New masterbatch boosts PET bottle production efficiency

New masterbatch boosts PET bottle production efficiency
Adding an additive to PET bottles can help minimize robotic mis-picks.

A new additive masterbatch that aids the mobility of injection stretch blow-molded (ISBM) polyethylene terephthalate bottles allows manufacturers and brand owners to run conveyor belts and production robots without needing a spray coating. The material helps users maintain PET recyclability and adhere to European PET Bottle Platform guidelines.

The capability enables operators to run their systems with no interruptions, and minimizes mis-picks by production robots, increasing productivity and yields. From Sukano, the masterbatch avoids problems with release, scuffing and sticking. It reduces cost and cleaning requirements associated with spray coating buildup on machines, and it avoids the risk of microbiological contamination of bottle surfaces that aqueous coatings can cause. For bottle makers, it can be run on existing ISBM bottle equipment with no modifications needed.

The masterbatch produces a silicone-like mobility-aid effect in PET materials while preserving material clarity with minimal impact on haze. It is suitable for use on clear, translucent and colored bottles used in food, beverage, personal care, household and cosmetic applications. It is compliant with the Food and Drug Administration for use in food-contact applications.

Jenni Spinner

Freelance writer and former Packaging Digest senior editor Jenni Spinner is a trade journalist with more than two decades of experience in the field. While she has covered numerous industries (including construction, engineering, building security, food production and public works), packaging remains her favorite.

********************************************************************************

EastPack 2019 (June 11-13) is the region's premier packaging event connecting professionals from companies like PepsiCo, Pepperidge Farms and Mars with suppliers offering the latest packaging technologies, including a range of automation solutions, from semi-automatic equipment to sophisticated "smart" systems. Register to attend today!

All-in-one case packaging system touts flexibility, top productivity

All-in-one case packaging system touts flexibility, top productivity
The modular Flex E Pack gives operations flexibility in case packing.

The new Flex E Pack all-in-one case packaging system combines an automatic case former and an automatic case sealer to create a single integrated system for operators looking to move beyond semi-automatic machinery with a compact, ergonomic setup.

Jointly created by Wexxar Bel and Matrix, the integrated design of the Flex E Pack reduces labor and increased production of flexible packages, and its modularity increases flexibility.

The Dekka 500 is an entry-level case former incorporating a Dekka SE tape head. It can be upgraded to Wexxar’s Pin & Dome case former. The case-packing station and conveyor (standard with a one-pack station and upgradable to two-pack) ensures a smooth transition between the packing station and case former. Users activate it with an ergonomic foot switch to send the case into the sealer and instruct the former to make a new case for packing.

The BEL 252 case sealer offers safe, reliable and high-quality performance. Features include the manufacturer’s Snap Folder System and Uni-Drive belt motors. Operators can opt for the glue-sealing BEL 270.

Jenni Spinner

Freelance writer and former Packaging Digest senior editor Jenni Spinner is a trade journalist with more than two decades of experience in the field. While she has covered numerous industries (including construction, engineering, building security, food production and public works), packaging remains her favorite.

********************************************************************************

EastPack 2019 (June 11-13) is the region's premier packaging event connecting professionals from companies like PepsiCo, Pepperidge Farms and Mars with suppliers offering the latest packaging technologies, including a range of automation solutions, from semi-automatic equipment to sophisticated "smart" systems. Register to attend today!

Robotics

Robotic tooling enables tailor-made automated packaging systems

Robotic tooling enables tailor-made automated packaging systems
Modular components allows users to customize their end-of-arm tools to fit the task.

A new line of robotic end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) equipment is designed to empower customers to build automated systems to fit their specific applications. The line of 600 components from Piab includes standard products in a variety of sizes and dimensions.

The modular components enable users to build automation tooling systems to fit their specific applications. The items can be used to handle fragile products and materials or produce fine design details. Packaging producers can choose from a full, flexible assortment of EOAT components to quickly put together an automated handling/gripping system configured for a particular packaging or palletizing job.

Jenni Spinner

Freelance writer and former Packaging Digest senior editor Jenni Spinner is a trade journalist with more than two decades of experience in the field. While she has covered numerous industries (including construction, engineering, building security, food production and public works), packaging remains her favorite.

Returnable beverage multipack fits inside reusable crates

Returnable beverage multipack fits inside reusable crates
This beverage multipack is reusable and works with beverage packaging operations.

The new Fillbee returnable four- or six-bottle multipack can fit inside reusable beverage crates—or be stacked by itself. Typically, returnable bottle crates are used either with loose bottles, or with one-way packs. By contrast, the Fillbee from DS Smith fits right into regular returnable crates, which means glass or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles can be placed directly into baskets on an existing filling line for loose bottles. The innovation simplifies the production line and cuts costs.

The shelf-ready packs protects bottles, are user friendly, easy to store and simple to use for carting empty bottles back to the store in closed-loop deposit areas. The pack’s bottom design prevents direct pressure on bottle crowns, enabling users to stack the bottles when full while avoiding CO2 loss.

Large, recyclable in-mold labels (IML) allow for branding at retail, and for barcode application. The packs are reusable, recyclable and can be made with 100% post-consumer waste.

See the product at BrauBeviale (Nov. 13-15; Nuremberg, Germany) in Hall 4A, Booth #207.

Jenni Spinner

Freelance writer and former Packaging Digest senior editor Jenni Spinner is a trade journalist with more than two decades of experience in the field. While she has covered numerous industries (including construction, engineering, building security, food production and public works), packaging remains her favorite.

********************************************************************************

EastPack 2019 (June 11-13) is the region's premier packaging event connecting professionals from companies like PepsiCo, Pepperidge Farms and Mars with suppliers offering the latest packaging technologies, including a range of automation solutions, from semi-automatic equipment to sophisticated "smart" systems. Register to attend today!

Notable changes to ISO medical packaging standards explained

Generic image for story on updated ISO standards.
Information about updates to ISO 11607 and ISO TS 16775 standards covering packaging for terminally sterilized medical devices. Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

Updates to ISO 11607 and ISO TS 16775, standards covering packaging for terminally sterilized medical devices, may help manufacturers comply with EU Medical Device Regulation set to go into effect next year.

With an application date of May 2020, the new EU Medical Device Regulation (MDR) is fast coming down the pike—a daunting prospect for medical device manufacturers. But updates (one published and one still undergoing revisions) to two standards covering packaging for terminally sterilized medical devices could help prepare the industry for compliance with the new European rules.

Speaking at the HealthPack conference in Portland, OR, last month, Thierry Wagner, regulatory affairs director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for DuPont Medical and Pharmaceutical Protection, explained that revisions to ISO 11607-1/2 and ISO TS 16775 were written to harmonize with the General Safety and Performance Requirements (GSPR) contained in the EU MDR.

“Harmonized standards will be the means to demonstrate compliance with these GSPRs,” writes Daphne Allen, executive editor of Packaging Digest sister publication MD+DI.

ISO 11607-1/2: 2019, “Packaging for terminally sterilized medical devices,” was published February 4, and some revisions of the standard stem from the EU MDR GSPR stipulations that a design “allow for easy and safe handling and . . . prevent microbial contamination,” and “that the integrity of that packaging is clearly evident to the final user,” according to Allen’s recap of Wagner’s talk.

A provision in ISO 11607-1:2019, “Packaging for Terminally Sterilized Medical Devices — Part 1: Requirements for Materials, Sterile Barrier Systems, and Packaging Systems,” directs packagers to complete a documented usability evaluation for aseptic presentation in either a real or simulated-use environment. That requirement is in line with the EU MDR directive that medical device manufacturers find ways to improve usability in case of unfavorable post-market surveillance feedback from end users. 

Other notable changes in ISO 11607-1/2:2019 that Wagner, who serves as convenor of ISO TC 198/WG7 “Sterilization of Health Care Products—Packaging,” called out at HealthPack include the following:

• Formal inclusion of risk management.

• A new annex on ways to differentiate a sterile barrier system from protective packaging.

• A new section on visual inspection.

• A section on design changes and validation.

• A revised section on process validation that includes the new concept of a process specification.

• A new annex on environmental aspects according to ISO and CEN guidance.

The EN ISO versions have not yet been published, but Wagner said the EU committee in charge of EN ISO 11607 was set to meet with a consultant last month to work on harmonization with the EU MDR.

Also still under revision is ISO TS 16775, “Packaging for Terminally Sterilized Medical Devices - Guidance on the Application of ISO 11607-1 and ISO 11607-2.” A new effort led by Wagner is seeking to develop a symbol to enable users of sterile packaging to distinguish a sterile barrier system from a protective layer and help packagers comply with the EU MDR Annex I Section 23.3, which requires indication of a sterile barrier. To learn more about the proposed symbol and what else to expect from the ISO TS 16775 revision, check out the story on MD+DI.

Jamie Hartford is content director for Packaging Digest’s parent company, UBM Americas, Advanced Manufacturing Group.

 

Students benefit from hands-on medical packaging design experience

Students benefit from hands-on medical packaging design experience
Clemson University senior packaging science students partnered with Eastman Chemical Co., Tek Pak, and Remington Medical to design packaging for orthopedic devices.

Eastman Chemical joins forces with Clemson University to offer students the opportunity to design packaging for medical products.

Each year, select senior students in Clemson University’s packaging science program put the knowledge they’ve gained over their academic careers to the test in a capstone course. Teams of four or five students work with an industry sponsor on a project that incorporates skills including packaging design, material selection, prototyping and determining specifications.

“All of that training gets used in the capstone course,” Clemson associate professor Robert Kimmel explained to Packaging Digest sister publication MD+DI.

When students said they wanted more of the projects to focus on healthcare packaging, a collaboration between Clemson and materials company Eastman Chemical Co. was born. In fall 2017, a group of students took on the task of working with Eastman to design and prototype rigid packaging for various sizes of hip implants.

That first time around, Eastman provided funding as well as materials and industry expertise, and the company learned a lot.

“…[W]e learned that it would be helpful to have some partners,” Aneta Clark, global market segment manager, Speciality Plastics–Medical Packaging, told another Packaging Digest sister publication PlasticsToday. “It would help students, as well, to see the project through the lens of a thermoformer, for example, or even an OEM [original equipment manufacturer].”

So when the 2018 academic year rolled around and Eastman again chose to sponsor a capstone project at Clemson, the company brought in some partners, adding Remington Medical, a supplier of disposable medical devices, and thermoformer Tek Pak.

“Tek Pak brought its processing and moldmaking expertise, and Remington Medical helped the students address validation requirements,” Clark told PlasticsToday.

The project gave students a taste of what they could expect from a career in medical device packaging, but it was also beneficial for Eastman, which is celebrating more than 40 years of “dedicated support to the medical manufacturing industry.”

“It was rewarding for us, as well,” Clark told PlasticsToday. “You almost test yourself a little bit, taking all your knowledge and trying to teach someone else. It was a unique experience, working with future talent, a group of motivated young people looking forward to their first jobs.”

Soon, Eastman will begin formulating a new project for fall 2019. Clemson is always looking for additional industry partners, too.

“We need six to seven sponsors every semester in order to have new projects for the students’ work,” Kimmel told MD+DI. For future projects, the program is “actively seeking collaboration with medical device industries to provide student projects, to support research and service projects, and to help us expand our facilities and educational opportunities in medical device packaging and other areas of healthcare packaging by providing support for equipment and new faculty,” he added.

Jamie Hartford is content director for Packaging Digest’s parent company, UBM Americas, Advanced Manufacturing Group.

********************************************************************************

EastPack 2019 (June 11-13) is the region's premier packaging event connecting professionals from companies like PepsiCo, Pepperidge Farms and Mars with suppliers offering the latest packaging technologies, including a range of automation solutions, from semi-automatic equipment to sophisticated "smart" systems. Register to attend today!

Inventors vet new package concept at WestPack

Inventors vet new package concept at WestPack
The author has a suggestion for what's next as seen in this WestPack poster showing the packaging evolution of Heinz ketchup through the years.

Hinged Bottle co-inventor Sebastian Velmont provides an update and report of his first—and highly successful—packaging event ever.

Just 20 minutes into my first packaging tradeshow event ever at WestPack on February 5, 2019, I was blown away by the Evolution of a Package display, a poster of Heinz ketchup packaging over the years that posed the question: what’s next? I hope that my packaging invention might be that next step.

By way of explanation, I’m Sebastian Velmont and, along with my brother Rashon, patented a new packaging concept, the Hinged Bottle. 

More about that shortly, first you should know that according to research done by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation “despite comprising 13% of the native-born population, African Americans represent just half a percent of U.S.-born innovators.”

Innovators are defined as those who own intellectual property, such as patents for their innovative concepts and ideas.

Our historical minority innovators include George Washington Carver, who popularized peanut butter and invented hundreds of uses for peanuts, soybeans, pecans, and sweet potatoes including for plastics; and Sarah E. Goode, the first African-American woman to be granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, for her invention of a folding cabinet bed.

However, within this half a percent of innovations, scant few relate to packaging, the environment, or sustainability, yet African American communities usually are impacted more by the environment than any other community in the U.S, according to a report conducted by Green 2.0.

My brother and I are that rare breed of African American Innovators who have received a Utility Patent for an innovation—one we wrote and executed and that was approved without legal assistance. Our invention of a Hinged Bottle that solves a universal problem for consumers when they try to get the "last drop" of lotion or ketchup at the bottom of a bottle.

“Dispensing Container with Interior Access” Patent Number US10,179,675B2 was issued January 15, 2019, along with International Rights to File within 150+ Countries. The feature on this innovation appeared in Packaging Digest in January (see Inventive hinged bottle reduces product waste).

Our next plan of attack was finding a way to develop the best prototype to present to consumer product manufacturers for licensing consideration. The one and only place in the packaging industry we considered attending to start our first-hand search for the best resources was WestPack’s Expo in Anaheim, CA, which was held practically in our neighborhood, in February.

Masterclass event

At the show I met some wonderful connections, learned a lot about where the general industry is and where it is headed. Overall, I received a full educational experience of the Packaging Industry and it was a great, fascinating, eye opening experience. My brother agreed 100%.

“WestPack was more than a resource for finding a prototype developer for our innovation, it was an insight into where the packaging industry was headed within every sector of the business,” says Rashon Velmont. “It was a Masterclass for us within the packaging and sustainability space where we received great insight on what industry leaders felt about our innovation and what markets it will best serve. We also met Lisa McTigue Pierce Executive Editor of Packaging Digest, who paid us a great compliment by saying that our innovation was brilliant. 

“Attending WestPack reassured us of the value of our innovation,” Rashon continues. “Several leading engineers there saw great value in our innovation not only within standard consumer packaging, but also how our concept would serve the new premium consumer packaging industry on the rise. Brands like Pantene, Unilever, The Body Shop and other brands are embracing this new reusable packaging program launched by TerraCycle, Loop.

I watched Lisa's recent video interview with TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky (see Loop and big brands boldly reinvent waste-free packaging, published January 2019), and I believe I found where our innovation will serve a valuable purpose: for premium, refillable packaging that the Loop program encourages manufacturers to design for the Loop platform. Szaky mentioned that the three requirements for Loop packaging is reusable, durable and cleanable.

The packaging will consist of innovative types such as stainless-steel shampoo bottles that can be used more than 100 times. The functionality of our patent innovation would allow this bottle to be opened in a way that consumers can access every “last drop” hassle free.

The combination of Packaging Digest and WestPack have proven monumental in this development. Information we found at Packaging Digest not only shaped how we were able to develop our innovation before we received the patent, WestPack has become a great resource on how we can license our innovation. Soon we can present it to consumers who seek such a solution to an everyday problem—the timing is perfect for this.

Where do we One Percenters of Sustainability stand now? 

We have also partnered with Cal Poly Pomona’s Engineering Department in a way that aligns with our mission to close the gap in innovation for women and minorities by encouraging more entrepreneurship in innovation among those groups. This effort was organized by Mariappan “Jawa” Jawaharlal, Ph.D., Professor of Mechanical Engineering, who also co-founded the Femineers (Female Engineers), which the White House recognized for its empowerment of young women to become engineers.

We also are honored to work with Stephen Lin, a Cal Poly Pomona engineering student, who will be recreating our Hinged Bottle innovation digitally using a 3D CAD design to properly display and identify the utility patent’s proprietary features.

[Ed. Note: both researchers appear along with the Velmont brothers in the above graphic in order of mention.]

We’re also seeking consumer product manufacturers that see the value in licensing our "frustration free" innovation to reduce product waste.

Lastly for now, we’re excited to see what’s next for us as One Percenters of Sustainability.

If you'd like more information, please contact me, Sebastian Velmont, at 323-272-8662 or sebastian@velmontagency.com

Anchor Dairy plots packaging design course for U.S.

Anchor Dairy plots packaging design course for U.S.
Fonterra Brands enters new consumer waters with a rebranding and redesigned packaging for its marquee brand, Anchor Dairy.

Fonterra launches rebranded Anchor Dairy cheese and butter products stateside with a bold design scheme that reflects the “zeal” of its New Zealand heritage.

Out with the old, in with the new: Fonterra Brands, Rosemont, IL, is sailing away from the Mainland brand in the United States and entering new consumer waters with rebranded packaging for its marquee brand, Anchor Dairy, done specifically for U.S. consumers.

Renowned for its New Zealand-made, grass-fed, pasture-raised dairy products, the parent company is relaunching the brand stateside with new-look packaging that will showcase the high-quality cheese and butter products. The strategy? To change the way U.S. consumers think about quality dairy products by upholding the heritage of 200-plus-year-old dairy practices of Fonterra, which was founded in 1886.

“We place the utmost importance on clean sustainable farming and animal care practices,” says Megan Patterson, head of U.S. retail marketing, Fonterra USA. “Our cows are extremely cared for and live most of their days on Fonterra Family Farms with lush, green pastures—on a unique, global dairy farming scale. Sharing the pure New Zealand taste in Anchor butter and cheese is our goal.”

The Mainland brand’s U.S. packaging look had been in circulation for 15+ years, Patterson tells Packaging Digest, who adds that the changeover to Anchor was set in motion in 2017.

“After our team was put into place in June of 2018 we began the push to create a conversion to the Anchor branding that would fit the needs and demands of the U.S. consumer,” she explains. “It’s important to note the product itself is unchanged—it’s the same grass fed, pasture raised, non-GMO and organic in some cases product sold across the globe in our key markets in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific, Caribbean and others.”

Previewed during the Natural Products Expo West show in California in early March, the new-look products under the Anchor Dairy banner are rolling out across the U.S. this spring. Patterson addresses Packaging Digest’s questions in this Q&A.

What were the main design goals?

Patterson: The packaging was designed with flavor and function in mind. The goal was to create a package to connect the U.S. consumer with our New Zealand homeland. I wanted a look and feel that would assign a color that popped off the shelf, allowing each of our cheeses to stand alone by flavor profile and fit together as a family. Our vintage and aged organic are more of a reserve and needed to truly stand out from the pack creating a bolder look and calling attention to the attributes. The “zeal” of New Zealand is what inspired the pack start to finish.

What was changed from the previous packaging and why?

Patterson: Our old package and brand spent 15+ years in the U.S. as Mainland-brand cheese, and  Anchor globally looks incredibly different from the new U.S. design. This package was designed with the goal of showcasing the products as the premium import they are while calling attention to the grass-fed, pasture-raised quality you can taste. We wanted to showcase the very best of our New Zealand roots and zeal.

What was the most dramatic departure?

Patterson: Honestly, the entire package for the U.S. is a delineation or departure from the Anchor you would find across the globe and of course from Mainland. The U.S. consumer needed to have a package that they could identify with to show our premium imported look, taste and positioning. The entire pack is a dramatic change!

Please explain the key elements starting with the map.

Patterson: The mapping is in fact a map of New Zealand. If you look closely you’ll see our country’s capital in Wellington and can also see Christchurch, mountain ranges and Pegasus Bay displayed.
The black circle not only stands out to draw you in, it’s also a nod to our New Zealand All Blacks Rugby Team.
The back of pack has a socially trendable #Kiwifact that is different for each cheese and allows consumers to learn more about our homeland. We’re not all hobbits and shires! Each Friday those who follow us on social will learn a little more as #Kiwifactsfriday have become a fun element that ties into the package launch.

How many product lines and SKUs are involved?

Patterson: Mainland currently has four 7oz-cheese blocks and varied weight stock-keeping units that will be converting to the new Anchor U.S. package, and we added a new limited SKU in aged organic. This along with our vintage line that are more a reserve and thus have a slightly different look. We will be adding additional SKUs to Anchor as the line continues to do grow. In addition to Anchor, our premium Kapiti cheese line will expand its footprint in targeted specialty cheese stores and retailers.

Can the design firm be credited?

Patterson: Packaging was designed by Lauren Hayes from SRW, our U.S. Retail/Consumer Agency of Record. They were instrumental in putting the vision to paper and now to pack! Lauren and the SRW team did an amazing job. We couldn’t be more pleased with them. The finish work was completed by myself and Kraftworks in New Zealand. It was truly a team effort!

Were changes made to the previous packaging materials or structure?

Patterson: We moved from a waxed parchment with a front and back sticker to a printed film that reduces production time, provides a more environmentally friendly package and stays inline with our global sustainability commitments. Our process as a whole changed for the better and we couldn’t be more excited to bring it to store shelves!

For more information on Anchor Dairy, visit www.anchordairy.com.

___________________________________________________________________________________

Much food for thought for packaging will be found at PackEx Toronto June 4-6, 2019, where innovative ideas in containers and design, the latest machinery and automation solutions and free education at Centre Stage will be available. For more information, visit PackEx Toronto. ___________________________________________________________________________________