Harpak-ULMA Educational Blog

The Many Faces of Flexibility: Lessons in Fresh Food Packaging

Mar 17, 2021 7:52:42 AM / by Harpak-ULMA posted in Packaging Machines, Food Packaging, Flexible, Flexible Packaging, covid-19

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What did COVID-19 show us?  

COVID-19 had a deep and far-reaching impact on the fresh food industry. Social distancing and outbreaks at meat and poultry processing plants slowed production and caused mass shortages. As the pandemic drove restaurant closures, producers scrambled to redirect product originally meant for food service into retail distribution

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Key Ingredients for Meal Kits: Leak-free and Flexible Packaging

Mar 9, 2021 9:51:44 AM / by Harpak-ULMA posted in Packaging Machines, Flexible Packaging, eCommerce, thermoforming, trends, covid-19, packaging design, meat

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Meal kits are quickly gaining popularity due to Covid-19 with more consumers staying home to cook; by 2027, the industry is expected to reach 20 billion dollars. There are many opportunities for you to earn contracts from meal kit companies because they change their offerings frequently and require many different types of packaging. The amount and variety of packaging is what affords you the opportunities, but also may be a barrier to earning a contract. Your packaging lines must meet volume requirements and be flexible to handle multiple products and serving sizes. Your packaging needs to be leak proof, flexible, compact, and providsufficient shelf life. 

Specifically, proteins need special packaging attention because they can spoil and have liquids that can leak.  

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3 COVID-Driven Changes for Medical Device Packaging

Jan 27, 2021 5:36:24 PM / by Harpak-ULMA posted in Automation, Flowwrapping, medical packaging, thermoforming, covid-19, packaging design, syringe

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2020 will go down in the books as the year COVID-19 changed everything. Virtually no industry was untouched. Some benefited, but many did not.

As a packaging OEM with a medical device practice that includes syringe, test kit and PPE packaging, we've had a front row seat to Operation WARP Speed. Medical device producers, scrambling to deliver equipment to front-line workers under previously unheard-of time pressure, have had to press the envelope of traditional packaging approaches. Little can be done in that time frame to accelerate the production of new packaging machines. Instead, producers have looked to work arounds and embraced changing customer requirements to meet that demand.

We’ll focus our discussion in three areas that have made a difference in the short run: alternative packaging methods employed, automation, and individual versus bulk product packaging.  

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How automating your syringe packaging line can increase your output and save you money

Dec 18, 2020 10:20:27 AM / by Harpak-ULMA posted in Automation, investment, packaging automation, medical packaging, covid-19, syringe

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There are many approaches to increasing the speed and output capacity of your packaging line to meet the extremely high demand generated by the COVID pandemic. As vaccine production and distribution roll out globally in the upcoming months, the ability to ramp up production and packaging of syringes may require a combination of tactics. Automation may be one of your best strategies.
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Don’t worry! FATs are still happening, remotely!

Jun 15, 2020 9:37:34 AM / by Harpak-ULMA posted in Manufacturing, FAT, cost, covid-19, remote FAT

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Like many other aspects of your lives inside and outside of business, restrictions caused by COVID-19 have  disrupted the normal way of conducting Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT’s). Because of travel restrictions, social distancing, and other precautions companies and governments are taking, the typical way of conducting a FAT is put on hold. Similar to how business has evolved during this time, FATs are now being successfully carried out remotely using digital tools. As the world and industry changes, OEMs must evolve with it.

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What you need to know to quickly start syringe packaging

May 27, 2020 4:01:39 PM / by Harpak-ULMA posted in Packaging Machines, cobots, packaging automation, medical packaging, thermoforming, covid-19

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COVID-19 has created an increase in demand for medical equipment including syringes. Hospitals are increasing orders for syringes because of the influx of more patients requiring care and the inevitable mass immunization of COVID-19 once a vaccine is created and approved. Early estimates suggest that at least 70% of the population will need the vaccine including more than 300 million people in the United States.

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Time to Protect Your Produce, Peace of Mind and Bottom Line!

May 12, 2020 1:43:48 PM / by Harpak-ULMA posted in Food Packaging, Sustainability, Flowwrapping, tray seal, MAP, packaging automation, thermoforming, covid-19, produce

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Our current situation has placed a strain on the fresh food supply chain. Issues like border restrictions and workforce shortages have caused increased delays in the fresh produce trade causing large shipment of fresh produce to sit for prolonged periods of time. From the time produce is picked on a farm to when it’s eaten there’s a race against time. The tried, tested, and accepted way of packaging produce in the U.S. is not to package it at all. Most fruits and vegetables make their way through the food chain in crates, totes, cartons or some sort of vessel for distribution. This method of transporting produce through the supply chain, from farm to table, can (and does) expose the produce to germs and spoilage, ultimately resulting in health risks and unnecessary waste. 

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