Converting Industry News, Part 2

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Covering the Full Spectrum of Industry News, Events & Activities

Spear Adds Sonoco Facility

MASON, OH—Spear has finalized the purchase of the assets of Sonoco’s Fulton, NY, plant. The Fulton production facility will focus on supplying film p-s labels for large-volume beverage applications by combining the wide web gravure expertise of the facility with the film p-s solutions from Spear.

Great Northern, Kell Agreement
APPLETON, WI—Great Northern Corp. and Kell Container Corp., Chippewa Falls, WI, have reached a definitive agreement for Great Northern to acquire the assets of Kell Container and Kell Specialty.

"With these combined resources, our customers will benefit from a stronger regional packaging supplier and nationally recognized provider of creative point-of-sale solutions," explains John Davis, president of Great Northern’s Container and Display Groups.

GW Assets Part of ProtecPac
MONTREAL, QC, CANADA—ProtecPac has acquired the assets of GW Worldwide Protective Packaging Corp., Brampton, ON, Canada.

GW’s product line, including air cushioning, mailers, laminations, and converting capability, is compatible with ProtecPac’s offerings and helps expand the company’s manufacturing output, reports Jan Willem Wieringa, general manager of ProtecPac, adding, "The new manufacturing capability will assist [us] to enter the polyethylene bubble mailer market."

Promo Edge Now Part of WS
ALGOMA, WI—WS Packaging Group has purchased the assets of Promo Edge, Neenah, WI, from Menasha Corp. Formerly known as Mid America Tag and Label, Promo Edge now will be known as WS Packaging Group—Promo Edge.

Under the direction of Scott Fisher, WS’s VP of operations–Midwest Region, Promo Edge will be established as a "sister" facility to the Algoma label plant. The approximately 180 employees at the Neenah facility will join the current 1,400 WS Packaging Group labor force.

Presstek Buys its Plate Partner
HUDSON, NH—Presstek reports the acquisition of Precision Lithograining Corp., South Hadley, MA, for approximately $12.3 million in cash. Prior to the transaction, Precision Lithograining was one of the largest independent plate manufacturers in North America and Presstek’s manufacturing partner for its Anthem and Freedom printing plates. The companies will maintain their respective operations, with Precision operating as a wholly owned subsidiary of Presstek.

DVT Adds Assets of MTI Machine Vision
DULUTH, GA—DVT Corp. has completed its acquisition of MTI Machine Vision, Providence, RI, a supplier of semiconductor wafer reading algorithms. Under the terms of the agreement, DVT has acquired the rights to MTI’s machine vision software products and intellectual property as well as other related assets.

Initiatives Aid Bonding Systems

ROCHESTER, NY—CODACO reports Johnson Polymer, Sturtevant, WI, has made a strategic investment in the company. The agreement includes strategic initiatives between the two organizations concerning the development and production of radio frequency polymers for use in the patented CODACO bonding system. Also, Johnson Polymer has organized an internal group, with worldwide resources, to support its relationship with CODACO.

The agreement is expected to accelerate time-to-market for providing quick, application-specific responses to customer requests for its proprietary technology of cure-on-demand adhesives.

Capacity Expansions
EVALCA Doubles EVOH Capacity

PASADENA, TX—Eval Co. of America (EVALCA) will double its production capacity, increasing it by 53 million lbs/yr. The company reports this is a response to the strong and growing worldwide demand for EVOH copolymer resin. Production capacity following the expansion, scheduled for completion in March 2006 at a cost of US$150 million, will be 104 million lbs/yr.

Industry Studies
Survey Studies Printing Ratios

PITTSBURGH, PA—Printing industry profits increased slightly during the past year, reports the 2004 PIA/GATF Ratios Survey. While profits continue to improve, they are not back to the rates of the mid- to late 1990s. Printers in the top 25% of profitability continue to experience significantly better results than other printers.

All major expense categories except administrative expenses decreased during the past year. Materials accounted for the largest single cost category for the typical US printer. Paper consumed more than one in five sales dollars. For more information on the study visit

Conductive Polymers Examined
CLEVELAND, OH—Conductive polymers will provide a 440-million-lb market for base resins, driven by the development of improved resin grades with cost, processing, and performance advantages. This is the conclusion of a new Freedonia study entitled "Conductive Polymers."

Conductive polymer demand, including both resins and additives, will grow nearly 6% annually to 560 million lbs in 2008, valued at $1.5 billion, the study says. Advances will result from the proliferation of sensitive electronic devices and the need to protect them from electrostatic discharge and electromagnetic and radio frequency interference. Also contributing to the growth will be new technologies such as carbon nanotubes (fibrils) and inherently conductive polymers.

For more information contact Freedonia at 440/684-9600 or visit

Show News
Trade Opportunities at ’05 Show

RESTON, VA—Print 05 and Converting 05, scheduled for September 9–15 at McCormick Pl., Chicago, IL, has been selected to participate in the International Buyer Program sponsored and managed by the US Dept. of Commerce. The object of the program is to highlight the top international trade opportunities in the US to the international business community, as well as to match buyers from other nations with US-based suppliers.

Sponsor Graphic Arts Show Co. (GASC) expects 80,000 attendees and more than 900 exhibitors at the event. For more information contact GASC at 703/264-7200 or visit

Association News
RFID Expert Group Joins AIM

WARRENDALE, PA—A group designated REG (RFID Experts Group), initially chartered by the US Dept. of Defense, will become an expert advisory group within AIM Global, the industry trade association for RFID and the automatic identification industry. REG has been working with the Dept. of Defense to address implementation issues related to supply chain adoption of RFID systems.

"The Defense Dept. recognized that issues such as tag/label issues, reader operations, and bar code backup data structures reach beyond its own RFID initiatives and are, in fact, common to all companies implementing RFID," says AIM Global president Dan Mullen. "AIM…was the logical home for the REG."

Economic News
Gibraltar Delists Itself

HASTINGS, NE—Gibraltar Packaging Group voluntarily filed a Form 15 with the Securities and Exchange Commission to terminate registration of its common stock under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Company chairman and CEO Walter E. Rose explains, "…As a non-reporting company, we will be able to realize significant cost savings. Deregistration will also allow our management team to devote all of its efforts to enhancing long-term value to benefit all of our stockholders."

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