Pack Expo Las Vegas

Aug. 1, 2003
Sparkle inside the convention center of this biennial event will rival the glitter and flash out on the Las Vegas strip.

Pack Expo Las Vegas, produced and sponsored by the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI), will be held October 13-15 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This year's show will feature more than 800 exhibitors spread over 410,000 net square feet of exhibit space, including the new Containers & Materials Pavilion and the Showcase of Packaging Innovations.

Regardless of your job title, if you have any part of the packaging function in your job, this is the one show this year you should attend. This event highlights the latest advancements in containers, materials, packaging and converting machinery, and components.

Since its debut in 1995, Pack Expo Las Vegas has continued to grow and expand its reach. Charles D. Yuska, president, PMMI, says one of the added attractions will be Containers & Materials Pavilion. "For the first time," says Yuska, "more than 50,000 square feet of floor space will feature cost effective structures that help enhance branding efforts without sacrificing barrier properties, machine capability or versatility."

This new exhibit includes advancements in plastics, resins, films, glass, metal, additives, coatings/treatments, rubber, textiles and woven materials.

Pack Expo Las Vegas is the fastest growing tradeshow in the country, according to the authoritative Tradeshow Week publication, having nearly doubled in size in both attendance and net square footage in five show cycles. By moving to the Las Vegas Convention Center, it can accommodate additional exhibitors and provide more value to the show's senior level attendees.

The show focuses on new technologies and real-world solutions for a wide variety of packaging applications. For attendees, Pack Expo Las Vegas offers access to hundreds of suppliers from across the packaging spectrum in one location.

The show's official web site,, is designed to allow attendees to plan their schedule in advance. An up-to-date exhibitor list and show floor plans ensure attendees will maximize their time at the convention center. Attendees can even schedule appointments in advance using links provided on

Educational sessions

The Conference at Pack Expo is scheduled to run during each morning of the show. The conference program begins each morning with an Eye Opener session featuring a keynote presentation by a leading industry thought leader. Following the Eye Opener sessions, the Conference program is divided into three time periods each day, with four concurrent sessions planned for each time slot.

PMMI has made this year's conference more flexible, allowing attendees to register for individual presentations. Registration and additional information about the program is available on

Of particular interest to material handling professionals will be sessions discussing:

• New FDA Packaging Regulation Initiatives under the Bioterrorism Preparedness Act;

• Process Control of Motion in Packaging -- Packaging as Part of the Process;

• Applying Good Automated Manufacturing Practice Methodology to OEM Equipment;

• Packaging Fees in Canada, New Environmental Design Requirements in Europe and Asia;

• Quick Changeover: At the Intersection of Mass and Lean;

• Eliminating Muda (Waste) in Your Packaging Operations;

• Robotic Technology for Palletizing and Depalletizing;

• Packaging for Material Handling;

• New Revolution in Product Identification: EPC Integration for RFID;

• Will the Real RFID Please Stand Up?

The global picture

Attendees of Pack Expo Las Vegas Showcase of Packaging Innovations will be introduced to international packaging excellence with the addition of three international associations to the exhibit: The Argentinian Packaging Institute (IAE), the Brazilian Packaging Association (ABRE) and the Mexican Packaging Association (AMEE).

These leading international associations will feature dozens of award winning packages serving the Latin American marketplace within the Showcase of Packaging Innovations, a feature of the Pack Expo Las Vegas Containers & Materials Pavilion.

The three Latin American packaging associations will be joining eight other organizations in presenting an array of inventive container ideas. All told, the 11 organizations participating in the Showcase of Packaging Innovations will display more than 300 packaging innovations.

The 11 packaging organizations participating in the Showcase of Packaging Innovations include:

• Argentinian Packaging Institute (IAE): Star of the South Award;

• Brazilian Packaging Association: Packaging Design Award;

• duPont Company: duPont Awards for Innovation in Packaging;

• Environmental Protection Agency: Cradle-to-Cradle Design Challenge for E-Commerce Shipping Packaging and Logistics;

• Flexible Packaging Association: Packaging Achievement Awards;

• Foodservice & Packaging Institute: Best of the Best Foodservice Packaging Awards;

• The Glass Packaging Institute: The Clear Choice Awards;

• Institute of Packaging Professionals: AmeriStar Awards;

• Mexican Packaging Association: Stellar Packaging Award;

• Paperboard Packaging Council: National Paperboard Packaging Competition

• The Tube Council: Tubes of the Year Awards.

New products

Here's a preview of some products of special interest to transport packaging professionals:

Label-Aire will introduce the all-new digital Model 3111 Air Blow Labeler. The 3111 represents high-speed air-blow pressure-sensitive labeling technology with advanced features such as an enhanced two-line digital display featuring automatic label setup, automatic speed following, zero downtime labeling, and a large digital display

Ranpak's AccuFill void fill measurement system can help reduce material usage by 10 to 25 percent. It automatically determines how much packing material is needed to fill a void in the top of a box, then generates the exact amount of material to fill that void. The system uses a sensor array that mounts over a conveyor. As product-filled boxes are conveyed down the line, sensors scan the inside of each box to determine its size, measure the volume of the objects inside the box and compute the amount of material needed to fill the void in the top of the box.

Odyssey automatic guided vehicles from AGV Products provide an effective means of automated, driverless transport. Designed to transport material throughout the manufacturing process, the vehicles interact with conveyors, robotic cells and packaging equipment. To help eliminate material damage, these automatic guided vehicle systems feature the latest advancements in laser guidance, quad maneuverability and laser bumper technology. Other key features include an on-the-fly guide path change capability, on-board Pentium PC and operator diagnostics.

Three times faster than competitive paper systems, the FPInternational Benchmate Pack Table delivers paper directly into a carton at speeds up to 270 feet per minute. Roll changes average less than one minute. Featuring a sturdy steel stand and an adjustable tabletop for packing, the Benchmate is a stand-alone pack station that can be used anywhere in a distribution center. The system is operated by a convenient foot pedal and rolls are easy to handle and load onto the machine.

The IPL SmartCrate, the first hand-held collapsible container for the meat industry, was developed in collaboration with Tosca Limited, a leader in food container management. It is designed to provide more rapid cooling, better product protection, less solid waste, reduced handling labor and better product tracking than one-time use containers for primal cuts of beef and pork. This crate is an extension of IPL's proprietary line of collapsible containers, which feature a two-step assembly for ease of use in manual or automated operations.

Videojet's affordable 43s ink jet printer delivers reliable, consistent ink jet printing for a wide range of printing applications. Requiring minimal operator attention and maintenance, the 43s features automatic printhead cleaning at start up and shut down as well as an internal pump that eliminates the need for factory air. Capable of printing up to three lines of text, bar codes and logos at speeds up to 800 feet per minute (244 m/min.), an easy to use interface allows for simple message creation and editing.

Packagers can eliminate common shrink packaging problems, such as dog-ears, bubbles and burn-outs, with Lantech's new Soft Convection Shrink Tunnel. Attractive, consistent shrink packages are ensured through uniform heat distribution using convection rather than forced air. The distributed convection system gently swirls air around multiple heater elements to blanket the entire package for optimal heat absorption.

Eliminate the need to palletize products and reduce fork truck traffic, labor, order picking and inventory management with the RMT Robotics' Robotic Distribution System. This innovative system takes products into a storage grid where they are placed into a designated area until ordered. Ideal for rapidly dismantled palletized products, the RDS better utilizes space than conventional storage racks. Cases from production are received into extremely large gantry work envelopes, which are then sorted into stacks of similar product by gantry robot. The product is picked by the system to load trailers for shipping as per order requirements. Capable of working in a lights out environment, the system can accommodate several trailer loading areas at the same time.

TOPS Engineering will demonstrate TOPSePAC -- a Web-based application that allows packaging engineers to determine case packs, pallet patterns, and to use the most cost effective box, by calculating stacking strength. Packaging design can be carried out anytime, anywhere, on any platform with any internet browser.

Sealed Air Corporation, will be demonstrating its inflatable bubble wrap packaging system. Sealed Air has created a packaging system that automatically inflates and dispenses pre-perforated, three-quarter-inch height Inflatable bubble wrap material. Inflatable bubble wrap cushioning uses a proprietary barrier technology that retains the air in the bubble longer than normal polyethylene air cellular materials.

The system produces cushioning material that can be used for protecting items ranging from china, crystal and collectibles to electronics and replacement parts. The system provides packaging material that can fulfill multiple packaging needs, resulting in lowered materials costs. The inflated three-quarter-inch height barrier bubble cushioning requires less material to pack the same items versus competitive cushioning materials.

Buckhorn now offers a full line of wood, steel and plastic material transport products, including carts, platform trucks, multi-shelf carts, dollies and skids. Wood and steel workbenches and work tables will also be featured, as well as custom-engineered products for unique applications. The addition of material transport products and work centers complements Buckhorn's complete selection of reusable plastic material handling products.

Schneider Packaging Equipment Co., specializing in end-of-line solutions for case packing and palletizing, will exhibit a new entry level case packer, as well as additional equipment demonstrating their case packing and palletizing capabilities.

The Kennedy Group's radio frequency identification (RFID) systems are your solution for accurate, real-time tracking and identification of containers, racks and pallets. This new venture for the company consist of three primary components: a tag, an antenna and controller. Tags come in a variety of sizes, memory capacities and tolerate harsh environments. They can be read only, read/write (reusable) or read/write (disposable), along with active or passive. An antenna (hand held, tunnel, conveyor, long range, dock door, etc.) reads and writes data to the chip in the Smart Placard(tm) and Smart Nameplate(tm) RFID Systems.


AGV Products



IPL Products Ltd.



Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute


RMT Robotics

Schneider Packaging Equipment Corporation

Sealed Air Corporation

The Kennedy Group

TOPS Engineering