Digital Magazine

1974 - 1976

1920s and 1930s
1970 - 1973
1977 - 1979
1990 - April 1993
May 1993 - 1994
1995 - 1999
2000 to present

The Mid-1970s...
January 1974
Resin Shortages Equal Efficiency: "Increased efficiency has resulted from the resin shortage, according to Philips Petroleum Company. Due to reduction of resin variety, processors are learning to work with different types that are often more difficult to process, yet provide better products."

What Is UPC?-- "That's a question printers, package designers, packagers, grocers, and consumers are asking. UPC is a coding system that should be 70 percent operative by September 1974; that is, hopefully, the majority of grocery product manufacturers will have provided for the inclusion of the symbol on their packages by then."

February 1974
PFFC reports on dire status of industry due to the triple-pronged dilemma -- inflation, material shortages, and the energy crisis. Resource recovery is provided as a possible solution to energy and material problems. "Resource recovery may ease energy and material shortages, suggested National Center for Resource Recovery, Inc. With raw materials in short supply, the municipal waste stream is now being recognized as untapped reservoir of steel, aluminum, glass, paper, and fuel supplements. Pyrolysis, process of heating refuse in oxygen-deficient atmosphere, can turn solid waste into usable fuel."

March 1974
OSHA Impact: "Winkler and Dunnebier's equipment has featured various types of safety and protective devices prior to the inception of OSHA. Since then, however, the co. has employed an immediate and extensive design program to protect the interests of the envelope industry. For example, it developed additional safety equipment for its 327GS machine as well as the series #18 presses and the 126, 127, and 227 machines."

April 1974
Radiation Curing Helped by Energy Crisis -- "The first International Conference on Radiation Curing will be held April 8 - 10, Atlanta, GA. Sponsored by Society of Manufacturing Engineers, it will focus on energy saving technology. SME officials note radiation curing results in energy savings of up to 90 percent and does not depend on the consumption of fossil fuel as do thermal curing processes."

May 1974
American Management Assn. (AMA) and Packaging Machinery Mfrs. Institute (PMMI) merge industry shows into Pack Expo. "[Groups] have agreed to merge the annual AMA National Packaging Conference & Expo and the PMMI Pack Expo into single industry event to be held in the fall of every other year beginning in 1976....In odd years, when no exposition is planned, a five-day, in-depth series of conferences and seminar-type events will be held."

Sherman Treaters First-Time Demo: "P.B. Sherman Ltd. announces exhibit of its solid state corona treating machines including generators from 600 w to 12 kw working with standard electrodes as well as rotating electrodes for metallic substrates at Europlastique in Paris. New electronic method of measuring surface tension will be demonstrated for the first time in the world."

June 1974
Milprint announces price increase from 6 to 20 percent on packaging materials, "due to escalating costs of raw materials, energy, and transportation."

July 1974
Pakex 74, The International Packaging Exhibition, London, June 3 - 7, 1974 "was one of largest trade shows of this type ever staged in U.K.; it was attended by more than 30,000 visitors and 400 exhibiting companies."

August 1974
UPC and the Industry -- Converting industry presents a concerted effort to advance UPC technology. "UPC Research Program, headed by Battelle's Columbus Laboratories, [will conduct a 17-month study] on a group basis with several companies sharing in costs and benefits; it will call for the development of special equipment to characterize UPC symbol quality."

Paper Industry Did Its Part -- "Energy conservation programs implemented by the paper industry since last year have reduced the industry's total energy consumption per ton of output by an average of ten percent. Its own process wastes should provide as much as 42 percent of the industry's total energy requirements of this year."

September 1974
Processing Progress -- Softal Electronics GmbH develops process to eliminate problem of odor during extrusion coating process, "whereby the extrusion melt temperature can be held below 570 degrees F, at which temperatures there will be minimal oxidation of PE. ... This process has been under development for many years; in fact, it's been operating commercially in some European factories under wraps and held to be proprietary to the converters using it."

First annual National Snack Food Packaging Conference slated for October. PFFC reports the conference would feature: future role of converter in the snack-food packaging industry as well as presentations from such companies as DuPont, Standard Packaging, Olin Corp., Aluminum Co. of America, St. Regis, Paramount Packaging, and Printpack.

October 1974
Polybutylene debuts in 1974 by Witco Chemical, Taft, LA. "Uses being developed for industrial packaging, food packaging, etc. In film applications, polybutylene claims to outperform LDPE in tensile strength, impact, and tear strength...."

Olin introduces "reinforced" Cellophane. Core of the Matter columnist Dom Perino wrote: "This bold and innovative action on the part of Olin is sure to raise some eyebrows among the converting fraternity. Is Olin invading the converters bailiwick? They insist they are not. Rather, they say they are providing some new building blocks to allow the converter to broaden his product possibilities....It is noteworthy these films are not simply laminations of films normally available to converters. The entire project is born of an obvious advance in film-casting techniques."

Roland Press Pushes Speed -- "Speeds of 60,000 impressions an hour on 39 x 55 in. carton board was the performance of the first six-color Roland 806-6 press seen during acceptance tests before delivery to the Danish carton printing company Schur. The test job supplied by Schur was printed on carton board with four process and two house colors for a leading food packaging company."

November 1974
F.L Smite debuts two new double side seam web envelope folding machines : "Featured in a machinery show for the first time anywhere in North America were two new double-side seam web envelope folding machines operating directly from rolls of paper: Model SW and model CF-72."

December 1974
"Bogus OSHA inspectors are reported to have been on the take, according to the Dept. of Labor. Assistant Secretary of Labor John H. Stender said con games are being played my imposters who tour plants, then either demand on-the-spot cash payment for violations, or recommend that specific equipment or machinery be installed to correct a violation. Usually, in the case of the latter, an accomplice appears soon thereafter selling the equipment or machinery."

Adhesive manufacturers move toward more ecologically and energy-friendly materials. "Trends in the adhesive market are toward the aqueous-based or 100 percent solid types, rather than solvent-based adhesives. Benefits of aqueous include: meeting governmental and OSHA regs; water reducible; and compatibility with films, inks and coatings. The benefits of [a UV technology system] count in compliance with OSHA and government regs; savings in capital investment of drying ovens; energy conservation in drying process; and unlimited machine speed since cure is instant."

January 1975
Food Labeling Beginnings: FDA grants food industry six more months to comply with new food labeling requirements. "The extension applies to a comprehensive regulatory program involving 42 related labeling initiatives developed by the FDA to provide the consumer with more and better nutritional information about food products. Regs, formerly to have become effective as of December 31, 1974, have now been extended to June 30, 1975."

Swedish Pulp Scene Sees Dramatic Price Increases: "Prices for long-fibred, bleached sulfate will be increased by 17 percent and the prices for kraft will be raised by 10 - 13 percent." Announced by Swedish Pulp and Paper Assn., the increases were attributed to: "A great demand for pulp last year gave rise to a pronounced interest in recycling paper, which, in turn, led to increased prices in Western Europe."

February 1975
3M Intros Printable Polyester Tape -- "Polyester film tape No. 8571 is said to be the first use of polyester in directly flexo printable p-s tape. Potential uses including packaging, labeling, and a variety of applications where product identification, instructions, and merchandising information or other printed messages are desired."

March 1975
PFFC editor Peter Rigney addresses important industry developments, such as new films creeping into picture -- polybutylene; polycarbonates; and oriented lightweight HDPE. Also, "PE-extrusion-coated paper is expected to show 33 percent growth over the next five years," he wrote. "UV inks and curing systems hold the promise for flexography that print quality could rival litho. The UV process also predicts better efficiency in printing, coating, and laminating. The emerging development of 100 percent solids adhesives will help converting operations conserve energy and eliminate pollution control for solvent-based systems."

Flexo Plate Development -- Magnetic Plate Backing by 3M. "Better printing quality at lower cost resulted for Consolidated Papers when it switched to magnetic plate backings for flexo printing of its folding cartons."

April 1975
The Beginning of the End? Business Forms -- "Industry downturn for business forms manufacturers is seen by the International Business Forms Industries. The rend will worsen during this year before returning to normal growth in mid-1976. This downturn is believed to be more severe than the 1970 - 71 decline, reflecting the state of the national economy."

"Growing use of stand-up pouches in Germany, France, and England is reported by the French Packaging Institute. These packages are being used successfully for beverages such as fruit juice, wines, industrial liquids, pastry products, and pickles."

"Fifteen new metallic colors brighten the flexible packaging scene. With the introduction of Flair, a spectrum of polychromatic inks, Lorilleux Clapham widens the range of these inks which have been restricted almost exclusively to shades of gold and silver."

May 1975
Significant Increase of Sterile Package Converting -- "Converters sold nearly $20 MM worth of packaging materials to manufacturers of medical disposables during 1974. Sales for 1975 are expected to reach $27 MM and continue to grow as the sale of disposables increased to almost $600 MM by 1980."

June 1975
US converting industry flies solo behind "Iron Curtain" for first time. "US Packaging Equipment Mfrs. and Soviet food and packaging industry members will meet in Moscow, Oct. 15 - 24, 1975, at Propak USSR 75. Sponsored by Washington, DC-based organization of the same name, it will be the first US solo expo held in Moscow and is expected to draw 10,000 Soviet food and packaging specialists."

Photopolymer and Flexo Successful Beginnings... Flexographic Technical Assn. (FTA) packaging competition, Best in Show Award: "Gar-Doc, Inc. for 5-color printing on PVC shrink tubing for Christmas ornament band. Run on photopolymer plates mounted 1 across and 2 around."

July 1975
Doubling Developments in the "Adolescent Technology" Coextrusion -- "We have reviewed some figures from the US Bureau of Census. They show sales of film-to-film laminates have jumped substantially in the 1973 - 74 period, from approximately $100 million to $127 million, or roughly 27 percent....But the sale of coextruded films show a doubly healthy rise, albeit from a smaller base, from about $50 million to $75 million."

Ludlow Packaging unveiled its new 60-in. Egan coextrusion coater. "Coextrusion coating has added a new dimension to the converting capabilities of Ludlow Packaging. The company recently dedicated its new 118,000-sq-ft converting facility and used the occasion to unveil their new Egan 60-in. coextrusion coater that promises to open new and broadened market vistas for the company."

August 1975

September 1975
Simco's "High Speed Static Eliminators -- Type HSD is capable of completely neutralizing yarns and webs traveling at speeds to 1500 yards per minute. It continually produces both positive and negative ions in sufficient quantities to neutralize even the most highly electrified materials, without leaving any incompletely neutralized bands or areas."

October 1975
Gallus and UV -- "Gallus has developed a novel and efficient cooling system together with an automatic energy-reduction device for controlling the UV energy relayed by the lamp to the web. Not only can this system be used successfully on machines with intermittent web feed, but even when the machine is stopped, the need to switch off the lamp is avoided."

November 1975
Price Fixing Fix -- The National Flexible Packaging Assn. is served with subpoena from US Dept. of Justice, antitrust div., for possible investigation into price fixing. "Malcolm MacArthure, NFPA legal counsel, advises this appears to be an investigation by the antitrust div. seeking evidence of price fixing on one or more products. Typically, the Dept. of Justice, which conducts these investigations, does not reveal the specific information that causes it initiate the inquiry, he said. Several converting companies received subpoenas."

FDA proposes to prohibit certain plastic food packaging and other food contact materials made with vinyl chloride. "The action is based on the evidence that residues of vinyl chloride may migrate into food from the semi-rigid, rigid, and generally heavier VC plastics. No such migration has been found from the flexible and generally thinner VC plastics."

Cryovac turkey bag package extends shelf life.

December 1975
Barry Goldwater speaks at National Flexible Packaging Assn. West Coast meeting; blames big government as root of economic ills.

At Interpack, Windmoeller and Hoelscher demonstrated its Merkur 1950 rotary gravure with in-line Varicoater. "The installation consists of two gravure units combined with a laminating station for the production of a composite plastics film with sandwich print. Lamination is effected using solvent-free adhesive by Kurt Herberts, which require no additional capital expenditure or energy costs for drying and is environmentally compatible."

"PE-Coated Cartons Feature Fidelity -- Fresh-Shield frozen food packaging system from International Paper Co.'s folding carton and label div. combines PE-coated folding cartons with a proprietary heat sealing unit. Carton coating provides superior moisture barrier because of better resistance to cracking at scores and folds...."

January 1976
Industry Collaboration for Innovation: Beloit reported on coater development in "100% Solids Coater Tested: Energy, Pollution Savings?" The company's "solids state coater" (and applications for it) -- which Beloit noted "uses a system approach for mixing, applying, and curing the 100 percent solids to achieve the best economies" -- was researched in collaboration with Dow Corning, Midland, MI. "[In spring 1975], Beloit and Dow began working together to develop different applications."

MACtac Streamlined -- "Morgan Adhesives Co. has merged all divisions that have been selling to the printing and graphic arts industry into a single MACtac printing products marketing operation."

February 1976
Converted labels required to show the fat: "FDA Requires Fat Labeling -- The Food and Drug Administration is requiring that all food shipped in interstate commerce after January 1, 1978, must identify fats and oils by source. ... Under the new requirement, fats and oils must be identified as "cottonseed oil," "corn oil," "soybean oil," beef fat," etc. The term "vegetable oil" or "vegetable shortening" can still be used on the label, but only if it is followed by an identification of the specific oils used."

March 1976
Folding Carton Price Fixing Scandal -- Continued. "As a result of the subpoenas served to the National Flexible Packaging Assn. (Nov. 1975), 23 folding carton manufacturers have been indicted on a charge of conspiracy to fix prices by a federal grand jury. The indictment was issued in the US district court in Chicago. The Justice Dept.'s antitrust div. said these firms, plus unindicted and unidentified co-conspirators, allegedly violated federal antitrust laws by agreeing not to underbid a competitor's prices with customers the competitor already had....The alleged conspiracy terminated before December 1974, states the document."

Anderson & Vreeland Took One Step for a Better Environment -- Co. introduced solvent-recovery system that A&V stated, "recycles 90 percent of the solution used in processing the firm's Flex-Light photopolymer printing plates."

PFFC Number One Then and Now...
March 1976 includes: Looking Where We've Been as PFFC Enters Its 50th Year: "We take pride that we've been able to grow in step with the converting industries we serve. It's our pledge that our future service and outlook to converters will be based on the tradition that's made Paper, Film & Foil CONVERTER number one in the field."

Daetwyler Made Global Impact -- Reported Richard Wood, PFFC's European Editor: "Gravure printers around the world are making substantial use of the two most recent developments from Daetwyler of Bleienbach, Switzerland. The developments concerned are the Polishmaster cylinder grinding machine and the MDC/Ringier long-life doctor blades. ... Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, and Uruguay are found to be among customers together with Western Europe and North America."

The Conversion That Still Hasn't Happened. PFFC's Industry Forum reported: "Metric Conversion Reviewed -- Now that President Ford has signed the Metric Conversion Act (in Dec. 1975), US changeover to metric should take about eight years, not the decade originally forecast, believes Robert Sellers, author of Dun & Bradstreet's "Guide to Metric Transition for Managers." Though conversion is voluntary, Sellers expects that the Fortune 500 industries, many of which are multi-national, will 'set the pace' for American industry and pull 'us along with them.'"

April 1976
Folding Carton Converters Were Hurting: In Rigney's editorial, he encouraged folding carton mfrs. (who during this time already were facing the myriad problems of the decade -- material, energy, and labor shortages; rising costs, etc.) -- to "keep it going." In addition, he responded to the antitrust allegation that seriously was impacting folding carton makers at the time: "Ironically, the Justice Dept.'s Antitrust Div. has alleged that 23 of the industry's leading manufacturers are 'guilty of price fixing' and 'conspired to keep prices artificially high.' The irony of the charge is that for the period involved, 1960 to 1974, annual industry profits averaged 3 percent or less -- hardly evidence of 'keeping prices artificially high.' Nevertheless, the charge still haunts carton converters."

And Folding Carton Converters Contested -- "Folding carton manufacturers have denied a price-fixing conspiracy that allegedly began in 1960 and ended before December 1974. A Chicago federal grand jury indicted 23 companies and 50 of their current or former executives. Spokesmen for the manufacturers indicated surprise at the indictment, pointed to long-time corporate policies of rigid compliance with antitrust regulations, and promised a vigorous defense. Among those denying the charges were Alton Box Board, Champion Intl., Consolidate Packaging Container Corp., Fibreboard Corp., Hoerner-Waldorf, International Paper, Mead, Rexham, and Weyerhaeuser."

May 1976
Suppliers, Computers, and State-of-the-Art Machinery Design -- Through working together and utilizing "new" computer technology, Egan and PCMC advanced coating and laminating in the industry. "Recent examples of design advancement resulting from computer programming and materials suppliers' cooperation include Egan's latest coextrusion coater/laminator and Paper Converting Machinery Co.'s (PCMC's) five-mode printing/coating/laminating machine."

The Year for Polyester? "There are four basic reasons why polyester will make significant inroads into packaging markets in 1976," stated DuPont's article in PFFC. "A new set of perspective economics relative to other materials; a rapidly expanding product line designed for a variety of packaging applications; expanding capacity and producers who are committed to promoting use of polyester in packaging; and attractive basic physical properties of polyester with definite value in packaging uses."

June 1976
CMM First Sighting: "A new trade show for the converting industry is scheduled January 24 - 26, 1978, Philadelphia, PA. Called the Converting Machinery & Materials Exposition and Conference, it will be operated by National Expositions Co., Inc. [Sponsor] said show will fill the need for marketplace catering exclusively to the requirements of the converting industry. This will be the first attempt to launch a converting expo since Convert 70 struggled through a Chicago blizzard in March 1970."

July 1976
Wait! No More MQ-26F? "To remedy business complaints about the time it takes to fill-out Federal Trade Commission reports, President Ford announces a 'Reporting Reduction Program.'" PFFC's editor, Peter Rigney, explained the affect on converting: "One of the reports that will be discontinued is the Converted Flexible Packaging Products Shipments Report, MQ-26F. MQ-26-F...provides information on the dollar sales of flexible packaging products for each quarter and culminates in an annual summary. The National Flexible Packaging Assn.’s (NFPA) underwrites a substantial portion of the cost of publishing report, which provides the only reliable data on the shipments of a $2.25 billion industry."

Flexo Goes Forward with Photopolymer Plates: PFFC reported on the National Flexible Packaging Assn.’s (NFPA) meeting held in June, at which the new photopolymer plate -- and the advantages it brings to flexography -- was a highlight. "It is now possible for the flexographer to go from original copy to press in one step, as does the lithographer."

August 1976
Flex-Pack Report Saved? "That death knell signaling the end of the Census Bureau's MQ-26F Converted Flexible Packaging Products Shipment Report received a 60-day stay of execution. It was the National Flexible Packaging Assn. that sounded the original alert to the industry.... It was largely the NFPA's efforts that brought this temporary respite until August 31, 1976."

More Choices for Photoploymer Plates by DuPont's Cyrel: "In addition to the three Cyrel flexo printing plates already available (67 F, 112 F, and 90 F), DuPont now offers two further types, 155 F and 250 F."

September 1976
Black Clawson Coextrusion -- "System utilizes a combining adapter assembled with a single-manifold slot die. The adapter has internal flow cavities that form a small rectangular sandwich of the polymers; the sandwich spreads to full width within the die and emerges as a coextruded film having the same thickness proportions as originally established in the combining adapter."

Butterfly Shimmer" to Film by Mearl Corp. -- "New iridescent films shimmer like a butterfly wing. This 'technical breakthrough' is achieved by multilayering two plastics of different refractive index. Innovative packaging and decoration will be possible with the new film, Mearl predicts."

October 1976
Wild about Plastic -- "The most significant trend in material usage in flexible packaging has been the continued growth of plastic films, according to a report by the Bureau of Census.... Plastic films have competed directly with paper and cellophane in existing applications and have created new markets for converted flex packs. Film usage increased 18% annually during 1971 - 1975, accounting for 48 percent of the total market. Paper and paper combination, on the other hand, grew at an annual rate of 10 percent to show a market share of 24 percent."

Ozone Forethought? -- GTE Sylvania, Erlangen, W. Germany claims a "breakthrough" in UV curing with the development of lamp that can penetrate thick lacquers to cure them at high speed. "Sylvania...has tested the lamp and states one important side benefit is it does not generate ozone and is thus non-polluting. The new gallium lamp is said to be about 50 percent cheaper than conventional drying equipment to buy and a further 50 percent cheaper to operate."

November 1976
At its Troisdorf-Sieglar plant, Reifenhauser provides the industry with the first demo of the Reicofil process for producing polypropylene/polyamide nonwoven webs. Reports Richard Wood, PFFC's European editor: "The spunbonding system appears to offer a number of advantages over conventional carding and processes using staple fiber. ... Simplicity of the Reicofil process keeps plant capital cost relatively low and suction air acceleration results in low cost and low noise level. In addition, the operation requires the minimum of labor and is extremely versatile in product range."

December 1976
Slitting Breakthrough -- Dusenbery makes a "breakthrough" in slitting technology. Its Model 300, 60-in., non-stop-production duplex differential slitter/rewinder was termed by company as both: "revolutionary and evolutionary. The former in that the 300 can produce quality finished rolls to 18 in. diameter with one operator (itself a shocker) and with virtually nonstop operation. The latter because the machine incorporates time-proven concepts."

Packaging Machinery Manufacturer's Institute (PMMI) Packaging Show in November touted record numbers. PFFC reported show also boosted packaging industry confidence.

Click here to view 1977 through 1979.

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