A Communication from the PLACE Div. of TAPPI

David J. Bentley, Jr., Editor

Providing practical information to the converting & packaging industries.

Flexible Packaging Troubleshooting Short Course
Short Course Chairperson Dante F. Ferrari of AT Plastics Inc. has announced that the Flexible Packaging Committee of the Polymers, Laminations and Coatings Division will offer a new course on Flexible Packaging Troubleshooting. The course will be at the Radisson Cambridge Hotel in Cambridge, MA, on April 3-6, 2001. "This course is an improved version of the Troubleshooting In The Converting Industry Short Course offered last year," said Ferrari. "Although the course will cover many of the same topics, a significant addition to the new course is a unique opportunity for participants to enhance their troubleshooting skills while increasing their understanding of the causes of converting problems."

Experts from the converting industry will show course participants how to identify and solve difficulties in converting variables such as substrates, equipment, additives, treating, and coatings. By exploring practical examples, students will learn how to convert successfully for optimum manufacture of flexible packaging products. Covered topics include paper substrates, plastic films, metallized substrates, primers, inks, treating, functional coatings, winding and slitting, and related topics.

Case studies after every few technical presentations will cover two or more subject areas previously discussed. Students will work in pre-assigned groups that will combine people from different job functions and various levels of experience. Panel discussions and an informal reception will offer opportunities for specific questions. Participants should bring their specific operating problems to the experts for discussion and recommendations. Students will receive a set of course notes containing supplemental materials prepared by the instructors.

The keynote speaker for the course will be David R. Roisum of Finishing Technologies, Inc. He is a recognized expert with many years of experience in the converting industry. His presentation entitled "Critical Thinking For Industrial Problem Solving" will cover the practical use of troubleshooting tools using application examples from industry.

To register for the Flexible Packaging Troubleshooting Short Course or obtain additional information, visit the TAPPI website at www.tappi.org. This information is also available from the TAPPI Service Line by calling 1-800-332-8686 in the United States, 1-800-446-9431 in Canada, and +1-770-446-1400 in other countries.


Evaluations Guide Future Conferences
Each year the organizers of the Polymers, Laminations and Coatings Conference ask attendees to complete an evaluation form regarding the meeting. This year Jeff Wooster, Laurie Beth Tyldesley, and Bill Stafford of the Marketing Committee of the division did an extensive analysis of the evaluations to help plan the conference in San Diego in 2001 and future conferences.

Says Wooster, "The evaluations strongly encouraged the conference officers and session developers to continue programming many high quality technical papers covering a variety of topics. Attendees were also enthused about the number of industry experts in attendance at the meeting, both as presenters and as registrants."

Based on the evaluations, networking opportunities are very important to people at the meeting. They rated the gala event, tabletop reception, and other opportunities to network with the general audience very highly. The well attended New Technology Showcase also received excellent ratings. "We will obviously continue these popular items and even improve upon them at future conferences," said Wooster.

Timing and location are important factors to conference registrants. They like the meeting in late August or mid-September but not the week before Labor Day. Although the 2001 conference dates are not flexible, future conferences will avoid the weeks before and after Labor Day. A program schedule from Monday noon to Thursday noon is most popular. Cities receiving the most votes from attendees in 2000 were San Francisco, Boston, Orlando, Chicago, Seattle, and Montreal. These choices will guide planning. "The concern with conference costs is another area that division officers will consider when planning future events," noted Wooster.

Especially important to session developers are the "hot topics" that conference registrants noted on their evaluation forms. The session developers use this information to ensure that they include technical papers that emphasize these topics. A sampling of some areas of interest listed on the evaluations includes environmental issues, ultraviolet and electron beam curing, productivity improvement in converting, new package requirements, biodegradable polymers, etc.

Others who have suggestions for changes or improvements to future Polymers, Laminations and Coatings Conferences should contact Wooster by email at jjwooster@dow.com Wooster commented, "We definitely consider all input and feedback. This is the optimum way for the division to continue offering a quality meeting that attracts many attendees each year."

Harry Cordatos of Westvaco, the Technical Program Chairperson for the 2001 Polymers, Laminations and Coatings Conference in San Diego on August 26-30 at the Sheraton Hotel and Marina has announced some preliminary information regarding the meeting. "We expect to have at least 23 technical sessions," according to Cordatos. "These will include panel discussions and case studies that will take full advantge of the presence of so many experts in the role of presenters."

The conference will again feature the popular primer sessions. These will cover materials and machinery. They provide an opportunity for new and experienced people to update themselves on basic information. Other sessions during the conference will concentrate on advances in polymers, additives, and machine design. "Due to the continuing advances in the fast-paced and rapidly-growing field of barrier packaging, the conference in 2001 will feature technical papers with the latest information in this area," said Cordatos.

New features for 2001 will include information on the best use of the Internet in the converting and packaging industries. Cordatos noted that "attendees will learn how to complement their businesses, find information, and purchase products and machinery." Intellectual property is another area of discussion especially in the light of recent changes and how they influence the future of converting.

Improvements to the 2001 Polymers, Laminations and Coatings Conference include a longer Technology Showcase. Previous registrants have asked to have opportunities for additional speakers to present commercial information on their new offerings. In addition, all technical presentations will offer computer-generated visuals for highest quality.

Cordatos also listed many benefits that attendees can gain from the upcoming conference. "They will receive an in-depth analysis of recent innovations," he said. "Some companies will also use the conference as an opportunity to announce new developments for the first time. The panel discussions and question sessions following presentations also offer people a springboard for new ideas. This advantage is only available by attending the conference."

Further information on the Polymers, Laminations and Coatings Conference will be available at tappi.org as it becomes available. The TAPPI Service Line can also provide the information by calling 1-800-332-8686 in the United States, 1-800-446-9431 in Canada, or +1-770-446-1400 in other countries.


South American Flexible Packaging Conference
The TAPPI/CETEA Second International Conference on Flexible Packaging will take place on April 3 and 4, 2001, in Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil. CETEA is the Centro de Technologia de Embalagem or Packaging Technology Center. It is a well regarded Brazilian institute based in Campinas. The seminar coordinator is Jose M. Torradas of E. I. duPont de Nemours & Co. Sponsorship of this conference is an activity of the International Planning Subcommittee of the Polymers, Laminations and Coatings Division.

The conference will feature 16 technical presentations related to resins, equipment, and processing. Papers on extrusion equipment will cover blown film, cast film, and coatings. Presentations on auxiliary equipment will include corona and plasma treaters. Information on slip agents, primers, and various additives will supplement the information available on the use of various resins for flexible packaging applications.

The targeted audience members are converters and end users from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Venezuela. Employees of any organization that makes flexible packaging materials or converts them should attend this meeting to learn the latest technology pertaining to the industry. Companies presenting papers include BASF, Dow, OPP, Noltex, duPont, Battenfeld Gloucester, Mica Corporation, Croda, and Black Clawson.

Registration material and information is available from Ms. Leda Colto by sending an email message to ledacolt@ital.org.br. Additional information on the program and CETEA itself is available on the CETEA web site at ital.org.br/cetea.html. The final program, registration material, and information on arrangements for travel and accommodations are also available at the web site.


For information about the Polymers, Laminations and Coatings Division of TAPPI, see the web page at tappi.org/public/divisions/polymers_laminations_coatings.asp or access the TAPPI web site at tappi.org. For the complete papers whose expanded summaries appear in this section, go to the TAPPI web site.



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