T.H.E.M. at Pack Expo 2016: Creating New Opportunities With Single-Serve Flexible Packaging

By on Monday, November 7th, 2016

(Marlton, NJ, November 2016)  Technical Help in Engineering and Marketing (T.H.E.M.), a leading North American provider of single-serve flexible packaging solutions, and the exclusive North American representative for Sanko Machinery Co., will feature two new, high-performance machines at Pack Expo 2016:

1. The Sanko FR-3. The fastest liquid pouch machine of its kind in the world, the FR-3 now includes more features for enhanced versatility.
2. The Sanko FC-1000α. This 16-lane, high-speed powder stick packaging machine has been introduced with new features for enhanced efficiency and simplified operation.

Consumer brand representatives, retailers, and supply chain partners will experience a first-hand demonstration of both machines in operation at the T.H.E.M. Pack Expo Booth E-8105, November 6-9, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL.

Sanko FR-3: A Decisive Advantage for Brands Marketed in Liquid Pouches.
Capable of operating at speeds over 230 cycles per minute, the FR-3 is the fastest liquid pouch machine in its class. The FR-3 is available in narrow web and multi-lane configurations, and can be set up for both three- and four-sided form-fill-seal packaging of liquid products. The machine runs continuous motion while it squeegees the product out just prior to heat sealing. Because of this production design you no longer have to worry about product “drip” into the seal area of the pouch.

“The latest FR-3 model is not only fast, but incredibly versatile with highly intuitive controls,” commented Neil Kozarsky, CEO and President of T.H.E.M. The FR-3 stores project parameter data for each product to be packaged. It can run viscosity ranges from water to thick pastes with the same pumping system and from 1 ml pouches to 500 ml with no major machine changes. In fact, most adjustments: bag length, I-notch positioning, perforation, fill volume and cutoff can all be made via a simple touch panel display. Additional adjustments can be made in a similar fashion, even while the machine is in operation.

With the help of T.H.E.M., and utilizing the Sanko FR-3, Cane Simple Liquid Sugar recently introduced the first individually packaged liquid sugar product designed for single-serve consumption. It was also the first commercially available edible product in North America to be produced on the Sanko FR-3.

The FR-3 has enjoyed a very favorable response among a broad range of CPGs. According to Kozarsky, “Customers were not only impressed by the speed of the machine; they were equally impressed by the measurable savings it offers, due to enhanced efficiencies in OEE’s and packaging materials.” The FR-3 uses less film because of its near zero head space, which helps lower material costs. A proprietary ultrasonic seal cleaning system allows sealing of products containing particulates, like spices or cosmetics, virtually eliminating the possibility of leaks. Another FR-3 benefit of zero head space is the up to 40 days of additional shelf life that products experience, thanks to reduced oxygen contact during the form-fill-seal process.

T.H.E.M. has a wide range of FR-3 initiatives in development for products including high-end cosmetics, condiments, beverage concentrates, skin lotion and pet care. The FR-3 is also well suited to package soup concentrates, toppings and salad dressings, in addition to cosmetic and personal care products. The adaptable system accommodates liquid filling for a broad range of consistencies, including gels and pastes, while a proprietary ultrasonic system allows sealing of products containing particulates.

FC-1000α: The Next Level of Stick Pack Machine Performance.
The Sanko FC series machines have established a reputation for simple operation, reduced maintenance, versatility and high performance for liquid and powder flexible stick packaging. The new FC-1000α powder stick packaging machine includes a number of new features designed to significantly enhance performance and operation. “This new generation FC-1000 is truly in a class by itself,” explains Kozarsky. “All of the FC-1000’s have amazing durability and longevity, most are still running after many, many years in production. With this latest model, Sanko has made several improvements and a number of enhancements to create a machine that deserves all the attention it’s been getting.”

New Color HMI with easy-to-read functions allows for observance of PLC-ISO diagnostics, like film tension and temperature controls while the machine is running. Several of its systems have been re-designed to make the machine easier to operate, more robust, and easier to use for a broad range of products.

Snapsil®: A single serve technology that T.H.E.M. supports across a variety of applications.
Snapsil® semi-rigid pouches and blister packs feature a patented audible “snap-opening” function that allows consumers to open the package with one hand. With a comprehensive array of configurations, Snapsil® has broad market applications for single-serve and portion-specific products, including:
• Food condiments
• Hotel amenities
• Energy drinks
• Alcoholic beverages
• Salad dressings
• Beverage enhancers

T.H.E.M. supports its exclusive North American Snapsil® partnership with product evaluation, testing and commercialization services. The company recently provided contract packaging support for the introduction of a line of innovative craft beer from the Foxboro Brewing Company using Snapsil® technology. The four varieties of beer concentrate are available in 50ml packs that produce a ready-to-drink 12 oz. beverage when combined with ten ounces of carbonated water.

Much like the broader food and beverage sector before it, the alcohol products category is beginning to embrace the advantages of single-serve, and T.H.E.M. has been preparing accordingly. Indicative of this is the recent approval of the company’s food facility in Marlton, NJ by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for the storage, packaging and distribution of alcohol-based products.

T.H.E.M. recently opened a 20,000 sq. ft. facility dedicated to non-food contract packaging in nearby Mt. Laurel, NJ. This new facility will support Snapsil® and single-serve production for a variety of categories including, household, automotive, industrial, lawn and garden, and other similar products. Further, T.H.E.M. is in discussions with a select number of contract packagers to expand the contract packaging base strategically across North America.

T.H.E.M.’s unique continuity-of-supply-chain support model enables customers to develop a single-serve packaging program from concept to commercialization, and in a manner that aligns with their needs, operations and core competencies. In many cases, customers will perform pilot runs at a T.H.E.M. contract manufacturing facility, and then purchase a machine, and continue to work with T.H.E.M. to support scale-up, full commercial production, in addition to supporting product line extensions and select seasonal offerings.