During last year’s Pack Expo Show in November, PMMI (The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies), Reston, Va., and Pack Expo owner and producer, released its 2014 Secondary Packaging Market Research Study. The study indicated that a rise in retail-ready packaging is changing the role of secondary packaging, according to a PMMI press release.
“In 2008, when we last conducted this survey, every company we spoke to said they were trying to reduce their costs and improve their sustainability ratings in secondary packaging, and retailers demanded those changes because of consumer preferences. In contrast, roughly half of the 2014 study participants say they’ve implemented those changes and are satisfied with the results,” said Jorge Izquierdo, vice president, Market Development, PMMI.
One of the most visible trends for secondary packaging, however, is its role as a retail-ready packaging medium, according to PMMI’s press release.
Izquierdo added, “Retailers are asking for more shelf-display containers and as a result, we’re seeing secondary packaging going directly from pallet to store shelf.”
Changes in primary packaging are also driving shifts in secondary packaging, the report noted. Food (45%) and beverage (50%) producers noted changes such as switching flexible packaging and lightweighting primary packaging are resulting in the need for stronger support from secondary packaging.
The 2014 study also showed a decrease in RSC (regular slotted case) usage and corrugated fiberboard materials, and an increase in the use of recycled material content, overwrapped trays and shrink-wrapped pads.
Here is a selection of packaging equipment, including case packers and sealers, that we saw at PackExpo.
Case sealer seals with tape and hot melt adhesive for flexibility
A-B-C Packaging’s M436 case sealer is designed for dairy packagers who need both hot melt adhesive and tape sealing for their production runs. This machine eliminates the need for two sealers as the Model 436 can run both sealing styles interchangeably. The sealer is built with independent sealing modules that are easily swapped out to go from adhesive to tape and back in minutes combining maximum flexibility and minimum downtime. This machine is made of heavy gauge stainless steel, welded and bolted for strength, and enclosed in high visibility guards that stop the machine when opened. It runs speeds up to 50 cases per minute sealing with tape or adhesive.
All servo-controlled flexible case packer
Brenton’s BrentonPro Mach-2 flexible case Packer is designed for stand-up pouches, snack bags and stickpacks. This side-load case packer can accommodate regular slotted cases and half-slotted cases (RSC and HSCs) and display-ready trays. With a dual-indexing option, it’s rated at up to 45 cases per minute. The machine is all servo-controlled for fast and precise tool-less changeover, and has a small footprint to conserve floor space. A light-weight aluminum guard package is built into the frame of the machine, contributing to the smaller footprint and eliminating gaps that can pose sanitary issues. A walk-in design allows easy access into the machine for cleaning and maintenance.
High-speed, inline palletizer
Columbia’s new HL7200 high-speed, inline palletizer incorporates a safety package and ultimate flexibility. The safety package includes Category 3 electrical safety components including dual-channel safety interlocks and full-height light curtains. A dual-slot automatic hoist pin latching system provides redundant fail-safe protection. Fully integrated upper and lower guarding with viewing panels and multiple access doors with a trapped key door access system provide safety and function that meets OSHA requirements for minor servicing. The system includes programmable laner technology with its soft turn and configurable layer table to provide accurate and stable layer forming.
Gable top case packers
Schneider’s gable top case packers are made with stainless steel and can be designed as a top or bottom loading vertical case packer. It’s designed for repeatable, rapid changeovers, and quickly changes out from the two-pack convenience case to 3-, 4-, 6- and 8-pack cases. The company also designs machines to accommodate half-pint, pint, quart, gallon and other sizes.
Entry-level case erector
Dekka’s new entry-level case erector system allows for an easy upgrade to a fully automated system. The model 500 automatic case erector produces up to 10 cases per minute, an easy-to-operate system user interface, easy size adjustments and reliable tape application. The company said this system is ideal for manufacturers operating low-speed lines. It features intuitive HMI controls and handy color-coded on-machine instructions that outline case size changes and setup. The machine features a durable, high-performance tape head for quick change (30 seconds or less) tape loading and exclusive “no break” tape advance.
Integrated case packing system
Delkor’s new MSP1-200 integrated case packing system can be used to produce nested shelf-ready formats, standard interleaved shippers and more. By combining a vision-based delta robot with a high-payload, long-stroke Fanuc M-710iC, the need for traditional collation, and their potential for jams, has been eliminated. The vision-based M2iA delta robot picks and orients skewed (+/-25°) or misaligned pouches for the M-710iC at maximum product rate. The system packs up to 150 pouches per minute or 30 cases per minute. A highly automated changeover, including automatic tool change on the M-710iC, allows the system to easily convert between case styles in less than 10 minutes.
Top load case packer helps with FSMA requirements
The washdown design of Douglas’ TriVex RL top load case packer helps customers with FSMA requirements, according to the company. The TriVex meets customer requirements for loading a wide range of cup sizes and pack complements into cases, trays and crates. Integrated lane dividing and product flow staging, as well as optional partition inserter capabilities, provide versatility for dairy packaging lines. With the latest implementation, the robotic loader handles foil or snap-sealed dairy cups, from 4-ounce to 42-ounce, in single or multiple tiers.
Case packer for vertical and horizontal bags
Designed for flexible case packaging, Bosch’s CCM 3100 is a case packer for vertical and horizontal bag presentation. It meets manufacturers’ demands for shorter production runs and more frequent changes in product packaging styles. This case packer features a wide format range in both bag and case sizes and styles, including regular slotted cases and half-slotted cases (RSC and HSC) and other shelf-ready packaging styles. It’s also designed for easy integration with vertical form, fill and seal, as well as horizontal form, fill and seal machines.
Upgraded shrink labeler
PDC International Corp. re-introduced its R-250 Evolution shrink labeler with new features that give it substantial added versatility for food and beverage environments. The robust system is built for continuous use, and new construction features include a welded stainless steel frame and complete stainless steel construction. The company said this system is ideal for packaging operations that run 24/7.
All-in-one wrap-around packer
Oystar A+F’s SetLine wrap-around packer is a multifunctional, versatile end-of-line packaging system that enables a wide variety of packaging solutions for a variety of products. The machine is capable of packing single cups, cup sets and bottles of various shapes and sizes directly into trays or cases, and also can apply display presentation sleeves. This packer is an all-in-one machine that provides the ability to sleeve primary packs into multipacks prior to packing them into trays/cases. Due to its modular design, the machine can stand alone or be linked directly to filling equipment.