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Quality Digest


PACK EXPO International Challenges Students’ Creativity in New Machine Building Competition

Hands-on experience is the name of the game

Published: Wednesday, July 6, 2022 - 12:00

(PMMI: Chicago, IL)--PACK Challenge, a brand-new packaging competition, will bring six high school teams together for a head-to-head machine-building challenge at PACK EXPO International (Oct. 23-26, McCormick Place, Chicago), according to show producer, PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies.

“We are excited to introduce this first-of-its-kind competition and watch the students roll up their sleeves in a real-world application while they learn,” says Jim Pittas, president a & CEO at PMMI. “One of our main priorities is getting students involved at a young age and showing them the doors the manufacturing industry can open. This competition will give them first-hand experience of what a career in manufacturing could look like.”

PMMI will provide a build-to-print snack filler machine kit, designed specifically for this competition, along with an assembly manual to the qualifying teams who will build the machine at their school over the summer. At the show, each team will re-assemble the snack filler to the specifications, compete for best design, host competitions and marketing and sales presentations. Teams will have the flexibility to be creative with add-ons.

The overall best-in-show team will be awarded $6,000, with second place receiving $3,000 and third $1,000. Other awards include Filler Performance Gold Cup, Most Creative Filler Design and Marketing/Sales presentations.  After the event, the teams will take the machines back to their school, providing future students the opportunity for hands-on experience.

“To address the imminent skills gap, PMMI is working at developing many programs to show students the world of manufacturing,” says Kate Fiorianti, PMMI's senior manager in Workforce Development. “This brand-new competition is meant to excite students and pique their interest to want to learn more. As a result, we have a multitude of resources available to both parents and students to get involved and advance the future of this critical industry.”

The PMMI Foundation works to grow awareness of careers in packaging and processing and provides financial support for packaging and processing education throughout the U.S and Canada. Since its inception in 1998, the PMMI Foundation has given more than $2.6 million to strengthen the workforce within the packaging and processing industry.  For more information on student opportunities, contact Kate Fiorianti at kfiorianti@pmmi.org

PACK EXPO International also offers multiple other programs and activities aimed at getting students excited about careers in packaging and processing and connecting them with professional mentors in the industry. In addition to exciting networking events and student programs, the highlight of PACK EXPO International will be the new, never-before seen solutions, from thousands of leading suppliers on the show floor, bringing all vertical industries together to generate a cross-pollination of ideas and crossover solutions that can only be discovered in-person.

To learn more and to register, visit packexpointernational.com. Registration for the show is $30 until Sept. 30, after which it increases to $130.


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For 40 years Quality Digest has been the go-to source for all things quality. Our newsletter, Quality Digest, shares expert commentary and relevant industry resources to assist our readers in their quest for continuous improvement. Our website includes every column and article from the newsletter since May 2009 as well as back issues of Quality Digest magazine to August 1995. We are committed to promoting a view wherein quality is not a niche, but an integral part of every phase of manufacturing and services.