Pack Expo Packed with Processing and Packaging Solutions

Viva Las Vegas, where it’s a sure bet that over 2,000 exhibitors will showcase their latest food packaging and processing equipment innovations at Pack Expo from September 28-30. The event is expected to host approximately 30,000 visitors from around the world at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Nevada, where more than 800,000 net square feet of space will be occupied.

Keeping up with consumer trends, staying on top of safety concerns and moving product from concept to plant to market are just a few of the challenges faced by frozen food processors face every day. These issues and more will be addressed in spades by ace equipment suppliers at the trade fair, which is owned and produced by the Reston, Virginia, USA-headquartered Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies.

“In addition to focusing on consumer trends, protein and food processing professionals need to be up to speed on the latest food safety rules, whether they fall under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) or rules from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Pack Expo will provide access to suppliers and education that will make compliance easier,” said Jim Pittas, senior vice president of the association.

Viva-Vegas-story content

Start at the Beginning
Meat producers can start the trip around the show floor in areas like the Processing Zone (Upper South Hall), a hub for processing equipment and front-of-line solutions that address safety and quality at the efficiency and productivity levels needed to remain competitive.

A recommended stop in this zone is the Food Safety Summit Resource Center (Booth S-7632), where show-goers will be able to learn a great deal about food safety. Organized by the Food Safety Summit and co-sponsor GE, the booth will be a central location where food safety experts will present educational seminars and be available for informal consultations.

Sometimes, it’s best for a company to contract out its packaging requirements. To learn more about how this option can enhance operations, visit the Contract Packaging Sourcing Center (Booth C-1257), hosted by the Contract Packaging Association. Experts will be on the scene to address specific packaging needs, show samples and provide information on leading contract packagers.

The Brand Zone (Lower South Hall), which features materials and containers that shape successful brands, is a central point for attendees looking to improve product shelf appeal. Within this zone, the Showcase of Packaging Innovations, sponsored by Dow Chemical Company, will display award-winning packages from competitions around the world.

The Center for Trends and Technology (Booth C-4829), organized by Rockwell Automation and its PartnerNetwork, will cover cutting edge advances in automation technology and smart manufacturing with displays and educational sessions.

Elsewhere on the premises, Pack Expo Innovation Stages (Booths C-1041, C-1045, C-1049) will showcase more than 40 educational sessions, and the Food Safety Summit Resource Center will also present seminars for protein producers. Among them will be:

  • “Advantages of Using Robotics and Advanced Sensing Technologies to Automatically Detect Leakers and How They Can Improve Line Performance,” presented by Craig Souser of JLS Automation on Monday, September 28, 3 to 3:30 PM, at Booth C-1049
  • “Basic Production Metrics,” presented by Ted Andrew of Roka Bioscience on Tuesday, September 29, 10:15 to 10:45 AM at Booth S-7632)
  • “Meat & Poultry Disinfection Using Ozone,” presented by Gholamreza Zahedi of Ozone Solutions on Tuesday, September 29, 1 to 1:30 PM at Booth C-1045

“With more than 40 vertical markets represented, PACK EXPO Las Vegas is the most comprehensive event of its kind this year. The industry comes here for solutions to their operational challenges, and because there’s so much breadth to the show, visitors have the benefit of coming to truly innovative solutions inspired by other industries,” said Pittas.

The following is a synopsis of what a number of the innovative food processing and packaging suppliers will spotlight in Las Vegas.

Multi-Fill Makes Hard-to-Fill Products Easy
multi-fillAmong exhibitors targeting the frozen food sector is West Jordan, Utah-headquartered Multi-Fill, Inc. Holding forth at Booth C-2736, the company is a volumetric filler, distribution system and bulk feeder specialist known worldwide for supplying high quality, low maintenance, cost efficient equipment.

Multi-Fill’s volumetric fillers are compact and can be integrated into many types of conveying lines: vertical, horizontal, continuous, or intermittent. The units are safe and sanitary featuring quick release mechanisms for rapid cleaning and changeover. Products can be placed into a wide range of containers including trays, bags, pouches and cups at speeds up to 120 cpm.

Distribution systems dose products into 2, 3, 4, 6, or 8 containers at speeds up to 12-15 cycles per minute. They can be used with Multi-Fill fillers or as stand-alone units in combination with a scaling machine, rotary pocket filler, vibrator feeder or counting machine.

Batch feeders provide a metered continuous flow of products to the hopper of volumetric cup fillers. These systems reduce problems like tunneling and damage to products that are common with augers or other bulk product transport devices. They provide first in, first out product flow and require minimal monitoring.

Raque Food Systems
The technical team from Louisville, Kentucky-headquartered Raque Food Systems will be available at Booth C-2928 to discuss the latest trends in complete production lines for packaging frozen meals. The company’s range of filling includes rotary plate fillers for IQF vegetables, piston fillers for liquid or semi-liquid products, and topping units for distribution of vegetables, nuts, shredded cheese and other edibles.

RaqueRaque is adept at integrating third-party machines into production lines. For example, its Scale Interface System connects selective combination weighing machines to continuously running conveyors. The company has successfully incorporated robots, cheese graters, multi-weigh fillers and many other machines to create complete production systems. Furthermore, turnkey production lines can be provided that include x-ray inspection stations, check-weighers, metal detectors, ink and laser printers.

Raque’s food package closing solutions complete the food packaging process. High-speed drum heat seal systems produce a reliable and continuous weld that is easy for the end user customer to peel. Its platen sealing systems seal a wide variety of materials with closures, including paperboard, while the modified atmosphere system can apply vacuum or a gas to the package, which can significantly extend the product’s shelf life.

The company’s ready meal production systems include automated tray loading/denesting, random in-feed indexing, quick release tray carriers, film registration, die-cut film separation and rewind, freezer in-feeds, and third party equipment integration

Lots to Like at Lyco
Lyco Manufacturing, Inc. of Columbus, Wisconsin, will show its Clean-Flow Continuous Blancher/Cooker at Booth S-7356. Ideal for all types of vegetables, potatoes, pasta and rice, its flexibility and quick clean-up advantage allows rapid changeover to efficiently facilitate the running of several different kinds of products each day.

The company’s newest development, called Easy-Flow, is capable of cooling many different products from 203°F (95°C) to 40°F (5°C) in five to 25 seconds. Also on display will be Lyco's Double Drum wastewater screen.

In addition to cooking, heating and cooling equipment, Lyco supplies belt conveyors as well as product preparation, mixing, separation and filtration machinery.

TOMRA Sorts and Peels with Zeal
tomra-blizzardTOMRA Sorting Food will exhibit its wide range of sorting and peeling systems at Booth S-8033.Visitors will be able to find out more about the latest cutting edge technologies and equipment developed by the company, as its Halo, Nimbus, Sentinel II and Blizzard sorting machines will all be in the forefront. Furthermore, the latest addition to TOMRA’s steam peeling portfolio, the Odyssey, will be on display in Las Vegas.

TOMRA Sorting Food is a leading provider of sensor-based food sorting machines and processing technology for the food industry. Its innovative systems help processors meet exacting food safety regulations and ensure efficient production line operation, optimizing throughput and yield while minimizing downtime and labor costs.

Utilizing a variety of sensors, which go far beyond the common use of color cameras, the sorters can detect the smallest defect or foreign material. Near Infra-Red (NIR) spectroscopy enables an analysis of the molecular structure of a product while x-rays, fluorescent lighting and lasers measure the elemental composition of objects. The internal composition and surface structure of raw materials can also be analyzed to determine good or bad produce.

The company, a unit of Asker, Norway-headquartered TOMRA Systems ASA, has made over 7,500 installations at food processing factories and the premises of growers and packers worldwide. Its high-performance optical sorters, graders, peeling and process analytics system are on line at potato, vegetable, fruit, nut and seed processing plants as well as seafood, poultry, red meat and other packing facilities.

Urschel Slices and Dices Precisely
Chesterton, Indiana-headquartered Urschel Laboratories, a leading manufacturer of high capacity cutting equipment, will be well represented at Booth S-7233. The company, which specializes in machinery that slices, dices, granulates and purees vegetables, fruits, cheese and meat, addresses the European market from its Urschel International operation in Duurstede, Holland.

Among Urschel’s extensive range of models are the E TranSlicer Cutter (a v-belt slicer for one- and two-dimensional cuts that produces up to eight tons of green beans per hour) and the TranSlicer 2510 Cutter (a large v-belt slicer for one- and two-dimensional cuts on whole head leafy vegetables and elongated products such as leek).

Also offered are the DiversaCut 2110 Dicer (designed for three-dimensional cuts of cooked meat and vegetables at high capacities); the CC-DL Slicer-Shredder (built especially for high capacity shredding, julienne cutting and new grating options); Model OC slicer (a flat belt slicer for producing bias cuts of fruits and vegetables); and the Comitrol Processor 1700 (a milling machine for purees, including baby food, soups and sauces).

Urschel-Sprint-2-dicerThen there’s the relatively new Sprint 2 Dicer, which builds on the popularity of the DiversaCut Sprint. It offers food processors an alternative to the company’s Model G Dicer, and additional benefits compared to the DiversaCut Sprint. The Sprint 2 uniformly dices, strip cuts, granulates, or slices a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, baked goods and meats.

FAM Rolls Out Centris 315
Another industrial food cutting machinery supplier, Kontich, Belgium-based FAM NV, will hold forth at Booth S-7622. The company, which has approximately 4,500 machines in action worldwide, offers over 1,000 different cutting applications.
Among the equipment it will show in Las Vegas will be the FAM Centris 315, a centrifugal slicer and shredder with high-quality execution. The machine is very compact and is said to have the smallest footprint of any industrial centrifugal shredder in the market.

A patent pending cutting head technology guarantees consistent slice and shred thickness throughout the slicing process. Product can be cut into a variety of shapes (flat cut, crinkle cut and V-shaped ) and strips ( V-shaped, oval, julienne and wide ribbon-cut).

Heat and Control
Heat and Control will be on the scene at Booth C-3627. The Hayward, California-headquartered company offers a wide variety of equipment for multihead weighing, conveying, metal detection, checkweighing, X-ray inspection, container filling, packaging, coating and seasoning application and food processing.  Along with partners Ishida, CEIA, and Spray Dynamics, it provides engineering and applications assistance, as well as service, training and technical support on a global scale.

Sizing, Grading Key at Key Technology
KEY-TechnologyAmong topics of “show and tell” interest at Key Technology’s booth (S-7222) will be the Walla Walla, Washington-based company’s enhanced Rotary Sizing and Grading Systems, which include the Sliver Sizer Remover (SSR), Precision Size Grader (PSG) and Rotary Size Grader (RSG). This family of versatile equipment enables fruit, vegetable and potato processors to size and grade product by diameter or length while conveying and removing field debris, slivers, small pieces, fines, seeds, juice and other targeted material. With a new fully welded framework, one piece block pan, improved water and product deflection, new motor mount with catch pan and more, the new Rotary Sizing and Grading Systems improve sanitation and ease maintenance while improving product quality.

Improved water/product containment is the result of a higher infeed frame plate with an added deflection flange to help shed water off the plate, sloped deflectors on both sides and a deflector flange on the discharge shear. These four new flanges reduce fasteners and laminations where microbes can grow while moving drip points to within the envelope of the equipment. This makes it easier for processors to mount a drain pan under the system and better captures water and product spillage to minimize spillage to the floor, improving sanitation and worker safety.

An updated spray bar system, available as an option, eliminates U-bolts and bracket mounting laminations. The new brackets, which support both the infeed and side spray bars, utilize blind back standoffs and enable the top bearing/sprocket cover to be removed while the spray bars remain in place to enhance sanitation and ease maintenance.

ARB Solutions on Display at Intralox Stand
Harahan, Louisiana-headquartered Intralox, the inventor of modular plastic belting and global provider of conveyance solutions and services designed to optimize product handling systems, will showcase the ARB Switch S7050 and ARB Turner-Divider S7050 at Booth C-3336 at Pack Expo. Designed to handle a variety of retail-ready packaging products, they are suited for items as small as 4.33 in x 4.33 in (1,100 mm x 1,100 mm).

This equipment addresses new market demands of flexible production lines, low packaging material costs, and optimal product handling. Benefits include, but are not limited to: soft product handling that enables flexible layout design; efficient switching of products at up to 500 packages per minute; ability to turn, switch, and transfer multiple size of retail-ready products on the same equipment.

For more than 10 years, patented ARB technology has met exacting demands for efficient and reliable conveyance systems, while managing amplified throughput within a small footprint. More than 4,000 ARB installations globally have decreased overall project costs and added functionality for our customers by filling the gaps in their line layouts.

Yamato Spotlights High Sanitary Depositor
Experts from Yamato’s Mequon, Wisconsin-based dataweigh division will be found at Booth S-6330, where the spotlight will be on the company’s high sanitary multi- point depositor with modular quick changeover features from one fill pattern to another. It is positioned as an ideal solution for packaging formats including trays, cups, and thermoform pouches as well as various configurable fill patterns from 1x2 to 6x6.

The high sanitary depositor includes product guards to carry contaminants away from product zones, and its design provides tool-free assembly and teardown for ease of changeover and cleaning.

Yamato’s multi-point depositor presents no tray, no fill technology and is servo motor driven for smooth and precise operation. It can run up to 30 cycles per minute. Combined with the high speed Yamato Omega scale, the depositor is “the key to most multiple package format applications,” according to Sue Ludwig, marketing manager.

BPA’s Case Packer with Automatic Changeover
BluePrint-AutomationEngineers and systems integration experts from South Chesterfield, Virginia-based BluePrint Automation (BPA) will be available to talk with visitors at Booth C-4414. Among topics of conversation will be the company’s modular gravity case packer with automatic changeover and product shifting that allows for packing a wide variety of packaged products directly into the secondary containers at extremely high speeds with no manual adjustments.

BPA’s gravity (rotary) gate solution permits automatic changeover between different product and case sizes, which is ideal for bags of frozen vegetables, IQF chicken and a wide variety of other flexible packages. Product enters the rotary packer on a conveyer belt.  For slow speeds, and single bag drops, it transfers directly to the rotary gates.  For higher speeds, with multiple bags per drop, an indexing gate forms groups of product, which enter the rotary gates as a single group.  The gates then rotate at high speed, dropping the row/layer of product directly into the case.  Product shifting can be provided to achieve a number of pack patterns.

Ultra simple in design, the system has very few mechanical, electrical or pneumatic components, which equates to fewer spare parts to stock and higher productivities. Its compact footprint fits in with virtually any plant layout.

Fallas D3-LV Retail Ready Case Packer
Among packaging equipment showcased by Waco, Texas-based Fallas Automation at Booth C-3125 will be its patented D3-LV Retail Ready case packer. Capable of packing conventional horizontal pack configurations as well as shelf ready cases at high pack-out speeds, it is now offered as a twin-unit for twice the throughput. With optional vision capabilities, a single machine can pack from multiple product lines without complex grouping or combining.

In business for more than three decades, Fallas was founded by an engineer who originally worked on the customer’s side of the business.

Robotic Automation and More from Bosch
Members of the Bosch Packaging Technology team from New Richmond, Wisconsin, will greet show-goers at Booth C-2800. The company’s product lines feature robotic automation with pick and place robots (delta robots), horizontal flow wrappers, a wide variety of bag sealers, carton formers/tray formers, carton closers and both continuous and intermittent vertical bagger machines (vertical form fill seal, VFFS). It offers stand-alone machines, as well as complete packaging solutions to meet your application needs.

Bosch-Pack-101-Horizontal-Flow-Wrapper web

In high profile will be the Pack 101 horizontal flow wrapper, an entry-level wrapper that offers the widest product size range currently available on a flow wrapper in its class. It replaces Bosch's former best selling entry-level wrapper, the Doboy Stratus, and offers improved flexibility and user friendliness. The equipment’s design and small footprint is ideal for small- to mid-sized businesses needing a flexible solution that accommodates multiple products.

Headquartered in Waiblingen, Germany, Bosch Packaging Technology is a leading supplier of holistic systems for packaging and process technology. In 14 countries worldwide the company develops, produces and distributes modules and systems for the food and non-food industries.

TransFormer at Kliklok-Woodman
Personnel from the Decatur, Georgia-based arm of Kliklok-Woodman, a leading international supplier of packaging machinery to the frozen food industry and other sectors, will be highlighting the company’s TranfFormer Topload Carton Former at Booth C-2603.

In addition to topload, endload and wraparound cartoners, Kliklok-Woodman offers vertical form-fill-seal bagmakers and weighers, product handling and indexing machines, and custom-built specialized machinery.

In business for more than 60 years, the company will also focus on its Enterprise endload cartoning system. Specifically designed with optional article buckets and an overhead confiner for bags-in-box applications, it can run standard frozen entrees and pizzas at speeds of up to 200 cartons per minute.

The Enterprise equipment features an Insight color touch screen icon-based operator interface, an Allen-Bradley ControlLogix system, a digital proportion glue regulator, and corrosion-resistant nickel-plated chains.