Most of that growth came from U.S. sales, estimated at $5.098 billion or roughly 83% of the total.

Domestic customers added or upgraded packaging machinery to lower manufacturing labor costs and improve productivity. Export shipments, hampered by rising foreign competition, reached an estimated $1.012 billion, up just 0.5% from 2005. By year-end, the U.S. backlog for packaging machinery orders stood at roughly $1.8 billion, an increase of nearly 25% over 2005.

Such news bodes well for the Pack Expo show, which kicks off at the Las Vegas Convention Center Monday, October 15 and runs through Wednesday, October 17. Pack Expo will focus on the latest developments in packaging technology, presenting state-of-the art advances in packaging machinery, converting machinery, and packaging materials.

Expo attendees will represent food, beverage, and wine; bakery and snack; cosmetics and toiletries; dairy; pharmaceutical, medical, and chemical; candy and confection; raw materials; paper and textiles; electronics; computer hardware/software; entertainment; soaps and deodorants; and many more industry end users.

This year a Contract Packaging Pavilion houses special services, packaging formats, and machinery. The RFID Pavilion features radio- frequency-identification exhibitors to help businesses integrate packaging operations. A Showcase of Packaging Innovations features innovative package designs, and honors best-in-class consumer packages, designed, developed, or executed by Pack Expo exhibitors.

Process Expo, which focuses on the latest in food and beverage processing, will collocate with Pack Expo, as will the Converting & Packaging Printing (CPP) Expo. CPP Expo showcases the latest in printing, coating, slitting, and other state-of-the-art finishing processes. Over 2,800 converting professionals and nearly 250 exhibiting companies attended CPP Expo in 2005.

New this year, the International Bottled Water Association’s (IBWA) Convention and Tabletop Trade Show joins Pack Expo. The convention provides a seminar program covering technologies, processes, marketing and sales techniques, and industry trends. The IBWA convention runs from October 15 to 19 in the Las Vegas Hilton, which is connected to the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Attend our session at Pack Expo

MACHINE DESIGN Editor Leland Teschler will chair a session on E-machinery, Tuesday, Oct. 16. The event kicks of at 8:30 a.m. with B&R Industrial Automation’s Markus Sandhoefner discussing techniques for monitoring remote-packaging lines. Next up is Robert Bisbee from packaging-system supplier George Gordon Associates Inc., who will describe using the Ethernet to monitor multiple remote-packaging operations. Then, Mark Zelnick of plastic packaging-machinery specialist Zed Industries Inc. weighs the difference between job-site and off-site system controls. Wrapping up the morning, Jeff Suffet of laser/inkjet printing supplier Domino Amjet Inc. will discuss how E-machinery keeps operations running.