Pack Expo Las Vegas 2011 happens September 26-28 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Attendees will have access to more than 1,600 exhibitors showcasing their processing and packaging innovations. This year’s event is designed to cater to supply chain and operations managers and their processing and packaging teams looking for total systems solutions addressing challenges in efficiency, speed and sustainability.
“As more consolidation is happening and more savings are being sought by manufacturers, it seems like the person responsible for packaging is the same as the one responsible for processing and the same person responsible for in-plant logistics,” says Jorge Izquierdo, vice president of marketing and development for Pack Expo.
These are the types of people who will be attending Pack Expo in force, in response to market pressures.
“There’s more pressure from the retailers to improve secondary packaging,” Izquierdo continues. “For a long time there’s been a trend toward cost cutting in materials. We’ve reduced the amount of corrugated in a box and increased use of shrink wrap instead of corrugated. There’s a balance between savings and protection and in some cases we’re finding some companies are strengthening their primary packaging and then trying to cut down on secondary packaging. Some others are moving to flexible primary packaging and then forced to increase the amount of secondary packaging they’re using. What you’ll see at Pack Expo is a significant increase in the options for transport packaging.”
PMMI is taking a customer-centric approach to its programming by partnering with five industry organizations representing a variety of disciplines and viewpoints:
• The Alliance for Innovation & Operational Excellence (AIOE)
• Converting & Package Printing (CPP) EXPO
• The Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP)
• The International Society of Beverage Technologists (ISBT) and
• The Reusable Packaging Association (RPA)
PMMI is also inviting 100 industry professionals to share some of their concerns and address potential solutions during several focus groups. As a result of this exercise PMMI will come up with an industry report.
“This is an attempt to get the whole supply chain to work together,” Izquierdo says. “PMMI traditionally has been a packaging machinery group, but in the last eight years we’ve changed to incorporate materials, processing and suppliers of equipment. The objective is to get closer to the different elements of a solution so the industry can develop innovations faster.”
The “Innovation Stage Program” will present a series of live seminars on the show floor inside three industry-specific lounges: The Baking and Snack Break, The Candy Bar and The Rx Lounge. Three 30-minute live seminars will be held in each lounge on Monday, September 26, and Tuesday, September 27. Seminars will begin at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. each day.
“More manufacturers of consumer packaged goods are looking to their suppliers to be part of their innovation process,” Izquierdo concludes. “Consolidation is shrinking the engineering staff at the CPG companies, so now they are relying on their material and machinery suppliers to develop new solutions.”
You can preview some of those solutions below.
Explore Reusable Packaging
The Reusable Packaging Association will present two conference sessions as part of the Sustainability Track of the Conference at PACK EXPO Las Vegas. The educational sessions are designed to help attendees address key issues facing users and potential users of reusable packaging.
Session One: Reusables 102 - Implementing a Sustainable Reusable Transport Packaging System; Monday, September 26.
Session Two: Managing and Protecting Your Reusable Packaging Assets; Tuesday, September 27.
Speedy Void Fill
The Sealed Air Quick Shot Delivery Solution integrates with Sealed Air’s Fill-Air 2000 and Fill-Air Cyclone inflatable void-fill systems to speed delivery of the bag chain. The result is more bags with less motion and input required from operators, enabling them to pack more per day with less effort.
The Quick Shot Delivery Solution retrieves cushions from a bin fed by a Fill-Air 2000 or Fill-Air Cyclone system and delivers them directly into boxes on the packing line. Operators adjust the bag replenishment dial to begin. This establishes the number of bags that the system will automatically replenish after the operator tears or tugs on the bag chain. If the operator sets the system up to replenish four bags and they tear four bags from the chain, the system will automatically advance four more bags to be ready for the next carton. In the instance that the operator needs more than the four bags, they give a slight tug on the side of the bag chain to deliver the additional desired number.
Handle Rolls without Injury
Rollguard, part of Great Northern Corporation’s Specialty Group, will showcase its new perforated fiber roll cradle as well as its complete line of recycled fiber, foam and plastic cradles. The cradles allow customers without overhead cranes or slings to safely unload heavy rolls from cradles manually, without the risk of back strain or other injuries.
Perforations on the edges of the cradle’s saddle allow the user to kick down one or both sides of the cradle. The roll can then be pushed manually onto an adjacent pallet or directly onto a lift truck for further movement.
The booth will also feature Rollguard’s full line of recyclable recycled fiber roll cradles, its thermoformed plastic cradles, and its EPS foam roll cradles.
Ensure Shaft Alignment
About 50% of vibration based damage to rotating machinery is directly related to misalignment. Well aligned machines reduce operating costs by increasing mean time between repairs, avoiding catastrophic shutdowns and reducing power consumption. Ludeca’s Shaftalign laser shaft alignment system aligns directly coupled machinery such as motors driving pumps, refrigeration compressors, fans, gearboxes and conveyors while the SHEAVEMASTER is designed for belt- and sprocket-driven equipment.
Robotic Case Packing/Unpacking
Intelligrated will feature the latest in Alvey robotic case packing, unpacking and palletizing capabilities at its booth. Two robotic arms will operate on a single PLC-based control system performing robotic case unpacking and case packing of bottles. It will also showcase a third robotic arm operating on proprietary robotic controls demonstrating case palletizing. The exhibit will be of particular interest to companies looking to integrate robotics into existing fill lines, including wineries, distilleries and craft breweries.
Operating on industry-standard controls, these robotics systems seamlessly integrate with other line equipment. By maintaining a familiar control platform, existing personnel can support these applications without being robotics experts.
Protect Load Edges
Laminations’ PerfBoard, a VBoard edge-protection product, has pre-perforated legs that can be quickly and easily sectioned for any size or height requirement. Perforation allows the legs to be easily snapped off by hand or machine at intervals prior to being applied to pallet load corners. PerfBoard is also easily snapped off by clamp trucks when layers of stacked product are separated.
The perforated legs provide easy layer separation without compromising stacking strength or product protection. It is safe for partial shipments and irregularly sized loads, and can deliver improved labor efficiencies.
PerfBoard is available in calipers up to 0.160 inches, with standard leg-lengths up to 4-by-4 inches. Custom leg-lengths are also available. Standard product lengths extend to 300 inches, but longer product lengths are also available.
The perforated edge protector is designed for use with automated pallet assembly systems, can be custom-printed with logos or instructions, and is 100-percent recyclable.
High-Speed Laser Marking
The Telesis EVC Laser System is a small footprint solution that marks materials “on-the-fly” at high speeds without burn thru on delicate foils and with contrast on various plastics. It also provides fast marking on chip boards, plastic bottles, and other materials without consumables or ecology issues.
The EVC features a Q-switched Nd: YVO4 end-pumped laser design with average diode life of greater than 25,000 working hours and low replacement cost for industrial environments where shock, vibration, and dust are a concern.
Key attributes include deep focal tolerance, high quality small beam diameter, air cooled-no chiller required, stable output power, and DOD compliance.
Telesis Technologies, Inc
Material Handling Simulator
CHEP will introduce its global life cycle and impact testing operations for pallets and customer unit loads. The system is engineered to significantly reduce the assessment period for evaluating new and improved pallet designs. It simulates distribution and supply chain conditions that damage and decrease performance of pallets.
Benefits include elimination of field trials that can last anywhere from 18-24 months; reduced costs by providing data using 90% fewer pallets than required in field tests; and quick analysis of the conditions and causes of pallet damage.
Pneumatic Conveying Without Air Filtration
Spiroflow’s Aero-Mechanical Conveyor offers the benefits of pneumatic conveying but without the need for air filtration equipment. It has a patented automatic rope tensioning, monitoring adjustment system that automatically measures and adjusts rope tension and indicates when the rope has to be replaced.
In addition to the equipment in the booth, Spiroflow staff will be on hand to discuss their full range of 11 different Bulk Bag Dischargers designed for a myriad of applications ranging from a simple support frame, to loss in weight/gain in weight, single trip, low head room, integral hoist, multi-discharger, total containment, dairy, pharmaceutical designs.
Spiroflow Systems Inc.
Handle Thinner-Gauge Materials
Standard-Knapp’s 939S Versatron soft catch servo case packer enables packers to handle the thinner, lightweight, and more fragile glass containers being used in the move towards greener, more sustainable packaging. It minimizes the amount of material needed for container partitions, reducing packaging costs.
The new lowering head module, or “soft placement head,” can pick up bottles and other containers and carry them to the packing area, where they can be packed in the case without dropping.
Versatron’s use of light curtain safety protection provides added safety to the machine while improving the equipment’s overall efficiency. It allows for a fast mean time to recover from a jam.
Drives and Controls for Food Safety
Bosch Rexroth will partner with OEMs like CAMA, CP Packaging and Brenton Engineering to demonstrate new drive and control products and systems designed to lower equipment and operational costs, enhance safety and improve energy efficiency.
For example, a series of linear motion products specifically designed to withstand the challenges of harsh food packaging environments will be on hand. Pneumatic components (grippers, cylinders and valve terminal systems) enabling hygienic handling of food products and efficient packaging of all types of products will also be displayed.
Rexroth’s booth will also highlight its work to provide automation training to the industry through demonstration of its mechatronic training simulators, and an introduction to its online and cooperative training courses.