Machine Design

Pack Expo 2009 comes to Las Vegas


MACHINE DESIGN Editor Leland Teschler will be chairing the Intelligent Coding track kicking off Tuesday morning, Oct. 6 at 8 a.m. in room N117. Topics include mass product serialization, printing compliant GTIN bar codes on corrugate, small character coding, and new POS bar-code symbologies.

When Pack Expo 2009 rolls into Las Vegas, many of its attendees and exhibitors will have both sustainability and the impact packaging has on the environment on their minds.

Until now, according to the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI), the show’s sponsor, sustainability efforts in packaging have focused on downsizing packages and using fewer raw materials. But the real payoff will be when companies change the way they operate plants and distribute products. Some of the stumbling blocks that must be overcome in this effort will be consumer demands for convenience, economy, and environmental sensitivity; retailer demands for less packaging waste accompanied by customized shipments and special packaging formats; and the lack of an accepted way to measure stainability.

One possible venue for addressing sustainability, according to PMMI, is through Lean Manufacturing, which some business managers say is evolving into a “lean-and-clean” approach. They even identify eight “Deadly Wastes” that detract from sustainability: overproduction, inventory, transportation, motion, defects, over processing, waiting, and environmental waste. Many of these issues will be addressed by technical sessions and exhibitors at this year’s show.

The show will host roughly 1,200 exhibiting companies and a full slate of technical sessions. Sessions cover 12 broad areas including Sustainability, Branding, Converting, Digital Package Printing, Materials, Legal issues, Vision systems, and Intelligent coding. There are also several other packaging-related trade groups holding conferences in Las Vegas at the same time as Pack Expo. They include the Assoc. of Independent Corrugated Converters, the International Bottled Water Assoc., the Reusable Packaging Assoc., and the Converting & Packaging Printing Expo.

On Oct. 5, five new members of the Packaging Hall of Fame will be inducted at a fund-rasing reception. They include Patrick Helm of Balluff Inc., Mark Jacobson of Econocorp., Dwight Schmidt of the Fibre Box Assoc., James Scott of JES Packaging, and Dennis Young at Michigan State University.

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