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Articles from 2014 In May


Timing Belt Mechanical Pin Splice

Habasit's mechanical pin joint offers fast installation and reliable joining. This is ideal for reducing machine downtime during replacement and maintenance without sacrificing joining integrity and performance. This installation-friendly, profile-compatible joining method is suitable for all pitch sizes and conveying applications. 

New Habasit Saniclip Makes Sanitation Easier Than Ever

The Habasit Saniclip is an innovative device for quick belt opening and easy belt sanitation. This unique rod retention system is specifically designed to work with our Micropitch M0870, M0885 and M1185 belts. The Saniclip allows for simple rod installation/removal for applications where frequent belt sanitation is required. Saniclip has a tactile, non-slip surface for easy removal in wet and/or fatty environments. Multiple Saniclips can be installed on a single belt to allow for easy opening in several locations.

BlenderPak is an optimized pouch for powdered drink mixes

BlenderPak is an optimized pouch for powdered drink mixes

You’ve likely never seen a pouch like this. I know I haven’t. Billed as the portable mixing pouch,  BlenderPak is a patent-pending single-serve, just-add-water package with a rigid fitment inside that acts both as a gripping structure and a mixing mechanism. BlenderPak from Perimeter Brand Packaging is designed to increase new usage occasions and draw in more users to the powder category.

The pouch is pre-filled with one serving of powder, so the consumer only needs to fill it with water, shake and drink.  The MixingMesh technology inside the pouch breaks up any clumps of powder to yield a smooth shake at the time of use.

BlenderPak is applicable for powdered products that need to be mixed with water, such as protein, meal replacement, nutraceuticals, sugared beverages and others.

For more information, visit perimeterbp.com/blenderpak.

New high oxygen and water barrier multilayer film patented

New high oxygen and water barrier multilayer film patented

Winpak Films, Inc., Senoia, GA, was awarded a patent for a seven-layer film that provides excellent oxygen- and water-barrier properties for food packaging applications. The film is claimed as durable and with good optical properties. It is proposed as a replacement for oxygen-barrier films that rely on the use of ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH) or nylon MXD6, which lose their barrier properties when exposed to water.

Package options include bags, pouches, and chubs. Applicable product markets include meat, cheese, milk, condiments, salad dressings and other oxygen-sensitive products.

At the core of the filing and the literal core of the 7-layer structure is a layered blend of polyamide and amorphous polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH). It is noted that a film made without PVOH in the critical fourth layer does not exhibit the required oxygen barrier properties to provide the proper shelf life. In total, five of the seven layers are proposed as polymer blends.

What is also notable about the patent filing compared to others we have assessed over the past 18 months is that it is as brief in length—only 5 pages long—as it is of illustrations, in this instance just two, which show cross-section, layer-by-layer structures.

http://pdlinks.com/7layerfilm

Rigid Packaging Thermoformer, Placon, Acquires Injection Molder, Plastic Packaging Corporation

Rigid Packaging Thermoformer, Placon, Acquires Injection Molder, Plastic Packaging Corporation
Plastic Packaging Corp. is a leader in high-quality injection-molded plastic food containers

Seeking to offer foodservice customers a larger breadth of packaging options to choose from spurs Placon's latest strategic acquisition.

MADISON, WI (May 1, 2014) – Placon, one of the leading custom and stock rigid thermoformed packaging designers and manufacturers in North America announced today that it is has completed the acquisition of privately-held, West Springfield, MA rigid plastic container manufacturer, Plastic Packaging Corporation.

Founded in 1954 by Fred Weiss, Plastic Packaging Corporation (PPC) is a family-owned manufacturer known for its high-quality, injection molded Polyethylene (PE) and Polypropylene (PP) containers, cups, tubs, pails and lids as well as its advanced decorating services for hot to frozen foods in the foodservice and food processing industries. “Looking toward the future, combining with Placon is the perfect fit for our customers and employees,” said Susan Weiss Firestone, President.

“Acquisitions are an important part of our long-term growth plans,” stated Dan Mohs, CEO, Placon Corporation. “Many of our customers use both thermoformed and injection molded packaging. By integrating these technologies, we will broaden our food packaging portfolio and provide our customers with more options and greater value.”

Placon offers both custom and stock lines of thermoformed food containers in Polypropylene and recycled PET (RPET) materials. The company currently runs up to 100% post-consumer recycled EcoStar® brand material from bottles and thermoforms in its PET food packaging lines, an area where Mohs sees future opportunity in expanding the company’s sustainability solutions to PPC’s current and future product lines.

The transaction, the second in just two years for Placon, is indicative of the family-owned company’s strategic plan to expand its breadth and depth of capabilities across multiple foodservice market segments. Similar to the 2011 acquisition of Barger, Placon targeted companies with similar core values and a customer-centric culture.

Continued Mohs, “For Placon, it’s about people – our customers and employees. PPC came from similarly humble beginnings as Placon. The strong shared values and closely aligned mission are what makes this acquisition work. Like Placon, PPC is a second-generation, family-owned and operated business with employees who take great pride in the quality of products they produce and exceptional levels of service they provide. We’re delighted to welcome PPC’s 141 employees into the Placon family.”

The 100,000 square foot West Springfield, MA location will bring the total number of Placon operated facilities to 5, which includes the company’s primary headquarters and EcoStar recycling facility situated at its Madison campus location, a distribution center in DeForest, WI and its medical packaging operations headquartered out of Elkhart, IN.

Terms and conditions of the agreement were not disclosed.

ABOUT PLASTIC PACKAGING CORPORATION
Since 1954, Plastic Packaging Corporation (PPC) has been designing and producing the highest quality injection molded containers, tubs, cups, pails and lids for the food packaging industry. PPC’s Value and Classic lines of food containers are industry standards, providing safe seals and strong, durable packaging for non-refrigerated, refrigerated, frozen to hot foods in the supermarket, food processing, dairy, deli and to-go markets. PPC provides exceptional decoration services for its injection molded bases and lids using state-of-the-art technology to create highly branded, distinctive packaging. PPC is headquartered in West Springfield, Massachusetts.

ABOUT PLACON
For over 45 years Placon has been a leading custom designer and manufacturer of thermoformed plastic packaging with an extensive line of stock packaging products and environmentally-friendly recycled rollstock materials for the retail, food and medical markets. Continuously setting the bar in thermoform packaging and sustainable material solutions, Placon provides innovative, high-quality and safe thermoformed packaging products that harness the power of tomorrow’s technology and design to solve customers’ challenges today. According to Plastics News, Placon ranks among the top 20 thermoformers in North America.

New, Recycled Post-Consumer PET Thermoformed Food Containers Put the Spotlight on Fresh, Grab-and-Go Foods

New, Recycled Post-Consumer PET Thermoformed Food Containers Put the Spotlight on Fresh, Grab-and-Go Foods
Every reFresh™ package is made with our EcoStar® food-grade recycled PET from bottles and thermoforms

The tamper-evident, eco-responsible Crystal Seal® reFresh™ thermoformed plastic food packaging’s design eliminates unnecessary sidewall ribbing for strong visual appeal with excellent versatility in fresh, cold & dry food merchandising.

MADISON, WI (May 20, 2014) – Combining an eco-friendly recycled material and tamper-evident design with revealing package clarity, Placon, a leading North American designer and manufacturer of high-quality custom and stock plastic packaging, has combined market-driven features into its Crystal Seal reFresh packaging line. From fresh cut fruit and vegetables, sandwiches, cookies to single slices of pie, the entire line is designed to highlight and sell fresh delicious-looking food to the safety-minded, eco-conscious consumer.

The reFresh product line features 8 sizes and shapes that can be used in various configurations with multiple combinations of food for complete versatility in merchandising. The packaging combines numerous features from unobstructed views of the product, material that reduces environmental waste, a hinge that alerts if tampering has occurred, along with a leak-resistant design, tight seals and tabs that are made for easy opening and closing by consumers.

The primary goal of the line, however, was in designing the recycled PET containers in a way that maximized the structural integrity of the packaging while ensuring ribbing was kept to a bare minimum, creating a more “invisible” package that puts food freshness and presentation front and center.

The FDA food-grade, 100% recyclable line of plastic food containers includes portion-sized, multi-compartment packaging along with containers perfect for half sandwiches, hoagies and pre-packaged fresh meals. The ultra-clear containers are manufactured from curbside collected plastic bottles and thermoforms containing up to 100% post-consumer content.

“Every reFresh package is made with our EcoStar PET which contains high clarity, recycled plastic that we purchase in bales at our recycling facility, then wash and recycle into new packaging, “ states Jeff Lucash, Director of Sales – Placon Stock Products. “The containers are tamper-evident which helps assure consumers the package hasn’t been tampered with, and after use, the food containers can simply be tossed into recycling bins to be sorted, washed and reused again and again.”

In addition to the reFresh containers, Placon has also launched 9 new sizes of packaging, adding on to its Crystal Seal Hinged Deli, Tamper-Evident and Fresh ‘n Clear™ Catering lines. And with the acquisition of injection molded container manufacturer Plastic Packaging Corporation, expect to see a bevy of new products on display at this year’s IDDBA 2014 show in Colorado.

For more information, or to order samples, stop by booth #2349 at IDDBA 2014, or call us at 1.800.541.1535. The reFresh line was launched at this year’s National Restaurant Association (NRA) 2014 show in Chicago, IL.

ABOUT PLACON
For over 45 years Placon has been a leading custom designer and manufacturer of thermoformed plastic packaging with an extensive line of stock packaging products and environmentally-friendly recycled rollstock materials for the retail, food and medical markets. Continuously setting the bar in thermoform packaging and sustainable material solutions, Placon provides innovative, high-quality and safe thermoformed packaging products that harness the power of tomorrow’s technology and design to solve customers’ challenges today. According to Plastics News, Placon ranks among the top 20 thermoformers in North America.

Unique, Tamper-Evident Plastic Clamshell Picks Up a Prestigious IOPP AmeriStar Packaging Design Award for Thermoformer Placon

Unique, Tamper-Evident Plastic Clamshell Picks Up a Prestigious IOPP AmeriStar Packaging Design Award for Thermoformer Placon
Top Rigid Plastic Package Design IOPP Award Winner

Hypertherm’s consumables’ redesigned packaging integrates unique tamper-detection features and a sustainable design with high internal, supplier and consumer satisfaction marks.

Earning three Ameristar packaging awards in two years, Placon, an innovative designer and thermoformer of custom and stock packaging for the retail, medical and food markets, is continuing to earn high marks for its creative, economical and safe packaging designs.

With a 20% overall reduction in the size of its footprint, the Hypertherm consumables’ packaging, previously manufactured in PVC material, is now designed with Placon’s EcoStar® brand of post-consumer recycled PET rollstock. The 100% recyclable packaging now contains a minimum of 50%, up to 100%, curbside collected, post-consumer content from curbside-collected PET bottles and thermoforms.

Tamper-Evident Packaging Design

Collaborating closely with Hypertherm, a leading US-based designer and manufacturer of advanced plasma metal cutting systems, Placon designed creative, overt methods of tamper detection into the packaging, allowing suppliers and consumers to authenticate a genuine Hypertherm package from a counterfeit product.

The clear plastic clamshell has a secure 360 degree seal with a Placon patented retaining snap feature on the inside of the lid, holding the graphic card securely in place. When the clamshell is filled, the hang-hole area is ultrasonically welded, affixing the lid to a perforated area on the base of the thermoform. Once opened, the perforated area is broken off of the base, permanently affixing itself to the interior of the lid, “trapping” the graphic card.

The unique tamper-evident design allows consumers to visually see the “broken” hang-hole tab area alerting them that the package has been tampered with. The feature also makes it difficult for counterfeiters to not only repackage the clamshell but to repurpose the graphic card as well. Attempts to slide the graphic card out of a package with a broken seal will result in ripping the card, rendering it unusable.

“Many companies, like Hypertherm face a major issue in counterfeiting, an ongoing concern for companies and their brands,” states Jeff Baillies, senior concept designer, Placon. “We paid critical attention to the packaging design in order to help customers identify genuine Hypertherm packaging while also protecting the package against duplication by making it more technically and financially challenging to replicate by counterfeiters.”

A Smart, Intentional Thermoform Design

Hypertherm’s over 220 consumable part numbers securely fit into 4 unique designs, from 6, reducing the number of SKUs the company needs to inventory. Packaging footprints were made to be more universal, only varying in terms of the number of cavities and total depth, making it easy to stack across SKUs. Internal cavities of the 4 unique SKUs were designed to create a consistent merchandising experience, with the company’s Marketing team ensuring synergies in its consumables’ brand look worldwide.

ABOUT PLACON
For over 45 years Placon has been a leading custom designer and manufacturer of thermoformed plastic packaging with an extensive line of stock packaging products and environmentally-friendly recycled rollstock materials for the retail, food and medical markets. Continuously setting the bar in thermoform packaging and sustainable material solutions, Placon provides innovative, high-quality and safe thermoformed packaging products that harness the power of tomorrow’s technology and design to solve customers’ challenges today. According to Plastics News, Placon ranks among the top 20 thermoformers in North America.

Moldable, biodegradable food packaging: Product of the Day

Moldable, biodegradable food packaging: Product of the Day

Ahlstrom NatureMold is a new patent-pending, biodegradable molding material for food packaging for a  range of food applications. It combines environmental certification, product differentiation, and performance all in one package.

Key benefits include heat resistance (up to 220°C/428°F), easy release, high wet strength, and the superior grease resistance thanks to the unique genuine vegetable parchment.

In addition, Ahlstrom's new molding material offers superior branding and differentiation properties with the possibility to watermark or dye Ahlstrom NatureMold with a range of hot food contact approved colors.

Ahlstrom NatureMold is produced from renewable resources with FSC- certified pulp. It is a sustainable alternative to molds and trays made from plastic or aluminum.

"The Ahlstrom NatureMold product line has great performance especially because of its grease resistance and easy release,” explains Omar Hoek, EVP, Food.  “The coloring and watermark options allow significant brand differentiation. Its sustainability credentials are compelling as all the materials are from renewable sources as well as biodegradable."

Ahlstrom's Food business area is a global supplier of food packaging products with seven production sites in four countries.

Learn more at:http://www.ahlstrom.com/naturemold  or email food@ahlstrom.com.

Ready Pac launches wrap kits in Bistro Bowl packaging

Ready Pac launches wrap kits in Bistro Bowl packaging
Ready Pack introduced six Bistro Wrap Kits in May 2014 in its salad bowl packaging.

It’s a wrap…or is it?

Earlier this month, Ready Pac Foods Inc. introduced six restaurant-inspired Bistro Wrap Kits. The new product line uses the popular Bistro Bowl packaging for the company’s salads. For the salads and the wrap kits, these bowls are filled with lettuce, with a compartmentalized tray sitting on top holding various fresh ingredients. The wrap kits also include an artisan tortilla, sauces and “a delightful crunch,” according to the company. Then the bowl is sealed with film lidding. Packaged this way to keep ingredients separate, the wrap kit makes “soggy wrap syndrome” a thing of the past by allowing the consumer to build their wrap fresh.

Packaging Digest editors see pros and cons to using the same packaging for salads and wrap kits. What’s your take?

Lisa’s Look:

I like that Ready Pac is expanding beyond single-serve salads into make-it-yourself fresh wraps. It’s a logical extension, given how popular wraps are with health-conscious consumers. I understand why it is using the same packaging as its salads, a bowl with a compartmentalized tray holding the other ingredients. The packaging lines are set up to handle this and the company can order empty packaging components in volume.

But the bowl-with-tray doesn’t quite fit for wraps for consumers: They can’t use the bowl to fill the wrap or hold it while they are eating it. A flatter surface, more like a plate, would work better.

— Lisa McTigue Pierce, executive editor

Rick’s Review:

It’s apparent that Ready Pac continues driving deeper into conveniently packaged healthy snacks, an encouraging trend that offers the packager higher margins with value-added products. 

This kind of kit of almost-ready-to-use foods invites do-it-yourself interaction by allowing consumers to instantly tailor a wrap made fresh on-demand.

I like the bright, inviting graphics design, which mimics the company’s recent refresh of Ready Snax in which we can echo those same comments of Tristan Simpson, senior director of marketing and corporate communications at Ready Pac: “You will also notice bolder, more vibrant colors to match our fresh, healthy snacks.”

It’s also interesting that they realigned the product name—from Bistro to Bistro Bowl—to what consumers were calling it…isn’t responding to consumers the hallmark of a savvy brand owner?

— Rick Lingle, technical editor

Kari’s Comment:

I like that Ready Pac is paying attention to consumer trends by extending its product selection to include wraps for those who are looking to eat better, no matter where they are. However, while the “Bistro Bowl” concept makes sense for the salad offering, it doesn’t seem very user-friendly for the consumer who’s on the go trying to build their wrap.

— Kari Embree, senior digital content editor

Recycled PET container offers versatility in food merchandising

Recycled PET container offers versatility in food merchandising

The Crystal Seal reFresh is a recycled post-consumer PET thermoformed food container that features a tamper-evident design with revealing package clarity. The product line from Placon comes in eight different sizes and shapes which make it suitable for several configurations and combinations of food offerings, such as fresh cut fruit and veggies, sandwiches, cookies to individual servings of pie.

“Every reFresh package is made with our EcoStar PET which contains high clarity, recycled plastic that we purchase in bales at our recycling facility, then wash and recycle into new packaging, “ says Jeff Lucash, director of sales – Placon Stock Products. “The containers are tamper-evident which helps assure consumers the package hasn’t been tampered with, and after use, the food containers can simply be tossed into recycling bins to be sorted, washed and reused again and again.”

The FDA food-grade line is 100 percent recyclable and allows for portion-sizes, multi-compartment packaging as well as accommodating half sandwiches and pre-packaged fresh meals with containers.