Pack World

Peanut butter on tap?

Last year Thornton’s Budgens worked with A Plastic Planet to introduce the world’s first Plastic Free Zones in the store.
Independent U.K. supermarket offers new Unpackaged line of up to 200 everyday essentials on-tap, complementing its Plastic Free Zones, which include 2,380 products in non-plastic packaging.

In what it says is a bid to slash plastic pollution, independent U.K. Supermarket Thornton’s Budgens in Belsize Park, a London Borough of Camden England, has introduced peanut butter on tap. Shoppers visiting the store will now have to buy reusable glass jars and fill them with the product, as well as other everyday essentials such as milk and orange juice.

The move comes as Thornton’s Budgens launches its new plastic-free Unpackaged range of 200 products in collaboration with environmental campaign group A Plastic Planet. Items include loose pulses, beans, grains, and seeds.

Visitors to the Thornton’s Budgens store will also be able to choose from an extended range of vegan and gluten-free foods packaged in plastic-free materials. Ethical Fairtrade coffee served in plastic-free cups will be on offer, and shoppers will be able to buy plastic-free personal care products, including loose soaps, shampoos, and shower gels.

Last year Thornton’s Budgens worked with A Plastic Planet to introduce the world’s first Plastic FreeZones in the store. The zones saw some 1,800 products traditionally packaged in plastic replaced with alternatives such as beechwood netting and coconut bowls. (Updated figures include 2,380 products in early September 2019 and is aiming for 3,000 by year end.) In March 2019, the business reported a 4% weekly sales increase on the back of the introduction of the zones.

Thornton’s Budgens founder Andrew Thornton believes the move is set to be replicated by supermarkets across the world.“Last year we were blown away by the international reaction when we launched our Plastic Free Zones. The new Unpackaged range represents the evolution of this,” he says “Our shoppers love our plastic-free packaging.

“But this is just the beginning. There is no end to our plastic-free ambition. I passionately believe the future of supermarket shopping in the 2020s will be without the toxic material that has done such damage to our planet and ourselves.”

Says A Plastic Planet co-founder Sian Sutherland, “We are very proud of our partnership with Thornton’s Budgens. It has consistently proven that selling plastic-free is not just good for the planet, but good for business.

“People finally have real choice now, and they are voting with their wallets here. After all the pledges and plastic promises from many of the larger supermarkets, it is great to work with a leader who believes in people, planet, and profit—in that order.”

The Unpackaged range officially launched at on Oct. 23, 2019.

Senior Editor, Packaging World

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Roadmap Aims to Address Systemic Issues in the U.S. Recycling System

The Recycling Partnership has unveiled a roadmap aimed at addressing systemic issues in the U.S. recycling system.
A newly-released report from The Recycling Partnership, endorsed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, seeks to catalyze the transition toward a circular economy for packaging.

The Recycling Partnership has unveiled what it says is the first-ever roadmap aimed at addressing systemic issues in the U.S. recycling system and catalyzing the transition toward a circular economy for packaging.The report, “The Bridge to Circularity: Putting the ‘New Plastics Economy’ into Practice in the U.S.,”  was inspired and is endorsed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation whose New Plastics Economy Global Commitment comprises more than 400 businesses, governments, and other organizations that have united behind a common vision and targets to address plastic waste and pollution at its source.

According to the report, there is no single solution to transition to a circular economy—an economic system aimed at eliminating waste by design, keeping materials in use, and regenerating natural systems.

To build a bridge between the current system and an optimized circular system, The Recycling Partnership is calling for a set of concrete actions based on three distinct issues currently undermining the U.S. recycling industry.

Issue #1: The speed of packaging innovation has outpaced the capabilities of our recycling infrastructure. Most plastic packaging is either not being collected for recycling or is simply not currently recyclable.To meet theNew Plastics Economy Global Commitment target whereby 100% of plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025, brands, organizations, and governments must align packaging with the realities of the current recycling system while also investing to advance the system.

Action: “Pathway to Recyclability.” The Recycling Partnership is initiating a more granular process detailing how to move a package from technically recyclable to commonly accepted for recycling with partners such as Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) and the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR). Collaboratives are also being launched with the goal of optimizing the system for multiple materials and packaging formats, including but not exclusive to plastics.

Issue #2: As it stands, the U.S. recycling system cannot deliver the supply of recycled materials demanded by the global commitment. In fact, the report uses the case study of PET bottle recycling and finds an annual gap ofover1 billion pounds between the current U.S. supply and projected demand for rPET in bottles, and that is just one packaging material type among many. It will beimpossible for many companies to meet their ambitious recycled content commitments without significant interventions in the recycling system.

Action: “Unlocking Supply.” The Recycling Partnership will launch an industry-wide $250 million residential recycling intervention to capture more than 340 million pounds of post-consumerplastics,i n addition to over 2 billion pounds of other packaging materials. The report identifies specific strategies to put the capital to immediate use to benefit U.S. communities.

Issue #3: Intractable, underlying challenges create a difficult environment in which to develop a sustainably funded and responsive future recycling system. Bold innovation, supported by transformative policy is critical to tackling the extensive issues within the current system.

Action: “Recycling 2.0.” This new initiative calls for $250 million over five years to design and implement the recycling system of the future by advancing technology, building more robust data systems, and enhancing consumer participation. In addition, in early 2020, a new policy proposal will be launched to address the unique challenges in the U.S. packaging system with the goal of achieving a sustainably funded recycling system for all materials.

“Our current recycling system is fundamentally underfunded and incapable of delivering a circular economy without dramatic evolution. With this report, we are providing the clear roadmap to create a new and improved recycling system of the future,” says Keefe Harrison, CEO, The Recycling Partnership. “We’re providing actionable solutions to help current and future partners build a sustainable and effective recycling system in the U.S.

“To make this a reality, we’re calling for $500 million to fund these new initiatives. This will be the first step toward fully optimizing our nation’s recycling capabilities and ultimately building the bridge to a circular economy.”

The report recommends that plastics packaging be used as the entry point to catalyze system change. However, it repeatedly stresses the importance of building an improved system for all materials, not just plastics.

“Concentrating on plasticsalone will not create a viable platform for a truly circular economy,” advises Harrison, “Nor will recycling alone ultimately suffice.”

Notes Sander Defruyt, Lead of the New Plastics Economy initiative at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, “Tackling the global plastic waste and pollution crisis requires concerted action at a global and local level. We are delighted to see The Recycling Partnership translate the ambitious targets of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment into concrete and progressive actions to be taken in the U.S., urging businesses and governments in the country to step up efforts towards transitioning to a circular economy for plastics. Stakeholders in the U.S., as well asaround the world, must address plastic pollution at its source, by eliminating the plastics we don’t need, innovating the plastics we do need, and circulating them safely in the economy to keep them out of the environment.

Read the full “Bridge to Circularity” report, here.

Senior Editor, Packaging World

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Unilever/Sabic Partnership Created to Keep Plastic in the Loop

Unilever has announced the next phase of its partnership with diversified chemicals manufacturer SABIC.
Partnership results in packaging that uses recycled content from advanced recycling technologies for leading brands that include Magnum, Knorr, and REN Clean Skincare.

Unilever has announced the next phase of its partnership with diversified chemicals manufacturer SABIC, which sees Unilever brands using next-generation packaging solutions based on SABIC’s advanced recycling technology.

SABIC’s certified circular polymers are created from the recycling of low-quality, mixed plastic waste otherwise destined for incineration or landfill.Using SABIC’s technology, in August 2019 Magnum became the first ice-cream brand to use food-grade recycled plastic, launching 600,000 tubs across Belgium, Spain, and The Netherlands, with over 3 million more due to be launched globally in 2020. The recycled plastic is also to be used in Knorr bouillon powder containers for professional kitchens, and REN Clean Skincare’s new airless EVERCALM Global Protection Day Cream packaging.

According to Unilever, the strategic partnership will help it to reach its commitments to tackle plastic waste and achieve a 50% reduction of virgin plastic by 2025.

“Meeting our ambitious plastics sustainability goals will require innovation and collaboration with partners from across the industry and around the world. We are pleased to continue our work with SABIC to help us keep plastic out of the environment and in the circular economy,” says Marika Lindstrom, Vice President Procurement, Unilever.

“Our close collaboration with Unilever in our unified goal to deliver high-quality, sustainable solutions, has resulted in innovative, recyclable food and personal care packaging made with SABIC’s certified circular polymers. These materials—part of our new TRUCIRCLE™ initiative of circular solutions, is proof of our commitment to our customers to deliver solutions that contribute to closing the loop on reutilizing plastic waste,” said Sergi Monros, Vice President, Performance Polymers & Industry Solutions at SABIC. “SABIC understands that innovation is critical to achieving the goals of our sustainability strategy and to helping our customers around the world achieve theirs.”

Senior Editor, Packaging World

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Multipacking reimagined

Matt Reynolds
Consumer attitudes toward plastics, especially the growing anxiety about plastics in the ocean, are reflected in recent developments where multipacking of cans is concerned.

For example, most of the big HDPE multipack can handle suppliers are focused on light-weighting. This is no doubt right-headed because it’s a good example of source reduction. But even lighter HDPE can handles may wind up in the ocean when you consider how bad consumers are at recycling. So it’s encouraging to see, at PACK EXPO Las Vegas and beyond, that some approaches to multipacking of cans go further than mere light-weighting.

The big-splash examples of this have come from brands outside the United States. Denmark’s Carlsberg, for example, has adopted a microdot adhesive strategy, using tiny glue dots directly on and between the cans themselves to hold them together in a six-pack formation. It’s featured prominently on page 32 of this issue. The formation completely eliminates the need for the plastic shrink wrap the company previously used. Carlsberg estimates that once the system is rolled out into all the markets where it has a significant amount of volume in four-, six-, and eight-pack formats, it will reduce plastic waste by approximately 13,000 tons per year.

Also thinking outside the box, Corona this summer introduced a plastic- and adhesive-free interlocking can design that it calls Fit Pack. Imagine stacking two or more of your typical 12- or 16-oz aluminum cans on top of one another, and then twisting to lock them together via a threaded mechanism built into the cans. As the number of cans consumers choose to twist together grows, so does the height of their stack, making the design ungainly if a lot of cans are involved. But for grabbing two or three for the beach, a baseball game, or picnic, there may be an application. A pilot program is currently underway in Mexico, and Corona spokespeople say they plan to make the can design open source for other beverage manufacturers, though retooling packaging machinery may be an issue.

If your antennae were calibrated for it, the recent PACK EXPO Las Vegas was replete with fiber-based multipacking alternatives and the machines designed to apply them. WestRock’s CanCollar™ was one that I saw in person at the show. The can handle is made from WestRock’s wet-strength CarrierKote™ material, which while 86% renewable paperboard fiber, is laminated to a polymer to protect from moisture and rough handling. The recycling profile will vary by regional capacity. Application currently relies on a semi-automatic platform geared more toward microbrew volumes than massive commercial canning operations.

Also showing a fiber-based multipack can handle option at PACK EXPO Las Vegas was Graphic Packaging. It was demonstrating what it calls its environmentally responsible paperboard packaging, which also offers the benefit of clean tops, spacious billboard area, and orientation flexibility. Its associated can handle application machinery is flexible with regard to product orientation and diameter, with core formats ranging from 2x2 to 2x6.

Can handle technology even brought home a coveted Technology Excellence Award from PACK EXPO. The collaboration between machinery builder TECMA ARIES in the role of can handle applicator and molded pulp material technology from E6PR™ resulted in the combined TECMA ARIES E6PR. In this system, four- and six-pack rings made from beer brewing byproducts like barley and wheat ribbons are strong enough to hold cans through distribution, despite being fully compostable. Our earlier coverage of this innovative approach can be found here:

One final example comes from multipack ring carrier pioneer Hi-Cone, which is going the circular economy route to sustainability. It recently launched RingCycles™, which contain greater than 50% post-consumer recycled (PCR) content (LDPE #4 recyclable). They appeared on shelves in late 2019 in the UK. Consumers in the U.S. and Mexico will start seeing them in Q1 in 2020 with additional regions being added throughout the year.

It’s good to see such innovative approaches bubbling up. I suspect we’ll see a few more at next year’s interpack.


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Whiskey, Food Pods Aren’t a New Concept

Stoneyfield Frozen Yogurt Pearls
Whiskey pods made a splash recently, but the pod concept isn’t new. Companies have been trying to make the edible containers and packaging for years.

While discussing the whiskey pod concept with other editors here at Packaging World, we remembered a daring commercialized project from Smithfield Farms that Anne Marie Mohan reported on back in 2014, seen in this five-year-old page of the magazine.

It’s not new or original to dream of first consuming your food, then consuming the container in which food arrives. But a practical program for doing so, one that resonates with consumers but doesn’t require even more packaging to contain the edible container, has yet to surface.

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Whiskey Pods Use Algae Film Casing

Glenlivet Capsule Collection
Single malt Scotch brand The Glenlivet unveiled a “Capsule Collection” of glassless cocktails that the company says “redefine the way whisky is traditionally enjoyed.”

Launched during London Cocktail Week in partnership with acclaimed mixologist Alex Kratena, the limited-edition The Glenlivet Capsule Collection is a range of whisky cocktails served in a seaweed-extract casing, one of nature’s most renewable resources. The casing goes under the Ooho brand from sustainable packaging startup Notpla that was originally reported upon by Packaging World last year (read more at

Available in citrus, wood, or spice flavors, the 23ml edible capsules are fully biodegradable. “The capsule is simply swallowed,” reads the press release from The Glenlivet. The company says it is the first spirits brand in the world to create this type of original consumption experience. The seaweed used to create the film casing grows at a speed of around 1 m per day and actively contributes to de-acidifying oceans.

“As a brand that celebrates originality, we are always looking to break the conventions that have determined how single malt Scotch has historically been enjoyed,” says Miriam Eceolaza, Director of The Glenlivet. “The Capsule Collection does exactly that, and we’re excited to see how people react when they try our glassless cocktails. Our founder, George Smith, always went against the grain, bucking tradition and doing things differently. The Glenlivet Capsule Collection continues his pioneering spirit today.”

No plans for scale commercialization appear to be in the works at the moment, though the project grabbed shocked headlines.


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PMMI’s UnPACKed Podcast Brings Packaging to the Audio

unPACKed logo
Today’s packaging professional has countless avenues to stay up-to-date on industry news and trends.

PMMI announced the launch of a new way to get your packaging and processing insights, research, and innovations. With the UnPACKed with PMMI podcast, listeners can stay up to date on industry news and trends anywhere at any time.

As host, PMMI’s Senior Director of Media and Industry Communications and long-time industry insider Sean Riley facilitates discussions with industry influencers like PMMI Media Group editors, breaks down real-world case studies, and leads deep dives into pressing industry business challenges.

“We know that our members and the industry at large are busy, so having an outlet where they can gain industry information anywhere—on the go, in the comfort of their home, in the office, or wherever they find the time—is important to us,” says Tracy Stout, vice president, marketing and communications, PMMI.

Before the doors closed on PACK EXPO Las Vegas and Healthcare Packaging EXPO, three podcasts were recorded and are ready for listening, offering a taste of show events that exhibitors and attendees may not have been able to attend or want to hear more about.

The more than 700 attendees of PMMI’s Packaging & Processing Women’s Leadership Network breakfast in Las Vegas were captivated by speaker Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic woman in space and the second female director of the Johnson Space Center. OEM magazine Editor-in-Chief Stephanie Neil continued the conversation for those who attended or introduced Ochoa’s story and leadership advice to those who couldn’t make it, with PACK EXPO Rewind: Exploring New Territories with Ellen Ochoa (listen at

Riley and Jim Chrzan, vice president, Content & Brand Strategy, PMMI Media Group recalled three days’ worth of PMMI’s Vision 2025 sessions with PACK EXPO Rewind: A Look into Vision 2025 (listen at In this podcast, the pair discusses Chrzan’s quick look at the challenges and trends tackled by the CPGs, OEMs and contract packagers during the event.

Finally, Packaging World Editor Matt Reynolds sat down and shared the most significant trends he saw at PACK EXPO Las Vegas and Healthcare Packaging EXPO with PACK EXPO Rewind: 2019 Trends From the Show Floor (listen at

To start listening, search for “UnPACKed with PMMI” in the iTunes Podcast or Spotify apps on your phone (or wherever you listen to podcasts) and be sure to click “subscribe” so you receive an alert whenever we upload an episode.

Additional available episodes include:

• Robotics: Innovation 2 Implementation

• Bridging the Skills Gap: How to Launch Your Own Manufacturing Day

• Moving Operational Excellence Forward with the OpX Leadership Network

• Get to Know PMMI’s CEO

To learn more about each episode, visit

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World’s Fastest Aseptic PET Lines with Dry Preform Decontamination

Jin Mai Lang's new bottle design is aimed at attracting younger consumers.
China’s Jin Mai Lang recently installed two complete aseptic PET lines, both leveraging Sidel’s dry preform decontamination system known as Aseptic Combi Predis™.

These Sidel lines, both integrated with Tetra Pak Processing System technologies, deliver an impressive production output of 60,000 bottles/hr – making them the world’s fastest aseptic PET lines with dry preform decontamination for low-acid products. These complete solutions, alongside newly designed PET bottles, another courtesy of Sidel, helped the key player in the Chinese beverage market to increase production capacity of their low- and high-acid products packaged in PET, while lowering their Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Impressed by the benefits gained through this installation, Jin Mai Lang recently invested in another three Sidel aseptic complete lines, running at the same speed.

The Chinese beverage market grew significantly between 2017 and 2018, experiencing +3% in sales volume and +5% in sales value. This positive trajectory was mainly driven by a few beverage categories, including RTD tea which showed a remarkable 7% growth within a single year. It is no surprise then that one of the biggest Chinese beverage and food manufacturers, Jin Mai Lang, recently needed to increase their production capacity around their black and green tea, plus various kinds of flavoured water, to match the rising local demands.

Even before this recent installation, Jin Mai Lang was bottling in PET through Sidel’s hot-fill, wet aseptic, and ultraclean technologies. “We started our successful partnership with Sidel back in 2006,”remembers Xianguo Fan, Chairman of Jin Mai Lang. “Thanks to this 13-year cooperation, which has been materialized in many repeat orders, we currently have more than fifty pieces of Sidel equipment running in our factories, including seven complete PET ultraclean lines and 20 hot-fill PET lines. Over the years, we have built complete confidence in Sidel, recognising the quality and the reliability of their equipment, their innovation-driven mind set, as well as their local support and service capabilities.”

For this new installation, the Chinese beverage company chose Sidel’s proven, safe, and sustainable Aseptic Combi Predis within the two complete aseptic PET lines, benefitting from dry preform decontamination. The lines have been installed in the company’s factories in Tianchang and Cuiping, located in the Anhui and Henan Province, respectively.

“We wanted to minimize our TCO by relying on a sustainable and energy efficient piece of equipment that uses very few chemicals and no water during production. For us, this choice translated to significant savings,” Mr. Fan explains. As an FDA-validated solution already accounting for more than 150 references globally, the Sidel Aseptic Combi Predis offers versatile production to the top Chinese player, who is now able to manage six different SKUs, including three different bottle designs for the 500-mL format and a total of six different flavours. This flexibility is also made possible by significantly reduced changeover times: less than 30 min are required for a bottle format changeover on the Combi. In addition, to secure maximum uptime without compromising absolute food safety, the Aseptic Combi Predis units integrated in both complete PET lines at Jin Mai Lang’s factories have already been successfully validated for 165 continuous production hours.

Benefitting from more than 40 years of experience in aseptic complete lines and thousands of installations successfully operating worldwide, Sidel designed the new lines around Jin Mai Lang’s specific requirements, starting with the customer’s need for maximum performance. Safe and hygienic, the two lines offer an integrated solution from product preparation and treatment through the packaging line up to tertiary packaging. On top of the Aseptic Combi Predis solution, both Sidel lines integrate Tetra Pak Processing Systems (TPPS) technologies, the CapdisTM dry cap decontamination system,a sleever, as well as wrap-around packer and palletizing equipment. Most important, the lines are extremely flexible, allowing the production of all the low acid-products in the company’s portfolio. Moreover, they are engineered for long-term performance, improving OEE while minimizing TCO. The two complete aseptic PET lines started production between the end of 2018 and mid-2019, both featuring more than 95% efficiency while delivering 60,000 bottles/hr.

When highlighting the second big challenge for this customer, Steven Xie, Sidel Packaging Director, explains, “Jin Mai Lang also wanted to refresh the ten-year-old designs applied to their iced and green tea PET bottles. They realised they were no longer perceived as eye-catching by young local consumers, who represent their target group. To address this, Sidel provided a 360° packaging service including more than 15 conceptual and technical designs, pilot bottle tests, and three pilot molds. By taking advantage of the freedom of shape offered by the PET dry preform decontamination process, we helped the customer revamp their product range without increasing the bottle weight, which stays below 18 grams.”

The result is a very modern and dynamic look and feel for increased attractiveness and brand recognition on crowded retailer shelves. A clean and round shoulder is now combined with a bottle base enriched with an embossed pair of glasses, appealing to younger generations of consumers. Economic benefits were also high on the agenda when developing the designs: with this in mind, the sleeve height has been decreased for further cost savings. For additional flexibility and to welcome future needs, the iced tea bottle design has been developed to be applicable to both hot-filling and aseptic packaging production processes.

“We worked hand in hand with Sidel through every stage of the project,” Mr. Fan says. “We especially valued the many meetings we held with the packaging, marketing, and technical teams to define the correct project specifications. Sidel’s quick responses and adaptability to our requirements resulted in a very smooth project management."

In addition to a very close support all along the start-up phase, Sidel provided extensive training of the Jin Mai Lang operators at the customer’s plant to help their workers operate the aseptic lines integrating dry preform decontamination, a technology they were not familiar with. “The two lines have been delivered according to schedule, showing that our combination of customer proximity and global expertise is a winning recipe. Thanks to our strong aftersales support, we achieved production results that exceeded the customer’s expectations. We demonstrated that we are really a customer-centric company” concludes Emily Liu, Sidel Account Manager for Jin Mai Lang.

The future for the leading Chinese beverage producer and Sidel is looking bright: they were extremely pleased with the successful cooperation, so much so that they opted for three further Sidel complete aseptic PET lines, all delivering 60,000 bph, and even selected Sidel as one of their strategic packaging and mould suppliers for the next three years.


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Folding Carton Market Growth Driven by High Demand in Asia-Pacific

Folding Carton Market Growth Driven by High Demand in Asia-Pacific
The cartonboard packaging industry will experience high growth at the end-user level, exceeding $110 billion in 2019 and approaching $150 billion in 2024.

This content was submitted directly to this Web site by Smithers.

According to Smithers’ latest report, The Future of Folding Cartons to 2024, this growth is largely driven by an increasing demand in emerging regions, especially Asia-Pacific, where an additional 11 million tonnes of material, worth over $20 billion at current prices and exchange rates, will be required to meet demand relative to 2019 volumes.

Asia-Pacific was responsible for 58% of the market share in 2018, and is expected to make up 64% of the market share in 2024. North America and Western Europe made up 15% and 11% respectively in 2018, and their market shares are expected to decline to 12% and 9% respectively. The rest of the world will collectively experience a miniscule decline, from 16% in 2018 to 15% in 2024.

Drive for sustainability

The sustainability movement is creating opportunities for folding cartons a as more environmentally friendly alternative to thermoformed foamed polystyrene (PS) and plastic.

As shareholders demand more sustainable packaging, many companies and corporations are recognizing that sustainable business practices can improve financial performance. They are adopting explicit sustainability goals, hiring specialist teams and providing regular feedback to their corporate stakeholders on their progress toward achieving these goals.

In the fresh and fast food markets, cartonboard is replacing foam clam-shell cartons and trays with stretch wrap. While not yet a common alternative, cartonboard trays are available in both folding carton and micro-flute formats, white or brown, printed or plain, and many suppliers have already taken advantage of the gap created by the demise of the foamed PS clam-shell and tray and other plastic formats.

To learn more about key growth drivers and trends in the packaging industry, please visit

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Yaskawa America: Linear Servo Motor Stage

Sigma Trac II
Yaskawa adds the Sigma Trac II series linear servo motors stage to its Sigma-7 servo line. It combines a Yaskawa SGLF2 series linear motor with linear bearings, high resolution absolute optical scale, cable management, and optional bellows to create a turnkey linear stage.

Leveraging the industry-leading performance of Sigma-7 servo amplifiers, system designers and automation end users can design smaller, faster, more accurate linear motion systems for additive manufacturing, packaging, material handling, machining, and assembly applications.

Features include:

• Peak force output up to 540 N

• Speeds up to 5 m/s

• High reliability with 10 million double-stroke design life

• Absolute encoder feedback with 9.765 nm resolution

• Zero maintenance

• Integrated cable management

• Stroke lengths up to 1340 mm

• Optional bellows and X-Y adapter kit

Sigma Trac II with XY Adapter Kit

“Our expertly designed, manufactured, and tested mechatronic solutions can reduce your time-to-market”, stated Bryan Knight, Linear and Direct Drive Product Marketing Manager. “This new linear stage design will allow machine builders to create innovative mechanisms that are smaller and faster than ever before.” By using the latest linear motor and magnet technology, Yaskawa has packed more performance in a smaller, lighter linear motor. When combined with Sigma-7 servo amplifiers, Sigma Trac II linear motor stages provide short settling time for greater repeatability in highly dynamic movements that are typical in packaging, assembly, and additive manufacturing applications. Sigma Trac II stages are available in 3 coil sizes and 13 base lengths, making it is easy to select the optimal linear servo motor stage for your application.

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P&G Home Care Brands in Europe to Use Up to 100% PCR by Early 2020

In the U.K., Fairy is converting its bottles to 100% PCR in its most popular sizes.
P&G announces it will be making 300 million bottles per year for its Fairy dish detergent and Flash and Viakal surface cleaners out of recycled plastic by early 2020.

The Procter & Gamble Company has announced it will more than double the amount of recycled plastic in its packaging for household cleaning brands in Europe by early 2020. P&G brands Fairy liquid dish detergent and Flash and Viakal surface cleaning products will increase the use of recycled plastic to nearly 10,000 tons of post-consumer resin (PCR) and post-industrial resin (PIR), replacing virgin plastic in the supply chain. According to P&G, this is equal to the amount of waste generated by 6.5 million Europeans per day.

In the U.K., Fairy is converting its bottles to 100% PCR in its most popular sizes. Flash and Viakal are converting to 100% recycled plastic in its white and transparent bottles and 50% PIR in all translucent bottles. In total, 300 million bottles across P&G’s European household cleaning brands will be converted annually to either 100% recycled or partially-recycled plastic. Additionally, all surface cleaning wipes will be made of 100% recycled fiber.

According to the company, this is a key milestone in helping to reach its Ambition 2030 commitment of reducing the amount of virgin plastic in all packaging by 50% by 2030. “We are proud of this significant milestone across our cleaning products, as we know with our immense scale we can create a positive impact,” notes Elvan Onal, P&G Vice President for Home Care products in Europe. “Our work in minimizing our footprint goes beyond just the bottle—through our Life Cycle Assessment [LCA], we look holistically at our impact from product design to transit to consumer use, all the way through to end of life to ensure we are responsible stewards of our resources from beginning to end.”

Through LCA findings, P&G learned that the biggest footprint reduction opportunity for home care cleaning products is during the consumer in-use phase, when high amounts of water may be used at home, and often at high temperatures. Therefore, P&G household cleaning product formulas have been optimized to work at low temperatures. According to the company, U.K. consumers wash dishes on average at 117°F; by using Fairy at lower temperatures, consumers can cut their carbon footprint by up to 50%. Similarly, 90% of U.K. consumers wash their floor with warm or hot water. Says P&G, Flash is designed to deliver “brilliant” cleaning at low temperatures, allowing consumers to save on energy.

“Based on our LCA, there is tremendous opportunity for us to build in sustainability through our product performance, saving consumers on energy and water,” continues Onal. “We want to delight our consumers instead of making consumers choose between an environmentally friendly product and one which has the performance they need and love. We welcome this challenge because we know if we make smarter products that work more efficiently, consumers can minimize compensating behaviors and in turn, lower their footprint.”

Senior Editor, Packaging World

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Premier processing event slated for 2021 return

ProFood Tech 2021 Brings Processing Solutions to Key Decision Makers
ProFood Tech 2021 brings processing solutions to key decision makers

Exhibit sales are open for the return of ProFood Tech (April 13-15, 2021; McCormick Place, Chicago). Following one of the most influential events for food and beverage companies in 2019, ProFood Tech 2021 is set to attract an increasing number of executive-level decision makers with significant influence and purchasing power.

Produced by three of the world’s trade show leaders – PACK EXPO, Koelnmesse (organizer of Anuga) and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), ProFood Tech 2021 will display the future of food and beverage processing, drawing 6,000 professionals. The three-day event provides the unique opportunity for suppliers from across the globe to display their latest technologies in action for food and beverage manufacturers. More than just a trade show, ProFood Tech expands invaluable industry knowledge and connections through world-class education on the latest industry trends, engaging receptions and award ceremonies.

“ProFood Tech has quickly become the place to see all that is new and innovative in food and beverage processing,” says Jim Pittas, president and CEO, PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies and the organizer of the PACK EXPO portfolio of trade shows. “The show continues to attract senior-level decision-makers who find value in an event where they can find all the solutions they are looking for under one roof. Our partnership with Koelnmesse and IDFA has resulted in an event that meets the needs of the processing community and brings the industry together to address its most critical issues and challenges.”

The three-day event spans nearly 120,000 net square feet of exhibit space and is expected to draw 450 of the top processing suppliers. For more information and to reserve your space, visit

Sr. Director, Media and Industry Communications

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Honeywell: Camera-based detection system

Honeywell, in collaboration with Papertech, launches TotalVision, a connected, camera-based detection system for the flat sheet industries that enables users to identify and resolve defects on the production line.

The fully integrated total quality control solution is designed for flat sheet and film processes in which surface detection and production break monitoring capabilities are critical for competitive success. This new solution is designed for paper, pulp, tissue, board, extruded film, calendaring, lithium-ion battery, copper, and aluminium foil producers.

Combining Honeywell’s ExperionMX™ technology with market-leading Papertech’s TotalVision™ defect detection and event capturing capabilities, the solution provides a single-window operating environment for all aspects of process and quality control. Customers benefit from faster root cause determination of runnability and quality problems, thereby saving significant time in lost or downgraded production. When integrated with connected offerings such as Honeywell QCS 4.0, system data and analytics can be accessed anytime, anywhere, from any device.

“Honeywell represents an ideal collaborator for Papertech as our industry-leading WebInspector WIS and our WebVision web monitoring system (WMS) single platform TotalVision™ camera system seamlessly integrate with Honeywell’s quality control systems for a range of industries,” said Kari Hilden, CEO of Papertech Inc. “We look forward to working with the global Honeywell team and their customers.”

Honeywell will continue to support existing camera system users with parts and services, while offering an easy migration path to the new solution. Given the collaborative nature of the agreement, customers can choose to take a single party, single-window approach or to engage with Honeywell and Papertech separately.

“As the world moves from plastic to biomaterial-based packaging, and from hydrocarbon-based transportation to electric vehicles, flat sheet producers are under increased pressure to ensure output consistently meets a variety of performance and safety requirements,” said Michael Kennelly, global business leader for sheet, film and foil industries, Honeywell Process Solutions. “By bringing together Honeywell’s core strengths of measurement, control, connected applications and services in flat sheet production with Papertech’s leadership in web monitoring and inspection systems, we uniquely provide customers with that capability along with industry-beating lifecycle costs.”

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Technica International: Pallet inspection system

Pallet inspection system
Technica’s pallet inspection system is designed to inspect wooden or plastic pallets used in factories for major and common defects.

Defective pallets present several problems:

• Stop the line due to fallen product or due to jamming of the conveyors.

• Represent safety hazards during transport and storage.

• Generate waste and quality defects.

• Decrease the OEE of the plant.

Preset quality criteria:

• Clean pallet top surface.

• Structurally solid bottom runners, legs and top planks.

• Removal of protruding nails.

• Dimensional tolerances.

• Load carrying capacity.

Guaranteed results are achieved by using a combination of cameras and laser scanners to check dimensions, and broken parts, and mechanical devices to clean the pallet, remove protruding nails and test the load carrying capacity.

The system can be installed in line for a specific line, or offline, to receive, inspect and sort the pallets of the whole factor.

Rejected pallets are sorted out, stacked and sent out for scrap or maintenance.

Cost-saving calculations have shown a payback period as low as one year, depending on the volumes produced and the quality of the used pallets.

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Videojet: Adjustable 90-deg printhead for CIJ printers

Videojet 1860 CIJ printer
Videojet launches an adjustable 90-deg printhead designed for use with the Videojet 1860 CIJ printer. It enables users to adjust the printhead when a coding configuration changes on their packaging or production line.

The Videojet 1860 printer integrates leading on-board intelligence and communication abilities with exciting technology elements to help meet the ever-evolving and expanding needs of manufacturers. This latest printhead development has been designed to make it easier to adjust the line configuration, without additional printer hardware, in order to address a proliferation of pack sizes and SKUs.

The 1860’s optional 90-deg printhead is the latest innovation to the Videojet 1860 product line. The 90-deg design reduces the amount the umbilical is required to bend, thereby limiting the potential for damage to the wiring. This is particularly of benefit in traversing applications that can stress the umbilical repeatedly.

The space-saving design enables the printer to be integrated easily into a line instead of requiring the user to rearrange the line to fit the printer. Adding more coding flexibility, the printhead features a ratcheting design that offers 350-deg rotational movement of the printhead’s nozzle opening. Moreover, the 45-deg slanted design feature on the face of the printhead delivers more mounting options and provides closer proximity to the product on the line. The printhead can get as close as 2mm from the product, even in gable top and other angled packaging applications, enabling crisper, higher quality codes.

The revolutionary nozzle system features a predictive gutter build-up sensor and provides advanced notice of the most common potential fault conditions. Alert notifications are displayed on the printer and can be sent to a smart device, allowing for pre-emptive corrective action during line changeover or other planned production stoppages. In addition, the 1860’s fluid system features a make-up reserve tank that can keep the printer in action for a minimum eight hours of run time under normal operating conditions, even if a supplies refill alert goes unactioned.

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Regina Chain: Dry running resin

Regina Chain, in collaboration with DuPont, offers e-F.A.S.T. thermoplastic used in conveyors for high-speed, dry-running bottling operations.

Today’s standards for high performance filling lines require a combination of high speed and high productivity, while reducing or eliminating lubrication. Regina e-F.A.S.T. is capable of exceeding such standards due to its ability to deliver a much lower and constant coefficient of friction over time in dry or almost dry running conditions vs. other plastic chains.

The bright yellow color helps identify the need for conveyor cleaning.

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EndFlex: Palletizer

Z.ZAG palletizer
EndFlex’s Z.ZAG palletizer automatically uses vacuum generators to pick up cases one at a time and place them on a pallet from above. Its suction capacity is capable of lifting 40-lb boxes at speeds up to 360 boxes/hr.

The position of each case is calculated automatically according to the desired pattern and the dimensions of the case—the Z.ZAG palletizer locates all cases on one pallet and upon completion will start filling the next pallet as the first pallet is replaced. Placing this end of line application at the end of each production line is less costly than using conveyors to transport cases to an expensive high-speed palletizer.

Designed to SCARA Standards in a compact footprint, the Z.ZAG is created for multiple pack patterns for both column-stacked and interlocked configurations. Servo-driven with PLC controls and a color touch screen make setting up and operating the palletizer extremely user-friendly.

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HMC Products: Smart conveyor system

Smart conveyor system
HMC Products offers a smart conveyor system that controls off-loaded product in several different modes. It features an HMI, PLC, VFD, and two sensors.

The conveyor can operate in three different modes, one of the modes is called Counting Conveyor. This mode uses the switch located at the drop-off area of the main machine to count the pouches. While in this mode, the conveyor will attempt to group the pouches as they come off the machine. The conveyor will stop when the photo-eye does not detect a pouch in the set time to help maintain groups. When set count equals actual count, the conveyor will index at set speed for set duration.

Active Count displays the current count total and has a reset pushbutton.

Pouch Count is the input for the desired number of pouches to group.

Base Speed is the speed in Hz at which the conveyor will run while counting.

Index Speed is the speed in Hz at which the conveyor will run at high speed to separate pouches.

Index Duration is the amount of time the conveyor will run at index speed to separate the pouches from the following group.

No Pouch Stop Delay is the time to stop conveyor when photo-eye does not detect pouch.

The Diverting Conveyor, which does not use the prox switch switch. This mode uses the small light curtain sensor at the end of the conveyor.

While in this mode, the pouches coming off the machine are counted by the light curtain sensor at the end of the conveyor. Once accumulated count equals set count. The diverter will divert either left or right.

On the HMI an operator has four input parameters for adjustments.

The top display/input is the pouch count; this is the number of pouches that is required before the diverter shifts positions. Active Count is the number of pouches the light curtain has seen. When the active count equals the pouch count, the diverter will shift. The active count can be reset with the reset pushbutton on this screen.

Base Speed in Hz is the speed of the conveyor; this adjusts spacing between pouches.

Pouch Delay is the time to delay the divert chute function for the last pouch in count, fall time.

The last mode is Manual Conveyor. When in this mode Base Speed sets the conveyor speed, this mode does no counting of any type.

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ID Plastics LP: Returnable transportation container system

ID PACK returnable transportation container system
ID PACK returnable transportation container system from ID Plastics is specially engineered to meet the tough demands of commercial transport. Featuring a top lid, collapsible sleeve, and pallet base, the system can be customized to the specific needs of supplier and factory-to-factory logistic operations whether large or small in size.

ID PACK is a professionally engineered sleeve pack system which provides – as standard equipment – everything needed for top-notch efficiency and cargo safety. Its stack-supporting top lid, collapsible protective sleeve, and rock-solid pallet base set new standards in reliability and safety. In addition, a wide range of options is available for configuration in accordance with your specific needs.

ID PACK is available with a broad variety of options that can be mixed and matched to meet specific requirements. Simply choose the desired options for an intended application. Even if you don’t see the solution you need here. Let us know and we will come up with a customized solution designed specifically for your unique application.


• Top value for your purchase dollar

• Extremely rugged, highly secure protection

• Lightweight construction

• Big cost savings due to volume reduction in return transport

• Moisture and rot-proof, outstanding UV resistance

• Very easy to handle

• High industrial safety

• Extremely long service life

• Eco-friendly and 100 % recyclable

• Available for purchase, rental or leasing

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Tri-Seal: Embossed induction seal closure liners

Luxe® seal two-piece, embossed induction seal closure liner
Tri-Seal, a Tekni-Plex business, launches the Luxe® seal two-piece, embossed induction seal closure liners that provide an embossed alternative to traditional printed liners.

Using proprietary technology, Tri-Seal has been able to create an embossed induction seal liner that boosts both visual and tactile aesthetics. The latest addition to the Tri-Seal line is suited for a wide variety of products including over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, personal care, cosmetics, nutraceuticals and more.

“In today’s demanding marketplace, brand owners continue to look for ways to differentiate their product. An embossed liner is a memorable way to promote the brand using a wide variety of colors and custom messaging options,” said Brian Jacobi, vice president and general manager, Americas, Tri-Seal.

The Luxe seal two-piece embossed liner not only supports premium brand objects, but it also acts as a counterfeiting deterrent, as well as being tamper- and pilfer-resistant. The liners are compatible with polyethylene terephthalate, polyethylene, polypropylene, and glass containers.

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Pizza Hut Tests Compostable Pizza Box

Round pizza box now being tested by Pizza Hut is industrially compostable.
On October 23, Pizza Hut will introduce a limited-time test of a plant-based pizza topping served up in a game-changing round pizza box that is industrially compostable.

The test of both innovations will take place exclusively at one Pizza Hut location in Phoenix where Pizza Hut will introduce the new Garden Specialty Pizza topped with plant-based Incogmeato™ sausage topping by MorningStar Farms. Pizza Hut partnered with Zume, a company that claims it is pioneering the shift to a more sustainable future of food, to design the round box. It’s made in Zume’s California facility, says Zume CEO and Chairman Alex Garden, “utilizing our technology development and process for molded fiber packaging.” Especially notable is that it uses sustainably harvested plant fibers and is certified as industrially compostable (where available). With this unique approach to packaging, adds Garden, “we can actually create a closed-loop system from farm to fork through to final disposal.”

“We innovate for human’s sake and we’ll win on taste—PERIOD” says Marianne Radley, chief brand officer at Plano, TX-based Pizza Hut. “At Pizza Hut we don't do anything halfway, and improving the customer experience and delivering a better tasting pizza is our core mission. When we talk about feeding more possibilities we mean it—and I can’t wait to share these two new industry-changing innovations with our customers.”

Not only does the round box contain less overall packaging compared to a typical square pizza box, it interlocks easily to ensure a smoother delivery. In other words, no pizza insurance policy needed and freed up space in the fridge for leftovers. Following the event in Phoenix, Pizza Hut will look at ways to roll the box out more widely in the near future.

“This revolutionary round box—the result of a two-year journey—is the most innovative packaging we’ve rolled out to date,” said Nicolas Burquier, Chief Customer & Operations Officer at Pizza Hut. “The round box was engineered to make our products taste even better—by delivering hotter, crispier pizzas. This box is a win, win—it will improve the pizza-eating experience for our customers and simplify the operating experience for our team members.”

“Pizza Hut is an undisputed leader in its use of technology to deliver on its promise of hot, fast, and reliable food,” says Zume’s Garden. “We’re thrilled to support Pizza Hut’s packaging efforts to provide its fans with a great pizza-eating experience.”

Customers in the Phoenix area are encouraged to stop in at the Pizza Hut restaurant located at 3602 E. Thomas Rd. on Oct. 23 at 11:00 am MST to be among the first to try the limited-run Garden Specialty Pizza, served in the new round box featuring Pizza Hut’s green roof logo, while supplies last. This new product combo will be sold for $10 and be available in-store only. All proceeds raised from the sale of the Garden Specialty Pizza and round box during the one day event in Phoenix on 10/23 will be donated to Arizona Forward, a Phoenix-based sustainability organization.

VP Editor Emeritus

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Festo: Remote I/O system

CPX-AP-I remote I/O system
Festo introduces the CPX-AP-I remote I/O system designed to improve the performance of mixed valve terminals and I/O system. It is compatible with most communication protocols, including EtherNet/IP, PROFINET, and EtherCAT.

These compact and lightweight modules can be mounted directly on machines in IP65/IP67 rated environments. CPX-AP-I recently received a 2019 Reddot award for product design.

CPX-AP-I enables valve terminals to be moved closer to pneumatic cylinders, which reduces pressurization time and increases the machine’s overall performance. Process data in and out of each bus module is as much as two kilobytes. Scan cycles for a mix of both valve terminals and I/O are below one millisecond and are expected to approach microseconds. Latency is virtually nonexistent.

Another important feature is that communication and voltage supply are via two separate connecting cables that are also galvanically isolated, eliminating the potential for stray currents. Two separate wires enable the creation of voltage zones that provide reliable control for a host of machine processes.

CPX-AP-I comes standard with a pre-integrated IO-Link® Master and IO-Link device tool for fast, effective application of IO-Link enabled devices. CPX-AP-I ensures that each application can be individually optimized. Cross-communication between modules enables applications requiring high speed and rapid control.

CPX-AP-I remote I/O has the capacity of up to 80 I/O modules, which can be a mix of digital I/O, analog I/O, I/O-Link, and valve terminals. Furthermore, the distances between modules is up to 49 ft (15 meters). CPX-AP-I has a theoretical upper limit of 500 I/O modules and 164 ft (50 meters) distance between modules.

“CPX-AP-I builds on the best features of the remote I/O technology available today and then goes farther by incorporating the latest Ethernet ASIC technology and productivity tools,” said Sandro Quintero, Product Manager – Electric Automation, Festo. “CPX-AP-I offers the best price and performance ratio of any system combining decentralized I/O with valve terminals.”

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Dove’s new initiatives will reduce the use of virgin plastic by 23,000-plus tons per year

Dove’s new initiatives will reduce the use of virgin plastic by 23,000-plus tons per year.
Dove announces new initiatives as part of its 2025 commitment to reduce plastic waste, which include a move to 100% recycled plastic bottles, and plastic-free packs for its beauty bar.

Global beauty brand Dove has unveiled new initiatives and impact figures to accelerate the global beauty industry’s progress to address plastic waste. According to Dove, its initiatives, expected to reduce the use of virgin plastics by approximately 23,000 tons per year, will be one of the largest reduction plans of its kind in the beauty industry. Adds the company, the amount of virgin plastic it will save per year will be enough to circle the Earth 2.7 times. (The equivalence figure for the amount of virgin plastic bottles Dove will save is calculated on the basis of lining up Dove 16-oz/473-mL bottles end to end.) The brand says it has opted for long-term initiatives rather than one-off limited editions to ensure a greater and sustained impact.

To be part of the solution in creating a circular plastics economy, one where plastics are reused and recycled, Dove is accelerating and expanding its actions with renewed force following the NO | BETTER | LESS PLASTIC framework:

  1. NO PLASTIC: Dove is eliminating the use of plastics where possible by using alternative materials and new packaging formats. Next year its iconic beauty bar single packs will be plastic-free globally (production timing is pending on development test results), and development is underway to replace the plastic outerwrap of its beauty-bar multipacks with a zero-plastic material.
  2. BETTER PLASTIC: Dove is committed to investing in more sustainable plastic choices to reduce the use of virgin plastic, supporting the creation of a circular economy for plastics. This includes today’s announcement that Dove will start to launch new 100% recycled plastic (PCR) bottles where technically feasible, in North America and Europe by the end of 2019—across all ranges (Dove, Dove Men+Care, and Baby Dove). 1Dove says it continues to search for solutions where recycled plastic is not currently technically feasible, including for caps and pumps.
  3. LESS PLASTIC: Dove will leverage the technology behind its new reusable, refillable, stainless steel format deodorant sticks: minim™. This technology minimizes waste by reducing the amount of plastic required. The launch date is not yet confirmed, but work is well underway. Minim will be trialed as part of the LOOP™ platform initiative.

Says Sander Defruyt, New Plastics Economy Lead, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, “Better recycling alone will not solve the plastics problems we face today, we must address plastic waste at the source. This means eliminating the plastic items we don’t need, innovating the ones we do need so that all of them are reusable, recyclable, or compostable, and circulating all those we use by reusing them, or recycling them into new products and packaging. Action is needed now, and on all of these fronts in parallel. That is why we welcome Dove’s announcements. Their significant strides help reduce Dove’s use of virgin plastics, and help to accelerate the global transition to a circular economy for plastics.”

Dove’s initiatives will contribute to Unilever’s recently announced new commitments on plastic:

  • To halve its use of virgin plastic, by reducing its absolute use of plastic packaging by more than 110,000 tons and accelerating its use of recycled plastic
  • To help collect and process more plastic packaging than it sells

They also build on Unilever and Dove’s history of action on plastic alternatives, including Unilever becoming a partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastic Economy initiative and Dove avoiding the use of more than 11,000 tons of virgin plastic in the last decade.

Explains Marcela Melero, Dove Global Skin Cleansing Vice President, “At Dove, we believe in care that goes further: for our consumers as well as our planet. We are passionately committed to being one of the brands making the biggest impact against plastic waste. We know we’re not perfect, but we can’t afford to wait. We’re working to have the biggest positive impact we can, as quickly as we can, and empowering others to do the same.”

Adds, Richard Slater, Unilever Chief R&D Officer, “At Dove, we are proud to have more than 100 initiatives ongoing around the world dedicated to tackling plastic waste. But as one of the biggest beauty brands in the world, we have a responsibility to accelerate our progress even further. Today’s announcements are an important step in our work to transform how we produce, use, and dispose of plastic packaging. By making this move, we aim to drive the global recycling industry to collect more waste plastic and make more recycled plastic available for use.’’

1According to Dove, there are only a few exceptions within the whole portfolio that are not fully 100% recycled bottles but still present a very high percentage in certain specific markets, and the plan is to achieve 100% very soon. These exceptions are:

  • In Europe, Dove bottles with MuCell technology will be at 97% recycled plastic content by year end. Liquid handwash, also with MuCell technology, will be at 97% recycled plastic but Dove had to postpone the implementation to Q3-20 as there is not enough reliable, good quality recycled PP available to allow for 100% application.
  • The self-foaming and liquid handwash formats in North America will be at 78% recycled plastic. Dove says its continues to explore possible options to move these products to 100%.
  • Deodorant packs are made mainly of PP. Currently, there is not enough reliable, good quality recycled PP available to allow for 100% application, says Dove. So the company has started with as much recycled plastic as it can incorporate, without negatively impacting the functional properties of the pack. The percentage of recycled plastic differs, depending on the structures (for example, sticks versus roll-ons) and the pack colors.
  • Certain types of color-vignetted bottles in its hair range in North America and Europe, where no technical solution yet exists. But Dove says it is exploring ways to make a similar move.
Senior Editor, Packaging World

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NiMCO Corp.: Vf/f/s machine for gable-top cartons

Model 3140
NiMCO’s Model 3140 Dry Fill is a single lane vf/f/s machine for gable-top cartons.

The new CAP-PAC ® Spout Applicator can be installed into the machine to automatically feed, apply, and weld plastic spouts to gable-top containers.

Fitments can be applied to standard liquid package cross-sections, from 1/2 (1.5 liter) to 1 gal (5 liter), Tetra Rex®, or Pure Pak® style constructions, custom package formats, and rectangular shapes.

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Color Drives Graphics for Organic BBQ Sauce

The Organics line uses a colored background and a Kraft tag.
New BBQ sauce line in a new, inverted pouch for Uncle Dougie’s requires packaging graphics that differentiate it on shelf while aligning with the company’s legacy bottled products.

When Rob Johnson, CEO of Uncle Dougie’s joined the company in August 2017, he took an inventory of the package graphics for the company’s barbecue sauces and found there were some elements that had become more common in the category that Uncle Dougie’s was missing. One request from consumers was a clear indication on the label of the heat level of the sauce. This inspired the creation of Uncle Dougie’s Heat-O-Meter—a set of five flame icons, with the heat of the sauce indicated by the number of flames colored red versus white—which can now be found on all of its BBQ sauce packaging. The other, he says, was a description of the taste profile for each variety, an important addition as some of the flavors were not as “straight up the middle” as some of Uncle Dougie’s legacy sauces.

When it came to designing the graphics for the new Organics line in the STANDCAP pouch, the goal was to make them different enough from the jar labels so that they were clearly distinguishable, but similar enough that they provided a consistent brand identity. To accomplish this, Uncle Dougie’s worked with its longtime design partner, Schafer Condon Carter (SCC).

To differentiate the new Organics line from Uncle Dougie’s bottled offerings, SCC flipped the color scheme. Whereas the labels on the jars use a Kraft-colored background with a hang-tag illustration (a nod to its small-batch provenance) in a solid color, the Organics graphics comprise a bright, solid-colored background with a Kraft-colored hang tag. “It was just a way to unify the entire line around the same packaging graphics architecture, but differentiate the Organics line so when people saw it, they would know it was something a little bit different,” Johnson explains.

For the bottle label, the Uncle Dougie’s logo in brown is positioned vertically on the left side of the front panel. The pouch provides a bigger billboard, so the logo takes a prominent position at the top of the package and is printed in white. Underneath the logo is a solid-colored white bar within which is the Organics moniker in the same color as used for the pouch.

Just as with the bottled sauces, a cartoon illustration of founder Doug Tomek giving a thumbs-up sign peeks out from behind the hang tag on the Organics line. The hang tag itself uses a different design, but uses the same typography and provides the flavor names and descriptions, just like the hang tag on the bottle labels.

In terms of the background color for the Organics pouches, SCC and Uncle Dougie’s chose colors for each variety that would align with the different flavors, while still being mindful of Glenroy’s requirements, as well as the color’s compatibility with other graphic elements on the package. “For example, for our Hickory Bourbon, we originally wanted to have a reddish brown color just because of the color of the sauce,” says Johnson. “But it would have been impossible for us to get some of the other things on the package, such as the Heat-O-Meter, to stand out with that color.” Instead, Rich Hickory Bourbon uses a burnt orange color.

Of the final design, Johnson says he is “really happy with the way it turned out.” He adds, “I think one of the cool things is, like I said, our brand motto is ‘Good, Clean Fun,’ and I think the range of colors makes the product portfolio look really fun. When you’ve got the product on-shelf with all these bright colors, it’s just a really fun package.”

Read main article, "Inverted Pouch for BBW Sauce a First for the Category," here.

Senior Editor, Packaging World

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Serendipity Strikes a Third Time with Sustainability

A life-cycle analysis of glass jars versus flexible pouches yielded surprising results.
In analyzing the sustainability of the new inverted squeeze pouch for its BBQ sauce, Uncle Dougie’s is surprised to learn of its environmental impact versus glass jars.

In the accompanying article, CEO of Uncle Dougie’s Rob Johnson explains how serendipity led to the partnership between the BBQ sauce maker and STANDCAP supplier Glenroy just when it was looking for a replacement for its glass packaging, and then again how it led to finding a co-packer willing to invest in filling the unique packaging format. In a third serendipitous event, Johnson’s municipality in Boise, ID, stopped collecting glass for recycling—a move that led him to research the reality behind glass’s perceived sustainability versus glass.

“I found there are a lot of municipalities around the country that are no longer accepting glass in curbside recycling for a whole host of reasons,” Johnson says. “Number one, it’s really resource intensive to clean and process glass to be recycled. And, number two, the secondary market for recycled glass just isn’t robust enough for it to be a profit-making enterprise for waste companies.

“The other thing is, because it’s such a laborious process to recycle glass, the demand for it and the throughput don’t match up. So there’s way too much glass to be cleaned and recycled than there is capacity to do it. As a result, all of these municipal waste companies are collecting glass, and it is, in effect, going into the landfill anyway.”

With this information in hand, Johnson began to wonder if the STANDCAP, with its lightweight, flexible nature, might actually be more sustainable than glass, even though it’s not recyclable. To find the answer to that question, Uncle Dougie’s worked with Glenroy and the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) to measure the environmental footprint of squeeze pouches versus typical glass bottles for BBQ sauce. “The results,” says Johnson, “were a lot more dramatic than we were anticipating.”

When comparing an 18-oz glass bottle with a 13.5-oz squeeze pouch using COMPASS® life-cycle assessment software from the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), NMI found that the squeeze pouch reduces the use of fossil fuel by 65%; reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 78%, including a 30% reduction in GHGs resulting from transportation of the pouches; and decreases the amount of water used by 80%.

“What’s interesting about this is that most people’s preconception would probably be that glass is going to be better for the environment than a plastic pouch, and that could not be more untrue,” says Johnson. “Based on these findings, the pouch is dramatically better for the environment.

“But one of the most important things about this to us is that it’s not just about building a business and creating a better consumer experience in the category, it’s also about—as Doug [Doug Tomek, founder of Uncle Dougie’s] likes to say—leaving the world a better place than we found it. And I think despite people’s reservations about plastic versus glass, obviously the impact this is going to have for us to be selling barbecue sauce in a flexible pouch as opposed to a glass bottle is really, really significant.”

The pouch’s lighter weight also makes it a better option for shipping via e-commerce—a benefit Uncle Dougie’s hadn’t been aiming for with the project, but one that will allow it to get its product into the hands of more consumers, as shipping long distances becomes more economical with the pouch.

Although there is not currently a way for multilayer film to be recycled, Johnson says that now, with its STANDCAP package, the moment a solution becomes available, Uncle Dougie’s will be able to take advantage of it immediately, without having to upend its supply chain.

Read main article, "Inverted Pouch for BBW Sauce a First for the Category," here.

Senior Editor, Packaging World

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The Dos and Don’ts of Beer Packaging

Troy Wade, Co-Founder & Strategy Director, Brown&co
Troy Wade, co-founder and Strategy Director of brand design firm Brown&co, shares some of the biggest mistakes both heritage and craft beer brands make in designing their packaging and offers insight how to better appeal to consumers.

Packaging World:

What is the most common mistake heritage beer brands make when they try to redesign their packaging to appeal to a younger audience?

Troy Wade:

One of the biggest mistakes they make is that they throw away all the heritage of the brand. They say, “Oh this looks old-fashioned. It’s dialing up all sorts of cues from the past. So let’s throw all those away, and let’s make this thing modern.” In fact, there’s a classic example happening right under our noses, right this minute.

So Cobra Beer is an Indian beer [manufactured in the U.K. and India]. They’ve been building a brand for about 20 years, and they built it on their Indian heritage and Indian provenance. And now clearly the client said something like, “We want to appeal to a younger audience or to a newer generation, and we want something anyone in the world can access.” So they’ve completely thrown away everything they’ve built up over the last 20 years, and it lost all its Indian-ness, and now it just looks like a generic beer brand. So that’s kind of what I’m talking about. The idea is that they’ve thrown away all their provenance because they’re trying to appeal to a young audience, and so they’ve become nothing.

I mean, now it even says Cobra World Beer, and it’s got a yellow diamond with a green square in it. It used to have Indian writing. It used to show, embossed on the bottle, palm trees and Indian iconography. They dialed up the parts of India that were quite romantic—because India can have some very non-romantic connotations. But they definitely played beautifully into the romantic aspects of the country.

One of the comments I made in a discussion on the new brand on LinkedIn was, “I’m South African, but I currently live in London, and I’ve traveled the world. But in order to say that I’m a man of the world, does that mean that I have to give up the fact that I’m from South Africa? Or can I be a South African who’s got a global view?” Why does Cobra have to give up its Indian-ness in order to appeal to people who say that it belongs in the world? In fact, if anything, I don’t trust when people move to another country, and then they give up their heritage. I’m like, “Well, what happened? What went wrong? Why are you giving up where you came from? Why are you so ashamed of it? Why are you changing so radically? What’s wrong?”

So that’s sort of the first problem I think, because you want to appeal to someone young that means that we can’t be old, and actually, what we have learned about millennial consumers is that the term millennials is a huge, ambiguous label for an epic group of people that isn’t quite as nondescript. We have learned that they are actually buying less, but they are buying higher quality, and they’re looking for authenticity. So they want brands that have stories, they want brands that are paying attention to the environment and to social issues, and they want brands that stand for something that’s been built up over time.

So, what happens when you throw away all your heritage thinking you’re appealing to a younger audience is that you’re actually turning the younger audience off, because they see you as unauthentic. They are wondering why you’re trying to be hip; they’re wondering what’s wrong with the product if you are radically changing the packaging to the point where it’s no longer recognizable. And, you’re not actually appealing to one of the core tenets of how they choose products and brands, which is that they like things with back stories and authenticity.

At Brown&co, we do a lot of work in beer, and often the point at which a client comes to us is when they’ve tried to do this and it failed. Then they come to us and say, “Please help. How can we fix this?” And the first thing we always do is we say, “Right, we’re going to bring your history back.”

As a recent example, we worked with a brand in Turkey called EFES, which was the first beer in Turkey. They threw away all their heritage and provenance, and when we worked with them, we actually went back not just to the most recent pack that had heritage, which was about 2013, but we actually started with the 1965 pack. Because we thought the 1965 pack had even more heritage and even more provenance.

Why do you believe beer brands aimed at women have failed? What can mainstream beer brands do to appeal to women through package design?

One of the trends over the last 10 years or so has been that more and more women are drinking beer. So, of course all the big beer brands go, “Oh great, women like beer, so let’s make a beer brand for women.” They’ve done that, but I have yet to see a successful version. They try to make beer feminine. But what we’ve learned is that women aren’t drinking beer because they want it to be feminine, they’re drinking it because they like the masculinity of beer. And, from a branding perspective, women who are choosing beer are choosing it because it blurs the gender stereotype, and it says something about their version of femininity.

The thing is though, not all versions of masculinity appeal to women. We did a big project with SABMiller, and what we learned was that there is a modern masculinity that women find appealing. It’s a more open masculinity, it’s more friendly, less macho and aggressive. The mistake beer companies make is that they want to make a beer for women, so they make it look like a women’s beer. The solution is to keep making beer masculine, but with the certain type of masculinity that appeals to women.

Do you have an example of a beer that was designed to appeal to women?

This particular one I will share with you was actually designed and packaged to look like champagne, and it came in a pink box. It was called Aurosa [brewed in the Czech Republic], and it failed miserably.

What are some of the mistakes you’ve seen when heritage brands have redesigned their packaging to compete with craft beer?

Obviously the rise of craft beer was seen as a major threat to a lot of the big guys, who responded either by buying out some of the craft breweries and just absorbing them and turning them into their own brands, or by launching their own craft beer brand. Or, they turned an existing brand that wasn’t doing terribly well into some kind of craft offering. A lot of the time those strategies have failed because when someone knows a major beer manufacturer has gotten their hands on something, and they’re trying to make it look like something it’s not, it’s seen as inauthentic, and it lacks credibility.

The secret for corporate beer manufacturers and large-scale manufacturers to be successful is not to be something they’re not—you can’t be a craft beer brand or manufacturer if you are a massive company, so don’t try to be. Rather, play to your own strengths, which is that you know you can offer something that is consistent, you can offer great distribution, and your beer can be found everywhere. It’s something consumers can keep going back to, and they know what they’re going to get—the quality is going to be the same whenever they drink it.

Most of the big beer brands actually started out as little craft beer brands way back when. And because they were so good, and because they were successful, many people bought them, and that’s why they have made it large-scale now. Actually, most of the big beer manufacturers are where the little craft beer manufacturers want to be in a decade or two. They’re just a few steps ahead.

It also depends on how you define a craft beer. I have spoken with the heads of craft beer associations around the world, and some of the definitions of craft have to deal with size of manufacturer, so small quantities, small scale. But others don’t talk about size, they talk about the quality of ingredients or the amount of care that goes into the manufacturing of something. So, in some definitions of craft, you could actually be a massive brewery but still be considered a craft brewer because of the quality of your beer.

One example is Pilsner Urquell, which is brewed in the Czech Republic and was the very first lager beer every manufactured. I went to the brewery about two months ago to have a look, and its beer is made in a very craft way still, even though they’re brewing massive amounts of it. But it’s all brewed in one place, it’s made with single-source ingredients, and they don’t allow others to just produce it around the world under license; every drop has to be made within the Czech Republic under their supervision. So again, you could argue that even though they are a massive producer, there is more craft involved there than with a small manufacturer that is allowing people all over the world to make their beer under license.

What are some of the mistakes craft beers make in their package design?

A lot of the craft beers these days just seem to be rooted in nothing. It just seems to be what’s cool and what’s hip and what’s-the-next-out-there sort of beer-pack execution. But it doesn’t really say anything about the beer itself or help me understand the brewer, or what the brewing process is like, or what makes it different or better. So five years down the line, I still am no closer to understanding anything more than I was five years ago. The art of brand building is to help people understand things better over time. If you’re just trying to be funky and hip all the time, and that’s all you are, five years from now, you’re either still hip and funky, or you’re not, but no one has learned anything. You haven’t built any stickiness into the strategy along the way.

For example, if I blocked off the name of one of those craft beers and said, “Right, who makes this?” You’d probably go, “I don’t actually know, it’s just the yellow can with that really cool graffiti writing on it.” In terms of brand building, it feels like it’s all about the execution and all about the look, but it doesn’t feel like it’s anything more than that. You can be outdone by the next guy who comes in with the next coolest-looking can, and then your can isn’t so cool anymore, and you’ve got nothing else to fall back on.

It’s like the old marketing principle about never building your brand on price. So if you’re the cheap one, all it takes is someone else to come in and sell something cheaper than you, and then suddenly you stand for nothing. Craft brewers should be playing to the intrinsics of the product itself and perhaps a philosophy: “We stand for something different. We believe in something different. We approach this in a different way.” Build on foundations, build on rock instead of building on sand.

And that doesn’t limit creativity. I call them “liberating constraints”—they give you something to work from, which then at least gets your mind thinking in a certain way. And if you’re building on something, it can actually give you ideas and give you fodder, give you seeds from which to germinate thoughts. So rather than seeing it as something that limits you, I think it’s, “The sky is the limit.” Often, you just don’t know where to start, or you don’t know where to go, or you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve, so you kind of go nowhere. But craft beers need look at something a bit deeper: “What am I actually offering here that’s different? What am I offering here that’s better?”

If you’re a stout or a porter, and you’re rich and you’re dark, then maybe start with something that talks about the fact that you’re rich and you’re dark as a style. Or, if you’re a producer that stands for organic, or if you’re a producer that stands for non-alcohol, or for responsible drinking, or for anything, if you’re an overtly masculine brand, then something in what you do should always be about trying to help people understand that’s what you’re about, and that’s what you stand for. Because then, if there comes a time when you launch another beer, people will know you for something, and therefore, when you launch the new product, they’ll be more willing and more receptive to trying it because they’ll know the style they’re going to get.

An example would be Apple as a brand. If Apple launched a car tomorrow, I think a lot of people might buy an Apple car, even though Apple has never built a car before, because they’d say, “Well, Apple built it, and therefore it’s going to have a certain design ethic, it’s going to have a certain point of view, and I kind of know the kind of car I’m going to get from Apple.”

If was just, here’s a car and here’s a telephone and here’s a TV and here’s a music player that didn’t really have anything underpinning it all, you would just think, “Another music player.” If they launched a car, you’d go, “Well, I don’t know why I should buy this car because it’s just another car.”

That’s the problem a lot of craft brewers are making at the moment. They’re playing to all the trends, but they’re not playing to any sort of truth underneath those trends. That’s what they need to be focusing on. As I said earlier, millennials and young audiences want that sense of authenticity and something underpinning the brand. They want to buy something beyond the product, and they’re willing to spend more on it.

How do some craft beer brands grow big without losing their craft credentials, while others don’t?

In the U.K., there’s an excellent comparison you can make between Meantime Brewery and Brew Dog. They launched at roughly the same time about 10 years ago. Meantime is based in Greenwich, which is where the Greenwich meridian runs through, so that’s why they sell the Meantime concept. BrewDog started in Scotland. Then SABMiller bought Meantime, and of course, in the minds of consumers, Meantime Brewing sold out from being a craft brewery and got bought out by one of the big guys, and they lost a lot of their credibility. You start seeing all the cost savings in packaging and things becoming more generic, and you can sort of see how they’re trying to make it fit within a larger consortium of beer brands. They still make good beer, but they’ve become very much—and they feel very much—like another mainstream beer.

Whereas BrewDog, they have never sold out. They actually started selling shares in their business to consumers so anyone could own BrewDog. They were innovative and they grew, and now BrewDog is sold in 60 or 70 countries around the world, and it’s still growing exponentially. And even though it’s sold in so many parts of the world now, beer lovers still consider it a craft beer brand and still think it’s kept its credibility and authenticity.

And I think that’s the word: authenticity. I keep saying it, but I feel that’s the way you grow. You grow in a way that feel authentic, you stand for something, and you don’t ever bend your principles. You’re not seen as giving up on your values and your principles or your beliefs in order to make money, which is what Meantime seemed to do. Whereas BrewDog was always very clear about what they stood for at the beginning, and they still seem to be living those values and have retained their authenticity. And that’s how some craft brands have grown and remained authentic. It’s about that sense of knowing who you are and not giving that up for anything.

Senior Editor, Packaging World

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Fruit Company Found Pharma Cold Shipper Extended Shelf Life by Three to Four Days

Chris Day, Director Marketing & Business Development at Sonoco ThermoSafe
Live from the 2019 Cold Chain Global Forum: Using robust pharmaceutical technology for a trial, BerryCo. preserved shelf life and sweetness offering promise in optimizing harvest time.

Food waste has a serious detrimental impact on climate change and sustainability. According to Barclay’s Sustainable & Thematic Investing, 1.3 billion tonnes (UK) of food is lost or wasted each year. The commodity groups with the highest proportion of waste include fruit and vegetables as well as roots and tubers, each with 45% of overall volume estimated to go to waste.

At IQPC’sGlobal Cold Chain Forumin Boston Oct. 15 to 18, Chris Day, Director Marketing & Business Development atSonoco ThermoSafe, asked, “What if we didn’t have to grow that in the first place?” The spoilage also leads to wasted packaging and transportation costs, which contribute to the overall carbon footprint. Day said that remote monitoring and spoilage reduction are emerging opportunities for the sector.

BerryCo., the world’s largest producer of berries, sought answers to some difficult questions around waste and looked into pharmaceutical cold chain technology. The company wanted to deliver sweeter berries to the east coast, with longer shelf life and less product loss. In fact, the top priority by its new CEO was to increase berry sweetness.

Sweetness is a growth driver in higher end berry markets, and BerryCo. was focused on its raspberries and blackberries as those fruits are not as “hearty” in transit and are more expensive. A competitive startup began making inroads in some of BerryCo.’s east coast markets—the company knew it had to look into more robust packaging, but it needed data to justify higher priced transportation.

Existing path to market

The berries are harvested in California, and trucked to the east coast in a five-day trip typically using thermal blankets and passive containers. Harvest timing, shipping temperature and handling all have an impact on taste. “The bumpy ride traumatizes the fruit,” said Day, explaining that the fruit is related to pharma (logistically) because it’s treated as a living entity impacted by its transport. “And thereareways to quantify taste,” he added.


Sonoco Thermosafe provided custom reprogramming of its PharmaPort 360—as Day dubbed it, the Berry Port. While many pharma shippers employ the 2 to 8°C range, the actual ideal temperature for the fruit is 1°C. This temperature is as close as possible to freezing, getting the fruit close to a hibernation state, so that the berries’ shelf life clocks aren’t really running.

The BerryPort and passive shipper were put on the same plane. With berries shipped at 1°C±1/4°, the Berry Port offered built-in telemetry to prove performance throughout the journey.


Shipping at 1°C extended the berries’ shelf life by three to four days when compared to standard air freight methods. BerryCo. noted that that’s a significant increase and that the fruit passed the sweetness test, with help from thehibernation effect taking place.

The lower temperature shipping offers promise—the company can harvest later to produce a sweeter berry, allowing the BerryCo. to improve the fundamental process in which the product is moved to the supply chain from the field.

Anyone can throw overwhelming technology at a problemif you don't care about the cost, Day explained. The biggest cost challenge is that most airlines require these containers to ship under the pharma service and not at the general cargo rate, which adds $2 per clamshell.

So a new shipping option is under consideration: the Pegasus ULD tuned to 1 to 2°C, to preserve berry longevity and flavor during transport. Offering passive cooling and full telemetry, the system can ship by air at general cargo rates to save on costs.

Key Takeaways

Robust pharmaceutical logistics solutions can apply to other industry problems out there, particularly for sensitive organic materials and even change business practices.

Day noted that while precise temperature matters, so does total transportation cost and proof of performance.

The systems designed for life science packaging may help target the enormous waste problemin the food industry. “The sustainability issue does matter to everyone,” Day says. (Editor’s note: The effect of carbon dioxide emissions from air freight should be considered.)

Further reading:
Cold Chain Management Connects Pharma to Food
Pharma can be Instructive on Food Track and Trace

Editor, HCP

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Ice-blast cleaning of molds

Molds cleaned by Cold Jet technology--before and after.
Silgan is the largest supplier of metal containers for food products in North America and a leading supplier of plastic containers for personal care products.

In addition, the company is a leading worldwide supplier of metal, composite, and plastic vacuum closures for food and beverage products. With more than 22 production plants, Silgan Plastics is one of the top 10 blow molders in North America, providing stock and custom packaging for many of the top consumer goods manufacturers.

Silgan Plastic’s Toronto-based manufacturing plant is home to three types of molding systems: injection molding, injection blow molding, and injection stretch/blow molding. The plant produces a variety of plastic containers, lids, and caps, many using PET preform molds with 72 individual cavities. Because Silgan runs a lot of PET and Pharmaceutical products, the company has developed a preventive maintenance routine that meets customers’ product quality needs.

At the center of the routine is a software program that generates a work order based upon cycles for each mold. The cleaning cycles are set-up with each customer to ensure that their molds are well maintained and in good working condition. This effort has become a standard for all Silgan molds and customers’ molds. With the 72-cavity molds, products are made in 10 second cycles. After every 15,000 cycles, the maintenance crew used to clean the hot molds by hand in the presses using chemical and citrus cleaners, degreasers, wire brushes, drills and pipe cleaners. Given the large number of cavities, each mold would take two to three hours to clean by hand. After every 60,000 cycles, the molds were removed from the presses and given a more thorough cleaning. Despite the amount of time spent maintaining the molds, it was difficult to get them completely clean.

“When you clean a 72-cavity mold by hand, not only is it time consuming, it is difficult to get behind every slide and neck ring,” says Joe Pond, Setup Supervisor for Silgan Plastics. “In addition, the coatings and plastics that we use tend to get on other parts of the equipment, which also adds to the challenge.”

After attending a Husky Injection Molding Systems seminar, Pond asked Husky representatives what was the best method for cleaning high-cavitation molds. Husky recommended dry ice blast cleaning systems from Cold Jet.

Dry ice blasting uses non-abrasive media in the form of recycled CO2pellets that won’t damage surfaces or equipment. The dry ice pellets are propelled at high velocities to blast contaminants from the mold surface. The combination of dry ice blast cleaning’s kinetic energy and thermal effects breaks the connection between the dirt and the surface, lifting away contaminants. Other manufacturers have found that by using Cold Jet’s system they can decrease cleaning time by 50 to 75%, and because the dry ice evaporates on contact, there is no run-off, rinsing, or drying required. Cold Jet systems do not damage or change the dimensions of the mold surface, thereby ensuring consistent part quality. Dry ice blasting is also safe and non-toxic, does not create downstream contamination, and reduces or eliminates employee exposure to dangerous chemical cleaning agents.

Following Husky’s recommendation and a Cold Jet demonstration, Silgan acquired two dry ice blasting cleaning systems, one that is located on the plant floor and the other used in the company’s maintenance room. Since integrating the systems into its cleaning cycles, Silgan has been able to reduce its maintenance room staff to a single person and has trained all its machine operators how to use Cold Jet’s cleaning systems. Cleaning time for a single mold went from two to three hours to less than 45 minutes, and the company is now finding multiple ways to use dry ice blasting in other areas of the plant. For example, Pond recalls the time when a PET dryer overheated and the resin melted in the dryer. Normally, workers would have to wait for the dryer and the resin to cool down and then remove the resin by chipping it out, a 12-24 hour process.Using dry ice blasting, Silgan was able to remove the resin and restore the dryer in less than two hours.

“In addition to the molds and the PET dryer, we have also eliminated nearly three days of downtime by using Cold Jet’s system to clean the injection screws on our presses, a process that usually required us to send the screws offsite,” adds Pond. “The time savings alone have been phenomenal as we have been able to clean our equipment better and faster while they are still online. We no longer have to worry about working dangerously close with hot equipment, our on-site environment and safety managers are happy, and we have dramatically reduced the amount of cleansers, degreasers, and alcohol that we buy and use for cleaning.”

Silgan Plastics still cleans on a cycle basis, but cleaning is now faster and easier. Every 15,000 cycles, machine operators use the Cold Jet system to clean and prepare the molds for the next 15,000 cycles. When a more thorough cleaning is required at 60,000 cycles, the maintenance person first blasts the molds with dry ice, which removes the majority of the residues. The molds are then removed from the presses so that workers can clean the rest of the equipment, oftentimes using only dry ice blasting.

“Everyone is impressed with the speed and effectiveness of Cold Jet’s systems,” says Pond. “They have easily paid for themselves more than two or three times over. It is because of Cold Jet’s systems that we are able to meet our high cleaning standards and our customers’ mold maintenance cycles.”

VP Editor Emeritus

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Planar Motor: Smart robotic system

Planar Motor's XBOTs are smart robotic systems with 6 degrees-of-freedom motion capability that can move independently on a 2D surface (Flyways) with programmable routes.

The system does not require any lubrication nor generates any contamination. It is ideal for applications requiring high cleanliness such as food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical manufacturing as well as industries with harsh environments such as those that require water and dust proofing. The Flyways are made from identical modular tiles and are fully extendable and reconfigurable. Thanks to the versatile motion of XBOTs, many traditionally needed robot arms can be eliminated.

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