Converting Industry News, Part 1

Covering the Full Spectrum of Industry News, Events & Activities

Association News
Gravure Expo Tackles Markets

OAK BROOK, IL, USA—Industry leaders came together for Gravure Expo 2004, held February 1-5 at the Marriott Oak Brook. Sponsored by the Gravure Assn. of America (GAA), the event is the key venue of the year for gravure professionals to discuss market changes and strategies to improve gravure's performance in the marketplace.

An unofficial theme of this year's conference was the importance of higher education and recruiting leaders for the future. Many university students were in attendance, punctuating this theme.

The general session was kicked off with the keynote presentation, “The Power of Gravure in Today's Marketplace,” given by Steven Zuccarini and Gloria Ysasi-Diaz of RR Donnelley. Dr. Martin Regalia provided his annual economic update and forecast of the US economy, saying the economic situation in the US is “starting to see improvement” and reporting the situation “has definitely turned.”

Eva Teichmann of Messe Düsseldorf North America and GAA VP Dick Dunnington discussed Drupa 2004, and leadership consultant Kevin O'Connor advised attendees on how to “work smarter” in today's workplace. Tours to Wrico Packaging, Chicago, IL, and RR Donnelly, Warsaw, IN, were highlights of the event.

Concurrent sessions were held Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning featuring topics such as ink technology, prepress, defect identification, fire safety, and color management.

Complementing the conference program was the Gravure Showcase, featuring tabletop exhibits and the winners of the Golden Cylinder Awards competition, which were announced at the February 2 dinner and awards ceremony.

The conference marked the end of Steve Young's term as GAA president. He will be succeeded by Jay Yakich of Seville Flexpack, Oak Creek, WI. For more information, visit gaa.org.


Twin Cities Start Flexo Association
BROOKLYN PK., MN, USA—The Twin Cities Flexo Assn. (TCFA) has been formed to provide a local opportunity for individual and organizational technical development for flexographic professionals in the Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, area.

The association will offer monthly presentations by suppliers, educators, and members, as well as a forum for issues and solutions and to promote continuous improvement in the industry.

For more information contact Ed Dedman at 763/746-8467 or visit tcflexo.org.


TLMI Converters Convene
RIO GRANDE, PUERTO RICO —The island of Puerto Rico provided the beautiful backdrop for the 2004 Converter Meeting of the Tag & Label Mfrs. Inst., held February 22-25 at the Westin Rio Mar in Rio Grande.

Label and tag converters networked and discussed timely topics including smart label technology, on-line auctions, and growing individual businesses. Also on the agenda were a ratio study presentation and a board of directors meeting.

The awards banquet honored World Label winners and recipients of the Eugene Singer Awards. This prestigious award is given to the top performers of the organization's ratio study. This year's winners were Driscoll Label Co., Fairfield, NJ; Consolidated Label, Longwood, FL; Graphic Solutions Intl., Burr Ridge, IL; and Belmark, DePere, WI.

For more information, visit tlmi.com.


SVC Event a Big Draw
DALLAS, TX, USA—Vacuum coating from every angle was on the agenda at the Technical Conference of the Society of Vacuum Coaters (SVC), held April 24-29 at the Adam's Mark Hotel, Dallas, TX.

Approximately 1,223 attendees moved among sessions on optical coating, vacuum web coating, large-area coating, plasma processing, process control/instrumentation, and more. Also on the program were a session on hot topics and one on emerging technologies. Running concurrently with the conference was TechCon, featuring 160 exhibitors from this niche of the industry.

Attendees could ingest info along with their food by attending Technology Forum Breakfast Sessions and TechCon Lunchtime Tutorials. Breakfast sessions, led by industry experts, covered such topics as optical design, smart materials, plasma processing of biomaterials. The two lunchtime sessions addressed “Whither the Future of Vacuum Coating — Alive and Kicking or Dead and Buried?” (Charles Bishop, C.A. Bishop Consulting) and “Web Coating for Fun and Profit — Lessons from Two Decades of Making It Happen.” (Don McClure, 3M Corporate Research Process Laboratory).

For more information contact SVC at 505/856-7188 or visit svc.org.


Conference Touts Flex-Pack
BROOKFIELD, CT, USA—The Society of Plastics Engineers and the Inst. of Packaging Professionals held their first Flexible Packaging Conference in Atlanta, GA, March 24-26.

A sold-out audience heard keynote speeches from consumer companies covering consumer trends, M&A trends, and opportunities for packaging professionals in flexible packaging. Panels addressed retail and mass merchandising, and two days of program tracks covered flexible materials. A flexible packaging supplier exhibit featured materials, equipment, processes, components, and services.

The next conference will be held in March 2005 in Orlando, FL. For more information contact Rick Wagner at 409/882-6156.


UV/EB Take Center Stage
CHARLOTTE, NC, USA—Matching record attendance totals and setting new records for conference and exhibition participation, RadTech's e|5 2004 — held May 2-5 at the Charlotte Convention Center — represents the largest ultraviolet (UV) and electron beam (EB) technology event ever, reports the organization.

With nearly 2,600 attendees, 138 exhibitors, and more than 150 presentations, the event showcased the commercial success and technology developments powering the rapid adoption of UV and EB by manufacturers.

In addition to higher than expected attendance at the technical conference sessions, the event featured representatives from leading industrial and consumer product companies from around the globe presenting the basics on why they chose to utilize UV or EB technology and how it has benefited their process and products. Application sessions relating to the converting industry included UV ink jet, graphic arts, and adhesives.

On Monday, May 3, the Graphic Arts User Focus Session, cosponsored by PFFC, focused on UV/EB applications for flexible and paperboard packaging. The session featured presentations from several industry-leading companies including Energy Sciences Inc., Alcan Packaging, and Masterfoods USA. The session ended with a video of a consumer focus group, presented by Perception Research Services. Tuesday's special session on UV ink jet, sponsored by the Digital Printing & Imaging Assn., also drew crowds.

During the awards ceremony, Lijing Gou and Alec Scranton from the Univ. of Iowa received honors for Best Paper, while Todd Roper of the Univ. of Southern Mississippi won Best Student Paper. For the first time, RadTech presented awards for emerging applications of UV/EB technology. Winners included Sony, which has developed UV bar code labels enabling parts in hostile locations such as motor vehicle engine compartments to be labeled.

For more information visit radtech.org.



Acquisitions
F.L. Smithe Buys Aquaflex

DUNCANSVILLE, PA, USA—Envelope machine manufacturer F.L. Smithe Machine Co. has acquired the assets of Aquaflex, Montreal, QC, Canada, a manufacturer of printing and converting systems ranging from 10-26 in. wide for the tag and label, folding carton, and flexible packaging markets.


Kraton Moves into TCP Fold
HOUSTON, TX, USA—Texas Pacific Group (TCP) has acquired Kraton Polymers Group of Companies from Ripplewood Holdings and other investors. Kraton reports it pioneered styrenic block copolymers (SBCs) more than 40 years ago and is now the world's largest producer of the material.

“We are enthusiastic about continuing to grow under TPG's stewardship,” notes Kraton CEO Stephen Wood. “Over the past three years, we have accomplished a great deal, including our transition to a highly successful stand-alone company. The support and commitment shown by TPG gives me confidence that together we will find success in the next stage of our evolution.” Kraton has 1,000 employees worldwide.


Soluol Adds Noveon's Resins
WEST WARWICK, RI, USA—Soluol, a privately held global marketer of water- and solvent-based PU resins and coatings, has acquired Noveon's solvent-based PU resin products. The acquired products will be integrated into the existing Soluol lines.


Converter Becomes Part of ICV
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ, USA—ICV Capital Partners, New York, NY, has acquired a majority interest in Creative Packaging Solutions, a supplier of custom folding cartons and p-s labels to the private label pharmaceutical, nutritional supplement, and cosmetic industries. The 21st Century group, a Dallas, TX, private-equity firm, also provided equity for the acquisition.

“We are seeing strong growth in 2004 and are confident that being a part of the ICV family will allow us to continue enjoying this success for years to come,” says Innovative president and CEO Shawn Smith.


Petco Is Acquired
GORDONSVILLE, VA, USA—Klöckner Pentaplast of America has acquired the Petco Div. of the Lavergne Group, Ville d' Anjou, QC, Canada, for an undisclosed sum.

Petco extrudes polyester films for food and general-purpose consumer and industrial packaging applications, with sales primarily in Canada and the US. Klöckner Pentaplast will purchase the complete Petco business to include all manufacturing assets associated with the polyester extruded film business, as well as its proprietary product formulations and trade names. It will continue to operate the plant in Ville d' Anjou.


Mesirow Advises on Sale
CHICAGO, IL, USA—Mesirow Financial reports it served as exclusive financial advisor to Stronghaven, Atlanta, GA, in its recent sale to TransOcean Capital. Stronghaven operates three corrugated box plants and one corrugated sheet plant in the Southeast.

Mesirow says the sale represents its 32nd completed packaging merger and acquisition transaction over the last several years, adding it continues to see active consolidation in all segments of the packaging industry.



Show News
CMM Calls for Papers

NEW YORK, NY, USA—CMM International Exposition and Conference, scheduled for April 18-21, 2005, at Chicago's McCormick Place South, is inviting converting and package printing professionals to submit an abstract for possible presentation at the conference program held during the event.

Presentations should closely examine trends and technologies that drive today's marketplace. The astract should contain approximately 100 words outlining the proposed sessions. Each abstract should be written so it is suitable for possible publication in promotional materials and should be non-commercial in nature. Include the subjects to be covered, the benefits to the attendees, and intended audiences for the session. The deadline for submission is August 15, 2004. Contact Ronni Potosky at 212/268-4160 or at rpotosky@paperloop.com for more information.


Converting 05 Joins Print 05
RESTON, VA, USA—Print 05, slated for September 9-15, 2005, announces the debut of Converting 05, an international showcase for package printing and converting technologies.

Show producer Graphics Arts Show Co. (GASC) expects 80,000 to attend the combined event. According to GASC president Regis Delmontagne, "Suppliers want fewer shows but more complete and better-managed events." He says another reason for the new show is the increasing overlop among the technologies and tools used by package printing specialists, commercial printers, prepress operations, and other industry players, especially with advent of open, fully digital workflows. For more info., contact GASC at 703/264-7200, or visit gasc.org.



Medical Converting
Defective Patch Cited in Death

CHICAGO, IL, USA—According to the Chicago Sun-Times of May 13, 2004, the husband of a suburban Chicago woman filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Janssen Pharmaceutica, and other defendants, in relation to the death of his wife in February, reportedly from a defective Duragesic pain-relief patch.

Janssen, the patch manufacturer, issued a recall the same day the woman put on the patch, went to bed, and died during the night. The family's attorney says that patch came from the recalled batch.

In a normal patch, a gel containing fentanyl is released slowly through a layer of film. In a defective patch, the film does not completely cover the gel, which can leak out, noted Janssen spokesman Doug Arbesfeld.

The US Food and Drug Administration says if fentanyl leaks out and touches the skin, the user gets an overdose that can cause nausea, sedation, drowsiness, and possibly life-threatening complications. If the drug leaks out but doesn't touch the skin, the patient gets too little medicine and can suffer withdrawal symptoms.

No converting information is available on the patch.



Education
Donation Protects Sleeves

CHARLOTTE, NC, USA—Praxair Surface Technologies has donated 12 protective anilox sleeve covers to the Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, WI. The covers will be used to protect the anilox sleeves for the PCMC Avanti gearless eight-color press installed in 2002.

According to Mark Keller, chair of the Flexographic Printing Dept., “The covers protect the expensive anilox sleeves from being damaged during handling and installation…. Since the covers go on and off the roll quickly and easily, they are ideal for loading and unloading our air-assisted sleeved anilox rolls during job setups and changeovers.”



Industry Studies
Consultants to Study UV and EB

WHIPPANY, NJ, USA—A new multi-client, techno-economic marketing study is being conducted by Skeist, consultants to the polymer industries.

“Radiation Curing, VI” will be based on interviews with end-users; producers of monomers, resins, and other materials; equipment manufacturers; systems suppliers; and government agencies. The information will be augmented by a thorough literature review and Skeist's own knowledge of radiation technology.

The study, expected to be 400-500 pages, will include statistical data on US consumption of radiation-curable materials, by method of application and end use, for 2004 with projections to 2009; technology of UV and EB curing processes and formulations; suppliers and market shares; industry structure; trends; growth rates; opportunities; and new materials and processes.

For more information contact Skeist at 973/515-2020 or visit skeistinc.com.




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