4 ways smaller packaging operations accelerate growth with robotics and automation

Robotics and automation may be synonymous with the global manufacturing operations of large multinationals, but these technologies are not just relegated to large companies. Small- and medium-sized manufacturers are getting in on the action, leveraging robotics and automation solutions to speed packaging production and foster growth.

The Trends in Robotics Market Assessment, released in 2014 by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, notes that 75% of end users used robotics at some point on their manufacturing lines by 2014, compared with only 20% in 2008.

Now, another two years later, industry professionals continue to see this momentum across the spectrum. But what exactly does it mean for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs)?

For many of these SMB companies, robotics and packaging automation technologies can enable compliance with food safety regulations and enhance efficiency. Plus, these technologies are becoming even more accessible, and the resulting cost savings allow SMBs to invest in growing staff for support on more complex tasks.


1. Compliance with food safety: With the final provisions of the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) finally articulated, deadlines are set for compliance with Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventative Controls for Human Food.

The provision, published in September 2015, mandates that applicable companies establish and implement a food safety system that includes an analysis of hazards and risk-based preventative controls with written food safety plan. While large manufacturers were deemed to comply in September 2016, small businesses with fewer than 500 full-time equivalent employees will have two years. Very small businesses (those averaging less than $1 million per year in both annual sales plus the market value of human food processed and packed, but held without sale) will have up to three years from the publication date to comply.

Robotics and automation provide many safeguards against contamination, whether it be the reduction of opportunities for human error or the advantage provided by advanced visual and sensor inspection systems. For small- to medium-sized manufacturers, the investment in these technologies is a worthwhile endeavor when the alternative could be a financially devastating product recall.


2. Greater efficiency: The move toward measuring overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) has also driven demand for robotics. Robots that can handle multiple tasks and can adjust to variations on the manufacturing line, like packaging sizes, provide a valuable solution for SMBs not just in the area of production speed, but also in the field of flexibility, which is a critical attribute to meet diversifying consumer demands.

Additionally, the Internet of Things (IoT) is another capability of automated technologies that can benefit SMBs by tracking operations in real time to identify and facilitate the correction of issues on the line. Ultimately, these advanced solutions can give smaller-sized manufacturers a competitive edge that levels the playing field.


3. Increased accessibility: Investments in automated packaging equipment and robotics can still be significant, but the costs to implement these solutions has begun to decline. According to a 2013 study by Stanford University, the cost of industrial robots may continue to drop by more than 20% over the next decade. Combined with the opportunity many of these solutions offer for strong return on investment (ROI) and cost savings gained through operational efficiency, robotics and automation may provide a strong incentive to SMBs.


4. Stronger community: While it was once thought that the use of robotics and automation on manufacturing and packaging lines could devastate SMBs, new technology has allowed these small companies to run more efficient lines and expand their business, including increasing their employment.

In an article by The Washington Post, the Baltimore-based wire and steel manufacturer, Marlin Steel, “increased its staff from 18 to 34 people in the past seven years because it began using robots.” These additions include administrators, sales and marketing positions and engineers. With the additions of robots on the line, SMBs are becoming stronger than ever.


As automation continues to take over manufacturing and packaging lines, SMBs are becoming major players as the use of robotics is increasing their efficiency and leveling the competitive playing field.


Fred Hayes is director of technical services at PMMI, The Assn. for Packaging and Processing Technologies and owner of the Pack Expo portfolio of trade shows. Hayes is an accomplished engineer and businessman who has built an international reputation as a passionate, high-profile participant in the standards community. See the latest in robotics and automation for packaging operations at Pack Expo Int’l 2016 (Nov. 6-9; McCormick Place, Chicago).


Photo credit: phil landowski at Freepik.com

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/automation/4-ways-smaller-packaging-operations-accelerate-growth-with-robotics-and-automation-2016-10-21

Full-color blister packaging printing system premieres

The BlisterJet CMYK, a UV drop-on-demand piezo inkjet printing system for full-color printing on blisters, will debut at Pack Expo.


When you think of blister packaging, you typically picture a foil laminate or other sealing film printed with one color of text, usually black, if any at all. A new breakthrough option opens up a whole colorful new world of digital-printed blister packaging for brand owners.

Hapa’s BlisterJet CMYK prints text or code—random or serialized—and graphics in four spot colors or CMYK color process on sealed, blank, or preprinted blisters. The fully digital UV DoD piezo inkjet system provides 360/720 dpi print quality in a single pass using solventless inks.

It is easy to operate and is appropriate for blisters up to 17mm deep on the following substrates: Aluminum foil, paper-backed foil, and Tyvek.

Asked about the market for this system, James MacKenzie, Hapa’s director of sales, healthcare, informs Packaging Digest, “The machine is designed for pharmaceutical companies who pack products in blister packs and need to manage a high degree of order-size volatility. The machine decouples the production of blisters from the packaging of blisters. As a result, the utilization of the blister lines is increased dramatically since the frequent machine changeovers associated with small volume production is no longer at issue.”

MacKenzie reports that four CMYK systems have been delivered to companies in Europe and North America. “Although the BlisterJet CMYK is a new configuration, yet both the blister handling system and the CMYK print-module have been fully tried and tested in scores of applications around the world,” he says.

More information on the BlisterJet CMYK can be found at the Hapa website


Hapa, Pack Expo Booth S-2501



Want to assess innovative options in packaging machinery and automation? Visit PackEx Montréal, November 30, 2016 to December 1, 2016. 


Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/digital-printing/full-color-blister-printing-system-premieres1610

FSMA update: Is your organization informed and aware?

Food safety expert Gary Kestenbaum provides updated suggestions for packaging industry quality and safety managers regarding FSMA rules.


Welcome to autumn, readers!  Now that vacations are over and we are between critical seasons, it’s a great time to (re)focus on the latest updates to and requirements of the Food Modernization Safety Act, namely the requirements connected to the final rules and the direction of impending rules described by drafts and models.  

Final Rules

Subject-specific final rules have been issued under FSMA and published by FDA relating to:

  • Establishment and Maintenance of Records   
  • cGMPs and HARPC for Animal Food
  • cGMPs and HARPC for Human Food
  • Food Supplier Verification Programs for Imports
  • Produce
  • 3rd Party Auditing
  • Safe Transportation of Food 
  • Intentional Adulteration Protection (Food Defense “Plus”)
  • Facility Registration (amendments)
  • Compliance Dates (clarification and extensions)

Drafts, models and guidance documents

FDA reaches out ongoing to industry, and encourages input and feedback from a broad range of food supply participants and members prior to the finalization of FSMA rules.  The FDA website contains links to a collection of model and draft rules and standards as well as guidance documents and rule “at a glance” summaries.

Interpretations and definitions  

There are too many packaging industry – related details and mitigating variations to address or cover in this update.  Suffice it to say, the internet is replete with many valuable technical, legal and functional white papers containing guidance and interpretations relating to food, food packaging and related industry supply chain participants including, but not limited to the frequently asked questions

  •  “What are the differences between the two mainstream, recognized hazard control programs HACCP and HARPC?”


  • “What is the definition of a ‘Qualified Person’ in regards to establishing and overseeing a Food Safety Preventive Controls program”? 

Answers to excellent questions such as those can be found on the web.

Reacting to objectives and intent

Recently, Ms. Joann Givens, co-chair of the FSMA Operations Team Steering Committee and director of FDA’s Food and Feed Program in the Office of Regulatory Affairs, provided answers in a straightforward FSMA Q & A which can be found on FDA’s website.

Her answers contain general FDA perspectives, expectations and guidance for the greater food industry. She advises that food facilities should, by now, be taking measures required by the intent of each rule to transform their food safety systems.  Facility food safety SMEs should oversee assessments of products and processes for vulnerabilities which might compromise the integrity of food or food contact packaging safety, and respond with preventive adjustments designed to control risks. Prompt responses to risks, in advance of their becoming violations, can prevent them from impacting the safety of the food supply chain.

She also stressed the need for each facility to set up a thorough system of documentation. Execution of recordkeeping best practices acts as evidence that the FSMA legal standard is being met.

In general, she advises affected supply chain managers to put processes and procedures in place to prevent problems before they occur and consider building in system redundancy as backup. She advised that in the event of a food safety compromise, state or federal investigators will ask the questions “when problems came to your attention, what did you do? Were you proactive in looking for problems in the first place? If you could not find a solution, did you get the right expertise? Did you educate your employees”?


Ultimate regulatory goal

The FDA site Q&A explains that FSMA rules require each affected food facility to create a validated, effective self-sustaining preventive, food safety system with operations that are FSMA compliant.

FSMA preventive controls requirements were written to shift the culture of food safety from reaction and correction to pre-incident analysis and prevention.

Chairperson Givens’ final comment may be her most insightful. She advises “We want to see people doing the best they can. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. They’re learning; we’re learning. We are very committed to educating while we regulate to align understanding and expectations”.


Regardless of whether you provide equipment, food contact packaging or related goods and services, you or a customer in your chain of supply will ultimately need to comply with one or more of the FSMA rules. Work against the assumption that even if your business and facility are exempted from complying with FSMA, eventually, a partner will be affected.

If your internal capabilities, knowledge or resources are limited, you are now expected to reach out to external experts to provide guidance, assistance and compliance validation. Ignorance and mistaken interpretations are not valid excuses for non-compliance.

As your organization adjusts programs, policies, procedures and operations to align with FSMA objectives of risk identification and prevention, so then will you assist your partners in their quest to achieve compliance and protect consumers!


Gary Kestenbaum has 40 years’ experience in the food and packaging industries, 6 as a supplier with National Starch, 18 as a product developer with General/Kraft Foods and 15 as a packaging engineer and developer with Kraft. As senior food packaging safety consultant with EHA Consulting Group, Kestenbaum provides guidance on packaging safety and suitability-related projects for raw material manufacturers, converters and associated supporting professionals. He can be reached at gkestenbaum@ehagroup.com or 410-484-9133. The website is www.ehagroup.com.



Want to explore fresh ideas in materials and machinery for food packaging? Visit PackEx Montréal, November 30, 2016 to December 1, 2016. 




Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/food-safety/fsma-update-is-your-organization-informed-and-aware1610

Breaking down the value of compostable packaging

No one wants to “waste” anything; whether it’s time, money or the leftovers of a product we’ve purchased. Brands of course want consumers to have a positive experience with a product throughout the time they spend with it. When a consumer has to toss a product’s packaging into the trash, rather than recycling or composting it, that act may give a negative impression the company likely does not intend. To improve a company’s environmental impact while improving the consumer’s brand experience, companies are increasingly tackling the challenges around packaging and waste.

There are multiple paths to divert packaging waste from landfills—through reuse, recycling, composting, incineration or digestion with capabilities to capture energy. Recycling is a familiar option. Composting is another option, for diverting both packaging and food waste. Ultimately, the most appropriate packaging waste diversion tactic for a company should consider several factors, including packaging functionality, available recovery infrastructure and value of the solution.

Let’s explore some of the opportunities and challenges related specifically to composting:

Cost: First and foremost, a package must be intentionally designed to fulfill a task that adds value, such as protecting a product, enabling portability or communicating important messages. Likewise, the design stage is when a package will be designed to enable compostability through choices such as materials and thickness. Brands must be prepared to pay for this packaging attribute, though. Often compostable packaging incurs higher costs compared to a standard packaging. Added costs may come from materials, testing, additional resources or necessary certifications.

Performance: There may also be limitations on materials available that meet performance needs in a compostable material offering. To be sure, innovations in this space have improved the situation over time, but additional opportunities exist to bring more solutions to market.

Infrastructure: The infrastructure for commercial composting in the U.S. is still in its infancy, but many stakeholders are interested in fostering its growth. One opportunity that could fuel these advancements is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) goal to reduce food waste nationally by 50% by 2030 from the 2010 baseline. Composting is one means to reduce food waste. Thus, progress towards this goal could result in improvements in composting infrastructure resources, availability and viability.

However, where composting infrastructure exists, compostable packaging is not always accepted into the program. Thus, it is important for the industry to stay engaged to make the case for composters to accept compostable packaging.

For example, GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition is engaging in research to uncover the impact that compostable packaging has in increasing diversion of food scraps. If a meaningful amount of additional food is captured when compostable food packaging is used, this could create a more convincing case for using compostable packaging.

Transitions are often messy, and in the marketplace there are obviously some types of packaging that are compostable, but many that are not. Composters are concerned about contamination. They are rightly asking whether it’s worth investing in the quality control needed to protect the quality of their compost as consumers learn what packaging belongs in the compost and what doesn’t. The industry should support clear identification of their compostable packaging to support quality collection and maintain access to composting as an end-of-life option.

Waste is managed at the local level, and it has been said that organic waste could be managed at even a “hyper local” level. Organics can be composted in a traditional commercial infrastructure, including windrows that are turned with mechanical blades. Or, it could be processed using an anaerobic digester. It could even be done in a backyard, or using worms and a bin (known as vermiculture).

The evolution of additional options and alternatives were discussed recently at the SustPack 2016 conference in Chicago. The question for the packaging industry is: How does compostable packaging fit into such a diverse infrastructure?

We are yet to see what infrastructure for composting will look like in its mature form. Efforts for national brands to implement national programs will need to engage locally to be successful. The opportunity that brands have now is to establish themselves as progressive leaders in the industry with proactive behavior, taking initiative in composting and developing packaging that is conducive to the processes available.

Consumer engagement and collection: Helping consumers understand how to properly dispose of compostable packaging is key to realizing its value and potential.

However, the concept of composting and compostable packaging is a newer idea for many, and may not be as well understood as recycling. Furthermore, there are legal requirements companies must navigate to ensure they do not unintentionally mislead consumers, as detailed in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Green Guides. GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition has developed a consumer-facing on-pack program called the How2Compost label, which aims to clearly, and simply communicate to consumers the appropriate action to take. This logo is an expansion of the successful How2Recycle label.

Like many other things in life, context is everything—and the same is true for composting. It is important to understand where compostable packaging is most suitable to implement.

There has been successful deployment and collection of compostable packaging in specific localized instances, such as sports stadiums, institutional cafeterias and cities with local curbside collection programs that accept compostable packaging. For example, if the stadium requires all vendors to use only compostable packaging, it makes it easier for event attendees and staff to dispose of the packaging properly. Additionally, most of the packaging material will remain in the venue, so the facilities managers can capture a high volume of compostable material.

However, there are many situations where deploying compostable packaging solutions would be considered “putting the cart before the horse,” as infrastructure is not yet available. Thus, where there is no composting infrastructure, the investment in compostable packaging may not be worthwhile.


Final thoughts

While it’s important to recognize composting as an end-of-life option, it is also important to take a broader view of sustainability when determining the best packaging choice for a given product. A broader perspective may include a different end-of-life management route or even different aspect of the package/product lifecycle.

While most consumers consider packaging end-of-life to be top of mind concerning sustainability, other aspects of the package or product lifecycle likely present greater opportunities for driving positive impact. Assessments on a case-by-case basis are recommended to determine if the benefits of creating a recyclable or compostable package outweigh environmental impacts of other aspects, such as package weight and functionality.

To position a packaging end-of-life strategy for success, keep a pulse on industry efforts in this area. A significant amount of work is happening among brands, organizations and governments that is geared toward packaging waste diversion and recovery opportunities. Although there are challenges with composting currently, it will play an important role in efforts to meet waste diversion goals.

Several groups are actively working to improve opportunities on the ground as described above, so take advantage of opportunities to get involved. To get more information and engage in the composting conversation, we recommend following up with the U.S. Composting Council, GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition, and the Foodservice Packaging Institute’s Paper Recovery Alliance and Plastics Recovery Group.


Jennifer McCracken is sustainability director for HAVI, a global company focused on innovating, optimizing and managing the supply chains of leading brands—with services in supply chain management, packaging, logistics, and recycling and waste McCracken is responsible for global and U.S. leadership for sustainability; including strategy and alignment, and environmental and social accountability services. She also participates on working groups focused on sustainability issues such as the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), where she served as an Executive Committee member (2005-2011), the GreenBlue Forest Products Working Group, the Foodservice Packaging Institute’s Paperboard Recovery Alliance (FPI PRA) and AMERIPEN (board member 2012-present).

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/sustainable-packaging/breaking-down-the-value-of-compostable-packaging-2016-10-19

Easy-to-assemble/disassemble conveyor belt cuts sanitation downtime

The Habasit Saniclip is an innovative rod retention system that makes belt assembly and disassembly possible in only seconds with no tools to speed conveyor belt opening and enable easier than ever belt sanitation. In short, it helps reduce downtime. Allowing for simple rod installation/removal for applications where frequent belt sanitation is required, the Saniclip has a tactile, non-slip surface for easy removal in wet and/or fatty environments. Multiple Saniclips can be installed on a single belt to allow for easy opening in several locations.

See the Saniclip at Pack Expo 2016 (Nov. 6-9; Chicago) in the Habasit America Booth S-3870.

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/conveyors/easy-to-assemble-disassemble-conveyor-belt-cuts-sanitation-downtime-2016-10-18

3 ways Millennial Americans influence corporate responsibility

The way consumers interact with brands is rapidly changing. Earlier this year, Millennials officially surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest generation in U.S. history. There are now more than 90 million American Millennials, defined by those born between 1981 and 2000.

As the new era of young people take a stronghold on our economy, market and culture, many industries are realizing the increasing need to adapt to appeal to their evolving clientele.

What do you need to know about how younger Americans are different from our parents’ generation?

1. Millennials are aware now more than ever that they are constantly being sold to—and they don’t like it.

Advertisements and other marketing tactics are losing their effectiveness on young consumers. In fact, most Millennials are skeptical of advertising, and only 1% are influenced by a compelling ad. Brands need to begin thinking outside the box and develop alternative strategies to win over the trust of their young and increasingly powerful consumers.

2. Millennials are more likely to value brands they perceive to enhance lives, support social causes, and demonstrate transparency and trustworthiness.

With 61% of young people feeling personally responsible to make a difference within their community or environment, they expect brands and companies to pay their fair share. In fact, 75% of younger consumersexpect brands to demonstrate social engagement and give back to society.

Plus 84% of millennials consider a brand’s public and implied values before making a purchase, and they don’t just take the company’s word for it. Young people are twice as likely than Baby Boomers to check if a brand’s corporate social responsibility claims are true and supported with specific action. Companies need to actively and publically demonstrate they are concerned about the social and environmental impacts of their products, and committed to mitigating effects where possible.

3. Millennials are experiencing less positive regard towards large companies and institutions. This growing population’s Decline of Deference makes it more difficult for companies to convince consumers that their brands demonstrate transparency and social engagement.

Skepticism of environmental marketing claims leads younger Americans to look towards third party seals and certifications on packaging to vouch for the credibility of a brand’s claims.

For example, the How2Recycle label aims to meet these demands and promote sustainability by influencing packaging design for recycling. As a third party membership-based program, How2Recycle works with industry companies to convey both overall recyclability of a package and improve the reliability, completeness and transparency of recyclability claims. How2Recycle engages with consumers by instructing them how to properly prepare a package for recycling, as well as where to go to find additional information.

How2Recycle addresses the changing demands of the growing (both in breadth and influence) Millennial population by helping to bridge the gap between company’s efforts and consumers’ suspicion. We want to foster trust, communication and a greater understanding of the materials you handle every day.

Why do Millennial expectations matter?

If brands don’t learn to adapt to the Millennial mindset, they face obsolescence. By 2018, Millennials are expected to surpass their preceding generations with $3.39 trillion in annual spending power. With this transition comes the increasing need for brands to meet the demands, expectations and interests of their transitioning consumer base. It is essential to a company’s financial security and longevity to understand and value the expectations of this social cohort, as well as appreciate the magnitude of the influence they play in the market.


Caroline Cox is project associate for the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, focusing on the How2Recycle program. She holds a B.S. in Psychology and two minors in Environmental Studies and Spanish, and is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Natural Resources from Virginia Tech. Previously, Cox worked in marketing and management for a real estate firm, led a sustainable agriculture camp for local youth, and studied in the Ecuadorian highlands of the Andes and lowlands of the rainforest.


Photo credit: Designed by jcomp / Freepik



See a host of new ideas in packaging machinery, materials and more at PackEx Montreal 2016, Nov. 30-Dec. 1, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/sustainable-packaging/3-ways-millennial-americans-influence-corporate-responsibility-2016-10-18

Captain Morgan turns Cannon Blast bottle into a pumpkin

Packaging for the seasonal Captain Morgan Jack-O-Blast limited-edition pumpkin spiced rum bottle looks and feels like a real pumpkin from the skin-tight orange shrink-film wrap to the rough-textured stem-like over-the-cap portion.


October is a time when the weather turns cooler, leaves turn color and pumpkins start showing up everywhere including in liquor stores.

While the latter usually means all varieties of pumpkin artwork on beer and other beverage packaging, Diageo’s Captain Morgan brand rum pushes the idea to the extreme: A limited-edition revision of its Cannon Blast cannonball bottle that converts it into a Jack-O-Blast pumpkin bottle that contains pumpkin-spiced rum.

“As much as we enjoyed tropical cocktails over the summer, it’s time to make room for the bold flavors of fall everyone enjoys,” says Linda Bethea, Captain Morgan vp. “Captain Morgan [Jack-O-Blast] is a must-have for responsible adult consumers during their favorite seasonal activities, whether it’s at football tailgates, Halloween parties or backyard bonfires with friends.”

Like the cannonball bottle before (read our 360-degree examination of the cannonball bottle from April, Captain Morgan bottle is a blast), the 750mL pumpkin bottle leverages the round bottle shape, but adds a few distinct and clever touches starting with a striking, full-wrap, skin-tight and wrinkle-free pumpkin-mimicking shrink-sleeve label.


Two other features on the pumpkin bottle include a flaming pumpkin and gold-green print pirate skull.


How a great is this pumpkin? Check it out as we play…Spin the pumpkin bottle to identify what’s new and different from the Cannon Blast bottle besides a realistic textured pumpkin-orange shrink wrap as we take it for a clockwise spin:

  • The Cannon Blast name is now the Jack O’Blast with the “O” a lit cannonball, all in a reflective gold color and with stenciled lettering;
  • The blazing ship logo on the wrapped cannonball bottle side is now a blazing pumpkin;
  • The white pirate-hatted skeleton logo from before is a greenish gold color;
  • The UPC “bomb” has been subtly improved, with a red lit fuse and black sparks that were all red prior; the UPC also extends into the bomb’s top unlike before.

Another special feature is seen only under black light; that’s when the shrink-sleeved bottle simulates the look of a carved pumpkin.

Other than using some modified colors, the rest of the visual artwork is essentially the same as before with one major exception that truly sets this bottle further apart as one of its most distinguishing features:  The textured, shrink-film band on the cap.

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/labels/captain-morgan-turns-cannonblast-bottle-into-pumpkin1610

3 ways ‘The Amazon Effect’ impacts protective packaging

The rise of Amazon leads to an increase in Final Mile deliveries. Is your packaging prepared? It is if you have balanced packaging and damage costs for ecommerce distribution.


Amazon is the biggest and busiest online retailer on the planet, surpassed in volume only by Chinese giant online retailer Alibaba. Amazon is so big the company essentially “creates its own weather” and even has its own designation, “The Amazon Effect,”  to describe how the company is driving change throughout the retail, supply chain and logistics industries.

So what does this growth in Amazon’s ecommerce volume have to do with packaging across North America and around the globe?

It’s now easier than ever for product manufacturers to sell and ship their products directly to the consumer through Amazon. Products that in the past had only been sold in a retail brick and mortar store can now be ordered online and delivered to your front door step. This is old news for small packages shipped via single parcel.

But what about the big, heavy, lumpy stuff you used to have to use a truck and a trailer to pick up at the store? I’m talking exercise equipment, ping-pong tables, flat screen TV’s, baby furniture.

Yes, those can be drop-shipped direct to your house, too!

But while the convenience factor in ordering large bulky items and getting them to your home has greatly increased, this “last-mile” delivery leg of the trip requires a whole different mode of shipping and delivery service that will continue to impact packaging design and materials selection for years to come.

Next: The 3 ways

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/protective-packaging/3ways-amazoneffect-impacts-packaging1610

3 ways “The Amazon Effect” impacts protective packaging

The rise of Amazon leads to an increase in Final Mile deliveries. Is your packaging prepared? It is if you have balanced packaging and damage costs for ecommerce distribution.


Amazon is the biggest and busiest online retailer on the planet, surpassed in volume only by Chinese giant online retailer Alibaba. Amazon is so big the company essentially “creates its own weather” and even has its own designation, “The Amazon Effect,”  to describe how the company is driving change throughout the retail, supply chain and logistics industries.

So what does this growth in Amazon’s ecommerce volume have to do with packaging across North America and around the globe?

It’s now easier than ever for product manufacturers to sell and ship their products directly to the consumer through Amazon. Products that in the past had only been sold in a retail brick and mortar store can now be ordered online and delivered to your front door step. This is old news for small packages shipped via single parcel.

But what about the big, heavy, lumpy stuff you used to have to use a truck and a trailer to pick up at the store? I’m talking exercise equipment, ping-pong tables, flat screen TV’s, baby furniture.

Yes, those can be drop-shipped direct to your house, too!

But while the convenience factor in ordering large bulky items and getting them to your home has greatly increased, this “last-mile” delivery leg of the trip requires a whole different mode of shipping and delivery service that will continue to impact packaging design and materials selection for years to come.

Next: The 3 ways

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/protective-packaging/3ways-amazoneffect-impacts-packaging1610

Boulder Clean chooses child-resistant flexible packaging for new single-dose natural detergent

The packaging design for Boulder Clean Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent Packs shines a spotlight on child safety, using a stand-up pouch with a zipper closure that little hands can’t open.

Boulder Clean, a 1908 Brands company, worked with Presto Products Co. and Accredo Packaging Inc. to design the package. Accredo supplies the pre-made pouch, and Presto supplies the Slider-Guard child-resistant zipper.

To open the zipper, consumers must align a tab to a notch, then press down on the tab and slide it to the open position (see a video here). Adults can easily open and close the package, but children lack the manual coordination to work the zipper.

The pouch, which holds 34 single-dose liquid packs, is made from non-recyclable, reverse-printed PET laminated to a coextruded nylon/polyethylene sealant web. The single-dose packs are a new offering from Boulder Clean; the product will launch in December 2016 and is the first natural cleaning product to use the Slider-Guard child-resistant zipper.

Carly Marriott, director of operations for Boulder Clean, answers a few questions about the package.


Why was it important to add a child-resistant feature to the pouch?

Marriott: The laundry pack market grows more than 15% each year, and we want to be a part of the innovation—but not at the expense of a family’s safety. We love the convenience of laundry packs, and we are excited to bring an effective and natural laundry detergent to market that does not compromise household safety.


Do you plan to use this package format for other products?

Marriott: Yes, we would like to keep families safe in every room in the home. We’re looking into using this packaging for Auto-Dish Detergent Packs, as well, primarily because dish detergent is often stored under the sink, and children can gain access to it. 


Are the pouches made from recycled plastic? 

Marriott: No, not at this time, because we needed to increase the durability of the package. It’s not out of our future plans, but we want to run tests to make sure a recyclable package is durable enough to be child resistant.

We support the How2Recycle program and always design our packages to be recyclable, but on this particular product we were not willing to compromise child safety for recyclability. I am looking forward, though, to testing the recycyable material with the Presto zipper; if we can make this package recyclable, it would be the best of both worlds.


Where will the product be distributed? 

Marriott: It will be available initially through all Lucky’s Markets stores (there’s a store locator on their website) and available nationally through Amazon and Jet. We will be reviewing our laundry packs with all of our retail partners in 2017.


How are the package graphics optimized for impact on Amazon.com?

Marriott: Product images are one of the most important factors that a customer takes into account when deciding whether or not to buy a product online. Our Amazon images will be clear and appealing, with multiple views of the product. These images will be eye-catching and informative.


Who created the packaging graphics for the pouch?

Marriott: The 1908 Brands in-house marketing team.



Learn about the latest developments in packaging design at PackEx Montreal 2016 (Nov. 30-Dec. 1, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada).

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/packaging-design/boulder-clean-chooses-child-resistant-flexible-packaging-for-new-single-dose-natural-detergent-2016-10-13