. Capable of analyzing an X-Ray image to estimate weight and fill levels, or to determine whether a packaged item has missing objects, the system employs highly f lexible software that can allow for up to eight lanes to be fed simultaneously through the aperture— thereby maximizing throughput and reducing the overall cost of inspection. Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
ALL FOR ONE Designed to eliminate the use of multiple machines to form, pack and seal corrugated or chipboard cases or trays, the new all-in-one Case/Tray Packer from Eagle Packaging Machinery operates by taking f lat blanks at one end and discharging a shelf- or pallet-ready package at another at speeds of up to 20 cycles per minute, according to the company. Offering a compact footprint, this system can accommodate the full range of tuck, tape or glue applications, while facilitating a tool-free size changeover in a matter of minutes. Incorporating a gripper, the machine’s servo-
loading mechanism ensures gentle loading and smooth product handling in many different pack patterns, while also offering design compatibility with a single- or multi-axis arm loader for the more complex applications. Eagle Packaging Machinery
HIGHER PURPOSE Designed to accommodate a broad range of space-constrained manufacturing applications in crowded production facilities, the new DynaCon 90-degree incline conveyor from Dynamic Conveyor Corporation is custom designed to the user-specified heights—with widths ranging from four to 60 inches—with an optional hopper for facilitating many parts and products conveying applications in busy environments. Available with optional casters to make the modular system easy to move in and away from other production equipment, the 90-degree conveyor configuration offers considerable space savings in application requiring consistent movement of part or product to higher elevation levels, according to the company, whose equipment range consists of multiple conveyor lines that can be quickly reconfigured on-demand like Lego building blocks. Dynamic Conveyor Corporation
MAKING SENSE Designed for precise monitoring of glue volume in corrugated applications, the new GD 500 adhesive volume sensor from Nordson Corporation uses a pair of sensors to obtain accurate assessment of the volume of liquid adhesive being dispensed onto a corrugated board. Incorporated into the Nordson corrugated glue station as part of a comprehensive adhesive dispensing and detection system, the GD 500 sensors offer a total application and quality monitoring solution, according to the company, with the easy-touse LCD display and keypad interface helping to simplify set-up and changeovers, enhanced with a dynamic calibration process that automatically ‘learns’ the desired adhesive profile. Nordson Canada, Limited
CANADIAN PACKAGING • MARCH 2014
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When others say no,
we say no problem.
“It is very important for a company like MEGA that our supplier understand our unique circumstances and collaborate to solve any issues along the path. Eagle always listens and brainstorms with us to come with solutions that meet our requirements. They say what they will deliver and they will deliver what they say…in the cost and time schedule, as planned day one.” - Dominic Prevost, MEGA Brands
Automation & Maintenance Manager (PackExpo Show Daily 2012)
Let’s Talk. · Case erecting · Tray forming · Tape & glue sealing
· Pick & place automation · Robotic palletizing · Custom designed solutions
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ASIA’S PAPERMAKING EMPIRE TAKING BIG FIRST STEPS TO GREEN REDEMPTION potential demand growth for paper and paper packaging products is something that we cannot meet by ourselves at this point in time even running at full capacity,” Shen told Canadian Packaging during an APP-sponsored media trip last year to some of the company’s production and plantation operations in China. “So while we may be an ‘empire’ in our market, holding Number One position in numerous market segments, for now we’re really a modest-scale global business,” Shen said. “There is more than enough demand here to keep us busy as we continue to grow our domestic business just to keep pace.” However, the company’s future growth will be
tations with local and indigenous people affected by its operations; improve working conditions for its workers; and implement an assortment of other f acknowledging a problem’s existence is a key far-reaching noble CSR (corporate social responfirst step to its eventual resolution, then Asia sibility) principles, while fully opening itself up Pulp & Paper (APP)—one of the world’s larto full scrutiny, audits and inspection by leading gest pulp and paper producers—seems to have set environmental NGOs and other stakeholders. itself on solid footing over the last year in the conIn order to ensure adequate supply of fiber for certed company-wide effort to clean up its muchits future production needs, APP China is heavily maligned public image as one of the industry’s investing in its plantation nursery and harvesting most notorious environmental villains, responsible operations—currently occupying about 300,000 for large-scale deforestation across Indonesia and hectares—and using fast-growing eucalyptus trees, other parts of the Pacific Rim. as well as other quickly renewable tree species, to With headquarters in Jakarta and Shanghai, provide a steady supply of high-quality, fully-renewAPP operates 14 major forest product companies able fiber that can be easily processed on existing in both Indonesia and China—with papermaking machinery to procombined production capacity of 19 duce quality paperboard, paper, million tonnes of pulp, paper, papertissue and other paper products. board and tissue products per year. “No one really bought into Employing over 79,000 people and our plantation concept before,” controlling about 2.6 million hectares says Shen, “but we are keen to of forestland, APP is a true multishow the world that this can be national juggernaut—nowadays mardone—even in a country with keting its products in 120 countries fairly limited land resources.” through a multitude of international With a comparatively fast subsidiaries, including the Brampton, four- to six-year growth cycle, Ont.-headquartered Asia Pulp eucalyptus trees—native to & Paper (Canada) Ltd. branch. Australia—are showing treDespite its far-f lung global mendous potential as fiber of presence, the biggest share of the future at the APP China APP’s production is reserved for Forestry’s Hainan Nursery the rapidly-growing Chinese operations in the Hainan domestic market, where the Province. company’s APP China divLocated largely on the Hainan Dr. Wending Huang (inset right) explains the various silviculture processes and techniques used to ision has operated since 1992. Island in the South China Sea, With a Chinese workforce plant and replant the fast-growth eucalyptus trees that soar up to 20 meters high, after originating the province boasts a tropof over 39,000 people —largely as tissue culture samples inside little glass jars (left) at the Hainan Nursery operations. ical moist, monsoonal climate employed at six major pulpthat (in addition to making it and-paper mills and over 20 tissue converting done in a profoundly different way than the prea popular vacation resort for mainland Chinese) facilities spread across the country—APP China vious cut-and-grab frenzy of clearcutting that has provides an ideal natural habitat for the eucalyptus generated sales of about US$6 billion in 2012, earned APP its infamy among leading NGOs (nontrees, according to the APP China Forestry’s depmore than half of the parent company’s US$11.3 governmental organizations) and industry comuty chief executive officer Dr. Wending Huang. “These trees grow up to 15 meters high in about billion in global revenues. petitors alike, Shen explained in his presentation at three years, before eventually reaching their full But while the company’s business growth in APP’s downtown Shanghai headquarters. height of 20 meters,” Huang told Canadian China has been nothing less than spectacular, it In a frank exchange with attending media, Shen Packaging during the Hainan Nursery visit, came with the high burden of being labeled as explained the company’s plan to abandon the use where the eucalyptus begin their life as tissue culone of the global paper industry’s biggest corporof naturally-grown tree fibers entirely, announture in glass jars, are placed into soil inside special ate offenders on a broad range of environmental cing in February of 2013 that APP and its supplipods outside to blossom into ready-to-plant cutand social issues—a legacy of highly controversial, ers would no longer accept natural hardwood in lings, and finally planted anywhere onto the 70 large-scale clearcutting and other questionable logtheir mills by last August—two years ahead of the hectares of land parcels operated by the company ging practices deemed responsible for the disappearoriginal schedule—as it started moving to a “full on the Hainan island. ance of up to a half-million hectares of Indonesian plantation” model to secure the lion’s share of its “It’s only a three-month cycle from the lab to rainforest over the last decade, according to some fiber needs. planting,” Huang explained, adding that after the of APP’s most vocal critics such as Greenpeace Just over a year ago, APP sent shock-waves first six-year rotation, when the first-generation and The Rainforest Alliance, among others. through the global paper business by launching tree are cut down at the stem a foot or so above Much of that criticism has largely fallen on deaf its official Forest Conservation Policy (FCP)—a key ground, the next-generation tress will be ready ears in the not-so-recent past—often discounted as cornerstone of its Sustainability Roadmap Vision for harvesting in about four years. unfair Western bias out of tune with the realities of 2020 growth strategy—that pledges the comEach stem left behind can also be “coppiced China’s rapid economic growth—but the company pany’s commitment, with immediate effect, “to (cloned) up to three times” to enable each single appears to have had an epic rethink of its environcompletely eliminate all natural forest derived stem to produce two twin trees per stem in the mental practices in the last couple of years, announproducts in our entire supply chain by 2020,” next rotation, according to Huang, “to ensure cing dramatic changes in its forestry management which was actually achieved in August of 2013. exceptionally high yield rates. practices that, if fully implemented, can one day As part of this public pledge, APP and its sup“Then it’s basically two to three days from tree position it as a new poster child for ecological sensiply-chain partners have explicitly committed to to pulp at one of our mills,” adds Huang, pointtivity and environmental responsibility. keep their logging operations only to areas not ing out that the eucalyptus plantations also offer a “Although we are a globally operating company, already naturally forested—as defined through the multitude of productive farming and grazing uses our main focus is primarily on the domestic marglobally-accepted High Conservation Value Forest of the land for the local agricultural communities, ket,” says APP China culture and communica(HCVF) and High Carbon Stock (HCS) assessas well as enhancing the region’s local biodiversity. tions general manager Henry Shen. ments—as well as achieve dramatic reductions in All this activity appears to be paying off for APP “Because of China’s rising middle class, the GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions; improve consul-
BY GEORGE GUIDONI, EDITOR
8 • WWW.CANADIANPACKAGING.COM
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ECO-PACK NOW one year after the launch of the Forest Conservation Policy, with Greenpeace provisionally suspending its boycott campaigns against the company, and The Rainforest Alliance agreeing to conduct its own third-party audits to verify and monitor APP’s commitment to its environmental promises and progress. “This is a challenging assignment,” says The Rainforest Alliance vice-president of forestry Richard Donovan, “but we believe that independent and transparent third-party oversight is an essential ingredient for accurate reporting on progress. “As we said when the FCP was announced [in February 2013], the delivery on the ground is what matters the most, and The Rainforest Alliance is putting together a team and process that will independently assess and publicly report on the progress to date.” Under the terms of the new arrangement, Rainforest Alliance will evaluate APP’s progress in meeting four commitments in its forest conservation policy, including protecting high conservation value areas and high-carbon stock forests; managing peatlands to limit GHG emissions; and obtaining free, prior informed consent from local communities before developing new plantations. The alliance will also closely scrutinize and measure APP’s progress in adhering to any other public statements it has made in respect to forest conservation issue, says Donovan, stressing the decision to re-engage with APP was not taken lightly,
“There were three factors that inf luenced our decision,” according to Donovan. “First, there is strong commitment at the highest levels of the organization, which signals that APP is serious this time around. “Second, we have great respect for both NGO (The Forest Trust and Greenpeace) that are working with APP on its policy,” Donovan adds. “And third, we know that deforestation and community rights are important to a number of APP’s key buyers, so that if APP doesn’t address these issues, it will face intensifying market pressure going forward.” Says APP’s managing director of sustainability Aida Greenbury: “We are very happy that an organization as credible as The Rainforest Alliance has agreed to undertake this hugely important work. “Since we introduced the FCP, we have made considerable progress,”
says Greenbury, noting the company’s self-imposed moratorium on all natural forest clearance activities remains fully in place while The Royal Trust and other independent assessors continue conducting their HCVS and HCS audits, expected to be completed in the first half of 2014. “It hasn’t all been plain sailing,” Greenbury acknowledges. “There have been a number of challenges and we have learned from these and used them to improve procedures associated with the FCP. “But by this evaluation, we hope that stakeholders will more fully understand the challenges associated with tackling deforestation. Adds Greenbury: “It is also very encouraging that Greenpeace recognizes the progress we have made since introducing the FCP just a year ago.” “We know that many years of work lie ahead, but this has given us additional confidence that we are on the right path as we aim to put a permanent end to deforestation in our supply chain,” Greenbury concludes. “Scrutiny from Greenpeace and other NGOs has been an important driver for us, and we hope to continue to work with all stakeholders in this way over the coming years.”
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CLEAR PATH TO GROWTH Popular Canadian beermaker brews up a potent mix of packaging line efficiency and patient brand-building to take over the domestic beer market’s sweet middle ground
ew beverages are as universally enjoyed, adored and revered as beer— often cited as the third-most popular drink on the planet after water and tea—and it’s hardly surprising that just about every developed country in the world where alcohol consumption is legal boasts at least one or two national beer brands to keep that collective local thirst well-quenched during both the good and the more troubled times. Having been around for more than 9,500 years, according to credible scientific evidence, the world’s oldest fermented beverage has withstood countless epic conf licts, falls of empires and entire civilizations, catastrophic plagues and all sorts of other man-made and natural calamities not only with its reputation intact, but in fact still showing as much growth potential and mass appeal worldwide as ever—this century no exception. And although much of that modern-day growth will occur in places other than the traditional mature, slow-growth markets like Canada, the U.S. and western Europe, it seems that there’s always room for a truly innovative industry newcomer with something really special and unique to offer the marketplace. And while a newcomer is arguably no longer the most accurate term to describe a company that marked its modern-day quarter-century anniversary a year ago, there is no shortage of youthful enthusiasm, optimism and exuberance to provide a lively backdrop to the continuous, around-theclock beer production and packaging taking place at the Sleeman Breweries Ltd. brewing complex in Guelph, Ont.
Rich History Started back up in 1988 from a heritage tracing to 1834 by company founder John Sleeman—replicating a famed family ‘black book’ of traditional recipes once used by his forefathers to smuggle Canadianmade suds into the U.S. during the Prohibition era—today’s Sleeman may no longer be the ‘new kid on the block’ challenging the country’s traditional well-entrenched marketplace duopoly of venerable brewing giants MolsonCoors and Labatt, but it’s a fair trade-off for a hard-earned significant share of the total Canadian beer market. Operating as a subsidiary of Japanese-owned brewing giant Sapporo Breweries Limited since 2006, Sleeman’s rise to national prominence has been well-ref lected in recent years with well-executed integration of several popular regional craft-brewers—notably the Vernon, B.C.based Okanagan Spring Brewery in 1996 and Unibroue of Chambly, Que., in 2004—that have enabled the company to increase its geographic reach, production capacity and product portfolio in a meaningful enough way to cement its status as Canada’s third-largest beer producer by volume. This acquisition-driven growth was underpinned by the constant expansion of the original Guelph brewery over the years, which has grown from a smallish 50,000-square-foot operation with 35 employees into an imposing, 120,000-square-foot
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From Left: Sleeman Breweries packaging manager Rob Maarse, technical manager Ark Skupien, and associate director of operations Bret Mason strike a pose with some of the company’s unique product packaging near the entrance to the brewer’s on-site retail shop, which also serves as reception area for the busy, 120,000-square foot Guelph production facility (inset) originally started up by John Sleeman back in 1988.
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A low back-pressure SystemPlast chain conveyor from Emerson Industrial Automation helps ensure a smooth ride for corrugated trays filled with Sleeman beer cans all the way to the palletizing station.
Installed at the Guelph brewery about two years ago, the fully-automatic Alvey 910 model palletizer manufactured by Intelligrated is built for continuous, around-the-clock production speeds of up to 125 cases per hour, with the machine’s innovative slat dividers (inset) helping ensure gentle product handling and to provide a broad choice of layer patterns for optimal operational flexibility.
building employing over 200 people on a threeshift, 24/7 brewing and 24/5 packaging schedules to keep up with buoyant market demand for the company’s f lagship Sleeman Original Draught brand and other popular domestic beer brands. Today, the company’s vast product portfolio also comprises the easy-drinking Sleeman Clear 2.0 and Light brands—along with the time-honored product family made up of unique craft brews like Sleeman Cream Ale, Honey Brown Lager, Silver Creek Lager, Fine Porter, India Pale Ale (IPA) and Dark/ Rousse—as well as the parent company’s worldrenowned Sapporo premium draught. With annual output of just over one million hectoliters, a rough equivalent of 13 million cases of 24 bottles, the Guelph plant nowadays houses three separate dedicated production lines, with the keg line accounting for about five per cent of the output; the bottling line for about 30 per cent; and the canning line for the rest of beer production. According to Sleeman’s national director of procurement Steve Wilkie, many of the capital investment projects taking place at the Guelph facility in recent years were undertaken to meet the growing Canadian market demand for canned beers.
Strong Enough This strong Canadian beer market trend prompted the Guelph operation to install a state-of-the-art KHS canning line in 2002, Wilkie relates, and follow up with continuous upgrades to canning capacity in the years since, including commissioning of new equipment from some of the beer production machinery’s leading players such as Krones, MeadWestvaco, Sidel and, more recently, Intelligrated. As Wilkie explains, “One of the key trends that Sleeman, along with other brewers, have had to deal today with is the fast-growing popularity of cans among Canadian consumers. “Recognizing this trend, along with the overall growth of the business, we started to look for opportunities to increase overall throughput of the canning line,” says Wilkie, relating that as the production and variety of the canned products increased, so did the various bottlenecks related to the canning line’s original equipment—particularly in the end-of-line packaging area. “Whereas the can line originally started out 10
MARCH 2014 • CANADIAN PACKAGING
years ago as a single-shift operation, we are now running three full shifts on the line,” the brewery’s packaging manager Rob Maarse told Canadian Packaging on a recent visit to the Guelph plant. “We managed the growth for a while the best we could with some incremental upgrades,” recalls the brewery’s technical manager Ark Skupien, but ultimately the company realized that it would need to modernize its palletizing and other end-of-line machinery to keep up with the increased output. “We had a very old piece of equipment that was originally sufficient for our needs at the time of installation,’ relates Skupien, “but as our complexity increased with all the different package sizes, more frequent changeovers and higher throughputs, it became a key bottleneck—and a palletizer is not a good spot to have it.” Adds Maarse: “The main constraint was believed to be the direct result of the original palletizing equipment capability and reliability, with further analysis demonstrating a higher degree of failures around 12-pack SKUs (stock-keeping units), with the added number of turns and complex pallet patterns compared to other sizes. “The original unit was also reaching end of life with increased breakdowns, and it was unable to meet future speed increases of the line,” he says. According to Maarse and Skupien, the Sleeman plant worked together with leading engineering con-
sultants Linetec Solutions for about a year to study and evaluate all the available upgrade options, before ultimately setting on the fully-automatic Alvey 910 palletizing system manufactured by Intelligrated, a leading manufacturer of automated material handling and end-of-line packaging equipment and machinery headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. “At the time, the Alvey 910 system was determined to be the best choice to handle our future speed demands and multiple SKUs,” recalls Maarse.
Between the Lines Adds Skupien: “We looked at the more automated and robotics-based solutions and the more traditional, conventional-design solutions, and we’ve picked somewhere in between with the Alvey 910 palletizer. “It met our criteria for being very f lexible, very repeatable, and being relatively easy-to-adapt to the new SKUs,” says Skupien, estimating the total palletizing system investment at a little over $1 million. According to both Maarse and Skupien, it was money well-spent. “As a result of this installation, the can line has seen an increase in throughput of nearly 20 per cent,” notes Maarse. “Overall, we are very satisfied with the performance of the unit to date, and we are confident that it can meet our future speed and SKU requirements.” Skupien agrees: “We generally had a good idea of what this technology was capable of, and after we
The fully-automatic Alvey 910 inline palletizer from Intelligrated requires only one operator to monitor its operations and to perform routine quality control checks.
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The Topmatic rotary filler from Krones handles all of the Guelph plant’s bottling production requirements, including the inline application of neck labels (inset) onto the company’s signature-clear glass bottles.
studied and estimated what the capabilities would be on this line, we chose a machine that would satisfy both our current and future requirements for at least five years down the road, while improving our throughput, speed and changeover efficiencies. “The fact that Alvey 910 is based on a conventional palletizing design was also important to us,” he states. “We didn’t want to introduce a very big step up in technology for our workforce; we wanted something that our own people could maintain from the ‘get go.’ “We sent a small group of our people to Intelligrated for initial training, which we followed up with some on-site training here for other operations and maintenance staff,” he says, “and generally we’ve been able to maintain it on our own since we have installed it.” That said, Skupien is quick to extend credit to the helpful staff at Intelligrated Canada Limited, particularly customer service and support manager Michael Bell, for helping ensure smooth system startup and provide superior after-sales support.
“We were running product within the first week of the installation,” says Skupien, describing the installation as a truly collective team effort also involving Linetec Solutions and Sleeman’s own engineering and maintenance staff. “Intelligrated has been very helpful in sourcing parts and in generally being very responsive whenever we would need their help. “Even though we have been able to develop some new palletizing patterns on this machine with our own people, we have also called on them for some technical help and suggestions now and then, and they’ve always been very responsive,” he adds.
Happy to Help “It’s just nice to know that they’re always there in case we have some new challenges to handle. “We are very happy with the system’s performance to date,” says Skupien, stressing that minimizing machine downtime is one of the key competitive tactics that a high-throughput operation like the Guelph brewery has at its disposal. “Running under a tight schedule like we are means that any losses we may suffer this week cannot be made up during the next week,” he point out. “We really have zero margin for error—that’s just the reality dictated to us by the market,” Skupien asserts. “Hence we challenge ourselves everyday to improve our process f low, while reducing the margin for error further and further. “We have spent a lot of capital to get to where we are now, and we realize that it’s our gains in
A VideoJet 1710 small-character continuous inkjet coder performs high-speed coding onto the passing glass bottles.
efficiency—be it throughput, speed, changeover, operator training, etc.—that hold the key to our gains in capacity. “That’s why we are comfortable with our choice of the Alvey 910 palletizer—this machine is a world-class machine that is capable of doing anything that any other brewer’s canning line can do,” Skupien states. To enhance the new palletizer’s productivity gains, the Sleeman plant has also installed a refurbished, heavy-duty, fully-automatic ITW Muller stretchwrapping system for securing the palletized loads of beer cases to the shipping pallets, which are then automatically conveyed to their shipping or storage destinations immediately after the stretchwrap film has been applied. While the canning line has been getting most of the attention at the Guelph facility in recent years in terms of new machinery installation, the company has also undertaken significant marketing efforts to reinforce its market image. In large part, this involved playing up the notorious ‘iconic heritage’ of its signature clear-glass, (Left) Manufactured by R.A. Jones, the Maxim Beverage Muiltipacker system at the Sleeman plant is capable of processing up to 3,000 cans or 1,800 bottles per minute. (Bottom) Heavy-duty drive motors from SEW-Eurodrive help ensure reliable power transmission and distribution for the hardworking Alvey 910 high-case palletizer.
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An air-knife system supplied by R.E. Morrison helps eliminate all moisture and condensation from the passing beer bottles before they are packed into cases.
Manufactured by Owens-Illinois, the iconic Sleeman clear-glass beer bottles are widely credited for quick market growth of the company’s flagship beer brands.
unique-shaped glass bottles that first captured the Canadian beer-lovers’ fancy and imagination back in the 1990s with their see-through ‘nothing to hide’ packaging presentation that offered consumers a refreshing break from the industry-standard, brown-colored containers sporting multiple product labels further disguising the product’s natural look and color.
last year to highlight the segmentation between our core lagers and our ‘craft’ offerings, adopting unique
True Colors “Sleeman has long been recognized by Canadian consumers for its clear bottle that allows the true color of each beer to be fully appreciated,” says the brewer’s national brand manager Amy Dean. “It is an icon of the brand that sets Sleeman apart from competitors by reminding consumers of its heritage and history,” Dean explains. “In 2013 the brand underwent a visual refresh, including introduction of a new logo, bottle label, can and carton graphics, and the consumer and industry response to date has been very positive” Says Dean: “We redesigned the entire portfolio of Sleeman products
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An incline conveyor swiftly transfers opened beer cases towards the KHS case-packing station to be filled with bottles.
designs for two different segments, but there was never any question of making changes to the iconic clear bottle. “The Sleeman bottle is such an icon in the beer market, that even when it’s imitated by competition, it is readily seen as just that—an imitation,” she states. Produced for Sleeman exclusively by the OwensIllinois glass container manufacturing plant in Brampton, Ont., the curvy-shaped, 341-ml bottles are now compatible with every provincial recycling stream across Canada, relates Darlene Fidler, national procurement manager for packaging materials, despite weighing a little more than industry-standard bottles due to the extra bit of glass used to give the container its wide-shouldered profile for accommodating trademark and logo embossing directly onto the glass surface. According to the brewer, each clear-glass Sleeman’s brand bottles is reused 13 to 18 times on average before eventually being crushed and
melted down for reuse. “Our founder John Sleeman has fought a lot of battles over the years to keep this bottle and to earn it returnable status in every province, most recently in New Brunswick in 2006,” says associate director of operations Bret Mason, proclaiming the company’s deep-rooted commitment to sustainable manufacturing and packaging throughout all of its operations, including the recently-leased, 100,000-square-foot warehousing facility operating just down the street from the brewery.
Full Commitment “Beer companies in general are good at waste diversion, but for us it’s a real company-wide commitment,” observes Fidler, pointing out that Sleeman operates its own wastewater treatment plant on-site. “Sustainability is really important to us, our supply chain partners and our packaging vendors,” she proudly states. “Any material that comes to us has to be 100-per-
The network of Sidel conveyors carrying Sleeman’s bottles through their rinsing, filling and packaging stages are powered by heavy-duty SEW-Eurodrive electric motors.
cent recyclable or reusable,” points out Fidler. “We have annual audits of our waste diversion and recycling practices conducted by an outside company, Efficient Waste Management. “Our current diversion rate is about 98 per cent,” Fidler reveals, “with about 30 per cent of the remainder accounted by organics and paper towels. “We launched a new program for organics and paper towel recycling in October of 2013, and we’re looking forward to seeing the results of this program in our next audit in the fall. “There is very little waste in our facility and that is something we are all very proud of,” Fidler enthuses, while complimenting the efforts of company’s key packaging suppliers—including Ball Packaging (cans), MeadWestvaco (folding cartons) and Atlantic Packaging Products (corrugated cases and trays)—for helping the brewer consistently achieve its environmental goals and targets.
Toronto-based Atlantic Packaging Products Limited has long been the preferred supplier of pre-printed corrugated retail cases for packing Sleeman’s bottled products.
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Fabbri_2013Feb_MeatPkgAd_PoultryDrumsticks_CP_Layout 1 2/3/14 2:19 PM Page 1
Colorful palletized loads of different brands of Sleeman beer products await their turn in the dock area to be loaded for transport to the nearby warehouse or direct delivery to customer.
“We also do monthly updates and annual education sessions for all our employees, updating them on our programs and helping them understand where all the materials go in our closed-loop system, which we have now had in place for the last seven years,” says Fidler, lauding all of the company’s hourly and salaried staff for maintaining Sleeman’s ongoing environmental improvements, as well as keep growing the brewer’s market share.
People Power “We are focused on experienced and well-trained employees to support our growth,” she states. “It’s in our company’s mission statement: Better beer, better people, getting better.” Adds Fidler: “A key reason Sleeman has been so successful is that we have a wide variety of products with broad product families. “That’s because we are actively
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A close-up of the Filtec bottle inspection system used to verify each container’s surface quality and structural integrity.
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COVER STORY competing in all four core segPlease see a video of Intelligrated’s ments of the marfully-automatic Alvey 910 model ket—premium, palletizer in operation at mainstream, craft Sleeman’s Guelph facility at and imports,” she www.canadianpackaging.com states. “It’s important for us as a Canadian beermaker to offer Canadians high-quality beer for all sorts of occasions.” Skupien concurs: “Even though we have gone from producing very small batches to much larger batches of beer, it’s still the same process and we still operate a copper cladded kettle. “It’s always about making one beer at a time and not rushing the process, and we take our time with everything from fermentation to aging,” states Skupien. “Our grain-to-bottle time is much longer that what our competitors typically do, and our growth in the marketplace is proof that our commitment to quality, authenticity and craftsmanship is widely appreciated by Canadians across the entire country.”
For More Information: Intelligrated Industries Canada Limited KHS GmbH Krones Machinery Co. Ltd. MeadWestvaco Canada LP Ball Packaging Products Canada Inc. Owens-Illinois, Inc. Atlantic Packaging Products Limited ITW Muller Linetec Solutions Nordson Canada, Limited R.E. Morrison Equipment Inc. VideoJet Canada Ltd. Sidel Canada Inc. R.A. Jones & Co. Filtec Sealed Air Diversey Care Technical Adhesives Limited
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A fully-palletized load of corrugated trays loaded with packs of canned beer is secured and fully stabiized with a few layers of stretchwrap film applied by a refurbished, fullyautomatic Octopus series rotary-ring stretchwrapping system from ITW Muller.
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PACKAGING FOR SHELF-LIFE
FLYING THE COOP
Continuous capital investments and leading technologies help Quebec company quickly become a major player in the Canadian poultry processing industry ANDREW JOSEPH, FEATURES EDITOR PHOTOS BY PIERRE LONGTIN
n the financial world, no one ever wants to take a bath by losing money—especially true for those involved in the startup of a new business. For one Quebec company, simply removing water from the equation was the key to its success. Founded in 1989, Volaille Giannone (Giannone Poultry) Inc., has been spreading its wings and market reach over the years by operating a chicken processing facility in St. Cuthbert, Que., just northeast of Montreal, with its products sold throughout the U.S. and Canada, at many major grocery stores. Even before Giannone Poultry processed its first chicken in 1989, the company realized that it wanted to do more than just eke out a living. If it wanted to thrive and become a respected and trusted name in the industry, it needed to take many steps before it ever actually opened up for business. It needed to not just merely plan for success, it needed to actually take advance steps to ensure it, according to the late company founder Nicola Giannone. Along with his son Bruno, they decided that it was going to either ‘go large or go home’ and
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it needed to compete with the larger chicken processors in the industry right from the beginning, so that it would immediately be considered a major player. To that effect, the company was set up with approximately 105,000 square feet of production space, including some 65,000 square feet reserved for the actual processing. Soon after the company opened its doors for business, it became a certified a Canadian federal establishment, meaning its products could be sold anywhere in Canada. But what really separated this bird from the rest of the f lock was the way it threw itself into embracing a technology never before utilized anywhere in North America. Giannone Poultry began by raising its free-range chickens on a feed mixture of corn, soy and wheat, which ensures that its birds are plump with a juicy taste that stays with the bird long after slaughter. This is achieved in large part thanks to a highly innovative process known as air-chilling. Company vice-president and general manager Bruno Giannone says that although the initial cost to set the company up with this technology was quite high, everyone involved knew that in the long-run, it would help establish the success of the business. “We knew the process would work and we knew
Freshly slaughtered chickens move through Giannone Poultry’s temperature-controlled air-chilling room, the first in Canada to use such the revolutionary technology that provides a seven-day longer shelf-life for the grocery operators.
our birds would be better-tasting than the competition; we just didn’t know if customers would pay a little more to enjoy eating our air-chilled birds,” Giannone told Canadian Packaging during a recent interview. They need not have worried. By 1994, just five short years after starting the company, Giannone Poultry had achieved an epic 1,543 percent increase in its sales. According to Giannone, the sales growth was a result of the company making a big splash in the purchase of automation to help it immediately handle larger processing orders, combined with utilizing advanced European technologies with air-chilling. In Canada, the 140-employee Giannone Poultry is considered to be a pioneer in the concept of airchilled chicken processing.
The Big Chill “There are many plants today that utilize an airchilled facility for chicken processing,” acknowledges Giannone, “but we were the first processor in North America to work with this technology.” There are essentially two methods utilized in the North American chicken processing to cool a bird after it is slaughtered, whereby cooling effectively stems the growth of harmful bacteria. The industry standard utilized by processors in Canada and the U.S. is the water-cooling method, whereby the slaughtered and plucked chicken is submerged in a chlorinated water bath for a long period of time to bring the temperature down to 4°C (40°F) or lower to ensure bacterial growth is halted. Unlike followers of the adage ‘birds of a feather stick together’, Giannone Poultry decided that rather than chilling via water, the company would be better served if it challenged the established norm and used the revolutionary air-chilling method, whereby the chickens are chilled in a controlled cold air environment. After studying chicken processing operations in Europe, Giannone Poultry began developing their
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PACKAGING FOR SHELF-LIFE
Left: One of a pair of Premier Tech RPZ-900 central palletizing robotic workcells utilized by Giannone Poultry at its St. Cuthbert processing facility. Above: a plant worker employs a FANUC iPendant hand-held robotic controller interface that is used for operator training.
own version of air-chilling, which uses air to evenly chill eviscerated chickens as they travel through a controlled cold cooling room for a little over and hour, reaching a temperature of 1.1°C (34°F). Unlike the European method of air-chilling based on spraying the birds to prevent them from drying out, Giannone Poultry relies on its controlled cold air room environment to ensure that the chickens do not dry out and that the natural juices of the chickens remain intact. Once out of the air chilling room, the chickens are immediately packaged. While it is generally accepted that bacterial growth is halted equally well by both methods,
there seems to be a significant difference regarding the f lavor of the meat. With water-cooling, the chicken tends to absorb the liquid under the skin and meat, and the more water a bird has absorbed, the more the meat shrinks when it is cooked. In general, this process tends to draw out the natural juices of the bird. Not so with the proprietary system used by Giannone Poultry. “Not only does the Giannone air-chilled poultry maintain its natural meat juices and better ref lect the final cooked weight of the bird, it also provides some food safety benefits,” proclaims Giannone.
Contained within the secure confines of a safety enclosure, a Premier Tech Systems RPZ-900 central palletizing unit utilizes the power, speed and accuracy of a M-410iB/140H robot, manufactured by FANUC Robotics, outfitted with special high-strength grippers to pick up corrugated boxes, supplid by Norampac, at the base with its forklift pre-load assembly.
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“The air-chilling process ensures valuable protein and enzymes are preserved, plus since the process eliminates the need for water, bacteria such as salmonella and the e-coli virus are effectively kept in check.” Giannone readily admits that the air-chilled system is more expensive than the water-chilled system, and those costs are ref lected on the grocery shelves. But for the targeted foodies who appreciate the difference, it is money well-spent. “There’s chicken and then there’s tasty chicken,” says Giannone. “We produce high-quality, tasty chicken.” Another benefit to using the air-chilling method correctly, according to Giannone, is the longer shelf life.
Better Life “Using our Giannone air-chilling method, our birds can achieve an additional seven days of shelflife over the other method,” he asserts. “For our customers, having a greater opportunity to sell a product is a very important value-added.” When Giannone was just starting out, the airchilling process was still in its infancy here in Canada, though many of its European contemporaries had been using the technology for years. As Giannone ref lects, “Even after observing the way the Europeans performed their air-chilling, we still thought we could do it better. “Which is why we spent the better part of three years perfecting our sophisticated air-chilling system,” he says. “It was worth the effort because our birds have a firm and meaty f lavor with a tenderness and juiciness that can’t be beat.” Processing 8,000 chickens per hour, Giannone Poultry utilizes two formats when packing its birds: reusable totes and recycled corrugated cartons. While the totes are owned by Giannone Poultry, it purchases recycled corrugated carton boxes from Norampac, a Division of Cascades Canada ULC, using both formats on the production line. For both packaging options, Giannone utilizes the end-of-line palletizing solution supplied by the Rivière-du-Loup, Que.-headquartered Premier Tech Systems, which operates as a subsidiary of Industrial Equipment Group (IEG), a worldwide manufacturer of packaging equipment. According to Premier Tech senior sales manager Michel Corriveau, his company offers “complete endof-line solutions for a wide range of rigid containers
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PACKAGING FOR SHELF-LIFE
Giannone Poultry vice-president and general manager Bruno Giannone proudly holding up a corrugated carton, converted by Norampac, denoting the poultry processor’s proud technological prowess in producing high-end air-chilled chicken products.
such as cases, totes, trays, bundles, drums and more.” The wide range of machinery available includes: conveyors, robotic case-packers, robotic palletizers, high-level palletizers, low-level palletizers, stretchwrappers, stretch hooders and other innovative equipment for small-, medium- and largescale production environment.
A Premier Tech Systems RPZ-900 central palletizing unit preparing to move corrugated cartons, filled with freshly packed chicken, onto the signature-blue CHEP shipping pallets at robust speeds of up to 13 cases per minute.
Already packed in totes or corrugated cartons, the processed chickens arrives at one of a pair of Premier Tech RPZ-900 central palletizing cells, each featuring 13 pallet stations. The RPZ-900 palletizing systems allows for simultaneous palletizing of multiple SKU’s (stockkeeping units) on multiple pallets.
“The RPZ-900 palletizing robotic systems used by Giannone Poultry are a fantastic system,” enthuses Corriveau. “It’s an integrated system that comes with stainlesssteel conveyors and barcode scanners and robots.” According to Corriveau, the palletizers also come fully-equipped with: • custom robot risers; • no set-up, servo-lateral fork robot gripper; • on-the-f loor pallet build stations, with no pallet conveyor or lift truck required; • an Allen-Bradley Compactlogix L43S Safety PLC (programmable logic controller) from Rockwell Automation; • an ISO 10218 safety enclosure and safety light barriers; • cables and cable trays; • central control cabinet; • all related system integration, commissioning and production assistance.
A pallet load of reusable plastic totes containing bags of freshly-slaughtered air-chilled chicken is swiftly packed and securely stacked by one of the two Premier Tech Systems RPZ-900 central palletizing units employed at the busy facility.
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“We are very pleased with the robotic palletizing systems we purchased from Premier Tech,” says Giannone. “Even aside from the precise work it performs, we also like that it comes in such a compact footprint.” For Premier Tech, outfitting the plant was a formidable design challenge. “Not only did we have to provide an automated solution to simultaneously palletize up to 13 different products, including cases and totes, but we had to do it in an existing 49-feet long by 12-feet high cooler while guaranteeing a palletizing load up to 6-feet high, while also ensuring there was proper clearance for lift-truck operators,” says Corriveau. “Plus they wanted to ensure there was still adequate storage in the 4°C or less in the refrigerated area.” “Speed, size, safety and had to work in a cold environment—all in a day’s work for Premier Tech,” Corriveau chuckles. The solution that Corriveau and Premier Tech conceived was to place the two RPZ-900 palletizers within a footprint of 23-foot 10-inches x 40-foot 3-inches, which also included an optimized robotic ceiling clearance of a half-inch. The key element of the Premier Tech palletizing cell is the M-410iB/140 H robot, manufactured by FANUC Robotics, which is a five-axis, servodriven robotic system that has a dedicated design
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PACKAGING FOR SHELF-LIFE
Freshly slaughtered chickens are placed upside down on indiviual hooks on conveying system at the Giannone Poultry facility before moving into the company’s specially-designed air-chilling environment to effectively stem the growth of harmful bacteria.
to increase throughput for palletizing and load/ unload applications. With footprint considerations high on the list, Corriveau says the M-410iB/140H robot is the ideal solution for Giannone Poultry because of its slim arm and wrist assembly, with internally routed cables and hoses, which allows the robot to access and manoeuvre better within a confined work area. For end-users advantages of this robot include increased reliability of gripper cabling due to shorter cabling and no interference with the part or gripper elements; easier programming; increased uptime; and better overall performance. “Because our commitment to safety is not an option, our robotic systems must meet industry safety standards,” says Corriveau.
“That is why we offer FANUC products as part of all our robotic solutions.” Other advanced performance features of the Giannone Poultry palletizing system developed by Premier Tech, include: • peak production rate of 13 totes or cases per minute using lateral grippers; • stainless-steel construction; • DCS (Dual Check Safety) option on the robotic system to optimize the overall footprint; • servo-lateral fork robot end-of-arm tooling capable of handling up to 35 kilograms of weight at the bottom of the case or tote; • simultaneous multi-product, multi-format and multi-SKU palletizing capability; • user-friendly FANUC IPendant hand-held robotic controller interface;
• compliance with all food safety requirements, including low-temperature and sanitary needs. Despite the complexity of the system, the installation and training were completed in one month, culminating with production ramping up in December of 2012. As Corriveau relates: “As per the final scope, Premier Tech has supervised the in-house local contractor, including Giannone maintenance personnel. “All the system commissioning, production assistance and operator-training were supplied by Premier Tech personnel.” Corriveau relates that Giannone Poultry utilizes Premier Tech’s 24/7 free technical assistance, hands-on training for operator and maintenance teams, system optimization and preventative maintenance training.
Supplied by leading Canadian systems integrator PLAN Automation, the Giannone Poultry plant uses a pair of Eagle Pack 1000 X-Ray inspection systems to prevent risk of product contamination of its packed chicken products. (Below) A close-up X-Ray view of the processed chicken parts passing through the Eagle Pack 1000.
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PACKAGING FOR SHELF-LIFE “Premier Tech has done a very good job for us, helping us further achieve our productivity goals,” says Giannone. Some of the other key suppliers to the Giannone Poultry operation include: • Plan Automation, which supplied two Eagle Pack 1000 X-Ray inspection systems featuring intelligent barcode readers for random product infeed and automatic recipe changeover, sold by the Canadian supplier; • Unisource Canada, who provide a multitude of facility and packing supplies for the plant; • CHEP Canada, supplier of returnable pallets. Along with the tech-savvy equipment and the personnel to operate it, Giannone is quite proud over the company’s environmental stance. While the company participates in the usual recycling of papers, corrugated, plastics and metals, as a company well-known for being technologically savvy, it tries to do more. “Giannone Poultry is a leader in the industry,” Giannone says proudly, “as we are able to treat all of the processing water consumption to a norm below government regulation requirements, which enables us to return our treated water to our local river.”
Stretchwrapped corrugated cartons of freshly-packed chicken prepped for shipment to retail customers across Canada and the U.S.
“We have always had an innovative approach to technology and our market,” he concludes, “and we will continue to follow that path to grow our business to new heights.”
For More Information: Premier Tech Systems Norampac (Division of Cascades Canada ULC) Rockwell Automation FANUC Robotics Canada Ltd. PLAN Automation Eagle Product Inspection Unisource Canada Inc. CHEP Canada Inc.
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Boiling Point The chicken processor also utilizes a boiler room system that uses wood to create steam for its plant usage, eliminating the need for more expensive diesel fuel. Explains Giannone: “The boiler system has also helped in reducing our electrical consumption dramatically. “The boiler system is able to create enough steam for Giannone Poultry to heat all of the departments within the facility, using steam exchangers instead of having to install electrical heaters,” he extols. The environmentally-oriented company also helped design its wood boiler system to burn as little diesel fuel as possible, utilizing all water sludge created from the plant’s water treatment system as an additional fuel source. Using the sludge in this manner eliminates the process of having to dump the sludge in approved waste centers, thereby minimizing its affect on the environment, according to Giannone. “By being able to burn this sludge within our own process, we minimize the consumption of wood used in our boiler system,” says Giannone. “It’s a win-win situation.” Knowing the importance of taking the time to do things right to ensure a productive future, Giannone says the company will continue to be proactive in its endeavors to seek out solutions and technologies to better position itself in the market. “Working with a company like Premier Tech continues to show dividends for us, as our palletizing production rate helps us keep pace, and beyond, with our customer’s orders,” Giannone sums up.
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PRODUCT ID NOW Photos courtesy of Domino Printing Sciences
TOP MARKS FOR QUALITY Famed Bavarian mineral water brand benefits from the divine intervention of advanced laser coding technology
he majestic Alps are renowned for many natural beauties—pristine, mineral-rich water springs certainly among the area’s many charms and also an important source of income for some of the area’s long-time inhabitants. Based in the Bavarian Alps in southern Germany, Adelholzener Alpenquellen GmbH is a monastery-owned water-bottling company—operated by the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity order— that holds a sacred place in the hearts of local residents and, increasingly, for the growing customer base for the company’s one-of-a-kind Adelholzener brand of medicinal (healing) and mineral waters, lemonades, iced-teas, juice cocktails and softdrinks, and the highly innovative Active O2 brand of oxygen-enhanced sports beverages. The company’s diverse product portfolio shares one key basic ingredient—the exceptionally pure Adelholzener mineral water that permeates through the alpine rock to come out not only highly purified, but also enriched with a variety of valuable healthy minerals. Local legends trace the water’s history some 1,700 years back to its discovery by a Roman legionnaire Primus, who went on to become canonized for his saintly feats of healing the sick with water and prayers.
Happy Returns Naturally, sustainability has long been enshrined into the company’s approach to doing business, with returnable bottles nowadays accounting for about 80 per cent of the total output. According to the company, a majority of its PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic returnable bottles get refilled at Adelholzener up to 25 times before being granulated and recycled, while its returnable glass bottle are often refilled up to 40 times prior to recycling. Operating a total of seven bottling lines capable of filling a total of 240,000 bottles per hour, the busy operation makes extensive use of modern product coding and marking systems manufactured by the Cambridge, U.K.-headquartered product identification specialists Domino Printing Sciences PLC—having installed its first Domino laser coder back in 1998 as part of a major installation of a new turnkey Krones filling line. Since then, the plant’s relationship with Domino has blossomed into a true partnership, and as the facility’s laser coders started showing signs of wear-and-tear over the years, it once again turned to Domino laser systems to meet the varied marking requirements to ensure full product traceability compliance.
A sample of highly legible permanent product codes etched into the product label applied onto a PET bottle of the Active O2 sports beverage.
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According to Rudolf Kropf, head of electrical engineering at Adelholzener Alpenquellen, the new Domino equipment would have to meet several key challenging application requirements, including: • Creation of high-quality codes on high-speed bottling lines and labeling systems; • Consistent high code quality on a variety of substrates; • Ensuring seamless system integration and compatibility; • Handling throughput speeds of up 60,000 bottles per hour; • Enabling advanced sample creation under production conditions. To take care of these requirements, Adelholzener Alpenquellen decided to take advantage of Domino’s the new-generation D-Series i-Tech laser coders, which promised to help reduce maintenance expenses, save operating costs, increase production line efficiencies, and ensure integration thanks to their compact design. Specifically, the plant selected the D320i IP 65 (30 Watt) and the D620i IP 65 (60 Watt) laser coders for marking paper labels on the glue pallet, as well as for direct PET marking on the bottle carousel. As Kropf explains, the key advantage of both laser models is that they fit in the existing laser head brackets, so that switching from the D320i to the D620i or vice-versa is not a problem, while the modular design of the laser systems also offers optimal f lexibility in terms of integration. According to Kropf, the decision to invest in the D620i IP 65 (60 Watt) laser was partly due to the marking capacity required on the glue pallet—up to 60,000 bottles per hour—as well as the complex substrate of the metallic labels that need to be marked. “The test results created in the sample laboratory at the Domino laser competence center for coding on the metallic labels under realistic conditions convinced us of the performance capacity of the i-Tech generation of lasers, especially the D620i laser coder, and thereby inf luenced our investment decision,” Kropf explains.
All for One One of the plant’s two new D620i IP 65 laser coders is used in a Krones Solomatic labeler for marking paper labels for reusable PET bottles on the glue pallet with the best-before date, production code and time of production just before they are applied to the bottles. The second D620i IP 65 laser—integrated in a Krones Topmatic labeling system—codes metallic labels for reusable glass bottles on the glue pallet. For its part, the D320i IP65 unit—integrated in a Krones Contiroll roll-fed wraparound labeling system—is used to mark the ActiveO2 plastic bottles with all the required filling information directly beneath the bottle label. Based on all the coders’ robust performance, the plant has recently added another D320i laser coder on another existing bottling line, along with purchasing along with an additional D620i system for a completely new bottling line which commenced operations in the fall of 2012.
One of the Domino D320i laser coders at Adelholzener Alpenquellen used for labeling and direct PET marking at production speeds of up to 60,000 bottles per hour.
The busy Adelholzener Alpenquellen water-bottling plant in southern Germany can produce up to 240,000 bottles per hour when running its seven lines at full capacity.
Formulated specifically for optimizing athletic performance, the Active O2 sports beverage is packaged in recyclable PET bottles that can be refilled up to 25 times at the Adelholzener Alpenquellen facility.
All of the Domino laser coders are controlled by the company’s intuitive, external TouchPanel terminal and simplified QuickStep user interface that provides effortless operation and status requests, requiring only minimum operator intervention from time to time, according to Kropf. In addition, the company also opted for a backup system that can be used on all bottling lines to ensure maximum production reliability. “Over the years we have established a trusting and reliable partnership with Domino and, as a result, we were more than willing to consider the new D-Series i-Tech laser systems,” Kropf states. “We also value our relationship with the Domino service technician who looks after us, is located close to our site, and provides us with a direct and excellent point of contact.”
For More Information: Domino Printing Sciences PLC Krones Machinery Co. Ltd.
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Photos courtesy of Bosch Technology
TRIAL AND NO ERROR Leading pharmaceutical co-packer upgrades its clinical trial capabilities with state-of-the-art encapsulation technology
here is generally zero margin for error in the modern global pharmaceutical business, and this commonly-accepted axiom is arguably even more of a truism when it comes to contract manufacturing and co-packing for some of the world’s leading pharma and biotech producers. But for companies like the privately-owned Almac Group, rising up to the challenges of perfect daily performance and execution has been part of its DNA since the contract research firm was founded in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, by Sir Allen McClay back in 1968. While still headquartered in Craigavon, Almac has enjoyed tremendous global growth over the last 45 years. Today employing about 3,300 people at facilities across United Kingdom and the U.S., the highly innovative company provides cuttingedge integrated drug development, research and manufacturing services to about 600 global clients across five different segments: including diagnostics, sciences, clinical services, clinical technologies and pharmaceutical services. Providing a comprehensive product and services range extending from research through pharmaceutical and clinical development to commercialization of products in the marketplace, about a half of Almac’s clinical supply business is tied to primary and secondary clinical packaging, with target customers including top multinational pharmaceutical manufacturers, as well as a number of smaller biotech companies. Buoyed by rapid growth in North American mar-
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kets over the last decade, in 2011 Almac opened up its brand new North American headquarter facility in Souderton, Pa., with the official opening ceremony being performed by former U.S. senator George Mitchell, a well-respected diplomat who most recently served as special envoy to the Middle East and, notably, as chairman of the all-party negotiations leading to the Good Friday Agreement treaty for Northern Ireland in 1998.
Room to Grow “With our rate of growth, it was essential to build further capacity in both our Northern Ireland and U.S. operations to ensure the business continues to compete at a global level,” Almac’s chief executive officer Alan Armstrong stated at the official unveiling of the new US$120-million, 240,000-squarefoot facility employing nearly 800 people. Said Armstrong: “The US$120-million investment is one of the largest ever made by a Northern Ireland owned firm in the United States, and it represents the continued expansion of the business on both sides of the Atlantic.” Having significantly expanded its capacities for encapsulation at the new Souderton facility, Almac urgently found itself in need of a new f lexible machine to address the growing demand for clinical trial studies. “In early 2011 our operational team decided to expand our analytical capabilities,” recalls Almac’s director of operations said Dan Megill, adding that the new machine not only had to handle significantly higher volumes, but also needed to be f lex-
Capable of reaching output speeds of up to 42,000 capsules per hour, the new-generation GKF 702 capsule filling machine from Bosch Technology can process a broad range of micro-tablets, powders, pellets, and even liquids and combination fillings for optimal flexibility.
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Well-suited for both production of clinical samples and in the industrial production environment, the versatile GKF 702 capsule filling machine from Bosh Packaging Technology features a modular design that allows users to make whatever modifications or upgrades they need in the future without any major production disruptions.
ible enough to fill different tablets into capsules, while also filling capsuled powder and then blending them for clinical analysis. After a close examination of all the available equipment and supplier options, Almac eventually turned to the Business Unit Pharma division of prominent German-packaging machine-builder Bosch Packaging Technology, whose equipment is distributed in Canada by Charles Downer Co. & Ltd. of Richmond Hill, Ont. Headquartered in the historical town of Crailsheim in the German state of BadenWürttemberg, Business Unit Pharma is one of the world’s leading suppliers of process technology and packaging solutions for the pharmaceutical industry—its vast portfolio including single units, integrated systems and complete solutions for the manufacturing and processing of sterile and nonsterile liquids and powders—and owner of many leading equipment brands such as Eisai, Hüttlin,
Manesty, Moeller & Devicon, Pharmatec, Sigpack and Valicare, among others. With a strong focus on primary packaging machines for sterile fill finish of pharmaceutical liquids and solid dosage forms—as well as formidable competence in secondary packaging equipment and inspection technology, qualification and validation services—Bosch’s Business Unit Pharma quickly attracted Almac’s attention. “Our team toured all over Europe and looked at the many different machines that vendors were offering,” Megill recounts, “but we were able to determine very quickly that the Bosch equipment met all of our requirements.” Chief among those requirements was that the selected encapsulation equipment was able to produce DB-AA and DB-AAel capsules for doubleblind clinical trials, Megill relates. “Using these special capsule formats, it is virtually impossible to open the capsule without causing visible damage,” he explains. “This way, the service provider can blend capsules for medical comparisons and therefore prevent inf luence on test persons by the so-called placebo effect. “This allows for the ‘comparator’ products to be discreetly enclosed to improve patient compliance, with their tamper-evident design helping to prevent bias.” To get Almac’s new capsule filling line quickly up-and-running, the Business Pharma Unit supplied the Souderton plant with a new-generation GKF 702 filling machine, along with a capsule deduster, a metal detector, and a model KKE 1700 checkweigher. According to Bosch, the integration of the checkweigher ensures 100-percent control of filled capsules, with a feedback loop from the checkweigher to the machine to determine if capsules are either underfilled or overfilled. Along the way, the KKE 1700 checkweigher comprehensively documents all production batches—ensuring optimal pharmaceutical security and a high level of productivity. “The equipment provides optimal pharmaceutical security, achieves an appropriate level of blindness, and is fully cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practices)-compliant,” says Megill.
“Out of all the options we evaluated, the Bosch machinery was the obvious choice,” states Megill, adding that the Almac plant is very proud to be operating the very first GKF 702 that Bosch has sold to the U.S market. According to Bosch Technologies, the GKF 702 machine builds on the success of its earliergeneration model GKF 701 predecessor, boasting upgraded performance and numerous new advantages for critical R&D applications. In this particular project at Souderton, the primary challenge was to fill capsules with different tablet sizes that were not originally designed to be filled into capsules, and Megill says that Bosch has not only risen to the challenge, but did so under very demanding timeliness. “The Bosch team helped us with their overall knowledge base, which they have never stopped improving,” Megill says. “They also gave our technicians and operators a very extensive training on the machine, including troubleshooting matters.” Megill says the GKF 702 system provides the plant with “enormous” operational f lexibility. While Almac utilizes the equipment’s capability to fill capsules with powder, tablets and pellets, the GKF 702 machine also allows for liquid and combination fills if required, he notes.
Future Needs Moreover, its modular design offers the possibility to retrofit any filling needs and all new filling stations currently in development will be compatible with this type of machine—producing small batches for R&D and clinical purposes. The machine’s design also facilitates the processing of inhalable products via the so-called ‘microdosing’ technique, whereby a vacuum dosing wheel enables a gentle and accurate filling of very small quantities of powder, with the filling weights easily adjusted as needed during the set-up phase and throughout the production process. “In Bosch’s view, the GKF 702 is probably a mid-output machine, but for us it really stands for handling high volumes, Megill extols, also praising the easy-to-clean configuration and easy access to tooling for filling. “The system achieves excellent efficiency, while also creating a balance between Almac’s European and American sites by providing paralleled capacity to handle large and smaller scale projects simultaneously. Says Megill: “We have a real technology showpiece here. “The customers who visit our facility are happy to see the new equipment available for their encapsulation needs,” says Megill, adding that the Almac plant is also currently looking at some of Bosch’s cartoning equipment for other upcoming expansion projects at the Souderton plant. “Almac sees the vital importance of helping clients get their drug to patients as quickly as possible while also exceeding standards,” he concludes, “and the continuous growth and development of its North American headquarters is a key factor in helping us achieve this goal.”
For More Information: Bosch Packaging Technology In Canada: Charles Downer Co. & Ltd.
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STRETCHING THE TRUTH
Choosing optimal pallet packaging method for optimized bottom-line performance By Uffe Steen Kristiansen
or many end-of-line packaging professionals, the choice of pallet packaging method may not immediately surface as a critical success factor when designing, upgrading or refurbishing a production line or distribution center, but there are many important aspects deserving close consideration when choosing a pallet packaging method that best suits the application at hand. There are currently three commonly utilized methods for pallet packaging applications—conventional spiral stretchwrapping, heat shrinkhooding and stretch-hooding—with each offering its own advantages and disadvantages as dictated by the specific application at hand. Spiral stretchwrapping is the most common method for pallet packaging, as it provides a fairly low-cost means of securing pallet loads for shipping. The equipment typically uses cast or blown linear low-density stretch film, which is prestretched by anywhere between 60 to 400 per cent before being wrapped around the pallet load. The stretchwrap film can be applied in a variety of patterns, depending on the load stability and the level of protection required. There are numerous models available—from turn-table models where the operator manually cuts the film and attaches the film tail to the pallet load to fully-automatic rotary-arm or satellite models with top-sheet dispenser, automatic film roll change, and speeds up to around 100 pallet loads per hour. While spiral stretchwrapping technology offers a cost-effective pallet packaging solution in some applications, there are drawbacks.
ing stretchwrap film. Introduced in the 1960s, heat shrink-hooding is the oldest form of pallet packaging by means of polyethylene film, and until the advent of stretchhooding it reigned as the preferred method for ensuring optimal stability and pallet load protection. Heat shrink-hooding equipment uses gusseted tubing that is cut and sealed to form a bag, whereby an oversized bag is applied over the pallet load and is shrunk using heat. The most common heat sources for shrink-hooding are natural or liquid propane gas, but other heating methods, such as infrared or electrical hair dryer-style heaters, are also commonly used. There are various types of heat shrink-hooding equipment available, with the most contemporary methods deploying the ring-type equipment that allows for a much more controlled heat application to provide the all-important bottom shrink to ensure proper pallet and load unitizing.
Layer Cake Because the film is applied with multiple layers of a relatively narrow overlapping film band, spiral stretchwrapping provides little stability when compared to a hood-style method, due to the insufficient vertical holding force unitizing the pallet and the load. Applying a top-sheet to the pallet load to provide protection against the elements often provides only nominal protection, which is usually insufficient for outdoor storage and shipping on open f lat-bed trucks in inclement weather. Accordingly, the cost of building additional warehouse storage capacity, as well as costs associated with protective tarpaulins for f latbed shipping, must be considered when comparing spiral stretchwrapping with a hood-type method. Also, the physical properties of stretchwrap film present special challenges that should also be considered. Among other things, the overlapping layers of stretchwrap film tend to trap moisture, and the cling additive in the film attracts dirt and dust. Moreover, the use of relatively low-volume film rolls mean shorter film change intervals—thus reducing machine availability and increasing operating costs. Accurately forecasting and controlling the cost of consumables such as stretchwrap film can also be tricky, as individual operators often tend to follow their own preferences when apply-
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the other two methods. Introduced in the late 1980s, the stretch-hooding method of pallet packaging has over the past decade gained significant market share at the expense of heat shrink-hooding and spiral stretchwrapping— not only for bagged products, but also for products packed in octabins, cases, pails and other such primary packaging formats. The primary reason for this trend is that stretchhooding provides superior value with respect to operating costs, speed, reliability, and distribution chain performance. The quality of today’s domestically-available, coextruded stretch-hood films allows for pre-stretch percentages exceeding 80 per cent—providing better film yields compared to what was possible only a few years ago. This performance, combined with film thickness reduction down to 1.6-mil, means that the perpallet film cost with stretch-hooding is extremely competitive with that of spiral stretchwrapping. Additionally, the stretch-hood equipment can be programmed to allow for application-specific selection of a non-sealed sleeve (for lowest possible film consumption); a closed hood (for optimal protection and stability); or even an open hood, to avoid moisture condensation for food packaging. The hood is formed from gusseted tubing, and the height of the pallet load is measured automatically as the pallet enters the machine—ensuring that only the amount of film required for the application is precisely dispensed.
Photos courtesy of BEUMER Corporation
With stretch-hooding, the height of the pallet load is measured automatically to ensure that only the amount of film required for the application is precisely dispensed.
The heat shrink-hooding method provides very good pallet load stability and protection, and it works particularly well with loads that have a substantially smaller footprint than the pallet. However, such applications are fairly rare in practice, and the operating costs of a heat shrink-hooding system are much higher than those of both spiral stretchwrapping and stretch-hooding. Because the film bag is shrunk—as opposed to stretched—it must have a larger pre-shrink circumference than the perimeter of the pallet load so that the equipment can apply the bag over the pallet load prior to the application of heat, thus requiring substantially more film than stretch-hooding. In addition to requiring significant energy consumption for heating, the heat shrink-hooding method also carries the risk of fire, which can often mean higher insurance premiums. Additionally, heat shrink-hooding equipment can be more maintenance-intensive compared to
Moreover, energy consumption is very low since the film is not heated, while available servo drive technology can further reduce energy and maintenance costs. The high quality of today’s films means that a single film hood format can, with some limitations, be used to stretch-hood multiple pallet sizes. However, it is important to analyze the net financial benefit of a one-size-fits-all approach, as the total film cost will be lower if each pallet size has a dedicated film hood format. Unlike spiral stretchwrapping, stretch-hooding provides ready evidence of tampering, as it is not possible to remove a product from the pallet without tearing the film. The smooth film surface also provides for easier loading and unloading of trailers, whereas with spiral stretchwrapping, the friction between the films on two pallet loads can cause tears and film tails to come undone —compromising integrity of the pallet load. For products sold at retail outlets such as home centers, the clear one-layer, stretch-hood film provides much better product recognition at point-ofsale than multilayer spiral stretchwrap film does, and it’s also possible to print advertising or handling instructions on the stretch-hood film. Also, stretch-hood film allows for easy barcode scanning—virtually eliminating misreads and associated remedial costs. Consistently maintaining its tension, stretch-
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Heat shrink-hooding is beneficial for pallet load stability and protection but has much higher operating costs for energy, maintenance and film material.
Spiral stretchwrapping is the most common method for pallet packaging, but has drawbacks in the cost of consumables and with load security and protection.
Modern Stretch-hooding systems offer better overall value in respect to operating costs, speed, reliability and pallet load protection.
hood film is particularly well-suited to products that, due to their physical properties, tend to settle after being bagged and palletized. Recent advancements in stretch-hood technology have reduced film cost per-pallet-load, while simultaneously offering more intuitive user interfaces, reduced energy consumption, smaller machine footprints, and throughputs exceeding 150 pallet-loads per hour, while new modular designs also allow for faster and more cost-effective installation. In addition, the use of intuitive graphic user interface screens helps with ease of operation and troubleshooting. Properly evaluating the choice of pallet packaging method goes far beyond comparing equipment acquisition costs, as there are several factors that can significantly impact the cost-of-ownership and, consequently, the return on investment. • Equipment cost. Available in multiple speed ranges and varying degrees of automation, the prices for spiral stretchwrapping equipment can range anywhere from under $10,000 for semiautomatic, low-speed models to over $120,000 for high-speed rotary-arm or satellite models. In general, there is a spiral stretchwrapping model for every budget. Heat shrink-hooding equipment also comes in both semi- and fully-automatic models, with prices ranging from about $50,000 for semi-automatic models—where the operator applies a pre-made shrink bag over the pallet load—to above $200,000 for the fully-automatic, high-speed models. The price of stretch-hooding equipment has come down somewhat over the past couple of years due to increased competition and the development of simpler equipment, with prices now ranging from about $140,000 for single-format equipment to $200,000 for the multi-format system. For high-output facilities, it is important to realize that one single stretch-hood machine can replace multiple spiral stretchwrap machines, due to their much higher cycle speeds.
• Film cost. If protection and stability are secondary, the film cost for spiral stretchwrapping a pallet load can be very low—due to minimal film thickness and comparatively high pre-stretch percentage. But when protection and stability are critical considerations, applying multiple layers of stretchwrap film must be applied for stability and a topsheet for added protection can rapidly increase the film cost-per-pallet. Heat shrink-hooding is significantly more expensive in film cost-per-pallet than either of the other two methods because of the need to oversize the film hood prior to shrinking—easily exceeding the film cost-per-pallet for shrink-hooding by 40 percent or more before even factoring in the higher energy consumption costs. For stretch-hood film, recent developments have enabled the use of much thinner films with significantly higher pre-stretch percentages than was previously possible. As a result, stretch-hooding has become quite competitive with spiral stretchwrapping in terms of film cost-per-pallet load for applications requiring moderate load stability and protection. • Labor and maintenance cost. Spiral stretchwrapping equipment is simple to operate and maintain, with semi-automatic models in particular requiring minimal operator training. However, the maintenance costs tend to be on the high side because of the quantity of moving components on these systems. Another drawback of spiral stretchwrap equipment is that the relatively low-volume film rolls require frequent replacement at higher throughputs. While some manufacturers do offer an automatic film change option, it can be a fairly expensive option, which also adds another layer of complexity to the equipment. Having to replace the film roll at short intervals reduces line availability and increases direct labor costs, and it’s also important to consider the costs of outdoor storage and associated measures taken
to weather-proof those loads. For its part, heat shrink-hooding equipment is moderately maintenance-intensive in comparison with spiral stretchwrapping and stretch-hooding, since this equipment involves more wear parts that require replacement at regular intervals. In contrast, stretch-hooding offers the least laborintensive method of pallet packaging. The film roll can be up to 39 inches in diameter—easily allowing for 10 times longer film change intervals and increasing line availability—while the roll change is a very simple procedure typically taking no more than 10 minutes to return the machine to production. Unlike stretchwrapping, adjustments to machine settings are rarely necessary—thus ensuring consistent high-quality packaging results—while having the fewest wear parts means that stretch-hooding equipment requires very little maintenance. Making the right choice of pallet packaging method involves a thorough analysis of many factors that inf luence not only the daily operating costs, but also the entire supply-chain performance. When product leaves the production facility, it is at its highest value-added state, and it should arrive at the customer’s facility in the same condition. For low-throughput applications, where stability and protection are secondary to initial acquisition cost, spiral stretchwrapping still provides an attractive option. But if production line efficiency, protection against the elements, superior stability, and product recognition at point-of-sale are important criteria, then the stretch-hooding method often offers the best combination of packaging performance and total value of equipment ownership.
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Uffe Steen Kristiansen is director of sales for palletizing and packaging systems at BEUMER Corporation in Somerset, N.J.
For More Information: BEUMER Corporation
CANADIAN PACKAGING • MARCH 2014
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Photos courtesy of Gerhard Schubert
A GOOD HAIR DAY Sound German engineering sets stage for optimal hair-dye product line performance and flexibility
machines, and then transferred to the trans-module in two rows. After the size change is made, the same sub-machines are used to de-stack the alternative “lid shaker” packaging variant, while another sub-machine on the line springs into action to close the cartons and transfer them to the discharge belt. Once it’s done with the cartons, this transmodule can also be used to process the lid shaker packages. Says the Viersen-Dülken site director Rolf Müller-Grünow: “We can make folding boxes with angled corners or we can process just about any other conceivable shape. “Thanks to our innovative friends at Schubert, we have now set a milestone in technology,” sums up Müller-Grünow, “which can give our marketing department a lot more elbow room in packaging design to introduce even more innovation into the marketplace.”
healthy-looking head of hair is never out being automatically detected by of style at any stage of life, and with the Schubert scanners and then inserted European population generally getting into the package with millimeter older, the future looks quite bright for the Viersenprecision by the model TLM-F44 Dülken hair-coloring products manufacturing robots immediately after a positive facility operated in the North Rhine-Westphalia quality assessment has been perstate of Germany by Schwarzkopf & Henkel formed and verified. (See Pictures Above) Production Europe GmbH & Co. KG. Kopp says he highly appreciates the fact that the Owned by the leading German chemical prodSchubert lines are designed to accommodate ucts group Henkel AG & Co. KGaA a broad choice of packaging options— since 1985, the factory boasts one of from rectangular folding cartons to cupthe most modern packaging lines in shaped lidded shakers. the world to keep up with produc“We now have an enormous degree of tion of the bestselling Schwarzkopf freedom when it comes to the design of range of hair dyes, according to our packaging,” says Kopp, explaining For More Information: Hans-Jürgen Kopp, head of technolthat the folding cartons with attached ogy for Henkel’s beauty care prodlids are erected from f lat-lying blank Gerhard Schubert GmbH 495 ucts business. and glued together in the first two subVibeAd_CanPack_Layout 1 2/11/14 1:48 PM Page 1 Dedicated exclusively to the production of hair-coloring products since a factory overhaul a little over two years ago, the site houses two made-in-Germany TLM (Top Loading Machine) systems that have set new benchmarks for line productivity and f lexibility, Kopp relates. Built from scratch by the Crailsheimbased, family-owned machinery manufacturer Gerhard Schubert GmbH, “These lines not only achieve producCompact Electromagnetic Vibratory Feeders for EVERY Challenge! tion levels up to 50 per cent faster than all the conventional packaging lines out • Small A & C Model Feeders there, but they also make all our format Energy efficient electromagnetic drives providing precise flow of changeovers far easier and more efficient. dry granular products “Thanks to Schubert, we can now • High Speed Feeders switch between the different national Rapid On/Off cycling of light, bulky materials for packaging versions of hair-coloring products much applications faster,” Kopp enthuses. • High Deflection Feeders In operation, the individual componHandles difficult hard-to-feed materials including fine powders, ents of the hair-coloring product kits are leafy, and sticky products continuously supplied online and off line Eriez XPRESS stocks 33 models with a wide from magazines and specialty feeders range of tray sizes available for shipment in 5-days through the Feeders Fast program. designed by Schubert’s own engineerVisit Eriez.com for details. ing company IPS, with the components
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See the difference…
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EVENTS March 20-21
Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Global Release Liner Conference& Exhibition 2014, by AWA (Alexander Watson Associates). At the Park Plaza Amsterdam Airport Hotel. To register, go to: www.awa-bv.com
Toronto: Operational Excellence Forum - Canada, conference by PMMI-The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. At the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel & Conference Centre. Contact Paula Feldman at 1 (888) 2757664, or via email: email@example.com
March 24-26 Bangkok, Thailand: Multilayer Packaging Films 2014, Asia-Pacific conference on specialty f lexible packaging applications, materials, markets and manufacturing by Applied Market Information Ltd (AMI). At Swissotel Nai Lert Park. To register, go to: www.amiplastics.com/events
Cincinnati, Ohio: AWA International Sleeve Label Conference and Exhibition 2014, by Alexander Watson Associates (AWA). At the Hyatt Regency Hotel. To register, go to: www.awa-bv.com
Montreal: SIAL Canada, international food and beverage exposition by SIAL Group. Jointly with the SET Canada national food equipment and technology exposition. Both at Palais des congrès. To register, go to: www.sialcanada.com
Toronto: Bakery Showcase 2014, by Baking Association of Canada. At the Toronto International Centre. To register, call (905) 4050288, or go to: www.baking.ca
Essen, Germany: METPACK 2014, global metal packaging trade fair and conference by Messe Essen GmbH. At Messe Essen. To register, go to: www.messe-essen.de
April 8 Florham Park, N.J.: RxAdherence2014, pharmaceutical packaging conference by Healthcare Compliance Packaging Council (HCPC). At Wyndham Hamilton Hotel & Conference Center. Contact Vicki Welch of HCPC at (804) 338-5778; or go to: www.hcpconline.com
April 8-10 Baltimore, Md.: Food Safety Summit, expo and conference by BNP Media. At Baltimore Convention Center. To register, go to: www.FoodSafetySummit.com
May 7-8 Fort Worth, Tex.: TexasPack, packaging technologies exhibition by UBM Canon. Concurrently with Design & Manufacturing Texas, PLASTEC Texas, Automation Technology Expo (ATX) Texas, MD&M Texas, and Quality Expo Texas. All at Fort Worth Convention Center. To register, go to: www.TexasPackShow.com
May 8-14 Düsseldorf, Germany: interpack 2014, international packaging technologies fair by Messe Düsseldorf GmbH. At Messe Düsseldorf Fairgrounds. Contact Messe Düsseldorf (Canada) at (416) 598-1524; or go to: www.interpack.com
Boston, Ma.: The Vision Show, machine vision technologies exhibition and conference by The Association for Advancing Automation (A3). At Hynes Convention Center. To register, go to: www.visiononline.org
Charlotte, N.C.: SouthPack, packaging technologies exhibition by UBM Canon. Concurrently with Design & Manufacturing South, PLASTEC South, and Automation Technology Expo (ATX) South. All at Charlotte Convention Center. To register, go to: www.SouthPackShow.com
Munich, Germany: Automatica 2014, international trade fair for automation and mechatronics by Messe München International. At the New Munich Trade Fair Center. To register, go to: www.automatica-munich.com
Chicago: FMI Connect 2014, food retail trade show and conference by Food Marketing Institute (FMI). At McCormick Place. To register, go to: www.fmiconnect.net
Shanghai, China: Luxe Pack Shanghai 2014, luxury goods packaging exhibition. At the Shanghai Exhibition Center. To register, go to: www.luxepack.com
New York City: Luxe Pack New York, luxury goods packaging exhibition by Idice Monaco. At Pier 92. To register, go to: www.luxepacknewyork.com
June 17-20 Mexico City, Mexico: EXPO PACK México 2014, packaging technologies exhibition by PMMIThe Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. To register, go to: www.packexpo.com
Berlin, Germany: Plastic Closure Innovations 2014, conference by Applied Market Information Ltd. At Hotel Concorde. To register, go to: www.amiplastics.com
Rosemont, Ill.: Sensors Expo & Conference, by Questex Media Group LLC. At the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. To register, go to: www.sensorsexpo.com
Markem-Imaje, a whollyowned Dover Corporation subidiary specializing in product marking, coding and identification technologies, has appointed Vincent Vanderpoel as president and chief executive officer.
Intelligrated, Cincinnati, Ohio-headquartered manufacturer and integrator of automated material handling and packaging systems and equipment, has appointed Chris Lingamfelter as vice-president of integrated system sales and strategy.
Baldor Electric Company, Fort Smith, Ark.-based manufacturer of industrial electric motors, drives and mechanical power transmission products, has appointed Jeff Moore as vice- Moore president of the Baldor-Dodge mechanical products marketing group, based in Greenville, S.C., Nemecek Bob Nemecek as vice-president of Baldor-Dodge mechanical sales for North America; and Mike Shea as Shea director of U.S. mechanical sales. Industrial equipment group Avure Technologies Inc. of Franklin, Tenn., has appointed Jeff Williams as chief executive officer of the company’s HPP Equipment and Services Division, specializing in the development of high-pressure processing (HPP) systems and equipment for the packaged foods Williams and pharmaceutical industries.
Toronto: The Green Living Show, sustainable consumer products and services exhibition by PUNCH Canada Inc. At Direct Energy Centre. To register, go to: www.greenlivingshow.ca
32 • WWW.CANADIANPACKAGING.COM
Douglas Machine Inc., Alexandria, Minn.-based manufacturer of case-packing, cartoning, shrinkwrapping and other secondary packaging equipment, has appointed Joh Ballou as president and chief operating officer.
Indian Wells, Ca.: The Power of Your People, 2014 executive leadership conference of PMMIThe Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. At Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa. To register, go to: www.pmmi.org/elc
Bobst North America Inc., Roseland, N.J.-based supplier of package printing and converting equipment and machinery, has appointed Phil Eads as regional sales manager for corrugated board products for midwestern U.S.
Philadelphia, Pa.-headquartered folding-carton producer PaperWorks Industries, Inc. has appointed William McSwain as interim president and chief executive officer—to fill in for the retired former CEO Mark Staton while the company conducts a search for his permanent successor. Milacron LLC, Cincinnati, Ohioheadquartered manufacturer of plastics processing equipment, has appointed Bruce Catoen as chief technology officer.
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Loma’s R&D manager David Phillips holding the certificate of Atex21 compliance for IQ³ metal detectors.
Inspection systems manufacturer Loma Systems has announced the availability of its popular IQ³ series metal detector with Atex21 certification indicating the metal detector’s compliance for use in industrial applications with potential explosive hazards—notably the harsh food industry environments commonly found in milling plants, bakeries, snack factories and powder processing plants containing airborne dust from materials such as f lour, cocoa, rice and grains. According to the Farnborough, U.K.-headquartered Loma Systems, the Atex21 compliance has been achieved by development of an innovative combination of low-temperature electronics and advanced sealing techniques, followed by rigorous testing procedures. “After a long and challenging process, we can now offer high levels of detection performance within a Zone 21 environment, ensuring product integrity across a wide range of food and pharmaceutical products,” says Loma Systems research-and-development manager David Phillips, adding the Atex21 compliance features are offered with the new detector head as a complete new system, or as a retrofit via the company’s global network of OEM (original equipment manufacturer) partners. “We are determined to bring the highest levels of safety to the food industry, both in the products that leave the factory and in the welfare of its employees,” Phillips adds. “This development has been driven by customers looking to increase efficiency while eliminating risk in the workplace, and the results ref lect our absolute commitment to operator safety.”
ANNOUNCEMENT Douglas Machine Inc. has announced Jon Ballou as new President and COO. Ballou succeeded Rick Paulsen, who retired after serving 10 years as president. Ballou’s career began at Douglas in 1999. In his new position, Ballou will continue to lead Douglas’ growth in secondary packaging machinery and services markets. “Our focus has been and continues to be offering our customers more value by providing innovative products and services,” said Ballou. About Douglas Machine Inc. Founded in 1964, Douglas Machine Inc. is recognized as a global leader in automated secondary packaging solutions for paperboard, corrugated, and shrink film. The company specializes in the design and manufacture of cartoners, sleevers, case/tray packers, and shrink -wrap systems. Based in Alexandria, MN, Douglas is an employee-owned company that has installed more than 7,000 machines in 30 countries. For more information, visit www.douglas-machine.com
Bemis Company, Inc., a diversified packaging products manufacturer headquartered in Neenah, Wis., has reached an agreement to sell its Paper Packaging Division to Hood Packaging Corporation of Burlington, Ont., for an undisclosed amount. Recording sales of approximately US$160 million last year, the plants and offices included in the transaction—at press time expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2014— include facilities in Omaha, Neb., Crossett, Ark., Vancouver, Wash., and Minneapolis, Minn. According to Bemis Company’s chief executive officer Henry Theisen, “The sale of this division will allow Bemis to focus our resources on strategic opportunities in high-barrier f lexible packaging, medical and pharmaceutical packaging, and developing new geographic markets.” Leading plastics processing equipment manufacturing group Milacron LLC of Cincinnati, Ohio, has completed the acquisition of Kortec, a leading supplier of co-injection technology solutions to the global packaging industries—widely used to produce high-barrier containers with multilayer construction in markets such as shelf-stable thin-wall packaging, beverage packaging, pet foods, single-serve coffee and medical devices. “The addition of Kortec is a perfect accompaniment to Milacron’s acquisition of hot runner manufacturer Mold-Masters in 2013,” says Milacron’s chief executive officer Tom Goeke. “In partnership with Kortec, Mold-Masters’ existing IRIS barrier technology and Milacron’s machinery platform will create the widest co-injection solutions capability in the plastics industry—furthering our vision to focus on giving our customers an unprecedented range of fully-integrated solutions.” Leading container management and logistics services provider CAPS (Container and Pooling Solutions) has announced the move of its headquarters to a larger facility in Livonia, Mich., to accommodate the growth of its business volumes and staff, which has doubled in size over the last two years, according to the company. The relocation will include the integration of the Automotive and Industrial Solutions Division of CAPS’ sister company CHEP. “This move will give us greater ability to pursue considerable growth opportunities and allow us to continue to provide the highest level of service to our customers,” says CAPS chief executive officer Robert Wiedmaier. The new CAPS corporate headquarters are located at 37564 Amrhein Road, Suite 100, Livonia, MI 48150, USA. Tel. 1 (888) 873-2277. Stoney Creek, Ont.-based DTM Flexo Services Inc. has been appointed as the exclusive Canadian distributor for the Nilpeter FA, FB, MO and Caslon series narrow-web printing presses manufactured by Nilpeter A/S in Denmark. “We are delighted to represent a global leader within the narrow-web marketplace in Canada, which is a unique market with very unique idiosyncrasies,” says DTM Flexo president David McBeth. “We understand what it takes for the success of Nilpeter’s products in this market and the value they bring to customers and prospects in Canada.” Tel. (905) 536-1335. Ardagh Group S.A., Luxembourgheadquartered manufacturer of glass and metal packaging products, has reached a supply agreement with the leading packaged foods
producer ConAgra Foods, Inc. of Omaha, Neb., to supply all of its metal food cans throughout the U.S. The agreement calls for Ardagh to invest over US$250 million to construct two new state-of-theart canmaking facilities to convert the vast majority of ConAgra Foods’ shelf-sized cans from the traditional three-piece can technology to Ardagh’s f lexible DWI (drawn and wall-ironed) technology that was recently launched in Europe, with commercial supply commencing at the start of 2015. “We are delighted that ConAgra Foods chose to partner with Ardagh to leverage its innovative metal packaging solutions,” says James Willich, chief executive officer of Ardagh Group Metal Americas. “Our approach to DWI will allow ConAgra Foods to convert many lower-volume, specialty shelf sizes to this process—something that has not been feasible with the traditional DWI installations.” Packaging products group Sealed Air Corporation of Elmwood Park, N.J., was selected as one of the most admired corporations in the annual global survey conducted by leading business publication Fortune Magazine. Ranking first among 12 leading packaging and container companies cited in this year’s Fortune’s Most Admired Companies survey, Sealed Air achieved top ranking in six of the survey’s nine evaluation categories, including innovation, people management, social responsibility, management quality, quality of products and global com- Sealed Air produces a broad range of consumer-friendly food packaging petitiveness. “To receive solutions under the Cryovac brand. the recognition of our peers and industry analysts reaffirms the dedication our 25,000 employees have for reinventing Sealed Air and how far we have come in the past year, climbing in the survey from fifth to first,” says Sealed Air president and chief executive officer Jerome Peribere. “We are additionally proud that this is the third consecutive year we have ranked number one in innovation and social responsibility, which are at the heart of our mission and vision.” The Fortune’s Most Admired list is based on surveys of 3,900 leading executives, directors and analysts who rated nearly 700 companies from 30 countries around the world. Chicago-headquartered venture capital investment firm Madison Dearborn Partners has completed the acquisition of specialty packaging products manufacturer Multi Packaging Solutions, Inc. (MPS) from Irving Place Capital for an undisclosed amount. Headquartered in New York City, MPS employs about 2,600 people at manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Europe, producing a broad range of pre-printed folding cartons, labels and inserts for customers in the healthcare, consumer and media markets. “We are excited to partner with Madison Dearborn Partners to capitalize on the significant opportunities available to expand and develop our business,” says MPS chief executive officer Marc Shore. “They have substantial experience in the packaging industry, and our new partnership will allow us to accelerate growth while continuing to provide high-quality products and outstanding service to our global customers.”
Douglas Machine’s Canadian agent is Plan Automation, www.planautomation.com FOR MORE INFORMATION CIRCLE 119
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NOTES & QUOTES Leading German industrial machinery group International Process and Packaging Technologies GmbH (IPPT) has completed the acquisition of Kilian GmbH & Co. KG, manufacturer of tablet press machines based in Cologne, Germany, announcing plans to operate the newlyacquired business as a sister company of its Romaco Group subsidiary—specializing in developing system solutions for the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, food and chemical industries. “Kilian is a seasoned company that’s a leader in the field of tablet press technologies, with an excellent reputation in key pharmaceutical and food production markets around the globe,” explains IPPT’s chief executive officer Paulo Alexandre. “This acquisition will enable us to extend Romaco’s portfolio of machinery and services with an important new segment in solid-dose applications, giving a crucial boost to our growth strategy.” Private equity firm Bertram Capital of San Mateo, Ca., has completed the acquisition of Maxcess International Holding Corporation, Oklahoma City, Okla.-based manufacturer of guiding, winding, slitting and tension control systems for web-fed converting applications, calling the purchase a perfect follow-up to its earlier 2012 buyout of Webex, Inc., a manufacturer of precision rolls and specialized web handling machinery. “Maxcess has established a world-class brand and distinguished itself as a technology leader in the converting industry for a wide range of applications, including paper, film, f lexible packaging, non-wovens and metals,” explains Kevin Yamashita, a partner at Bertram Capital. Aseptic packaging and technologies group Tetra Pak has been awarded the 2014 International Forum Packaging Design Award (aka the iF award) of the iF Industrie Forum Design e.V. for the company’s innovative Tetra Evero Aseptic carton—the world’s first aseptic carton bottle designed specifically for ambient white milk. Selected by a global jury of over 50 international packaging experts, the Tetra Evero Aseptic bottle received widespread acclaim from the judges for its innovative concept, attractive appearance, ease-of-handling and outstanding environmental performance, according to Tetra Pak. “Tetra Evero Aseptic is based on an imaginative design that combines the easy handling of a bottle with the food protection and environmental advantages of an aseptic carton,” explains Tetra Pak’s group director Lars Bengtsson. “The ergonomic cylindrical shape with flat side panels makes it easy for big and small hands to hold, while the printing space across the whole surface of the package offers maximum branding impact to capture consumer attention,” Bengtsson adds. “All of these are made possible by a number of technology breakthroughs,
including the first injection-molding for aseptic packaging, and winning an iF Packaging Design Award is testament to all the hard work of our R&D team.”
ities in the management of the water resources. “This achievement confirms each and every one of our employees’ ability to perform their jobs and produce bottled water at high quality level,” says Guelph plant manager Greg Chorpitta, whose plant received a 99.3-percent rating in the audit carried out by NSF International. For its part, the Hope bottling facility received a perfect 100-percent score. “It is important to note that there was no advance notice of inspection on behalf of CBWA, which audited our operations during a typical day in our manufacturing facilities,” says Hope plant manager Kevin Thorburn. “Each one of our employees should be extremely proud of this achievement.”
Canada’s leading water-bottler Nestlé Waters Canada (NWC) has been awarded the Excellence in Manufacturing recognition from the Canadian Bottled Water Association (CBWA), following recent surprise audits and plant inspections performed at the company’s main production facilities in Hope, B.C., and Puslinch, Ont., just outside of Guelph. As a condition of CBWA membership, companies must pass an annual, unannounced plant inspection involving the audits of quality and testing records, reviews of all areas of plant operations, and checking adherence to the CBWA Model Code and its code of ethics, which embrace the philosophy of sustainable development, environmental protection and collaboration with local commun-
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IMPORTANT: Please complete the following questions What is the primary business at your location? Which of the following do you plan on purchasing within the next 12 months? Advesives Checkweigher Machine Vision Adhesive Applicator Colour Label Printer Metal Detector Bar Code Equipment Conveyors Modified Atmosphere Capper Filler Packaging Machinery Cartoners Ink Jet Equipment Palletizer Case Packer Intermediate Bulk Containers Pallets Case Sealer Labeler PLC’s, Sensors, Controls Approximate number of employees? Is this company a: Package User Custom Packager Package Maker Supplier
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BOLD NEW PACKAGING A PURE POWER TRIP
ust hearing the term “man food” evokes images of chicken wings, beer, barbecued beasts, pretzels, peanuts, nachos and just about anything smothered in bacon and cheese. Naturally, none of these things are particularly good for the sizable, athletically-inclined segment of male population preferring to forgo these artery-clogging temptations in favor of far healthier—but also fairly uninspiring—energy bars and drinks mixed with protein and whey powder to fuel their sporting activities and pursuits. For these guys, the new Powerful Yogurt cups—a brainchild of the Bronx, N.Y.-based Powerful Men LLC—offers a delicious break from the ordinary nutritional supplements with unique, male-oriented formulations and smart package design that promise to take the man food world by the horns. Featuring exceptionally high protein content specific to a man’s needs to boost energy and rebuild muscles after workouts, the Powerful Yogurt tubs make no bones about being intended specifically for the male audience, with the colors and product logo design oozing with a sense of masculine strength and the tub’s shape resembling a male torso—broader at the top and tapered where a waist would be. The tub’s sides feature three little oval bulges shaped mimicking a chiseled set of abdominal muscles, cleverly reinforced with an inspiring ‘Find your inner abs’ logo call-out on the back. Rough, tough and ruggedly handsome, the Powerful Yogurt packs are a refreshing break from the effeminate soft, gentle colors and images of berries and fruit slices decorating the vast majority of packaged yogurt products out in the marketplace—brilliantly capturing the inspirational ‘no pain, no gain’ workout ethos that just may make some men think twice before reaching for that next slice of pizza.
Not that there’s anything wrong with pizza per se, mind you. In fact, when a new Pizzaville franchise opened a block from my home, I was initially quite sceptical about its chances of succeeding in my downtown Toronto neighborhood—boasting large ethnic Italian and southern European communities—where pizza-serving eateries are almost literally a dime a dozen. After deciding to give this new kid on the block a chance, I was absolutely delighted to pick up my pre-ordered pizza waiting for me inside a customized thermal pack that I was free to take for later reuse. Outfitted with strong handles, this large, bright pack is made of sturdy red washable material, with its f lap boasting a large white Pizzaville.ca logo for maximum billboarding effect, and the inside construction comprising thermal layers covered with silver-foiled insulating material to keep the pizza hot all the way to the home plate. While there’s little doubt that giving out hundreds of these thermal packs during the location’s grand opening must have cost it a pretty penny, the priceless customer goodwill generated and repeated brand exposure is something that many other nearby fast-food franchises could learn a lot from.
Running out of sugar when you least expect it is usually a bittersweet experience, but for once it had a very happy ending—thanks to a chance discovery of nice packaging alternatives to the traditional large two-kilo bags I used to purchase in the past. For someone who uses the stuff very sparingly for cooking or for guests who specifically request it for their hot drinks, the new 900-gram cartons of the Irresistible Bio sugar store-brand carried by the
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Rhea Gordon is a Toronto-based freelance writer.
Even without her model-like pretty face being featured anywhere on the packet, tennis star Maria Sharapova certainly earns a ‘game point’ in this corner for the Sugarpova Sporty pouches of chewing-gum tennis balls looking like they’re about to bounce right through the clear-plastic overwrap— ingeniously decorated at the top with a stylized image of Sharapova’s signature, sultry ‘pouty lips’ look. The resealable stand-up pouch serves up an ace with its quick-and-easy product description—Sugarpova, sporty, the taste of victory, chewing gum, net weight (five ounces)—and takes game, set and match with amusing tennis puns on the back: “Looks like you got game ... Serve yourself some lemon-lime gumballs and chew them up on the court ... [and] Winning sure is sweet.” Advantage Sharapova!
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Metro supermarket chain, as well as the similarly packed Lantic Super Fine sugar brand from the Montreal-based Lantic Inc., were a packaging revelation of sorts. Although the two products naturally utilize different graphics and visual cues to leave no doubt that this is not a dairy product, there are more welcome commonalities than differences—including resealable plastic screw-caps on top of the waterproof PurePack cartons, manufactured by Elopak, and the considerable cupboard footprint space-savings both cartons provide, compared to the conventional, spill-prone paper bags.
Photos by Rhea Gordon
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