Keep It Fresh: Produce Packaging in the 21st Century

Produce is one of the first food groups people think of when food packaging is mentioned. Fruits and vegetables are difficult to keep fresh unless you have the correct materials and know about proper storage.

Produce Packaging Needs

Organic foods have been increasing in popularity over the last two decades. Experts believe that between 2013 and 2018, the market for organic foods will rise an additional 14 percent. However, foods grown free of preservatives and without genetic assistance have shorter shelf lives and can lose taste more easily during transportation. They have less fungal and bacterial resistance, which can cause mold to form before products even arrive at stores.

Packaging needs to address these concerns—some of which are airborne. Plastic containers may prevent new microorganisms from compromising food products, but unless they are tightly-sealed in a vacuumed package, microorganisms are locked in with the food when sealed.

Packaging and transportation also have to meet USDA standards. Currently, there are 166 standards for 86 different kinds of produce and related food commodities. These standards check for decay, defects, dirt and contamination, firmness of the product, size, color and other qualifications based on produce type.

Sustainable Packaging

High Performance Packaging excels at meeting food transportation needs. We use a cold pasteurization technique that utilizes extremely high hydrostatic pressure. The pressure is applied over a short period of time. The procedure is environmentally friendly, does not change the nature of the food or add additional chemicals, and prolongs the lifespan of produce and the essential vitamins within the food.

The high pressure kills bacteria with an effectiveness usually reserved for high temperatures and chemicals. However, chemicals compromise the organic label and are unsafe for consumers, and high temperatures can break down food quality.

The HPP process also extends extra convenience to consumers. Ready-to-eat meals can be stored with greater freshness, and produce will last longer in the fridge, lowering the money spent each month on rotten or spoiled food.

The High Performance Packaging Advantage

The goal of High Performance Packaging is to work with food producers to meet the rising demand for nutritious and organic foods that lack additives and stay fresh for taste. For more information on how we can help with your food packaging needs, please contact us today.

Packaging Solutions for Electronic Devices: 5 Tips for a Perfect Package

If you are reading this from your computer, there is a good chance your cell phone is sitting next to the keyboard. If you live in the United States, there is a 56 percent chance your home includes a gaming console. In Britain, that number rises to 80 percent. Electronics are ubiquitous. They pervade every aspect of our daily lives.

Electronics are also delicate. Shipping and protecting electronics requires taking many different factors into account. To deliver the perfect package, all those specifications need to be addressed.

  • Theft Protection. Quality packaging is not just about shipping. Retailers that offer electronics enjoy additional packaging protections because video games, SD cards and cameras are small and easy to steal. Without cumbersome packaging, they lay flat against your chest. Some retailers require magnetic strips or other alarm-compliant features. Meeting with the retailer to understand their needs is the best way to responsibly address their approach to theft protection.
  • Double Over. Double over packaging is the practice of placing a box within a box. This will protect the most sensitive devices. The first box should be packed tightly to correct product shifts in transit.
  • Protect the On Button. A tablet or phone that turns on during an airplane flight will generate a lot of heat. Excessive heat on a long flight may lead to a shorted product or a cabin fire.
  • Follow Safety Regulations. Items shipping internationally are subject to a variety of packaging laws, especially with more volatile products like batteries. Ensure total compliance with the laws for a successful transit.
  • Shield Electronics. Changes in temperature, air pressure and humidity can seriously damage electronics. Static electricity can easily build with enough friction and air pressure changes. Airtight packaging protects against oxidation in humid climates and provides dust protection from loose particles that can compromise device efficiency. Some electronics are light-sensitive, but with opaque, sealed packaging, most environmental problems can be eliminated.

High Performance Packaging works closely with clients to meet their needs by utilizing MultiVac methods in innovative ways. They have shielded packaging for electronics and offer theft protection and package tracking so clients can safely deliver their products.

The Medical Professional’s Guide to Packaging Equipment

The medical profession involves several instruments, machines, and tools that must be packaged carefully to serve personnel and patients. Safeguarding equipment sterility is of the utmost importance. Medical products and medications have especially stringent packaging requirements.

Quality packaging should deliver a complete order without complications, be ready for storage, and meet all regulatory requirements. High Performance Packaging’s MultiVac packaging is one of the medical field’s top choices for a number of reasons:

  • Clinical Trials. Sometimes clinical trials require individual attention to each of the study’s participants. Labeling, package content and clean equipment are very important, especially in double-blind studies.
  • Medications and Supplements. Lifestyle products, like supplements and medications, need to remain fresh yet easily accessible. Pain medications can be abused, or the medicine can be compromised. MultiVac ensures these issues can be prevented. With clearly written labels and individual wrapping, portions can be controlled by patients or their caretakers.
  • Vials, liquids and ampoules are often very sensitive to a variety of outside sources. For instance, many medicines need to avoid light exposure, otherwise they break down.
  • Sterilization Control. MultiVac packaging keeps devices sterile and ready for immediate use. Sterile products allow for medical vending options, too. Vending machines are excellent for inventory control, but without a guarantee that the product’s quality will be safeguarded, they are unreliable.
  • Safeguarding Diagnostic Products. Doctors and nurses expect tests to be extremely accurate; otherwise their diagnosis might be incorrect. Diagnostic equipment needs to remain precise. MultiVac ensures proper handling of the manufacturer’s product.
  • Transportation Protection. Catheters, needles and sensitive electronics are all susceptible to damage during transport. Improperly sealed equipment may not calibrate correctly or might be broken upon arrival.
  • A number of products are needed to keep hospitals and other medical facilities running smoothly, so the transition between transportation and storage should be quick and easy. With proper labeling and organization, you can save precious man-hours that would otherwise be spent carefully sorting incoming materials.

MultiVac can meet custom packaging needs to give the medical field an edge. High Performance Packaging works to pinpoint the essential parameters around your product needs to design safe and reliable packaging solutions. We handle individual wrapping, multi-component products, diagnostic kits, pharmaceuticals and more.

High Performance Packaging’s Guide to Buying Used Packaging Equipment

Buying used rather than new packaging equipment is an excellent business decision. It saves on overhead costs and is also environmentally friendly—a big plus for many consumers. However, there are always risks when buying used equipment. How can you ensure your used packaging equipment is up to the standards you expect?

There’s a right way and a wrong way to buy used packaging equipment. High Performance Packaging offers only the best in used packaging equipment—and here’s how you can tell.

Look at the company’s reputation

How long have they been in business? How many clients do they service? Do they offer services to ensure the quality of their used products? A company that can demonstrate expertise, customer service, and product quality through maintenance programs will likely be a good used equipment dealer. Ask references for information about timeliness, customer service quality, and overall satisfaction levels to back up a company’s claim before making the decision to purchase.

Are the prices competitive?

There are several used packaging equipment companies vying for your attention. Making the decision to buy used packaging equipment can often save your company hundreds or thousands of dollars when compared to new technologies. Look around at what competitors are offering to determine the average price for a piece of equipment. Once you’ve verified the price range, choose a company whose service you can depend on if your equipment malfunctions or something goes wrong.

Look for value adds

Companies that guarantee their products or services, provide maintenance and parts, and offer training programs for clients are offering far more than used equipment. They are offering a relationship to improve your work processes and gain future business. Companies that only act as a vendor may not support the products they sell or understand how the equipment should work.

A vendor that supports your packaging processes will provide assurance that your investment in their products and services meets your needs now and in the future.

Buying used equipment for your company can be a risk when you buy from the wrong vendor. High Performance Packaging takes the danger out of used equipment. With our help, you can make an economical, high quality choice for your packaging. Contact High Performance Packaging today to learn more about our used equipment and other offerings.

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6 Considerations When Buying V Blenders

Buying Used V Blenders

When manufacturers need to mass produce spice blends, dry food ingredients or other flavoring combinations, they generally turn to a cross flow blender. These sturdy machines are used in the food and agriculture industry, and save time by processing dry substances together for packaging.

The V blenders are power-driven v-shaped blending machines that are suspended in between stainless steel supports. Most machines include a starter box and one or two levels of power. The blender is rotated once, filled with ingredients to mix, and then leaves the blending machine through a singular outlet.

Considerations

Here are some considerations to keep in mind when you’re planning to purchase a V blender.

  1. Are you mixing powders or granules? These machines work well for dry goods and minimize the amount of dust or particulates that are thrown into the air in other blending processes.
  2. How much processing capacity do you need? V blenders come in a variety of different sizes to suit different industry needs, and you’ll need to estimate the amount of goods you’ll want to process per batch to determine the carrying capacity of the machine you need.
  3. Is it easily modified or disassembled for maintenance? V blenders that get backed up can cost your company time and money on the manufacturing floor. Make sure that the blender can easily be cleaned out if there is a backup to minimize the likelihood of needing to stop production for de-agglomeration.
  4. New or used? In most cases, a company can buy used processing machinery with no problem. In fact, companies like High Performance Packaging supports the quality of every used item we sell by offering extensive maintenance programs and ensuring our clients that equipment is up to standards before we sell.
  5. Do you need additional safety support? Some V blenders that are going to be placed in a heavily traveled workspace may need to be surrounded by safety railings. These may be attached after machine purchase or may be included with your equipment purchase.
  6. Do you need an intensifier bar? Some portable V blenders include an intensifier bar, which will speed up the processing time. Others may be fitted with the bar as a processing solution. Determine whether this feature is something that your company will need.

No matter how you plan to use your V blender, High Performance Packaging can help. Contact us today to learn more.

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Boosting Employee Productivity with Training

Keep Your Employees Motivated with These Training Tips
Providing employees with comprehensive training is more than a great way to boost your bottom line. It is true that you will likely enjoy increased productivity and higher profit margins by adequately training your employees, but it is also vital for safety. Workers who haven’t been trained on industrial machinery may make mistakes that could cost a company time and lead to legal action. An ounce of training is worth the expense when considering how much it can save in the end.

Tips for Training

Because of the expense of the product, it’s important to weigh your pros and cons. Here are some tips for packaging equipment training to make the most out of your packaging process.

  1. Onsite vs. classroom – Offering onsite training classes can often be far more beneficial than a classroom setting with documentation. Practical knowledge is what will drive competence and safety in the workplace. Ensure that all employees who will be working with a piece of equipment have a thorough understanding of its operation.

    Often, a combination classroom/onsite training class will be the best solution for your workers. The classroom will impart vital knowledge about equipment components, maintenance and safety procedures while an onsite demonstration will solidify that knowledge in trainee minds.
  1. Cross training – Making sure your manufacturing employees have a good understanding of several business processes protects the integrity of line times. If you can manipulate your line workers for different tasks, management won’t have to worry as much if someone has a sick day or is injured on the job. There will likely be someone available who can take over and continue.
  1. Metrics – When you begin any packaging equipment training program, make sure that you have some base numbers that you can compare after the training program. The only way to continually improve your process and become more efficient is to repeatedly analyze and change.
  1. Train your trainers – Your workers will only be as qualified as your trainers, so making sure that your trainers know your processes, equipment and training techniques will ensure that your workers receive the information needed for working.

High Performance Packaging offers a complete onsite training program to improve work processes and protect your bottom line.

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Choosing the Best Packaging Machinery for Your Food Products

When your company is selling and shipping food, packaging is one of the most important parts of your product. Shipping food when its packaging has been damaged can cause health problems for those who purchase it—and this can mean expensive legal trouble for your company.

The packaging machine that is used also makes a difference in the quality of the product and the integrity of the packaging. There are several different types of food packaging machines that are responsible for filling and sealing everything that you see on store shelves from cereal to flour and juice.

Here is an overview of the two basic types of machinery used in many food packaging designs.

VFFS (Vertical Form Fill Seal)

VFFS equipment allows for product to be fed into a packaging design to a certain predetermined level after which, it will seal the packaging. Regardless of your sealing needs, many brands of these machines have changeover parts or settings that allows for multiple settings to be managed by a manufacturing facility. If you’ve ever opened a bag of potato chips, chances are it was filled and sealed with VFFS equipment. The machinery is a staple in the food industry for dry goods, frozen foods, coffees, teas and more.

HFFS (Horizontal Form Fill Seal)

These machines are used in a variety of industries, but in the food industry, they are particularly useful for packaging horizontally sealed products. These items could include cookies, hamburgers and other foods that need to be thermoformed (heating plastic to meet the needs of the packaging design). These machines are also useful in creating blister packs for spices and other dry goods packaged in single serving trays.

Benefits of Used Equipment

Depending on your needs, there is a VFFS or HFFS machine out there to fill them. Buy used packaging equipment to save money while increasing your bottom line quickly. Used equipment that has been refurbished will have passed rigorous inspections to ensure the quality is on the level of the best machinery in the industry. A few companies, like High Performance Packaging, will also offer a competitive maintenance program to ensure the quality of your purchase.

Whatever your package machinery needs, High Performance Packaging can help. Our experts can assist you picking the perfect equipment for your food product. Contact us today to learn more.

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Finding the Right Packaging Material for Your Product

Outsourcing your packaging material provider and used packaging equipment company may cause finger pointing if there is a problem on the line. To eliminate that problem and create a more streamlined experience for clients, High Performance Packaging provides packaging materials and used equipment for food and non-food packaging clients. We have a long history of finding the right kind of material to work well with many brands of machinery, and can help you find the right solution for your product.

Whether you need to package coffee, snacks, meat, pet food, soap, or another product, we offer support, products and used equipment to improve your return on investment with every order.

Packaging Materials

Think about these packaging material considerations the next time you have a product going to market:

  1. Review regulations. Depending on where your product will be marketed, you may need to check on the regulations of selling in different states and countries. You may need to package your product in a different way to account for different placement regions or have multiple packaging materials to cover regulation needs.
  1. Consider transportation. However you decide to package your product, it will need to withstand travel. Make sure your packaging material will protect your product from the environment, physical handling, and re-handling. Shrink wrapping pallets is a advisable option to reduce damage to goods in transit.
  1. Think about the product. Food may have refrigeration needs or need to be at room temperature and away from extreme heat to remain viable. Pharmaceuticals may also require special packaging. Think about all of the environmental factors that might affect the quality of your product. If it is sensitive to light, you may need a packaging material that is opaque rather than translucent.
  1. Consider the design. Having a design that is classic and evergreen will save you money in the long run. Reusable and recyclable packaging is even better, as it is a sustainable and environmentally friendly choice.
  1. Prevent diversion. Diversion is when a product ends up in an unauthorized store. Implementing bar codes and tracking devices into your packaging design can help your company keep track of your products as they reach the market.

Contact High Performance Packaging today for more information about the packaging materials we provide and our solutions for your used packaging equipment needs.

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Comparing Cartoning Equipment Brands

Cartoning machines are a vital part of packaging operations that fold cartons out of cardboard and other materials and fill them with a product before it is brought to market. Cartoners are used for dairy and milk-substitutes, cosmetics, medicine and more.

In general, they work by expanding a folded carton, filling it with a loose or prepackaged item and applying glue to seal flaps over a filled carton. High Performance Packaging technicians are familiar with operating a variety of brands:

ADCO

ADCO cartoners are available in a range of styles, from hand-loaded options to solutions that are automatically driven and feature touch screen controls and onboard diagnostics. The company started its first cartoner option in 1958 and now offers a wide range of horizontal and vertical end load cartoners. The company specializes in equipment for a range of industries, including food, personal care and cosmetics. They offer more horizontal end load cartoners than vertical.

PMI

PMI Cartoning was formed in 1993 by Branko Tisma, a lifelong worker in the packaging machine industry. They carry vertical and horizontal cartoning equipment and also work with food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries. Companies like Kraft and Hershey and smaller, family owned companies use PMI cartoning equipment in their day-to-day operations.

Clybourn

Clybourn Cartoner Co. equipment is built for industrial and consumer products. The company is focused on providing equipment that is reliable and durable. They also stock replacement parts for vintage equipment dating back to the 1960s. If you’ve got a Clybourn, it’s likely you’ll be able to find replacement parts and keep it working for many years regardless of its age.

Yeaman

Yeaman Machine Technologies has been working with packaging automation for more than 30 years and works primarily in cartoning for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. They offer horizontal and vertical cartoners that are modular to allow for future product changes.

Scandia

Scandia Packaging Equipment creates cartoners for the entertainment, pharmaceutical, food, beverage, and cosmetic industries. Its many models are created specifically for certain industry needs. For instance, its Compact Intermittent Motion Cartoner is used for smaller items associated with the tobacco, cosmetics, healthcare, and pharmaceutical industries. Their cartoners are available in a range of options, from hand loading to automatic and high speed cartoners.

Contact High Performance Packaging for more information about the used packaging equipment brands we sell, maintain and buy.

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High Performance Packaging’s PEAK Program

“Capture the PEAK” is our saying for ensuring overall equipment effectiveness over time. We partner with every customer we have to ensure our equipment delivers high quality yields with fewer issues over time. Your OEE line improvement metrics of availability, performance, and quality will increase when you work through our PEAK program.

PEAK stands for Packaging Excellence Achievement Know-how to provide you with the up-to-date knowledge and skill set your company needs to get the most out of your packaging equipment training. Whether you’re a machine operator or maintenance personnel, this customized packaging equipment training program is worth its salt.

PEAK Program Steps

The program features three steps to increase ROI (return on investment) in a measurable way. We can accomplish this by working with you to develop strategies to reduce downtime due to equipment failures and malfunctions, cost overruns, and inefficiencies.

Step 1 We work with you to evaluate the total packaging operation. We assess everything from your personnel, product, equipment and current processes. In this initial step, we take the time to recognize shortcomings and do some brainstorming to get to the root of your productivity problems.

Step 2 We help you prepare for the implementation of new strategies for performance enhancement. Our job is to help you find solutions by improving packaging efficiency, product quality, and asset utilization, and teaching shop floor staff necessary skills.

Step 3 At this point, we work with you to implement the changes discussed in the first two steps and measure the performance against baseline numbers. Any extra optimizations that need to be tweaked will be addressed before we leave.

The program may take a few weeks or a few months to complete, depending on your company’s size. We work alongside you every step of the way to ensure quality, skills, and standards are being met to improve your OEE metrics in a measurable way.

After the Program

Upon completion of the PEAK program, High Performance Packaging will continue to work with your company to provide the necessary ongoing training and preventative maintenance for your personnel and equipment. We will cycle through the PEAK process as needed in the future to provide continual optimization and help you buy used packaging machines in the future as your company grows.

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