Pack Expo Las Vegas: What to look out for at the show's biggest ever event

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Packaging processing Label Labelling Brewing Recycling Sustainability Plastic Pack expo

PACK EXPO Las Vegas promises the largest show in its history: featuring more than 2,000 exhibitors across nearly 1 million square feet of exhibit space. Here's some of the innovations and events to look out for if you're there this week.

“We will surpass previous PACK EXPO Las Vegas shows this year with more exhibitors and features offered to attendees than ever before. This reflects the growth in our industry as well as the need for our attendees to find new solutions, expand their knowledge, and build their network,” says Jim Pittas, president & CEO, PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, which is the producer of the show.

“A thriving industry allows for great opportunities as well as challenges—and we’ll be addressing critical issues such as sustainability, workforce, and automation to name a few.

“The theme of PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2023 is “Expect Innovation,” and it promises to provide more product launches, never seen before solutions and fresh innovations under one roof than anywhere else in North America this year.”

With thousands of exhibitors across 40 vertical markets, here are some of the companies, events and sessions for food and beverage professionals to look out for.

PACK EXPO Las Vegas takes place from Sept 11-13, 2023.

Packaging innovation: No more plastic lids for single-use coffee cups

packexpo the good cup

ChoosePlanetA’s ‘The Good Cup’ brings its bicycle coffee cart to Booth SU-7199C (DGL Inc’s booth).

The Good Cup’s mission is to eradicate the use of plastics in takeaway cups: with a plastic-free lining and a folded paperboard alternative to plastic lids.

“The Good Cup is the industry’s most recent cutting-edge innovation in response to the global plastic crisis. The new, fully patented design will revolutionise how the single-use paper cup is manufactured, consumed and recycled,” says the company.

“Featuring an innovative extension to the structure of the cup, The Good Cup has an integrated lid that folds and locks into place, effectively eliminating the presence of and need for a plastic lid.

The impact of the cup’s use is far-reaching and varied; from creating significant savings at the point of production and increasing brand awareness to its most crucial and necessary impact – helping to alleviate the environmental crisis by removing plastic, one lid at a time.”

Secrets to success from a female brewing entrepreneur: Packaging & Processing Women's Leadership Network (PPWLN)  Breakfast 

Award-winning entrepreneur Manjit Minhas will share her journey of transforming a simple idea into a colossal beer empire. Hailing from Calgary, Alberta, Minhas co-founded Minhas Breweries, Distilleries, and Wineries at the age of 19, alongside her brother. Today, their company proudly ranks as the 10th largest brewery in North America.

Minhas will share her insights, strategies, and secrets to conquering the challenges of a male-dominated industry at the Women’s Leadership Network Breakfast on Tuesday, Sept. 12 from 7:30–9:00 a.m. 

Events and industry pavilions

  • Targeted Industry Pavilions: The new Logistics Pavilion, the newly formatted Healthcare Packaging Pavilion, and the expanded Processing Zone are joined by the returning PACKage Printing, Containers & Materials, Reusable Packaging, and Confectionery Pavilions.
  • Sustainability Central: A new show floor destination taking an expansive look into packaging sustainability and what it means to brands, including expert speakers, interactive content, and a look at actionable, sustainable innovations in manufacturing, materials, design, and more.
  • Networking Events including Young Professionals and First-Time Attendee Events, Show Floor Receptions
  • Educational stages, including the Innovation Stage, Processing Innovation Stage, Industry Speaks Stage and Sustainability Stage. These are free, 30-minute seminars on breakthrough technologies and best practices addressing a wide range of industry hot topics.
  • The Forum, which provide the opportunity to discuss new ideas and collaborate on solutions to widespread issues and trends such as digitalization, cybersecurity, sustainability, automation, and integration of cobots into manufacturing. Each 45-minute session begins with a presentation before participants are invited to discuss the issue further in small roundtables.
  • For students: Future Innovators Robotics Showcase, sponsored by Bastian Solutions, features local high school robotics teams, which have designed and built robots. Culminating on the last day of the show The Amazing Packaging Race, sponsored by Emerson, sees teams from colleges, trade schools, and universities across the US race around the PACK EXPO Las Vegas show floor to complete challenges at the booths of participating exhibitors.

RyPax and CelluComp present ‘industry-first all fiber bottle solution’

Alvin Lim, CEO of RyPax
Alvin Lim, CEO of RyPax

Two entrepreneurial leaders in the fiber packaging industry are collaborating to introduce the very first all-fiber bottle solution with an interior coating that offers a biodegradable and renewable beverage bottle.

Using its propriety microfibrillated cellulose product, Curran, ​(made from the waste stream of root vegetables), Scottish-based CelluComp, and Asia-based molded fiber packaging production firm, RyPax, are combining precision plant-based packaging production with a highly renewable feed stock ingredient to ‘crack the code’ on the all-fiber bottle.

A novel pulp fiber is made with a mix of Curran, bamboo and bagasse. “This material is extremely strong with minimal porosity and allows the application of a thin, impermeable coating to the bottle’s interior, which allows manufacturers to take the next important step in environmental packaging by eliminating the need for a plastic liner,” says the company.

The entrepreneurs have established a Minnesota-based Public Benefit Corp. to better serve US operations.

RyPax and CelluComp have been collaborating on a commercial all-fiber bottle format for more than three years and recently gained validation from the Danish Technological Institute (DTI), who has been an important partner in helping create viable proof of concepts.

“The partnership is poised to scale production for industry applications from beverage, beauty, health, medicine, food and other retail brands to help manufacturers deliver a more sustainable product to reduce waste and meet consumer, government and their own sustainability goals,” say the entrepreneurs.

Need for innovation

Industrial Physics will be exhibiting at PackExpo and one of their experts, Steve Davis, will be on stage to share some insights from the recent international survey of packaging professionals operating in consumer goods, food and beverage, and pharmaceutical and medical devices. 

Among other insights, the report highlights that a whopping 96% of packaging decision makers say it's important for companies to explore new developments in packaging.

Over the next five years, the biggest areas of development for packaging innovation will be material choice (say 53% of respondents); production processes (51%) and material reduction (49%).

Coesia highlights ‘greenmation, industrial automation for a sustainable future’

Coesia, an Italian-headquartered group of companies specializing in industrial and packaging solutions, is focusing on automation and sustainability at Pack Expo 2023.

‘Greenmation’ is Coesia’s response to consumer demand for reusable and recyclable packaging. Meanwhile, manufacturers face labor shortages and production cost increases.

"In this complex situation, Coesia believes that the answer to this profitability-threatening challenge lies in supporting a revolution in production which is capable of combining the principles of automation and sustainability in the industries of Food & Beverage, Pharma & Personal Care, and Cross Industry Automation," said Alessandro Parimbelli, Coesia Chief Executive Officer. 

Coesia features 11 companies at Pack Expo. Booth C-4400 includes product launches, integrated equipment such as the Intelligent Transfer System and Cartoner (iFTS), Enflex’s PH-11 DX, HAPA’S WEB 4.0 5D, and more.

Antares Vision Group to introduce DIAMIND

packexpo DIAMIND for FoodBev

Antares Vision Group, an Italian-headquartered provider of quality control and track & trace systems that ensures the transparency of products and supply chains through integrated data management, debuts its comprehensive, integrated production ecosystem solutions.

At Booth N-9729, the company will introduce DIAMIND, a series of interconnected software and hardware systems that, combined, provide physical products with the digital identities necessary for success in a variety of modern sectors, including life science, food & beverage, cosmetics/personal care and high-leverage luxury goods.

“DIAMIND operates at the line, factory, warehouse, enterprise, and supply chain levels, guaranteeing everything from product quality through sophisticated inspection systems to end-to-end traceability via integrated, cloud-based data management,” says the company. “DIAMIND’s integrated setup provides a single point of reference for substantially simplified project management and centralized support services. The result Is heightened and interconnected quality assurance extending from raw materials and line production to warehouses, store shelves and end users.”

Complimentary safety assessments from SLIPNOT

In 2021, work-related fatalities due to falls, slips, and trips increased 5.6%. Food and beverage manufacturers and safety leaders attending PACK EXPO can complete a complimentary assessment to better gauge the safety of their walking-working surfaces at the SLIPNOT booth (SU-7839).

After completing the 10-point review, participants will know their top danger zones and take away strategies to eliminate 90% of slips or falls. Safety demonstrations for drain covers, a common slip hazard in manufacturing facilities, will also take place, and free samples of safety materials will be available on a limited basis.

E-commerce packaging

Hugo Beck_paper e-com fit paper packaging machine_Pack Expo_300dpi (002)

Stuttgart horizontal packaging machine specialist Hugo Beck will use PACK EXPO to showcase its latest film and paper packaging solutions for primary and secondary packaging.

The focus at Booth N-11243 will be the paper e-com fit packaging machine – the first time it has been on display in the US.

“Ideal for e-commerce and mail order applications requiring minimal material to package goods, the paper packaging machine is suitable for the direct dispatch of individual goods, packaging groups of products, or meeting the complex requirements of returned goods packaging,” says the company.

“Automatically adjusting the shipping bag size to varying product dimensions to minimize material use, the paper e-com fit can process both uncoated and coated recyclable papers to produce a new type of dispatch packaging, with two sewn sides.”

Vice President of Polypack, Emmanuel Cerf will also share the packaging manufacturer’s journey towards sustainability at the Innovation Stage on Monday, September 11 at 11:30am.

“Following conversations with attendees at interpack 2023, it became clear that American customers would welcome our unique, resource-efficient packaging styles. One example: thanks to our extremely tight packaging technology, which is capable of material savings of 60-70%, we achieve precise, high-quality film shrink packaging results – a revolutionary breakthrough in the industry.”

H.B Fuller to showcase consumer packaging innovations

Global adhesives provider H.B. Fuller Company is showcasing how its technology platform is addressing the top efficiency and circularity concerns of brand owners and packaging manufacturers worldwide at Booth 9015.

Starting with e-commerce, H.B. Fuller will present solutions that are tamper-evident, enable easy opening and returns, and minimize packaging materials ─ offering an enhanced customer experience with less transit and protective packaging. These include:

  • Swift Melt PM7000 (‘delivers excellent bond strength that ensures package integrity throughout the supply chain and across a wide temperature range’)
  • Open Sesame Fiber-Based Tear Tapes (‘enhance the “unboxing experience” by eliminating the need for box-cutting tools; the Tapes are also easily separated during the Old Corrugated Container (OCC) repulping process.’)
  • Flextra flexible packaging adhesives reduce packaging waste, resist tears and punctures, and help preserve perishables through the control of moisture, air and light.
  • FullVision, the company’s proprietary software that analyzes end-of-line packaging data to improve product quality and plant productivity, ensures each box uses the right amount of adhesive.

H.B. Fuller will also showcase a wide range of technologies made with renewable and biobased materials, enabling customers to improve their products and processes through solutions that help them achieve their sustainability goals.

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