PD_Packaging Digest

Packaging Digest, Fall 2016

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viewpoint 6 FALL 2016 www.PackagingDigest.com Daphne allen executive editor, Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News daphne.allen@ubm.com pulse on packaging lisa McTigue pierce executive editor lisa.pierce@ubm.com Member of the Intl. Packaging Press Organisation Asking too much of packaging automation? While packaging machinery improvements continue—and at a rapid pace, in my opinion—the wish lists from packaging production executives at brand owner companies point to exciting future developments. Here are some of the expectations your peers have, courtesy of panel discussions and other conversations at the recent 2016 PMMI Annual Meeting in Milwaukee, WI. Today's packaging machines should… • Enable fast changeover: After the frst brand-owner panelist said changeovers should take "no time/no tools/no talent," others quickly took up the chant. One went so far as to say that changeover speed is so crucial that he decides which packaging machines to buy because of their changeover time rather than their running/output speed. Because consumers want variety and options, the proliferation of stock-keeping units (SKUs) will continue. With today's shorter production runs, changeovers are more frequent than ever. Getting back up to production speed as quickly as possible between products means more proft to the bottom line. And recipe-driven, repeatable changeovers help boost uptime. • Solve hiring challenges: Another unanimous comment from the brand-owner panel was they are looking to fx hiring problems with automation. Finding and recruiting the talent needed for packaging production is getting harder—and may be the top issue moving forward. As one panel participant said, "Mechatronics students have jobs before we can even talk to them." If not bodies on the packaging line, maybe robots? Another panelist said, "We need to leverage high technology" like self-teaching devices on the machine to show an operator how to operate or fx it. Or as another panelist said, packaging machines need to be smarter because employees are less qualifed than before. • Do double duty: Does your packaging machine do just one thing? How quaint. In the future, we'll see more systems that do at least two things (like the labeler/multipacker from PDC Intl. on p.42). Tis not only saves on foor space, but it might also add just the production fexibility you need without additional capital equipment costs to help you handle new products still in development. • Be aìordable: Package engineering executives know exactly what their return-on-investment timeframe for a piece of machinery should be. Is all this too much to ask for from a packaging machine? I don't think so. "It doesn't hurt to ask" + "you generally get what you ask for" = package engineering advancements that beneft all involved. You get the performance you need for now and (perhaps) for the future, and packaging machinery makers get to design and sell ever-more-advanced machines. So if you have a packaging automation need or a want, ask for it! You just might get it—and sooner than you think. lisa McTigue pierce executive editor lisa.pierce@ubm.com Member of the Intl. Packaging Press Organisation How involved are you? If you are involved in packaging, chances are you've followed an ASTM standard at some point. But how active are you? While covering the name change of ASTM Committee F02 from Flexible Barrier Packaging to Primary Barrier Packaging and the scope update for ASTM Committee D10 on Packaging (please see our article "ASTM renames Flexible Barrier Packaging Committee" on p.38), I learned from Dhuanne Dodrill, chair of ASTM F02 and also president of Rollprint Packaging Products, that a number of ASTM standards are in danger of being withdrawn due to lack of activity. Adds Jan Gates, principal packaging engineer of PackWise Consulting, who is also the subcommittee chair for D10.11 Terminology and D10.19 Packaging Sustainability & Recycling: "Standards drop off the ASTM books because no volunteers step forward to review and decide whether the standards are still relevant." It's hard for me to know whether any of these neglected standards are still relevant. But I do think now is great time for you to get involved and help decide. Committees F02 and D10 have clarified their scopes this year, which should make it easier for you to know where to get involved. For instance, D10 chose to retain its "Packaging" name, but revise its scope. "We've always been known as 'Packaging,'" says Larry Anderson, chairman of ASTM Committee D10 and vp, operations, for TEN-E. With F02 covering primary barrier packaging, "D10 covers everything else related to packaging," he says. (For more details on the revised scope, please see p.38.) And Gates explains that not all D10 work will focus solely on transportation and distribution. "The Sustainability, Vocabulary, Tapes and Labels, Hazardous materials shipment, and Paper committees will still cover primary and other packaging. The changes to scopes and titles are to align the committees' work better with the expertise available in the committees," she says. D10's proposed new scope is expected to be approved during D10's next meeting, Oct. 24-25 in Orlando. During D10's meeting, the committee will also discuss changes to a widely used standard, D4169, Standard Practice for Performance Testing of Shipping Containers and Systems. "We're planning a workshop to provide information on the difference between 2014 and 2016 procedures for vibration testing, and we are planning to share a document explaining what 'random vibration' is," Anderson says. "We've gone back and updated our rationale document explaining the original change, and we've addressed the questions that have since come up," he adds. Eric Joneson, vp of marketing at NVT Group, will lead the workshop. To get involved in ASTM Committees F02, D10, and others, please visit www.astm.org.

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