Converting Industry News

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Supplier News
Charter Films Finds Its Fourth Varex Line at K Show

LINCOLN, RI, USA—Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corp. reports the Varex blown film line shown at the K Show (Oct. 25 — Nov. 1, 2001, Düsseldorf, Germany) was sold to Charter Films for installation at its Superior, WI, plant. This will be Charter's fourth Varex system since getting into the blown film extrusion market in 1998.

New low-temperature screws are incorporated into the line, reportedly allowing for high throughput at low melt temperatures and producing outstanding homogenization. The line will be supplied with a 16-in. die and, like Charter Films' other Varex lines, is equipped with the Optifil P-2 automatic film gauge profile control system based on the thermal control principle.
Supplier Information
Windmoeller & Hoelscher, Lincoln
, RI; 401/333-2770; 800/854-8702;

New Craig Plant Features EB Lab
NEWARK, NJ, USA—Craig Adhesives & Coatings Co. has opened its third plant to accommodate increased water-based, UV, and EB business. The 40,000-sq-ft facility at 190 Murry St., Newark, is equipped with state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and bulk storage. A new 3,000-sq-ft lab is now available for customer evaluations of EB-cured coatings and adhesives. The lab is equipped with a new CB175 EB curing unit from Energy Sciences Inc.

Industry Studies
Cigarette Packaging Changes Worldwide

SUFFOLK, U.K.—ERC Statistics International has completed its latest survey on cigarette packaging, studying 35 countries that consumed a total of 272 billion packs of cigarettes in 1999.

The leading countries in terms of both production and consumption are China and the US, with China being by far the largest producer and consumer of cigarettes in the world. The Russian Federation is now third in terms of output and fourth in consumption.

Cigarette Packaging: The Global Survey 2001 says there is a global trend away from soft packs toward hard packs and, more specifically, toward hinge-lid cartons or flip-top box packs. However, both hard and soft packs continue to be very evident in most world markets. Only three of the countries surveyed — the U.K., Australia, and Canada — are converted to hard packs completely, and there remains some usage of shell and slide packs, especially in Canada. Germany is also approaching complete conversion to hard packs, says the study, and penetration of hard packs has reached 90% or more in France, the Czech Republic, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

Although 20s are the most common pack size all over the world, larger value packs are becoming more important. In some places, where prices are rising steeply, smaller packs are becoming more popular.

As for materials, the study notes that inner liner or bundlewrap material requirements are growing in many countries due to the trend toward hinge-lid packs, although in some countries contraction in overall market demand for cigarettes has acted to reduce inner liner consumption levels.

The use of OPP film for pack overwraps has risen or declined pretty much in line with demand for cigarettes in the 35 countries studied. Overall, there has been a slight increase recorded across all 35 markets. By region, strong growth was exhibited by Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, while Western Europe and the Far East made more modest gains. A fall of almost 10% in the Americas was attributable to declines in the US, Brazil, and Venezuela.

A long-term trend toward thinner materials is apparent in many markets, says the study.

For more information contact ERC at +44 (0)1638 667733; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Color Pigment Demand in US Will Grow, Says Study
CLEVELAND, OH, USA—The US market for color pigments (organic, inorganic, and specialty) is expected to increase nearly 5%/annum to $3.5 billion in 2005, according to a study from the Freedonia Group.

Market value gains will be driven by a shift in the product mix toward more expensive organic and specialty colorants offering more acceptable environmental profiles or providing unique optical effects for heightened consumer appeal.

Demand for specialty pigments, including metallic, pearlescent, and luminescent types, is predicted to grow 5.7%/annum during the period. Organic pigments will record above-average growth of 5.5%/annum. Growth in inorganic pigments will lag behind the industry average, advancing 3.4%/annum.

Printing inks will remain the largest market for pigments, reaching $1.05 billion in 2005, with growth fueled by double-digit increases for metallic pigments used for packaging and promotional graphics, and for phosphorescent pigments used for anti-forgery, anti-counterfeiting, and other security applications. Further growth will be moderated by increasing competition from dye-based ink jet inks.

For more information contact Freedonia at 440/684-9600.

Rohm & Haas Quits Liquid Polysulfide Unit

MOSS POINT, MS, USA—Rohm and Haas Co. will exit the liquid polysulfide and insulated glass businesses and cease production of those products at its Moss Point chemicals facility. “This decision was a difficult one,” says Nick Gutwein, VP and business director of the company's Adhesives and Sealants Business. “…given the present market dynamics and the substantial investment required … we could no longer justify staying in the business.”

Sappi Will Close Mill
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA—Sappi Ltd. has proposed ending its presence in the carbonless paper market by closing the Transcript mill in Scotland early next year. Says CEO Bill Sheffield, “The decision on Transcript is in line with Sappi's proposal to dispose of non-core, underperforming operations in order to focus on its well-invested coated wood-free asset base.”

ExxonMobil Celebrates OPP Plant Groundbreaking

SHAWNEE, OK, USA—Executives from ExxonMobil Chemical Co. joined state and local officials September 26 at a groundbreaking ceremony for a 100,000-sq-ft building to house a new production unit at the company's OPP manufacturing plant in Shawnee. The expansion will create 50 new jobs for the area and increase annual capacity at the plant by 35%.

“This project marks the largest expansion for ExxonMobil Chemical's Shawnee plant in over ten years,” said plant manager Kevin Donovan, “and is a tremendous growth opportunity for the Shawnee area.”

He added, “For our customers, the addition of a new orienter represents the Films Business's commitment to invest in, and support, their needs in specialty and high-value markets.” ExxonMobil plans to debut the orienter in 2002, with full capacity targeted for the following year.

ITS Adds Web Drying Group
MILWAUKEE, WI, USA—International Thermal Systems LLC (ITS), an OEM specializing in custom-engineered thermal processing and finishing systems, has announced the formation of the Web Drying Technology Group in Green Bay, WI. The new division will offer custom-engineered and -manufactured convective air-drying systems for the paper, paperboard, and converting industries.

The Group will be under the direction of Jim Rennes, a 20-year veteran in process drying and thermal curing industries. Hank Wildenberg, with more than 25 years' experience in the drying and curing of coated and impregnated materials, will serve as applications manager.

Venture Tape Reports Headquarters Expansion
ROCKLAND, MA, USA—Adhesive tape manufacturer Venture Tape has increased the size of its Rockland headquarters with the recent completion of a 30,000-sq-ft addition, creating a 134,500-sq-ft facility.

The addition, which will be used for adhesive tape manufacturing and storage of production materials and finished goods, also will house a new adhesive coating line.

This is the second time in seven years the company has expanded capacity to meet growth needs. It reports demand for adhesives in products, electronics, automotive, and specialty products has spurred recent growth.

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