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.

TGW International: How Our Custom Machine Knives Can Help You

At TGW International, we’re specialists in the development, manufacturing, and testing of machine knives. With decades of experience in the industry, our company can help you get the knives you need to speed up manufacturing, reduce downtime, and ensure consistent cuts and performance. Learn more about our custom machine knives now and see if working with TGW International is the right choice for your company.

We Have Experience in A Variety of Industries

Our knives are the blade of choice for manufacturers and companies in a variety of industries. We do it all – from poultry processing knives, to scraper blades used in the dairy and baking industry, bagger knives for packaging, inlaid carbide printing knives for magazine and newspaper companies, and top slitters for paper producers.

Custom Orders and Designs Available – Let Us Help You Design the Perfect Solution!

If you’re in need of a unique blade and you can’t find the proper product on the market, even with the wide selection of products we always have available, we’re here to help. We can manufacture custom blades based on your specifications. If desired, we can even collaborate with you to design and develop a brand-new blade, put it through testing, and implement it in your company.

We can handle any type of project. We work with all types of knife materials, from carbon steel, to tungsten carbide and ceramic, as well as coatings like PolyTetraFluoroEthylene (PTFE), Titanium Nitride, and more. If you’re interested in working with us, let us know!

We Work with Companies of All Sizes

Whether you work at a smaller manufacturing company and need a relatively small number of custom knives, or you’re a part of a multinational conglomerate and require a huge supply of knives, we’re here to help. We supply knives and custom blades to companies of all sizes – and we would be glad to hear from you and learn more about how we can help you meet your organizational goals.

Contact Us Now to Get Started

Whether you’d just like to learn more about our current lineup of machine knives, or you need a custom knife for your next project, the team at TGW International is here to help. If you’d like to get started, you can contact us online, or give us a call at 859-647-7383. Get in touch today and see how TGW International can help you get the knives and blades you need to succeed.

 

How Machine Knives Play a Big Role in the Snack Food Industry

Whether you’re snacking on a packet of peanuts, a bag of Cheetos, or a Swiss Cake Roll, you have machine knives to thank for the food and its packaging.

With every snack comes a package and, in our hunger, we often overlook the package, as we tear into it to access the tasty treats within.

But the packaging industry in America is enormous, and worldwide, it’s worth nearly $975 billion. Machine knives play a huge part in food processing and packaging. At TGW International, we’re proud to be the top supplier of high-quality industrial machine knives for the food service industry.

Slicing and Dicing Ingredients

If you’re eating a packaged snack, machine knives were involved in the process of creating it.

This is especially true of one of the most common snacks in the business, potato chips. TGW International provides high-quality steel knives that are ideal for slicing potatoes into razor-thin chips, and allowing them to be fried to that perfect, crispy and crunchy texture.

So next time you pop open a bag of chips, think about the knife that sliced your chip and how your snacking experience is enhanced by the perfect chip size and thickness. You’ve got a knife to thank for that.

Separating Snacks

For baked snacks and goods, such as brownies or cakes, machine knives are often used to cut and separate sheets of cooked dough or batter, to form the final shape of a snack. As the final results must be picture-perfect, particularly if they’re in transparent plastic packaging, a sharp knife is critical for this step.

Packaging

The final way that machine knives are involved in making snacks is packaging.

There are so many snack foods and they must be differentiated from one another with different packages. A great, high-quality package can make all of the difference in the grocery aisle, or at a convenience store.

Machine knives are also integral to this step. By providing clean, crisp cuts to packages, they enhance the attractiveness of a snack, and help promote it to customers.

Get the Best Machine Knives from TGW International

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of using high-quality machine knives, TGW International is here to help. Take a look at our website now, and learn more.

How Coffee Can Go Green

Coffee is one of the most valuable commodities in the world, and it’s the world’s most widely consumed beverage. Coffee exporting alone is worth more than $20 billion, so this means that there are ample opportunities for coffee companies to go green and become more environmentally friendly.

In this article, we’ll discuss a few ways that coffee packaging companies can become more sustainable, and the importance of going green for the coffee business.

How Coffee Packaging Companies Can Become More Sustainable

One of the biggest innovations in the coffee space has also contributed the most to coffee waste. When the Keurig launched several years ago, it brought coffee pods to the masses.

While these small, plastic pods are certainly convenient, they’re also extremely wasteful. Each one is used only once and cannot be recycled. This is a huge issue, given that 9 billion pods were sold in 2015, and the number has only grown since then. While Keurig has introduced recyclable pods, that’s only part of the solution.

Coffee packaging companies must use innovative materials and techniques, along with the proper industrial knives, to create new types of reusable or disposable coffee pods. The single-serve coffee market is behind only the drip coffee market for home brewing and will continue to grow.

This means that one of the best ways for coffee to go green is to use sustainable materials for coffee pods. Recently, many companies have begun introducing cloth or paper-based pods for Keurig and other pod-based coffee makers, which are much more sustainable, and are biodegradable, in most cases.

By investing in the right equipment, such as specialized cloth industrial knives, and creating value by using organic coffee and environmentally-friendly materials, coffee companies can create better coffee and have a smaller impact on our environment.

Coffee Needs to Make A Bigger Push Towards Sustainability

Coffee manufacturers and packaging companies can distinguish themselves from their competition by investing in sustainable manufacturing practices, such as the creation of cloth pods.

One of the biggest reasons for this is that coffee is one of the biggest agricultural products in the entire world. Where the coffee industry goes, other industries may follow. By setting a great example, and focusing on biodegradable or re-usable products, the coffee industry may lead the charge for a more sustainable global economy. That’s something you can raise a cup of coffee to.