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Q: What's New at CMM? A: Lots!

CMM Intl. Conference & Exposition (Converting Machinery/Materials) convenes for the first time at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Ctr. in Rosemont, IL (not McCormick Place!), where the biennial event also features a new format. With close to 450 exhibitors, attendees will find new technology to help make their operations more productive, efficient, and profitable.

New technology centers will allow opportunities to see working equipment in a production setting for both flexible packaging (with five sponsors) and narrow and mid-web converting (with 12 sponsors). Some healthy-sounding “ka-chunking” certainly will take place here where attendees can find solutions to problems.

While the show doesn't open officially until June 4, a pre-conference program is sponsored by CEMA (Converting Equipment Machinery Assn.) on June 3-4 on site. Its focus is on slitting and rewinding fundamentals for converters.

Then on opening day, Andrew J. McKenna, chairman of McDonald's Corp. as well as Schwarz Paper Co., will kick off the event with his unique insight from a perspective of both a user and converter of packaging. The Q&A session following his speech will give converters the ability to ask challenging questions.

The CMM conference program is in full swing on June 4-7, providing a solid selection of technical seminars. AIMCAL (Assn. of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters & Laminators) hosts its web handling conference session on June 4-6. In addition, a Level 1 flexography certification seminar will be offered on June 5-6 through DiTrolio Flexographic Inst. Other sessions running throughout the June schedule address a diversity of subjects, including press operations; sustainability; prepress/design trends; security and traceability; package decoration; plant operations management; and a final day will include an international session. There are even several networking luncheon opportunities that will allow attendees to make every minute spent at CMM worthwhile.

The hottest news is that Neil Burns, managing director of the release liner segment for Mondi Packaging in the UK (also see PFFC, April, p8), has been named CMM's Converter of the Year. The prestigious honor is awarded biennially to a converter, supplier, educator, or consultant who has significantly advanced converting technology, business practices, industry education, or standards development. Burns also will deliver the keynote address on June 5 at 9:30 A.M., identifying and analyzing some of the key trends in the global converting industry.

Burns is a 25-year veteran of the converting industry, having spent 22 years at one company. His biography lists a brief stint at BXL Plastics in South Yorkshire, UK, followed by a move to Reed Plastic Packaging, part of the Reed Intl. Group based in Kent, UK. He then became managing director of Medway Plastics extrusion coating operation. AssiDomän acquired the business (now known as NCB), which was again acquired by Frantschach Packaging, now known as Mondi Packaging. In '98 Burns was responsible for extrusion coating in central and eastern Europe, and in '03 headed operations and procurement for Mondi's Coating Div. He took his current position as managing director of Mondi Packaging Release Liner in April '06.

PFFC congratulates Neil Burns and looks forward to a great show. See you there!

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