Clemson opens center for flexible packaging

In October, Clemson University’s Department of Packaging Science officially opened CEFPACK, a new center for research, development, evaluation, and application of advanced materials and packages.

Robert M. Kimmel (left) and W. Scott Whiteside cut the ribbon at the opening of Clemson's Center for Flexible Packaging.
Robert M. Kimmel (left) and W. Scott Whiteside cut the ribbon at the opening of Clemson's Center for Flexible Packaging.

The 15ꯠ sq’ Center for Flexible Packaging has a three-fold mission:

1. Teaching. The center will provide laboratory experience in all aspects of converting and flexible packaging for undergraduate and graduate packaging science courses.

2. Research. Projects will focus on developing, evaluating, and understanding new flexible packaging materials, structures, and packages. Additional research will center on production of films, laminates, and packages.

3. Service. Activities will involve preparing and filling packages, thermal processing of packages and evaluating them, training and equipment demonstrations, and analyzing and identifying materials and structures. Emphasis will be placed on flexible pouches and retort packaging.

Among the equipment the Clemson, SC, university uses to reach its mission objectives are:

• A lab scale cast or blown film line

• A lab scale multilayer blown film line

• A newly renovated, custom-designed 14”-wide coater-laminator

• A vertical form/fill/seal machine

• A food processing pilot plant that includes a new pilot retort chamber.

Dr. Robert M. Kimmel is the director of CEFPACK; Dr. W. Scott Whiteside associate director. Alison Tuso and Jerry Stoner serve as research associates.

Completed this summer, CEFPACK was made possible through more than $1 million in grants, contributions, and donations from almost 20 different sources associated with flexible packaging. New funding will come from industry membership dues.

Any company or organization associated with converting or packaging can become a member for three years for $30ꯠ. That investment offers privileges such as credit for the center’s services up to the amount of the membership fee, including the use of process equipment, analytical services, phone consultation, training, and short courses. So far, 12 companies have agreed to become members. For more information, contact Bob Kimmel at kimmel@clemson.edu, or call him at 864/656-6534. —JB

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