A Converting Renaissance?

Late October brought people out of early hibernation to association meetings. PFFC editors made the rounds at two annual gatherings — both held October 18-21 — for the Assn. of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters & Laminators (AIMCAL) and the Tag & Label Mfrs. Inst. (TLMI).

The AIMCAL meeting, comprising its annual fall technical symposium, was held at the Amelia Island Plantation, Amelia Island, FL. The reflected mood was both upbeat and energizing. Keynoter Dr. Winfried Hoffmann of Applied Materials addressed perhaps one of the most talked about current subjects that represents more-than-hopeful worldwide adoption: “PV [Photovoltaic] Solar Electricity: Technology & Markets with Special Emphasis on Flexible Solar.”

Attendees were sharply awakened to the potential of this technology. Hoffmann reported: “In the last ten years, PV solar electricity was and still is a booming market despite the financial and economic crisis in 2008 and 2009. The market size in MWp per year has grown globally at a rate of about 45 percent per year over the past ten years.” Moreover, this growth rate, says Hoffmann, does not anticipate any constraints for continued growth, including availability of materials. Reliance upon this technology as a complement to other technologies, he explained, will allow us to tackle our climate and energy challenges, “without reducing the quality of our everyday lives.” Another three presentations on the hot solar and PV subject matter complemented Hoffmann's paper.

In addition, Dr. Robert Bakish of Bakish Material Corp. was awarded AIMCAL's coveted President's Award in recognition of meritorious service. The Matteucci Technical Excellence Awards for best papers went to the following:

  • Peter Saur of Applied Materials won in the category for Vacuum Web Coating for his presentation on “Advanced TCO Layers for Flexible Electronic Applications.”
  • Gary Samuels of Dunmore Corp. won in the category for Web Coating/Laminating for his presentation on “Production Improvements to Increase Profitability with an Emphasis on Set-Up Reduction/5s, Process.”

The TLMI event, held at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, Scottsdale, AZ, featured keynoter Dr. Barry Asmus, whose subject matter was wide ranging. He also touched upon energy issues, tackling the subject from a different perspective. While some might consider his opinion somewhat controversial with regard to the veracity of global warming, he emphasized the importance of pursuing a corporate sustainability policy that's driven primarily by achieving cost savings.

Boom or bust, truth or fiction, sustainable practices and clean technologies may hold the key to a converting renaissance.

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