Vertical bagger makes Doyen-style pouches in a much smaller footprint

Stand-up pouches with reclosable zippers have become more and more popular in recent years. Traditionally these have been made on horizontal pouch machines. Bosch Packaging has turned this concept on end.

At first glance, the Model SVE252 from Bosch Packaging, aka the Doy Zip bagger, looks like a typical vertical form-fill-seal (VFFS) bagger, and there are similarities in the material path and filling. The difference is that this one makes a true Doyen-style pouch with a zipper.

Advantages include speed (100 bags per minute) and reduced footprint (6 sq ft) when compared with a horizontal poucher.

Film is unrolled and formed over a special mandrel that also adds the V to the bottom for stand-up gussets. The film extends to the front of the mandrel, a zipper is fed between the seals and it is all welded together to form the “top” of the finished pouch. As the pouch pulls down, a horizontal bar seals the sides and cuts the pouches apart.

Bosch feels that this machine is so revolutionary that they have set up a dedicated website at

Check it out at Pack Expo Las Vegas Booth C-2800.

Tell ’em the wizard sent you.

Known as the Changeover Wizard, John R. Henry is the owner of, a consulting firm that helps companies find and fix the causes of inefficiencies in their packaging operations. He has written the book, literally, on packaging machinery ( and is the face and personality behind packaging detective KC Boxbottom, the main character in Adventures in Packaging, a popular blog on

Source Article from

Case erector cuts set-up time by almost half

A new way of feeding and setting up cases on the 30 Series case erectors from Wexxar/Bel speeds up the process. What used to take about seven minutes can now be done in about four minutes.

Cases now are loaded horizontally in strapped bundles. Once the bundle is in queue in the magazine, the strap is easily removed. Case blanks are then fed on a belt from the bottom using gravity and, once clear from the stack, are stood up for vertical opening (just like before). See the system operate in the video clip above.

At Pack Expo Las Vegas (booth C-3123), national account manager Peter Zweber explained that case size changeovers are easy. You loosen the hand-cranks, slide the guides in (or out) until they touch the new case size and then tighten the handles back up. No tools needed.

Because the design uses gravity to help feed the cases, the system can handle a wider range of case styles and materials. Plastic cases, for example.

With this new feeding system, the overall machine footprint is a little bit wider and a little longer. The magazine section could also be extended to reduce the frequency of replenishing the case supply, but that would add a little bit more to the length of the machine.

In addition to easier case loading and faster set up, this new design eliminates any potential pressure problems with vertically loaded and stacked cases.

We also showed a solution to carton-feeding pressure problems from Kliklok-Woodman on its CertiWrap Elite system, which debutted at Pack Expo Las Vegas. The problem is the same—controlling material feeding pressure—but the solution was different and was for cartons rather than cases.

Source Article from

All-paper packaging for ecommerce avoids void fill

This “smart ecommerce solution” is a case former that uses patented and patent-pending technology to form corrugated cases with an integrated kraft paper liner that eliminates void fill.


The growth and interest in ecommerce was evident at Pack Expo with a number of inventive solutions to make the process speedier and more efficient if not more sustainable. One of the most fascinating was found at the booth of WestRock and its latest member of the company’s Meta series of case-forming equipment, the Meta e.


The new Meta e relies system relies on the Meta series’ “precision mandrel” case forming operation using die-cut blanks with an added twist for ecommerce: An adhesive-strip coated kraft paper sleeve is cut inline from roll and affixed to the inside of the corrugated blank before the case is formed.  


The result is an all-paper, ecommerce-optimized case with a protective kraft insert that provides “blocking and bracing of primary product” without the need for void fill. The entire packaging is 100% recyclable in paper streams.



Don Reggio, vp of marketing, corrugated packaging solutions, says the system outputs 25 cases per minute. He says it will be field-tested soon and that they are “in conversations with a dozen” potential customers.


More about WestRock’s Meta systems can be found here.

Source Article from

Robotic case packing sans vacuum or pick-and-place

The new TriVex SL case packing system debuting at Pack Expo offers a revolutionary simpler way to robotically load pouches into cases without the use of vacuum cups or any pick-and-place operation.


The TriVex SL system combines the functions collation and loading into a single, integrated operation using a pair of SCARA robots. The controls programming is also simpler: Run by Rockwell Automation ControlLogix, also does away with robotic programming. The robots’ end effectors are the loading box.  It is optimized for pouches, bags and cartons in a standup configuration. Douglas Machine’s Steve Lipps, vp sales and marketing, says the system can output 25 retail-ready display cases/min.


Source Article from

‘Waterfall’ carton feeder solves pressure problems

Replenishing cartons on a high-speed carton erector can keep an operator busy. Sometimes too busy.

But if you extend the carton magazine to hold more cartons, the added weight pressing on the carton supply could cause cartons to be pushed out at the end before a reciprocating feeder can grab them and set them up properly.

A new “waterfall” design on the CertiWrap Elite cartoner from Kliklok-Woodman—announced at Pack Expo Las Vegas 2015 in Booth C-2603—makes sure that the pressure on carton blanks feeding into the machine is just right.

The design basically separates a small quantity of cartons at the end of the machine feeding area. The rest of the cartons on the magazine are pushed up until they drop down into this separate area…in a controlled waterfall action. The photo shows a close up of this feature on the machine.

Pack Expo Las Vegas is also the North American debut of the Elite cartoner.

Source Article from

Laser codes show up on HDPE bottles

Coding variable information like lot and date directly onto high-density polyethylene (HDPE) bottles has always been difficult. Ink jet will do it but is messy and there may be solvent bleed-through issues. It can also be removed. Lasers work great on a variety of materials but not on HDPE.

Until now.

At Pack Expo Las Vegas, DPSS Lasers (Booth N-512) is showing some white bottles with what looked like high-quality inkjet printing. When they told me it was laser, my first thought was that there was an additive in the plastic.


The DPSS uses an ultraviolet scribing to code text and two-dimensional (2D) codes directly on the bottle. Printing is a very dark, almost black, grey. Since it is a laser, the code can be focused down optically to as small as 50 microns. This is great for hidden product surety codes. Speeds can go to 600 bottles per minute with three to four lines of text.

I’ve been a laser fan for many years but applications with plastics have been limited. This ultraviolet (UV) laser gives manufacturers a whole new way to code.


Known as the Changeover Wizard, John R. Henry is the owner of, a consulting firm that helps companies find and fix the causes of inefficiencies in their packaging operations. He has written the book, literally, on packaging machinery ( and is the face and personality behind packaging detective KC Boxbottom, the main character in Adventures in Packaging, a popular blog on

Source Article from

Peer-to-peer advice helps packaging designers and engineers succeed

Packaging leaders from McCormick & Co., Kraft Foods, General Mills, ConAgra and more will share ideas, tips and their thoughts on future packaging trends and technologies at an intense one-day conference at the Pennsylvania Convention Center during PhillyPack 2015 (Oct. 7-8; Philadelphia).

While the program is strong in the top packaging-consuming food and beverage markets (where a lot of innovation is happening), packaging professionals serving other markets will also benefit from hearing from these packaging industry thought-leaders.

Consumer trends and demographics, automation advances and alternative packaging materials are among the key topics on the agenda (view the full line-up here):

• Keynote Michael Okoroafor, vp, global packaging innovation, McCormick & Co. (left in the photo above), will talk about the best-performing packaging features that consumers value today. His insights come from an illustrious and productive career as a packaging executive at various consumer packaged goods companies, including The Coca-Cola Co. and H.J. Heinz (remember the revolutionary HeinzDip & Squeeze ketchup package?).

• Personalization on the plant floor? What’s that all about? Robotics experts from Fanuc and Schneider Packaging Equipment will explain how advancements in robots are driving down costs and shortening the time between concept and final product. You’ll also hear a case study on how one packaging operation achieved personalization and how it benefitted from it.

• Packaging developers and designers are constantly on the hunt for the next best packaging material innovations. Veritiv product development manager Michael Bashaw aims to show you some new materials for primary and secondary packages that address key concerns for barrier and sustainability.

Additionally, Packaging Digest Editorial Advisory Board members David France and Mary Gregg (shown in the center and right, respectively, in the image above), will participate in two different panel discussions:

France, packaging research fellow, ConAgra Foods Packaging R&I, will be one of three panelists talking about “Collaboration through the Entire Supply Chain to Drive Success & Cost-Effective Packaging Innovation,” along with supply chain and packaging experts from Chobani and Lutece BV.

Gregg, previously global director, next-generation packaging, research and development, Campbell Soup Co., and now an industry consultant, will join packaging executives from Kraft Foods and General Mills in a panel discussion on “Taking Intelligent Risks in Packaging Innovation & Design When Revitalizing or Introducing a Brand.” During the discussion, they’ll identify the packaging triggers that help drive trial and repeat purchase.

Expertly leading attendees through this dynamic program, moderator and conference chair Dan Balan will bring his own insights and energy to the content and discussions. A pioneer in business transformation, Balan is the head of Chicago consulting firm Fastraqq, and creator of The Packaging and Business Innovation Show and the Packaging 360 Leadership course that defines the next paradigm in packaging.

The learning opportunities expand beyond packaging, too. Other manufacturing- and design-related seminars taking place in Philadelphia at the same time include Innovations in 3D Printing, MD&M-Medical Device Innovation and MD&M-New Materials/MedTech Polymers.

These educational sessions enhance the immersion into packaging innovation at the PhillyPack 2015 event. You can also find solutions and inspiration from leading packaging suppliers exhibiting at the show.

Source Article from

X-ray inspection gives health products maker ‘peace of mind’

Health Specialties Manufacturing switched to an x-ray inspection system to ensure product safety and quality—and gained production flexibility at the same time.


The mission of The GHT Companies is to work globally with its founding scientists to bring raw ingredient and nutritional product discoveries to commercial markets. This includes the delivery of progressive formulations for optimal wellness, longevity and an improved quality of life for people around the world.

Founded in 1997, the mid-size group of companies in Vista, CA, consists of Global Health Trax, Health Specialties Manufacturing, Vibrant Nutraceuticals and Green Leaf Sciences. The manufacturing business unit, Health Specialties Manufacturing (HSM), employs about 30 people and runs one shift per day, five or six days a week. It is cGMP-certified, sports-certified and licensed by Health Canada.

HSM formulates and produces branded products for its sister companies, which includes, but is not limited to probiotics, enzymes, vitamins and joint-muscle blends. It also formulates and produces private label lines for global customers, and has produced unique vegan-qualified products for select markets.

“We’re known for being flexible and are always looking for what is cutting edge in the industry,” says Ernesto Mejia, director of quality control and assurance (QC/QA) and research and development (R&D) at The GHT Companies. “I am very involved with developing products. We help customers with small volumes, assist them with R&D or supply our own formula,” he reports.

An expanding product lineup, expansion of global customers and rising sales volume keep the plant consistently busy throughout the year. To ensure product quality, The GHT Companies relies on x-ray inspection and installed a standalone Safeline SideChek x-ray inspection system from Metter Toledo Safeline in January 2015.

Unlike some x-ray systems, the SideChek x-ray unit does not require water cooling and related plumbing, thereby simplifying installation. The IP65-rated machine features a 100-watt x-ray generator and 12-inch-tall inspection area and meets CE standards. The unit detects and automatically rejects product with contaminants as small as 0.2mm, including metal, stone, glass and bone. A maximum speed of 600 feet per minute translates into up to 1,200 inspections per minute.

“We are very proud of our products,” says Mejia. “The investment in the x-ray system shows we care about the safety of our products.”


No longer ‘foiled’ by metal

The SideChek x-ray inspection system replaced a metal detector, which remains in use for products that don’t need the broader detection capabilities of x-ray inspection.

The range of branded and private label products manufactured by HSM include complex liquate and powder blends in all types of packaging formats, as dictated by the customer and the logistics/characteristics of the product.    

The SideChek x-ray system is able to inspect packaging with foil laminations, which can confuse metal detection systems and result in inefficiencies. “If we were using metal detection, we would need to inspect product before sealing,” explains Mejia. “But we believe inspecting the package after it is sealed is essential to maximize product quality.”

Mejia first learned about x-ray inspection at the Pack Expo trade show. He recalls: “We use a foil lamination for seals. With metal detection that’s a problem. With an x-ray system you can inspect a sealed or capped product. Everything started from there. Mettler Toledo Safeline was able to deliver what we wanted, and management was willing to make the financial commitment. There’s a big price difference between metal detection and x-ray equipment, but management is open to my recommendations and made the commitment because metal detection had difficulty efficiently checking products with iron content, an oxygen scavenger or a pump with a metal spring. X-ray systems can detect non-metal as well as metal contaminants and check other attributes. For example, in a canister of powder, it can confirm the presence of a scoop and desiccant pouch. An x-ray system also can check fill level. If a container isn’t filled to specifications, the machine can be programmed to provide an alert. This broad capability is what’s unique with x-ray.”

The SideChek x-ray inspection system was purchased through Pacific Packaging and Inspection (949-285-5795), Las Vegas, NV, an independent sales representative for Mettler Toledo Safeline. “The machine had to inspect an array of products at the final packaging level,” recalls Kirk Isham, sales representative at PPI. “The GHT Companies wanted to inspect products for foreign contaminants plus have the ability to ensure that fill levels are correct and all components are present,” he explains. “X-ray was the only way to meet this range of needs.”

Mejia reports, “Kirk Isham has been very helpful from the beginning. He has a great relationship with Mettler Toledo Safeline and put me in contact with its engineering department. One of the engineers, Wyeth Thomas, western regional sales manager, visited and described what the SideChek x-ray system could do. I explained I wanted one machine that could inspect everything. I didn’t want to be limited. Mettler Toledo Safeline then performed a full test with all of our different products and different size packaging and designed the system to work with all the types of products we currently produce. Nothing was left unanswered. Kirk always followed up with whatever we needed.”  


One system performs for three lines

The SideChek x-ray system inspects product from all three packaging lines. Plastic bottle sizes range from 1 inch in diameter by 3 inches high to 3.5 inches in diameter by 10 inches high. “My Safeline SideChek unit is big enough to inspect packages ranging from 1 ounce to 1 gallon. I’m very pleased with it,” says Mejia.

Health Specialties Manufacturing uses the x-ray system to inspect a range of products, and in various package formats.


Product arrives in the x-ray room via conveyor. The x-ray scan matches the line speed with a one-to-one image ratio. Multiple wall openings allow product to arrive from one of the packaging lines or from storage and exit to secondary packaging where it is manually loaded into cases. Filled cases are manually palletized.

When it came time to install the system, training followed HSM’s standard operating procedures. During installation an engineer and technician from Mettler Toledo Safeline spent two days teaching operators, supervisors and the quality control team how the machine works and explained all facets of the system. 

The software and touchscreen operator interface make the x-ray inspection system easy to operate. Recipes also simplify setup and operation. Cleaning and sanitation requirements are minimal since all incoming product is sealed. In addition, virtually no in-house maintenance is required. “Mettler Toledo Safeline performs the annual calibration and maintenance program and did all the safety testing,” reports Mejia.

Safety features are built in. He says, “If someone opens a cover, the machine shuts down. We have no concerns.”

Since installation in January 2015, there have been no issues with false rejects. “The machine is very accurate. The unit is programmable, and we can set the detection parameters,” Mejia says. “We are able to check why a package was rejected.”

Mejia appreciates the equipment’s CE certification. “It is important. It gives us the assurance that the equipment meets standards and helps with our own certification.”

It also confirms the equipment performs according to specifications. “There’s more and more demand for third-party certification and assurance of compliance with regulations,” he notes.

With just one x-ray system and multiple packaging lines, inspection sometimes creates a bottleneck. As a result, Mejia says, “we may buy a second unit. The Safeline SideChek x-ray system gives us peace of mind,” he concludes.


Incoming product accumulates on a turntable before entering the infeed of the SideChek x-ray inspection system.



Hallie Forcinio, principal of Forcinio Communications, has expertise in packaging technologies and environmental issues. Prior to founding the company in 1993, Forcinio worked for 10 years in various editorial positions with a U.S. business-to-business packaging magazine. She also co-authored the third edition of the Handbook of Package Engineering.

Source Article from

4 reasons why flexible packaging is hot today

Flexible packaging continues to increase in popularity with consumers and brand owners for several reasons—and continues to expand into new markets. For example, brand owners have recently introduced cookie dough, cannabis products and brewed coffee in stand-up pouches. Here are four intrinsic benefits flexible packaging provides that you can take advantage of for your products.


1. Shipping friendly: Flexible packaging is lightweight, making it affordable to distribute domestically and internationally. A rigid counterpart could weigh up to 70% more, a costly option especially for small product runs.


2. Less wasteful: Flexible packaging uses significantly less plastic than rigid containers on average, providing an economical alternative that contains less waste.

What’s more, new methods and technologies exist to broaden the end-of-life options for flexible packaging. For example, scientists have discovered a way to prompt the decomposition process in the plastic used for flexible packaging. When an additive is included in the materials, the packaging biodegrades in a mere 18 months once it encounters a high microbial count, as in a landfill. Since the packaging is reduced to merely water and carbon, its effect on the environment is less than traditional rigid packaging.


3. Appealing to consumers: Flexible packaging attracts consumers because it has great shelf-appeal and often an eye-catching billboard effect. A stand-up pouch, for example, draws immediate attention and engages shoppers.


4. Product protection: Flexible packaging often incorporates barrier material that blocks harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, moisture, grease, contamination and oxygen.

Foil has an especially high oxygen transmission rate (OTR) and moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR), providing highly functional packaging for products that require a strong guard against damaging elements.

Tom Seymour is an account executive with Maco Pkg, a firm specializing in custom flexible packaging and contract packaging, with a focus on military, industrial, medical and consumer product markets. Seymour also serves as the vp of the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) Western New York Chapter and is the social media chairperson for the Associated New York State Food Processors. He has been a contributor to the flexible packaging profession since 2013 and is focused on innovation and sustainability.

Source Article from