PACK EXPO Celebrates 50 Years

The Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI, Arlington, Va.) announced that PACK EXPO will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2006. Originating in October 1956, PACK EXPO has evolved into the preeminent industry event drawing an international audience of 50,000 packaging professionals to review a diverse range of advanced, high performance material and equipment.

"The 50th anniversary of PACK EXPO is a great milestone," said Charles D. Yuska, president of PMMI, sponsor and producer of the PACK EXPO shows. "The show's longevity can be attributed to its consistent future focus. The industry knows PACK EXPO is a show that highlights innovation across all aspects of packaging. The fifty years of service to the industry is but a prologue to its future."

First held in October 1956 in Cleveland, the inaugural PACK EXPO featured 136 exhibitors occupying 43,116 square feet of floor space. Five thousand visitors attended the event. In contrast, PACK EXPO International 2006, being held October 29 through November 2 at Chicago's McCormick Place, will feature more than 1,600 exhibitors and cover more than 1.2 million square feet of exhibit space. Fifty thousand attendees are expected, including 6,000 international visitors from 75 countries.

"When PACK EXPO first opened its doors in 1956, glass was still the dominant primary container packaging material for food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and toiletries and household chemicals," said Ben Miyares, vice president of Industry Relations for PMMI. "Beer and soft drinks were packed in three-piece tinplate cans and packaging machinery was largely dedicated to running (coding, filling, labeling, capping, case packing) containers that were produced at distant locations. The easy-opening can had not yet been invented and the concept of forming, filling and sealing packages in house was still a pretty novel idea."

That was the world into which PACK EXPO was born. So what will the next 50 years bring? Continued advances in automating not only the coding, filling, labeling, closing and case packing of packages, but the actual production of packages at the point of filling.

“We are entering a period in which packaging will become an increasingly automated process driven by developments in mechatronics, laser scanning, radio frequency transmissions, nano technology and system simplification," said Miyares. "In response to market demands, the future is likely to see the emergence of a strong third-party professional packaging sector in which packaging machinery manufacturers independently, and in alliances with others, offer an expanded range of customer operations management services including assessing needs, developing solutions and optimizing the production-to-consumption supply chain." Packaging professionals will have an opportunity to explore these trends -- and many others -- firsthand at PACK EXPO International 2006 this fall. "The exhibits as well as the Conference at PACK EXPO sessions in 2006 will provide a diverse and fascinating preview of the many ways packaging will evolve in the years ahead."

Several new features are also being planned for this year's event, exemplifying PMMI's commitment for the show to evolve with the industry. For example, the Converting and Package Printing Expo (CPP EXPO) will co-locate with PACK EXPO International for the first time. CPP EXPO highlights all sectors of the diverse converting/package printing industry.

PACK EXPO International will also be co-located with PROCESS EXPO, formerly the Food Processing Machinery EXPO, which will feature the newest developments in processing technology.

"PACK EXPO International 2006 will be a true innovations show, where packagers come to see advancements in materials and machinery," said Yuska. "It is the only packaging event that closes the loop between advanced materials and new machine technologies so that innovative packaging concepts can be commercialized efficiently and quickly."

For more information about PACK EXPO International 2006, visit

Source: The Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute

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