Converting Industry News, Part 2

Covering the Full Spectrum of Industry News, Events & Activities

Acquisitions
MonoSol Acquires Aquafilm

PORTAGE, IN, USA — Monosol LLC, manufacturer of specialty water-soluble films, announces the acquisition of Aquafilm Ltd., a producer of blown extruded water-soluble films based in Worcestershire, England.

The acquisition provides Monosol with manufacturing capabilities in Europe. It also expands production of blown extruded water-soluble films in North America and cast water-soluble films in Europe.


Sun Acquires Rycoline Shares
FORT LEE, NJ, USA — Sun Chemical has acquired 100% of the shares of Rycoline. According to Wes Lucas, Sun Chemical’s chairman, president, and CEO, the company sees the acquisition as a further step in its strategy to provide "total solutions" for the printing industry. He says, "This acquisition demonstrates Sun Chemical’s strategic direction in creating a printer supply business and commitment to creating value for the customer by optimizing the combined performance of the ink, founts, blankets, and wash."

The Rycoline Group of Companies produces a range of products under the Rycoline, Sun Graphic, and Rogersol brands, including a line of fountain solutions, blanket and roller washes, silicone and silicone replacement products, overprint coatings, printing blankets, and miscellaneous products from aerosols to antistatic.


PMC Adds Sherwood Assets
MILWAUKEE, WI, USA — Paper Machinery Corp., a manufacturer of paper cup and container converting machinery, acquired substantially all the assets of its long-time competitor, Sherwood Tool, Kensington, CT, USA. Sherwood Tool’s operations will be moved to PMC’s Milwaukee headquarters.


MEI Now Part of Danaher
WOOD DALE, IL, USA — Danaher Motion reports the acquisition of Motion Engineering Inc. (MEI), Santa Barbara, CA, USA, a developer of high- performance, networked motion control solutions. MEI’s CEO, Phil Strong, will lead the newly formed Motion Control Systems Center of Excellence and report to John Stroup, Danaher Motion’s group executive.



Association News
ICC Reports on Progress

RESTON, VA, USA — The International Color Consortium (ICC) published its second Progress Report covering its accomplishments during 2003 and early 2004.

The report highlights the approval and publication of Profile Specification 4.1 and covers steps toward adapting the specification into an international standard through the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It also covers the development of new tools to facilitate implementation of color management by users and a campaign to persuade color management vendors to eliminate restrictive licensing language.

The 16-p. report contains complete information on the activities of each of the ICC’s six working groups, and a list of members and liaison organizations. For more information visit color.org/iccprogressreport.pdf.



Conferences
Release Liners Front and Center

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS — Alexander Watson Associates’ AWA Global Release Liner Conference 2004 featured two optional special events: an industry round-table forum and a visit to UPM’s specialty paper mill at Tervasaari.

Held at the Finnish capital’s Radisson SAS Royal Hotel, 128 delegates attended, 65 of whom participated in the round-table forum, which took as its theme the effects across the value chain of downgauging materials, and opportunities to increase the value of the self-adhesive laminate and make it more competitive. Discussions highlighted the need for greater innovation in the industry to meet the challenges of today’s economic climate and the broad base of competing product decoration technologies to self-adhesive labeling.

Other forum topics included business challenges, linerless label stock, material and technology issues and trends, film liners, and end-user viewpoints. Following the conference program, delegates toured UPM’s release liner manufacturing facility as well as one of UPM’s forests to gain insight into modern forest management.

The next AWA Global Release Liner Conference will be held in Washington, DC, in spring 2005. For more information visit awa-bv.com.



Entertainment Packaging
EMX Event Dazzles Hollywood

LOS ANGELES, CA, USA — The first ever Entertainment Media Expo (EMX) drew more than 3,000 attendees to Hollywood August 30–September 1, reports Intl. Recording Media Assn. (IRMA) and CMP Information, co-producers of the event.

This was the first year the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel-based venue — situated in the heart of the global entertainment capital — combined several well-established shows, including the Entertainment Packaging Summit, the DVD Entertainment Conference & Showcase, and Media-Tech Conference & Showcase.

Through its various conference sessions and a tabletop exhibit, the diverse entertainment trade expo offered an array of entertainment media-related topics, including innovations in optical disc packaging (converted packaging for DVDs, CDs, and video games). Conference session highlights included a panel entitled "Not Your Father’s Printing Process." Moderated by PFFC senior editor Teresa Koltzenburg and featuring panelists Steve Agler from Kammann Machines; Keith Smith from Xaar; and Bob Nersersian from Coates Screen (a div. of Sun Chemical), the discussion covered digital printing and its implications for entertainment packaging.

In addition to the expo and conference sessions, the Entertainment Packaging Summit featured the annual Alex Awards. Among the converters/package printers honored with an "Alex" for their entertainment media packages were Shorewood Packaging, AGI Media, Pozzoli SPA, Stoughton, and 30sixty Design.

The next edition of EMX is slated for Aug. 29–31, 2005, at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel. More information is available at entertainmentmediaexpo.com.



Expansions
EVAL Opens R&D Facility

PASADENA, TX, USA — EVAL Co. of America opened the newly constructed Kuraray Research and Technical Ctr. USA (KRTC), an $8.5 million facility designed to provide extensive application and development support for Kuraray customers, including customers of EVALCA as well as Septon Co. of America (SEPCA).

The two-story building houses analytical equipment and research offices with a floor space of 2,200 sq m and combines with the existing floor space of 1,200 sq m that houses processing equipment.


Vacumet Is On the Move
MORRISTOWN, TN, USA — Vacumet’s 80,000-sq-ft expansion of its Atlanta, GA, USA, plant announced a year ago is nearing completion, the company reports. The additional capacity is expected to be onstream by November 15.

After the startup, Vacumet will transition several slitters and metallizers from its existing location on Bakers Ferry Rd., scheduled to close by March 2005 in order to allow ample time to transition. The Bakers Ferry facility is less than five miles from the new location, allowing Vacumet to maintain its current workforce.

The company also started up a new facility in East Hartford, CT, USA in September. This facility will be a satellite manufacturing site managed from the company’s Windsor, CT, USA, operation.

With these expansions, Vacumet reports it will have increased metallizing capacity by more than 10 million lb/year by November 2004.



Industry Studies
Folding Cartons Show Growth

ALEXANDRIA, VA, USA — For 14 months, the year-over-year growth in folding carton shipments remained positive. According to the Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC), this is the longest run of positive growth since shipments began to show weakness in June 2001. March 2004 saw a 4.6% growth in shipments and a 3.6% growth in tonnage.

Results are based on data from PPC’s industry statistics program, which tracks folding carton shipments and orders monthly. For more information contact PPC at 703/836-3300 or visit ppcnet.org.


High-Visibility Packaging Report
CLEVELAND, OH, USA — According to "High Visibility Packaging: Clamshells, Blisters & Other," a new study by The Freedonia Group, US demand for high-visibility packaging is projected to expand 5.1% annually to $7.2 billion in 2008.

The study anticipates the best opportunities will be found in clamshells and carded blister packs, which together accounted for 56% of high-visibility packaging in 2003. Despite their relatively high cost, clamshells are gaining ground in the packaging of larger, heavier, and more costly products, electronic products, and smaller items such as batteries, due to their ability to be pegged or displayed on shelves.

Windowed packaging demand will expand at a below-average pace as a result of windowed cartons’ loss of share to blister packs and clamshells in non-food uses. The slowest growth is expected for skin packs. Food will remain the leading high-visibility packaging market, while pharmaceutical and medical device markets will represent the strongest opportunities for high-visibility packaging.

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


Studying Brand Protection
HERTS, UK — "The International Market for Brand Protection Solutions," a new techno-economic report researched and written by Vandagraf Intl. consultancy group in association with the Product & Image Security Foundation, reviews and evaluates opportunities for manufacturers of brand protection solutions across a number of selected end-user sectors.

The report highlights factors that combine to create windows of opportunity for product-related crimes. It looks beyond financial losses to resulting issues ranging from safeguarding the security of nations to individual health and safety issues impinging on end-user sectors such as pharmaceutical products, automotive and aircraft components, drinks and food, skin care products, and children’s clothing.

Growth of counterfeiting and product piracy worldwide now is estimated to be running about 20%/yr, while product tampering is growing at about 13% and retail theft at 3%. Best estimates for the total value of the market for Brand Protection Solutions has been put at about $7 billion in 2002 and is forecasted to reach $15 billion by 2007.

The greatest opportunities will be in pharmaceuticals, as well as garments, sportswear, footwear, home entertainment, PCs, PC software and related consumables, drinks and food products, batteries and shaving products, toiletries, cosmetics, and health and beauty products. For more information visit vandagraf.com.


Paperboard Packaging Report
WASHINGTON, DC, USA — The Paperboard Packaging Alliance has released "Packaging White Paper," a study that explores trends in consumer goods packaging and branding strategies. The report looks at the entire packaging value chain and identifies ways paperboard packaging materials have connected to companies and consumers.

The study showcases the value associated with paperboard packaging and provides examples of companies that have built household brands using paperboard packaging, including General Mills, Esteé Lauder, Walgreens, and MacDonalds. It also identifies how the value of paperboard packaging extends throughout the packaging chain from concept to consumer.

The Paperboard Packaging Alliance is a join initiative of the Paperboard Packaging Council and the American Forest Paper Association. For more information on the report call 202/463-5156 or visit afandpa.org or ppcnet.org.


Machinery Demand Increasing
ARLINGTON, VA, USA — The seventh annual "Purchasing Plans Study" from the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) shows that 65% of customers plan to spend as much or more than last year. Consumer and industrial goods companies will increase their packaging machinery expenditures 4% over the previous year to $5.479 billion in 2004.

"This is the first year since the inception of the [study] that the ‘no change in spending’ group did not represent the majority of respondents," says PMMI president Chuck Yuska.

"This is good news, in that there may be a shift away from the overall mood of extreme caution we’ve seen in the market for many years. Packaging machinery manufacturers serving the beverage, chemical, durable, food, personal care, and converter markets should take confidence in this expected growth."

The top three reasons consumer and industrial goods companies cite for ordering new equipment in 2004 are replacing machinery to gain efficiency, speed, flexibility, and productivity (32.5%); expanding production capacity for existing products (19%); and adding automating machinery to reduce labor costs (15.1%).

The study is based on in-depth interviews with 424 decision-makers responsible for 12,251 packaging lines in 1,814 plants throughout all key segments of the US market, offering a snapshot of the industry’s purchasing intentions.

The 2004 "Purchasing Plans Study" includes further details on capital equipment purchasing intentions, including macro- and micro-economic assumptions, reasons for not purchasing this year, the rising influence of major retailers, and how purchasing decisions may be affected by RFID requirements. The report can be found in the Resources & Reports Center at pmmi.org, under Industry Research.


Part 1; Part 3


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