Largest Pack Expo Las Vegas Ever Almost Ready to Roll

pack expo LV Conv. CenterThe clock is counting down for Pack Expo, which runs from September 25-27 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Nevada. Organized by the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (PPMI), North America’s biggest packaging event of the year provides a good opportunity for suppliers and buyers to network and see cutting-edge technology in action.

Over 30,000 attendees, including 5,000 international visitors from more than 125 countries, are expected to come together to learn about innovative solutions and participate in informative educational sessions held on the show floor. The show will feature over 2,000 exhibiting companies taking up nearly 900,000-square-feet of space, making it the PPMI’a largest show ever held in Las Vegas.

Many special exhibits, programs and events are scheduled, including the Pack Expo Drone Demo – “Packaging for the Last Mile.” The interactive display will give those in attendance a glimpse of the future of packaging. Electric truck and drone maker Workhorse is partnering with PPMI to bring this drone simulation to life.

Mock housing will dot the virtual landscape of the 15,000-square-foot exhibit in the North Hall, complete with mailboxes and doorsteps to accept delivered packages. Delivery drones will take off from the top of a stationary electric van and make drops at faux houses. This interactive demonstration will take place in the North Hall, Booth N-645 and is scheduled for daily presentations on the half hour.

Doobie brosAmong other show highlights will be the Rockwell Automation-sponsored “Pack Give Back” benefit concert, featuring the Grammy award winning Doobie Brothers. Proceeds will benefit the American Red Cross to aid in hurricane disaster relief efforts. Additionally, PPMI has established a special link ( and will match all funds donated up to $100,000.

From conveying lines to form, fill and seal machines, case sealers and much more, equipment essential to the global frozen food industry will be in high profile at Pack Expo. A preview of a number of the innovative systems on display follows.

Kliklok ITC

The Kliklok Integrated Topload Cartoner (ITC) will be unveiled to the North American market during the show at stand C-2800. The system is the result of a team design effort involving Kliklok-Woodman (USA), Kliklok International (UK), and Bosch Packaging Technology S.A. (Switzerland). Its debut in Europe took place in March during the Interpack in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Kliklok ITC Y1A6506c ITCThe ITC is presented as the solution for food producers who want simple, streamlined and easy-to-operate packaging systems that don’t occupy a lot of floor space. Its compact design combines three processes – carton forming, product loading and carton closing – into one machine with a small footprint (3m x 2m or 12 ft x 6.5 ft) enhanced by an ergonomic design.

The low-level carton hopper, swingarm-mounted HMI 4.0, glue tank and product infeed are all positioned on one side of the machine. The forming and closing sections can be accessed without crossing the production line. Toolless jigs and a change part numbering system allow for changeovers in less than 15 minutes, and one person can efficiently manage the entire operation.

The system is able to form, load and close up to 80 cartons per minute. Packs can be formed with locks or glue, allowing a wide variety of carton styles on a single machine. They are formed with a single servo-controlled plunger – proven technology from the Kliklok TransFormer – and are placed directly onto independently controlled carton shuttles riding on a linear servo racetrack.

The ITC can accept up to 550 units per minute in its adjustable collator chain, which moves products into position for loading. The Bosch Delta pick-and-place robotic loader tracks the carton shuttles and can load “on the move” products for a speed advantage over two-axis loaders. The loaded cartons race around the track into the closing section, and exit the ITC in the same direction as incoming products.

Key Technology

Walla Walla, Washington, USA-headquartered Key Technology will hold forth at booth S-7227, where there will be plenty of “show and tell” about enhancements to its vibratory conveyors – Iso-Flo, Impulse, Horizon and Marathon – for food processing and packaging lines.

Also in focus will be established features that promote food safety and equipment durability, the innovative new grounding arm, label stand-offs, sanitary drives and Vector-Lock Gen 2 ease use, reduce maintenance and maximize sanitation.

Key’s patented grounding arm is made of a single stainless steel structure. Unlike braided wire rope with crevasses, which can harbor bacteria and a crimped ferrule that can fail, the single structure, smooth texture and open design of the new grounding arm enhances sanitation and improves durability. Mounted to Key’s StrongArm spring arms to dissipate static between the conveyor bed and frame, it presents no horizontal surfaces where liquid, product or particulates can pool.

Label stand-offs are superior to traditional riveted plaques, which can trap bacteria, and adhesive stickers, which can peel off after repeated exposure to washdowns. Each conveyor’s identification, specifications and stroke indicator is laser-etched or stamped onto stainless steel and the colorful ISO safety pictogram labels utilize epoxy based baked finish over stainless steel. All these new labels consume less surface area and are attached to the conveyor with stand-offs to reduce laminations, which eases cleaning and improves sanitation.

The oil-free drives that can be used to power Key’s vibratory conveyors have been redesigned. A smaller footprint and a more open mount, which reduce the lamination area, make these maintenance-free drives more sanitary.

The new Vector-Lock Gen 2, used to secure removable screens and covers on Key’s vibratory conveyors, eases use and achieves better clamping. With a larger hook, a bigger radius and additional over-center latching for more positive engagement, its clamp enables quick release and fast closing while maximizing load carrying capabilities to secure screens and covers on even the heaviest conveyor systems that handle today’s highest capacities. Simplified geometry makes the new clamp easier to latch, inspect and maintain.

Key IsofloAll of Key’s vibratory conveyors are inherently sanitary, presenting a stainless steel bed surface that is easy to clean. Iso-Flo is a versatile family of natural frequency vibratory conveyors with frame-mounted mechanical drives. They are offered for product distribution on processing and packaging lines as well as product spreading, distribution, fines removal, scalping, dewatering, inspection, alignment, transfer, and other applications.

Impulse vibratory conveyors feature frame-mounted electromagnetic drives. Designed for processing and packaging distribution lines that require precise metering and low maintenance, such as product mixing, ingredient feeding and scale feeding applications, Impulse starts and stops quickly.

Horizon is Key’s horizontal motion conveyor, which features a mechanical drive. Achieving gentle, quiet and sanitary horizontal motion conveying, Horizon is ideal for many fragile, seasoned, coated and frozen foods. Its drive is powerful and efficient. Machine lengths can be up to 23 meters (75 feet) long.

Marathon, based on the same operating principle used on Iso-Flo shakers, is a natural frequency vibratory conveyor designed to distribute bulk foods distances from nine to more than 25 meters (30 to more than 80 feet) on one unit. Achieving a long run on one shaker maximizes efficiency while this compact, well-tuned system optimizes performance and offers installation flexibility.

Heat and Control

Visitors to Heat and Control C-1603 booth will see the latest generation of processing, coating and seasoning, conveying, weighing, packaging, and inspection systems it offers.

Heat and Control machine seasoning systemThe FastBack Revolution On Machine Seasoning (OMS) system combines the advanced FastBack Model 260E-G3 conveyor with hygienic design ideal for the poultry industry, the superior seasoning performance of Revolution OMS, the patented AccuFlavor dynamic tumble drum, and the efficiency of the modular dust collection system into one compact, cost-efficient standalone unit designed to overcome seasoning challenges at the weigher.

Spray Dynamics’ two-stage coating system helps increase continuous run time, increase production, reduce product time-to-market and warehouse space, and improve responsiveness to customers.

The Ishida X-ray inspection systems accurately detect foreign materials and their DACS checkweighers ensure the precise weight and product count.

CEIA's THS/MN21 ferrous-in-foil metal detector has been especially designed for the inspection of products in aluminum foil trays and packages, and its wide bandwidth allows maximum-sensitivity operation at both high and low transit speeds.

The CCW multihhead weigher will also be featured at the Las Vegas show, including the Model RV, which delivers the highest levels of accuracy of any multihead weigher. In addition to consistent weighing at close-to-zero giveaway, the RV is approximately 15% faster than comparable weighers. With automatic set-up, self-draining surfaces, and wireless operation, Ishida RV weighers are said to take net weighing of frozen and non-frozen foods to a new level of efficiency.

Bradman Lake

Visitors to Bradman Lake stand 4027 at Pack Expo will be able to see in operation, for the first time in the USA, the latest integrated packaging technology in a state-of-the-art line comprising flow wrapping and end load cartoning. In demonstrating its capability and expertise in developing and manufacturing both end load and top load packaging equipment, the Beccles, Suffolk, UK-headquartered company will also display a well-established top load cartoning line.

Bradman Lake imsl load cartonerThe innovative end load packaging line is comprises of a FT120 Flow Wrapper and the IMSL End Load Cartoner. The compact-footprint machine incorporates a Rockwell Automation iTRAK unit to create a fully integrated product infeed system that uses minimal product transfers. To further reduce the footprint the products are side loaded into the cartons via a Linear Motion Loader.

The system is set-up with a single point of access with remote connectivity for online fault diagnostics and “Factory Talk Analytics” for system data collection. It incorporates the latest integrated connectivity Industry 4.0 technology to communicate seamlessly over a common network and protocol. This enables the installation of customized systems that deliver enhanced productivity, solid security and operational intelligence with live data output to drive smarter management decisions.

Factory Talk View Point is utilized for local connectivity to link each machine, providing system control and performance data locally at each of the machines HMI’s.

Factory Talk Analytics is utilized for remote connectivity to transmit data remotely to a secure machine cloud to provide real time machine and system data that can be viewed remotely from around the globe.

The well-established top load line comprises of the HSS Double Head Lock/Glue Servo Former and the IL120 Three Flap Carton Closer.

Established in 1948, the Bradman Lake Group Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Langley Holdings PLC engineering group. From distribution and feeding systems, flow wrapping, cartoning, loading and closing to case packing, shrink wrapping and roll wrapping, its solution-based approach is gained from thousands of installations around the world. In addition to the UK, the company has offices in the USA, Russia, China and India.