Easy to changeover, multi-functional packaging equipment is how most food manufacturers are improving production and meeting consumer demand, according to the 2017 Vision 2025 report, produced by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies.

Consumers want convenience packaging – more single-serve packs that are easy to use – as well as more transparency in their food products from cradle to grave. The result is changes in packaging configurations and a focus on clean labeling for food manufacturers.

While chasing fads and increasing demands, food manufacturers are constantly innovating and pushing products out the door faster. As production operations speed up, manufacturers face challenges with cleaning, product safety and changeover to ensure the right products make it into the right package with the correct labels.

To meet soaring consumer demand, food manufacturers seek solutions through equipment innovation. Consumer packed goods (CPG) companies, inclusive of food manufacturers, would like to see more:  

  • Automated equipment
  • Robotics
  • Wrap-around case packers
  • User-friendly HMIs (human machine interface)
  • Toolless equipment
  • Modular machine components
  • CIP (clean in place) friendly equipment
  • Self-learning equipment
  • Self-monitoring/Vibration sensing machines with alert notification features
  • CIP-ready machinery
  • Applications of AR (augmented reality) for troubleshooting and training
  • Remote access to machines

With PACK EXPO East (April 16-18, 2018; Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia) around the corner, the regional show is the perfect opportunity for CPGs to easily pinpoint solutions and spend quality time with suppliers who understand the challenges both sides of the table face. The three-day event spans nearly 100,000 net square feet and features 400 exhibiting companies presenting new and innovative technologies, including:

Continuous improvement software from Redzone Production Systems (Booth #1808) enables mid-size food and beverage manufacturers to make continuous improvement a reality. A combination of social, mobile technology and a unique coaching program develops the skills and structure of the workforce to engage every employee.

Packline USA (Booth #1020) presents its NBM cup filler and sealer, the latest in a technologically advanced line of fully automatic rotary filling and sealing machines. The NBM is designed for full flexibility, working with sealing styles with diameters of up to 140 mm and pre-cut lids or membranes cut from the roll. It may be designed with up to four lanes and has the capacity for up to four filling units.

Omega Design Corp (Booth #1613) will present its new OmniFeeder, a servo-operated, variable-speed canister and pouch feeder for desiccants and oxygen absorbers. The feeder can precisely place pouches or canisters of any size into bottles at speeds reaching greater than 600 bpm for single drops. Available in an entry-level version for pouches running at slower speeds, the OmniFeeder is also capable of running both canisters and pouches through the same feeder head.

Precision Automation Company, Inc. (Booth #1603) introduces both the CO2 and Fiber Laser Marking solutions to the U.S. market. The CO2 laser marker is ideal for wood, leather and glass, while the fiber laser is suitable for plastic, metal and ceramic surfaces. Both marking applications are fast, efficient and environmentally friendly, producing no consumables or wasteful output.

In addition to these new technologies on display, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about new technologies via free, 30-minute exhibitor presentations on the Innovation Stage (Booth #1428). In the center of the action on the bustling show floor, the Innovation Stage offers ample opportunity for professional enrichment while at PACK EXPO East. Attending these presentations is a valuable opportunity for attendees to learn about breakthrough technologies, innovative applications and proven approaches from the experts themselves.

PACK EXPO East brings together suppliers of packaging innovations for Candy and Confectionery, Food, Beverage, Pharmaceutical/Medical Device, Cosmetic/Personal Care, Chemical/Household and other packaged goods that serve companies of all sizes and is a valuable opportunity to see the latest packaging technologies. For more information and to register, go to packexpoeast.com.