Linda Casey

January 29, 2014

6 Min Read
Setting the stage for innovation
PACK EXPO show floor



PACK EXPO show floor

The curtain lifts on Monday, Sept. 26, at the Las Vegas Convention Center for PACK EXPO. The three-day packaging and processing show is expected to help 1,600 industry suppliers and 25,000 colleagues connect face-to-face and return with business solutions for innovation, cutting costs and increasing efficiency on their packaging lines. 


In addition to a chance to discover cutting-edge total systems solutions-processing equipment, operations software, packaging machinery, converting machinery, materials and containers-attendees can view latest advances in packaging materials and decoration, including advances in secure packaging, printing and graphics. 

Getting schooled in Vegas
Education plays at major part of any PACK EXPO show, and this year's Las Vegas show is no exception. At the heart of the show's educational offering are a series of conference programs, inducling a strong lineup organized by the Institute of Packaging Professionals ([IoPP] called the 2011 Packaging Learning Center Conference. Speakers include Scott Vitters, sustainable packaging director at The Coca-Cola Co.; Kimberly Riley, global manager, Shire Pharmaceuticals; and Robby Martin, senior engineering project manager at Bush Brothers & Co. Topics include packaging sustainability, serialization programs, food safety, medical device packaging, contract packaging trends and HACCP.

This year, the conference has also been expanded to include training from the Intl. Society of Beverage Technologists ([ISBT] ISBT represents individuals engaged in the science, technology or production of the non-alcoholic beverage industry. This includes people employed in scientific or technical positions within bottlers, franchise companies, packaging, flavor, ingredient and equipment suppliers.
"Beverage is, by far, one of the largest industry demographics we see at PACK EXPO, and ISBT members include this booming industry's leading engineers" says Charles Yuska, president and CEO, PMMI, the show's owner. "Clearly, they see PACK EXPO Las Vegas as a valuable destination for beverage processing and packaging solutions, and through this partnership, they can take advantage of crucial educational opportunities, too."

ISBT's track for the conference includes:
• Introduction to Beverage Packaging -Presented by ISBT's Packaging Technical Committee, this session introduces attendees to the world of packaging, covering domestic and international terminology, key performance criteria and recommendations based on best practices and standards for handling and distribution.
• Stress Crack Prevention-This session examines the significant gains in the understanding and reduction of stress crack issues when bottling in PET, which is used for more than half of the packaging mix for soft drinks, and provide recommendations bottlers can implement to minimize the risk.
• Introduction to Beverage Processing-The ISBT Beverage Processing Technical Committee will present fundamentals of beverage processing and discuss handling of major raw materials for beverages, such as water pretreatment and purification, HFCS and sucrose receiving and storage, super sack unloading and liquefaction.
ISBT is not the only new association partnership that PACK EXPO attendees can benefit from. Recently, PMMI signed an agreement with the Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility ([AIM] to co-locate AIM Expo 2011 with PACK EXPO. 

The AIM Expo conference program includes tracks on government, healthcare, manufacturing, mobile workforce and retail. Auto ID in Packaging and Internet of Things, two new sessions, will identify applications and solutions to improve operations, streamline production, reduce costs and enhance overall business processes.

"The type of solutions-driven education we provide as an industry trade association enables us to deliver a solid, unbiased program that cuts across industry and technology boundaries," says Chuck Evanhoe, AIM Expo chairman. "The event will address the need for ongoing education about the use of bar codes, RFID and mobile computing technologies. The addition of a packaging track this year should be of interest to the broad audience of PACK EXPO attendees."

In addition to new associations partnering with PACK EXPO, some familiar names are returning, including the Reusable Packaging Assn., ([RPA] The association will bring back its Choose Reusables Conference, which debuted at PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2009. The conference will offer keynote presentations, end-user panels and interactive workshops to help attendees better understand the value and variety of reusable solutions for business-to-business supply chains.
Sustainability and efficiency also will be spotlighted at the Reusable Packaging Pavilion, which marks its first appearance at PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2011, after a successful showing at PACK EXPO INTL. in 2010. The RPA is sponsoring this pavilion, as well as the Choose Reusables Conference at the show. The Reusable Packaging Pavilion will expand in 2011, highlighting reusable pallets, hand-held containers, bulk containers, dunnage and technology, in addition to other services for transport packaging solutions.
"Our continued partnership with PMMI provides a strong focus on reusable packaging solutions for end users' supply chains, highlights the benefits of reusable transport packaging and the companies that provide the products and services to this important business activity. The Reusable Packaging Pavilion at PACK EXPO Las Vegas is the perfect location for the RPA to promote the value of reusable packaging," says Jerry Welcome, president of the Reusable Packaging Assn. "Last year's Reusable Packaging Pavilion was a resounding success for our industry and our members, and we look forward to a repeat performance in Las Vegas in September."

Focus on networking
In addition to The Reusable Packaging Pavilion's Las Vegas debut, PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2011 will feature the first-ever Pharmaceutical Pavilion. The pavilions are designed to connect packaging and processing professionals in specific industries and to help them concentrate their efforts. 

"The specialty area, will be a hub of pharmaceutical processing and packaging solutions providers. Located in the Central Hall, it will be easy to find and a clear starting point for attendees searching for solutions in the pharmaceutical arena," Yuska comments. 

Gail Oakley, sales coordinator for Korber-Medipak, says her firm is excited about exhibiting in the Pharmaceutical Pavilion. "We get good customer feedback from PACK EXPO, so it's important to be in the right spot and to be seen," she says, noting the benefits of exhibiting in a pavilion. "People will go to an area of concentration. And when they do, they are more likely to come by and see you-even without an appointment."

The Pharmaceutical Pavilion illustrates an intensified level of customer service that PACK EXPO/PMMI calls customer-centric.

"A customer-centric approach means that we are looking at all aspects of the show, down to the floor plan, to make sure our attendees-and by extension our exhibitors-get the greatest possible return on the time and resources they invest in attending PACK EXPO," Yuska says.

Pavilions are helping achieve this goal, because they give attendees focal points for their various needs, but they are not the only format used for this customer-centric approach. The Brand Zone features containers and materials to establish, maintain or draw attention to a brand. And the Baking and Snack Break lounge will offer specialized opportunities for baking and snack professionals to connect with suppliers and partners, and an "Ask the Expert" resource center staffed by the Snack Food Assn. ([SFA], where attendees can expect to receive guidance from experts on baking- and-snack-specific packaging- and processing-related challenges.

The Baking and Snack Break joins The Rx Lounge, an industry specific lounge for pharmaceutical professionals, and The Candy Bar, an industry-dedicated lounge for the confectionery industry and endorsed by the National Confectioners Assn. ([NCA] 

The three industry-specific lounges also will be home to the Innovation Stage Program. Debuting at PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2011, theisseries of live seminars will be held Mon., Sept. 26, and Tues., Sept. 27. The 30-minute seminars will begin at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. each day. Admission is free and no pre-registration is required to attend.

Registration open now
PMMI offers online registration for the show at Attendees who register before Sept. 7, receive a 50 percent discount on the $60 registration fee. 



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