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Continuous-motion machine applies multipack handles at 600 bpm

Continuous-motion machine applies multipack handles at 600 bpm
Continuous-motion handle applicator

This new handle applicator operates at speeds up to 600 bottles-per-minute. It uses a continuous-motion roll-feed design to create 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 packs. The roll-feed design has reduced the cost of handle dies as well as the number of dies required—one die per bottle neck size, not pack-size configuration. This significantly lowers the acquisition cost of this new continuous-motion handle applicator. See it in action in this video and at Pack Expo International 2014 in Booth #N-5413.

Roberts PolyPro, 800-269-7409

www.RobertsPolyPro.com

LD6050 by START International

LD6050 by START International

Addison, TX – START International, a leading tape and label dispensing solution company, announced the launch of their Labelmoto LD6000 Series label dispensers. An updated machine with new, built-in hanging capacity, the LD6000 Series is a great way for a company to increase productivity in the workplace.

This innovative dispenser includes many benefits that machines from other labeling companies lack, such as all-metal construction and a high-torque motor. In addition, it includes a photosensor that ensures materials are dispensed accurately and consistently. Labels can range from .25” to 7” (6 to 178mm) in width and .125” to 6” (3 to 152mm) in length. To aid you in keeping your working environment clean, the LD6000 Series automatically rewinds liner scrap, which also prevents any work-related injuries due to an employee slipping on silicone-type liner and falling.

When you own a START International dispenser, you add value to your end-user’s production line by increasing the quality of application, reducing material costs, and greatly improving productivity. These machines are simple to operate and maintain, and they empower employees to do their jobs as efficiently as possible.

START International has been providing taping and labeling solutions to manufacturers around the world since 1981. As an application-oriented company, we aim to provide our distributors and end-users with solutions to manufacturing problems, as well as ways to improve upon existing processes. We offer a free material evaluation for our full line of tape and label dispensers and non-adhesive material cutters to ensure dispenser success and customer satisfaction.

zcM1000 by START International

zcM1000 by START International
Electric Tape Dispenser from START International Increases Manufacturing Productivity

Addison, TX – START International’s zcM1000 tape dispensing machine consistently increases productivity across manufacturing lines and in the packaging industry. One of the many reliable tape dispensing machines produced by START, the zcM1000 is ideal for medium to high production of repetitive taping for industrial applications.

This useful dispenser includes many benefits that dispensers produced by other labeling companies lack, such as a steel frame and LED digital length adjustment. In addition, it is compatible with many different accessories, so it can be customized to specifically suit the user’s needs. The zcM1000 accepts tape widths from 28"" - 2"" (7 to 51mm) and dispenses 79"" - 39"" in tape length (20 to 999mm). With an accuracy of +/- .04”, the dispenser virtually eliminates human error and the need to measure manually; this can have a huge positive impact on efficiency in the workplace.

When you own a START International dispenser, you add value to your end-user’s production line by increasing the quality of application, reducing material costs, and greatly improving productivity. These machines are simple to operate and maintain, and they empower employees to do their jobs as efficiently as possible.

START International has been providing taping and labeling solutions to manufacturers around the world since 1981. As an application-oriented company, we aim to provide our distributors and end-users with solutions to manufacturing problems, as well as ways to improve upon existing processes. We offer a free material evaluation for our full line of tape and label dispensers and non-adhesive material cutters to ensure dispenser success and customer satisfaction.

Packaging to brand marketers and consumers: Can you hear me now?

Packaging to brand marketers and consumers: Can you hear me now?
Look, Mom! No leaks! A double-click tells consumers their Mio bottle is not only closed, but it’s sealed.

The philosophical “if a tree falls in the forest…” question notwithstanding, sound can be very subjective. When your baby cries at night, you want to hear it. When someone else’s baby cries on an airplane, no one wants to hear it.

But when it comes to packaging, an audible snap, crackle, click or pop generally contributes positively to the overall user experience. Yes, we all know the difference between sound and noise when it comes to the packaging of salty snacks, so there’s no need to sound off here about it again!

Most often in packaging, sound is associated with a positive reinforcement cue, such as a signal of freshness upon opening, that a pre-determined dose has been measured or perhaps that a bottle of medicine or jug of harmful household cleaner is securely closed and our little loved ones are protected.

In Mintel’s 2014 US Food Packaging Trends reports, reseal ranks second only to freshness as a most desired consumer attribute. In fact, 92% of primary or shared shoppers indicate a product that retains freshness is the most important food packaging feature, and 82% indicate resealable or reclosable packaging is most important. Sound can be a significant contributing factor to reinforcing both freshness and positive reseal.

Sound as an intentional mutli-sensory marketing cue has come a long way since the days of the iconic Tupperware “burp” or even the more “Once you pop, you can’t stop” tagline that become the calling card of the groundbreaking design of the Pringle’s chip cylinder.

According to sensory marketing expert Prof. Charles Spence of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at Oxford University, using auditory cues with food packaging can enhance the user taste experience by as much as 20%.

Recently, such new product launches as Kraft’s MiO, have used sound as a positive reinforcement mechanism. In the case of MiO, on-pack instructions directed consumers to “Flip It, Tip It, Sip It, Click It” …the final instruction directly consumers to listen for a “double-click” sound. The first click of the lid closed the diminutive container. But the second click was reassurance that the container was sealed, thus ensuring the brightly colored, free-flowing water flavoring syrup wouldn’t leak when placed in a pocket, purse or backpack.

Sound is increasingly being used to convey value through product preservation. Packs that help ensure food safety by incorporating audible cues that signal food packs, particularly in such deli categories as processed meats and cheeses, are becoming increasingly commonplace, but are no less valued by both brands and consumers for their ability to extend shelf life. 

In Australia, Fonterra employs a clamshell with a positive reseal flip-top lid for its Mainland brand of Colby cheese slices, which it called out as a “Click & Lock” feature on the front of the pack (left in photo). In Mexico, Sigma Alimentos pioneered an audible snap-top lid for deli meats, for which it earned a Silver Award in DuPont’s 2014 Packaging Innovations competition (right in photo).

Taking the auditory packaging cue to yet another level, Snapsil, a revolutionary one-handed dispensing pack, is bold enough to incorporate the word “snap” directly into the brand conversation. Using a proprietary vacuum-forming process and a unique flexible packaging lidding film, Snapsil emits a clear “snap” sound when the consumer breaks the pack along pre-designated scores. Snapsil’s inaugural market application is the Fountain brand of single-serve condiments in Australia.

Author David Luttenberger is the global packaging director at Mintel. He has 24 years’ packaging experience. He can be reached at dluttenberger@mintel.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @packaginggeek.

The era of feel-good packaging: Gallery

Crest’s “Be” line of toothpastes invites consumers to pick a flavor that defines them (or defines who they want to “Be”): Inspired, Adventurous, Dynamic.

Brands are telling consumers how they will feel if they buy their product—and are doing it front and center on their packages. Packaging designer Rick Barrack admits, “There’s something incredibly appealing about a brand trying to enhance my well-being.”

A recent trip down the supermarket aisle proves how brands are leveraging this strategy. Several can be seen using a strong end benefit to make the consumer believe they need to buy these products to feel better about life. Here are a couple examples via Rick Barrack, chief creative officer/partner, CBX.

Engineering enthusiast sets sights on consumer goods

Engineering enthusiast sets sights on consumer goods

What makes packaging so exciting? Just ask University of Florida’s Alex Felice. This month’s rising star shares with us his passion for packaging.

Tell us about yourself.

Alex Felice: I am a packaging student entering my fifth year at the University of Florida. Math, science and engineering have always been interesting to me, mostly because both my grandfather and uncle are engineers. I have done work in our research lab, as well as completed internships at Cott Beverages and Campbell Soup Co. Outside of school and work, I enjoy golfing, jogging and working on the occasional engineering project with my roommate.

What was it about University of Florida and packaging that made you want to embark down this path?

Felice: Initially interested in the biofuels field, I began my collegiate path in UF’s Biological Engineering program. One of my classes was taught by Dr. Bruce Welt who is the program coordinator for packaging. He mentioned the field a few times in class which piqued my interest, so I asked him for more information. It didn’t take me long to see the appeal and transfer into the packaging program. Packaging offers the unique opportunity to apply technical knowledge, engineering principles and graphic design.

What are some of your favorite classes so far?

Felice: Food Packaging is a course that covers the major technical, safety and legislative issues involved in modern food packaging practices. It was fascinating to learn about the changes in packaging techniques over the past century. For example, learning about tragedies like the Chicago Tylenol murders showed me the importance of packaging and allowed me to understand why the legislation is so stringent.

What are some aspects of the packaging process that excite you? Surprise you?

Felice: It is thrilling to me all that goes into the lifecycle of a package. How a package goes from research and development, to the production line, to distributor’s shelves, to the end consumer is astounding. I don’t think many people outside packaging realize the effort and thought that goes into getting a product safely across the country while keeping the price low and using sustainable practices. I find it an exciting challenge.

Personally, the most surprising aspect of packaging is the sheer scale and volume that is produced by CPG companies. Seeing these companies in action has changed my perspective on packaging. All it takes is a small change in packaging to dramatically impact aspects such as cost and efficiency when done in those large quantities.

What do you envision your dream job being when you graduate?

Felice: My dream job would be working as a packaging engineer at a major CPG company. I especially enjoy technical problem solving and data analysis, so a workplace that allows me to do so would be ideal. Additionally, mobility within the company to foster growth is an essential factor.

Is there a particular area/industry you’d like to focus on?

Felice: The focuses of my internships with CPG companies were food, beverage and other consumer goods. Consumer goods is an industry in which I feel very comfortable, and would like to continue to contribute to. I particularly enjoy the challenges related to consumer safety and health.

Any advice for other prospective students who are considering an education in packaging engineering?

Felice: Packaging is an expanding field which is quickly gaining recognition, meaning more jobs will be available to you, if you take action to network and gain experience during school. Make yourself stand out to your professors and faculty members as they are your best resource for getting into contact with professionals in the industry. Apply for every opportunity that comes your way. Even if you know you can't accept the position offered, the interview experience will help you nail the interview for your ideal internship/job.

Secondly, accept as many internships/co-ops as possible. It may seem difficult to leave your friends at school to work full time for a few months, but it will pay off come graduation. The experience you will gain while working for a real company is invaluable.

How do you see packaging technology evolving over the next few years?

Felice: Packaging technology will maintain a strong focus on sustainability since it is really a tenant of modern packaging, especially for CPG companies. I expect that will never change. I also see the evolution of the consumer-package interaction. The next decade will provide the development of social media integration through QR codes and similar technologies, holographic displays on products and self-heating containers, just to name a few. What an exciting time to be a packaging engineer!

 For more on the School of Packaging at University of Florida, vist www.ufl.edu

Packaging to brand marketers and consumers: Can you hear me now? Gallery

Look, Mom! No leaks! A double-click tells consumers their Mio bottle is not only closed, but it’s sealed.

The philosophical “if a tree falls in the forest…” question notwithstanding, sound can be very subjective. When your baby cries at night, you want to hear it. When someone else’s baby cries on an airplane, no one wants to hear it.

But when it comes to packaging, an audible snap, crackle, click or pop generally contributes positively to the overall user experience, as we see with these three examples.

Temkin-Pouches

Temkin's pouch offering is outlined in our quick spec sheet. Find quick answers on our stock line, or call to discuss custom jobs. Temkin offers an extensive line of pouches and packaging options.

AC power modules now feature quick-connect pull-off terminals

AC power modules now feature quick-connect pull-off terminals

 The newest addition to the IP20-rated PM240-2 power modules product line from Siemens now have 230V single- and three-phase line supply units which feature quick-connect pull-off terminals on the motor, line supply and braking resistor connection, extending the use of the popular Sinamics G120 drives family. This new offering ensures a more streamlined installation as well as upkeep. The modules can also be mounted next to each other without derating.

Other new features include a variable speed cooling fan that is controllable to run according to actual condition as opposed to a basic on/off setting. This helps reduce noise and use of power.

The PM240-2 power modules are ideal for use with general-purpose and servo-drive styles.  Additional offerings include braking resistors, input reactors and output reactors. 

Siemens, 800-879-8079

www.usa.siemens.com/sinamics-g120.  

What you need to know about prescription traceability

What you need to know about prescription traceability

This insider’s guide to understanding new U.S. federal requirements helps make sense of package serialization in light of the Drug Quality and Security Act of 2013 for prescription track-and-trace accountability.

In the United States, the Drug Quality and Security Act of 2013 (DQSA) was signed into law on November 27, 2013 as Public Law 113-54. Title II of the legislation is referred to as the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) and establishes new federal requirements for traceability. The law preempts equivalent state requirements and ensures consistency throughout the US drug supply chain with respect to serialization and traceability in the life sciences supply chain.

On May 8-9, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) conducted an industry workshop with key life sciences supply chain stakeholders.  This workshop was part of the FDA process for developing guidance on transaction reporting.  Under the new law the guidance is required before November 27, 2014 for implementation before January 1, 2015 – just 21 business day apart.  

The new U.S. federal law requires a transaction document (TD) beginning on January 1, 2015 and serialization of all prescription products by manufacturers by November 27, 2017.  The TD is a document, initially in paper or electronic form, constructed by the entity selling the prescription controlled products and provided to the new owner.  It contains transactional information and history and several statements to certify compliance with the law. A system to fully secure the exchange of prescription drug and biologic products is expected by 2023 under the law. 

Change of ownership and transaction details

The “transaction statement” (TS) part of the TD communicates that the entity transferring ownership in a transaction; (A) is authorized (an authorized distributor of record) as required under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act; (B) received the product from a person that is authorized as required under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act; (C) received transaction information and a transaction statement from the prior owner of the product; (D) did not knowingly ship a suspect or illegitimate product; (E) had systems and processes in place to comply with verification requirements,  (F) did not knowingly provide false transaction information; and (G) did not knowingly alter the transaction history.

Also under the law, “transaction information” (TI) must be exchanged and contains ten details, including: (A) the proprietary or established name or names of the product; (B) the strength and dosage form of the product; (C) the National Drug Code number of the product; (D) the container size; (E) the number of containers; (F) the lot number of the product; (G) the date of the transaction; (H) the date of the shipment, if more than 24 hours after the date of the transaction; (I) the business name and address of the person from whom ownership is being transferred; and (J) the business name and address of the person to whom ownership is being transferred.

For those entities in the supply chain who receive finished prescription drug or biologic products they must include “transaction history” (TH) including the transaction information for each prior transaction going back to the manufacturer of the product. 

After November 27, 2017, the TD, including the TS, TH and TI is required in electronic form and transaction information may include the SNI for suspect product investigations defined under the law.

The law requires all saleable items and their sealed homologous shipper case to be uniquely serialized for all prescription drugs traded in the US after November 27, 2017.  A full transaction pedigree will be defined by the FDA prior to the required implementation in November 2023. 

The law also requires manufacturers to trade with only authorized distributors of record (ADR) who have valid up-to-date state licensing and to implement a system to support suspect product verification.  The suspect product verification rules require the manufacturer to investigate suspect product notification and report relevant TD to the FDA.  In June 2014 the FDA released draft guidance for suspect product investigations under the new law. 

Packaging requirements

To comply with serialization, prior to the November 2017 deadline for manufacturers, packaging will need to be adapted to include new serialization information and a logistics data carrier (a symbol that can be scanned with a device) containing the item identity (often using the GS1 Global Trade Item Number or GTIN), serial number, packaging lot number, expiration date.  This will need to be completed in time to ensure all inventory is flushed and only serialized goods are available for trade by the deadline.    

The relationship of serialized contents to serialized containers, such as serialized saleable unit cartons to their serialized shipping cases, may be recorded or electronically aggregated to simplify the handling of serialized goods. This allows inferring the serialization information of the contents from transaction documents and avoid opening cases and scanning all items as the goods move between locations. This is a common practice in other industries where goods are sold and the serialized contents are recorded in electronic Advanced Shipping Notices (ASN) transaction documents, including in the consumer electronics and machine parts industries. While this is not required by the law until 2023, those handling goods in the supply chain may require it to effectively handle and trade the goods and so that they can comply with the suspect product investigation requirements under the new law. 

GS1 (www.gs1.org) is a preeminent global standards organization for encoding point-of-sale and logistics information and machine-readable data carriers used in commerce throughout the world.  US FDA guidance released in March 2010 for standardized numeric identifiers (SNI) in life sciences defines how to serialize drug and biologic products and supports the optional use of GS1 standards. The only symbol approved by GS1 for life sciences serialization is the GS1 DataMatrix 2-dimentional (2D) barcode, which is also defined under the law for saleable items.

GS1 Healthcare US (www.gs1us.org), responsible for GS1 standards in the U.S., is revising its 2013 GS1 Healthcare US Implementation Guideline to support the DSCSA requirements.  The new version 1.2 is expected in September 2014.

A common method for sharing serialization information and serialized content-to-container relationships with trading partners is to use electronic data interchange (EDI).  An emerging standard is electronic product code (EPC) information services (EPCIS) from GS1, which is less widely accepted in life sciences at the time of this writing but will likely emerge as a preferred standard in the next few years. 

Leading wholesalers have stated they will require DSCSA TD as EDI Advanced Shipping Notices (ASN) and have provided requirements to their suppliers. The Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA) and Pharmaceutical Distribution Security Alliance (PDSA) have released guidance on EDI for the DSCSA. 

EPCIS standards are evolving

GS1 EPCIS records events associated with an item as it moves through an organization and the supply chain.  EPCIS is also used to record the aggregated relationship of serialized items sealed in a serialized container, such as the saleable items in a shipper case.  The EPCIS also define communications between systems, including the use of web services.  EPCIS standards are being evolved to allow groups of products identified with a GTIN to be tracked using the packaging LOT number and quantity instead of a serial number to comply with the DSCSA.

In addition to complying with regulatory needs, serialization offers benefits found by other industries that have serialized goods to improve supply chain intelligence and control.  These benefits include tighter control of incentives and chargebacks, authentication of goods in the supply chain, control of illegal diversion by leveraging sales information of uniquely identified goods, and more. Serialization may also be used as a market differentiator to build consumer confidence in the authenticity of products. 

While the cost of serializing and encoding machine readable symbols is largely a cost bore by the manufacturer, serialization also provides new traceability capabilities for supply chain participants, including distributors, pharmacies and hospitals.  They may wish to capture the serial number of products they sale or dispense in an effort to reconcile returns or facilitate recalls by knowing the recipient.   

Companies may wish to leverage the experience and lessons learned from subject matter experts to avoid pitfalls and expedite the deployment of solutions for serialization.  Companies may wish to seek assistance from those with a demonstrated track record of independence from specific solution providers and those who analyze the business needs independent of bias toward specific business solutions. 

About the author

William Fletcher is the managing partner of Pharma Logic Solutions, LLC (www.pharma-logic.com). He has personally assisted 24 leading life-sciences manufacturers and global logistics companies to develop strategy, user requirement specification (URS), vendor selection, system design, implementation, testing and GxP validation for serialization and traceability regulations.  He is a Certified GS1 Professional credentialed by GS1 US, longstanding member of Project Management Institute (PMI) and trained on SAP Aii/OER v7.1.  His experience and lessons learned help facilitate compliance with the DSCSA and avoid wasting time.  His background spans more than 32 years in supply-chain logistics systems, packaging execution system (PES), healthcare and life sciences.  More is available at www.linkedin.com/in/williamfletcher.