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Packaging World       Editor-in-Chief, Jim George
SPONSOR: sato america, inc. March 21, 2011 | Edited by Jim George

Video: Corner-Wrap Labeling with SATO and CTM Labeling Systems >>

The SATO America S8412, 305dpi print engine partnered with CTM Labeling System's model 3600 printer applicator performs a leading-edge corner wrap. The high-speed, rotary acuator of the CTM 3600 places the label firmly on the case's leading panel then smoothly wraps the label around the corner and down the side.

SATO America, Inc.

Video: Fully Network-Manageable RFID-Ready Printer >>

Versatility and value are the cornerstones of SATO's GL4e Series printer, with features that support the needs of contract packagers. View this video to see this printer's many great features and ease of use.

SATO America, Inc.

Video: Top & Bottom Labeling with SATO Print Engine and Label-Aire Printer Applicator >>

This top/bottom print and apply system from Label-Aire uses a SATO M8490Se print engine integrated to a Label-Aire 3138-NV, tamp-blow printer applicator for the top labeling system and a SATO M8490Se mated to a Label-Aire 3138-NV, merge-apply printer applicator for the bottom labeling system.

SATO America, Inc.

Free White Paper: Portable Printing on the Move >>

At many companies with a highly mobile workforce, label printing has typically been conducted via "sneakernet"—workers return, again and again, to a stationary printer. All that walking around may be good exercise, but it's a drain on productivity. The solution: let the worker take the printer with them.

SATO America, Inc.

Durable Performance in Economical Package >>

SATO's Lt408 is designed to meet the needs of the entry-level print apply market, including contract packaging operations looking to gain the efficiencies of automation with minimal investment and quick payback.

SATO America, Inc.

Feature article

Enabling and enhancing targeted innovation

You are a contract packager. You offer a variety of packaging skills and capabilities ranging from flexible to rigid packaging. But, you are also one of the many contract packagers attempting to offer a differentiated packaging service. You work every day to maintain and grow your customer base. You seek out innovation that will provide you with a competitive advantage.

By John Farren

You are a contract packager. You offer a variety of packaging skills and capabilities ranging from flexible to rigid packaging.  But, you are also one of the many contract packagers attempting to offer a differentiated packaging service.  You work every day to maintain and grow your customer base. You seek out innovation that will provide you with a competitive advantage.

In a recent column, I spoke about finding packaging innovation. Since then, I have received inquiries on how to develop an innovation/R&D capability within the organization. Providing a comprehensive plan here is beyond the scope of this column, but I can provide my perspective and additional resources you may want to explore.

In my experience, managing an R&D organization for personal care products and package innovation, I have found it essential to drive for targeted innovation. I think it's fair to say that nothing deliberate happens without a plan, and that R&D without an identified target is costly and inefficient. To ensure this targeted approach, the best tool is a structured and disciplined business process. Strategic Business Planning, with annual objective-setting and -tracking sessions, is one such process.

Strategic Business Planning (SBP) is your three- to five-year road map to the future.  It identifies where you want to take the business, your core competencies that will help you, obstacles that will hinder you, and actions and objectives you need to make happen to deliver your plan.

Typically, the plan will identify five or more areas to provide a structure to achieving your goals: financial objectives, quality objectives, customer service objectives, innovation objectives, and organizational objectives.

While the plan objectives and action plans are structured into five or more categories, the objectives and action plans within a specific category often are dependent on and interlocked with objectives and action plans in other categories. For example, financial objectives for sales profit growth can require supporting codependent activities in quality, customer service, innovation, and organization. Therefore, a critical element in the success of a strategic business plan is a comprehensive, interlocking objectives process that identifies the activities your organization needs to accomplish in the short term (one-year time frame).

Read the complete article.

The author, John Farren, has decades of manufacturing experience, including 32 years with the Gillette Co., where he retired as vice president global contract manufacturing and packaging operations. Contact him at


Additional reading about innovation strategies

To learn more about creating or enhancing your innovation capability, the following reference material may provide you with a good start:

  1. Innovation R&D – 5 Leading CPG Strategies, by Andrew Buss and Andrew McCauley, The Overarching View, Archstone Research.
  1. Building A Creative High-Performance R&D Culture, by Jerry L. Newman, Research Technology Management, September/October 2009.
  1. The Smart Organization: Creating Value through Strategic R&D, by David Matheson & Jim Matheson, Harvard Business School Press.


Greener Package Awards gain in prestige

By Anne Marie Mohan, Senior Editor, Packaging World

Entries are being accepted for the 2011 Greener Package Awards, the packaging industry's only independent annual competition honoring the most innovative and environmentally significant approaches to packaging sustainability. Since the second edition of the competition last year, Greener Package and its Advisory Board of Experts have revamped the award's entry requirements to more fully reflect the industry's movement toward data-driven solutions.

"The 2011 Greener Package Awards program is taking a more metrics-focused approach and a more stringent assessment of the recovery industry in comparison with last year's program," confirms 2011 awards chairperson Sean Sabre of ModusLink Global Solutions. "These changes reflect the philosophy of Greener Package related to thought leadership, and its willingness to push the envelope."

To enable more objective awards criteria, entries will be evaluated against some of the latest standards and guidelines under development for sustainable packaging. These include changes pending with the new ISO Standards for Packaging and Environment (TCC 122/SC 4), the Global Protocol on Packaging Sustainability 2.0 from the Global Packaging Project (GPP), and recent changes to FTC Green Guidelines.

Under the new requirements, applicants must now supply verifiable data for at least one aspect of environmental impact: greenhouse gas reduction, sourcing metrics/impacts, end-of-life recovery metrics/impacts, life-cycle metrics/impacts, and/or social impacts. As Greener Package advises applicants, "You can't change what you can't measure, and so sustainability improvements must start with measurements."

For end-of-life recovery metrics specifically, the judging subcommittee now is looking for a shift toward recovery outcomes. For example, when an entry claims recyclability or compostability, judges will begin looking for at least some effort applied to increasing the amount of packaging actually recovered through recycling or composting. Also for the first time, questions have been added for water use and toxicity reduction.

Other major changes to this year's awards include the addition of a "Packaging Machinery" category, separate awards recognition for Innovation and for Environmental Impact, and a new judging panel that represents "a cross-section of the industry," Sabre says.

Sabre encourages buyers and sellers of contract packaging services that have commercialized a sustainable package, initiative, or technology in 2010 or 2011 to enter this year's competition—both for the prestige and for the opportunity it will bring to learn about new industry standards.

Entries for the 2011 Greener Package Awards will be accepted through May 6, with results announced July 29. Winners will be profiled in the August issue of Packaging World magazine, as well as at

Upcoming events:

NACD 2011 Annual Convention
La Quinta Resort & Club, Palm Springs, CA The National Association of Container Distributors (NACD) annual convention will be held April 6-10, 2011.

Packaging Automation Forum
Westin O'Hare, Rosemont, IL. Packaging Automation Forum, produced by Packaging World and Automation World, features peer-to-peer education about how to increase productivity, flexibility and performance using state-of-the-art packaging controls and information technology, April 26.

IoPP Packaging & Leadership Council
Hyatt Regency O'Hare, Rosemont, IL. New for 2011, the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) is offering packaging professionals the utmost in value by creating a two-day conference that combines IoPP's most dynamic events, held May 10-11.

Healthcare Packaging Conference & Workshops
Westin Princeton at Forrestal Village, Princeton, NJ. Healthcare Packaging Conference & Workshops, produced by Healthcare Packaging magazine, will feature operational and package design strategies for pharmaceutical and medical device packagers, May 26.

Healthcare Packaging Conference


Making your brand stand-out - Wallace Church shares lessons learned from Pfizer and Wyeth

Do you package pharmaceuticals? Hear brand identity consultant Wallace Church share visual position strategies used by market-leading brands. The 2011 Healthcare Packaging Conference & Workshops offers an education on package design, compliance, validation, regulatory issues, combination products, and much more, May 26 in Princeton, NJ.

Learn more >>

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