Converting Industry News

Covering the Full Spectrum of Industry News, Events & Activities

Speed Sells
Olmarc Packaging, a contract packager in Chicago, IL, is the buyer of the first Evolution ultra-high-speed bagmaker from Kliklok-Woodman.

Ken Marchetti, president of Olmarc, says, “We chose the Evolution based on the overall speed capability to meet our customers’ production needs. Kliklok-Woodman is a long-term strategic partner with us, providing a full range of reliable packaging solutions and outstanding customer service.”

The Evolution is part of the expansion to the Woodman product line of bagmakers created by the exclusive marketing, sales, and after-sales support alliance between Kliklok-Woodman and CMD Corp.

The bagmaker runs at speeds to 225 bags/min with a twin-jaw sealing system. It features patented Insight software, standard on Woodman’s complete product line.
SUPPLIER INFO:
Kliklok-Woodman—PFFC-ASAP 320. klikwood.com



No Half-Way Measures
Named after its customer-service philosophy, All-Out is a printer that keeps finding new ways to serve. Toward that end, the company recently installed a KBA Rapida 142 five-color, 56-in. press at its 25,000-sq-ft facility in Woodridge, IL.

With the new press, says All-Out president J.B. Capuano, “We will be able to focus on adding accounts such as point of purchase, display, label, and high-end cosmetic packaging.” This is in addition to allowing the company to produce all types of commercial work, he notes. “Buying the 56-inch KBA press differentiates us in the marketplace….”

The sheet-fed press features a coater and a number of high-tech systems, including KBA’s Densitronic S closed loop color control system and a combined density and color measuring system for quality control during and after printing.

Capuano chose to add an in-line slitter at the delivery end of the press for flexibility to cut the 56-in. sheets after printing into two-up jobs when this is required.

All-Out account representative Bob Pawlicki says, “We did extensive research and looked at many presses from other manufacturers before we chose the KBA Rapida 142. After comparing all the models on the market, we believe the KBA is the best.”
SUPPLIER INFO:
KBA North America—PFFC-ASAP 321. kba-usa.com



Work Flows with JDF-Based System
At the Krefeld, Germany, folding carton plant of Friedrich Freund, the postpress operations have been integrated into a JDF-based production workflow. This is thanks to the Prinect Data Control production and information system from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen and the industry-specific management information system Boxsoft.

Now integrated in one complete JDF workflow are the postpress machines—a Heidelberg Dymatrix 106 CSB die-cutter and a Diana Pro 74 folder/gluer—and two six-color Heidelberg Speedmaster CD 102 presses.

Heidelberg worked with Freund to develop the integration concept. “We were highly impressed by the role of Data Control in shortening our press makeready times, and we also wanted to introduce the advantages to our postpress machines,” says Michael Raschke, production manager at Freund.

The postpress machines have been fully integrated in Data Control via JDF since March as part of a field test. Every repeat job is stored separately in the Data Control database. “We follow the same procedure in die-cutting and gluing as we do in printing,” explains Raschke. “The optimal machine settings from a particular job are stored centrally as reference values and can be called up any time regardless of the operator. This means we can immediately finish follow-on jobs in the quickest time possible.”
SUPPLIER INFO:
Heidelberg Druckmaschinen—PFFC-ASAP 322. us.heidelberg.com



Laminator Up and Running
EDGEWOOD, NY—Nordmeccanica reports the successful installation and startup of a Super Simplex laminator at Hood Packaging Corp., Madison, MS, a manufacturer of flexible packaging.

The machine was developed for short to medium runs in two-ply solvent-free lamination. Nordmeccanica says the laminator met all the stringent criteria set by the customer for production and quality performances.


Protective Packaging Studied
CLEVELAND, OH—Protective packaging demand is expected to grow 4.7% yearly to $4 billion in 2010, reports The Freedonia Group. Advances will be driven by specialized packaging applications in the electronic, medical, and other industries, as well as growing Internet-based sales.

U.S. Protective Packaging Demand (millions dollars)
% Annual Growth
Item 2000 2005 2010 5/00 10/05
Total 2,460 3,170 3,980 5.2 4.7
Foamed Plastic 680 880 1,100 5.3 4.6
Protective Mailers 680 850 1,075 4.6 4.8
Bubble Packaging 312 406 520 5.4 5.1
Insulated Shipping Containers 206 275 360 5.9 5.5
Inflatable Bags 90 180 265 14.9 8.0
Other 492 579 660 3.3 2.7
©2006 by The Freedonia Group
Overall price advances will be restrained by the commodity nature of most products and moderating raw material costs, which will recover from the high levels reached in 2004 and 2005.

The best opportunities are seen for inflatable bags, insulated shipping containers, and bubble packaging, the report adds. Loose-fill likely will exhibit the slowest growth due to significant competition from inflatable bags, bubble packaging, and paper fill materials.

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

An Emerging Technology Agenda
CHICAGO, IL—InnoPlast Solutions is sponsoring a symposium on “Emerging Technologies in Plastic Packaging” October 30–31 at the Marriott Downtown Hotel in Chicago. PFFC is a Media Partner of the event, which is organized into three emerging areas: Barrier Technologies, BioTechnology, and Intelligent Packaging.

The symposium will begin with a presentation by consultant Dr. Eldridge M. Mount III covering “Sharply Focused Reviews of Plastic Films and Barrier Technologies.”

Other sessions include light-moisture-gas aroma barrier; nanotechnology coated PET film; transparent retortable barrier packaging; Besela films; oxygen scavenging technology; eco-efficiency; natural plastics; RFID; shelf life; PA6 in food packaging; and ultra-barriers.

According to InnoPlast, the symposium is designed to address the needs of professionals involved in R&D, manufacturing, sales, marketing, and business development throughout the entire supply chain of the packaging film and bottles industry. For more information contact InnoPlast at 888/696-5632 or e-mail innoplast@aol.com.


SSCC Closes Corrugated Plant
CHICAGO, IL—Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. is discontinuing operations at the Smurfit-MBI corrugated container facility in Pembroke, ON, Canada. Production will be transferred to nearby Smurfit-MBI facilities.

The closure is part of the company’s strategic initiatives, announced in November 2005, that will improve its cost profile by closing up to 20% of its corrugated container facilities and transferring the business to larger plants. The Pembroke facility is the sixth such plant to close.


New Name, New Plans for Julie
BURLINGTON, MA—Julie Static Controls is changing its name to Static Clean Intl., according to company president Jim Patterson.

“The [new] name is a better representation of the direction the company is taking to meet the demands of the clean room and medical device markets,” says Patterson.

He adds, “While the product line will still include all existing blowers, static bars, air knives, cleaning stations, web cleaners, and other static control components for general industrial applications, it will develop new products…to address the increased demand for a cleaner product….”

Plans also include expansion through partnering with other companies that carry products and service that complement the Static Clean line.


Open House Showcases Press
MONTREAL, PQ., CANADA—Drent Goebel welcomed more than 400 package printers to an Open House at its Montreal facility this past June to show off a seven-unit Variable Sleeve Offset press (VSOP) equipped with an EB curing unit.

Companies that partner with Drent used the event to demonstrate developments including ink, platemaking, finishing, curing, and web cleaning.

The press included a Martin Automatic unwinder and nonstop rewinder; a Teknek web cleaner; a Tresu downstream flexo coater; an EZCure-1 EB unit from Energy Sciences; and the Offcon III register control and inspection system from Eltromat.


Loparex Adds Douglas-Hanson
WILLOWBROOK, IL—Loparex Group has acquired Douglas-Hanson Co., Hammond, WI. Loparex manufactures release coated papers and films. Douglas-Hanson manufactures silicone-coated release papers and films and extrudes polycoated papers for the packaging industry.

The Douglas-Hanson facility will operate under the name Loparex.


Badger Expands Product Line
GREENVILLE, WI—Badger Plug is celebrating its 75th anniversary as well as announcing the expansion of its product line with the acquisition of GMP Genpak, a manufacturer of custom spools located in Huntley, IL.

According to Badger, the acquisition allows it to expand its spool line to serve all light- to medium-weight spooling applications.


SMS Now Sole Owner in China
DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY—SMS Plastics Technology has purchased the shares held by its partner, Chen Hsong Holdings, of the extrusion business in the People’s Republic of China. The business has been renamed Battenfeld Extrusion Systems Ltd. and now operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of SMS. Battenfeld Extrusion Systems has headquarters and manufacturing in Shunde, Guangdong Province.

SMS reports its long-range strategy is to be the sole owner of its subsidiaries worldwide.

ECRM Acquires Esko CTP Line
TEWKSBURY, MA—ECRM announces the closing of its agreement to acquire the polyester CTP product line of Esko Production A/S. This includes the manufacture and sales of DPX 4, DPX System, DPX Lite, WorkMates, and all associated software products, consumables, spare parts, and related products.

Says Rick Black, president and CEO of ECRM, “…We are impressed with the sales and service organization in place, and we plan to continue working with the current Esko Production channel partners under the ECRM brand.”

The acquisition does not affect the Esko-Graphics packaging product lines or operations.


Acquisition Expands Xaloy Line
NEW CASTLE, PA—Xaloy has acquired Dynisco Extrusion, Hickory, NC, adding gear pumps, screen changers, cleaning ovens, and water ring pelletizers to its line of high-performance screws, bimetallic barrels, and heat-transfer rolls for extrusion processes.

Xaloy will consolidate sales and service of all extrusion equipment in a new business unit, Xaloy Extrusion, based in Hickory. Randy Pearson, former president of Dynisco, will lead the new unit.


MAN Roland Takes Big Step
WESTMONT, IL—MAN Roland and Allianz Capital Partners, Washington, DC, have created a joint venture to purchase MAN Roland Druckmaschinen AG and take the press manufacturer public. This is called a major step for MAN Roland in becoming a fully independent entity.

Gerd Finkbeiner, CEO of MAN Roland, says, “This step means a new era for MAN Roland. … Continuity in the management, corporate structure, and… brand names will ensure the company retains its credibility and reliability for our customers and employees. This will now be complemented by even greater flexibility and more rigorous decision-making processes.”


A Converting Industry Q&A
WIND GAP, PA—What types of US converters suffer the most from foreign competition? “Converters whose products and/or processes rely heavily on employee labor instead of technology suffer the most….” That’s the opinion of Jeff Damour, engineering manager for Converter Accessory Corp. and outgoing president of the Converting Equipment Mfrs. Assn. (CEMA).

Damour expounds on this topic and answers other questions on today’s converting industry in this month’s PFFC Web Exclusive.


Ion Part of MKS, Extends Line
WINDSOR LOCKS, CT—Ion Industrial has joined MKS Instruments and will now be known as MKS, Ion Industrial.

The company has extended its product line for industrial electrostatic applications with the 30kV/3mA DC-25 charging generator, RC-type charging bars, and mini charge applicators. MKS, Ion Industrial will market these and other products under the Tantec brand name.

The combined Tantec and MKS, Ion Industrial product line reportedly will offer comprehensive solutions for a wide range of electrostatic “pinning” or “tacking” applications.


UV/EB Event a Record-Breaker
CHEVY CHASE, MD—Organizers of the biennial e|5: UV & EB Technology Expo & Conference, held April 24–26 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, report overall attendance reached more than 2,700, which is a record.

The conference included more than 40 sessions and 150 presentations in separate tracks for user and technical suppliers.

David Harbourne, president of Fusion UV and president of RadTech, says, “With rising energy costs, increasing international competition, and continuing environmental concerns, manufacturers are increasingly looking to [UV] and [EB] technology to address these challenges.”


BASF Ups AEOA Production
FLORHAM PK, NJ—BASF is building an alkylethanolamine (AEOA) plant at its US Verbund site in Geismar, LA. The plant, scheduled to come on-line in 2007, complements existing amine production facilities at Geismar that currently manufacture 20 different specialty amines.

BASF, which also operates AEOA plants at its Verbund site in Ludwigshafen, Germany, reports the new plant will increase its AEOA worldwide production capacities by about 40%.


Software Companies Now One
VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA—VantagePoint Systems, a developer of business software solutions for the packaging industry, has entered into an agreement to acquire the majority interest in privately held HRMS (dba Harry Rohde Management Systems), Elmhurst, IL. HRMS is a software and consulting services company in the paper and packaging industry.

VantagePoint president and CEO James Hennings says, “HRMS has a great heritage and well-respected legacy in providing software solutions and related consulting services to packaging manufacturers for three decades. We intend to build on that legacy by significantly enhancing the HRMS product line and strengthening consulting service offerings for existing and new customers.”


Acquiring New Technology
CINCINNATI, OH—Michelman, a manufacturer of performance-enhancing coatings, has acquired Fischer Pro, Keokuk, IA, a manufacturer of non-skid coating products for corrugated cartons, tier sheets, and multiwall bags. The acquisition includes the manufacturing operation in Keokuk, all intellectual property, and sales.

Don Wiseman, VP Global Operations at Michelman, says, “The acquired technology includes an efficient process for manufacturing colloidal silica dispersions of specified particle size, which may hold significant potential in other applications.” Fischer Pro president Brad Fekete joins the Michelman team as manager of silica-based coatings.


DuPont to do R&D in China
WILMINGTON, DE—DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers has opened an R&D lab at DuPont’s China Research and Development Center at Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park, Shanghai.

The facility, which will support customers throughout the world, features an industrial-scale, nine-layer blown film coextrusion line that will aid the development of film structures for the packaging and industrial film markets. The line can produce film structures with a layflat to 1.27 m and from 30–250 microns thick.

Also at the facility is a small lab-scale, three-layer blown film coextrusion line and a variety of testing and analysis equipment for troubleshooting customer problems and assisting customers in production processes.


Polymer Packaging Expands
NORTH CANTON, OH—Polymer Packaging announces a $20 million expansion plan that involves relocation as well as the addition of manufacturing equipment and capabilities.

The company will move to a 72,500-sq-ft facility at 800 Navarre Rd. SW, Massillon, OH, which will be modified to house manufacturing operations. It will add 10,000 sq ft for corporate offices and quality and R&D labs as well as three new three- and seven-layer blown film coextrusion lines. Polymer expects its employee base to grow to more than 150 with these changes.

The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2006.


PCMC Gets Leaner
GREEN BAY, WI—Barry-Wehmiller Companies, St. Louis, MO, believes in the principles of Lean Production, and those principles now are being applied at Paper Converting Machine Co. (PCMC), which Barry-Wehmiller acquired in October 2005.

Barry-Wehmiller says PCMC is committed to being a Lean enterprise in order to become a more efficient supplier of equipment to its customer base by empowering its team members to work more effectively.

Toward this goal, PCMC has established a Rapid Response Team focused on performance improvement. Notes Mark Gillis, global sales director for printing, “This has enabled us to greatly reduce lead time and to improve our on-time shipment rate to nearly 95 percent.”


A New Novatec on the Scene
BALTIMORE, MD—A group of private investors has purchased Novatec, a supplier of material handling systems. Conrad M. Bessemer, president and CEO of the new Novatec, says the goal is to double the size of the company in three years. Terms of the buyout were not disclosed.

Lawrence F. DeBaugh, previously president of Novatec, will serve as chairman of the new Novatec. Executive VP John W. (Jack) Doub continues in that position.


PECC Acquires Midland
CHICAGO, IL—Midland Container Corp., Franksville, WI, a producer of value-added corrugated packaging and display products, has been sold to Private Equity Capital Corp. (PECC), Westport, CT. Advising on the sale was independent investment bank Goldsmith Agio Helms. The transaction includes Midland’s interest in independently managed corrugator Five Star Sheets.

John Ramey, a partner with PECC, says, “…[we] plan to grow the company organically beginning with the implementation of a virtual interface between Midland and its clients as well as growth through acquisitions, using Midland’s business model and Wisconsin location as a platform.


Rad-Cure Transaction Reported


FAIRFIELD, NJ—Rad-Cure Corp. reports its shareholders have agreed to the acquisition of the Rad-Cure business by Altana Coatings & Sealants. Altana is a division of Altana Chemie, the specialty chemical division of Altana, a pharmaceuticals and specialty chemical manufacturer based in Bad Homburg, Germany.

Rad-Cure management wanted a strategic partner that would help it maintain its identity, brand recognition, and product lines; keep the management team and employees in place; enhance the company’s ability to produce innovative products; and bring additional complementary products and services to customers.

Company president/founder Harry S. Katz is retiring; Jim Wittig will take over as president; and Greg Parker will be promoted to VP of Rad-Cure Corp.

R&D Lab for Metallized Materials
BEAN STATION, TN—FILMtech reports an R&D lab at its Tennessee production facility features equipment to help the company design, produce, and test new and existing metallized substrates for a variety of industries.

The lab is integrated into the manufacturing plant and is equipped to test and evaluate material properties and coating formulation designs. The lab also will be used to design and formulate new coating systems and produce samples of new materials with a thin-film evaporation system.



PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
Robert Poulos retires as marketing manager from Mississippi Polymers, Corinth, MS, and Kenn Moore is named to the post.

Harper Corp. of America, Charlotte, NC, promotes Richard Roffers to plant manager of the Green Bay manufacturing facility in De Pere, WI.

Mario Cotta, Cincinnati, OH, appoints Power Transmission Equipment, Pinedale, CA, the exclusive representative on the West Coast, with Steve Parry leading the team.

Gerard J. Lucidi becomes president and CEO at Marsden Inc., Pennsauken, NJ.

Paul Smith joins the engineering team at Autobond, Derby, England.

Marcel Hage is named president, North America and Export, for Maxcess Intl., Oklahoma City, OK.

Presstek, Hudson, NH, appoints Geoffrey Loftus Press Business general manager.

Marke Baker is promoted to VP of customer service at Mitsubishi Lithographic Presses, Lincolnshire, IL.

Anderson & Vreeland, Bryan OH, names Mark Kyle technical sales representative for Michigan and areas in adjoining states.

Precision AirConvey Corp., Newark, DE, names Tom Clark operations manager.



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