Pack World

Leakage-preventing, e-commerce-friendly dispenser pump

Sat, 22 Sep 2018 14:00:02 +0000

Rieke's LDS 2cc ECOM dispensing pump
By preventing leakage in the e-commerce channel, this new Dow award finalist pump closure for personal care products delivers a better consumer experience and protects brands against negative associations.

Continuing with its e-commerce strategy, Diamond Award Finalist Rieke developed its latest polypropylene dispenser pump to address the e-commerce channel challenges of the last mile in terms of leakage. The LDS 2cc ECOM dispensing pump uses patented technology that meets ISTA-6 e-commerce packaging specifications. A range of innovative features including pump to bottle anti-rotation, head unlocking torque, and vent blocking features to ensure no leakage that enables it to withstand the challenges of frequent handling and movement during packing, transportation, and delivery.

The LDS 2cc ECOM also aims to reduce merchandise damage during shipping, which would provide a savings to the e-commerce market channel. Rieke’s LDS 2cc ECOM is available for a variety of applications for the personal care market. In addition, it gives consumers the in-store experience, since it eliminates the need for additional protective packages, such as wrapping paper, bubble wrap and excess material that the consumer would otherwise need to remove. This also helps to reduce processing time and the cost of preparing the package for shipping, while reducing waste.

“Beyond that, we also needed to make sure that our direct customers, the brand owners and CPGs, need only minimal changes to their million-dollar filling lines when moving from a conventional pump to an e-commerce pump,” says Howard Manning, Vice President, Global Product Development & Launch at Rieke. “Whilst there is a demand for e-commerce, we don’t want to completely revolutionize such that it’s a different product that requires a massive capital impact on our direct customers.”

The redesign also seeks to have minimal impact on the end user consumer, as the new dispensing pump is by no means confined to e-commerce—it is equally viable in traditional channels without any tradeoffs in functionality. That means a brand owner can present a consistent product that’s recognizable to consumers whether in a bricks and mortar store or arriving on a doorstep from a fulfillment center. And in presenting an outwardly consistent product, that brand owner will also be able to run product for both channels on the same line without changing over.

“The LDS dispensing pump reduces leakage issues both with brand owners and end consumers, reduces the warranty, and reduces the amount of packaging required, which ultimately helps the brand owners’ reputation,” Manning says. “And thinking beyond the last mile, this design also improves consumer experience throughout the life of the product. The e-commerce channel isn’t just about delivering the product to the end consumer; it includes the end consumer actually using that product and engaging with it in real-life situations, as well


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Seventh Generation first to use 100% PCR cap, naturally

Sat, 22 Sep 2018 06:46:24 +0000

The new 100% recycled-content closure is made from recycled polypropylene clothes hangers.
The plant-based household and personal care products producer overcomes the challenges with using 100% recycled-content plastic with a new bottle cap for its Natural Dish Liquid bottle.

Seventh Generation has earned a reputation as a pioneer in plant-based household and personal care products as well as in the use of breakthrough sustainable packaging materials. Therefore, it was only “natural” that it be the very first to use a 100% recycled-content plastic cap. Topping the bottle for the company’s Natural Dish Liquid, the cap was engineered by TricorBraun and is made in large part from recycled polypropylene clothes hangers.

Since its founding, Seventh Generation has pursued ambitious sustainability goals “to create a brighter future for the next seven generations.” Where packaging is concerned, it has vowed that by 2020, each component across its wide product portfolio will be virgin petroleum-free and widely recyclable. Since 2015, its liquid dish detergent bottle—along with a number of other liquid-product bottles—has been made from 100% recycled materials. Now the company can boast an equally “green” closure for the product.

“Caps are among the last piece of the packaging portfolio to convert to virgin petroleum-free plastics, and with this announcement, we’re happy to report about 85 percent of Seventh Generation packaging components are already there,” says Joey Bergstein, CEO of Seventh Generation.

According to TricorBraun Vice President of Commercial Engineering Jon-Paul Genest, plastic bottle caps are often the last to convert for good reason. “There are two main challenges to developing a cap like this using 100 percent-recycled plastics,” he says. “The first is identifying and validating a consistent PCR supply chain that will perform comparable to virgin materials. This includes performance attributes such as hinge functionality, impact resistance, and mold-flow consistency to ensure optimal processing/molding, which is important in maintaining critical dimensions.

“The second is achieving marketing and aesthetic attributes. PCR materials traditionally have an inherent odor and typically create challenges when it comes to integrating custom color masterbatches. Identifying a clean and controlled process stream was critical to prevent both.” Recycled plastic hangers turned out to provide a clean and consistent supply stream.

TricorBraun and Weener Plastics collaborated on the R&D, mold build, and validation of the new cap at Weener’s facility in Weener, Germany; caps are produced by Weener in its North Carolina plant. Bottles of Seventh Generation’s Natural Dish Liquid with the new cap were introduced on store shelves in August 2018.

Concludes Bergstein, “This small design change will make a big impact on reducing the footprint of our dish soap, and we hope will also set a new standard for the industry.”

Senior Editor, Packaging World

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Chinese supplements company keeps label release liners out of landfill

Sat, 22 Sep 2018 05:05:58 +0000

By participating in the Avery Dennison Liner Recycling Program, By-Health Co. Ltd. diverts more than 100 metric tons of label release liner, which is recycled into new products.

By-Health Co. Ltd., a China health supplements company, has been recognized by Avery Dennison as the first brand owner to partner in its Avery Dennison Liner Recycling Program in China. Through this program, label liner is collected for recycling, thereby saving on waste disposal costs and preventing environmental impact from landfill or incineration.

Since joining the program, By-Health has diverted over 100 metric tons of release glassine liner from landfills into recycled products such as corrugated boxes, through recycling partner Taiwan based Yuen Foong Yu Group.

“By-Health focuses on improving the quality of life,” says Gang Jiang, Deputy General Mmanager of By-Health. “And we believe that maintaining environmental sustainability is central to increasing the quality and longevity of healthy life for society. Through Avery Dennison’s liner recycling program, we are making an active contribution to address today’s sustainability issues and contribute to a better future for our customers by making our world-class nutritional products available in packaging that fits our company culture and values.”

According to Avery Dennison, traditionally, label liner recycling programs require a complex process of collection and sorting, which can be a deterrent for companies that want to recycle.“As part of our goal to eliminate 70 percent of liner and matrix waste from our value chain by 2025, we are building a network of recyclers to help converters and brands reduce and reuse label waste,” says Roger Machado, Vice President and General Manager, Label and Graphic Materials North Asia Pacific, Avery Dennison. “We are proud to offer a liner recycling service as a solution that will enable brands like By-Health to meet their sustainability commitments.”

Avery Dennison has identified recyclers of matrix and liner materials in every major region of the world as it continues to build an industry solution to liner and matrix waste that is available to all converters and end users.

Watch a video on the recycling program.

Senior Editor, Packaging World

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E-commerce will account for 15% of all retail sales globally by 2025

Fri, 21 Sep 2018 19:21:23 +0000

Consumers continue to demand speed and will pay a premium for convenience.





Here is a bundled package of insights from E-Pack Summit 2018, hosted by Smithers Pira in Chicago, September 18-19.

  • The $28 billion dollar e-commerce packaging market will grow to $55 billion by 2025
  • E-commerce is plagued by unpredictable labor availability and high turnover rates.
  • 56% percent of consumers will abandon an order when they realize it does not include FREE shipping.
  • Damage losses are on the rise as a greater variety of products meet the grueling demands of the e-commerce supply chain.
  • Electronics, books, fashion and toys, games and hobbies are biggest winners. Fashion brick and mortar stores are hurting the most.
  • 30% of all products ordered by e-commerce will be returned.
  • Reasons for returning include damage, wrong product and “looks different than online.”
  • Many consumers purchase multiple sizes and colors with full knowledge that most will be returned.
  • Retail is not dead, stores creating a cooler shopping experience will survive. Malls becoming more than a place to shop—medical centers and spas, high-end dining options, etc.
  • 79% of shoppers expect the product packaging they see online to be exactly the same as in-store.
  • Coupons, special offers, and digital technology like text-to-play, QR codes, etc., will provide a dizzying variety of online shopping experiences, with a big emphasis on mobile.
  • Flexible, corrugated and protective packaging all have a role in e-commerce. The product and “unboxing experience” the brand desires the consumer to have will dictate packaging choices.
  • ISTA standards and testing have to be applied to guarantee best product protection with least materials.
  • Alibaba, the e-commerce site based in Asia, dwarfs Amazon.
  • Anonymous quote of the day, “If the environment is your prime consideration, you probably should not be shopping by e-commerce.”
  • Using sustainable materials is important, but not if they do not protect. It’s far less sustainable to have to create another product and another shipment.
  • Click and collect models where consumers order online and drive by for pick up may be better option for some products.
  • Packaging may be the last physical bridge a brand has with a consumer.
  • Watch out, Alexa may be programmed to funnel your brand of choice away from your shopping cart. Will test your brand loyalty with quicker availability and lower price.

How important is the customer experience in e-commerce? Google now lists 108 million unboxing videos in search results.

VP Content/Brand Strategy, PMMI Media Group

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Packaging industry community leader Chuck Yuska joins Packaging & Processing Hall of Fame

Fri, 21 Sep 2018 15:31:21 +0000

Chuck Yuska
When Chuck Yuska decided in 2017 that it was time to hand the reins of PMMI over to Jim Pittas and spend more time with his grandkids, he closed the book on 27 years as one of the most visible and influential figures in the packaging industry.

Anyone who has watched Yuska feted with appreciation for the mark he left has also witnessed his large presence genuinely humbled by all of the attention and admiration. His induction into the Packaging & Processing Hall of Fame provides one last opportunity for him to deflect and credit his staff and family for most of his success.

In 1990, the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute tapped Yuska to lead its association of American packaging machinery manufacturers. From its humble office in downtown Washington, Yuska saw potential beyond a trade association and its biannual PACK EXPO International trade show.

Because PACK EXPO International was such a successful endeavor, he believed it could help create and sustain a number of initiatives to promote membership and the industry. Throughout his tenure, the number of shows increased not only to expand the trade show business, but also to raise money for scholarships, education, workforce development, industry relations, and business intelligence.

Not content to remain the preeminent packaging trade organization in the U.S., PMMI, under Yuska’s leadership, recognized the benefits of a true North American association. Within five years, PMMI opened a Latin American office in Mexico City, acquired 50% of EXPO PACK México, opened membership to Canadian companies, and launched a second U.S. trade show: PACK EXPO Las Vegas. What began in 1995 as a regional show serving the West Coast now serves the packaging community as the second largest trade show in North America behind only PACK EXPO International.

From 2003 until his retirement, Yuska truly ramped up PMMI’s influence south of the border, acquiring full ownership of EXPO PACK México, creating an additional show for the Latin American audience with EXPO PACK Guadalajara, and opening membership up to Mexican companies. Like Las Vegas in the U.S., Guadalajara initially began as a regional trade show, quickly growing large enough to serve as the main EXPO PACK exposition in odd numbered years. Yuska and PMMI were not finished with the regional trade show market, however, creating the wildly successful PACK EXPO East in Philadelphia, which wrapped up its third and most comprehensive show to date earlier this spring.

While expanding across North America was a priority, so too was Yuska’s desire to extend PMMI beyond the current packaging landscape. The PMMI Foundation has contributed millions of dollars toward education and scholarships for the future of the industry, and throughout Yuska’s tenure, PMMI opened membership to include processing machinery, components, materials, etc. In 2016, after 80 years, PMMI became a complete association of the packaging and processing industry when it updated its bylaws to welcome all qualified companies that manufacture or assemble in North America as well as suppliers to the packaging and processing industry that do not supply components for the building of machinery. The following year, PMMI added yet another trade show when ProFood Tech debuted in Chicago.

In 27 years, with Yuska at the helm, PMMI grew from less than 300 members to nearly 850 members and its trade show portfolio expanded to six. In 2003, PMMI created its own successful packaging publication Packaging Machinery Technology that served the industry as a thought leader until PMMI made the bold decision to acquire Summit Media Group and Packaging World magazine. The acquisition sent shockwaves through both packaging and the media, but now, PMMI Media Group has emerged as a natural expansion of the PMMI brand. PMMI Media Group further cemented PMMI as a real hub of the packaging and processing industry.

Under Yuska’s leadership, PMMI became the leading packaging and processing trade association, advancing industry by connecting the global makers of goods with their processing and packaging suppliers. Deeper than that legacy from a business standpoint, however, is the leadership and loyalty that he shared with his colleagues, membership, and the packaging and processing industry at large.

In 2001, PACK EXPO Las Vegas was entering its second day on Sept. 11, when the world changed forever. After much discussion, Yuska urged the PMMI Board of Directors to keep the show open because he recognized the industry would need a place to come together. A community isolated from their families in Las Vegas, with no way of getting home, needed to grieve together and to try and understand what was happening. He put large-screen TVs around the Las Vegas Convention Center so that everyone could follow the news—together. He made sure that the industry had each other to lean on during that terrible time.

Yuska’s legacy as a Hall of Famer might just be that he was more than a significant influence on the business end of packaging and processing, as his nearly three decades in the industry helped bring together packaging and processing as a community.

The Packaging & Processing Hall of Fame will welcome all five new members as its 45th class at PACK EXPO International 2018 (Oct. 14–17 ; McCormick Place, Chicago), according to Hall of Fame coordinator and show producer PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. This year’s other inductees are Michael Okoroafor, Timothy Bohrer, Keith Pearson and Susan Selke. Read short snippets about the other inductees by clicking here, or read their full profiles, to be posted individually in coming days, by clicking here.

Sr. Director, Media and Industry Communications

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Texwrap: Shrink wrapper

Fri, 21 Sep 2018 15:08:46 +0000

ST-1607SS shrink wrapper
See it at PACK EXPO International, Booth # S-3550! Texwrap, a product brand of ProMach, introduces the ST-1607SS shrink wrapper designed for packaging operations requiring up to 65 packages/min output.

In addition, the 1607’s center-line design and advanced sealing technology, normally found on higher-end units, efficiently run many different types of packages, giving the operation greater flexibility and a competitive advantage.

Center-line machines like the 1607 are fast to changeover as they do not require time-consuming conveyor adjustments for new SKUs. Texwrap Versa Seal side seal technology consumes less film than competitive sealers for a materials cost savings. Simply set Versa Seal to the film type and there are no further film adjustments needed. The Versa Seal also automatically compensates for various film speeds and delivers a quality seal on both thin and thick films.

The 1607 features a color touch screen operator interface for easy access to package recipes and maintenance information. Today’s workforce will find screen navigation intuitive. Mechanical systems and height and width adjustments are easily accessible. The 1607 can be ordered in either a right- or left-hand version to accommodate a plant’s layout. Its small footprint conserves valuable floor space. Whether shrink wrapping or just bagging, the 1607 runs both polyolefin and polyethylene films. Texwrap warrants the 1607 for three years.

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Grocery label producer invests in printer, future

Fri, 21 Sep 2018 14:52:03 +0000

Yerecic Label
Yerecic Label installed of its first digital press and in-line finishing unit with partners Domino and AB Graphic International.

Yerecic Label is a label supplier to the perishables industry, namely meats, produce, dairy, center store, and other grocery store segments in need of labeling. The company is focused on performing at what it calls the Speed of Fresh℠, recognizing the continually changing environment of perishables with unexpected demand and yield, and the short lead times this can cause.

To that end, Yerecic installed its first digital press and in-line finishing unit with partners Domino and AB Graphic International. Yerecic says the Domino N610i and ABG Digicon 3 reflect Yerecic Label’s dedication to investing in the most advanced technology to better serve their customers.

“With Yerecic Label’s focus on lean manufacturing and serving at the Speed of Fresh, our digital press cell must meet demanding standards,” said Art Yerecic, President, Yerecic Label. “The Domino digital press and ABG finishing unit allows Yerecic Label to be even more nimble while achieving the consistent high quality our customers expect.”

Yerecic Label spent over a year researching quality, conformance to food safety requirements, capabilities, and equipment speed. After the thorough review process, Yerecic Label selected Domino’s N610i digital UV inkjet label press with an in-line ABG Digicon 3 finishing unit. This press cell configuration allows Yerecic Label great flexibility in constructions and capabilities on-press.

“Feedback from current users within our TLMI community was a major piece of the equipment research,” says Brian Hurst, Yerecic Label Vice President of Production. “The opportunity to visit fellow TLMI converters, see the press and finisher on-site and talk with operators was invaluable during our selection process.”

Speed, uptime, and print quality are key critical to our label makers like Yerecic, and the success of their business. According to the company, Domino has ‘engineered out’ operator intervention on the N610i digital UV inkjet label press with automated features of printhead cleaning, stitching, and recirculating ink. That equates to more labels in less time with consistent and repeatable high-quality printing.

“We are able to satisfy even the most color-sensitive customers with the high density dual white ink and six color expanded gamut (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Orange and Violet) that accurately reproduces over 92 percent of Pantone colors,” said Hurst. “The press/finisher speed of over 200 feet per minute was just as important in convincing the Yerecic Label team that it was time to invest in digital capabilities.”

When ABG was specifying the digital solution, the Yerecic team impressed upon them that finishing the product in-line was critical to their needs. Yerecic chose added value for their customers, flexibility and most importantly, automation that would allow products to be turned around very quickly, reducing the chance of operator error.

The ABG Digicon 3’s fleyeVision 100% camera inspection and glueless turret rewinder ensures Yerecic can prepare smaller rolls for immediate dispatch straight from the machine, safe in the knowledge the product has been inspected and passes stringent quality control requirements.

“As configured, we’ve already identified over 300 constructions our digital press cell can create in one pass,” said Yerecic. “We hope to add to our TLMI Print Awards with our new digital capability. With Yerecic Label’s 50thanniversary coming in 2019, we’re looking forward to continued success with our digital partners, Domino and ABG.”


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Coca-Cola's Simply Orange more sustainable, still structurally sound

Fri, 21 Sep 2018 14:00:02 +0000

The integral handle bottle went from resin code PETE 7 to code PETE 1.
New 89-oz juice bottle with integral handle switches from PETG to new PET formulation, goes from resin code PETE 7 to code PETE 1.

The Coca-Cola Co. finished a three-year project with plastic producer Indorama Ventures and converter CKS Packaging to create a new recyclable bottle for its Simply brand juices. The 89-oz bottle with integral handle, named Diamond Award Finalist, uses Indorama’s Polyclear EBM PET 5507 resin. It’s molded using extrusion blow-molding equipment from Bekum. The resin’s high melt-strength and slow crystallization allow it to be processed on existing extrusion blow-molding equipment.

“In support of our World Without Waste initiative, we are working to build better packaging that is 100 percent recyclable and includes more renewable and recyclable material,” says Jordan Mattison, Senior Engineer, Packaging Innovation, Coca-Cola North America. “The commercialization of this material innovation allows for the recycling of the 89-oz Simply package with the Resin code#1 PET stream and aligns with our sustainability goals. The conversion of the 89oz Simply package to a recyclable material was only possible through close collaboration and a shared commitment to sustainability with our resin supplier Indorama Ventures, our converter CKS Packaging and our equipment OEM Bekum.”

This new PET replaces the previous PETG bottles known to melt more easily than their PET counterparts, wreaking havoc on the PET recycling process. In fact, recyclers traditionally have had to remove handled PETG bottles from the stream because of the material’s proclivity to stick to other materials and shut down the process. Because of this, PETG bottles were forced to carry the PETE 7 resin identification code.

Polyclear EBM PET is recognized by the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) and was granted official Critical Guidance recognition for protecting the integrity of the PET recycling stream. The resin is a semi-crystalline polyester that, importantly, can carry the PETE 1 resin identification code.

The 89-oz Simply juice bottle is the first commercial application for the plastic, but it may have the legs to make inroads in other arenas. One such area may be handled liquid laundry detergent or other household products with formats currently dominated by opaque PP or HDPE.


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AutomationDirect: Fork sensors

Fri, 21 Sep 2018 12:00:53 +0000

PS series fork sensors
PS series fork sensors (slot sensors) from AutomationDirect are U- or L-shaped through-beam object detecting sensors that have the transmitter and receiver built into the opposing "fork" arms of the sensor housing. Depending on model, sensors are available in visible red, infrared, and laser lighting in sensing ranges from 5 mm to 220 mm.

New PS series fork sensor additions include harsh duty U-frame sensors for food applications, L-frame, or angled fork sensors for unique mounting situations, and fork sensors for liquid detection.

Advantages of fork sensors include ease of installation with only one connection point, identical mechanical and optical axis; and with transmitter and receiver built into the same housing they are always in alignment, providing operational reliability and repeatability.

Starting at $86.00, all PS series fork sensors are IEC IP67-rated, have cULus approval and are CE, RoHs and REACH compliant. Harsh duty sensors are also IP69K rated

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Dow finalist flexible material replaces corrugated

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 16:28:04 +0000

StealthWrap™from Sealed Air
StealthWrap from Sealed Air, a Dow Diamond Award Finalist, protects many e-commerce goods while eliminating the need for extra shipping cartons and packaging materials.

As a corrugated replacer with its sights on the e-commerce channel, StealthWrap™from Sealed Air increases distribution efficiency, reduces packaging waste, and enhances user experience. Via a heat shrink tunnel, the material shrinks to the dimensions of primary packaging to create a damage-resistant covering and reduces billable freight weight by as much as 18%.

StealthWrap is a 29-microlayer irradiated polyolefin material with opacity benefits that deliver both concealment for privacy and pilferage resistance in doorstep delivery e-commerce settings.

“The reason for so many layers, in concert with irradiation, is to obtain strength while still using an opaque material and to minimize forfeiture of strength that’s typically the case when keeping a material as thin as possible,” says Jeff Potts, Global Executive Director of Marketing and Solutions for Flexible Parceling at Sealed Air. “All of those layers in concert with one another allow us to produce a 150-guage material that will outperform virtually anything else in that space and survive the small parcel environment, day in and day out.”

For a flexible material, StealthWrap is remarkably strong, according to Potts. Of the 29 layers, the two exterior plies or skins are clear, as are the first two interior layers. The 25 core layers are where the solid opacity colorants are added.

“This is what we call nanomaterial technology, which means the solids are so incredibly small, about the size of a billionth of a human hair, that their presence minimally affects degradation of film strength,” Potts says.

Traditional corrugated shippers still can offer greater cushioning and rigidity, but Potts says StealthWrap outshines them in situations where a product’s primary packaging accomplishes most of the necessary product protection.

“Applications range from footwear, which is the most common in terms of the number of the end users, to consumer packaged goods. We have about 25 systems running product around the world,” Potts says. “Consumer electronics are big. Notebook computers are good StealthWrap customers because the products have sturdy primary packaging but the desirable brand names on the outside of the box make them especially vulnerable while sitting on a front porch. We’re also doing a lot in the pet market with products such as dog food and cat litter and in the home and garden markets with things such as fertilizer and soil—bulk items that don’t fare well traveling in rigid rectangular boxes. Protein drinks that come in 12-pack “milk carton” style packaging, are other sweet spots for StealthWrap.”

StealthWrap is not a barrier film in the sense of food packaging, and seals aren’t hermetic, but its poly outer layers provide water resistance unlike corrugated. Other advantages include the total weight reduction compared corrugated for lower cost shipping and less material used for an improved sustainability profile.

“Thinness is not only good for cost, but also machinability when it comes to the wrapping process, the length of the rolls in terms of uptime for the user, and sustainability benefits because you can perhaps use half as much resin to accomplish the same thing,” Potts adds.



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Brenton: Case packer

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 16:06:39 +0000

M2000 case packer
See it at PACK EXPO International, Booth # S-3644! Brenton, a product brand of ProMach, introduces the Brenton M2000 case packer. Machine is rated at between 12 and 30 wrap-around, regular slotted cases (RSC) or trays/min.

The M2000, which replaces the Brenton Mach 2, maintains the mechanical precision of the Mach 2 while adding updates to the electrics and esthetics that reduce the case packer’s footprint by 25%, shortens installation time, and creates an easy to operate machine. Brenton designed the M2000 for higher uptime by making changeover more repeatable.

The stand-alone control enclosure for the Mach 2 has been abandoned in favor of locating several compact enclosures on the M2000, which contributes to a 25% reduction in footprint over the already compact Mach 2. Enclosures on the machine and distributed I/O greatly simplify wiring requirements, resulting in startup within days, not weeks, and overall simpler troubleshooting.

Changeover verification technology guides operators, even the inexperienced, through the changeover process quickly and accurately. If any setting is off for the specified recipe, the M2000 will not run. This feature reduces the likelihood of damage to the machine from an incorrect adjustment. For speedy issue resolution, various sections of the M2000 are assigned specific colored task lighting that illuminates a fault and pinpoints for personnel the area of the machine to examine. Bright white LED strip lighting throughout the M2000 provides well illuminated workspace for operations and maintenance personnel. Clear polycarbonate cladding along the length of the M2000 give personnel an unobstructed view of critical operations. New corporate colors enhance its appearance. Redesigned safety circuits ensure the utmost in worker safety and simplify wiring. RFID identification cards replace passwords for a high level of security.

A B&R computer interface features pull down menus, video, and document storage and display capabilities that make the M2000 easy to operate. The Allen-Bradley CompactLogix controller and K5700 servos will be familiar to most engineering and maintenance personnel. Custom control solutions are available.

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Polymer Packaging: Vf/f/s for stand-up pouch production

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 14:00:10 +0000

Polymer Packaging offers EZ Stand, a new technology that allows for production of bottom-gusset stand-up pouches, with or without zipper, on a vf/f/s machine with only minor modifications to the sealing jaws.

Polymer Packaging pre-applies the bottom gusset—and even a zipper if desired—to a printed film web to form conventional style, stand-up pouches on your existing, slightly modified equipment. Nearly any vf/f/s machine can be adapted to run EZ Stand. PPI will be your partner throughout the process in coordinating the necessary modifications to your equipment.

“The process offers better filling speeds than pre-made pouch filling lines,” said Chris Thomazin, President. “This new technology requires minor modifications to vf/f/s sealing jaws and requires minimal capital investment.”

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Heat and Control: Vf/f/s snack food bagmaker

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 12:05:08 +0000

Inspira Vf/f/s snack food bagmaker
See it at PACK EXPO International, Booth #N-5910! Heat and Control will showcase Ishida’s Inspira Vf/f/s snack food bagmaker. It features high-speed packaging up to 200 bags/min.

Inspira brings a new level of automation and efficiency, reducing the opportunity for human error, helping to consistently produce perfect bags, and increasing production.

Performance has been improved 10-fold by the introduction of new motor and drive technology which improves positional jaw control at the point of sealing.

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Author and educator Susan Selke to join Packaging & Processing Hall of Fame class of 2018

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 11:54:42 +0000

Susan Selke
If it weren’t for a bit of happenstance, Sue Selke might not have made her way into packaging at all, much less PMMI’s Packaging & Processing Hall of Fame.

In her first professorial role in engineering at the University of Iowa, she happened to be at her desk to take a call from her doctoral alma mater, Michigan State University, about an open packaging faculty position. Her Chemical Engineering PhD did the trick in the days before packaging PhDs, and she was game to try out a field in which she had little experience.

“That was almost 35 years ago, now,” Selke says. “Hopefully I know a little bit about packaging by now.”

She knows a little more than a little. She has served as both a professor in MSU’s School of Packaging and as an adjunct professor in the College of Engineering. In 2014, she became Director of the MSU School of Packaging. She was studying packaging sustainability before sustainability was a widely used term and has published too many scholarly articles on the topic to name.

“I got into research related to plastics recycling that fit my interests and fit what was going on in the industry,” she says. “The environmental interest faded away after a while, but then in the last number of years, it has been back with a vengeance.”

In parallel to her research, Selke has been the consummate educator. Not long after joining the faculty at MSU, she was asked to take on the role of graduate coordinator. This translated into a lot of interactions with new graduate students, and she now considers her work with them to be among her greatest accomplishments.

Selke is also one of those few people who, quite literally, wrote the book on her field of expertise. She was the lead author in creating a textbook for plastics packaging, and later was one of the people involved in creating a similar textbook on paper-based packaging.

“The level of science that is applied to packaging, both in academia and out in industry, has changed a great deal since I started out,” she says. “We’re much more rigorous in analyzing what’s going on and in designing solutions for real issues that are happening. The discipline of packaging is still really young, but it’s come a long way in those intervening years.”

Recent years have been challenging for packaging, particularly for her field of plastics packaging. But much of the derision aimed at packaging waste in general and polymers specifically is unearned, and on balance, there’s a lot more good than bad. Selke sees it as an awareness and communication problem that can be solved.

“Certainly, there are cases of overpackaging, but there are also compelling reasons why, on average, packages have tended to get more complex over the years. And a lot of that is directly related to sustainability,” she says. “Many packaging changes are designed to save money, and when money is saved, often resource consumption is reduced, and that means that the systems involved are becoming more sustainable. But consumers think of packages in terms of what they have to throw away, rather than the value they provide. We have to better communicate this dynamic.”

She says educating consumers is a shared responsibility between the academy and industry, and between packagers and retailers, and that not any one sector can accomplish it alone. But more broadly, and in no small part due to Selke’s efforts, the arrow is pointing up for the packaging field.

“The packaging community is really a wonderful, close-knit one that provides a whole lot of benefit to everybody,” she says. “Too often it isn’t recognized for what all the people working in the industry contribute.”

The Packaging & Processing Hall of Fame will welcome all five new members as its 45th class at PACK EXPO International 2018 (Oct. 14–17 ; McCormick Place, Chicago), according to Hall of Fame coordinator and show producer PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. This year’s other inductees are Michael Okoroafor, Timothy Bohrer, Keith Pearson and Chuck Yuska. Read short snippets about the other inductees by clicking here, or read their full profiles, to be posted individually in coming days, by clicking here.


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Festo Corporation Sponsors Interactive Clemson Packaging Exhibit

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 11:53:45 +0000

Festo Corporation will sponsor Clemson University's "Data-Driven Packaging Design" exhibit at PACK EXPO International 2018
Clemson University showcases how consumer behavior leads to packaging innovation at PACK EXPO International 2018 and Healthcare Packaging EXPO

Festo Corporation will sponsor Clemson University's "Data-Driven Packaging Design" exhibit at PACK EXPO International 2018 and co-located Healthcare Packaging EXPO (Oct. 14–17; McCormick Place, Chicago), according to show producer PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. Clemson’s interactive exhibit in North Hall, Booth N-4543 will provide insight on leveraging data to develop award-winning packaging.

“Festo is proud to sponsor this exciting exhibit,” says Richard J. Huss, president, Festo US. “The virtual reality and eye-tracking demonstrations offer an immersive look at how packaging allows consumers to interact with brands using cutting-edge technology. We’re glad to be involved in connecting show attendees to the latest technological innovations and give Clemson students a platform like PACK EXPO International.”

The Clemson exhibit will include virtual reality demonstrations, eye tracking and emotional analytics studies. Clemson University offers a renowned packaging science degree program and is home to leading experts on packaging and its effects on people.

“Every year this exhibit really shows the talent and promise of the next generation workforce,” says Jim Pittas, president and CEO, PMMI. “The virtual reality demonstrations continue to be an attendee favorite at the show, and we’re looking forward to what’s in store at their exhibit this year.”

Registration is open for PACK EXPO International and Healthcare Packaging EXPO at and Registration costs $30 until Friday, Sept. 28, after which time it increases to $100.

Sr. Director, Media and Industry Communications

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Consumer demands evolve, says new e-commerce study

Thu, 20 Sep 2018 11:12:23 +0000

Consumer demands evolve, says new e-commerce study
Dotcom Distribution’s annual study shows consumers have greater expectations when purchasing online, including free shipping and giveaways.

Those of us of a certain age may carry fond memories of the “toy surprise” in each box of Cracker Jack. We’re not alone. That’s confirmed in an annual e-commerce study conducted by third-party logistics (3PL) provider Dotcom Distribution.

The 2018 survey of more than 1,400 online shoppers indicates that today’s consumers prioritize convenience, experience, and quality when making online purchases. That represents a shift in priorities from previous years, when consumers placed higher value on gift-like packaging and fast delivery. Other new findings indicate a change in how consumers view brick-and-mortar stores and that consumer age plays a significant role in expectations and desires.

The 2018 e-commerce survey points to significant changes in preferences as Millennial and Generation Z secure more buying power in online shopping. Sixty percent of Millennials and 75% of Gen Z would be more likely to make a repeat purchase based on receiving a surprise giveaway in their package. Last year, only 51% of all respondents said the same.

Additionally, 23.65% of Millennials and 23.33% of Gen Z said branded, gift-like packaging would make them more likely to purchase from a brand again, while only 14.2% of shoppers said this last year. Based on those results, the survey concluded that brands seeking to increase reach among shoppers between the ages of 18 and 37 should look to branded, gift-like packaging and surprise giveaways.

Visually appealing packaging can also leverage the unboxing trend, in which people share the process of opening a package on social media. The 2017 survey found that 36.8% of shoppers had watched an unboxing video before. This year, 58.4% of Millennials and 79.66% of Gen Z said the same. Similarly, only 28% of last year’s respondents said they had shared a picture or video of a product on social media after opening it.

In 2018, this number increased to 43.33% for Gen Z and 38.56% for Millennials. With social media becoming a powerful, convenient outlet for researching products and brands before making a purchase, utilizing gift-like packaging to increase the likelihood of customers sharing positive insights about a brand can be a strong way to ensure that shoppers find mostly positive information.

“With e-commerce now such an integral part of everyday life, we set out to discover what factors impact where a customer decides to spend his or her money,” says Maria Haggerty, Dotcom Distribution’s CEO. “Two years ago, the answer was quality packaging and fast delivery. In 2018, while those factors are still valued, the opportunity for brands to reach, retain, and extend customers’ lifetime value lies in giving them what they want, how and when they want it.”

Other key survey findings include:

Free outranks fast. More than 90% of respondents place a high value on free returns when making an online purchase; 91% view free shipping as a factor influencing future purchases. Consumers are also positively influenced to make future purchases if they receive giveaways.

Shipping expectations rise, but not on the customers’ dime. With 44% of respondents doing a majority of their online shopping on Amazon, the popularity of same-day shipping is not surprising. Respondents who tried same-day delivery rose 19% compared to 2017 (42% vs 23%), but data suggests consumers are more interested in free shipping and on-time delivery. Only 25% of 2018 survey respondents were willing to pay extra for faster shipping—in sharp contrast to two years ago, when the study found 47% would pay as much as $9 more for faster delivery.

What’s inside counts...if it’s of value. In 2015 and 2016, unboxing was a key component of the e-commerce experience. The 2018 data indicates fancy ribbons and scented boxes now take a back seat to value-added items included unexpectedly, such as magnets, coupons, or stickers. In fact, giveaways were the third-most influential amenity respondents report would motivate them to recommend a brand to others. Nearly twice as many respondents would be more likely than not to make future purchases with a brand that included a free giveaway in their order. This was especially true among Millennials and Gen Z.

Omnichannel is omnipresent. Consumers are buying more online now than ever, but a physical presence is still an important part of the overall retail business model, and shoppers are drawing a stronger connection between the two. The survey notes that 32% of respondents prefer to buy online versus in-store, yet 74% are more likely to make a purchase if they can return/exchange in-store.

Age dictates expectations and preferences. Younger buyers prioritize convenience (flexibility of returning in-store; faster delivery). Older consumers are looking for value (low-cost or free shipping; free returns).

Here, 36% of Gen Z respondents say same-day delivery is a top influence in future purchase decisions—higher than any other generation; 87% are more likely to make online purchases if they can return in-store; 75% are more likely to purchase from a retailer again if online order came with a free giveaway.

As for Millennials, 76% would add items to online carts to qualify for free shipping; 36% prefer buying online—more than any other generation; 79% are less likely to buy again from an e-tailer if delivery is delayed; and 60% are more likely to purchase from an e-tailer again if the online order came with a free giveaway.

Among Baby Boomers, less than 1% expect one-day delivery—the lowest of any group; 95% of this age group’s purchase decisions are “somewhat” or “greatly” influenced by shipping costs—more than any other group.

To learn more, download the full study here.

Features Editor

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Clearly Clean: Overwrap tray

Wed, 19 Sep 2018 18:24:13 +0000

Roll Over-Wrap™ tray
Clearly Clean’s Roll Over-Wrap™ tray is a 100% recyclable, smooth-edge overwrap tray for food products. Its proprietary, patented rolled edge provides a smooth surface for overwrap film, mitigating leakers during production and transportation.

Tray can be utilized for meat, poultry, seafood, deli, and produce—and can be customized in terms of size, thickness, shape, and color.

Numerous citywide and countywidebans on EPS (expanded polystyrene)—combined with consumer pressure and corporate commitment—are fueling the demand for eco-friendly packaging and accelerating the sustainability timelines of many organizations. Clearly Clean’s trays utilize PET, the same material used in recyclable water bottles, finally bringing a 100% recyclable, smooth-edge overwrap tray option to grocery stores, food processors, and packaging distributors.

In addition to being recyclable and providing a rolled edge to alleviate film tears, Clearly Clean’sRoll Over-Wrap™ tray allows companies to:

• Reduce product loss and increase customer satisfaction:Due to its rolled edge, this tray is three times stronger than polystyrene; therefore, unlike polystyrene, it will not break during transportation nor will it bow tie due to weak walls, significantly reducing shrink and maximizing customer satisfaction. It can also withstand high-speed processors without a loss in structural strength and can be reworked again and again if there is a film or meat styling issue.

• Make a quick and easy change from polystyrene:This rolled edge tray canimmediately replace all plastic and foam trays on high-speed packaging machinery; there is no need to change equipment.

• Maximize shelf appeal and make the product the center of attention:The look of the PET tray will stand out from the competition. In addition, the tray comes in multiple colors, including crystal clear. The latter option allows the product to be the star of the tray and enables it to be examined from all angles.

“Multiple big-name companies are already realizing the benefits of our products,” said Jeff Maguire, managing partner of Clearly Clean. “We are proud to be able to help companies extend their sustainability focus to include packaging.”

“The strong demand that our rapidly growing company is seeing for our trays is highly encouraging – not only for Clearly Clean, but also for the environment as foam trays take at least 500 years to decompose,” said Millard Wallace, managing partner and the product’s inventor. “We are committed to sustainable packaging and look forward to additional product launches as we continue to expand our green product lines.”

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icotek Corp.: Cable grommets

Wed, 19 Sep 2018 15:11:13 +0000

Cable grommets
icotek’s DT cable grommets can be used anywhere where a large number of electric, pneumatic, or hydraulic cables have to be routed and sealed with IP54 (UL type 12) seal.

With the DT 7, a maximum of four cables with a diameter of up to 6 mm can be routed. With the DT 8 two cables, each with a diameter of up to 7 or 4 mm, can be routed. By using the DT grommets, the cable density can be significantly increased.

DT grommets are compatible with the split icotek cable entry frames, such as the KEL-U, KEL and KEL-FG. The routing of cables with and without preassembled connectors inside the same cable entry frame can thus be easily combined. In addition, the DT grommets are also perfect for retrofitting cables. The pre-assembly of individual modules is also possible.

The new cable grommets are also available in ATEX version.

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INX Digital: Inkjet inks

Wed, 19 Sep 2018 14:41:59 +0000

INX Digital introduces TRIANGLE® alternative inks and Prodigy™ EBGA industrial and packaging application inks.

Prodigy EBGA is a new and unique premium inkjet ink as it cures by electron beam, with no need for photoinitiators. EBGA’s physical properties are optimized to jet from Xaar® print heads, offering strong adhesion to a variety of traditional label material and film.

Proven performance with EBGA inks is achieved using Uteco’s GAIA printer, the first inkjet machine equipped with electron beam technology that allows for substituting lamination with surface printing. With high chemical and scratch resistance, it is available in CMYK and can create custom spot color, in addition to orange, green and violet.

TRIANGLE HFB UV Curable inks provides an array of colors, fast dry times, excellent transfer, and is very cost efficient. Optimized for curing both UV and LED on HP® FB printers, they are intended for jetting with high consistency on HP Scitex FB500™, FB550™, FB700™, FB750™, FB900™, and FB950™ printers. Customers like the inks for their excellent adhesion and flexibility on a wide range of digital graphic medias.

Similar traits with fast curing rates, outstanding durability and a lower price point are attractive benefits for TRIANGLE GSU inks. These high-performance UV and LED Curable inks are designed to run on VUTEK® GS™ series hybrid model printers. Like HFB, GSU inks are formulated to achieve GRACol standards and reach G7 targets to match color and produce consistent print quality on various media. They also are UV and water resistant without coating or lamination.

New TRIANGLE water-based inks are designed for direct-to-textile and transfer printing on polyester or mixed synthetic fabrics that contain a minimum of 60 percent polyester. They also provide optimal performance on polyester banners, flags, sportswear and other garments. These new inks are approved for use in printers with Epson® DX4, DX5 and DX7 print heads.

INX Digital will feature all of these inks at SGIA Expo 2018, Las Vegas, Booth 2149.

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Paper bottle 2.0

Wed, 19 Sep 2018 14:16:39 +0000

This molded pulp bottle was a Diamond Finalist in the Dow Awards competition.
An 8.5-oz paper bottle used by a L'Oreal startup called Seed Phytonutrients was named a Diamond Finalist in the Dow Awards competition.

Developed by Ecologic Brands, the bottle is especially impressive because it has a Version 2.0 element to it. Remember, Ecologic had made plenty of headlines with its molded pulp paper bottle plus inner pouch of flexible film. But by 2015 or so, says Ecologic founder and CEO Julie Corbett, she and her colleagues had realized that the paper bottle format they were supplying to the likes of Nestle Purina and Seventh Generation was woefully suboptimal from a manufacturing efficiency standpoint. So they went back to the drawing boards.

The new and improved bottle says goodbye to the inner pouch and instead has a very thin extrusion blow molded liner that is fully recyclable and is made of 80% post-consumer HDPE. Corbett sees this new inner component as a step toward greater sustainability because it’s easier to incorporate PCR in a blow-molded part than it is with an extruded film.

Evenmore significant is a modification to the two molded pulp shells. Gone is a flange that used to require a glue that caused the fiber to fail prematurely. Now in place are interlocking tabs to bind the two shells together, an approach that is far more robust and reliable, says Corbett. Also notable is the presence of a band of tape that goes around the neck of the bottle. This helps the interlocking tabs keep the two shells together. It also adds top-load strength and keeps the HDPE neck finish in a fixed position when the threaded closure is torqued on.

Because the Seed Phytonutrient line includes shampoos and body washes, the bottle must also be shower-resistant. So a mineral extract that comes from clay is added to the pulp slurry prior to molding. In addition to giving the pulp enough water resistance to last in a shower environment for the life of the product, it acts as a natural anti-microbial agent, too. “You may begin to see early signs of deterioration towards the very end of use,” says Woodworth. “But keeping it waterproof forever is not the goal. We just want it to remain functional in the shower during its useful life.”

Corbett confirms that the bottle has passed the ASTM 6868 composting standard. In regions where commercial composting facilities are scarce or don’t exist at all, the HDPE inner component can be separated from the molded pulp material and each can go into its own recycle stream. Copy on the back label includes the following instructions: “Once empty split the bottle open and discover our heirloom seed packet inside. FUN FACT! This paper bottle uses 100% recycled material and is recyclable, and yes, this eco-friendly bottle is safe to take in the shower.”

Especially notable is how the raw material for the bottle is sourced. Ecologic is making the paper shells from paper and corrugated waste that includes waste from a L’Oreal distribution center in Valencia, CA, about 300 miles from Ecologic’s plant in Manteca. So the Seed Phytonutrients container has a closed-loop quality to it.

For more details on this truly fascinating bottle, see Packaging World’s coverage in the April issue here: We also asked Corbett for an update on where things stand now in Ecologic’s quest for an improved method of manufacturing efficiency these bottles.

"In August our new automated bottle-making system went into production in our Manteca, CA, facility,” says Corbett. “It’s now fully integrated into the production of L’Oreal’s 250-mL Seed Phytonutrients bottle. It’s still new and being proven, but we like what we see. This machine will remain in our plant, but the next one will go to the plant where Seed Phytonutrients is being filled. That way, we can ship nested shells to the bottle-filling facility rather than assembled bottles. Additionally, Ecologic and L’Oreal have partnered to create a closed-loop waste-to-value supply chain. Ecologic is now using L’Oreal’s corrugated waste generated from their Salon Centric distribution center near Los Angeles as the raw material for the production of the Seed Phytonutrients 250-mL eco.bottle®. For every seven tons of L’Oreal’s OCC waste, Ecologic makes 70,000 bottles. This is the realization of Ecologic’s Box to Bottle® system of providing companies with an importantsolution for their paper/cardboard waste, a more efficientsupply chain, and a package that has less impact on the environment.”

Vp Editor Emeritus

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PMI KYOTO: Tri-Seal top-load cartoner

Wed, 19 Sep 2018 12:00:56 +0000

Tri-seal top-load cartoner
See it at PACK EXPO International, Booth #S-2048! PMI KYOTO Packaging Systems is exhibiting its tri-seal top-load cartoner that features a pick-and-place delta robot. It can also accommodate a second delta robot at the machine infeed to fill up to 60 cartons/min, depending on the package being loaded into the carton.

The robots feature lightweight carbon shafts that allow it to handle a maximum of 120 cycles per minute. End-of-arm tooling, buckets and containers can be changed to carton flow-wrapped, bagged and thermoformed packages.

Built for high-speed operations, a re-orientation turret rotates product 90-degrees, or up to 180-degrees, to align with the orientation of the conveyor for maximum efficiency and to reduce product build-ups on the line and any scratching, punctures or pinholes to packaging material.

Unlike traditional cartoners where a mandrel presses a sheet down to form a carton, the Tri-Seal Top-Load Cartoner places a sheet between the carton former and vacuum belt and the carton former acts as the mandrel as it travels up to press against the form. Because the sheet is controlled the entire time, more accurate and higher quality cartons are created compared to typical tri-seal cartoners.

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Waterless Internet flower packaging blooms in Europe

Wed, 19 Sep 2018 10:56:29 +0000

Waterless Internet flower packaging blooms in Europe
The successful application of Flexfresh™ film with Active Modified Atmospheric Packaging Technology (AMAP) earned a 2018 Dow Diamond Award Finalist finish.

In the booming e-commerce business, it’s one thing to pack a book or a consumer product into a box along with some dunnage and ship it to an eager customer. It’s quite another to meet the challenge of sending out live flowers and have them arrive fresh and beautiful.

Yet that’s exactly what Waterless Internet Flower Packaging achieves for Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn in The Netherlands via its partnership with the Dutch Flower Group (DFG) and their e-commerce company, e-Flora.

The successful application of Flexfresh™ film with Active Modified Atmospheric Packaging Technology (AMAP) earned a 2018 Diamond Award Finalist finish for Uflex Ltd., a multinational provider of flexible film based in India. Uflex, along with its technology provider Perfotec B.V., partnered with DFG on this project, engineering the proprietary patented polymeric film designed not only for flowers, but also for living, respiring products such as fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Dow award isn’t the first recognition earned by Waterless Internet Flower Packaging. In 2017, Uflex and its Flex Films (USA) Inc. division won two Flexible Packaging Assn. Gold awards at its 61st awards competition: one for Technical Innovation, another for Extending the Use of Flexible Packaging.

N. Siva Shankaran, VP-Business Development, Uflex Ltd., says that while structural details are confidential, the film formulation includes biodegradable polymers and is adapted to the living conditions of the flowers or produce. She says oxygen transmission rate (OTR) ranges between 1,000 to 4,000 cc/m2/24hrs. Water Vapor Transmission Rate (WVTR) ranges between 50 to 300g/m2/24hrs, with barrier range dependent upon the application temperature for different products.

The respiration rate of a product is measured using a patented fast respiration meter. Shankaran notes, “Equilibrium of oxygen and carbon dioxide is achieved by naturally consuming the available oxygen by the [flowers or] produce. Oxygen level is brought down to slow down the oxidation rate. All this is possible in refrigerated conditions where the respiration rate is within normal tolerances and aids in designing the solution. Micro perforations enable the gas levels to maintain it in equilibrium based on the number of holes and the size of the holes, which are calculated through patented software.”

That software calculates a transmission value for the specific product, based on targeted oxygen or carbon dioxide, product weight, surface area of the bag, and film permeability. Once the transmission value is determined, the software calculates the number of and size of holes, based depending on the bag size. The perforations are created through CO2 lasers.

Uflex says each hole is measured and the total hole area is maintained consistently according to the target set. This process helps to dilute the atmosphere inside the bag on a real-time basis to ensure that the gas levels always stay in equilibrium. The hole size and the number of holes determine the speed of dilution.

Shankaran says that in addition to Internet sales, the film is in use in Europe, typically in bags, for a variety of produce items, where Uflex is working with leading supermarkets and producers on its adaptation. “Flexfresh is also available across different continents and major produce areas, with varieties now developed for several tropical products as well,” she says.

The material is offered in three options:

• Preformed liner bags with different transmission values

• Bags on reels where the perforation could be done on-site depending on the produce requirements

• In reel form where the pack is formed with inline perforation

Materials are flexo-process-printed in a single color at this point, although printing in up to 10 colors is possible.

Says Shankaran, “When we acquired the AMAP technology from Perfotec, we could not achieve success with the present conventional films, as the rate of respiration of tropical produce is high. They also need to be stored between 10 to 14 degrees Celsius. We looked at various possibilities and focused on how we could develop a sustainable solution, and we started working with biodegradable polymers.

“When we saw that some of the materials did not have enough strength and some material degraded fast in high-moisture environments, we decided to carefully formulate a new composition that could give us clarity, strength, and economics to offer globally. Also, we had to delay the biodegradation to ensure that during usage there were no challenges faced by our customers. From the first production of Flexfresh, we have worked on feedback from our partners and now have a robust product offering the best shelf-life extension.”

Customers have expressed their appreciation for the award-winning packaging. One of them is Inl Farms, an exporter of pomegranates, bananas, and cut fruits from India that exports to more than 27 countries, working with 2,000-plus farmers to improve the quality of production and manage the supply chain.

“Flexfresh has helped us significantly in reducing transit/storage weight loss and keeping the product fresh for 90 days compared to 60 days that we used to get without using MAP bags,” says Pankaj Khandelwal, Inl Farms’ Chairman and Managing Director. “This is especially useful for long-distance locations. We have been using Flexfresh for three years now and are extremely satisfied with its performance.”

Kay Bee Exports, an India-based exporter of air-freight fruits and vegetables, serves U.K. and European retailers. Company CEO Kaushal Khakhar notes, “We have been using Flexfresh products, especially for pomegranates, for a few years. We had done several trials across a range of products as we had found their shelf-life extending methodology very intuitive and effective. Flexfresh bags have added value by allowing us to offer extended shelf life and superior arrival quality to our customers.”
Meanwhile, e-Flora,the e-commerce experts of Dutch Flower Group, manages the online flower category from design to fulfillment for companies such as Waitrose, I-florist, Greetz, and Albert Heijn. Its Managing Director, Dave van Stijn says, “The Flexfresh film is a great way in keeping our flowers fresh during their travel via post or overnight courier services, without the use of water. Combining the unique film qualities with AMAP technology gives us the innovative edge we are looking for in order to guarantee the freshest possible flowers for our clients.”
Shankaran says Flexfresh is unique in that it works across produce and temperature conditions. “It is the world’s first 100-percent biodegradable solution by composting. Uflex has taken the lead as more supermarkets come under pressure to eliminate plastics from their counters.”

Features Editor

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Febreze a Dow award finalist

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 22:47:17 +0000

Febreze One is actually a bag-in-bottle approach.
The Dow Chemical Company recently announced the winners of the 2018 30th Awards for Packaging Innovation, which recognizes the packaging industry’s top achievements in innovative packaging designs, materials, technologies, and processes.

Among the Diamond Award Finalists was Febreze One from Cincinatti-based Procter & Gamble. One of the best known brands in the P&G portfolio, Febreze encompasses a number of odor-eliminating consumer products in packaging formats ranging from plug-ins to aerosols to trigger sprayers. Now comes Febreze One, whose unique two-in-one formula makes it a double-barreled household aid: Use it for removing odors from the air, as consumers do with a metal aerosol can of Febreze Air Effects, or to remove odors from fabric, as consumers do with a HDPE trigger-spray container of Febreze Fabric Refresher.

In addition to its cross-over functionality, Febreze One features Flairosol dispensing technology found in neither the Air Effects aerosol can nor the Fabric Refresher trigger sprayer container. It is this dispensing technology that helped the package win a Dow Award. Also impressing the Dow judges is the fact that Febreze One is a refill concept aimed at minimizing packaging waste.

Let’s examine the composition of the package, which comprises several parts:

• injection-stretch blow-molded PET container

• full-body shrink sleeve label

• spray head/dip tube/compression chamber; by far the most complicated component, it consists of some nine parts, though as we’ll see in a minute, it’s designed for many uses

• inner polyethylene bag that holds the 300 mL of liquid product and that gradually collapses around the dip tube as product is dispensed so that minimal product is wasted

This Febreze package and its Flairosol dispensing technology represent the latest refinement of a patented technology platform from the Dutch firm AFA Dispensing. For nearly 20 years AFA has offered a trigger spray dispensing technology that produces a fine mist much like an aerosol but without any need for pressurized gas.

In some ways the Flairosol spray head on Febreze One,with its trigger activator and dip tube, is a version of a regular trigger sprayer. Where it differs is that most trigger sprayers use a piston to bring a small amount of fluid up into a very small compression chamber. The compressed fluid is sprayed out of this chamber. In contrast, the AFA technology has a much larger compression chamber that is always full of compressed fluid. So there’s no need to prime the compression chamber with multiple squeezes of the trigger before product comes out. The term AFA uses to describe the chamber is “pre-compressed.” This compression chamber is always charged and ready to dispense a fine mist, at any angle, when the trigger is squeezed. The spray is so prolonged with just one squeeze and the mist is so much finer than that of a trigger sprayer that it’s more like spraying an aerosol than a trigger sprayer. But unlike conventional aerosols, there are no chemical propellants. At a time when so many consumers prefer a “clean label,” this is a big deal.

As for the reduction of waste, another high priority with consumers these days, P&G offers consumers a “starter kit” consisting of one filled container with spray head attached. Displayed on shelf beside the starter kit are refill containers that have a simple threaded closure on top. The spray head does not go into the landfill. Consumers twist it off and twist it onto a refill container, which is the exact same bag-in-bottle format as is used in the starter kit. “The spray head is designed to be used thousands of times,” says P&G’s Su Chang, Associate Director, Global Home Care R&D. “It’s a complex piece of engineering and a high-performance piece of this particular delivery system.”

Although the PET bottle and its polyester shrink sleeve label are eminently recyclable, the package does not carry the “1 PETE” code on the bottom. Instead it has a “7 Other” code. Because the PE inner component is affixed top and bottom to the PET bottle, the container is considered a mixed material. Chang notes that if the bottle goes into the PET recycle stream, the PE inner bag would be separated by the standard grind process. But because the two components can’t be easily separated by the consumer, the container is deemed a mixed material.

Blow molding the body of the container is not unlike conventional two-step injection stretch blow molding of any other PET container. One big difference, though, is that during injection molding of the preform, the inner PE bag must be affixed to the inner geometry of the neck and attached to the base, as well. Chang says some special injection molding equipment from AFA is what accomplishes this.

“We use a two-step preform molding process,” says Chang, “where you first injection mold the PE bag and then in the same mold you overmold the PET around the bag.”

Blow molding on a linear system from Italy’s Sipa is next. “We brought in Sipa for this task because they have a blow molding platform that is very good at controlling material distribution and flow, which is critical to this process.” Such control expertise is no doubt doubly important when you consider that both a PE inner component and the PET outer component must both be stretched and blown.

Once blowing is complete, the PE bag material is essentially laminated to the PET sidewall. But the two must be delaminated because the idea is to have the inner bag collapse around the dip tube as product is dispensed to minimize the amount of product that gets left behind as waste. So special delaminating equipment had to be designed jointly by AFT, PA Consulting, and P&G. Chang explains how it works.

“If you look closely at the bottom of the bottle,” says Chang, “you’ll see three little holes. What happens is we created specialized delamination equipment that pushes air through those holes to separate the PE bag material from the rigid PET sidewall. We then immediately push air into the bag from the top so that the bag is blown back out to the sidewalls again. But now it is cooled and, consequently, is delaminated from the PET sidewall. This Febreze One package is the first to be commercialized with this approach, but we’re able to run different inner bag materials and different PET bottle geometries, so you’ll see, in the next couple of years, new containers launching out of this platform.” P&G and its development partners also came up with a 100% leak detection system that utilizes helium to detect any leaks in any of the bags, says Chang.

Febreze One began appearing on store shelves in the U.S. in early 2017 and is now available nationwide. A starter kit sells for $5.99. It’s been hugely popular in other parts of the world, too. “Our 2018 launch in Japan involved absolutely the largest displays of any P&G brand launch ever,” says Chang. “It’s also worth pointing out that this was one of the fastest projects I’ve been a part of in 20 years at P&G. We went from concept to shipping product in about eight months. We relied on a supply chain out of Asia for our earliest shipments, but now we are producing out of our St. Louis P&G manufacturing site. The bottle behaves pretty much like any other PET bottle as far as filling goes. But we’re still optimizing things like label application and torqueing of the spray heads, so filling speeds are not where they need to be just yet.”

Labels, Chang adds, come from CCL Label. “The label has a subtle matte quality plus glossy elements that give the package great shelf presence,” she notes.

Finally, well worth mentioning is that Fabreze One was also named Product of the Year 2018 in the Air Care category in the world’s largest consumer-voted award competition for product innovation, a competition conducted by market research and consumer insight agency Kantar TNS.

VP Editor Emeritus

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Tubairless: A consumer-pleasing tube/pouch/bottle hybrid

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 15:45:07 +0000

Tubairless: A consumer-pleasing tube/pouch/bottle hybrid
Dow Diamond Award Finalist Tubairless uses a vent hole in the middle of the sleeve and integrates an internal flexible pouch.

Packaging is ever-evolving. Done right, such developments are exciting and beneficial to consumers. PumpArt System's Tubairless packaging for example exemplifies packaging that pleases consumers.

The packaging also turned heads at Dow, as it was named a Diamond Award Finalist.

Also known as Tubeasy, Tubairless is better described as hybrid packaging that bridges the gap between a squeezable tube, a soft pouch, and an airless pump bottle. Essentially, it’s a three-component package, consisting of tube, pouch, and closure.

“Tubairless is a ‘bag-in-squeezable-tube’ technology,” explains Xavier Sutty, PumpArt System CEO. “The bag acts like an integrated soft piston and as a ‘cocoon’ for the cream [product]. The challenge is to assemble a very soft plastic pouch inside a squeezable tube, at a precise position while ensuring tightness.”

The packaging uses a vent hole in the middle of the sleeve and integrates an internal flexible pouch. Manufacturing Tubairless can be done either inline through the tube-making process, or offline, says Sutty, who prefers not to divulge assembly process details.

The tube and pouch are polyethylene-based and may be manufactured in monolayer or multilayer versions. Post-consumer or bio-based resins can be used. Sutty notes that any traditional tube decoration process works for Tubairless as well, including offset, silkscreen, flexo, digital, and hot-stamp printing.

Because of its integrated piston, Tubairless is said to deliver upwards of 95% of the product effortlessly, eliminating the need to twist, crush, flatten, or cut a squeezable tube to evacuate all of the product. The company says Tubairless enhances natural ingredient preservation, easily dispenses viscous creams, controls the flow and size of each dose, and retains the shape, aesthetics, and ergonomics of the tube.

When it comes to sustainability advantages, Tubairless is designed to be 50% lighter than traditional airless pump packaging because the pump is replaced with the lightweight PE pouch within the tube. The package is also said to reduce product waste by 80% compared to a traditional plastic tube. Tubairless is 100% recyclable as monolayer PE.

Pumpart System indicates that it can provide three versions—or levels—of Tubairless:

• A finished package that includes the tube, pouch system, and closure

• Services to transform traditional tubes into the Tubairless

• Licensing to allow customers to produce their own Tubairless via specific machinery recommended by the company

The package is suitable for masks, balms, exfoliators, toothpaste, haircare gels and conditioners, hand creams, and sunscreens. Filling is done through the neck, with the bottom sealed. Filling can be completed on standard lines for bottles, tottles, or jars. Watch videos of the process.

The current Tubairless version was launched in 2015. Since then, the process, machines, and materials have changed, Sutty says. “Over time, the process has been streamlined, integrated, and automated. Multilayer, PCR-based and bio-based resin options were also added,” he explains.

Customers using Tubariless are primarily located in Europe and in the U.S. Many of the brands that have adopted Tubairless packaging are identified on the company’s website, complete with brand owner complements. These include Chantecaille’s Bebe body lotions and facial creams, Ozalys’ dermo-cosmetic products for women affected by breast cancer, and Lady Green skincare products for young women.

Features Editor

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Global packaging leader and educator Keith Pearson to join Packaging & Processing Hall of Fame

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 15:02:32 +0000

Keith Pearson
When Keith Pearson accepted the World Packaging Organisation presidency in 2006, the International Packaging Press Organisation noted it was the first time that a WPO president came from Africa. At the time, IPPO pointed out that Pearson was “strongly committed to educational matters, and to helping spread knowledge of packaging to the third world.”

Born on the East Coast of South Africa, this inductee into the Packaging & Processing Hall of Fame has dedicated his life and nearly 50-year career to packaging on that continent—and around the globe. His passion is educating professionals and students about the packaging function’s significance in society, particularly when it comes to reducing or eliminating food and packaging waste in a circular economy and addressing starvation.

“For the circular economy to be effective or have any chance of becoming a reality, there needs to be meaningful collaboration for all the stakeholders, government, raw material suppliers, converters, consumers, and recycling industries,” he says. “Stakeholders must move away from the linear model of make and dispose, to manufacture products that are recycled back into the manufacturing stream. This form of sustainability embraces the ‘Triple Bottom Line’ by adding value to people, planet, and profit. Consumers will need to support this by [embracing] the reduce, reuse, and recycle way of living, with industries redesigning waste out of manufacturing processes.”

Pearson’s passion has evolved during a distinguished professional career that started as an engineer at Kohler Corrugated Packaging in 1970. Three years later he was transferred to Walvis Bay Containers in Namibia as the production manager at a corrugated converter serving the fishing industry. He continued to advance within the Kohler Group, becoming Managing Director. He subsequently became active in the Institute of Packaging South Africa, where he served two terms as Chairman. IPSA awarded him with an honorary membership, while he also earned a Packaging Achiever Award from the Packaging Council of South Africa.

The IPSA experience provided important international exposure for Pearson, who also began to attend WPO board meetings. “Rubbing shoulders with packaging executives from around 50 countries was an amazing experience. It provided me with an in-depth understanding regarding the global role of packaging when visiting WPO member countries,” he says. Pearson played an integral role in the inauguration of packaging institutes in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Iran, and in the formation of the African Packaging Organisation.

That worldly experience lent Pearson a unique perspective. “With the advent of democracy in South Africa, the rest of Africa started opening up for trade,” he recalls. “It was then that South African packaging organizations were able to supply packaging as well as establish manufacturing facilities through partnerships and joint ventures.”

His specific expertise lies in food and beverage packaging, particularly in the export of products such as fruit to Europe, whose currency helped the African farming community expand. “South African packaging has always maintained a high standard, and it is not uncommon today to find South African-owned companies operating in Europe,” he says. Pearson also notes that many global firms operate manufacturing facilities in South Africa, mentioning Kellogg’s, AB InBev (SA Breweries), Nestlé, Unilever, Mondelez, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Colgate, Procter & Gamble, Heineken, Diageo, GSK, Danone, Beiersdorf, and Reckitt Benckiser.

His 18 years serving on the WPO board remains a highlight of his career. “WPO gave me the privilege of being part of a global family where developed and developing countries could network,” Pearson says. He takes pride in “supporting WPO’s vision of providing ‘Better quality of life through better packaging for more people.’”

Since retiring from Kohler Packaging, Pearson has continued to work as a packaging consultant in countries throughout Africa.

“The most positive aspect of my experience has been the fact that I have been given opportunities for personal growth, both in the company I worked for, and in the organizations that I became involved in,” says Pearson. Clearly, he has paid that opportunity forward to the numerous professionals and students with whom he has shared his wisdom over the past 48 years.

The Packaging & Processing Hall of Fame will welcome all five new members as its 45th class at PACK EXPO International 2018 (Oct. 14–17 ; McCormick Place, Chicago), according to Hall of Fame coordinator and show producer PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. This year’s other inductees are Michael Okoroafor, Timothy Bohrer, Susan Selke and Chuck Yuska. Read short snippets about the other inductees by clicking here, or read their full profiles, to be posted individually in coming days, by clicking here.

Features Editor

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Exair: Atomizing spray nozzles

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 12:20:43 +0000

Atomizing spray nozzle
Exair’s 1/8 NPT no drip external mix atomizing spray nozzles mix liquid and air outside the nozzle and allow the air and liquid flows to be adjusted independently.

Nozzles work in the same way Exair’s standard atomizing nozzles do but have the added benefit of positively stopping liquid flow when compressed air is shut off.

Post spray drips waste precious resources such as expensive coatings, chemicals or water and are now eliminated with Exair’s patented design. When spraying any type of liquid, post-spray liquid flow can cause big problems. Unwanted drips can ruin product function on sealing or mating surfaces. Drips can also ruin the appearance of painted or coated finishes. Exair’s no drip atomizing nozzles are ideal where no post-spray drip is permissible. When the compressed air supply is shut off, the no drip nozzle positively seals off the flow of liquid eliminating the possibility of drips.
Exair 's no drip external mix atomizing nozzles are available in three different liquid patterns: round, narrow angle flat fan and wide angle flat fan patterns. No drip external mix atomizing nozzles are available with 1/8, ¼, and 1/2 NPT inlets with a variety of liquid flow values to suit your application. They are for pressure fed applications where precise liquid flow is needed. External mix nozzles can be used on liquids with a viscosity above 300 centipoise.

Applications include painting, coating, rinsing, cooling, quenching, wetting (moistening), dust control and humidification. The compact atomizing nozzles are fully adjustable to minimize air and liquid consumption and have interchangeable liquid and air caps. They are CE compliant and conflict mineral free. Prices start at $332.

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Volpak: Hf/f/s machine for stand-up pouches

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 12:40:32 +0000

SI 280 hf/f/s machine
See it at PACK EXPO International, Booth # S-2501! Volpak’s SI 280 hf/f/s machine is designed for stand-up pouches up to 2,500 mL and speeds up to 180 ppm.

SI 280 addresses the needs and requirements of Industry 4.0 and digitalization, hence comes with a set of "smart" advanced devices such as an asset performance evaluation system, central data storage, web-based self-diagnosis system and plug & play interconnectivity.

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Dow Diamond finalist is a one-step form/fill technology

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 06:48:44 +0000

The first commercial application of LiquiForm is a bottle for the Nature’s Promise brand of liquid hand soap.
A ground-breaking technology that forms and fills bottles in one step using incompressible, consumable liquid, is recognized as a Diamond finalist in Dow’s Awards for Packaging Innovation.

A triple threat, Amcor Rigid Plastics’ LiquiForm® game-changing form/fill technology offers consumers higher efficiency, superior container quality, and greater sustainability versus traditional bottle blow-molding and liquid-filling processes. That’s according to Ashish Saxena, Vice President and General Manager of Amcor 360 Packaging Solutions, a service of Amcor Rigid Plastics, whose LiquiForm technology was selected as a Diamond finalist in The Dow Chemical Company’s 2018 30th Awards for Packaging Innovation.

Since 2014, The LiquiForm Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amcor Rigid Plastics, has been making news for its work on LiquiForm technology, which uses consumable liquid instead of compressed air to simultaneously form and fill a container. Combining bottle manufacturing and liquid filling into one step, LiquiForm eliminates the need for blow-molding equipment and air pressure systems—a sea change that not only results in a container with superior material distribution properties, but also offers the potential for a completely new and more streamlined supply chain for liquid products.

Saxena details the benefits of LiquiForm throughout the supply chain: “Let’s start with the raw material itself, which is resin. There are two advantages LiquiForm brings in resin. First, there’s flexibility to use PET, high-density polyethylene, and polypropylene. Second, in a number of cases, the resin consumption can also be reduced, as lighter-weight containers can be achieved through the improved consistency in wall thickness. As you go from resin to the actual container, another benefit is that there is no need for empty container transportation.

“Inside the manufacturing operations, complexity is greatly reduced, as the system is much smaller, simpler, and more flexible. And, because containers are formed and filled with one machine, we are exploring the potential for customers to move production closer to demand. Since the machines are small and simple to operate, customers could move their packaging operations to strategically-placed warehouses, resulting in savings on finished goods transportation.”

The first commercial application of the technology, a bottle for the Nature’s Promise brand of liquid hand soap, launched in December 2017. The bottle is made from PET with 50% post-consumer recycled content and was formed/filled on an Amcor-built machine powered by LiquiForm technology. Delicate embossing of the brand’s symbol—a leaf—on the shoulder of the bottle demonstrates the capability of the technology to create fine details.

“Because of its incompressibility, a liquid is able to provide far better definition onto the mold than air,” says Saxena. “We’ve done several like comparisons, and what we find is that even when you crank up the air pressure to quite a high level, liquid is still able to provide much finer detail—for example, giving a container a texture like an orange peel or adding small engravings like a braille inscription.

“This is one of the things that is attracting brands to this technology, because packaging is ultimately about winning on shelf and with the customer. LiquiForm enables companies to differentiate their packaging and make it more attractive.”

To help customers such as Nature’s Promise bring a LiquiForm-produced package to market, Amcor 360 Packaging Solutions provides an end-to-end service—from package development to full-scale forming and filling—assisting them in optimizing their package design, reconfiguring their supply chain, and streamlining production. For the Nature’s Promise project, the brand’s co-packer provided the product, and Amcor formed/filled the bottle on its proprietary equipment.

Saxena shares that Amcor is working with a number of other home and personal care brand owners to bring to market their products in LiquiForm packaging, with the initial bottles manufactured by Amcor. The hope is that as their container volumes grow, CPGs will eventually bring the technology in-house. “We anticipate a gradual ramp-up in production volumes,” he adds. “People obviously want to start small. It’s the ‘crawl, walk, run’ process that we are likely to see, even with LiquiForm—it’s no different than any other new idea that comes along.” –Anne Marie Mohan

Senior Editor, Packaging World

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Flat wine bottle for e-commerce is a Dow Diamond finalist

Sun, 16 Sep 2018 06:29:11 +0000

The wines are packaged in a corrugated, letterbox-friendly postal pack.
A flat, Bordeaux-style wine bottle that easily fits through U.K. households’ letterboxes is named a Diamond finalist in The Dow Chemical Company’s 2018 30th Awards for Packaging Innovation.

Innovation not just for innovation’s sake, but driven by unmet consumer and industry needs: That was the inspiration behind Garçon Wines’ Flat Wine Bottle for e-commerce, a uniquely shaped wine bottle that easily slides through the rectangular letterboxes found in the doors of U.K. consumers and businesses. For its ingenuity, this “flattened” 750-cL PET bottle, which not only facilitates the delivery of wine packages, but also features a number of notable sustainability improvements over round glass bottles, was recognized by Dow as a Diamond finalist in its 2018 30th Awards for Packaging Innovation.

“We didn’t set out to create a flat wine bottle, we set out to find a way to deliver wine seamlessly into U.K. homes when the recipient was not there to take delivery in person,” explains Santiago Navarro, CEO and Co-Founder of London-based Delivering Happiness Ltd., trading as Garçon Wines. “The idea was catalyzed by the need to solve a specific, clear problem of home delivery in the U.K.”

The U.K.’s online retail association, IMRG, estimates that failed deliveries cost the industry around £780 million each year, while environmental experts say they result in 900,000 kg of carbon emissions generated from redelivery attempts by couriers or from consumers driving to Royal Mail collection points to retrieve their parcels.

Navarro says Garçon Wines explored a number of packaging options to eliminate failed wine deliveries, including bag-in-box or pouch packaging in a secondary shipping case that fits through the letterbox. “However, while these more obvious solutions achieved the functional benefits of seamless delivery, they completely missed the emotional benefits of a vessel that looked beautiful enough that it would be proudly placed on a dining table,” he says.

After “weeks and weeks” of pondering the problem, Navarro says he had his eureka! moment. His idea was to flatten the bottle, or take a cross section of the wine bottle shape, so it would fit through a letterbox but still look like a traditional Bordeaux bottle in its proportions and in the shape of its shoulder and neck. “Respecting the heritage and tradition of wine meant we achieved maximum emotional benefits, while being functionally beneficial too,” he says.

To bring the bottle design to fruition, Garçon Wines worked with RPC M&H Plastics. The project was not straightforward though, as Garçon Wines also wanted to construct the bottle using 100% recycled PET. While the use of rPET is not unique in the production of beverage bottles as a whole, it is rather rare for wine bottles, Navarro says. “Using virgin PET is cheaper and easier for bottle production, and it’s my view this is why recycled PET has not been used to the extent it should be,” he says. “In addition, recycled PET at 50-percent content and higher, and definitely at 100 percent, is not clear—it’s slightly greyish and cloudy. I believe brands have been scared that consumers would react negatively to this, and so they’ve stuck with the crystal-clear option of virgin PET.

RPC M&H Plastics overcame the discoloration issue by making the bottles a natural olive green for red and white wines and a light pink for rosé wines. The rPET is mixed with an additive that prevents oxygen migration and assists in prolonging the shelf life of the wine. Navarro says the wine should not remain in the bottle beyond the recommended shelf life of 12 months to avoid oxidation of the wine. He adds that food-safe 100% rPET has been proven by multiple independent sources to not affect the taste of the wine.

While the 12-month shelf life is significantly longer than typically achieved with plastic wine bottles, Navarro admits it offers a shorter shelf life than glass. But that’s okay; the flat wine bottle is not meant for luxury wines. “We’re not catering to wines that need to be aged in-bottle,” he says. “The finest wines that can benefit from bottle aging, such as a first-growth Bordeaux, should be bottled in glass and sealed with natural cork. However, this is just a very tiny fraction of the 33 billion bottles of wine consumed annually across the globe.”

The flat bottle is 320-mm tall, about 2-cm taller than the round glass version of the same shape and volume after which it is modeled. Its shape and its use of plastic offer a number of sustainability benefits related to distribution, from vineyard to final consumer. Garçon Wines says the bottle is 87% lighter than an equivalent glass bottle, providing a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions during transportation, which may include fuel for both trucks and ships. Its plastic construction also reduces breakage, limiting waste, and, says Navarro, less energy is used per unit to produce a plastic bottle versus a glass one.

On the subject of shape, having two flat sides and being 40% spatially smaller, the bottle also significantly increases the cube efficiency of the packages during transport. According to Navarro, round glass bottles, stacked four levels high on a pallet, have a cube efficiency of 34.45%, meaning the total volume of wine on the pallet is 34.45% of the total cubic volume of the pallet. In contrast, the cube efficiency of a similarly stacked pallet of flat wine bottles is 50.77%. “This means our bottles increase the cube efficiency of wine in transport by 47 percent,” he says.

Garçon Wines is eager to share its invention with all takers. The company began as a B2C brand for a U.K. wine club. With the creation of the flat wine bottle, it pivoted to become a B2B beverage packaging and wine wholesaler partnering with a growing global range of wineries, wine brands, wholesalers, clubs, and packaging companies. It is currently focusing on the consumer gifting space in the U.K., offering six varieties of wine via three e-tailers: Bloom & Wild, which pioneered letterbox flowers; Next Flowers, the online flower delivery division of a well-known U.K. retailer; and online consumer and corporate gifting company Gifted To You.

The wines are packaged in a corrugated, letterbox-friendly postal pack developed in collaboration with a proprietary British-based international packaging company. “It was developed primarily to deliver the wine safely and seamlessly through the letterbox,” says Navarro. “To this aim, a fit in the majority of postal boxes was a must, and so we researched letterbox dimensions at a level that few others would ever do. It was also created to minimize the amount of packaging used and to ensure it was easily and fully recyclable after, as being eco-friendly is fundamental to everything we do. Finally, we care about the emotional, and so we designed our postal pack to be as attractive and appealing as possible.”

But letterbox delivery is “really just the tip of the iceberg” for Garçon Wines, Navarro says. The company has global plans for the flat bottle, not only for use with wines, but also for spirits and other liquid food and drinks. “We’ve secured our intellectual property for flat bottles across 35 of the main wine-consuming and producing countries, and we’ve got plans afoot to enter key wine and spirits markets,” he shares. He also notes that the company has “a couple of products in the pipeline” for in-store retailing in the U.K., the Netherlands, and Scandinavia.

Senior Editor, Packaging World

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Cracking open packaging innovation

Sat, 15 Sep 2018 05:26:45 +0000

While Chobani’s yogurt hasn’t changed, a new squeezable, resealable pouch opens up new uses for the product.
Some of the best examples of packaging innovation are those that address unarticulated consumer needs by offering greater functionality and enjoyment of existing products.

I enjoy being in the water. I can relax for hours in a pool. I also enjoy surfing the oceans and swimming in lakes. But for some reason, I just don’t feel as comfortable in those waters as I do in a pool. Anyway, I recently took my son to a birthday party at a lake house where guests were playing on a gigantic floating yoga mat made from thick, closed-cell foam. A dozen people could lay out and have fun on this thing. It was incredible, and I found myself spending hours in the lake, really enjoying the time. Reflecting on the experience, I consider the lake mat a surprisingly innovative product.

To many, “innovation” is just another buzzword. And, rightfully so. The term is tossed around as if it’s buried within our periphery, and all we have to do is locate and implement it. And it makes sense that management is focused on innovation; it is a survival requirement for packaging suppliers. You either pitch commodities or intellectual property—the end result of innovation.

With probable bias, I’ve learned over the years that Consumer Packaged Goods innovations often originate at the packaging supplier. CPG brands have serious struggles innovating. If they change up their product, it’s no longer the same product. Change Heineken’s formula, and it’s no longer Heineken. Since CPGs can’t necessarily change the product, their packaging is prime for makeover after makeover. When brands don’t have a stream of new packaging ideas coming their way, they start to beat down on price. And you can’t blame them; if they can’t implement fresh ideas, they’ll spend their time pounding on costs. Feed them great ideas, and you’ll get to drive that part of the discussion.

Think about some current game-changing innovations in the CPG space. Heinz sells the same ketchup it sold in a sachet in an innovative dip-and-squeeze package that required significant collaboration with various suppliers. Daisy and Chobani boast new use cases by selling the same product in a new flexible package. Drink a Coke with your name on it, dispense your spices from grinders integrated into closures, and snack on cookies with super-easy resealability. All of these innovations are: 1.) protected; and 2.) packaging-supplier driven.

I don’t think these examples are divinely inspired. I think they are all the result of the same strategy by suppliers: providing solutions to unarticulated consumer needs. Ketchup packets are routinely opened and immediately dispensed, so a dipping tray makes sense and eliminates a step in the process. Many folks use yogurt as a condiment, so it makes sense to have an integrated dispenser versus a spoon. No one likes stale cookies, so we clip and twist bags, but built-in package resealability saves multiple steps. And while freshly ground spices give any dish a premium feel, making them more convenient and accessible for home chefs to use can turn any Betty Crocker into Julia Childs.

I do think solutions are in our periphery, but innovative solutions address shopper and user needs that aren’t articulated. You have to invest time analyzing consumers and searching for patterns in human behavior. Order fries. Open three sachets of ketchup and dispense on a (hopefully sanitary) surface. Repeat billions and billions of times for each French fry order over the past 63 years. This is a prime example of observation leading to innovation: Heinz removed the surface from the process and created a package that can dispense ketchup and/or be used as a dipper for every kind of fry consumer. And since each dipper holds an equivalent of about three packs of ketchup, a wonderful byproduct is an overall reduction in waste.

You can do this yourself through ethnographic focus groups—watching and documenting reactions of real consumers using your (or your client’s) products in a realistic environment. And you can take this qualitative method a step further by utilizing a neuroscientific approach to collecting, sorting, and using automation to find trends in human behavior. Step 1 is to observe, Step 2 is to identify the behavior you wish to improve, and Step 3 is to develop packaging that consistently changes human behavior to a more desired process.

When I think back on that floating yoga mat, it totally changed the lake experience for everyone. I’ve not seen that many children (or parents) being in the water and enjoying the lake like that before. It’s hard for me to articulate it, but it improved how I used water—something I’ve spent my entire life doing. In my opinion, it’s an impressive innovation—a simple, commoditized packaging material turned into a very high-market CPG product.

I wonder who in this product’s life cycle did the research? Was the product a response to consumer demand, or was it an innovation in the product life cycle—specifically the distribution packaging and logistics leg—that allowed this product to exist? Regardless, Step 1 remains constant for all of us tasked with improving the CPG world: There is no replacement for research and observation.

Dr. R. Andrew Hurley is the founder of Package Insight and The Packaging School, and an Associate Professor at Clemson University.

Contributing Editor

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