Strategies and Materials for Food Packaging Solutions

Forpak specializes in designing and building innovative food solutions that support global food safety and quality. Our equipment promotes sanitary processing and worker safety in the packaging and distribution of products for the baked goods, pizza, and meat industries. Packaging designs provide systems to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and other customers for industrial food processing and packing, including automated laning, transfer, stacking, conveying, sorting, reject systems, and more. Our engineers have also worked with several customers to design equipment that combines multiple operations into a customized, seamless machine. Our equipment is designed to be easily integrated into existing automated systems or new production lines, and our preventative maintenance program offers reliable services and client benefits to reduce downtime and minimize operational stress. For any unique food packaging solutions, Forpak has the engineering expertise and maintenance systems to get the job done.

Food Processing

In the food processing industry, hundreds of hygienic packing materials have been developed over time. Today, countless polymer, paper, cardboard, foil, glass, metal, ceramic, and even biodegradable materials are manufactured specifically for food-safe packaging. We design our equipment to work with multiple kinds of food packaging solutions, including the following.


Boxes are one of the most commonly used systems in food packing, and consequently, they come in a wide variety. They are made from paperboard, including solid bleached sulfate (SBS) and coated unbleached kraft (CUK) paperboard; corrugated cardboards with varying level of fluting and wall thickness; plastics that can be recycled or reused; and rigid boxes. While typically made from paper or cardboard materials, rigid boxes are condensed to be about two to four times thicker than any corrugated or paperboard containers. Most food products do not require rigid box packaging, but select high-end goods or very fragile foods do use these systems.


Most bags used to package food products are made from a thin, typically plastic or foil-sealed material. Plastic, or poly, bags are durable, light, and highly customizable. Bags can be fabricated with many different sizes, shapes, and printed designs while remaining cost-effective and often recyclable. Poly bags for packing food can also include security features such as tape attachments or holes for carrying and hanging. Foil-sealed bags are useful for maintaining flavor and protecting food from bacteria and UV light exposure. This keeps products from spoiling or losing nutrients.

Food Packaging Solutions

Other food packaging solutions include cans, cartons, pallets, trays, and wrappers, but boxes and bags are the most prevalent systems. To learn more about food packing systems and how we engineer our automated packaging and organizing equipment, contact Forpak at (612) 419-1948 or You can request more information online today or request a quote to get started with us today.

Part 1: Numerical Control Systems and the History of CNC Machining

Many items that people utilize and interact with on a daily basis were manufactured with computer numerical control (CNC) operations. CNC machining, as we know it today, dates back to the 1940s. Like many industrial operations and equipment, CNC systems were a result of military advancements to an existing technology in response to the demands of war. The even longer history of numerical control and CNC machines goes back as far as the mid-1700s, as you will read in the following.

CNC Machining

Modern CNC tools are precise machines capable of operating on multiple axes to manufacture products for a range of industries. At MultiSource Manufacturing LLC, we’ve provided high-quality, versatile CNC machining services since 1998. Across our multiple locations today, we have access to 140 machines, including 3-axis and 5-axis indexed mills, lathes, and turning equipment.

With our broad range of CNC technologies, we provide parts and assemblies for the medical device, semiconductor, aerospace and defense, food, financial processing, and many other industries.

Turning Machines and Cams

The history of CNC machining starts with the development of turning machines in 1751. These early tools were capable of limited automation to increase precision and eliminate some handcrafting steps in the production process. In the 1820s-1830s, American inventor Thomas Blanchard created gun-copying lathes. Following his footsteps, Christopher Miner Spencer created turret lathes in screw machines.

These were both cam-based systems of automation. Eventually, hydraulics were incorporated into cam systems, which allowed tracing machines to develop. These cam tracers could replicate the movement of a human machinist, trace templates, or otherwise record and replay fabrication patterns. Cams continued to develop into the First World War. Precision, control, power, and other technical aspects of manufacturing were also addressed in these early forms of automation. The main limitation of cam systems is their inability to read abstract programming.

Abstract Programming and Numerical Control

John T. Parsons and Frank L. Stulen, while working at Parsons Corp. in Traverse City, MI, are generally credited with the development of the first numerical control systems in the early 1940s. Parsons and Stulen worked with the first systems of punch card calculators to predict engineering queries. The use of punch cards inspired Parsons and Stulen to develop a rudimentary milling program that operated as a prototype of today’s 2.5-axis machine. They called this system the “by-the-numbers method” or “plunge-cutting positioning.”

After testing this system extensively, Parsons and Stulen engineered (on paper) a fully automated machining tool. However, they did not have the funding to fabricate a prototype, let alone perform tests and diagnostics. So not until 1949, when the U.S. Air Force arranged funding for Parsons Corp. to build the machines, were Parsons and Stulen able to start real developments that eventually led to manufacturing of the first fully automated computer numerically controlled machine.

In Part 2 of this blog, we will cover the history of Parsons’s and others’ invention and advancement of CNC machines.

To learn more about our services for CNC machining and contract manufacturing, contact MultiSource Manufacturing LLC at (952) 456-5500, request more information, or request a quote today.