Packaging Makes Perfect

It is inevitable that packaging is an important part of the coffee industry. How would you expect to get your beloved beans from the farmers and roasters or even consume the beverage at a cafe without it? The various farmers around the globe tend to their coffee trees day in and day out for the better part of the year and roasters strategically pick their beans to satisfy their consumers’ taste buds. Packaging is an essential factor in making sure that consumers everywhere receive their beans in their utmost freshest manner!

With the coffee industry constantly evolving, packaging evolves in a parallel fashion. We have reached out to the packaging specialists to see what is new in the packaging world to aid retailers, roasters, and allied vendors, and to make sure that they are getting the most out of their packaging choices!

Brand Your Product With Labeling
Labels are one of the best ways to brand your products and make a name for yourself. These are the tools you want to utilize to make your product stand out from the ones sitting next to it on the shelf. It is a good possibility that other companies are using the same or similar packages. Whether they are foil packages, plastic pouches, or paper cups, the one thing that is going to make a consumer pick up YOUR package, is the cool and unique label on yours!

Amber Jechort, Product Manager for Primera Technology, Inc. fills us in on a new trend for roasters. “Many roasters are now printing their own labels. Roasters may have seasonal flavors, need to customize the look and feel of the package for certain special occasions, or maybe just want to change the design they currently use.”

When roasters have the flexibility to only print the amount of labels that they need and print labels that are unique and special to their brand, it not only saves them money, but it also allows them to have free range to customize different labels. This means that they can print labels for special edition roasts, special events, and even for marketing campaigns.

Primera Technology is is one of the world’s leading developer and manufacturer of specialty printing equipment. Primera’s newest product is the AP550 Label Applicator, which is a semi-automatic applicator for a wide range of flat surfaces. This applicator also increases productivity by applying up to 500 labels per hour! For the larger companies, Primera also offers applicators that can apply up to 1200 labels per hour.

Jechort says, “The AP550 precisely applies product and identification labels onto surfaces such as tapered bottles, boxes, packages, bags, pouches, lids, tins and much more. Labels are applied straight without wrinkles and folds, giving products a highly professional look.”

For companies that are looking for a more minimalist look, there is a way for you to customize your packages, too! PBFY Flexible Packaging offers a foil stamp application service.

Joy Weedon, Director of Sales & Marketing for PBFY explains the process, “It’s a method of heat transferring foil ink onto the bag to create a unique look that will stand out on the shelf.” She continues, “Think of it as a high-quality rubber stamp or perhaps monogramming. It almost creates an embossed effect that can handle simple shapes and font styles.”

Most companies will incorporate this foil stamp printing process with their own sticker label to create a semi-custom printed bag. However, it is ideal for single color printing. The set up is quick and relatively inexpensive when you compare it to mass printing productions. The minimum order is only one case, so this process if very cost effective and gives you the wiggle room you’d like when trying out new products.

Weedon says, “This is also a great way to test out markets and play around with design without getting tied into a huge investment of a mass printed bag.”

LMI Packaging has emerged as a highly experienced manufacturer of brewable beverage lidding, which is key as the market for single serve is growing. With in-house technical engineering, material expertise, and graphic services, LMI Packaging will not only deliver a lid for your single-serve packages that will meet performance, but they will also be able to brand your product with their graphic capabilities.

Whether you are packaging hot or cold brewable beverages, LMI Packaging is dedicated to improving your operations and helping you to achieve all of your growth objectives. Their creative team will work with you to design your company’s package. You will be apart of the process from the beginning!

According to JP Moran, General Manager at LMI Packaging Solutions, “The single serve market is aggressively growing every day. To serve this market LMI Packaging not only looks to provide our customers with quality and reliable lidding, we also look to partner with them to understand and learn their business to provide innovative solutions that can help them grow now and into the future.”

As mentioned earlier, the actual package is an extremely important tool in the coffee world. It serves as an envelope to our beloved beverage and keeps it fresh for longer lasting good quality coffee. However, sometimes choosing a package that best suits your needs can be tricky. There are so many different choices when it comes to picking that package for the shelf. There are pouches, both stand up and flat with zip closures or folding closures, cups for both hot coffee and café snacks, and even bags of various sizes and shapes.

“In this day and age, effective branding can go a long way in establishing a business in customers’ minds and save a myriad of advertising dollars. No company or product will rise and fall on a name alone, branding and packaging in a competitive market can mean everything,” says Christian Aguinaldo, Visstun Marketing Manager.

Visstun offers reusable, top-shelf dishwasher safe clear and white plastic cups and containers. These reusable clear plastic containers are durable containers that are completely customizable with high definition full-color printing. These cups are great for any-time packaging needs, as well as promotional kits, which is extremely useful during the trade-show season!

Visstun also offers paper cups for snacks and disposable coffee cups, completely customizable for all of your needs. These products come in sixteen different sizes for different products, big and small.

Aguinaldo says, “At Visstun, we believe that a cup or container, whether it is reusable plastic or disposable paper, is an excellent way to promote your brand. Visstun’s unique approach to printing and manufacturing enables packaging of all sizes to create that big brand look that drives business and generates repeat customers.”

North Atlantic Specialty Bags offers a wide variety of different packages for all of your packaging needs. They strive to help you stay on the cutting edge by always looking for new items and exciting items. While they understand that details and services are important, North Atlantic Specialty Bags strives to be price competitive as well.

According to their website, their goals are to “Treat every Client big or small with the highest level of service and attention to detail possible, and to never lose sight of who our real boss is—the customer.”

North Atlantic Specialty Bags has many different options for their clients to choose from. These include, but are not limited to, a variety of stand up and flat pouches, side gusset foil bags, and four corner seal bags. Degassing valves are also available in a variety of styles to fit your specific needs.

Pack Plus offers perhaps, one of the most extensive line of packaging products dedicated to coffee in the industry today.

They offer bag sizes ranging from 1oz up to 40lb with the one-way degassing valve as an option. Their top selling product is the side-gusseted foil bags, offered in a variety of colors. When coffee is packed in these foil bags it ensures that freshly roasted coffee is protected from the key freshness killers: UV Light, oxygen, and moisture.

According to Pack Plus’ website, “Our exclusive Aroma pattern line features a pre-printed steaming cup design. Its decorative look makes it an eye-catching choice. Achieve a custom look and choose one of the bright colors available. Use it for sampling or for distinguishing each of your specialty flavors. Stand out from the rest and pack your coffee in one of our Aroma pattern bags!”

Degassing Valve
Fresh, great quality, and aromatic coffee is essential for roasters. This is exactly what consumers look for in their favorite cup of coffee. When the quality is consistent, consumers keep coming back for more. The degassing valve is a must-have in order to ensure this freshness.

PLITEK is excited to announce the launch of PV-25-FV, the only pressure sensitive one-way degassing valve with integrated filtering base. The design structure of this valve inhibits coffee grounds from entering the valve and interfering with its functionality. This new technology will aid roasters in preserving freshness of their ground and whole bean coffee. It is also adaptable to cups, cans, and a vast variety of bagged coffee. It is also important to note that PLITEK’s valves are transparent so it will not interfere with your package’s label.

Alma Likic, Marketing and Opportunity Development Specialist at PLITEK says, “PLITEK developed PLI-VALV PV-51 for fractional packages as well as proprietary K-Cup mini-valve. Both provide necessary one-way degassing benefits allowing roasters to preserve their coffee’s freshness and quality. Its compact design has all of the benefits of traditional size valves without the extra cost.”

PLITEK provides a complete system solution that includes both one-way degassing valves and valve applicators engineered to integrate with the roaster’s new or existing packaging machinery and is also introducing pre-oiled valves that will be available in early July. “Our engineers have worked very hard in developing these pre-oiled valves, and we are very excited to offer it soon,” says Likic.

Fres-co one-way degassing valve contributes to product freshness and preservation and palletization of bulk size and industrial bags. Originally developed for coffee, the one-way degassing valve allows CO2 to escape from the inside out. It also does not allow oxygen back into the package. For large bags, the valves allow air to escape from the bags during palletization. In return, this creates a compact and stable pallet load.

Their packaging machines can be customized so that fitments and degassing valves can be integrated to Fres-co 3 and 4-ply laminates on the run. Preserving original and fresh flavor for a long shelf life, Fres-co’s one-way degassing valve is known for its quality, reliability, and performance. It is a signature innovative item offered by Fres-co.

Packaging Machinery
“Flexicon has raised tubular cable conveying technology to new levels through numerous developments ranging from ultra-compact cable tensioners and adjustable material inlets, to highly reliable tubular discharge valves and drive systems, translating into higher productivity, uptime and profit for Roasters,” says David Boger, Vice President Global Business Development & Marketing at Flexicon Corporation.

New from Flexicon is an expanded line of FLEXI-DISC™ Tubular Cable Conveyors that gently transfers green, roasted, and ground coffee between bag dumping, bulk bag discharging, sorting, roasting, grinding, cooling, and packaging equipment.

The conveyors are offered with single or multiple inlets and outlets, and they are available engineered and integrated with new or existing upstream and downstream equipment manufactured by Flexicon and others including: bulk bag un-loaders, bulk bag fillers, weigh batching systems, packaging machines, and more. Since components of the system are modular, the system can be adapted to changing requirements.

GPI Solution is the USA agent for OPEM S.p.A, leader in research and development of packaging machines for dry products, and especially for the coffee industry.

They offer a wide range of automatic machines. These machines are specialized in weighing, dosing, and packaging products under atmosphere, modified atmosphere with inert gas, and under vacuum. They offer high performance vertical machines, vacuum packaging lines, and sever solutions for the single serve format, including pod and capsule packaging machines.

GPI Solution’s Special Projects Department specializes in the development of high-speed, high performance, and customization for all of your special packaging projects!

Cablevey Conveyors provides cost-effective and efficient solutions for automating the packaging process! Throughout the roasting facility, Cablevey can provide systems to move green coffee, whole bean coffee, ground coffee, and even flavored beans to the packaging system and for each process throughout the plant.

A key focus for Cablevey is to work closely with each (human) roaster, listen to their concerns and needs, and completely customize the system for their processing purposes. Karl Seidel, the Marketing Manager at Cablevey says, “Coffee is pretty stable in terms of how it moves from place to place. Roasters can choose packaging options because our systems are completely customizable and flexible to the individual needs of each roaster.”

MACTEC Packaging Technologies’ mission is to, “Provide the multifaceted market client with an innovative blister packaging solutions for their unit dose product. Their goals are to become truly a world class turn key resource for unit dose packaging.”

They have been focused in the development of state of the art small blister machines that are suitable for small-scale production. They take great pride in their versatility and creative unit dose solutions. A variety of different machines are offered by MACTEC to accommodate your production output.

As you can see, there is much more to packaging than just the pretty box and pouch on the shelf. Labeling is extremely important in branding your company’s values and name. Labels will set you apart from your competitors and aid in the marketing process. Bags and pouches are one of the most vital aspects of this process; after all, they are what keeps the goods safe from the elements with the help of the one-way degassing valve. The high-tech machinery is what makes the whole process possible.

With that being said, get quirky and creative with your company’s packaging. Make your brand stand out from the rest, and find a company that will work with you to best suit all of your packaging needs!

[box title=”Mother Parkers and Matrix Packaging Machinery Solve Packaging Upgrade Issues” style=”bubbles” box_color=”#e10c09″] by Steve Sterling

With limited floor space and a desire to keep capital and labor costs to a minimum, the company spurred its packaging machine OEM to create an entirely new solution that would double output.

Several years ago, the Mother Parker Fort Worth facility was facing a major production dilemma – the demand was outstripping the ability of the plant to package enough ground roasted coffee. Though straightforward, if cost weren’t a factor, an option would have been to add two more packaging lines and effectively double production. Plant management thought that with ingenuity they could solve the problem and not incur the costs of a new bulk delivery system, new packaging lines, and increased labor.

“At our facility, a suction impulse conveying system delivered ground roasted coffee to a silo above two auger fillers, which fed two form-fill-seal packaging lines with a combined total output of about 180 bags per minute,” said Kelly Harber, Maintenance Manufacturing Projects Manager. “The capital cost to replicate the conveying system, let alone the cost and disruption of securing additional floor space for new packaging lines, meant that we had to use the delivery system and the space we had.”

Harber and his team began to talk with packaging machine OEMs about replacing the 90 bags-per-minute machines with higher speed units. The problem with that option, was that filling nearly 180 bags per minute, the output required per machine, was for all intents and purposes impossible given the physics of the form-fill-seal bagging process.

The Solution
The Mother Parkers team began discussions with Milwaukee-based Matrix Packaging Machinery, a Pro Mach division, about its ideas for an entirely new machine, one that had never been built before. The two companies hashed out the constraints of delivery system, floor space, the intent to keep labor costs the same, and the need for speeds approaching 180 bags per minute per machine.

“We wanted to go beyond the machines we were seeing at trade shows, and to push the boundaries of what was possible in packaging,” said Harber. “We structured the project so that Matrix engineers would see they were not creating a one-off machine, but a whole new class of machines that would help them grow their business in the coffee industry. Mother Parkers in return would be the first in the industry to receive the new solution. It really was a win-win, if we could pull it off.”

Matrix came up with a design that essentially created two form-fill-seal machines in the footprint of one. The proposed machine would have two filling tubes and innovative controls to give it the flexibility of filling two bags of the same size or two different sized bags at the same time. Output, in theory, would boost production on the two lines to a total of 360 bags a minute. The existing bulk delivery system would be utilized.

“One way to approach packaging, or really any capital project, is to issue a request for bid,” observed Harber. “Another is to find technology partners who have the vision and the expertise to produce something entirely new. This packaging application demonstrates the power of not accepting the status quo.”

If you are looking to expand your packaging production don’t worry, it is possible! Look for a company who is willing to work with you to collaborate on the best solution for you and your company. The results will be in the numbers![/box]

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