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Articles from 2014 In November


Survey focuses on attitudes regarding consumer waste

Survey focuses on attitudes regarding consumer waste
LiquiGlide makes slippery coatings for plastic surfaces that enable viscous liquids to easily slide.

If you’re paying for something you want to make sure you get use of all it—right? No one wants to throw away any leftover product left in the packaging.

And as proof that consumers hate waste, LiquiGlide (the company that is working to change the way liquids move within packaging) has released survey results that clearly demonstrate consumers' intense dislike of product waste and the extreme measures many of them take to get the last few drops of everything.

According to survey results, consumers dislike waste so much they are even toying with the idea of switching over to other competitors where packaging lets them get their products out more easily.

The survey of more than 1,000 consumers asked participants about their attitudes and habits related to the packaging, use, waste and disposal of sticky consumer goods. To conduct the survey, LiquiGlide asked questions that focused on waste awareness and attitudes regarding consumer waste.

Read the full article here at the website of Packaging Digest’s sister publication PlasticsToday.

4 leading plant-based packages

4 leading plant-based packages

Over the course of the past few years, there have been great strides from the packaging and food industries to reduce the amount of food packaging materials. In 2014 alone we have seen a slew of bio-based packages to hit the market. And it looks like the Green packaging market is going to continue to grow.

According to the Global Green Packaging Market 2014-2018 research report the Global Green (Sustainable) Packaging market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 7.1% over the period 2013-2018. The report segments the sustainable packaging industry in terms of product by type into Recycled, Reusable, and Degradable packaging products. Green or sustainable packaging is a type of packaging that is produced from sustainable, renewable, and recyclable raw materials such as paper, plastic, metal and glass. These materials can be easily bent or molded as needed, but can return to their original form once released.

One of the major advantages of green packaging is that it produces less toxic emissions such as carbon dioxide, once it is discarded after use. With the increasing environmental concerns worldwide and the growing need to reduce toxic emissions, green packaging is increasingly being adopted by the Food and Beverage, Healthcare and Personal Care industries.

Here are some leading bio-based packages covered this year. Use the red View Gallery button above to access the slideshow.

4 leading plant-based packages: Gallery

The new Seed Sensations bread bag from Hovis Ltd. is made almost entirely from renewable polyethylene (PE)—a first in the market. The company worked alongside Amcor Flexibles who developed the sugarcane-based bag to deliver a 75% lower product carbon footprint than the former traditional bread bags made with plastic from non-renewable fossil sources and also to gain official certification.

Over the course of the past few years, there have been great strides from the packaging and food industries to reduce the amount of food packaging materials. In 2014 alone we have seen a slew of bio-based packages to hit the market. And it looks like the Green packaging market is going to continue to grow.

According to the Global Green Packaging Market 2014-2018 research report the Global Green (Sustainable) Packaging market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 7.1% over the period 2013-2018. The report segments the sustainable packaging industry in terms of product by type into Recycled, Reusable, and Degradable packaging products. Green or sustainable packaging is a type of packaging that is produced from sustainable, renewable, and recyclable raw materials such as paper, plastic, metal and glass. These materials can be easily bent or molded as needed, but can return to their original form once released.

One of the major advantages of green packaging is that it produces less toxic emissions such as carbon dioxide, once it is discarded after use. With the increasing environmental concerns worldwide and the growing need to reduce toxic emissions, green packaging is increasingly being adopted by the Food and Beverage, Healthcare and Personal Care industries.

Take a whiff out of these top perfume packages: Gallery

Halle Berry's perfume gets jungle-themed packaging. The carton packaging is inspired by Halle Berry’s love of the rainforest depicting sunlight trickling through the foliage with droplets of rainwater glistening like diamonds. Furthermore, the glass bottle itself is reminiscent of a droplet of water, topped with a translucent cap.

What do Katy Perry, Rihanna, Sofia Vergara and Halle Berry have in common? They’ve all launched highly successful fragrance lines. Although a recent report showed a drop in celebrity perfume sales in 2013, celebrity scents are still the leading brands in the fragrance industry.

While celebrities have endorsed all kinds of products over the past century—who wouldn’t want to wear the same jewelry or drink the same water as a movie star?—however, the concept of producing perfumes named after celebrities is a more recent phenomenon.

Nowadays, thanks to deals brokered between major cosmetics companies and stars across the board, anyone can smell like their favorite idol.

"Younger consumers, in particular, often identify with or aspire to be like a popular celebrity. Given this appeal, celebrity fragrances are often quite popular gift items for young girls wanting the latest release from their current favorite star," says Karen Grant, NPD's global beauty industry analyst.

Is this breakthrough molding technology the future of bottle production?

Is this breakthrough molding technology the future of bottle production?
The novel PET bottle-making technology from Sipa was unveiled November 2014 in Germany.

Sipa launches new PET system to produce "extremely" light preforms that are up to 10% lighter than even the lightest preform produced by conventional injection molding—but without losing any key properties.

PET packaging technology producer Sipa says it has unveiled the latest step towards the bottle production plant of the future. Launched at the BrauBeviale in Nuremberg this month, the Xtreme Sincro brings together in a single machine Sipa's preform compression molding system with a stretch-blow molding unit.

The Xtreme Sincro, which Sipa calls the "world's first injection compression stretch-blow molding system," produces numerous advantages for bottle producers, says Sipa general manager Enrico Gribaudo. "It combines the flexibility of two-stage systems with the convenience of single-stage system," he says.

Sipa claims that it is possible to produce preforms that are up to 10% lighter than even the lightest preform produced by conventional injection molding—but without losing any key properties.

Read the full article here at the website of Packaging Digest’s sister publication PlasticsToday.

In-mold labels use digital watermarking for authentication

In-mold labels use digital watermarking for authentication
Invisible, machine-readable digital watermarks work seamlessly, applied using in-mold labels in these cosmetic compact examples.

A new opportunity in using digital watermarks for in-mold labels for cosmetic and personal care packaging results from an alliance between packaging vendors SussexIM and Inkworks that provides a permanent mark for brand protection.

The alliance centers on a new way of bringing brand protection via authentication using a durable format (for more information see www.sussexim.com/blog/) that’s as much a part of the product and package as the polymer: Digital watermarking for in-mold labels (IMLs) using engineered resins such as ABS.

Ed Fabiszak, vp sales and marketing, SussexIM, Sussex, WI, answers our questions about this intriguing development.

What is this technique and how does it work?

Fabiszak: The digital watermarking capability offers the next generation in machine-readable images. The progression is from bar codes to [quick-response] QR codes to digital watermarks. The benefits of digital watermarks are that they: 

Do not detract from a brand’s image;

Provide a direct link from the product to smartphone apps;

Provide a direct consumer connection to the brand; 

Allow for usage directions, ingredient list, links to promotion and consumer engagement; 

In beauty products, they allow for links to augmented reality applications and elevated consumer interaction; and

The mark certifies product authentication. 

The embedded imaging technology is not patented or proprietary, but the machine readers all have patented and proprietary technology in their Software Development Kit (SDK) applications. 

What is meant by “digital watermarking"?

Fabiszak: Digital watermarking is an imaging technology that embeds machine-readable images within the graphics. Those machine-readable images are not legible to the human eye. Thus, the brand keeps its design clean and retains its brand equity. 

How is it applied?

Fabiszak: SussexIM has numerous product decoration capabilities and has partnered with InkWorks in using digital in-mold labels (IML) with watermarks.  Alternative methods were considered, but those were more costly, had higher error rates, and added complexity to the IML process. 

What have been previous ways to do this and why is this better?

Fabiszak: Watermarking technology can be embedded in standard pressure-sensitive labels, but the labels can be removed from the product and detract from the product’s perceived value. There have been a few reported developments of digital in-mold labels with watermarks, but to the best of my knowledge, none have been commercially implemented. The benefit is that the IML is embedded in the product, offers the highest read-rate, and is permanently attached. 

What are the applications and what is the “sweet spot” for this technique?

Fabiszak: IML technology is widely used in Europe and has been growing in applications in North America, with a focus on polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) containers. Many examples exist within the dairy and laundry categories. The alliance between Inkworks and SussexIM makes this technology available for engineered-grade resins such as ABS, SAN, PC, nylon blends and more.  In the cosmetic industry, the fit and finish requirements require ABS and ABS/SAN blends. 

What’s required to implement and what are the costs to customers?

Fabiszak: Process automation requirements include an IML cell that present magazine-loaded labels to a robot pickup, which then travels into open mold, picks up completed parts, makes the label static for placement and places the label into the mold.  Application costs are driven by automation investment and process cycle time,  and in most cases the design of the molding tool. The cost of the watermark is included in the digital IML cost. Label costs are driven by print image requirements, developing the optimum mix of tie-layers in the label construction and volume levels. 

How does authentication work?  

Fabiszak: It works with a smartphone via free downloadable APPs via iTunes or Google Play. Ask any GenX or Millennial consumer for directions. The consumer must download the app to read the product’s in-mold label; the connection to the target brand’s website is triggered. For example: download the free DigiMarc app, then point the reader at the watermark label that will link to brand website. 

What is the commercial status?

Fabiszak: SussexIM has made the technology available to the cosmetic market in its stock “soft-square” compact. The product launch was presented to attendees of the MakeUp-New-York tradeshow and met with rave reviews. A number of the largest brand companies are looking at deploying the technology in the market. Expected first products in the market are planned for first quarter 2015. 

Banding Together: The Best Way To Bundle

This white paper from Wexler Packaging Products outlines the ways in which banding offers energy conservation, material savings and waste reduction. In addition, find out which new enhancements are occurring all the time, making banding a state-of-the-art method for enhancing a packaging operation.

8 packaging innovations from Pack Expo: Gallery

Tabbed TE tray line launched at 7-Eleven.

Check out these packaging innovation “goodies” from Pack Expo:  A new TE trayed meal debuting at 7-Eleven, a small snack pack that folds out for serving, a coated bottle that seems to defy physics, mated jars that screw apart, a dosing flexpack that accurately meters product, two new food packaging breakthroughs and more.

If I may repurpose the insightful words of Forrest Gump, visiting booths at Pack Expo is like opening a box of chocolates, only better: There are surprises even when you think you know what you’re going to get. These 8 examples of package prototypes and commercial launches were all unexpected bonuses found as I walked the aisles of the North, South and East Halls the week of November 2.

1. Plastic Ingenuity’s new tamper-evident tray with a “buried flange” launches at a chain of Chicago area convenience stores as “fresh to go” salad kits that sell for $4.29 each. Plastic Ingenuity marketing manager Rob Helmke says the chain’s repackaging of the products into its TE trays eliminated a PVC shrink band. The trays can be displayed flat or resting on the side (as shown).

2. Ampac Packaging’s E-Z SnackPak for on-the-go snacking is an ingenious, material-saving solution to an inconvenient problem.

3. The Splitable Jar, from Country Enterprises, is a different kind of duo multipack that offers shelf savings.

4. New from MWV, MiniMod is an airless pump and pouch packaging solution that provides controlled dispensing and portability. MiniMod will officially launch in North America in 2015, and will feature the filling capabilities of Marietta Corporation and available pouch technologies developed by Ampac Packaging.

5. Pods formed into letters were a sign of the times at Cloud Packaging’s booth, which housed an integrated packaging system of equipment from Robert's Packaging and Ohlson Packaging capable of producing, weighing and bagging water-soluble-film pods. The Robert's Packaging IMP1500 fill-seal machine for premade bags uses output-boosting “traveling funnels” and was topped by an Ohlson Weigher/Counter that economically counts by weight to provide fill accuracy even if there is a 10% to 15% piece weight variation and an option using sensors to handle piece weight variations up to 25%.

6. LiquiGlide coating gives products the slip to reduce waste and seems to defy physics in doing so. For more on this novel technology, click here and read the caption.

7. Thermoform-MAP-packed-and-wrapped Franz bread has 40 days’ shelf life using technology from Sealed Air Cryovac Food Packaging. For more on this development, click here.

8. Darfresh on Tray vacuum skin-packed meat products is an update on Darfresh technology that dramatically saves film, provides a tighter-fitting vacuum skin and increases throughput.

Here’s your own surprise bonus: To see more packaged innovation at Pack Expo you can watch this slideshow of 4 packaging technologies found at the Bemis booth.

Canning olives the Musco way

After filling, cans of olives are stored "brite" and are labeled when needed. Cans exit the labeling machine sideways and are oriented on a twistrail, shown here, before heading to a tray packer.

If Musco Family Olive Co. had its way, olives would find themselves on every fingertip in America. Considered the largest U.S. supplier of branded table olives and the leading olive company in the U.S., Musco is known for its Pearls® brand of olives available throughout the U.S. Musco packages many varieties of Pearls in a most progressive facility in Tracy, CA.

Musco reports that a combination of its facilities processes approximately 50 percent of the olive crop grown in the U.S. Musco, which also packs Early California and many private-label olives, manages olive facilities across California. The Tracy plant is noteworthy for being capable of processing more than 50 percent of California's annual olive crop.

Olives are Musco's only business, a fact reflected in its continuing investments in quality materials and packaging equipment to ensure gentle yet efficient handling of the olives.

The Tracy plant cans a full range of black, ripe olives under the Black Pearls brand, including pitted, sliced, chopped and whole ripe olives in several sizes, as well as the Early California brand. The recently introduced Green Pearls green olives and Mediterranean Pearls Mediterranean-style olives, available throughout the East Coast, Upper Midwest and Portland, are grown, packed and labeled in Spain. Jars of Kalamata whole olives originate in Greece.

Tip of a finger
Recently, Musco updated the packaging for Pearls both visually and structurally with design concept, design refinements, line extension designs and a new corporate identity design completed by strategic branding agency Tesser, Inc. (managed by a Musco brother), as well as initial label graphic exploration with Landor Associates. Simultaneously, Musco introduced the Green Pearls and Mediterranean Pearls products. The new packages and label graphics were showcased at Chicago's Food Marketing Institute show for the first time last May (see PD, July '01, p. 44).

The focus of a clever television ad campaign, the top-selling Pearls line now offers consumers greater choices with the addition of the Green Pearls and Mediterranean Pearls product lines. The new labels replace various approaches that evolved over the years. Reflecting Muscos' desire to encourage snacking and entertaining with olives, the redesigned graphics use a rich color scheme of yellow, black, and of course, olive green, to reinforce the Pearls brand as a premier, quality olive.

Can and jar labels illustrate olives bursting forth on a sunny yellow background and the new Musco family logo that presents a childhood-memory-inspired design: a hand displaying five spread fingers, each topped with a black olive, as children like to do. The olive-fingered-hand symbol on a blue background is centered on a black band that features the brand name in white.

The paper wraparound jar labels are printed in five-color process by Etiquetas & Impresos of Seville, Spain. The full-wrap can labels are process-printed in six colors by Fort Dearborn.

Felix Musco, grandson of the company's founder, says the new labels are not only visually appealing, but catch the eye on the containers, which now are made to a uniform height. This makes it easier to merchandise the products.

Easy to stack and ship, the three-piece steel cans for Black Pearls black olives are provided by Crown Cork & Seal and Silgan. The cans in 211/200, 211/304 (smallest), 304/407 buffet (medium) and 300 (for small, medium, large and extra large as well as jumbo and colossal) sizes have drain weights that vary from 2.25 to 90 oz, based on the style of olive packed. Glass jars containing the new Green Pearls and new Mediterranean Pearls stuffed olives, in Jalapeno Stuffed, Garlic Stuffed and Kalamatas, are made to the same height as the #300 cans. The 6- and 10-oz wide-mouth glass jars are produced in Spain by BSN Glasspack Espana, Seville and topped with VEM Group's black-colored closures incorporating a polished-steel litho-printed graphic of the olive-finger motif.

Canning facility
The olive facility runs two eight-hour shifts a day, five days a week. Occupying nearly 350,000 sq ft under one roof, the plant maintains a computerized processing facility with four canning lines, each equipped with predominantly 304 stainless-steel machinery. There are full-can depalletizers from Whallon Machinery, pocket fillers from either Zilli & Bellini (represented in the U.S. by Imdec, Inc.) or Zanichelli Meccanica (Zacmi for short), and can seamers from Angelus, including two new high-speed 62 H systems installed in '00 to close 300-size cans.

Downstream equipment, depending on the line, includes single- and double-stack tray packers from Kisters Kayat, case palletizers from HK and pallet wrappers from Orion and Wulftec. Allen-Bradley programmable logic controls guide most of the machines on the lines. And, there are numerous quality control and inspection checkpoints throughout the packing operation, says plant manager Dan Ebright. "It seems like a complicated setup, but it's pretty straightforward. We also have USDA inspection onsite, so the product is constantly under scrutiny."

Olives convey in four lanes to a tray packer, above, that can pack cans in single layers or stack them in two layers. Below, shrink-wrapped trays of cans exit a heat tunnel, make a U-turn and incline to a palletizer.

Conveyors supporting the different lines include assorted systems ranging from cable to belt to roller systems furnished by several sources, including Intralox, HK Systems and OHI, which assembled and built assorted conveyor belts, pitter platforms and much of the conveyor framework.

What's best for the olive
Two of the canning lines accommodate 300-size cans, while a third line runs 211-size cans, and a fourth outputs #10 cans. Speeds are proprietary, however.

A unique pumpless, straightline process-flow system uses elevated flumes to transport the olives within the plant to ensure the utmost care in handling. The product comes in contact with only one pump, which is used to transport the olives from the outdoor storage tanks into the facility.

"No one else in the industry that we're aware of uses a pumpless system," Ebright states. "We let the olive design the facility. The plant is structured so that the olives encounter one pump only, and that's when they're released from storage tanks. This is more expensive, but it really affords gently handling."

The imported green olives, already filled in prelabeled jars that are case-packed and shipped to the facility by the palletload, are temporarily stored in the warehouse and/or forwarded directly to customers or forwarding warehouses. The black olives are actually green in color when picked, and then turn black through a processing procedure prior to canning, Ebright tells PD.

Shrink-wrapped trays of cans exit a heat tunnel, make a U-turn and incline to a palletizer.

 
Before they're canned, the olives are manually checked, are resized for uniformity and are then dropped into flumes. Olives then move in water to feed a series of pitting machines. Then, they're sorted by hand before they reach the canning operation. There, production is divided into separate functions–filling, seaming and retorting are performed on the first leg of the operation–and the olive-filled cans are warehoused and stored by the palletload "brite" before they reach the second leg of the operation–labeling, case-packing and palletizing.

Empty cans arrive on double-high pallets (from 952 to 18,000 cans/pallet, depending on can size) and are unloaded by the sweep arm of an empty-can depalletizer (no longer available), that removes the cans a layer at a time onto a 13-ft-high cable conveyor. The cans then reach blower/cleaners that rotate them 360 degrees before they descend to the fillers.

The rotary pocket fillers capture the empty cans in telescoping pockets underneath the machines. Olives travel in bulk by flumes and then drop through a feed hopper to the filler pockets and into the cans. Musco selected a 36-pocket Zacmi system to fill #10 cans and a Zilli & Bellini 72-pocket filler for the 300-size cans. A Zacmi 56-pocket filler accommodates the 211-size cans.

After filling, the cans single-file to the brining station. Musco modified its briners (some of which were built by OHI in Stockton, CA) to fit the specific needs of its olives. Next, the cans are sent through the Angelus seamers, which use a steam and vacuum process to close the cans. The seamers are also equipped with sensing devices that will shut them down should there be a jam or other problem. The cans then reach one of two Peco Vac-Trac II dud detectors. If anything is wrong, a can will be kicked off-line, and the line may be stopped if necessary, to determine any problems. Then, they're coded with a tracking code by one of four Videojet Excel170i ink-jet coders from Marconi and are elevated by spiral-can elevators from Fleetwood and Millard onto another cable that conveys them to the retorts.

Three straightline, continuous, steam retort systems from FMC cook most of the canned product, but an FMC overpressure automatic batch (ABR) system is used for certain types of olives, Ebright explains. "Actual cook times dictate the machine to which the cans are routed. Some of the products, such as chopped olives, require a longer cooking time, so we needed to have a batch system for them."

Tray-packs of cans convey overhead onto the infeed of one of two automatic palletizers that unitize them into loads.

 
Ebright says that the overpressure system gives Musco flexibility, should packaging structures change in the olive industry.

Cans then phase through the continuous retorts in single-file or are loaded and subsequently unloaded in bulk onto trays into the overpressure ABR and loaded onto pallets by automatic-guided vehicle (AGV). Able to retort 1,050 to 21,216 cans at a time, depending on the can size, the ABR system retorts in just more than 60 minutes, while the continuous retorts operate in less than 30 minutes. The retorts operate at 265 deg F. Cooling follows.

As cans leave the retorts and regroup downstream, they eventually single-file onto a cable conveyor leading to the britestock palletizing area, where they're unitized by one of four Whallon palletizers.

Second phase of packaging
When the cans are ready to ship, the second leg of the operation begins on the other side of the wall. Palletloads of brite cans are pulled out of storage and sent through a labeling/tray-packing/palletizing sequence prior to re-palletizing for shipment. Ebright explains that unlike other fresh products, olives can be packed year-'round. "We pack more product during the winter when the crop is coming in, which meets the needs of the biggest-volume time of year." The amount of cans stored brite in the warehouse varies, depending on the amount of crop produced from the year before, he says. "But we try to maintain a minimum of three to four months' of inventory."

The filled, brite cans are unloaded automatically from pallets by one of three Whallon depalletizers. Staging loads on their infeeds while uploading a third, the machines use a magnetic head to deposit cans onto a conveying bed that singulates them for labeling by either a Mateer-Burt Model 408 Mark 5 or Model 704 roll-through labeler that apply the full-wrap paper labels. They pass the second Peco detection unit and are oriented onto their sides by a twistrail before entering the labeler. After labeling, the cans are inspected by a built-in detection unit.

Cans next are uprighted by another twistrail before eventually single-filing to a Kisters Kayat tray packer that loads them into trays or on corrugated pads in counts of six, 12 or 24. Kisters Kayat TP50 and TP60 machines, both equipped with 801 shrink tunnels, handle the majority of packages. The larger #10 cans are usually case-packed in full corrugated shippers by a case packer no longer available. Gaylord Container provides the shippers.

The cans may be grouped in various formations as lugged side chains merge them into such configurations as 6x4 in the case of a 24-pack. Finished trays, pads or cases of cans are then ink-jet-coded by a Domino Solo or Codebox case coder and are then shrink-wrapped inline on Kisters Kayat combination wrapper/shrink tunnel machines. The completed packs then feed to one of two palletizers from HK Systems. Loads can contain as many as 2,226 cans. Musco can provide customers with display-ready modules of the different products, in which the cases of jars and cans can be inter-mixed when palletized and made into end-aisle merchandisers at stores.

Filled pallets are stretch-wrapped on either the WORT-200 from Wulftec or the MA-66 from Orion. The loads are identified by a license plate/bar-coded label printed using Highjump software and applied by hand. They're then warehoused three and four loads high.

"The flexiblity we've built into our operation will effectively take us into the future," Ebright says. To that effect, the plant may begin updating its empty can handling and storage capabilities. With such a progressive operation that's continuously growing and improving, Musco indeed will put an olive on the tip of many a finger.

More information is available:

Graphics: Tesser, Inc., 800/310-4400. Circle No. 201.

Graphics: Landor Associates, 212/614-4044. Circle No. 202.

Cans: Crown Cork & Seal Co., Inc., 215/698-5100. Circle No. 203.

Cans: Silgan Containers Corp., 818/ 348-3700. Circle No. 204.

Jars: BSN Glasspack Espana, 34 95 445 66 99. Circle No. 205.

Jar labels: Etiquetas & Impresos, 34 95 468 0762. Circle No. 206.

Closures: VEM Group, 34 93 363 2500. Circle No. 207.

Can labels: Fort Dearborn Lithograph Co., 773/774-4321. Circle No. 208.

Z&B fillers: Imdec, Inc., 530/661-9091. Circle No. 209.

Filling: Zanichelli meccanica (Zacmi USA), 408/433-0100. Circle No. 210.

Seaming: Angelus Sanitary Can Machine Co., 323/583-2171. Circle No. 211.

Retorting: FMC FoodTech, 312/861-6000. Circle No. 212.

Conveying, cable transport, brining: OHI Co., 209/466-8921. Circle No. 213.

Conveying: Intralox, Inc., 800/5354-8848. Circle No. 214.

Coding: Marconi Data Systems, Inc., 800/654-4663. Circle No. 215.

Coding: Domino Amjet, Inc., 800/444-4512. Circle No. 216.

Elevating: Fleetwood, Inc., a Barry-Wehmiller co., 630/759-6800. Circle No. 217.

Elevating: Millard Mfg. Corp., 402/331-8010. Circle No. 218.

Labeling: Mateer-Burt, 610/321-1100. Circle No. 219.

Dud detection: Peco Controls Corp., 800-732-6285. Circle No. 220.

Case packing, shrink wrapping: Kisters Kayat, 386/424-0101. Circle No. 221.

Trays, cases, pads: Gaylord Container Corp., 847-405-5500. Circle No. 222.

Case palletizing, conveying: HK Systems, 606/334-3027. Circle No. 223.

License plate labeling software, printing: Highjump Software, 952/947-4088. Circle No. 224.

Pallet wrapping: Wulftec Intl., 819/838-4232. Circle No. 225.

Pallet wrapping: Orion Packaging Systems, Inc., 901/888-4170. Circle No. 226.

Palletizing, depalletizing: Whallon Machinery, Inc., 219/643-9561. Circle No. 227.

PLCs: Allen-Bradley Co., 440/646-5000.

Wild 3D packaging for CD

CD and DVD packaging are one of the most fertile segments out there as far as inspired visuals that challenge conventions. That said, sometimes it can be hard to find something that really stands out within the category – when there are so many really unique designs, the cleverness sort of becomes a blur. 

But I recently came across this compelling package by Korean artist Kwon Ji-Yong – better known by his stage name G-Dragon – the leader of the Korean musical group Big Bang. He recently came out with his first solo effort, “Heartbreaker.” 

While the design is maybe a tad melodramatic and over-the-top in places, the overall effect is quite interesting. And overall, it’s a visual feast. The packaging has the flavor of a fine art object – a sculpture that opens into a painting, and then another, and another. Moreover, the piece seems to have a real interactivity, a feeling of discovery as the user explores it.

No it’s not the kind aesthetic one might consider for, say, a new fruit beverage or a children’s toy. But there is value in its inspiration, and it shows what can be done if one dares to push things a little bit. 

(I didn’t shoot this video, and I’m not sure what the "competition" is that he refers to at the end. Can anyone shed some light on that?)

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