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Conference at PACK EXPO addresses change, innovation and sustainability

The Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI []), the sponsor and producer of PACK EXPO International 2008, has announced its agenda for the upcoming Conference at PACK EXPO. With its overall theme of “Change, Innovation and Sustainability,” the three-day program is packed with high-profile keynote presentations and more than 50 sessions presented by industry leaders and innovators.

The Conference at PACK EXPO, Nov. 10 to 12 at Chicago's McCormick Place, will be held in conjunction with PACK EXPO International (Nov. 9 to 13). The conference program schedule and registration are available online at The conference sessions are organized into several “tracks,” reflecting industry trends that affect today's packaging professionals. The tracks include Sustainability, Brand Protection, Containers & Materials, Upgrading Operations, Processing and Converting. The program was created with guidance from PMMI's conference advisory panel, a group of industry leaders representing 17 companies, including more than one dozen consumer packaged goods companies.

“The panel reviewed all session proposals--more than 100 proposals were received for the 56 concurrent Conference at PACK EXPO sessions,” says Ben Miyares, PMMI vp of industry relations and director of the Conference at PACK EXPO.

Each day's conference programming is divided into five time periods, with four concurrent sessions planned for each time slot.

Keynote presentations from top executives at Nestlé, Deloitte Consulting and The Dow Chemical Co. will also be featured each day at 10:10 a.m. This schedule makes it easy for attendees to participate in individual sessions while keeping other show commitments.

Preshow planning tools 


With so many topics to choose from, attendees can turn to My PACK EXPO™, an innovative pre-show planning tool, for help in identifying which sessions are good matches for their needs. To access this service, attendees can complete a short profile during the show registration process.

Based on the data provided, My PACK EXPO will intelligently mine the show's database of conference sessions and flag sessions that address individual needs and interests. The information is saved on a personalized, password-protected web portal that can be accessed 24/7. Attendees can begin utilizing My PACK EXPO in August.

Discounted registration for the Conference at PACK EXPO is currently available at For registrations received on or before Oct. 21, 2008, the cost will be $55 per session. Registrations received after Oct. 21 and onsite will cost $75 per session. PACK EXPO International show registration is required in order to register for the conference program.

The schedule for the Conference at PACK EXPO follows:

Monday, Nov. 10

10:10–10:50 am

Keynote Presentation

Title: More Safety vs. Less Material? Where does Packaging Go?

Speaker: Betsy Cohen, vp of sustainability, Nestlé

8:30–9:10 am

Concurrent Sessions

Track: Containers & Materials

Title: EZPeel: A Revolutionary Steel Food Can Closure System

Speaker: Michael Vaughn, vp, packaging innovation, Ball Corp. Description: Ball Corp.'s EZPeel is a new multilayer film closure system for steel food cans. Ball developed this innovation using its proprietary process for joining plastic and metal. EZPeel closures are designed to improve ease of use, convenience and safety for consumers.

Track: Upgrading Operations

Title: Pouch Packaging 2018: What's Next?

Speaker: Charles Murray, chairman/CEO,

PPi Technologies

Description: Fantastic forecast or anticipated future? This presentation envisions a coming decade in which flexible pouches are fitted with embedded RF chips in the bodies, spouts or zippers to track and verify pouch production, distribution and sale; production lines remotely controlled by robots 24/7 and monitored by real time data acquisition systems; and filling lines receiving quality inspected empty pouches, digitally printing and coding them, filling them and checking seal efficacy via x-ray scans.

Track: Sustainability

Title: Conservation - The First Step to Sustainability

Speaker: Bill Petersen, general manager, sales and applications development, Iconotech

Description: The conservation of raw materials leads directly to sustainability by reducing what you need and what you discard. It also sends cost savings straight to the bottom line. Avomex, the largest producer of guacamole in the United States, reaped these benefits when they switched from preprint to a generic case printing program in their facility.

Track: Brand Protection

Title: Packaging HACCP—Food Companies' New Expectations for the Packaging Supply Chain

Speaker: Wynn Wiksell, manager, packaging quality and regulatory operations, General Mills and chairman, Food Safety Alliance for Packaging

Description: Food safety has always been on the minds of brand owners and ingredient suppliers. The Food Safety Alliance for Packaging Materials was formed by many of the biggest food CPGs in the world with one mission in mind: to educate packaging suppliers on the effects of food safety and to give them resources to protect themselves and consumers from a food-safety issue.


Concurrent Sessions

Track: Containers & Materials

Title: CCMA: The Innovation of New Product Development

Speaker: Michael Mooney, director, design engineering, Constar Intl.

Description: Innovation and speed: Historically, new-product development has been one of creation rather than innovation, but true innovation requires a change to this approach. Review includes an overview of the emerging field of Advanced Predictive Engineering and its influence on the process of product lifecycle management.

Track: Upgrading Operations

Title: Packaging Operational Efficiencies Depend Upon Bridging the Mechatronics Skills Gap

Speaker: Steve Berkos, senior plant controls engineer, Unilever; James B. Higley, P.E., professor, Purdue University Calumet

Description: In an economic environment that mandates unlocking additional profitability, automated packaging operations hold great potential. One key is mechatronic machinery, which is designed to increase efficiency and flexibility. The other key is a workforce of y skilled engineers and technicians.

Track: Sustainability

Title: The United Kingdom's Packaging Sustainability Efforts

Speakers: Richard Bull, managing director, Enercon Industries Ltd.; Ryan Schuelke, sales manager, Enercon Industries Ltd.

Description: With the support of the British Government, packagers in the United Kingdom are taking a leadership position in sustainability with efforts to monitor and reduce pack weight and carbon footprint. This presentation will explore these sustainability trends in the UK and their global impact .

Track: Brand Protection

Title: The Economics of Deploying State-of-the-Art Contaminant Detection

Speaker: Bob Ries, product manager, metal and x-ray detection, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Description: Justifying capital investment in food safety and inspection technology can be difficult. The costs are clear, but the benefits are a challenge to monetize. In today's financial climate, food producers are looking for payback in two years or less. This presentation will review the common contaminants detected by metal detectors and x-ray systems,.

11:00 am–11:40 am

Concurrent Sessions

Track: Containers & Materials

Title: CCMA- Pouring Into the Future: Integrated Dispensing & Pour Features for Plastic Bottles

Speaker: Michael E. Penny, principal engineer & inventor, Amcor PET Packaging

Description: Most pour feature applications on plastic bottles require the assembly of a secondary component that provides flow or dispensing control. With sustainability initiatives at the forefront of bottle design, innovations are needed to combine these separate pour features into the bottle design so that the bottle and pour feature become one versus two separately molded and subsequently attached components.

Track: Upgrading Operations

Title: Advanced Aseptic Processing: The Next Step in the Evolution of Aseptic Pharmaceutical Production

Speaker: Dr. Jim Akers, President, Akers Kennedy & Associates, Inc.

Description: Advanced aseptic processing can be defined as the complete elimination of risk resulting from direct human intervention in aseptic processing. Risk from human released contamination is agreed to be the only significant source of microbial contamination in aseptic processing. It follows then that people are the greatest risk to sterility assurance and product safety.

Track: Sustainability

Title: A Brilliant Partnership: Color, Energy & Material

Speaker: Rich Novomesky, strategic business manager, Ampacet

Description: Ampacet views the sustainable packaging challenge as an opportunity to create brilliant packaging solutions. Corroll will discuss how packagers can reach their target audience by understanding how socio-economic conditions influence consumers' preferences for color, design and sustainability.

Track: Brand Protection

Title: Anti-Counterfeit Packaging Strategy: Aligning Actions with the Type of Counterfeiters and Counterfeiting

Speaker: John Spink, director, Michigan State University—Food Safety Center

Description: Brand owners are asking about the overall strategy not behind the package components but behind the counterfeiting and the counterfeiters. Beyond the concepts of “counterfeit-evident” and “counterfeit-resistant” strategies, the presentation to leveraged this MSU expert's insights into tangent areas and focuses on the results from the Packaging for Food and Product Protection (P-FAPP) Initiative.

11:50 am–12:30 pm

Concurrent Sessions

Track: Containers & Materials

Title: CCMA—Key Industry Trends & Innovation

Speakers: Raj Krishna, chief Technology officer, Rexam; Bryan Wesselmann, director, Global Sales & Marketing, Rexam

Description: Rexam will unveil its latest thinking around key industry trends and innovations by discussing its understanding of trends affecting consumer values, attitudes and behavior, the company's approach to innovation and insight techniques to understand how consumers interact with products in their environment.

Track: Upgrading Operations

Title: Packaging Execution Systems (PES): An Absolute Necessity

Speaker: Joe Ringwood, COO, Systech Intl.

Description: The adoption of “Lean Principles” has spread beyond the discrete industries and is rapidly permeating the pharmaceutical industry. Specifically, a large emphasis is being placed on the efficiency of packaging operations in the pharmaceutical industry.

Manufacturers must turn to packaging execution system (PES) architectures that focus specifically on packaging operations. PES seamlessly integrate critical packaging line information functions: inspection, line management, serialization, performance measurement and ERP connectivity.

Track: Sustainability

Title: Sustainability: What Brand Owners Expect from their Packaging Suppliers

Speaker: Tom Taber, vp, Strategex

Description: The focus on sustainability continues to rise. Customers are now looking to the packaging supplier for sustainable solutions like never before. Using findings from over 150 interviews conducted globally with packaging decision makers, learn directly from the voice of the customer what they are asking for and what's driving their sustainability agenda.

Track: Brand Protection

Title: IP Issues with Packaging

Speakers: Eduardo Carreras, partner, Woodcock Washburn LLP; Harold Fullmer, partner, Woodcock Washburn LLP

Description: Innovation is the process of technical improvement, and intellectual property is the product of innovation. Many companies use intellectual property not only defensively to protect others from copying, but in more sophisticated ways to further their business goals. An IP strategy is a set of goals for the acquisition, protection, leveraging and management of a company's IP and a plan to implement those goals.

12:40 pm–1:20 pm

Concurrent Sessions

Session: M09

Track: Upgrading Operations

Title: Variable Frequency Metal Detection Technology

Speakers: Martin Lymn, director, major accounts, Loma Systems; Hermann Fleps, technical director, Loma Systems

Description: As food safety, due diligence and HACCP considerations drive continued interest in metal detectors for the food industry, it's no secret that the underlying technology of metal detection is somewhat mature and gaining from only incremental improvements.

Track: Sustainability

Title: OEM Perspectives on Innovation & Sustainability

Speakers: Mike Wagner, global segment business manager, Rockwell Automation; Darren Elliott, global technical resources Manager, Rockwell Automation

Description: The presentation will examine three perspectives on the influence of change, innovation, and sustainability for OEMs in the Packaging industry. Core themes of this topic include market trends, competitive/customer pressures, and continuous improvement initiatives.

Track: Brand Protection

Title: Unit Serialization in Production

Speaker: William Fricks, manager of software services, Barry-Wehmiller Design Group, Inc.

Description: The need for serialization at the unit, case and pallet levels is growing due to new state regulatory mandates and trading partner requirements. Learn about the capabilities, advantages and disadvantages of ID technology at each serialization step from labeling to palletizing.

Track: Containers & Materials

Title: Enhancing Your Anti-Counterfeiting Arsenal

Speaker: Jim Colby, global packaging manager, Ink Supplies Business, Hewlett-Packard

Description: When counterfeiters and the counterfeit industry is considered a “competitive threat,” businesses will then increase their focus and strategy to combat the impact of this problem to their products and customers.

2:00 pm–2:40 pm

Special Session

Title: PMT Magazine presents the 2008 Packaging Line of the Year

Tuesday, Nov. 11

10:10 am–10:50 am

Keynote Presentation

Title: Packaging Sustainability: From Boardroom to Break Room

Speaker: Trevor Cusworth, director, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Description: Cusworth will provide attendees with a high-level roadmap for translating a company's sustainability vision into real-world manufacturing practices. Backed by documented case studies, the presentation will identify immediate actions that can help improve the sustainability of manufacturing operations as well as longer term plans, such as designing and installing new lines.

8:30 am–9:10 am

Concurrent Sessions

Track: Upgrading Operations

Title: Developing the Packaging Workforce of the Future

Speakers: Keith Campbell, project manager, Industrial Maintenance Training Center of PA; Scott Sheely, executive director, Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board; John DeVere, dean of workforce & economic development, Reading Area Community College

Description: The availability of an adequately skilled workforce is a crucial issue for packagers in North America. When industry, government and education work together, it is possible to improve skills of existing employees and create a pipeline of new workers.

Track: Sustainability

Title: New Technologies for Lightweighting Polyolefins

Speaker: Terry Glass, technology leader, rigid packaging, Dow Chemical

Description: Polyolefin resin and fabrication technologies continue to move packaging applications to lighter weights while maintaining necessary functional performance. Efforts with resin design and foam technology are evolving quickly and yielding results to lightweight containers by 20 percent from where we were just two years ago.

Track: Processing

Title: In-Process Product Traceability: From Concept to Reality

Speaker: Tim Reardon, industry marketing manager, Key Technology, Inc.

Description: NA

Track: Containers & Materials

Title: The Hole in RFID: Preventing Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Loss

Speaker: Andrew Strauch, vp, product marketing and management, MIKOH Corp.

Description: According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the pharmaceutical industry loses $32 billion annually to counterfeiting. While RFID is promising, a hole must be addressed— physical security.

9:20 am–10:00 am

Concurrent Sessions

Session: T02

Track: Upgrading Operations

Title: RFID's Impact on Process, Partnerships and Profit

Speaker: Robb Clarke, associate professor, MSU School of Packaging

Description: RFID tagging requirements affect many companies, worldwide. Whether you are a medical-, consumer product- or military-based company, current RFID trials and mandates will have an influence on your business operations and, by extension, your business decisions. This presentation analyzes how RFID requirements impact business.

Track: Sustainability

Title: COMPASS—A New Tool to Map the Environmental Impact of your Packaging Material and Application Choices

Speaker: Martha Leflar, senior project manager, GreenBlue

Description: COMPASS (Comparative Packaging Assessment)—a package engineering and design tool that provides a quick comparative measure of the environmental impact of your contemplated packaging choices—will be in Beta release to members of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition this fall and in general release by early 2009. This presentation will give packaging professionals an early peek at how, why and by whom COMPASS was developed.

Track: Processing

Title: Surface Pasteurization of Particulate Foods—Controlling Moisture and Quality

Speaker: Rainer Perren, managing director, RPN Food Technology

Description: Not Available

Track: Containers & Materials

Title: Packaging Production Waste & Rework - A Gold Mine

Speaker: Paul Zepf, director of engineering, Zarpac Inc.

Description: As many packagers are being squeezed by price ceilings and increasing costs of materials in tight markets or limited growth markets, the hunt is on for savings. Fortunately, a savings far greater than any labor can give is in front of most packagers.

11:00 am–11:40 am

Concurrent Sessions

Track: Upgrading Operations

Title: Implementing a World Class Packaging Operation

Speakers: Rick VanDyke, group manager of transformation/supply chain,

Frito Lay; David Latimer, technology leader, Procter & Gamble; Damian Stahl, managing partner, Polytron

Description: When implementing a World Class Packaging Operation users are faced with challenges such as obtaining the right packaging equipment from machine builders, integrating the pieces of the packaging operation together and interfacing with the IT or business systems.

Track: Sustainability

Title: Tradeoffs in Sustainability in Wrapping

Speaker: Katherine Putnam, president, Package Machinery Co., Inc.

Description: When looking to create an attractive package through use of wrapping materials while weighing issues of sustainability, there are several factors to be considered: attractiveness of package, cost, energy consumption in the process, landfill usage, substitutability of alternatives (such as bundling for cardboard boxes, trays instead of boxes). Putnam will evaluate tradeoffs in energy consumption, film alternatives and flexibility in creating a package that is attractive to the consumer, reduces landfill usage, changes energy consumption and offers film choices.

Track: Processing

Title: Pneumatic Conveying in the Food Industry: Options in Sanitary Design and Technology

Speaker: Stuart Wilson, technical manager Premier Pneumatics, K-Tron Process Group

Description: This presentation will examine the technology of pneumatic conveying with an emphasis on food and sanitary applications. Key topics include an overview of the basic principles of pneumatic conveying and Identifying the techniques of vacuum versus pressure conveying, dilute versus dense phase vacuum conveying , and vacuum sequencing versus continuous vacuum

Track: Containers & Materials

Title: Designing Rigid Shelf Stable Barrier Packaging

Speaker: Gregory Dixon, director of engineering, Spartech Corp.

Description: This presentation will help attendees interested in entering the rigid barrier packaging market. Shelf stable packages with two years of shelf life are very common and attainable with today's barrier technology.

11:50 am–12:30 pm

Concurrent Sessions

Track: Upgrading Operations

Title: Prove It! Does Your Training Make a Difference?

Speakers: Nancy B. Cobb, president, Partners in Possibilities; John Henry, president,

Description: Where the Holy Grail of measurement is ROI, can we apply the same principles to training's cost benefit? We know we need to train; we know it often gets slighted; we know it's hard to sell to management so when and how will we begin to quantify the Value of Training.

Track: Sustainability

Title: Achieving Sustainability through Adhesive Dispensing Technology

Speaker: Rick Pallante, Marketing Development Manager—Packaging, Nordson Corp.

Description: Manufacturers and suppliers are discovering that the unlimited use of adhesives materials in packaging is no longer an option. With mounting cost pressures and environmental concerns, finding new ways to effectively apply adhesives—with minimal impact on processes and the bottom line—is an industry-wide imperative.

Track: Converting

Title: Increase Profits by Aligning Your Assets

Speaker: Richard Henry, vp, The Advance Team

Description: What if your existing production machinery were operating at optimized efficiency? That would mean that you would have a minimum of scrap, exceptional quality, higher line speeds, reduced maintenance costs, no capital investment, and ultimately higher profits. Many companies are realizing the benefits of aligning their assets. How about you?

Track: Containers & Materials

Title: Designing Sustainable Transport Packaging . . . Then Managing It

Speaker: Chris Grimes, product development manager, Rehrig Pacific Co.

Description: Rigid-plastic transport packaging is truly one of the most sustainable packages many industries will use. It can prove to be very beneficial to many different areas of a company as long as it is designed with all of those areas in mind. From the packaging machine, to the stretch wrapper to the delivery truck, all aspects of the company need to be considered for sustainable packaging to succeed in cutting waste and costs.

12:40 pm–1:20 pm

Concurrent Sessions

Track: Upgrading Operations

Title: Electrical Regulation Compliance for OEMs – What You Don't Know Might Shock (and Cost) You!

Speakers: Mark Lewandowski,, technology leader, corporate engineering, Procter & Gamble; Jim Reizner, technology section head, corporate engineering, Procter & Gamble

Description: U.S. electrical regulations for equipment are complex. It has been our experience at Procter & Gamble that very few equipment manufacturers understand what is legally required for their equipment to be installed and used in the U.S. In this presentation we will discuss what is required from OEMs to ensure their equipment will meet the electrical regulations for the U.S.

Track: Sustainability

Title: Minimizing Packaging without Compromising Integrity

Speaker: Patrick Hessini, manager, Adalis Corp.

Description: Effective packaging plays a critical role in reducing impact on the environment. Appropriate packaging design, material use and latest value-added technologies can significantly impact energy consumption, transportation and storage costs, packaging waste and product shelf-life. Adalis will discuss how latest solutions.

Track: Converting

Title: Over-treatment of PET—Fact or Fiction Part 1: A Study of Web Density, Corona Swell Time, Film Selection, Dyne Level and Water Soak Bond Strength

Speaker: Jessica Bodine, technical sales representative, MICA Corp.

Description: Converters of polyester films have long known the risk of corona over-treatment of polyester film. Over treatment can be defined as the point at which treatment level no longer contributes beneficial properties to the film surface and may begin to cause degradation of the surface. But how does the converter know when this point has been reached?

Track: Containers & Materials

Title: Leveraging the Findings of a Corrugated Life Cycle Assessment

Speakers: John Heckman, vp, Five Winds Intl.; Dwight Schmidt, president, The Fibre Box Association

Description: Findings of the first U.S. corrugated industry Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) will be presented by The Corrugated Packaging Alliance (CPA), which commissioned the LCA, and Five Winds International, which conducted it in accordance with ISO 14040 series standards for LCAs. The scope of the study covers a “cradle-to-grave” life cycle assessment.

Wednesday Nov. 12

10:10 am–10:50 am

Keynote Presentation

Title: Packaging - Elemental to a Sustainable Future

Speaker: Glenn A. Wright, commercial vp, North American Basic Plastics, The Dow Chemical Co.

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