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Converting Industry News

Covering the Full Spectrum of Industry News, Events & Activities

Acquisitions
Greenway Plastics Now Part of Klöckner

GORDONSVILLE, VA, USA—Klöckner Pentaplast of America Inc. reports the acquisition of Greenway Plastics Industries Corp., Wayne, NJ, for an undisclosed sum. Klöckner will purchase substantially all manufacturing assets associated with the Barex film business, in addition to its proprietary product formulations and trade names, and will relocate the manufacturing assets to its Beaver, WV, facility.

Printpack Adds Amcor Virginia Facility
ATLANTA, GA, USA—Printpack Inc. has acquired Amcor Inc.'s specialty packaging plant in Newport News, VA. The 105,000-sq-ft facility has enough land to more than double manufacturing capacity. The plant will be integrated into Printpack's Rampart Packaging Div., in nearby Williamsburg.

The plants operate common production equipment and will share manufacturing support resources. Printpack says it plans to rationalize production between the two facilities and focus future expansion at the Newport News site.


Launches
Flint Ink Adds Tech Unit

ANN ARBOR, MI, USA—As a result of its commitment to advanced technology (see PFFC, July '03, p12), Flint Ink announces the launch of Precisia, a separate business unit responsible for building the company's RFID (radio frequency identification) business, in addition to other printed electronics applications including “smart packaging,” lighting, and displays. Jim Rohrkemper will serve as president of the new unit.


Internet/Home Pages
Paperloop Consolidates Web Sites

NEW YORK, NY, USA—The convertingloop.com Web site will merge with cmmshow.com and paperloop.com to offer customers worldwide up-to-date information on key industry news and issues. As part of the new arrangement, the convertingloop.com URL has been deactivated. Much of the key information from that site is now available on one of the other two Paperloop-owned sites. All news concerning paper and board pricing and other related industry issues will be found at paperloop.com.


Association News
Digital UV Committee Is Formed

FAIRFAX, VA, USA—Representatives of Screenprinting & Graphic Imaging Association International/Digital Printing & Imaging Association and its membership have formed a joint committee on digital UV printing technology with members of RadTech, the association for UV (ultraviolet) and EB (electron beam) technology. The ad-hoc committee is expected to facilitate information exchange and promote educational opportunities related to digital UV technology. For more information call 703/385-1335 or visit SGIA.org or DPIA.org.


Donations
RIT Welcomes Creo Donation

BOSTON, MA, USA—Creo has donated a Trendsetter VLF thermal CTP (computer-to-plate) system and Prinergy workflow management system to Rochester Inst. of Technology (RIT).

“Creo has been a superb partner with education,” says Frank Romano, the Roger K. Fawcett Distinguished Professor of Digital Publishing at RIT. “If not for the generosity and support of Creo, we would be unable to create an advanced prepress and printing facility.”


Industry Studies
Polymerization Catalysts Featured in New Study

CLEVELAND, OH, USA—In a new study, the US market for polymerization catalysts is forecast to expand 5.7% annually through 2007, reaching $1.1 billion. Polymerization catalysts (including reaction initiators) are organometallic, metallic, and chemical materials used to initiate and control the polymerization process for various plastics, elastomers, and specialty materials, such as plastomers.

According to the study, the polymerization catalyst industry is undergoing a fundamental transformation due to the commercialization of single-site catalysts in the mid-1990s. Though these catalysts are expanding their market share, traditional Ziegler/Natta catalysts remain the dominant production technology for polyolefins, says the report, based on their significant cost benefits and reliable performance, especially for large-volume, low-cost polymers such as packaging resins.

Demand for reaction initiators will increase 3.5%/yr, with gains limited by a weak outlook for LDPE, a major application for these materials, as well as the development of new polymerization processes that use less initiator. The market, however, is expected to benefit from a generally solid outlook for the plastics industry overall, particularly for key resins such as PVC, PS, and PET. For more information on the study, contact Freedonia Group at 440/684-9600 or visit freedoniagroup.com.

SPI Q1 Report Analyzes, Forecasts Plastics Industry
WASHINGTON, DC, USA—The Committee on Equipment Statistics (CES) of The Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. (SPI) has released its First Quarter 2003 Report, which provides an overview of plastics equipment shipments from Q1 2002 through Q1 2003.

The report also includes an analysis of the US economy and the plastics industry, including general economic indicators and durable goods shipments and an industry forecast.

The report anticipates that by year's end, steady capacity utilization rates and low resins levels will help expand overall production by 4% or 5% compared with 2003.

Overall profits will begin to improve, the study adds, as the increase in demand for product during the second half of 2003 combines with the gradual drop in materials and energy prices. For more information contact SPI at 202/974-5200 or visit plasticsindustry.org.

ASTM System Opens Up Process
WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, PA, USA—ASTM International has launched an Internet-based system, designated Work Item Registration, designed to initiate, develop, and track draft standards and revisions before and during their balloting stage. The system is accessible from astm.org and is said to add increased openness and transparency to ASTM's consensus standards development process.


Environmental News
Goods Packaged in 100% Recycled Paperboard Honored
WASHINGTON, DC, USA—Thirteen winners in the 60th Annual National Paperboard Packaging Competition featured 100% recycled paperboard, according to the 100% Recycled Paperboard Alliance (RPA-100%).

Sponsored by the Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC), the competition recognizes the best in design, innovation, and creativity among paperboard packages. The 13 awards (2 Gold and 11 Excellence) are more than twice the number earned by goods packaged in 100% recycled paperboard during the 2002 competition. Among the winners is Homestyle Country Ribs by Cascades Boxboard: DPI (Excellence Award in Frozen Foods Category). For more information visit rpa100.com.


Expansions
White Opaque Film Capacity Increased at ExxonMobil

MACEDON, NY, USA—The Films Business of ExxonMobil Chemical has completed an expansion of its OPP film manufacturing plant in Shawnee, OK. The installation of a specialty 6.6-m orienter line (proprietary) gives the company an additional 30 million lb of annual capacity and helps the Films Business meet growing demand for white opaque films in the food packaging, labeling, and imaging markets.

“White opaque films offer many benefits to food and beverage marketers, and we look forward to delivering more of this high-value product to our customers around the world,” notes Andrew Purdue, general manager of the company's Americas Film Business.


Supplier News
Digital Press Enters US Market

NORCROSS, GA, USA—With the purchase of a dotrix ink jet digital press designated the.factory, Rock-Tenn Co. not only adds to its capabilities but will work with dotrix to help define ink jet technology developments for the packaging and display industries. Rock-Tenn is the first US company to purchase the press.

According to Rock-Tenn CEO Jim Rubright, “The dotrix wide web digital printing equipment [designated the.factory] gives us the high-speed, cost-effective, production-grade digital solution to provide our customers with a competitive advantage.”

“This equipment will deliver short runs or long runs that require variable copy or graphics,” says Jim Einstein, EVP of Rock-Tenn's Alliance Div. that specializes in POP display and promotional packaging solutions. Adds Nick George, EVP of the Folding Carton Div., “Most digital printing technologies have had trouble handling our thicker paperboard concerns. The unique, noncontact printing technology of the.factory addresses this concern.”
Supplier Information
dotrix NV
Ghent, Belgium; 919/382-8799; dotrix.be

Tech Center for Laminations Opens
NORTH KINGSTOWN, RI, USA—Coim USA/Novacote Flexpack, a supplier of adhesives and coatings for flexible packaging, announces a new lamination technical center.

The 6,000-sq-ft facility will feature a Nordmeccanica Labo Combi 400 solvent, water-, and solvent-free laminator/coater. It can process paper, film, and foil laminations to 400 mm wide at 1,000 fpm. The center also will be capable of providing IR analysis and tensile, viscosity, heat seal, bond strength, and other types of testing.

Batson to Rep Burris Slitters
GREENVILLE, SC, USA—Louis P. Batson Co. reports a contract with Burris Machine Co., Hickory, NC, to market Burris's line of slitters, knives, and accessories in the US, Canada, and Mexico. Models include the Standard Profit-Master slitter, Model 60-SD; the heavy-duty Profit-Master slitter, Model 100-HD; and the extra-heavy-duty Profit-Master Slitter, Model 130-XHD.

Team Approach Specializes in Flex-Pack Customers
MONTVALE, NJ, USA—A provider of 24/7/365 engineering support and Web-enabled applications, ei3 corp. reports the creation of the FLEXPAC team of engineers and process consultants.

The team will be focused on the specific needs of the flexible packaging markets, ei3 explains, adding engineers will be familiar with processes and control systems on metallizers, printing presses, rewinder/slitters, and coating/laminating lines.


Purchases
EDI Management Buys Co. from US Bank

CHIPPEWA FALLS, WI, USA—Extrusion Dies Industries LLC (EDI) reports its top management team, led by president and CEO Timothy C. Callahan, has purchased the company in its entirety from Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank. The management buyout came just eight months after U.S. Bank had purchased EDI in a transaction that stemmed from a 1998 recapitalization.

Besides Callahan, the new principals of EDI include CFO Ronald Kuhnen, executive VP of sales and marketing Christopher W. Curtin, and executive VP of engineering and technology John A. Ulcej.

Notes Callahan, “Our balance sheet is now stronger than it has been since 1998, and the new structure combines the resources of a dedicated, experienced management team with investments by a few very well-capitalized private individuals.”



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