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Articles from 2020 In June


Healthcare Packaging

Printable Thermochromic Ink Helps Ensure Safety of Pharma Products and Vaccines

Image courtesy of CTI BlindSpotz temperature indicators inks
BlindSpotz indicators change color when exposed to temperatures outside of a certain range.

COVID-19 has put the supply chain for pharmaceutical and medical products in the spotlight like never before. Although maintaining the cold chain, preventing tampering, and ensuring the authentication of such products has always been important, these factors are especially critical at a time when the global supply chain is also enduring the stress of a pandemic.  

A new offering from Chromatic Technologies Inc. (CTI) can help address those challenges in the form of printable sensors that detect freezing, thawing, gradual warming, and tampering, as well as provide authentication.

The Colorado Springs, CO–based company’s BlindSpotz technology can be used on packaging for products such as vaccines that are sensitive to freezing or insulin, which needs to reach a certain temperature before it can be injected comfortably. BlindSpotz indicators changes color when temperatures dip below or exceed a certain range.  

BlindSpotz indicators can be printed across all print formats, including those that require solvent-based inks, involve printing on metal decoration, and high-speed offsets. The inks are also free of Bisphenol A, F, and S, a request CTI says it received from many customers.

“The combinations of ingredients and manufacturing techniques to make something like a BlindSpotz technology work and pass all other requirements make it as much art as chemistry,” says CTI Product Director Barry McCann. “Most companies probably don’t want to make the investment required to serve a niche market like this.”

BlindSpotz is also a lower-cost solution than competing technologies.

“Most importantly, CTI delivers printable technology for a tenth of the cost of many devices because it’s a technology delivered through an ink, printed in-line with the normal printed packaging materials, such as labels, wraps and film barriers,” McCann says.

The technology is available in paste and liquid ink formulations. “We do not have digital and ink-jet versions commercialized yet, but we support inline techniques with digital printing, such as coating units with plates and aniloxes,” McCann adds.

Product varieties either available or in development include options with freeze, thaw, warming, and high-temperature alerts; freeze and heat tamper alerts; security/authentication alerts; cold chain compliance indicators; and high-pressure pasteurization indicators for food applications. Color options range from standard colors, such as green-to-yellow and charcoal-to-red, to invisible-to-fluorescing colors for authentication inks. CTI can also develop new colors upon customers’ request.

Packaging Design

8 Unexpected Ways Beverage Packaging Innovates

World’s first smart nutrition bottle headlines our gallery of star-worthy beverage packaging.

You’ll find no plain-vanilla, cookie-cutter type packaging among Packaging Digest’s selection of different and distinctive packaging for beverages in this slideshow gallery. Instead, we offer breakthrough bottles, cans, and jars and related variations of the theme. First up is a smart packaging example shown above  that offers an innovative twist on smartphone engagement that pushes the limits of do-it-yourself personalized customization.

Brand Hijacks Bottles for Refilling to Drastically Reduce Plastic Waste

Splosh Label PD medium

8 Pitfalls to Avoid on Automated Packaging Lines

Photo credit: auremar – stock.adobe.com Packaging-plant-workers-stock-image
You can avoid running a sub-optimized packaging line by asking for suggestions or improvements from the line operators.

Automation can reshape our world for the better, if we let it. When it comes to repetitive tasks like packaging and distributing consumer goods, wise investments in secondary packaging machinery can improve results and help reskill employees for more valuable roles.

If you’re looking to augment your packaging line’s efforts through automation to pack your product for shipment, you’ll want to avoid the following pitfalls.

 

1. Not including redundancy.

Automated packaging equipment represents a not-inconsiderable expense. It may be tempting to forego purchasing spare equipment or parts to save money on Day One. However, this becomes a costly mistake when one of your critical machines malfunctions at an inopportune moment.

You could tape boxes by hand in a pinch. However, moving heavy shipments or printing packing labels can’t be done by hand as quickly or at all.

Add smart redundancies throughout the packaging line to anything without an easy manual failover protocol in place. You’ll be able to immediately switch to backup equipment if something unexpected happens that threatens your productivity — especially when casters on the machines makes them that more mobile.

 

2. Overdesigning product packaging.

Getting the best performance out of your automated packaging equipment might require that you rethink your product packaging.

Whether your products ship in their own package or require an outer box or envelope, they still need some combination of human and machine intervention. If employees must manipulate, fold or form every unit to prepare it for packaging, you’re looking at a bottleneck that defeats the purpose of automated equipment.

While designing your packaging, prioritize simplicity and sustainability — two factors that consumers value more highly than flashiness and complexity.

 

3. Using small magazines for consumables.

Boxes, tape, cushioning, and labels are just some of the consumables your packaging line might consume. As you automate your processes, remember to minimize the number of interventions your staff must make on an average day.

For consumable products, that means opting for the largest magazines available. Reducing the number of pauses for refilling keeps wasteful downtime to a minimum and helps maintain consistent workflows.

 

4. Not considering operating speed.

Each piece of automated packaging equipment requires a different amount of time to complete its task. It could take longer to print a packing slip than to assemble a case, for example. It’s possible to take these differences into account by adding appropriate accumulation or by putting slower automated processes at the end of the line.

As boxes get assembled, and dunnage gets parceled out, the printer — or perhaps more than one, depending on the volume you handle — prepares the packing slip. Any good vendor should help you dial-in the right synchronicity between your machines.

 

5. Not asking frontline workers for input.

Automation isn’t a panacea. It’s an asset in the right situation — but an investment like this needs a problem to solve. Above any other priority, automation must serve the needs of the facility and the team first. You’ll see some tempting offers for one-size-fits-all automation solutions. But remember that no two facilities are alike.

Be willing to directly explore the challenges and potential solutions with your frontline workers to understand how the available products can support operations. In turn, your chosen vendor should be willing to work just as candidly with you to find a system that fits like a glove.

Properly executing on a project of this scale requires that all parties assume ownership over their processes and work together toward a holistic solution that meets the whole organization’s needs.

 

6. Not including a protocol for handling exceptions.

No packaging process, no matter how well automated or planned, is immune to the occasional exception. Sometimes, something goes wrong, and a bunch of packages gets kicked out all at once. Your new automated packaging line must be able to quickly handle incomplete orders, unscannable bar codes, damaged products, and other defects.

Even an automated packaging line needs to incorporate areas for rejected shipments and places where employees can intervene using the least number of touches. Automation mostly takes care of itself, but not planning for disruptions and errors common in this industry would be a mistake.

 

7. Taking cybersecurity for granted.

“The industrial robot is not ready for the world it’s living in,” says Mark Nunnikhoven of Trend Micro, in a ComputerWorld article. He may be right. The world of supply chains, shipping, and third-party logistics is as ripe for exploitation by cybercriminals as any other.

Automation is a valuable addition to packaging and production lines, but industrial equipment often has a blind spot concerning cybersecurity. In 2018, researchers concluded that almost half of the industrial control systems they studied show signs of malicious activity.

The fourth industrial revolution — Industry 4.0 — features a convergence of Big Data, automation, and machine intelligence. Packaging might feel like a relatively low-stakes process, but it’s just one part of a smart warehouse or factory. Any weak link in this ecosystem invites bad actors to try ransomware attacks, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and even causing physical damage to industrial facilities.

 

8. Putting the cart before the horse.

Remember that this tool represents more than just incremental efficiency improvements. Think about automation as a business-shaping force. It can facilitate employee upskilling, improve customer results through faster turnarounds, and reduce fulfillment errors, all of which keep more money in your and your employees’ pockets.

 

Planning to implement automation? Do it the right way.

Don’t invest blindly in automation. A packaging line is more than the sum of its parts, just as a business is. Thinking about the whole department holistically, as a single process rather than several, will ensure money well spent.

 

Packaging Design

Bottled Rainwater Eliminates Plastic Packaging

Richards Rainwater bottles are now all made of glass.
Brand’s plastic-free strategy means all bottles are now 100% glass.

The sky’s the limit for Austin, TX-based Richard's Rainwater, a 100% sustainable, naturally captured, pure rainwater that’s captured before it hits the ground. The water is free of any natural or manmade contaminants — the company says the rainwater is 100x cleaner than the strictest bottled water standards even before being ultra-filter purified. 

Unlike single-source waters, rainwater can be collected almost anywhere, making it the most sustainable water the planet provides. Dedicated to minimizing its carbon footprint, Richard's Rainwater builds local, low-energy rainwater capture centers as close to customers as possible.

Since 2002, the brand has promised to be most sustainable bottled water company on earth.

“Rainwater is unquestionably the most sustainable source of drinking water on the planet,” explains company president and CEO Taylor O’Neil. “We’re committed to continuously improving on everything when it comes to sustainability, and that means bringing our packaging up to meet the high standards of our water. Based on what Bea Perez said at Davos, Coca Cola doesn’t seem to agree that this is an urgent issue. But we have confidence that our consumers want a better future for the planet and we’re thrilled with the response from our partners.”

The company announced packaging changes to “more environmentally-friendly packaging” this spring. O’Neil responds to Packaging Digest’s questions about the packaging changes and the company.

Post-Rainwater-Case-Tweet.jpg

How did the idea to harvest rainwater originate? 

O’Neil: Founder Richard Heinichen moved with his wife to hill country, Texas, where he soon became frustrated with drinking water options. After some independent research, he determined that his whole house could run on rainwater. Richard installed his first rainwater system in 1994. His neighbors noticed the difference every time they visited. Richard initially launched a business installing home rain harvesting systems all over Texas. Always curious and never wanting to be without rainwater, he decided he must learn how to bottle rain on a job in the heat of the Texas Summer. It took him four years of certifications, back and forth with regulators and lots of hard work but he became the first person to get approval to bottle rainwater in the US in 2002 and he's been doing it ever since.

What's been the market response?  

O’Neil: We're fortunate to live in a place where the incredible global clean water issues are less prevalent than in other parts of the world. In many cases, consumers we talk to haven't thought much about where the water they drink was sourced, how it was purified or how far it has traveled to get to their hands.  When we tell our story and communicate why rainwater matters beyond the bottle or can they are drinking, we find most people say "I'm never going to drink another kind of water again."  

The bottled water industry is notorious for a lack of actual product innovation and destructive environmental practices. Most "brands" are just that - fancy marketing gimmicks that distract from the reality of the water inside the packaging. Consumers love finding there is a product they can drink and feel good about the decision they made - Richard's Rainwater.    

Tell us about the recent packaging changes. 

O’Neil: We updated the packaging aesthetic in March of 2018. The redesign was intended to communicate that the water inside the package is real rain, caught clean before it hits the ground, and to articulate why rainwater capture is better for you and better for the planet.  

At the end of 2019, we made the decision to move our still-water SKUs away from single-use plastic bottles in favor of more environmentally friendly cans and glass bottles. Richards-Rainwater-Cans-Bottles-wedge-PD.jpg

We know rainwater is the most sustainable source of clean water. Our team is continuously evaluating all of our decisions to ensure every aspect of our business matches the quality and commitment as our source water. The cans and large format glass bottles hit the market this summer and have met with incredible prelaunch enthusiasm. 

Where are the products available and what's the suggested pricing? 

O’Neil: We are available in retailers like Whole Foods, HEB, The Fresh Market and lots of regional natural channel locations. We have three products, still rainwater in 16-oz aluminum cans (~$1.49), still rainwater in 750-mL glass bottles ($2.99) and sparkling rainwater in 12-oz glass bottles ($1.49).  We're also excited to be announcing several new “wins” over the coming months! 

Where are the rain collection (bottling) locations?

O’Neil: Rain is still captured at the original site in Tank Town in Dripping Springs, TX, which is in process on converting from a bottling site to a hospitality venue.  Also, our new partners at Lazy Magnolia Brewery now bottle rain in Kiln, MS.

We just announced adding the Houston area in partnership with Buffalo Bayou Brewing where construction for the operations will be starting in a couple of weeks.

In addition, we’re in the regulatory process for a project in Atlanta and evaluating options in the Northeast and Pacific Northwest. 

Ed. Note: The brand collects more than 30,000 gallons of water when there's an inch of rain at one of the company’s collection sites.

 

How Food and Beverage Packagers Can Navigate the New Normal

Photo credit: astrosystem – adobe.stock.com COVID-19 grocery delivery stock image
What new demands might we see on packaging in the post-pandemic world?

It is amazing to see what food and beverage companies have accomplished during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis to support essential business. The crisis is not yet completely behind us, but it is already time to look into the so-called “New Normal.” Before diving into the new normal, let’s look at what has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in and around the F&B sector.

Many food and beverage companies have become inundated with orders as most are related to essential segments of the economy — such essential food items like shelf-stable food and basic meat proteins, as well as frozen foods. In fact, the entire consumer packaged goods (CPG) market has been affected. Toilet paper, disinfectant sprays, and essential home appliances like freezers and bread makers have been gobbled up by panicked buyers. Many consumers have stocked up on basic food, beverage, and personal products for fear of long-term shut-ins, lockdowns, and supply chain collapse. This situation has been confirmed in enough regions worldwide to make it a global trend.

Some have reduced capacity and are, for the moment, operating less efficiently. This is due to five driving factors:

1. Many F&B companies supply products to the foodservice sector, which has all been shut down during the crisis. Sales to these businesses have evaporated and those F&B companies that solely rely on those businesses have shut down.

2. The extra time spent cleaning because of new wipe-down procedures.

3. Social distance mandates, resulting in manufacturers being forced to operate with smaller crews. 

4. Disruptions in the supply chain that may impact production costs and transportation.

5. Fear in the workforce of contracting the illness has had many workers in high-risk demographics choose to take unemployment, compromising manufacturers’ productivity.

New work-from-home norms and reduced site visits for operational and quality management personnel, as well as USDA and FDA inspectors, could potentially put food safety and integrity at risk.

Workflow disruptions for admin, approvals and tracking procedures, and customer services processes have been linked to work-at-home policies for non-essential plant operators and management. IT infrastructure has been significantly stressed to ensure all day-to-day operations can continue remotely.

Working capital is being strained as a result of increased order volume. While the foodservice sector has been decimated, many retail products including essential and quick-cook-and-serve shelf-stable and frozen meal components and products have reported a substantial increase in orders. Flour, yeast, soups, canned meals, and frozen meals for some producers have increased 100%. This in turn has put a stress on suppliers of necessary food ingredients and packaging, as well as a strain on transportation and distribution services.

Online purchases of food and beverage products will increase. With stay-at-home orders, closures of some retail businesses and critical food items being depleted from store shelves due to panic buying, many consumers have turned to on-line purchases of food. On-line food purchases have increased 25% over the last three years but, during the crisis period, it is estimated that more than half of the consumable foods will be purchased on-line.

Manufacturers that have always relied on the traditional distribution center supply chain networks (produce/ship to warehouse/ship to customer) are now developing their own manufacturer-to-consumer networks to make it easier for people to purchase their products without going out. This trend will likely continue post-pandemic.

As the crisis continues, changes and impacts to the industry occur daily, so this list will continue to evolve and grow as we move forward. 

 

Advice for the future.

What’s the new normal in terms of activity compared to pre-COVID? Companies, experts and industry analysts are still trying to assess what that will be. But it is reasonable to assume the result will be somewhere in between what we had pre-COVID and what we are seeing as this continues to unfold during the COVID-19 crisis.

Moving forward, food and beverage companies are likely to see volumes reduce slightly on those products that were primarily purchased during “panic buying.” However, as we have seen throughout history, consumers are quick to change habits, so some of the new eating trends during the crisis might stay with us. The new “normal” will mean social distancing regulations will be relaxed, but not eliminated. Therefore, inefficiencies will continue. People will still eat and drink more at home, which in turn, will sustain the increased level of demand and volume for many of the products consumers purchased for the crisis. 

Other key trends of the “new normal” are: 

1. Many practices implementing during the COVID-19 pandemic that have been disruptive will be part of day-to-day operations. So, things such as cleaning/wipe-downs, social distancing, remote working, tight working capital, additional costs, higher prices from vendors, and inefficient processes, to name a few, will continue.

2. Demand for many products will most likely be higher for a longer while. But no one knows how long this “long while” really will be. Getting used to it will also mean looking at better ways to achieve efficiencies even during stressful moments. 

3. Demand for lower prices coming from consumers has started and will continue until unemployment levels drop.

4. Stock-keeping unit (SKU) proliferations have occurred, as many manufacturers reduced production to more popular items and might alter their portfolios. However, promotions and quick introductions of special products to accommodate consumers might continue to incentivize manufacturers to develop innovative products.

5. Food and beverage manufacturers are learning that there will need to be some smart decisions made on technology to better manage all processes and areas of the business that were made vulnerable through the crisis. These will include all necessary business systems such as ERP, Supply Chain, and Supplier Communication and Quality. But not just those systems. Companies should perform an in-depth analysis of cloud computing, if it’s not already underway.

Technology investments will need to contemplate full data exchange between key departments and functions, and eliminate manual spreadsheets and workarounds. Cloud-based solutions will also be necessary to reduce infrastructure hardware investments. This will free capital for investment on productive assets, ensure business continuity, mitigate risks, and reduce costs related to the information technology (IT) network.

6. Experts, especially those in the healthcare field, do not see this virus as a one-time occurrence. Many say this will occur in waves, so we might see re-occurrences of this pandemic. With this in mind, food and beverage manufacturers will need to have a clear risk management/mitigation strategy in place, as well as focus on the issues that have been addressed.

 

Ecommerce/Supply Chain

Protective Packaging in Ecommerce Moves Closer to Sustainability

Photo by Victoria Strukovskaya on Unsplash Sustainability in ecommerce packaging
Can your protective packaging minimize its bulk without compromising performance?

We need to rethink protective packaging from a sustainability perspective. Through conversations with industry leaders and research on this topic, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) has dedicated time to exploring what that might mean and what innovations are next.

So far, 2020 has been a remarkable year in the world of sustainable protective packaging innovations, driven in large part by the interest in and growth of ecommerce. While ecommerce remains a small percentage of most companies’ overall sales, it is the fastest-growing part, growing 3 times faster than the entire US retail industry. In recent months, ecommerce has become an especially relevant channel, enabling delivery of products and medicine while consumers are in quarantine during the COVID-19 outbreak. One report shows ecommerce retail sales rose 209% during the month of April.

The supply chains for traditional retail and ecommerce are much different. According to DHL’s recent presentation during SPC Virtual Events on its Rethinking Packaging Trend Report, ecommerce packaging is 20 times more frequently handled, with more touch points where a product can be damaged. Replacing damaged products accounts for much higher greenhouse gas emissions and resource usage than the packaging used. And avoiding damage in ecommerce is also a critical part of a positive consumer experience. Ecommerce therefore requires more durable and robust parcels, which, in general, means use of more material.

At the same time, the demand for sustainable packaging in general is on the rise. DHL found that the top trends shaping packaging strategy in the logistics industry include demand for sustainable packaging material and public awareness of packaging waste, ranking at the top of the list along with “provide a positive customer experience.” Global awareness of ocean plastic pollution, in particular, has put pressure on plastics, a material the logistics industry depends on considerably. Many countries have been putting bans on single-use plastics.

Protective packaging does not often perform well in terms of both performance and broader sustainability. Reflecting the primary need to protect the product, oftentimes protective packaging relies on excessive quantity of material, use of bulky material, use of material that is not easily recyclable, or use of material that comes from unsustainable sources, which creates negative environmental impacts. This occurs in both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) ecommerce logistics environments.

The rise of ecommerce has amplified these challenges, as ecommerce for direct delivery to consumers is less mature than B2B logistics and so is generally less optimized. According to DHL, more than 24% of ecommerce packaging is empty space. In addition, end customers directly interact with packaging used in ecommerce. Rather than bulk items being shipped to a store, ecommerce directly ships single items or groups of unique items to the customer. This means that this previously “invisible” B2B transport packaging becomes visible to consumers, who must interact with and manage the disposal of this packaging. Customers can see material use and volumetric inefficiency directly, which negatively impacts their unboxing experience and brand perception.

 

Innovations to explore.

We need to rethink protective packaging from a sustainability perspective. Through conversations with industry leaders and research on this topic, the SPC has dedicated time to exploring what that might mean and what innovations are next.

According to DHL, many emerging data tools exist to improve space efficiency, such as modeling and simulation tools used during development that can assess packaging options in a virtual world while also anticipating packaging size and protection needs. In SPC’s recent virtual Packaging Chat with Microsoft, they also mentioned they are using this technology to optimize their packaging. Other innovations like “box on demand” also offer promise in this space.

DHL found that use of sustainable materials and reusable packaging options are two areas of high interest in packaging logistics. Sustainable materials that are recyclable/compostable and from renewable or recycled content are gaining a lot of traction in response to concerns around the environmental impact of plastics. DHL noted that there is a need to bring more of these packaging materials into the market to drive down costs, allowing them to be more widely adopted.

As far as reusable solutions, DHL notes that industry is eager to explore these. Some industries already use reusable systems at scale, like the automotive industry, and that interest is growing quickly in more sectors. Ecommerce is taking a lead in expanding the use of reusable packaging. DHL itself is piloting a reusable solution in North America.

 

Sustainable solutions emerge from the challenges.

DHL’s findings align with the outcome of SPC’s recent Protective Packaging Design Challenge, which showcases some best-in-class startups working on sustainable packaging materials and reusable packaging. The SPC launched the Protective Packaging Design Challenge in partnership with Ubuntoo, Closed Loop Partners, and the Retail Innovation Center at RILA. The finalists of the challenge include:

Flexi-Hex is a 100% recycled paper-based solution that works for a range of fragile products from the sports, drinks, industrial, automotive, and marine sectors, using a honeycomb geometry to expands and pull over the object requiring protection. This compact nature saves space, protect products, and is reported to be curbside recyclable and compostable.

ClimaCell is produced by TemperPack and made from a recyclable foam derived from paper and plant starch. The technology provides both thermal protection and protection from vibration and shock. The manufacturing process allows the company to vary the thickness of ClimaCell based on needs.

Cruz Foam creates a range of compostable packaging materials by combining the seafood industry waste stream (shrimp shells sourced from sustainable farming) with the overflow waste stream from paper recycling, transforming them into foam. The products have comparable mechanical properties and thermal insulation to expanded polystyrene.

Returnity manufactures customized reusable shipping and delivery packaging out of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) fabrics that meets diverse shipping models for both B2B and B2C needs. They design bags and boxes that can fold when returned empty, with testing performance shown to be superior to paperboard. The package is guaranteed for 40 uses and, once returned, it can be recycled.

Ecovative Mushroom Packaging uses mycelium (mushroom roots) as a self-assembling, biological binder to bind together organic agricultural byproducts, such as wood chips, to produce durable, bio-based, and home-compostable packaging. Ecovative can create custom shapes, even at small volumes, that are water resistant and insulating. Ecovative is Cradle to Cradle Gold Certified.

The finalists are a representative sample of the cutting-edge innovations happening in the world of protective packaging set to disrupt the industry. The SPC and Ubuntoo will continue to showcase the five finalists through virtual events and social media outlets.

In recent webinars with Closed Loop Partners and RILA, the finalists highlighted the need to balance economics, protection performance, and sustainability — alongside a discussion of how the new post-COVID-19 normal has presented some challenges, but also represents a critical opportunity to scale sustainable packaging in ecommerce channels.

While there is no silver bullet solution to sustainable protective packaging, these innovations work together, filling different niches to develop the sustainable packaging system of the future.

New Molded Fiber Packaging Plant Serves Low-Volume Customers

Photo courtesy IMFA New Fiber Innovations molded pulp factory interior
The new Fiber Innovations molded pulp facility in Mexicali, Mexico, can produce prototypes, as well as small- and large-volume orders of protective packaging.

Product protection during shipping and storage is one of the main jobs of packaging. Over the years, a focus on sustainability in packaging has presented a challenge for many types of materials used as cushioning. Non-renewable materials, including many types of plastic packaging, have been seen to contribute to the ecological threat by using limited fossil materials. One solution is using natural, biodegradable, agricultural fibers in packaging, particularly waste fibers.

As a renewable resource, molded fiber continues to have a positive impact on our global environment. And the use of molded fiber packaging is predicted to grow globally at 6% per year for the next three years, according to The Freedonia Group.

Many molded fiber packaging manufacturers have recently added capacity with new machinery or completely new factories. For example, Moulded Fibre Products Ltd. in Lincolnshire, UK, has increased its production capability threefold in the past four years, UFPT established a new factory in El Paso, Texas, last year, and Henry Molded Products has recently expanded capacity in its Lebanon, PA, factory and its facility in Greenville, SC. 

Additionally, Fiber Innovations in Mexicali, Mexico, near the Arizona border, is a current example of the expansion of molded fiber product manufacturing in North America. The owners of this factory are not new to the industry, though. They bring more than 20 years of molded fiber product manufacturing “know-how” to the market.

 

Photo courtesy IMFANew molded pulp factory exterior

The new building is in Mexico, near the Arizona border.

With its new factory, Fiber Innovations sports a new building, new furnishings, and new manufacturing machinery. The multiple molding machines can be used independently to adapt to prototyping requirements and low-volume orders.

Along with packaging design services, Fiber Innovations is now uniquely positioned in the molded fiber manufacturing industry to address the persistent problem, for many potential customers, of minimum order requirements because most molding facilities are designed for high-volume production.

Fiber Innovations is capable of producing both small- and large-volume orders.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a new awareness of conditions that can affect the entire world. Curiously, climate change, which globally manifests its negative effects daily, has not proportionately produced the same level of response. The use of fossil fuels, and products produced by them, continue to present a serious threat to the world community as we know it today.

 

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