Pack It & Ship It: Themes at Pack Expo

Robots took center stage for many media companies visiting Pack Expo 2019.
Photo by Diane Taylor

A trip last week to the Las Vegas Convention Center was an exercise in watching big machines do massive jobs, many of which result in this reporter’s personal shopping experiences.

How do raisins get in the large bags I get at Smith’s? Who builds and seals the boxes that come from Amazon? Lots of those answers were available to buyers at Pack Expo 2019, a show that had an expected attendance of 30,000 people from 25 countries. The entire convention center was packed with 2,000 exhibitors. Yes, some of which of those exhibitors were part of the co-located Healthcare Expo, but my concentration was on Pack Expo.

Produced by The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, Pack Expo will be expected to return to Las Vegas (after next year’s stop in Chicago) in 2021.

I find expos interesting for many reasons, not the least of which is to learn a bit about businesses other than our city’s staples, gambling and entertainment. For example, did you know that there is a Packaging and Processing Hall of Fame?

In the expo’s Show Daily, an article about how packaging can reduce its environmental impact noted that In 2009, an industry “Carton Council” was established. Since the group’s founding, the number of US households with access to carton recycling programs has grown from 18% to 63%. “Whereas a linear economy approach transforms raw materials into products ultimately destined for a landfill, the circular economy approach is to take, make and reuse again and again.” According to one industry expert cited in the Daily, “the fiber in a carton can usually be recycled up to seven times”.

Harpak Ulma had this display case of products that can be packed by their “Fully Automated and Integrated Pack Systems”.
Photo by Diane Taylor

Education in all aspects of packaging and processing was available at Pack Expo. Among popular topics were “Trends in Smart, Flexible Machines”, “Avoiding the Landfill: Compostable Hot Melt Adhesives for Sustainable Packages”, “The Connected Factory: Strengthening Your Production Processes with Intelligent Manufacturing” and even “Recreational and Medicinal Cannabis Packaging Considerations”.

I traveled just a small portion of the Expo last Wednesday and my video is attached. Incidentally, and this is probably no surprise, but business among the exhibitors I visited is very good.


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