This year’s Pack Expo places more than 45,000 customers and buyers under one roof for the industry’s most dynamic show.

Pack Expo International 2010, which will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 3 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, will bring in more than 45,000 industry colleagues, including international visitors from nearly 110 countries, to showcase everything processors need to increase efficiency, reduce recalls, maintain equipment and protect brands.

For starters, Troy, Mich.-based BNP Media, organizer of the Food Safety Summit and parent company of Dairy Foods, and Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI), producer of the Pack Expo family of tradeshows, are jointly promoting the Food Safety Summit Resource Center. Attendees will learn from leading experts on food safety about breakthroughs, challenges and solutions needed to ensure the safety of packaged foods before, during and after processing and packaging.

“With the 2010 show, Pack Expo has expanded to provide processing and packaging solutions, and food safety is certainly a leading issue across both industries. BNP’s Food Safety Summit Resource Center will support attendees and exhibitors seeking total systems solutions,” said Charles D. Yuska, president and CEO, PMMI, Arlington, Va.

Conveying brand value through packaging remains a powerful strategy to entice consumers to notice - and ultimately buy - products. To help brands develop that identity and preference with consumers, PMMI debuts The Brand Zone.

Covering more than 60,000 square feet, The Brand Zone will highlight a range of innovative containers and materials that respond to consumer demands for convenience, portion control, portability and sustainability, among others. Exhibits will include advances in glass, plastic, metal and paperboard and a variety of decorating and labeling techniques and reclosable packaging options.

“Packaging is an essential marketing vehicle – keeping brands competitive and relevant with consumers even as priorities and tastes change,” Yuska said. “The Brand Zone helps brand owners stay connected to the latest technologies so they can position themselves for long-term success.”

Pack Expo also will introduce attendees to the future of packaging with Project 2020: The Consumer Experience. Sponsored by DuPont, this new area will examine the consumer demands expected to drive packaging innovation 10 years from now.

From the field of 20 finalists, judges will select one grand prize winner to receive the Complete Studio Bundle from EskoArtwork. The other 19 finalists will receive copies of Studio Designer, EskoArtwork’s 3D visualization plug-in for Adobe Illustrator. Judges will include representatives from PMMI; media partner Package Design magazine; software partner EskoArtwork; and ABI, PMMI’s marketing public relations partner.

 To bring The Brand Zone and Project 2020: The Consumer Experience to life, PMMI also will partner with Lippincott, a global brand strategy and design consultancy firm that has worked on retail design initiatives with top brands, including McDonald’s and Nissan.

Meanwhile, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) will host a full schedule of sessions for its “Manufacturing Excellence Conference,” which will take place Nov. 1-2.

The conference will feature three general session speakers covering leadership, food safety and modeling the factory of the future, and three concurrent tracks - product safety, sustainability and operational reliability. Registration for the full conference program, including admission to Pack Expo, is $495 before Oct. 18 and $550 after Oct. 18 or on-site.

“For brand owners, including GMA member companies, Pack Expo is the place to come for technologies to create and implement necessary innovations,” Yuska adds. “The extra educational benefits will inform their decisions and increase the value of their trip.”

The Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) is working with the co-located Converting & Package Printing (CPP) Expo to create conference programming that offers attendees insight into improving operations, increasing efficiency and maintaining equipment. Sessions will be held Nov. 1-2 for $60 each session before Oct. 18 and $75 after Oct. 18 or on-site.

Meanwhile, the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) will host the Packaging Learning Center, a series of seminars led by a mix of end-users, industry consultants and suppliers. The seminars will focus on a range of topics at the forefront of the packaging industry, including sustainability and food safety. Sessions run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 1, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 2 and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 3. Conference registration includes admission to Pack Expo and costs $99 per session before Oct.18 or $129 after Oct. 18 or on-site.

Simultaneously, the Packaging Association is bringing the interactive PAC Green Den program on Nov. 2 from 1–4:30 p.m. Entitled “Fast Tracking Sustainable Innovation,” the program unites elements of successful reality television and business matchmaking. The agenda includes “innovators” presenting solutions to a panel of experts and a live audience of brand owners and retailers. The panel will provide constructive feedback to each presenter. The session also will feature a short keynote address from upcycling pioneer Tom Szaky of TerraCycle. The registration fee is $90 prior to Oct. 18 and $129 after that date or on-site.

The Reusable Packaging Association (RPA) will host a special workshop on Nov. 2 from 3–5 p.m. Tentatively titled “Reusable Packaging 101,” the session will help attendees navigate the preliminary steps required to adopt a reusable packaging solution, including defining the products and services available, cost analysis, supply chain modeling and financing options. The workshop will serve as the first of a four-part curriculum designed to help companies evaluate, build acceptance for, implement and refine their choice of reusable packaging systems.

To register for Pack Expo or its subsequent sessions, go towww.packexpo.comor contact PMMI’s show department at 703/243-8555 or

Monday, Nov. 1

3-4 p.m.
General Session
“Manufacturing Excellence: From the Top Down to the Feet on the Ground”
Alan Wilson, president and CEO, McCormick & Co.

Manufacturing excellence in today’s food, beverage and consumer products companies is being driven by many factors, including product safety, sustainability, globalization, consumer demands, technology and heightened competition for resources. But just exactly how are these drivers impacting manufacturing and who is driving them deep into the operations of the leading consumer packaged goods manufacturers? In this keynote address, hear from an industry leader who turns vision into action and drives quality and excellence in manufacturing down through the entire organization - all the way from the top down to the feet on the ground.

4:15–5:30 p.m.
Product Safety
“Advances in Effective Lot Tracking”
Mike Hayes, director, food safety and quality, Del Monte Foods Co.

A significant challenge facing food manufacturers today is the effective lot tracking and identification of product, especially in a continuous flow production environment. But just how should batches be identified and designated when there are so many variables that must be accommodated? Hear from a panel of consumer products manufacturers on how they are managing these challenges and making advances in effective lot tracking in their companies.

“Downstream Consumer Trends’ Effect On Upstream Manufacturing”

Jeanne von Zastrow; senior director, sustainability and industry relations, Food Marketing Institute; Wesley Bean, senior director, strategic sourcing, Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc.; Ellen Feeney, vice president, responsible livelihood, White Wave Foods; Michele Halsell, managing director, Applied Sustainability Center, University of Arkansas; Kim Lymn, senior manager, packaging, Target.

Getting ahead of the “green” curve – that’s what manufacturers are constantly striving to do when it comes to anticipating market signals and consumer shopping patterns and their potential effect on “green” manufacturing. A retailer-manufacturer panel will share some of their “market-to-manufacturing” success stories pertaining to nearly half of all shoppers who gravitate to green when shopping.

Operational Reliability
“Pursuit of Overall Equipment Efficiency”
Rob Aleksa, machine control section head, Procter & Gamble; Mel Bahr, founder, MGS Machine; Jeff Russell, TPM coach for controls and automation, PepsiCo Americas Beverages

Margin protection through more effective manufacturing operations is a key focus for consumer products companies today.  Avoiding costly production line stoppage for equipment maintenance and changeovers due to new manufacturing requirements is a valuable tool in pursuit of these improvements.  Hear how some manufacturers are driving costs out of their operations through more robust equipment that improves consistency and harmonization of machines, reduces training requirements, improves vertical and horizontal integration and requires less troubleshooting.

Tuesday, Nov. 2

8:30–9:30 a.m.
General Session
“Welcome to the New World of FDA Food Safety Modernization!”

Bob Brackett, vice president and director, National Center for Food Safety & Technology; Dane Bernard, vice president, food safety and quality assurance, Keystone Foods; Matilda Freund, senior director, food safety, Kraft Foods Inc.; Joe Levitt, partner, Hogan Lovells

Some manufacturers are already experiencing it and many more are likely to in the near future – the effects of a new world of FDA food safety oversight. How do consumer products companies manage their expectations of the impending impact of the 2009 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, specifically at plant level? A stakeholder panel composed of regulatory and food, beverage and consumer products manufacturing professionals will address some of the Act’s key components, including facility hazard evaluation and preventive controls, food facility re-inspection and allocation of inspection resources based on risk profiles of food facilities.

9:45-11 a.m.
Product Safety
“Meeting & Managing the Myriad Food Safety Certification Requirements for CPG Manufacturing Plants”
Greg Flickinger, director of manufacturing, Lance, Inc.

Today’s consumer products manufacturers face a variety of plant certifications, standards, guidelines and practices including cGMP, GFSI, HACCP and ISO just to name a few. Learn how some of these manufacturers are successfully navigating and implementing these requirements while not losing site of their desired effect – safe, quality products.

“Upstream Migration of ‘Green’ Requirements for Suppliers”

Bruce Cords, vice president, environment, food safety and public health, Ecolab USA; Jon Doering, director, environmental health and safety, The Schwan Food Co.; Willie Johnson, associate director, global product supply sustainability, Procter & Gamble

Several of the industry’s largest retailers have instituted “green” requirements for consumer products manufacturers who, in turn, are now looking to their suppliers to submit evidence of their sustainability initiatives as well. Requirements range from reductions in energy, waste and air pollutants to “eco-friendly” sourcing, labor practices and safety for employees and community. Hear from a panel of retailers, manufacturers and upstream suppliers who will share how they’ve met the challenges of “green” requirements throughout the supply chain.

Operational Reliability
“Manufacturing Execution Systems: Advances in Successful Implementation”

John Blanchard, research director, life sciences and CPG industries, ARC Advisory Group; Peter De Moerloose, MES process business development, Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software, Inc.; Mark Hanley, global GE/OEE program manager, Kraft Foods Global, Inc; Jeff Russell, TPM coach for controls and automation, PepsiCo Americas Beverages

As the intermediary between business systems and the factory floor, manufacturing execution systems perform a vital function linking the two. The goal is a fully integrated plant floor in the factory of the future. While the food and beverage industry continues to make a strong push in the adoption of these automation technologies, challenges remain.  Hear from a panel of consumer packaged goods companies that have some valuable lessons to share regarding successful implementation of manufacturing execution systems that are driving costs out and efficiencies in.

3–4:15 p.m.
Product Safety
“Successful Raw Materials Sourcing in Today’s Global Procurement Environment”
Industry Panel

Among the most critical challenges facing consumer products companies in the global raw materials marketplace are supplier integrity and product quality and availability. In many cases the products they seek are more limited, higher priced and more varied in quality. A panel of manufacturers will share case studies of how they’ve overcome these challenges in a way that provides steady sourcing, budget consciousness, quality products and consumer receptiveness.

“Some Lessons Learned in Implementing Lean-to-Green Manufacturing in Plants”

Amber Brovak, HSE manager and sustainability manager, Sunny Delight Beverages Co.; Bob Gonzalez, productivity program manager, Land O’Lakes, Inc.; Ellen Iobst, senior vice president, manufacturing and technology, Sunny Delight Beverages Co.; David Prybylowski, sustainability program manager, Mars Chocolate North America

Talking about sustainable manufacturing is one thing, actually doing it is another.  While many consumer products companies have made significant strides in lean manufacturing, most are struggling with the challenges to make lean green. Hear from a panel of manufacturers about some of the lessons learned in the lean-to-green journey and how they might be turned into best practices to share throughout the consumer products industry.

Operational Reliability
“Workforce Development: What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There”

Jennifer McNelly, senior vice president, The Manufacturing Institute - Affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers; Pamela Stroko, vice president, management and organizational development, Kraft Foods Inc.; D. Joel Whalen, effective communications, Kellstadt Center for Sales Leadership, DePaul University

According to a recent survey on the American manufacturing workforce, a high-skilled, flexible workforce ranked second in a list of the top three drivers of future business success in the next two to three years. However, the study also finds that many companies rely on traditional approaches and old tactics even in the face of higher aspirations to do better. Learn how new approaches to workforce development can make a difference and hear from practitioners who have put them into action with improved results.

4:40–5:30 p.m.
General Session
“Back to the Future in CPG Manufacturing: Re-thinking Simulation & Modeling!”
Kevyn Renner, senior technology consultant, Chevron Global Manufacturing

Figuring out the future through modeling and simulation has transformed industries like defense, aviation and automotive and now stands poised to do the same for manufacturing in the consumer products industry. Working in virtual space can overcome time zones, speed trials and learning cycles, save time and money, improve speed-to-market, foster innovation and create a whole new way of working for next generation manufacturing professionals. Learn from a virtual world visionary about the real asset virtualization environment featuring manufacturing avatars and 3-D manufacturing possibilities evolving out of the online gaming space.