Pack World

Squid Ink: UV LED curing system

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 12:45:26 +0000

Squid UV Gen 3
Squid Ink introduced Squid UV Gen 3, a new generation UV LED curing system that offers accurate and consistent UV curing across a variety of commercial and industrial applications. Unit is capable of curing ink in a 20-mm x 80-mm illumination area.

The Squid UV Gen 3 features a number of enhancements over previous systems. Squid UV’s new Gen 3 lamps provide 40% more output power when compared to previous models, offering more reliable curing across all UV applications. Along with the improved power output, the new generation dual controller increases application flexibility by featuring two separate trigger inputs that allow two UV lamps to be triggered independently from one controller. Increased safety measures have also been added to the third generation Squid UV system. The Gen 3 controller has been configured to use an encoder to power the lamps on and off as the conveyor runs or stops, avoiding possible conveyor spot burn and reducing wear on lamps.

The system features an advanced LED module with CHIP integrated technology to provide consistent luminance, resulting in a reliably cured product, every time. The stability of UV LED technology makes the output of electricity predictable and stable, avoiding problems associated with conventional halogen heat lamp drying. Squid UV Gen 3 offers instant on/ instant off performance, eliminating warm up or cool down times and streamlining your operation. Best of all, Squid UV LED curing is environmentally friendly, eliminating mercury bulbs, VOC’s and providing employees with a safer workplace.

Squid Ink’s UV system is designed to meet the harsh demands of specific applications. For ease of integration, Squid UV’s small footprint design mounts directly to users’ existing manufacturing line and requires no need for preheating. The system can be programmed to run in manual, semi-auto, and automatic mode to match the operation of your manufacturing line. For quick start-ups, Squid UV’s fast response functionality means that the system can be powered on and ready to go at an instant, eliminating downtime and increasing users ROI.

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Pouch approach for marine products

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 17:13:42 +0000

App sponsor news: 
Coverage Type: 
Media property: 
Source Type: 
Author title: 
VP Editor Emeritus
Video Image: 
Applications » Consumer products » Cleaners
Package Type » Bags/pouches » Stand-up pouch/bag
A complete line of marine products in stand-up pouches from For Life Products was among the winners in the 2018 Flexible Packaging Awards Competition.
Legacy Tagging: 

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Practical tech lessons for teens at PACK EXPO East

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 16:54:25 +0000

Students take in cylinder demos at SMC.
High school students participating in the FIRST Robotics program are STEM-minded to begin with. They used the show to ground their fun and whimsical robotic creations in practical applications of robotics in packaging, and across industries.

High school students involved in the FIRST Robotics Competition and Program tour the many controls and automation demonstrations at PACK EXPO East. Students demonstrated and displayed their own competition robots at designated booth space on the show floor. While their competition robots don’t very closely resemble practical industrial robotics, students came away understanding that the underlying technologies are similar, and similarly interesting.

“We show them the practical application of robotics and mechatronics in the industry,” says Stephan Girard, Director, Education and Workforce Development, PMMI. “So we show them how some of the same technologies they used in the robotics competition can be applied in all segments of manufacturing, in this case focusing on packaging automation.”

Kids interacted with automation suppliers and equipment manufacturers throughout the show, here at the SMC booth. About 50 kids from several different schools prticipated over the three-day show. 


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Nature-Pack™: Compostable cold chain packaging

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 12:26:11 +0000

Frontier Paper & Packaging now manufactures the Nature-Pack™ product line of earth-friendly insulated packaging made from renewable plant starches. Featured in the line is Biocooler®, which is a two-panel system constructed of rigid bio-based foam. It is a biodegradable, compostable, and easily-recycled alternative to EPS foam coolers.

Nature-Pack has several patents pending and international certifications to back up its claims. They meet ASTM D6400 and EN 13432 by Vincotte/TUV-Austria. Nature-Pack™ is the best EPS-Foam alternative that does not harm the environment.

Nature-Pack Biocooler® benefits:

• It ships flat, saving money vs EPS foam coolers.

• It stores flat, saving warehouse space.

• It is rigid and form-fitting to the customer’s box, unlike soft-sided “green” packaging insulations (denim, cotton, jute, etc). This leads to less thermal bridging for temperature sensitive packaging.

• The outer surface of the Biocooler panels are printable (using compostable inks), so the customer can customize it with their own logo, instructions, or other branded content.

• The moisture-resistant, biodegradable surface is FDA approved for direct food contact, ideal for food delivery services.

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BeeBetter single-use pouch aims to ‘help the medicine go down’

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 14:24:35 +0000

BeeBetter Single-Use Pouch Aims to ‘Help the Medicine Go Down’
By putting patients at the center of its design development, this conceptual pouch employs shape and a dispensing device to help with medication delivery and adherence.

“A Spoonful of Sugar” is a famous song performed by Julie Andrews’ character in the classic 1964 Walt Disney musical film “Mary Poppins.” Now, a technology and product design firm called Cambridge Design Partnership (CDP) has introduced a concept called The BeeBetter single-use pouch that “helps the medicine go down.”

Although not yet in use commercially, BeeBetter employs what CDP calls “an intuitive design coupled with an injection of fun—resulting in a single-use medicine pouch that is a world away from traditional pharmaceutical packaging.” BeeBetter uses a hexagonal shape to tout the bee/honeycomb connection, but CDP says different pouch shapes could be used.

Pouch material composition, structural options, thickness, barrier properties, etc., could be developed to meet specific customer application needs. For example, shapes can be amended to the extent that material and container/closure restrictions allow. From an equipment perspective, CDP says if a second formulation behind the frangible seal is added, minor equipment adjustments or additional filling steps may be necessary.

To use the BeeBetter pouch, a patient pushes on a childproof mouthpiece, which then pops up ready for use. The correct amount of medication is dispensed as the user squeezes the pack and sucks on the mouthpiece. “And there’s a sweet surprise at the end—in the form of a spoonful of honey—to encourage the patient to finish the whole dose,” according to CDP.

The company developed hexagonally shaped pouches for the recent Pharmapack Europe show in Paris. These samples measured 73 mm (2.87 in.) H x 86 mm (3.38 in.) W x 19 mm (.75 in.) D. CDP says these pouches could hold about 30 mL of product in a stand-up form, and about 10 mL in a sachet format.

Bastiaan de Leeuw, Head of Drug Delivery Business Development at CDP, says, “The BeeBetter concept is designed to demonstrate how putting the patient at the center of packaging design can transform the user’s experience. Once opened, the BeeBetter could be given to a child to hold and operate themselves—safe in the knowledge that they are getting the correct amount of medication. And the honey acts as an incentive for the child to finish the dose—once the top section of the foil pouch is empty, the user’s sucking action breaks the frangible seal inside, separating the honey at the bottom from the rest of the contents.

“We wanted to challenge the misconception that children’s medicine needs to come out of a bottle and involve a measuring spoon or plastic syringe and an unpleasant experience for a child who is already not feeling great, So, we decided to look at the problem from the child’s perspective and design packaging that is not only easy to use but also has a fun element.”

As a fee-for-service product development business, CDP works with clients on product development. “So our aim with BeeBetter,” explains de Leeuw, “is to demonstrate our capabilities when it comes to innovative packaging, and start pharma companies in thinking differently about potential new solutions.”

BeeBetter functionality benefits

Senior-friendly: Beyond its use for children, BeeBetter could also benefit elderly patients who struggle with traditional medicine bottles, particularly those with memory problems, as the pouch would make it easier to keep track of each dose.

On-the-go convenience: Younger adults could find it useful when traveling, as it would be more convenient than carrying a bottle of cough medicine and risking it leaking.

Other applications: The packaging idea could also be used in non-medical applications, ranging from energy gels for cyclists to a replacement for ketchup sachets.

Additional Pharmapack Europe insights

• Personalized Medicines, Intelligent Packaging and FDA Deadlines

• Hospital Takes Aim at Plastic Recycling

• Pharmapack Europe Awards Device Innovators

Features Editor

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Exair: Side mount kits for cabinet coolers

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 12:36:22 +0000

Type 316 Side Mount Kit
Exair’s Type 316 Side Mount Kits make the mounting of a NEMA 4X cabinet cooler possible when an electrical enclosure has limited space on the top or side.

Cabinet Coolers convert an ordinary supply of compressed air to 20 F without refrigerants or CFC’s. The cold air is circulated through the enclosure to eliminate high temperature malfunction. Cooling capacities up to 5,600 Btu/hr are available. Cabinet Cooler systems include a compressed air filter to assure no moisture or dust is introduced inside the panel. Optional thermostat control minimizes compressed air use. Cabinet Coolers are UL Listed, conform to the CE general safety directive for machinery and have no moving parts to wear out.

The Side Mount Kits maintain the NEMA 4X rating of large and small electrical enclosures. Models for use on NEMA 4 and 12 enclosures are also available. Applications include cooling PLCs, microprocessors, variable frequency drives, industrial computers, and robotics. Side Mount Kits start at $220.

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Drones humming along at PACK EXPO East

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 18:04:21 +0000

Drone demos
Drone package delivery demos are live at PACK EXPO East, as PMMI is once again collaborating with electric truck and drone maker, Workhorse, to simulation what the future of last mile package delivery and e-commerce might entail.

The interactive display offers a real visualization of the final process that brings a package to a consumer's home. Mock housing populates the virtual landscape of the 2,400-square foot. exhibit, complete with mailboxes and doorsteps to accept delivered packages.

Workhorse delivery drones take off from the top of a stationary Workhorse electric van and make deliveries every hour, on the hour. To complete the simulation, monitors outside of the drone area will broadcast the information available from the delivery van via the Metron application. The screens will also offer the drone perspective via live video from a camera mounted on the drones.

“With the eruption of ecommerce and industry giants like Amazon pioneering automated packaging distribution with their patented vision for drone centers, it’s only a matter of time until drones become part of daily operations,” says Jim Pittas, president and CEO, PMMI. “As a regional show, PACK EXPO East is the place to experience this innovative technology and explore the potential for your business."


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WeighPack: Weigh filler

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 12:52:36 +0000

PrimoLinear™ C-10
WeighPack Systems introduced the C-10 weigh filler to its PrimoLinear™ family of automatic linear net-weigh filling equipment, engineered specifically for limp, non-free flowing, and delicate products. It can be customized for semi-automatic or fully automatic dispensing cycles with single-lane or dual-lane functionality, dependent upon the performance speed required.

The C-10 utilizes a system of motor-operated conveyor belts to gently transfer food product from the hopper to the 10 liter pneumatically-actuated weigh bucket that it employs to dispense product into various package types.

To the benefit of today’s food producers, the PrimoLinear™ C-10 is designed with an open frame leaving no small crevices for bacteria to develop and drastically reduces cleaning time between production runs.

The PrimoLinear™ C-10 comes standard with an IP-65 mounted digital camera for online service support along with a Windows operating system enabling users to gather real-time reporting data and production analytics as well as remote control capabilities.

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Partnering pays off for brand owner, converter

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 05:11:57 +0000

The label for Eden’s Hibiscus line broke all the flexo ‘no-nos,’ so it is now printed on a digital press.
Fledgling company Eden BodyWorks finds a partner in its label converter whose competence and loyalty results in benefits for both companies as Eden’s business expands.

Every brand owner would like to find a packaging supplier that goes beyond selling them a product to one that looks after their interests and is committed to their growth. In the case of natural hair and skincare products company Eden BodyWorks, it found such a supplier in Overnight Labels.

“Overnight Labels has been a partner from the beginning,” says Ylorie Taylor, Vice President of Eden. “They’ve been able to grow with us and meet the demands of smaller production windows as well as catch ‘misses’ on our end to avoid negligent costs and errors. We consider them an extension of our creative and production teams.”

Eden has unique history. Its founder, Jasmine Lawrence, was just 11 when she concocted her first haircare remedy in an attempt to create a natural product to nurture and restore her then damaged hair. Just two years later, she launched the company, formulating natural products specifically for ethnic hair needs, and enlisted family members and friends to spread the word. It was her guest appearance on The Oprah Show though that brought her to the attention of Walmart, which picked up her product line soon after.

Today, Eden’s offerings include 35 full-size products along with a dozen travel-size options, sold in Sally Beauty, Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, and other national and local retailers, as well as online. Since 2006, Overnight Labels has supplied the company with its bottle labels, and more recently its sample size and flexible packaging, in a partnership that has paid dividends for both the brand owner and supplier.

A partner, not just a printer

Overnight Labels of Deer Park, NY, began in 1987 as a service for thermal transfer-imprinting of barcodes onto blank labels, which at that time were required by manufacturers doing government contract work. Its promise was overnight delivery. Since then, the company has evolved into a full-service label and flexible package printing company. Its equipment includes 10 flexo and two digital presses. All complementary processes, including platemaking, ink mixing, and proof generation, are done in-house as well.

Overnight Labels services a range of consumer markets, including OTC, nutraceutical, beauty, household products, sports nutrition, pet, food and beverage, chemical, and others. According to Customer Service Manager Diane Pannizzo, Overnight Labels is committed to treating every customer the same, whether it’s a start-up ordering 250 labels or a national consumer brand ordering 2 million labels.

In 2006, when Lawrence’s mother approached Overnight Labels at a trade show, Eden was beyond the start-up stage and had “pretty good distribution numbers,” says Pannizzo, but it was still a rather small company. She recalls, “Jasmine’s mother came up to me and said, ‘I’m not looking for a printer; I’m looking for a partner.’

“Because they were still on the cusp of breaking out, they wanted someone that could support their needs as far as turnaround times and could recommend materials, recommend where cost savings could be had, and support their growth overall.”

When Eden brought its business to Overnight Labels, its run lengths were anywhere from 50,000 to 70,000 labels/year. “Now we’re doing 2 million,” says Pannizzo. “They’ve expanded quite a bit. And the role we’ve played in their growth is to always make sure they’ve had what they need when they needed it, including things like comps of new lines for presentations to retailers.”

For Eden’s labels, Overnight Labels uses a pressure-sensitive white biaxially oriented polypropylene stock that accommodates “squeezable applications” and those that require moisture resistance. The label graphics, which are described by Taylor as “clean, chic, and simple,” are typically printed in four colors plus several spot colors.

While Eden’s labels may be simple, there have been times when Overnight Labels has found it a challenge to reproduce some of the graphics on press. Says Pannizzo, “Their Hibiscus line uses five colors and breaks all the ‘flexo no-nos.’” Initially Overnight Labels tried flexo-printing the labels. When the colors didn’t come out to Overnight Labels’ satisfaction, they moved the job to one of their digital printing presses.

“We’ve never really run up against anything Eden BodyWorks has presented us where we’ve had to say, ‘We can’t do this, we have to modify the design.’ Instead we’ll offer suggestions on how to make the job print better,” Pannizzo says.

Recently Eden introduced its Almond Marshmallow line, a limited-edition trio of haircare products that address split ends and frizz. For this line, the company switched to a soft-touch laminate film with cold foil application. Explains Taylor, “We wanted it to stand out on shelf since it was a test offering for a specific customer.

“Diane was able to work with us on where the special effects would work best and the types of printing options it would require. She was very involved with the final design application, including sharing and providing examples of our options.

“Overnight Labels understands our brand and its aesthetic, and produces affordable, high-quality labels. They are great with sharing new concepts and helping us ideate on showcasing new products offerings via our label options.”

A Cinderella story

In the true spirit of partnership, Overnight Labels has benefitted greatly from its relationship with Eden—beyond “just” being the beneficiary of its continued business. Until five years ago, Eden was using a number of different contract manufacturers to supply its products and was sourcing its own packaging components. For cost-efficiency, it moved its business to a single turnkey contract manufacturer—one with its own preferred label supplier. But Eden went to bat for Overnight Labels.

Recalls Pannizzo, “Eden called me up and said, ‘Look, we’re moving to a turnkey manufacturer, but I want you to know you have an opportunity to keep all the work.’” It turns out that Eden had told the co-manufacturer in no uncertain terms they wanted Overnight Labels to continue to supply their labels. “It was a big thing for a co-manufacturer to eat; we were kind of shoved down their throat,” says Pannizzo. “But here it is, five years later, and we’re doing nearly all of this co-packer’s label work now.

“Because they were so impressed with us and the job we were doing with Eden, we’ve now taken over and are doing labels for some of their larger accounts. It’s kind of like a Cinderella story—that’s not usually how it goes. There is such value in having a relationship with a customer and supporting them, because you always get that back in spades.”

Senior Editor, Packaging World

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Make your package desirable for gifting

Sun, 15 Apr 2018 05:04:48 +0000

Almost a third of shoppers (28.6%) choose a gift item simply because it’s packaged in a shape that’s easy to wrap.
Manufacturers risk missing out on thousands of dollars in sales by failing to make their packaging more appealing to gift buyers, research suggests.

Manufacturers risk missing out on thousands of dollars in sales by failing to make their packaging more appealing to gift buyers, research suggests. A survey by WePack revealed that almost a third of shoppers (28.6%) choose a gift item simply because it’s packaged in a shape that’s easy to wrap. Sustainability is also increasingly important to consumers, with over a quarter of respondents (26.6%) prioritizing reusable packaging when shopping for a gift.

Mick Clark, Sales Director at WePack, says, “Many manufacturers look to package their products to make them more marketable as potential gifts on a year-round basis. In this way, they are safeguarding against a weak economy.

“Making changes to your packaging to increase your product’s appeal as a gift needn’t be complex or expensive. Small tweaks to the print or style can turn packaging from purely functional into an effective marketing tool.”

Changing a product’s packaging to make it more attractive as a gift is something manufacturers can capitalize on all year round without significant financial outlay—not just during popular gift-giving seasons. Such changes could include placing unusually shaped items in simple but attractive boxes to make them appealing as a standalone gift item and easy to wrap. Other items could be presented in a reusable package, such as an attractive jar or tin.

Additional measures to make a product more “giftable” include using expensive-looking packaging. The survey revealed that just over 16% of people would be more likely to opt for packaging that signifies quality.

According to U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer, the most popular gifts purchased are entertainment-related (63%), clothing (57%), and food and drink (47%). Ways in which manufacturers could adapt the packaging of such products include changing the colors and typography in line with the seasonal period, adding a carry handle to the box, and incorporating gift-related embellishments such as ribbon.

Adds Clark, “If your product is easier to buy and more suitable as a gift than your competitors’, your chances of increased sales—not just at the obvious occasions—are all the greater.”

The data for this survey was gathered in March 2018 via an online survey among 847 members of the U.K .public.

Senior Editor, Packaging World

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Supplement maker launches recycling program

Sat, 14 Apr 2018 05:37:55 +0000

Twinlab, Terracycle
Consumers can now recycle supplement and vitamin packaging through Twinlab’s Supplement the Earth Recycling Program, while earning money for non-profits, schools, or charitable organizations.

Twinlab, a provider of health and wellness products, is giving consumers a free way to recycle all brands of supplement and vitamin packaging. Through Twinlab’s Supplement the Earth Recycling Program, managed by international recycling company TerraCycle, consumers can now send in all brands of empty supplement and vitamin packages for processing, to be repurposed and used again.

“Twinlab is thrilled to enter this exclusive partnership with TerraCycle to provide a recycling solution for not just our brand, but any vitamin or supplement brand,” says Twinlab CEO Naomi Whittel. “This program will provide a fundraising opportunity to participants—consumers and retailers alike!”

According to Twinlab, since its inception almost five decades ago, the brand has sought to find “Answers for Life.”TerraCycle’s mission to solve for difficult-to-recycle products and packaging makes the company a natural partner for Twinlab, which aims to protect the planet though sustainable sourcing methods and supporting local communities. The Supplement the Earth Recycling Program aligns with these initiatives, preventing vitamin and supplement packaging from entering the waste stream.

Once collected, the packaging is cleaned and melted into hard plastic that can be remolded to make new recycled products. Additionally, for every one pound of waste shipped to TerraCycle, collectors can earn $1 to donate to the non-profit, school, or charitable organization of their choice. To date, TerraCycle has diverted nearly 4 billion items from landfill and raised more than $15 million for charity.

“People who enjoy innovative solutions for healthy lifestyles can now help the planet by recycling supplement and vitamin packages,” says TerraCycle CEO and Founder Tom Szaky. “As TerraCycle’s exclusive partner for the category, Twinlab offers consumers the opportunity to divert packaging from landfills and provide material for the manufacture of new products.”

The Twinlab Supplement the Earth Recycling Program is open to any interested individual, school, office, or community organization. Participation is easy: Sign up on the TerraCycle program page and mail in your waste using a prepaid shipping label.

Senior Editor, Packaging World

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Banner Engineering: Miniature sensors

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 12:52:51 +0000

VS8 Series Miniature Sensor
Banner Engineering introduced the VS8 Series Miniature Sensors for precise detection in applications with extremely limited space. Sensors in the VS8 Series have a space-saving form factor (21.1 mm x 14.6 mm x 8 mm) for use in confined spaces and near moving parts.

They are available in red laser, red LED, or blue LED models with opposed, retroreflective, adjustable, or fixed-field background suppression sensing modes. This versatility allows companies to match the sensing technology to the application.

VS8 Series sensors detect very small parts and other difficult targets that challenge many sensors. Red laser models have a bright, precise spot for detecting multicolored targets and objects as small as 0.5 mm. Blue LED models reliably detect targets with dark or reflective surfaces and transparent objects without requiring a reflector. Red LED models are cost-effective, multi-purpose sensors that detect a wide range of targets.

Industry standard side mounting holes with 15 mm spacing facilitate installation on new or existing equipment. The dovetail mounting option allows ±10° tip/pivot adjustments for quick, precise alignment of the sensor. High-visibility status LEDs, electronic push-button, and remote input teach make it easy to program the sensors. These features support rapid integration and simplify operation.

VS8 Series sensors are ideal for a wide variety of applications in the automotive, electronics, pharmaceutical, robots, and semiconductor industries.

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In-store vending machine for tomatoes

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 12:15:43 +0000

An instore vending machine for cherry tomatoes has proved popular in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Noticing that consumers were looking for more self-service in the supermarket, Belgian tomato grower Stoffels came up with its idea for an invention it calls Automato.

Specially developed for cherry tomatoes by DS Smith in its PackRight Centre, the Automato is essentially an instore vending machine. The consumer determines how many cherry tomatoes to buy and from which color. One twist of the Automato wheel causes six tomatoes to fall into a cup. The tomatoes are in a special Toma’box that, if the consumer wants a whole lot of tomatoes vs just a cupful, can be purchased and brought home.

“We spoke to a number of packaging strategists and DS Smith was the best, especially in terms of the decisive thinking power of its packaging experts,” says Petra Stoffels-Veldman, co-owner of the family-owned tomato business. “In collaboration with their PackRight Centre, our team of product developers created this handy dispenser, which refills the tomatoes in the Automato and also looks great at home on the countertop.”

DS Smith makes the Toma’Box of brown e-flute corrugated that is printed flexo in three colors. The window material is polyester. These boxes are shipped to Stoffels as knocked-down blanks and are erected and filled by Stoffels by hand. The concept is currently commercial in Belgium and the Netherlands, and Stoffels is planning on expanding not only geographically but in channels other than supermarkets.

VP Editor Emeritus

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Five facts about the global packaging machinery market:

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 19:16:07 +0000

The World Market for Packaging Machinery
Findings from the new PMMI Business Intelligence report, “Global Trends Impacting the Market for Packaging Machinery 2018”
  1. The U.S. holds the largest single-country sub-regional market of packaging machinery, accounting for 17.2% of the total and a value of $6.3 billion.
  2. China is expected to grow the fastest, at a CAGR of 5.6% from 2016 to 2021. The global CAGR for packaging machinery is forecast to be 2.8% in the same period.
  3. Labeling, decorating & coding machinery as well as vertical and horizontal form, fill, seal are forecast to grow the fastest of all machinery categories through 2021, at CAGRs of 3%, 3.1% and 3.2%, respectively.
  4. Filling & dosing machinery, and labeling, decorating & coding machinery accounted for 20.7% ($7.6 billion) and 12.6% ($4.6 billion) of the total market in 2016, respectively.
  5. The largest end-market for packaging machinery in 2016 was the food sector, which accounted for 40% of revenues. The pharmaceutical sector is forecast to see the fastest growth to 2021, at a CAGR of 4.1%.

Source: PMMI Business Intelligence, “Global Trends Impacting the Market for Packaging Machinery 2018.” Find the full report here.

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Packaging & Processing Hall of Fame Nominations Open

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 15:16:37 +0000

Packaging and Processing Hall of Fame
Nominations will be accepted from April 16­­­­­–June 15, 2018


The Packaging & Processing Hall of Fame Commission will be accepting nominations for the 2018 Packaging & Processing Hall of Fame class from April 16 – June 15, 2018. Coordinated by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, the Packaging Hall of Fame awarded packaging leaders who substantially impacted the industry from 1971 until 2014. As the industry evolved, the Hall of Fame Commission paused for a cycle to ensure it included an accurate representation of all deserving nominees. With its return this year at PACK EXPO International (Oct. 14-17; McCormick Place, Chicago) processing professionals will join packaging nominees for the first time.

“Looking at the names of past inductees, you know immediately that the Hall of Fame is one of the highest honors professionals in our industry can achieve,” says Jim Pittas, president & CEO, PMMI. “These men and women really made their mark through their dedication to innovation and leaving the industry better than they found it.”

As announced in a September press release, PMMI coordinated members of the Packaging & Processing Hall of Fame Commission to select this year’s inductees. Members include:

  • David S. Smith, Ph.D., Vice President, Global Package Development, Johnson & Johnson
  • Suzanne Fisher, Senior Program Manager, Special Handling Packaging, Amazon
  • Mary Gregg, President, Springboard Packaging Solutions, Inc.
  • Laura Bix, Ph.D., Professor, Associate Director, Michigan State School of Packaging
  • Tom Schneider, CPP, President, World Packaging Organization
  • Michael Richmond, Ph.D., PTIS, LLC, Global Management & Packaging Consultants
  • Bill Rice, Associate Manager, Packaging Technology, RD&E - Global Home Cleaners, SC Johnson
  • Kim Carswell, Director, Packaging, Target
  • Glen Long, Senior Vice President, PMMI
  • Joe Angel, President and Publisher, PMMI Media Group, Packaging World
  • Patricia Andersen, Vice President of Human Resources & Training, Delkor Systems, Inc.
  • James D. Downham, President & CEO, Packaging Consortium

Any member of the packaging or processing community may submit a nomination for next year's Packaging & Processing Hall of Fame class.Nominations will be accepted from April 16­­­­­–June 15, 2018. Visit for more information.

PACK EXPO International and the co-located Healthcare Packaging EXPO will bring together 2,500 exhibitors showcasing their packaging innovations to 50,000 attendees in over 1.2 million net square feet of exhibit space. Learn more at

Sr. Director, Media & Industry Communications

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Fanuc America: Predictive analytic service

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 12:44:48 +0000

Robot LINKi Zero Down Time (ZDT) predictive analytic service
Fanuc America’s Robot LINKi Zero Down Time (ZDT) predictive analytic service is available to all manufacturers who purchase Fanuc robots, including the new Fanuc SCARA series.

Launched in 2015 (in collaboration with Cisco), ZDT identifies potential failures so customers can schedule maintenance and repairs, avoiding unexpected breakdowns during production.

ZDT is available for all FANUC R-30iB Plus robots as well as R-30iA and R-30iB robots with the latest software version. ZDT monitors the robot’s mechanical health, controller and process equipment controlled by the robot. A ZDT Data Collector located inside a customer’s plant securely transfers messages from FANUC robots to FANUC’s ZDT Data Center in the cloud. At that point, FANUC’s analytic programs review the data in the cloud for potential issues. If there is an issue, ZDT automatically notifies FANUC’s service team and the customer with recommended actions to confirm and correct the issue.

“For customers with operations in multiple states or even overseas, ZDT combines robot data from all locations into one dashboard so managers and engineers can remotely check equipment status and support local maintenance personnel,” said Joe Gazzarato, director, ZDT Cloud Development, FANUC America.

ZDT Customer Benefits

• Automatically monitors robot health status and upcoming maintenance requirements, tracks changes to robot programs, etc., eliminating the need for manual analysis and tracking

• Eliminates unexpected downtime and avoids lost profits

• Maximizes throughput

• Optimizes maintenance costs

• Increases robot’s mechanical life expectancy

• Easily monitor and support operations from anywhere in the world with remote access to robot health and status information via the ZDT Web Portal

“ZDT is a proven solution for customers looking to take that next step into the Industrial IoT,” said Gazzarato, “FANUC robots are not only the most reliable, but they are also the most intelligent and now, most predictable. ZDT promises our customers even more innovation, dependability, and reliability.”

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New ASTM International standard supports hazardous materials packaging

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 11:12:20 +0000

New ASTM International Standard Supports Hazardous Materials Packaging
A new ASTM International standard helps with pressure testing certain containers that are used to transport hazardous materials.

The standard will help meet requirements of entities that regulate and support global trade. According to ASTM International member Larry Anderson, current regulations are limited in describing how to perform such a test.

Specifically, the new test method provides instructions for performing hydrostatic pressure testing on intermediate bulk containers (IBCs). “This guide provides the detail on how to conduct pressure testing on IBCs and will provide a more consistent process for container manufacturers, test labs, and regulatory agencies,” says Anderson, who works at TEN-E Packaging Services, Inc., which assists companies with packaging testing and the certification of dangerous goods.

The new standard aims to help manufacturers pass performance tests and qualify their container designs to meet requirements of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations, as well as the United Nations recommendations on the transport of dangerous goods.

The new standard (soon to be published as D8134) was developed by ASTM International’s committee on packaging (D10).

Features Editor

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Clear bottle offers consumers ease of use

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 18:31:17 +0000

RPC Corby's EuroSqueeze PP bottle
The 900-g Euro Squeeze multilayer polypropylene bottle from RPC Corby will carry Greek food manufacturers new Sandwich Creams line.

Greek food manufacturer Provil SA’s new Sandwich Creams range of sauces for the foodservice sector will employ the 900-g Euro Squeeze multilayer polypropylene bottle from RPC Corby.

The bottle combines safe handling, ease of use, and effective product protection to support and maintain Provil SA’s brand image and help build customer loyalty. Its strong clarity enables the five products in the range–Tartar, Sundried Tomato, Smokey, Wasabi and Sweet and Spicy Mustard–to be attractively displayed, while the large labelling area ensures effective on-shelf branding.

The multilayer PP/EVOH/PP structure provides effective protection against oxygen ingress to deliver an extended ambient shelf for the products.

“The Euro Squeeze bottle is lightweight, easy to use and squeezable, making it the ideal solution for both professional and home use,” comments Mrs Hara Kougiournitzi, Marketing Coordinator at Provil.

The Euro Squeeze range is available in a wide variety of sizes to meet individual customer requirements.


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Signature Flexible: Flexible packaging wrap

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 12:51:16 +0000

Signature Flexible Packaging’s environmentally-friendly EBGloss flexible packaging wrap for nutritional bars employs energy-cured coatings. It delivers retail-ready graphics printed on Signature’s wide-web KVA 10 color flexographic central impression presses using Kodak NX printing plates.

No lamination processing or adhesive is required, resulting in a decrease in energy consumption.

Single substrate EBGloss also allows for downgauging, providing additional reduction in carbon footprint and packaging costs.

EBGloss nutritional bar wrap is available in a wide array of barrier properties, functions well on virtually any automatic flow- wrapper, and is available in cold-seal.

EBGloss is also highly suitable for snack foods, frozen foods, baked goods, and RecyleReady stand up zipper pouches.

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New additive said to turn plastic waste to energy

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 12:47:05 +0000

Maplebrook Farms is among the first to commercialize an additive that helps plastic break down in a landfill.
Among the first to commercialize a new additive that helps plastic packaging break down in a landfill is Maplebrook Farms of North Bennington, VT.

Called NEO PlasticsTM , the additive comes from NEO Plastics, whose Marty Tierney, Director of Business Development, describes it as an all-organic compound that gets added to a masterbatch of plastic resin so that packaging made from that resin will break down in anaerobic conditions like landfills in years vs. the centuries that traditional plastics require. In the case of Maplebrook Farms’ packaging, it’s injection-molded polypropylene containers that get the NEO Plastics additive.

Tierney hastens to add that NEO Plastics represents an entirely different science than what’s come to be known as oxodegradables. “Oxodegradables break the chain in a polymer to create micro plastic beads,” says Tierney. “The theory, of course, was that these would be small enough for microbes to attack. But microbes are not attracted to them, so they don’t actually break down and instead they wind up in our soil and water.”

Tierney and colleagues at partner company Aripack shy away from terms like “biodegradable” and “compostable” because they’re so widely misused and misunderstood in the marketplace. This overall confusion, he points out, is what caused the state of California to essentially ban the use of “biodegradable” altogether on packaging. “We focus on the outcome rather than the process,” says Tierney. “And the outcome with a package made from NEO Plastics is that it goes through a multi-stage process where microbes digest the material and give off the biogas known as methane. Methane is now collected in some 300 landfills in the country, and those 300 are all in the largest and most heavily populated metro areas. These LFGE (Landfill Gas to Energy) facilities collect, clean, and convert biogas to clean sustainable energy, so plastics that can create methane in a reasonable timeframe are actually a good thing. That’s where NEO Plastics fits into the overall picture. We focus attention on unlocking an available resource in discarded plastics and taking advantage of emerging Waste to Energy options.”

According to Alex Englert, Head of Operations at Maplebrook, “anything we can do in terms of sustainable packaging just makes good sense. When we first heard of the NEO Plastics additive, we said send us some cups and we’ll give it a try. So far it’s mostly our mozzarella products, eight ounces of cheese in brine, that we’re packaging in these cups, and it’s all pretty much done by hand, just as our cheese making is. Also a nice change is the in-mold labeling Aripack does for us on both the lid and the cup.” Included in both lid and cup is the NEO Plastics logo.

As for the cost of the new cups, Tierney says it depends heavily on volumes, but generally he estimates that an injection-molded PP cup that includes the additive will cost about 10% to 15% more than a conventional injection-molded PP cup.

VP Editor Emeritus

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InkJet, Inc.: Mineral oil-free inks

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 12:43:06 +0000

InkJet announced the release of inks free of mineral oils and aliphatic hydrocarbons and mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons.

The European Trade Association, which represents the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) and the International Confederation of Paper and Board Converters in Europe (CITPA), has recommended the use of mineral oil-free (MOF) printing inks on paper and board packaging applications. Additionally, the German Federation for Food Law and Food Science has recommended to the food industry, along with other measures, to use specific mineral oil free printing inks.

In compliance with these regulations, InkJet, Inc. announces the release of MOAH (Mineral Oils and Aliphatic Hydrocarbons) free and MOSH (Mineral Oil Saturated Hydrocarbons) free printing inks. Compliance for the MOF inks is based on information from suppliers, testing data, and formulation analysis. No MOAH or MOSH ingredients are intentionally added during our ink manufacturing or packaging processes.

“We are committed to a continuous improvement process, which includes evaluating and reviewing regulations that affect the use of inks and fluids throughout the world. The health and safety of our customers, partners, and employees is of the utmost importance,” commented Curtis Gladney, environmental, health, and safety manager for InkJet, Inc.

The following high-resolution printing inks are mineral oil free:

• TRJ 101 – Oil-based, dye ink for TridentÒprintheads

• XRJ 102 – Oil-based, pigment ink for XaarÒprintheads

• XRJ 103 – Oil-based, pigment ink cleaner/flushing solvent

• IMA 8032 – Solvent-based, dye ink for Xaar printheads, fast drying

• SQ 4778 – Solvent-based, dye ink for Xaar printheads, slow drying

• 271 – Glycol-based, dye ink for Trident printhead

• 272 – Glycol-based, dye ink for Trident printhead

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B&R: Software component manages machine variants

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 13:38:38 +0000

mapp IO
Modular applications can be implemented easily with B&R's software component, mapp IO. It makes it possible to add I/O modules at any time, even before a machine is delivered or at runtime, thereby simplifying the task of managing variants of machinery and equipment.

Configuring variants
With mapp IO, I/O configurations can be generated directly from an ERP or order management system. No engineering tools are required, even if third-party drives or modules are added. Additional variants and options are configured directly on the machine using mapp IO and then programmed using mapp CodeBox. With mapp CodeBox, you can program options in ladder logic without affecting the machine's primary application. The machine can be commissioned without having to modify the original machine software.

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Dermarest refreshes psoriasis packaging

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 10:54:23 +0000

Dermarest Refreshes Psoriasis Packaging
Prestige Brands works with branding design agency to create a more beauty-focused OTC package appearance for a product with medicinal properties.

As a marketer and distributor of brand-name over-the-counter healthcare and household cleaning products throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia, and other international markets, Tarrytown, NY-based Prestige Brands appreciates the significance of package design—and redesign.

Sometimes package design must do the heavy lifting in terms of addressing consumer perceptions. That’s the case with the company’s newly redesigned packaging for Dermarest® products, which provide relief from the symptoms of psoriasis.

“Psoriasis can be uncomfortable to live with, often leading to embarrassment from smelly creams with overly scientific names,” explains Veronica K. Hoffman, the company’s Associate Brand Manager—Household. “Dermarest is a more beauty-like OTC experience and we wanted to convey that through visually distinguishing the product variants, usage occasions and usage experience in a really sleek and modern way.”

Mayo Clinic describes psoriasis as “a common skin condition that speeds up the life cycle of skin cells. It causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. The extra skin cells form scales and red patches that are itchy and sometimes painful.” A recent Grand View Research report says psoriasis affects nearly 7.5 million people in the U.S., or about 2% of the population, with “approximately 100,000 new cases registered and reported every year.”

Branding agency addresses challenges

Prestige Brands has sold Dermarest products since 2014 following its acquisition of Insight Pharmaceuticals LLC. Hoffman notes, “Dermarest’s previous package design had been on the market for a while across multiple variants of the product. We believe that you shouldn’t have to hide away your skincare products just because they are helping to treat a condition as well.”

Seeking to remedy the situation, Prestige Brands turned to Smith Design, and began working with the branding design agency in late 2016. Though Prestige Brands had not previously collaborated with the agency, Hoffman says some Prestige Brands team members had worked with them in previous companies and spoke highly of them.

Dermarest Psoriasis is available in three product varieties: Medicated Shampoo + Conditioner for treating the scalp area, Medicated Daily Moisturizer, and Max Strength Treatment Gel with Targeted Application Tip for spot treating. Packaging includes an outer IFC (Individual Folding Carton), which contains a labeled bottle. Smith designed both the IFC cartons and the inner labels/wraps for the bottles. Prestige Brands preferred not to divulge packaging material supplier names or specifications other than to say carton graphics are printed via a four-color process.

Smith Design says the challenge in refreshing the Dermarest family of topical psoriasis treatments involved clearly differentiating each product, while maintaining key equities that have made Dermarest a brand consumers trust.

“We evolved the hexagon pattern into a new vibrant design that feels contemporary, premium and efficacious,”says Jenna Smith, Smith Design President.“The new color-driven design systemcelebrates the breadth of their line, makingit easy for consumers [to differentiate] betweenshampoo, moisturizerand gel.” Smith saystelegraphic icons and clear benefit call-outs are used “tohelp reassure consumers that their skin will soon be at ease.”

Dermarest products are distributed at many retail locations including drug, mass, e-commerce and food stores. Prices vary, and are set by retailers, Hoffman says. “It’s a little too early to measure its sales impact, but we feel confident that this new design will appeal to both existing Dermarest users and new users of the brand. We feel as though this new packaging is very eye-catching and meets the objectives we had for the brand strategy.”

Features Editor

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Shapely throwback bottle

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 19:37:55 +0000

The 1970 is a ready-to-drink vodka cocktail with a distinct bottle.
Appealing to millennials’ penchant for throwback designs, The 1970 is a ready-to-drink vodka cocktail. Launched last year by entrepreneur Ikeda Feingold, the family recipe-based drink is made with 19 exotic fruits, spices, and botanicals. It’s also 70 proof, hence the name. The bottle's offset neck is of particular interest.

The1970 bottle’s most striking element is its offset neck. The feature is aimed at making the vodka-based product stand out from brown liquors, typically packaged in short bottles, on the shelf. “I wanted to it to be thought of as a liqueur, but I didn’t want it to look like a liqueur bottle,” Feingold says.

Feingold worked with TricorBraun to develop the project. The team turned to Italian bottle supplier Vetri Speciali to both produce the offset neck and handle the embossed elements on the bottle’s sides without fracturing the glass. Given the design’s tapered, flat panels and thick base, the vendor had to use a semi-automatic process to mold the bottles.

A typical automated parison blow molding process has two steps; first a parison is blown to create blank, and second, the finished bottle is blown using tooling for the specific bottle. A manufacturer needs all of the portions of the mold, including the neck ring, the base, and body to easily line up. After the blank mold creates the parison, it then gets transferred to the blow mold side via the neck ring. Naturally, adding an off-center neck introduced complexity to the molding process.

Further complicating things, the bottle is tall and has a wide footprint that tapers outwards. The manufacturer had to ensure that the final bottle was not going to topple over while on a shelf or anywhere along the distribution chain. The bottle needed a sturdy base.

The semi-automatic process involves a skilled labor step, with a team of several people who are dedicated to taking the initial glass or “gob” of glass from the glass furnace and taking it through the entire parison and blow molding process.

Tapi supplies the bartop closure and Packaging Corporation of America supplies the carton. Feingold and TricoBraun worked with Chicago-based designer Kyle Poff to design the four-color labels, which are converted by Digital/Flexo DivisionsDehner Distillery does the contract filling and packaging.

The final bottles are hand-labeled and hand-filled due to the unusual shape. Distribution is currently limited to Georgia, with expansion to South Carolina and Florida expected. The 1970 retails for $29.99.



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Wittenstein: Gearboxes

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 16:19:39 +0000

alpha Value Line gearhead series
The alpha Value Line gearhead series from Wittenstein is available in 5 variations, with reduction ratios, interfaces to the motor, and application and conditions of use that can be customized according to user specifications.

The performance range meets industry averages for precision, dynamics and power density requirements. Several product types – for example high torque, with couplings or as a complete linear system – expand the solution space for these "individual talents".

Features include:

• Reduction ratios from 3 to 10 (single-stage) or 9 to 100 (two-stage)

• Permissible torsional backlash of up to eight arc minutes.

• Output shaft can be smooth, keywayed, involute or flanged.

• Conditions of use are a selection and sizing criterion. (For example the presence of high axial and radial forces or continuous or cyclic operation.)

• Various clamping hubs and adapter plates are possible on the drive side.

• Options include pinions, metal bellows or elastomer couplings and adapter flanges mounted to the output side

• A high torque version with an output flange is also available

• Available for linear motion control, configured with our rack as a complete linear system: the alpha Value Linear System.

All gearhead variations can be put together not only flexibly but also economically thanks to their modular design. They run very smoothly and require zero maintenance – making them even more cost efficient.

With more than 95% efficiency at full load, the alpha Value Line delivers extensive design freedom. In addition to a mechanical interface which can be flexibly selected according to requirements, the gearheads allow integration in the machine in any position – vertically, horizontally or with the output facing upwards or downwards. In the system solution with a rack and pinion, the gearhead is optionally equipped with a slotted flange for quick and easy positioning of the pinion to the rack. The gearheads mount to motors in a single step, safely and securing, greatly reducing installation effort.

Our online Sizing Assistant makes configuration for your ideal alpha Value Line gearhead fast and easy. Complement with our CAD Generator, integrated 3D files and cymex® sizing software for technical assessments of complete drive trains.

The alpha Value Line creates affordable and efficient gearhead solutions for secondary axes, linear feed motions and a wide range of mechatronic drives. Machine tools and manufacturing systems, food processing, packaging and woodworking machinery, printing and paper technology and robotics and handling solutions are just a few of the typical applications.

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Sleek Wrapper: Flow wrapper

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 12:09:41 +0000

Sleek Inverted flow wrapper
The servo-driven Sleek Inverted is engineered to handle soft, sticky, or multipack products that may be difficult to push with the traditional lug chain design found on most conventional flow wrappers. It produces up to 100 packages/min with a maximum web width of 19.6 in. (500 mm).

With the Sleek Inverted, product is securely carried on top of the packaging film from the former to the cutting head.

It is also capable of operating on a wide variety of materials including polypropylene, microperf, multilayer laminated, co-extruded, foil films, and more.

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New lipstick kisses the conventional tube good-bye

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 05:29:55 +0000

Yujiahui Co., Ltd has launched Unifon Kiss U CC lipstick in a new packaging design in China
Chinese company launches a lipstick product in a ‘kissable’ disc-shaped applicator, meeting consumers’ desire for packages that fit their time-starved lifestyles, says GlobalData.

According to data and analytics company GlobalData, the convenience trend is driving the consumer packaged goods sector across the globe. Busy urban dwellers are increasingly looking for products in packages that suit their time-poor lifestyles. To cater to this set of consumers, Yujiahui Co., Ltd has launched Unifon Kiss U CC lipstick in a new packaging design in China.

In GlobalData’s Q3 2016 consumer survey, it found that just under two-thirds of Chinese women rely heavily on time-saving products and services. The percentage is even higher for younger women with 74% of Chinese women, aged 18 to 34, depending on these time-savers.

Unlike conventional lipsticks, which are available in tube shape, Unifon Kiss U CC lipstick comes in a disc-shaped plastic applicator. Lipstick is contained on both the top and bottom of the applicator, which is contoured to match the curvature of the lips so that it imparts a “kiss-like feel” when applied by “kissing” the applicator.

Says Tom Vierhile, Innovation Insights Director at GlobalData, “Not everyone loves the venerable lipstick tube, which (among other issues) requires some dexterity to use. Successful application also necessitates a mirror to double-check if lipstick has been applied properly. Unifon Kiss U CC lipstick avoids some of these issues while being faster and easier to apply than lipstick from a tube.”

The lipstick, which is available in three shades—Sunset Orange, Sweet Peach, and Vigour—is sold in a 6.5-g paperboard box and retails for CNY49.90 (approximately US$8).

Senior Editor, Packaging World

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Meat snack company beefs up production with new metal detectors

Sun, 08 Apr 2018 05:15:56 +0000

To cope with the heightened demand for its meat snack products, the company recently invested in three metal detectors.
U.K.’s Meatsnacks Group installs three metal detectors for its jerky and biltong packs that are capable of filtering out signals generated by iron filings from each pack’s scavenger oxygen absorber.

The meat snack segment, valued at $2.8 billion in the U.S. in 2017, has seen sales grow consistently year on year by 7%. It’s a similar picture in Europe, with analysts at Ireland-based Research and Markets predicting sales of meat snacks in Europe could reach US$4.59 billion by 2025. “The demand for meat snacks in Europe is expected to increase rapidly as the market is still in its nascent stage,” the company notes.

For Meatsnacks Group, which commands 78% of the local U.K. market share, the rising popularity of its premium low-fat, air-dried cooked and smoked meat snacks is resulting in year-on-year double-digit growth. The company’s brands include Wild West Jerky, Bundu, Texas Joe’s, and Cruga brands. In the U.K. and Ireland, the company manufactures and distributes jerky products under the Men’s Health brand in partnership with the U.S.-based consumer magazine of the same name. It also makes private-label jerky products under contract for a number of U.K. grocery retailers.

To cope with the heightened demand for its products of late, the company recently invested in three Phantom metal detectors from Fortress Technology. Meatsnacks Group chose the supplier as it was the only food inspection provider to offer a system that could filter out the signal generated by iron filings from each packet’s scavenger oxygen absorber.

Extending shelf life with scavenger absorbers

Prior to installing the three conveyor-style Fortress metal detectors, the BRC-accredited food producer says their Milton Keynes operation increasingly relied on contractors to hand-pack and seal packets of biltong, which proved labor intensive. “Now we have three fully automated lines that checkweigh, fill packs, insert the scavenger, and inspect for metal contaminants,” reports David Stephenson, Engineering Manager at the Meatsnacks Group, Milton Keynes production site. “It has given us increased capacity, with our three lines now running non-stop 11 hours a day, six days a week.”

In order to maintain the shelf life of up to 18 months and protect the products from spoilage, Meatsnacks Group inserts the scavenger absorber into every packet of jerky and biltong. “We find it’s more effective than gas flushing, and it’s a less complex process for extending shelf life and limiting the growth of aerobic spoilage organisms. Scavengers, which are especially popular in the U.S. market, also protect against loss of color and flavor,” explains Stephenson.

Scavengers are easy to insert and irreversibly absorb oxygen inside sealed packaging to less than 0.01%. However, because they contain fine powered iron filings, they present a challenge to food inspection metal detectors. To solve this, Fortress installed its Scavenger software onto each Phantom metal detector. This enables Meatsnacks to simultaneously inspect for metal contaminants in addition to confirming whether each of the thousands of packs processed daily contains an oxygen scavenger. “The only other option presented by another supplier was a metal detector with two heads. This would have been a bulkier machine and incurred higher maintenance costs,” claims Stephenson.

Meatsnacks also ruled out X-ray, partly because the machines are more expensive, but also due to the fact that contaminant risks are more likely to be metal. Stephenson explains, “We process tons of beef every week, therefore physical contaminants could range from buckshot in the meat to fragments of stainless steel from processing equipment. However, we are extremely risk aware. As testimony, every 15 minutes we stop and check our slicing machines, and our Quality Assurance team runs metal test pieces though the metal detector to check the reject system is functioning properly.”

To maximize sensitivity, Fortress supplied an aperture measuring 350 mm x 125 mm, which accommodates both the small and larger biltong and jerky packs. “Machine setup for each product changeover is extremely straightforward,” reports Stephenson. “There’s a program for each product and different-sized pack.

“To recalibrate, our operators simply press a button, pass a pack without the scavenger absorber in it through the metal detector, and then one with a scavenger in it. The pack with the scavenger provides the signal benchmark, and then anything above this calibrated signal indicates that there’s a metal contaminant, and the pack would be rejected. Equally, the Fortress software can tell if there’s no scavenger absorber in a pack, enabling our operators to remove and empty the product into the hopper for repacking, which saves on waste.”

With the Meatsnacks Group capitalizing on the health and fitness markets, premium snacks, and testing out vending machine options, the company looks set to beef up its market reach and retain its edge for innovation. Says Stephenson, “Having a fully automated packing and metal detection inspection line will enable us to meet European demand as our product range and the number of stockists and specialist markets we supply expands.”

Senior Editor, Packaging World

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Unilever kickstarts conversion of PET waste to virgin-grade material

Sat, 07 Apr 2018 06:40:02 +0000

Anjeev Das of Unilever explains the technology from Ioniqa
Unilever joins with partners Ioniqa and Indorama to bring to market technology it says could transform the industry at large by making all forms of recycled PET suitable for food packaging.

Unilever, through its R&D Foods team, has partnered with PET resin producer Indorama Ventures and start-upcompany Ioniqa, a spin-off from the Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, to address the issue of post-consumer PET ending up in landfills and the environment. Ioniqa has developed a proprietary technology that takes non-recycled PET waste—like colored bottles—and breaks it down to base molecule level, while separating the color and other contaminants. The molecules are converted back into PET that is equal to virgin grade-quality at Indorama’s facility.

The technology has successfully passed its pilot stage and is now moving toward testing at an industrial scale. If proven successful at industrial scale, in the future it will be possible to convert all PET back into high-quality, food-grade packaging. The three partnering companies believe this fully circular solution could lead to an industry transformation, since the new technology can be repeated indefinitely.

In 2017, Unilever committed to all of its plastic packaging being reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025. Says Unilever Chief R&D Officer David Blanchard, “We want all of our packaging to be fit for a world that is circular by design, stepping away from the take-make-dispose model that we currently live in. This innovation is particularly exciting because it could unlock one of the major barriers today—making all forms of recycled PET suitable for food packaging. Indeed, making the PET stream fully circular would be a major milestone toward this ambition, not just helping Unilever, but transforming industry at large.”

Aloke Lohia, Group CEO of Indorama Ventures, says, “We aspire to be a world-class chemical company making great products for society, and this partnership is fully aligned with our vision. Our approach is not limited to our own operations, but we take the entire supply chain into account, including what happens to our products after use. We therefore look forward to working closely with Unilever and Ioniqa to leverage this state-of-the-art technology that contributes to tackling the global issue of waste, and enables us to go beyond the role of a polymer manufacturer.

This innovation is particularly exciting because it could unlock one of the major barriers today—making all forms of recycled PET suitable for food packaging. Indeed, making the PET stream fully circular would be a major milestone toward this ambition, not just helping Unilever, but transforming industry at large.”

Watch a video of Unilever R&D Packaging Director, Foods, Anjeev Das explaining the technology.

Senior Editor, Packaging World

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Doubling coffee capsule production

Fri, 06 Apr 2018 16:09:42 +0000

Four robotic end effectors on the cartoner efficiently place finished capsules into waiting cartons.
High-quality single-serve coffee capsules made by Australia’s fast-growing private label manufacturer, iCapsulate, are now filled, cartoned, and case-packed at up to 800/min.

Based in Sydney, Australia, iCapsulate is a vertically integrated contract manufacturer specializing in coffee. The firm sources green coffee, roasts it, and produces capsules, pods, and roasted coffee beans. With a capacity of 1.3 million capsules—soon to increase to 2 million capsules—per day and roasting capacity of 10 tons per day, iCapsulate is constantly innovating and bringing new products to market.

Among the newest of its packaging lines is a capsule-filling line capable of 800 capsules/min. It features what Italian machinery builder Cama calls its Break-through Generation of machines. Essentially what this involves is a new approach to secondary packaging into paperboard cartons and corrugated cases. It includes lean design, cabinet-free technology, ergonomics, and user-friendly controls. To see a video of the complete line, go to

“When we selected Cama, the timeline for the machinery was short, while the project itself was to be the largest of its type in Australia,” says Kane Bodiam, Managing Director at iCapsulate. “The machinery was built on a schedule that I didn’t believe was possible.”

At the head of it is an intermittent-motion OPEM system on which everything is done eight-across. It begins with denesting of capsules into a pocketed platform that carries them through filling and sealing. The firm currently purchases its capsules—thermoformed from a PP/EVOH/PP coextrusion—but plans are currently underway for installation of an in-house thermoforming operation.

Right after filling is a station where an aluminum foil lid is cut from rollstock and heat sealed to each cup. Supplied by Constantia, the 30-micron foil combined with the EVOH barrier in the capsule gives the capsules as much as a two-year shelf life. “We’re getting oxygen residual in these capsules in the 0.2% range, which is by far the lowest in Australia,” says Bodiam.

Into two lanes
At the end of the OPEM machine is a pick-and-place unit that picks two rows of eight capsules each and places them upside down on a discharge conveyor that is immediately divided into two. Each lane leads to the secondary packaging operation, executed by systems from Cama. One machine erects cartons from flat blanks by means of a twin-head integrated electronic forming machine. The glued cartons are then transported and phased into the robotic loading area.

One electronically controlled star wheel for each lane meters the capsules into a right-angle turn leading to the electronically controlled pocketed conveyor of a Cama IF296 monoblock cartoner. It uses four robotic end effectors each having 10 picking tools to mechanically lift 40 capsules per stroke from the pocketed conveyor and place them into four cartons.

Filled cartons are conveyed a short distance to a robotic closing unit that uses a Nordson unit to apply hot melt and close the cartons. The cartons then are discharged from the cartoning system and conveyed to the Cama FW748 wraparound case packer, which is fed by a Cama case erector. The case packer features a pocketed, servo-driven conveyor that receives cartons in a horizontal orientation and uprights them to a vertical orientation as it advances. From this pocketed conveyor cartons are pushed at a right angle into a robot that sweeps them off at another right angle and into a waiting case. In the final station, another Nordson unit applies hot melt and the cases are closed and discharged.

A short while later the cases pass a turning bar so that the back panel is facing the two thermal ink-jet print heads of the G-Series i-Tech printers from Domino. Designed for high-resolution printing at fast line speeds with complete reliability, the G-Series imprints two lines of lot and date code information on a white panel. The convenient and changeable i-Tech print cartridges are clean, efficient, and service-free.

Drilling down on machinery options
“When selecting our secondary packaging machinery there were many options,” says Bodiam, “but when we drilled down to the flexibility we were after, Cama seemed the best choice. The machinery is exceptionally well built, and it lets us change packaging formats quickly and at minimal cost, which is especially important when you are a contract packager like we are. The machine interface is very user-friendly, servicing is basic and inexpensive for a machine of such quality. There’s no need to keep extensive parts, while the consumable parts that do need replacement last quite long and are very durable anyway.

“The local support in Australia is fantastic, and I have found Cama very responsive. Considering the short notice I sometimes give, I’ve always had the technical help when I required it.”

VP Editor Emeritus

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