Pack Expo International 2002, running Nov. 3 to 7 at Chicago's McCormick Place, showcases the latest in packaging machinery, converting machinery, materials, packages and containers, controls, software, components, fabrication, robotics, and design systems.

More than 50,000 attendees are expected at the exhibit and conference, including over 6,000 international visitors from more than 60 countries. Over 1,600 exhibitors represent a variety of industries, including food and beverage, dairy and meat, pharmaceutical and medical, chemical/household, computer, electronics, converting, volume printing, toys and games, aerospace, entertainment, private label, seafood, wineries, confectionery, bakery, and snack food.

The three-day conference portion includes three Eye Opener Plenary Sessions featuring representatives of Georgia-Pacific, Ernst & Young, WalMart Stores, General Mills, and Osram Sylvania. The Eye Opener Plenary Sessions are included at no additional charge to registrants of the Pack Expo conference. Show attendees not registered for the conference can still attend the sessions by registering online at www.packexpo.com and paying a $25/session fee.

Colocating with Pack Expo is the International Exposition for Food Processors, which will focus on new developments in processing technology for food and beverage manufacturers. Exhibitors will demonstrate stateof-the-art equipment in the fruit and vegetable, beverage, canning and freezing, environmental, instrumentation, prepared-foods, can-making, meat, dairy, and snack-food industries. Visitors can expect to see the latest in air and liquid handling, processing equipment, field equipment, cooling, and instruments and controls. The Processing Machinery & Supplies Association sponsors the event, which features more than 350 exhibitors.

The Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute sponsors and produces Pack Expo. Visit www.packexpo.com to learn more about the event.

BRANDED DIGITAL CASE PRINTERS

A line of branded digital case printers includes four models that print full graphics, in-spec bar codes, and human-readable text on corrugated shipping cases and multiwall paper bags. The Optimizer automates printing of flat RSC cases before they go to packing lines. It provides maximum output for just-in-time supplies of printed cases. The Maximizer offers the flexibility of printing flat cases, die cuts, sheets, and uncoated white or kraft paper bags. It produces resolution comparable to labels within a print area 32 in. long and 11 in. wide. Economizer is suitable for entry-level applications or low-volume short runs and uses an operator infeed system. The multipurpose machine prints on knock-down RSCs, trays, die-cut blanks, or multiwall kraft bags. The Sidewinder is designed to bring bar-coding applications on line. It mounts on either side of a conveyor and applies bar codes and text anywhere on filled and sealed cases as they head to a palletizer. The printers include formatting software for laying out print messages, including text, graphics, and bar codes, as well as a thermal imager for producing disposable print film.
Iconotech, Box 918, 1 Heritage Park Rd., Clinton, CT 06413, (800) 5210194, www.iconotech.com

BOTTLE CARRIERS

A line of bottle carriers includes single-beverage carriers for 1-gallon bottles, two-pack carriers for 64 and 96-oz bottles, three-pack carriers for 1 and 1.5-liter bottles, and four and six-pack carriers for various bottle and cap sizes. All the bottle carriers are available in any Pantone color to match color graphics. They have space for product stickers and can be supplied with printed UPC codes. Consumers can easily remove the handle, but it won't break if mishandled.

Also on display will be an automatic twin-pack carrier applicator that will be applying the firm's two-pack bottle-carrier handles to 64 and 96-oz juice bottles. A small footprint lets the applicator be easily integrated into a production line, with in-line speeds to 25 cases/min.

Roberts PolyPro Inc., 5416 Wyoming Ave., Charlotte, NC 28273, (704) 588-1794, www.robertspolypro.com

SHRINK-WRAPPING MACHINES

A line of cam-driven, continuous-motion tray wrappers features integrated tray stacking and turners. The system has a reciprocating cammotion seal system with a flight bar tray-pacing infeed for wrapping tray products consistently at 60 or more trays/min. The high-speed wrappers come with stainless washdown construction. Options include tray stackers and turners. In addition, the firm offers a new compact pharmaceutical shrink-wrapping system. It's a smaller version of the GR Series designed with a small footprint and wrapping capabilities to 50 multipacks/min. The new wrapper incorporates automatic container handling and grouping for multi-packs of small cartons or bottles. Also available is the SIF Series shrink-wrapping system, a compact system with automatic infeed designed for multipacks and tray packs. It's an intermittent-motion, horizontal form-fill-seal machine with an integrated wrapper and shrink tunnel. The SIF Series is available in stainless washdown construction. Two common applications are aseptic juice boxes and small pharmaceutical trays. The BL-60 model is a high-speed bottom-overlap system for tray wrapping with print registered film. The single-roll, overlap-seal technology offers high-speed shrink wrapping. The full line of shrink-wrapping systems includes sleeve wrappers, bundlers, multipacking, tray wrapping, and horizontal form-fill-seal.

Packaging Machines International Inc., 531 Bonnie Lane, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007, (847) 640-8451, www.pmi-intl.com

DURABLE STRETCH-WRAPPING MACHINE

Spectra is a high-performance, semiautomatic turntable stretch-wrapping machine with a rugged, formed steel frame. With motors, gearboxes, and electronics encased in a durable steel-mast enclosure, components are accessible, yet protected from hazards in industrial environments. It uses a maintenance-free belt for the film-carriage drive. Belt ascent and gravity descent of the film carriage reduces the chance of the carriage driving onto an object underneath it. The side-facing film carriage is designed to let operators safely change film rolls without stepping onto the machine between the carriage and the load. For added safety, the front of the carriage is covered to protect the roller area. The Spectra has a maximum load-weight capacity of 5,000 lb and can handle larger than normal pallet loads measuring up to 55 X 55 X 90 in. Automatic height sensing is standard, as well as a forklift portable base design for easy machine transport from both the front and rear of the machine. With a variable turntable rotation to 14 rpm, the Spectra can wrap up to 50 loads/hr. The turntable features an automatic chain tensioner, eliminating the need for periodic tensioning. A helical gear reducer drives the turntable, making the machine more resistant to damage from lift-truck bumps while the machine is being loaded. The turntable has a steel ring skirt that prevents turntable flexing should the wheel of a forklift drive onto it.

Orion Packaging Systems, 100 Crescent Dr., Collierville, TN 38017, (800) 333-6556, www.orionpackaging.com