The second annual PMMI Thought Leaders event, held March 1 in Rosemont, Ill., and attended by members of the media, included updates on Pack Expo Las Vegas (PELV) and other of the Institute’s programs.

One trend is the growing prominence of processing technologies associated with the trade show. According to PMMI president and CEO Chuck Yuska, about 20% of Pack Expo visitors include processing as part of their efforts. The Processing Zone portion of the PELV is “almost sold out,” he told the gathering.

Other industry segment pavilions include the Confectionery Pavilion sponsored by the National Confectioners Association (NCA), the Reusable Packaging Pavilion sponsored by the Reusable Packaging Association, The Brand Zone, and the newest addition, the Pharmaceutical Pavilion.

“If these market segments prove successful,” noted Yuska, “we will consider doing more of them.”

AIOE for OEE benchmarking

Tom Egan, PMMI vice president, industry services, provided an update on the Alliance for Innovation and Operational Excellence (AIOE), which seeks to provide benchmarking to Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) programs. “Every company seems to calculate OEE a little differently,” said Egan. “Internally, that’s OK, but it’s not good [externally] for benchmarking.”

The group comprises suppliers and end users, i.e., CPG manufacturers, who are willing to share their results. Egan said that companies of all sizes are welcome, and especially those in the food and beverage packaging segments. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), which represents the leading consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, is a charter partner with PMMI on this initiative.  

Egan also pointed out how General Mills came to PMMI to solicit help in addressing 10 critical issues the company had identified. PMMI was able to solicit and arrange an “open innovation” forum involving a number of suppliers that proposed solutions for General Mills’ critical issues. The success of that event prompted PMMI to consider conducting similar open innovation forums that would draw 50 to 75 suppliers on behalf of a single CPG company.

PELV will be held Sept. 26-28 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. PMMI projections for PELV include more than 1,200 exhibitors, 25,000 attendees and nearly 600,000 net square feet of exhibit space.

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- Rick Lingle, executive editor