'ICE Age' Forecasted for US Converting Industry

BURLINGTON, MA | It was anything but chilly  in Orlando, FL, on April 6—8 when ICE USA, the new Mack Brooks Expositions’ event, made its grand debut with a total of 275 exhibitors heating up the action at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC). In attendance at the show were 2,431 converting professionals from 37 countries with the technical conference programs hosting 60 TAPPI PLACE Flexible Packaging Symposium attendees; 150 Converting Equipment Mfrs. Assn. (CEMA) Technical Seminars attendees; and 298 Assn. of Intl. Metallizers, Coaters & Laminators (AIMCAL) attendees at its three-day Technical Conference.

The next ICE USA will be staged in April or May of 2013, according to Steven Brooks, CEO of Mack Brooks, Inc., in an exclusive April 8th interview with PFFC, and it will once again be held at the OCCC.

Press conferences also provided insight into exhibitor’s new products and services, with companies Maxcess, ISRA Vision, and the ICE USA Show Management using the opportunity to meet dozens of converting industry editors and publishers.

Discussions with several exhibitors revealed the show was a great success. Bob Pasquale of New Era Converting Machinery reported “It was the best show we’ve participated in for six to eight years. We came to see what it was like, we saw, and we’re pleased to come back.” Mike Pappas of Catbridge Machinery commented, “It was an excellent show, attendees were serious and at a high very levels in their organizations, and I enjoyed the atmosphere and venue.” Cheryl Smith with Comexi North America shared, “It was an excellent show, the location was prime, and working equipment brought a lot of people.” Representing Kroenert, Bob Dages of CoSo LLC revealed, “Feedback was positive, and there were strong, quality visitors with a nice flow of attendance.”

An “Ask the Experts” feature allowed visitors face time with professional consultants to help solve their specific technical challenges. Fifty attendees arranged appointments.

The well attended conference sessions included  AIMCAL sessions with three simultaneous tracks on Web Coating/Laminating, Web Handling/Winding, and Package Printing and Converting.  Additionally, CEMA presented two of their most popular fundamental sessions on slitting/rewinding and coating/laminating. TAPPI PLACE covered a variety of critical topics including:

• New Developments in Renewable Source Resins and Films
• Extrusion of Biopolymers
• Employing Sustainable Flexible Packaging Practices
• Progressive Sustainability—Achieving Your Goals

Sales director Bob Chiricosta commented, “Our exhibitors have done a great job. The show looks great and many attendees are pleasantly surprised by the amount of running machinery and technology on display. Because of that, many have stayed for two or even three days. It is encouraging to see so many converting buyers and technical experts make the most of the opportunities available to them here in Orlando at this first-class facility.”

“Our goal was to make this a complete converting show experience and fill a void that has long existed in the US converting industry,” said Michael Boyle, ICE USA event director.  “And based on the feedback from exhibitors, visitors, and conference delegates we have accomplished our goal.”

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