There's a long list of tech-nologies developed for food and beverage that end up being applied in other industries, so there's a little tit-for-tat in a reorganization of Bosch Packaging Technology that will bring innovations in the pharmaceutical industry to food.

Don DeMorett recently was named president of the realigned Robert Bosch GmbH division that brings pharmaceutical, food and confectionery packaging lines under one umbrella. One of DeMorett's first initiatives is next month's rollout of the TFA generation of form/fill/seal machines from the pharmaceuticals area into the food, dairy and beverage arenas. The line features servo drives for increased flexibility, high-volume output (up to 43,200 cups an hour) and modular designs that reduce footprints by up to 30 percent. The TFA series can fill any pumpable product, including particulates up to one inch.

The line is FDA validated for sterile packaging of pharmaceuticals. That validation work should ease the challenge of food manufacturers who want to use the filling equipment for low-acid foods, DeMorett suggests. More importantly, Bosch intends to take a more active role in helping customers gain regulatory approvals, train their staffs and set up new equipment.

"Validation support traditionally was limited to providing the documentation and leaving it to the customer's staff to perform all the testing," he notes. The pharmaceutical side of Bosch's packaging business has become more involved in validating equipment in recent years, and that business model now will be applied to the food sector.

"We want to be more of a packaging solutions provider, not just a machinery provider," DeMorett says. "We recognize that the cost per packaging unit is the true measure for our customers, and we want to address that cost in a partnership in which we are joined at the hip, if you will."

Cartoning equipment is another equipment category where innovations in Bosch's fast-growing pharmaceuticals area will be easily transferred to food and beverage, he adds.

Ex-Campbell's packaging chief heads Hall honorees

PET pioneer Melvin Druin heads this year's Packaging Education Forum list of Hall of Fame inductees. Joining him in the Class of 2001 are Ted Marquis Sr., founder of MARQ Packaging Systems; Yoshikane Mito, a leading practitioner and educator in the Japanese packaging industry; and Lloyd Ferguson, president of Summit Publishing Co.

After working in polymer development that helped commercialize PET bottles in the early 1980s, Druin joined Campbell Soup Co. as the first packaging vice president at a major food manufacturer. He helped usher in the first hot-fill plastic bottles for V-8 juice, the first shelf-stable retortable plastic soup bowl with a peelable lid, and the dual-ovenable CPET trays that replaced aluminum trays used for half a century for Swanson frozen dinners.