The food and beverage packaging industry is undergoing constant change. New developments in automation, and a continuing focus on flexibility, continue to support the advancement of manufacturing operations in the areas of efficiency, sustainability and food safety. Attendees saw these trends — and more — reflected in many of the technologies showcased by over 2,350 suppliers across 1.2 million net square feet of exhibit space at last month’s PACK EXPO International, held at Chicago’s McCormick Place.


Continuing improvements

Today’s food and beverage packaging suppliers have been relentlessly driving incremental improvements, many of which amount to greater efficiency and output. These continuous changes are enabled by technologies that are selected based on their alignment with a food or beverage manufacturer’s mission and goals.

For example, Multi-conveyor’s new asynchronous deposited bag conveyor can merge over 100 products per minute from two lines into a single line, thereby doubling the product-per-minute production rate. This solution’s processor controls the system using CIP (Common Industrial Protocol) for greater output and operating efficiency.  By implementing this type of technology, companies can maximize efficiency and grow more quickly. 

The increasing use of automation

While automated technologies have long been used in secondary packaging, the rise in robotics for primary packaging is a more recent development and one that is quickly advancing. New robotic solutions exhibited at PACK EXPO International featured smaller, more compact designs that enable manufacturers to do more and maximize flexibility in smaller spaces. Additionally, automated technologies on the primary packaging line offer higher levels of precision and greater levels of sanitization than manual operations.


Focus on efficiency

By implementing user-friendly controls and designs, manufacturers can make their workforces and their lines more efficient. Machine-to-machine communication capabilities advance efficiency by providing effective methods for monitoring and adjusting line operations.


Find the latest solutions

Food and beverage brand owners can find the latest solutions to help them capitalize on the incremental improvements in their industry at future PACK EXPO shows, starting with the February 2015 debut of PACK EXPO East (Feb. 16-18, 2015; Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia), which will bring the innovations and education the PACK EXPO shows are known for to the East Coast. To learn more and register for PACK EXPO East, visit ($30 through Jan. 21, 2015; then $60).  F&BP


Tom Egan, vice president, Industry Services, PMMI

PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, is a trade association representing over 650 packaging and processing supply chain companies that provide a full range of packaging and processing machinery, materials, components and containers. PMMI actively brings buyers and sellers together through programs and events such as the PACK EXPO portfolio of trade shows,, PACK EXPO Show Daily, networking events and educational programs.

PMMI organizes the PACK EXPO trade shows: PACK EXPO International, Pharma EXPO, co-located with PACK EXPO International and presented jointly with the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE); PACK EXPO Las Vegas, PACK EXPO East, EXPO PACK México and EXPO PACK Guadalajara, connecting participants in the packaging and processing supply chain with their customers around the world. Coming Up: PACK EXPO East, debuting Feb. 16–18, 2015 (Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia); EXPO PACK Guadalajara 2015, March 10–12 (Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico); EXPO PACK México 2015, June 16–19 (Mexico City, Mexico); PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2015 (Sept. 28-30, Las Vegas Convention Center); Pharma EXPO, co-located with PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2015.

Learn more about PMMI and the PACK EXPO trade shows at and