Converting Industry News, Part 2

Covering the Full Spectrum of Industry News, Events & Activities

Fifty Years and Growing
GREEN BAY, WI, USA— Valley Packaging Supply is celebrating its 50th anniversary by announcing the completion of a 35,000-sq-ft addition.

The company, founded in the DePere, WI, home of Cornelius Vogel, had just two employees when Richard Czachor purchased it 28 years ago. Czachor's son, Lance, now runs Valley (with the close counsel of his father), leading a workforce of 55.

PFFC covered Valley Packaging in July 2001. Read that story at pffc-online.com/mag/paper_zipped_hardtobeat_valley.



Acquisitions
Cory Adds Graphic Division

MACEDON, NY, USA—Cory Printing and Packaging has purchased the assets of Matrix Unlimited, Rochester, NY, USA, a provider of graphic and image solutions. The new graphics division will operate as Cory Graphics in the Rochester facility.



Agreements
Anilox Roll Marketing Plan

CHARLOTTE, NC, USA— Harper Corp. of America and Inometa GmbH, Herford, Germany, have reached an agreement to manufacture and market Harper's proprietary Platinum anilox rolls throughout Western, Eastern, and Central Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. The agreement includes a strong focus on technical support for the converter.

The new entity, designated Harper Graphics, a Harper/Inometa Co., also will market HarperScientific Flexographic Supply Products and Harper GraphicSolutions Technical Consulting Services.



Closures
SSCC Closes Facilities

CHICAGO, IL, USA— Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. (SSCC) has discontinued operations at its Anderson, IN, and San Jose, CA, corrugated container plants, as well as the Temple, TX, and Louisville, KY, sheet plants. Existing business will be transitioned to nearby SSCC facilities.

The closings are part of the company's overall strategy to rationalize operations and cut costs in response to market conditions as announced in October 2003.



Mergers
Two California Operations Joined

TOTAWA, NJ, USA— Pitman Co. reports a merger of its Los Angeles operations with Litho Supply Co., Monrovia, CA.

The sales and customer service staffs of Litho Supply are being integrated into Pitman's operations serving southern California. They will relocate to Pitman's flagship distribution center in City of Industry, CA. Tim C. Paxson, president of Litho Supply, will aid the transition by joining Pitman in a consulting role.



Industry Studies
Corrugated, Boxes Rebound

CLEVELAND, OH, USA—Demand for corrugated and paperboard boxes is projected to climb 2.8%/yr to more than $35 billion in 2007, a rebound from a 2002 low. Advances will be stimulated by an expected upswing in shipments of nondurables, which account for more than three-quarters of total box demand. These are among the conclusions of a new study from The Freedonia Group.

The study predicts gains will be driven by continued strength in the food and beverages market as well as an improvement in durable goods markets. Gains also will be fueled by the ongoing shift toward greater usage of printed and other higher-value box types.

Corrugated and solid fiber boxes accounted for 71% of box demand in 2002, with folding boxes accounting for most of the remainder. Corrugated and solid fiber boxes are expected to offer the best prospects through 2007.

While folding paperboard boxes will rebound from their low base in 2002, faster growth will be restrained by competition from other packaging media and the elimination of some boxes due to efforts in source reduction. Another limiting factor in this area likely will be the increasing level of off-shore manufacturing in markets such as toys, sporting goods, and hardware, since these items generally are imported with packaging.

For more information contact Freedonia at 440/684-9600 or visit freedoniagroup.com.


PFFC Offers Quarterly Reports
CHICAGO, IL, USA—The Economic Monitor from PFFC provides reliable data on current and future economic performance specific to the converting industry, including converter revenue, profitability, work on-hand, raw material costs, capital investment, economic conditions, and more. The report is based solely on the responses of converters that have agreed to become members of our economic panel.

Panel members (categorized into market segments for comparability purposes) complete a quarterly survey and are compensated by being the first to receive a quarterly report that includes results of the data we've collected and analyzed. A third-party organization collects this data to protect confidential information.

A subscription to receive these quarterly industry performance reports can be purchased for $249. Contact Cheryl Mangano at 312/840-8477 or e-mail cmangano@primediabusiness.com to subscribe or for more information.



Supplier News
Checkpoint Expands RFID Role

THOROFARE, NJ, USA—Checkpoint Systems, an integrator of RFID technology into consumer product packaging, has made an initial minority investment in Goliath Solutions, a start-up developer of RFID-based technology for POP advertising and display compliance targeting the grocery, chain drug, mass merchandising, and convenience store channels of trade.

As part of the $2.5 million investment, Checkpoint will make design engineering, manufacturing, and field service resources available to Goliath to help drive its growth into the retail market. George W. Off, chairman, president, and CEO of Checkpoint, will join Goliath's board.


New Ventures for DVT
ATLANTA, GA, USA—DVT Corp. reports three new business ventures.

The company has formed a strategic partnership with Phoenix Contact to brand label a power supply and an Ethernet I/O assembly to be used with DVT's Legend SmartImage vision systems. In a cooperative agreement with Iconics, DVT will develop an OPC server for its products. And, in an agreement with CTC Parker, DVT will private label CTC's InteractX HMI software.


Lamart Joins Space Program
CLIFTON, NJ, USA—Lamart Corp. has been chosen by NASA to participate in Phase I of a three-phase project funded under a Small Business Innovative Research program and launched in support of the planned Titan space mission.

Lamart's project manager Lee Smith reports, “Our goal will be to develop low-permeation envelope material for the Titan Aerobot. These are a new generation of large, stratospheric balloons based on advanced balloon envelope techniques capable of delivering payloads of several thousand tons to the limits of Earth's atmosphere for observation purposes.”

He adds, “The balloons have a wide range of potential applications, both on Earth and on other bodies in the solar system. Titan, the second largest moon in our solar system, features a sufficiently dense atmosphere to support buoyant vehicle flight. The materials that will have to be designed for the seven- to ten-year journey to Titan will need to be exceptionally rugged in order to endure extreme temperature variations and be storable in a densely packed configuration.”

If Phase I is completed successfully, Lamart will move to Phase II, which is the proposal stage, and on to Phase III in which the final design will be output.


Control Humidity from Violins to Beef Jerky
MINNEAPOLIS, MN, USA—Humidipak, Minneapolis, MN, offers what it says is the first non-electric, disposable, two-way humidity control product.

The Calibration Kit can be tailored to regulate or maintain relative humidity anywhere between 10% and 95% within a range of 0.5%-2%.

Product is a salt, water, and gel solution contained in a water vapor-permeable package that can keep products as diverse as cigars, musical instruments, wood, paper, coffee beans, and beef jerky in their optimum state.



Association News
FPA Addresses Plant Security

LINTHICUM, MD, USA—The Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) has released “FPA Security Guidelines for Flexible Packaging Manufacturers” to help maintain high levels of security within flex-pack manufacturing facilities. One of the goals, FPA says, is to protect flexible packaging companies and their plants from both external and internal threats. For more information contact FPA at 410/694-0800 or visit flexpack.org.




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