Pack Expo International, hosted by PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, Reston, Va., returns to Chicago’s McCormick Place Oct. 14 through Oct. 17. The event will bring together more than 2,500 exhibitors and 50,000 packaging industry professionals, PMMI said, and will span over 1.2 million net square feet of exhibit space.

The expo will address the trends and challenges driving the dairy, food and beverage industries. It will once again be co-located with the Healthcare Packaging Expo.

Attendees can benefit from free educational programming at the Innovation Stage, which will feature 30-minute seminars presented by suppliers throughout the day. Stage topics to be covered this year include smart packaging, clean labeling, coding and sterilization technology, food safety technology, sustainability, high-pressure processing, Internet of Things and more, PMMI noted. 

New to the show this year, the Package Printing Pavilion is the industry’s 50,000-square-foot main stage for digital’s advantages for short-run, on-demand, cost-effective variable data and personalized packaging. Attendees can learn about digital printing for folding cartons, flexibles and corrugated packaging, as well as cutting-edge labeling, coding and marking. The pavilion will also showcase smart packaging applications. 

In the Containers and Materials Pavilion, attendees can check out new portable single-serve bottles, stand-up and squeezable pouches and more. Dairy processors should also be on the lookout for information about better sealants, films and other technologies for enhancing shelf life.

The annual Pack gives Back benefit returns to Pack Expo on Monday, Oct. 15, with a networking event in support of Pack Expo scholarships. The reception begins at 4:30 p.m., and a performance by comedian Sebastian Maniscalco will take place at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 and also include refreshments and light appetizers, PMMI said.


Spotlight on technology, artificial intelligence

The benefits of technology and artificial intelligence will also be explored at the show. Big data analytics (BDA), the Industrial Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, machine learning, digitization and the cloud offer a lot of potential for manufacturers to bring to their market and processes, PMMI said.

A new white paper produced by PMMI noted that the automotive, electronics and aerospace industries have been quick in adopting these technologies, while the food and beverage processing sector has been more cautious. Yet there are several opportunities for implementing BDA in food and beverage processing to improve food safety, support product customization and improve product sorting, PMMI said.  

For more exhibitor and attendee information, travel arrangements, directions and to register for Pack Expo, visit To view the show exhibitor list, visit



Educational sessions for dairy processors:

Monday, Oct. 15

11 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Booth N-4570)

“The Starting Point for Robot Automation: a Beginner’s Tour”

2 p.m. to 3 p.m. (Booth N-4570)

“Sustainability Goals: The Benefits of Flexible Packaging Can Make a Positive Impact”


Tuesday, Oct. 16

12 p.m. to 1 p.m. (Booth N-4585)

“The Modern Packaging Challenge: Making the Transition from Rigid to Flexible Packaging”

12 p.m. to 1 p.m. (Booth N-4570)

“Cup vs. Pouch: Is There a Clear Winner?”

1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (Booth N-4560)

“The Principles of Sanitary Design: Taking a Proactive Approach to Food Safety”

1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (Booth N-4570)

“How Intelligent Machines Are Changing the Production Floor”