Pack Expo/FPME Preview

Sept. 21, 2004

Kicker: Show Preview???

Packaging, food machinery by the lake

Pack Expo, FPME at Chicago’s

McCormick Place
Nov. 7-11.

Don’t let your fear of brisk weather keep you away from the Windy City Nov. 7-11 when Chicago hosts Pack Expo International and the Food Processing Machinery Expo (formerly IEFP, now FPM).

This year’s co-located shows are sure to provide food and beverage manufacturers with the latest and greatest in packaging and processing technology. Pack Expo will showcase exhibitors’ advances in packaging machinery, converting machinery, materials, packages and containers, and components. FPM exhibitors will demonstrate processing equipment for the fruit and vegetable, beverage, canning/freezing, environmental, instrumentation, prepared foods, can making, meat, dairy and snack food industries.

These biennially co-located shows attract qualified buyers representing every market segment of the food industry from all corners of the U.S. More than 50,000 attendees are expected, including 6,000-plus international visitors from more than 75 countries.

What’s new at the show?

A lot is new. Many Pack Expo attendees will want to visit the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Pavilion, where total supply chain RFID solutions will be highlighted. RFID is the cutting edge of automatic identification and is driving critical changes in distribution and packaging. With that come new hurdles, new choices and new challenges. Included in the exhibits will be technologies to upgrade conventional lines into RFID-enabled packaging lines capable of applying multi-pack, case and pallet tags online; as well as advances designed to verify the presence of tags, write to the tags and validate data on the tags.

Another hot button will be addressed by the Packaging Security Resource Center, also new at this year’s show. The need to protect packaging and packaging operations against the threats of bioterrorism, counterfeiting and product adulteration is perhaps more real today than it has ever been before. The Packaging Security Resource Center brings together a select group of qualified security specialists, including professionals from leading packaging-security technology companies, service providers and government stakeholders, to provide guidance and answer your questions.

Food and beverage manufacturers will find inspiration for future product rollouts at the Showcase of Packaging Innovations. This pavilion features the year’s most innovative and award-winning package designs. Designs showcased include winners of the Clear Choice Awards, AmeriStar Awards and the National Paperboard Packaging Competition.

Both Pack Expo and FPM are running conferences on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. For Pack Expo, a complete program of topics and schedule can be found at Daily topics focus on RFID, operations, robotics, security, materials, containers, flexible packaging, plastics, closures and Electronic Product Codes (EPC). Some sessions are general information for all consumer goods, whereas others focus on specific segments, with one of those segments being food and beverage.

One of the “eye opener” sessions ( Monday) will be “The Hormel Foods Ingenuity Imperative: How and Why the Company Pushes for Product and Packaging Innovation,” by Hormel President/COO Jeff Ettinger.FPM’s conference is dedicated to food safety and sanitation with somewhat sequential sessions   Monday through Wednesday. Details can be found at For example, Monday morning’s “Trends in Sanitary Equipment Design: Principles & Practices” will explore how food manufacturers and equipment manufacturers can successfully work together to conduct risk assessment and decide hygienic requirements for improved and cost-effective food processing equipment. It will include identifying the relevant hazards (microbiological, chemical and physical) associated with the products produced and determining the design methods/measures that can eliminate hazards or reduce their risk. The second seminar runs on Tuesday and focuses on “Advances in Equipment Cleaning and Sanitation Technology.” The FPM conference wraps on Wednesday with “Effective Sanitary Facility Design for the Food Processing Plant.”Make a little time for play

Now, don’t forget, conference organizers pick Chicago as the host city because they are confident everyone will find something to do when the show floor closes. There are a few things new to the Windy City that are definitely worth exploring, particularly since the wind will have died down, as election day was a few days before the conferences kicked off.

Chicago’s newest attraction is located downtown on

Michigan Avenue
between Randolph and Monroe Streets, just about two miles north of
McCormick Place
. The new Millennium Park is a showplace for world-class art, music, architecture and landscape design. Depending on the weather, one can stroll the park, dine alfresco, enjoy a free concert or ice skate. Or, simply sit on a bench, watch people go by and digest all the brilliant information and ideas collected at Pack Expo and FPM Expo.

Show Hours (both):

Sunday-Wednesday (Nov. 7-10) Thursday (Nov. 11)

Conference Hours:

Pack Expo -- Monday-Wednesday Food Processing Machinery -- Monday-Wednesday

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