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Articles from 2014 In February

New educational Learning Labs at SouthPack

New educational Learning Labs at SouthPack

UBM Canon announces a new series of educational Learning Labs designed to provide high level content for industry professionals. These educational sessions will be held in conjunction with the following shows: AeroCon, ATX: Automation Technology Expo South, Design & Manufacturing South, PlastecSouth and SouthPack Expos taking place April 15-16th, 2014 at the Charlotte Convention Center. The Learning Labs will help attendees get up to speed with the latest critical concepts and enabling technologies in design, manufacturing, engineering and automation and packaging.

The first ever Charlotte Learning Labs will break away from the traditional, all-day classroom mentality by providing two hour concise and interactive sessions which will allow for more focused peer-to-peer learning, sharing of ideas and innovation showcases.

Attendees will be able to craft their own unique schedule for the Learning Labs over the two event days. Each session will be led by industry authorities who will expound upon technical breakthroughs, practical case studies and new technologies to deliver solutions for current challenges.

Attendees can choose the Labs that best fit their specific learning requirements:
1. 3D printing capabilities
Investigate demand based manufacturing, functional prototyping and new materials that will change the future of product development.
2. Improved packaging design to meet new end-user needs
Walk away with better ways to develop and address store visual identity during packaging design in a session that highlights recent consumer trends and their impact on purchase behavior and packaging.
3. Innovations in robotic technology
Implement new solutions to integrate robotics on to the factory floor in case-study demonstrations from industry leaders.
4. New packaging materials & sustainability strategies
Identify alternative materials you can incorporate into your packaging and investigate how packaging companies are balancing sustainability and profitability on a commercial level.
5. New technologies to modernize the factory floor
Explore how new and automated technologies can positively impact the life cycle stages of modern machines and improve the performance, operating efficiency, time to market and maintainability of production lines.
6. Smart & interactive packaging technologies

Assess how packaging design teams can respond to market changes, use technology for client engagement and facilitate a connection with the customer through packaging on a technological level.
Visit any of the show websites to learn which of the Charlotte Learning Labs are right for you: AeroCon, ATX: Automation Technology Expo South, Design & Manufacturing South, PlastecSouth and SouthPack.

You can also download the Charlotte Learning Labs brochure to see full program and speaking roster.

Learning Labs are designed to meet every budget and schedule. Book just one Learning Lab for $299, a one day pass for $499, or an All Access Pass, to come and go as you please, for only $799! Spaces are limited, so early booking is essential to guarantee a place. Please note that prices go up on March 21! For more information or to register, please call 310-445-8535.

P&G’s novel flexible container

P&G’s novel flexible container

Procter & Gamble Co., Cincinnati, has a patent filing published this month related to a new kind of flexible packaging. The claims include that this new flexpack design is less expensive to make, can use less material and can be easier to decorate when compared with conventional rigid containers.

So far, so familiar as far as flexible packaging goes.


However, designed for fluent—flowable—products, this pouch design is, notably, configured with novel support structures that do not require the use of the thick solid walls used in conventional rigid containers. Furthermore, the patent’s reference of a "structural support volume" refers to a fillable space made from one or more flexible materials.


As a result of the ingenuity of this supportively structural design aspect, the patent is also remarkable in that these flexible containers can be more readily and carefully dispensed because the pouch sides can be more easily and controllably squeezed by human hands.

The concept accepts numerous types of closures, from a flip-top cap to a pump-spray dispenser. It can be made in reusable or disposable formats.


The filing is accompanied by approximately 50 figures representing various plays on the same, patented theme, and visually demonstrates the wide-ranging utility of the patent.

The patent can be viewed at Fresh Patents.




New logo reassures buyers of licensed RFID products

New logo reassures buyers of licensed RFID products
RFID Consortium licensed product logo

Radio-frequency identification (RFID), often used in packaging supply chains for automatic identification and data capture at the case and pallet load level, continues to evolve, with new technologies introduced on a regular basis.

The RFID Consortium has created a new logo that identifies UHF RFID products manufactured and sold under a license for essential patents through the RFID Consortium, an organization that promotes rapid adoption of UHF RFID technology.

"This new RFID Consortium logo will be used to identify UHF RFID products provided by companies licensed through the RFID Consortium," says Jim O'Hagan, a spokesperson for the RFID Consortium and director of patents and technology for Zebra Technologies. "Displaying this logo on products or supporting documentation will make it easy for end users, distributors, systems integrators, and vendors to know that products they purchase are licensed through the RFID Consortium."

The logo consists of two sets of opposing concentric curves using three colors: red, grey and black.

The concentric curves suggest the radio signal transmission and backscattered response signal used in radio frequency identification. Where color printing is not possible the logo will be used in black on white versions and reversed in white on black. Purchasers of UHF RFID products should look for the logo on products, packaging and accompanying documentation. The logo may be used by all UHF RFID Consortium licensees and should provide purchasers with peace of mind about their UHF RFID systems. "While use of the logo on UHF RFID products is only just beginning," says O'Hagan, "we expect wide adoption of this logo in the coming years."

The RFID Consortium offers a single license to those patents owned by the participating companies that are essential to the practice of the UHF RFID standards established by EPCglobal and ISO. Sisvel US Inc. is the administrator of the licensing program. RFID Consortium members include: 3M; ETRI; LG Electronics; Mojix Inc., Motorola Solutions; Trimble Navigation Limited, ThingMagic Div.; Unitech Electronics Co. Ltd.; and Zebra Technologies. These companies are able to display and use the logo in connection with their UHF RFID products.

A license to the RFID Consortium patent portfolio is available to any manufacturer or seller of UHF RFID products, and participation in the RFID Consortium UHF RFID licensing program remains open to all holders of patents essential to the UHF RFID standards.

Source: Sisvel

Coca-Cola lightweights glass contour bottle to less than 200g

Coca-Cola lightweights glass contour bottle to less than 200g
Coca-Cola's 190g lightweight glass bottle for 330ml size

Coca-Cola now has a glass contour bottle for its 330ml size that weighs just 190g, thanks to a partnership with glass container manufacturer Ardagh. Incremental improvements in design—in combination with targeted changes in the glass forming process—have resulted in being able to reduce the weight of the beverage leader's previous 240g bottle.

During each stage of improvement, Coca-Cola has retained the contour bottle's trademark dimensions, and maintained quality and strength while improving environmental performance.

The lightweighting project also involves 330ml Sprite and Fanta bottles, in addition to the smaller sized 200ml Coca Cola bottle, which is sometimes referred to as the "mixer" bottle. The 200ml container has been lightweighted in three stages during the same timeframe, from 170g in 2002 to its current weight of 140g.

In a press release, Carsten Berkau, design manager for Glass Europe at Ardagh Group, says, "Lightweighting is an ongoing process through well-established design and manufacturing techniques. Our task is keep the brand shape, whilst determining the stress points and the optimum weight of a glass bottle. State of the art technology ensures that when we are challenged, we can respond with even greater precision."

Product of the Day: Reusable aluminum pallets

Product of the Day: Reusable aluminum pallets
Eco Pact aluminum pallets with Bluetooth tracking

Reusable aluminum pallets are equipped with an affordable Bluetooth asset tracking system designed to work with iPhones and iPods. The Eco Tracking system uses WiFi or cellular networks to find and report on pallets in the area. The technology needs no line of sight, so you could inventory an entire warehouse just by walking through it. As seen at WestPack 2014 in booth #5082 (demos available through Thurs., Feb. 13), a $499 "show special" Starter Kit includes:

4 Standard tags;

1 Pro tag;

2 user accounts; and

1 free month of service.

The lightweight Eco Aluminum Pallet weighs about 40 lbs; lasts at least 10 years; holds up to 50,000 lbs (static) and 14,000 lbs (dynamic); is made with 75 percent recycled material; and is 100 percent recyclable. The pallets are not welded, so they can be repaired, if needed.

Eco Pact, 480-779-4818

New Colgate Optic White carton shines on shelf

New Colgate Optic White carton shines on shelf
Colgate Optic White carton

Colgate Optic White combines a toothbrush with a whitening stick, and showcases the two-in-one dental solution in a PET carton.

Used separately but during the same morning or night teeth-cleaning and whitening routine, Colgate Optic White lets brushers store the whitening stick inside the toothbrush handle, keeping it conveniently at hand without taking up extra space in the bathroom.

Initially launched February 2014 in CVS stores, the new product is also available in Walmart and other retail outlets.

Provided by HLP Klearfold (and seen at WestPack 2014 in booth #5146), the PET carton features proprietary radio frequency creasing technology during manufacturing that facilitates mechanical carton setup and automated loading on the packaging line. In this case, Colgate is using a Bergami cartoner.

Centrexpo/Ipack-Ima group combines, upgrades its exhibitions

Centrexpo/Ipack-Ima group combines, upgrades its exhibitions
Ipack-Ima 2015 logo

Ipack-Ima 2015 logoThe Centrexpo/Ipack-Ima group combines and upgrades its international exhibitions with five shows set to be staged together as single event in 2015 at Fieramilano: IPACK-IMA, Fruitech, Intralogistica Italia, Converflex and Grafitalia and staged alongside the world expo.

The largest, most comprehensive product and service display in the processing, packaging, logistics, converting and printing industries will be showcased from May 19 to 23, 2015. In particular, IPACK-IMA will be flanked by specific complementary events for the food industry including Fruitech, an independent exhibition featuring Grain Based Food technology and the new Dairytech area.

The news was shared with members of the press including Packaging Digest on November 5 during the Process Expo in Chicago.

The main theme of the 2015 edition of IPACK-IMA is "Sustainable packaging for development," in conjunction with "Feed the Planet. Energy for life" - the theme chosen for the EXPO, the universal exposition held in Milan from May to October 2015. As Maria Grazia Facchinetti, marketing & communication manager points out, it has been 100 years since Italy has hosted a world expo. The last one was in 2010 in Shanghai, China.

A precise, strategic choice

"What we have made is a precise strategic choice," states Guido Corbella, recently ratified as CEO of the Centrexpo/Ipack-Ima Group under Felice Rossini's chairmanship. "Every three years events are constructed that are capable of best serving the different [market segment professionals] attending our exhibitions. We plan to increasingly focus on our business communities, which grow to become full-fledged, specialized exhibitions as in the case of Fruitech. There are increasingly frequent connections and synergies across different industry sectors: Process automation, safety and traceability are elements shared by virtually all supply chains. Being able to compare vertical solutions in each area together with the technological advances in related industries is an extraordinary opportunity which today only our group can offer."

The meeting with the press also provided the chance to place the global activities of the Centrexpo/Ipack-Ima Group in the larger picture, including the company's intensive monitoring of business opportunities on emerging markets.

"We are working to become our exhibitors' partners on their markets of interest," Corbella says.

Today the group is present on the world's most important marketplaces: the Chinese and Indian markets are managed by the group's own representative offices as well as through agreements with key partners, resulting in more market opportunities for exhibiting companies.

In Russia, Centrexpo organizes and manages the participation of Italian companies in Upakovka-Upak Italia, an event of great resonance staged in cooperation with Messe Dusseldorf. 

East Afripack in Kenya

In Africa, Ipack-Ima will debut next year with a large-scale project: East Afripack in Nairobi, Kenya, featuring high-level partnerships including the East African Community, the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development-Government of Kenya and UNIDO. It will be held September 9 to 12, 2014, and will be dedicated to Processing, Packaging and Converting technology in the EAC area (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda), a region with a population of 230 million.

In other recent related news, Marco Pedroni, president of COOP Italia, the largest retail chain in Italy, was appointed chairman of IPACK-IMA 2015. His chairmanship has strong implications emphasizing IPACK-IMA's synergy with the simultaneous EXPO 2015. COOP Italia is in fact partner of the EXPO in the thematic exhibition hall called "Supermarket for the Future".

Key resources:

[email protected],
[email protected] ,


Blog: No longer powerless against pouch waste

Blog: No longer powerless against pouch waste
Tom Szaky

Tom Szaky

Last year, I penned a blog for this site, discussing the "Problem with the popularity of pouches", citing the excellent packaging qualities of pouches, but expressing concern about the inability of most to be recycled through traditional means. I am glad to provide an update of sorts to this story by way of an exciting milestone my company recently reached.

In 2007, TerraCycle launched a pilot recycling program with popular kid's beverages companies Honest Tea and Capri Sun to collect children's drink pouches, hoping to reduce the landfill waste caused by the number of those convenient, durable pouches that are commonly found within lunch boxes and on the sidelines of the soccer fields nationwide. Six years later, not only is it TerraCycle's longest running Brigade within TerraCycle, but it is also the most successful to date. It appears that the appetite to recycle pouches is no fleeting fad. 

In the span of six years, TerraCycle and Capri Sun, with vital support and participation from our Drink Pouch Participants, have saved over 200 million pouches from the landfill-centric fate of their ancestors. In addition, a total of $4 million dollars in donations was awarded to schools and charities alike in reward for collection. 

To celebrate the effort of participation and the support of our partner Capri Sun and the huge effort of Brigade collections, we've created a new reward program that expands the prizes given for community and individual efforts. Apart from monetary incentive TerraCycle already awards a Brigade, the new tiered reward program would further incentivize a TerraCycle participant according to the amount of drink pouches collected. 

In the consumer good world, pouches began as vessels solely intended for beverages. Their durability, flexibility, and ability to travel well proved appealing to other consumer markets, from baby food and nuts to even pet foods and cleaning supplies. TerraCycle reacted to this popularity by expanding its partnerships from Capri Sun and Honest Kids drink pouches to Mars Drinks Fresh Packs, Ella's Kitchen food pouches, Method Cleaner Refill packs, and Clif Family Winery wine pouches. 

While the packaging scientist and consumer sides of me can easily see why these pouches are popular, it's exactly this durability and popularity that makes the pouches an environmentalist's nightmare. That's why it makes me so proud to announce this exciting achievement, not because it is good for my business, but because it helps to reaffirm my belief that consumer do want more recycling options.

Furthermore, that with a small incentive and an understanding of the importance of their actions, consumers will go the extra mile to protect our planet, if they are only given the chance.

As long as the pouch remains an affordable, effective packaging format, we've got to be equally effective in developing and maintaining recycling systems. We can take the time to pat ourselves on the back for what we've accomplished thus far, but we, as producers and consumers, can't forget that growing the circular economy needs constant collaboration and innovation. 

Tom Szaky, founder/CEO of TerraCycle, has won more than 50 awards for entrepreneurship, also writes blogs for Treehugger and The New York Times, recently published a book called "Revolution in a Bottle" and is the star of a National Geographic Channel special, "Garbage Moguls."


Ultra-high barrier packaging material

Ultra-high barrier packaging material
Plantic eco Plastic R

Plantic eco Plastic R
Plantic Technologies Ltd, an international supplier of performance biopolymers, introduces Plantic eco Plastic R the first ultra-high barrier packaging material that is both renewable and recyclable.

Building on the success of Plantic eco Plastic, this new material format combines PET and Plantic's proprietary film technology to provide a packaging material with ultra-high gas barrier properties made from up to 60 percent renewable materials. This ground-breaking innovation has an oxygen transmission rate so low it is virtually undetectable. Remarkable barrier effectiveness like this makes down-gauging a real option for every application.

Plantic eco PlasticR has been proven to extend the shelf life and product freshness of meat, poultry, and fish from one to three days depending on the product. 

"Plantic eco Plastic R, unlike other barrier packaging formats, can be fully recycled with the PET recovered in the traditional recycling streams. The renewable barrier material dissolves and biodegrades in the process," says Brendan Morris, Plantic Technologies CEO. "The combination of ultra-high barrier performance and renewable materials is truly unique in the packaging sector and brings together the best of both bioplastics and traditional materials."

Plantic eco Plastic R is available in a number of formats from premade rigid trays to rigid and flexible thermoform roll stock. The material runs on industry standard thermoforming, vacuum forming, and form-fill-seal systems under specified processing conditions. Trays and roll stock require no investment in new processing or packaging technology, and can be directly substituted for a range of traditional plastics used in modified atmosphere and ultra high-barrier packaging. The rigid trays and roll stock are offered in transparent form—unmatched in clarity—as well as a variety of colors and even multi-color formats.

The environmental impacts of using renewable and recyclable Plantic eco Plastic R, compared to traditional barrier plastics are compelling, with every 1,000 tonnes (MT) of eco Plastic saving:

Energy Savings: 5.4 million Kwh of energy or the equivalent energy needed to power 850 homes per year, and

CO2 Savings:
2,700 MT of CO2 the equivalent to planting 300,000 trees or removing 700 cars from the roads 

Landfill Savings: When recycled Plantic eco Plastic R saves 11,000 cubic meters of landfill the equivalent to 4.3 Olympic swimming pools each year

Source: Plantic Technologies 


Ardagh food can for Bonduelle highlights metal packaging innovations

Ardagh food can for Bonduelle highlights metal packaging innovations
Cans of the Year

Cans of the Year

A can that could potentially save the food canning industry thousands of tons of steel each year has won the Can of the Year Award for 2013.

Developed by Ardagh Group in collaboration with France-based vegetable canner Bonduelle, the can has walls so thin that nitrogen injection is necessary to maintain its rigidity during transit and retailing.

The award was presented as part of "The Canmaker magazine Cans of the Year Awards" at a Gala Dinner held during The Canmaker Summit in Edinburgh on 7 November. The international awards are presented annually in 12 categories.

"We join Bonduelle in congratulating all the people who have been involved in the breakthrough Nemo project, a milestone for innovative metal packaging," says Tim Clarke, commercial director for food at Ardagh Metal Europe, after accepting the award with market intelligence director Mark Smyth from Allan Sayers, publisher of The Canmaker. "They thoroughly deserve the recognition that these awards have brought through excellent teamwork, perseverance, attention to detail and a close eye on consumer needs. With cost and sustainability so high on the corporate agenda the Nemo can addresses the needs of tomorrow, today."

Commenting on the award-winning can, Mónica Higuera, editor of The Canmaker, says: "The effort by Ardagh and Bonduelle to enhance the sustainability of metal food packaging is to be applauded."

Called Nemo, the food can is the result of an advance in both two-piece D&I manufacturing technology and in can processing, says Luxembourg-based Ardagh. With the can's sidewalls thinned by 43 percent to 80 microns, a 15 percent weight reduction to 41g has been made.

A further benefit to the consumer, as identified by company research, is the sense of freshness that comes on opening the can, created by the "psshht"sound of the pressure release.

"The introduction of nitrogen dosing in a consistent and controlled way, and how best to accommodate the increased internal pressure upon the can bottom and end also presented a design challenge to the Ardagh team," said the canmaker. "The redesigned and re-engineered can is able to withstand pressures of up to 4.5 bar."
First application of the new packaging was for Bonduelle's Winter Vegetable range retailed in Germany, to be followed by the gradual rollout on other products in its canned vegetable range. The cans are currently being made at Ardagh's D&I production plant in Deventer in The Netherlands, and filled at Bonduelle's canning plant at Vaulx Vraucourt in northern France.

Bonduelle's commercial and marketing chief Agnes Dion said at the launch of the Nemo can earlier this year: "Through close cooperation with Ardagh, we are delighted to continue Bonduelle's track record of being first to market with new product innovations. This new concept contains so many benefits for the consumer, and is a true success story for sustainable metal packaging."

The Ardagh Nemo food can won the Gold Award in the Two-Piece Food can category and also the Gold Award in the Sustainability category.


Can of the Year 2013 Winner: Ardagh Group, The Netherlands
Lightweight D&I steel Nemo can for Bonduelle's Winter Vegetable range

Gold: CCL Container, USA
Impact-extruded aluminum can for AXE Chilled shaving gel for Unilever

Beverage Three-Piece
Gold: Metalgráfica Renner, Brazil
Welded tinplate barrel for Don Affonso wine from Vinícola Don Affonso

Beverage Two-Piece
Gold: Ball Corporation, USA
D&I aluminum can with double vented end for Coors Light beer from Coors Brewing Co.

Gold: Rexam, Czech Republic
D&I aluminum Fusion bottle for PepsiCo.

Decoration & Print Quality
Gold: Virojanglor, France
Fancy tinplate gift box for Ballantine's Aged 12 Years Scotch whisky from Pernod Ricard

Ends, Caps & Closures
Gold: Packaging Products del Peru, Peru
Low gauge 0.15mm steel crown cap for beer and carbonated soft drinks from AJE-Peru

Fancy Cans
Gold: Virojanglor, France
Secondary container with twist lid & insulation for Moët & Chandon Champagne from MHCS

Food Three-Piece
Gold: Boixadós Envasos Metàl.lics, Spain
Tinplate hopper with plastics closure for Piazza D'Oro coffee beans from D E Master Blenders

Food Two-Piece
Gold: Ardagh Group, The Netherlands
Lightweight D&I steel Nemo can for Bonduelle's Winter Vegetable range

General Line
Gold: Litografia Valença, Brazil
18-litre tinplate pail with textured print for Suvinil Texturatto Premium Liso paint from BASF

Gold: Tubex, Germany
Photorealistic printed impact-extruded aluminum aerosol can

Gold: Ardagh Group, The Netherlands
Lightweight D&I steel Nemo can for Bonduelle's Winter Vegetable range

Canmaker Summit Delegates' Choice
Metal Container Corporation, USA: D&I aluminum ‘Bowtie' shaped can for Budweiser beer for Anheuser-Busch.
For the full list of Gold, Silver and Bronze winners go to


For more on the Bonduelle can, see Smooth can is also lighter weight published June 1 and
Global produce leader brings new packaging operation in-house, published Nov. 14.