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9 eye-opening developments in packaging

9 eye-opening developments in packaging
Small and portable, the Ryback and Ryback Steam Machine uniformly shrinks labels onto a variety of container shapes and sizes.

Several new packaging products—including shrink sleeve labeling devices, unique dispensing containers, flexible capping equipment, improved carded blisters and more—were uncovered during my visit to EastPack 2016 (June 14-16; NYC). Have you seen these yet?

Search #UBMEast on Twitter for more news from others who were there, too.

1. Making accurate and attractive mock-up packages with shrink sleeve labels is easy with two new devices from Ryback and Ryback.

The Sleeve Maker creates sleeves from film rollstock. The tabletop device holds the flat film in place—then lets the operator fold and overlap it, apply solvent to the seam and press it down. A secondary operation (still using the same device) lets the operator trim the flat sleeve on top and bottom to be even.

Now that the sleeve is made, it is shrunk onto a container using another device: the Steam Machine. The Steam Machine uses a boiler (to make the steam) and a round, aluminum steam chamber. Containers with the sleeve label manually positioned are inserted into the chamber and slowly lowered to ensure uniform shrink. After about 7 seconds, the operator raises the chamber and removes the container (using heat-safe gloves). The Steam Machine plugs into a standard 110-volt outlet and can accommodate containers up to 750ml in height and up to 5-3/4-inches in diameter.

Marketing and sales manager Molly Ryback demonstrated the operation of both devices. She’s standing next to the Steam Machine in the image at the top of the page. Here is what the Sleeve Maker looks like:

NEXT: Congrats to the EastPack Innovation Award winner!

2. After visiting five finalists and learning about their new products, the 10 Packaging Innovation Tour attendees selected our EastPack 2016 Innovation Award winner: Color Label Solutions. The company’s on-demand digital color printer for corrugated packaging made an impression for its speedy high-quality color print on an irregular surface.

Congratulations to company president Guy Mikel, @colorlabelguy, shown in the photo above.

NEXT: Another easy-to-use device for assembling boxes fast

3. As manual packaging operations grow, they hit that point where the volume just gets too hard for people to keep up with. But most of these operations are still too small to be able to invest in automated equipment. Even semi-automatic equipment could be too expensive.

When it comes to setting up shipping boxes, Easy Fold offers an “in between” solution. The Easy Fold forming fixture helps speed up box set-up by providing a frame that aids box assembly (see a video here). Portable and durable, the fixtures can even be made to handle multiple box sizes if at least one dimension is similar, explains CEO Chris Dukelow.

NEXT: A hang tab that does something more

4. Many hang tabs are applied to the back of products, such as cartons, so they can be displayed on peg boards in stores. Here’s a new style from Do-It Corp. that also folds down onto the top of the carton, effectively doubling as a tamper-evident feature. How efficient.

NEXT: Dazzling deal for carded blisters

5. Cold foil on blister cards is making headway in the market, according to the folks at Rohrer Corp., because of its eye-catching sheen. But the company is sweetening the appeal with new capability: You can now also seal a blister on top of the cold foil area, while still maintaining fiber tear for seal strength and tamper evidence.

But, wait! There’s more.

Rohrer now also offers short runs of cold-foil blister cards (from 6,250 cards) when cards are combo printed. Max card size is 6 x 9-inches.

NEXT: Production optimization in real time

6. For production optimization, advanced sensor technology inside sample packages—such as bottles and cans—tracks the container’s experience on the packaging line to identify shocks, scuff points and vertical load stresses. Once potential harmful areas are identified, engineers can then optimize the line to eliminate damage before it happens.

MMAAZZ president/CEO Tracy Clinch says the system has a 99% repeatability, ensuring there is no variability in the data.

The company has three separate solutions:

• ShockQC to help reduce glass container breakage

• PressureQC to help minimize scuffing and denting

• VerticalQC to shorten the calibration of capping machines from hours to minutes, according to a brochure

Chief operating officer Larry Doherty explains that the firmware and software system uses accurate Bluetooth technology because it also has a good range and low power consumption. Data is captured and then stored in the Cloud. Reports can be customized.

NEXT: Capping machine made for flexibility

7. The beltorque capping machine from Jalbert Automatisation is designed to handle a variety of continuous-thread (screw-on) closures and containers. The number of different closures (including pumps) and containers surprised me when I saw them all on display. The system controls torque with two series of belts on opposite sides of the machine (see fingers in the center of photo pointing to the area). The first series places and seats the closure as the bottle travels between the belts. Immediately following, the second series of belts “tightens” or torques the closure as the bottle travels between the belts, only one of which is moving.

NEXT: Dropper dispensing for cosmetics and personal care products

8. Two new products at Yonwoo Packaging improve dropper dispensing for cosmetics and personal care products.

With the Dropper Tube (photo above), users can control the amount of low-viscosity product dispensed simply by squeezing the tube. Here's a closeup:

Also, another package uses a unique auto-fill dropper for dispensing low-viscosity products. The way it works is, the act of unscrewing the closure creates the pressure to automatically pull product up into the closure’s pipette. To dispense, the user depresses the button on top of the closure. Screwing the closure back on the container prepares it for the next auto-fill when the closure is removed.

The container is available in one size (30ml), but in two shapes:

NEXT: Beer labels are on tap

9. What else is on tap in today’s beverage market? More beer sales, especially craft beer sales. Overnight Labels showed several label designs specific to this burgeoning market, including tactile labels (see the water droplets in the photo) that invite beer drinkers to pick up the bottle for some welcome refreshment.

(Prefer an even, round number of items, like 10? Also see “Packaging design for ecommerce can break the rules”for insights from the ecommerce conference session held in conjunction with the EastPack show.)

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