Digital Magazine

Pack Expo | The Next Generation of Package Printing Solutions

The future of package printing lies in fast, flexible, and smart technologies. Today’s manufacturers are striving to meet growing consumer demand for products tailored to the needs and preferences of different market segments split by region, gender, age, and a multitude of demographics. As the mass manufacturing of one-size-fits-all products gives way to small, diverse batch production, companies must equip themselves with package printing technologies that maximize flexibility, speed, and control.

For brand managers, this year’s PACK EXPO International 2014 (Nov. 2-5, 2014; McCormick Place, Chicago) will offer an array of new technologies, enhancements, and educational insights for package printing, labeling, and coding and marking. Co-located with Pharma EXPO, a new show co-produced by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, and the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE), the two shows will feature 2,000 exhibitors and attract roughly 50,000 attendees.

PACK EXPO and Pharma EXPO attendees will find many package printing solutions in The Brand Zone, an area dedicated exclusively to brand-enhancing packaging materials, containers, advanced print effects, and design resources. As just one of PACK EXPO’s customer-centric features, The Brand Zone helps attendees maximize their time at the event.

Some of the technologies on display will include recently launched digital capabilities that hold the promise of reducing the time to market for new products. Other technologies include new high-speed inkjet equipment, as well as in-mold labeling options that offer improved product protection. Attendees also will find new Ethernet and mobile technologies for remote monitoring and troubleshooting of manufacturing lines.

A Digital Revolution

Hewlett-Packard (Booth #S-4271) will demonstrate some of the new technologies from its digital printing portfolio, including Indigo and Scitex presses for labels, shrink sleeves, and flexible packaging applications. The technologies are also suited to corrugated retail-ready packaging. HP recently launched its Indigo 20000 Digital Press for continuous-fed packaging applications, and Indigo 30000 Digital Press for sheet-fed packaging applications, which accommodate 30-in. wide film rolls, with up to 44-in. repeat length.

According to Simon Lewis, director of strategic marketing for HP’s Indigo division, the new presses represent an “industrial revolution” for the package printing industry.

“This brings digital printing into areas that were previously analog, and with this comes benefits such as reducing waste to nearly zero and speeding time-to-market,” he says. “Marketing campaigns can be far more nimble, and they can include regional variations. It moves us from mass production to mass customization.”

HP’s Scitex FB10000 Industrial Press uses a proprietary High Dynamic Range (HDR) print technology, which according to the company provides the quality and speed required by traditional offset applications with digital efficiency.

“Retail-ready packaging, versioning due to SKU proliferation and localization, and shortened campaign durations pose significant challenges for traditional print,” says Ken VanHorn, category manager for HP Scitex. “Digital print technology with minimal makeready time, substrate versatility, and high quality makes it possible not only to produce profitable short runs and same-day prototyping, but also frees up capacity for longer runs more suitable for traditional printing presses.”

In-mold Labeling Innovation

Nypro (Booth #N-5775) customizes differentiated plastics packaging, from conceptualization to design, for leading consumer product brands. Joe Stodola, Nypro’s VP for business development, says many consumer brands are moving away from round and to differently shaped packages that utilize in-mold labeling (IML) and some with special barrier protections. Dairy is one example, he notes, where there’s a move to non-round IML packaging.

Nypro’s Radius and internal development groups have worked with brand managers to engineer packaging, and Stodola says that a number of brand owners are leveraging decorative IML capabilities with high-end graphics to help brands stand out on the store shelf.

Nypro is developing another type of packaging that uses co-injection molding technology to incorporate an EVOH-barrier package to protect the food or beverage while on shelf.

“This will extend the freshness of food products without a secondary bag seal, and it works better than standard propylene,” Stodola says. “Barrier packaging is nothing new, whether it’s glass or tin, but this is the first time we’re able to create barrier packaging in a high-volume, in a thin-walled injection molded format.”

For label and flexible packaging company Precision Press (Booth #N-6169), laminated IML labels offer unique benefits of barrier properties, scratch-resistance, and FDA compliance for food contact. According to Tim Goserud, director, sales and marketing for the company’s packaging division, there is a growing need for IML solutions developed with unique materials that offer specific barrier properties.

Precision Press’ web offset print process combined with the most precise die-cutting technology in the industry gives them a distinct advantage producing laminated IML labels with functional capabilities vs. the more common IML sheet –fed only printers.

“Our lamination capabilities give us more options for creating labels that have UV-, oxygen-, and moisture-barrier properties, along with abrasion resistance. Besides protecting from many migration scenarios, we can add high definition decoration to these labels,” says Goserud.

At the show, Precision Press will be discussing new in-house molding prototyping technologies. Goserud says these new capabilities will offer proof of concept with minimal investment, helping brand managers get new IML packaging to market more quickly.


Bosch Rexroth (Booth S-3551) will demonstrate drive, motion, and controls products. Its IndraDrive Mi cabinet-free drive solution merges drive electronics and motors into an inegral unit, which virtually eliminates the drive electronics in the cabinet, leading to a reduction in cabinet size and wiring by up to 90%.

DuPont (Room S501) offers provocative packaging presentations, including two Lunch & Learn sessions: "Not Your Average Technology Talk" and "From Body Armor to Packaging," as well as a panel discussion, "Packaging Value Chain Collaborates to Mitigate Food Waste." The company is co-sponsor of the PACK gives BACK networking event to benefit K9s for Warriors, which features Jay Leno. Also, Yasmin Siddiqi, packaging leader, will explore the food waste crisis and the role that global collaboration and packaging plays.

 Colordyne Technologies (Booth N-5879) offers live demonstrations of digital color printing on the CDT 3600 Series Laser Pro, powered by Memjet technologies.

Enercon Industries (Booth S-1766) will show its induction cap sealers for tamper evidence and for preventing leaks and preserving freshness for packagers of food, beverage, pharmaceuticals, health & beauty products, chemicals, and petroleum packages.

Epson (Booth 8735) will feature the Epson SurePress L-4033A and AW series digital label presses.

Filmquest (Booth 10614) introduces new proprietary Questar products, including CP250 Nanoshield, a clear PVdC-free barrier film; CP270 high molecular bond metallized film, and CP267 ultra low gloss high COF matte film.

Maxcess (Booth S-2142) will show five new technologies, all developed with the global packaging plant operator, supervisor, or maintenance manager in mind. They include a Fife line guide aensor, Webex seamless vacuum rolls, Tidland safety accessories for slitting, and MAGPOWR digital tension control, and Fife video enhanced inspection.

Mondi (Booth 7914) will exhibit an expanded line of industrial bags, since acquiring the industrial bags business of Graphic Packaging International, and a broad range of flexible packaging. Industrial bags include Peel Pak bag-in-bag for dairy and food and PinchPro single-ply bag constructed of WPP/paper or all poly, heat-sealed to preserve freshness. Flexible packaging includes Square Bags, spouted pouches, and FlexZiBoxes.


Presto Products (Booth S-2837) will introduce two innovative closure technologies with live demonstrations. Designed to meet the standards required for listing on the ASTM D3475 index, the child-resistant technology will represent a revolutionary new approach in the category. The new sensory zipper is designed to deliver pronounced audible and tactile cues when consumers close packaging. Both technologies will be applied to pouches made from Sonoco films using Totani’s CT-60 pouchmaking machine.


Shurtape (Booth 4243) will show its ShurSEAL carton sealing solution that combines Shurtape HP Series packaging tape with a PrimeLoc tape applicator to deliver consistent and secure seals. Retrofits into a variety of automated machines, including most brands of case sealers.


Siemens (Booth N-5146) will show a new decentralized drive system among an array of products, software, plant communications platforms and other services.

Sun Chemical (Booth 4969) will feature Sun Branding Solutions (SBS), the company's packaging brand lifecycle management agency. Through its ODIN Packaging Launch Software, Sun Chemical can manage all aspects of a packaging launch and control every stage of the development process. The company also will show its SunGraphics high definition flexographic plates, as well as its SunBar Oxygen Barrier coatings, SunInspire sensory coatings, SunLase laser marking solutions, and Verigard infrared coding solution. Also demonstrating TouchCode, an embedded code that when touched to a smart device activates a range of options, including security and web interaction.

3M (Booth 4921) will show a new line of 3M-Matic case sealers, including the 7000a Pro, 7000r Pro, and 8000a. Also showing the Scotch Multipack solution, a tape-based alternative to shrink wrap and manual pack outs; the 3M-Matic Wrapper FL360, a tape machine to replace plastic or metal straps; and the 3M-Matic L-Clips Applicator S-867 designed to add tape to five-panel folder, full overlap, telescoping, and die-cut boxes.

Toray Plastics (America) Inc. (Booth N-5467) will highlight a range of films, including an expanded line of LumiLid dual-ovenable polyester lidding films that meet FDA standards; Torayfan CBS2, an economical, environment-conscious, PVdC-free, oxygen and moisture barrier BOPP designed for use as the inside sealant web for packaging of bakery items and snacks; Torayfan PC5 metallized BOPP usable in tri-laminations as a foil replacement and as an overwrap lamination or wrapper; and Torayfan MWX6 metallized, bright white cavitated BOPP, which can be used as a monoweb or a lamination.


To register for PACK EXPO International 2014, visit packexpo.com. Registration is $30 prior to Oct. 3, 2014, and $60 thereafter.

About PMMI

PMMI, The Assn. for Packaging and Processing Technologies, is a trade association representing over 650 packaging and processing supply chain companies that provide a full range of packaging and processing machinery, materials, components and containers. PMMI actively brings buyers and sellers together through programs and events such as The PACK EXPO family of trade shows, packexpo.com, PMT Magazine, PACK EXPO Show Daily, networking events and educational programs.

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