Dive into the world of packaging with our comprehensive Fundamentals of Packaging Technology course. Whether you're focusing on a specific area like plastics or paperboard or immersing yourself in the entire packaging spectrum, this course is your gateway to expertise.

Structured into four semesters, each spanning 2 1/2 days, you'll explore varied topics from paper and plastics to cans, bottles, decorating, labeling, and much more. Flexibility is key - tackle the semesters in any order or take them all for a complete picture. Tailor your learning to the level of professional development you want!


Semester 1: April 22-24, 2024
Semester 2: April 24-26, 2024
Semester 3: May 20-22, 2024
Semester 4: May 22-24, 2024

IoPP Headquarters
12930 Worldgate Drive, Suite 200
Herndon, VA 20130

  • Semester 1: 8 AM - 4 PM (Monday-Tuesday); 8 AM - 12 PM (Wednesday)
  • Semester 2: 12 PM - 5 PM (Wednesday); 8 AM - 4 PM (Thursday); 8 AM - 3:30 PM (Friday)
  • Semester 3: 8 AM - 4 PM (Monday-Tuesday); 8 AM - 12 PM (Wednesday)
  • Semester 4: 12 PM - 5 PM (Wednesday); 8 AM - 4 PM (Thursday); 8 AM - 3:30 PM (Friday)
Hotel options
Embassy Suites By Hilton Dulles Airport
13341 Woodland Park Road
Herndon, VA 20171

Courtyard My Marriott Dulles Airport
533 Herndon Pkwy
Herndon, VA 20170

Note: Hotel and transportation cost not included in course price.

Semester 1: September 16-18, 2024
Semester 2: September 18-20, 2024
Semester 3: October 14-16, 2024
Semester 4: October 16-18, 2024

One Parkview Plaza, Suite 225
17W110 22nd Street
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181

  • Semester 1: 8 AM - 4 PM (Monday-Tuesday); 8 AM - 12 PM (Wednesday)
  • Semester 2: 12 PM - 5 PM (Wednesday); 8 AM - 4 PM (Thursday); 8 AM - 3:30 PM (Friday)
  • Semester 3: 8 AM - 4 PM (Monday-Tuesday); 8 AM - 12 PM (Wednesday)
  • Semester 4: 12 PM - 5 PM (Wednesday); 8 AM - 4 PM (Thursday); 8 AM - 3:30 PM (Friday)
Hotel options
Hilton Garden Inn Chicago/Oakbrook Terrace
1000 Drury Lane
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
(630) 941-1177

Staybridge Suites
200 Royce Blvd
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
(630) 953-9393
Note: Hotel and transportation cost not included in course price.

Individual semesters
  • Elite members: $1,085
  • Premium members: $1,220
  • Regular members: $1,285
  • Student members: $1,175
  • Affiliates and non-members: $1,355
Complete, four-semester course
  • Elite members: $3,760$
  • Premium members: $4,230
  • Regular members: $4,465
  • Student members: $4,095
  • Affiliates and non-members: $4,700
Pricing includes a complete set of lecture notes and course materials. Lunch and beverage breaks are included.

Payment must be completed prior to the course. Attendees are responsible for their own hotel reservations and transportation to and from the class.

This policy covers the liability of cost of a cancellation* or change. Cancellation or rescheduling must be made in writing or by email with confirmation of receipt from IoPP.

The following fees apply if you cancel/change your registration or are a no-show to the class:
  • More than 30 days prior to the event is a $110 cancellation/change fee
  • 30 to 14 days prior to the event is a $160 cancellation change fee
  • Less than 14 days prior to the event is a $240 cancellation change fee
  • No-shows to the event are charged a $240 cancellation/charge fee

    *The remaining balance will be issued as a credit toward future IoPP education offerings only. This credit expires after one year. No refunds will be given. Exception: A substitute may attend in place of the original registrant.


Day One

Course introduction

Course Overview

Course Logistics

1-1 Perspective on Packaging
  • Demographic Workshop: Part One
  • A definition of packaging
  • The historical evolution of packaging and packaging materials
  • The industrial revolution and packaging
  • Growth of modern packaging roles
  • The modern packaging industry
1-2 Package Development Process
  • Management of the packaging function
  • Project Scope and objectives
  • The package development process
  • The package design brief
  • Specifications
1-3 Market Research
  • Why perform market studies
  • Market study tools
  • Broad based studies
  • Focused studies
  • Updating persona through market research
1-4 Graphic Design
  • Demographic Workshop: Part Two
  • Technical and communication roles compared
  • The importance of demographic and psychographic information
  • The modern retail environment
  • The package as the purchase motivator
  • Fundamental messages: Cords of familiarity and points of difference
  • Equity and brand names
  • Emotional aspects of color
  • Basics of graphic design: balance, unity, direction, typography and illustrations
  • Creating a persona
Day Two
1-5 Color Perception
  • Physics of color
  • The human perception of color
  • Additive and subtractive color synthetics
  • Ink as a modifier of light
  • The four process printing colors
  • Standard color viewing conditions
  • The visual comparison of colors
1-6 Introduction to Printing and Printing Methods
  • Preparing the artwork, prepress proofing
  • Package printing methods and printing presses
  • Line art, color selection and Pantone Matching System
  • Halftone art, screens and screen sizes
  • Process art, moire patterns
  • Color bleeds, trap, special colors
Day Three
1-7 Printing Methods
  • Flexographic and Related Relief Printing Processes
    - Nature and production of the printing plate
    - Configuration of the printing station
    - Advantages and limitations of flexography
    - Offset letterpress (dry offset) and applications
  • Lithography
    - Nature and production of the printing plate
    - Configuration of the printing station
    - Advantages and limitations of lithography
    - Principal packaging applications of lithography
  • Gravure
    - Nature and production of the printing plate
    - Configuration of the printing station
    - Advantages and limitations of gravure
    - Principal packaging applications of gravure
  • Special Decorating Techniques
    - Screen, heat transfer, hot stamp and pad printing, reflective metallics and surface gloss
1-8 Electronic Product Coding
  • EPC advantages through the supply chain
  • EAN/UPC symbology
  • UPC structure
  • RFID tags
  • RFID readers
  • RFID advantages
  • RFID limitations
1-9 Labels and Labeling
  • The functions of a label
  • Types of labels
  • Label forms
  • Label materials
  • Affixing labels

Day One

2-1 Paper and Paperboard
  • Fiber sources and fiber quality
  • Furnish make-ups
  • Fourdrinier and cylinder-type paper machines
  • Machine direction and cross direction
  • Coatings, calendaring and other treatments
  • Paper characterization
  • Paper and paperboard grades and applications
2-2 Folding Cartons
  • General paperboard construction classes
  • General design considerations
  • Tube-style folding cartons: basic designs and variations
  • Tray-style cartons: basic design and variations
  • Dimensioning, grain direction
  • Die-boards and paperboard cutting and creasing
  • Folding carton manufacture
  • Set-up boxes, designs, applications and limitations
2-3 Corrugated Fiberboard
  • Containerboard grades and standard flute sizes
  • General applications of standard flutes
  • Mullen Test and edge crush tests (ECT)
  • Using McKee formula to estimate box compression strength
  • Carrier rules and regulations
  • Corrugated board manufacture
  • Single, double and triple wall boards
  • Microflute and wave flute comparisons
Day Two
2-4 Corrugated Boxes
  • Regular slotted container (RSC) production and styles
  • Die cut container production and style examples
  • Bliss box styles
  • Decorating by direct printing (post printing)
  • Preprint, litho labeling and litho laminating options
  • Scoring allowances
  • Dimensioning corrugated containers and pads
  • General industry tolerances
  • Wax and other treatments
2-5 Box Compression Strength Workshop
  • Standard compression strength measurement
  • Difference between compression strength and stacking strength
  • Impact of humidity, time, pallet pattern and overhang
  • Using Fibre Box Association stacking strength factors
  • Calculating required compression strength
  • Determining required ECT values to meet required stack strength
  • Stacking HDPE bottles
2-6 Distribution Environment
  • Package transport and distribution hazards
  • A systems approach to distribution packaging
  • Sources of shock inputs and effects
  • Vibration sources, relative movement damage
  • Resonance, stack resonance, load skewing
  • Unit loads and unit load efficiency
  • Tracking and acting on distribution losses
  • Industry guidelines and practices
  • Pallet issues
  • Recommended minimum and maximum container dimensions
  • Recommended load stability
  • Good shipping practices
Day Three
2-7 Protective Packaging
  • Understanding G factors
  • Damage boundary curves
  • Cushioning against shock
  • Selecting cushioning materials
  • Using dynamic cushioning tables
  • Spring-mass relationships and isolating inputs
2-8 Pre-Shipment Testing
  • Purpose
  • ISTA test procedures
  • ASTM D4 169 test procedures
  • Planning a pre-shipment test
2-9 Industrial Packaging

2-10 Wood Packages

Day One

3-1 Introduction to Polymers

3-2 Polymer Chemistry
  • Polymers, plastics and polymerization
  • Polymer classifications
  • Terminology and abbreviation
  • Copolymers and properties
  • A review of basic chemical concepts
  • Polarity, solubility, permeability and barrier
  • Coefficient of friction and adhesion
  • Glass transition and melt temperatures
  • Thermal history and crystallinity
  • Oriented plastics and shrink plastics
  • Hydrocarbons and polyethylene
3-3 Packaging Polymers
  • Structure of HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE and mPE
  • Polyethylene density and property trends
  • Structure and general properties of polypropylene, poly(vinyl) and poly(vinylidene chloride), polystyrene, poly(vinyl alcohol), poly(vinyl acetate) and ethylene-vinyl acetate, polyamide, poly(ethylene terephthalate), other lesser used polymers
  • Thermosets and thermoplastics compared; thermoset applications
3-4 Property Comparisons
  • General properties of packaging polymers
  • Factors affecting barrier properties
  • Oxygen and moisture vapor barrier comparisons
  • Using Fibre Box Association stacking strength factors
  • Classes of polymer additives
Day Two
3-5 Extrusion Molding
  • Plasticating extruders
  • Cast and blown plastic film and sheet
  • Co-extruded and oriented plastic films
  • Video presentation: Analytical and Physical Testing
3-6 Flexible Packaging
  • Aluminum foil properties and applications
  • Vacuum metallizing process
  • Metallized paper and film applications
  • Structural, barrier, sealing and aesthetic properties
  • Basic form-fill-seal machines
  • High barrier constructions
  • Wet bond, dry bond, and extrusion laminating
  • Specifying plies, caliper, and roll orientation
  • Example laminate constructions
3-7 Thermoforming
  • Extruded profiles and typical packaging applications
  • Common thermoforming methods and materials
  • Thermoform packaging applications
3-8 Injection Molding
  • The injection molding process
  • Injection molds, tooling costs
  • Sprues, runners, gates and undercuts
  • Part characteristics and packaging applications
Day Three
3-9 Blow Molding
  • The extrusion blow molding process
  • Parisons and parison programming
  • The injection blow molding process
  • Injection stretch blow molding
  • Extrusion and injection blow molding compared
  • General bottle design considerations
3-10 Bottle Design Criteria
  • General design elements
  • Decorating options
  • Special bottle designs
  • Environmental stress cracking
3-11 Closures
  • Closure selection criteria
  • Container finish standards and thread styles
  • Closure dimension designations
  • Closure liner functions and types
  • Common plastic closure designs
  • Metal continuous thread, lug, roll-on, press-on and crown closures
  • Child-resistant and tamper-evident designs

Day One

4-1 Environmental Issues
  • Defining packaging's role in the solid waste issue
  • Proportion of packaging in the waste stream
  • The four Rs hierarchy: reduce, reuse, recycle and recover
  • Environmental concerns and the consumer
  • The packaging professional's role in the environmental issue
4-1A Sustainable Packaging
  • The concept of cradle-to-cradle product design
  • The need to push packaging system boundaries
  • Central definitions of sustainable packaging
  • Design strategies that implement the definitions
  • Measuring sustainable packaging Wal-Mart's sustainable scorecard
  • No single sustainable solution
  • Creating sustainable packaging strategies, yet implementing them one step at a time
4-2 Adhesives
  • Mechanical and specific theories of adhesion
  • Surface tension and dyne level
  • Adhesive viscosity
  • Starch, dextrin, and casein adhesives and their applications
  • Emulsion adhesives: advantages, applications, green strength
  • Hot melt adhesives: advantages, and applications
  • Elastomeric and cold seal adhesives: advantages and applications
  • Good manufacturing practices
  • Trouble shooting adhesive problems
Day Two
4-3 Metal Containers
  • Can-making metals
  • Welded, adhesive, bonded and mechanical clinch three-piece cans
  • Shallow draw, draw and redraw, draw and iron two-piece cans
  • Impact extruded cans and collapsible tubes
  • Protective coatings and decorations
  • Sizing conventions
4-4 Aerosols
  • Component parts and operations
  • Aerosol propellants and formulations
  • Other pressurized dispensing systems
  • Aerosol container legal requirements
4-5 Glass Packaging
  • Raw materials for soda glass and special glasses
  • The glass furnace and glass manufacture
  • Blow-and-blow and press-and-blow bottle production
  • Surface coatings and annealing
  • Decorating options
  • Video presentation: Glass Bottle Manufacture
4-6 Special Designs

Day Three

4-7 Packaging Machinery
  • Package design and machine-ability
  • The packaging machine industry
  • Stock machines and custom machines
  • Intermittent and rotary machine configurations
  • Fast changeovers
4-8 Filling Systems
  • Product categories and filler selection
  • Fill-to-level liquid filling systems
  • Fill-to-volume liquid filling systems
  • Flask fillers
  • Auger fillers
  • Gravimetric filling
  • Statistical combining methods for filling
4-9 Production Line Workshop
  • Basic design layout and assignment of machine speeds
  • Efficiency and output, calculating production line efficiency
  • Purpose and placement of buffers
4-10 Laws and Regulations
  • Statutes versus regulations
  • Role of the Federal agencies
  • Fair Packaging and Labeling Act
  • Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act
  • Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act
  • Hazardous Materials Transportation Act
  • Miscellaneous acts impacting packaging
4-11 Packaging Software
  • Standards Applications Use in Packaging
  • Special Packaging Applications
    - Graphics Design
    - Structural Design
    - Specifications
    - Spatial Efficiency
    - Performance Design
    - Test and Measurement Support

A team of four instructors teaches the Fundamentals of Packaging Technology from the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP). Each instructor is a Certified Packaging Professional (CPP) with significant experience in packaging.

Instructors were selected from a pool of candidates based on qualifications and performance in teaching the course. Each year, we evaluate our instructors to ensure qualified professionals lead the course.
Jane Chase, CPPL, Fellow, Packaging & Processing Hall of Fame
Jane holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Marquette University and a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management from the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Her professional career includes a breadth and depth of experience involving ever-expanding roles in Quality Assurance, Operations, Processing, and Packaging within multiple large CPG organizations known for innovation. These include SC Johnson Wax, General Mills, ConAgra Foods, Ecolab Inc., US Foodservice, and the Schwan’s Food Company. She is currently the Executive Director of the Institute of Packaging Professionals.

Jane's credentials as an educator include teaching packaging, statistics, and leadership curriculum at Marian College and the University of Wisconsin‒Stout. She holds three US patents for packaging inventions and has published and spoken on packaging innovation and sustainability on many occasions.

She is a Lifetime Certified Packaging Professional and IoPP College of Fellows inductee. In 2020, she was inducted into the Packaging & Processing Hall of Fame. Her support of IoPP spans about 30 years, during which time she served at the local level as president of the Minnesota Chapter and the national level since 2002. Her contributions include founding the Sustainable Packaging Technical Committee, establishing the Packaging Education Scholarship, and judging the AmeriStar packaging competition for over ten years.
Camille Chism, CPPL, Fellow
Camille Chism, CPPL Fellow, has 30 years of diverse experience in packaging engineering, management, design, business development, supply chain and logistics in the industries of automotive, distribution, food, pharmaceutical, and technology.

A lifetime CPP, inducted into the IoPP College of Fellows in 2013, Camille received an MS in Packaging Science from Rochester Institute of Technology, earning a 4.0 GPA. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in packaging from Michigan State University.

Her accomplishments include: a patent for the design of an injection molded dispenser, various corporate awards, and leadership training from Cardinal Stritch University. Camille has participated in numerous industry events, including speaking at the 2010 IoPP Packaging Summit, participating in panels, forums, and committees for the Automotive Industry Action Group, speaker for the Simposio Internacional Industria Automotriz, Automotive Logistics Global Conference, Global SCM Leaders Conference, and as a guest lecturer in the Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
Lawrence C. Dull, CPP
Lawrence (Larry) Dull holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Packaging from Michigan State University. He has held packaging positions with Eastman Kodak Co., Calgon Corp. (subsidiary of Merck and Co. Inc.) and Syngenta Crop Protection Inc. (formerly Novartis, Ciba and Ciba-Geigy).

His main areas of expertise include sustainable package design, development and testing, distribution environment codification and simulation, carbon inventory, package lifecycle analysis, polymer chemistry and application, and packaging market research.

Larry holds eight U.S. patents in packaging and has delivered numerous presentations and written many articles on packaging, packaging development and package testing. He is an Honorary Professor at Hunan University of Technology in China, has delivered guest lectures at various universities and teaches Sustainable Packaging Scorecard training as well as IoPP’s Fundamentals of Packaging Technology course. He is an inductee in the Michigan State University Packaging Hall of Fame, the PMMI Packaging Hall of Fame and the IoPP College of Fellows.
Robert Meisner, CPP
Robert Meisner holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Technology with an emphasis in Packaging from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and a Master of Science Degree in Packaging Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He has held packaging positions with 3M, Ideal Industries Inc., Imation Corp., Eastman Kodak Co., Emery Worldwide Airfreight, United Parcel Service Supply Chain Solutions and the University of Wisconsin Stout.

Robert currently holds the position of Packaging Consultant with BoldtSmith Packaging Consultants. His experience and expertise are in the areas of transportation hazards and issues, distribution packaging materials, package development process and product and package validation testing.

Robert has been involved in the packaging industry for more than 27 years including 16 years as a faculty member for the Packaging program at the University of Wisconsin Stout. Robert a member of IoPP's College of Fellows and an IoPP Lifetime Certified Packaging Professional. He also holds a professional level certification with ISTA.


What will I learn?
Our course is provides comprehensive and practical understanding of packaging fundamentals, equipping students with the skills and knowledge necessary for a successful career in the packaging industry. We'll cover:
  • Diverse Material Knowledge: Gain in-depth insights into various packaging materials like paper, plastics, cans, and bottles.
  • Design and Decoration: Discover the art of packaging design, including decorating, labeling, and creating an appealing visual presentation.
  • Protective Packaging Techniques: Learn how to ensure product safety and integrity with effective protective packaging strategies.
  • Closure Systems: Understand the various types of packaging closures and their applications.
  • Packaging Machinery: Get acquainted with different packaging machinery, understanding their role and efficiency in the packaging process.
  • Practical Application: Through hands-on sessions and real-world examples, you'll apply your knowledge to solve packaging challenges and make informed decisions.