Posted on December 16, 2015
Courtesy of Packaging World (via The Converting Guide):
Sometimes it’s the small things that make the biggest impact. The following tips might seem elementary, but when put into practice, your line will see the benefit.
1. Put the horse before the cart. If possible, design the packaging line properly to avoid the need for inspection. If you can’t eliminate inspection, you can at least minimize the amount of inspection needed by having the right equipment and line orientation for the job.
2. Place the code correctly. Don’t let the brand manager place the code in a place where it has a marginal success rate. The new vision cameras for 1D or 2D barcode reading are very accurate. They can make a tough job easy, like adapting for out of focus or lighting changes. But the code needs to be large enough and in a repeatable location.
3. Perform a feasibility study. Invest in a professional feasibility study with thorough reporting. Get false reject rate and “no read” rate projections.
4. Develop detailed “one-point” lessons. Create lessons with pictures and examples of problematic issues in the plant for your line inspections. Have operators perform inspections twice a shift and provide the results, including issues with conveyors and belts, to the mechanics. Have supervisors collect reports and verify when action has been initiated and work orders filled out.
5. Practice good line cleaning. Clean before and after operation to ensure that no residual product or materials affect operations. Dedicate the last 20 minutes of every shift to area cleanup. Avoid oil, dust, and debris around the scale area. Perform a final vision inspection of the packaging just prior to starting the line to make sure you’re using all the same dimension packaging.
6. Put scales in enclosures. Scales are so sensitive that accuracy can be affected by the smallest of factors, such as fans blowing on them.
7. Demand consistency in medical device packaging materials. Check that non-sterile polybags are consistent from lot to lot. Institute a lot tracking system to address any quality control issues with the supplier, and have the supplier number the lots. Whereas sterile bags were always traceable, non-sterile bags might not be.
8. Verify that medical device suppliers are qualified. Request documentation of qualification to make sure suppliers’ processes are legitimate. The depth of audit you request will depend on whether they’re providing sterile or non-sterile products. Perform supplier audits yourself by visiting their plants regularly. Check their materials with X-rays to make sure that you’re getting the quality you need.
9. Control variables for metal detection. First, make sure the machine is tuned correctly and your staff is properly trained. The biggest problem with metal detection is the “water effect.” Changes in product temperature will have an impact on the reliability of metal detection, especially with frozen foods. Slightly thawed food will give continuous rejects. Because water is conductive, it gives a different phase profile in the metal detector. So make sure to retune the machine when the product temperature changes.
10. Ensure vision inspection systems are set up correctly. Since many inspection systems are “touchless,” it’s easy to forget about changing the operating criteria for different products. Check the lighting, because even the best systems will miss critical defects if lighting is not optimal. Be sure your light source is set correctly and all the bulbs or emitters are fully functional. Train your operators to set adjustment field parameters correctly. Simple setup adjustments and correct application will make a big difference between correct operation and lots of false rejects.
Posted on December 15, 2015
Machinists at Convertech in Wharton, NJ.
As reported by New Jersey Business Magazine, Convertech president Larry Taitel continues to lead the charge for better educational opportunities in the area of manufacturing. Taitel, who was recently invited to join Board of Advisors for Eastwick College and the Hohokus Schools in New Jersey, delivered the keynote speech to the board. He emphasized the importance of increasing hands-on class time hours and manual machining basics for the school’s curriculum; of increasing the number of opportunities that students have in New Jersey for early manufacturing classroom experiences; and for the vital need for traditional four-year machinist apprenticeships that begin at the high school level.
Taitel’s company, which has manufactured products for the printing, labeling and packaging industry for nearly four decades, has hired a number of Eastwick graduates. “The basic skills these students acquired made all the difference in our hiring decisions,” he said. “It’s obvious how much they learned at Eastwick. But we’d like to see Eastwick offer even longer and additional programs. We believe the State has done a great disservice to young students by not even proposing machining as an option. Guidance counselors don’t even mention machining as a possibility and far too many schools have dropped their metal shops and votech programs. We see the results: It has hurt manufacturers and hurt students who, when they are not academically inclined, end up in service jobs, flipping burgers and stocking shelves, instead of acquiring skills that can serve them for life, and careers with few layoffs. It’s time to change that.”
Taitel is currently reaching out to NJ State elected officials to seek their support in bringing manufacturing curriculum back to public schools, and he urges his fellow manufacturers in New Jersey and throughout the country to do the same. “There are more than 10,000 manufacturers in the State of New Jersey alone who have been hurt by our schools dropping metal shop,” he said. “If a fraction of them would come forward and contact their elected officials, this would make a huge impact.”
Not sure who your elected officials are in New Jersey? Visit: Who is my elected official?
About Convertech: Since 1978, Convertech has designed, manufactured and delivered the industry’s highest-quality air shafts and chucks. All products are custom built at Convertech’s 40,000-sq.-ft. facility in Wharton, New Jersey where they are then quality tested before being delivered.
Posted on December 11, 2015
Packaging World reports that plastic bottle recycling grew 97 million pounds in 2014, increasing 3.3%, to top 3 billion pounds for the year, according to figures released jointly today by the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC). The recycling rate for plastic bottles climbed 1.0% to 31.8% for the year.
The 25th annual National Post-Consumer Plastics Bottle Recycling Report marks the 25th consecutive year that Americans have increased the pounds of plastic bottles collected for recycling since the survey began in 1990.
Trends highlighted in the report include: The 25th annual National Post-Consumer Plastics Bottle Recycling Report marks the 25th consecutive year that Americans have increased the pounds of plastic bottles collected for recycling since the survey began in 1990.
Single-stream collection of household recyclables continues to grow, resulting in higher participation rates Use of plastic bottles in packaging applications is expanding but offset by continued lightweighting and increased use of concentrates with smaller, lighter bottles Lack of access to away-from-home recycling continues to be a barrier to increased collection During 2014, the collection of high-density polyethylene (HDPE, #2) bottles—a category that includes milk jugs and bottles for household cleaners and detergents—rose to nearly 1.1 billion pounds, a gain of over 62 million pounds from 2013.The recycling rate for HDPE bottles rose to 33.6%. The 25th annual National Post-Consumer Plastics Bottle Recycling Report marks the 25th consecutive year that Americans have increased the pounds of plastic bottles collected for recycling since the survey began in 1990.
A higher percentage of all post-consumer plastic bottle material was processed by domestic reclaimers in 2014. Exports of all post-consumer plastic bottles rose slightly (in pounds) but fell to the lowest percentage of exports in six years (21.9%) as the amount of bottles collected increased faster than did exports, according to the report. The drop in exports may reflect the strength of the U.S. dollar and growth in domestic reclamation capacity. The 25th annual National Post-Consumer Plastics Bottle Recycling Report marks the 25th consecutive year that Americans have increased the pounds of plastic bottles collected for recycling since the survey began in 1990.
U.S. reclamation capacity for HDPE increased to its highest level ever in 2014. Exports of HDPE bottles rose from 15.6% to 19.7% (218 million pounds) of domestically collected material, and domestic reclaimers processed approximately 951 million pounds of HDPE bottles in 2014. The 25th annual National Post-Consumer Plastics Bottle Recycling Report marks the 25th consecutive year that Americans have increased the pounds of plastic bottles collected for recycling since the survey began in 1990.
“The message to American consumers is that plastic bottles are valuable resources even after they’ve been used,” says Steve Alexander, Executive Director of APR. “Americans generated an estimated $730 million in recycled plastic bottles in 2014. The simple act of recycling helps generate local revenue, supports recycling jobs, and enables us to continue to benefit from these useful resources.” The 25th annual National Post-Consumer Plastics Bottle Recycling Report marks the 25th consecutive year that Americans have increased the pounds of plastic bottles collected for recycling since the survey began in 1990.
Adds Steve Russell, Vice President of Plastics for the ACC, “This report clearly illustrates 25 years of year-over-year growth in recycling plastic bottles. Plastics help reduce energy use and conserve resources—and after use, these efficient products and packages are increasingly valued as recycled materials. We’re confident that plastics recycling will continue to grow, and we will continue working to accelerate that growth.” The 25th annual National Post-Consumer Plastics Bottle Recycling Report marks the 25th consecutive year that Americans have increased the pounds of plastic bottles collected for recycling since the survey began in 1990.
This year’s survey also found that the collection of polypropylene (PP, #5) bottles jumped 28.3% for the year to reach 79.5 million pounds, as the collection rate sprang to 44.9%. Domestic processing of post-consumer PP bottles grew to 65.3 million pounds.PP bottles deliberately recycled as PP (instead of blended with HDPE) rose from 44.2 million pounds in 2013 to 45.6 million pounds in 2014.
Posted on December 8, 2015
Machinists at Convertech in Wharton, NJ.
The mounting need for workers capable of stepping into manufacturing jobs in New Jersey has prompted the State’s Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development (LWD) and NJ’s Talent Networks to partner in support of one of LWD’s highest priority projects: creation of a statewide Demand Credential List (DCL). Toward that end, Convertech Inc., the leading manufacturer of wide- and narrow-web shafts, was recently invited to participate in a Credentials Roundtable regarding employee qualifications for advanced manufacturing.
“There’s a clear need for manual experience before individuals can begin moving on to automated machinery,” explained Convertech president Larry Taitel. “Despite the fact that we’ve entered the Computer Age, where CAD and programming have hastened and refined machining processes, manufacturing requires workers to walk before they can run. We need to develop basic skills training in the area of machinists, tool and die, metal lathe, and so forth. These are the fundamentals that manufacturers require. Further, we need to develop training of core competencies and credentials.”
Taitel, whose company serves the printing, labeling and packaging industries, is a strong advocate of manufacturing apprenticeship programs, which he believes should start as early as 10th grade and conclude at the State College or County College level. Such a program, he says, would allow employers to offer genuine hands-on training to potential employees. “Imagine what a serious win-win this could be for everyone involved as we begin to build workers for manufacturing jobs,” he explains.
“I don’t believe college is appropriate for everyone,” says Taitel. “But to satisfy the ingrained notions many hold that college is indeed mandatory in this day and age, adding real-world skills to early academic training might prove eye-opening to both parents and students alike. Indeed, it may signal to many young people that a potential career in manufacturing—where jobs are currently plentiful—may hold highly desirable prospects.”
Convertech is the leading manufacturer of shafts and core holders for the converting industry. Located in Wharton, NJ, the company has been manufacturing high-quality products for the printing, labeling, and packaging industries since 1978 and was recently the recipient of a Commendation from the U.S. House of Representatives for its manufacturing innovations and years of service.
Posted on December 7, 2015
Courtesy of Montalvo:
"Processes that require rapid acceleration and/or deceleration, or processes that may deal with out of round rolls, all benefit from utilizing a dancer due to their web storage capabilities. A well designed dancer system with a quality dancer controller is an excellent method of managing web tension."
"However, no dancer system can tell you what your actual web tension is. The tension can be inferred, but without load cells providing direct web tension measurement from your material, actual tension will not be known. For some processes this is perfectly ok, as the dancer and dancer controller will provide sufficient tension control. But for processes requiring even greater process consistency, whether from run to run, or shift to shift, or if a range of materials are run on this same machine with varying tension requirements, or you simply require a greater level of precision and accuracy in your control, web tension measurement utilizing load cells is the way to go."
"Some tension control suppliers will say it needs to be an either or decision, load cells or a dancer, as they do not offer a dancer controller that can capitalize on and utilize load cells or vice versa. Montalvo says you should, and can, have the best of both worlds.
A dancer controller that features inputs for load cells can provide actual tension measurement indication for operators, allowing them to ensure precise tension and process consistency while still taking advantage of all the benefits a dancer system can provide.
The Z4-UI Dancer Controller with Tension Indication also opens the door for even greater process and operator flexibility, consistency and precision through the addition of an I-P Converter to manage the dancer load, which gives your dancer system setpoint control capability."
To learn more about Dancer Control with Tension Indication, please visit the Z4-UI Product Page.
Posted on December 2, 2015
From Mark Vruno at PrintingNews.com:
"Business planning news flash: The year 2020 is less than five years and one month away. What will your firm look like 61 months into the future? Will it still be around? Will it offer wide-format printing? And what about printing packages? Wide format and packaging remain two growing segments of the otherwise flat print marketplace. The global packaging market is poised to increase to more than $1 trillion (USD) by 2018, according to some current forecasts. So whether you’re a digital, offset, flexo, or hybrid printing firm, opportunities abound."
"Among digital package and label printing hardware OEMs, Hewlett-Packard is the worldwide market-share leader with more than 60 percent share (in 2014), according to research firm IDC, led by its Indigo and Scitex models. HP is followed by Xeikon, EFI, and Epson. Newer entrants include Screen, Durst, Delphax, Founder, and Fujifilm."
"Smaller player Xante has enjoyed strong sales abroad of its Excelagraphix 4200, a 42-inch inkjet system first introduced in mid-2013 that can print custom full color containers with special promotions, personalized ad copy and graphics – all on demand. Recent installations have been at CCA Packaging in China and at U-MOOV Packaging in Saudi Arabia.
The Excelagraphix 4200 is powered by proprietary Memjet Waterfall Printhead Technology, which delivers more than 3 billion drops of ink per second for print speeds up to eight times faster (up to 12 inches per second) than traditional inkjet technology. This speed, combined with a compact footprint and price point, allows the device to open new business opportunities and markets previously unserviced by the packaging industry, says Xante.
An adjustable media path allows users to print on a wide variety of media including ultrathick foam board and corrugated cardboard (up to 3/8 inches thick) and sheet sizes from 8.27×12 inches up to 42 inches by 50 feet. Applications include full-color POP displays, packaging, folding cartons, and corrugated boxes produced in a matter of seconds, on-demand. The best part is that variable data can be run full speed to personalize individual pieces — in one pass.
The complete solution is driven by the iQueue Simply Brilliant Prepress Workflow. IQueue automates prepress production and makes it easy to manage multiple digital files, make independent CMYK and density adjustments, match critical spot colors, select the desired linescreen, screen angles and dot shape. Users can also apply and save custom imposition templates,nudge/rotate a digital file on a specific sheet size, track multiple run counts, and estimate individual job cost from multiple user workstations.
For larger volumes in the sheetfed-offset realm, “packaging is based on price per sheet,” pointed out Andy Rae, senior VP of equipment at Heidelberg USA, “… and postpress is a big part of its overall cost.” To avoid production logjams and bottlenecks, “smart printers plan backwards from the bindery,” Rae explained. “It’s unlike commercial job-shop thinking. In packaging, folders and gluers are the fastest machines,” not the presses themselves. These print service providers have more of a manufacturing mentality, he added, acknowledging that “printing is not as much of an art and craft anymore."
Posted on November 30, 2015
by Larry Taitel
The mounting need for workers capable of stepping into manufacturing jobs has prompted the State of NJ to get involved in an effort to benefit both manufacturers and potential employees. This has the potential for long-term benefits for all of us who depend not only upon the health of our own manufacturing businesses but also the growth of industry in New Jersey.
The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development (LWD) and New Jersey’s Talent Networks are partnering in support of one of LWD’s highest priority projects: creation of a statewide Demand Credential List (DCL). Toward that end, I recently attended a “Credentials Roundtable meeting” where employers watched a presentation and then participated in discussions with regard to employee credentials for advanced manufacturing. It’s hoped that the feedback from these discussions will help the Labor Market Analysts design questions for a broader online survey that will further prompt numerous other companies in our state to provide additional input.
At the meeting, one of my colleagues who was presenting opined that most companies which are seeking candidates for manufacturing jobs are less focused on credentials than on attitude and competence. He stressed that most of us are looking for good and reliable people who can be trained in our respective companies’ specific processes. For the most part, I concur.
At Convertech, with more than three decades in manufacturing for the converting, printing and packaging industries, we have learned that the best machinists begin with basic skills. The other two main criteria are a desire to learn and reliability (as Woody Allan once observed, 80% of life is just showing up). Of course, job compatibility and actual job expectations must be measured in, too, but these factors should begin, for potential employees, at the education level.
There’s a clear need for manual experience before individuals can begin moving on to automated machinery. Despite the fact that we’ve entered the Computer Age, where CAD and programming have hastened and refined manual processes, manufacturing requires workers to walk before they can run. In short, we need to develop basics skills training in the area of machinists, tool and die, metal lathe, and so forth. These are the fundamentals that manufacturers require. Further, we need to develop training of core competencies and credentials.
One program that I believe would be enormously beneficial is a four-year apprenticeship program. This should start as early as 10th grade and conclude at the State College or County College level. Such a program would allow actual employers to offer genuine hands-on training to potential employees. Imagine what a serious win-win this could be for everyone involved as we begin to build workers for manufacturing jobs!
Can apprenticeship programs be enacted with college credits earned so parents can see an actual educational path (read: college path) for their children? Yes.
I, for one, don’t believe college is appropriate for everyone. But to satisfy the ingrained notions many hold that college is indeed mandatory in this day and age, adding real-world skills to early academic training might prove eye-opening to both parents and students alike. Indeed, it may signal to many young people that a potential career in manufacturing—where jobs are currently a plenty—may hold superior and more desirable prospects than that desired career in another industry where jobs are few and, quite possibly, less satisfying.
Larry Taitel is president of Convertech Inc. (Convertech.com)
Grateful acknowledgements to Mark Spaulding at Converting Quarterly for originally printing this op-ed.
Posted on November 24, 2015
The global market for bioplastics will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 14.8% to become a $30.8 billion market by 2020, according to a new report, “World Bioplastics Market Opportunities and Forecast, 2014-2020,” from market intelligence company Allied Market Research.
According to the report, among the key factors propelling this growth are the rising environmental awareness among consumers and what it describes as the “substantial curiosity of packaging industries towards biodegradability,” which is responsible for the increasing adoption of bioplastics in rigid packaging applications. In fact, rigid plastic packaging applications are forecast to account for more than 40% of the market revenue by 2020.
Bioplastics are plastics derived from biomass: renewable feedstocks, such as corn, sugarcane and cellulose to name but a few. Not only is there a wide availability of renewable feedstocks, part of what is boosting the market across the globe is the fact that biobased plastics feature a smaller carbon footprint compared to fossil-based materials, allowing users to meet their sustainability goals more easily. On the negative side are the high production costs of bioplastics, which make them more costly to use. This so-called ‘green premium’ may well dampen market growth during the forecast period.
The consumption of “drop-in” bioplastics (Bio-PE, Bio-PET 30, Bio-PA) and others, says the report, will continue to dominate the overall bioplastics market through 2020. Drop-in bioplastics are non-biodegradable materials, derived from renewable raw materials offering identical technical properties to their fossil counterparts (PE, PET and PA, among others).
According to this study, Bio-PET 30 will be the fastest growing segment in the non-biodegradable drop-in market, as it delivers same performance as conventional PET with regard to re-sealability, versatility, durability, appearance, weight and recyclability.
Asia Pacific is predicted to become the fastest growing consumer during the forecast period. In terms of revenue and volume, polylactic acid (PLA) is projected to be the fastest growing segment in the overall biodegradable plastics market.
Posted on November 24, 2015
Good story at Packaging Digest:
"Pharmaceutical manufacturers are navigating a changing marketplace. There’s greater variety in drug-delivery formats to support new formulations, new modes of dosing, and new users—in many cases the patients themselves. There’s also greater demand for item identification and tracking to support more-complex supply chains. PMP News asked Jeff Benedict, Senior Vice President, Global Business Development, Sharp Packaging Solutions, to weigh in on these changes, the challenges they present, and some potential solutions.
PMP: Can you describe some of the specific challenges the pharmaceutical industry is currently facing?
Benedict: As the pharmaceutical industry continues to evolve in the types of drug and biologic therapies it develops and where it delivers these products, we believe it is facing many challenges. There is the rising complexity of supply chains due to the diversity of drug-delivery mechanisms and the industry’s global footprint, an escalating increase in counterfeiting and diversion, and the continuous evolution and reengineering of companies as a result of the many mergers and acquisitions. Also, the new drugs being developed to meet new therapeutic categories often dictate new drug technologies, delivering these medications in different formats depending on the patient. This development sets up a whole new way of looking at drug delivery and its related package. Along with this, comes the challenge of identifying these products throughout the delivery chain and establishing the right IT infrastructure to capture the product data, store it, integrate it, and then share it where appropriate.
PMP: How are requests for drug-delivery and packaging evolving, and how can Sharp help?
Benedict: Sharp has been following closely the different formats of drugs in the industry. We have tremendous capacity in the United States and Europe to handle standard typical oral dose products requiring blisters and bottles, but we can also support, in both our Allentown and Netherlands packaging facilities, the high cost and highly divertible Schedule II drugs, distribution of which is pretty much controlled by the DEA.
In addition, we have made significant investments to expand our equipment platforms to support the ever-evolving drug-delivery challenges. Drug-delivery systems and packaging evolutions have evolved massively from oral tablets, a syringe, or a transdermal patch, to many different formats of delivery systems from the buccal and the oral thin-film dissolvable applications to single-unit syringes with a safety needle where the patient does the dose in the hospital or at home. As a result, our packaging lines have evolved to handle projects such as microdose powder filling into cartridges and different biologic applications for specific therapeutic categories such as vials and autoinjector pens. For these biologics, we don’t do sterile fill, but we do label, carton, kit, and serialize. For instance, we would take a vial, label it, put it in a kit with multiple syringes and different type of literature that might be patient required, serialize at all levels, carton it, and cold-chain ship."
Posted on November 17, 2015
Here’s a good piece via Modern Material Handling by Bob Trebilcock:
"Last week, I spent Monday and Tuesday at the Rosemont Hilton in Chicago with 100 or so senior supply chain executives, presenters and exhibitors at the first Supply Chain Outlook Summit. As a rule, I write a column with takeaways from each event I attend. What makes this one a little different is that, well, I hosted the event for Peerless Media and Supply Chain Management Review. I promise I won’t brag about how good the moderator was – after all, you may have attended and have seen me in action."
"The theme for the conference was The Future Of Supply Chain Management: What You Need To Know For 2016 And Beyond. We represented each of the functional areas of the supply chain, from procurement to final goods distribution, along with a look at the economy, technology, sustainability, and culture. Each of the presenters gave an overview of where they think their slice of the supply chain is headed next year. I don’t have room to write about them all here, but I think there were several key takeaways.
One is that the US economy is in better shape than we might think. That was the message from Brian Beaulieu, an economist and the CEO of ITR Economics. While it’s true that the economy is hardly ablaze, Beaulieu expects slow but continued growth for the next several years; more importantly, he sees the US leading the world economy. As to the next recession, expect it to be short-lived and mild. Which isn’t to say that Beaulieu sees Blue Skies into infinity: He expects significant issues late in the next decade as the country deals with the full impact of the baby boomers on Social Security and Medicare. One message he drove home that caught my attention is that for all the emphasis we place on China, the US still commands 22.5% of the world’s GDP, compared to 13.4% for China. That’s a lead Beaulieu does not foresee dramatically changing in the near future."
"Much has been written about the impact of e-commerce and the driver shortage on transportation costs. While those are true, Chainalytics’ Kevin Zweier reminded us that this is an age-old story. He shared a quote from the 2011 CSCMP State of Logistics Report: “Practically every truck manufacturer and nearly all employers complain of the great difficulty of securing drivers who are competent and who will work handling freight …” The twist? It was originally published in the publication Traffic World in 1916. So, while there may be nothing new under the sun, shippers will still face challenges next year, including rate increases from 3% for truckload and less-than-truckload shipments to 5% for parcel shipments. Expect continued downward pressure on ocean freight rates due to over-capacity."
"Similarly, much has been written about the reshoring of manufacturing from low-cost countries like China back to Mexico and North America. The phenomenon is real, Rosemary Coates, executive director of the Reshoring Institute, told us. At the same time, Coates offered several pieces of sobering advice. For one, leaving China is not as simple as packing up your equipment and turning out the lights. You may have to buy out employee contracts; leave equipment, technology, molds, and other IP behind that will probably be used to compete against you; and once you set up shop in North America, you may find that your supply base is still off-shore, along with the skilled workers you need to operate your new plant."
"My last takeaway was how well many of the points made by presenters aligned with the challenges being faced by a panel of three Chicagoland supply chain executives. The roundtable was led by John Caltagirone, executive director of the Supply and Value Chain Center and Loyola University Chicago, and featured Tim Engstrom, VP Supply Chain Operations for Walgreen’s; Craig Espevik, Vice President, Operations for Yaskawa America, Inc.; and Fabio Pettenati, Vice President Supply Chain for Barilla America Inc."
"Each was grappling with different challenges – Engstrom discussed Walgreen’s approach to finding and developing new talent for its warehouses along with efforts to reduce packaging; Espevik explained how Yaskawa is managing manufacturing operations on a global basis; and Pettenati described what its like for a food producer dealing with volatile commodity prices. More importantly, each illustrated the importance that supply chain management is playing in the strategies their companies are undertaking to continue to lead in their industries."
"I, for one, left with a sense that it’s an exciting time to be in our industry. I’m looking forward to the future of supply chain management in 2016 and beyond."