The Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMM) www.pmmi.org called a press conference in the Chicago suburbs Feb. 16 to unveil its manifold plans for the upcoming Pack Expo (www. packexpo.com) Conference and Trade Show planned for Oct. 31 through Nov. 3 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

Held in Chicago every-other year, the show attracts upwards of 40,000 visitors. (Shows in the so-called off years are held in Las Vegas.) PMMI has several partnerships for co-located shows that complement the packaging machinery focus. PMMI reported that the established partners are back for another run, while a major expansion of exhibit space is planned to house a new processing equipment pavillion. Processing equipment manufacturers will showcase their products in the Lakeside Center in a 70,000 square foot area. That’s not all, though, according to planners. Many PMMI members who were once restricted to packaging machinery but who also manufacture processing equipment will now be free to also exhibit processing equipment. PMMI anticipates an additional 100,000 square feet of space will be devoted to this expansion.

There are many reasons for this expansion, of course. From the point of view of automation and manufacturing practitioners, a major driver is the continued integration of process and packaging equipment in the factory. Much of this integration is at the controls, networking and information layers–right in the sweet spot of automation professionals. A good reason for you all to check out the show this year.

Those of you who are subscribers to Automation World magazine and involved in the food and beverage and consumer packaged goods industries will find a supplement in your March, June and September issues sponsored by Pack Expo called Process2Packaging featuring an article by yours truly. Check it out.

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