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Converting Industry News

Covering the Full Spectrum of Industry News, Events & Activities

Tape Keeps Cell Phones Dry
MACtac Technical Products says its new MACbond IB-2180 product helps prevent “liquid enemies” of cell phones, such as rain, coffee spills, etc.

Fluoropolymer material covers a cell phone's speaker and microphone to prevent moisture penetration into the unit's sensitive components. However, says MACtac, because of fluoropolymer's low-energy surface properties, adhesion to it can be difficult. For that reason, the company created the IB-2180 double-side tape version of its low-surface-energy (LSE) free film, IF-2090, which reportedly is able to bond to low-energy surfaces such as the fluoropolymer-coated fabric.

Explains Bob Frazier, MACtac's Technical Products marketing manager, “With cell phone manufacturers continually searching for new ways to improve their phones' durability, we were contacted about the immediate need to develop a product that would bond this new substrate to the cell phone speaker and microphone to protect them from moisture penetration.”
Supplier Information
, Stow, OH; 330/463-5650; http://www.mactac.com

AET Films Introduces Modified OPP
AET Films reports the introduction of HOTR (XX-41), a modified OPP film designed for the outside layer of laminations used in packaging fresh-cut produce. The patented technology is said to be ideal for foods and other products that require high oxygen transmission, or “breathability.”

AET Films' market manager Mike Bosky says while standard OPP films have been utilized in fresh-cut produce packaging for the past ten years, there are many product items that require a level of breathability that has been too high for standard OPP films in laminations.

“HOTR offers this higher breathability. This permits the produce manufacturers to take advantage of the superior clarity, graphics, hand feel, and machining characteristics of OPP films across a broader spectrum of their fresh-cut products.”

HOTR is also a suitable packaging substrate for other applications in which breathability is desired, including flowers, meats, and case-ready meats, adds Bosky.
Supplier Information
AET Films, a div. of Applied Extrusion Technologies Inc.
, New Castle, DE; 302/326-5500; http://www.aetfilms.com.

Partnership to Market Closure System
SIG Pack Intl. and Presto Products Co. report an agreement to make the patented Easy Snap closure system more readily accessible to flexible packagers at a higher level of service. SIG Pack's affiliate, SIG Doboy Inc.-Easy Snap Div., and Presto's Fresh-Lock Zipper Business Unit are teaming to co-market the Easy Snap system in North America.

SIG Pack Intl., which has the exclusive worldwide license to manufacture Easy Snap materials and forming equipment, is partnering with Presto to take advantage of the existing sales and service network for Presto's popular Fresh-Lock zipper closures. Presto's Fresh-Lock zipper sales team and SIG Doboy's sales and service experts will support packagers using the Easy Snap system. The SIG-Presto agreement reportedly will give flexible packagers a wide selection of reclosable styles and technologies from one source.

The Easy Snap technology is described as an innovative alternative to transverse zipper systems for vertical f/f/s (form/fill/seal) equipment.
Supplier Information
Presto Products Co.
, Appleton, WI; 920/738-1344; 800/265-0750; sigeasysnap.com

Stand-Up Pouch a Sweet Solution for Premium Product
A recloseable stand-up pouch from Sonoco is delivering a premium image for Trophy Foods' Delectables chocolate and yogurt covered raisins and nuts.

The confectioner, located in Mississauga, Ont., Canada, was looking for a package that would give it an edge against its competitors. Explains purchasing manager San Di Santo, “In order to market the quality of the actual product, the first step is to establish and promote the Delectables brand. When you have a quality package that grabs the attention of the consumer, selling the brand becomes less of a challenge.”

Anikk Communications developed graphics for the package, working with Sonoco on the package printing process. Rotogravure was the process of choice. Sonoco printed the packaging in its Mississauga facility with cylinders supplied by Southern Engraving.

The Sonoco pouch is supplied in two sizes: a 350-g pack and a larger 1.3-kg pack. Gravure-printed in six colors on a PET-based laminated structure, the pouches feature deep, complex jewel tones — purple, blue, turquoise, and magenta. Type is in a flowing script and the two-sided labels are printed in both French and English. Both pouch sizes feature a reclosable zipper closure said to keep the product fresh.

Di Santo says, “With the continued paradigm shift from traditional rigid packaging to the consumer-friendly stand-up, resealable pouches, we wanted to provide the consumer with an upscale and convenient package.”

He adds, “By combining the quality design of Anikk…with exceptional rotogravure print quality from Sonoco, it is easy to see why the Delectables brand has experienced tremendous success in the marketplace.”
Supplier Information
, Hartsville, SC; 843/383-3335; sonoco.com
Anikk Communications, Mississauga, ON, Canada; 905/715-9895; anikk.com
Southern Engraving, Mississauga, ON, Canada; 905/405-1555

Association News
New Toxic Report Rules to Affect Many

FT. MILL, SC, USA—The Assn. of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters & Laminators has issued a reminder to its members on new EPA reporting rules. Many companies that have not had to file Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reports in the past will have to start in 2002 due to changes in reporting rules.

The purpose of the TRI reporting requirement is to inform the public and government officials about routine releases of toxic chemicals to the environment. It also is used to assist in the development of regulations, guidelines, and standards. Reports are sent to the US EPA and designated state agencies. The public can access the information using the Internet and other means.

The new rules apply to companies that handled more than 100 lb of lead or lead compounds during any calendar year, starting in 2001. This weight requirement is a substantial reduction from previous rules, which started at 10,000 lb. All sources of lead count, no matter how low the concentration may be.

For more information contact your regional US EPA office or the EPCRA information hotline, 800/424-9346.

PLGA Adds Tech Awards
SPRINGFIELD, OH, USA—The Packaging & Label Gravure Assn. (PLGA) has launched a technical achievement awards program intended to recognize and promote new or significantly improved products that will enhance the industry's position relative to other print technologies.

Product entries will be judged according to five equally weighted criteria: innovation; capital affordability; operating cost reduction; quality improvement; and safety and/or environmental impact.

Entries must be available commercially in 2002, and entry forms must be received no later than December 31. Winners will be announced at the PLGA's annual conference in Clearwater Beach, FL, in February 2003.

For more information contact PLGA at 937/390-2528; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Industry Studies
Printers Continue to Downsize, Study Says

ALEXANDRIA, VA, USA—The Printing Industries of America (PIA) reports the printing industry downsized by approximately 1,700 plants and 60,000 employees in 2001. These findings are from the PIA's Quarterly Market Survey sponsored by Heidelberg.

The trend continued during the first quarter of 2002. About one in three firms indicate they reduced their employee counts during the first quarter, while 15% indicated they added employees. The top reasons given for headcount reductions were layoffs from slow business, not replacing retirees, and productivity improvements.

“Some printers are already seeing a gradual positive trend with regard to their business,” says Dr. Ron Davis, PIA's chief economist. “However, there are still more jobs being lost than created. While the national economy seems to be on an upswing, printers are at the tail end of that growth.”

The PIA also reports 2001 appears to have been one of the weakest ever for printing industry profitability. Preliminary findings from the 2002 PIA Ratios survey, sponsored by Heidelberg, PrintCafe, and Potlatch, indicate printers' before-tax profits as a percent of sales fell to 1.5% last year. This is a reduction from the 3.1% reported in last year's survey and below the 1.95% rate achieved during the 1990-1991 recession.

The preliminary rate for firms in the top 25% of profitability dropped to 8.4% from 10.5% a year ago. If this rate holds course as a final number, it will be the first time profit leaders have earned less than 9% on sales since 1993, says PIA.

For more information contact PIA at 703/519-8100; http://www.gain.net.

Supplier News
Omnova, Rohm and Haas Form Joint Venture
FAIRLAWN, OH, USA— Omnova Solutions and Rohm and Haas Co., Philadelphia, PA, have formed a commercial joint venture company to market, sell, and service latex binders, synthetic pigments, and specialty chemical additives for coating applications in the global paper and paperboard industry.

The joint venture company, designated RohmNova LLC, is equally owned by Rohm and Haas and Omnova and will be headquartered in Mogadore, OH.

Products will continue to be manufactured independently by the partners in their existing plants and marketed under current brand names.

Valmet Tech Center Open for Business
SAN GIORGIO MONFERRATO, ITALY—Valmet Converting held the official inauguration of its new Technology Center at Valmet Rotomec SpA in San Giorgio Monferrato May 16.

Among the guests were executives from parent company Metso Corp. of Finland, as well as government officials, representatives from industry associations, and the trade media.

Guests saw a Rotomec 4000-2 rotogravure press in full production and witnessed demonstrations on other Rotomec equipment and a Titan SR7 slitter.

Sun Capital Acquires Rexam Image: Now Intelicoat

SOUTH HADLEY, MA, USA—Intelicoat Technologies LLC, formerly Rexam Image Products LLC, the precision coating div. of Rexam PLC, recently announced the completion of the company's acquisition by private investment firm Sun Capital Partners Inc., Boca Raton, FL.

A global supplier of contract coating papers, films, foils, and other specialty substrates, InteliCoat joins Sun Capital Partner's portfolio of some 30 companies with combined sales topping $3 billion (US).

Says Robert Champigny, Intelicoat president, “Our goal as Intelicoat is to develop and provide precision coating solutions that uniquely address today's manufacturing challenges. We will accomplish this based upon our capabilities of producing highly advanced coated materials backed by our technology and management practices — all to meet the changing needs of the marketplace.”

The acquisition includes six US manufacturing facilities and sales and marketing offices throughout the world.

Multi-Color Acquires Quick Pak
CINCINNATI, OH, USA—Multi-Color Corp. has purchased Quick Pak Inc., also based in Cincinnati. Quick Pak provides promotional packaging, assembling, and fulfillment services to major health and beauty companies, consumer product manufacturers, and national retailers.

Multi-Color reports that, in addition to offering its customers additional marketing and packaging services, Quick Pak will bring more than $10 million in annual sales revenue and a roster of blue chip clients.

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