Get Ready for Summer Picnics with Fruits, Vegetables, and… Machine Knives?

As summer begins to ramp up, we’re all going to start spending a lot more time outdoors – and summer parties and picnics are one of the best pastimes, allowing us to enjoy the warm weather and delicious food.

Of course, no summer picnic or party would be complete without veggie trays and delicious, summer fruits like peaches, blueberries, watermelons and cherries. We all know that!

But what you might not know is just how important machine knives from companies like TGW International are for cutting and packaging fruits and veggies – so read on below and learn more about this subject.

Knives for Processing Fruits and Vegetables

There are quite a few different types of knives that are often used to prepare and process fruits and vegetables.

  • Circular blades – Circular blades are used to cut and slice fruits and vegetables quickly and precisely.
  • Cutoff knives – These knives are used for portioning, guillotine cutting, scissor cutting, and swing-style cutting and are available in many different configurations.
  • Straight knives – These knives are ideal for cutting, peeling, skiving, slicing and dicing foods like potatoes (for potato salad, a summertime essential) watermelon, cabbage, squash, and more.

So, this summer, don’t just think about the delicious taste of your favorite fruit or vegetable, think about how machine knives may have been used to prepare it!

Packaging Knives – Cutting and Preparing Packaging for Your Favorite Foods

Machine knives aren’t just used to cut and prepare fruits and vegetables, but also in the creation of packaging materials, plastic boxes, plastic bags, stand up pouches and conversion of flexible packaging materials as well as packaging of fruit & vegetables themselves like veggie trays, dips and fruit cups.

Depending on the type of packaging that is being manufactured, many different types of blades may be used; slitter blades and knives for plastic bags, tray knives and cup sealing knives for packaging the product, and so on. Regardless of the type of packaging, machine knives are essential for the presentation quality and display of your favorite fruit and vegetable products!

Enjoy Your Summer Picnics and Parties Thanks to Machine Knives!

Thanks to modern machine knives from companies like TGW International, it’s easy to get high-quality fruit and vegetable products for your summer picnic and enjoy all of your favorite foods in convenient, easy-to-open packaging.

Snacking on the Trail? You Have Machine Knives to Thank for It!

Summer is a great time to explore the great outdoors, and make the most of the gorgeous, warm weather. And if you’re going on a hike, picnic or another outdoor expedition, you may be bringing along popular snacks like beef jerky, dried fruit, trail mix and more.

Have you ever wondered how these snacks are packaged and made? If you have, you’re in the right place! Let’s explore the process of making and packaging some of these snacks – and how essential machine knives from companies like TGW International are for the snacks that you love!

How Machine Knives Are Used to Make Beef Jerky

To show you how machine knives are used to make snacks, let’s take a look at a classic summer trail treat – beef jerky. Jerky is delicious, nonperishable, and lightweight, making it a great trail snack. Here’s how it’s made!

  1. Beef is accepted to a jerky manufacturing facility. Usually, high-quality, lean flank steak is used to make high-quality jerky.
  2. The meat is processed to remove bones and connective tissue, using machine knives. Then, fat is removed using one of several methods
  3. A curing solution consisting of water, salt and other additives is heated and prepared
  4. The meat is cut into chunks by an automatic cutting machine, using machine knives. Then, it is dipped into the curing solution
  5. Next, the meat is put into a centrifuge, where more curing solution is added, as well as seasonings
  6. After this, the meat is frozen and cut into thin strips using machine knives. Then, they are sent to a drying oven, which is heated to about 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and they are gradually cooked over a period of about 12 hours

After this, the jerky is prepared – and it’s ready to package! The most popular way to package jerky to minimize moisture and keep it fresh longer is a vacuum-sealed package.

First, the jerky is put into a bag. Then, the package is evacuated of all air, which is replaced with nitrogen. Then, the bag is sealed and cut using machine knives. Removing the air and replacing it with nitrogen helps prevent spoilage.

Machine Knives Are Critical for Your Favorite Snacks!

While jerky is the example we used, machine knives are used to create and package just about every other trail snack – including dried fruit, trail mix, granola bars and more! That’s something to think about that next time you tear open a package on the trail this summer.

Big Trends in Packaging – What to Look Out for This Year

If you’re wondering what trends you can expect to see in the world of product packaging this year and beyond, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss a few of today’s top trends and how your brand can take inspiration from them.

 

Minimalism

Minimalism, eschewing too many colors and graphics for simple lines, clear text, and a muted color scheme, has become very popular in recent years.

This may be a response to how bright and bold most product packages are today, counter-intuitively, the best way to stand out among a selection of busy, loud products may actually be to adopt a minimalistic design!

 

Sustainable Packaging

Sustainable packaging is another trend that continues to grow in popularity, especially as eco-conscious millennials begin to make up the largest consumer market in the US. Younger customers say that sustainability is a top priority, so recyclable packaging and packaging made from post-consumer recycled materials can help boost your brand’s image among young consumers.

 

Bold Colors and Prints

Bold colors and metallic accents have grown in popularity, as they offer a unique way to set your products apart from the crowd. Modern packaging techniques and machines have made it easier than ever to create unique prints and colors, and incorporate materials like metal foil.

 

Transparent Package Windows

This is especially popular in food packaging. A transparent plastic window into a package gives customers the chance to see the product for themselves before they buy it and provides a unique visual contrast that sets the product apart.

 

Vintage-Inspired Designs

As popular products like Not Your Father’s Root Beer have shown, vintage packaging inspired by turn-of-the-century illustrations and color schemes can help your brand stand out in a unique way. Designs inspired by the vintage ads and labels of yesteryear are sure to stand out among modern logos and package designs – so many brands are turning to retro and vintage-inspired designs for their packaging.

 

Keep Your Company Ahead of the Competition with These Trends!

Whether you work in the packaging industry, or you are redesigning product packages to meet the expectations of today’s customers, you’ll want to understand these trends, adopt them to stay ahead of your competitors, and ensure your products have an edge in today’s crowded marketplace.

How Machine Knives Assist in Making Board Games and Cards

It’s the summer, when friends and family can get together, relax, and enjoy the great weather. And there’s no better way to spend a weekend afternoon or a lazy vacation day than playing games with those who are closest to you.

But have you ever thought about how important machine knives are for creating things like board game pieces, cards, game boards, packaging and more? In this article, we’ll take a look at how a variety of machine knives, perf blades, and dies are used to help make the games you and your family love to play!

How Board Game Components Are Made – Understanding the Process!

There are many different components and parts that go into a board game, so let’s take a look at a few of these and discuss the integral role that machine knives play in making each component.

Let’s begin with playing cards. Whether you’re playing with a standard 52-card deck, or a custom deck for a board game, most cards are made in the same way. They’re printed onto large, flat rolls of paper, and then cut into sheets with machine knives. Then, once the sheets have been printed, each one is cut again, separating the sheets into individual cards. Then, these cards are sorted and placed into pre-cut boxes – which are also cut using machine knives and dies!

Game boards are often made similarly, but with a thicker cardstock or cardboard. After the board is printed onto a large sheet of cardboard material, each individual board is cut and punched out. Game boxes are similar, but usually more complex, as they are not flat. They must be bent into shape or cut using dies to assume the proper, box-like shape.

For smaller game components, perf blades are often used to cut out each piece out – but leave it in the original piece of cardboard for ease of packaging. If you’ve played Settlers of Catan or a similar game, you’ll know that the smaller tokens and parts of a board game are often not packaged loosely, but instead are contained within a larger piece of cardboard. Then, the first time you play the game, you “punch” each piece out. This helps prevent the loss of these tiny pieces during packaging and shipping.

Machine Knives Are Critical for Board Games and Card Games!

Machine knives, perf blades, and slitters from TGW International are more important than you think – even when it comes to recreation, like the production of board games and card games. We hope this blog has been informative, and helped you learn more about the importance of machine knives in our everyday lives!

How Plastic Has Changed Over Time

It goes without saying that plastic has changed the world. Once considered a scientific wonder, plastic is now widely associated with leaching carcinogens into food and polluting the ocean. It’s not all bad though, and this wonder material has made a good impression on plenty of the tasks it takes on.

Plastic is now, and always has been, suitable for many uses. It’s light, formable, tough, transparent and waterproof. It’s changed quite a bit over time, from the first discovery into the plastics that we use so often today.

The First Form Of “Modern” Plastic

The first breakthrough that hinted at the type of plastics that we would use in a modern world was Bakelite, discovered by Leo Baekeland, a chemist. Bakelite was essentially the first plastic made from synthetic compounds. It was originally used for radio and telephone casings as it was electrically non-conductive and heat resistant.

Bakelite paved the way for the simple compound combinations that exist in the polymer plastics that we use today. Bakelite was the first plastic that was completely synthetic. It was not derived from animal parts or plants…but from phenol, an acid that comes from coal tar.

The Plastics That We Use Today

Ever since the launch of Bakelite in the early 1900’s, the use of plastic has exploded into hundreds of thousands of different compounds and is used more often than Leo Baekeland probably ever dreamed it would be. Just by tweaking the structure a little bit, plastic can be changed into a completely different polymer.

The possible uses for plastic are endless, and we continue to see conglomerates and companies worldwide put them to use. But at what cost?

The Effects Of Aggressive Plastic Use

Synthetic plastics are durable. Durable enough to last a lifetime or longer. In the early days of plastic, this fact was deemed a major plus. Today, the plastic that we create and then discard over and over again on a daily basis will likely end up in a landfill for a couple of those aforementioned lifetimes.

As humans begin to realize the damage they’ve done, plastics are set to evolve once again. Environmentally friendly, biodegradable plastics are currently in a state of production and constant development.

Bio-technology is a major player in the current plastics game, as scientists look to a better way to package product. Plastics will always be a way of life, ever-changing as we examine their impact on the Earth.

3 Trends in Pet Food Packaging and How They’re Enabled by The Right Blades

Pet food is a growing industry. Customers are looking for higher-quality, grain-free foods and pet food companies are adapting to changing tastes and packaging preferences to ensure that they capture this market and improve profitability.

In this article, we’ll take a look at a few of the top trends in pet food packaging, and how TGW International can help packaging manufacturers with high-quality blades that enable the adoption of these trends.

Flat Bottomed, Resealable Bags

Many leading pet food manufacturers have adopted these bags. With a design that incorporates a flat bottom, a tapering side, and a resealable top, these bags are extremely convenient, allowing customers to easily store and scoop pet food. Another benefit of these bags is that they offer a huge amount of real estate for branding. Customers can get a 360-degree view of the package, which allows for more unique and eye-catching designs.

Conveying Product Value with Unique Design and Branding

 Today’s pet food customers are looking for high-quality products, so incorporating information about nutritional facts, ingredients, and the materials, such as the type of meat, used to make pet food is critical. Today’s pet owner is looking for a food that contains only the highest-quality ingredients, and packaging manufacturers need to adapt to this trend in order to maintain sales and continue to grow in a highly-competitive market.

Sustainability and Eco-Friendly Design

Just like in the world of human food, there has been a drive toward more sustainable packaging in the pet food industry. Paper bags are becoming very popular, and more companies are beginning to incorporate recycled materials into plastic bags to help reduce their environmental footprint. Using natural ingredients is also a growing trend, as it helps appeal to the same sustainable, eco-friendly attitude.

TGW International Offers the Highest-Quality Blades for Pet Food Packaging

 TGW International has a full line of industrial machine knives for every packaging application. From bagger knives to cross cut knives, EZ open knives, slitters, cutoff knives and more, TGW has all of the products you need to revolutionize your packaging methods.

Learn more here, or contact TGW International to learn more about our products – and how using high-quality knives can help you get a competitive advantage when it comes to pet food packaging.

Gearing Up For The Summer With Organic Fruits And Veggies

The weather is finally starting to get a bit warmer and summer is right around the corner. That means that more fruits and vegetables will come into season – and sales of organic fruits and veggies are likely to climb into the warm months of summer.

While fruits and vegetable traditionally have been sold “loose” and packaged into bags by customers, this trend is being bucked by many companies selling organic products. This is because flexible plastic packaging is convenient – with features like handle holes, and breathable vents. Not only that, but better packaging can actually help sell more organic produce.

Packaging Helps Set Organic Produce Apart

Packaging has always been an important tool for selling products, but is often under-utilized when it comes to produce like fruits and veggies.

However, as organic produce has become more popular, more manufacturers are using clamshell boxes, plastic pouches, and other such types of packaging to help sell their produce. They can label fruits and veggies with branded logos, information about the organic nature and sustainability of the product, and more.

In turn, this catches the eye of the shopper, and helps educate them about the product and its benefits – translating directly to increased sales and better brand awareness.

Produce Packaging Helps Retailers

Pre-packed produce has a number of benefits not just for organic brands, but also for retailers. Because packaged produce is usually purchased in a larger volume, compared to “loose” produce, overall dollar sales increase. It’s also easier to create an attractive merchandising display with pre-packaged organic produce.

In addition, there is less shrink and waste due to issues like under-picked produce which may look unattractive, or produce being dropped on the floors. Finally, customers like the convenience of pre-packaged produce, which can simply be picked out, dropped into a cart, then purchased and stored in its packaging at home.

Looking To Package Your Produce? We Can Help!

At TGW International and Pearl Technologies, we specialize in knives and related products for creating attractive, effective, and durable packaging. From slitters, to razor blades, cut-off knives, splicers from RD Scorers, Rotoflex and Arpeco, shear cut slitters, pneumatic air holders,  Flex Units, Multi-Punch Units, Venting Units, and more.

We offer all-in-one service, and can help with all of your needs when it comes to produce packaging this summer. Inquire today, and learn more about our services and products at TGW International.

End to End Touchpoints for Seafood Processing and Packaging – And Our View of The Industry

At TGW International, we provide knives for every step of the seafood and freshwater fish processing and packaging operation. From fillet knives, slicers, cutoff knives and ultrasonic cutters for processing fresh and frozen seafood and related products, to bagger knives and overwrap knives to produce secure and durable packaging to protect them on the trip to the grocery store or to one of your favorite restaurants, we do it all.

Thanks to our ability to provide our customers with an all-in-one solution, we have a unique perspective on the industry of seafood and freshwater fish processing – so, in this article, we’ll discuss a few of the trends and major influences that we’ve noticed in the seafood processing and packaging industry.

A Rise in High-Pressure Processing (HPP)

One of the biggest challenges in seafood is keeping products safe and appealing for customers, even when they must travel distances of hundreds or even thousands of miles and have a long shelf life.

Because of this, we’re seeing a rise in the use of High-Pressure Processing (HPP), which is a pasteurization technique that uses extremely high levels of hydrostatic pressure to destroy microorganisms without affecting food flavor or texture.

In the future, we think it’s likely that HPP may be used for most seafood that must be transported long distances, to ensure that the product remains safe – yet delicious – once it arrives at its destination.

Modified Atmospheric Packaging (MAP) 

Another trend in seafood processing and packaging is the rise of Modified Atmospheric Packaging, or MAP for short. MAP uses a special blend of nitrogen, carbon dioxide and oxygen to replace the air surrounding chilled (or even living, in the case of mussels and shellfish) seafood. This gas mixture is pumped into a vacuum, and helps prolong the life of living seafood, and preserve the taste of processed seafood.

A Rise in Prepared Seafood Spurred By “Meal Kits”

We think that seafood processors are going to see even more demand for sliced, pre-packaged, and sealed seafood products, such as fish filets, due to the popularity of meal kits like Blue Apron, and similar products.

Consumers are increasingly turning to these kits, rather than grocery stores that have fresh fish, or purchasing their own fish from the “frozen” aisle of their local supermarket. Packaging companies and processors will need to realize this – and invest in the proper equipment to keep up with demand.

Know What’s Next for the Seafood Industry!

At TGW International, we value our clients in the seafood processing and packaging industry, so we hope this brief blog has been informative and helpful. Think about the trends you’ve seen yourself – and how you can prepare for the future!

Expanding Opportunities and Planning Ahead

We had another great year at TGW.  2018 was one of our best years on record – and we look forward to continuing to grow and expand in the coming years. In this post, we’ll take a brief look back at some of our accomplishments from 2018 and share what you can look forward to in 2019.

Expanding Opportunities – Merging with Pearl Technologies Inc

First, and significantly, we completed our merger with Pearl Technologies Inc. This merger allows us to be able to bring our customers an even more robust line of industrial machine knife solutions. We’ll continue to offer industry-leading industrial machine knives solutions, but we’ll also have more to offer as we pick up additional converting and extrusion capabilities and offerings. We can now do more for our customers as our range of expertise has doubled! We’re now your one-stop shop – we manufacture, we control the quality, and we deliver.

A Year of Trade Shows

Members of the TGW and Pearl Team joined over 50,000 packaging professionals that attended Pack Expo 2018 in Chicago. We were proud to be an exhibitor at Pack Expo and took full advantage of what was by far the largest packaging event of the year.

We’re looking forward to exhibiting at ICE USA 2019 on April 9th-11th in Louisville, Kentucky and Pack Expo Las Vegas 2019, October 8th-11th. Come check us out and see what we, and Pearl, have to offer – together!

Planning Ahead for 2019

We’ve always been proud of having the largest in-stock selection of knives in the world. One of our largest initiatives for 2019 will be the extending of our made to order services. There’s no shortage of requests for custom knives, and as innovation in machinery and processes increase, we see this as an area that will only grow. We received great feedback in 2018 with regard to our Request A Quote form, allowing individuals to quickly input their information and upload any images/drawings, giving our team the information we need to quickly provide the proper quote.

It was also another good year for our POD knives, the ones used to manufacture coffee pods and other single-use pods.  We continue to improve on the seam/weld quality on replacement knives and offer advanced tooth configurations on one-piece holder/knife POD applications.  The improved seam/weld quality could also be spun into our cup and tray knives, ones used for packaged dairy products, our welds are so seamless they are often not detected.

We also saw an uptick in top/bottom knives for pouch applications last year, which we have found tie in very well to Pearl’s converting punches and solutions. From producing the pouch material, to the punch/tear notch to the top/bottom knives cutting the filled stand-up pouch of snack foods.

Here’s to a Great 2019!

In the coming year, we plan to redouble our focus on innovation and serving our customers. Thanks for looking back at 2018 with us, and please join us as we work towards a successful 2019 and beyond. If you aren’t already, join our insider newsletter to stay up to date on the latest from TGW.

 

The Top Packaging Trends Shaping the Industry In 2019

If you work in the packaging and consumer products industry, you may be wondering what the upcoming year may hold for your company. In this article, we’ll take a look at just a few of the top packaging trends that are likely to become even more popular in 2019, and the years to come.

Keeping It Simple with Minimalistic Design

Millennials are adopting minimalism, both as a lifestyle and in the products they buy. This means that packaging companies must follow suit and consider introducing products that have a modern, minimalistic, and stylish design. The success of brands like AmazonBasics, Anker, and generic retail brands at stores like Target and Trader Joe’s are proof that sometimes, less is more.

Big and Bold Typography

Related to the above trend, we think that there will be a shift toward big, bold typography for retail packaging. A more minimalistic package is the ideal vehicle for a unique, bright, and stylish typographic design, as the eye won’t be distracted by branding and photos.

Combining a minimalistic design and beautiful, eye-catching typography will be the key to creating unique packaging that appeals to today’s younger consumers.

An Emphasis on Traceable and Sustainable Materials

As concerns about our climate and environment continue to mount, the move towards sustainability and traceability continues to pick up steam.

Using post-consumer recycled materials and encouraging reuse and recycling of packaging is a good start – but with modern technology like QR codes and blockchain, it’s now actually possible to store a record of the materials that were used for creating a particular package.

Consumers can then look at this information, and learn about where the packaging materials came from, if they are sustainable, and how they can be recycled.

Building a Consumer-To-Manufacturer Relationship

Often, consumers have a relationship with the manufacturer of a product only through the retailers at which they purchase their products. In other words, a consumer who buys Coke doesn’t have a relationship with Coca-Cola – but with the local store at which they buy their favorite soft drink.