Vision + investment = great packaging

Great packaging operations can take as many forms as the packages they produce.

Some undergo radical transformations or improvements that involve hundreds of thousands of square feet of additional space. Others become more efficient through the addition of a simple piece of equipment.

But no matter how they get there, all packaging improvements start with a concept-an idea of how to do things better. This could be as straightforward as a frozen-pizza plant that incorporates automatic inspection, or as far-reaching as a candy manufacturer that installs a new 100,000-square-foot packaging area.

New equipment is the common thread through the half-dozen plants profiled in our Plants of the Year coverage: wrapping machinery in a candy facility, robotic palletizing in a dairy plant, cleanroom technology to bottle unpasteurized beer, modified-atmosphere equipment to package cooked meat.

Before the equipment can be ordered and installed, however, there needs to be a vision of how it will work and who will benefit. Our Plants of the Year all benefit from forward-thinking managers who recognize the value of a sound investment.

Follow these links to our Plants of the Year coverage: