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Packaging World     VP/Editor, Pat Reynolds
SPONSORs January 3, 2011 | Edited by Pat Reynolds

Application Video: vertical bagging of paint rollers >>

Video clip from Rennco shows automated vertical bagging of paint rollers. Footage shows single-file infeed conveyor belt as well as close-up of sealing area.


Wine bottles deploy resealable extended-text labels >>

Cline Cellars had used tear-off pads on store shelves to promote its products and recipes, but switched to resealable extended-text labels that offered more space and ensured customer communication with each purchase.

WS Packaging Group Inc.

High output, small footprint tray and bowl filling system delivers flexibility >>

Triangle BowlMaster systems deposit product into a predetermined space in preformed bowls or in sectioned trays for entrees or complete meals. Other products can then be efficiently loaded upstream or downstream. This video highlights key attributes of the BowlMaster system, which is capable of up to 220 bowls/minute.

Triangle Package Machinery Company

Video: Hi-res case code printing system with touchscreen preview >>

Video shows Pilot Pro ink-jet case-coding system with new drag-and-drop touchscreen technology for message previews.

Squid Ink Manufacturing

10 tips for energy-efficient and sustainable conveyors >>

Watch this short video from Nercon to learn how to reduce energy, improve efficiencies and reduce waste on your packaging lines.


Packaging trends to watch in 2011

Last year we asked automation consultant John Kowal to present 6 trends to anticipate in the coming year. Here's what Kowal, who is now packaging market development manager at B&R Industrial Automation, for another round of trends.

1. Slow economic rebound and new technology spur 'value' packaging machines

The trend was already evident at PACK EXPO: provide certain key packaging machine capabilities at a price point that makes them affordable to a new group of customers.

By morphing control into the touchscreen panel, with smart software control of AC drives and using new fabrication techniques, Omega Design Corporation has created a new value-priced niche for bottle unscramblers. 

It's targeted at life sciences customers who don't require full servo functionality but do want to take advantage of Omega's patented, self-adjusting rotary pocket system.

In a similar game-changing move, Extreme Packaging Machinery introduced a 100 cpm servo shrink wrapper costing significantly less than conventional designs.

To accomplish this, Extreme's engineers also streamlined mechanical fabrication, and then replaced pneumatic cylinders, temperature controllers, PLC, HMI and all their separate software packages on its new wrapper series.

OEMs such as Extreme Packaging are reading the market to bundle functionalities that meet specific price points and application requirements.

2. Especially in a weak economy, some innovations are irresistable

Among the most sensational new packaging technologies introduced at PACK EXPO was Ilapak's fresh pizza vacuumizing system.  It takes all but about 0.5% of the oxygen out of a fresh pizza prior to modified atmosphere packaging.  And that turns a 1 to 2 day refrigerated shelf life into several months.

It's already a hit in Europe, turning local pizza makers into regional players, regional players into EU-wide brands, and store brands into high volume operations.  

Everyone knows that a slow economy spurs dining at home.  Yet, frozen pizza remains one of the most competitive and heavily discounted categories.  Fresh pizza is the perfect opportunity for a new differentiator.

The potential to reshape consumer expectations, capture market share and recapture margins should have pizza makers beating a path to Ilapak's door in 2011.

3. It's an interpack year: anticipate innovation

Some people just don't believe it, but it's true.  The European packaging machine industry follows a circadian rhythm based on the 3-year interpack fair cycle.  It's not that they won't introduce innovations in between.  But they use interpack to launch their major new platforms which are multi-year R&D programs. 

You don't hear much pre-show buzz because they want to save the unveiling for the big event.  That doesn't mean key customers aren't already field testing the technology in question a year or more in advance of the show.  And that means more often than not, the show machine is a production machine rather than a prototype.

That's why, if you do one thing this May, go to interpack in Düsseldorf and see what's on the horizon.  Register for interpack, book your air and your hotel as early as you can, and expect to be shocked by hotel prices.  But don't let that stop you.  Go.

NEW Automation Products

Centric grippers

Schunk's PZB-plus series of 3-finger centric grippers, with multitooth guidance gripper, feature a central bore designed as a sleever ... Read more

Gear motors

Precision planetary gears from B&R have been added to the company's line of synchronous and stepper motors to provide a high-performance, economical drive program ... Read more

Mounting brackets for photoelectric sensors

Pepperl+Fuchs' MH01-M18 mounting brackets, designed for use with the company's ML17 series and M18 cylindrical photoelectric sensor families ... Read more

Blocks, interconnect devices earn 100 kA SCCR

Select WAGO through-panel and chassis-mount terminal blocks, as well as interconnect devices have earned a 100 kA SCCR rating with appropriate fuses ... Read more

Linear stepper motors

Saia® ULE Series linear stepper motors from Johnson Electric are available in unipolar or bipolar configurations ... Read more

WLAN adapter

Beckhoff's FCC-certified CU8890 WLAN adapter provides cost-effective wireless integration of Industrial PCs into an Ethernet network ... Read more


Upcoming events:

ARC's World Industry Forum
Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld Marriott, Orlando, FL. ARC's World Industry Forum focuses on business challenges and winning strategies. It provides the ideal environment for executives to collaborate, share ideas, and find new ways to attack their most pressing problems, from February 7-10.

Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA. Find new equipment, technology, and materials to lower costs, reduce waste, and increase efficiencies, from February 8-10.

Contract Packaging Association Annual Meeting
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Tucson, AZ. A packed business agenda, networking, and social and recreational events will make this Annual Meeting CPA's best, from February 24-27.

Sustainable Packaging Symposium
Hyatt Regency Chicago, IL. Sustainable Packaging Symposium, produced by Greener Package and the Institute for Sustainability, will examine the pivotal role of packaging in implementing sustainability across businesses' supply chains, from March 16-18.

Packaging World Showcase


Looking for a new packaging machinery or materials supplier?

Packaging World's PACK EXPO 2010 Showcase online directory is filled with detailed information about packaging machinery and material suppliers. Search from the convenience of your laptop or PC; click hotlinks for direct access to advertiser websites and print or email supplier information to colleagues. Check out our newest edition via the link below.

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