Sustainability and convenience emerge as the new buzzwords of the packaging industry.
Slimming down seems to be everyone's New Year resolution, and it apparently even extends to food packaging, as manufacturers work to meet consumers' demands for smaller, lighter products. In addition, eco-friendliness remains important for consumers, despite their attention to money matters.
“The trend towards more sustainability is certainly a reflection of increased consumer conscientiousness, not just cost saving,” says Sandro Gisler, manager of marketing and product development, Bosch Packaging, Raleigh, N.C. “Continuing trends in packaging styles are a move towards more convenience. This can be seen in the demand for resealable and easy-open packs, and well as on-the-go sizes.”
Nicholas Taraborelli, vice president of sales and marketing for WeighPack Systems, Las Vegas, agrees, adding that his company has seen a rise in demand for bagging methods that create more consumer-friendly packages.
“With the market shifting to stand-up pouches, we find ourselves manufacturing more horizontal bagging machines for doy-style pouches than ever before,” Taraborelli explains. “Stand-up pouches are very popular these days. Many customers have moved to re-closeable pouches because of their convenience, as well as them being aesthetically pleasing.”
Heat and Control Inc., Hayward, Calif., has seen a surge of interest in its Ishida QX line of tray sealers, thanks to the demand for reduced packaging.
“They have been especially popular with customers looking to reduce overall packaging by updating their products' package with high-quality tray solutions,” says Brian Barr, packaging systems sales manager. Barr adds that trends like green products and lighter packaging can't be ignored, and neither can the effects of the economy. “The economy and consumer buying trends have definitely affected every level of the food chain, from the equipment supplier straight through to the consumer in the store,” he notes. “This has made everyone carefully consider their buying decisions and at times delay some plans for expansion and/or equipment upgrades.”
Gisler adds that the economy has even had some unexpected positives for Bosch Packaging. “Despite the pressure that everyone faces, we have noticed some strengthening due to the current economic background. For one thing, many customers value the security and long-term perspective a large provider like Bosch can give. Additionally, while some customers have been cautious about capital investments, we've seen some positive effects in our aftermarket business from companies who opted to invest in their existing assets — through upgrades, maintenance, etc. — instead of acquiring new equipment.”
Taraborelli also stresses the importance of investment regardless of the economic environment, and reminds companies that consistently good service keeps a business healthy. “I believe it is important in every economy, strong or weak, to continue offering your customers high quality and affordable products with strong customer service. The moment you begin cutting resources, staff, marketing budgets and accessibility you put your business in an uphill battle.”
MULTIHEAD WEIGHER DESIGNED FOR DELICATE BAKED PRODUCTS
Heat and Control's Ishida's Gentle Slope multihead weigher is designed specifically for fragile baked products that can be easily damaged during handling. Product hoppers feature a laid-back angle to eliminate sharp drops. The angled lips of the radial feeder pans and double-opening dual-angle hopper doors ensure product moves carefully through the weigher.
Heat and Control Inc.
800 227 5980
TWO PACKAGING SOLUTIONS IN ONE MACHINE
WeighPack has combined its Primo 360 Multihead Weigher with its Swifty Bagger to provide customers with a complete packaging solution. The Primo is available in eight-, 10-, 14- and 16-head models and also is available with 1.3-, 2.5- and 5.5-liter weigh buckets. It's also equipped with a remotely mounted control box to improve accessibility and maintenance. The Swifty Bagger uses non-wicket pre-made bags and automatically grabs, opens, fills and seals. This intermittent motion bagger runs gusset, pillow, flat bottom, zipper and stand-up bags. Operators can cycle 40 per minute with one-up, two-up or three-up bags per cycle.
WeighPack Systems Inc.
888 934 4472
FASTER CARTON PRODUCTION
Kliklok-Woodman's Vari-Straight is a straight-line closer for tri-seal cartons that uses KW's patented Variable Pitch technology to provide a controlled carton turn without a change in direction. The unique turning bed features pop-up turning bars that take control of the cartons and guide them through a 90° turn and into the charlotte closing section. Kliklok-Woodman's patented Variable Pitch technology fires lugs only when a carton is present. This transport system never lets go of the carton, allowing the Vari-Straight to provide production speeds of more than 200 cartons per minute without damage to the product.
770 981 5200
AUTOMATIC SHEET CAKE LOADER
Benda's Automatic Sheet Cake Loader replaces the manual process of loading a sheet cake into a carton. The cost-reducing unit machine loads as many as three to six cakes per carton. It begins by pulling the cake inside the loader and positions it directly over the carton. A trap door opens, and the cake falls evenly into the carton. Because of the perfect fit, the air acts as a cushion and loads the cake gently.
Benda Manufacturing Inc.
708 633 4600