Converting Industry News

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Industry Studies
W. Europe OPP Film Market to Grow 33%

DERBY, ENGLAND—OPP film demand in Western Europe is set to grow by more than 200,000 tonnes between 1999 and 2004, representing an increase of 33% overall, according to a study by PCI Films Consulting Ltd.

The study, "W. European OPP Film Market—1999," provides analysis of the Western European market by film type and explains why coextruded OPP films are likely to account for the major growth to 2004. Included is a breakdown of growth potential across transparent, metallized, and white/opaque varieties.

For more information contact:

PCI Films Consulting Ltd., +44-1332-295200; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Grafix Buys Product Lines from Applied Web Systems
BURR RIDGE, IL, USA—Grafix North America (GNA) has acquired sheet-fed and web printing product lines, as well as the process cooling product line, from Applied Web Systems (AWS), Elgin, IL.

John Stout, president of GNA, says, "In the sheet-fed market, the AWS product line complements the GNA product line and enhances our sales, marketing, and manufacturing strength. The AWS web product line, coupled with on-going research and development, adds to the proven strength of Grafix North America. In addition, by acquiring AWS's process cooling equipment line, we open a whole new, expanded business opportunity."

GretagMacbeth Buys Instrument Provider
NEW WINDSOR, NY, USA—GretagMacbeth has acquired McMahan Electro-Optics, Research Triangle Pk., NC, a provider of spectro-radiometric instruments used to measure, characterize, qualify, and certify sources of visible, UV, IR, and optical radiation.

Ron Anderson, president and CEO of GretagMacbeth, says, "This acquisition positions GretagMacbeth to expand on its leadership role in lighting and take advantage of emerging solid-state lighting standards."

Mead Buys Carbonless Coating Operations
DAYTON, OH, USA—The Mead Corp. has acquired the carbonless coating operations of Moore North America, including Moore's Fremont, OH, coating facility and coating equipment from its Visalia, CA, facility.

The companies also have entered into a multi-year supply agreement for Mead to be Moore's exclusive supplier of carbonless copy paper in the US and Canada. Moore will continue to convert, manufacture, and sell carbonless business forms and other multiple-part printed products.

Huhtamaki Van Leer Buys Packaging Resources
DESOTO, KS, USA—Huhtamaki Van Leer has acquired Packaging Resources Inc., Lake Forest, IL, manufacturers of plastic containers, cups, and lids for the food packaging and food service industries.

The addition of Packaging Resources' custom plastic engineering and design capabilities expands Huhtamaki Van Leer's customer base and product offerings; it also supplements its existing paper and molded fiber-based packaging products.

Supplier News
Nabisco uses a number of laminating converters for its SnackWell cookies, but the company is able to maintain consistency by specifying a metallized OPP film laminated to an exclusive Huntsman Packaging film. Huntsman developed the film to Nabisco's requirements, so that Nabisco could specify it to converters as the food contact layer.

The proprietary film is said to offer a wider operating window for high-speed sealing, improved hot tack, and consistent peelable seals. The film, based on DuPont Elvax EVA copolymer resin, has a low activation temperature as the base sealant material. As a result, its metallized OPP laminate barrier reportedly is not diminished in the sealing process, greatly improving the overall performance of the packaging structure.
Supplier Information
DuPont Packaging, Wilmington, DE; 302/992-5225; 800/4DU-PACK;

Huntsman Packaging, Bloomington, IN; 801/584-5700;

Venture Capital Firm to Buy VantagePoint
VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA—VantagePoint Group has signed a letter of intent to sell 100% of its shares to Technology Growth Partners Corp. and to raise investment capital through the Canadian Venture Exchange. The agreement is designed to accelerate VantagePoint's efforts to expand its new e superscript *Solutions family of Internet-based software solutions for the packaging industry.

The company's flagship product, VantagePoint Enterprise, is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system designed to help paperboard packaging companies streamline and improve order processing, manufacturing, and inventory operations.

Westvaco Launches Paxonix
NEW YORK, NY, USA—Westvaco Corp. has launched Paxonix, an Internet-enabled packaging solutions business that offers integrated software applications, professional services, and global resources. The new company was created to help consumer product companies develop packaging solutions, shorten package development cycles, and increase the speed of product launches and relaunches.

A group of 17 companies joined Westvaco as charter members of Paxonix. With operations in 60 countries, member companies are said to possess expertise in many different areas of packaging.

CMM Conference Will Focus on E-Business

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA—An e-business conference will be held in conjunction with CMM International, April 22-24, at the Hyatt McCormick Place hotel in Chicago, IL. Sponsored by Pulp & Paper Conferences and CMM Events, the conference will focus solely on the converting and package printing marketplace.

The conference format will include the following events:

  • Workshop sessions on Sunday, April 22, will provide an introduction to the practical steps necessary to develop and implement an e-commerce strategy.

  • General sessions on Monday, April 23, will address topics such as the future of e-business in converting industries; maintaining and leveraging product brands; and the role of independents, merchants, and distributors

  • On Tuesday, April 24, sessions will cover supply-chain management and packaging, highlighted by a CEO panel discussion of the impact of e-commerce strategies on Wall Street valuations

Visit CMM Events at Secures Additional Funding
FAIRFAX, VA, USA— has secured $7.5 million in funding in second-round financing from investors that include strategic partner Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI), Mid-Atlantic Venture Funds, Hickory Venture Group, and select packaging companies.

According to Stuart Stafman, president and CEO, "In today's difficult capital market, we believe these investments validate our market strategy and overall business model."

An online marketplace for the packaging industry, has approximately 500 packaging companies paying for listings on the site's products and services database.

Hologram Provides High Shelf Impact
Max Air is a new sugarless, vapor action chewing gum from Warner Lambert, Morris Plains, NJ. Senior research associate Russell Wright says the co. wanted packaging with high impact and shelf appeal. "We tried a microembossed paper," he says, "but the problem with that technology was that little pieces of foil popped off the paper. We wanted a flexible holographic material that could be overprinted effectively, laminated with a high-barrier foil, have excellent deadfold properties, and accept seal coatings. And, [with] absolutely no flaking."

Converter Lawson Mardon Flexible introduced the package designer to Unifoil's Ultraflex Holographic UniLustre made with Crown Roll Leaf holographic film. "Our first impression was that we did not have to look any further," reports Wright.

The final package comprises Ultraflex Holographic UniLustre on 25# paper laminated on the reverse side with aluminum foil for barrier properties and freshness. Lawson Mardon ran the job in one pass on an eight-station Cerutti gravure press, using opaque and transparent inks. Warner Lambert reports the product has exceeded sales expectations by 60%.
Supplier Information
Unifoil Corp.
, Passaic Pk, NJ; 973/365-2000;

Crown Roll Leaf Inc., Paterson, NJ; 973/742-4000;

The Cerutti Group, Pittsburgh, PA; 412/788-1000; fax: 412/928-0515;

Association News
Congress Passes SPI-Backed Reform Bill

WASHINGTON, DC, USA—A regulatory reform bill long championed by The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) has passed both the US Senate and House of Representatives and will go to the president for signature. S. 1198, the "Truth in Regulating Act of 2000," would establish within the General Accounting Office (GAO) a capability to examine certain proposed rules by regulatory agencies as to costs, benefits, and alternative compliance measures. The new GAO office has been referred to in debate as the Congressional Office of Regulatory Analysis (CORA).

SPI chief lobbyist Lew Freeman says the legislation could have a profound impact on the plastics industry. "In the past, regulatory proposals that impacted the plastics industry often were based upon questionable judgments about costs and benefits, as well as what would be required for compliance. CORA would empower Congress to raise significant questions on such topics before the proposed rule was finalized."

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