Fresh blood in the industry can be a good thing, at least that’s what PMMI hopes to prove at PACK EXPO East next week when packaging and engineering students will display and demonstrate their achievements. Hosted by PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, PACK EXPO East will take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, February 16-18. The event will be the first processing and packaging trade show specifically for Northeastern manufacturers.

At booth #1067, students in Rutgers University’s elite packaging engineering program will present The Packaging Design Studio to demonstrate the latest student-developed packaging equipment. The new technologies on display will include automated systems for loading and unloading, custom-order snack mix production machines and innovative packaging prototypes, according to PMMI.

The Future of Pneumatics (Booth #858), sponsored by Vanderbilt University, the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) and The Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP), will showcase advancements in pneumatic technology, including live demonstrations of the school’s pneumatic exhaust gas recovery system. The team says its system can help companies meet sustainability goals by reducing the air consumption of pneumatic actuators by up to 25 percent. This system has not been commercialized yet, so the display will offer attendees an early look into the next generation of pneumatics technology.

PMMI says both of these booths offer just a small glimpse into the many advancements achieved by the Millennial generation. According to “Inspiring the Next Generation Workforce: The 2014 Millennial Impact Report” from The Case Foundation, this group of workers is over 35 million strong, with approximately 14 million 20- to 24-year-olds and almost 32 million 25- to 34-year-olds employed in the US as of April 2014.

“Companies must continue to adapt to the rapidly changing face of the workforce,” says Maria Ferrante, vice president, education & workforce development, PMMI. “Hiring Millennials can come with distinct advantages. The students who participate in the Rutgers and Vanderbilt programs exhibiting at PACK EXPO East exemplify the drive, talent and commitment to excellence they share with so many of their counterparts in engineering programs across the country.”

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