Recently Chainalytics' packaging engineering team attended the PACK EXPO trade show in Las Vegas. This year's show featured more than 1,800 exhibitors and 30,000+ attendees. Our team of packaging consultants canvased the floor for the better part of three days to find all things new and cutting edge in packaging industry.
While I've attend several Pack Expo shows in Chicago, this was actually my first year attending the packaging industry’s west coast version. General impressions on Las Vegas vs. Chicago are the following:
1. Still a huge show, but much more manageable then Chicago, you can cover in 2 full days without sprinting the aisles.
2. Vegas is definitely a little less equipment and machinery intensive. You get a better mix of materials, new technologies and material handling supplies. So if Chicago turned you off in the past because of being overwhelmed with giants exhibits of fillers, wrappers, and conveyors, give Las Vegas a try.
3. In my opinion, September in Las Vegas is so much nicer weather wise then the Windy City in October or November!
Lastly I leave you with our three top finds from this year's expo:
1. CogitoCan - One of the few short comings of the long-standing aluminum can is the lack of resealability. Seeing the CogitoCan at the show was very unique and an exciting proposition for the beverage markets, especially if it as cost effective as they claim it to be.
|New Resealable Aluminum Can Technology|
2. Easy Fold Fixtures - In our line of work as packaging consultants, we see tons of labor and time spent folding up two sided rollover corrugated cartons, a.k.a. Pizza Boxes. Walking down one of the last aisles of the show for me, this immediately caught my attention. Based on a few minutes in the booth, this seems like a great and affordable way to reduce labor and repetitive motion injuries as well asimprove productivity and tact time for many companies. To see how it works, check out this 20 second video.
|EZ fold fixtures|
3. WestRock Meta E - The newly formed WestRock had very large and impressive exhibit showing off their newest auto case and tray erecting Meta series. For me the coolest offering they had was their Meta E which is focused on the E-commerce sector. They have a unique system that auto erects an RSC corrugated case that is lined with cohesive paper. You load the box upside down and place your product inside the top sealed lid of the case. An operator then folds over the cohesive paper onto itself that creates a false bottom of sorts that cradles the product and holds firm to top of box. When the consumer receives their shipment and opens the top, the product is justified to the top and creates a clean out of box experience with no loose fill, air pillows or shipping dunnage. While this technology does nothing to solve for shipping air or reducing dimensional weight, it does potential reduce labor and packaging materials used.
|Example of the customer "Out of Box Experience" with Meta E|