Gallery: Tackling the toughest issues

Compressed deodorants fit the same amount of product in much smaller cans

Winners in the 2014 DuPont Awards competition display technological savvy, environmental responsibility and attention to the consumer experience.

Diamond Award: Compressed deodorants fit the same amount of product in much smaller cans

Gold Award: Squeezable carton-pouch makes fresh pasta quick and easy

Gold Award: Smart dosing cap reduces cleaning-product waste

Gold Award: Printing technique enables variable information without extra labels

Gold Award: Tear-apart pouch holds two cooking sauces

Gold Award: UHT milk pouch provides months of shelf life

Labels vs. Direct Coding of Corrugated Cases and Cartons

One of the many solutions used in today’s production facilities to meet the needs of identifying cases of various products is the use of labels, both pre-printed and printed on-demand.

With pre-printed labels, each SKU is assigned a self-adhesive label that was printed by an external printing company with whatever information is required – e.g. the product name, logo, bar code and plant information. The label is then applied to a case by hand or with a label applicator. Any variable information, such as a date or lot number, is applied afterwards using a stamp or coder.

For on-demand printing of labels, a label file is assigned to a product SKU, matching the required size of the label with the corresponding case. The label is then printed with both the “fixed” (product name, logo etc.) and the variable (date, lot number etc.) information. Labels can be printed offline and applied by hand, or they can be printed inline and applied automatically in a single step using a label printer-applicator.

While meeting companies’ needs, these solutions can be cumbersome and costly to implement and maintain. Direct case printing with an inline ink jet printer is an attractive option for companies looking to reduce costs, add flexibility to their production and increase uptime.

Compact erector: Product of the Day

Compact erector: Product of the Day

Affordable and just the right size, the BOXXER T-30 automatic case erector and bottom tape sealer runs both regular- and half-slotted style boxes and can erect and tape up to 30 cases per minute. The unit can be operated by a single user who is either left or right handed and is very mobile because of its construction. Changeover is quick because there are no part changes necessary. Features include: Omron PLC, color touch screen, high capacity blank hopper, and easy access panels with safety switches.

Eagle Packaging Machinery,(305) 622-4070

eaglepm.com

Gallery: 7 attention-getting beverage beauties

Few wines have targeted the female side of the market as directly and fashionably as Viama, a 1.5-L bag-in-purse (that’s right, purse) that looks like a lady’s handbag, has a spout on the side and is sold in 5 varietals for $14.99 each.

1. Viama wine in bag-in-a-purse

2. Cardinal Zin wine in 3-L hexagonal bag-in-box

3. Chicken Cock whiskey in aluminum bottles

4. Firestarter vodka in metal canister

5. Spud vodka with no-label-look

6. Milagro Select Reposado tequila bottle with agave plant blown inside

7. Jura malt whiskeys in embossed cartons

Say ‘Hello’ to this year’s ‘Best of Show’

Say ‘Hello’ to this year’s ‘Best of Show’

Last month the National Association of Container Distributors (NACD) held its annual NACD Packaging Awards program ceremony which recognizes the most innovative packages released from the year prior. The event was held at the Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale in Fort Lauderdale, FL, on April 10, 2014 to coincide with the NACD 2014 Annual Convention where the winners were honored.

There were a total of nine categories for judges to evaluate and the criteria went off of packaging innovation, sustainability, graphics, decoration, shape, closure, texture, ease-of-use, consumer appeal and technical merit. Categories include; Beverage, Cosmetic & Personal Care, Drug & Pharmaceutical, Food, General Industry, Household Chemical & Auto, Pet & Vet, Novelty and Best Use of Stock Components.

In addition to category winners, there were two unique awards that were honored: Bernard M. Seid Best of Show and the NACD People’s Choice Award. Below is a list of this year’s winners.

Entry forms for the 2015 Awards will be available later this year. Photos of every winning product are available here.

Bernard M. Seid "Best of Show"

Hello Mouth Wash and Toothpaste

TricorBraun

NACD People's Choice Award

Hello Breath Spray

TricorBraun

Best Use of Stock Components

Gold

Elethea Luxury Beauty

SeaCliff Beauty Packaging & Laboratories

Silver

Pure Argan Milk – Intensive Hydrating Treatment

SeaCliff Beauty Packaging & Laboratories

Bronze

Basement Bitters – Bitter Frost

O.Berk Company

Beverage

Gold

Witherspoons Texas Bourbon Whiskey

All American Containers - Dallas

Silver

Alter Herbal Martini

TricorBraun

Bronze

64 oz Market Garden Barrel

Kaufman Container Company

Cosmetic & Personal Care

Gold

C-Firma Serum, Framboos TLC Night Serum

Pacific Packaging Components, Inc.

Silver

Sei Bella Eve Shadow Duo and Lip Color

TricorBraun

Bronze

Green with Envy/Sweet Escape

TricorBraun

Drug & Pharmaceutical

Gold

OXY Bump Saline Oxygen Nasal Spray

TricorBraun

Silver

Adaptuit

TricorBraun

Bronze

Derma Smooth

O. Berk Company

Food

Gold

Morton Sea Salt

Berlin Packaging

Silver

Glutino Instant Pancake Mix

Berlin Packaging

Bronze

Actual Fruit Cups

C.L. Smith

General Industrial

Gold

E6000 Spray Adhesive

Berlin Packaging

Silver

Fire and Ice Lane Conditioners

Pipeline Packaging

Bronze

Sanotex Environmental Surface Wiper

TricorBraun

Household Chemical & Auto

Gold

Libman Freedom Floor Cleaner

Berlin Packaging

 

Silver

Polaris 2 Cycle Engine Oil

Berlin Packaging

 

Bronze

LemiShine - Rinse

Berlin Packaging

Novelty

Gold

Hello Breath Spray

TricorBraun

Silver

16oz Fresh Picked Hand Soap PET Mason Jar

O.Berk Company

Bronze

Shaman Elixirs – Green Tea

Pacific Packaging Components, Inc.

Pet & Vet

Gold

Sprayer Sentry Clean Up

TricorBraun

Silver

“Burts Bees for Dogs” Shampoo, Conditioner,

Ear Cleaner, and Lotion

TricorBraun

Bronze

OFF! Pet Insect Repellents

Berlin Packaging

The case of the low OEE

Laura called. She was upset. "KC," she said, "my OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) is way down and I don't know what to do. Help!"

"Sure," I said and was on my way as we hung up the call.

"What's going on, Laura?" I asked when I got there.

"Glad to see you here, KC. This is our automated system to collect OEE. It works well, displaying data in real time on a panel at the line and back in the office. My line seems to be running well but my OEE is at about 21 percent and I know that just ain't right."

I saw the problem, as soon as I eyeballed the data.

"Fiddlesticks on low OEE," I told her. "You're measuring it wrong. You run 40 hours but calculate OEE on 168 per week. Your availability can't exceed 24 percent by that measure. That caps your total OEE, even if performance and quality are perfect.”

Some people think that OEE should always be calculated based on total hours, that is 168 hours. They reason that the 128 hours not worked on nights and weekends represent capacity that could be used if needed. That's true but makes it impossible to compare OEE between lines, plants or industries that run different schedules.

Calculating OEE based on planned production (or actual if you work more than plan) will give you more meaningful data. Unless the data is meaningful, it will not be used.

KC Boxbottom, packaging detective, is on the case to solve tough packaging puzzles. He is the alter-ego of John Henry, CPP. Known as the Changeover Wizard, Henry is the owner of Changeover.com, a consulting firm that helps companies find and fix the causes of inefficiencies in their packaging operations. He produces a free monthly newsletter called Lean Changeover, which contains articles and tips on changeover and related issues. Reach him at johnhenry@changeover.com.

Self-heating/cooling pouch adds new level of convenience

Self-heating/cooling pouch adds new level of convenience

Self-heating or cooling packages have been around for years based on various methods primarily directed toward rigid containers, but this U.S. patent filing by inventors in South Korea published in mid-April is for a self-heating/cooling pouch produced in a four-step process. The invention covers 24 exemplary variations and is accompanied by approximately 50 illustrations.

The pouch comprises a contents-containing section and a temperature-controlling section and a “bag” for a liquid reactant (which may be water) that will exothermically or endothermically react with the temperature control agent when the seal between the two latter sections is ruptured manually.

Applicable film substrates for use include polyethylene, polypropylene or polyester. In one embodiment, it is a stand-up pouch, and in another it is a reportable pouch; there is also an allowance for a transparent window in the film.

Options for the heating element include calcium oxide, calcium hydroxide, magnesium chloride, iron and aluminum. Options for the heat absorption agent (for cooling) include ammonium nitrate, sodium acetate and urea. Potential products include boiled rice, stew and soup.

View the patent here.

The case of the arts and crafts

The case of the arts and crafts

"KC, I really like how you helped us develop standardized methods for changeover but my team is giving me some static."

"So what's going on, Sally? It seemed pretty straightforward to me. What's not to love?"

"It's this," she told me. "Our mechanics feel they are skilled technicians and resent not being able to use their own judgment when setting up our packaging lines. They think it demeans their skills."

"I see," I replied. "I've run across this before. You need to explain it in terms of arts and crafts."

"Arts and crafts? You mean like quilting?", she asked.

"Yes, just like that."

"Whether making a quilt, cooking spaghetti sauce or setting up a machine, there is both art and craft involved. The art is coming up with the quilt design, the sauce recipe or the changeover SOP."

"There is considerable creative art in coming up with the perfect way to do each of these things. This is where the mechanic's knowledge is invaluable. They're the experts and are right to feel they are the ones who can come up with the best way. They also need to document it."

"Once the artistic part is done, they need to carry out the task exactly as documented. This is the craft part and there can be plenty of skill involved in getting it right."

"Fiddlesticks on your team feeling too structured. They are both artists and craftspeople. They need to recognize when they need to be which."

KC Boxbottom, packaging detective, is on the case to solve tough packaging puzzles. He is the alter-ego of John Henry, CPP. Known as the Changeover Wizard, Henry is the owner of Changeover.com, a consulting firm that helps companies find and fix the causes of inefficiencies in their packaging operations. He produces a free monthly newsletter called Lean Changeover, which contains articles and tips on changeover and related issues. Reach him at johnhenry@changeover.com.

Rediscover the value of forest certification

Rediscover the value of forest certification
The value of forest certification may be changing, or is slightly different than originally thought.

Forest certification is an important tool to ensure that a product originated from a responsibly managed forest. Despite having many environmental, social and economic benefits for participants from forest owners to lumber and paper users, certification faces significant challenges in broadening its adoption—both internationally and in the United States. The participation costs, value proposition and a politically charged environment have been challenges to the market-driven strategy forest certification standards currently use to promote responsible forest management.

Statistics on forest certification depend on whether the measurement includes total forests or industrial “working” forests. Internationally, that number ranges from 10 to 25 percent, respectively. In the Unites States, the most often cited statistic is that 20 percent of timberland is certified. Regardless of the statistic or source, there are concerns that forest certification is impeded by a number of challenges that have kept it from broader adoption and use in the marketplace. Chief among these is access to an adequate supply of certified forest products, certification standard debates that have exhausted resources that could be spent on promoting use, a general lack of information and education among the public, and a business model that needs better incentives and is cost prohibitive for many small landowners.

Companies in GreenBlue’s Forest Certification Industry Leadership Committee (ILC) place tremendous value on the benefits of forest certification. As such, the ILC is engaged in a project to address the challenges to forest certification head-on using GreenBlue’s Value Innovation Process, a learn-by-doing engagement designed to tie innovation and sustainability together to create a roadmap to more sustainable solutions. The ILC includes 20 companies from across the forest products sector working to engage the entire supply chain to develop objective and science-based research solutions by asking, “What is the job that certification is hired to do? And how do we best deliver that value?” as opposed to, “What’s wrong with forest certification?” (as it’s often been framed in the past).

The ILC conducted phone interviews with supply chain members to start to answer the initial questions. It quickly became clear that the value of forest certification may be changing, or is slightly different than originally thought.

There were concerns, specific to the U.S., about whether there is a real need for certification when forestry practices meeting legal requirements should provide more than enough assurance of adequate management practices.

It also became clear that small private landowners need to become more engaged to move beyond 20 percent certified timberland in the U.S. Private landowners account for more than 56 percent of forest area in the U.S., and many of these landowners are families owning fewer than 2,000 acres. Family forest owners frequently have different priorities for their land than timber production or certification, such as aesthetics. Additionally, small landowners often cannot financially afford forest certification.

If certified forest area is to increase, what value would certification provide to the small landowner market? Are there incentives or market forces that would make certification more appealing to them? Is it worth the effort and investment to pursue certification for these landowners?

Beyond the small landowners, we also need a stronger understanding of certification’s “most important customer.” Is there a single customer or entity that is being served by forest certification or certified products, or does it vary by certification scheme and supply chain position? Looking at forest certification more broadly, is the U.S. too specific of a case, and how does that influence our results when the scope is expanded?

The ILC is continuing to work on these questions throughout the summer, in particular exploring the challenges around defining the value of certification for all parties and how that value can be delivered throughout the supply chain. A summary of the current research will be available to the public via the GreenBlue website, newsletters and press releases later this spring. More information about the ILC and ways to become a member of the working group can be found on the GreenBlue website (www.greenblue.org).

Author Tom Pollock is a senior manager for GreenBlue’s Forest Products Working Group and Sustainable Packaging Coalition. For more information about the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, visit www.sustainablepackaging.org.

Proposed Nutrition Facts label changes reflect new scientific understandings

Proposed Nutrition Facts label changes reflect new scientific understandings


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published two proposed rules on March 3, 2014, to amend the nutrition labeling requirements for conventional foods and dietary supplements. The changes are being proposed to reflect the latest scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease, and to better align serving sizes with how much people actually eat. The new Nutrition Facts label is hoped to be more useful to consumers.

The first proposed rule would: (1) update the list of nutrients that are required or permitted to be declared; (2) provide updated Daily Reference Values (DRVs) and Reference Daily Intakes (RDIs); (3) amend requirements for foods specifically for children under the age of four years and for pregnant and lactating women; and (4) revise the format of the Nutrition Facts label.
The second proposed rule would update serving size requirements.

Proposed changes to nutrients required or permitted on labels would impact the labeling of fats, added sugars, vitamins and nutrients, and fiber. The declaration of “Calories from Fat” would no longer be required or allowed. FDA explained that this change is proposed because research shows that the type of fat is more important than the amount. With respect to the labeling of sugars, a declaration of “Added Sugars,” indented under “Sugars,” would be a new requirement. Changes to the declarations of vitamins and minerals include the addition of vitamin D and potassium. Calcium and iron would continue to be required, and vitamins A and C could be included on a voluntary basis.

FDA also proposed to define “Dietary Fiber,” though companies marketing isolated and synthetic non-digestible carbohydrates would have to provide evidence that they have a “physiological effect(s) that is beneficial to human health.” Additionally, for certain products—namely those that contain: non-digestible carbohydrates that do not meet the proposed definition of dietary fiber, more than one source of sugar, added sugars that undergo fermentation, various forms of vitamin E, or folate and folic acid—manufacturers would be required to maintain and permit FDA inspection of certain written records to support these nutrient declarations.

Among the revisions to DRVs and RDIs, FDA is proposing to increase the DV for dietary fiber from 25g to 28g and to reduce the DV for sodium from 2,400mg to 2,300mg. The agency points out that approximately 75 percent of the sodium consumed by the U.S. population is from sodium added to food during processing. Additionally, FDA is proposing to change the units used to declare vitamins A, D and E content.
FDA’s proposal on serving size would include a revised definition of a single-serving container, a requirement for dual-column labeling for certain containers, an update to several reference amounts customarily consumed and technical amendments to various aspects of the serving size regulations.

The proposed change to the serving size requirements is being made to reflect how people eat and drink today, according to FDA. For example, packaged foods—including drinks—that are typically eaten in one sitting would be labeled as a single serving and calorie and nutrient information on the label would be for the entire package. Also, for certain packages that could be consumed in one sitting or multiple sittings, manufacturers would have to provide “dual column” labels to indicate both “per serving” and “per package” calories and nutrient information.
Comments on both proposals are due by June 2, 2014. More information on the proposals can be found at pdlinks.com/NutritionFactsUpdate.

Author George Misko is a partner at Keller and Heckman. Founded in 1962, the respected law firm has a broad practice in the areas of regulatory law, litigation and business transactions, serving both domestic and international clients. Reach him at misko@khlaw.com.