Connecting Buyers and Sellers in the Printing and Converting Industries for Over 77 Years

The race begins at 10:00 a.m. April 18 as CMM returns to Chicago’s McCormick Place South with its 15th exposition and conference program specifically devoted to the converting and package printing industry.

With close to 500 exhibitors—including more than 60 companies that didn’t exhibit in 2003—and several new pavilions, this edition of the Converting Machinery and Materials Exposition will showcase the latest trends and technology, as well as provide a key opportunity to bring buyers and sellers together in one arena.

According to Ian Johnston, CMM Intl., exhibitors are returning to the show for some very specific reasons. "The improving economy is certainly a key factor, but companies are also telling us that CMM’s approach to offering a more targeted focus on specific industry sectors, as well as the several new show features we’ve added, are resonating well with them. Some of these companies are brand new to the show, while others have exhibited at previous CMM events but decided not to participate in 2003."

PFFC hopes you’re psyched because the starting blocks are waiting for you! So stretch those legs, break out the Chariots of Fire soundtrack, and get ready to sprint down the track as PFFC passes the baton [of information] into your hands.

On Your Mark
This wouldn’t be a "Headstart to CMM" without giving you the skinny on the track ahead. We’ve provided you with a list of exhibitors by product category (click here), an alphabetical list of exhibitors with booth numbers (click here), and a pull-out map of the show floor (click here). (Information is subject to change but is accurate as of press time.) Throughout this special section you’ll find new products (click here), many being introduced at the show, and staff and reader picks of favorite attractions and restaurants throughout the Windy City (click here).

New additions and old staples will be seen at this year’s show. The Natl. Assn. of Printing Ink Mfrs. (NAPIM) will sponsor, for the first time, an ink pavilion that will allow its members to showcase their latest products. In addition, Conlatingraf, the Latin American Printing Industries Confederation, will host CMM’s first Latin American pavilion. The pavilion not only will provide Latin American converting machinery and materials suppliers with the opportunity to reach thousands of converters from around the world, it also will enable CMM participants to explore new importing and exporting ventures. RadTech Intl. will feature its innovative UV/EB Superstore where attendees can walk through a virtual store filled with hundreds of consumer packaged goods manufactured using UV and EB technology.

The Flexographic Technical Assn. will host "The World of Label & Carton Flexo Solutions." This new pavilion will consist of individual turnkey booths built around a central FTA hospitality area.

Also hosting pavilions are the Assn. of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL) and the Packaging and Label Gravure Assn. (PLGA), which will include a host of suppliers within their respective industries.

Due to a new arrangement between CMM and the International Converting Exhibition, expect ICE 2005 to be a major presence at this year’s show. The two expos will market each other’s events to their respective audiences around the world.

Conference Challenge
The CMM 2005 conference program—Converting Solutions Into Profits: Confronting the Challenges in a Competitive Environment—will host an impressive lineup of industry-leading companies presenting a wide variety of topics in two main educational tracks, Technical and Management/Marketing (for a complete conference schedule, click here). The 2005 conference program will run eight daily concurrent educational sessions and close to 90 presentations that will cover current issues of importance to the converting and package printing industry. Some of these issues include digitizing the package printing process, trends in packaging, impact of RFID, how to use technology to gain a competitive advantage, and managing the converting operation.

Yolanda Simonsis, associate publisher/editor of PFFC, will moderate "Navigating the Challenges of a Global Marketplace," on Monday, April 18, at 8:30 a.m. The session will include Trends in the Packaging Industry with insight from Colin McLelland, VP of Ernst & Young Corporate Finance; International Trade Issues presented by the US Dept. of Commerce; Competing In/Against a Global Market with Paul Frost of PJ Assoc.; Supply Chain Management/ERP Solutions + Recognizing Additional Revenue Opportunities with Packaging Personified; and CE Marking with Robert Morgan, director of Technology Intl.

The Consumer Packaging & Converting Connection event, a premium conference debuting during CMM Intl., will feature leading packaging experts targeting the relationship between senior-level executives at consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs) and their converter partner-suppliers. Also running concurrent with CMM are two two-day seminars sponsored by the Converting Equipment Mfrs. Assn (CEMA), which will be held April 17–18. See PFFC’s conference guide for more details.

Conlatingraf, in cooperation with ABFlexo, a Brazilian flexo association, will host its first Flexo General Assembly at CMM where leaders from six associations will meet to discuss future directions and initiatives.

For extended coverage, PFFC will deliver an e-mail newsletter, the DAiLY PLAN-IT, to all our E-Clips e-newsletter subscribers. The DAiLY PLAN-IT will broadcast every Thursday beginning March 24 through April 14. This special edition newsletter will feature late-breaking news, products, and the ability to schedule appointments for your visit to CMM.

Also available to plan your day(s) at CMM is PFFC’s March bonus on-line exclusive, "Headstart to CMM," which will feature several CMM exhibitors you can contact directly via e-mail.

Now on to the show!

Rick Hocking, plant manager at Banner Packaging, a div. of Bemis Co., has been selected as the 2005 "Converter of the Year." Hocking will be presented with the prestigious award during a special ceremony at CMM Intl. Monday, April 18.

Under Hocking’s guidance, Banner Packaging has grown dramatically and captured numerous honors and awards for quality print production. These include several FTA Excellence in Flexography Awards, including 2003’s Best of Show. That same year, the company took the European Flexographic Technical Assn.’s Best in Show award.

Hocking began his career in flexography in 1978 as a press helper. His career progression included plate mounting and press operation. In 1985, he became printing department manager, and in 1999, he was promoted to plant manager. When Hocking first joined Banner Packaging, the company consisted of three owners, 10 production employees, and an office manager. Today, it employs 500 people and the original 20,000 sq ft plant currently is being expanded to nearly 600,000 sq ft.

For more on Rick Hocking, see the Editor’s Page.

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