Converting Industry News

Covering the Full Spectrum of Industry News, Events & Activities

Tissue and Other Fragile Substrates Need Careful Attention
Tecscan knows well the difficulties of printing color designs by flexo on tissues, napkins, or paper towels. The challenges include attaining sufficient speeds running these fragile, absorbent substrates, as well as the higher levels of lint and dust found in these applications. With a stable pH at an appropriate viscosity, inks must be matched closely to application requirements and perform well on press at high speeds. Controlling process variables is crucial, as are careful press fingerprinting and attention to graphic layout. Consumers want a quality product and one that fits their d├ęcor. Demands are for three- and four-color process printing at speeds to 2,000 fpm or more.

For these reasons, says Tecscan, several converters that work in the tissue, napkin, and paper towel market areas have opted for its ColourScan video web inspection systems for these delicate applications. Users include Swedish Tissue, SCA Hygiene, Staples Disposables, Goulds (Design & Manufacture) Ltd., and Kimberly Clarke of Australia.

Tecscan reports the ColourScan video web inspection systems use the latest CCD and HAD technology with firewire connectivity that pinpoints defects with precision, adding that systems offer viewing up to 5x more than was possible previously.
Supplier Information
Gwent, U.K.; +44 (0) 1443 821552;

NAPIM Acknowledges Rich Podhajny's Accomplishments

DANA POINT, CA, USA—Humbled and shocked was how PFFC's monthly columnist and contributing editor Dr. Richard M. Podhajny described himself when presented with the Technical Achievement Award from the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers (NAPIM). The honor was bestowed at the National Printing Ink Research Institute's (NPIRI) 47th Annual Technical Conference October 16.

The road to this prestigious award has been a long one for Dr. Podhajny, who was born in Poland in 1940. Stops along the way included a work camp in Germany following WWII, a tough neighborhood in Chicago, and Loras College in Dubuque, IA, where he started on a football scholarship and found a mentor who nurtured his love of science.

After serving in the US Army, marrying, and starting a family, Podhajny began his professional career, moving from Nalco Chemical to A.B. Dick, Addressograph, and American Can, where he was in charge of more than 100 projects as supervisor of graphic arts R&D. During this time he managed to finish his Ph.D. at Loyola Univ. Joining the ink industry in 1980 as head of product development for Borden Chemical, Podhajny eventually moved on to Inmont and, in 1984, formed his own consulting business, Graphic Arts Industries.

Lured into writing a monthly column in 1987 by Yolanda Simonsis, now editor-in-chief of PFFC, Podhajny recalls he was reluctant at first but took on the challenge she posed, encouraged as well by Enercon's Dave Markgraf. Obviously, writing suited him, and he has produced more than 300 articles on printing and inks. Today, in addition to his writing duties, Dr. Podhajny is back in the corporate world as manager of technology, NPD and QC, for Colorcon No-Tox Products.

Capacity Expansion
Kraton Expands Capacity to Meet Demand

HOUSTON, TX, USA—Kraton Polymers has awarded a detailed engineering contract to Aker Kvaerner to begin work on the capacity expansion for Kraton G polymers at its Belpre, OH, plant.

Kraton reports the decision to increase production capacity is in response to rising demand from customers for high-performance raw materials in the adhesives, packaging, construction, and compounding sectors. The expansion, expected to be complete by mid-2004, will double the capacity of the G-1 unit at the Belpre plant.

Webex Purchases Fox Companies

NEENAH, WI, USA—Webex Inc. has purchased Fox Cos. Machining Inc., a roll manufacturer and specialty machine shop in Greenville. Terms were not disclosed but will include all of the company's stock and assets, including the 35,000-sq-ft manufacturing facility in Greenville. The companies' product lines will not change, but Fox's name will now be Fox Machining, a div. of Webex.

M-real Consolidates Sales

NORWALK, CT, USA—M-real Corp., a produer and supplier of paper and paperboard, has consolidated into one sales organization US sales that used to be carried out by M-real alliance USA, Zanders USA, SB Schmidt, and Madison Intl. Sales Co. The new organization, designated M-real USA Corp., is led by Jorma Sahlstedt.

Show News
Exhibitors Optimistic at Graph Expo/Converting Expo

CHICAGO, IL, USA—According to show manager Graphic Arts Show Co. (GASC), the long-awaited rebound in sales, profits, and investment in the graphic communications industry is underway, judging from the performance of the recently concluded Graph Expo/Converting Expo held in Chicago September 28 — October 1.

More than 38,000 industry professionals took part in the event, and 580 companies exhibited their latest products and services in 375,000 sq ft of display space. A program of 60 educational seminars drew nearly 1,500 registrants.

“This show has been spectacular,” reports Mark Hunt, VP of marketing at Standard Finishing Systems. “We've been wandering in the desert for several years, and this is no mirage; we've found water.”

According to GASC, similar impressions, along with reports of completed transactions, large and small, came from all over the show floor. One example: Barry Gray, technical sales specialist at Gerber Innovations, said during the show, “The quality of the people coming through has been high. We've had people making immediate purchases, and others gathering information for a purchase.”

Supplier News
Two Industry Leaders Form New Company

MILWAUKEE, WI, USA—Paul Gaspardo, former president of Dri-Tec LLC, and Dave Schommer, formerly of Printco Industries, have announced a newly formed company known as Dri-Tec Mfg. Group LLC.

The company will offer custom-built printing presses, wet and dry waxers, laminators, unwinds, rewinds, drying systems, and chamber doctor blade systems, as well as self-contained turnkey installations, consulting, retrofits, and rebuild services. Corporate offices will be in Milwaukee, and there will be an additional sales office in Green Bay.

Elite Cameron Back In Business
SOMERSET, ENGLAND—T S Converting Equipment Ltd. says Elite Cameron is back in business following a voluntary liquidation in April. Two of the previous directors, Tim Self and Peter Daly, bought the business assets and intellectual property from the liquidator in June, offering to complete all the machines that were on order at the time of the collapse.

“Most of the customers have chosen to have their machines finished,” says Tim Self. “We accept that the past events have caused some project delays, but we are working tirelessly to get the machines to the customers within the original costs and timescales.”

T S Converting expects a new license will be signed shortly for the sale, manufacture, and service of its machines in the US.

W&H Open House Shows Off Innovations
LINCOLN, RI, USA—Windmoeller & Hoelscher celebrated its latest developments in blown and cast film technology with a recent open house at company headquarters in Lengerich, Germany.

The company demonstrated four different Varex blown film lines and one Filmex cast film system. Technical innovations included the Maxicone multi-layer die; the Multicool modular air ring system; the Optifil P automatic gauge profile control; Procontrol window-based touch screen operator console; Filmatic S film winder; Filmatic R multi-purpose winder; and Purge Assist feature for automatic purging.

F&K Technology Now Is Patented
FAIRFIELD, NJ, USA—Fischer & Krecke reports its Access technology has been awarded a patent. The technology is said to reduce changeover times dramatically by allowing operators to set up nonoperational print stations of one printing job while the previous job still is running. Reportedly, the system allows the safe performance of set-up work such as cleaning ink units, changing sleeves, intermediate mandrels or anilox rollers, replacing worn doctor blades, putting in new inks, or setting of new ink parameters. Access can be integrated completely with additional F&K automation and management systems.
New Slitters on Order at Chinese Converter
Valmet Converting reports Atlas recently completed its biggest-ever sales contract in China with a multiple-machine order from the Jiangsu Shuangliang Packing Material Company in Jian Ying.

The order includes one 6.7-m-wide and three 8.3-m-wide primary film slitters, worth approximately $10 million (USD).

Jiangsu Shuangliang, a newcomer in the plastic film business in China, is developing an extensive greenfield production site in preparation for starting up four BOPP film product lines, scheduled for September 2004.

The Atlas slitters are expected to run at speeds to 1,200 mpm and to process up to 120,000 tons of BOPP film/year. Most of the film produced will be for packaging applications, including wrapping a wide range of consumer goods for both domestic and export markets.
Supplier Information
Valmet Atlas plc,
Bedford, U.K.; +441234 851151;

Treofan America to Supply BOPP

WINSTON-SALEM, NC, USA—Trespaphan America reports the merger of Dor, Moplefan, Shorko, and Trespaphan into a single, full-service BOPP film supplier for the US, designated Treofan America. BOPP films include transparent, opaque, coated, cast, and metallized films and are found in the baking/snack, confectionery, dairy, label, industrial, tobacco, and technical markets.

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