A visit to Chicago's McCormick Place for Process Expo 2011 on Tues., Nov. 1, uncovered a number of packaging products worthy of a mention:
A1 Webcams (www.a1webcams.com) — The company now hosts its packaging line monitoring programs in the "cloud" (as part of a web-based system) so all updates are handled more easily. In the past, the monitoring software for its surveillance cameras would reside on dozens of computers, which makes updates a bit of a hassle. But with this new system, any approved person/computer could access the data via a web-based program and then there's only one program to update.
Bell-Mark Corp. (www.bell-mark.com) — InteliJet ciX inkjet coder is rated for IP65 washdown and features an airtight nozzle and gutter tube to prevent ink drying and to ensure an instant start. Also, the company's EasyPrint mlp HS high-speed thermal transfer system doubles print speed (up to 600 mm/sec) because it has two printheads that traverse a web simultaneously. This allows companies to print more variable information without compromising their production pace.
Evergreen Packaging (www.evergreenpackaging.com) — The new Fresh Look gable-top beverage carton has a window—which can be custom designed in a variety of shapes, sizes and positions—so consumers can see the product and know when they are running low. It's being test marketed by a customer on the east coast and, according to the folks at Evergreen, market acceptance for the product/package has been good.
Hitachi America Ltd. (www.hitachi-america.us) — A new lower cost unit (10 percent lower) in their "P" series inkjet coder line that has a simpler one-color touchscreen. With all other functions the same as the unit with a full-color HMI, this system is a good example of the company's strategy to deliver the same quality at a lower price, which has earned it the moniker of "The Honda of the ink jet industry."
Koch Equipment LLC [www.kochequipment.com] — The Matrix Crossweb labeling system applying multiple labels at once on a web because it's fitted with multiple tamp pads. The system, which is mounted on top of a rollstock packaging machine's discharge extension, can apply up to 12 rows of labels across all tracks each cycle.
Mettler Toledo (www.mt.com/hi-speed) — The Hi-Speed Beltweigh XC basic checkweigher can be manufactured and delivered anywhere in the U.S. within four days. Yes, four days not weeks, as is the case with other systems/competitors, according to the company.
Reiser (www.reiser.com) — The Inpack "IN" Series IN50 inline tray sealer provides about 70 percent savings in MAP gas because the machine's design delivers gas only inside the filled trays instead of blanketing the entire filling area. The system's modular design—a first in the industry—allows users to quickly remove and replace a sealing head module without tools (see photo inset) in just minutes.