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Sealed edge dunnage

Sealed edge dunnage
Sealed Edge Divider

Sealed Edge Divider

ORBIS Corp., an international manufacturer of sustainable reusable packaging and an expert in supply chain optimization, introduces a new sealed edge technology that creates a more efficient alternative to using a stitched top edge or folded over design on the edges of plastic corrugated sheets used for divider sets that hold automotive parts. The process creates a less sharp, rounded edge-ultimately promoting better safety for both worker and product.

"The safety, comfort and efficiency of workers is an important concern in today's fast-paced automotive assembly operations," says Adam Glorioso, ORBIS product manager. "We [ORBIS] take this concern seriously and recognize that ergonomic packaging can drive many of these benefits.

ORBIS sealed edge dunnage is custom designed and constructed, with a focus on durability and the assurance that it will continue to drive efficiency in assembly manufacturing environments. Additional benefits include:

• Creates a smooth, rounded edge for better ergomonics.
• Available on 3.5mm - 6mm sheets.
• Seals across or along the flutes.
• Ideal for StakPak, BulkPa and Maximus container divider sets

The long term implementation of ORBIS sealed edge dunnage will improve inventory control by maintaining consistent quantities in each container. Adding ORBIS sealed edge to dunnage will optimize lineside efficiency by facilitating safer and more dependable removal and handling of parts.

ORBIS Corp., 262-560-5364


Almost half of U.S. households have access to carton recycling

Almost half of U.S. households have access to carton recycling
Carton recycling

Carton recyclingTwo thousand and thirteen marked a year of significant expansion of carton recycling. Thanks to collaborative industry efforts and support from communities nationwide, 48 percent of U.S. households now have access to carton recycling. Meeting the Carton Council of North America's goals for 2013, access increased by 16.4 percent and expanded from 43 to 45 U.S. states. 

The Carton Council, a group of carton manufacturers united to deliver long-term collaborative solutions in order to divert valuable cartons from the landfill, credits this exceptional growth to voluntary private and public collaboration that includes industry companies and organizations, recycling facilities and local governments. Since 2009, the Carton Council has focused efforts on building infrastructure and improving access to carton recycling nationwide. At that time, just 18 percent of U.S. households had access to carton recycling. Currently, 56.1 million U.S. households have access to recycle cartons. 

"We are proud of the progress made in 2013," says Jason Pelz, vp, environment, Tetra Pak North America, and vp of recycling projects for the Carton Council of North America. "Carton recycling access has increased 160 percent in just four years. School-aged children are learning about the importance of recycling their milk and juice cartons as part of their larger contribution to the environment, and are then taking these lessons home to their parents. Citizens, who are buying more food and drinks in cartons than ever before, now have more ways to recycle these containers. Communities are treating cartons as ‘must recycle' items. All of these are examples of the huge strides made, working together in a collaborative way." 

A number of large-sized communities added carton recycling in 2013, including Tampa, FL.; Memphis, TN; and Columbus, OH. In total, 7.9 million households gained access in 2013. As more communities have expanded their recycling programs to include cartons, the Carton Council has also launched a series of comprehensive public education campaigns to get the word out to local residents. The campaigns have included direct mail, television public service announcements, advertisements in local newspapers, and community event outreach, along with online digital ads and social media activities.

2013 Carton Campaign Communities where CCNA ran education campaigns. (The list of communities added is much longer.)
Columbia, S.C.
Columbus, Ohio
Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas
Des Moines, Iowa
Lansing, Mich.
Memphis, Tenn.
Tampa, Fla.
Twin Cities, Minn.

"We expect access to continue to expand in 2014 as more recycling and waste management industry professionals, as well as local governments, recognize the value of cartons and the ease by which they can be added to their community's recycling program." Pelz says. "We also want to make more Americans aware that cartons are recyclable and will continue our efforts on broadening awareness in 2014."

Additionally, the industry has been taking notice of the strides made to improve access to carton recycling:

• In August, the California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC) awarded the Carton Council with the 2013 Bow and Arrow Award for Coalition Building to recognize efforts in building strong, effective partnerships not only between competitors in carton manufacturing, but also across the entire recycling supply chain with recycling professionals, sorting facilities and paper mills. 

• The Carton Council was also recognized by the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) in November with its 2013 Outstanding Recycling Partnership Award. 

Made mainly from paper, a renewable resource, lightweight and compact in design and with a low carbon footprint, cartons have proven to be a sustainable packaging solution that is growing in use for a variety of liquid and food products. Including cartons as an accepted material in every curbside recycling program offers a better, more cost-efficient option than other proposed recovery solutions.

The Carton Council currently has a campaign designed to help counties and municipalities, as well as recyclers, bring carton recycling to their residents. For more information, visit

Source: The Carton Council


Lightweight PET bottles

Lightweight PET bottles
Lightweight PET bottles

Lightweight PET bottles

The RightWeight bottle weighs only 7.95 g and offers top-load performance of 33 kg without nitrogen dosing, using standard 26/22 caps. The increased resistance of the bottle helps eliminate over-squeezing issues often experienced by end consumers with ultra-light bottles, resulting in spilled contents. Increased resistance also allows consumers to unscrew caps and open the bottle more easily. Additionally, the bottle can be adapted easily to existing production lines with standard cap formats, and design elements can be adapted for existing or new commercial bottle designs as needed.

Sidel, 678-221-3095


Aluminum industry continues to see sustainability gains

Aluminum industry continues to see sustainability gains
The Aluminum Association

The Aluminum Association

Energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions associated with primary aluminum production in the United States and Canada have declined significantly in recent years according to a new, peer-reviewed life-cycle assessment (LCA) report released by the Aluminum Association. The study covers all life cycle impacts from aluminum production through semi-fabrication and finds major improvements, particularly in terms of more sustainable production.

According to the report, the energy needed to produce a single metric ton of primary (new) aluminum has declined 11 percent since 2005 and 26 percent since 1995. The industry's carbon footprint has fallen even more dramatically, declining 19 percent since 2005 and 37 percent since 1995. A voluntary effort undertaken by the industry in the early 1990s with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reduced emissions of perfluorocarbons (PFC), a greenhouse gas, by nearly 85 percent.

"The industry is proud of the strides it has made in recent years to produce aluminum sustainably and this new data underscores the results of our efforts," says Layle "Kip" Smith, president/CEO of Noranda and Chairman of the Aluminum Association. "Infinitely recyclable, light-weight and strong, aluminum is not only a metal with countless applications but also the green material of choice in many markets."

The new findings are based on a multi-year LCA study examining the environmental impact of modern aluminum production. The study reviewed the 2010 production year and incorporates data from 25 companies, representing 95 percent of primary metal production and the majority of the industry in the U.S. and Canada. The report includes data on every aspect of primary and secondary aluminum production as well as semi-fabrication and will be a critical tool for researchers exploring the environmental impact of aluminum and other materials. A third-party expert on life-cycle assessment reviewed the report to ensure conformance with International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards.

Technological advances in the aluminum production process are the primary drivers of the environmental improvements realized by the industry. These advances include:

The increased use of computerized process controls to lower electric power usage needed to produce primary aluminum;
The gradual phase-out of older facilities relying on more energy-intensive production processes;
The expanded use of renewable hydroelectric power sources for aluminum production, which has risen from 63 percent in 1995 to 75 percent today.

"It's encouraging to see how aluminum producers continue to innovate to make aluminum even more sustainable," says Heidi Brock, president/CEO of the Aluminum Association. "We can also achieve significant environmental gains by substituting aluminum in more products and by increasing end-of-life recycling."

Aluminum can improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles through light-weighting, increase energy efficiency in buildings and limit the carbon footprint of consumer goods like beverage containers. Additionally, producing recycled aluminum reduces energy demand by 92 percent as compared to primary aluminum. This means that a 10 percent increase in end-of-life recycling rates decreases energy demand and the carbon footprint of aluminum products by 15 percent. The industry works through the Aluminum Association to increase recycling rates through education and advocacy efforts.

To learn more and read the complete report, please visit

Source: The Aluminum Association


Product of the Day: Hybrid “casing” method for larger bottles

Product of the Day: Hybrid “casing” method for larger bottles

Hexacomb Corp., a manufacturer of paper-based protective packaging and graphic display boards, has engineered an improved “casing” method for transporting larger-sized liquid bottles.  Initial customer feedback indicates an up to 75 percent cost reduction and/or improved load containment when compared to traditional secondary packaging methods.

To support growth in the bulk store retail channel, food and beverage processors are filling an increased number of larger-sized bottles for juice, sauce, vegetable oil, household cleaning products and other applications. Two common secondary packaging methods are corrugated cases with partitions or a combination corrugated tray/oriented strand board/shrink wrap approach. These traditional methods offer opportunity for an improved approach.

The new HexStack packaging system features a single layer of Hexacomb honeycomb material that is custom-die cut to accommodate the specific bottle neck.  The pad is laid on top of a layer of bottles, with the closures and necks inserted into the die cuts.  The die-cut orifice surrounds the bottle neck and rests on the shoulder, thereby immobilizing the container.  A secondary process can also punch die-cut a shallower, wider circular channel under the hole to accommodate an optional carrying handle ring.

For those bottle designs with a concave base, the slightly protruding closure above the die-cut orifice can nest into the base of the container above it, further stabilizing the load. The final step in the pallet load unitizing process is shrink wrapping. Using this method, larger liquid bottles typically can be stacked three layers high for transport and retail display.

In addition to providing secondary packaging costs savings, the HexStack system also helps minimize product damage during transport.  The immobilized containers are less prone to shock and vibration damage experienced by some loads during transport.  This also means that the load arrives at the bulk store in an attractive, unitized, retail-ready appearance, where visual impact can determine whether or not a purchasing decision is made.

At the retail location, HexStack can provide significantly more product to be merchandised in the same amount of space.  For example, the HexStack system can usually support a three-layer high pallet load, while some other methods are only double stacked.

Hexacomb HexStack pads are made primarily from renewable wood fibers which have been engineered into a proprietary honeycomb configuration.  The material fabricates easily to address custom requirements and is ideal for pallet loads requiring both strength and lightweight attributes.

HexStack pads contain recycled content which helps support brand owner environmental initiatives and are recyclable in corrugated recycling streams available in local communities.

About Hexacomb Corporation

Hexacomb, a PCA company, is a leading supplier of paper-based protective packaging and display boards. The company serves markets that value product protection coupled with environmental sustainability. This includes furniture, printing, automotive, textile, food, building products, energy, glass, and industrial. Hexacomb has 14 manufacturing plants located in North America and Europe. For more information about Hexacomb, visit

About Packaging Corporation of America (PCA)

The company, headquartered in Lake Forest, Ill., is the fourth largest producer of containerboard and corrugated packaging products in the United States. PCA operates eight mills and 97 corrugated product plants and related facilities. PCA is the third largest producer of uncoated freesheet paper in North America. Paper products include imaging papers for the office and home, printing and converting papers, and papers used in packaging, such as pressure sensitive papers. For more information about PCA, visit

Hexacomb Corp.


Super Bowl packaging ad prompts LiquiGlide reaction

Super Bowl packaging ad prompts LiquiGlide reaction

Did Heinz spend $4 million to highlight how inefficient and frustrating its packaging can be? LiquiGlide believes it did and leveraged a “super” opportunity with a video response (screen capture shown above)—and updates Packaging Digest on the impending commercial roll-out of its unique, waste-reducing technology.

Besides centering on a shockingly anticlimactic game, the extravaganza that was 2014 Super Bowl prompted the start-up venture to poke some fun at a Heinz ketchup commercial centering on the iconic product’s packaging. The ad showed people struggling with getting the product out, the idea being that the product is thick—a familiar theme that the ketchup maker has used for years.

I recall watching the homey commercial and admit that I did not see it at the time in the same way as the opportunistic LiquiGlide managers did.

As a refresher: Developed by the Varanasi Research Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) labs, LiquiGlide claims to be the first permanently wet slippery surface. For packaging, it is a food-safe coating that can be applied to the interior surface of containers to allow products to slide out to ease frustration and save waste. We reported on it in a Tech Report published one year ago this month (LiquiGlide gives foods the slip to reduce waste). LiquiGlide can be tailored for the container type as well as for the product the customer wants to have slide more easily out of the container.

Here are LiquiGlide president Carsten Boers’ response to Packaging Digest's questions in reaction to its outreach to us.

Why this response to the Heinz Super Bowl ad?

We became famous with our ketchup demonstration – how easy the dispensing is with our coating. So we found the Heinz ad to be very funny: It spent $4,000,000 to advertise how poorly their packaging works (click here to see the Heinz Super Bowl ad) and we have a solution for perfect dispensing. We made our own version of the ad (click here to view) showing what the future will look like.

The Heinz glass bottle is an iconic package and we imagine that it will stay true to its heritage of waiting and tapping forever. However, their squeeze bottle would greatly benefit from our coating. All of us know the experience of getting insufficient ketchup out of the bottle, but it still feels so full that we put it back in the fridge with the hope that magically, next time it will dispense.

With our coating you easily get full portions every time and end up going through each bottle quicker –the consumer is happier and Heinz sells even more ketchup.

We see it in every consumer study when we put coated packaging next to uncoated: consumers hate waste and they love LiquiGlide. Many want to buy the product with our coating on the spot - and they're willing to do it at a significant premium. They love it because it looks fantastic, it’s convenient and they understand immediately that it allows them to get everything they paid for. Now that’s happiness to clap for!

What's going on with LiquiGlide?

We released our first finished coatings to clients in the past months. One client has just completed all testing and is planning the roll-out with us. This first one will be a processing application, so the consumers will not be able to see it directly. We are also just about to release several finished packaging coatings to various clients. They will validate our test results and then we expect several consumer products with our coatings to come to market in 2015 – it takes that long to plan and implement the whole rollout.

We are really excited and proud of how quickly we have achieved commercialization. Usually it takes a new technology 7 to 10 years from the lab to a commercial implementation – with these first coatings it’s taking barely two years. It’s a testament to how exceptional the technology platform is that Professor Varanasi, Dave Smith and the team developed.

Altogether, we are currently working with more than 20 international clients; our development cycle for each coating keeps speeding up. We expect that in 2015 and 2016 dozens of products will have our coatings – from condiments to lotions to toothpastes to paints to glues and more. We are also starting to feel our way into the oil and gas sector, industrial manufacturing and medical devices. It will take a while for some of those applications to come to market, but they will be far reaching.

We've now had more than 3,000 inquiries about our coatings and as we can demonstrate finished coatings now, the speed at which clients are ready to move is greatly increasing. We’re currently negotiating several exclusivity agreements for specific applications and industries.

The first three products with LiquiGlide coatings will probably be toothpaste, mayonnaise and paint, with lotions, conditioners and shampoos following shortly behind.

Sources: LiquiGlide, Packaging Digest


Packaging Patent: An improved, temperature-controlled shipper

Packaging Patent: An improved, temperature-controlled shipper

This recently published patent describes a box system for keeping medicine, healthcare products and other payloads at a desired temperature for prolonged periods of time. The system generally includes three or more insulating materials between a refrigerant and the payload so that the payload is not cold-shocked by the refrigerant, but instead maintains a desired temperature range during shipment.

An advantage of this method is that the system is effective in controlling temperature without the need for any expensive phase-change materials.

An added benefit of using foldable tabs for securing the materials to each other is also disclosed.

Source: Fresh Patents


An event to remember

Discover even more ideas, solutions and connections at WestPack, which is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year.

For more than six decades, the WestPack show has evolved to meet the needs of its audience. Even to this day, it continues to add new features designed to enhance the educational experience of attendees. 

On top of more than 60 hours of Learning Labs, WestPack now offers free educational content on the show floor.

New to the line-up this year, attendees can gain access to theater sessions on the trade show floor for no additional cost. Listen to technology and product briefs from suppliers that showcase the latest solutions and innovations in all new Tech Theaters. This year the expo will have separate theaters for medical and manufacturing presentations.

Or if you are looking to get a behind-the-scenes tour of the latest technology located on the show floor, sign up for one of three Innovation Tours: Go Mobile; Get UDI Ready; and Advances in Robotics. 

Also being rolled out this year is the Center Stage, which will offer the ultimate tradeshow experience. Take a moment to meet real-life masterminds, mingle with industry insiders, see products deconstructed, get tips from hard-core geeks, discover solutions to daily challenges and more!

Packaging Patent: Bottle design optimized to reduce foaming during filling

Packaging Patent: Bottle design optimized to reduce foaming during filling

The invention from Krones AG relates to a plastic bottle in a functionally advantageous design for the  many beverages or filled goods where it would be desirable not to encounter the base of the container directly during the filling. This would prevent excessive foaming of the product during filling.

The invention describes a container geometry wherein the liquid flows off the lateral wall or inner wall of the container. In this case, the filled goods can be still and/or hot-filled beverages.

Notably, a further benefit of the design is the option to thin-wall such a container.

Source: Fresh Patents

Innovation on the show floor

Innovation on the show floor

Attendees to WestPack in Anaheim, CA, Feb. 11-13, 2014, will get the opportunity to experience something entirely new this year – Innovation Tours. Here they will get a behind the scenes tour of the latest technology located directly on the show floor. Field experts will be leading the tours and pointing out the top innovations and industry trends.

The following tours are listed below with a brief description:

1. Go mobile
Hot, new products are mobile, connected, and "consumerized." Traditional medical manufacturers, for example, now face competition from the likes of Google and Qualcomm. Year-over-year funding of mobile start-ups was up 37 percent this year. Get ready for a mobile future with this tour of sensors, vision processing, miniaturized components, long-lasting power sources, software help, and coatings appropriate for devices that get into the hands of users and out on to the streets.
Wednesday, February 12 from 12:15 -1:15 p.m.
Thursday, February 13 from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

2. Get UDI-ready
The FDA now requires device and production identifiers for most medical devices. You may need some help getting it right. We can help. Get an overview of technologies that help with UDI compliance, from in-line printing on a form-fill-seal machine, printing on very small packages or hard-to-print substrates, generating variable production identifiers at high speeds, and handling serialized packages in manual or semiautomatic packaging operations.
Tuesday, February 11 from 11:20 a.m.-12:40 p.m.

3. Advances in robotics
Robots have changed the face of manufacturing. And they keep evolving. On this tour, get insights on the latest innovations and trends in robotics, including robots your team can actually interact with and units suitable for cleanrooms. Get a snapshot of advances in visual processing, accuracy, speed and dexterity.
Tuesday, February 11 from 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 13 from 12:15-1:15 p.m.

To sign up for one of these exciting tours, go to the UBM Canon Lounge and Resource Library at Booth #3395 to check tour availability. There are only 20 spaces available for each tour so make sure to sign up right away to take advantage of this exciting opportunity.