Converting Industry News

Covering the Full Spectrum of Industry News, Events & Activities

Unembossed Lids Print Clearly
Constantia, a manufacturer of die-cut lids located in Barrington, IL, reports it has introduced its unembossed lidding to America. The company reports benefits include improved peel for easy opening, clear graphics, no shadow effects, and high tear resistance. “Perfect reproduction of graphic images and text because of uninterrupted light reflection are made possible through separation points on the foil,” explains Burton Zirin, president of Constantia North America. He adds that many of his clients have switched to the unembossed lids because of the clarity of the printing process.

New Bag Technology Perks Up Coffee Package
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is the first US coffee company to package its freshly roasted coffee in the Corner Seal valve bag from Fres-co System USA, Waterbury, VT.

The new external corner ridges provide the bag with a resilient strength that enables it to maintain its shape through transportation, stocking, and store use better than the traditional soft-sided bag, the co. reports. It also offers the full use of the front and back bag panel for text and graphics. The Green Mountain Coffee bag includes Fres-co Matte Finish Select over lacquer.

Says Donna Savage, project manager for Green Mountain Coffee, “We couldn't be more delighted with our entire line of upgraded bags. …the new Fres-co Corner-Seal bag does a beautiful job distinguishing the various segments within our line. The in-store coffee selection process is easier and quicker, and consumers now will enjoy the convenience of a superb, easy-open package once they're home.

Tomato Paste Tote Is Seamless and Reusable
An IBC (intermediate bulk container) from SpaceKraft (800/599-8473) is designed for tomato paste and similar products. It is delivered with a reusable plastic lid and pallet and can be used with the metallized film liner conventionally used for aseptic packaging.

Using the co.'s patented technology, this seamless ten-ply corrugated container provides more than 37 tons of compression strength for stacking to five high. Container reportedly is reusable and recyclable; holds 300 gal (3,000 lb of tomato paste); fits most existing filling and emptying systems; and provides easy setup and knockdown for return.

Ink Jet Technology Works on Composite Cards
ID cards can be printed with ink jet technology on new direct-print composite cards by PPG Industries.

The cards have a printing surface face of a specially developed grade of the company's Teslin synthetic sheet and a PVC back.

PPG collaborated with Fargo Electronics Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. to introduce Fargo's Professional Series CardJet 410 printer/encoder that uses the new PPG ink jet-printable cards and HP's thermal ink jet technology.

Supplier Information
PPG Industries
, Pittsburgh, PA; 412/434-2256;

Weyerhaeuser Reorganizes Fine Paper Division

FEDERAL WAY, WA, USA—Weyerhaeuser's Fine Paper business is reorganizing to integrate former Willamette operations and will be led by Mike Jackson, VP, Fine Paper. Jackson reports to Mick Onustock, senior VP, Pulp and Paper.

Weyerhaeuser Fine Paper will comprise three segments and a single sales service organization: The segments and their leaders are as follows: Bill Koehn, VP, Printing and Publishing Papers; Dick Thomas, VP, Business and Converting Papers; Mike Bacon, VP, Communication Papers; and Marvin Smith, general manager, Sales Service. Converting operations will report to Marvin Cooper, senior VP, manufacturing.

The company's sales, marketing, and operations office in Valley Forge, PA, will move to the former Willamette office in Fort Hill, SC, next year.

UV Color, Smyth Partner in Innovation

ROSEVILLE, MN, USA—UV Color and Smyth Companies, St. Paul, MN, have formalized an agreement to work cooperatively on the launch of a “dramatically different” packaging and labeling alternative. Smyth licensed the patented UV Color DimensionalFX print production technology to be used on packaging and labels. DimensionalFX incorporates depth and texture into flat printing to create what are said to be eye-catching graphics that have the shimmer of foil.

Capacity Expansion
ExxonMobil Increases Metallocene Capacity

BATON ROUGE, LA, USA—ExxonMobil Chemical Co. and Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding recently kicked off construction of a production expansion for metallocene ethylene elastomer products in Baton Rouge.

The facilities are expected to be operational third quarter 2003 and will add capacity of more than 90KT annually.

The capacity expansion will include EP(D)M [ethylene propylene diene rubber], plastomers, and novel polymers all produced from Exxpol metallocene technology.

“Having both conventional Ziegler-Natta and metallocene catalyst technology provides Exxon Mobil Chemical with unsurpassed capability to supply customers with a broad range of current and new products,” reports Jim Harris, senior VP, Polymers ExxonMobil Chemical.

Alliance Will Supply Corrugated Customers

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, USA—Inland Paperboard and Packaging Inc. reports it formed a strategic alliance with Kappa Packaging B.V., one of the largest paperboard and packaging companies in Europe.

Through the non-economic alliance, Kappa and Inland have created a vehicle to cooperate on marketing and supplying corrugated packaging products to global customers. “Aligning with Kappa enables Inland to take advantage of the increasingly global nature of corrugated markets,” notes Inland president and CEO Dale Stahl.

New Alliance to Develop “Green” Packaging
SANTA BARBARA, CA, USA—EarthShell Corp. and DuPont, Wilmington, DE, report they have expanded their relationship from the joint development agreement (formed in April 2001) to a strategic alliance.

Initially, the companies will focus on the $1 billion global food service wraps market. The alliance combines EarthShell patented composite material technology with DuPont expertise in materials, development, manufacturing, and marketing. The result, say the two, will be environmentally preferred packaging and systems for food service industries such as restaurants, fast food, and convenience stores.

EarthShell and DuPont will collaborate closely to identify opportunities that combine EarthShell Packaging with DuPont's Biomax hydro/bio-degradable polyester coatings/films and technology.

Two Combine to Serve Pharmaceutical Markets
GOLDEN, CO, USA—Graphic Packaging Corp. has formed a strategic alliance with folding carton manufacturer Corpak Inc. of Bayamón, Puerto, Rico.

Combined, the two companies' customers include some of the largest names in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Under the alliance, Graphic Packaging and Corpak will cooperate in the sales and manufacturing of packaging for these markets.

The partnership gives Graphic Packaging a presence in Puerto Rico, where several large pharmaceutical companies have major manufacturing plants. In return, Corpak will be able to expand its market reach throughout North America and have access to Graphic Packaging's technical expertise and many patented developments.

VantagePoint Adds Avalon Software to Its Own

VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA—VantagePoint Systems Inc., a developer of business-management software for the corrugated packaging industry, has entered into an agreement to acquire Avalon Printing Software, Leicester, U.K. Avalon develops and markets business-management software for manufacturers of folding cartons, flexible packaging, labels, and display.

Says Jim Hennings, chairman and CEO of VantagePoint, “Not only do we obtain Avalon's premier software solutions for the retail and specialty packaging industry, we bring on board a group of very knowledgeable and committed software professionals, along with a dedicated customer base.” In addition, this acquisition instantly provides [us] with a European presence.”

Pactiv Expects Acquisition to Expand Markets
LAKE FOREST, IL, USA—Pactiv Corp. completed the acquisition of Winkler Forming June 18 for $72.5 million, or approximately 7x EBITDA. The acquisition was expected to be accretive immediately. Winkler is a thermoformer of APET for food packaging. The purchase reportedly will enable Pactiv to expand in the wholesale bakery, confectionery, and fresh-cut produce markets.

First Atlantic Buys Ranpak
CONCORD TOWNSHIP, OH, USA—Ranpak Corp. completed an acquisition and refinancing arrangement with its management and First Atlantic Capital, a private investment firm in New York. Ranpak will remain under current management.

SCC Now Part of Liberty Diversified
MINNEAPOLIS, MN, USA—Liberty Diversified Industries (LDI) and Service Container Corp. (SCC), Compton, CA, report SCC is now a fully owned division of LDI. The two companies have been partners in the packaging industry since 1998.

The acquisition reportedly expands LDI's market reach across North America and provides its customers with access to international resources and service.

OEC Has Controlling Interest in CAD Coat
OSHKOSH, WI, USA—OEC Graphics, a supplier of digital prepress products and services to the flexographic, lithographic, and screen printing industries, has signed an agreement to acquire controlling interest of CAD Coat LLC, an offset coating plate, flexo, and corrugated prepress supplier based in Burr Ridge, IL. CAD Coat officially will be renamed OEC Graphics-Chicago LLC, maintaining its product identity with the CAD Coat label.

Explains OEC president Jack Schloesser, “The acquisition of CAD Coat was based on the desire to diversify OEC even further and benefit from CAD Coat's significant market share of the offset coating plate and flexographic prepress business.” CAD Coat will join OEC's other sub., Horizon Color, a prepress supplier to the corrugated industry.

Supplier News
UCB China Plant Hosts Belgian Prime Minister

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM—During an economic mission to China, Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt visited UCB Chemical's Fengxian (Shanghai) factory, which produces Radcure monomers used in coatings, inks, and opto-electronics. The plant is the third investment made by UCB in China and has a capacity of 15,000 tonnes/yr, making it the world's largest Radcure production unit.

Spooner, Steam Join Forces
GREEN BAY, WI, USA—Spooner Industries and Steam Systems, Middletown, OH, have joined sales forces. The team at Steam Systems will represent Spooner products in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

Spooner makes forced convection technology for paper converting. Steam Systems specializes in steam and condensate systems for all industries.

Gearless Press Stars at Open House
AGAWAM, MA, USA—KidderComexi welcomed more than 125 guests to a demonstration of its FP 1808 direct-drive gearless press at an open house this past spring.

According to the mfr., this is the first true gearless press featuring “zero transmission error” technology. Two demonstrations were held daily, showing an eight-color job run at 1,200 fpm and press operators completing a job changeover in about 10 min. The FP 1808 shown included a fully automatic Enviroxi wash-up system; dedicated sleeve system for plate and anilox; 40-in. unwind/rewind turrets; and auto registration and print defect detection.

Industry Studies
High-Visibility Packaging Clearly on the Rise

CLEVELAND, OH, USA—Demand for blister and other high-visibility packaging in the US is forecast to grow nearly 6% yearly to $7.8 billion in 2006, reaching more than 23.5 billion units. This is the conclusion of a study from The Freedonia Group, an industrial market research firm.

Factors driving this growth will include high visibility's marketing, labor-saving, and source-reduction capabilities over paper, paperboard, and foil, says the report. It adds the best opportunities are expected for carded blister packs and clamshell packaging; and manufacturers of automotive aftermarket, toiletry, and other items increasingly are using high-visibility packaging to add perceived value to their merchandise.

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

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