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Machinery

Vision/Inspection

As many as six upstream packaging lines can feed into the rotary tower stretch wrapping machine. Electrical heating strips on al
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A well 'thawed-out' solution

J&J Snacks needed to automate pallet wrapping in its freezer warehouse. But only a specially insulated wrapper could function at temperatures as low as
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Bang the drum carefully

Open-headed fiber drums can't pass U.S. Dept. of Transportation drop tests. NAS recommendations could result in an exemption.
A pallet load of bottles conveys from right to left into the hoist area of the depalletizer (above).  This line produces 1.75-L
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United Distillers bulks up on savings

United Distillers saves $400ꯠ in freight and corrugated costs by purchasing bottles in bulk rather than in reshippers, and by shipping outgoing product in a Bliss-style case rather than the reshipper. New depalletizer, case erectors, case taper and inspection systems boost efficiency on 1.75-L spirits line.
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Labeling meat substitutes

FDA and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) want to encourage more nutritious variations of traditional foods, but are wrestling with how such foods should be labeled.
A single camera on a packaging line can be used to identify proper lot and expiration dates on a labeled container. Inspection
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No clear 'vision' from FDA on label inspection

Agency hopes to give additional detailed directions to drug manufacturers on the requirements for verifying cut labels and other components.
Pressing arrow keys on the touchscreen display (above) trains the camera to focus in on the date/lot code. One touchscreen disp
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Easy PC controlfor machine vision

Upsher-Smith Laboratories uses off-the-shelf PC hardware for an all-in-one video capture/bar-code scanning inspection system to satisfy FDA labeling regs while keeping false rejects low.
At its new Wautoma, WI, plant, Atrium?s automatic line relies heavily on a new dual tablet/capsule counter/filler (above) and in
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Atrium earns an 'A' for bottle sealing

Induction sealing was so effective at three other plants that food supplement maker Atrium added a fourth machine at its new plant in Wautoma, WI. A fifth machine is expected shortly.
As a group of bottles is conveyed right to left in the case packer, one of the eight heads of gripping bells moves into position
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New bottle packers help Modelo deal with refillables

Southern Mexican brewery installs high-speed rotary bottle packers that are now used throughout Modelo's system. Efficency soars even with returnable cases of marginal quality.
Video monitors in the background display an image of the printed film taken by a camera mounted above the press. Press operator
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Duralam presses for short and sweet runs

Flexible packaging converter Duralam is among the first to use a quick changeover flexo press for short-run jobs. One of its most challenging is a reverse-printed OPP structure used for bags of Sun*Maid candy.
The vinyl base material unwinds to a pre-heating station to initiate the thermoform/fill/seal process. The pharmaceutical-grade
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'In-sourcing' revitalizes Gumtech

By thermoforming, filling and sealing blister packs of nutraceutical gums in-house, Gumtech can package products as needed, replacing the two- or three-week advance notice necessary for a contract packager. Payback in 18 months justifies the equipment purchase.
Chart 1A
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Packagers still seeking help on electronic components

Understanding electronics is critical to maintenance engineers, but it's also important to packaging engineers and more important than ever to machine operators, say our readers in PW's exclusive survey. Logic and software programming are also studied.
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Pouches stand up for DuPont awards

For the second year running, stand-up pouches were prominent among winners in the DuPont Awards competition. Markets from around the world are represented in this 10th installment of the annual competition.
Many lines of over-the-counter pharmaceutical products come in packs distinguished through the use of colors, for easy label mat
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FDA rule on cut labels for drugs could draw blood

Agency may require automated verification of labels for both unit packages and shelf packs. Visual verification by color will be eliminated.
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Standards of identity

Modern technologies and processes are producing new versions of familiar food products that are tastier, more healthful or more nutritious. But because their composition may change significantly, these foods may not be called by their traditional names under current Standards of Identity (SI).
Chart 1
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Components assume new importance in packaging

Conveyors, coding and marking machines, and motors and drives are the components best-known to packagers who have production and engineering responsibilities.

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