With nearly one-third of the nation’s top CPGs located within 200 miles of Philadelphia, Pa., the Northeastern United States is a critical center of manufacturing. Meanwhile, the significant growth of the region’s dairies continues to add to the momentum; case in point, dairy manufacturers in the state produced 16% of U.S. yogurt in 2013, amounting to 741 million pounds.

All of this activity makes the Northeast an ideal—yet, according to recent surveys of East Coast customers—underserved market for the presentation of manufacturing innovation and educational opportunities.

That’s why, PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, Reston, Va., will fill the void with the introduction of PACK EXPO East, scheduled for Feb. 16-18 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

PACK EXPO East will be a resource for refrigerated and frozen foods brands, processors and packagers to find the latest solutions and insights for improving the sustainability, efficiency, productivity and security of the manufacturing supply chain. This show will also offer several features to guide attendees to the suppliers and information they need:

For example, the Innovation Stage (Booth #696) will be home to educational talks on breakthrough technologies and techniques. Presented by the industry’s leading companies, these free 30-minute seminars are located on the show floor.

The Education Pavilion (Booth #697) will serve as a convenient source of information on industry-related training, certificate and degree programs. Staffed by representatives from colleges and universities as well as PMMI, this feature will also provide opportunities to learn about PMMI’s educational offerings, including Mechatronics Certificate Tests and the PMMI Certified Trainer Program.

The Packaging Design Studio (Booth #1067), presented by Rutgers University’s Packaging Engineering Program, will bring the future of packaging. Attendees can see and interact with innovative packaging prototypes, automated loading and unloading systems and a custom-order snack mix production machine, all designed by students of this elite program.

The Manufacturing Solutions Conference Program, organized by the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE), Tampa, Fla., (Booth #997), will present best practices in manufacturing operations, new technologies and tools for regulating compliance, as well as advances in pharma-centric packaging. (Separate registration fees apply).

In addition, PACK EXPO East will feature aisles of new innovations from suppliers of processing and packaging technologies. Here is a sneak peek of new solutions you can expect to see at the show:

New robotic system maximizes efficiency, speed and flexibility
ADCO Manufacturing, Sanger, Calif., (Booth # 1227) will showcase its complete top-load cartoning system, featuring the RTL-2x two-axis robotic carton loader. The system can run a variety of package sizes and styles at up to 400 packages per minute for applications such as frozen meats, dairy and baked goods in trays, flow-wrapped products. The high-speed parallel kinematic robot design is also said to maximize flexibility, enhance output and reduce maintenance for food manufacturers, with a smaller open footprint and full stainless construction for easy sanitation. Paired with the RTL-2x, the InterACT intuitive machine interface with online documentation reduces training time and smooths integration through its industry standard motion controls.

Pouches for productivity
PPi Technologies Group, Sarasota, Fla., will showcase two innovative pouch technologies at Booth #1015. The first is the PPi SN Junior form-fill-seal machine, which produces stand-up pouches with recloseable zippers. This technology provides flexibility in size and enables rapid changeover using EZ Change cassettes for higher productivity and operational efficiency.

PPi will also exhibit its PSG LEE pre-made pouch fill-seal machine, which features a human machine interface (HMI) with a touchscreen. A MAP system is also available for these fill-and-seal machines, ensuring that products stay fresh longer by preventing air leakage. For quality assurance checks at the end of the line, PPi utilizes a Xavis X-ray machine capable of counting and weighing pouches.

Keep it fresh—and green
Fres-co System USA, Telford, Pa., (Booth #651) will employ state-of-the-art visual technology to display a variety of sustainable solutions. Fres-co will showcase samples of a technology that can decrease customers’ fuel consumption by replacing traditional fiber drum packaging with flexible packages. This solution, known as the Termalock industrial sealer, along with other Fres-co technologies, are said to reduce costs and substantially improve profit margins.

To register for PACK EXPO East 2015, visit www.packexpoeast.com.