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PACK EXPO INTERNATIONAL 2012 Today’s Market Demands; Tomorrow’s Packaging Trends


Preface With more than 1,900 exhibitors occupying 1.1 million square feet of exhibit space, packaging and processing professionals had plenty of innovations to see in action at PACK EXPO International 2012 (McCormick Place, Chicago; Oct. 28–31). Interviews with packaging managers in attendance revealed them as: 

Modestly positive about business in 2012 and cautiously optimistic about 2013;

Intrigued by technological advances demonstrated on site — particularly in flexible packaging technology;

Planning to expand, upgrade and/or streamline operations; and,

Ben Miyares (BDM) Packaging Management Institute (President); PMMI (Vice President, Industry Relations, ret.)

Hallie E. Forcinio (HEF), Packaging Journalist

Pleasantly surprised by the crowds on hand (45,338 attendees) despite Hurricane Sandy, which blew through the East Coast as the show got under way.

Among the crowd were seven packaging professionals commissioned by PMMI to cover developments of particular interest to food, beverage, confectionery, bakery and snack and pharmaceutical manufacturers. This report comes to you courtesy of PMMI and this group, the 2012 “Packaging Posse:”

Edward J. Bauer (EJB) Packaging Technology Integrated Solutions (Senior Associate); “Pharmaceutical Packaging Handbook;” (Author); Bausch & Lomb (Global Packaging Director, ret.)

Barry A. Goldberg (BAG) TAPPA Group Int’l, LLC (President)

Robert C. Collins (RCC) Global Packaging Optimization, LLC (President) Procter & Gamble/Gillette (Associate Packaging Director, ret.)

Rick T. Lingle (RTL), Packaging Journalist

James E. Scott (JES), JES Packaging (Principal); Kodak (Packaging Development Dir., ret.)



EXPO International 2012 (McCormick Place, Chicago; Oct. 28–31) was the strongest PACK EXPO seen in Chicago since 2006. That’s not just because it netted more than 1.1 million square feet, and hosted 1,966 exhibitors and 45,338 attendees. The strength of the show rested on how it helped attendees find solutions to their packaging and processing challenges.


Show Floor Features Led Attendees to Solutions The 2012 version of PACK EXPO’s customer-centric approach included five exhibitor pavilions — The Processing Zone, The Pharmaceutical Pavilion, The Reusable Packaging Pavilion, The Confectionery Pavilion and The Brand Zone — and featured targeted “vertical markets” expanded to spotlight the Beverage industry in addition to Baking–Snack, Confectionery and Pharmaceutical/Medical Devices. Networking-oriented vertical lounges were gathering places that included “ask the expert” desks staffed by partner trade associations. These and other show floor features were among a host of tactics in support of PACK EXPO’s primary goal: to serve our customers — the attendees. Other customer-centric show elements included My PACK EXPO, the PACK EXPO app, keyword searches on and the PreSelects (printed listings of exhibitors in various categories). It was OK to talk politics at PACK EXPO. For the second installment of the PACK EXPO lecture series, PMMI brought in political pundits James Carville and Dennis Miller to opine on the 2012 Presidential Election, held just a week later. Chicago news anchor Bob Sirrott moderated the discussion.

Customer-Centric Education Partnerships with leading trade associations and exhibitors contributed to keeping PACK EXPO on the customercentric track by helping to identify their members’ and customers’ needs. Partners provided session content and speakers for The Conference at PACK EXPO, sponsored by DuPont: the Alliance for Innovation and Operational Excellence (AIOE); Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility (AIM); the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP); the Great Lakes and Midwest chapters of ISPE; the International Society of Beverage Technologists (ISBT); PMMI U; Reusable Packaging Association (RPA) and The Packaging Association — PAC. Under the theme, "Educate, Innovate, Advance," sessions were organized in tracks that paralleled the other customer-centric features of the show: Beverage; Focus on the Future – Trends and Innovations; Food Safety/ Product Security; Manufacturing Solutions; Pharmaceutical and Medical Device; Sustainability/Packaging Materials; Track and Trace; and Transportation and Logistics. On the Grand Concourse, 22 exhibitors presented free, 30-minute educational sessions at PACK EXPO’s Innovation Stage Theater. Meanwhile, The Brand Zone hosted market research giant Mintel and materials library Material ConneXion®. Both presented daily schedules of presentations of data tied to trends in segments including food, beverage, retail and cosmetic/personal care . Material ConneXion (exhibiting within The Showcase of Packaging Innovations™, sponsored by the Dow Chemical Company) brought a sampling of the materials in its 6,500-item library — many of which are not commonly used in packaging — for hands-on assessments by visitors. On their way to The Brand Zone, visitors got an eyeful from the student researchers at the “Clemson University Presents: The Packaging Test Track,” exhibit, which was sponsored by Esko. The booth, an outgrowth of Clemson's activities at PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2011, examined the visual and cognitive effects of packaging and their impacts on consumer purchases.

Bringing Up Students With the help of the PMMI Education and Training Foundation, PMMI provided travel scholarships to 170 students and instructors attending to PACK EXPO. PACK EXPO exhibitors and PMMI volunteers and staff saw to it that the students were engaged, and led tours of the show floor. The students also engaged in some healthy competition. The PMMI Student Packaging Contest, sponsored by B&R Industrial Automation and the Amazing Packaging Race, sponsored by ASCO Numatics required them to engage with exhibitors to complete tasks and develop solutions. PMMI’s new initiative to expose high school students to packaging and processing as potential career choices came to the spotlight when high school robotics teams from the 2012 FIRST Robotics competition demonstrated the robots they conceived, designed and built for the 2012 contest. Massman Automation Designs LLC and Siemens sponsored the “Future Innovators — Robotics Showcase.” Dorner Mfg., Flexicell, the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Consortium (Aagard, Douglas, ITW Heartland and Massman) and Pearson Packaging Systems supported student teams travelling to the event from their local areas. TODAY’S MARKET DEMANDS; TOMORROW’S PACKAGING TRENDS


“I use this show for trend analysis, technology and latest capabilities on packaging and packaging systems. The show provides a great platform for identifying business solutions, mainly on packaging, that might fit our current and future strategy.” — Nasson Mwakatage, External Innovation Scientist, Mars Petcare




the show floor, The Packaging Posse members observed several trends among the thousands of technologies and innovations.


The Packaging Paradigm is Shifting With the continuing growth in the number and variety of flexible packaging-related exhibits, the 2012 show clearly demonstrated a shift in the way packagers see packaging operations. Lightweight flexible packaging formats are gradually replacing the practice of having converters produce and ship a limited range of container shapes and sizes to their customers. Instead, the flexible formats are formed inline with filling, sealing, labeling and packing operations .

Evolution in the Digital Revolution Mechanical systems are giving way to digital controls, brushless DC motors, servos and other modern control equipment. Today’s machinery can accomplish tasks such as automatically troubleshooting, resetting and/or repairing itself without human intervention. It can (and does) record production settings for quicker, simpler, relatively-trouble free changeovers . Maintenance manuals and data are pre-loaded into the machine’s PLC or PC memory for use in control and communications. And, to an increasing degree, machines are connecting with the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) online for trouble shooting or to implement modifications, reducing or eliminating the need for onsite technical service.

“Sustainability” Redefined “Sustainable packaging” at PACK EXPO International 2012 predominantly revolved around using fewer resources. On the systems side of the equation, reducing utility usage — energy, compressed air, reclaiming/reusing radiant heat — and the resulting cost was a recurring theme. On the materials side, “sustainable” packages either used less material than their predecessors, were reusable or were composed of recycled content. Biopolymer materials and packages were noticeably less prevalent than in recent years, possibly because of production and functional issues, costs in comparison to petrochemical materials, and the maturation of the technology.

Flexible Pouches Move Beyond Kids’ Drinks Flexible pouches are making inroads into previously unexplored territories including paint and medical supplies and as replacements for more rigid packaging options, such as paperboard cartons for cookies and confections. Innovative pouch formats included single-serving cookie and snack packs, handles on larger pouches to make dispensing easier and new fitments for ease of use. Pouches have evolved into a mainstream packaging option and a viable alternative to cans, glass, or plastic bottles. Secondary products, such as multipack equipment, plus the low-cost flexibility inherent in pouch design offer a wide range of solutions for consumer convenience, making the pouch a viable choice for almost any product.

More Efficient, Easier to Maintain, Networked Equipment Advances in equipment automation improved production speed, output quality, utility and flexibility while reducing the need for human labor. There was a continued focus on integrated machines, modular design and high level of operational flexibility with more offerings of line simulation and line control/monitoring software. Also noted: 

Increased use of touch screen controls with icons and images, rather than text, for ease of use without language barriers;

Simplification of equipment to reduce changeover time, maintenance and cleaning;

Conversion from mechanical/pneumatic to all electric/electronic operations.

Significant machine control programming to link with serialization efforts.

Robotics on the Rise Robots are increasingly used for a growing range of “fine motor skill” primary packaging applications. Robots in case packaging operations might use long arms to handle several production lines simultaneously, or customized grippers that provide additional flexibility. Robots can be converted fairly easily as well, as applications and needs change.



Pharmaceuticals Focus on Efficiency & Preventing Counterfeiting The pharmaceutical world is embracing robots as well, moving away from traditional tablet handling systems such as slat fillers, to pick-and-place robots that provide more accuracy and control in the placement of tablets and capsules. Serialization and anti-counterfeiting technologies for pharmaceutical production had a clear presence at the show, largely because of California’s 2015 serialization deadline. Blister packaging lines are becoming smaller and more compact, reflecting a tendency toward more specialized, smaller patient populations for new prescription medications.

Retail Ready Packaging Retail-ready packaging (RRP) has become commonplace in just a few years. Today, creating RRP is a common capability among manufacturers of case packers. Largely, that’s because US retailers demand case put ups that require fewer touches (by store clerks) and can be replenished quickly.

“We picked up some really good, quality leads. The people we have met at this show have been people we would not have met otherwise.” — Craig Saltz, Design/Sales, Salbro Bottle



mantra “doing more with less (labor)” is a driver in many of today’s packaging operations, but even in the quest for maximum automation, the packaging sector is a long way from operating “dark factories.”

Controllers Merge with Operator Interface


Combined operator interface/controller components simplify programming and reduce wiring and cabinet space requirements. The Vision 1040 from Unitronics combines a programmable logic controller (PLC) with a 10.4-inch color touch screen with nine programmable function keys. Snap-in modules provide up to 1,000 I/O points. Communication options include TCP/IP Ethernet, GSM/SMS (cellular), MODBUS and CANopen networking plus remote access for data acquisition and program download. There’s also a USB programming port. For smaller, less complex machines, Unitronics’ Jazz™ micro PLC offers an operator interface with a two-line display and keypad, up to 40 I/Os and communication options such as GSM/SMS, remote access and MODBUS networking. Prices for a Jazz unit start at $140, making it an economical replacement for a smart relay. The P500 panel controller from Lenze Americas combines logic (PLC), motion and visualization in one device. Onboard features include two 100MB Ethernet interfaces that combine the functionalities of an integrated switch, an EtherCAT interface (master) and two USB connections. A standard slot holds communication cards. Options include 7-, 10.4- and 15-inch touch screens. – HEF More information: Unitronics — Holly Dillon, regional marketing manager: 866.666.6033,; Lenze Americas — Susan Duval, marketing and communications manager: 508.278.9100; or

Blended Infrastructure Allows Multiple-Machine Communication Serial Realtime Communication System (Sercos ) is a leading digital interface for communication between control systems, drives and decentralized peripheral devices, and Sercos International e.V introduced the new Sercos III machine and device communication system at PACK EXPO International 2012.

P500 panel controller from Lenze Americas

Sercos III integrates the open Ethernet protocol with high-speed data transfer at 100 MBits Full-Duplex/second. It includes the physics and data link layers of Ethernet, permitting TCP/ IP, CIP and Sercos Telegrams to coexist on the network in its unified communication channel (UCC).

The innovation improves network safety, and a redundant ring and/or line systems between individual Sercos slaves allows for efficient networks with minimum cabling. The system covers electric drives and controls, pneumatic and hydraulic drives and controls, and general automation devices such as . distributed I/Os, vision systems and encoders. – EJB More information: Ronald Larsen, managing director, North America: 800.573.7267, Peter Lutz, managing director, Sercos International e.V.: +49-7162-94 68-66

New Automation Technology Beckhoff Automation Canada, Ltd., combines rotary motor and linear technology in its linear transport system, the XTS eXtended Transport System.

Beckhoff Automation Canada’s XTS eXtended

Motors are contained in the straight and curved modules, and movers travel on wheels along the guiderail. The modules can be laid out in any combination, and can allow a wide range of functions and locations on the guide rail for each mover. With tooling, movers can adapt to many material handling and manipulation functions. The movers contain magnetic plates, and as they travel on wheels along the guide rail, an industrial PC controls distance and speed. Modules in the coils passively generate propulsive forces to eliminate any sliding. – RCC More information: Joe Ottenhof, regional manager, Beckhoff Automation Canada, Ltd.: 289.627.1888 or



Automation Line Control Uses No Supervisory PLC The Organization for Machine Automation and Control (OMAC) demonstrated a mini-operational line that controlled five different machines from five different suppliers working in concert to complete a task. The line did not use an integration PLC or PC. Rather, the machine interfaces provided supervisory communication without the need for a separate PLC overseeing machine-to-machine links. Nestlé, an OMAC member, provided the funding and general specifications to the manufacturers who supplied the equipment. The suppliers came up with similar graphic user interfaces (GUIs) for all the machines and the protocols used to achieve the result. Nestlé will give the entire system, including the specifications for machine controls, to OMAC to become part of its PackML standard. – EJB More information OMAC: 571.612.3197,

Transport Module Replaces Conveyors Schubert introduced the Transmodule as an intelligent means of transport that can replace conveyors and be programmed to move in a continuous or indexed manner, each tooled and programmed separately. These are independent, highly flexible, servo motor-driven modules with programmable pitch speed capabilities. When the unit reaches the end of the production frame, it flips to the underside of the frame and is returned to the starting point. A Transmodule can accommodate any number of product and package assembly processes, and product packing, when linked with robots programmed to change the Transmodule tooling during production changes. – RCC Schubert Transmodule

More information: Todd Shewmaker, sales manager, Schubert : 972.692.1764,

Contract CT Scanning for Manufacturing Industrial CT scanning technology allows for extremely precise measurements when developing and manufacturing products, but the equipment needed is costly. JG & A Metrology Center uses its own equipment to provide contract CT scanning services for applications in a variety of industry, such as aerospace and medical equipment. It introduced its services to the packaging market at PACK EXPO. CT technology can be used to fine-tune prototype specifications and in quality control for periodic checks during production runs. – BAG More information: Spiro Spiliadis, marketing manager, JG & A Metrology Center: 519.962.5300, ;

Robotic Erector/Packer Handles Cases, Trays ADCO Manufacturing’s new case packer , EnCompass RCP-15 uses a small Fanuc robotic arm to erect the case, and can erect and pack up to 15 cases/minute. The compact machine’s modular approach allows end users to switch the carton erection module for a tray erecting module with a very small footprint. ADCO worked closely with Fanuc Robotics America, a leader in robotic factory automation equipment, to incorporate a robotic arm into this case packing machine. With the increasing demand for more retail-ready packages, this case packer is well suited for being able to erect and pack a multitude of case and tray types and sizes. Changeovers are also quite fast and easy to accomplish due to the design of the machine. – BAG More information: Glen Long, chief operating officer, +1 559-875-5563,;

Customized Robotic Head Tools Motion Controls Robotics designs custom, multi-functional robotic heads, and is a Fanuc Robotics authorized integrator. Among the developments at PACK EXPO was one they claimed to be unique to Motion Controls Robotics. A series of robotic heads expand from the center point, pick up products coming down multiple staging lanes, then contract to a tight pattern for loading into shippers or transport trays. Another technology, demonstrated via video, used robotics to load a pallet. A multi-functional robot head picks up a pallet and places it in a loading position. The robot head then positions a slip sheet for loading, and picks up a complete tier of bottles and loads them on the sheet, repeating the process until the pallet is full, with a slip sheet on top. – RCC More information: Earl Raynal, Jr., sales manager, 231.622.8600,


Motion Controls Robotics


Robotic Automation Cell Delivers Versatility, Economy Adept PAC, the packaging arm of Adept Technologies, introduced a “Packaging Automation Cell” that dramatically reduces the cost and complexity of automation with a fully integrated robotic solution: 

Hygienic platform

Integrated USDA-accepted Quattro™ robot

Custom-molded SoftPIC™ grippers/graspers

Patented vision system

Pre-defined programming recipes.

Adept Packaging Automation Cell (PAC)

Many visitors to the Adept PAC booth appeared interested in the large variety of new quick-change, silicone SoftPIC grippers and graspers, which can pick up a wide variety of foods or packages. The country’s largest grower, packer and shipper of organic produce, Earthbound Farm, uses Adept’s ClamPAC to case pack their clamshells. – JES More information: Adept Technology, 925.245.3400

“I came to PACK EXPO to get a bigger perspective on the packaging industry and see what opportunities are out there.” — Michelle Rademacher, Student, University of Wisconsin — Stout



"As both a packager and processor of breads and rolls, we came to PACK EXPO looking for the latest in food safety and it delivered. This show takes a total systems, holistic approach that we could not get from just a bakery-focused show." — Roger Henneberger. Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe



world population growth shifts towards emerging markets such as the Asia-Pacific region, manufacturers of baked goods and snacks stand to see a 7 percent annual rise in global sales of snack foods.* PACK EXPO spotlighted the innovations and market knowledge brand owners need to capitalize on this growth, increase output and gain a competitive edge.


*Source: Bakery and Snacks - Market Assessment 2012; August 2012; PMMI

New Zipper Applicator for Bags Concetti North America added a new zipper applicator for bags. The system forms and cuts the zipper, inserts it into the bag and seals it in place — at speeds as high as 700 bags/hour. The introduction of a zipper applicator reduces the cost of the bag as compared to bags with pre-applied zippers. The applicator is part of a form/fill/seal system that can produce bags holding 5 to 110 pounds of bulk product. – EJB More information: John Elegreet, packaging specialist, Reliable Packaging Machinery LLC:; 706.654.3000,

New Generation VFFS Sealing Technique Sealstrip Corp. displayed its new FreshPak™ Cross Direction technology at the show. While the FreshPak™ resealing technology for horizontal form/fill/seal applications has been available for years, the new Cross Direction technology is designed specifically for vertical form/fill/seal applications. The reseal technology uses FDA-compliant pressure-sensitive tape that has non-pressure sensitive areas for an easy-to-grip, easy-open feature utilizing a tear tape. The resealing technology maintains package barrier properties and can be used with a wide range of film materials. The FreshPak Cross Direction pressure-sensitive reseal material is available in long rolls for extended runs. More Info: Jo Anne Forman, CEO/director of product development, Sealstrip Corp.: 610.367.6282, ;

Hook-to-Hook Pouch Closure Velcro’s new hook-to-hook style open/reclose feature for flexible pouches, PRESS-LOK™, is available in three widths, ranging from ¼ inch to 3/8 inch wide. The company says all three are consumer-friendly and easier to align than zippers, and they are designed to close around fines and particulates. PRESS-LOK is FDA-approved and heat-sealable to PE. Velcro says the closures can be adapted to most packaging machinery and, in fact, another exhibitor was applying PRESS-LOK closures to the pouches it was producing at the show. While they are not as airtight as zipper devices, Velcro asserts the barrier is sufficient for after-opening in-home storage and use for most dry food applications. – JES More information: Christopher Lerra, senior business development manager, Velcro: 603.222.4802,

Flat-Bottom Bag Features New Hook & Loop Closure Peel Plastics displayed its new EZ-Close® package at the show. This is a flat bottom pouch that uses Velcro® PRESS-LOK® closure technology. The Velcro material is applied just like a press-to-close zipper is applied, and actually uses the same equipment, specifically a hook-and-loop Velcro material. The first commercial application of the Peel Plastics EZ-Close® package is a line of Peel Plastics Lundberg Family Farms rice products, which includes its Wild Blend brand. The line of EZ-Close® rice products in the new Velcro® reclosable pouch was launched in the US in the fall of 2012.

PRESS-LOK ™ Velcro hook-to-hook pouch closure

More information: Will Troost, customer service representative, Peel Plastics: 905.456.4041, ;

Efficient Flexible Cube Pack Clear Lam Packaging, Inc., introduced its PrimaPak package, a stackable, reclosable rectangular flexible package produced from printed rollstock on vertical form/fill/seal BAKERY-SNACK


equipment. The PrimaPak costs less and weighs less than rigid containers, such as metal or plastic cans and jars. With six graphics panels, it also has more cube display area than stand-up pouches– JES More information: Clear Lam Packaging Customer Service: 847.439.8570,

T.H.E.M .Takes the Carton/Pouch Hybrid to New Applications

Zipbox by T.H.E.M.

PrimaPak by Clear Lam

T.H.E.M., has delivered its commercial application of Zipbox , the hybrid carton pouch (with U.S. Sugar), and is now working on the next application. The company believes its carton with a flexible film top would work very well with applications such as upscale pet treats, breakfast meals (including frozen) and any snacks currently in canisters and stand-up pouches. T.H.E.M. has also partnered with Hartness International to develop a Zipbox filling line that runs at 100+ boxes/minute.

Also on display from T.H.E.M. was the “Chokoku Plast-Edge Stand” package, a flexible bag structure with an elevating rim around its base. Made on Sanko equipment, the package has been successful in Japan, and the manufacturer reports several companies, including a flexible packaging converter and “major” CPG prosects in the United States are considering the package. T.H.E.M., which has a long history of partnership with Sanko is also representing the other firm in the United States. Among the latest Sanko machines, the FC-1000LP can fill stick pouches “of any viscosity” at up to 100 pouches/minute, and the Zero 1-V, can fill up to 600 pouches/minute with no air entrapment. – JES More information: Neil Kozarsky, president, T.H.E.M.; 856.452.3516,

“PACK EXPO is an excellent place to see how technology is changing and explore many different options all in one place.” — Doug Schaefer, Clorox Services



robably the fastest, most highly-automated packaging lines are those engineered for beverages. When food packagers look for ways to accelerate their operations, often the look to the drinks sector.

Double-Sided Induction Seal Keeps Decanter Airtight & Leak-Free Double-sided Induction Seal from Relco UK


The new Tropicana pitcher on sale in U.S. stores demonstrates an important induction-sealing innovation, provided by Relco UK, a UK-based supplier of direct and capless induction sealing equipment. The induction foil seal membrane, a die-cut circular ring inserted in the closure, is supplied by Aptar, the exclusive North American licensee for Bapco Closures’’ BAP® proprietary closure technology. The foil seal membrane is double-sided induction sealed right after the lid is applied to the filled container. This essentially welds the lid and the top of the PET container to the membrane, and ensures a hermetic seal for the product — which results in longer shelf life and prevents leaks. Consumers open the pitcher by lifting the hinged HDPE lid and pulling a plastic pull-tab incorporated into the injection molded lid. The lid is designed to not come off the pitcher, and consumers do not see the foil seal membrane during normal use. – BAG

More information Mark Gill, director, Relco: +44 (0) 1923.699.581, ; Bapco Closures:

Injection Molding Introduced for Valves, Re-invented for Labeling Pano Cap Canada Limited exhibited two new injection molding technologies.: A PP flip lid dispensing closure with a TPE valve was co-injection molded virtually simultaneously in the same mold — a departure from the standard method of inserting valves after the closures are injection molded. Usually, silicone vales are slit, then inserted into the dispensing closure. The new technology uses an injection molding grade of TPE, which allows the two parts to be injection molded and welded together in the same mold and create the necessary slit in the valve. This technology is currently being used for a bottled water product in Germany. Pano also introduced a new process for in-mold labeling of injection molded plastic closures. In-mold labeling on closures eliminates many printing limitations and opens up doors to more attractive graphics and even photographic artwork on top of plastic closures. – BAG More information Kelly Goulding, key account manager, Pano Cap Canada: 905.875.2672; ;

FullyEnclosed FilmPack — Printed, low-density polyethylene film from CEISA produced with Innopack Kisters shrink bundling equipment from KHS

Pano Cap Canada’s PP Flip Lid Dispensing closure

Shrink Film/Wrapper Combo Eliminates Bull’s Eyes Printed low-density polyethylene shrink film from CEISA and Innopack Kisters shrink bundling equipment from KHS produce full-wrap multipacks without the side openings, or bulls eyes, seen on traditional shrink bundles. Already adopted by Danish brewer Carlsberg, the FullyEnclosed FilmPack eliminates the need for corrugated trays and associated weight and expense. KHS says the absence of bulls-eyes enhances pack durability and prevents cans or bottles from shifting during distribution and handling. Options include applying a handle to simplify carrying and film perforation for ease of opening or condensation prevention. A retrofit equips any KHS shrink packer to produce the fully enclosed multipack. More information David Haig, key account manager, CEISA: +44 78 41 58 98 92;; Matthias Hahn, KHS: 262.787.1676;

Pouches Gain Liquid Functionality With features such as integrated die-cut handles and spouted fitments, pouches designed to hold liquids are becoming more functional. Star Packaging Corp: One preformed pouch design from Star Packaging Corp. holds 1 quart of motor oil for Universal Oil Inc. The reverse-printed polyester/nylon/ polyethylene sealant structure ensures seal integrity and is classified food-grade. Fitment options include spout diameters from 10 to 38 mm and tamper-evident closure designs. Fitments can be positioned in a top corner or centered. Die-cut handle aids pouring. BEVERAGE


Smart Bottle, Inc.: A flat-bottom squared design from Smart Bottle, Inc., positions die-cut handles on both ends to provide stability for pouring gallon-plus volumes. This new design flexible package is a Silver Award Winner in the 24th DuPont Awards and was recently qualified by Kraft Foods for institutional size salad dressings. The package’s dramatically reduced size and weight make for easier shipping, storage and disposal: unfilled packages occupy about 85 percent less space; filled, they take up about 40 percent less space.

Smart Bottle, Inc., flat-bottom squared design

Star Packaging Corp. preformed pouch

Smart Bottle says its patented technology produces a leak-free package that outperforms lightweight HDPE bottles in a four-foot drop test. Filling occurs on equipment from General Packaging Equipment Co. The fitmented pouches can contain carbonated beverages and be sized from 0.5 to 5.28 gallons. A triangular shape is under development. The design offers several fitment choices including diameters from 10 to 110mm, dispensing or sports spout, and threaded or snap-on closure. Printpack Viscopack System

Printpack: Bulk liquids also are packaged on Printpack’s Viscopack System 3.0 form-fill-seal machine with high- or medium-barrier PerformX® coextruded polyolefin film. Fill volumes range from 8 ounces to 2 gallons. The machine forms, hot- or cold-fills, and seals pillow pouches at speeds up to 60 1-gallon fills/minute. Smaller volumes and dry products run faster, 120 and 175 pouches/minute, respectively. Servo drives and motors precisely control all movements including film tracking, registration, weighing, squeeze rollers and sealing jaws. However, knife remains pneumatically controlled. The continuous-motion machine can add functional features such as easy-open tear notches and switches to intermittent motion to apply reclosable fitments. A model for retort pouches is under development. – HEF/JES

More information Steve Courchaine, vice president Technical Services, Star Packaging Corp.: 800.252.5414;; Ken Wilkes, founder and president, Smart Bottle Inc.: 828.348.0292;; Bob Kelly, president, General Packaging: 713.686.4331;; Ken Rogers, business development manager, Printpack: 952.893.4063;;

Particulate Piston Doser Engineered for Cold-Fill Aseptic Drinks The aseptic dual filling system featuring Piston Doser PX particulate filling technology from GEA Procomac S.p.A. is engineered for aseptic applications of cold-fill still beverages. The system is capable of accurately delivering materials that contain pulp, fiber, and pieces of fruit or cereal as large as 10 mm high by 10 mm wide by 10 mm thick into PET bottles. The system ‘s two-filler setup first draws the particulate portion in the set volume into the Piston Doser’s fill cylinder using a cam-driven piston before it is delivered into the PET bottle. The second filler delivers the clear liquid portion to complete the aseptic fill, which can range from 200 mL to 1.5 liters total volume. The system’s capability is 48,000 bottles/hr of 500-mL size. – RTL Piston Doser PX More information: Marco Meggiolaro, senior engineer, GEA Group: 39 (0) 422.172.9304;; Gregory Thompson, product manager, Oystar-Group: 800.257.5622,; oystar-holmatic.html

from GEA Procomac S.p.A.

2-D Laser System Inspects 1,200 Bottle Crowns Per Minute filtec’s 2-D laser-based inspection system for bottle crown quality assurance checks the dome profile by measuring the area under the crown dome to detect improperly sealed crowns at rates as high as 1,200 bottles/min. The company says the system is an alternative to inspection by conventional sonic-based systems, because that the accuracy of those systems can be affected by extraneous noises such as bottle jostling on the line or adjacent lines. One of the filtec lines is in operation at a brewery in Canada, and a major U.S. brewery is planning to test the system. – RTL More information Phil Wiles, senior sales engineer, filtec: 310.560.9981;;

Shrink Label Material Makes Recycling PET Bottles Easier ExxonMobil introduced Label-Lyte™ 50TD200, a new polyolefin-based material for bottle shrink labels to aid in the recycling of PET bottles. The material has a density less than 1.0, allowing the label material to float to the surface and separate from the PET regrind, which sinks during the recycling process. Most currently used shrink labels cannot be separated from PET bottles during recycling. Their inks discolor the recycled materials, which it unusable for new bottles. – RCC More information Kevin P. Frydryk, barrier commercialization engineer, ExxonMobil: 630.922,6835,



Pre-Made Stand-Up Pouch Developed for Liquids ALLIEDFLEX Technologies, Inc., introduced a stand-up dispensing pouch for liquid products. The pouches are supplied fully formed with the dispensing spout attached. The spout is near the bottom of the pouch, and the gusseted bottom allows dispensing of the product while sitting upright on a shelf or in the refrigerator. The pouches also incorporate a carrying handle. They can be supplied without graphics to allow labeling of small quantities for test marketing products, and complete 2-side graphics can be supplied for high volume established markets. To fill the pouches, position them flat in the filling machine, where part of the dispensing spout is removed, the pouch is filled and the spout reinserted. The process introduces minimal air into the pouch, which facilitating full dispensing of the product. ALLIEDFLEX currently offers a single-head, hand-fed machine for small production test markets, and can also supply automated machines able to fill up to 40-48, 1 ½ liter packages automatically. – RCC More information Kevin Dobberfuhl, regional sales manager, ALLIEDFLEX Technologies, Inc.: 941.923.1181;

Circular Container Prototype Turns Heads Circular extrusion blowmolded polypropylene container developed by mold-building specialist R&D/ Leverage, contains 24 ounces of liquid in a single- or dual-chamber configuration with 28mm neck finish (es). Center of circular container can hold another pack to create a meal/snack kit, such as milk and cereal, or juice and crackers. Sizes can be scaled up or down. – HEF

R&D/Leverage circular polypropylene container

More information Robert Schiavone, global marketing director, R&D/Leverage: 816.525.0353, ext. 6305;;

PET Drink Bottle Filler Cuts Waste, Ups Speed Solbern engineered the new RLFF-60, PET bottle filler for energy drinks, health drinks, nutritionals, flavored products, juice, tea and water. The 60-station rotary liquid funnel filler relies on Solbern’s unique system, which uses the bottle as the measuring device to consistently produce uniform fill levels. A series of funnels move into the neck of the bottle at the start of the process. Each contains a siphon tube, which removes any excess product and transfers it to a recovery trough to be pumped back, uncontaminated, into the system. The company says the amount of product recirculation is less than 2 percent. The filler produces higher yields than conventional rotary fillers. The system is simple to operate and to maintain, and uses no pistons, screens or valves that require maintenance. – EJB More information Jorge Espino, sales manager, Solbern: 973.227.3030,

Pyramid-Shaped Teabag Speeds Brewing, Enhances Taste Pyramid teabag by Tsubakimoto Kogyo Co., Ltd.

Tsubakimoto Kogyo Co., Ltd. introduced a 3-dimensional teabag fabricated out of a fine plastic mesh, in the shape of pyramid. This unusual twist on an old product allows for more space in the bag to speed the brewing process and improve infusion, flavor and aroma of the product. The machinery for manufacturing the teabag along with accessory equipment on display at the show demonstrated the manufacturing capability of the product. The teabag folds flat and can be packed in conventional cartons for distribution and sale. – EJB More information Suguru Hiramatsu, sales, Tsubakimoto Kogyo Co., Ltd. : +81 3 6718 0137,



All of our customers and targets are here. They can find what they want to see — solutions — at this show." – Mark Williams, SEPKG



packaging is becoming increasingly less rigid: PACK EXPO International 2012 illustrated that what once mostly a bottle/jar/box/can market is becoming a pouch/ bag and cup field. Like the marketplace, the technology on display at PACK EXPO focused on lightweight, material-conserving packaging formats and efficient systems to enable marketers to make, fill and pack their own packages rather than packing premade rigid containers.

Injection-Molded Cup Technologies Enhance Sealability


Nypro Packaging introduced several innovative injection molded cup technologies. Each provides a uniform, thin-walled sealing flange to improve efficacy during lid sealing: 

Foil encapsulated PP/Foil/PP food cups with a shelf life up to 10 years: The outer PP layer is molded, a preformed foil sheet with a flat bottom and pleated sides is inserted into the formed bottom, and the inside PP layer (blue material in the picture) is injected, completing the encapsulation. There is a perfectly smooth outside surface, and there would be no evidence of the foil with a colored outside.

Co-injected PP/EVOH/PP food cups. 32 x 32 cavity molds meet ultra high production requirements (greater than any to date), maintaining a .011-inch uniform wall thickness and molding in a 5second cycle. Nypro indicated additional advancements are in the works to provide all plastic, co-injected containers with even better barrier properties.  Injection molded PP cups for Philadelphia Cream Cheese with 360o in-mold label: Features included 12 x 12 cavity molds (larger than any to date) and a 5-second cycle time on a 16 oz. container. The tops for the containers are also in mold labeled to provide graphics.  Injection molded cups with a 360o in-mold label on the sides, overlapping a bottom label for full external container coverage: Labels can be produced with an EVOH layer for 4–12 month shelf-life, or a thin foil layer for up to 4-year shelf-life, providing additional barrier properties for the container.  A dispensing closure where the closure and flip top are molded simultaneously in a 32 cavity double cube system with in-mold assembly, eliminating the usual secondClockwise from top left: Foil encapsulated PP/Foil/PP ary assembly operation. The system molds the two separate parts in different colors food cups; In-mold labeled tops and injection molded PP cups; dispensing closure. All from Nypro Pack- using cube molds, and assembles them as part of the total molding operation. Ejecaging. tion of the final parts happens independently from the molding cycle when the mold cubes rotate 90°. It runs an 8-second cycle and produces 100mm+ a year per system. The closures are currently being used on the P&G Herbal Essence line of products. Benefits include low unit cost through cycle reduction, WIP elimination, floor space reduction and capital cost reduction. – RCC More information Aaron Dupont, barrier commercialization engineer, Nypro: 978.368.4585,

Self-Heating Soup Pouch Debuts The self-heating soup pouch technology, “h’eat it,” from ScaldoPack is a “pouch-within-apouch”: The inner pouch contains a nontoxic quicklime-based heating mechanism activated by a push button on the pouch front. The outer pouch contains the consumable product. According to the ScaldoPack website, a 220-mL pouch will heat to heated 35°C (about 100°F) in five minutes after activation. Licensee Takigawa Corp. displayed the commercialized 220-mL pouch at its booth. The h’eat it pouch for soup from Abramo, Zwevegem, Belgium, debuted on-shelf in Europe several months ago and sells there for the equivalent of $3.99. The company also has a self-chilling form that utilizes the same pouch-within-a-pouch structure, relying on salts for cooling. – RTL More information Steve Coulson, director, Takigawa Corp.: 416.399.1181;;

Takigawa Corp. is the licensee for h’eat it, the self-heating soup pouch from ScaldoPack.



Flat-Bottom, Squared Bag Cuts Packaging, Transit Costs Flat-bottom bags from Smartcube Packaging Systems LLC stack to form retail-ready displays of dry, flowable bulk products like kitty litter. This lighter-weight alternative to pails and corrugated secondary packaging that holds for stand-up pouches features a spotwelded inner ply that forms five chambers and squares off the circumference of the polyolefin laminate bag. The squared shape cubes more efficiently, and frequently can be stacked higher than pails or corrugated cases. These characteristics generate savings in handling, storage and transportation — one truckload of the bags is the equivalent of about 60 truckloads of pails. Filling occurs manually, semi-automatically with band sealer sealing or automatically on equipment from JEM International. Adding a rigid plastic lid imparts reclosability. – HEF More information Robert C. Bayliss, managing director, 914.574.2240;;

Flexible Capper Incorporates “Electronic Dynamic Cam” AROL Closure Systems introduced the EQUATORQUE EVO new bottle capping equipment with a virtually controlled “Electronic Dynamic Cam” that allows simple programming changes to adjust to different bottle and/or closure systems and eliminates mechanical cam track changeovers. The diameter of the guides that position the bottleneck finishes can also be adjusted electronically. AROL can also incorporate a robot to perform the only mechanical changeover required — chucks required to hold the caps. The only regular maintenance required is to lubricate the shafts for each capping head. The net result is faster changeover and significantly reduced maintenance/cleaning. Physically eliminating the piston cam track provides flexibility, higher application accuracy, significant machine component reduction, and energy savings. The machines are available for a variety of filling conditions, and a single capping head, or rotary machines containing three-40 heads. – RCC More information Steven Locker, vice president, AROL: 678-318-1568,

Multilayer Extrusion/Thermoformed PLA Cups Take Off Grupo Phoenix is the only supplier of polylactic acid (PLA) thermoformed cups, traditionally used solely in form-fill-seal (FFS) applications. Using its state-of-the-art multilayer extrusion and thermoforming equipment, Grupo Phoenix saw the opportunity supply PLA cups to companies that do not use FFS equipment. The Colombian company supplies PLA thermoformed cups for products typically served on Avianca Airlines. At the end of each flight, the Colombian airline recovers the PLA packaging for recycling. – RCC More information Michael Kelly, strategic sales manager, +1 630-961-5362,

Economy is Appeal of Cup Filler/Sealer/Overcapper Debuting at the show and capable of 200 cups/minute, OYSTAR North America’s modular Holmatic OptiFil® OF-4 filler/sealer/overcapper for plastic containers fills a void in the market and offers a compact footprint and reduced costs (40 percent less, the company claims). Cost reductions come from the allmechanical, no-servo design that targets mid-level production speeds. It also offers stainless-steel 3A design, CIP flow meters fillers (piston filler is available) and optional modified atmosphere packaging system for extended shelf life. The 3A-approved stainless-steel system can accommodate applesauce, butter/margarine, condiments, cottage cheese ice cream, soups and other pumpable products into containers from 50mm – 125mm in diameter or width. It is available in four- and six-lane versions. – RTL

OYSTAR North America’s Holmatic Opti-Fil® OF

More information Gregory Thompson, product manager, OYSTAR North America: 800-257-5622;;

Robotic Duo Automates Bag Filling The patent-pending PTR-1030 Series open-mouth bagger from Premier Tech Chronos consists of a robotic duo that can handle bags 11 to 24 inches wide, 18 to 40 inches long, and weighing up to 50 kg for free-flowing products. Engineered for products such as pet food, grain or seed, the unit operates at speeds as fast as 18 bags/minute with the help of a pair of FANUC Model LR Mate 200 iC robots. The first robot, the six-axis “Manny,” places the bag to the spout filler. Five-axis “Andy” removes the filled bags to a takeaway conveyor. Manny can be configured with a camera to improve accuracy to pinpoint PACK EXPO INT’L 2012


bag pickup, even if the bag is askew or has a flawed flap. The compact, low-headroom system offers Rockwell Automation Allen Bradley CompactLogix programming via an Allen Bradley PanelView Plus 1000 touchscreen interface. The PTR-1030 accommodates gusseted or pillow-style paper- or polymer-based bags. Bag size changeovers are reported to be as fast as one minute. – RTL More information Chakim Belhari, marketing supervisor, Premier Tech Chronos: 418-867-8883;;

PET, PS Sheet Eyes Tray, Lid Applications The Curwood portfolio of Encompass™ PR (Printed Rigid) semi-rigid and rigid polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polystyrene (PS) tray and lid packaging is expanding the product line, which curPremier Tech rently comprises custom and stock solutions for processed and prepared food applications that Chronos PTR1030 Series include out-of-the box pizza packaging, CPET dual ovenable trays, and Eco-friendly Encompass™ open-mouth Lite 1 Trays that provide up to 15 percent source reduction. Curwood is developing the capability bagger of include premade polypropylene trays and using 3D distortion printing to account for image distortion that occurs when a printed sheet is thermoformed into trays or other packaging. Curwood sees the technology as a source-reduced alternative to bag-in-box packaging for dry foods such as cereal, by allowing printing directly on the package to reduce materials. Similarly, printing on the rigid forming film could replace labeling rigid materials and potentially increase line speeds. Curwood has printed material up to 24 mils thick. More Information Jill Hanegraaf, market manager, specialty foods, Curwood, Inc., a Bemis Company: 920.527.7440; or

CO2-Reducing Polypropylene Trays Coextruded Plastic Technologies, Inc. (CPT) developed and produces “Go-Green” polypropylene trays. Manufacturing the trays reportedly uses 30 percent less energy and generates 20 percent fewer CO 2 emissions because of a “new and innovative proprietary thermoforming process.” The trays are microwaveable, high-barrier or breathable, and the base polypropylene can also be made into cups or containers. – JES More information Jeff Madrzak, national accounts manager, Coextruded Plastic Technologies, Inc.: 608.314.2020;

Pre-made pouch variety ZipnVent is named for its flagship products -- pouches with “ZipnVent” Microwave Steaming Technology. The company claims its pouches offer: faster, more even cooking; more heat; microwave steam cooking; a range of venting systems. from high to low pressure to accommodate different foods; steam venting capability for a vacuum pouch; no punch holes or laser perforations. ZipnVent’s on-site demonstrations of specialized, pre-made pouches included a flat, square bottom pouch made with film that was “Partial Lamination, Partial Hologram and Partial Opaque.” – JES

Film for ZipnVent’s Pre-made, flat square-bottom pouch was “Partial Lamination, Partial Hologram & Partial Opaque.”

More information Belinda Tang, overseas business general manager, ZipnVent: +1 852.2411.3359;

HFFS Duo Debuts for Stand-Up Pouches Schur Technology is introducing to the United States the Star 3030-C and the stainless steel Star 2040-C, two mid-range horizontal fill/seal machines for stand-up pouches or novelty pouches aimed at the contract packager making test market-size runs for consumer packaged goods manufacturers. Schur supplies the pre-made pouches as a web that is fed continuously through the machine, and filled and sealed normally. Both models offer extremely short changeover times and very low waste levels. – JES More information Kevin Howard, vice president & general manager, Schur Technology: 847.558.5056;

Explosion-Proof Linear Scale Parsons-Eagle Packaging Systems added the 8-unit HEM Series Linear Scale to its line of scales designed specifically to prevent explosions caused by the dust produced when filling sugar. It meets the Class 2, Div 1, Group G Hazardous Environment SpecificaFOOD


tions, and has all Div 1 electrical components. The unit, which continuously vents sugar dust, is constructed with an intrinsic barrier that prevent sparks by reducing current loads. The HEM Series Linear Scale can also be used for other types of pelletized, granular or powder products, and can be adapted to semi-automatic or fully integrated high speed lines. It can handle fills from 8 oz. to 20 lbs., with less than .5 gm. average giveaway at 5 lbs. and 10–12 weighments/head/min. It features a color touch-screen interface for PC or PLC control systems. – RCC More information Ruben Barajas, industry manager, 636.926.8415,

Rotary Cup Filler/Sealer Runs Either Foil & Non-Foil Lidstock The servo-driven NAP R-2x3 Rotary Filler/Sealer from N.A.P. Engineering fills and seals preformed cups with foil, laminate or poly lidstock, and was shown simultaneously running foil and micro-perfed poly lidding materials, making it one of few machines that can do both without modification. Capable of handling cup diameters up to 89 mm, the machine runs six-up at 40 indexes/minute to achieve throughput of 240 cups/minute. The six heads fill the same product or up to six flavors, and adding a second filling station will make layered product possible. A cup restocking system allows the operator to replenish cup stacks without stopping the machine. Priced at less than $150,000, the compact machine requires only 50 x 50 inches of floor space (without conveyor). Enclosing gears and timing belts and eliminating chains minimize time and expense related to lubrication. – HEF

NAP R-2x3 Rotary Filler/Sealer from N.A.P. Engineering

More information Paul DeSocio, chairman and president, NAP Engineering: 727.235.5902;

Lid/Label Provides Reclosability Without Membrane Seal The rotary MR-35 Filler/Sealer from ORICS denests, fills, seals and overcaps cups/tubs at a maximum rate of 30/minute. Compatible with a variety of container diameters and volumes, the compact, 36 x 36-inch machine demonstrated at PACK EXPO combined the sealing/overcapping function. The custom lid placer and seal head applies 1-Seal Lids, an integrated closure/ MR-35 Filler/ Sealer from ORICS seal technology developed by Spartech Packaging Technologies. The one-piece, injection-molded, polypropylene lid/label eliminates the need for separate, removable foil or film membranes and provides reclosability. Heattolerant, microwavable, freezer-to-microwave ready, the 1-Seal Lid is recyclable in programs that accept polypropylene. – HEF More information Ori Cohen, president, ORICS: 718.461.8613, ext. 103;; Jeffrey Best, director of Marketing – Packaging Technologies: 314.569.7466;;

Tabletop cup sealers address low-volume needs At least two exhibitors demonstrated tabletop machines to address lower-volume cup sealing needs. The dual-head SC-1350 lidding applicator, the latest SealMAX Sealer from Teinnovations Inc. features one-, two- or three-up sealing at speeds of 40 cups/minute. Programmable logic control and a touch screen operator interface simplify operation and help accomplish changeover in three to four minutes. Container options include crystallized polyethylene terephthalate (CPET) cups/tubs with proprietary multilayer PET-based film lidstock for products destined for high pressure pasteurization. Suitable for the home meal replacement market, machines can be configured for modified atmosphere packaging with or without vacuum. Teinnovations also supplies high- and low-barrier lidding film compatible with CPET, polypropylene, high-density polyethylene, PET, paper or aluminum containers. Film combines seal strength with peelability and can be printed rotogravure in up to eight colors. The IPS system from Integrity Machine Services replaces traditional pick-and-place with an inverted punch-and-seal operation. Punching and sealing in one motion minimizes moving parts and boosts maximum speed to 40 cups/minute. The model shown featured standard steel with a stainless steel coating, but machines can be built of stainless steel. Model options include manual, semiautomatic and automatic. – HEF More information Allison Becker, logistics manager, Teinnovations: 630.393.0012; or Jason Manderbach, sales manager, Integrity Machine Services: 989.386.0216;;

Closures/Fitments Enhance SUP Functionality The shape of the Clover Choke Proof Cap from IPN USA Corp. allows a pouch to rest on the closure and stand upright. Its tamperevident, kid-friendly design is sized for easy gripping and is too big for a toddler to swallow. It’s also designed to be paired with the Clean Spout 85R fitment spout., which has an 8.5 mm inner diameter to dispense viscous baby food and purees. IPN injection molds the caps and fitments in polypropylene for retort applications and polyethylene for hot-fill applications. PACK EXPO INT’L 2012


For single-serving pouches of aseptic liquids, a silicone valve inside a 5mm-diameter Clean Valve fitment prevents leakage even if the pouch falls on its side or is squeezed. The first application comes from Dutch company Roosvicee, using it for aseptic fruit juice in a 200-milliliter stand-up pouch. A tamper-evident, easy-open cap keeps the spout clean, and rotates a knurled mechanism that activates a piercing mechanism to provide access to the product when initially opened. – HEF More information Luis De la Mora, president – Marketing & Sales, IPN USA Corp.:+770.631.2626; or

Pre-Formed Pouches Fill Faster on Multi-Lane Machine

SC-1350 lidding applicator, the latest SealMAX Sealer from Teinnovations Inc. (left); IPS system from Integrity Machine Services (right)

The high-speed, multi-lane Dosomat filling machine from Waldner of Wangen, Germany (represented in the Americas by Packaging Technologies and Inspection, LLC,) fills and ultrasonically seals up to 1,200 preformed, stand-up pouches/minute. With pins holding lanes of pouches vertically, rows index two at a time through denesting, inspecting, filling, gas flushing and ultrasonic sealing. The system accommodates up to three filling heads (liquid, particulates, top-off) and two sealing heads, ultrasonic with optional cosmetic heat sealing. Servo-driven system handles hot-fill or aseptic fill volumes from 25 grams to #10 can equivalent. – HEF More information Jeffrey Crangle, general manager, PTI Packaging Systems: 914.337.2005;;

Pulsed Light Sterilizers Run Cups, Bottle Closures Fowler Products Co. showed two units that sterilize cups or bottle closures. Both offer dry, online sterilization of cups or bottle closures without using chemicals. Instead, the sterilizers use multiple high-intensity pulsed light lamps that produce the whole spectrum of visible light to kill bacteria and mold. The Fraunhofer–Gesellschaft Institute (Berlin & Munich, Germany) conducted biological efficacy tests of the pulsed light sterilization units.

IPN USA Corp.’s Clean Valve fitment (left) and Clover Choke-Proof Cap (right)

The Lamps are water-cooled, and Fowler Products claims their efficacy is greater than a fivelog reduction for the cup unit and three-to-five log reduction or more for bacteria and mold in the bottle closure unit. Efficacy is based on the number of pulsed flashes and the number of lights in the unit. The company has one bottle-capping unit designed to sterilize 90,000 caps/hour. – EJB

More information Tucker Scofield, machinery sales, Fowler Products Co.: 706.549.3300 x 197,

Spouted & Handled Pouch Targets Pet Products Printpack Inc. introduced a novel pouch for pet products, a patented design that is extremely convenient for handling and dispensing. The pouch utilizes a range of barrier materials designed to preserve pet food flavors and the aroma of scented cat litters, while protecting the products from outside moisture and odors. The threaded fitment closure makes product easy to for the consumer to and preserves product freshness after opening. A handle fabricated into the pouch improves the ease of handling and dispensing and complements the pour spout fitment. It offers greatly improved sustainability over rigid containers. — EJB More information Tom Seidel, director, Printpack Inc.: 404.460.7440,

Pouch & Fitment Combo Makes Painting Easier On the heels of its acquisition of Nordenia USA, Mondi displayed a wide variety of pouches and fitments at PACK EXPO, including a pouch/fitment combination for interior or exterior paint.

Fowler Pulsed Light Sterilization Unit for Bottle Caps

Together, the fitment and handle, which are both built into the pouch, make handling, dispensing and reclosing the paint container less cumbersome. The fitment also keeps air out of the pouch. Company representatives called the package a big improvement over the traditional paint can for ease of handling and dispensing. — EJB More information Chris Davis, marketing coordinator, Mondi Group: 573.331.7269; Robert M. Bodell, account manager, Mondi Group: 404.229.6345;



Induction Sealer Handles Capped and Capless Containers Fords Packaging Systems, a UK-based supplier of induction and conduction sealing equipment, displayed a new induction sealing system for glass containers. The versatile system can seal foil-based coated lids to many sizes and shapes of glass containers. The glass goblet of Dijon mustard, on sale commercially in France, is filled at the rate of 150/minute on an automatic filling line. The printed foil lids are induction sealed at the same rate as the filling speed, 150 containers/minute, using a Fords Packaging Systems induction sealing line for glass. The induction sealing technology can seal containers with or without overcaps. Printpack Inc. pouch for pet products

The company was also promoting a new conduction sealing system for plastic containers at the show. Conduction sealing equipment made by Fords Packaging Systems has been used for many years to seal printed foil lids on tapered yogurt containers and other types of containers. The foil lids on these containers are conduction sealed to the sides, not the top, of the containers.

The new machine allows the minimum overhang to be reduced from 5mm to 2mm, for cost savings and a sleeker look. – BAG More information Jill Koch, US sales manager, Fords Packaging Systems: 847.867.0891;; or

Induction sealing system from Fords Packaging

Software Manages Compliance with Sanitation Protocols Kleanz QA & Sanitation Compliance Management Software from Nexcor Technologies, Inc., helps plants comply with sanitation rules by unifying inspection and corrective action records and centralizing information like sanitation intervals, quality assurance requirements, employee training and chemical data for quick reference. Simplified recordkeeping and report preparation further support compliance. Mobile applications allow for paper-free data collection, audits and corrective action work orders right at the packaging line. – HEF More information Sonia Daniel-Sewell, executive vice president, Nexcor Technologies: 770.831.9191; or

Pallet Washes Clean & is X-Ray Sensitive The reusable, 40-inch by 48-inch RackoCell structural foam pallet from Orbis Corp. withstands high-temperature washing. Its onepiece, hygienic design prevents water retention regardless of whether the washed pallet is stacked flat or on its side. Proprietary high-density polyethylene or polypropylene material is X-ray sensitive, so if any damage occurs, fragments are detectable. Rack capacity is 2,200 pounds. The design offers four-way forklift and two-way pallet jack entry. – HEF More information Bob Klimko, director of Business Development, Orbis Corp.: 262.560.5301; or

Conveyor Redesigns Improve Cleanability Redesigned conveyors minimize cleaning time and effort, maximize sanitation levels on food packaging lines and support Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) programs. The stainless steel Sanitary Level III conveyor from Nercon Eng. & Mfg., Inc. features all-welded, bead-blasted, sealed-tube construction, endless polyurethane belting and a sprocket and gear drive without hinge points. The system withstands washdown with highly caustic cleaning agents, and can be configured for clean-in-place and clean-out-of-place regimens. Another redesign upgrades conveyors for metal detectors and X-ray inspection systems from S+S Inspection Inc. Repositioning bearings on standoffs, angling flat surfaces and quick, tool-less belt removal simplify cleaning. – HEF More information: Jessica Jacobson, marketing manager, Nercon: 920.233.3268,; Doug Pedersen, sales manager, Inspection Systems: 224.208.1900; or



Washdown-Compatible Components Support Food Safety Food packaging machine components must withstand the cleaning regimens the equipment undergoes to ensure food safety and product quality. To protect vulnerable electrical systems, several firms provide washdown-rated devices such as connectors, cabling, input/output blocks, switches and sensors.

RackoCell pallet from Orbis

One IP67-rated, stainless steel input/output (I/O) block from Molex withstands washdown conditions. As a result, brand owners and original equipment manufacturers can relocate I/O from remote locations to the machine. The initial eight-port model may be joined by other sizes. The InoxSens System from Wenglor integrates IP69K-rated sensors, mounting and connection technology for applications such as light curtains, height measurement and clear object detection. Laser-based units also overcome other challenges such as distance measurement involving rotating black objects. – HEF More information Hugh Daly, director of Sales, Molex: 630.718.5222; or Tony Bargmann, regional account manager, Wenglor: 937.320.0011; or

“PACK EXPO is a great place to gather new ideas for equipment that can work in our operations. The show has a huge range of solutions — everything from soup to nuts” — Craig Logan, Newly Weds’ Foods



"While other shows have slowly died, PACK EXPO has remained a global force. The best thing about this show is the level of attendees. They are decision makers." — Bryan Baker, CCL Label



arket shifts (to lighter weight containers, more demanding/knowledgeable consumers, etc.) has boosted interest in technologies that help packagers assure themselves, their customers and, ultimately, consumers, that the package in their hands will perform as specified.

Auto-Focus System Eyes Product Size Variety


Cognex Corp introduced the Insight 7000, the first auto-focus vision system with integrated auto-focus, lighting, and IP67 Rating. The vision system can be used for inspection, guidance, measurement, presence/ absence, code reading and OCR/OCV applications. It can automatically focus on variable package sizes to significantly reduce set-up times. It can inspect many attributes, including bar codes, date codes and expiration dates. It is capable of acquisition speeds of 500 frames/sec and resolution of up to 5 megapixels. It sends all data to a quality system that can be directly linked to systems collecting serialization data. – RCC More information Keith Blodorn, principal product marketing manager, Cognex Corp.: 414.604.7033,

Simulation Software Analyzes Packaging Line Design/Performance Flexsim Software Products, Inc., introduced Flexsim 3D simulation software which provides very detailed graphics for use in modeling, visualizing, analyzing and optimizing packaging line layouts and staffing. Central Monitoring System from Modular Packaging

The software can simulate any activity performed on a production line or the entire continuous process. It allows you to minimize risks, simulate line speeds, prepare presentations for management and complete time and motion studies of proposed packaging lines. This is especially helpful in comparing scenarios for the best solution prior to capital expenditures. It can also be used for troubleshooting existing lines. It provides a variety of reports and graphs to analyze the line including; throughput, content, machine state, utilization and cost. The software can be customized to meet the exact requirements of any customer. – RCC More information William Strong, Flexsim Software Products, Inc.:; 801.224.6914

System Monitors Pharmaceutical/Nutraceutical Lines Modular Packaging Systems, Inc., introduced the Central Monitoring System, a password-protected system to track events and system changes, on their pharmaceutical/nutraceutical solid dose (tablet) packaging lines. The basic system can monitor conveyor speeds and container counts at various stations while tracking packages rejected during manufacturing. An upgrade allows it to be configured to document physical adjustments for the line and to provide touch recipe downloads to each line component. Combined with event logs and counters, the system can create and validate a batch record system sending data to a FTP or ERP location. It also integrates with serialization software, and can store line level data and aggregations. Data generated allows users to analyze and improve the efficiency of the line. – RCC More information Erik Bronander, national sales manager, Modular Packaging Systems Inc.:; 973.970.9393

Quick Ship Metal Detector

Loma Systems’ Quick Ship

Loma Systems introduced the Quick Ship Flex adjustable metal detector. The fully functional incorporates an adjustable conveyor belt to work with multiple line layouts, and is available with custom conveyor lengths. — RCC More information Laura Studwell, marketing manager, Loma Systems:; 630.681.2055

Tool Determines Best Sealants DuPont introduced an on-line modeling tool designed to help packaging engineers and designers identify the most appropriate sealant and to research new ways to handle tough sealing challenges. In conjunction with DuPont’s Sealant Value Estimator, the tool pinpoints potential sealant resin options and then compares their value-in-use in terms of reduced packaging failures and waste. Users can enter criteria and rank their importance, such as converting process attributes, packaging form requirements, end use conditions and other property needs. – JES More information Rebecca Olsen, accounts manager, DuPont:



Lantech Issues Recommendations for Shrink Wrapping Many of the environmentally-friendly changes in packaging involve downgauging — and there’s been a corresponding increase in shipping damage that could be minimized with improved shrink wrapping techniques. Lantech has developed a containment force tool (CFT-5) to measure the forces exhibited by any shrink wrapped load and a 10-step process to adopt and use containment force as a critical specification. The company also recommends containment forces for various product loads — JES: 

Very Light Loads (paper towels, empty PET bottles, etc.) – 2 - 5 lbs.

Stable Mid-Weight Loads (cartons, trays, etc.) – 5 - 7 lbs.

Heavy Unstable Loads (tall cartons, heavy beverages, etc.) – 7 - 12 lbs.

Very Unstable Loads (PET water bottles, etc.) – 12 - 20 lbs.

More information Derek Jones, senior marketing product manager, Lantech: 502.815.9095,

Pattern-Metallized Film is “See-Thru” for Metal Detectors Metallized film enhances package barrier properties and aesthetics, but creates challenges for metal detectors deployed on the packaging line. The non-continuous metallized surface of pattern-metallized MetDetect film from Vast Films, Ltd. , however, renders it transparent to radio frequency (RF) waves, allowing detection of metal contaminants as small as 0.8 millimeter. RF compatibility also opens the door to locating tags for electronic article surveillance or RF identification inside metallized packs. In-pack positioning prevents tag loss or removal and improves anti-pilferage and product traceability capabilities. Anti-counterfeiting qualities of the difficult-to-duplicate film can be enhanced with custom patterns and security print as small as 1 point. MetDetect film runs on form-fill-seal machines or can be laminated to paperboard for conversion into metallized folding cartons. – HEF More information Wolfgang Decker, general manager, Vast Films, Ltd.:724.827.8827;;

Pressure Sensor Confirms Seal Integrity The T4000-DSC-LP Leak Detector from Teledyne TapTone combines a low profile with a top-down load cell to check seal integrity of membrane-sealed cups/tubs. The system gently squeezes each container, and sensors at the entry and exit measure and compare resistance readings — a pressure change indicates a leak. The T4000-DSC-LP Leak Detector can detect flaws as small as 0.15mm at rates up to 1,800 containers/minute. – HEF More information Scott Shepard, eastern regional sales representative, Teledyne: 508.524.1276;;

Linear Induction Motor Powers Bottle Reject System Fowler Products Co. added a linear induction motor to a high-speed bottle rejection unit to increase overall line speeds. Conventional gates and pneumatic units top out at about 250 bottles/minute, but with the the linear motor, the rejection unit can handle line speeds of 900/minute in the same space. The unit features a Linmot rejection system to detect defects and a multi-finger head to push questionable bottles from the line. – EJB More information Tucker Scofield, machinery sales, Fowler Products Co.: 706.549.3300;

Free-flow X-Ray Unit Needs No Conveyor Mekitec introduced a “Free Flow X-Ray” machine to its Meki™ line of metal detectors. It is the first machine of its kind that does not need a conveyor. The unit is designed primarily for the inspection of raw materials and bulk products such as grains or sugar. Uncontaminated product flows through the machine, while contaminated material is discharged through the bottom of the unit. This unit can process 20 tons/hour, with results monitored on the integrated screen display. The angle can be adjusted to change the flow rate of the product. – RCC More information Brian Zeltner, sales manager, Mekitec: 973.235.0363, Free Flow X-Ray for Mekitech’s Meki™ line of metal detectors



ackaging touches on a range of day-to-day issues for pharmaceutical manufacturers: track-and-trace, serialization, marketing, product protection. PACK EXPO’s Pharmaceutical Pavilion and The Rx Lounge targeted pharmaceutical exhibitors and their customers, helping them connect so they could go back to the office with new, innovative ideas.


Barrier Paper Lidstock Competes with Foil Blisterpacks Winpak Ltd. designed the coatings that make its new push-through barrier paper blister lidstock as easy to use, and 25 percent less expensive than, foil-based blisterpacks. The paper lidstock provides oxygen and moisture protection that is superior to an uncoated, monolayer PVC sheet — still the dominant blister material used in the United States. According to Winpak, its push-through barrier paper-based material will offer sufficient barrier to replace blisters that currently use PVC or PP . (PP blisters are coming into the mainstream in the United States, but are used more extensively in Europe.) For blister packages that require Aclar® or PVDC coatings, however, Winpak’s barrier paper would probably not provide sufficient barrier. The material is expected to debut commercially in the US within the next year. – BAG More information Todd Swartz, senior account manager–Healthcare Packaging, Winpak Heat Seal Packaging Inc.: 616.536.2065; ;

Stick Pack Line Fills Up to 1,000 per Minute LA600-SP high-speed stick pack line by MediSeal Pharma Technology Solutions

MediSeal Pharma Technology Solutions, a Korber Medipak company, recently introduced its new LA600-SP high speed stick pack line, specifically designed for filling dry/powdered pharmaceutical products into stick packs as fast as 1,000 stick packs/minute. The machine can form, fill and seal up to 16 lanes of stick packs in widths from 15mm to 40mm and lengths from 45mm to 160mm. The model on display was connected to MediSeal’s P1600 side-load cartoner, which can put from five to 50 sticks into each carton, filling up to 100 cartons/minute. The pair of machines is designed to work in tandem.

More information Ulf Leineke, business unit manager, R & D, MediSeal Pharma Technology Solutions:: +49(0) 5207 888-197;;

PharmaWorks Stages Machine Debuts in Pharma Pavilion PharmaWorks debuted its FA1 Pick-and-Place Feeder System and TF1e Blister machine with Integrated TC1 Cartoner at its booth in the Pharmaceutical Pavilion. The FA1 pick-and-place feeder system is a simple feed system designed for low-to-medium tablet count feeding applications on any blister machine. Gentle rotary flaps align product in a feed track that aligns the tablet or capsule in the same orientation it will be in the sealed blister pack. A servo-actuated arm vacuum picks and moves the aligned product, and gently places it in the blister cavity. The feeder is capable of 80 cycles/minute.

PharmaWorks FA1 pick & place feeder

PharmaWorks TF1e compact blister machine & TC1 cartoner

This simple system has cost-effective tooling that can be adapted to any tablet arrangement. It offers quick, easily repeatable changeover; is compact enough to fit on most any blister thermoformers; and it requires fewer people than fillers with flood style-feeders. It can be mounted on a mobile cart for quick docking with a PharmaWorks TF1 or TF1e blister machine.

The TF1e, a compact blister machine, provides quick changeover between products or batches, and a large blister format that can produce single blisters 90mm x 165 mm in one forming cycle. The machine’s material shredder and vacuum reject system help securely transfer good blisters station to station while positively rejecting faulty blisters. The machine is servo-driven at all stations and has no line shaft. A unique feature allows minor adjustments, including dynamic seal pressure adjustment to improve blister seals, to each station from outside the machine enclosure while the machine is running. This includes dynamic seal pressure adjustment to improve blister seals. The machine has a modular feed area for easily positioning different feeders at the filling station. It can handle single blister reject and multiple blister rejects. – EJB More information Walter Stewart, Regional Sales, +1 815-254-9000,



Blow-Fill-Seal Units Engineered for LVP Bottles rommelag, USA, Inc. exhibited machines capable of forming, filling and sealing large volume parenteral (LVP) bottles. The large volume machines are a significant departure from the small volume drugs and ophthalmic packaged products typically associated with blow-fill-seal machines. The machines can handle a range of product from 0.1 ml to 2 liters. In the small volume setup, the mold can have as many as 40 cavities. The volume of filled product and the plastic used to form the package determine the machine’s hourly output in units produced, ranging from 700 bottles/hour to 4,000 units/hour. This is an aseptic filling operation, with liquid product sterilized outside of the machine, then transported to the bottelpack® machine in a closed system that has been sterilized. The finished package can be monolayer or a coextruded barrier container. – EJB More information Tim Kram, general manager, +1 303-674-8333,;

Low-Cost, 4-Station Automatic Blister Sealer

FAB4–2012 Blister Sealer from Starview Packaging

Starview Packaging Machinery, Inc., added the FAB4-1012 blister sealer for single operator high-speed production runs to its card sealing line. Under the proper conditions, these machines can run up to 22 cycles/minute. The FAB Series automated rotary blister sealing machines are built with the capability to feed blisters, blister cards and discharge finished packages when proper tooling is installed. Machines may be used for conventional carded blisters, full-face blisters, double card trapped blisters and half-clamshell styles. This low cost alternative permits one operator to be loading and unloading the revolving 4-station carousel while each blister card is being sealed. – EJB More information: Eric Carlomusto, sales, Starview Packaging Machinery: 514.920.0100 ext. 224,

New OS Simplifies Handling Uhlmann Packaging Systems introduced its SmartControl operating system, which employs user-friendly design, easily understandable displays, and process-oriented navigation to simplify handling of Uhlmann packaging machines and lines for operators anywhere in the world. The SmartControl panel is designed to be intuitive, and process-oriented user guidance follows the packaging process step by step. The system is web-based for easy integration of machines and aggregate lines with equipment from other suppliers; Uhlmann apps expand its functions. Its intuitive layout features a uniform PC-oriented structure, clear symbols and consistent color-coding. The system is scalable and provides direct operation at the machine or remotely, with mobile devices delivering coordinated access authorization. – EJB More information Greg Kosoy, regional sales manager, Uhlmann Packaging Systems: 973.541.7305,

Color-Changing Sealant Designed for Flexibles Rollprint Packaging Products, Inc., introduced its color-changing Chameleon™ sealant technology for all types of pouch heat seal applications. The coextrusion-coated sealant can be applied to any thermallystable substrate, including polyester, nylon and polypropylene and multilayer barrier structures. This sealant allows a film of one color to transfer a peel indicator of another color; the change in color indicates a package has been opened. Peeled pouch with Rollprint’s new sealant color indicator. Purple plus white produces a blue seal.

This technology enhances product security in a simple, cost-effective manner, by making bogus product easy for consumers to spot upon opening the package. It’s also a new vehicle for medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers to communicate branding attributes or to color code pouched product.

The color application is transparent so the contents are visible, and the color palette of the seal can be extended through a variety of substrate and sealant combinations. For example, a blue substrate, combined with a yellow coating, will produce a green seal indicator when the pouch is opened. – EJB More information Dwane Hahn, vice president, Rollprint Packaging Products, Inc.: 512.869.6620,



Insulated Containers Control In-Transit Temperatures An efficient and customized container for transporting sensitive refrigerated and frozen products was a prominent part of the Sonoco Packaging display. The container, from Sonoco ThemoSafe™ combines unique and proprietary liquids that maintain specific temperature ranges with eco-friendly sustainable packaging. Puretemp® refrigerants and phase change materials keep temperature-critical packages at precise temperatures during transit. They are biodegradable and can be recycled for multiple uses. Available in a broad selection of styles and a multitude of sizes, they provide reliable temperature protection that meets almost any product specification. The liquids are color coded to provide the end user with a simple way to pick the correct refrigerant temperature range.

Sonoco ThermoSafe GreenBox and color-coded phase change refrigerant bottles used in the sidewalls

The units are supplied in pouches or rigid square blow molded bottles that fit into pockets built into the side of the eco-friendly shipper. The company also offers lower cost expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) and polyurethane (PUR) insulated shippers to meet less stringent requirements.

ThemoSafe also offers GreenBox, which it says is the industry’s first and only completely sustainable and reusable thermal management system. GreenBox is created from 100 percent organic-based materials, and the phase-change materials that allow it to maintain product temperatures are non-toxic, fully biodegradable and suffer no thermal degradation after more than 20,000 uses. – EJB More information Prakash Mahesh, vice president, Sonoco: 847.632.9652;

Stymieing Counterfeiters Even in the safest markets, counterfeiting and diversion occur with alarming frequency, and brand owners are constantly on the search for anti-counterfeiting tools. Trends we saw: Containers: Laser etching molds with a surface pattern results in a textured container that is difficult to copy and differentiates the brand. Mold maker R&D/Leverage developed this process, and offers custom designs and standard patterns. Inkject Ink Markers: DNA Matrix security markers from DNA Technologies impart higher authentication levels to continuous inkjet printer ink. OnCode, a division of Gem Gravure, uses a camera to compare the DNA strands in visible or invisible codes. Options include ultraviolet and infrared fluorescent inks for porous surfaces. DNA strand-equipped security inks for nonporous surfaces are under development. E-Fingerprint technology from Systech International converts environmental “noise” of a package substrate to a sine wave and links it to the package’s unique barcode. Users scan and authenticate the digital fingerprint with a smartphone and compare it against stored information. Holographic security labels from New Zealand-based Asuraseal Ltd. combine tamper evidence with up to nine optical anticounterfeiting levels, such as flip images and microtext. Holographic foil, fused into the seal area through hot-stamping or rolling processes, bonds to most substrates, including materials with a UV varnish. – HEF More information Robert Schiavone, global marketing director, R&D/Leverage: 816.525.0353, ext. 6305;; Ramona Krogman, marketing manager, OnCode: 781.763.0478;; Dave Harty, vice president, Product Development, Systech: 800.847.7123;; Cap by Clariant Functional John Darby, sales and marketing manager, Asuraseal Ltd: +64.21.622.661;; Materials includes desiicant and safety features

Built-In Dessicants for Pharmaceuticals

Clariant Functional Materials – formerly Sud-Chemie — displayed a pharmaceutical cap that combines tamper-evident, child-resistant and twist-off functionalities with a built-in desiccant. The cap can use traditional silica gel desiccants and newer polymeric absorbers incorporated in the closure to maintain a low-moisture or low-oxygen environment . – EJB More information Mark A. Florez, marketing, Clariant Functional Materials: 505.244.7066,

Monoblock Fills Bag-on-Valve Aerosols Rotary RI36-509 sanitary bag-on-valve filler from MBC Aerosol replaces hydrogen-based propellants with compressed air. The double-indexing monoblock with 36-inch-diameter disc handles up to 50 containers/minute (cpm) via two under-the-cup gassers, six through-the-valve product fillers and two stem cleaners. Higher speeds, up to 300 cpm, can be achieved with a larger disc. Cans PHARMACEUTICAL


measure 13/8 inch diameter, with a 1-inch neck finish, and hold up to 20 ounces of personal-care products such as sunscreen. Its monoblock design requires less floor space and eliminates conveyor transfers. – HEF More information Jim McBride, sales, MBC Aerosol : 847.214.8843;;

Tool-Free Changeover for Tube Filler IMA introduced the CS Linear single nozzle tube filler, which can fill up to 100 metal, PE, laminate or polyfoil tubes/min for pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food and chemical products. An independent ergonomic or fully-robotized CR1 feeder can accomplish the tube feeding. The CS Linear single-nozzle tube filler features tool-free changeovers, easy access for cleaning and maintenance and a centralized lubrication system. It also provides tube cleaning, print registration, bar code reading and nitrogen flushing before and after filling. All parts in contact with product are manufactured of polished, AISI 316L stainless steel. Dosing accuracy is ± 0.5%. The unit is designed to accomplish normal, double and saddle fold metal tube closing and thermo-sealing (hot air, hot jaws or high frequency) with custom pattern or hang-hole cutouts. – RCC More information Andrea Dotti, product manager, IMA: 39.02.9989867,

Form-Fill-Seal Pouch Former Runs Up to 16 Products at Once Wrapade Packaging Systems, LLC, introduced the V-600 Multi-Product Feed System to meet the special needs of the nutraceutical industry, which requires greater flexibility, efficiency and reduction of changeover times. With 16 independent hoppers, the machine can accommodate as many products, supplying them to its vertical 4-lane form/fill/seal pouch former. It’s designed to handle capsules, caplets, tablets and/or soft gels in virtually any combination, and can supply up to eight different products per pouch.– RCC More information Bill Beattie, president, Wrapade Packaging Systems, LLC: 973.773.6150,

Anti-Counterfeiting Technologies for Induction Seals Selig Sealing Products recently entered into a strategic alliance with Switzerland-based U-NICA, which has developed a technology to make slight adjustments, undetectable to the human eye, to printed images. U-NICA has also developed ScryptoTrace.code, a companion smart phone app for consumer products companies and retailers . The app scans a printed surface to detect counterfeit products, and with Selig, U-NICA is developing the technology for printed induction foil seal liners. , and U-NICA has already used this technology for various applications such as on tape seals for boxes of higherend auto parts. Selig has worked with U-NICA to develop this technology for printed induction foil seal liners. – BAG More information Bill Raddick, sales manager, Selig Sealing Products: 630.922.3158, ;

Pump-Free Transfer for Viscous Products M.O. Industries, Inc., developed a system for transferring viscous liquids without a pump. The system requires the use of Vispro’s stainless steel drums, offered in 100 liter and 200 liter sizes. The system is FDA compliant and ideal for transferring small volume batches of pastes and creams to packaging equipment in a clean environment. – EJB More information Alex Maier, president, M.O. Industries, Inc.: 973.386.9228,

In Motion Filler Eliminates Buffering NJM Packaging

Represented by NJM Packaging, Dutch firm Cremer Counting and Filling Systems has represents released the Cremer CF-622 — a single mainframe as many as 10 modules, depending Cremer Counting & Filling Systems on user’s choice of counting modules. There are four different frame designs which and its CF-622. support up to four, six, eight or 10 modules. The “In Motion Filling System” ensures controlled and stable bottle handling with short, single track in-feed and out-feed belts and negates the need of bottle buffering. Its very small footprint adapts to most production environments, and quick product and bottle changeovers with a minimum of change parts by a single operator .– JES More information NJM Customer Service: 800.432.2990,



Capper Applies Closures Up to 120mm wide BellatrX introduced the Magna Capper™ for large threaded closures and bottles. The unit can handle bottle sizes up to 8 inches in diameter and 16 inches tall, and apply closures from 22mm to 120mm. It will also run up to 60 bottles/min in single lane machine, and 120 bottles/min in a dual-lane setup. BellatrX MagnaCapper™

The system indexes two containers per cycle, using a servo drive to apply closures and guarantee consistent torque levels. It has operator-friendly touch screen controls and automatically keeps track of the application torque for every container. Snap-in-place change parts allow changeovers in 15 minutes.

BellatrX says the Magna Capper is ideally suited for products such as nutritional powders, personal care products, diagnostic chemicals, adhesives, paints and foods. – RCC More information Alan Shuhaibar, president, BellatrX: 514.630.0939,

“This show provides great opportunities for meeting new suppliers and cultivating new ideas. We’ve bought machinery as a result of the connections we’ve made at PACK EXPO in the past, and we plan to do the same this year.” — Ed Lily, Mister Snacks



"I’m looking for innovative packaging that reduces material use, new product dispensers and for product design firms. I’m particularly interested in finding out what is possible to achieve with current technologies and PACK EXPO has been a constant source of inspiration." — Javier Contreras, The Clorox Company PACK EXPO INTERNATIONAL 2012


etailers are demanding more and more retail-ready packaging (RRP), and packagers can happily oblige, choosing from an expanding array of options that goes beyond the corrugated tray. But as the packaging materials change, so must technologies for printing on them. PACK EXPO International opened end users’ eyes to them all.


Clog-Proof Printhead Doesn’t Require Cleaning Leibinger introduced the Jet 3 inkjet printer, featuring a printhead the company says requires no cleaning and is virtually clog-proof. A mechanical movement retracts the ink gutter into the nozzle, creating an airtight seal that keeps the ink wet within the system when not in use. This significantly reduces maintenance and makes performance more reliable than conventional heads, the company adds. – RCC More information Greg Jenkins, regional sales manager, Leibinger: 847.533.6442,

Digital Sheet-Fed Press Targets Short-Run Cartons The HP Indigo 300000 incorporates Indigo’s unique ElectroInk technology, for 7-color quality indistinguishable from offset, and prints on any substrate up to 24 pt., including off-the-shelf paperboard, metallized board and plastics.

HP Indigo 30000 (top) and HP Indigo 20000

HP says this press offers the breakthrough offset-matching solution that the packaging industry has been seeking for years: zero setup, minimal waste and easy versioning capabilities. The company notes that shorter, more frequent print runs that have challenged the economics and productivity of existing systems folding carton converter systems.

HP also showed examples of flexible packaging produced on its 30-inch digital web printing press. Like the 30000, this press uses ElectroInk technology, has no make-ready and minimum waste. As with the folding carton market, HP sees the global flexible packaging market growing steadily, alongside higher demand for shorter run lengths, shorter lead times, and higher print quality. HP claims the press delivers the high print quality required by brand owners who set gravure as their color quality benchmark for flexible packaging. The 30-inch press can handle substrates from .4 to 10 pt., including film, paper, and aluminum. – JES More information Christian Menegon, business development manager, Labels & Packaging, Indigo Digital Press Division, Graphics Solutions Business: or HP North America Hewlett-Packard North America customer service: 800.289.5986,

Revolutions in Bottle Printing Hints of a coming deco-revolution were evident at PACK EXPO 2012, particularly at the booth of Hartness International. Hartness showed a bottle of New Belgium’s Lips of Faith beer, screen-printed with UV Hartness Ink. The Hartness process runs faster and uses less energy than a traditional applied ceramic labeling line. Company representatives said they see an imminent change coming in glass decorating, and noted their solutions address brand owners’ challenges, including product differentiation, sustainability and product quality.

Screen printed with UV ink from Hartness

More information Sean Hartness, vice president of Innovation, Hartness International: 864.297.1200, Dan Schmidt, business development manager, 800.628.6787, Ext 1520,

Corner-Wrap Labeler Swaps Compressed Air for Electric Fans Weber Packaging’s Model 5300 All-Electric Corner-Wrap label printer-applicator saves energy by eliminating the use of compressed air. The unit prints labels in a next-out mode, automatically removes them from the liner and then retains them by vacuum on an integrated swing arm-mounted pad. Unlike most conventional label printer-applicators, the new Model 5300 All-Electric system uses electrically-operated fans, instead of external piped-in compressed air, to create that vacuum. As a case approaches the system, the pad applies a label to the front panel and around its corner, wiping the remaining portion of the label onto the adjacent side. The system handles labels up to 4 inches wide and 12 inches long, and prints and applies labels at PRINTING-LABELING


a maximum of 15 cartons/minute. A wide selection of thermal/thermal-transfer print engines is available to produce text, bar codes and graphic images at 203, 300 or 600 dpi. – RTL More information Mike Soloway, labeling systems product manager, Weber Packaging: 847.364.8532,;

All-Electric Labeling Line Cuts Energy Costs Up to 50% Diagraph, an ITW Co., introduced the PA/6000E patented labeler with a high-speed tamp (HST) application module as part of its line of all-electric, servo-motor driven labeling machines. Diagraph says the line reduces energy costs up to 50 percent over pneumatic systems, and is designed to print labels for the uneven surfaces of shrink wrapped loads. To do this, it applies the label electrically instead of using air to blow it into place. The labeler can run up to 300 FPM on flat surfaces and 50-150 FPM on contoured surfaces. – RCC More information Steve Dods, labeling products manager, Diagraph: 636.300.2093,

Modular Labelers Maximize Flexibility Weiler Labeling Systems returns to PACK EXPO for the first time in a decade with a ground-up redesign of its rotary and inline labelers and pressure-sensitive labeling head. The highly configurable, all-servo machines can be built in a left-to-right flow, then reassembled right-to-left. Container control can be switched between feedscrew and trunnion, and removable rollers enable different size containers to be run on the same trunnion. The configurable, servo-based designs cut machine costs 20 percent and shorten delivery time to four months. Weiler’s RL-420 rotary labeler, with servo-driven push/pull label drive, air-actuated top hold and patented platform rotation, positions containers as needed to ensure precise label placement. Rotary models can achieve speeds up to 500 labels/minute and label widths up to 4 inches or 8 inches. – HEF More information Ted Geiselman, president, Weiler Labeling Systems: 856.273.3377; or

Hot Melt Extruder Handles Roll-Fed Labels B&H Labeling introduced its PLC-driven GES (Glue Extrusion System), a patent-pending extrusion glue system for roll-fed labels. The system is promoted as an improvement over glue wheels and spray systems that enhances glue application, produces void-free glue patterns and eliminates vacuum drum re-padding. The fully automatic, recipe-driven hot melt applicator, applies a precisely extruded film of hot melt adhesive to preprogrammed locations on a label through a vertical pattern nozzle. The system categorizes the label size, shape, and positioning of glue in its memory algorithms developed for each adhesive and label in use by the customer. It then adjusts the pressure and temperature during application of the adhesive to consistently produce the proper amount of adhesive for application regardless of changes in line speed. More information Bob Adamson, marketing, B&H Labeling: 209.537.5785;

Print 4-Color Labels On Demand Kiaro! High Speed Color Inkjet Label Printer from QuickLabelSystems prints four-color labels on-demand, eliminating order lead time as well as costs for handling, inventory and potential obsolescence associated with preprinted labels. The highly automated system runs with minimal operator intervention for setup and operation and wastes no labels between batches. With no tradeoff between speed and print quality, the unit prints 1,200 dpi at 8 inches/second, and integrates easily on packaging lines. Full-bleed labels have a print area ranging from 1 inch by 0.118 inches to 4.17 inches by 15.63 inches and thicknesses from 5.7 to 10 mils . Its four high-capacity 240-milliliter ink cartridges – cyan, magenta, yellow and black – last for approximately 100,000 impressions, and the “economy” print mode can cut the total cost/label approximately 15 percent. – HEF More information Eric Pizzuti, vice president & general manager, QuickLabelSystems: 877.757.7978;

Kiaro! from QuickLabelSystem

Color Measurement Tool Esko’s recent purchases of X-Rite and Pantone has led to new a state-of-the-art color measurement platform, “eXact,” and a color process control solution, “Color iQC Print.” The eXact platform is a series of densitometers and spectrophotometers designed to PACK EXPO INT’L 2012


enable printers and packaging converters to understand, control and manage color across their entire network. Color iQC Print is a process control that incorporates the latest digital workflow technologies and standards for a complete color quality control solution. It ensures centralized control and management and easy access to color data for authorized users within the color network. – JES More information Tim Zula, director, marketing communications, Esko Americas, +1 937-535-6060,

Case Taper/Labeler Debuts Labeling Systems Inc. (LSI) showed off its new, versatile taper combined with a labeling system, which combined a taper, for sealing corrugated containers, with a label applicator. The machine, developed in cooperation with Pro Mach, is unique in that adjusting the taper to accommodate a new size or style of case causes the unit to adjust the print head position, too. The machine uses cranks to adjust to various size cases, making the changeover simple, fast and easy for the operator. More information Jack Roe, vice president/general manager, Labeling Systems Inc.: 973.723.1386,

Clear Pallet Trays for RRP Innovative Plastech Inc. introduced full-, half- and quarter-size clear pallet trays specifically for the club/warehouse market. These trays offer the advantage of maximum visibility and stability. They are also moisture proof, unlike conventional corrugated display cartons. These trays also do away with the need to tear open cardboard cartons. These pallet trays are made of recycled PET and are sturdy enough to be reused several times. – JES

Full-, half- and quarter-size clear pallet trays from Innovative Plastech Inc.

More information Innovative Plastech Inc. Customer Service: 630.232.1808;

Package Strip Developed for RRP Do-It Corp. presented its new Pocket Display Strip (licensed from the U.K.’s Lighthouse Display). Fully packed, Pocket Display Strip packages can be hung in a variety of places – shelves, end-of-aisle and check-out lanes. The patent involves the process for making and folding the pockets on the strips. The technology is very versatile, and the size of the pockets can be custom designed for different products. Combat® Source Kill Max Ant Bait, which is sold in paperboard cartons, has been using the concept commercially. - BAG More information John Deschaine, director of marketing, Do-It Corp.: 800.426.4822;;

Retail Ready & Roboticized What do you get when you combine the über trends of RRP and robotic automation? Perhaps a patent-pending, multi-axis robot with vision for vertical retail ready packing into trays, cases or cartons. Fallas Automation’s D3-LV™ system offers a vision-guided ABB Flexpicker delta-style robot along with dual-tilting chambers (buckets) that rotate 90° to deliver the packaged goods into awaiting cases. The robot can be filling one chamber while the other chamber is dumping the contents into the case, carton or tray. The system can accept unwrapped or wrapped product and is capable of handling lay-flat applications through a simple changeover. Three D3-LV systems have been sold to two customers. – RTL More information Jacob Cox, control engineer, Fallas Automation: 254.772.9524;;

New Pallet Wrapper Application Adds Identity ITW Muller introduced a “Branded Logo Banner Application” for its Octopus B-series model stretch wrapper. Its wrapping cycle adds a 360°, branded label while wrapping, helping identify the product from all sides. Variable tension control throughout the wrapping cycle is a unique feature that minimizes film usage. The OCTOMAX control system provides and records information to help dive down film costs, optimize load containment, reduce unplanned maintenance and increase productivity through various report formats. It can also send automatic e-mail notifications of changes in machine settings and perfor- ITW Muller’s “Branded Logo Banner Application mance OCTOMAX can be ordered on all new machines and added to all Octopus machines. – RCC PRINTING-LABELING

"At this year's PACK EXPO, we've been having real discussions with customers and prospects about active projects. We've rung the bell to celebrate a sale about 10 times so far." — Robert Reiser, Reiser



bolster the protection the primary package affords the product, packaging managers turn to an array of secondary and tertiary packaging approaches. Until recently, the secondary layer of defense was largely corrugated. Increasingly, however, corrugated is being supplanted with cocoons of tough shrink wrap, and stretch film wound around pallets of product.


Compact Machine Erects, Loads, Shrink Wraps Trays The all-servo TP-35/T125-60 tray erector/loader/shrink wrapper from Tekkra glues corrugated trays, collates product, loads trays, and shrink wraps full trays for the trip through an attached heat tunnel. The integrated system requires about half as much floor space as separate machines would occupy. When collating 60 cartons/tray, the equipment is rated at 30 trays/minute. The same platforms can be customized to handle rigid containers or flexible packaging. – HEF More information Christine Ridgway, office manager, Tekkra: 630.226.1550;;

Stretch Wrapper Simplifies Operation, Maintenance Semiautomatic Flex S stretch wrapper from Orion Packaging Systems wraps at up to 12 revolutions/minute. High- (HPS) or lowprofile (LPS) models handle loads up to 4,000 pounds. Other features include all-steel construction, programmable logic controller, touch screen operator interface and load height-detecting photoeye. InstaThread film carriage features dual-chain drive system, automatic film tensioning and 260 percent pre-stretch. Quick disconnects and troubleshooting lights minimize downtime, and AC motors and variable frequency drives reduce maintenance requirements. – HEF More information Peter Vilardi, director of marketing & communications, Orion Packaging Systems: 561.736.2180;;

Hartness Presents Solution for Variety Packs At PACK EXPO, Hartness International introduced a new line to improve variety/rainbow pallet pack production. The new line offers robotic casing and uncasing with greater flexibility and a smaller footprint than typically seen. Components include the following: Robots in the new casing/uncasing line from Hartness are part of Hartness Systems Integration Loop.

A robot to uncase or accept product from multiple lines for producing variety pallet packs;

A low backpressure accumulation table for managing ultra lightweight glass and plastic bottles product through filling, labeling and case packing; and

A revamped case packer that gently handles packages, particularly glass, allowing the use of ultra lightweight thin wall glass bottles.

The robot used for the product movement and positioning is extremely flexible and can handle a wide variety of packages simply by changing the gripper at the end of the arm. The robot tools were part of Hartness’ Systems Integration loop. – EJB More information Scott Smith, vice president, Hartness International: 864.297.1200,

E3 Robox palletizer from Schneider Packaging Equipment Co.

Low cost robotic palletizer, Schneider Packaging Equipment Co. showed two unique technologies to complement its end-of-line machinery lineup. The company calls its very-low-cost E3 Robox palletizer easy to move and operate. The robot can run at 24 cycles/minute and produce loads up to 70 inches high, and its vacuum gripper can handle 50 kg payloads. The unit comes with a product track/trace option to collect data as a load is stacked, transmitting the data to the producer’s network when the pallet is removed from the cell. Schneider’s Pro-AdjustSM system is an optional automation package that can bolt onto new and existing Schneider Packaging designs or retro fit to almost all other equipment. It’s a self-contained unit that makes all adjustments on end-of-line machines when case size or shape changes — this quick changeover, menu-driven system eliminates almost all manual adjustments. The system is modular and features its own controller with an easy hand held interface that drives power modules to provide adjustment. SECONDARY PACKAGING


Schneider touts it as low-cost and simple to install, setup and operate: The system has a simple interface for the operator, and provides integrated drive, gear reduction and absolute position feedback. Position is always known, even after power cycling. The machine can be manually moved or jogged using a remote hand held teach pendant to integrate new positions into the controls. – EJB More information Terry Zarnowski, sales, Schneider Packaging Equipment: 315.676.3035,

System Protects Pallet Loads in a Single Layer The Beumer Group, an international manufacturer of intralogistics solutions for the conveying, loading, palletizing, packaging, sorting and distribution technology segments, displayed a new pallet wrapping system using blown HDPE tube film that has no side seam. Based on an established Beumer technology for palletizing paper-based multi-wall pasted-valve bags of cement, the new system is modified to be suitable for food and beverage applications. The system is completely automatic and stretches the tube film prior to placing it over the pallet load being wrapped. The film is brought down to, then sealed to, the wood or plastic skid; it’s then cut off and heat sealed on top to encase the pallet load is a single layer — unlike shrink and stretch wrap systems, which generally wrap multiple layers of film around a pallet load. There is an add-on feature for the machine to place a layer of film on the bottom of the skid so the products contained on the pallet are completely covered in one layer of film — particularly helpful if the loaded pallet is stored outdoors. Because it only uses a single layer of film, the machine promises savings in materials costs. Its price tag can be around $155,000, contingent on options. More information Hano Behm, sales manager, The Beumer Group: 732.893.2854,;

ISTA Protocol Frames Transport Packaging Practices The International Safe Transport Association’s (ISTA) new Responsible Packaging by Design (RPbD) guide is a step-by-step process management standard for the design, testing and qualification of responsible packaging that meets industry, consumer and regulatory expectations. The process provides a framework and guidance to evaluate two or more individual packages using the following criteria: 

Provide appropriate packaging for protecting the product and perform all other functions of a

packaging system. 

Minimize product waste through the prevention of damage or spoilage.

Optimize use of materials, energy, water in production, distribution and use.

Maximize recovery of materials and energy from used packaging.

The protocol’s procedure for analyzing packaging systems – from broad to narrow – is data-driven. Eight steps guide the packager in a stage-gate process, with each stage accompanied by a template to help users gather data. The guide is available free to members of ISTA and for $750 for non-members. – EJB More information Edward Church, president, ISTA: 517.333.3437;



ustainability in packaging operations is often in the eye of the beholder. At the end of the day, operational sustainability is the conservation of resources, be they material, energy, time, cost, utilities. Anything that lets your ops run more efficiently is part of the sustainability tapestry.


New Induction Sealer Provides 20% more power Enercon Industries Corp. introduced the Super Seal Max induction sealer that provides up to 20 percent more sealing power and integrated inspection to assure cap liner is in place before entering the unit. It features a new operating system, memory processor and touch screen controls, and the company says it cuts set up times from several hours down to 15-30 minutes. – RCC More information Ryan Schuelke, director of sales, Enercon: 262.255.6070;

Sustainable Advancement in EPS Molding ACH Foam Technologies is incorporating 60 percent-recycled molding beads, supplied by EcoSix Recycled Resins, into its EPS products, providing the same quality as components molded from virgin resin beads. The EcoSix beads are reprocessed by RAPAC, the world’s largest EPS recycler, and can be supplied to exacting standards and colored to specification. While recycling of EPS packaging is still in its early stages due to recovery limitations, the EcoSix material can be blended with virgin material to produce excellent quality components. EcoSix, manufactured from recycled material and 100 percent recyclable, is a true “cradle-to-cradle” material. – RCC More information Greg Aron, east regional sales manager, ACH Foam Technologies: 920.924.4050,

Collapsible Drum Improves Shipping Efficiency

Buckhorn’s collapsible 60gallon drum

Buckhorn, Inc., introduced a collapsible 60-gallon drum for foods, powders and liquids that is said to provide a 25 percent better cube utilization than conventional drums. Overall set-up size is 24 inches by 20 inches by 48 inches, allowing interlocking on a 40 inch by 40 inch pallet. Plastic liners contain the product inside the drum, and parts have offset surfaces and interlocking flanges so no cracks exist in the joints, minimizing contamination potential. When collapsed, the plastic drums offer a 3:1 space saving return ratio. – RCC More information Dave Devaney, eastern regional sales manager, Buckhorn, Inc.: 410.626.8619,

Water-Soluble Film is Good Enough to Eat Vivos™ food-grade, water-soluble film from MonoSol forms dissolvable pouches for single-serving mixes and food/beverage ingredients, eliminating the waste associated with traditional primary packaging made of paper, foil, film, laminates or coextrusions. The taste- and odor-free film dissolves when exposed to hot or cold liquids, so it’s consumed along with the food, and because they hold pre-measured quantities, the pouches minimize the waste and inconsistencies in the finished product that often come with dispensing ingredients from a bulk container. The material offers good oxygen barrier and mechanical properties. Vivos film extends the convenience of dissolvable film beyond cleaning agents and chemicals, yet performs the same as its non-edible counterpart on dual-web form-fill-seal machines from Cloud Packaging Systems. On the 2,000-pouch/minute (ppm) Hydroforma machine or the 1,000 ppm Hydroforma SP, the water-soluble film rolls onto a forming drum where a vacuum holds it in place for thermoforming. Fills consist of a liquid, a powder or two powders in pouches measuring up to 6 inches by 6 inches and weighing up to 40 grams. A water-based solution bonds the two film layers. Changeover between liquid and dry products necessitates a drum change, about an eight hour process. – HEF Food-grade Vivos™ film

For more information Sumeet Kumar, senior manager, Technical Marketing, Monosol: 219-762-3165, ext. 411;; Mike Werner, vice president - Sales & Marketing, Cloud Packaging Systems: 847.789.5264;;

Faster Film Changes Cut Downtime With four No-Thread® powered pre-stretch film carriages and a sophisticated indexing system, the Wave stretch wrapper from Wulftec/M.J. Maillis wraps continuously to produce up to 125 loads/hour. As soon as a film roll runs out, another film carriage starts. In addition, separate zones for film-loading and wrapping make it possible to change rolls without stopping the wrapping SUSTAINABILITY


process — and without jeopardizing operator safety. Other features include a Category 3 safety package. The machine’s highly flexible control system/software can program it for variables such as wrap patterns, roll sizes, film thicknesses, pre-stretch levels, colors and logos. – HEF More information Colinda Lavallee, marketing manager, Wulftec: 877.985.3832;;

Auto-Adjusting End-of-Arm Tooling Minimizes Downtime The scissors mechanism in Adaptive Robotic Tooling from Xpak USA, LLC, moves in the X and Y directions to automatically adjust to handle a different container size or count. By eliminating end-of-arm tooling changes, the mechanism also reduces downtime and enhances the flexibility of the packaging robot. The system relies on components from Festo Corp. – HEF More information Juan Ortiz, vice president Business Development, Xpak USA, LLC: 732.964.1600, ext. 403;;

Waste & Downtime Cut with LinerLESS Labeler Rotary or inline LinerLESS pressure-sensitive labelers from WS Packaging Group, Inc., apply clear or white linerless labels that are separated on the roll by micro-perforations. Using a silicone release coating on facestock, WS Packaging Group’s 2-mil, biaxiallyoriented polypropylene rollstock eliminates the liner and keeps the labels from adhering to each other. Benefits of doing away with the liner include: up to 20 percent drop in total costs, twice as many labels per roll, reduced shipping and and storage, less downtime to replenish the roll. No liner also means no waste to dispose of or recycle. A higher-speed rotary labeler with proprietary Proper-LL1 head from Italian Labeling Technology Industry (ILTI) S.r.l. accommodates up to six cassettes to simultaneously apply front and back labels to round or oval containers as quickly as 750 containers/ minute. Proper-LL1 head may be mounted on System RE and System RP labelers from ILTI or rotary label applicators from other manufacturers. The inline labeler, equipped with the proprietary Herma 400 head from Herma GmbH, can also be configured for front and back labeling, and hits maximum speeds of about 350 containers/minute. Both inline and rotary systems achieve label placement accuracy ±1 mm. LinerLESS facestocks accept virtually any printing/decorating technology, including metallic ink, foil stamping and reverse printing to eliminate the need for an over-laminate. – HEF More information John Giesfeldt, senior manager, Marketing, WS Packaging Group, Inc.: 920.969.4099;;

Robotic Case Erector with 2-Minute Changeover The Gantry-robot-equipped, servo-controlled CE-TRS Transector case erector from AFA Systems adjusts automatically to reduce changeover time to 2 minutes, about 15 times faster than a conventional case erector. Automatic squaring and a vacuum gripper cut make-ready time and waste, and minimize damage to corrugated surfaces. An integrated reader scans barcodes to identify the blank and set up the machine. A flat stack magazine eliminates tabs and pins and related adjustments, and can be extended to hold more than one case size. Rated at 18 cases/minute, the robot moves up and down and side to side to pick and erect a blank, plow flaps closed and seal the case with glue or tape. Adding a second robot to plow and seal flaps while the first robot picks blanks increases speeds to 33 cases/minute. Servo-controlled system relies on Allen-Bradley Kinetix 300 EtherNet/IP indexing servo drive and Allen-Bradley PanelView Plus 700 touch-screen operator interface, both from Rockwell Automation. An Allen-Bradley CompactLogix programmable automation controller combines discrete and motion control on one platform. – HEF More information Eric Langen, sales and marketing manager, AFA Systems: 905.456.8700, ext. 244;;

Allpax Shakes Up Retort Design Allpax’s new retort design is shaking things up. While most commercial retort designs rotate product or hold it stationary, the “Shaka” retort shakes product in the sterilization cycle, cutting sterilization time by as much as 15 times over conventional retorts. This agitation is especially effective for products that are typically packed and handled horizontally such as trays and pouches. Because heat transfer is very efficient, products are not subjected to long retort cycles. This improves flavor, taste, visual appeal and texture of the final product. The unit is 1600 mm in diameter (approx. 63 inches) and is rated to hold 2,000 pounds/load. The Allpax 2402 Multimode R&D retort, 3802 Multimode R&D retort and the production-sized 1300 Shaka Retort are all capable of running the Shaka process. – EJB More information: Adam Reichert, process engineer, Allpax: +1 985-893-9277, Richard Walden, director, Zinetec Ltd.: 44 (0) 1367 240650,


Allpax’s “Shaka” design retorts shake product during sterilization.


Air Cushion Machine Makes Wide Bubble Wrap FP International introduced an air cushion bubble wrap machine that inflates flat roll stock to widths of 24 inches. An optional support arm kit enables the compact packaging machine to produce seven air cushions for void fill, cushioning and wide wrapping applications. The MINI PAK’R air cushion machine is touted as a low cost, compact system that creates seven different air cushions for protecting products during shipping. Quilt Pak Pillow Pak medium bubble roll stock is perforated every 6 inches and with a height of 7/8 inches, is thicker than most premade bubble wrap. That reduces the number of wraps needed to protect a product. A single roll of the material makes the equivalent of a 1,000-square foot bundle. The uninflated roll measures 29 inches wide and 640 feet long. – EJB

Inflated (top) & uninflated Quilt Pak Pillow Pak

More information Shawn Lance, marketing manager, FP International: 650.261.5325,

RIT Announces Sustainable Packaging Center Over $2 million in gifts from American Packaging Corp. and the Wegman Family Charitable Foundation will fund “The Center for Sustainable Packaging” at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), according to an announcement RIT made at PACK EXPO. The initiative will be an education and research center dedicated to the development and use of sustainable packaging. More information Daniel P. Johnson, professor and department chair, RIT: 585.475.5558;

“I always find what I’m looking for at PACK EXPO.” — Rick Coy, Transtar Autobody


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PACK EXPO Int'l 2012: Today's Market Demands; Tomorrow's PAckaging Trends  

With more than 1,900 exhibitors in 1.1 million net square feet, PACK EXPO International 2012 delivered the innovations packaging and process...