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It's open season for Busch beer drinkers

It's open season for Busch beer drinkers

It’s that time of the year where summer is slowly fading away into the autumn equinox which means cooler temperatures, turning of the leaves and … hunting season. To celebrate this time of the year, Busch is launching a newly redesigned package for its beer. The limited-edition 2014 Busch Hunting Can features outdoor graphics composed of deer, elk and duck silhouettes over the Busch’s signature “blaze orange” backdrop.

What’s even more special about this hunting packaging is that Busch beer drinkers will get the opportunity to win the ultimate hunting excursion. Inside the beer packs are randomly seeded 60,000 special-edition “Trophy Cans,” which consumers can use to enter the “Hunt Down a Trophy Can” contest where they can get the chance to win awesome prizes including a hunting getaway of their dreams. It’s like the Willy Wonka of beer!

"For the past several years, we've had a great time playing around with the packaging designs during hunting season to celebrate our loyal drinkers who are avid outdoorsmen and have a passion for hunting," says Edison Yu, vp of value brands at Anheuser-Busch. "New this year, we're giving our fans a chance to win an incredible hunting trip that will be the envy of everyone else at deer camp."

If you’re lucky enough to be a recipient of one of these trophy cans—the equivalent to a golden ticket—fans are supposed to take a picture with the can, upload it to Busch’s Facebook page or Every week, the two most creative submissions will be chosen and winners will be rewarded with hunting equipment prizes.

Then there’s that part about the Grand Prize – an all-expense paid hunting trip at Deer Creek Lodge in Sebree, KY. Weekly winners are entered at the end of the promotion to compete for this dream trip.

The promotion is open to entrants nationwide Sept. 8, through Nov. 30, however, the limited-edition Hunting packaging is only available in select states, mostly across the Midwest and South, from September through November. It is available in four pack sizes: 18-pack 12 oz cans; 24-pack 12 oz cans; 30-pack 12 oz cans; and 25 oz cans.

Seeing double at this year’s Pack Expo

Seeing double at this year’s Pack Expo

McCormick Place is opening its doors Nov. 2-5 as Pack Expo International 2014 touches down in Chicago where it will be co-located with the new Pharma Expo, which makes its debut in the Windy City. The two events together will be the largest resource for processing and packaging innovation in North America this year which is put on by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies.

According to PMMI’s Jim Pittas, vp, trade shows, PMMI expects the two shows to attract a combined 2,000 exhibitors and 50,000 attendees from 130 countries to more than 1.1 million net sq ft of exhibits.

“Pack Expo International is one of the largest trade shows in the country. With this many exhibiting companies, attendees have the chance to see just about any supplier or any kind of technology they need. It’s a breadth and depth of opportunity you just don’t get anyplace else,” Pittas says, noting that attendees can visit both show floors at no additional cost.

“One of the benefits of attending Pack Expo,” he adds, “is how much you can learn, simply by looking at technologies up close, talking to experts and networking with peers. The size and scope of Pack Expo means you’ll encounter—and learn from—innovation everywhere you turn.”

In the zone

While you’re navigating the extensive show floor, be sure to take advantage of the several industry pavilions that coming back to the show floor. These are excellent resources to tap into as they help attendees zero in on the right direction so they can find the technologies they came looking for.

• The Brand Zone: Discover unique containers and materials to differentiate your brand, broaden your appeal, enhance your shelf presence and extend shelf life. Make sure to catch an inspiring display of award-winning designs in the 11th Annual Showcase of Packaging Innovations, sponsored by Dow Chemical Co.

• Confectionery Pavilion:Here attendees can find industry-specific advances that will help create a variety of shapes, tastes and textures, achieve greater flexibility and wrap up a better product. Take advantage of the The Candy Bar lounge where you can network with peers and learn from industry experts.  It’sendorsed by the National Confectioners' Association (NCA).

• The Processing Zone:Start here for front-of-the-line solutions that will help deliver the safety and quality you need at the efficiency and productivity levels you strive to achieve. Suppliers in The Processing Zone will help you make improvements across your whole production line.

• The Reusable Packaging Pavilion: Reduce waste. Slash shipping costs. Protect your goods. Increase productivity and your bottom line. Whether you want to explore reasons like these to invest in reusable packaging or learn how to get more out of assets you already own, this is the place to start. This pavilion is endorsed by the Reusable Packaging Assn. (RPA).

• Food Safety Summit Resource Center:Find information on the latest research and advances—in a field that is constantly changing. This could be the most important stop on the show floor. Talk with experts about topics such as cleaning, allergen control and traceability; and get advice on compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act. The center is organized and owned by Food Safety Summit and co-sponsored by GE.

Live! from Pack Expo

Are you a fan of the Tonight Show? Then you don’t want to miss this exciting opportunity to watch Jay Leno in person. The late-night talk show host for over four decades will be performing Mon., Nov. 3 during the Pack Gives Back event that raises money for K9s for Warriors, an organization dedicated to providing service dogs to military veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress as a result of conflicts and war following 9/11. This is a great chance to kick back and relax with your peers and colleagues after a day on the show floor. 

“We had a unique opportunity to work with K9s for Warriors last year, and came to understand the important work that this organization is doing for the brave men and women who make daily sacrifices for this country,” says Charles Yuska, president/CEO, PMMI. “We see their dedication to the veterans they help and the tremendous benefit to the rescued animals they train.”

Pack Gives Back will be held in the Grand Ballroom (S-100) of the South Building of McCormick Place. The event begins at 4:30 p.m. and Leno will take the stage at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $100 each, which includes beer, wine and light hors d’oeuvres, and are only available to Pack Expo International and Pharma Expo 2014 registrants. Tickets are on sale at

For more information about Pack Expo International 2014 and all the exciting opportunities going on, and to register, visit or contact PMMI’s show department at 571-612-3200 or


Sun.-Wed., Nov. 2-5

9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily

How much can an energy audit save you?

How much can an energy audit save you?

Today, more brand owners are bringing bottle blow molding in-house to save shipping fees, improve their carbon footprint, better control quality or for other reasons. If this describes you, you might be able to save money by doing an audit of the energy consumption of your blow molding equipment.

Plastics Technologies Inc. can help. As a global leader in designing polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, the company has saved a handful of North American customers as much as half a million dollars annually—per plant—by analyzing all stages of bottle manufacturing and finding areas to reduce energy usage while still ensuring quality.

“In today’s environmentally-conscious environment, companies go out of their way to drive weight out of bottles and other packaging components, but they often overlook the significant amount of energy waste that occurs when running the equipment,” says Donald Miller, vp, technical services, PTI.  “Depending on how inefficient energy usage is, this can be a goldmine of ‘found money’ for the company.  If several plants are involved, the energy savings can be well over a million dollars annually.”

PTI is now expanding its services to review and optimize operations all over the world for brand-owner companies that are self-manufacturing their bottles. Each plan is custom designed after thorough analysis of the production operation, including the relationship between preform and bottle platforms. The company will check machine conditions, such as air quality and supply, as well as oven control setup and configuration.

By developing and maintaining an efficient blow molding operation, brand owners can curb their equipment’s energy consumption—and save money in the process.

Top 10 reasons to go to Pack Expo: Gallery

1. Solve problems: If you’ve got a sticky situation that needs a quick fix, find a solution or two (or more) by talking with exhibitors. Search online at by keyword. Or preview some new products that will be on display at the show on our website.

Sure, it’s aisles and aisles of booths. But the Pack Expo experience is so much more.

What makes Pack Expo International a can’t-miss, destination event? Here are some of the top reasons why packaging professionals from around the world flock to the show.

How the ‘Fundamentals’ of packaging have changed

How the ‘Fundamentals’ of packaging have changed

From neophytes to managers, anyone working in the packaging industry can expand their knowledge—and gain or maintain an edge in internal and external relationships—by reading the newest edition of the “Fundamentals of Packaging Technology.”

In June 2014, The Institute of Packaging Professionals released the 5th Edition of the “Fundamentals of Packaging Technology.” At more than 748 pages, this comprehensive edition updated every chapter with new information and graphics, including an expanded section on pharmaceutical packaging. Plus, chapters were added on packaging law and sustainability. And newer topics—such as digital printing, smart packaging, supply chains and e-commerce—received special attention from the nearly 100 experts commissioned to thoroughly overhaul this authoritative textbook.

Jim George, IoPP director of education, explains what has changed and why these changes deserve your attention.

Much of the book was updated with this latest edition. Why do such a comprehensive overhaul now?
George: “Fundamentals of Packaging Technology, 4th Edition” had been on the street since 2009. We decided that rather than continuing to have one author update the entire book, we would leverage the vast expertise of a variety of IoPP members and other industry subject-matter experts, and ask for their collective input in helping us update and expand the new book. It turned out to be a nearly two-year project, but well worth it.

In all, approximately 100 industry professionals contributed to the 5th Edition, providing us much broader and deeper expertise, which enabled us to do such a comprehensive update.

I would like to note that such an undertaking would have been much more difficult without the help of Robert Meisner, one of our IoPP board members, who graciously gave of his time to help coordinate the massive volunteer effort. They say it takes a community to teach an individual, and we believe our approach to the 5th Edition is a great example of that; it’s many of the industry’s most experienced and successful professionals giving back to others working their way up the ladder in our industry.

Please give an example of a significant update in this edition.

George: IoPP’s Drug and Pharmaceutical Packaging Committee, which has representatives from all the major pharmaceutical companies, greatly expanded what previously had been a brief discussion of pharmaceutical packaging. The DPPC turned it into a more comprehensive section of 15 pages that includes new photography, tables, illustrations and references to helpful guidance documents for additional reading. Elsewhere, the book adds a new chapter on packaging law; and expands packaging, sustainable materials and the environment into its own standalone chapter.

What are the benefits of this being a peer-reviewed resource?
George: Our approach for the 5th Edition put many more sets of expert eyes on the content as it moved toward completion. This goes the extra mile not only to ensure accuracy but also assures that the text is more robust from having being reviewed by industry veterans from a variety of perspectives. Beyond that, IoPP Lifetime CPPs were invited to review and update the chapter review questions and also the questions on the IoPP certification exam. We added to our pool of exam questions while also ensuring that chapter review questions are not duplicated on the certification exam.

What area of packaging technology has changed the most from the previous edition and why?

George: The packaging industry has evolved in a number of areas in the past five to seven years. More people are taking a serious look at digital printing for their packaging, bioresins are becoming more commonplace and package design is elevating private-label products to a whole new level of strategic thinking, just to name three examples. These are among the new areas of discussion in the 5th Edition.

How were the graphics updated/enhanced for today’s learners?
George: Some new photography was added as we eliminated some dated images. Many images have been made sharper, and contain updated information where required. Through a special partnership with the Fibre Box Assn., the entire chapter on fiberboard is rewritten, and most of the graphics in the chapter are new, provided by the FBA.

In many areas of the book, links have been added for additional online reading. A few of them take readers to, where we have archived some new information we weren’t able to include in the book.

This book is the official text for the Certified Packaging Professional test. How has the CPP exam also changed to reflect new information?
George: The entire exam has been reviewed to make sure existing questions reflect the content in the 5th Edition. In addition, dozens of new questions have been added to the pool of test questions. The CPP exam draws 150 questions at random, so our larger pool of available questions does an even better job of assuring that each exam is different. By the way, we will begin certification testing to the 5th Edition in the coming months. We recognize there are people who have been taking classes and studying based on the 4th Edition. So for a time, people will have the option of specifying whether they want to test to the 4th Edition or the 5th Edition. Beginning approximately next June, people will be able to test only to the 5th Edition. We will have more information on that in the coming months.

As a side note, IoPP is sold out of the 4th Edition, and it no longer will be printed.

How have the onsite, in person Fundamentals classes changed?
George: They haven’t just yet. Our materials will be updated to reflect the 5th Edition for 2015 classes.

How has the online Fundamentals curriculum changed?
George: All updates to our Fundamentals course are a work in progress. We are reviewing all of our “Fundamentals” course offerings.

Why should packaging professionals invest $285 for a newer edition of the “Fundamentals”?
We know that some industry professionals have continued to use earlier editions of the book for a number of years. The 5th Edition represents a significant content update from the 3rd and 4th Editions, including, as I mentioned earlier, discussions on many new and expanded topic areas. The 5th Edition adds 130 new pages and two new chapters.

And for the first time, we have included a complete answer key within the book for the chapter review questions, to enhance the 5th Edition’s value as a study guide.

While $285 is the standard price for the 5th Edition, but there are ways to purchase it at a lower price—and even get it for free. If you’re an IoPP member, the book is discounted as much as 20%, depending on your tier of membership. Anyone who purchases at least 10 copies of the book gets a special bulk rate of $195 per copy. Anyone who registers for the complete IoPP Fundamentals of Packaging Technology course, whether in-person, online or through our in-house group training program, gets a complimentary copy of the book.

Finally, students who can show proof that they are currently enrolled in an accredited college or university can purchase the book directly from the IoPP bookstore for $171. This is an excellent value for a 750-page textbook that has ongoing value as a reference guide as students move into packaging careers as professionals. Many comparable textbooks in university bookstores sell for $250 to  $300 or more.

How can/should people use this book in their day-to-day job?

George: “Fundamentals of Packaging Technology” is intended to be not only a study guide for IoPP certification, but also a handy in-office reference for providing a variety of information that packaging professionals might need at their fingertips as they make packaging decisions. Often, packaging teams need on-the-spot answers on basic packaging technology. People have often told us they find the book useful for looking up essential information “in the moment.”

Gillette designs a decorated deep-draw blister for new portable razor

Gillette designs a decorated deep-draw blister for new portable razor

A women’s razor package from Procter & Gamble was the first commercial example of think4D technology used in the creation of a decorative, tactile, deep-draw blister. The two companies jointly developed the heat-sealed trapped-blister package for the new Gillette Venus Snap with Embrace on-the-go razor.

Launched in early 2014, the product is a short-handled razor that comes with an injection-molded storage pod. The product’s compact size—the razor is only 2.5 inches long—makes it easy to tuck into a purse, beach bag or toiletry kit.

To complement the product’s small size, the brand owner also wanted to minimize the size of the package. Therefore, the razor is packed into the pod before the pod is filled into the blister.

But with the razor not clearly visible through the blister, the team needed a package-decorating approach that would convey the product’s petite size, bright colors and sculptural, fingertip-friendly design.

The solution was a think4D blister with 1.5-inch depth of draw. Thermoformed into the blister’s consumer-facing curve is a tactile, nearly life-size representation of the product—with UV-coated, high-definition flexo printing registered to the shape of the raised image. The blister is made of amorphous polyethylene terephthalate (APET).

This approach eliminated the need for labels, including not only their cost but also the operational challenge of applying a label to the complex curve of the blister. The result is a cost-effective package with visual and tactile impact that stops shoppers in their tracks.

Mike Marcinkowski, principal engineer, R&D, at Procter & Gamble Global PackDev, led the project team on behalf of Gillette.

Touch-friendly top plates add glam to cosmetics compacts

Touch-friendly top plates add glam to cosmetics compacts

Cosmetics-packaging supplier HCP Packaging USA Inc. has found an unusually good fit for think4D’s technology, specifically in decorating HCP Radii Square and Radii Round compacts.

The covers of the stock compacts are designed with a slight inset for insertion of a decorative top plate, which, when made with the think4D process, adds both visual and tactile interest to the package. In the past, HCP has used paper, metal, liquid epoxy and other materials to create top plates for these families of injection-molded compacts.

Creating think4D top plates “allows us to bring a completely new ‘dimension’” to the compacts, says Damien Dossin, president, HCP Packaging USA. “The compacts become very tactile, and once you pick up a piece, it’s hard to put it down.”

HCP and think4D do not yet have a commercial example of a compact decorated this way. However, think4D used commercial graphics designed by HCP to create a sample top plate. The square samples were flexo printed, UV coated and then thermoformed to add depth to the graphics. The samples are made of amorphous polyethylene terephthalate (APET).

Tactile top plates could be manufactured with a pressure-sensitive backing or without; in the latter case, HCP would use double-sided tape to attach the plates to the compacts.

The think4D technology also could be used inside a compact, for a tray to hold make-up pans. “Up until now, typically the pan wells have been one color, and they typically match the color that the compact is molded in,” Dossin says. “Now you could do them in multicolor. You could print instructions. You could print them with numbers. You have a lot of flexibility.”

He says he expects “sophisticated brands as well as the edgier, younger brands” in the cosmetics industry to be drawn to this decorating technique. Prestigious brands likely would use it as a subtle touch, perhaps just on a logo.

But younger brands will probably use it more boldly. “Some the edgier brands come out with…eye-popping artwork, and to add this tactile element to it would be taking it to the next level,” Dossin explains.

As for cost, he says that “for the right volumes, this is quite affordable compared with some of the other inserts, like metal plates or paper inserts with gel. It’s not cheap. But, for what you’re getting, it’s a good value.”

Natural skin balm uses 3D printing for biodegradable jar

Natural skin balm uses 3D printing for biodegradable jar

Back in 2011, Anita Redd decided to share with the rest of the world her innovative solution to a flaky situation—a life-altering eczema and skin care moisturizer. Jump ahead a few years later and now 1,300 stores nationwide carry Anita’s Balm including Smith Drug, Fleet Feet Sports and numerous specialty stores, and she has since launched other product offerings.

While sales were soaring, Anita had encountered a packaging dilemma as bottles were getting discontinued, so she embarked down the do-it-yourself road and opted for an alternative method to solve her problem—3D printing. This would allow her to customize the bottle design however she wanted, all while using biodegradable materials that decompose much more quickly than traditional plastic.

"I have no chemical background, but I was going to figure it out," she says.

The end result is a 1-oz biodegradable roll-up container that sold out in weeks upon its launch into the marketplace.

"It's the only one like it on the planet," Redd says. She has a patent pending on the design. "The ability to compost and biodegrade is really going to impact the cosmetics industry in unimaginable ways."

Today, her offerings have grown to include the 4-oz jar, lip balm, eye balm, hair balm and a 2.2-oz roll-up that even children can use easily and safely.

Packaging Digest got exclusive details on the innovative packaging from founder Anita Redd.

What turned you on to 3D printing?

Redd: We were excited about the possibilities available to us with 3D printing, in terms of the different plastics we could use and the different shapes we can create. We chose poly lactic acid filament because it is biodegradable and we created a very unique five-piece jar. 3D printing enables us to change our designs relatively quickly and inexpensively and we can adapt to different needs our company has.

Were there any other unexpected results and/or pleasant surprises from packaging production standpoint?

Redd: We experienced some unexpected results along the way with our jar but were able to adjust our drawings and print again. We were pleasantly surprised with how well the jar turned out and with how we can keep our Maker Gear running around the clock with few problems, once we initially got it set up. Maker Gear has made this venture possible and I give great compliments to Rick and Karen Pollack and Josh in their technical department. They have priority mailed parts to us and helped every step of the way; we only use Maker Gears.

What design trends does your packaging set in the cosmetics market?

Redd: Typically cosmetic jars are decorative but use ABS plastic which takes 500 to 1,000 years to break down in landfills and oceans. Jars like ours prove containers can be functional and decorative and not harm the environment. Twist-up tubes are not new—we have several in our product line—but the ability to look like a jar and to twist up the product from the bottom is new, we have a patent pending on the design.

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The truth about tankless systems

The truth about tankless systems

 If you're looking for a hot-melt adhesive system for your packaging needs, you've likely seen advertisements touting "tankless" hot-melt adhesive systems and their benefits. According to the manufacturers of “tankless” adhesive systems, their systems provide all of the benefits of traditional hot-melt systems without the need for a hot-melt tank/reservoir. But what’s the real story when it comes to “tankless” systems, and do they make sense for packaging applications? Let's take a closer look at the truth behind “tankless” adhesive claims.

Even “tankless” systems have tanks. Just because they don't call it a tank doesn't mean it isn't a tank. When describing their products, many manufacturers of “tankless” adhesive systems talk about the system's "hopper" and mention the hopper's "holding capacity" in the specs—and if you think a hopper and a tank are one in the same, you're correct. The “tankless” system’s hopper may be a smaller tank than one found on traditional adhesive systems, but it's a tank nonetheless, no matter what the manufacturer calls it. Tankless systems operate more like plastic extruders which must be fed continuously to operate properly.

Tanks/reservoirs are integral to hot-melt systems in the packaging industry. To ensure you have a sufficient melt rate for a line that requires 10-20 pounds of hot-melt per hour, a traditional adhesive system with a hot-melt tank that has a reservoir between 20 and 40 lbs. is your best bet. A hot-melt tank receives hot-melt chips/pellets manually or from a bulk source and it slowly brings adhesive up to the proper temperature. 

To keep your line moving, and to reduce the number of times you need to adjust or refill the system, a hot-melt system with a tank/reservoir is the perfect buffer and is the best choice.

Automated fill issues cause big problems in “tankless” systems. “Tankless” adhesive systems rely on automatic fill systems to continually add hot-melt chips into the system. This is really convenient when it is working well. However, when the automatic fill technology malfunctions in a “tankless” system, the packaging process is slowed drastically. Unlike traditional hot-melt systems where you can simply introduce additional hot-melt into the tank to continue operating the packaging line at speed, “tankless” systems require users to slow the line to manually feed small amounts of hot-melt into the unit. Talk about tedious!

Tankless systems give you less for more. “Tankless” adhesive systems are more expensive than traditional adhesive systems that employ tanks, but the “benefits” they offer simply don’t justify the additional cost. While you may be tempted to consider a “tankless” system because it seems like the “latest technology,” the reality is that your efficiency and productivity could suffer—or your line could come to a complete standstill—if there’s any issue with the system’s automatic feeder. Packaging businesses are better off sticking with the tried-and-true technology that traditional hot-melt systems provide.

Pierce Covert is the president of Glue Machinery Corp., a company that builds, sells and services industrial hot-melt and cold-glue systems used worldwide by a range of manufacturers.