Flexible Packaging Minor

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Overview

The flexible packaging minor addresses flexible containment systems, one of the fastest growing segments of the packaging materials industry. The manufacturing and use of flexible containment systems requires specific expertise and knowledge of appropriate technology for implementation. Flexible pouches and containment systems are considered more sustainable for replacing glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles, and metal cans. They use materials more efficiently and reduce the weight and costs associated with physical distribution activities.

Students learn about the sustainability performance of flexible packaging by studying product lifecycle from a societal, environmental, and economic impact as they design and manufacture more environmentally friendly flexible container systems. The minor enhances employment opportunities in industries such as consumer goods, health care, and the various food industries. Students with interests in engineering, engineering technology, printing, manufacturing and safety, product marketing, industrial design, logistics, and other related fields can benefit from the minor.

Notes about this minor:

  • This minor is closed to student enrolled in the packaging science major.
  • Posting of the minor on the student's academic transcript requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the minor.

Curriculum

Students learn about the sustainability performance of flexible packaging by studying product lifecycle from a societal, environmental, and economic impact as they design and manufacture more environmentally friendly flexible container systems. The minor enhances employment opportunities in industries such as consumer goods, health care, and the various food industries. Students with interests in engineering, engineering technology, printing, manufacturing and safety, product marketing, industrial design, logistics, and other related fields can benefit from the minor.

Notes about this minor:

  • This minor is closed to student enrolled in the packaging science major.
  • Posting of the minor on the student's academic transcript requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the minor.
Course
Required Courses
MAAT-256
Principles of Printing
This course surveys the materials and processes used in print reproduction. Students will learn the basic theory of image reproduction embodied in the analog and digital printing processes, and learn to identify the process origins of print samples. Additionally, students will be introduced to material science as it relates to print.
MAAT-558
Package Printing
Students who take this course will understand how package printing technologies work, and how they are used to print bags, labels, cartons, cans, boxes, and bottles. Students will apply a packaging printing workflow to produce labels and folding cartons of their own design. Finally, students will analyze the cost of printing a package.
PACK-560
Converting and Flexible Packaging
The course develops knowledge and techniques in converting and flexible packaging. Topics covered are converting materials, quality control practice in converting, evaluation of packaging film and converting and applications in flexible packaging.
Electives
Choose two of the following:
  MAAT-544
   Color Management Systems
This course addresses the science and technology of color management systems in achieving quality color reproduction and scanner-monitor and proof-print agreement. Students will study the role of color measurement for device calibration, device characterization, and building an ICC-based color management system. Students will perform color image rendering from digital capture to print, investigate digital proofing and soft and remote proofing, and evaluate color management system performance. Process control tools and analysis of control targets will also be covered.
  MAAT-541
   Digital Print Process
Students who take this course will understand how digital printing technologies work, what they are capable of doing, and how these technologies are used commercially. Students will analyze the factors driving the explosive growth of digital printing, including how the economics of digital and conventional printing compare. The concepts taught in the classroom will be reinforced through hands-on labs and field trips to digital printers and equipment suppliers.
  MAAT-367
   Image Processing Workflow
This course concentrates on the image processing variables and techniques required for producing high-quality color reproductions for a variety of output technologies. Emphasis will be placed on optimizing both image quality and workflow efficiencies from digital capture to final output. Topics include file formats, image processing strategies, color conversion and effective proofing techniques.
  MAAT-368
   Gravure and Flexography
Students who take this course will learn how the world’s leading package printing technologies work, and how to create designs that print well on them. Classroom theory is complemented by labs that give students extensive hands on experience operating a flexo label press. At the end of the course, students create pressure sensitive (peel and stick) label designs, take command of a flexo press, and print their labels on it.
  MAAT-376
   Lithographic Process
This course provides detailed fundamentals of the equipment and materials used in the lithographic process. Topics include press, inks, substrates, and pressroom management. There is an emphasis on process color printing and problem solving press and process variables that impact quality and productivity.
  PACK-211
   Packaging Metals and Plastics
The study of packaging materials from extraction through conversion and production, physical and chemical properties and uses. Emphasis is on plastics and metals used in packaging and other component materials. Recognized standard testing procedures are presented and students gain practical experience in the operation of various testing instruments, interpretation of results, and evaluation of properties and performance characteristics.
  PACK-430
   Packaging Regulations
This course begins with an overview of government laws and regulations applicable to the packaging industry. Students will then gain the hierarchical impact that regulations have on the global supply chain, quality systems, patent innovation, and workplace safety.
  PACK-530
   Packaging Sustainability and the Environment
Consideration of packaging in a social context. Factors that enhance secondary use, recycling, recovery of resources, and proper disposal are discussed. Package design in relation to solid waste disposal and materials and energy shortages are considered. Other topics of interest are discussed. Primarily a discussion class for senior students. Open to undergraduate non-majors.
  PACK-550
   Packaging Machinery
A study of package forming and filling, closing, product/package identification, inspection, and other machinery commonly used in packaging, plus consideration of handling and storage/retrieval systems. Students become aware of project management techniques, setting timelines, critical path, and resource evaluation. Quality tools and issues along with quality control processes are integrated into line and machinery designs. Students gain practice in setting up complete production lines for packaging various products.