Converting Industry News

Covering the Full Spectrum of Industry News, Events & Activities

In the item “Software Carton Gets a Facelift,” PFFC, March 2003, p10, the phone number for MeadWestvaco should have been 203/461-7400. (

Association News
AIMCAL Members Address the Challenge of Change

TUCSON, AZ, USA—The winter management meeting of the Assocation of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators was held March 12-16 at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, offering attendees a mix of general sessions addressing how to deal with the challenge of change.

Speakers covered change from the perspectives of psychology with a presentation by Dr. Carl A. Hammerschlag; the economy by Dr. Robert Fry of DuPont; developing world markets and opportunities in Latin America by David Ashe of B2Bportales and in China by Dr. David Lampton of Johns Hopkins School of Advance International Studies; and the changing world perspective on America and Americans by Robert E. Ayrer of REA Performance Consultants.

Fittingly enough, AIMCAL experienced its own challenge of change with members voting (with one opposed) during the business meeting officially to merge membership of the Converting Equipment Machinery Association (CEMA) with AIMCAL. As the sole surviving legal organization, membership of AIMCAL now comprises 210 members with approximately 44% representing converters.

NPES to Set Up E-Commerce Link with China
RESTON, VA, USA—NPES, The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies, announces plans to develop what it says is the world's first on-line, multimedia, dual-language e-commerce distribution network to serve the greater China marketplace. It will do this using a $180,000 grant from the US Commerce Dept., matched by $360,000 in association commitments.

NPES president Regis J. Delmontagne says, “Our research shows that e-commerce is experiencing significant expansion in China and promises to spur new private-enterprise economic activity, so we feel this is an excellent time to undertake this new venture.”

He adds, We're…convinced China's transition from government-mandated purchasing to free-market commerce through open distribution channels will be slow and difficult unless United States private enterprise players, in partnership with our government, take strong initiatives to drive free-market economic activity in China and assure Chinese compliance with the World Trade Organization trade agreement.”

Based in Shanghai, the e-distribution system will include an Internet platform to identify, collect, analyze, and maintain data about Chinese agents, dealers, and distributors and establish an e-channel of communications among these industry participants and US suppliers.

Trend Toward Consolidations Drives Change at EMA
THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS—The European Metallizers Association (EMA) announces a change in its general meeting format and membership criteria in response to changes and consolidations in the packaging industry.

With many film manufacturers and converters installing their own metallizing equipment, and some of the independent metallizers now becoming part of large converting operations, the small, independent metallizer is rare, says the EMA. For this reason the EMA is opening its membership to European converters to “protect the common interests of the metallizers” and “promote the use of metallized films.”

Dunmore Adds Equipment, Integrates Facilities

BREWSTER, NY, USA—Dunmore Corp. will expand its Bristol facility with the addition of slot die coating capability; a new 5,200-sq-ft R&D department; and the integration of its Newtown, PA, facility into the Bristol site.

This last decision comes as a result of the Newtown location reaching maximum capacity after numerous expansions. The integration will reunite the operations, development, and customer service departments from Newtown with the sales, marketing, operations, finance, MIS, and administrative staffs of Bristol.

The expansion, which began in January 2003, is expected to take 12-18 mos to complete. When finished, the Bristol plant will house three solvent and aqueous coating lines, two with in-line laminating capability and two with UV coating capability; two vacuum metallizers; three slitter/rewinders; one dry laminator; and a pilot coating/laminating line.

Industry Standards
Standards Committee Formed for Security Products

WASHINGTON, DC, USA—The North American Security Products Organization (NASPO) held its founding meeting Dec. 16, 2002, when it established a new consensus standards development committee.

NASPO is a nonprofit, member-supported organization that certifies providers of security documents, labels, cards, packaging, materials, and technology operate under an agreed-upon set of operational standards and security protocols.

The new consensus standards committee will develop a position paper to be used by subcommittees chaired by appointed NASPO board members to address and formulate consensus standards and certification issues for various segments of the North American security products industry. For more information contact NASPO at 724/695-1955.

Dusenbery Customers Have ei3's Round-the-Clock Support
When a customer of Dusenbery Worldwide, Randolph, NJ, incurs downtime issues, the customer now will receive instant technical support from ei3's 24/7 operations center.

“Our new 24/7 service model stresses our pledge to improve and maintain the operational success of each of our customers,” reports Orest Lebed, Dusenbery Worldwide president. “This partnership with ei3 allows [us] to provide the quality and scope of service that we feel our customers require to maintain a performance advantage over their competitors.”
Supplier Information
ei3 Corp.
, Montvale, NJ; 201/802-9080; 888/218-6880;

ExxonMobil, Sasol Agreement

HOUSTON, TX, USA—ExxonMobil Chemical Co. has signed an agreement with Sasol Polymers, a div. of Sasol Chemical Industries, to license ExxonMobil's tubular process technology for Sasol's new high-press LDPE plant in Sasolburg, South Africa. The new 220,000-ton/yr plant is expected to be completed in 2005.

FTA Environment Program Is Honored

RONKONKOMA, NY, USA—The Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) has been elected to the 2003 Associations Advance America Honor Roll, a national awards competition sponsored by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). The 2003 award was given for the FTA's In-Plant Environmental Self Assessment for Flexographic Printers.

The program is a workbook funded in part by the US Environmental Protection Agency's Design for the Environment Program. The document is designed to help flexo printers assess their in-plant environmental compliance status and current material efficiency activities as well as identify opportunities to reduce waste.

For more information contact FTA at 631/737-6020 or visit

Pharmaceutical Packaging
Review of Child-Resistant Protocols Requested

FALLS CHURCH, VA, USA—The Healthcare Compliance Packaging Council (HCPC) has invited Harold D. (Hal) Stratton, the new chairman of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), to begin a review of the test protocol used by CPSC to determine which types of packages legally are considered to be “child resistant” (CR) in the US.

The goal of the review would be to improve the CPSC protocol and prevent an even greater number of accidental poisonings in which small children have been able to swallow harmful amounts of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.

Peter G. Mayberry, the council's executive director, explains, “All available data show that too many children are being injured or killed due to accidental ingestion of drug products, and we are trying to make Chairman Stratton aware that safer packaging is available but, unfortunately, is not being widely embraced by pharmaceutical manufacturers in the United States due to a few provisions of the CPSC protocol.”

The HCPC says in its letter the issue comes down to the fact the CPSC protocol has an objective standard for determining when a cap-and-vial combination “fails” the test (children are able to remove the cap), but the criteria used to evaluate the performance of unit-dose blister and strip packaging under the protocol is more subjective — often requiring pharmaceutical manufacturers to draw their own conclusions as to whether the package has or has not passed.

For more information contact HCPC at 703/538-4020;

Shrink Bag Keeps Case-Ready Riblets Ready to Eat
When a customer of Inovpack Vector Inc., Totowa, NJ, needed a packaging solution for case-ready, precooked barbecue riblets, the converter came through with the Vector 80 high-abuse plastic shrink bag.

The bag is suited for vacuum-packed, bone-in, case-ready meat and poultry cuts and is available custom-printed in clear and selected colors.

Its advantages are said to include low leaker rates; puncture and abrasion resistance; outstanding shelf life characteristics; and excellent oxygen and moisture barrier properties.

Sun Chemical Takes an Interest in French Company

FORT LEE, NJ, USA—Sun Chemical Corp. has acquired a 50% interest in Assemblage Intermoleculaire en Chimie Organique (AIC), Libourne, France, a special-effect pigments, additives, and inks company.

Says Dr. David Hill, Sun's chief technology officer, “AIC has a strong technology position and is poised to become the leading player in thermo-chromic and photo-chromic coatings systems. We expect our association with the emerging company to provide Sun Chemical with new and innovative technologies and products that will represent a key strategic opportunity for us.”

Leading the business will be Martin Cellérier, director of strategic planning, Sun Chemical Europe Group.

QuadPAK Pouch Features Slider Suited for Granules
Kapak Corp., St. Louis Park, MN, has launched the newest generation of its QuadPAK side-gusset, stand-up pouch featuring Hefty Slide-Rite slider closures from Pactiv Corp.

The slider option, reports Kapak, enables pouches to be used for applications with particulates that tend to get trapped in press-to-close reclosable devices. Such products include detergents and ground coffee.

Gary Bell, president and CEO of Kapak, says, “After presenting our key customers with a variety of slider options, the unanimous response was that they all preferred Hefty Slide-Rite slider closures from Pactiv.”

The QuadPAK pouch provides four panels on which the product can be showcased. It can be produced in a variety of materials and a wide range of sizes.
Supplier Information
Pactiv Corp.
, Lake Forest, IL; 847/482-2000;

Vue/Point Conference Considers Converting Markets

WASHINGTON, DC, USA—Converters typically are not among the mix that frequent Vue/Point conferences. The target audience of the annual meeting, this year held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel March 31 — April 2, usually comprises offset lithographic commercial printers, including those who print publications, books, brochures, and business forms. Prepress service providers, color separators, and machinery manufacturers also attend.

This year, however, a few converters were among the attendees, largely in an advisory capacity. The conference expanded the scope of the program to include a discussion on “Opportunities in Packaging,” including three converter panelists and one commercial printer who converts packaging on the side. The intention of the session was to offer commercial printers advice on how to transition into package printing.

From a view flying at 30,000 feet, converters advised commercial printers to be prepared to order materials with longer lead times; for variance in substrate brightness and caliper which will affect the printing process; to work closely with their ink suppliers in managing, blending, and maintaining consistency in a far greater diversity of ink colors (FDA compliance was referenced only briefly); to partner with graphic designers; and to leverage relationships with prepress suppliers.

Most important, said the lone commercial printer panelist Brian Trusler of Hagadone, Honolulu, HI: Find a great converter to partner with for all post-press converting.

Subscribe to PFFC's EClips Newsletter