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LEATHERHEAD, England--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Over 180 experts from across the food contact industry will gather in Rome, Italy from 15 – 17 May 2017 to attend Smithers Pira’s Global Food Contact ( Food and beverage packaging was valued at $221 billion in 2016 and with food packaging predicted to grow at a faster rate than any other packaging market in the next five years it’s clear why it’s increasingly important to stay up-to-date with regulations in this ever-changing industry. Food contact regulations across the globe often fail to unite, so players from across the supply chain have a constant battle to stay-to-date with key legislation in all countries they export to, which is why Global Food Contact offers them the perfect solution. Described as “An efficient and enjoyable means of staying up to date with the global regulatory landscape” by Allan Brown from Scholle IPN Packaging Inc., Global Food Contact offers delegates the opportunity to hear the latest industry trends, deepen their understanding of international FCM requirements, gain updates on food contact legislation, network with food contact professionals and receive the latest information on regulatory requirements in all key markets they export to including Europe, US, Canada, Asia and South America. Attendees to the conference include industry leaders and legislators from across the food contact supply chain such as regulatory affairs professionals, chemical manufacturers, material suppliers, brand owners and R&D scientists developing new chemicals for food contact applications. Delegates to the conference will also be able to book themselves onto an exclusive pre-conference workshop, taking place on Monday 15th May with Head of Food Contact Compliance at Smithers Pira, Alistair Irvine. For more information on Global Food Contact visit Sponsorship and exhibition opportunities are still available. For more information about sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please contact Stephen Frier on +44 (0)1372 802006 or email Smithers Pira is the worldwide authority on the packaging, paper and print industry supply chains. They provide world-leading expertise and market intelligence, and offer a range of testing services supported by comprehensive facilities in the UK and US. With over 80 years’ technical and scientific experience Smithers Pira helps clients around the world with their business and testing requirements.

AKRON, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Smithers Rapra, a world leader in rubber, plastics and composites testing, held its first Tire Technology Symposium in China. The event, designed to bring the Chinese tire industry together to share technical knowledge, regulatory expertise and business insight, featured over 70 technical experts from companies throughout the industry supply chain including automotive OEMs, tire manufacturers and retailers. Dr. James A. Popio, Vice President of Smithers Rapra’s North American operations kicked off the day of technical sessions with a history of Force and Moment testing. The session was designed to help fellow technologists understand the reasons behind such measurements and why they are a critical input to vehicle design. “These measurements are made to allow vehicle makers (OEMs) to ride and drive tires in the virtual world. In addition, it allows them to do chassis, control and suspension design,” stated Popio. “For automotive OEMs and tire manufacturers alike, understanding how tire dynamics change with different driving conditions provides key data that can be used for performance measurements and is essential to creating tire models.” The sessions continued with discussions by several industry experts on topics providing insight for Chinese manufacturers looking to enter and succeed in global markets. They included: “It was amazing to see so many of the top tire technical minds from the Chinese tire and automotive industry in the room,” noted Derek Read, General Manager, Smithers Rapra’s Suzhou testing laboratory. “The Chinese market has experienced exceptional growth in volume, but also in technical knowledge and expertise. Our symposium provided the industry with a forum to learn and discuss the latest trends in tire testing technology.” Smithers Rapra has supported the global tire industry since the company’s inception in 1925. Today, the company operates industry leading tire testing facilities in the United States, China and England along with a winter proving ground for tire traction testing in Michigan, United States. From material characterization and formulation chemistry to endurance testing and a wide variety of other tire testing techniques, Smithers Rapra provides the full supply chain with tire development support. Smithers Rapra has been a trusted partner of the plastics and rubber industries for over 90 years. Our business is built around delivering a complete portfolio of rubber and plastic testing services to support a wide range of industry sectors including tire, automotive, polymer products, oil and gas, medical device, pharmaceutical, transport, packaging, industrial and consumer products. By integrating science, technology and business expertise, Smithers’ goal is to add value throughout the life cycle of our clients’ products. Please visit Headquartered in Akron, Ohio, The Smithers Group includes Smithers Apex, Smithers Avanza, Smithers Pira, Smithers Quality Assessments, Smithers Rapra, and Smithers Viscient. Each Smithers Group company provides technology-based services focused on a defined market. As a group the diversity of market sectors and technologies provides stability and a platform for long-term growth. By integrating science, technology and business expertise, Smithers goal is to add value throughout the life cycle of our clients’ products, by utilizing testing, consulting, information, and compliance services. All Smithers companies are known by their clients as Trusted Providers of Innovative Solutions. For more information, visit

News Article | February 28, 2017

AKRON, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Smithers Rapra is pleased to announce the agenda for Traction Summit 2017 conference taking place May 9-10, at the Grand Hyatt in Atlanta, Georgia. Traction Summit is the 2017 conference and exhibition that will continue to explore commercial and technical issues which impact the entire industry, from auto OEMs and after-market sales, tire manufacturers, raw materials and specialty chemicals suppliers, industry regulators and business analysts. This year’s program will feature a line-up of expert presenters representing major industry players such as Ford Motor Company, Michelin North America, Continental Tire, General Motors, ExxonMobil Chemical Co., Pressure Systems International and more. “Traction Summit 2017 will provide the leadership of the tire industry with a platform for sharing ideas and data covering a variety of topics, with the ultimate goal of working together to drive the tire industry forward,” said Ciaran Little, Conference Producer for Smithers Rapra. Ford Motor Company will deliver the keynote address, Future mobility trends and the implications for the tire industry, at the Traction Summit. Additionally, this year’s agenda is filled with innovative discussions, important trends and issues like: For more information about Traction Summit 2017 visit: Smithers Rapra is the global leader in rubber, plastics, polymer and composites testing, consulting and information products and events, with key focuses including the tire, industrial, transportation, consumer and medical industries. For more information, visit Headquartered in Akron, Ohio, The Smithers Group includes Smithers, Apex, Smithers Avanza, Smithers Pira, Smithers Quality Assessments, Smithers Rapra and Smithers Viscient. Each of The Smithers Group companies provide technology-based services focused on a defined market. As a group the diversity of market sectors and technologies provides stability and a platform for long-term growth. By integrating science, technology and business expertise, Smithers’ goal is to add value throughout the life cycle of our clients’ products by utilizing testing, consulting, information, and compliance services. All Smithers companies are known by their clients as trusted providers of innovative solutions. For more information, visit

SINGAPORE, Feb. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Preferences for lamination adhesives used in flexible food packaging, such as stand-up pouches (SUPs), wrappers and bags, are shifting away from traditional solvent-based products. Environmental and safety issues are the primary drivers for this change. To take advantage of strong projected market growth in flexible packaging by addressing increasing pressure from consumers and government regulators for greater sustainability, the industry is demanding non-solvent alternatives that reduce environmental impact without negatively affecting system costs and productivity. Advanced solventless and water-based adhesive technologies offer solutions to this challenge. Market Growth and the "Culture of Convenience" According to a report by Smithers Pira, a market research organization, the global consumer flexible packaging market value is forecast to grow at an annual average rate of 3 percent to reach $248 billion USD by 2020.1 Trends driving this growth include the rise of the middle class in developing economies such as those of China, Indonesia, India and other Asia Pacific nations. Middle-class families and other busy consumers around the globe increasingly value the convenience of packaged foods offering high quality and freshness. At the same time that they embrace this "culture of convenience," consumers are concerned about sustainability of the packaging used for these foods - from raw materials to energy costs and recyclability. Another major trend is down-gauging of packaging to reduce polymer and production costs and minimize environmental impact. Flexible packaging uses fewer resources and less energy to fabricate and transport than other forms of packaging.2 As they dry, solvent-based adhesives emit large amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), potentially affecting air quality and worker health and safety. Today, VOCs are being regulated tightly in many nations, including China (Action Plan on Reducing Volatile Organic Compounds in Key Industries). Also, these adhesives require more energy for transport than other types because solvents add significant weight and bulk. Solvent-based adhesive chemistries have other drawbacks. The trace amount of solvent left over in the base materials may lead to potential food safety concern and also produce an unpleasant odor in the packaging that can be transmitted to the food. From a production standpoint, solvent-based adhesives can pose a potential fire and explosion hazard if the processing speed and temperature are too high. These constraints limit productivity for converters and manufacturers. In contrast, water-based and solventless adhesives have no VOC emissions. These adhesives are popular in Europe and the Americas, but represent only about 20 percent of the market in China, where solvent-based products still dominate. However, upcoming regulations are expected to lead to the replacement of solvent-based adhesives with alternatives offering greater sustainability. New innovations in solventless adhesives have been introduced at a fast pace in recent years. Not only are these adhesives safer and more environmentally friendly than solvent-based products, they offer cost and efficiency benefits as well. In addition to eliminating the expense of using solvents in the formulation, these products are not constrained by the risk of fire or explosion, enabling them to be run at speeds of up to 600 meters per minute to increase throughput. Advanced solventless adhesives, such as Dow Chemical's MOR-FREETM products, have additional sustainability and efficiency advantages. They are designed specifically to enable multi-layer flexible packaging that uses less adhesive while delivering high performance. MOR-FREETM adhesives combine an isocyanate-based material with a hydroxyl-functional base material, and are available as one- and two-component systems. One-component solventless adhesives are used primarily to laminate paper or paperboard with films or aluminum foil. Two-component solventless adhesives are widely used for many general-purpose to medium-performance applications, including laminating of film/film and film/foil constructions. MOR-FREETM adhesives are "all-in-one" solutions that offer broad suitability for different structures and applications, which greatly increases product efficiency and leads to cost savings. They also deliver superior performance that safeguards food safety, for example, by accelerating decay of primary aromatic amines within two days, which potentially eliminates food safety risks and surpasses competitive offerings. With water as their main component, water-based adhesives discharge only moisture into the atmosphere during drying, unlike the VOCs released by solvent-based adhesives. Because no solvents are used, these adhesives do not pose a threat of fire from high temperatures and speeds, allowing them to be processed 20 percent faster than the average speeds of solvent-based products. A major advantage of choosing water-based adhesives is that they can be used on the same equipment as solvent-based adhesives. This avoids the capital expense of replacing existing dry lamination equipment. Water-based adhesives also have broader adaptability to different materials. They are compatible with metalized films, and are suitable for structures such as BOPP (PET)//VMCPP, BOPP (PET)//MPET and inflatable food packaging for confectionary products, potato chips, etc. Single-component water-based adhesives are often used for packaging of instant noodles and snack foods. Two-component adhesives can provide higher bond and heat seal strength, and are suitable for some medium-performance applications. Although many water-based adhesives cannot equal solvent-based products in heat and chemical resistance, which is considered a roadblock to their adoption, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics' new-generation ROBONDTM polyurethane-based laminating adhesives can deliver comparable performance in some applications such as rice bags and SUPs. These innovative adhesives have outstanding resistance to steaming, boiling and chemicals, making them an excellent choice for foods such as meats and pickles that are sterilized in boiling water after packaging. Following curing, the ROBONDTM polyurethane dispersion system creates a strong, flexible laminate with good clarity and thermal stability. Solventless and water-based adhesives can be used in the same multilayer packaging construction to deliver different properties. For example, a potato chip bag may appear to consist of one thin layer but is actually a three-layer structure (BOPP//VMPET//PE) requiring two laminating processes. This combination of adhesives can help to maximize operational efficiency, reduce manufacturing costs and shorten delivery time to customers, while improving the environmental protection and safety of the food packaging. Replacing traditional solvent-based lamination adhesives in flexible, multi-layer food packaging with water-based and solventless adhesives can help converters and manufacturers address consumer demands for safety and sustainability, as well as comply with increasingly stringent laws and regulations regarding VOC emissions. With its broad portfolio of solventless and water-based adhesives, including new polyurethane dispersions, Dow can provide alternatives that not only reduce or eliminate VOCs but also promote food safety and expedite processing. The largest business unit in Dow, Packaging and Specialty Plastics (P&SP) delivers annual revenues of ~US$14 billion and is one of the largest materials suppliers to the global packaging industry. With 3,800 employees, 48 plants and 28 sites spread across 16 countries, the business focuses on high growth markets in food packaging, industrial packaging, personal hygiene, and transmission pipe. P&SP is a leading innovator and collaborates across multiple value chains on new and improved products and applications that meet or exceed customer expectations. Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company is driving innovations that extract value from material, polymer, chemical and biological science to help address many of the world's most challenging problems, such as the need for fresh food, safer and more sustainable transportation, clean water, energy efficiency, more durable infrastructure, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's integrated, market-driven portfolio delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in 175 countries and in high-growth sectors such as packaging, infrastructure, transportation, consumer care, electronics, and agriculture. In 2016, Dow had annual sales of $48 billion and employed approximately 56,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 7,000 product families are manufactured at 189 sites in 34 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at

Griffiths K.R.,University of Bath | Hicks B.J.,University of Bristol | Keogh P.S.,University of Bath | Shires D.,Smithers Pira
Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing | Year: 2016

In general, vehicle vibration is non-stationary and has a non-Gaussian probability distribution; yet existing testing methods for packaging design employ Gaussian distributions to represent vibration induced by road profiles. This frequently results in over-testing and/or over-design of the packaging to meet a specification and correspondingly leads to wasteful packaging and product waste, which represent $15bn per year in the USA and €3bn per year in the EU. The purpose of the paper is to enable a measured non-stationary acceleration signal to be replaced by a constructed signal that includes as far as possible any non-stationary characteristics from the original signal. The constructed signal consists of a concatenation of decomposed shorter duration signals, each having its own kurtosis level. Wavelet analysis is used for the decomposition process into inner and outlier signal components. The constructed signal has a similar PSD to the original signal, without incurring excessive acceleration levels. This allows an improved and more representative simulated input signal to be generated that can be used on the current generation of shaker tables. The wavelet decomposition method is also demonstrated experimentally through two correlation studies. It is shown that significant improvements over current international standards for packaging testing are achievable; hence the potential for more efficient packaging system design is possible. © 2016 The Authors.

Ouadi M.,Aston University | Brammer J.G.,Aston University | Yang Y.,Aston University | Hornung A.,Aston University | Kay M.,Smithers Pira
Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis | Year: 2013

De-inking sludge is a waste product generated from secondary fibre paper mills who manufacture recycled paper into new paper sheets; it refers directly to the solid residues which evolve during the de-inking stage of the paper pulping process. The current practice for the disposal of this waste is either by land-spreading, land-filling or incineration which are unsustainable. This work has explored the intermediate pyrolysis of pre-conditioned de-inking sludge pellets in a recently patented 20 kg/h intermediate pyrolysis reactor (The Pyroformer). The reactor is essentially two co-axial screws which are configured in such a way as to circulate solids within the reactor and thus facilitate in the cracking of tars. The potential application of using the volatile organic vapours and permanent gases evolved would be to generate both combined heat and power (CHP) located at paper making sites. The results show that de-inking sludge could be successfully pyrolysed and the organic vapours produced were composed of a mixture of aromatic hydrocarbons, phenolic compounds and some fatty acid methyl esters as detected by liquid GC-MS. The calorific value of the oil after condensing was between 36 and 37 MJ/kg and the liquid fuel properties were also determined, permanent gases were detected by a GC-TCD and were composed of approximately 24% CO, 6% CH4 and 70% CO2 (v/v%). The solid residue from pyrolysis also contained a small residual calorific value, and was largely composed of mainly calcium based inert metal oxides. The application of applying intermediate pyrolysis to de-inking sludge for both CHP production and waste reduction is in principle a feasible technology which could be applied at secondary fibre paper mills. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

AKRON, Ohio--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) and Smithers Pira, have announced the dates and location for SustPack 2017, a three day event offering a comprehensive look at the inputs, outputs and impacts of packaging in supply chain sustainability. SustPack 2017 will host over 500 brands, organizations, government officials and academia in Scottsdale, Arizona, April 24-26, 2017. Through engaging panel conversations and exploratory workshops and tours around the Phoenix area, the 2017 program will provide a wide variety of sessions aimed at elevating the conversation around sustainable packaging. Presenters will review the end-of-life debates across recycling and composting, and will assess the commercial, environmental, and societal impacts of improving packaging sustainability. SustPack is a conference for all members of the supply chain, from sustainability directors to material manufacturers, who will come together to discuss challenges, innovations and ideas. “For SustPack 2017 we are preparing an event program that will thread through packaging inputs such as sustainable sourcing, the demystification of packaging metrics and policy in North America, outputs in e-commerce packaging and impacts in the supply chain through food waste reduction, compostable packaging and building trust in recycling,” said Nina Goodrich, Executive Director of GreenBlue and Director of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. “Attendees will get an extensive update on what is happening in the space and how they and their companies can take part in advancing packaging sustainability.” A few of this year’s confirmed speakers include Amazon, Nike, Coca-Cola Company, Intel, Target and many more. “Building off the success of last year’s program, the 2017 conference will continue to offer attendees the opportunity to develop partnerships with other organizations that will benefit their products and bottom line, as well as find out how to create a package that their customers will love and that is truly sustainable,” said Ciaran Little Director of Operations – Americas at Smithers Pira. “With over 500 business executives, R&D leaders, Sustainability Directors and government policy makers slated to attend, SustPack 2017 continues to be a must-attend event for the sustainable packaging supply chain.” Registration for SustPack 2017 is now open. Sustainable Packaging Coalition members can register here, open registration can be done here. Smithers Pira is the worldwide authority on packaging, paper and print industry supply chains. Established in 1930, the company provides strategic and technical consulting, testing, intelligence and events to help clients gain market insights, identify opportunities, evaluate product performance and manage compliance. For more information, visit The Sustainable Packaging Coalition®, a project of GreenBlue, is a membership group that brings together business, educational institutions, and government agencies to collectively broaden the understanding of packaging sustainability and develop meaningful improvements for packaging systems. Through strong member support, an informed and science-based approach, supply chain collaborations and continuous outreach, the SPC endeavors to build packaging systems that encourage economic prosperity and a sustainable flow of materials. For more information, visit or follow the SPC on Twitter @SPCspotlight

Smithers Pira announced today that Michael Kuebler, Technical Director at the company's Lansing, Michigan laboratory, will be a panelist on the "Rail Surges Ahead" webinar presented by Food Logistics magazine on November 9, 2016.

Jopson R.N.,Smithers Pira
Paper360 | Year: 2013

Recently there has been significant activity in the recovery of lignins from black liquor, notably Lignoboost and Sequential Liquid-Lignin Recovery & Purification (SLRP) processes. An important future source of lignins would be from the production of bio-ethanol and bio-butanol from cellulosic biomass for use as fuels, solvents or chemical feedstocks. The precursor step for biomass treatment requires de-lignifications in order to release a purified cellulose. This is then de-polymerized into sugars for fermentation. Progress in the development of new lignin applications will require greater intensity of research effort than ever before. The economic impulse for such developments will come from the desire to move away from oil-based polymers towards renewable resources. Lignin is generally considered as being a polymer of polyphenyl propane derivatives.

Moore G.,Smithers Pira
Paper360 | Year: 2012

Declines in the use of paper in many printing and writing applications will result in reduced availability of some recovered paper grades. Globalization of the world economy has increased the trade in recovered paper. China and other countries within Asia will continue to import recovered fiber as domestic paper and board production continues to develop and expand. The potential for increasing paper collection and use exists in both developing and developed countries. Recovery of waste paper and board continues to attract political and social attention in Europe. In contrast, paper for packaging applications has grown with improvements in overall economic performance, but also through the rise of environmental concerns which are favoring paper over plastic based packaging. Recycled fiber has been an integral part of papermaking for many years. The material is a globally traded commodity with recycled fiber-rich countries developing important export businesses around its trade.

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