PKG6100- Co-Taught with PKG4101c

Computer Tools for Packaging

Semester Taught - Fall

Catalog Description

Credits: 3

Covers powerful computer tools applicable to the packaging industry. Topics include label design, bar code technology, spreadsheet programming, 3D package design and distribution efficiency analysis.



Course Objectives

After successful completion of this course the student will be able to:

  1. Use the Internet to research and identify and research packaging companies and materials, as well as appropriate regulations for packaged products.
  2. Identify appropriate formats for displaying requisite legal information on food labels.
  3. Design and print food product labels, including Nutritional Information Panel and associated bar codes, on commercial label-stock using a thermal-transfer printer.
  4. Use MS-Excel to perform calculations on packaging related problems.
  5. Use MS VBA to create programs that use spreadsheet data as inputs, execute subroutines and functions and display output on a spreadsheet.
  6. Use CapePack Software to analyze package design and distribution efficiencies.
  7. Design and render picture-quality packaging concepts using 3D modeling software.
  8. Publish results on the world wide web.


Bruce A. Welt Ph.D
Phone: 352-392-1864 ext. 111

Material/Supply Fees


Class Materials Required

Recommended Reading

  • McConnell, S. Code Complete. Microsoft Press, Redmond, WA, 1993. Software Online Help Files.
  • Soroka, W. Fundamentals of Packaging Technology, Institute of Packaging Professionals, Herndon, VA, 1999.

Course Outline

  • Course Overview Policies & Procedures
  • Product Labeling
    • Consumer Information – Students will use the Internet to research FDA regulations related to food product label requirements.
    • Label Design – Students will use LabelMatrix® software to develop food label mockups in accordance with FDA regulations.
  • Bar code technology - Bar code technology and standards will be covered.
    • Retail Applications (UPC bar codes) - Students will use appropriate standards to incorporate appropriate bar codes into food label mock-ups.
    • Bar code scanning – Students will use Palm-Pilot scripting language to program portable bar code scanners used for package tracking.
  • Microsoft Excel – MS Excel is a virtually ubiquitous versatile computer tool applicable to many problems in business and industry. Students will use spreadsheets, and write programs using the powerful MS-VBA programming language.
    • Spreadsheets for performing packaging related calculations.
    • Programming in MS Excel Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to create simulations of packaging situations.
  • Package Design & Logistics – Students will use Cape Pack software to design 3D packaging shapes, and to study the effect of package design on distribution efficiency. Students will study how changes in primary package size can affect shipper (case) size, pallet and transport loading arrangements. Students will learn to incorporate distribution efficiency into product package design.
  • Conceptual Package Design for Presentation – The ability to communicate ideas is critical to success in any profession. Often, presentations to upper-management must be made in order to gain support for new product development projects. Powerful 3D rendering software packages such as 3D Studio Viz, are being increasingly used to convey new product ideas. Students will use 3D Studio Viz to design and render picture quality packaging concepts for use in new product development presentations.


A C- will not be a qualifying grade for critical tracking courses.  In order to graduate, students must have an overall GPA and an upper-division GPA of 2.0 or better (C or better).  Note: a C- average is equivalent to a GPA of 1.67, and therefore, it does not satisfy this graduation requirement.  For more information on grades and grading policies, please visit:

All projects and assignments will be graded on a scale from 0 to 100. An automatic 10% per week penalty will be assessed to work turned in passed the due date. The actual number of projects assigned may vary. Each project will be graded on a 100 point scale. Team project scores will be computed from a weighted average of scores given by the instructor (50% weight), the average scores given by non-team member classmates (25% weight), and the average scores given by team members (25% weight). Each team member will receive the score computed for the team.

The graduate level of this course may require additional assignments.

Final grades will be computed from the percentage of points earned relative to the total points possible. Grades will be assigned as follows:

Grading Scale
A >90
B+ 85-90
B 80-84
C+ 75-79
C 70-74
D+ 65-69
D 60-64
E <60
Grading MethodPoints
Individual Projects (6 @ 100 each) 600
Team Project 100

Academic Honesty

In 1995 the UF student body enacted an honor code and voluntarily committed itself to the highest standards of honesty and integrity. When students enroll at the university, they commit themselves to the standard drafted and enacted by students.

The Honor Pledge: We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

On all work submitted for credit by students at the university, the following pledge is either required or implied: "On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment."

Students should report any condition that facilitates dishonesty to the instructor, department chair, college dean, Student Honor Council, or Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution in the Dean of Students Office.

(Source: 2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog)

It is assumed all work will be completed independently unless the assignment is defined as a group project, in writing by the instructor.

This policy will be vigorously upheld at all times in this course.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

The Disability Resource Center coordinates the needed accommodations of students with disabilities. This includes registering disabilities, recommending academic accommodations within the classroom, accessing special adaptive computer equipment, providing interpretation services and mediating faculty-student disability related issues.

0001 Reid Hall, 352-392-8565,  

Software Use

All faculty, staff and students of the university are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use. Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator. Because such violations are also against university policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate.

UF Counseling and Career Services

Resources are available on-campus for students having personal problems or lacking clear career and academic goals which interfere with their academic performance. These resources include:

  1. University Counseling and Wellness Center, 3190 Radio Road, Gainesville, FL 32611
  2. Career Connections Center, Reitz Union, 392-1601, career development assistance and counseling.