As PACK EXPO Las Vegas celebrated its 20th anniversary at this year’s show, owner and producer PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, Reston, Va., served up its largest Las Vegas event to date, with a 4% increase in attendance over the record PACK EXPO Las Vegas set in 2013.

This year, PACK EXPO Las Vegas, which took place Sept. 28-30 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and Pharma EXPO, produced in partnership by PMMI and the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE), Tampa, Fla., spanned over 800,000 net square feet of exhibit space and hosted over 2,000 exhibitors and 30,000 attendees from more than 40 vertical markets.

Here’s a rundown of newly introduced equipment, materials, technologies and solutions introduced at the show.


Key Technology, Walla Walla, Wash., introduced the all new VERYX digital sorting platform, a suite of belt-fed and chute-fed sorters that share a common user interface, ideal for sorting fresh, frozen and dried vegetables and fruits, processed potato products and more.

With unprecedented full object surface coverage, multi-sensor data fusion and high-resolution cameras and laser sensors, VERYX achieves new levels of detection and discrimination of foreign material and product defects. Advanced auto-learn, self-adjusting capabilities and recipe-driven operation offer extreme ease-of-use and an intuitive user experience.
The platform includes widths ranging from 700-2,100 mm for belt-fed and 700-1,400 mm for chute-fed configurations. On belt-fed systems, the bottom cameras are positioned away from product splatter to ensure the lower sensor windows are not obstructed by buildup over time. Also, a multi-sensor fusion is situated at the pixel level. This advanced feature integrates the input from multiple cameras and lasers in relation to each image pixel. Fusing sensor data at a pixel level maximizes the signal contrast for enhanced differentiation between good and bad objects to more accurately identify and remove subtle product defects and challenging FM types.
With up to 4 channels of information from cameras and up to 8 channels of information from the laser scanner, combined with advanced LED lighting, this product separation/ejection system can be tailored to each product application, with the distance between nozzles and the power of the valves varying for optimal management of the sort streams.
Smart features such as auto-learning, self-adjustment algorithms, predictive system diagnostics, smart alarms, FMAlert and Sort-to-Grade enable VERYX to operate virtually unattended during normal production. VERYX is also equipped with an intuitive new user interface that provides different views to users of various levels, depending on their needs. Recipe-driven operation ensures customers can count on consistent performance day in, day out, including running the same product across multiple sorters in different lines or locations.
VERYX also features Key’s information analytics, a set of data acquisition and connectivity capabilities that allow users to gather a broad range of product and operational data from the sorter.  

Key Technology, Inc.



Heat and Control, Inc., Hayward, Calif., displayed a range of equipment for weighing, packaging, product inspection, seasoning application, controls and food processing.

For weighing, it exhibited the Ishida CCW-RV-214W-1S/70-WP-OF waterproof open frame weigher with the rotary salad sweeper infeed system, as well as the Ishida CCW-RV-214W-1S/005-L1 Micro small target weigher, Ishida CCW-RVE-214W-1S/30-WP waterproof weigher and the Ishida CCW-SE-214-CTS economy weigher.

For packaging, it displayed the Ishida QX-775 Flex tray sealer and Ishida Flexible Strip Pack Applicator.

The Ishida IX-G2-4027 dual sensor X-ray inspection system, Ishida DACS-G-S015-24-SS-M checkweigher with integrated CEIA metal detector and RE-G-015-J3-SS rejector showcased product inspection of refrigerated and frozen foods. Other product inspection machinery on display included CEIA THS/RB with SL21E Slim Line metal detector, Ishida DACS-G-060-45-CR-1 checkweigher, CEIA THS/RB with SLMS21 Slim Line metal detector, CEIA THS/MS21 multi-spectrum metal detector on MBB conveyor, CEIA THS/FFV21-S-150 metal detector for powder and granular products and CEIA THS/PLVMS21-75 metal detector for pumped meat products.

For conveying, seasoning application and food processing, Heat and Control showcased the FastBack conveyor system with revolution mid-gates, control and information systems display, complete food processing systems display and a 2-stage coating system from Spray Dynamics, which Heat and Control acquired in November 2011.

Heat and Control, Inc.



Graco, North Canton, Ohio, highlighted its new InvisiPac GM100 Plug-Free hot melt applicator and LineSite remote monitoring solution.

The GM100 fits into tight spaces and mounts into existing packaging lines currently using competitive alternatives. Ideal for original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and end user packaging equipment for the food and beverage industry, the GM100 warms up in less than 10 minutes, and operates at up to 10,000 cycles per minute. Plus, this applicator features an innovative, patent-pending module tip filter that eliminates nozzle plugging to guarantee more uptime.

Meanwhile, LineSite boosts production in packaging industry applications through remote system monitoring. Designed for use with the InvisiPac system, LineSite lets users take control of hot melt dispensing equipment, keeping them in touch with operations by viewing the status of hot melt machines on the plant floor from a smartphone, tablet or computer. With LineSite, operators can observe real-time performance and system parameters such as temperatures, critical performance metrics, adhesive usage and machine diagnostics. Email notifications are sent when alarms or system setup changes occur, allowing users to respond immediately to potential faults and diagnose them remotely.




JLS Automation, York, Pa., launched the Osprey CL automatic chub loader, which features single or dual ABB IRB 360 FlexPicker robots, boasts a small footprint and produces speeds ranging from 125-200 chubs per minute, depending on chub size, weight and pack pattern.

The CL utilizes the full capabilities of the ABB robot(s) to remove complexities found in other pick-and-place, gantry and wrap-around case packers. Features include:

  • Simple product handling. Use of special V-TRACK pick conveyor to eliminate rolling during picking.
  • Simple end-of-arm tooling. Lightweight, changes quickly without tools, cleans easily and features Vacuum On Board, which facilitates high-speed vacuum generation without external pump or blower.
  • Simple case handling. Flight-free conveyor design allows continuous motion case transport without constant start/stop.
  • High sanitary design. Stainless-steel round tube construction, continuous welds, NEMA 4X rating.
  • Modular system design. Case packing, erecting and sealing are all decoupled, allowing for maximum system flexibility.
  • Extremely fast changeovers. Simply change a recipe, adjust the case guide rails and change the end-of-arm tool.

The CL handles chub packs ranging from 2- to 4.5-inch diameter, 4- to 24-inch length and weights from 8 ounces up to 10 pounds. Applications include ground beef, turkey, chicken, pork or sausage, cookie dough, sauerkraut, chili, liver sausage, polenta, meatloaf and more.

JLS Automation



Presto Products Co., Appleton, Wis., launched a new zipper tape to help manufacturers of individual-quick frozen (IQF) foods improve line efficiencies. Featuring resealable, press-to-close technology, this zipper tape is specially designed for unsupported poly-bag applications on vertical form-fill-seal machinery. The new zipper tape offers a scored tear-off option for improved barrier protection during shipping. Created with an extruded die-line, this tear-off option better protects against particles and potential contaminants.

Presto also showcased its recently launched CHILD-GUARD and Click ‘N Lock innovations in addition to its full range of Slid-Rite and Fresh-Lock offerings. The CHILD-GUARD child-resistant slider meets the standards required for listing on the ASTM D3475 index, allowing regulated brand owners to leverage flexible packaging with a lighter-weight and more compact alternative to rigid formats. To reassure consumers of a secure seal, the Click ‘N Lock PTC double zipper delivers pronounced audible and tactile cues that can be heard and felt when closing the package for a multi-sensory user experience.

Presto Products Co.



NJM Packaging, Lebanon, Ohio, introduced the redesigned beltorque high-speed capper, equipped with a new servo-driven, patent-pending cap elevator-feeder, which features adjustable cleats and indexes on demand.

The in-line beltorque caps up to 300 bottles per minute with simple mechanics, fast changeovers and low maintenance.

This 2-station capper-torquer uses two pairs of belts to gently rotate and tighten caps. Using patented technology, one drive synchronizes the linear displacement speed of the container with the rotating speed of the closure, even when the cap stops turning. This design maximizes product quality by eliminating damage to the cap knurling and cap finish. It also minimizes slippage to achieve more consistent torque values, which prevents leakers and reduces rework associated with out-of-tolerance rejects.
The beltorque capper handles round, oval, square and rectangular bottles made of plastic or glass from 2 to 12 inches in height and from 0.5 to 7 inches in diameter. Beltorque can orient and place challenging flip-top screw caps as well as gear-shaped and rubberized arthritis screw caps, snap-caps and traditional caps, without damaging the cap surface.
An optional torque reader measures applied torque and triggers a reject device to remove capped bottles that are under and over the thresholds set for any given cap. This unique feature displays the applied torque of each capped bottle and the history of the last 30 containers on the touchscreen control panel. An optional cap inspection station identifies skewed or missing caps, missing foil and fallen bottles and triggers the reject device.  
NJM Packaging