Pack World

Sealed paper packaging spreads wings

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:44:41 +0000

Bosch’s first continuous-motion v/f/f/s machine, the SVE 2520 ZAP.
Bosch Packaging Technology and BillerudKorsnäs debuted their joint effort in sealed paper technology at PACK EXPO International 2016, but at interpack 2017 the two firms revealed significant advances aimed at sugar and flour producers, both large and small scale, to be the users of this technology.

Sure to attract sugar manufacturers, the SVE 2520 ZAP, Bosch’s first continuous-motion v/f/f/s machine, is now capable of producing dust-tight, sealed paper bags. Meanwhile, flour producers gravitated to the upgraded PME mandrel wheel machine with ZAP-Module.

“The positive market reaction to the launch of Sealed Paper Packaging in 2016 led to an extension of the ZAP-Module within our portfolio. By offering two alternative technologies now equipped with the ZAP-Module, we are not only able to answer the individual needs of dry food producers, but also give them the possibility to differentiate themselves by offering consumers completely recyclable paper packaging – at the same time improving product quality,” says Bernhard Bruhn, product line manager dry food at Bosch Packaging Technology.

Until now, mono-material paper packaging was only possible with glued, pre-made bags or formed paper bags on a mandrel wheel. But while the general v/f/f/s concept is flexible with formats and pack styles, it previously only allowed bag production using polymer film or fully coated paper. With the ZAP-Module from Bosch, it is now possible to process mono-material paper on VFFS technology with dust-tight sealing.

Axello®ZAP paper from BillerudKorsnäs, specially developed for this and the ZAP-Module application, uniquely allows for heat sealing. The ZAP-Module partially applies a minimal amount of the sealing agent during the packaging process, thus enabling heat sealing of the paper on the v/f/f/s machine. This new sealed paper packaging is also available for the mandrel wheel machine to improve the traditional paper bags produced on this type of machine by making them dust-tight. As a result, retailers and consumers profit from clean shelves, enhanced product protection from contamination and thus improved product quality.

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EXPO PACK Guadalajara Outpaces High Expectations

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:42:20 +0000

EXPO PACK Guadalajara Outpaces High Expectations
2017 event breaks records for attendance, exhibitors and exhibit space.

EXPO PACK Guadalajara continued its maturation from a regional show in Western Mexico to a truly international event, welcoming nearly 16,000 attendees to the Expo Guadalajara June 13–15. Just as impressive as the 45 percent rise in attendance from 2015 was the increase in diversity with over 40 percent traveling from outside the immediate Jalisco area, including international attendance from Guatemala, Cuba, Costa Rica, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru.

“This year’s event confirmed our belief that like EXPO PACK México in the even years, EXPO PACK Guadalajara has taken the mantle of the leading packaging and processing event in Latin America in the odd numbered years,” says Jim Pittas, COO of show producer PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. “It exceeded our expectations in attendance, exhibitors and total event floor space.”

All told more than 21,000 packaging and processing professionals from 16 countries descended among 757 booths spread across 140,000 net square feet of exhibit space—triple the size of 2015. International pavilions included Brazil, Canada, China, France, Italy, Spain and the United States. PMMI was represented by 160 member exhibitors, with more than half —82— in the PMMI pavilion.

EXPO PACK General Director Gerardo Barajas opened the show with high expectations based on research from the Mexican Packaging Association (AMEE) that indicated steady growth in the Mexican packaging and processing market. The total production of the Mexican packaging industry increased 4.6 percent over the previous year and is expected to grow 5 percent by the end of 2017. This data served as the impetus for many educational opportunities for attendees including a standing-room only conference session from MILA Managing Director Luis Doménech that outlined the causes of the current stability in the Mexican market and presented a series of strategies for success. Doménech described the market as ripe for investment with multinational consumer packaged goods companies, an exploding beverage sector and an increasing desire for automation driving growth.

Additional educational offerings included free on-floor Innovation Stage presentations, a full conference program, Packaging Congress and the Envases Estelares Award from AMEE.

As in previous years EXPO PACK Guadalajara’s success was bolstered by unparalleled support from most of Mexico’s leading professional industry associations. These important organizations include AMEE, Cámara de Comercio de Guadalajara, Cámara de la Industria Alimenticia de Jalisco (CIAJ), Cámara Nacional de Fabricantes de Envases Metálicos (CANAFEM), Cámara Nacional de la Industria de Artes Gráficas de Jalisco (CANAGRAF Jalisco), Cámara Nacional de la Industria de Conservas Alimenticias (CANAINCA), Cámara Nacional de la Industria de Productos Cosméticos y Asociación Nacional de la Industria de Productos del Cuidado Personal y del Hogar A.C. (CANIPEC), Cámara Nacional de la Industria Farmacéutica (CANIFARMA) and Cámara Regional de la Industria de la Transformación del Estado de Jalisco (CAREINTRA).

EXPO PACK México returns to Expo Santa Fe México in Mexico City June 5-8, 2018. Exhibit sales are now open. For more information visit

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Package design adds social media element to blood testing

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:13:15 +0000

Package Design Adds Social Media Element to Blood Testing
Thriva markets blood tests and analysis online, using package design to make finger-prick tests easier and more convenient for U.K. consumers.

Thriva is a London-based company that offers blood tests and analysis for U.K. consumers. They offer everything from a “baseline” kit that tracks health risks to “one-off” tests for energy, thyroid function, testosterone, lifestyle and Vitamin B12. The kits aim to make it easy, convenient and quick for anybody to find out what's actually happening inside their body. Kits can be ordered on-line and include everything needed to perform a blood finger-prick test at home.

The company is changing a potentially complicated and unsettling procedure into an accessible, intuitive and friendly service/experience through their packaging designed by packaging and design agency Burgopak.

Seeking to empower people to proactively manage their health, Thriva resolved to offer convenience, ease of use and insightfulness in one package, delivered through the mail. This involved submitting the finger-prick experience and packaging to a complete overhaul. By working with Burgopak, Thriva met its goals by providing an attractive, simple, approachable lifestyle product with a twist.

Eliot Brooks, Thriva’sCo-Founder and COO says, “Thriva set out to disrupt the current model of healthcare. We knew from the offset that a key determinant of success would be winning consumer trust. The end-to-end product has to be super slick and well thought through. For us, the packaging was a key opportunity to turn what can be quite a daunting moment in the customer journey (you are literally about to prick your finger and bleed), into one of sheer delight.

Thriva achieved its brand proposition of credibility and trustworthiness through Burgopak’s graphic design and high-quality finish with a double-sided print. Every step in the prick test process is clearly laid out through numbered compartments in which the devices needed for each stage are held securely. Guiding the user through the finger-prick journey by keeping things simple in this way reduces errors, helps reassure the user, and mitigates any concerns about taking a finger-prick test.

Burgopak’s sliding mechanism enhances the unboxing experience, as do the sample collection tube holders. The design was not only financially sound, but also added a social media element to the blood sampling procedure by encouraging people to place their “pricked” finger through an aperture on the provided backdrop and to take a photo to share on Twitter.

Brooks says, “Burgopak's solution managed to compactly fit all components in, and still fall within postal guidelines for the large letter classification—something other suppliers struggled with. Not only did they meet our functional requirements, but their pop-and-slide mechanism created that wow factor that has resulted in many customers sharing our product on social media.”

Thriva sells its kits online and via select distribution partners. Prices vary based on test type.

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Vortec: Hazardous location enclosure coolers

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 17:02:00 +0000

Hazardous location enclosure coolers
ITW Vortec has introduced the ProtEX Vortex A/C, certified for Zones 1 and 21; ATEX certification means that industrial facilities can now save thousands of dollars while cooling electrical, electronic, and control system enclosures in ATEX Zones 1 and 21.

The newly ATEX-certified ProtEX Vortex A/C models 8115, 8125, 8135 and 8170 are certified to the latest EN ISO 80079-36:2016 standard and fill the need for safe enclosure cooling in hazardous locations. These Vortec models offer 900, 1500, 2500 or 5,000 BTU/hr. cooling capacity to suit the differing needs of each enclosure and facility.

Vortec’s ProtEX Vortex A/C units operate in environments up to 175 deg. F. They are designed to cool enclosures quietly rather than adding to industrial noise, with 62 dBA operation, 78% quieter than typical vortex coolers. The design of the units ensures that no ambient, dirty, or humid air enters the cabinet. They require no wiring and can be easily installed in minutes. A mechanical thermostat turns the unit on only when necessary.

All four of the Vortec ProtEX models have a small footprint to fit on all enclosures and in confined areas; and can be mounted to the top or side of the enclosure. The Vortex A/C units have already been successfully cooling a wide range of industrial environments from petrochemical plants to food manufacturing.

The Vortec ProtEX Vortex A/C units gained safety certification for compressed air temperatures of up to 120 deg. F. and are approved for a Temperature Class of T3.

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Smirnoff Vodka debuts new ‘Love Wins’ bottles

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 14:09:00 +0000

The makers of Smirnoff Vodka take pride in continued support of the LGBTQ community with new ‘Love Wins’ bottles.

The Smirnoff Co. has launched a new limited-edition ‘Love Wins’ bottle for Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka that celebrates inclusivity, acceptance, and love in all its forms. The Smirnoff brand has supported the LGBTQ community for several decades, and the new bottles are the latest representation of its commitment to equality. The brand will donate $1 per bottle made, with a minimum of $260,000, to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest organization working for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer equality.

Each Love Wins Smirnoff No. 21 bottle and carton is unique, with its iridescent rainbow aesthetic and new LGBTQ Smirnoff logo; no two bottles are identical. Each bottle features different images of real love and real people, created and photographed by San Francisco-based photographer Sarah Deragon, the creator of the Identity Project, which examines how people define their gender and sexuality.

“Simply put, the Smirnoff brand stands for inclusivity,” says Jamie Young, Smirnoff Brand Manager. “Whether it’s gender, race, or in this case, sexual orientation, we believe the best times are when everyone is included. We are proud to support the HRC and the LGBTQ community, and to celebrate all kinds of love out there.”

The HRC represents a grassroots force of more than 1.5 million members and supporters working every day to make LGBTQ equality a reality, a cause that directly relates to the Smirnoff brand’s core belief of inclusivity. Smirnoff, as well as its parent company Diageo, have had a long-standing partnership with the HRC; Diageo has been named one of the Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality and has received a perfect score of 100% on the Corporate Equality Index for nine consecutive years.

“We are grateful to Diageo and Smirnoff for their continued and generous support of LGBTQ equality, and proud of our longstanding relationship," says Adam Marquez, Associate Director, Corporate Development at HRC. “It’s always inspiring when brands take action to encourage positive change, especially at a time when we are working harder than ever to push back against anti-equality forces. The Love Wins bottles are showing the country that love truly conquers hate—and that we celebrate you, no matter who you are or who you love.”

To add an additional layer to the Love Wins launch, Smirnoff is asking couples over the age of 25 to submit their photos to a microsite for the opportunity to be featured on the next bottle design in 2018. For every eligible photo submitted between May 23 and September 30, Smirnoff will donate an additional $1 per photo to the HRC (up to $10,000).

The Smirnoff No. 21 Love Wins bottles are now available in 750-mL and 1-L bottles, comparatively priced with standard Smirnoff No. 21 vodka.

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AMCI: All-in-one stepper motion control

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:30:28 +0000

All-in-one stepper motion control
Advanced Micro Controls Inc. (AMCI), has added larger motor sizes to their lineup of PLC-based SMD series “all-in-one” stepper motor + drive + controllers, to satisfy a wide variety of applications with varying torque requirements.

The SMD Series offers many sophisticated features at a low price point, and integration eliminates the need to purchase multiple components. AMCI’s SMD Series integrated solutions are ideal for new machinery and retrofits when looking to automate set up axes. Applications that benefit from the SMD Series “all-in-one” integrated solution include those looking to automate set-up axes and boost production output (example: packaging machine changeovers).

AMCI’s SMD Series integrated stepper motors offer a wide variety of options for exceptional performance across a range of applications. With the addition of NEMA size 34 packages, options now include NEMA size 23, NEMA size 24, and NEMA size 34, with torque ranging from 130 oz-in (0.9 N-m) to 850 oz-in (6.0 N-m).

Features of AMCI’s SMD Series include built-in network connectivity, EtherNet/IP, Modbus-TCP, or Profibus, built-in Ethernet switch, SynchroStep technology, optional integrated encoder (incremental or multi-turn absolute), IP67 rated versions, gearboxes, and compatible cord sets.

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Weber Packaging: Label film

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 14:42:26 +0000

The Flexlyte Arctic 300 quick-tack, all temperature film material uses an aggressive adhesive that can be applied successfully to packages in wet, damp, and freezer conditions.

Weber Packaging Solutions released two new label materials specifically designed to handle tough customer labeling challenges.

Transprint 425 FL
A new version of Weber’s Transprint label materials, Transprint 425 FL features a thin clear polyester release liner, as opposed to the standard paper liner used more frequently. The thinner liner allows more labels per roll, extending the footage of applicable labels per roll. And being PET, the liner is recyclable, too.

Engineered especially for companies using Weber Model 5300 print-apply systems, these extended length label rolls work in a 1:1 ratio with a custom footage thermal-transfer ribbon. This keeps downtime to a minimum as a technician would change the label roll and ribbon at the same time. The polyester liner is stronger than the typical paper liner, too, minimizing liner breaks and tears during production.

Flexlyte Arctic 300
The new Flexlyte Arctic 300 is a white film labeling material specifically made for cold temperature applications. This quick-tack, all temperature film material uses an aggressive adhesive that can be applied successfully to packages in wet, damp, and freezer conditions.

These labels are more economical than typical cold temperature labels and are much better suited for food packaging in cold, wet and freezer conditions. The label is also well-suited for high-resolution color primary labels used in frozen food packaging.

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Serialization established for European pharmaceutical CMO

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 14:01:40 +0000

Serialization Established for European Pharmaceutical CMO
Company implements serialization/aggregation on seven packaging lines at four sites in France to address requirements in multiple countries.

Fully configurable drug serialization and aggregation software from Adents is now installed on seven packaging lines at four sites in France for a European pharmaceutical contract manufacturer with a dozen production sites.

The CMO requested short-term implementation to serialize saleable units for four markets—China, South Korea, Brazil and the U.S.—along with the ability to upgrade the installation to embrace pending track-and-trace mandates in 10 other countries.

Adents’ serialization solution is hardware-agnostic, compatible with a wide range of equipment. That benefit was a key selling point for the CMO, which plans to equip as many as 80 lines to address increased demand as serialization deadlines in America and Europe approach.

The Adents serialization and aggregation suite enables companies to achieve traceability and documentation compliance easily, addressing both current and emerging regulations while also minimizing impact on production processes and productivity.

For implementation, the CMO established a two-level decision-making organization: a group leadership team to manage procurement and global governance, and serialization project management teams at each site.

In its effort to realize a workable, forward-thinking serialization solution, the CMO faced a challenge common to pharmaceutical manufacturers of its size: the lines being outfitted had a wide array of differing specifications. The company’s packaging operations were diverse, ranging from manual lines producing 40 items/min to semi-automatic operations producing 300 units/min.

The CMO was able to leverage existing equipment as much as possible, allowing it to optimize its project budget, reduce training and documentation, and simplify support and vendor management.

Five of the CMO’s lines were already equipped with H2M and Seidenader modules, so the remaining two lines that required additional equipment were outfitted with new H2M modules for continuity’s sake. Adents’ software also supports a range of requisite add-on devices from a variety of brands. In this instance, the CMO chose machines from Domino, Zebra, Keyence, Cognex and Omron vision systems with the reassurance that, via the Adents software, all would work well together to form a comprehensive serialization solution.

Fast results

The first line was installed in 2.5 months, much of which comprised arrival and installation time for the aforementioned new equipment. The remaining steps included the following:

  • Documentation (project quality plan, functional analysis, protocols): one month
  • Set-up and qualification by machine builder (FAT & SAT): two weeks
  • Set-up in client plant by Adents (configuration and installation): one week
  • Qualification in Adents office (FAT): one week
  • Qualification in client plant (SAT): one week

Each of the other lines was incorporated in less than six weeks. A rework station was set up on each line as well. Because a comprehensive FAT was performed by Adents upfront, line downtime was reduced to a maximum of one week for new qualification (SAT/IQ/OQ/PQ), minimizing the impact on production capabilities.

In all, seven lines were installed at four different sites in France for this CMO, with 10 different packaging formats enabled on a single line. The client now provides serialized production services for at least four big pharmaceutical companies and has the capacity to address larger demand and a variety of expanded customer requirements.

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PACK Truly Gives Back

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 13:34:12 +0000

PACK EXPO Scholarship
PACK EXPO Scholarship Showcases PMMI's Commitment to the Future of the Packaging and Processing Industry

The new PACK EXPO scholarship program will provide $30,000 annually to support the future packaging and processing workforce. Each year, six $5,000 scholarships will be awarded to students studying packaging and processing at PMMI Partner Schools.

A portion of the proceeds from the PACK gives BACK™ events at PACK EXPO International and PACK EXPO Las Vegas will benefit the scholarship program, announces show producer, PMMI, The Association of Packaging and Processing Technologies.

"This scholarship program demonstrates PMMI's continued commitment to foster our industry's future workforce," says Jim Pittas, chief operating officer, PMMI. "We look forward to raising some serious money at our PACK EXPO trade shows to invest in the future of the packaging and processing community through the PACK EXPO Scholarship program."

To be considered for the scholarship, students must currently attend a PMMI Partner School, have at least one semester remaining in their college careers and hold a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants should be majoring in engineering, packaging, processing, mechatronics, or a related field and should demonstrate financial need.

Interested students can apply for the scholarship by submitting a completed application, writing a 500–1,000-word essay describing their interest in the packaging and processing field as well as their career goals. Applicants will be required to obtain transcripts from a PMMI Partner School, indicating current GPA and extracurricular involvement and must also obtain a signed faculty recommendation.

The recipients of the PACK EXPO Scholarship will be announced at the PACK gives BACK benefit concert, which is sponsored by Rockwell Automation and features a performance by Grammy-award winning rock and roll band, The Doobie Brothers, on Monday, Sept. 25 at 4 p.m. at PACK EXPO Las Vegas (Sept. 25–27; Las Vegas Convention Center). Tickets for the event are available online at and cost $75 each.

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Festo: Energy efficiency module

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 13:33:01 +0000

Energy efficiency module
The intelligent energy efficiency module MSE6-E2M from Festo automatically monitors and optimizes the compressed air consumption of production equipment and can alert plant personnel to system leaks.

Intelligent service unit is now compatible with Ethernet/IP and PROFINET communication protocols, significantly expanding potential applications in North America. E2M units can pay for themselves in less than a year from the energy savings accrued.

The E2M automatically shuts off the air supply to a machine when in standby mode, thus reducing energy consumption. E2M performs typical monitoring functions, making system pressure and flow information available in real time which enables faster response to compressed air leaks.

The E2M features a solenoid valve integrated with a pressure and a flow sensor in one compact package. These units flow up to 5,000 liters of compressed air per minute, program easily, and can quickly connect toFesto MS series air preparation units.

Based on user defined parameters, the E2M module detects when a machine is idle and automatically shuts off the air supply. When the unit receives a startup signal from an operator, the E2M resupplies compressed air. In the case of a particularly complex production process, automatic standby detection can be deactivated in favor of manual operation.

The E2M unit detects when there is a pressure drop greater than a predefined value and sends an alert about a possible leak. Higher than anticipated air flow during production also indicates possible leakage and triggers a user defined alert.

The E2M actively monitors the condition of the pneumatic system in real time. This feature gives plant operations personnel access to up-to-the-minute process-related data as well as comparative data over time. Values for flow rate, air consumption, and pressure are continuously available. Data can help personnel determine historical trends on consumption, the amount of air consumed per product batch, and pressure and flow at the time of a malfunction or bad batch of product. Two common themed areas ofIndustry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT)are condition monitoring and energy efficiency; the Festo E2M addresses both. The E2M module is suitable for new machines and as an easy retrofit to existing machines.

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Squid Ink: Flexible ink-jet printing system

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 13:40:00 +0000

Flexible ink-jet printing system
Squid Ink Manufacturing has introduced the new CoPilot 500 ink-jet printing system, designed to print superior quality high-resolution characters on porous surfaces.

With up to 2.8 in. print height per printhead, and the ability to run up to two printheads from one controller, the CoPilot 500 offers a versatile, yet cost effective solution for coding and marking.

Squid Ink’s CoPilot 500 features the new 502 series print engine from Xaar, a leading developer of piezoelectric technology for the industrial ink-jet market. The inclusion of the 502 series engine allows more print flexibility including binary and greyscale printing, faster print speeds at lower levels of resolution, and user-defined print droplet size output ranging from 15-75 picoliters. In addition, the new larger 2.8 in. printhead makes an ideal solution for users looking to replace the high cost of labels for their case-coding needs.

The unit’s 4.3 in. full color touchscreen provides access to the system’s internal messages and print functions. Messages are created and edited on Squid Ink’s easy-to-use Orion PC Software and transferred via Ethernet or USB device. For larger applications, a virtually unlimited number of systems can be connected wirelessly or via Ethernet and controlled through one central Orion print station. For users on the go, Squid Ink offers a 10.1 in. full-color Windows tablet with Orion software, ideal for mobile programming within the facility.

The system is capable of running oil-based inks to print up to 5.6 in. (2.8 in. from a single head) of high-resolution characters, razor-sharp text, scannable bar codes, and great looking logos at 200 dpi. Solvent-based systems to print on non-porous surfaces will be available in the near future. For manufacturers looking for more printer mounting flexibility, the CoPilot 500 printhead can be positioned in multiple positions including horizontal, down shooting, and side shooting. For current CoPilot 382 users running 2.1 in. printheads, a controller software upgrade will allow them to run the larger 2.8 in. CoPilot 500 series printheads.

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Valved can for texturized coffee is a first

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 13:10:35 +0000

Todd Carmichael pioneered the idea of the valved beverage can to create a first-of-its-kind RTD texturized cold coffee beverage.
Pairing a new valved-can technology with packaging machinery inspired by the aerosol industry, coffee company La Colombe pioneers an authentic draft latte for the RTD market.

Todd Carmichael, President of La Colombe coffee, is a successful entrepreneur, a TV personality, a world adventurer, and a bit of a mad scientist. Carmichael’s enthusiasm is palpable as he works to democratize coffee and bring innovation to the category. His latest invention: a new ready-to-drink, nitrous oxide-infused Draft Latte that not only is the first texturized coffee product, but also boasts a surfeit of packaging firsts.

For one, La Colombe is the first to put a hole in a beverage can—on purpose. Also a first for coffee is the can’s glossy sleeve label and custom-designed “sip-through lip guard.” La Colombe is also the first coffee company to own its own dairy production facility, and its packaging equipment—much of which is from well-known suppliers—has been re-engineered specifically for the product. La Colombe is also most likely the first coffee company to use a gasser shaker, a machine typically used in aerosol filling. And, the Draft Latte is the first nitrous oxide-infused beverage packaged in a can with a hole to go through the retort process.

Carmichael, who began La Colombe in May 1994 with partner JP Iberti, has visited nearly half the world’s countries, has crossed large parts of the Sahara, Gobi, Namib, and other deserts on foot, and is the first American to solo trek across Antarctica from the coast to the South Pole, establishing a world-record speed in the process. Even so, Carmichael admits that creating the Draft Latte was one of the most difficult challenges he’s faced.

“It was hard to convince professionals that a product in a package like this was possible. They looked at me like I was a crazy person,” Carmichael says. “So, the biggest hurdles were pretty much every R&D department I encountered.”

Liberating crafted coffee from the coffee bar

Carmichael and Iberti began La Colombe with the premise that “America Deserves Better Coffee.” To achieve this, they focused on responsibly sourcing their coffee beans and roasting them with care, and borrowing on ancient and modern coffee traditions from around the world. They progressed from operating cafes—they have nearly 30 nationwide now—to supplying the hospitality industry, and now to retail.

La Colombe began innovating around cold coffee in 2009 when they saw it was becoming a big trend in cafes. “Then I realized that was just the beginning,” says Carmichael. “If you’re going to go cold, you’ve got to have the whole menu,” meaning cold espresso and cold latte cappuccino drinks. With the popularity of La Colombe’s on-tap cold latte at its cafes, Carmichael began brainstorming about how to create the frothed milk and cold-pressed espresso beverage in an RTD format, while preserving its taste and texture, to make the premium-quality beverage more mobile.

“The winds are always moving from anchor to mobile,” he says. “Twenty years ago, you would stand in line to cash a check, right? But you don’t do that anymore. But we stand in line twice a day to get our coffee. At La Colombe, we felt we needed to look critically at our processes and our packaging to liberate crafted coffee from the coffee bar. Now, I say that, even though we have almost 30 cafes, and we’re building a dozen more. But they are not going away, just like bars didn’t go away when we learned how to put beer in a bottle, because it’s such a social experience. But now I can have access to beer in my fridge at any time.”

When Carmichael began looking in earnest at creating an RTD latte product in 2014, there were some RTD nitro-coffee products on the market. But using nitrogen was not going to give Carmichael the results he wanted. “You force the nitrogen into the fluid, and then when you open the can, it rushes out,” he says. “It wants to go back into space. It’s an effect; it doesn’t have any substance to it. It’s a novelty for a couple of reasons. It doesn’t alter the flavor. It’s temporary—it’s all over with in about 10 seconds. And ultimately, people don’t drink cold coffee from the top; they drink it from the bottom. You have a lid and a straw. It’s how people drink.”

In order for Carmichael to put the La Colombe name on the product, the beverage had to deliver on its promise: a texturized coffee drink with the same taste and froth as the one consumers could buy at a La Colombe café. To achieve the texture, Carmichael came up with the idea of dosing the beverage with nitrous oxide—a gas commonly used for whipped cream—through the bottom of the can, and then shaking the can to disperse the gas throughout the coffee. For the taste, La Colombe uses the highest-quality, real ingredients, including fresh milk, rather than powdered or rehydrated milk, and cold-press espresso. The drink also packs a full-on caffeine punch, with 115 mg of natural caffeine, equal to one and a half cups of coffee. There are four varieties available: Latte, Triple Latte, Vanilla, and Mocha.

New can manufacturing process

At the start of the project, La Colombe made its own cans, taking a can body, punching a proprietary-shaped hole in the bottom, flipping it, and inserting a grommet. Having this prototype, Carmichael says, helped him convince suppliers that it could be done. “What I was asking these people to do is something they’ve been trying to avoid since the start of their company, and that is, put a hole in the can,” he says. “And it can’t be any old hole.”

In 2015, Carmichael approached Crown about the project. Explains Dr. Daniel Abramowicz, Executive Vice President Technology & Regulatory Affairs for Crown Holdings, “Todd came to Crown because he envisioned the Draft Latte marrying aerosol can and beverage can technology, and Crown has expertise in both markets. We were bullish about the concept and our ability to deliver what was needed. And when we tasted the product, we were ‘in.’”

The process of inserting a grommet or valve in the bottom of a can was not new. However, it had only been done with three-piece aerosol cans, with the valve inserted into the flat bottom component of the can. For the Draft Latte, Crown needed to use a two-piece beverage can with an integrated one-piece can body and a domed can bottom.

“One challenge was effectively piercing and inserting the grommet into a fully formed beverage can compared to the relatively flat bottom component of the three-piece aerosol can,” Dr. Abramowicz explains. To accomplish this involved the design of a new can manufacturing process and new equipment.

The result is a proprietary design with a one-way valve called the InnoValve® can. The chimney-like valve allows the nitrous oxide to be injected into the bottom of the can, while ensuring the integrity of the coffee beverage. When the gas is injected, it dissolves into the milk fats in the latte the same way it does in whipped cream. Explains Dr. Abramowicz, “When the consumer opens the package and releases the pressure in the container, the gas generates the creamy texture that defines these products.”

Given the strong collaboration between La Colombe and Crown in developing the valved can, Crown has provided La Colombe with exclusive rights to the InnoValve container for the textured beverage market for a predetermined period. However, Crown has reserved the right to use the InnoValve can for other product applications.

Up and running in 120 days

Originally, La Colombe’s RTD Draft Latte was produced and packaged in a small plant in Pennsylvania. In March 2016, the company launched its first run of 10,000 cans on Within 60 minutes, the product was sold out. Realizing La Colombe had a hit on its hands, Carmichael frantically began searching for a plant with greater capacity. He had three requirements for a production facility: cows—“lots and lots of cows”—with the farmers located nearby, talent, and an existing building. He found them all at a former dairy plant in Norton Shores, MI, which he purchased in August 2016.

Within 120 days of the purchase, La Colombe’s RTD Draft Latte production and packaging plant was up and running. The 55,000-sq-ft facility houses one packaging line, with room for two more. Much of the equipment was customized by Carmichael and his team to handle the unique requirements of the product and package.

For the filler, La Colombe had to look outside of the U.S. for a machine that could handle a 9-oz can. Then, the filler, from Pneumatic Scale Angelus, had to be tweaked to fill the can with 8 oz, rather than nine, to allow for necessary headspace. “When you open the can, you have to give the beverage space to rise, and fillers aren’t made to do that,” says Carmichael. “So myself and a couple of the team members would just literally sleep in here, we would pull the filling heads apart. There’s a metal smith nearby, so we’d run over and try this, run it back, and then finally, we cracked the code.”

The can is filled using the Angelus SEN HW 60 rotary filler, after which it is seamed on an integrated Angelus 120L. A Filtec inspection system is next in line, checking the fill level on each can.

The plant uses three Aerofill gasser/shakers from R.A. Jones that add the nitrous oxide to the can while agitating the product to dissolve the gas in the fluid. After this step, the cans are accumulated into carts and rolled into a batch retort from JBT FoodTech that pasteurizes the milk-based coffee drink at a temperature of 250º F for a 180-day shelf life.

Sleeve labels are applied using a Fuji Seal International labeler. The can’s valve and lip guards are added manually, at a speed of 100/min. Finished product is hand-packed into four-count cartons, with the front of each can facing outward through the carton’s die-cut panels. Cartons are then manually stacked on pallets.

While Carmichael says the last few steps in the process could be automated, he is committed to retaining the human touch with each product. “If you were to walk with me around our roasting plant [in Philadelphia], you would see that everything has to be touched,” he says. “It’s important that there be a human being at some juncture, because of the feedback loop. Humans are really good at catching things, like, ‘this sleeve is wrong, this sleeve is right.’”

There are 62 employees at the Norton Shores plant, and as La Colombe adds more packaging lines, Carmichael says operators will be redeployed in other areas. “I could have a four-pack cartoner here in two weeks,” he says, “but I don’t want to take anyone’s job.”

Democratizing coffee

As of February 2017, when Packaging World visited the Norton Shores plant, the packaging line was humming along at speeds to 4,000 cans/hr, operating two shifts per day. But with the canned beverage now available in thousands of stores nationwide, including grocery, convenience, club, and natural food stores, as well as at the company’s cafes, La Colombe may soon have to expand its operations.

According to Carmichael, the plant can accommodate three lines that, when fully operational over three shifts, will be able to produce a quarter billion cans per year. And that suits him just fine, as Carmichael’s dream is “to make coffee for everyone in the United States of America.”

“Every generation or so, someone comes along and changes the way America interacts with its coffee,” he says. “In the ’70s, Mr. Coffee came along and replaced the percolator with an automatic-drip brewer. In 1980, there was the instant coffee guy. Then there was the vacuum can. Then there was this K-cup guy. And this is going to keep going forever. My life’s work, and my dream really, is to have La Colombe be that agent of change.

“There’s this weird politicization of coffee. If you work with your hands, you should get your coffee from a gas station. Or if you work in a law firm, you get your coffee from a branded coffee shop. Why is that?

“Coffee, when done right, is the ultimate democratic luxury. Everyone is within reach of the very best in the world. And I think that’s a big part of what La Colombe is about and what we are doing here.”

Attention to detail extends to can

With the same care it took to secure the freshest ingredients and ensure its Draft Latte tastes the same as the one served at its cafés, La Colombe spent a year developing the aesthetics and sensory appeal of the packaging for the latte line. From top to bottom, every aspect was considered.

Beginning with the bottom of the package, Carmichael designed an injection-molded polypropylene disk—the “valve guard”—that is glued to the bottom of the can to cover the valve and the aluminum end for a clean, premium appearance.

Carmichael says he chose the 9-oz can profile—larger than an energy drink can, smaller than a soda or beer can—with a slight shoulder, to set the coffee beverage apart. The can is also unique in its choice of decoration: a glossy full-body, shrink-sleeve label from Fuji Seal International. Carmichael opted for the sleeve label rather than direct print not only for its appearance, but also its tactility. “When you touch aluminum, the experience isn’t that great,” he says. “But when you put this sleeve over it, the tactile experience is beautiful.”

Decorating the can with a sleeve label also gives La Colombe the option to create new labels for limited-edition flavors or seasonal packaging. Because he likes to constantly “tweak, tweak, tweak,” Carmichael says he orders labels in runs of one million at a time. With direct-print cans, minimum-order quantities are far larger.

In terms of graphics, the labels use a minimalist design: a clean white background, bands of color to differentiate flavors, and a list of core ingredients. Also featured is the La Colombe logo—a dove—inspired by Picasso’s “Dove of Peace” drawing. (La Colombe, translated from French, means “the dove.”)

Aside from the gorgeous glossy label, the other most striking feature of the can is what La Colombe calls a sip-through lip guard. A round PP piece covering the top of the can, the lip guard has a cutout on one side for the tab and a half moon-shape cutout over the drinking hole. Carmichael says the lip guard elevates the experience of drinking from an aluminum can: “Your lips are just packed with nerves, and when you put your lips on something, there is communication; there is a message going on there. When you drink from an aluminum can, it communicates a beer or soda. So, you prepare for that. What I wanted to do was intercept that, put something in-between it, and change that experience.” The lip guard also directs the cold coffee beverage onto the tongue in the same way a straw would.

Carmichael worked with The Flexcraft Co. to design the injection-molded lip guard. “We did a 3D prototype and just snapped it on,” says Carmichael. “I loved it, and I said, ‘let’s go!’”

Aesthetic considerations didn’t end with the can. A four-pack carton for the Draft Latte is die-cut on four sides, providing transparency to the product and allowing it to be seen from all four sides. It also ensures that the carton is always facing forward on-shelf. “Things have to look beautiful on their own,” says Carmichael, “but they also have to look beautiful together.”

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Dell does it again: Building a supply chain for ocean plastic

Sun, 18 Jun 2017 06:33:33 +0000

Dell harnessed its sustainable packaging innovation and supply chain expertise to build a supply chain for ocean plastic.
Computer giant Dell is renowned for its adoption of cutting-edge sustainable packaging technology. Here, Oliver Campbell, Dell’s Director of Procurement & Packaging Innovation, shares news on Dell’s progress toward its environmental goals and its latest packaging project: ocean plastics.

Packaging World:

The last time we spoke, you said one of the primary drivers for Dell’s development of more sustainable packaging was a demand from your customers—including large corporate and enterprise customers as well as consumers—to see more environmentally friendly packaging. Is this still the case?

Oliver Campbell:

Oh absolutely. When you look at the cultural trends out there, sustainability and care for the planet is growing ever stronger. When it comes to our sustainability efforts—whether it’s in packaging or closed-looped recycling, where we recycle plastics, or the use of waste carbon fiber in some of our notebooks—our customers continue to be very excited and are asking for more. In fact, many of them are asking to benchmark off of what we do. It’s a really good feeling.

Consumers today are very conscious of what they see as overpackaging of product. Do you ever feel their expectations around sustainable packaging are unrealistic?

No, I don’t think they’re unrealistic. I think what customers want is a better world. They want a great experience. They want it at a great cost. I don’t think those are unreasonable things. The business that can figure out how to deliver those things is going to have the advantage. That’s what we’re trying to do at Dell—to satisfy the customer’s requirements, to delight the customer in those requirements, and to have them feel that by purchasing Dell products, they’re part of a sustainability solution, that they’re doing good for the planet. Obviously, we’re not there yet in every regard, it’s a bit of a journey, but that’s our destination.

Are you also seeing other drivers, such as regulations or cost savings?

Yes. You mentioned the “C” word. Nobody wants to talk about costs. Let me dive into that one. The key principal we’ve operated under, really since we began using bamboo in 2009, was that if we were to use innovative packaging materials, they had to be at cost parity or better [than traditional packaging materials]. For us, it was never about sustainability costing more. It’s about sustainability leading the way to the future. And it does that by being greener, and through cost savings. We’ve continued to drive down the cost of our packaging through sustainability innovation. It’s pretty exciting that when sustainability is done right, it can be great for business, great for people, and great for the planet.

I wonder if, back when sustainability became the buzzword and everyone was talking about adopting green packaging, the cost really put a damper on their efforts.

That could’ve been the case years ago. And sustainability was very niche; it was very new. I think it only appealed to a certain market segment at the time. As the science and research, and the public demand for it have all increased, the cost curve has shifted to where it’s much more favorable. It still can be difficult for sure, but we’re seeing more and more companies come into this space with new materials and new ideas, and we’re just happy to have been a part of that at the very beginning.

When we spoke last, Dell was in the process of performing Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) on its products and packaging. Since then, have you determined how much of your carbon footprint is attributable to packaging?

We’re taking another look at the LCA footprint. A lot has changed since we first talked, and I’m not sure that work is necessarily still relevant. The packaging though tends to be a small part of the product’s footprint when you look at the overall logistics. That’s something we’re doing another assessment on.

Our main focus has been around materials: Are they sustainably sourced, and can we sustainably dispose of them through recycling or composting, which is Mother Nature’s way of recycling. That’s been our main emphasis, and that’s been driven through customer feedback.

Over the years, Dell has been at the forefront of innovation when it comes to packaging materials, including the use of bamboo, mushroom roots, wheat straw, and air, to name a few. Is Dell still using these materials?

We phased out some. We have an inactive portfolio, and as we’ve innovated, some have declined in usage. So they spiked up and then came down. Bamboo is an example of that. Just last week, we switched the packaging for our XPS 13 2-in-1 notebook—our top-of-the-line notebook—from bamboo to ocean plastic.

Ocean plastic is our latest innovation. In June, Dell made a commitment to the United Nations at The Ocean Conference that by 2025, we will increase our use of ocean plastic 10-times over what we’re using this year. That’s a pretty audacious goal. We also committed—and this is really important—to being open source with our supply chain so others can utilize it and be part of the solution around ocean plastic as well. This will even include competitors. We’re hoping others will join us in this effort.

What inspired Dell to develop a supply chain around ocean plastic?

It’s a good story. We have a social good advocate. His name is Adrian Grenier. He’s an actor most well-known for his work on the TV show Entourage. Around two years ago, we had a brainstorming session with him. He has a passion for oceans. He started the Lonely Whale Foundation. We began talking about what we could do to improve the health of the oceans. The topic of ocean plastic quickly came up, and we began talking about how we could potentially use this material. We were intrigued by it, because we have a pretty good track record of packaging innovation, and we’re pretty good with our supply chain expertise.

So we started asking ourselves how we could bring sustainable packaging innovation and supply chain expertise together to help solve a really pressing global problem, and do it in a way that would be cost-effective and also commercially scalable so that businesses would be attracted to using these materials. That was the genesis of the idea. From there, we’ve spent probably the last year to 18 months doing a more detailed assessment, then validation, and finally a pilot. The result has been that we’re now shipping our XPS 13 in ocean plastic, and we’re busy looking at other products within the Dell portfolio that can use this packaging. We’re also talking to other companies about joining us in this effort.

What part of the computer’s packaging is being made from ocean plastic?

The notebook is shipped inside a gift box. Inside that gift box is a tray upon which it rests. The tray is made from high density polyethylene. Seventy-five percent of that is made from post-consumer recycled HDPE, and the other 25% is made from ocean plastic that we intercepted before it reached the ocean. We pulled the plastic out of streets, canals, and rivers before it got to the ocean. To explain why we believe it’s important to gather plastics from these areas, we use the analogy that if your bathtub is flooding, the first thing you do is turn off the faucet and stop the flow.

Where we’re most focused is on stopping the flow of plastic that’s bound for the ocean, before it’s swept into the sea and then really starts to do damage. That’s also probably the most economical place to collect it. Those two things line up very well for us.

How do you make it economically feasible to collect these materials?

When you look at where most ocean-bound plastic originates, 60% of it comes from Southeast Asia—countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Southern China, and Vietnam. These countries are often characterized, particularly in the urban areas of high population density, by lack of potable water and lack of any type of waste management. So, the plastics just get discarded on the ground, and then they’re swept into the sea. This is resulting in a budding industry of collecting bottles and other plastics.

After collection, the plastics are cleaned and sorted, and then recycled. What we’re trying to do is continue to encourage this type of infrastructure, because hopefully, someday, we’ll be out of this business. It is my hope that the waste management infrastructure will be put in place, and we won’t have this issue of plastic being swept into the sea. And at that point, we’ll go on and innovate around something else.

Are you investing in the collection or recycling infrastructure? Or are you just encouraging the process?

We’re working with local recyclers; we’re watching those supply chains and learning about them. I think there are going to be a number of issues around how that’s done, and we want to take a very thoughtful approach to how that portion of the supply chain is engaged with. We are talking with people in own company as well as outside experts about how best to do that.

Another way to intercept plastic waste before it gets to the ocean is by educating consumers on how to recycle. Is Dell engaged in any initiatives around recycling?

We have a great computer takeback program through Goodwill. It’s not oriented around packaging; it’s oriented around the product itself. Any consumer in the U.S. as well as in 81 countries and territories can take a computer back, whether it’s from Dell or from one of our competitors, and that computer will be recycled. Depending on the age of the computer, they will do certain things with it [such as use the material for new computers or donate them to schools or hospitals]. The program is a way to drive a circular economy and reuse what are very valuable materials.

We created the program to help ensure we’re not creating e-waste problems in third-world countries, or even second-world countries, with our products. Dell takes that very seriously. Currently we’re on track to collect over 2 billion pounds of recycled material by 2020. It’s a phenomenal success story. It highlights the commitment from our Chairman and CEO, Michael Dell, and the entire company to circular economy principals—they’re not only good for the planet, we think ultimately they’re good for business too.

Regarding Dell’s sustainable packaging commitments, one is to make sure your packaging can be recycled or composted. In the U.S., there is not much of a composting infrastructure. Is this something that’s more relevant in other countries where you do business?

Yes. In Europe there’s much more of a composting infrastructure. In the U.S., it’s been slow to evolve. We’ve looked at compostable material technologies; our mushroom packaging fits into that category. It also checks off our commitment around the sourcing of material, being sustainably sourced. In the case of the mushroom packaging, the material is sourced from agricultural waste.

In Dell’s 2016 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, it mentions that Dell spent 2014 and 2015 overcoming hurdles related to the development of a production-oriented supply chain for mushroom packaging. Was this a matter of getting the supplier, Ecovative, up and running?

Yes, they had to scale their operations. They had some technical challenges, which they successfully overcame. We are now using mushroom-based cushioning for our Dell PowerEdge 13G R430 server product. It’s funny you mention the mushroom packaging. I have a bunch of mushroom samples here in my office that we’re working on. The really the interesting thing with sustainable packaging is that it continues to rapidly evolve. We continue to see new things. Ocean plastic is a great example. This is why I’m so bullish on packaging and so happy to be in this industry.

From my perspective, one of the most interesting technologies you introduced was the AirCarbon carbon-neutral plastic material made from air and GHGs. It’s so unique.

Again, that was a case of starting out with a very small company, in this case Newlight Technologies, and helping nurture them and grow their technology. Dell feels this in their DNA, as Michael Dell started the company in his dorm room at the University of Texas. When smaller companies develop a hot technology, and especially within packaging, we want them to come talk with us at Dell. They’ll find a good reception, because we were there once ourselves.

One thing I have not seen Dell adopt is drop-in bioplastics. Is this something you’re considering?

Yes, we continuously evaluate those technologies. That’s probably the most I can say about that.

Can you summarize Dell’s progress in meeting its sustainability goals?

Our goal for 2020 is to have 100% of our packaging be recyclable or compostable. At the beginning of the life cycle, we want 100% of our packaging to sustainably sourced. Currently we’re about 94% of the way to our target. That’s calculated on ETEP (EPA-Tribal Environmental Plan) basis.

The 100% started out as an aspirational goal, but I believe we’re going to get there. You must have aspirational goals, because if it’s less than that, everyone wants to be the exception. We’re really trying to drive big change, and I think we’re going to get there by 2020. It’s taken a lot of work by some great packaging engineers on this team to get us this far. We also have great suppliers that work well with us.

Is there one technology or innovation that has had the biggest impact on meeting those goals.

Yes. It’s funny, we use a lot of molded paper pulp. That has really lifted our numbers. We’re doing things with molded paper pulp that four years ago would have been inconceivable. What really started it off was our innovation in bamboo fibers. That was a big breakthrough, not only for us, but also for the industry. We were able to make cushions out of bamboo. It’s a bit humorous, but in hindsight, the characteristics of bamboo, its tensile strength and fiber length, really compensated for a lot of our ignorance. We just didn’t know about the role of geometry and some of the processing techniques involved. But bamboo is really what triggered our move, and the industry’s move, into fiber and fiber cushioning.

As we gained experience with fiber and continued to innovate in that area, we got more efficient, and costs came down dramatically. Now we’re using a lot of molded paper pulp. It’s really had a tremendous impact on helping us meet our goals.

What is something you’re doing with molded paper pulp that would’ve been inconceivable before?

We’re using it for several of our desktop platforms. We use it for packaging our big All-in-One PCs. You see it now with our flat-panel monitors. When we first started out, we were using molded pulp with notebooks, which are fairly light. Over the last several years, we’ve been able to increase the performance of molded paper pulp so it can take heavier and heavier weights. That’s been the innovation. That’s one of those quiet innovations you don’t hear much about.

That’s interesting, because molded pulp is not as exciting or sexy as packaging made from bamboo or air.

That’s right.

But it does the job.

It does. I think it’s a sign of how accepted sustainability has become. When people see molded pulp packaging, they don’t even give it a second thought anymore. It’s like, this is what it should be like. They know they can go and recycle it. You can put it in your recycling bin at home and feel good about it. I’d say that’s a positive thing.

Is there something currently on your radar that looks really exciting for the future of sustainable packaging?

I’d say ocean plastic is it, and how we scale it. The ability to scale ocean plastic is tremendously exciting. That’s why we’re creating an open-source supply chain, and that’s why we’re asking others to join us. If you think about collaboration, there have been some examples in the industry before. The use of ocean plastics can even extend to other industries. That’s going to be phenomenal. I’m just happy to be a part of it.

Dell at the forefront

Learn more about Dell’s innovation around sustainable packaging in these articles from Packaging World magazine:

· “Dell adds ocean plastics to its packaging,” March 2017

· “Inspired by nature: Dell debuts plastic made from air,” September 2014

· “Dell: ‘Powering the possible’ of green,” September 2012

· “Protective packaging that’s grown,” June 2011

· “Bamboo cushion for Dell hardware is certified compostable,” May 2010

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Salon disinfectant gets makeover after 70 years

Sat, 17 Jun 2017 06:56:28 +0000

New pre-measured disinfectant in a pod for salon tools makes it easier for beauty professionals to mix a safe disinfectant every time and reduces the environmental impact of disinfectant packaging.

For the first time since 1947, salons, barbershops, and cosmetology schools have an alternative to liquid disinfectant for their tools. MODIFI Products LLC’s new MOD Clean Disinfectant Pods use dissolvable film to deliver 0.0125 oz of powdered detergent to a standard, 1-qt jar of water. MODIFI, of Orlando, FL, was formed in 2015 for the sole purpose of developing a pre-measured, powdered disinfectant for the beauty industry that would be easy to use, ensure proper disinfecting, and create the least impact on the environment.

MOD Clean Disinfectant Pods contain an EPA-approved hospital-grade powdered disinfectant that is formulated to kill germs, viruses, bacteria, and fungus.

“This product will revolutionize the beauty industry, as prior to the launch of MOD Clean, the industry had been reliant on only one rather cumbersome option for stylists to disinfect their tools and keep them up to industry and inspector standards,” says Bennet Parke, CEO of MODIFI. “The fact is, the majority of stylists and barbers mix their disinfectant improperly. MOD Clean solves this problem by creating a pre-measured disinfectant pod that makes perfectly measured and safe disinfectant every time.”

Parke explains that in engineering the primary packaging for MOD Clean, MODIFI briefly considered foil packets. “But based on the need for consumer ease and low environmental impact, we chose a water-soluble film,” he says.

The biggest challenge, Parke adds, was finding a film that was compatible with the product’s quaternary disinfectant properties and also had a fast solubility time. MODIFI ultimately selected a 100% water-soluble polyvinyl alcohol film from a proprietary supplier that—along with the disinfectant—dissolves after a few seconds when dropped into water.

For secondary packaging, MODIFI chose what it felt was a more environmentally-friendly option than the rigid container it originally considered. The package, a flexible stand-up pouch made from 48-ga PET/adhesive/400-ga linear low-density polyethylene, holds 32 pods—the equivalent of one-half gallon of liquid disinfectant. Significantly reducing the weight of packaged salon disinfectant, the pouch weighs 5 oz versus 4 lb for the half-gallon of liquid disinfectant, while a 12-bag case of 32-ct pods only weighs as much as one bottle of liquid.

“We chose the pouch because it was printable, and it has a small landfill footprint as well as a small physical profile,” says Parke. When disposed of in a landfill, 360 empty pouches equal just one empty liquid disinfectant container. “Our customers are very environmentally-savvy, and many make purchasing choices based on positive environmental features that a product they are interested in provides,” Parke adds.

For storage ease, the pouch has a reclosable zipper. Pouch graphics are clean, modern, and simple, with a focus on a photo of the MOD Clean pod. Because MODIFI produces an EPA-regulated product, the company needed to be compliant in its label requirements, which dictated the fonts and most of the verbiage used on the package.

MODIFI uses a co-manufacturer/co-packer for the product, which Parke says allows them to work with some of the most knowledgeable individuals in the packaging industry and gives them the ability to use state-of-the-art equipment to package their product.

MOD Clean Disinfecting Pods were first introduced in June 2016 at a beauty industry trade show. Today, MODIFI has more than 100 professional beauty distributors, and the pods are available in more than 1,200 professional beauty stores in the U.S. According to Parke, the cost for a 32-ct pouch is comparable to the price of a 1-gal bottle of liquid disinfectant.

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Velveeta now in ‘mini blocks’

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 20:42:10 +0000

App sponsor news: 
Coverage Type: 
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VP Editor, Packaging World
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Applications » Food » Dairy » Cheese
Kraft Heinz makes it easy for the consumer to portion out precisely 4-oz of Velveeta cheese by individually wrapping five 4-oz blocks and putting them in one attractive folding carton.
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Food processing and packaging procurement team share duties

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 15:47:08 +0000

Food processing and packaging procurement team share duties
A new study from PMMI Business Intelligence, Trends in Food Processing Operations, reveals most food manufacturing plants combine processing and packaging teams for both procurement and operations.

Eighty-five percent of the respondents reported sharing procurement duties, and 60% manage their packaging and processing operations with the same team. Combining the teams provides consistency throughout the manufacturing/packaging process, according to respondents. Even when combining buying duties, 40% of those studied still operate two separate departments, one for processing, one for packaging.

One process control engineer added, “Preventive maintenance is handled by the same engineering team for both processing and packaging, but production operations are run separately.”

Departments or individuals involved in procurement include: Engineering (48%), Central Procurement (24%), Owner (10%), Operations director (5%), Production (5%), and Plant Manager (5%).

Source: PMMI Business Intelligence: Trends in Food Processing Operations, 2017.

Download the full report here

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Mitsubishi Electric Automation: HMI with predictive maintenance

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 14:03:26 +0000

HMI with predictive maintenance
Mitsubishi Electric Automation has introduced the GT2107 Wide Series Human Machine Interface (HMI); the GT2107 monitors and controls machine components with a graphical touchscreen that connects to equipment such as PLCs, VFDs and servos.

This compact HMI features a 7-inch wide display with 800 x 480 resolution for clear image quality and is equipped with a remote connectivity option through a VNC server.

The optional VNC server (VNC license sold separately) provides remote access to the HMI and connected equipment, allowing users to operate the system using tablets or personal computers to view data in real time. The GT2107 also offers predictive maintenance information, giving plant managers the opportunity to proactively plan and manage equipment maintenance.

Other key features include:

  • Program backup/restore function
  • Two USB ports (device and host)
  • Interactive display for seamless integration with Mitsubishi Electric devices
  • Device monitoring
  • Logging
  • Factory automation transparency (download/upload through front USB to equipment)
  • Servo maintenance function
  • SD card drive.

The GT2107 HMI provides end users with access to logged information, while the wide video graphics array (WVGA) allows them to see more information on the screen. A keyboard, mouse or other host device can be connected through the USB host. In addition to USB device ports and an SD card drive, Ethernet and serial connectivity are provided as standard features.

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More from OMAC’s Copenhagen meeting

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 21:21:24 +0000

At the Microsoft Development Center in Copenhagen this past March the Organization for Machine Automation and Control (OMAC) held a conference called “Smart Packaging Automation with PackML and OPC UA.”

The goal of the conference was to share information on how the PackML unit/machine Implementation Guidelines from OMAC can reduce time and costs of integration of equipment. See the upcoming July issue ofPACKAGING WORLDfor conference coverage, but in the meantime here are a few observations from John Kowal, an attendee at the conference. Director of Business Development at B&R and a long-time stakeholder in and advocate of all things PackML, Kowal thinks that PackML and OPC UA really fit well together, as do MTConnect and OPC UA (MTConnect is a manufacturing technical standard to retrieve process information from numerically controlled machine tools:

“Essentially,” notes Kowal, “PackML and MTConnect define data communications standards while OPC UA defines a common communications standard that had long been a missing link. OPC UA has enjoyed a wave of adoption because it offers interoperability all the way from machine to cloud. This is essential for IIoT to take hold. We are also calling out these standards in the Industrial Internet Consortium’s Smart Factory Task Group (”

Another important aspect of the Copenhagen meeting, says Kowal, was the announcement of OMAC's new Operational Technology Advisory Forum, an opportunity for end users to participate in OMAC activities on a limited level at no cost. OT Advisors can participate in committees and provide feedback alongside full corporate members who can also hold leadership positions and have voting rights. One of the Copenhagen conference attendees, notes Kowal, joined up immediately for the forum.

In terms of OMAC's future direction, a straw poll was held, with network and integration topics receiving an overwhelming response. The OMAC Packaging Workgroup will conduct a formal survey in the near future.

“The Copenhagen conference was special because it marks the growing adoption of these standards across European machine builders and end users,”concludes Kowal. “Asia is next!”

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Professional hair-care products relaunch with minimalistic, modern design

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 14:01:38 +0000

The new design of Goldwell’s Dualsenses and StyleSign packaging is punctuated by minimalistic inspirations and showcases modernity and high performance.

Goldwell, a German brand specializing in professional hair color, care, and styling products, has relaunched its Dualsenses and StyleSign lines, introducing expert care and styling products. To develop the new design, brand owner KAO group brought in global consultancy Brandimage.

With high-performing formulas and new technologies, Dualsenses and StyleSign are designed to work hand-in-hand with each other. With built-in color protection, the new Dualsenses and StyleSign products work with any Goldwell color received at the salon.

A new and contemporary design was developed by Brandimage to communicate the new synergy of the care and styling lines through packaging.

The lines are now complementary thanks to their minimalistic, modern forms and same color coding. The new design plays with the inversion of colors: Dominant white matte enhances the cosmetic appearance of the hair-care line, and metallic colors bring urban modernity to the styling line.

Dualsenses packaging displays a timeless elegance paired with innovative professional salon product formulas. The brightness of white matte contrasts with colored metallic typography and emphasizes the energy and modernity of the new line.

The new design of StyleSign packaging is punctuated by minimalistic inspirations and showcases modernity and high performance. A clear, structured layout with distinctive color coding allows easy orientation across and within the different sub-lines.

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Multi-Conveyor: Ionizing air rinsing gripper conveyors

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 13:38:52 +0000

Ionizing air rinsing gripper conveyors
Multi-Conveyor recently used similar side flexing gripper conveyor technology to produce two ionizing air rinsers for two food applications; one unit is stainless steel with wash down components, and the other is of painted mild steel construction.

Two parallel gripper designs were mounted with the gripper chains opposing each other on a support structure. This allowed the opening to be adjusted throughout the system by a single handwheel. An operator can easily adjust the compression for various container sizes using a simple digital readout.

Each gripper rinser was a lowering design that received containers at elevations exceeding 10 ft. and delivered them down to the packaging line at just over 3 ft. using an “S” configuration. Disks of 34 in. in diameter are used in each of the turns, reducing tension on the chains, to allow for line speeds up to 300 ft/min. or 600 parts/min.

Multi-Conveyor partnered with Simco-Ion using its HS air nozzles to provide a powerful stream of ionized air to clean the containers and neutralize charges to prevent debris from re-attracting to the containers. Multi-Conveyor provided the manifold and vacuum system to contain and collect the debris through a cleanable filter system. Energy saving Paxton ionizing rinsers were used on the second gripper to tackle debris using a patented air nozzle manifold and high efficiency blower.

Gripper rinsers can be provided in the S-configuration lowering type as designed for these two applications; are also available in upswing or downswing designs that infeed and discharge products at the same elevation; or in C-style configurations that result in the product elevation changes with inverted orientation at discharge.

Gripper conveyors can also be provided without the rinser systems to simply move products from one elevation to another, or to invert product either within the gripper (to provide cap sterilization) or to discharge inverted product to another conveyor.

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Strong machine vision market growth expected through 2025

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 11:03:49 +0000

Strong Machine Vision Market Growth Expected Through 2025
Quick processing ability, adoption of robotics in manufacturing segments including pharmaceutical and food and beverage cited in new Grand View Research report.

The global machine vision market is expected to reach US$19.22 billion by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. The ability of machine vision systems to process a large amount of information in a fraction of seconds is a major factor driving the market growth. The quick processing ability of machine vision systems is paving the way for manufacturers to achieve new milestones in manufacturing products with negligible defects. Moreover, the increasing adoption of robots across industrial sectors is leading toward the application of vision-guided robotic systems.

Industrial verticals, such as automotive, pharmaceutical, packaging, and food and beverage, are prominent sectors where robotic systems are used, eventually fueling the demand for machine vision systems.

The machine vision technology encompasses various components in order to capture images of products to analyze them depending on different parameters of quality and safety. The technology is a combination of software and hardware that provides operational control to devices to execute functions such as capturing and processing of images and measuring various characteristics required for decision making. Major components of the system comprise lighting, lens, image sensors, vision processing, and communication devices. Machine vision systems assist in resolving complicated industrial tasks with reliability.

Industrial machine vision systems are usually more robust and demand high reliability, stability, and accuracy as compared to those used in institutional or educational applications. They cost lesser than systems used in military, aerospace, defense, and government applications. These factors are expected to lead to a greater adaptability of the technology in industrial sectors. In addition, the robotic vision systems used across the industries are also leading to the increasing adoption of the technology, thereby strengthening the overall market.

The technology has proven to be of key importance in the area of manufacturing and quality control, owing to the increasing need for quality inspection and production. In addition, the growing automation in industrial segments is also facilitating the growth of the market worldwide at a considerable rate.

The technology has been witnessing extensive developments and innovative upgrades since its emergence. Several factors, such as the growing inception of the technology and increasing need for quality products, are influencing the market growth.

Furthermore, machine vision systems are gaining traction in the medical and healthcare applications at a considerable pace. The analysis of medical images and robotic applications for carrying various medical activities are the key roles of the technology in these sectors.

The Asia Pacific region contributed to the largest market share in 2015, which can be attributed to ample opportunities offered on account of large manufacturing practices carried out in the region. Countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, and India are considered to be potential markets for upcoming technologies, including machine vision. The region's industrial expansion has been contributing to the prosperity and development of various innovations and the adoption of different technologies significantly.

Factors such as increasing focus on developments and expenditures in vision-related research activities, along with the growing manufacturing base in the region are expected to spur the technology market growth in Asia Pacific, in turn boosting the overall market at a notable pace. The market is anticipated to exhibit the fastest growth of 10.4% over the forecast period.

The industry is facing challenges due to lack of awareness among users about the rapidly advancing machine vision technology. Moreover, the complexity of integrating machine vision systems are the major difficulties being faced by manufacturers, which is also restraining the smoother growth of the industry.

Additional report findings include the following:

• The global machine vision technology market was valued atUS$9.10 billionin 2016 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8.5% from 2017 to 2025.

• The PC-based system segment accounted for the largest market size in 2016 and is estimated to generateUS$10.48 billionby 2025.

• The identification application segment is anticipated to exhibit the fastest growth rate over the forecast period followed by positioning and guidance applications.

• The European machine vision market is estimated to attain US$4.47 billion by 2025.

• The industry is expected to witness a substantial growth in theAsia Pacificregion over the next decade. This growth is witnessed in the wake of ample opportunities offered due to the presence of large manufacturing hubs in prominent countries (across the food and packaging, automotive, pharmaceutical, industrial, and consumer electronic sectors) such asChinaandJapan. The regional market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.4% from 2017 to 2025.

• The prominent companies in the industry include Allied Vision Technologies GmbH (Germany), Basler AG (Germany), Cognex Corp. (U.S.), Keyence Corp. (Japan), National Instruments (U.S.), Omron Corp. (Japan), Machine Vision Technology (UK), and Microscan Systems (U.S.).

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As You Sow puts pressure on McDonald’s to eliminate EPS

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 06:01:33 +0000

A third of McDonald’s Corp.’s shareholders support a proposal from As You Sow urging the fast-food franchise to phase out EPS in foreign markets.

According to non-profit environmental group As You Sow, 32.3% of McDonald’s Corp.’s shareholders supported a proposal from As You Sow asking the company to phase out expanded polystyrene foam packaging globally at its annual meeting in May. Says As You Sow, the vote far exceeds the average voting result of 20% for social and environmental issue proposals.

McDonald’s has phased out EPS foam beverage cups in the U.S. but continues to use them in foreign markets identified as having high levels of plastics deposition onto land and waterways, including Hong Kong and parts of the Philippines. EPS foam used for coffee cups, takeout containers, and packing materials is rarely recycled, says As You Sow. It is often swept into waterways and is one of the top items found in ocean beach cleanups.

“The company was concerned enough about the environmental impact of polystyrene 27 years ago to stop using clamshell EPS foam-based burger containers,” says Conrad MacKerron, As You Sow Senior Vice President. “It’s disconcerting that it did not follow through to fully remove polystyrene across its packaging system. This vote sends a signal to management that it’s time to finish the job.”

McDonald’s phase-out of foam burger containers in 1990, along with other changes in packaging, saved the company an estimated $6 million per year, and in the decade following these actions, helped the company reduce restaurant waste by 30%, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. As You Sow says it was a catalyst for McDonald’s to phase out the use of foam cups in the U.S. in 2013.

In April 2017, As You Sow withdrew a shareholder proposal with Target Corp. asking the company to phase out EPS packaging in its e-commerce operations after it agreed to work with its value chain and industry peers to discuss replacing foam with less harmful alternatives.

Fifteen major brands, including Coca-Cola, Danone, Dow Chemical, L’Oréal, Marks & Spencer, Mars, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, and Unilever recommended replacement of EPS foam as a packaging material in a report released in January by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Says As You Sow, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has determined that styrene, used in the production of polystyrene, is a possible human carcinogen. EPS foam packaging materials break down into small, indigestible pellets, which animals mistake for food, resulting in death to birds, fish, and other marine animals. Foam may also pose a higher risk to marine animals than other plastics; research indicates it can accumulate high concentrations of water-borne toxins in a short time frame.

Nine countries and more than 100 U.S. cities or counties have banned or restricted foam

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Tactile flow wrap film on display at EXPO PACK

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 20:46:26 +0000

Kellogg’s®Nutri-Grain®Bakery Delights use Bemis Company's Tactile Packaging.
Bemis Tactile Packaging give Kellogg's bars an artisanal look and feel for appeal to millennials in the USA and in Latin American markets.

Kellogg’s®Nutri-Grain®Bakery Delights brand bars, featuring Bemis’ Tactile Packaging innovation, were on display at the Bemis Company booth at the 2017 EXPO PACK Guadalajara. Bemis recently earned a Silver Award in the 2017 DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation for their work on this package design, which features textured film to represent a bakery item that looks like it's wrapped in kraft paper and twine. To capture millennial shoppers’ attention, the package is designed to look like paper, feel like paper, and even crinkle and crunch like paper. The thin-gauge flow wrap film is a highly practical, responsible alternative to paper laminations, extending the breakfast cake’s shelf life and appeal, while meeting brand owners’ need for packaging speed, good barrier, hermetic seals, and product protection. Details on film structure are not available as of this posting.

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Pharma industry focuses on OEE

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 19:58:29 +0000

Pharma Industry Packaging Lines
A new study from PMMI Business Intelligence shares packaging and processing technology advancements needed to capture data for OEE.

Vision: 62% of pharma packaging and processing lines employ vision. While only twenty-three percent of CMOs reported using vision.

Respondents desire changes including: more intuitive set up, faster read rates, reduction of false rejects with failure mode analysis, and improved data collection and reporting.

One medical device engineer said, “Would like to see more PC based HMI. Vision should be everywhere on the line to verify lot codes and inspect labels, with both detection and rejection capabilities…”

Preventive Maintenance: Slightly more than half of pharma companies reported following preventive maintenance schedules as opposed to sixty-two percent of CMOs.

“There will be massive growth in preventive maintenance to improve uptime,” reported one pharma VP of manufacturing.

Desired improvements in PM include: better access to the machine, life cycle reporting on parts, universal part replacement, improved data collection on machine efficiency, and clear instructions on HMI tied into status bar with dashboard display.

Remote Diagnostics: “The reins on remote diagnostics are starting to loosen now due to serialization and to eliminate the high cost of service travel—its most important for complicated machinery or offshore equipment,” said a maintenance manager in pharma.

Sixty-two percent of pharma respondents currently employ remote diagnostics with another twenty-nine percent planning to explore in the future.

For more on OEE, Mark Hanley from Land O’Lakes and Diana Franciosa from GlaxoSmithKline discuss OEE with Joyce Fassil, Editor-in-Chief, ProFood World in this archived webinar from PMMI’s OpX Leadership Network.

Source: PMMI Business Intelligence, Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices 2016: Trends and Opportunities in Packaging Operations.

Click here for the entire 58-page report.

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Fertile Western Mexican market fit for investment

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 18:48:16 +0000

EXPO PACK Guadalajara Mexican Market
EXPO PACK Guadalajara conference session details opportunities for packaging machinery south of the border.

After an unprecedented opening day, the second day of a potentially record-breaking EXPO PACK Guadalajara began with a standing-room only conference session outlining the current stability of the Mexican market and presented a series of strategies for success.

Luis Doménech M., managing director, MILA, described the Western Mexican market as ripe for investment with multinational consumer packaged goods companies, an exploding beverage sector and an increasing desire for automation driving growth.

As a whole Mexico imported $696 million in packaging machinery in 2016, a record high for the second consecutive year, Doménech said, with Jalisco attracting $2.48 billion or nearly 9 percent of the total national Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Recognized as the home of Tequila and with beer production at an all -time high, Mexican companies from the food and beverage industry continue to increase investments in the region. Of the 50 companies interviewed for the 2017 Study on the Western Packaging Market, from PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technology, projected investments in packaging machinery in the 2017-2018 period are worth between US$149.9 and 182.4 million.

Looking deeper at beer, in 2016 the beer industry alone accounted for 20 percent of all packaging machinery imports with the Compañía Cervecera de Coahuila (Constellation Brands) brewery repeating as the single largest importer at US$ 74.5 million. Heineken’s Cervecería Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma ranked second in packaging machinery imports with US$ 31.2 million.

The keys to entering this sector as well as other burgeoning markets in Western Mexico were summed up by Doménech, starting with what he detailed as a “popular myth about the North American Free Trade Agreement.” According to research from MILA, more jobs in the U.S. have gone away because of automation and robotics, rather than factory movement to Mexico.

“There is no NAFTA advantage, and NAFTA revision can bring additional taxes to American companies,” he explained adding that the current uncertainty over NAFTA’s future is causing important international problems. The top four issues, in no particular order:

  • Slower FDI inflows expected, especially from European companies targeting the NAFTA market.
  • Mexican exporting companies are concentrating more on diversifying their exports.
  • Nationalistic sentiment continues to increase with several “buy Mexican” and “Don’t buy American” initiatives in social media.
  • Some Mexican companies are placing investments on hold due to NAFTA revision.

Politics aside, his advice for increasing a Mexican presence lie in the knowledge that service, flexibility and reliability are significantly more important than price. In fact, local service, equipment service packages and local spare parts remain key competitive advantages. Credit options and payments schedules—preferably in local currencies—can be strong decision-making points with leasing a very attractive option for customers.

Finally, Doménech noted that relationships and negotiations are welcomed in the Mexican market. “Take it or leave it,” prices for machinery are often non-starters.

EXPO PACK Guadalajara continues through June 14. For more information visit

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Douglas Machine: Sleever for retail cartons

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 13:07:25 +0000

Sleever for retail cartons
The Douglas Apex Sleever produces 4- and 6-pack retail cartons featuring contours and product visibility that attracts consumers.

Carton flaps are gusset tucked to solidly contain products and enhance carton graphics. The retail carton design is well suited for single-serve milk, energy and nutraceutical drink bottles. The Apex sleever runs up to 200 cartons/min.

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PET-coated case for fish wins WorldStar Award

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 06:20:02 +0000

The EcoFishBox replaces polystyrene with PET, making it completely recyclable.

The World Packaging Organization has awarded the WPO Sustainability Award to the EcoFishBox from Stora Enso. The package was also awarded the WorldStar Award.

The EcoFishBox was created to pack fresh and processed products in shops and restaurants. Designed in-house by Stora Enso, the box is waterproof and leakproof to the liner, due to its premade PET lamination and special folding method. Fiber-based packaging has not been used for this purpose in the past.

According to Stora Enso, the fiber-based box, made of renewable material, is space-saving and is supplied as a flat corrugated board. Its material is completely recyclable, and it saves on packaging waste handling. EcoFishBox can replace previously used polystyrene boxes for the same purpose.

“This EcoFishBox case is an excellent and concrete example related to the proactive design work, and we are very happy that our eco-packaging for the fish industry is recognized and awarded the Sustainability Award in the WorldStar 2017 competition,” said Peter Thorstensson, SVP and Head of Corrugated Nordics, Stora Enso Packaging Solutions division. “It can replace plastics, is recyclable, and saves space during transport and warehousing, which makes EcoFishBox a very sustainable packaging alternative.”

The jury of the competition chose EcoFishBox as the winner of the WorldStar Sustainability Award, the best sustainable packaging compilation among the 292 packaging solutions participating in the competition. The solution was also awarded the WorldStar Award.
WorldStar is an annual competition for world packing organizations. The competition prizes were granted at the WPO event in Düsseldorf, Germany, at the world’s largest packaging trade fair interpack.

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Largest-ever EXPO PACK Guadalajara opens

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 20:23:05 +0000

Opening of EXPO PACK Guadalajara 2017
The expanded show floor welcomed a flood of attendees.

The largest-ever EXPO PACK Guadalajara (June 13–15; Jalisco, Mexico) opened its doors this morning to an expected record number of attendees seeking new technologies and insights. Produced by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, the biannual event is hosting 700 exhibitors from 16 countries spanning 140,000 net-square-feet of exhibit space.

This third edition of EXPO PACK Guadalajara is three times larger than its 2013 beginnings as a regional show for the Western Mexico Market.

EXPO PACK General Director Gerardo Barajas welcomed attendees and exhibitors alike to the $15.4 billion and steadily growing Mexican packaging and processing market. According to the Mexican Association of Packaging and Packaging (AMEE), the total production of the packaging industry increased 4.6 percent over the previous year and is expected to grow 5 percent by the end of 2017.

PMMI members have a strong presence at the show with 160 members exhibiting, and a PMMI Pavilion featuring 82 PMMI member companies.

Show floor highlights include a food processing pavilion plus international pavilions from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Italy, Spain and the United States, as well as a plethora of educational opportunities from free on-floor Innovation Stage presentations to a full conference program, Packaging Congress and the Envases Estelares Award from the Mexican Packaging Association (AMEE). Attendees can find sustainable packaging and processing solutions by looking-out for the EXPO PACK Verde icon at exhibits on the show floor.

The show floor is open for two more days, opening at 11 a.m. each day, and registration is available on-site until the end of the show.

EXPO PACK Guadalajara is proud to have a history of support from some of Mexico’s leading professional industry associations. These important organizations include Asociación Mexicana de Envase y Embalaje (AMEE), Cámara de Comercio de Guadalajara, Cámara de la Industria Alimenticia de Jalisco (CIAJ), Cámara Nacional de Fabricantes de Envases Metálicos (CANAFEM), Cámara Nacional de la Industria de Artes Gráficas de Jalisco (CANAGRAF Jalisco), Cámara Nacional de la Industria de Conservas Alimenticias (CANAINCA), Cámara Nacional de la Industria de Productos Cosméticos y Asociación Nacional de la Industria de Productos del Cuidado Personal y del Hogar A.C. (CANIPEC), Cámara Nacional de la Industria Farmacéutica (CANIFARMA) and Cámara Regional de la Industria de la Transformación del Estado de Jalisco (CAREINTRA).

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SICK: DSL open interface

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 13:43:53 +0000

DSL open interface
SICK is opening up the HIPERFACE DSL interface; the interface brings together all the advantages of a digital real-time interface, such as One Cable Technology, continuous condition monitoring and improved economic efficiency.

By opening up the interface, the expert for motor feedback systems is aiming to drive forward its development and the success story of HIPERFACE DSL, and to offer optimal solutions for motor and drive suppliers, especially in the context of Industry 4.0.

HIPERFACE DSL complies with the RS485 standard and enables reliable data transfer between drive and motor in servo drive systems via two wires which are directly integrated into motor cables with a length of up to 100m. Electric drives featuring motor feedback systems and an integrated HIPERFACE DSL interface have a distinctive outward appearance with just one motor connector. Hybrid cables that combine both servo and encoder elements are becoming increasingly popular. Signals coming from other sensors that are integrated into the digital motor feedback protocol are also transferred. Special processes and the application of pulse transformers ensure that the encoder signal is decoupled from disturbances created by the motor power cable cores.

SICK anticipates that opening the interface will bring in customer requests for a wide range of motor feedback systems. The interfaces to be supported by servo drives will be minimized and SICK will thus create an open market standard by opening the previously proprietary interface.

One Cable Technology is now the leading standard protocol for digital feedback systems in servo drive technology. It offers every market partner – motor and drive suppliers, mechanical engineers, and end customers – both technical and economic advantages. What’s more, the digital interface meets all the requirements for the condition-oriented maintenance of machines in the Industry 4.0 environment.

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Apace accelerates track-and-trace operations

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 11:02:23 +0000

Apace's new solid-dose bottling line.
New solid-dose bottling line increases capacity, reduces labor costs and achieves Level 4 serialization and Level 3 aggregation.

As a contract packer of solid dose pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, Apace Packaging LLC goes to great lengths to exceed their customers’ expectations.

For years, Apace has kept “a watchful eye on [the] horizon as regulations evolve,” says the company’s website. “Apace is one of the only contract packagers to provide a fully aggregated serialization solution—on each of its packaging lines.”

Strict standards and innovative ideas help the company fulfill their mission to provide serialized and aggregated packaging that is both high quality and cost effective. To increase production capacity, they turned to NJM Packaging and installed a high-speed integrated bottling line in 2017.

“This new bottling line is critical for the growth of our company,” says Patrick Ferguson, General Manager at Apace. “It was important that the line be as versatile as possible to maximize its potential. Our goal was to think of virtually any bottling scenario that a customer might bring to us, so we could always respond ‘yes’ to their request.”

“This packaging line has been a dream come true,” states Wendell Bell, the company’s Director of Operations. “We first learned of NJM in 2009 when we walked into their booth at PACK EXPO. It was immediately obvious that the design and engineering of their equipment are top notch. From that day on, we decided to go to them whenever we needed new machinery. We appreciate that NJM not only manufactures their own equipment, they represent other great suppliers and offer integration services. This enabled us to get single-source responsibility and a cohesive solution that has a lot of production flexibility.”

Apace’s new line features a CFI-622*8 tablet counter, beltorque® capper, AUTOCOLT IV labeler and more. Built for extreme versatility, it can be setup to run round, square or rectangular bottles, in sizes from 40 to 1,500 cc, with either CT or CR caps with an induction sealing option. Canister or pouch desiccants can be added as well as cotton, rayon or polyester filler. The labeler applies three-panels to square and rectangular bottles or wraparound labels to round bottles with the option of sideserts and topserts. Flexibility has been designed into the bottle labeling too, as variable data, including serialized information, is added to the label via either a thermal-transfer printer or a laser obliteration printer, both of which are installed on the high-speed labeler. Finally, the line either aggregates serialized bottles into bundles and bundles into cases or loose bottles into cases via a case packer.

Adding speeds, reducing labor costs

“Our motivation for installing this bottling line was to increase production volume. We wanted to expand our capacity while maintaining the highest product quality and keeping costs down,” explains Bell. “The new line has a throughput of 225 bottles per minute and requires only four or five operators. Our two other bottling lines handle 80 bottles per minute and each require seven or eight operators. The NJM line achieves almost three times the throughput with far fewer workers.”

Anchoring the line is a CFI-622*8 Tablet Counter, a servo-driven counting and filling system that operates at high speeds in a compact footprint. The Cremer tablet counter can be equipped with different machine frames that accommodate from four to 10 filling modules. Apace selected a counter with eight modules to run high counts at their target speeds. The modular design facilitates quick changeovers – it takes less than 20 minutes to disassemble and reassemble for a product and bottle size change, with no tools required. “We like everything about this tablet counter. Both the accuracy and efficiency are fantastic,” says Bell.

To match the high output of the tablet counter, Apace selected NJM’s beltorque capper. Unlike traditional in-line cappers that use discs or spindles, this high-speed system uses two pairs of belts to gently rotate and tighten caps with precision. If bottles are induction-sealed, a beltorque retorquer tightens caps to the specified final torque. Rivaling the speeds of rotary cappers, the beltorque capper and retorquer reduce maintenance and enable faster changeovers.

Next in line, the servo-driven AUTOCOLT IV pressure-sensitive labeler also competes in speed with rotary labeling systems while offering simple mechanics, fewer change parts and a compact footprint. At Apace, this versatile labeler is equipped with almost all available options so they can meet nearly every potential customer need. It offers either thermal transfer or laser printing to print variable data, including expiration date, lot number, GTIN number, alphanumeric serial number and serialized 2D code.

This line achieves Level 4 serialization and Level 3 aggregation: bottle-to-label, bundler, case packer and palletizer. First, a BottleTracker™ from Optel Vision prints a “unique identifier” to the bottom of each bottle using UV ink that’s invisible to the human eye. Cameras capture the serialized code printed onto each bottle’s label, and Optel’s LineMaster™ software associates each unique identifier to a serialized code.

This system facilitates aggregation at secondary packaging. It enables the vision system at the BundleTracker™, or the vision system at the case packer if packing unbundled bottles, to capture one image of the group of bottles comprising the bundle or the layer being case packed with the unique identifier of each bottle in that group visible. Compared to traditional “first in, first out” aggregation systems, which track each bottle coming into the bundler or case packer, Optel’s TrackSafe™ system reduces errors to improve compliance and maximize productivity.

“Each machine on the line monitors its own process and rejects any abnormalities. This allows us to produce superior quality packaging with fewer operators. In addition to being fast, our new line is extremely versatile. NJM designed it to have a lot of flexibility to meet our customers’ future needs,” notes Bell. “Our equipment from NJM always does exactly what they promise it will do. At the end of the day, we value the quality of their solutions and the impeccable customer service they provide.”

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