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OCTOBER 2013 | $10

Chris Kellar, Packaging Line Manager, Toronto Brewery, Molson Coors Canada

UNCANNY BEHAVIOR Molson Coors Canada off to the races with innovative beer packaging and leading-edge line flexibility

Publication mail agreement #40069240.

Story on page 18


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SENIOR PUBLISHER Stephen Dean • (416) 510-5198 EDITOR George Guidoni • (416) 510-5227 FEATURES EDITOR Andrew Joseph • (416) 510-5228 ART DIRECTOR Stewart Thomas • (416) 442-5600 x3212 PRODUCTION MANAGER Cathy Li • (416) 510-5150 CIRCULATION MANAGER Anita Madden • (416) 442-5600 x3212 EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Lisa Wichmann • (416) 442-5600 x5101 EXECUTIVE PUBLISHER Tim Dimopoulos • (416) 510-5100

BIG MAGAZINES LP Vice-President of Canadian Publishing • Alex Papanou President of Business Information Group • Bruce Creighton

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: 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

Optimal production line flexibility and genuine packaging innovation know-how help create a market-winning combination for the iconic Canadian brewing giant. By George Guidoni

Chris Kellar,

UNCANNY BEHAVIO R Packaging Line Manager, Toronto Brewery, Molson Coors Canada

Molson Coors Canada off to the races with innovativ packaging and leading-e dge line flexibility e beer Story on page 18



31 32

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Name of the Game

Cover photography by Cole Garside.




| $10 www.canadianpa

agreement #400692 240.

VOLUME 66, NO. 10

milk duopoly on dairy shelves, according to results of the sixth annual Tetra Pak Dairy Index from the global aseptic packaging group Tetra Pak. “Consumers are increasingly turning to tasty, nutritious and conveniently packaged f lavored milk as an alternative to other beverages, creating opportunities for dairies to improve profitability,” says the report, which predicts global consumption of f lavored milk—the second most-widely consumed liquid dairy product after white milk, to grow by 4.1 per cent between 2012 and 2015, compared to 1.7-percent growth for white milk over the same period. “With white milk increasingly commoditized, f lavored milk offers dairies the opportunity to provide value not only to consumers but to their bottom line,” says Tetra Pak’s chief executive officer Dennis Jönsson. “With the right f lavors, portion sizing and formulation, flavored milk can meet a huge range of health, nutritional and lifestyle needs.” This point is underscored in the Dairy Industry A Market Assessment report released at last month’s PACK EXPO Las Vegas international packaging show by the event’s producer PMMI-The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. “As in any industry, the key to remaining competitive is product and package innovation,” the study states. “For dairy processors that means carving out lucrative niche markets and meeting consumer’s evolving needs and expectations when it comes to product and packaging development.” The irony is that dairy producers do not even have to look all that far for inspiration, having recently done wonders with making the whole yogurt category a runaway bestseller among today health-savvy consumers. A major part of this success story lies in the ready availability of convenient, single-serve, on-the-go packaging formats to match these consumers’ busy daily agendas. “As in many other food categories, singleserve dairy portions are answering the call from on-the-go consumers that place a premium on convenience,” the PMMI study observes. “As a result, single-serve milk is becoming available in convenience stores and restaurants.” And long may that continue, let’s hope.

Publication mail



onsumer food tastes and trends tend to come and go in largely unpredictable cycles, surges, fadeouts and revivals, so in the grand scheme of things it should come as no surprise that good old-fashioned milk is suddenly all the rage in the global food-andbeverage industry, with milk producers worldwide poised to cash in on the product’s remarkable resurgence as the healthy beverage of choice. The only surprise, perhaps, is that a product this wholesome and nutritious even needed to reclaim its rightful place in the market to begin with, but numbers don’t lie: milk consumption in Canada and throughout the western world has been in a steady decline for years—victim of an unprecedented proliferation of alternative beverage choices, many with very questionable nutritional merits, and by the dairy industry’s long-ingrained complacency about the need to market its product more aggressively when faced with such a competitive onslaught. The fact of the matter is that any person can only drink so much liquid in one day, and with so many tempting modern-age options around—from carbonated sodas to juice cocktails and energydrinks—it’s quite easy for milk to slip down the pecking order without much notice. Except by the milk Canadian producers, of course, who are selling their product into the market where per-capita daily consumption of f luid milk has been stuck at about two-thirds of a cup for years. At the same time, global milk production is expected to grow at a buoyant pace over the next several years, according to the Global Dairy Outlook 2012 report, which projects milk production to rise from 6,792 million tons in 2010 to 8,256 million tons in 2020 for a tidy 19-percent increase. And while many of the market forces and dynamics driving that growth may be beyond the scope of the Canadian dairy sector’s inf luence, some of them could certainly be used to draw up a new winning domestic market strategy to get Canadian consumers to drink more milk more often. A good place to start would be to give consumers a broader choice of tastes and f lavors extending well beyond the long-enduring white milk or chocolate

UPFRONT By George Guidoni NEWSPACK Packaging news round-up. ECO-PACK NOW All about packaging sustainability. imPACt A monthly insight from PAC-The Packaging Association. EVENTS Upcoming industry functions. PEOPLE Career moves in the packaging world. CHECKOUT By Noelle Stapinsky Joe Public speaks out on packaging hits and misses.






BACK TO THE BOX The growing importance of old corrugated containers. By Jerry Scott Mills

THE HUNGARIAN RHAPSODY Deli meats producer prospers with tasty recipes and cutting-edge technology. By Andrew Joseph 27

WINNING TEAM SPIRIT Top-of-the-line bottling equipment provides a winning edge for major Quebec winesand-spirits player. By Andrew Joseph


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Food allergies are an unfortunate part of life for many Canadian adults and children alike. But thanks to companies like the Waterloo, Ont.headquartered meat processor Piller’s Fine Foods, enjoying high-quality deli meats and precooked sausages is fast-becoming a delicious riskfree meal option they can enjoy without the fear of a sudden allergic reaction. Following the initial success of last year’s introduction of the Piller’s Simply Free range of glutenfree cold-cuts to the Canadian marketplace, the company has significantly extended the popular product line several weeks ago with the addition of 10 new popular meat products featuring absolutely no gluten or any other common food allergens such as milk, peanuts, tree nuts, mustard, sesame, egg, fish, soy or sulphites. According to the company, the new Simply Free brand gluten-free products were developed in large part to help parents of kids with food allergies propro vide their children, as well as their classmates, with safe and nutritious lunch options that would not pose any undue health risks at school. Produced at the company’s Ontario-based meatprocessing plants in Waterloo, Toronto, Brantford and Arthur, the new products include an expanded sliced-meat selection with popular deli meats such as Pastrami and Capicola, as well as various tasty meat snacks, sausages, wieners ham and fullycooked breakfast options such as cornmeal

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back bacon and breakfast sausage rounds. (See Picture) “After our successful launch of Simply Free allergen-free deli meats last year, we received many letters from parents thanking us for providing delicious products that the whole family can enjoy with peace of mind that their kids can eat safely,” says Piller’s director of marketing Rita Weigel. “One mother of two children with threatening food allergies wrote to thank us, and another called our products a ‘miracle.’ “Responses like these certainly had provided plenty of encouragement for us to further expand this product line,” states Weigel. With many of the new Simply Free products featuring innovative resealable closures to optimize the product shelf-life and freshness, the new pack packages were designed by Cambridge, Ont.-based

branding consultants Milestone Integrated Marketing, with Optium Packaging of Markham, Ont., supplying the prepress work and Winnipeg-based Winpak printing finished package graphics onto the barrier film. According to the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative, four out of five accidental exposures to food allergies in Canada occur away from home, with an estimated 300,000 Canadian children suffering from various forms of food allergies. Moreover, Health Canada estimates that about seven percent of the Canadian population, or about 2.4 million people, suffer from food allergies, with about one in every 100 Canadians also suffering from celiac disease—meaning they must avoid gluten altogether.

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PROTECTIVE PAPER PACKAGING BRINGS BIG RECYCLING MESSAGE TO LIFE An ocean reef made from a paper-based packaging structure may sound like a very unlikely proposition, but that’s exactly what thousands of visitors to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Tex., have seen for themselves first-hand this past summer. Constructed entirely from several hundred sheets of the Hexacomb brand of honeycomb protective packaging manufactured by the Buffalo Grove, Ill.-based Hexacomb Corporation, a division of Boise, Idaho-headquartered paper products group Boise, Inc., Inc. the temporary exhibit featured an elabelab orate 4,000 square foot reef ecoeco system—complete with kelp beds, a shipwreck and deep-sea sections— was assembled specifically to propro mote the importance of recycling by highlighting the inherent benefits of paper-based protective packaging made from renewable wood fibers. Engineered into a proprietary honeycomb configuration, the fullyrecyclable product—typically used to protect a broad range of durable goods during transits—offers excellent strength, superior cushioning and good blocking/bracing properties that have made it an ideal

material for assembling a demanding structural product such as the Recycle Reef exhibit, according to Hexacomb’s director of director of global marketing and strategy Darlene Kober. “We were very pleased to partner with the Perot Museum on an exhibit that supports environmentally-positive messaging in such a creative way,” states Kober. “Many of our customers in North America and Europe typically select Hexacomb for both its perform performance and environmental attrib attrib-


MULTIVAC Canada Inc. Appoints New Director of Sales

Today’s coffee producers go through great lengths to make sure their product comes from organic, fair-trade and responsibly-managed sources, so it’s natural that they often seek the most sustainable packing options they can get. And thanks to some recent technical breakthroughs by the leading German chemicals group BASF SE, the upstart Swiss Coffee Company has significantly raised the bar for sustainable coffee packaging—becoming the first coffee roaster to offer high-grade injection-molded biodegradable plastic capsules in an aroma-type barrier packaging under the brand name beanarella. Launched at the end of 2012, the beanarella coffee uses the compostable ecovio plastic film first developed by BASF six years ago, which was first primarily used to make bags for collecting biodegradable waste and mulch in fields used to cultivate fruits and vegetables. Working with BASF, the coffee house was able to develop a brand new system solution consisting of a coffee capsule and an aroma-tight outer packaging that fulfills demanding requirements for brewing coffee in high-pressure coffee machines, while being fully compostable after use. Completing the project in 13 months, the coffee producer used BASF’s recently introduced product grade ecovio IS1335, which is especially suitable for injection-molding applications, along with some other new ecoviobased solutions for multilayer films with effective barrier properties. Produced by means of traditional drum roasting to make sure the cof coffee is low in acid and gentle on the stomach, the beanarella coffee beans are certified as both organic and free-trade products, according to the company, which is the first to offer high volumes of coffee capsules not to be made from aluminum. Marketed as an eco-friendly alternative for consumers striving to combine high quality of life with a sustainable lifestyle, the product has received the Golden Idea Award 2013 innovation prize from the national broadcaster Idee Suisse for an “innovative contribution to the sustainable strengthening of the Swiss economy.”

Multivac Canada Inc., has announced the appointment of Wayne Bryant to the position of director of sales. Bryant brings over 20 years of experience and accomplishment in the packaging and food processing machinery industry in both Canadian and European markets. Most recently, he was responsible for Canadian sales and service for GEA Food Solutions (CFS), and prior to that managing director for Reiser UK Ltd. Says Bryant: “I am extremely excited to bring my passion for the packaging and food processing industry to the Canadian market with Multivac.” Adds Multivac Canada president Nestor Plawiuk, “We are pleased to welcome Wayne who brings a wealth of experience and passion to the role, and he is known for his focus on the satisfaction of customers. I am confident he will help us deliver the right packaging solutions that will meet our customers’ needs.” Multivac is a global leading supplier of packaging solutions, designing, manufacturing, selling and servicing a wide range of thermoforming packaging machines, traysealers, vacuum chamber machines, chamber conveyor machines, labelers, quality control systems, automation solutions and even ready-to-use lines. From its Canadian headquarters, located in Brampton, ON, the company provides strategic consultation, technical design, sales, distribution, and service of Multivac’s complete line of packaging systems. Multivac maintains a comprehensive on-site parts inventory, and offers 24/7 technical assistance and certified training for its entire line of equipment. To date, the company has designed and implemented over 100,000 packaging solutions. For more information on Multivac Canada, visit Multivac Canada Inc. 6 Abacus Road Brampton, ON L6T 5B7 Tel: 905-264-1170


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utes, so we were thrilled to see our material being a part of such an educational and interactive consumer experience,” says Kober. In addition to the exhibit itself, a 2,000-squarefoot section immediately outside the main exhibit—called the “making” area—featured tables and bins also made from the Hexacomb materials, Kober relates. Stocked with child-safe tools and recyclable materials, the area provided a place for the museum visitor to construct their own personal masterpieces—including fish, corals and other marine life—which they could either take home or add to the exhibit. Says Perot Museum’s director of exhibits Mike Spiewak: “I had seen Hexacomb being used in packaging applications before, so when we were evaluating options for building this exhibit, the material seemed like a perfect choice to support our recycling message. “In addition to donating the material, Hexacomb has provided technical information and fabrication assistance,” he adds. “They have been a great partner for us to wok with throughout the entire project.”


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PAC NEXT launches 2.0

Optimizing packaging design across the value chain PAC NEXT is an initiative of PAC - The Packaging Association created to proactively help the industry transition to A World without Packaging Waste. The PAC NEXT mission is to unite leading organizations across the packaging value chain to collaboratively explore, evaluate and mobilize innovative packaging end-of-life solutions. The goal is to deliver economical recovery of ALL packaging materials that leads to optimized reduction, recycling, reuse, upcycling, composting, energy from waste and other emerging technologies. The PAC NEXT program was launched August 2011 with 31 founding members and a focus on member led project-based committees trying to navigate the complexities of packaging legislation, waste management, consumer engagement and optimized package design on a local, regional and global scale. Just over two years later the program has grown to encompass 128 members while in parallel we are experiencing an ever-changing packaging sustainability landscape.

A dynamic but complex sustainability landscape • Stats Canada 2010 highlights the on-going challenge of managing Municipal Solid Waste with 17MM tonnes still going to landfill and incineration and only 8MM tonnes being diverted for recycling and composting. • Estimates indicate that over $1billion of valuable packaging material may be going into landfill every year. • The first full Extended Producer Responsibility program (designed, operated and funded by industry) will roll-out in British Columbia May 2014. While in Ontario there is the proposed Bill 91 for the Waste Reduction Act 2013 and a focus on individual producer responsibility. • Operation Green Fence, China’s first major campaign to enforce its stringent waste quality legislation that puts pressure on the quality of North American Waste. • Continuing consumer confusion as the list of types of material that can go into the blue box programs differ from one municipality to the next. • The National Zero Waste Council (NZWC) launching October 16th 2013 with an agenda focused on waste prevention and reduction across Canada.

In this dynamic environment where all of our member companies are busy dealing with a myriad of sometimes conflicting information, PAC NEXT has taken a step back to re-assess how to provide valuable and timely support. PAC NEXT 2.0 is being launched now reflecting member feedback that wants SPEED, ACTION and RESULTS that facilitate: 1. Informed decision making to deliver practical packaging value chain solutions that help maximize recovery of ALL materials cost effectively. 2. Identifying best practices for policy harmonization, consumer behavior change, pragmatic package design guidelines and material choices that deliver collection and recovery system efficiencies. As such, PAC NEXT 2.0 will target fewer projects and leverage more external expertise (versus internal member volunteers only) to deliver tangible results faster. This work will be led through three project-based technical committees covering (1) Policy Harmonization & Consumer Understanding (2) Materials & Systems Optimization (3) Design for Recovery. All of the collective know-how will be captured in the PAC Knowledge Center, a centralized, searchable, on-line and interactive knowledge repository. We invite everyone from across the packaging value chain – retailers, brand owners, manufacturers, waste management, recyclers, re-processors, government and non government, entrepreneurs and academia to come and join us on the journey to A World without Packaging Waste.

To find out more about PAC and PAC NEXT 2.0 please contact Alan Blake, PAC NEXT Executive Director or James Downham, PAC CEO at jdd@ Or, visit

Renew your 2014 membership now!

PAC Food Waste Initiative launched

33% of all food produced globally is wasted or lost. Packaging can reduce food waste. Join the PAC initiative now! Founding member meeting November 14, 2013 Contact Jim Downham today at


For more information visit


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Why old corrugated containers still have a lot of life in them BY JERRY SCOTT MILLS PHOTOS BY JERRY SCOTT MILLS


sing our recycled wood fiber resources wisely and well is a big part of today’s increasingly environmentally-sensitive business agenda for many leading Canadian CPG (consumer packaged goods) manufacturers and their suppliers. While it may be nothing new to paper industry professionals, the acronym OCC for ‘old corrugated containers is starting to become increasingly familiar to growing ranks of everyday consumers and general public–especially in the wake of a recent call from the Paper & Paperboard Packaging Environmental Council (PPEC) for an Ontario-wide ban on dumping used corrugated boxes into landfills. The validity of the argument for such a ban is fairly self-evident. When recovered for repulping, the wood fibers extracted from OCCs are ideal for milling into high-strength grades of paper—particularly the ‘medium’ and ‘liner’ layers required for the manufacturing of new corrugated containers. According to PPEC’s executive director John Mullinder, the OCCs are simply far too valuable a commodity to waste in so thoughtlessly. “From every aspect, including social, economic and environmental, it is an ecological travesty for old used corrugated containers to be buried in landfills, rather than being ‘re-harvested’ and recycled,” Mullinder states. As a significant source of wood pulp fiber, OCCs have rightfully become an increasingly valuable commodity that benefits both the paper packaging industry and this country’s economy says David Andrews, executive director of the Canadian Corrugated and Containerboard Association (CCCA), stressing the importance of a dependable supply of OCCs to Canadian recycling paper mills cannot be understated. “For both domestic use and export revenue, the supply of recycled wood pulp fiber from collected OCC is critical to corrugated containerboard supply,” Andrews proclaims.

“It impacts the long-term viability of recycling and fiber reclamation processes that bolster our industry’s manufacturing capability,” he asserts. On a global scale, the current economics of OCC transactions are undoubtedly impressive indeed. A general shortage of OCCs, coupled with growing demand in the U.S., China and other emerging markets clearly positions Canadian-sourced OCCs as a highly viable commodity. Many countries outside North America need it to cost-effectively produce new paper for new board and new containers cost-effectively. This is especially true for China—the highestranking net-importer country that simply cannot supply its domestic packaging industry requirements with enough wood fiber from domestic sources. According to Robert Lanthier, Norampac’s vice-president of sales, marketing and innovation for Containerboard and Boxboard divisions, the country’s recycling rates lag far behind those in North America, despite its economy growing at a much faster pace. “They are creating a widening gap between demand for OCC and domestic availability of it,” Lanthier observes, “and the ‘loop’ is turning faster and faster.”

Balancing Act This imbalance provides a huge opportunity for North America—a net exporter of OCCs with a ‘tiger’s share’ of collected materials shipped to China—as well as the more developed Latin American economies like Brazil. Composed primarily of scrap cuttings from boxes made of double-liner kraft, OCCs provide the basic raw material for making corrugated linerboard, and as the worldwide demand for OCC continues to soar, so does its world market price per ton—resulting in a precarious and unpredictable global supply situation. “Somewhere in the world there’s a shortage of OCC and any given time, and every year it becomes harder to get,” says Serges Desgagnes, paper products specialist for Kruger Inc. Unlike a few years ago, most of China’s manufactured goods now arrive into Canada already packaged in boxes, and China clearly wants all that used corrugated returned for recycling into new containers. In fact, China is adding nearly four million new tons of containerboard capacity per year, with 90 per cent of that volume coming from recycled material. Desgagnes describes the economics of this trend inf luence trend’s inf luence on Canadian paper packaging manufacturers and their customers: “If we take a shipment of OCC from Texas, for example, its actual delivered price to our Quebec mill could be doubled due to freight costs, but if Close-up view of the wet-end operation, where the repulped paper is subjected to rigorous washing and cleaning treatments to remove all impurities and possible contaminants and put on a roll after reducing the moisture level down to at least 50 per cent.


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The Canadian paper packaging industry is urging the Ontario government to ban the dumping of old corrugated containers into landfills, arguing they provide an economically viable supply of much sought-after raw material for both domestic and overseas corrugated producers.

we can get it from Toronto or Montreal, the cost per ton becomes far cheaper,” Desgagnes explains. “When OCC is not readily available in Canada, we have to obtain it elsewhere,” he points out. “Essentially that means importing the stuff from the U.S., and freight costs then become a problem.” Not only longer hauls add to the cost, but their environmental impact also enters the picture. Although the carbon footprint of transportation is not easily quantifiable, it is a constant consideration in the context of the industry’s broader efforts in OCC reclamation and its reuse in new paper and board based on environmental merits. “The more OCCs we can acquire locally, the more raw material we have immediate access to,” says Kruger’s Desgagnes, stressing the importance of local collection of Canadian OCCs for repulping and re-milling.

Value Proposition “It’s a valuable commodity, which we need for both manufacturing and exporting.” According to Norampac’s Lanthier, it is vitally important for the corrugated packaging industry to recycle as much OCCs as it can. Says Lanthier: “Achieving that optimal goal will require wax-free moisture barrier coatings, and treatments that permit corrugated containers to be used for shipping produce in crushed ice, as well to be recycled for repulping and milling into new paper.” The technology to do so is out there, Lanthier contends, citing his company’s innovative waxfree Norshield process. “We want to send as little OCCs as possible to landfills, and to that end, this company has been working for more than four years on developing a new water-based moisture-barrier process,” Lanthier relates. “Compared to traditional wax-coated containerboard, the Norshield wax-alternative product is at least 80-percent effective for packers, and 100-percent effective for OCC recycling by retailers,” says


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CORRUGATED Lanthier. Joe Zenga, manager of Norampac’s OCC recycling paper mill in Mississauga, Ontario, describes the surprising complexity of OCC repulping and milling: “There’s a lot more to making paper than meets the eye. “People generally don’t realize how complex and complicated it is,” says Zenga, “but there is a lot of science involved in our mill operation, and the processes are getting more scientific every year.” The remilling process begins taking shape at the ‘wet end’ of the mill, when arriving shipments of collected OCC are mixed with municipal water and slowly churned to create a coarse mixture— about the consistency of wet cement—which then goes through a mechanical separation process to remove all foreign matter. Once liquefied, the slurry can be washed and treated. It is pumped through several filtration stages that remove minuscule particulate matter and any chemical contaminants, leaving a residue of extracted wood-pulp fibers that can be processed and milled into new packaging-grade paper. According to Gerry Murray, vice-president of mill operations at Atlantic Packaging Products Limited’s OCC paper mill in eastend Toronto, “At the end of the initial reclamation stage, the wood pulp from recycled OCC comes out as clean, or even cleaner, than pulp made from virgin wood. “Those fibers can be controlled to create a sheet of paper,” says Murray, a professional chemical engineer. After emerging from the pulper head-box, the mixture is composed of over 99-percent water and under one-percent wood fibers.

After running at about 3,300 feet per minute and dried by hardened steel rollers to remove all remaining moisture, the end product coming off the dry end of the paper machine is claimed to be just as strong and clean as the linerboard and corrugating medium made from virgin wood fiber.


Strong Bond These fibers are then randomly crossaligned to maximize paper strength, and held in position through the addition of polymers in a process that includes ‘fibrillation’ of individual polymer strands to boost fiber bonding affinity at the cellular level. Murray explains: “Envision a myriad of little curled microfibers of polymer at the hydrogen-bond level, whereby the polymer strands are fibrillated—vibrated and abraded— until their microscopic fibrils link and stick tightly together, rather like Velcro materials.” That induced physical affinity between fibers enhances the strength of the mechanical bonds within the paper sheet, says Murray, adding that for some applications, starch may be used in place of polymer to enhance bonding strength. According to Norampac’s Zenga, fiber orientation can have a significant impact on the efficient performance of the finished paper sheet. “Everyone in this industry is finetuning their fiber alignment and basis weight, constantly striving to create lighter-weight paper with higher


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CORRUGATED stacking strengths to satisfy our customers’ evolving needs,” Zenga states. “It’s a delicate balancing act.” After emerging from the pulper head-box, the mixture composed of 96-percent water and fourpercent wood fiber enters a multistep drying and rolling process, which extracts water from the mix until its moisture content is reduced to less than eight per cent, with 92-percent fiber content.

Roll with It At the point of reaching 50-percent water and 50-percent fiber, the sheet becomes strong enough to be conveyed unsupported along rollers, and then accelerated to the speed of 3,300 feet per minute through the dry-end milling processes. To remove most of its remaining water content, the bonded and formed pulp is compressed between hardened-steel rollers—called ‘dryer cans’—pass-

ing through a serpentine run that heats both faces of the paper sheet simultaneously. To achieve maximum rapid heat transfer, those massive, sealed hollow cylinders contain pressurized steam superheated to above 350°F, resulting in the paper’s surface temperature being elevated to between 220°F and 240°F—well above the 212°F (100°C) boiling point of water and the temperature required for sterilization. That extreme heat quickly dries the passing paper to reduce its incoming moisture content down to 7.5 per cent, at which point huge lengthy rolls of ‘newly-minted’ sheet paper can be trimmed and shipped out—ready for corrugation. With the complex milling processes completed, new paper created from recycled OCC is “at least as strong as paper made from virgin fiber,” according to Atlantic’s Murray. “Strong, sterile and absolutely clean: you couldn’t

ask for a better paper,” Murray states. Naturally, a lot of questions are raised about the relative cleanliness of paper milled using wood pulp from OCC, compared to virgin fiber, but such concerns are largely unwarranted and easily allayed, according to the experts. While OCC is indeed technically recovered ‘trash’ by definition, this lowly status is completely reversed through the rigorous recovery, separation and milling processes, with the paper derived from OCC heated to well above the 100°C temperature of effective sterilization. And even following the stringent anti-bacterial and anti-fungal treatments applied at the initial repulping stage, the milling process is continuously monitored—with any bacterial counts or quality anomalies immediately corrected upon detection. “Our ultimate goal is to ensure that the paper is free of any defects, be they physical, chemical or bacterial,” states Wendy Cerilli, quality and technical manager for Norampac’s Mississauga paper mill. “From pulping the incoming OCC to its finished stage, all the treatments and processes are carefully monitored,” says Cerilli, citing a plethora of testing disciplines aimed at boosting customer confidence in the end product. This includes adherence to the Recycled Paperboard Technical Association (RPTA)’s Chemical Testing Protocol for Food Contact of paperboard made from recycled fiber, whereby random paper samples are rigorously tested for the presence of “contaminants or deleterious substances” ranging from micro-bacteria to traces of heavy metals. While the specific processes and technologies for OCC recycling will naturally differ at various paper mills to some extent, every method is specifically engineered to ensure that the output quality of linerboard and medium not only meets all required shipping container standards, but also provides the assurance of hygienic sterility for every roll of newly-milled paper. In addition, high operating temperatures reached during subsequent corrugating and converting stages will also sterilize paper surfaces of newly formed boxes, as the die-cut, scored, folded and glued bundles of new container f lats are always immediately shrinkwrapped for airtight protection during palletizing and delivery to end-use customers, to be filled up with total confidence in their hygienic safety. Jerry Mills is a freelance technical writer and photojournalist based in Oakville, Ont.

For More Information:

Multivac Canada Inc. Toll Free: 877 264 1170

PPEC CCCA Norampac Inc. Kruger Inc. Atlantic Packaging Products Ltd.


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Blue Danube Sausage House president Nick Balega says he is very happy with the service he has received from Multivac for his R126 thermoform packaging machine.

THE HUNGARIAN RHAPSODY Old World recipes and modern-day packaging technologies deliver a tasteful winning recipe for meat market masterclass



ong beloved by classical music aficionados as a timeless inspiration for Johan Sebastian Strauss’ beautiful Blue Danube waltz, the great Danube River that runs through much of central and eastern Europe has helped move many creative hearts and minds on to greater heights through the ages, including a certain Toronto delicatessen shop whose customers just can’t stop singing the praises of its f lavorful Hungarian and other eastern European-based meat creations. Although officially operating under its current Blue Danube Sausage House corporate banner since 1994, the family-owned deli business proudly traces its roots 50 years back to 1963, when Miklos Balega opened up his first shop at the Elizabeth’s Meat Market in Toronto to smoke and cure highquality cuts of meat according to the traditional eastern European recipes and techniques he picked up from his father, who was a professional butcher back in his native Hungary. After having taught everything he knew about the business to his three children—Gizella Vidolovics, George and Nick—in 1994 George and Nick pro-


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Blue Danube uses the Multivac R126 thermoformer to gain a superior seal and clan look for its smoked side bacon packs.


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PACKAGING FOR FRESHNESS ceeded to open up the Blue Danube Sausage House in the west-end Toronto suburb of Etobicoke, where a busy and lively storefront served as a fitting retail-area facade for the company’s manufacturing operation in the back of the building—turning out a variety of tasty and f lavorful, European-styled fresh prepared foods ranging from sausages and deli cold-cuts to fresh-baked pastries and a plethora of imported dried-food products. “Our father’s loyal customers quickly followed us to our new home because they knew that the name of Balega meant quality,” company president Nick Balega told the Canadian Packaging magazine during a recent interview. With products literally f lying off the shelves, in 2010 the company moved its manufacturing operation further west to a 10,000-square-foot plant in Mississauga, Ont., followed a year later with a starA Blue Danube Sausage tup of a permanent sales kiosk in Kitchener, Ont., House employee at the right in the heart of Ontario’s ‘meat country.’ Mississauga plant using While the business originally started out by worka touchscreen interface ing exclusively with pork meat, Balega says it has successfully diversified over the years so that pork to operate the automatic Multivac R126 thermocurrently accounts for 70 per cent of its output, with E Conestoga_7.875x10.75.qxt_28545 form packaging machine. 2013-08-12 beef, chicken and turkey making up the 28545 remainder.

10:05 AM Page 1

Room to Grow “Compared to our previous location, our Mississauga plant now has two packaging lines housed in a much larger packaging room, and we also added new and larger capacity hot and cold smokehouses,” says Balega. Employing 15 full- and part-time people, the Mississauga operation makes optimal use of family recipes handed down from generations past to serve up over 30 varieties of fresh and smoked sausages, salami cold cuts, headcheese, liverwurst, bologna, ham, smoked and roasted bacon products, bacon chips, wieners, Hungarian hurka and debreceni sausages, and many more delicious varieties that its loyal customer base can’t seem to get enough of, Balega relates. According to Balega, the company’s top five bestselling product lines include the dry-cured and smoked Hungarian Csabai sausage; smoked pork products; cold cuts like summer salami, kolbasa and wieners; dry salamis packaged under its new Blue Heritage brand label; and roasted products like bacon bits, which alone account for about 2,000 kilograms of weekly production output. Citing plans to add another storefront location at its Mississauga operation in the near future, Balega estimates that his company’s stores sell about 25 per cent of its total manufacturing output. “We also prepare meats for various other shops throughout the GTA (Greater Toronto area) and parts of southern Ontario—about 60 outlets in total,” says Balega, confiding he would like to expand its sales into the U.S. starting with the Cleveland area, which boasts a sizeable ethnic Hungarian community. While the term ‘Old World traditions’ is often-used in meat industry circles, Balega contends that most of the time it only applies to the original recipe itself, whereas Blue Danube treats it more as a badge of honor and a running commentary on how the


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Atlantic Packaging Products provides high-strength, moisture-resistant shipping cartons for Blue Danube Sausage House.

company prepares its meats: no added nitrates, fillers, or artificial colors; all gluten-free formulations; and using only a natural hardwood blend for smoking the meats. And while the Mississauga plant’s new smokehouses, coolers and production line equipment have played a major role in helping the company grow its production capabilities, Blue Danube is committed to the notion that this growth will never compromise A Blue Danube Sausthe top-quality taste profile of its products. age plant employee “We also specialize in making custom orders using hand-packs cartons with the customers’ own recipes, as well as providing cosmoked bacon packs packing options so that any customer order can be coming off the Multivac made, packaged and readied for sale,” adds Balega. R126 thermoformer. “In fact, our new industrial-capacity co-packing equipment can handle the largest packaging requests, ensuring that their finished product will Backroom employee look professional and appealing to their shoppers.” manually applies labels Balega says moving into the new Mississauga proprinted by a Bizerba duction plant provided a good launchpad for grow- GLP-80 labeler to packs ing the company’s share of the its wholesale market, of bacon before loading in addition to enhancing its custom-order and cothem inside corrugated packing capabilities. shipping.

Fresh Thinking “Right now we process about 5,000 kilograms of fresh meat a week just for the Blue Danube products,” states Balega, “but we will also co-pack 2,000 kilograms of a customer’s beef, chicken, pork and turkey meats over an average week. “They deliver their meat, and we process and co-pack it for them.” According to Balega, the manufacturing and packaging line has been designed with a f low-forward approach in mind, whereby everything moves from the front to the rear of the plant without deviation—avoiding all the common contamination risks. One of the plant’s two production lines employs a Sipromac model 620A double-chamber vacuum machine for sealing the product in bags, while the second line deploys a compact, model R126 thermoformer designed and built by renowned German-based packaging machinery manufacturer Multivac, which Balega hails as the “star performer” of the Mississauga plant. Balega relates that he first became aware of the virtues of the R126 thermoform packaging system through an article published in Canadian Packaging, which he later recalled while visiting a meat-processing plant in Brampton, Ont., where he spotted an older-generation Multivac thermoformer. After commenting that he was thinking about purchasing a Multivac system himself, Balega was quickly reassured that Multivac was “the way to go” by his hosts, he says. “They called it the Cadillac of the industry,” recalls Balega, “and like the automobile itself, their Multivac machine was solid, classy and reliable.” Although there are many features of the R126 that Balega liked, such as its small footprint, he says he was especially pleased with the machine’s hygienic design that makes it remarkably easy to clean. “It has a full washdown capability both inside and out, and thanks to the perfectly placed and easy-access side panels on it—along with the space—we can get our cleaning materials to all parts of the machine to perform a thorough cleaning.”


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13-10-08 1:45 PM


After seting up the Handtmann sausage filler and linker for production, head sausage maker Nicholas Balega keeps an eye on sausage quality and line speeds.

Because the Multivac R126 was designed and built to ensure the exterior provides a smooth sloping surface without recesses where water and dirt can collect—without any sharp corners or edges. This makes cleaning the machine is a snap, says Balega, complimenting its easy-open side access panels that provide operators with plenty of room to get inside the thermoformer to clean the chainguide and chain, lift units, motors, valves and cabling to ensure top-notch hygienic food safety. According to Multivac, standard design features of the R126 include: • Durable stainless-steel construction; • Patented hygienic chain-guide design; • Industry-leading hygienic machine design; • Optimal washdown (IP 65) protection; • Comprehensive safety systems; • Open-architecture IPC control system; • User-friendly touchscreen control panel; • Automatic production data acquisition and storage • Cut-off length of up to 360-mm; • State-of-the-art electric lifting system;

Blue Danube’s head sausage maker Nicholas Balega hard at work with a Handtmann AL linker and VF-6161 vacuum sausage filler.

• Flexibility in the use of materials, cutting systems, and packaging formats; • Easy-access machine frame. Balega says that the R126 is used predominantly to pack pre-sliced bacon, which is hand-placed upon tabletop Bizerba scales prior to being moved into the Multivac thermoformer. “Running at full capacity, the R126 performs seven cycles in a minute—giving us 21 finished packs every 60 seconds,” points out Balega. “We purchased the R126 three years ago, and I have been very happy with their service,” says Balega, complimenting the attentive technical staff at the manufacturer’s Multivac Canada Inc. subsidiary in Woodbridge, Ont. “We can phone them up any time, knowing that if we can’t resolve an issue over the phone they will send someone out to us right away to do it in person. “On service alone, I would recommend Multivac to anyone,” says Balega. “Beyond that, the quality of the seal we get is also a fantastic reason for further recommendations,”

says Balega, while also expressing high praise for the high-strength, moisture-resistant corrugated shipping cases supplied by the Toronto-based boxmaker Atlantic Packaging Products Limited. “After packing, our products are placed into the cases from Atlantic, and are moved into a fridge or freezer until we deliver to our customers, or they come and pick-up from us,” says Balega.

Keep Cool “After coming out from a cool storage facility, water condensation forms on the corrugated, but it never seems to weaken the structure of the carton—meaning there’s never a danger of the product falling onto the ground from a compromised corrugated carton.” To make sausages and wieners, Blue Danube uses a pair of Handtmann machines: an AL linker, and a mid-range VF 616 sausage vacuum filler. “Both machines are hard-working and provide us with excellent packed and formed sausages and wieners,” Balega extols. As for future plans of growth, Balega says they are all based on the notion of keeping in touch with the company’s customers and its loyal consumer base. “We often get special orders from our customers, who come in here every once in a while and tell us about an old recipe their grandfather used to make,” Balega relates. “So we use their descriptions the best we can to try and replicate that recipe for them.” Says Balega: “And even though we have some top-notch equipment like our Multivac R126 thermoformer, which allows us to up our production speeds, it is still imperative for us to make our products using ingredients that make our products taste as traditional and authentic as the best products made in Europe.”

For More Information:

Along with its manufacturing facility in Mississauga, Blue Danube Sausage has a store located in west-end Toronto selling all of its smoked meat products, baked goods, and various other dry goods imported from Eastern Europe.


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Multivac Canada Inc. Atlantic Packaging Products Ltd. Bizerba Canada Inc. Sipromac LL Inc. Handtmann Canada Ltd.

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Chris Kellar, Packaging Line Manager, Toronto Brewery, Molson Coors Canada


An agile new flexible canning line opens up a whole new world of packaging innovation opportunities for the Canadian beer icon

eer and ice-hockey has long made for a beloved mainstream match-made-in heaven for millions of Canadian hockey fans coast-to-coast obsessed with their beloved NHL (National Hockey League) teams battling it out for Stanley Cup glory each year. And if the early-season buzz made by some inspired and innovative packaging from Molson Coors Canada is any indication, Canada’s oldest and largest brewer just may have already scored one of the year’s most thrilling and memorable goals in its never-ending, intense battle for market share with other national brewers, import brands, and swelling ranks of plucky, ambitious domestic microbrewers rapidly reshaping the domestic beer sector’s competitive landscape. Intentionally launched nationwide to coincide with the opening of this year’s NHL season earlier this month, the new decorative 473-ml aluminum bottles of the company’s venerable f lagship Molson Canadian beer brand—emblazoned with colorful, high-impact graphics of each of the country’s


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seven NHL franchises’ trademarked team logos and branding—just may be the beer industry’s gamechanger that finally pays due respect to packaging f lexibility and innovation, rather than conventional emphasis on higher line speeds and volumes.

Best to Come Also used to package the perennial bestseller Coors Light brand at the brewer’s massive 54-acre brewing complex in the west-end Toronto suburb of Etobicoke, the shapely, all-aluminum Alumi-Tek bottles—developed and manufactured by the global metal packaging group Ball Corporation of Bloomfield, Colo.—are not entirely new the Canadian beer market, having been used to bottle both Canadian and the Coors Light brands in limited-run production since the summer of 2012. Warmly received by the country’s beer-lovers for their user-friendly portability and resealability—in fact handily winning the Consumer’s Voice award of the Canadian Packaging magazine in the 2013 PAC Packaging Competition of PAC-The

Packaging Association—the wide-mouthed containers were conceived from the start as a perfect alternative beer packaging for hockey arenas, outdoor stadiums, concert halls, and other large public venues and events where product portability and ease-of-use are naturally prized virtues. “The main appeal of this package is the portability of the product, wherever the law permits of course,” says Chris Kellar, packaging line manager at Molson Coors Canada’s Toronto Brewery and a 27-year veteran of the Canadian beer industry. “The main driver for this product is the fact that after you open it, you can easily reclose it with the screw-cap to completely retain the product’s freshness until your next sip, thereby enhancing the whole beverage experience. “It’s great for stadiums and all those other events where you can find yourself moving up and down in your seat, or wherever you need to carry your product around with you in an enclosed container,” Kellar explains. Continues on page 20


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A fully-automatic Krones depalletizer preparing stacked rows of empty Alumi-Tek bottleshaped aluminum containers for transfer downstairs for rinsing, filling and capping. NEW NAME OF THE GAME Continued from page 18

“You also get very smooth drinkability with the bottle’s wide-mouth opening, and it really holds the freshness of the product really well right up until you finish it,” Kellar told Canadian Packaging during a recent up-close tour of the smooth-running new line.

First of a Kind “To my knowledge it is the first such container, an aluminum bottle with an aluminum cap, to be launched commercially in the Canadian beer market,” says Kellar, who directly oversees operation of the highly-f lexible line, originally code-named the Acrobat, installed a the brewery a year ago specifically to introduce Alumi-Tek bottle technology to the Canadian beer market. “There is a similar type of product that has been done in the U.S. before and also in Japan,” Kellar relates, “but we use a slightly different technology here in Canada in terms of capping, whereby we actually take an aluminum cap and form it directly onto the aluminum bottle.

A view from above of the Krones rotary rinsing, filling and capping systems working in sync to process the 473-ml Alumi-Tek containers at a rate of 300 bottles per minute.

“It’s really not as easy as it sounds,” says Kellar, explaining the used of a specialized Zalkin capping machine and Silgan-made aluminum cap blanks to execute perfect sealing of the Alumi-Tek bottles, typically running at the operating speed of 300 bottles per minute. Says Kellar: “Our bottling line can run about 1,000 bottles per minute, while our canning line can do 1,400 to 1,500 cans per minute, but this is a whole new technology, which was especially challenging for us because we have never done aluminum-on-aluminum capping before. “The difference between this and doing an aluminum cap on glass is that glass does not give,” Kellar explains. “When you put an aluminum cap on it, the strength of the glass will cause the aluminum to form around it, whereas with this process, having too much pressure during the actual application of the cap can deform the thread on the bottle. “This is what makes it tough,” he says. “It’s a whole different ball game in the application process requiring a different balance of all the key variables, so the machine set-up becomes a critical factor. “Because you’re actually forming the thread just as

you are putting the cap on it, you need to make sure that you are applying just enough top-loading pressure to ensure the optimal seal integrity on the container. “A typical aluminum canning line has your seamer to seal the can,” he says, “but this bottle’s uniqueness lies in the curve of the bottle, which requires us to actually compress the liner against the edge and the finish of the bottle. “This is all right after the product is purge-fobbed to get as much oxygen from underneath the cap as possible in order to give the product maximum shelf-life,” says Kellar, adding the line’s fillingand-capping process ensures 120-day shelf-life for beer packaging in Alumi-Tek containers.

Pressure Point “Because of the unique way that the container is sealed, we actually pressurize the container to a certain pressure to ensure that the lid stays on, as it is absolutely critical that the cap is properly compressed around the liner,” he states. Currently running a steady one-shift, fivedays-a-week operation, the renamed T4 line itself is unlike any other line operated at the Toronto Continues on page 22 Far Left: The Toronto Brewery’s T4 line uses proprietary capping technology and components to apply aluminum blank caps onto the aluminum containers, which requires a perfect balance of top-loading pressure to form perfect threads on the bottle’s neck and inside the cap. Left: Freshly rinsed Alumi-Tek containers are quickly dried off with the Adamark air-knife system supplied by R.E. Morrison Equipment.


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Manufactured by Ball Corporation, the Alumi-Tek aluminum bottles slide into place along the SystemPlast 2251 conveyor belting made by Emerson Industrial Automation. NEW NAME OF THE GAME Continued from page 20

Brewery, according to Kellar, who enthusiastically endorses the line’s f lexible and modular design, remarkably low-noise operation, and sophisticated automation capabilities that allow it be run by only three operators per shift. “A lot of the other lines that we have started out with older technology and have been upgraded with some equipment add-ons throughout the years,” relates Kellar, “whereas this line had a real fresh start, with all-new technology, right from the beginning. “This line was conceived from the start as f lexible line for packaging innovation, “ says Kellar, “which is why we chose the name Acrobat as a way to emphasize its inherent built-in f lexibility.” Comprised overwhelmingly of high-quality bottling and packaging machines and technologies made by leading German-based beverage processing and packaging systems manufacturer and integrator Krones AG—with notable exception of a fully-automated multipacker manufactured by Douglas Machine Inc. of Alexandria, Minn.— the T4 line was installed as a complete turnkey packaging line solution over a three-month period in the spring of 2012, Kellar recalls.

Quick Start “Once the decision to invest in the line was made, the actual installation and startup came together pretty quickly,” he recounts. “One of the biggest challenges to overcome was the infrastructure of our building, according to Kellar. “That’s usually the first thing that needs to be addressed when you carry out these sorts of projects—making sure you have the right f looring, support mechanisms, and all these other things

properly into place before the line is put in.” Says Kellar: “We specifically designed the line so that based on the next piece of innovation we would want to try out down the road, we could just pop it in there. “It was designed to be modular, so that if we wanted to add another filler or another asset to it, there’s a spot in there ready for it. “That’s where the f lexibility angle comes into play,” he states. “The way the competition is in the market today, not only do we need to be creative and innovative on ongoing basis, we must also have the ability to be able to do that very quickly to react to all those market changes, as things really can change at a snap in this business,” Kellar declares.

Top to Bottom The T4 line process begins at the plant’s upper mezzanine, where a Krones bulk depalletizer gently sweeps layers of containers off the shipping pallets— removing all slip-sheets and frames in the process and restacking the empty pallets—with one of the line’s three operators making all the required quality checks to make sure only the right packaging components make their way to the automated lowerator machine for quick transfer of the empty Alumi-Tek containers down to the lower level. The bottles are then conveyed through the Krones rinser for washing, after which they are immediately filled and capped within the same monobloc machine using the so-called “long-tube filling process,” according to Kellar. As the capped bottles emerge back into a conveyor and quickly dried off with Adamark airknives, a high-accuracy vision system perform quick 360-degree verification checks “to make sure the thread depths and heights are all properly done and to verify that both the cap and the pilfer

A Videojet small-character inkjet printer applying crisp lines of product codes and data specifying both the exact date and place of production for full product traceability.


09PAC-CVS-TAB.indd 22

Distributed in Canada by PLAN Automation, the Spectrum multpacking system employs Nordson’s ProBlue hot-melt adhesive applicator (inset) to erect high-strength beer boxes.

band have been properly applied during the capping process in all the right places. “It’s very important to make it clear to consumers that the product has not been tampered with,” Kellar explains. Once done, a Krones Checkmat inspection system performs a quick “gross fill check” by scanning the height of the liquid inside all the passing containers, which then move on to the pasteurization stage to be heated to a pre-set temperature and cooled down. After that, another Checkmat inspector makes sure that each can has exactly 473-ml of beer inside, automatically rejecting any under- or overfills off the line. “We also have a special piece of equipment called CapTone, which ensures that the cap has no leaks and the container has just the right amount of internal CO2 pressure,” says Kellar. “If there’s even a tiniest leak, the Checkmat will instantly reject the container.

Tracing Back Each Alumi-Tek can then passes by the Videojet small-character inkjet coder for instant application of critical product data, including the date of production and which line the product was packaged on. “So if we ever have an issue with product quality out in the market, it is all traceable right back to when that product was made and, consequently, where the process failed,” Kellar explains. “We would initiate an internal root-cause analysis, going through a “Five Why’s” process to make sure that these things do not reoccur” Afterwards, the bottles travel in a single line either onto the Douglas Machine Spectrum multipacker—to be case-packed inside colorful fourand eight-pack paperboard cartons printed and supplied by MeadWestvaco—or onto a Krones tray-packing machine, equipped with a heat-tunnel that applies a tight layer of shrinkwrap around corrugated trays manufactured by RockTenn.

Videojet coding technology is used to mark both the individual Alumi-Tek containers as well as the secondary paperboard packaging used to make four- and eight-packs of beer.


13-10-08 3:07 PM

COVER STORY “We end up with really nice attractive new fourand eight-pack packages that we have never done before,” says Kellar, adding that the lion’s share of the 24-bottle shrinkwrapped tray-packs are typically shipped directly to stadiums, arenas and other customer venues, including provincial liquor stores, for single-serve sales. After that stage, another Videojet coder is used to apply production codes onto the secondary packaging, which is then directed towards an AmbaFlex spiral conveyor that gently delivers the filled cases and tray-packs back up to the upper mezzanine level for palletizing.

three operators—one in the packaging area, one in filling, and one in the depalletizing/palletizing area—to support each other, whereby they even have some overlapping tasks. “It was also designed so that if one of the operators need to go on a relief break, or to perform a quality check, the line would still keep on running,” he points out. “When designing this line, we employed a manpower utilization strategy to align our manpower resources with the line’s assets and capabilities, such as making sure that the carton-loading magazine will always hold 25 minutes worth of cartons, for example.”

Case in Point Once there, a fully-automatic Krones palletizer arranges the cases six-layers-high in a pre-programmed interlocked layer pattern for optimal load stability, before the fully-loaded wooden skids head to the automatic stretchwrapper for quick application of stretchtwrap film to keep the loads securely in place during storage and transport. “We also have a special pallet inspector from Krones, which makes sure that the pallets we use all have boards in the right places and no nails protruding, as well as check for any other potential safety hazards,” Kellar points out. After stretchwrapping, a barcode label is applied onto the final load to provide forklift operators with exact details of each load’s warehouse storage destination, Kellar relates. “We always try to make sure that the product is

Three’s Company Mississauga, Ont.-based Technical Adhesives Ltd. supplies the bulk of hot-melt adhesives used on the T4 line to form the paperboard four-pack and eight-pack cases.

shipped within two weeks, but the earlier the better,” says Kellar, while highly complimenting the T4 line’s performance to date. “It’s a very well-thought-out, a well-designed and a well-tested process,” Kellar ref lects. “The line was specifically configured so that each operator has a clear line of sight to all the assets, and hence the ability, to react to any issue on the line at any given time. “It’s a totally open-concept layout providing full visibility of all of the line’s assets to each of the

Kellar explains that the T4 line’s dedicated threeperson crew is also supported by a dedicated three-person maintenance crew, which performs top-to-bottom machinery checks on ongoing basis to make sure the equipment is always running in optimal condition. “One of the things we realized at the beginning of the project was that because it was going to be so different, we brought in guys that had similar type of experience in different parts of our operation,” Kellar relates. “For example, a person that previously had experience on a bottle-filling line would bring that experience along, since a lot of it was applicable to running this new container. Continues on page 24




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A series of strategically-positioned SEW-Eurodrive AC motors helps ensure optimal power distribution for the lengthy network of conveyors running through the T4 line..

High-performance frequency inverters from SEW-Eurodrive help facilitate smooth line startups and quick product changeovers at the brewery’s flexible T4 packaging line.

“The line’s performance to date has been very good, as we have been consistently achieving about 85-percent throughput efficiency,” Kellar remarks. “All of the line’s assets and technology that we got from Krones have proven to be very reliable, along with all the other equipment, while the employees running the line have generally found it to be a fairly low-maintenance, user-friendly, and very self-sufficient operation requiring very little operator intervention. “In fact, the only manual operation involved is loading the paperboard blanks into the Douglas Machine multipacker, with everything else being handled automatically by the line equipment,” Kellar points out.

Break Free

Neat rows of packed Molson Canadian cartons are gently carried through their paces downstream via Emerson Industrial Automation’s SystemPlast conveyor belting.

“So we actually had a head-start with the training component with the operators we brought in all had expertise in their areas—be it packaging, palletizing/depalletizing or filling—which really helped a lot with the learning curve,” he reveals. “If you can get that general knowledge and the fundamentals of making beer in place early, it really helps a lot on starting up a new line.” That strategy has so far paid off handsomely on the T4 line, according to Kellar.

“This frees up our operators to monitor the process and the quality, instead of putting partitions into boxes or other such things, to make sure that we’re always hitting all our performance and quality parameters. “In addition to monitoring the process visually, they also have specific quality checks they must do, and they all have specialized instrumentation to do them with,” Kellar expands. “For example, we actually measure the caps and how well they conform to the actual container via very quality specialized checks that our operators carry out every single shift. “There is a lot of new of new stuff going on here because of this line that we have never done at Molson before precisely because of this new line,” Kellar proclaims. “It’s certainly a different way of working than when I started out over 20 years ago, when a lot of it was manual and you had a lot of other people

monitoring the quality,” Kellar recalls. “Now it has shifted to getting the people on the line monitoring the process, because they own the business and they area responsible for that business. “It is a tough shift to go through,” he acknowledges, “because a lot of our people have been in the business for many yeas and have been trained to do things a certain way, but now that we’re shifting to a new technology, we really need to bring them along with us.”

Need for Speed According to Kellar, the marketplace success and impact made by the new T4 line will ultimately determine whether Molson will follow up this investment with another similar but faster line capable of reaching speeds of up to 800 bottles per minute. “Having mastered the aluminum-on-aluminum process really opens up the door to a lot of new opportunities for us in terms of trying out different products, different sizes, different container shapes and so on,” Kellar contends, calling today’s beer industry a “really rough” place to make a buck. “When I started out it really was a ‘fat cat” beer industry, with the manufacturing process nowhere near as lean as it is today,” Kellar relates. “But it has really tightened up in recent years because of the competition,” he asserts. “Every year you got more players in the mar-

Left: The fully-automatic Variopac Pro packer from Krones used to produce 24-can tray-packs of Molson Canadian and Coors Light brands packaed in Alumi-Tek bottles.

Right: The towering AmbaFlex spiral conveyor gently transferring loaded corrugated trays, supplied by Atlantic Packaging, back to the upper mezzanine level for palletizing.


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COVER STORY throwing cases on a pallet all day long,” Kellar relates. “I used to work on the f loor as an operator, and I can honestly says that this is a way better way of doing thing, 100-percent better. “The biggest thing for us is to ensure that the liquid we put in the bottle meets our specifications for that brand, that the package is built as it is designed, and to make sure that we are consistent,” Kellar sums up.

Just in Time “So if we can give the operator the time needed to monitor the process properly, to do all the required quality checks, and to make sure the A fully-automatic Krones palletizer swings into action to machines are working like they are supposed to, place loaded trays into an interlocked pattern designed the likelihood of the product coming off the line to help maintain optimal load stabilituy during shipment. at the end of the day just as envisioned is pretty high,” Kellar concludes. “Ultimately, that’s what RepakSealMeatAd11_SWAK_PillersHam_CP_J_Reiser 10/11/11 6:57 Page 1 ket, or companies eating up the competition, so it’s will provide us with great opportunities for PM future really like night and day in terms of changing from a growth and employment.” manual to a technology-driven process. “We had a bottling line where I used to have 57 people working on one floor: today it’s about 10 people producing the same output,” he points out.

For More Information: Krones Machinery Co. Ltd. Emerson Industrial Automation Douglas Machine Inc. (in Canada: PLAN Automation) MeadWestvaco Atlantic Packaging Products Limited Videojet Technologies Inc. Ball Corporation AmbaFlex, Inc. SEW-Eurodrive Co. of Canada, Ltd. R.E. Morrison Equipment Inc. Technical Adhesives Ltd. Nordson Canada Limited ITW Muller Zalkin Silgan Container Corporation RockTenn Automated Packaging Systems

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Pre-printed paperboar blanks being formed into attractive, easy-carry beer cases inside the fully-automatic Spectrum multipacking system from Douglas Machine.

“We can argue forever about the technology’s bigger impact on the labor market, but I can say for sure that today’s employees are happier because of the reduced heavy manual labor they used to do,” Kellar asserts. “They go home feeling better and they enjoy a higher quality of life, while also getting an opportunity to think on their job and to get engaged in the bigger picture, instead of just

A fully palletized skid gets a layer of strethwrap film applied by the Octopus model rotary-srm sterchwrapping system manufactured by ITW Muller.


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Partners in a job well-done, Krones Machinery eastern Canada regional sales manager (left) Ron Vitone and Kruger Wines and Spirits supervisor of production and technical service Dominic Frappier stand in front of a Krones Kosme Multidepal depalletizer at the Maison des Futailles facility in Montreal, Que.


Leading paper packaging converter continues its remarkable run of diversity by getting deep down into the wine and spirits business ANDREW JOSEPH, FEATURES EDITOR PHOTOGRAPHY BY PIERRE LONGTIN


s a 109-year-old Montreal-headquartered Canadian company best known for being a paper manufacturer, it might surprise some to realize that along with the manufacture of a plethora of paper-based products, Kruger Inc. is actually a very diversified operation. With strong market presence in seven sectors, most of the Kruger divisions to bear at least some relation to each other, being heavily involved in tissue; energy; publication papers; forest products; recycling; containerboard and packaging; and wine and spirits. Selling to a large swathe of customers throughout North America, privately-owned Kruger manufactures and sells a diverse range of publication papers, lumber and other wood products, containerboards, and packaging products to customers in North America, as well as newsprint, coated paper and tissue products for household, industrial and commercial uses. Operating its own FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) mills, Kruger also offers a wide range of forest lumber products for its environmentallyprogressive customers. Its corrugated sector offers cartons made of recycled fibers, and also manufactures containers for food and beverages, textiles and even POP (point-of-purchase), retail-ready displays for shops. And to go along with products made from recycled fibers and a paper and paperboard recycling sector, Kruger’s energy group focuses on the development of renewable energy projects utilizing mostly hydroelectric, wind energy, biogas, and biomass cogeneration power.


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To support all of these activities, Krueger operates facilities in Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Memphis, Tenn., as well as hydroelectric facilities in the States of New York, Maine, Virginia and Rhode Island. But wine and spirits? You bet, big time! Specializing in the import, production, bottling and sale of alcoholic beverages, the Kruger Wines

and Spirits business has about 250 different products bottled in Canada and around the world. “We are a discerning company,” Kruger Wines and Spirits vice-president of operations Robert Doucet told Canadian Packaging during a recent interview. “We are a sales agent for some of the best vineyards throughout the world, plus we also bottle wine and spirits for locally-owned brands. Doucet explains: “Kruger Wines and Spirits is

Installed in the spring of 2013, a brand new Krones Kosme Multidepal system quickly and smoothly depalletizes layers of Owens-Illinois manufactured glass bottles onto a Maison des Futailles production line prior to filling.


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BOTTLING very well established in Quebec, and is now the third-largest supplier of the SAQ (Société des alcools du Québec is the Quebec provincial liquor board).” Kruger first became involved in the world of alcoholic beverages business in 2006 when it purchased the Quebec firm Maison des Futailles S.E.C., a well-known and well-respected wine and spirits bottling plant situated in Montreal, Que. Featuring a state-of-the-art, 126,000-square-foot facility and 250 employees, Maison des Futailles has long been involved in producing, bottling and marketing of quality wines and spirits. Founded in 1922 by the SAQ, Maison de Futailles served mainly as a bottling organization, but gaining experience and knowledge along the way, the company evolved significantly over time. Along with having a portfolio of beverages for the Liquor Board today, it also supplies wines and spirits to many of the province’s grocery and concon venience stores. “The grocery division of Maison des Futailles markets more than 30 brands of wine that are sold within Quebec’s grocery and convenience store markets,” says Doucet. “We have wines from Canada, France, Australia, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Chile and South Africa for a total of 79 SKUs (stock-keeping units).” As for the Liqor Board portfolio, Maison des Futailles has two segments: owned brands and represented brands. “We own 43 brands, comprising 24 wines and 19 spirits,” Doucet notes, adding that 75 per cent of its sales come from the wines in this segment. The represented brands have Maison des Futailles acting more as a national agency, representing suppliers from 12 different countries. Doucet says that by representing such a global network, the company

Pallet loads of glass bottles manufactured by Owens-Illinois await depalletizing at the Maison des Futailles plant.

offers its customers a more comprehensive range of products to address their discerning tastes, cit citing major French wine trader Grands chais de France and its Grand Sud Merlot one-liter as the top-selling French wine in Canada. “All told, Maison des Futailles owns an extensive portfolio of over 200 brands of wines, spirits and specialty products, many of which benefit from an established history in Canada,” states Doucet. “Accordingly we have a leadership position as a producer and supplier in the wine and spirits industry,” he adds. It’s not bragging when you can back it up: Maison des Futailles is, by volume, the fourth-largest wine supplier in Canada and the second-biggest overall wines and spirits supplier in Quebec.

Fill ’er Up According to Doucet, the global portfolio of Maison des Futailles utilizes two primary classic formats of liquid packaging: glass bottles and the bag-in-a-box. Bottle sizes range from 187-ml (about one-quar one-quarter of a standard wine bottle) up to 1.75-liter, while the bag-in-a-box alcoholic beverages are limited to three-, four- and 20-liter capacities only.

A pair of SEW-Eurodrive motors help ensure optimal power distribution throughout the Maisons des Futaille production line.


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Doucet says that breakthrough innovation can be difficult to introduce, as the global wines and spirits industry prefers to do things in a singular, traditional way for particular alcohol beverages. Despite the challenges facing it, Maison des Futailles has been trying to focus on innovative ways to offer its products to the marketplace, with Doucet citing its four-packs of 187-ml single-serve wine bottles of high-quality wine, allows the consumer to better manage their consumption. “It’s a wine package that is still very unique in the market,” suggests Doucet, adding that the company supplies as red and white four-packs of the well-respected French Girondin and Australian Notting Hill wine brands. All of Maison des Futailles brands—both wines and spirits—are filled at the Montreal facility, where the company employs high-quality, stateof-the-art equipment to help maintain a high level of production quality. “All of the wines are cold-treated by the supplier, but when we receive the liquid, we do final filtration and adjustment of the sulfites, which helps prevent oxidation of the wine,” says Doucet, adding that after following quality control assessment, the liquids are then sent for filling via a pressurized

A capper manufactured by Arol North America Closure Systems quickly applies a cork enclosure onto each filled bottle of wine to prevent product leakage.


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Under the Krones umbrella, the Kosme brand of Formapack cartoner (left) and Insertpack insertion equipment are new capital investments of Maison des Futailles.

filler for sparkling wines, or to gravity fillers for the other wines and spirits. Doucet says that the huge facility has five lines set up specifically for bottle filling, with another two filling lines dedicated to making bag-in-a-box products. Installed in 2010, the two separate lines for the bag-in-a-box products consist of four fillers. One filler is capable of filling 10- and 20-liter bags at around three to five bags per minute, while for the smaller bags, three Scholle Packaging TrueFill fill at a rate of 15 bags per minute each or 45 bags per minute.

Glass Class For the bottles, Maison des Futailles has four separate fillers on its three lines: • Running at a fill rate of 100-bpm (bottles per minute): a 32-head Meyers for sparkling liquids, and a 40-head Seitz for non-sparkling liquids; • At 200-bpm and just for wines and cocktails, a 44-head Pont-a-Mousson filler; • And for specialty product filler for bottles ranging in size from 50-ml to the very long 1.75liter bottle, a six-head Elnova filler is employed. “Our lines are running very well for us,” says Doucet, “but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to further improve our production lines.

“To help assure better performance and competitiveness in different markets, we will continue to modernize our filling lines as the need grows.” Doucet says that as the company continues its successful growth in the wine and spirits markets, boosting the line speeds of the operation’s fillers is very important. “As well, we are looking at purchasing a new labeler—a f lexible new next-generation unit that will allow bottle positioning, quality inspection, coding positioning and more,” adds Doucet. Doucet reveals that Maison des Futailles gets the majority of its bottle needs fulfilled by long-time supplier O-I (Owens-Illinois). “O-I is a very good supplier to us,” suggests Doucet. “They ensure we get what we need when we need it, ensuring that the product supply is always rolling on time.” In the case of the bag-in-a-box products, Maison des Futailles uses a Standard-Knapp drop-packer for filling. Although the company falls under the auspices of Kruger, Maison des Futailles prefers to keep everything above board when it comes to sourcing and purchasing. “Every three years we will tender among different suppliers of boxes, including companies such as

Kruger, of course, but also Norampac, Unipack, Netpack and more,” Doucet relates. Depending on the product, Maison des Futailles utilizes different types of capping options including aluminum from Amcor, cork from Trefino, synthetic cork from Nomacorc, and plastic from Berry Plastic. A key piece of machinery on the production line is the capper from Arol North America Closure Systems, which ensures each bottle is closed tightly and securely to ensure the valuable liquids do not leak out before reaching the consumer’s glass.

Going Dry After filling and capping, and just before labeling, all of the bottles pass by a pair of Adamark Air Knife Systems (designed in Canada by R.E. Morrison Equipment Inc.) that quickly dry the glass off to ensure a perfect label adhesion. For product inspection, Maison des Futailles says it uses equipment from the California based filtec. “To verify the level of liquid in each bottle, as well as to ensure there are no cracks or defects contained within the bottle caused by the filling and capping process,” according to Doucet. Next, the bottles pass a 7031 S compact, modular scribing CO2 laser coder, manufactured by Markem-Imaje, to have permanent batch data codes applied. As an added safety feature, the 7031 S coder at Maison des Futailles sits atop a Markem-Imaje ES500 fume extractor that eliminates fumes and particles generated during the coding. In the spring of 2013, Maison des Futailles became partners with Krones AG, when the equipment manufacturer installed and commissioned four integral pieces of equipment on the shop f loor: Kosme Formapack, Kosme Insertpack, Kosme Bottle Elevetor Elevetor, and the Kosme Multidepal. A long-established Italian-based designer and manufacturer of complete filling and packaging lines for the beverage sector, Kosme was purchased by Krones in 2002 and integrated Kosme within its stable of high-quality, well-respected beverage processing and packaging equipment. The Krones Kosme Multidepal is an automatic two-column depalletizeing machine that can depalletize bottles and removes f lat layer pads and Sitting atop an ES500 fume extractor, a 7031 S laser coder scribes permanent batch data codes onto individual bottles filled at the Maison des Futailles facility.


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BOTTLING After filling, bottles pass by Adamark Air Knife Systems, supplied by R.E. Morrison Equipment designed to ensure a clean and dry bottle prior to label application.

or inverted trays. Designed for quick and safe depalletizing of bulk glass and packaged glass—bottles packed in corrugated cartons—the Multidepal model transfers them via a conveyor system to the filling process. Citing the Multidepal’s ease-of-use, Krones Machinery Eastern Canada sales manager Ron Vitone says: “An operator simply places the pallets on the conveyor and removes the strapping and stretchwrap, while the Multidepal does the rest automatically.

Clean Sweep “The Multidepal will smoothly sweep the bottles off the pallet and send them to the infeed conveyor, which moves the bottles to the Kosme Bottle Elevator and to the filler,” he says. Vitone adds that the same Multidepal depalletizer will also sweep away the boxes of packaged glass and orient the boxes properly, sending them to an

existing decrater. “Essentially, this machine has two functions with different outfeeds depending on the type of package that needs to be depalletized,” he explains. Vitone adds the Multidepal is equipped with a multilane lateral discharge for cylindrical bottles. “It also has ‘removers,’ which provide automatic removal and the handling of f lat layer pads or inverted trays,” Vitone adds. The new Kosme Bottle Elevator is used by Maison des Futailles to safely move bottles up and over the busy production area to another elevator, which then brings the bottles down to the level of the filling line. Also from the Krones Kosme line, Maison des Futailles employs a Formapack and an Insertpack in its day-to-day operations. The Formapack erects standard cartons with an upper f lap closure that can be sealed using industrial tape or PVC self-adhesive tape.

For its part, the fully-automatic Formapack requires minimal operator intervention. The operator simply loads the carton magazine—Maison des Futailles purchased the optional long carton magazine—and the rest is done automatically. Vitone describes the Formapack as a carton former with a completely automatic cycle able to work at high production line speeds. “The cartons arrive as pre-glued cuts,” says Vitone. “They are opened and gently moved into shape—achieved thanks to a special device made for vacuum aspirators. “The aspirators maintain the cartons on the side—which keeps the opening process precise and safe. At this time, the carton lock on the inferior part is activated through a hot-glue device to complete the carton forming.” The Krones Kosme Insertpack, explains Vitone, uses a pad-separating magazine with a picking head, a pad suction device, and a corrugated box vibration system to insert carton separating pads into the case to prevent the glass wine bottles from rattling against each other and causing product scuffing or breakage.

Safe Bet “Maison des Futailles uses the Insertpack to provide a safety feature for the bottles being packed in the corrugated cases,” says Vitone. “After vacuum aspirators pick up the corrugated separators, the box vibration system quickly vibrates the separators in a short motion to help facilitate an easier move down into the containers.” Although only installed for about six months, Maison des Futailles was quite happy with the production of the recently purchased Krones machinery—not to mention the fully-qualified Krones Canadian service team. Says Doucet: “Maison des Futailles is formed to be a leading bottler and distributor of elite wines and spirits in Canada and around the world. It’s what our customers trust us to be and what we trust ourselves to be. “We do not take shortcuts. And it’s the same with the way we run our production lines. “In order to have the best wines for our customers, we also believe it is just as important to have the best equipment to package our products,” Doucet sums up. “Not only to provide a good product but also to keep up with current and future production demands.”

For More Information:

A small sampling of the high-quality spirits bottled by Maison des Futailles.


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Kruger, Inc. Maison des Futailles S.E.C. SEW-Eurodrive Co. of Canada Arol North America Closure Systems Markem-Imaje R.E. Morrison Equipment Inc. Krones AG Owens-Illinois Inc. Berry Plastics Canada Inc. Scholle Packaging George J, Meyers Manufacturing Co. Pont-a-Mousson S.A. Standard-Knapp, Inc. Amcor Limited Nomacorc LLC

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Nov. 3-6 Chicago: Process Expo, exhibition and conference by the Food Processing Suppliers Association (FPSA). Concurrently with the International Dairy Show by the International Dairy Foods Association (ISFDA). Both at McCormick Place. To register, go to:

Nov. 4-6 Chicago: Global Plastics Summit, conference by SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association. At the Hyatt Regency Hotel. To register, go to:

Nov. 5-8 Miami, Fla.: Packprint Summit Americas, tabletop exhibition by Tarsus Group Limited. At the JW Mariott Miami Hotel. To register, go to:

Nov. 7 Brampton, Ont.: Canadian Food Industry Forecast, biennial state-of-the-industry symposium by NSF-GFTC. At the Pearson Convention Centre. Contact Denise Horseman at (519) 821-1246, ext. 5068; or via email

Nov. 13-14 Houston, Tex.: Automation Fair 2013, industrial automation technologies exhibition and conference by Rockwell Automation, At George R. Brown Convention Center. To register, go to:

Nov. 19 Mississauga, Ont.: Top 50 Packaging Ideas Expo, packaging solutions exhibition by the Canadian Packaging magazine. At the Mississauga Convention Centre. Contact Stephen Dean at (416) 510-5198; or via email

Nov. 20-21 Montreal: Canadian Waste & Recycling Expo (CWRE), by Messe Frankfurt Inc. At the Palais des congrès de Montréal. Contact Kim Porter at (770) 984-8016; or go to:

 The Food Industry Association of Canada has announced this year’s winners of the group’s coveted annual Golden Pencil Awards for exceptional personal and professional contribution to the Canadian food industry. To be formally honored at the association’s evening gala dinner in Montreal later this fall, this year’s Golden Pencil Award recipients include Dino Bianco, executive vice-president and president of beverages for Canada at Kraft Foods Group in Toronto; and Eric La Flèche, president and chief executive office of the Montrealheadquarter grocery retail chain Metro Inc.  Blister packaging products manufacturer Bilcare Research Inc. of Delaware City, De., has appointed John Zripko as the company’s president; Thomas McDonough as executive vice-president; and Don Sobocinski as vice-president of sales and marketing.  Flint Group, Luxembourg-headquartered manufacturer of inks, chemical, printing plates, sleeves and other consumable for the global packaging and printing industries, has appointed Steve Dryden as chief financial officer, and Frank Laughlin as sales executive for the company’s narrow-web business in the Dryden northeastern U.S. Laughlin  Swiss-headquartered automation and power generation systems group ABB has appointed Ulrich Spiesshofer as chief executive officer.  Bobst North America Inc., Romaco, N.J.-based subsidiary of Bobst Group, Swissheadquartered manufacturer of converting machinery and equipment for manufacturers of folding cartons, corrugated board and f lexible film packaging products, has appointed Doug Herr as director of sales for folding cartons for territory comprising North America and northern Latin America; Herr

Brian Kentopp as director of sales for corrugated board for North America; and Tom Phillips as North American director of sales for f lexo foldergluers and rotary Kentopp Phillips diecutters.  The Conair Group, Cranberry Township, Pa.-based manufacturer of auxiliary plastics processing equipment and technologies, has appointed Doug Brewster as conveying products manager, and Greg Kalenowski as project services manager.  Plastic storage and transportation containers manufacturer Akro-Mils of Akron, Ohio, has appointed Mike Lafigliola as new product development manager.


 Green Bay, Wis.-based Paper Converting Machine Company (PCMC) has appointed Ricardo Abud as sales director for folding systems and international sales.  Barry-Wehmiller International Resources (BWIR), St. Louis, Mo.-based subsidiary of the industrial and packaging machinery group BarryWehmiller Companies, Inc., has appointed Jim Mansfield as senior business development manager for the eastern U.S. region.  Mutoh America, Inc., Phoenix, Az.-based manufacturers of wide-format printers and cutters, has appointed David Conrad as director of marketing; Michelle Johnson as corporate events and communications manager; and Joseph Anderson as marketing coordinator.    Advanced Vision Technology (AVT) Ltd, Israeli manufacturer of print inspection and quality assurance systems for package converting applications, has appointed Amir Dekel as president of the company’s U.S. subsidiary in Atlanta, Ga.

Nov. 20-22 Düsseldorf, Germany: COMPAMED 2013, medical technologies supply chain exhibition and conference by Messe Düsseldorf GmbH. At Messe Düsseldorf Fairgrounds. Contact Messe Düsseldorf (Canada) at (416) 598-1524.

Nov. 21-23 Toronto: Graphics Canada, graphics, printing and converting show by Printing Equipment & Supply Dealers’ Association of Canada (PESDA). At the Toronto International Centre. To register, go to:

SMARTER PACKAGING SOLUTIONS Samuel Strapping Systems offers packaging solutions for any application in every industry. From standard applications to unique and custom engineered, Samuel will help ensure your package remains intact to your destination. Contact us today to find out how we can improve your packaging line.

Nov. 26-28 Nairobi, Kenya: Food Processing and Packaging Exposium (FPPE), by Messe Düsseldorf Gmbh. At the Kenyatta Conference Center. Contact Messe Düsseldorf (Canada) at (416) 598-1524; or go to:

Samuel Strapping Systems Packaging and Unitizing Solutions


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like to think of myself as a strategic shopper. Whenever I venture out to do some shopping I already know what I want, where I will purchase it, and how to get in and out of the store in record time. I’m not one for browsing, which some may think is odd for a young lady such as myself, but being a no-nonsense shopper allows me more time to do better things than hum and haw over something that’s a good deal or trendy. Big-ticket purchases are always researched online before any decision is made; I regularly scan weekly online f lyers for everyday household supplies; and I never leave home without a trusty shopping list. So it’s rare for something unexpected to really catch my eye enough to stop me in my tracks as I speed-walk through a store—unless there’s some intriguing packaging involved.

I was recently at my local Canadian Tire store buying a new vacuum-cleaner—one I had meticulously researched earlier and one that just happened to be on sale that week. But as I was heading out of the household cleaning section, I noticed some small liquid containers next to what appeared to be an empty bottle—a strikingly odd product to see in a wall of bright-colored cleaning solutions. The product turned out to be the Replenish brand multisurface cleaner—produced by Replenish Bottling, LLC of Los Angeles, Ca.—whose empty bottles boast a built-in bottom ‘pod” compartment holding a highly concentrated clean cleaning solution said to be enough to make three full bottles of effective cleaning spray. A

transparent, removable wraparound label clearly outlines the environmental benefits of this products—including the use of 90 per cent less plastic, oil and CO2 compared to pre-mixed formulations—while singing praises of the solution’s nontoxic, biodegradable and PH-neutral formulation that enables its use on virtually any surface. Just fill the bottle with tap water, f lip it upside down, squeeze the bottom pod until it fills the built-in measuring cup and voilà—you’re ready to clean. Coming from the school of mixing vinegar and water as a cost-effective way of cleaning, this ecofriendly product had me won over in an instant.

If there is anything I hate more than doing laundry, it’s shopping for laun laundry detergent. Those big, hefty plastic bottles of liquid detergent always strike me as being extremely wasteful just on account of all the space they take up in the recycling bin. So it was gratifying to come across the molded-fiber bottles of the Natural Laundry Detergent brand from Seventh Generation Inc., whose all-natural appearance makes them really stand out from the crowd as an instinctive eco-sensitive choice that also gives consumers a composting option for the product’s end-of-life disposal. The back of the bottle features a small but helpful illustration to show how the shell can be popped open to separate the inside film, which holds the detergent, from the outer casing. This is hardly asking too much for using a product that will do just as many loads as the traditional big brands for the same money, while using 66 per cent less plastic in its packaging. You don’t really have to be an eco-warrior to see the inherent value and green virtues of this formula.


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Noelle Stapinsky is a freelance writer and photojournalist based in Toronto.






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Being a sucker for retro and nostalgic designs naturally had me hailing the recent return of the PoP Shoppe brand of sodas to the store-shelves. It’s a sentiment likely to be shared by many people who grew up in southwestern Ontario in the 1980s, when the brand’s stubby glass bottles and zany carcar bonated f lavor combos made it the soda of choice at local convenience stores and at home. While bringing a once-forgotten brand back to life is not always a sure bet to succeed, the four new f lavors introduced by Pop Shoppe and COTT Beverages Canada to the marketplace a few months ago are really retro-f lare at its best— cool, classic, and packing a loud call-out on both the four-pack box and the cans about the beverage using real sugar. Just like all true sodas should.


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Emerson Industrial Automation Harlund Industries Ltd.



In terms of enticing strategic shoppers like myself into making an impulse purchase that’s not on the old shopping list, Toronto-based spice distributor Just A Pinch has really nailed it with its lovely little glass jar and large-diameter twist-off cap mimick mimicking the look of upscale cosmetics. This niche brand of infused salts and sugars makes for a great gift or a conversation piece when hosting a dinner party, and the company has also come out with a brilliant way to tell the product’s story with the little sample pack packets of each infused flavor on its chic grocery shelf display, where each resealable packet describes how the prodprod uct was made, along with a website address for discovering some really tasty ways to use it.

Photos by Noelle Stapinsky




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You get the picture. When it comes to packaging automation, Unisource understands that operations must run consistently day-after-day in order to keep productivity, performance and quality to the highest standards. Our packaging experts are focused on delivering leading-edge solutions that help improve productivity, consistency and quality of packaging operations. We work with leading manufacturers to ensure performance, reliability and innovation – all to help your business reach the next level.

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