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Looking back—and forward

Can it really be twenty years ago this month that Packaging World was launched? My, how the world has changed in those two decades.

Pw 58966 Patphoto

What happens in the next 20 years is bound to be even more exciting than the last 20. But in fashioning the future, it always helps to be mindful of key learnings from the past. So each issue this year, as we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we’ll be recalling important packaging developments that we’ve covered in the past two decades. We’ll be pushing these out, too, through our social media channels, and that’s where you come in. If you’d like to share a packaging innovation that you feel is worthy of mention, connect with us on Twitter (@packagingworld) or on Facebook using the hashtag #pwinnovation. Or you can drop us a line at

As for the future, our goal is to keep offering readers the best packaging information available. A great example is on page 114 where you’ll find an account of how Perrigo, the world’s largest producer of store brand pharmaceuticals, is using sophisticated software and automated guided vehicles to bring packaging materials to 29 packaging lines—automatically. The AGVs also remove from those lines not only packaged goods but also recyclables, trash, and reusable bulk containers. Perrigo estimates its AGV implementation will produce more than $2.7MM in annual recurring hard savings. According to Trent Martin, Lean Sigma Blackbelt at Perrigo, it “not only extends our low-cost producer position and supports growth, it actually increases long-term job security.”

Another of our ongoing commitments here at Packaging World is to continue our support for education. One way we do that is with the annual David A. Harvey Memorial Scholarship, which was awarded most recently to Austin Polytechnical Academy High School in Chicago ( We also contribute to packaging education through the Leaders in Packaging (LIP) program, now in its fifth year. In 2014, LIP kicks off with 139 participating companies. Each company is a named supporter of our 2015 Future Leaders in Packaging scholarship. As we reported this past November, the most recent Future Leaders in Packaging scholarship went to the Packaging Program at Virginia Tech ( We applaud these leading companies in their commitment to leadership and packaging education. To connect with any of these participating LIP companies, click here.

What else can you expect from us in the future? How about something that’s been our corporate calling card from day one: innovation. Take our series of Playbooks, for example. And now we’re about to publish something completely new. It’s a book called Manufacturing Workforce Development that dovetails with today’s exciting renaissance in U.S. manufacturing. Available in Q2, this book will be edited by renowned workforce development consultant Keith Campbell, and it will provide proven strategies for dealing with the skills gap crisis facing manufacturers today. It will incorporate insights from all who have a stake in workforce development, and it will present strategies and actions that have been successfully employed by industry, education, and government to collaboratively solve the short- and long-term problems of preparing workers for the future. If your company is interested in sponsorship, you can review the opportunities at ( A percentage of net proceeds will go toward future funding of the David A. Harvey Scholarship. (By the way, see page 110 for more on workforce development.)

As we enter our third decade, we want to thank readers and advertisers alike for your continued interest in and support for Packaging World. We remain committed to being the most credible and timely source of packaging information in the business. Needless to say, we’re always looking for feedback. Drop us a line at In the meantime, we wish you all the best for a safe and successful New Year.

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