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Showplace for the US market

Pack Expo International 2014, (November 2-5, McCormick Place, Chicago), North America’s largest processing and packaging event, is bolstered this year by the debut of the co-located Pharm Expo, offering opportunities for new ideas and innovations to cross between industries.

Pack Expo organiser PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, representing more than 650 supply chain companies, promises 1.15 million net square feet of exhibit space where visitors to the event can locate the solutions and suppliers they need. The show will also include industry-specific pavilions and features such as special networking lounges dedicated to the baking and snack, beverage, confectionery and pharmaceutical industries.

The Brand Zone will offer brand-owners innovative containers and materials to enhance shelf presence and extend shelf life. The 11th Annual Showcase of Packaging Innovations, sponsored by Dow Chemical, will display an inspiring array of award winning package designs from around the world. The Processing Zone is a hub spotlighting the latest in processing technology. The Reusable Packaging Pavilion will offer ways to reduce waste, cut shipping costs, protect goods, and increase productivity.

Free educational opportunities will include seminars on breakthrough technologies and techniques with applications in a wide variety of industries. Among these will be the Centre for Trends & Technology (booth S-3907), where visitors can learn the latest on topics such as machine safety, the Internet of Things, serialisation and line optimisation.

Among the innovations to found along the exhibitor aisles will be new stainless steel Flat-1 actuators from Bimba (booth S-1554). Designed specifically for food and beverage packaging, they are said to be highly resistant to corrosive foams and spray used during washdown activities. The components comply with current USDA and 3-A requirements that state non-product contact areas must be corrosion resistant, and the unitised body design of the actuators eliminates the need for tie rods, which can trap food product and create areas for bacterial growth

For Bosch Packaging Technology (booth S-3514), the show will mark the North American debut of the Sigpack TTMC case packer and the Elematic 3001 wrap-around case packer. The Sigpack TTMC is designed to handle a variety of pre-packed food, non-food and pharmaceutical applications, including flow packs, trays, cartons, pouches and bags. The machine can be adjusted quickly, easily and without tools to the required format and product configuration with vertical start-up. Able to run at a high feeding rate, products can be supplied flat or on edge, as well as packaged into Regular Slotted Container (RSC) and Half Slotted Container (HSC), with retail-ready functionality. Multiple case closing options are available. The "highly flexible" Elematic 3001 wrap-around case packer has a new ergonomic design to help users meet increasingly stringent safety regulations around the globe. It features a low blank magazine height, making operation easier and minimising the risk of injury. In addition, the hotmelt system has an external granulate container, which helps protect operators when refilling glue. Thanks to its Elematic click system, the Elematic 3001 features quick and easy format changeovers without using tools. The case packer runs multiple pack styles including tray, classic full wrap-around, ledge tray, as well as two-part shelf-ready packaging.

Campbell Wrapper Corp (booth S-2001) is introducing its Revolution high speed horizontal flow wrapper featuring an Allen-Bradley servodrive and PanelView Plus 6 1000 colour touchscreen controls. The Revolution is said to be easy to operate and will reach production speeds of 600 packages/min. The machine features customisable options such as adjustable web widths and a slack web detector for quick product changeover. The stainless steel body enables quick and easy washdown operations.

A new high performance VCI shrink film from Daubert Cromwell (booth E-8135) will "easily adhere to a wide range of equipment in the metalworking industries". Its combination of flexibility and strength is said to be ideal for packaging items with sharp edges or irregular shapes. The film is also corrosive resistant and seals quickly, for maximum throughput and productivity.

The AllMark 400 print controllers from ImTech (booth E-6747) feature an easy-to-use touchscreen interface for simple message creation and will print all popular barcode symbol markups, including linear and 2-D. The controllers can also network with other devices, such as scales and barcode scanners, for easy processing and printing of variable data.

Exhibiting in booth S-4317, Newman Labelling Systems will display its S350 fully automatic, labelling system and demonstrate its Faulty Label Removal system. The S350 is designed to operate 24/7 at up to 300 containers/min and is capable of applying both paper and clear plastics labels to cylindrical packs in glass, plastics, metal and composite materials. Both label and container size changes can be rapidly achieved without the use of tools, whilst digital scales provide repeatable container changeover "in minutes". A further enhancement to Track & Trace requirements comes in the form of Newman’s Faulty Label Removal (FLR) system with its automatic controlling of reject labels. If "good signals" from the scanning/security devices in use (including barcode reader, missing overprint detector, OCV camera and 2-D matrix code reader) are not received by the system, the faulty label is securely removed from the label web prior to application onto the container. These faulty labels are then transferred to a paper roll for batch reconciliation and inspection. The FLR System is available exclusively for use with Newman’s range of labelling systems.

"The one-stop shop for all your packaging machinery needs" is the Oystar Group’s boast: it will present machines with manifold uses for the food and beverage industry in booth S-3882. For example, Oystar Gasti and Oystar Hamba will show their new M-FS 30 filling and sealing machine for pre-formed cups. This has a chainless drive system that considerably reduces maintenance costs because there’s no need to replace the transport chain or carry out any of the adjustment work needed for chain stretch. The automated format change takes less than 20min. The machine on display will also have a new, fully automated change system. The M-FS 30 can be equipped with up to three dosing systems and process up to 30,000 cups/hour.

Among the innovations PneumaticScaleAngelus will promote in booth S-2100 are Angelus V-Series seamers offering a "sleek European design engineered to exceed today’s seamer needs for a consistent seam, quality, and quick delivery". With three families of machines and standard filler connection table lengths, PSA stocks appropriate parts to ensure 8-10 week delivery on typical machines. Also, the TC/PC/MC and SC platforms offer a wide range of capping abilities to suit virtually any application. The SC Capper can perform multiple requirements, accommodating a broad range of cap types, shapes, and materials. Its "exceptional" torque control reduces maintenance, and a user-friendly touchscreen interface allows easy control of all functions.

Tna (booth 2882) exhibits are to include the robag 3ci high speed vertical form fill and seal bagger, and the "groundbreaking" robag 3ci impulse sealing system for polyethlylene packaging for fresh produce and frozen food applications. Delivering "unrivalled throughput" of up to 250 bags/min, the 3ci high speed VFFS machine promises production flexibility in a compact, easy-to-clean system suitable for a wide variety of products. The impulse sealing system offers efficient polyethylene sealing and bagging of fresh and frozen vegetables, salads, ready to eat fruit and pre-wrapped sweets at speeds of up to 150 bags/min. Precise temperature control, minimal downtime and an extended product lifespan are promised.

Among the technologies of special interest from Toray Plastics (America) in booth 5467 are an expanded and enhanced line of LumiLid dual-ovenable polyester lidding films which meet FDA standards and may be used with oven temperatures of up to 400degF for 30min. The new Torayfan CBS2 film is an "economical, environment-conscious", PVdC-free, clear, high oxygen and moisture barrier BOPP film for use as the inside sealant web for packaging of bakery items, crisp salty snacks, cookies, crackers, granola, fruit and nut mixes, and confections, as well as pet foods and non-food items. Also new is Torayfan PC5 metallised BOPP, an ultra-high oxygen and moisture barrier film for use in tri-laminations, as a foil replacement, and as an overwrap lamination or wrapper. It is offered as a durable, cost-effective replacement for foil in a typical paper/PE/foil/PE packaging structure. It can also be used as the inner barrier web of a tri-lamination in gas-flushed stand-up or flat pouches, as a coldseal layer, and as part of a lamination for high quality overwraps.

Special features

The wealth of company exhibits at Pack Expo and Pharma Expo will be complemented and supported by a number of special show hubs where visitors can sit in on free seminars, ask questions and network with peers, OEMs and industry leaders..

More than 30 leading packaging and processing professional associations from around the world will be on hand in the Association Pavilion as part of the Pack Expo Partner Program to strengthen industry connections. They include AIMCAL, the Can Manufacturers Institute, the Flexible Packaging Association, the Institute of Packaging, TAPPI, and UCIMA.

Adjacent to the Association Pavilion, show visitors will discover the Contract Packaging Association Sourcing Centre, a showcase for the capabilities of CPA members together with a display of innovative packages they have produced.

The Centre for Trends and Technologies will feature daily 30min education sessions. CTT sponsor Rockwell Automation and its PartnerNetwork aim to enable attendees "to leave with solutions that will start solving their manufacturing challenges right away, and help them anticipate future needs."