According to a recent study released by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, 75 percent of manufacturers use robots at some point along their manufacturing line, including processing operations involving direct food contact. The report indicates that use of robotics has more than tripled in a number of industries in the past five years.

To meet processors’ increasing demand for automation and robotics, PMMI announces the return of The Processing Zone. The pavilion, located in Lakeside Upper Hall, will feature a wide range of processing technologies for manufacturing industries including baking and snack, beverage, dairy, meat and confectionery – as well as non-food sectors such as cosmetics and home and lawn care.

As the manufacturing line evolves, processors continue apply a holistic approach to evaluating their existing operations and seeking whole-line solutions that address both processing and packaging challenges. The Processing Zone provides a guide post for attendees looking to maximize their time at the show as they navigate through North America’s largest showcase of these technologies from more than 1,800 exhibitors. Additionally, processing solutions providers will also be located throughout the exhibit halls of McCormick Place.

“Since its first appearance — at PACK EXPO International 2010 — The Processing Zone has continued to offer solutions for automation, plant safety, efficiency and technologies for all steps in the manufacturing process,” said Jim Pittas, vice president, Trade Shows, PMMI.

The Processing Zone is just one of several features at PACK EXPO that showcase packaging and processing innovations.

Processors will also have access to a number of other resources at the show:

  • The Food Safety Summit Resource Center will help manufacturers learn about recent breakthroughs in food safety technologies and source solutions critical to food safety.
  • The Confectionery Pavilion, located in the South Hall and sponsored by the National Confectioners Association (NCA), will connect attendees with equipment and materials to help maximize line flexibility and protect product freshness.
  • Several industry-specific lounges will provided dedicated areas for attendees to network, exchange ideas with peers and seek technical advice from subject matter experts. These include The Baking-Snack Break lounge, endorsed by the Biscuit and Cracker Manufacturers’ Association (B&CMA), The Candy Bar lounge, endorsed by NCA and The Beverage Cooler lounge, endorsed by the International Society of Beverage Technologists (ISBT).
  • Four Innovation Stage locations will offer convenient access to critical industry insights with free educational sessions.

To register for PACK EXPO International 2014, visit A discounted registration fee of $30 applies until Oct. 3, when it increases to $60.