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WestPack 2023 Answers Your Packaging Education Questions

Leading organizations contribute to the strength of the packaging education offered at our early-February show in Anaheim, California.

Lisa McTigue Pierce

February 1, 2023

9 Min Read
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Shannon Fagan / The Image Bank / Getty Images

The multiple facets of the packaging “industry” is one of the reasons it’s so dynamic and fast-changing — and a great career choice. Design, automation, sustainability, and so many other diverse job opportunities.

Groups gathering at a trade show make it the perfect place to share ideas to advance your career or solve your day-to-day challenges. Especially when the event offers related and forward-thinking presentations and sessions.

Before putting together the educational agenda for WestPack 2023 (February 7-9; Anaheim), Packaging Digest’s parent company division and show organizer, Informa Markets Engineering (IME), invited industry partners to weigh in on what hot topics to cover. A big “Thank you!” to subject matter experts from:

Flexible Packaging Association
Sustainable Packaging Coalition
Kilmer Innovations in Packaging (KiiP)
National Cannabis Industry Association
Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP)
Medical Device Packaging Technical Committee of IoPP
SPE – Inspiring Plastics Engineers
Industry 4.0 Club

 

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Packaging education you’ll find in Anaheim.

Here is a rundown of the educational opportunities related to packaging and production during the event, taking place in Anaheim, Calif., February 7-9. Most are free for event attendees; some are paid. These are not all the sessions; just the ones I thought you might be interested in. Click here for an overview of the full educational agenda.

For those who don’t know, WestPack is one of five co-located advanced manufacturing shows that make up IME West. The other events are MD&M West, ATX West, D&M West, and Plastec West, which focus on (respectively) medical, automation, design and manufacturing, and plastics. IME West touches on overarching manufacturing issues in America today. So, not only do you get caught up on solutions in packaging, but you get a sense of where the country is moving in general for manufacturing to keep up with the trends.

ALL TIMES LOCAL, PACIFIC TIME.

 

Monday, February 6

IoPP Fundamentals of Medical Device Packaging (paid; Room 207) This course starts at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, February 6, and runs through 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 8. Register here.

SPE MiniTec (paid; Room 210CD). This year’s MiniTec will be a two-day event, starting Monday morning and extending through Tuesday evening. In addition to the 10 presentations, it will include multiple networking opportunities with industry leaders. SPE’s Medical Plastic Division will also feature table-top exhibitors in the conference room and the popular poster session display with more information for Plastics and MedTech professionals.

• The Discover.Engineer.Build. Conference (paid; Room 210AB): This 3-day conference runs from Monday, February 6, through Wednesday, February 8. Nine tracks cover medical device and diagnostics manufacturing, regulatory and quality compliance, plastics manufacturing, and startup investing, as well as sessions on building a modern and connected factory with additive manufacturing and digital technology. See full agenda here.

 

Tuesday, February 7

• Keynote (3rd Floor Ballroom, with free breakfast at 8:00 a.m. preceding the presentation): “Medical Technology within the Metaverse – The Fundamental Shift,” Christopher Lafayette, Founder, GatherVerse. Tuesday, February 7, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

The Pack Place (free; Booth 5173): Today’s full day of free presentations focuses on medical device and healthcare topics. See agenda here.

• The Discover.Engineer.Build. Conference (paid; Rooms 207, 208, 209): This 3-day conference encompasses everything R&D, design, product development, and process engineers need to build and manufacture new products. See full agenda here.
For example: “It’s About Time. Or is it? Testing Medical Device Packaging Stability Studies and ‘The Way It’s Always Been Done,’” Ralph Basile, Vice President of Marketing & Regulatory Affairs, Healthmark Industries Co.; Nancy Battaglini, Sr. Principal Packaging Engineer, Medtronic; Jennifer Benolken, MDM & Regulatory Specialist at DuPont Tyvek, Healthcare Packaging; Henk Blom, VP of Research and Technology, Paxxus. Tuesday, February 7, 2:15 - 3:00 p.m.
“The Impact of Radiation Sterilization Modalities on Flexible Sterile Barrier Packaging,” Jeremy Elwell, Senior Principal Engineer at Oliver Healthcare Packaging; and Chad Rhodes, Segment Leader at Accelerator Modalities / Sterigenics. Tuesday, February 7, 4:15 - 5:00 p.m.
“The Changing Path: Women's Perspective on the Future of Robotics,” Morgan Zandonella (moderator), Engineering Program Manager, Medtronic Neurovascular; Laura Armstrong, Robotics Application Engineer, Archytas Automation; Courtney Fernandez, Application Engineer, Universal Robots; Vinita Palaniveloo, Senior Software Engineer at Miso Robotics. Tuesday, February 7, 4:15 - 5:00 p.m.

SPE MiniTec (paid; 210CD): See details in the Monday description above.

Center Stage (free; lobby): Themed content by day. Tuesday, February 7, features Product Innovation. For example: “Implementing Smart Manufacturing Solutions For Robots Using Sensor-level Protocols,” Tom Knauer, Business Strategy Manager, Assembly, Robotics & Automation, Balluff. Tuesday, February 7, 3:15 - 4:00 p.m.

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Design Alley (free; Booth 3500): A comprehensive free content hub where subject matter experts will share the latest innovations that are redefining additive manufacturing, design, and prototyping. See full agenda here. But here is an example: “Pre-Validated Packaging: Myth vs Reality,” Roy Morgan, President & CEO, Eagle Medical Packaging. Tuesday, February 7, 10:30 - 11:15 a.m.

Medtech Theater (free; Booth 601): Subject matter experts discuss the latest trends, products, and technology disrupting medtech. Such as:
“The 3Rs of EO Sterilization: Sustaining the Continued Safe Use of Ethylene Oxide,” Nicole Palluck, Senior Manager, Expert Advisory Services, Sterigenics. Tuesday, February 7, 11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
“Medical Device Sterilization Utilizing Chlorine Dioxide Gas,” Emily Lorcheim, Project Manager, ClorDiSys Solutions Inc. Tuesday, February 7, 2:30 - 3:15 p.m.

International MedTech Theater (free; Booth 3740): Presentations from international pavilion exhibitors include subject matter experts from Germany, Sweden, and more, as they discuss the latest trends, products, and technology disrupting the market.

 

Wednesday, February 8

• Keynote (3rd Floor Ballroom, with free breakfast at 8:00 a.m. preceding the presentation): “Cleaning the Digital Fog: The First Step of Autonomous Transformation,” Brian Evergreen, Global Head of Autonomous AI Co-Innovation, Microsoft. Wednesday, February 8, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

The Pack Place (free; Booth 5173) sessions today are all related to cannabis packaging, under the moniker CannPack Cannabis Packaging Conference. See agenda here.

Center Stage (free; lobby): Themed content by day. Wednesday, February 8, features Sustainability presentations, including: “Social Media and Sustainable Packaging,” Evelio Mattos, Creative Director of Packaging, Founder/Host, Package Design Unboxd, and Adam Peek, Sr. VP of Sales, Meyers. Wednesday, February 8, 11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Design Alley (free; Booth 3500): A comprehensive content hub where subject matter experts will share the latest innovations that are redefining additive manufacturing, design, and prototyping. See agenda here.

Medtech Theater (free; Booth 601): Subject matter experts discuss the latest trends, products, and technology disrupting medtech.

Lunch & Learn (free, but attendees need to register in advance; Room 211AB): “Aligning with the Latest FDA Cybersecurity Expectations,” Christopher Gates, Director of Product Security, Velentium. Wednesday, February 8, 11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Lunch & Learn (free, but attendees need to register in advance; Room 212AB): “Prioritization’s Toughest Challenge: Human Nature,” Chait Sathe, Director, and David Sanchez, Principal Consultant, at Integrated Project Management Co. (IPM). Wednesday, February 8, 11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

• The Discover.Engineer.Build. Conference (paid; Room 208): This 3-day conference consists of nine tracks dedicated to medical device and diagnostics manufacturing, regulatory and quality compliance, plastics manufacturing, and startup investing, as well as sessions on building a modern and connected factory with additive manufacturing and digital technology. It encompasses everything R&D, design, product development, and process engineers need to build and manufacture new products. See full agenda here.
For example: “Improving Manufacturing Processes through Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality,” Elizabeth Baron, Enterprise Solutions Executive Producer, Unity Technologies; Jason Bean, IIoT Market Specialist, Pepperl+Fuchs; Kelly Malone, Chief Business Officer, MR, AR, XR, Taqtile; Trey Taylor, Senior Product Manager – Digital Solutions, Fairbanks Morse Defense. Wednesday, February 8, 2:15 - 3:00 p.m.

 

Thursday, February 9

The Pack Place (free; Booth 5173) focuses on hot topics for food and beverage packaging. See agenda here. Here's a shameless plug for my session: “4 Zesty Trends in Food & Beverage Packaging,” Lisa McTigue Pierce, Executive Editor, Packaging Digest. Thursday, February 9, 10:30 to 11:15 a.m.

Center Stage (free; lobby): Themed content by day. Thursday, February 9, features Workforce Development topics. As part of this, a program deemed Workforce Development Day was created by TheDiversity.Org to bring disadvantaged local high-school students to the event and introduce them to the opportunities available in manufacturing and engineering. The day includes a panel presentation by IME West exhibitors and speakers, a show tour, and lunch for the students.

Medtech Theater (free; Booth 601): Multiple sessions on the latest trends, products, and technology disrupting medtech, including: “Driving Sustainability in the Healthcare Industry,” Dhiraj Uikey, Global Marketing Leader, Health Care, SABIC. Thursday, February 9, 12:30 - 1:15 p.m.

Design Alley (free; Booth 3500): “Battle of the Brick Bots: A Brick Building Competition.” Thursday, February 9, 11:00 a.m.  - 2:00 p.m. Put your brick-building skills to the test as you design and construct robots with movable parts to battle it out in the arena! The last bot standing wins! Hosted by master builder Bryan Firks, this competition will feature LEGO Technic and LEGO Powered Up motors. Each team will design and build their own unique robot from scratch, and LEGO prizes will be given out for aesthetics, use of motion, and, of course, … surviving the Bot Battle competition!

To learn more or to register, please visit www.imengineeringwest.com.

About the Author(s)

Lisa McTigue Pierce

Executive Editor, Packaging Digest

Lisa McTigue Pierce is Executive Editor of Packaging Digest. She’s been a packaging media journalist since 1982 and tracks emerging trends, new technologies, and best practices across a spectrum of markets for the publication’s global community. Reach her at [email protected] or 630-272-1774.

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