LAS VEGAS – Sections Editor Dan Galbraith gathered the following news items at Pack Expo 2013, Sept. 23-25, at the Las Vegas Convention Center:
North Star Engineered Products
Perrysburg, Ohio-based North Star Engineered Products recently upgraded the manifest system, incorporated a digital monitor system and added an optional chiller to its Melonium II Wedger/Dicer.
A filtration enhancement to extend washwater life is also in the works, said John Clement Jr., division manager.
“We redid our dicer about six months ago to eliminate pneumatics (air cylinder technology). It’s now a mechanical cam action that gives a much more even cut and increases output.”
Although Octal’s Pack Expo launch of DPET/PE film for increased sustainability targeted a meat-and-cheese product, North American sales director Mark Hunt said fresh produce applications are not far off and he expects high demand for it from fresh fruit and vegetable processors.
“If you’re in fresh-cut produce, that’s the message you want to send. This is the most sustainable, smallest carbon footprint PET,” Hunt said. “It has the best machinability and has been tested at 1% gauge control variation, while 3%-5% is the industry average.”
Also billed to deliver high-quality optics, DPET/PE eliminates six of the nine steps of conventional sheet production, making it the “first and only direct-to-sheet polyester sheet in the world,” according to the company.
Tamper-evident produce packaging that stays fully attached is what differentiates Madison, Wis.-based Placon’s new Crystal Seal Tamper-Evident packaging, said account executive Jennifer Mitchell.
Launched in May, the new packaging option, along with the company’s new Fresh ‘n Clear bowls and lids, feature Placon’s new anti-fog technology.
“The anti-fog technology is incorporated into all our products now and keeps it clear, for more eye appeal on retail shelves. It’s condensation-resistant,” Mitchell said.
Atlanta-based Printpack Inc. recently invested $66 million in an expansion of its packaging conversion facilities, said Michael Verbeten, supply chain vice president.
The company is adding 46,000 square feet, all-new equipment and 20 primarily production jobs in its facilities in Villa Rica, Ga.
ABB Robotics’ new 8-kilogram model IRB 360 FlexPicker line offers is geared to add picking and packing for heavy items, including fresh produce. It offers handling of up to 100 cycles a minute.