Newsletter – March 2019

Industrial Pack Heads for Atlanta

As thousands of industrial, protective and transit packaging buyers and suppliers begin to make preparations for the 2nd annual Industrial Pack trade event, running March 27-28, we take a look at what’s in store at the Cobb Galleria Centre, Atlanta.

Visitors can look forward to a trade show boasting 100 leading providers of packaging products and materials including many of the biggest names in the business: Greif, ILC Dover, Mauser, Shorr Packaging Corporation, Nefab, Signode, Tri-Sure and IPL to name but a few. Packaging formats on show will include drums and pails, IBCs, pallets, dunnage, corrugated board packaging, intelligent and smart packaging as well as recycling, reusables and testing services.

A highlight for many will be the Industrial Pack Conference. Running over the two days of the show, the free-to-attend conference addresses a host of subjects relevant to packaging buyers today. Among the speakers are Phil Carver, from Nissan, who will be talking about modular returnable packaging. The hot topics of augmented reality and digitally enhanced packaging will be discussed by teams from OneMagnify and Dream Syndicate. The Industrial Packaging State of the Nation address will be given by Kyle Stavig, CEO of Myers Container LLC and chairman of IPANA; while Paul Rankin, President of RIPA, shares the latest news from the reusables side of the industry. A number of technical presentations will focus on steel drums, composite IBCs, plastic drums, polyethylene manufacturing and rigid IBCs; and the tricky topic of managing emergency incidents will be presented by J. Aaron Montgomery, President of OURAY Environmental Services LLC. Visitors can check out the Industrial Pack website for the full conference program.

For those interested in seeing packaging truly in action, Pack Testing Live is a feature of the event which will see a number of companies put their packaging products through their paces in a live testing environment. From rough handling to drop tests, the feature will give visitors the chance to hear from experts explaining how and why the tests are executed, as well as watch them being performed.

In addition, Industrial Pack will also run alongside Design-2-Part which is the region’s largest sourcing event for engineers and buyers of custom parts, components, design, prototypes and assemblies. Industrial Pack show director Tim Rusbridge commented: “Having the two shows running side by side makes good sense. Manufacturing and packaging go hand in hand so now engineers can take stock of the latest innovations across both disciplines at one time and place.”

This month we’ve been talking to Troy Wood, packaging planning specialist at Volkswagen.

The biggest change I have seen in the packaging industry is the integration with automated industrial trucks

Tell us a little about your role at VW:

I am a packaging planning specialist in the logistics planning group at Volkswagen Chattanooga. My responsibilities include management of inbound parts, lean process improvement and supporting Volkswagen’s environmental goals. Additionally, I evaluate packaging to ensure it meets the needs of our production lines, warehousing and part suppliers. My objective is to find the best solution which also minimizes waste and energy consumption.

What will be your main focus for the year to come?

In the year to come, my main focus will be to continuously seek ways to improve the packaging of current parts and to explore new techniques to plan for future parts. Increasing pack density, implementing environmentally friendly dunnage and exploring container options may benefit the environment while also achieving our business goals.

What is the biggest change you have seen in the packaging industry in the last 3 years?

The biggest change I have seen in the packaging industry is the integration with automated industrial trucks. By automating the handling of containers, the risk of damage and the need for maintenance are both reduced, while also making it possible to clearly identify points of weakness in a process.

Which innovations do you see as setting the agenda in the years to come?

As we begin to prepare for electric vehicles, an essential innovation will be around the transportation of heavy parts with highly sensitive technical requirements. The weight of batteries, motors and chargers for electric vehicles is substantial and must be handled with specific conditions in mind. There is a need to reduce packaging development and manufacturing costs, which requires an evolution of the industry’s common standards and best practices.

What will be the focus of your visit to Industrial Pack?

I hope to see what progress the industry has made towards planning and development for the imminent increase in demand of electric vehicles. Electric mobility will impact the automotive industry on a significant scale. It is imperative that supporting industries, such as packaging, are prepared for the future.

With thanks to Troy and the VW team

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