Converting Industry News

Covering the Full Spectrum of Industry News, Events & Activities

Inventor of New Recyclable Package Earns Innovator Award
LONDON, U.K.—A new method of packaging products has won its inventor the title of British Female Innovator of the Year. Heather Davies won the award, which is sponsored by the U.K. Patent Office and the Fairplay London organization, after patenting her Reuzip packaging as a recyclable, resealable, and reusable PE cover designed to protect products in transit. According to Martin Glass of Slik Fasteners, the company that has the exclusive license to manufacture the zips used in Reuzip products, "The product has really taken off because it lends itself easily to recycling. Companies have been trying to find a way to be more environmentally aware with their packaging, and now this gives them the option."

Caraustar Buys Arrow Paper Products

ATLANTA, GA, USA—Caraustar Industries has acquired Arrow Paper Products, Saginaw, MI, a tube and core converter serving the film, automotive, and housewares markets. According to Jim Russell, VP of Caraustar's Industrial & Consumer Products Group, "The acquisition of Arrow Paper Products fits strategically with Caraustar's long-term growth plans. Arrow expands our current customer base, strengthens our position to better service existing customers, and provides important geographical expansion for our tube and core business."

Nordson Buys EFD
WESTLAKE, OH, USA—Nordson Corp. has acquired EFD Inc., East Providence, RI, in a $280 million transaction. EFD manufactures dispensing valves and components and has annualized revenue of more than $61 million. EFD president John S. Carter, who founded the company in 1963, will retire. Randall D. Richardson, VP of Nordson's nonwovens systems group, will succeed Carter at EFD.

Product Developments

Foil Bags Suited for Export
MONROE, LA, USA—A range of custom-sized Barrier Foil Bags, designed to prevent corrosion during export transit, has been developed by Shield Pack. Manufactured to ISO-9002 standards, the bags are said to be suitable for machinery, electronics, and metal goods of any shape or size. The shrouds have a loose base sheet into which the machine is placed. The main shroud then is placed over the machine, desiccant is added, the excess air is extracted, and the shroud is sealed to the base sheet. The foil materials used reportedly are tough in construction for durable handling and have the lowest known moisture vapor transmission rate.

MacDermid Partners with Stork on CTP

ATLANTA, GA, USA—MacDermid Graphic Arts has partnered with Stork-STK to create the Boxcor 1700 computer-to-plate technology. The 1700 is said to merge STK's precision instrumentation commonly used with laser imaging and MacDermid's flexo RIP with patented plate-positioning functions to deliver in-the-round, in-position imaging that reportedly assures perfect registration, true reproduction, and no distortion for corrugated applications.

According to Dan Rosen, senior product manager for MacDermid, "It's the only CTP solution available that is especially suited for the needs of the corrugated industry. It's more than just CTP though. [It] takes the most time-consuming, tedious steps out of the workflow. It brings the added value of productivity to the process."

In other news from MacDermid, the company has unified the branding strategy for all its photopolymer printing plate products. Flex-Light products will include all sheet, liquid, water wash, and digital photopolymer printing plates and equipment supplied to the converting and printing industry. Included in the new branding will be Flex-Light Liquid Photopolymer Products (formerly Merigraph Systems); Flex-Light Water Wash Photopolymer Products (formerly Flexceed Products); and Flex-Light Sheet Photopolymer Products.

Companies Provide Integration Solution
BOSTON, MA, & REDMOND, WA, USA— and MAJIQ Systems and Software will work together to integrate MAJIQ's Elixir software with's market information and Internet capabilities for the pulp and paper industry.

This alliance reportedly will give users of both systems the resources they need to conduct e-commerce and expand into new markets, while reaping the benefits of lower transaction costs and improved supply chain efficiency.

Voltek, Zotefoams Form Alliance
LAWRENCE, MA, & FLORENCE, KY, USA—Voltek, a div. of Sekisui America Corp., has formed an alliance with Zotefoams to market block polyolefin foams used in a variety of applications, including packaging. The alliance will allow Zotefoams and Voltek to represent both companies' product lines to certain customers in North America. Zotefoams is constructing a North American production facility near Cincinnati, OH, with startup scheduled for the first quarter of 2001.

Association News
Film & Bag Federation Is Unit of SPI

WASHINGTON, DC, USA—The Plastic Bag Association, formerly a stand-alone trade organization, is now a business unit of the Society of the Plastics Industry. The association has changed its name to Film & Bag Federation (FBF) and has expanded its scope to include representation of the plastic film segment of the industry.

Capacity Expansion
Eastman to Boost PET Capacity

KINGSPORT, TN, USA—Eastman Chemical Co. will boost its PET sales capacity by 110,000 metric ton/yr through contract manufacturing agreements with TIEPET Inc. in Asheboro, NC; PT. Polypet Karyapersada in Indonesia; and Bangkok Polyester Co. in Thailand. When combined with Eastman's current PET manufacturing capacity of 1.5 million metric tons, these alliances bring the total sales capacity to 1.6 million metric tons.

Mead to Close Containerboard Plant

DAYTON, OH, USA—The Mead Corp. will close its containerboard converting facility in Atlanta, GA, by November 30. Selected sales, mfg., and customer service activities will be transferred to other facilities. Mead will then operate seven converting facilities in N.A. and a corrugated medium mill in Stevenson, AL. Robert A. Feeser, president of the Mead Containerboard div., says, "We are closing this facility as part of our continuing program to improve the productivity of our operations and enhance profitability. Our ability to meet customers' needs in other market areas will not be affected, and we expect to maintain a presence in the Atlanta marketplace through our other converting facilities."

Clemson to Receive Flexo Rotary Die-Cutter

ALEXANDRIA, VA, USA—The International Corrugated Packaging Foundation (ICPF) and Bobst Group, Roseland, NJ, have donated a new Martin rotary die-cutter to Clemson University. ICPF chairman Dwight Schmidt says, "This donation marks the first time that a flexo rotary die-cutter will be placed in a four-year university program. This donation represents a giant leap forward in our efforts and marks another milestone for the ICPF." Clemson Univ. continues to offer weeklong courses in flexography, offset lithography, corrugated, and wide web printing. Topics range from the basics of each process to color theory and press operation.

Web Handling Call for Papers
STILLWATER, OK, USA—The Web Handling Research Center at Oklahoma State University (Stillwater) will hold its Sixth International Conference on Web Handling June 10-13, 2001. The conference is designed to provide researchers and engineers from various countries with a forum to exchange ideas, present technological advances, and discuss future directions. Contributors are invited to submit unpublished original papers on the topics of interest. Papers will be selected based on an abstract, not to exceed 500 words, which describes the basic problem, methods used, and results and conclusions. Abstracts are due Jan. 5, 2001.

Industry Studies
Further Consolidation Seen for Adhesives Industry

The global adhesive industry, which has been ripe for consolidation for many years, is set for a period of further consolidation, according to World Adhesive File 2000-2005, published by Market Tracking International. Major adhesive companies increasingly are targeting specific, fast-growing market segments and chemistries, traditionally the haven for smaller suppliers, as margins and growth rates in the traditional large end-user markets for adhesives—packaging and construction—slowly disappear, the study says.

One segment experiencing high growth is the PSA label market, where the explosive growth in retail shopping over the Internet has led to greater use of p-s materials such as labels and bar codes. German-based Henkel will see its global market share increase from 12%-14% through the recent purchase of Dexter Specialty Polymers via its US sub. Loctite. The combined operation will have a dominant position in the electronic adhesive market, which is experiencing double-digit growth. Other major deals include Total-Fina's Bostik adhesive business merger with Elf's AtoFindley unit to form Atofina, and the linkup between Rohm and Haas and Morton International.

Trends in Security Printing Studied
The global problem of forgery and counterfeiting is increasing, according to European Markets for Security Printing, a new market report from Pira International. Last year worldwide losses from counterfeiting and forgery reportedly amounted to 420 billion euros. The report is designed to provide retailers, brand managers, security printers, and those manufacturing and supplying security inks and paper with an understanding of market operations, trends, and patterns. It contains a sector-by-sector analysis; sectors include packaging, bank-notes, postage stamps, plastic cards, lottery tickets, and brand protection. The report provides readers with a briefing on all print processes, materials, and technologies in use. A section outlines technology trends to 2004.

Converters Add Trim Removal Systems

NEWARK, DE, USA—Precision Airconvey Corp. a mfr. of material handling, trim removal, recycling, and waste reduction equipment, reports new converting installations. A pneumatic central trim removal system is now serving nine production lines at Transilwrap's Franklin Pk., IL, facility. In addition, the installation includes a separator and dust collector to consolidate and filter the plant's waste stream.

Two Sealed Air Corp. plants located in Lenoir, NC, and Fort Worth, TX, have added in-line granulation systems to remove bubble wrap continuous edge trim from production lines, granulate the trim, and pneumatically transport the material back to extruders for recycling.

GE Plastics Invests In Instrument Management System
PITTSFIELD, MA, USA—GE Plastics has purchased 70 NetProfiler instrument management systems from GretagMacbeth, New Windsor, NY. This purchase was driven to meet corporate objectives of GE Plastics Colorxpress to maintain and monitor its spectrophotometers and manage its electronic color standards on a global basis via the Internet. Ed Tucker, global Colorxpress Services technology manager, says, "The NetProfiler System broadens our ability to communicate electronically with our 70 color resin facilities all over the world. The program offers designers working with colored plastics better tools and information to manage their color needs globally."

Slitter/Rewinder Added to Demo Facility
MILFORD, OH, USA—Comco Intl. has installed a Greystone Model 1600 slitter/ rewinder at its Applications Training and Demonstration Center. The model is designed specifically for thin, flexible packaging substrates, including films and foils. It's equipped with dual rewinds and automatic rewind tension control with differential rewind core holders capable of applying required tensions to each core independently. According to Mark Herrmann, Comco president, "Comco had a real need for this type of equipment in order to show our clients a complete overview of the print-production process. Beginning with the initial raw material, we now have a mechanism in place to demonstrate each step of development right up to a final finished product."

MSDS Management System Now Available Online

A web site is now available to aid in organizing and managing Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). has a library of MSDSs for common chemical products, making it possible for users to locate and store all required data sheets at the site. Companies also can upload sheets directly to the site for entry to the MSDS bank. The site provides users with automatic notification of new additions to the bank that match existing sheets. Any organization can start and maintain an electronic MSDS notebook with up to 50 sheets without charge. Announces New Name, Beta Test Site
KANSAS CITY, MO, USA— has changed its name to Empriva Technologies. The company provides supply chain solutions for the packaging industry, and the new name is said to reflect its commitment to business improvement through speed, innovation, information, and power. Empriva Technologies reports General Mills is beta testing its web-based solution to the process of purchasing packaging products. The system allows companies to manage the procurement process on-line, capture specification and design information in a central database, work together on-line with others in the supply chain sharing specs and drawing, and analyze purchasing data to identify opportunities for group purchasing economies.

Web Site Locates Equipment
Equipment purchasers can log on to to locate all types of new or used equipment, services, and systems. The free site provides the tools to develop equipment specifications. A single-point submission elicits direct responses from capable suppliers, including those of the customer's choice. The site protects the customer's data and identity through password protection. The customer controls the number of responses and cut-off date, and projects are automatically withdrawn when either condition is met.

Price Increases
Packaging Ink Costs Increase

ANN ARBOR, MI—Effective November l, Flint Ink North America has increased the price of packaging ink products by 6%. The volatility of raw material costs, rising crude oil prices, transportation, and a tight labor market have all contributed to increasing costs, the co. says.

Adhesive Costs Go Up
WAUWATOSA, WI, USA—The Industrial Adhesives Div. of Bostik Findley Inc. has raised prices on all of its products between 9% and 14% effective October 1. The company's global Nonwovens Div. has increased its prices by 9%. Rising raw material costs are cited as the reason.

Adhesive Companies Integrate Operations

WAUWATOSA, WI & MIDDLETON, MA, USA—Ato Findley Inc. and Bostik Inc. are in the process of integrating their two organizations. This reorganization is a result of the merger of their respective parent companies, Elf Aquitaine and TotalFina, both of Paris, France.

Bostik Findley, headed by president and CEO Laurence Danon, is composed of three worldwide business groups covering the Americas, Europe, and Australia/Asia. The merger creates a worldwide company with 4,500 employees and projected revenues for 2000 of approximately $1 billion.

Michael Klonne has been appointed president of Bostik Findley Americas and will oversee operations of four business divisions—Industrial Adhesives, Laminations, Nonwovens, and Construction & Distribution. The combined companies offer adhesives, sealants, and coating technologies used in the disposable nonwoven, packaging, converting, and laminating marketplaces, as well as in many others. Says Klonne, "Ato Findley and Bostik have well-established, yet diverse, market and product portfolios that complement each other very nicely. There's little significant overlap in our combined lines of business, so we're confident that the breadth and depth of our product offerings will make Bostik Findley a powerhouse in many demanding markets."

Supplier News
Sonoco Wins Contract for Flexible Packaging

HARTSVILLE, NC, USA—Sonoco has been awarded a five-year contract for new printed flexible packaging business valued at approximately $30 million annually. The customer was not named, but the contract is in the snack food market. The company expects to begin phasing in new production under the contract during the first half of next year. According to Harris E. DeLoach Jr., president and CEO, "The contract is a direct result of the additional capabilities Sonoco gained from its acquisition of Graphic Packaging Corp.'s flexible packaging business in September 1999."

W+D Hosts Open House
OVERLAND PK, KS, USA—W+D Machinery held an open house at its new machine assembly facility to demonstrate its envelope-making equipment. The company reports it had a large number of guests from around the country. The following equipment was featured at the open house: the 627GS folding machine, which was demonstrated with a hot melt p-s attachment, an integrated coupon or "bang tail" folder, and a preprinted patch register unit; the 326 Classic for short runs; an automatic, programmable die press with a quick-change die system, a roll-out cylinder to compress air out of lithoed paper lifts, and an automatic blank stripping table; and a four-corner adjustable die press for mfrs. needing blanks for smaller runs.

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