Earlier today I received a question that I thought I'd share with our readers. It is one of those pretty basic things that we take for granted having worked with these systems day in and day out for years, but when you're new in the business it's an important question to ask.

One of the newer members of our sales team ran into an pharmaceutical application in which our customer was looking to seal a small (i.e.short) bottle with a 24mm closure. Very doable so far. He then added that the conveyor, conveyor belt and guide rails were all made of stainless steel. This is where we get a little more complicated.

The induction sealing process takes advantage of two things - an electromagnetic field and metal. Our Super Seal line of induction sealing systems create electromagnetic fields which then induce heat into the foil liner inside the cap. In turn this softens the polymer coating on the bottom side of the foil and ultimately it adheres to the container resulting in a hermetic seal.

In this instance the packager is also introducing three items (conveyor, belt & guiderails) that will also have heat induced into them via the electromagnetic field. Typically the conveyor and belt don't play too much of a role as they're far enough away from the sealing head. However, depending on installation the guide rails can at times interfere.

How do you get around this? A solution that tends to work well time after time is replacing the stainless steel guides with plastic guiderails underneath the sealer. You could simply remove the rails, but it is important to ensure your bottles are traveling down the center of the sealing head of your system so we typically recommend replacing them with plastic.

Thanks for the question Manish!

Posted: 10/23/2008 6:59:18 PM by Enercon Web Administrator

Wanted to share an interesting technology I ran across that uncovers detailed insight into how your product may be purchased. Real World Data – www.rwdsolutions.com – has been working with a number of major retailers to tap into their surveillance systems and instead monitoring for security they use the technology to conduct market research. Say you want to know more about the shopping behaviors of 35 year old mother of 2? Real World Data can bring that data to you and actually show you the demographics’ shopping behaviors.

They claim that retailers already understand 60% of all shoppers come to the store pre-disposed to buy something, but only 25% actually do. Needless to say increasing that conversion rate could have a huge impact on your revenue as manufacturer of consumer packaged goods. 

All this is indeed a bit scary, but all in all a very creative use of technology. What is your reaction to the technology as a consumer? Is this different when you consider it with your business hat on?

Posted: 10/15/2008 7:00:26 AM by Enercon Web Administrator

A few weeks back I was at an industry event of an organization I’m pretty active in and I have to admit I never thought I’d get excited about things in the packaging industry during my days at the University of Wisconsin, but its kinda cool as your career advances and you begin to identify with the challenges the industry faces. I wouldn’t say the challenges are necessarily that unique, but they have a twist of course that is created by the business we are involved in.
One of the topics that is undoubtedly hot today is sustainability and green initiatives. As an organization and industry we’ve been talking about these topics for a number of years. While it doesn’t seem to be as pervasive as it is in Europe, you can tell people are thinking about it. A couple years ago Method Products mainstreamed the idea of providing liquid laundry detergent in 2x or 3x concentrate. Why? It cuts down on resource consumption. Why ship around extra plastic and water?
Seems pretty logical doesn’t it? Before too long all the major consumer packaged goods companies have followed Method’s lead. Well, there are always implications. Our conversation turned to recyclability and one of the things that changed when this concentrated formula hit the market was the recyclability of the containers. Turns out these containers are composed of two types of plastic – one for the spout and another for the container itself. As the container shrank, the proportion of these two plastics changed & the amount of the more valuable plastic to recyclers shrunk.

What have your experiences been with shrinking packages? Do the benefits outweigh the loss in value to recyclers? How have you been working to shrink the size of your package and reduce your carbon footprint?

Posted: 10/10/2008 5:29:48 PM by Enercon Web Administrator