I recently had the opportunity — high percentage of graduates with along with a group of Institute of career opportunities. Packaging Professional (IOPP) One area of particular interest was members — to visit the center's retort pouch packaging the Clemson and retort pouch processing University campus in department. This pilot plant setup is Clemson, S.C. The a perfect venue for producing filled visit was focused retort pouch packages and around Clemson's performing the critical initial packaging laboratory product formulation, as well as the and new Center for establishment of the initial setup Flexible Packaging parameters that are key prior to (CEFPACK). Our tour was conducted by full-blown production. As reported, Dr. W. Scott Whiteside who is the many North American companies are program's associate director intrigued with the concept of retort Besides creating a wonderful pouch packaging, however many may educational environment for Clemson's not have the immediate core undergraduate and graduate students, competency, necessary equipment, or the CEFPACK program has also been time for evaluation and testing, designed to perform research projects which is so critical in initiating and packaging evaluations for implementation. industry including consumer product Clemson is to be applauded for its companies and packaging suppliers. keen awareness of “what's happening" in the packaging marketplace and in the packaging industry. The staff is responding to new industry trends by creating a program and an environment whereby students can be better prepared to meet the latest challenges and opportunities in the field of packaging, particularly in flexible packaging. Clemson's obvious move in support of flexible packaging will hopefully have a ripple effect that may influence other universities and academia to continue to move forward in support of the changing dynamics of packaging today.
Corporate Support Bodes Well for Students A variety of high profile companies already have signed up to support the program and it's goals through the donation of funds, equipment, and resources. Consumer product companies have also been very supportive of the university's program through the assignment of projects to both challenge the students and gain valuable insight into implementing a new material type, package structure improvement or package format change. Many of these same companies have further supported a
Changes and Innovations As we know from our own activities in the field of packaging, change is a challenge for all involved in the evo- lution of packaging. The better we can prepare the young men and women who enter our industry as new packaging engineers, the better they will be prepared for meeting the changing market, and in implement- ing new packaging technology opportunities on the horizon. After the tour, I had the opportuni- ty and the privilege to speak on the topic of Flexible Pouch Packaging Innovation to some of the faculty, students and my fellow IOPP col- leagues. We shared a wonderful dia- log on flexible packaging innova- tions and trends that are occurring both within our market and on a global basis, as well as what other possibilities the future of packaging may hold. If you or your company would like to learn more about the Clemson University Center for Flexible Packaging (CEFPACK), visit www.clemson.edu/packaging or call W.Scott Whiteside, Ph.D at (864) 656-6246 or email wwhtsd@clem- son.edu.
Dennis Calamusa is founder and president of ALLIEDFLEX Technologies Inc. a Sarasota, FL, based consulting-sales and marketing company providing global flexible packaging machinery solutions to the North American market. He can be reached at ph: (941) 923- 1181, e-mail: email@example.com, or visit www.standup-pouch.com.