We are one week away from the first ever East Coast Pack Expo in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This show will draw attendees from all over the North East bringing top processing and packaging supplies together. Pack Expo East is on a smaller scale giving attendees more time to engage with those on the show floor without the enormity PackExpo International.
Pack Expo East brings:
Advanced processing and packaging solutions
Leading OEMs within the industry
Solutions specialized to your industry
New ideas from other industries on processing and packaging
This show is supposed to have nearly 400 suppliers, 20 targeted educational opportunities and 3 days to experience it all! Join us and experience the innovation in action on the show floor. Get your creative juices flowing and talk show with engineers from the top suppliers.
EPI Labelers will be exhibiting inBooth #1011. We will be featuring several of our top of the line labelers including: C-Wrap System, Core Series Print/Apply, Core Series Labeler, UII and M-Series. You will also be able to check out ourFlex-PacTM inMatrix’s booth #706. Our labeler will be on their bag maker. Stop by our booth and talk with our top salesman, engineers and service techs! Let’s get innovative together and solve your labeling needs! Our machines are the answer to easy and efficient workflow production for our clients’ industries, which include; snack food, bakery, confectionery, beverage, dairy, coffee, meat and poultry, pet food, frozen food, fabric, textile and general packaging.
For the latest information on our machines, industry trends and all of EPI’s latest news and happenings, check out our blog.
It’s a New Year with new resolutions. Many have decided to get healthier, spend less and even to be more organized. Why not include your labeling equipment in that resolution? There are several easy things you can do to ensure a long life and greater efficiency for your labeling equipment.
When it comes to our labelers, there are some simple no-cost things you can do to make sure your machine is operating properly for the life of the labeler. As a leader in the pressure sensitive labeling market, EPI has gained much experience from working with market leaders in snack food, confectionery, coffee, and consumer products industries. We are constantly developing new products and better methods to solve labeling problems to ease the burden on production personnel.
Here are some recommendations we have for all our clients on how to keep your labelers running like the day they were installed.
Cleaning and Sanitation
Wipe down the following with a plant-approved, liquid food-grade cleaning agent using a cloth and then wiped dry with another cloth:
It is critical the peeler bar and the applicator are clean of adhesive. The Label Sensor should be wiped clean with a dry cloth also.
The cleaning for the Top Plate, Supply Spool, and Label Sensor should be done anytime machine production is stopped and at a minimum once a day.
EPI Labelers are designed to work within a normal food-packaging environment. If the labeler is operated in a dusty area, be sure to wipe the machine off as much as possible.
Cover the machine and remove power if equipment above or around it is being cleaned, especially if water is being used in the process.
Clean the labeler after surrounding equipment has been sanitized.
CAUTION: DO NOT wet down this machine or directly hit it with an air hose. Damage to the unit or personal injury may occur.
Every representation about food has the potential for misbranding claims in civil or criminal court. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s food labeling regulations are just another legal matter waiting for their day in court.
The Labeling Craze of 2014
In 2014 we were presented with the latest labeling requirements complete with revised demands related to nutritional content. (See: “Will Clearer Food Labels Make For Healthier Choices?”) Compliance with labeling regulations is necessary because non-compliance could result not just in serious injury to consumers but also significant civil liabilities for producers. The most dangerous risk to a producer may actually come from the individual who does read the nutrition label. According to Food Safety Magazine, studies show that less than 50% of consumers regularly read nutrition labels on prepackaged food. And the number of consumers who will ask to see nutrition information in restaurants will likely be even lower. However, those who read the information are doing so for a reason. The diabetic consumer could end up in a diabetic shock if the labeling information is inaccurate. A consumer who relies on accurate sodium content may end up in cardiac arrest. Inaccuracies on nutritional information could be fatal for consumers with pre-existing conditions. The labeling craze of 2014 was focused on the nation’s nutrition with the hope of addressing obesity. Lobbyists, lawmakers, and more believe that providing more complete labeling would give consumers a better understanding of how to be healthier.
Originally the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 specifically exempted foods sold in restaurant-type settings. Fast-forward twenty years and 2010’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act set out to provide consumers access to certain nutritional information when purchasing food in restaurants. This was just finalized on Dec. 1, 2014. This additional nutritional information requirement very closely resembles the information and format required for Nutrition Fact Labels contained on prepackaged foods.
What’s Next for Nutritional Labeling in 2015
The FDA claims the basis of both proposals is to present the information in such a way as to maximize the attention and understanding of the consumer, with the hopes the consumer will make healthier eating choices. Still the question remains: Will new nutritional information result in improved food choices or will it simply overwhelm the consumer?
Regardless of the answer, changes to nutritional labeling are here to stay and the impact on producers is significant, as these regulations are strict and non-compliance could have negative ramifications on many levels.
The Meat Labeling debate has been an issue between the NAFTA countries (U.S., Canada, Mexico) for several years. Most recently, in October of 2014, the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled in Canada’s favor addressing the controversial U.S. country-of-origin meat-labeling scheme (COOL) which has been found in violation of free trade agreements by the WTO.
The U.S. Meat Labeling Background
Effective in 2013, the latest U.S. labeling rules require meat labels to indicate the country (or countries) where the animal was born, raised, and then slaughtered.
Originally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture allowed the labels to say “Product of U.S.” or “Product of U.S. and Canada.” When the WTO rejected this approach, the USDA made the labels more specific. For example, the new labels would state that the animal was “born in Mexico, raised and slaughtered in the United States” or “born, raised and slaughtered in the United States.” However, the WTO also rejected these revised rules.
Canada’s WTO Win
A WTO report released on October 20th states that the U.S. labeling rules give an unfair advantage to domestic meat products. For Canada (and Mexico), COOL is a non-tariff trade barrier designed to make it more costly to handle beef and swine born or raised in Canada. Because of these trade-barriers, Canada has seen a lower demand for their livestock and higher handling costs – costs that exceed $1 billion per year.
Ed Fast, Canada’s Minister of International Trade, and Gerry Ritz, Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, responded to the U.S. appeal with a promise to keep retaliation on the table. The U.S. could face trade retaliation from Canada in the way of meat tariffs on U.S. meat, as well as chocolate, cereal, wine, and other food products.
Their joint statement stated, “Canada is deeply disappointed with the U.S. decision to appeal the WTO ruling on COOL. Canada fully expected the United States to live up to its international trade obligations and comply with the WTO ruling, which reaffirms Canada’s long-standing view that the revised U.S. COOL measure is blatantly protectionist and fails to comply with the WTO’s original ruling against it.”
Still, the WTO found that the labels serve their intended purpose of supplying consumer information – Canada and Mexico claimed the labels did not.
The U.S. Appeal
The WTO announced that the U.S. was appealing the ruling for a 3rd time within the allotted 60-day appeal period. Although few details have been released, the WTO says that appeals have to be based on points of law, such as legal interpretation. They cannot reopen factual findings made by the decision-making panel.
This is the U.S.’s third loss on the COOL issue, but it does mean the U.S. puts off the time when its economy might be forced to pay punitive tariffs on some of the $52 billion in sales Americans make to Canada.
The U.S. Divide
U.S. business groups are divided on the labeling rule. Some large meatpackers oppose the regulation, saying it drives up costs and hurts trade with Canada and Mexico. Other agricultural groups, however, back the appeal, saying it could help give consumers more information. With all the changes to GMO labeling, gluten-free labeling, and stricter guidelines for other food product, it’s clear that consumers want more information. Still, with rising beef prices, less regulation could mean lower prices.
Many U.S. farmers who compete with Mexican and Canadian ranchers welcome the appeal. The feel it is the right thing for the American people to know where there meat is coming from. National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson on Friday called it “the right thing to do for American family farmers, ranchers and consumers.”
Recent studies of the Flexible Packaging Market show an expectation of continued growth through 2018. According to a study by MarketsandMarkets, this industry will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.1% every year through 2018. Additionally, the BRIC countries should see the greatest growth, which is no surprise considering the advancements these countries have been making in recent years along with their extensive populations.
So why Flexible Packaging? Why move from glass, paper and rigid plastics? Really, there are so many advantages to Flexible Packaging, and companies are embracing the trend.
Weight and Volume
Pouches utilize 20% less volume and haves 1/10 the packaging weight. Both of these qualities make for lower freight costs and less storage space.
Because flexible packages utilize less volume and weight, the company’s carbon footprint is reduced making this trend an environmentally friendly one. Less volume and weight lowers the disposal cost and lessens transportation-related energy and fuel consumption. According to a study by Fres-co there is a 50% reduction in landfill waste and there is a 71% reduction in BTU consumption.
Great Taste and Safe Use
With pouches you eliminate the metallic taste and achieve a longer shelf life. There are no metal shards or edges to cause cuts. There is no BPA or chance of metal fragments in the finished product.
Convenient and Attractive
Many consumers find canned foods and glass jars difficult to open, particularly elderly consumers. However,pouches are much simpler to open making them more appealing to the consumer. Pouches can be molded into interesting shapes, are microwavable, and can have a wide variety of closures attached including re-sealable strips.
Consumer trends play a role in the popularity of almost everything. This is true for flexible packaging as well. With the increase in fast-paced consumer lifestyles, food products that offer convenience are increasingly popular. Pouches provide that convenience and ease better than traditional packaging. Great quality, more cost-efficient and easier for your operation and the environment, pouches are the right choice for so many reasons.
EPI is a dedicated manufacturer of high quality labeling for packaging and promotional needs. As the leading manufacturer of Flexible Packaging labelers the EPI Flex-Pac™ family easily integrates with a wide variety of packaging machines including, VFFS (vertical bag maker), Pouch, HFFS (horizontal flow wrappers) and stretch wrappers. We have been designing labelers for Flexible Packaging for well over 30 years. Our machines are dependable, reliable and versatile.
Tamp/Blow label applicators are a non-contact way to apply labels to hard-to-reach areas on products like recessed lids, such as pie shell containers. Each label is fed onto the labeler’s tamp pad and held by a vacuum. When a product is detected the pneumatic cylinder extends and the label is blown onto the surface of the product. This applicator allows for a variable distance. Bags of bread are another example of a product that you might label with a tamp/blow applicator.
Vac/Blow label applicators allow safe and contact-free labeling. This is a wonderful labeling application used for flexible packaging such as chip or candy bags. The label is fed onto the labeler’s tamp pad. A burst of air blows the label onto the surface when a product is detected without impact or damage to the product. Labeling flexible packages is something we do a lot. This is probably the application that we use 80% of the time.
Wipe-On label applicators use a brush, a roller or other material to wipe the label onto the product. This application can be used on flexible packages as well as detergent bottles, lids of margarine containers and even clamshell containers.
Tamp label applicators come in brief contact with the product. When the product is detected the pneumatic cylinder extends causing the pad to briefly contact the product in order to tamp the label on. Cases of yogurt or pallets of decorative rocks.
Pack Expo is known for quality by suppliers around the world. This tradeshow provides processing and packaging innovations for every vertical market in the packaging industry. In today’s competitive world it is very important to stay on top of the next big thing. Pack Expo provides attendees the opportunity to learn from the experts and build strong business partnerships.
• Find the most efficient solutions for your processing and packaging needs.
• Gain insight into every industry represented.
• Acquire valuable ideas and connections from within your own industry.
Attendees can learn how to advance their processing and packaging operations in order to stay competitive. Presentations on emerging technology, sessions on safe food manufacturing and 30-minute talks from the industry leaders are all available for attendees. The knowledge and training one can gain from attending Pack Expo is endless.
Face to Face Relationships
What better way to meet with potential vendors or clients than face to face. You can improve your buying decisions by getting to know the suppliers and the products they have to offer your company. Having a complete understanding and knowledge of the product you are buying allows you to make better purchasing decisions. You will be able to watch processing and packaging solutions in action. You can hold product and materials in your hands and examine them. You can even compare equipment side by side; see firsthand how the equipment works and gain a better understanding as to if it will work for your company. You can ask questions and discover things that email just can’t convey.
Check out EPI!
We will be in booth #4918 featuring our Top of the Line Labelers. Stop by our booth and talk with us about your production line and how we can best service your needs. For more information on what we will be exhibiting at the show check out our blog post Pack Expo International 2014, Chicago!
We exhibit at Pack Expo every year. According to PMMIReports this year’s show will have more exhibitors then ever and is the 2nd largest Pack Expo event in history. EPI believes this show produces more traffic and actual decision makers than any other show that we attend. Pack Expo brings together current customers and decision makers at the largest packaging equipment show and also allows us a chance to interact with all of our OEM partners. It is truly the show that everyone attends.
PACK EXPO International is ESSENTIAL
EFFICIENCY – Where else can you compare practically every processing and packaging solution out there—from 1,800+ suppliers—all in one place?
ENERGY – There’s nothing like watching processing and packaging innovations in action, holding materials and containers in your hands and examining equipment side by side.
EDGE – Staying competitive means walking the same show floor your competitors are walking, latching on to the latest trends, and learning strategies that work from industry experts.
EXCITEMENT – Witness the unveiling of breakthrough technologies, see what new robots can do, try your hand at the latest in automation, get ideas from engineers in other industries.
ENGAGEMENT – You’ll get the face time you need to problem-solve on the spot and build strong business partnerships with suppliers.
Pack Expo International in Chicago is right around the corner. This show has always drawn exhibitors and attendees from all over the world. This year is expected to be biggest show thus far. This year the decision was made for the Pack Expo Chicago Trade Show and the Pharma Expo Trade Show to merge and to begin exhibiting at the same time in Chicago, November 2-5, 2014. For this joint venture, PMMI will be teaming up with ISPE to offer this growing joint trade show event.
EPI Labelers will exhibit at Pack Expo International. We will be in the North Hall, Booth #4918. We will be featuring several of our top of the line labelers including: Top/Bottom System, C-Wrap System, Core Series Print/Apply on BestPack Case Taper, Core Series Tamp/Blow, UII, M-Series and Flex-PacTMon a Matrix bag maker. All of our machines are engineered for ease of use and reliability, and are designed to integrate to existing specific packaging lines. With the required updates approaching for Hazard Communication Standard labels to comply with Globally Harmonized Systems (GHS) stop by our booth to see how we can help you with your GHS labeling needs as well. You can also read more on our website at http://www.epilabelers.com/ghs-labeling.See how we can help you comply with the Globally Harmonized Systems (GHS) labels!
Top/Bottom System – Top of the line, for your bottom line. The EPI Top & Bottom Labeler is designed to label the top and bottom of clamshell and tub style containers and cartons neatly and accurately. The system features simple vertical and horizontal adjustments to allow for quick and reliable label placement.
C-Wrap System -The EPI C-Wrap System incorporates a small split conveyor with an EPI M-Series Labeler to adhere labels to the top, front, and bottom of a clamshell container. The conveyor presents the filled clamshell to the labeler, the label is applied to the package and a dual wipe mechanism firmly secures the label.
Core Series Print/Apply – Barcodes, Addressing, Product ID….You Name It! Variable information is more and more a part of your CORE business. Now you can have the quality, simplicity and durability of an EPI Labeler in a compact package that supports top-line growth and bottom-line costs with the Core Series Print/Apply.
Core Series Labeler –The EPI Core Series Tamp will minimize cost, downtime and training with CORE Series labelers from EPI. Industrial grade components are cleverly engineered into a compact, durable platform to provide years of service. The menu driven touch-screen minimizes training, provides intuitive control as well as audible/ visual status indication.
UII – Engineered for Simplicity, Built to Operate 24/7.The EPI U-II labeler combines simplicity, durability and flexibility all into one labeler that has the capability of meeting a wide variety of labeling applications.
M-Series – The Only Thing Small About this Machine is its Size!The EPI M-Series is a compact and simple solution to complex labeling. It’s a smaller, smarter machine that is self-calibrating, flexible enough to customize on the fly and simple enough to set up in a few minutes.
Flex-PacTM – Sometimes the Best Ideas are the Simplest. The EPI Flex-Pac family of labelers easily integrates with a variety of packaging machines including, VFFS, HFFS, horizontal flow wrappers and stretch wrappers. We take the time to engineer mounting systems that fit your individual F/F/S to ensure that the label is applied at the correct spot, thus ensuring a reliably placed label on every package.
Our machines are the answer to easy and efficient workflow production for our clients’ industries, which include; snack food, bakery, confectionery, beverage, dairy, coffee, meat and poultry, pet food, frozen food, fabric, textile and general packaging. For a detailed product list, visit http://epilabelers.com/.
Follow the latest and newest technology in EPI’s Labeling Equipment? For the latest information on our machines, industry trends and all of EPI’s latest news and happenings…
OSHA’s 2012 Hazard Communication Standard affects U.S. Chemical Manufacturers and Distributors and how they label their products.
OSHA’s Hazcom 2012 final rule modified the current hazard communication standard. The new standards are aligned with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The new law keeps most basic elements of the old Hazcom standard in place while increasing worker protection by enhancing the requirements for hazard communication and classification.
What are the new GHS standards?
GHS is an internationally agreed-upon system, created by the United Nations. It is designed to use consistent criteria for classification and labeling globally. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the GHS includes criteria for the classification of health, physical and environmental hazards, and specifies what information should be included on labels of hazardous chemicals and safety data sheets (SDS). The United States actively participated in the development of the GHS, and is a member of the UN body established to maintain and coordinate implementation of the system.
The system uses pictograms, hazard statements, and the signal words “Danger” and “Warning” to communicate hazard information on product labels in a comprehensive way. The primary goal of GHS is to better protect human health and the environment by providing chemical users and handlers with enhanced and consistent information on chemical hazards.
The first standard of OSHA’s Hazcom was to be completed by December 1, 2013. Employers were required to have trained employees on the new Hazcom label elements and SDS format.
For the next step in the process, manufacturers have until June 1, 2015. Manufacturers and distributors are to reclassify chemicals and update labels and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs). After Dec. 1, 2015, Distributors can no longer ship chemicals labeled under old Hazcom Standards.
What does this mean for my business?
Chemical manufacturers and distributors have a lot of required labeling changes to make. GHS labeling largely reflects usage by the transportation world. All pictograms are international recognized and are designed to limit the need for language conversion from country to country.
Although, under both the old and new Hazcom rule labeling was a requirement, the new features that will be required on such labels will undergo a radical change. The new law states you have to label your hazards products and you have to follow the guidelines laid out in appendix C of the Hazcom law.
The label for each hazardous chemical shall include the product identifier used on the safety data sheet.
The labels on shipped containers shall also include the name, address and telephone number of the chemical manufacturer, importer or responsible party.
The label of each hazardous chemical that is classified shall include the signal ward, hazard statement, pictogram, and precautionary statement specified in C.4 for each hazard class and associated hazard category, except as provided for in C.2.1 through C.2.4
The final implementation date is June 1, 2016 when the entire program must be in place. Employers must update alternative workplace labeling and hazard communications programs as necessary and provide additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards.
With the new GHS required labeling changes on the horizon, EPI Labelers can help with a variety of options when it comes to labeling equipment. EPI Labelers are built to stand up in the toughest of environments and our engineered simplicity makes them easy to use and maintain. From flexible packaging to case labeling and almost anything in between, using pre-printed labels or a print-and-apply labeler we have the solution to help you conform to the new GHS standard.
For more information on the GHS changes and how EPI Labelers can help, please visit our page exclusively devoted to GHS Labeling requirements.
Back to school is a hectic time of year for everyone with kids. First, you make several trips to Target, WalMart, etc to make sure they have all of their school supplies. Then you begin the ever-dreaded task of planning packed lunches. As a parent I am always looking for that next healthy snack for my kids, and food companies are banking on it.
According to Prevention Institute, the food and beverage industry spends approximately $2 billion dollars annually on marketing junk food directly to kids. Kids watch an average of over ten food-related ads every day. As a mom, I believe it. Not a day goes by where at least one of my kids is asking to try some sugary junk food that they have just seen a commercial for – and I can’t blame them. Manufacturers of these junk foods have great marketing departments and know what grabs children’s attention. Kids love bright colors and fun cartoon characters and you rarely see that on healthy snacks on the perimeter of the grocery store.
Recently Bolthouse Farms has made a move to compete in the back-to-school grab-and-go market by marketing to our children as well. The only difference is that Bolthouse Farms is one of the largest producers of baby carrots and juices in North America, and has created healthy snack choices. Their approach? Flavor their carrots like favorite snack foods and wrap their healthy snacks in junk food-like packaging.
“We believe that stealing a play out of the junk food playbook is a way for us to make these kinds of foods more emotive, more reachable, more accessible, more affordable, and that will increase consumption overall,” says Todd Putman, chief commercial officer at Bolthouse Farms. Bolthouse wants to inspire kids to make better food choices.Want to get kids to eat carrots? Brand them like junk food.
According to Prevention Institute one study found that when children were exposed to television content with food ads, they consumed 45% more food than those exposed to non-food ads. Bolthouse and other brands want to bring some of the junk food innovation to the produce aisle, with the hopes of seeing real changes in how children eat.
Another company pushing for healthier snack options for kids is Garden Lites, The Delicious Vegetable Company. They are also taking advantage of the back to school marketing. They launched their new packaging for veggie-rich muffins and soufflés during back to school promotions. They have updated their logo as well as easy to read packaging. Their muffins thaw at room temperature, which makes them a great portable option for breakfast on-the-go, everyday lunches and after-school snacks. Each pack shows just how delicious their products really are. “These muffins are a true innovation as there is nothing else on the market that has vegetables as the first ingredient,” says Julie Gould, Assistant Brand Manager of Garden Lites.
They key to food marketing has become more consumer driven then ever before. Food packaging and labeling is key to drawling the consumer to your product. When Super Sprowtz put vegetable superhero characters on healthy snacks at a school salad bar, the number of students eating vegetables at lunch rose 250%. To understand the food market today, the food industry needs to know what their consumers want in the food they are buying. Then the food industry must market foods that satisfy those demands.