Starting September 26 and running through September 28, the center of the packaging world will be in Las Vegas. Pack Expo Las Vegas, sponsored by the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI, Arlington, Va.) has grown exponentially in the past half-dozen years, now occupying more than a half-million square feet of the Las Vegas Convention Center. In size and attendance it now rivals its sister show, Pack Expo International, held during-even-numbered years. The show's specialized education sessions, beginning at 8:30 a.m., September 26-28, are led by industry experts and will cover the most current information in radio frequency identification (RFID), operations, material, and management strategies.
Back this year are the popular pavilions, featuring focused presentations of the industry's hottest topics.
- Contract Packaging. The prominence of contract packaging services is recognized in this pavilion. It is a great starting point to assess a project and explore options provided by contract packagers.
- Packaging Security. This pavilion topic began last year at Pack Expo International and was an overwhelming success. The focus is on packaging initiatives and technologies to guard against bioterrorism, tampering, counterfeiting and other security concerns.
- RFID Pavilion. The radio frequency identification pavilion highlights solutions that meet requirements of the entire supply chain, and its need to get beyond the current slap-and-ship approach to labeling. All the advances in tagging cases and pallets will be featured.
- Showcase of Packaging Innovations. If you've ever wondered if something was possible, this is the place to see how it is done. Designs showcased include 75 award-winning packaging innovations from seven packaging organizations.
- Containers and Materials Pavilion. This pavilion immerses you in material, containers and converting machinery ideas. From point-of-purchase displays to shipping containers, it's all here.
Some things to watch for
Inflatable Packaging on Demand
On display will be Sealed Air's newest addition to its inflatable packaging line, the NewAir I.B. 200 inflatable packaging system It's a revolutionary, cost-efficient inflatable cushioning solution designed to increase productivity and free up valuable warehouse space. The system automatically inflates and dispenses 3/4-inch height patented Barrier Bubble cushioning material, providing superior protection when compared to lofted paper packaging.
Sealed Air, www.sealedair.com
Flexible Semi-Automatic Stretch Wrapper
Orion Packaging debuts the Spectra II, a semi-automatic turntable stretch-wrapping machine capable of wrapping pallet loads up to 55 x 55-inches x 90-inches high, weighing up to 5,000 pounds. Major improvements from Orion's previous Spectra model include AC motors with variable frequency drives to reduce motor maintenance, an Allen Bradley Micrologix 1000 controller for maximum reliability and flexibility and rugged, easily serviced industrial grade buttons and switches.
In-Line Technology for Printing Bar Codes
Iconotech (Clinton, Conn.) exhibits the new Sidewinder, in-line bar code printer for corrugated shipping containers. The economical Sidewinder takes Iconotech's one-of-a-kind printing technology to the production line to meet distributors' demands for standard, legible outer case bar coding. The process brings case printing off the floor, cutting the costs and space needed for stocking inventory of preprinted cases and labels. The machine easily adjusts for last minute print changes whether it's an ingredient change, date change, or other information that needs to be on the modified case run.
Improved Case Erector
The economically priced CE-10 case erector offers standard features like low case, low tape alarms with stack light; powered case magazine and case counter. Ideal for applications that require more throughput than manual case erecting can provide, this machine erects and bottom seals corrugated cases at speeds from 500 to 700 cases per hour.
Combi Packaging Systems LLC, www.combi.com
Matthews International Marking Products division will be showing a variety of products. A new VOC-free acetone ink for ink-jet printers and a new high-speed thermal transfer printer, available with IP65-rated enclosure. Due to the recent acquisition of Sparks by Matthews Microroller, motorized rollers for conveyor systems will be available from Matthews' Holjeron electronic controls subsidiary.
Matthews International, www.matthewsmarking.com
Floor Labeling System
If constant pallet and lift truck traffic is ripping the markings from your floors, Aigner Index has a solution. This system uses a heavy-duty, 5 x 7-inch aluminum frame in combination with a replaceable, 3 x 5-inch, selfadhesive, .012-inch thick, custom imprinted aluminum label which inserts inside the protective frame. To change a label simply pop it out and insert a new one.
Aigner Index, Inc., www.aignerindex.com
New Security Tape
Better Packages will introduce its reinforced BetterSeal Secure Tape. The reinforced tape, which is part of a new, complete line of water-activated tapes, provides a strong, tamper-evident seal when used on corrugated cartons.
Better Packages, www.BetterPackages.com
Robot End of Arm Tool
Sage Automation has developed a new end-effector for picking full layers of product from pallets. Picked layers can be placed on mixed layer "rainbow" pallets, to create order pallets or warehouse store displays, or placed to a de-scrambler to be broken down for sortation.
Specifically designed to address the difficult task of picking full layer quantities of recyclable beverage trays, this tool is equally capable of handling almost all varieties of case packed goods.
Sage Automation, www.sagerobot.com
Updates to Motorized Conveyor
FKI Logistex will be demonstrating the incorporation of several design updates to its industry-leading Accuzone 24-volt motorized roller accumulation and transportation conveyor. The fully modular, plug-and-play Accuzone offers true zero-pressure, zero-contact accumulation, and is available in straight, curve, merge, divert, belted, and right-angle transfer modules.
FKI Logistex, www.fkilogistex.com
Low-Speed Case Erector
New C-300 case erector from Lantech controls the blank from infeed to discharge for highest reliability in a low-speed machine. The C-300 case erector uses a proprietary design that holds the case square and erect throughout the process. The C-300 comes standard with features that are unavailable or optional on other machines in its class, such as a powered infeed magazine and automatic "case on demand" operation.
Powered roller for Heavier Loads
Interroll Corporation will address customers' needs for more power and cost-efficiency with its RollerDrive and DriveControl High Torque Brushless component (HTBL). Designed as an economical and safe alternative to traditional belt, line shaft, chain and sprocket drive systems, the 24 VDC-powered roller meets the demand for moving heavier loads with improved control capabilities. The new RollerDrive HTBL provides up to a 70 percent increase in torque at costs comparable to lower-powered rollers.
Interroll Corporation, www.interroll.us
Hand-Held Graphic Interface Now Standard
MARKEM Corporation will introduce a hand-held graphic user interface for the SmartLase 100i series of laser coders as standard equipment. This new hand held device supports complex graphic characters with its WYSIWYG graphics display and is simple to program and operate even with the most complex text legend or code requirement.
MARKEM Corporation, www.markem.com
Robots for Packaging
KUKA Robotics Corporation, a manufacturer of industrial robots, announced it has signed Nercon Engineering and Manufacturing Inc. (Oshkosh, Wis.) as its newest system partner. The companies will work together to deliver expanded automation offerings to the packaging and material handling markets. Nercon is a full-service engineering company and a manufacturer of custom material handling equipment and conveyor systems serving primarily Fortune 500 companies.
KUKA Robotics, www.kuka.com
Small-Character Ink Jet Printer
Hitachi America, Ltd., will introduce its newest smallcharacter continuous ink-jet printer. The PX-P460U Pigmented Type Printer has been designed to provide superb coding on the black and dark surface products such as automotive parts, electrical and electronic devices, steel and injection molding products. The printer features a 10.4-inch color LCD touch panel with full intuitive menus on the screen providing easy and quick operation and maintenance.
Hitachi America, Ltd., www.hitachi.us
Bander Adds Options to Cartoner
Schneider Packaging Equipment Co., Inc., will exhibit an Outer Cartoner featuring a new optional bander. Schneider will debut an optional bolt-on bander that bypasses the case packing function then stacks and bands a selected number of DVD or video game cases in clear plastic wrap. With the bander attachment, the user can select either packing in corrugate cartons or plastic banding of product.
Schneider Packaging Equipment Co., www.schneiderequip.com
Mobile Printing for Lift Trucks
Paragon Data Systems' Forklift Label Printing Solution is used with Zebra's QL 420 thermal mobile printer, a forklift label printer. The wireless printer can be used for vehicle-mounted printing of pick tickets, customer pickup slips, shipment labeling, inventory/label updates, and delivery verification invoices. Tags and labels are printed on demand by using the QL 420 with Paragon's vehicle mounting system. The truck powers the printer.
Paragon Data System, Inc., www.paragondsi.com