White ink draws white-hot interest for digital printing

One colorful trend seen during September’s Labelexpo centered on the growing use of white ink on digital presses for labels and packaging. What’s the big deal? And what does this mean for brand owners? We present insights from four industry experts.


On the surface, white seems to be the least colorful, most “vanilla” of all the ink hues. Yet at Labelexpo white ink seemed a white-hot ticket for digital printing of labels and flexible packaging.

Why is interest in white ink heating up?

“For the label and the flexible packaging market white ink is imperative,” says printing expert and industry consultant Mike Ferrari (http://mike-ferrari.com). “It is not as much about the color white as it is about the opacity capability. This is needed when using a clear label or clear film for a bag.  White high opacity ink is necessary to block the contents from the print.  When white ink is not so opaque the printed graphics look dull or gray.


“Analog presses could deal with opaque white ink because they have the ability to deposit a very heavy layer.  By definition digital presses deposit a thin layer of ink.  Many of the new releases are technical improvements to the white ink to be more opaque. In the past, there has been a big gap between digital and analog capability in this area.  Now the gap is starting to close. 

“In the case of the new HP ‘premium white ink’ more opacity can be achieved with a single hit versus before requiring multiple hits. This is a big speed improvement and therefore productivity gain.”


We chatted with Mark Sullivan, label systems manager vertical markets, Allen Datagraph Systems Inc. (ADSI) both during Labelexpo and after when he responded to our questions.


What’s the big deal with white ink digital printing and why is it on-trend?

Sullivan: White ink allows a label to offer a “no label look.”

Before, if you wanted to offer this type of look for your product, you would need to screen-print the package itself. Screen printing (and screen print ink) offers an ink film that is thick enough so the colors remain true and are unaffected by the product color of the packaging. It was also quite expensive, so you found this look only on premium brands

White ink allowed other methods of print to be used to achieve this effect. If you printed on a clear substrate and put down a base of white, your colors could be unaffected by the color of the product or the color of its packaging.


What does it do for brand owners’ labels and packaging?

Sullivan: White ink allows a user to enjoy the look of expensive screen printed product packaging for a fraction of the cost of screen printing. Now, almost any product can have a perceived, premium look.


What substrates and applications are center-of-target for this technique?

Sullivan: The substrates we are getting the most reaction from are clear and foil. Clear labels offer a “no label look.” By printing white first, and underneath other inks, foils can be utilized. The white is used to prevent the underlying substrate color from affecting the graphic colors.

We’re getting feedback on using white as a graphic element on other unique substrates like white print on kraft paper. Customers now have the ability to print white on dark face stocks, giving brand owners another way to stand out on the shelf.


Is white an ink breakthrough or a press breakthrough?

Sullivan: White ink has been around for a while in both traditional and digital printing. For us, white is a platform breakthrough, offering a combination of printer, toner and price. Our 5-color W+CMYK product configurations (as seen above) will start at $50,000. Previously this feature was only available on devices costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. We think we will be able to bring this kind of high value printing to a much broader segment than has previously been available.


What kind of interest are you seeing with this capability?

Sullivan: We’re seeing tremendous opportunity. There are converters considering our technology that we have never spoken to before, strictly because of our white capabilities.


Next: An interview with 2 more vendor managers about white ink developments and tradeoffs.

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/digital-printing/white-hot-interest-white-ink4digitalprint-pkg1610

Rotary filler access and changeover improved

This stainless steel Rotary Filler has been redesigned with a smaller, streamlined base of support with full access to the drive system and change parts. The improved access makes cleaning, maintenance and changeovers faster and easier; all changeovers are tool-free. The high-speed system accepts rigid containers for a variety of dry products including spices and infant formula.

Clear Plexiglas doors run from the top of the machine to the floor to provide a clear barrier. When opened, the Plexiglas permits ample and easy machine access.

The filler’s patented detachable, no contamination magnetic funnels allow for quick cleaning and changeover.  Other features and benefits:

•             Independent vibration rails are isolated from the rest of the machine to enhance accuracy and reducing vibration-related mechanical complications;

•             Servo-driven timing screw, star wheel and turret change parts can be removed and cleaned quickly without tools; all driven by servo motors so timing functions can be set up electronically;

•             Augers can be raised, turned and lowered on the outside area of the filler for easy cleaning and to change tooling.

Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery (www.spee-dee.com), Pack Expo Booth N-5436

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/fillers/rotary-filler-improved-access-changeover1610

Immersion emphasizes end-user needs in healthcare

Packaging conferences typically don’t take attendees outside their comfort zones. Unless, of course, it’s the Healthcare Packaging Immersion Event. Held at Michigan State University (MSU) October 12-13, the two-day conference immersed attendees in slightly stressful simulations that encouraged them to re-examine how end-users interact with healthcare packaging. Faculty and students from the MSU School of Packaging, the Learning and Assessment Center, three of four medical colleges on campus at MSU, and even the Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection joined FDA and industry to offer different perspectives on packaging’s role in infectious disease treatment, geriatric care, and other scenarios.

During day one, attendees were asked to don N95 masks during a simulation in which an audience member “fell ill,” potentially from an infectious disease that had just been “reported” on campus. The “patient” was whisked away and treated by paramedics wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) suits. The audience watched a video feed of healthcare professionals as they struggled to see, hear, talk, and open packages while wearing the bulky suits. The participants then came together for a panel discussion. 

Participant Amy Crisp, MSN RN, told the audience that it was hard to open packages with small tabs or flaps while wearing PPE suits.  

Another participant, Kim Loomis, MSN RN, added that PPE gloves are one-size-fits-all, making dexterity hard for professionals with small hands. She also added that one “can’t hear and the temperature increased” inside the suits, further complicating the situation. “With a mask and a shield, you can’t see, and there’s a lot of reflection and heat and no airflow,” she said.

And with gloves on, “you lose tactile [feel],” she added. While opening sterile packages, “it’s challenging to know how much force is needed to open [them],” she said. “If it rips, I may need to bring in more products.” She also asked the audience to consider “the organization of a kit and how the nurse will remove items from it.”

Francie Pouch Downes, an MSU professor who joined the panel and dons the gear to run laboratory tests on collected samples, explained that “the face shield can make reading nearly impossible.” She asked for “larger and darker” fonts that aren’t fancy, and Crisp asked for text “printed on a contrasting background.”

Downes also added that suited lab technicians also need to maintain sterility when handling specimens, so they, too, face challenges when opening packages such as bottles and tubes of reagents.

When asked how often healthcare professionals wear PPE during their day-to-day jobs, participant Brent Davenport, a firefighter and paramedic who serves as a HAZMAT team leader, said use is “infrequent enough that we aren’t completely comfortable with the gear.” However, “if I‘m interacting with your product all the time, I’m familiar with how to use it. Even if I can’t feel it or see it, I know how to open it.” He spoke of being frustrated with changes in suppliers or packaging. 

Davenport expressed a preference for universally designed packaging. He spoke of situations for which they cannot anticipate the equipment they would need, so it would be helpful for packaging to be designed to be easy to use in all environments.

After the panel discussion, two audience members volunteered to don PPE suits for a few moments. They, too, spoke of the challenges hearing and seeing.

To further provide the audience with a suited healthcare worker’s perspective, MSU HUB researcher Eric Estrada wore a GoPro inside a PPE suit and attempted to open packages. The footage showed how humidity building up on the inside of the PPE shield impaired vision, making it difficult to see and handle products and packaging and to communicate with others. 

The simulation, GoPro footage, and panel discussion prepared the audience for the evening’s keynote speaker, Commander Mary Brooks, RN, BSN, MS, U.S. Public Health Service and Senior Lead Reviewer for FDA’s CDRH. She spoke about treating patients in Liberia during the Ebola outbreak. She and members of her team received extensive training for suiting up and treating patients in a manner that would protect healthcare workers and patients from cross contamination.

Simulation participants struggled to open packages while wearing PPE suits. Image provided by MSU.


Day two’s simulation explored a very different situation: aging. Just before lunch, attendees were given immersive devices for use during the break. These included vision-restricting glasses to mimic eye conditions such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and others as well as braces and canes to limit mobility and dexterity. 

While explaining the exercise, Laura Bix, Professor and ‎Associate Director at the MSU School of Packaging, said that the “healthcare system is changing to put the patient at the center, moving from piecemeal procedural reimbursement . . . to systems tied more directly to health outcomes.” Such changes mean that product development is moving from “product-centered design toward user-centered design.” One of the drivers, she said, is maintaining the health of the aging population.

Attendees then navigated a buffet lunch while wearing their immersive devices and were asked to open child-resistant medicine bottles and complete a written questionnaire. Attendees later spoke of struggling to serve themselves from the buffet and of difficulties in seeing and conversing with others and opening bottles. A few attendees described feeling “isolated,” and some said they helped others. 

After lunch, Bix told the audience that “packaging can be the difference between living independently and living assistedly. If you can keep patients living independently, it is more affordable, even if the packaging costs $1 more.”

The lunchtime immersion was followed by presentations and a panel discussion on home health and geriatrics. Speaker Erin Sarzynski, MD MS, MSU Assistant Professor, gerontology, encouraged attendees to consider the needs of senior patients, pointing out this article: “Are seniors top of mind when you design your packages?” 

Focusing on home care is essential, because the “future is outside of acute care,” added speaker Linda Keilman, DNP, GNP—BC, MSU Assistant Professor and Gerontological Nurse Practitioner. “Hospitals are too expensive.”

Also, “patients want to be home . . . and maintain their quality of life,” she continued. “If people get ‘wrap rage’ when trying to get something out of a package, they won’t buy your equipment.” Some specific packaging suggestions she offered included use of bigger fonts, symbols, and color as well as opening features that require the use of a lateral pinch. “Less strength and dexterity is required,” she explained.

“It doesn’t work if you can’t get into it,” she said. 

Easy-to-use packaging could keep patients at home, especially after returning from a hospital stay. Sarzynski explained that she routinely works with patients in hospitals and says that “if there is any hope of their going home, they will need a caregiver to manage dressing changes and medications,” and they’ll need “easy-to-use packaging.”

Keilman listed a number of healthcare products often used at home, such as medications and products for wound care, catheterization, and GI stoma. The latter is a “really huge area because it is hard to get bags out of containers and not contaminate them,” she said. Other packaged products include oxygen and IV tubing, supplies for patients on respirators, and braces for shoulders, wrists, and knees. It is important for family members serving as caregivers to not spread infection, so improvements in glove and tissue dispensers would be helpful, too, she added.

“We need to cut costs of healthcare and improve quality. You are in the driver’s seat, because you can change healthcare with packaging,” she told the audience.

Debra Lindstrom, PhD, OT, Professor, Western Michigan University, told the audience that it is difficult for patients to get the same coverage for supplies in the home as they would in the hospital. When the panel was asked what could change that, Keilman told the audience to “do research. If you can prove packaging doesn’t cause wrap rage or cause secondary injuries, decreases frustration, and increases well-being. . .if you can prove something works, [payers] will be willing to pay.

“I sit on a CMS committee, and part of our hope is that baby boomers are outspoken,” Keilman continued. “But we don’t have numbers or statistics. CMS says we need numbers and to see outcomes. So do your focus groups and write it up. They didn’t cover wheelchairs before, so there’s hope, and we should try.”

Coverage for products that help improve health outcomes appears to be consistent with the mission of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which speaker Randolph Rasch described as transitioning the U.S. healthcare system from a “pay-for-service to a pay-for-outcomes” approach. Rasch, Dean of the MSU College of Nursing, said that the ACA focuses on “wellness, prevention, minimizing repetition, and reducing costs.” He noted that patients today are in the hospital a shorter time and then have to go home and manage their care. “Most of our care is moving into the community,” he said.

Regarding home healthcare, he suggested packaging products in ways that make them easier to use, but don’t cost more.

Such perspectives along with the simulations demonstrated the importance of researching how users interact with packaging, a topic explored by Shannon Hoste, Human Factors Pre-Market Evaluation Team Member in FDA’s CDRH. Speaking on human factors, Hoste said that it is “relatively new that we’ve been asking about it in PMAs,” but it “is part of design controls and part of the development process for packaging and labeling.

“The user interface [needs to] support safe and effective use. User error is considered a nonconformity,” she said.

Hoste advised attendees to determine “the critical tasks for packaging” and then “design a human factors study to look at critical tasks and simulate end use.” The study is “a dry run for your products to see what could go wrong,” she said. 

Other speakers examined healthcare packaging trends, challenges, and solutions. Stay tuned for more coverage.

Overall, Bix hopes that [healthcare] would move from “a system of fragmented siloed processes . . . to a comprehensive system that puts the patient at the center of everything.” 

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/medical-packaging/pmp-immersion-emphasizes-end-user-needs-in-healthcare-161027

New cold form foil reduces material use, offers alternative to other formats

To help cold-form foil users minimize cost as well as carbon footprint, Rollprint Packaging Products Inc. is introducing FormFoil Lite, a next-generation product that’s developed from its long-standing FormFoil. FormFoil Lite features half the thickness of a traditional cold-form foil, specifically 1 mil of aluminum instead of the typical 2 mil. The thinner material not only allows users to downgauge from thicker cold form foil packages—it also requires less energy for forming, further reducing cost and carbon footprint. And it could even offer an alternative to other packaging formats, the company reports.

One FormFoil Lite user, a manufacturer of sutures, reduced its “environmental footprint and lowered costs,” reports the company’s director of manufacturing in a news release from Rollprint. “Rollprint’s FormFoil Lite has allowed us to downgauge our formable foil thickness.” All of this, he said, “Without sacrificing quality or shelf life.”

Dwane Hahn, vice president of sales and marketing, credits FormFoil Lite’s benefits to Rollprint’s proprietary lamination process. “We’ve learned a lot over the last 20 years,” he tells PMP News. “How you bond the layers together is as of equal importance as the thickness of the foil layer itself.”

FormFoil Lite can be customized through the use of different coatings and sealants as well as in terms of dimensional stability, he adds.

FormFoil Lite could also allow users to develop smaller packages when comparing formable formats with four-side-seal packaging, flow-wrapping, and pouches. “3-D packaging requires fewer square inches than does 2-D packaging,” says Hahn. Rollprint’s traditional FormFoil has allowed for “much deeper drafts as well as more severe draft angles,” he adds. “It is super forgiving compared with other cold form foils. FormFoil Lite is ideally suited for applications that have steep draft angles with standard depths.

“We’ve had success in a wide variety of cold-form shapes and formats across markets ranging from medical device to consumer applications,” Hahn states in the release.

For instance, FormFoil Lite can be used as the formable web in a peelable form-fill-seal package with Rollprint’s ClearFoil high-barrier clear lidding for content visibility. This package style is appropriate for the majority of applications that require product visibility, oxygen and/or moisture barrier, Hahn says.

Rollstock of FormFoil Lite


Rollprint has been working with Multivac to demonstrate the value of FormFoil Lite for sterile packaging designed for aseptic presentation. Rollprint will be distributing sample packages at its Pack Expo International Booth #6174 November 6-9 in Chicago.

For more information, visit Rollprint at Pack Expo or visit www.rollprint.com

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/foils/pmp-new-cold-form-foil-reduces-material-use-offers-alternative-to-other-formats-161026

Walmart unveils new sustainable packaging priorities

Optimize Design. Source Sustainably. Support Recycling. With these three clear goals, Walmart hopes to reignite the passion around sustainable packaging with vendors, store buyers, packaging suppliers and consumers.

Laura Phillips, svp sustainability, kicked off the 2016 Walmart Sustainable Packaging Summit yesterday, Oct. 25, with the message that sustainable packaging is still a priority for the retail giant (watch the first hour of the event here). Presentations during the half-day event revealed Walmart’s three updated sustainable packaging goals and measurements outlined in the new Walmart Sustainable Packaging Playbook.

The Playbook gives brand-owner vendors, private-label manufacturers and packaging suppliers guidance on what they can do to make progress in each area to help improve their sustainability index score and reduce their cost of goods. The Playbook also includes links to additional resources and Walmart partners, such as the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) and the Assn of Plastic Recyclers (APR), both of whom provided expert input for the guide.

Two key pieces of news (in my opinion) delivered at the event were:

1. As part of the Support Recycling pillar, Walmart will soon start rolling out the How2Recycle label on select Great Value and Equate products at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores.

Walmart discovered that two-thirds of people don’t recycle empty packages if instructions aren’t printed on the package. It’s why Jack Pestello, svp, Private Brands, Walmart U.S., said in a press release, “We believe a best practice is to use labeling that helps customers recycle, such as the How2Recycle label, to communicate the recyclability of a package.”

How did Walmart decide which products to add the label to first? Ashley Hall, senior manager, sustainability—consumables and health-and-wellness, answers, “Both Walmart and Sam’s Club private brands suppliers are now working on incorporating the How2Recycle label. It is a rolling program. We expect that any of our sustainability work be part of any refreshes or new products, but it is not designed to dead-stop, slow down, hinder the work that we do every day. As new products are coming to market, as a package is being refreshed, we are encouraging our private-label suppliers to use consumer-friendly recycling labels like How2Recycle.

Ashley Hall, senior manager, sustainability—consumables and health-and-wellness, at the 2016 Walmart Sustainable Packaging Summit.


“I can tell you…it’s been a smooth process so far. We’ve seen a lot of great products getting through at fast speeds and then getting implemented at our design program,” Hall says.

2. As part of the Optimize Design pillar, Walmart will be asking for more flute options and thinner liner board in retail-ready corrugated packaging, which have been shown to boost overall compression strength, save material and reduce damage. Such options already exist in Europe, where retail-ready packaging is more mature. Walmart would like to see those innovations brought to North America.


Insider insight

For additional insights into developments discussed at the 2016 Walmart Sustainable Packaging Summit, Packaging Digest spoke with Ron Sasine, an outsider with unique “insider” insight. Sasine is principal of Hudson Windsor, a boutique consultancy focused on packaging strategy and execution for consumer retail products. Prior to founding the firm, he served as Walmart’s senior director of packaging from 2009 to 2015, where he was responsible for packaging design, execution and sourcing for the company’s largest global brands.


How will Walmart’s new focus reinvigorate sustainable packaging for the retailer, its vendors (brand owners), packaging suppliers and consumers?

Sasine: Walmart is returning to some of the fundamentals of sustainable packaging that it embraced 10 years ago when it began its sustainability journey. Like lots of issues in business, going back to tried and true principles is critical to ensuring ongoing success. The newly announced drive to optimize, recycle and source packaging sustainably is an important restatement of the fundamentals that drove success during the first phase.

Laura Phillips, svp sustainability, said it best when she talked about “reigniting packaging sustainability at Walmart” with this new emphasis. It will be up to Walmart to fully engage its buyers in executing these new packaging programs, it will be up to their suppliers to innovate and find new solutions to old problems, and it will be up to packaging manufacturers to gain better insight into retail distribution, logistics and operations so their packaging can satisfy the demands placed upon it.


Why is it necessary for Walmart to draw attention once again to packaging sustainability?

Sasine: [Yesterday’s] meeting was an important step in focusing on the challenges of sustainable packaging and gathering together the folks who can drive progress. When Walmart achieved its significant reductions in greenhouse gas impact in 2012, some suppliers and merchants might have assumed that the packaging work was done. In fact, there is a great deal still to be accomplished in reducing resource utilization, improving shipping efficiency and building a compelling economic model for sustainable packaging.

By reigniting this effort, Walmart can place a stake in the ground and require its supply chain partners to up their game.


What do you think of the three areas of focus? Appropriate? Exciting? Challenging?

Sasine: The three focus areas—packaging optimization, increased recycling, and sustainable sourcing—are concepts that are well understood by packaging manufacturers. They are the fundamentals that drive our business. The exciting part about Walmart’s restatement and focus on these areas will come as consumer products manufacturers and Walmart merchants capture the vision to execute more directly in these key areas and turn to packaging companies for their help in innovating, creating and delivering these results.


You asked a couple of times during the event about buyer involvement. What do you think the impact of the Sustainable Packaging Playbook will be on Walmart buyers?

Sasine: Walmart and Sam’s Club merchants are faced with a number of important issues in each of the categories they manage, and the Sustainable Packaging Playbook can serve as a tool for them to guide their suppliers in the same way they require performance in other areas, such as on-time delivery, pricing and product innovation. Packaging companies should take these concepts from the Playbook and create a means for communicating their progress to the buyers in their key categories. Packaging companies need to know how to extend their messaging so that is reaches the right audiences in Bentonville.


What do you think of Walmart’s support of the How2Recycle label?

Sasine: Walmart has taken a wise approach to rolling out the H2R label as a rolling change to its private-brand items. An immediate cut-over would require excessive cost and potentially drive product losses, so moving in a measured way allows adoption over time and minimize set-up costs for suppliers. 

Use of the H2R label will help consumers as they grow familiar with it and it becomes a standard across the consumer products industry.


I was surprised we didn’t hear more about sustainable packaging as it relates to ecommerce. Ashley Hall told me the guidance in the Playbook doesn’t specifically itemize ecommerce packaging, but “the fundamentals in the Playbook relate to all packaging, including ecommerce.” What do you think Walmart can/should do to show leadership in this area?

Sasine: Ecommerce packaging and conventional retail packaging are growing more similar, and the growth in ecommerce that is a linchpin of Walmart’s strategy should accelerate that process. Manufacturers are increasingly seeking to harmonize their ecommerce and conventional retail packaging, and the multi-channel distribution environment in which these companies operate will require this approach in the future.



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

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/sustainable-packaging/walmart-unveils-new-sustainable-packaging-priorities-2016-10-26

High-speed labeler has automated variable height adjustment

The L-A 6000 labeler handles variable-sized cartons and boxes at high speeds with accurate shipping information. It uses the tamp-blow method to print-and-apply up to 40 labels per minute to products that vary in height up to 19.68 inches/500mm.

A sensor initially determines the height of the approaching product to move the applicator to the correct position. This development ensures accurate placement at speeds up to 50% faster than a label printer-applicator with a pneumatically driven cylinder.

The redesigned microprocessor controller is compact for easy integration onto the line. The modular construction allows easy access to components and interchangeable dispensing heads allow the use of different size labels. Using print engines from Zebra or SATO, it can print thermal-transfer or direct thermal-print labels. 

An ergonomically adjustable reel holder handles label rolls up to 13.7in./350mm in diameter to reduce downtime for label roll changes.

Weber Packaging Solutions (www.weberpackaging.com), Pack Expo Booth S-3541

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/print-and-apply-labelers/high-speed-labeler-has-automated-variable-height-adjustment-2016-10-26

Preparing for connected health

The “smartphone has created a paradigm shift in healthcare, and it is becoming a healthcare device,” says Anthony Kalaijakis, strategic medical marketing manager for Molex LLC. “We’re seeing miniaturized devices monitoring drug delivery and other medical devices, and the smartphone is the engine.”

Kalaijakis spoke with PMP News during MD&M Minneapolis in September. A provider of electronic solutions for a wide range of markets, Molex had announced in August an agreement to acquire Phillips-Medisize Corp., a contract manufacturer specializing in medical device and diagnostics, drug delivery, and primary pharmaceutical packaging. Through this acquisition and others, Molex seeks to provide total solutions for connected health devices.

“In 2010, we saw interest in the convergence of med tech and electronics,” says Kalaijakis. “Along the way, we have acquired different pieces of business. We are not limited by the gaps.”

Molex had acquired ProTek Medical in 2015, and Eamon O’Connell, ProTek’s director of business development, told PMP News later that year that he sees “a convergence as the pharmaceutical industry seeks to deliver drugs in higher concentration to specific areas. Site-specific treatments are less demanding and achieve a desirable pharmacological response at the selected site, but with a site-specific delivery, you need a device. It requires capabilities from the device market. ProTek has developed the capability to support a Pharma company with the plastics design and manufacturing combined with a regulatory strategy that support the new drug application.”

Speaking of the role he now plays in Molex, O’Connell says: “Our vision is to provide total solutions. Connected health will involve monitoring patients and medication compliance outside of healthcare settings. Our technology will allow such monitoring.”

Another acquisition, Soligie Printed Electronics, produces flexible electronic components using a printing press. “We can do a number of active circuits as well as fine pitches for consumables and sensors,” says Kalaijakis. “These components can be used for tracking package opening and temperature profiles, for example. We want to make it happen.” 

Kalaijakis says that Molex has seen and developed a lot of electronic technologies employed in other industries, such as telecommunications.

Regarding combination medical devices and drug delivery, Kalaijakis says that “the industry is looking for a leader, and perhaps Molex can serve as one.” 

For more details, visit www.molex.com or see Molex and Phillips-Medisize at the following upcoming tradeshows: Compamed Dusseldorf November 14-17 in Germany, BIOMEDevice December 7-8 in San Jose, & MD&M West February 7-9, 2017, in Anaheim, CA.

Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/drug-delivery-devices/pmp-preparing-for-connected-health-161025

Derma-E rejuvenates skin-care packaging design

Derma-E’s redesigned packaging reflects the brand’s mission to provide simple, clean and modern science-based skin-care products.


The entire Derma-E skin-care line of more than 70 products is getting a refreshed look for the first time since 2012 that connotes the company’s values with 100% consumer appeal.

“We are relaunching our packaging design starting September 2016,” says Barbara Roll, VP of marketing for Derma-E. “The new packaging will roll out through March 2017 into all stores.

First in the new pack is Hydrating, Anti Wrinkle Line, Firming and the company’s best-seller Microdermabrasion Scrub + Overnight Peel.”

Roll responds to our questions about the redesign.


Why the redesign now?

Roll: We have grown to become one of the largest natural facial care brands in the U.S. With the ‘natural’ industry growing quickly, in order to keep our position it was time to reinforce our uniqueness and story by incorporating it more into our packaging. We hoped to bring in our eco-ethical belief of being 100% vegan, cruelty free, recyclable with clean energy manufacturing and having cleaner products that exclude GMOs, soy, gluten, parabens mineral oils, sodium lauryls and more.

Our story is also now on our packaging as well. And our Southern California roots are incorporated in the feel, while keeping the nature and science efficacy feel.


What were the basic design goals?

Roll: We wanted the consumer to know that we take skincare and the environment seriously, but don’t take ourselves too seriously.  We want our true ethos to shine through.  We are friendly, clever, caring, inspiring, uplifting, confident, knowledgeable and trustworthy without being too clinical and self-important.

Our main goal was to appeal 100% to our consumer, we are updating our look and feel in our brand too, on social sites, at our website, in stores, and more. It is based on our heritage, mission and values, which have not changed. Our new brand look and feel is 100% Derma-E!


What are the most dramatic changes?

Roll: Those are an updated lotus graphic that represents the combination of nature and efficacy; a new bolder logo that is easier to spot on shelf; and a new eco-ethical stamp.  We have also updated our platform colors and added colored caps to certain items so a consumer can more easily identify the brand platforms.


Were any packages changed physically?

Roll: Physically the most dramatic change was with our skin care serums, which went to a taller, more elegant clear bottle. We moved to a more modern bottle shape to evolve with the times.


Can you comment on any initial feedback?

Roll: We conducted extensive focus groups for this new branding launch, and all of the feedback we received was extremely positive. 

Derma-E is sold in natural health food stores nationally from local stores to larger natural retailers including Whole Foods Markets and Sprouts Farmers Markets and is available at ULTA, CVS and Walgreens.  


The company’s website is Derma-E and Facebook page is found here.



Want to stay in touch with innovative packaging and graphics design ideas? Attend PackEx Montréal, November 30, 2016 to December 1, 2016, to assess containers, materials and more for your next project. 


Source Article from http://www.packagingdigest.com/skin-care/derma-e-rejuvenates-skin-care-pkg-design1610

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