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4 Mistakes to Avoid When Automating Your Packaging Systems

Posted by rhelmke on Custom Packaging | Monday, February 6th, 2017 | 0 comments

Automation Integration Explained Across industries, manufacturers are ramping up production operations to meet growing customer demand. As product output increases, packaging processes must also be streamlined for optimal efficiency. To keep up with these demands while remaining cost efficient, manufacturers are increasingly turning to automated systems integration. In the packaging industry, specifically, custom automation solutions encompass every step of the production process and supply chain. Much like the packages themselves, packaging automation equipment is never a “one size fits all” scenario. RELATED: How the Top Pharma Companies are Effectively Automating their Packaging Systems We’ve outlined some common mistakes to avoid when automating the packaging equipment at your brand’s facility. Common Packaging Automation Mistakes Not Matching the Needs of the Facility: Every facility has a unique combination of equipment, processes, and leadership styles; many operate entire proprietary systems. Therefore, it’s critical that an automation solution is designed with your specific facility in mind. To ensure you install an efficient, reliable automation system, packaging solution engineers should meet with all people involved in the project— from owners and management to operators and...

PETG for Crystal Clear, Impact-Resistant Packaging

Posted by rhelmke on Custom Packaging | Tuesday, August 30th, 2016 | 0 comments

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) are two similar acronyms representing two very distinct materials. Both of these substances comprise plastics commonly used in the pharmaceutical packaging industry, but their differences in chemical compositions — that is, the addition of glycol — gives PETG more favorable characteristics for highly sensitive packaging applications. PETG’s Unique Properties During the heating stage of manufacturing, the presence of glycol helps to prevent the visible hazing, warping, and crystallization effects that typically arise with standard PET. This added resistance to brittleness means that PETG has a slightly softer surface, making it more pliable and highly impact resistant, although it does present a higher risk for damage from scratches and UV light. Common Applications for PETG Despite these small setbacks, PETG’s properties make it superior for high-intensity production phases, as well as a wide range of applications. It is resistant to heat sealing, thermoforming, and ETO and gamma sterilization — processes under which standard PET would normally crystallize. Not only that but once it’s time to actually package the products, the transparent PETG beautifully showcases...

How to Become an In-House Thermoformer Expert

Posted by rhelmke on Custom Packaging | Tuesday, July 12th, 2016 | 0 comments

While a classroom education can offer great package design industry insights, a hands-on internship can provide a one-of-a-kind experience for students interested in careers as their company’s in-house thermoforming expert. We wanted to share some key ideas and considerations for these aspiring thermoformer experts. What Makes a Good Thermoformed Part? There are many important considerations for custom thermoforming, but the key to all of them is quality. From material selection and distribution to implementing cleanroom technology and heat sealing tooling, to ensuring a high speed to market, quality should be the focus at every touchpoint. The Basics Thermoforming lines consist of three types: Sheet feed – heavy gauge Roll feed – thin gauge Inline thermoforming – thin gauge pellet to part Of the three, inline thermoforming is the best practice for high-quality plastic packaging. The two different mold types – male and female – differ in shape and the way in which the material sinks into the mold. With male molds, hot plastic shrinks to the mold and the bottom is the strongest part of the tray – a critical feature...

How Award-Winning Packaging Educates Consumers

Posted by rhelmke on Custom Packaging | Friday, June 3rd, 2016 | 0 comments

PI Creates Explanatory Packaging, Wins Ameristar Award At Plastic Ingenuity (PI), we have a strong commitment to innovation, customer service, design, and manufacturing. After celebrating Ameristar Awards in 2015 for both GlaxoSmithKline medical device packaging and Sargento food packaging, we’re thrilled to announce another victory for 2016: the “Best in Show” Ameristar Award for our instructional packaging design for the Philips Respironics Amara™ View Mask. Innovation Study: The Amara™ View Mask by Philips Respironics The Amara™ View Mask CPAP is an unusual product: the unique, minimal contact oral/nasal mask design was created to cradle under a sleep apnea patient’s nose, protecting the nose bridge from irritation and red marks. Most other CPAP masks fit over the nose, making this product unique from other models throughout the entire industry — and unfortunately, very confusing to patients. Users were quick to wear it like a standard mask, fitted over the nose, defeating the purpose of the whole design. Our PI team’s solution was simple: show the consumer exactly where the mask is oriented by building a thermoformed plastic nose right into the...

Extending Shelf Life with HPP Packaging

Posted by rhelmke on Custom Packaging | Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 | 0 comments

What Exactly is HPP? HPP is a specialized cold pasteurization technique wherein sealed food products are exposed to an immensely high hydrostatic pressure (pressure transmitted through water) that kills all traces of bacteria, mold, yeast, or any other common food contaminants. The process can take just a few seconds or last a few minutes, depending on the type of food product. HPP is environmentally friendly and safe. And unlike thermal and chemical treatment options, all nutritional values and flavors are preserved throughout the process. It is no surprise then that food processors and retailers have been using HPP packaging for over 20 years. The Benefits of HPP Packaging HPP packaging is a desirable for a number of reasons, including: Versatility Compatibility with both solid and liquid food products It extends product shelf life — by up to four times as long as non-HPP packaged products, which means that food can be shipped over greater distances without spoiling. Safety — no preservatives or high heat environments are required, so food remains healthy and fresh HPP Packaging Design Best Practices Over the...

Plastic Ingenuity Brings Home Two 2015 AmeriStar Package Awards

Posted by rhelmke on Custom Packaging | Friday, August 7th, 2015 | 0 comments

Sargento, GSK Partnerships Highlighted From food to pharmaceuticals packaging, 2015 made for a year of groundbreaking work at Plastic Ingenuity. A leader in quality, customer service, design, and manufacturing, PI’s standards of excellence have been recognized with superior results worthy of not one, but two, AmeriStar Packaging Awards, recognizing outstanding innovations in the packaging industry. GlaxoSmithKline and MD&M East The 2015 MD&M East Conference, held from June 9 – 11, showcased two exceptional breakthroughs from PI. We displayed products made with Eastalite™, a new copolyester material from Eastman. Additionally, we proudly showcased our first AmeriStar-awarded design for 2015. The recognized medical device packaging resulted from a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline, and was highlighted as an outstanding contribution to industry innovation. Sargento Balanced Breaks™ Health-inspired ingenuity isn’t just for the medical industry. Sargento Balanced Breaks™, a unique cheese snack pairing different varieties of cheese with fruits and nuts, required a packaging solution to encourage quality snacking in a consumer arena dominated by empty calories. This collaboration also garnered a 2015 AmeriStar Award. The specialized thermoformed package and paperboard sleeve resulted from combined...

Calling Food Package Designers: We’re Presenting TE Packaging at IDDBA

Posted by rhelmke on Custom Packaging | Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 | 1 comments

  At Plastic Ingenuity, we enjoy taking our products on the road and exhibiting to people across the country. Participating in trade shows gives us the opportunity to meet the people that invest in and rely on our products; we also enjoy making new connections—both professional and personal. One of the biggest trade shows of the year is just around the corner, and we’re already getting excited! The Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar and Expo is an annual event that gathers thousands of customers, suppliers, and purchasing managers from different U.S. regions. At the expo, these parties meet to discuss the latest products and innovations in food packaging. This event is hosted by the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA), a group dedicated to supporting companies working with dairy, deli, bakery, and cheese products. Dairy-Deli-Bake focuses on providing a variety of educational programs and networking opportunities, as well as keynote speeches that offer insight into the food industry—economic situations, consumer interaction, and much more. Come Visit the PI Booth! This year’s IDDBA trade show takes place at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA...

Eastalite™ Medical Packaging Debuts at MD&M East

Posted by rhelmke on Custom Packaging | Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 | 0 comments

  Modern healthcare professionals rely on a diverse array of medical devices to treat their patients. The medical industry is constantly evolving to meet patient needs; as a result, designers and manufacturers of medical devices are pressured to deliver the highest-quality products possible. There are notable practices to achieve this goal—many of which will be discussed at the upcoming Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) East event. The MD&M East Conference is one of the country’s largest medical technology events, and will be held from June 9 to June 11. Taking place at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, this three-day event will feature interactive presentations that reveal the industry’s latest innovations. Some of the most influential thought leaders in the industry will lead various educational sessions and panel discussions; topics include packaging and labeling, manufacturing equipment, design services, industrial automation, and much more. As a trusted provider of exceptional medical device packaging, Plastic Ingenuity is proud to participate in the MD&M East event. Our representatives look forward to highlighting PI’s assortment of products, which include blister packs, clamshells, standard...

What it Means to be a Full-Service Thermoformer

Posted by rhelmke on Custom Packaging | Wednesday, May 6th, 2015 | 0 comments

  With over 40 years of industrial experience, Plastic Ingenuity (PI) is a leading provider of custom thermoformed packaging. In fact, we’re a full-service, ISO certified thermoformer; this means that Plastic Ingenuity supports you throughout each step of the thermoforming process—from design and prototyping to full-size production runs and quality assurance. Our Approach to Thermoforming Plastic Ingenuity utilizes a vertically integrated structure to maintain the utmost control during our multi-step thermoforming process. This process allows our team to provide innovative services and highly customized finished packaging. Our thermoforming process includes: Design – Our design team is well-versed in strategizing innovative product packaging. Using the information gathered during evaluation—whether it’s from a napkin drawing, or a solid file—PI helps your vision come to life. Prototyping – PI then produces a prototype from the approved design. PI performs a QA check on the prototype, ensuring that the package meets the client’s specifications, is suitably durable, and is appropriate for the product and its market. Mold and Tool Building – PI engineers design and build all of the molds and tools required to...

Increase Shelf Appeal for Cosmetics with Unique Packaging

Posted by Rob on Custom Packaging | Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 | 0 comments

  With the vast array of cosmetics available every single day, it can be a difficult job to make your products stand out from the rest. There are a variety of different types of packaging to use for your products, but one of the most important things about cosmetics is keeping them free of contaminants and securely sealed before someone buys them—after all, how many times have we all seen bottles of nail polish tested on shelving units or tips of lipsticks marred by someone who wanted to see what the color looked like out of the tube? Choosing unique and secure packaging can have the ability to boost your product’s sales, so it’s important not to skimp when it comes to designing your cosmetic brand’s blister pack. Benefits of Blister Packaging One of the most popular types of plastic packaging is blister packaging. It allows for products to be heat-sealed into a plastic package, and protects them from theft, contamination and other damage. Blister packages are very strong, and can be custom formed to each product they hold, which...