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Converting Industry News

Covering the Full Spectrum of Industry News, Events & Activities

Openings
American Ultraviolet Launches U.K. Office

LEBANON, IN, USA—American Ultraviolet Co. reports the opening of an office in Bedford, England. The office will be managed by Edward Deans and will serve customers throughout the U.K. and Europe.

American Ultraviolet Europe will provide sales and service for all American Ultraviolet germicidal air and water systems and conveyorized curing systems. Products available will include shuttered UV systems from American Ultraviolet's Aetek Div. and spot curing equipment from the company's UV Source Div.

The office is located at 28 Mount Dr., Bedford, Bedfordshire MK418HX; +44 (0) 1234 325230; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Association News
ACC and APC Will Merge

ARLINGTON, VA, USA—The boards of directors of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the American Plastics Council (APC) have agreed to move forward with plans to merge the two organizations. The merged organizations will be named the American Chemistry Council and will have a single board of directors and executive committee.

APC will maintain its name and identity in public communications and receive direction from an operating board of plastics executives.

The new American Chemistry Council reportedly will enhance its focus on issues of concern to key customers; achieve further improvements in environmental, health, and safety performance through Responsible Care; conduct environmental research and testing of chemical products; converse with stakeholders; communicate product and other benefits; and strengthen advocacy on key public policy issues at the state, federal, and international levels.


Purchases
Ten-Color Press Is Trustworthy

LANGELY, B.C., CANADA—Pliant Corp. has announced the purchase of Windmoeller & Hoelscher's Astraflex, which it reports is the first ten-color press to be placed in Canada.

Pliant's decision to add W&H's ten-color printing capability is in-line with the strategy of ensuring its plants are equipped with the most advanced and productive equipment available, says Bruce Underwood, VP of manufacturing at Pliant.

“Add to that the element of trust,” he reports. “We developed a relationship with W&H that's characterized by trust. Their reliability and integrity were an important factor in our buying decision.”

Slated for installation in the fall of 2002, the 52-in.-wide Astraflex10 modular, high-efficiency, CI flexo press is designed to produce consistently high quality at maximum speeds, says W&H.

Pliant Corp, headquartered in Schaumburg, IL, produces value-added films and flexible packaging products for food, personal care, medical, agricultural, and industrial markets. The Langley plant specializes in the production of bakery, sanitary, and agricultural packaging.
Supplier Information
Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corp.
, Lincoln, RI; 401/333-2770; whcorp.com


Acquisitions
Unico Adds Micromatik to Worldwide Operation

FRANKSVILLE, WI, USA—Unico Inc., a manufacturer of adjustable-speed drives and engineered systems, has acquired Micromatik GmbH, Siegen, Germany. The addition of Micromatik as a wholly owned sub. reportedly will strengthen Unico's global network of sales and support that include corporate headquarters in Wisconsin and offices in Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, England, Japan, and China.

Headed by Dr. Armin John, Micromatik's 75 employees will focus on sales, service, engineering, and packaging to increase product offerings and enhance customer relationships throughout Europe.

Fox River Paper Acquires Gilbert Paper
APPLETON, WI, USA—Fox River Paper Co. reports it will acquire the Gilbert Paper Co. business and selected assets from Mead Corp. With this acquisition, Fox River Paper Co. will produce and sell all of the Gilbert Paper Co. products as part of a separate branding strategy.

Fox River will market the Gilbert brand separate from the Fox River brand. “We do not want to lose any of the excellent brand equity Gilbert Paper Co. has developed over the years by trying to merge Gilbert's grades into Fox River's current lineup,” says Daniel D. King, president and chief operating officer of Fox River. “We will go to market with two separate and proven brand strategies supported by Fox River's existing manufacturing facilities….” Approximately 100 current Gilbert employees will join Fox River Paper.

Investor Group Acquires MonoSol Div.
PORTAGE, IN, USA—As a result of the merger between Chris-Craft Industries Inc. and News Corp., Chris-Craft Industrial Products Inc.'s MonoSol Div. has been acquired by a group of investors forming MonoSol LLC.

The investor group is led by The Edward P. Bass Group of Fort Worth, TX, and includes P. Scott Bening (president and CEO of MonoSol LLC) plus other members of senior management.

“From an operating perspective, we fully expect and are planning for day-to-day activities to continue without major changes,” says Bening. “We have plans in place to expand on-site again, adding capacity as it is needed to facilitate our growth.…We have reinforced our leadership positions with our key customers in all markets and expect to continue with our growing business well into the future.”


Supplier News
Enercon Establishes Japanese Operating Facility

MENOMONEE FALLS, WI, USA—Enercon Industries Corp. has announced the addition of a major operating center in Japan, provided by its representative, Gunze Ltd. That firm, based in Osaka, Japan, with a machinery division in Kyoto, serves as the Enercon representative for both the induction cap sealing and surface treating product lines. As an Enercon Major Operating Center, Gunze will provide sales support, service assistance, technical expertise, and spare parts stocking to local customers. The company also fabricates a wide variety of proprietary machinery, including bagging, labeling, and capping machinery.

Shipping Container Protects Film, Saves Money
When Polymer Extruded Products, Newark, NJ, looked at alternative methods of shipping its Korad acrylic film, the goal was to save money. The company wanted a returnable packaging solution for greater cost effectiveness, but it could not afford to compromise protection from damage during shipping. The alternative also would need to satisfy overseas shipping requirements. Switching to reusable Pak-Line roll suspension crates from Homasote Co. enabled the company to cut shipping material costs by 50% without putting its film at risk.

Richard Martinelli, VP of international and commercial development for Polymer Extruded Products, reports constructing a Pak-Line shipping container is quicker and easier than the company's previous corrugated cardboard and particleboard packaging method. “It now takes about 10 minutes instead of the 30 minutes it took to assemble, pack, and wrap the original corrugated packaging.”

After a die-cut bottom layer is laid on a pallet, side walls and end panels snap onto its interlocking tabs and are held in place by a single metal banding strap. The lower end panels include half-circle cutouts to cradle the extended cardboard cores of the Korad film rolls. After banding, the entire unit is wrapped in a poly stretch wrap to seal it from moisture during its ocean voyage.

“The Pak-Line solution initially cost the same as our original packaging,” Martinelli notes, “but it reduces our effective costs with every use. Even with the return shipping charges … Pak-Line has cut our packaging costs in half.”

Polymer Extruded Products chose to use an optional poly coating on the modular panels to give the moisture-resistant fiberboard an added degree of protection for overseas shipments. Today, the company uses more than 100 Pak-Line cartons that have made up to six round-trip ocean crossings. “They have all come back in good shape,” Martinelli says.
Supplier Information
Homasote Co.
, West Trenton, NJ; 800/257-9491;pakline.com

Sonoco Opens Virtual Retail “Store”
HARTSVILLE, SC, USA—Citing the need to provide a “high-touch” service-oriented approach to small- to medium-sized companies, Sonoco has opened “The Core Store,” which it describes as a virtual retail outlet for its high-performance, spiral-wound paperboard tubes and cores.

Core Store customers now can purchase nearly any tube or core produced by Sonoco, including those used to wind and transport everything from paper products; film for packaging, printing, and converting as well as for photographic, agriculture and other uses; audio, video, and adhesive tape; and more. Tubes also are available for shipping and storage purposes and anything else customers may need, says Sonoco. For information call 888/875-8754; or visit sonoco.com.

AIB Audit Says BOPP Supplier Is Excellent
BOGOTA, COLUMBIA—Biofilm S.A., a supplier of BOPP films, announces it has completed the American Inst. of Baking (AIB) food-safety plant audit with an overall rating of “excellent.”

Says general manager Mauricio Moreno, “Becoming AIB inspected and recognized fits with the company's effort to meet world-class standards. The AIB recognition simply documents how Biofilm has operated through the years.” The company serves food-packaging customers in North, Central, and South America.


Expansions
Brückner Forms Subsidiary

SIEGSDORF, GERMANY—Brückner Maschinenbau GmbH will expand operations within the areas of film and sheet lines as well as thermoforming and converting equipment. To accomplish this it has formed a new company designated Brückner Formtec GmbH, also located in Siegsdorf, which will be a 100% daughter of Brückner Maschinenbau GmbH.

Dr. Peter Lechner and Mattias Nagy have been appointed managing directors. The new company expects intensive R&D work on new products will ensure Brückner attains a significant increase in market share in the next few years.


Installations
Kimberly Clark Adds FIS Impianti Wrapper

MILAN, ITALY—FIS Impianti S.r.L. recently installed a major tissue roll handling system in the Romagnano, Italy, mill of Kimberly Clark.

The tissue rolls to be wrapped range from diameters of 1,676-2,500 mm to a maximum weight of 2,500 kg. A maximum 18 rolls/hr are produced. The wrapper reportedly is designed to accept even larger roll dimensions: diameter of 2,650 and a width of 2,950 mm.

The wrapper includes a rotating arm wrapping system with pre-stretching set by the operator, who also can control the number of revolutions by varying the speed of the supporting belt.

St. Joseph Adds Third Bobst Folder-Gluer
ST. JOSEPH, MO, USA—St. Joseph Packaging has installed its third Bobst Alpina folder-gluer.

“We knew, when we first saw this folder-gluer at a show in Chicago, that it was heads above the rest,” says Chuck Hamilton, president at St. Joseph Packaging. “And the more we ran our first Alpina, the more we knew it was the best choice for us. That's why we have three now. These three Alpinas are producing more product than we did previously on five other brand models.”

The third Alpina purchased by St. Joseph is equipped with Bobst's Gryrobox. Hamilton adds, “This Gyrobox is great; the design is simple and efficient, a well-thought-out piece of equipment. It's replaced our old right-angle machine.”

Ahlstrom Div. Installs Supercalender
LA GERE, FRANCE—Ahlstrom LabelPack Div. has started up a new supercalender at its plant in France. This second supercalender is the first step in a structured program designed to boost production capacity.

The division produces two types of silicon base papers: Silca, a supercalendered paper, and Silco, a one-side-coated paper.
Supplier Information
Bobst Group Inc.
, Roseland, NJ; 973/226-8800; bobstgroup.com


Agreements
Ashland, Crestchem Agree on Distribution

BOONTON, NY, USA—Ashland Specialty Chemical Co. announces an agreement with Crestchem Ltd., based in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England, to distribute Drew Industrial specialty additive products in the U.K.

Product lines include: Drewplus foam controls agents; Drewfax specialty additives; Drewgard flash rust inhibitors; and Amerstat biocides.

R&D Agreement Will Promote mPP Development
HOUSTON, TX, USA—Basell and ExxonMobil Chemical have signed an R&D agreement to accelerate developments in metallocene PP technology. The agreement includes licensing of each company's mPP patents and know-how to each other that is essential to the accelerated development.

Under the agreement, Basell will license the developed mPP technology to all interested parties, including other PP process licensors that may obtain sub-licensing rights also. Basell and ExxonMobil will each separately manufacture, market, and sell mPP resins.

Basell president and CEO Volker Trautz says, “Basell's roots in metallocene technology development date back to a 1986 polypropylene metallocene project at Hoechst, a predecessor company. This agreement builds on that project, as well as years of metallocene technology R&D at our predecessor companies that led to the commercialization of our current metallocene PP products, Metocene…. We plan to apply our expertise, experience, and pilot plant assets to promote further commercialization of metallocene PP and related catalyst technology.”

BST to Sell Futec Line in Europe
HERTS, ENGLAND—Futec Europe Ltd., the European sub. of Futec Inc. of Japan, and BST Servo Technik GmbH of Germany have announced a distribution and agency agreement.

The agreement enables BST to market and sell Futec's range of 100% automatic print and surface inspection products in Europe. In the future BST also will provide service support for these systems.

Futec's line scan systems are complementary to BST's web control and web viewing technologies.


Industry Studies
FTA Poll Looks at Towel, Tissue, Napkin Niches

RONKONKOMA, NY, USA—Flexographic Technical Assn. (FTA) took what it describes as a “non-scientific” poll of its members engaged in the printing of towel, tissue, and napkin products. It found the typical plant employs 200 workers; utilizes 11 presses; runs more than 20 jobs daily; and consumes about 5,000 gallons of ink monthly. Average press runs involve 130,000 impressions.

Three-quarters of the sample audience said their operation embraces Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications and Tolerances (FIRST). That series of guidelines, developed under the auspices of the FTA working through a committee of flexo printers, serves as a foundation for ensuring delivery of consistent, reliable, high quality printed results, says FTA.

Towel, tissue, and napkin printers said demands for detail are constantly increasing, and all respondents agreed “printing on absorbent substrates really pushes the envelope.”

Other challenges cited by FTA members included the printing of fine screens and solids on tissue substrates.

One ink industry market analyst said, “Leaders in the paper towel and napkin market remain steadfast in their assessment that the industry will maintain an annual growth rate of 3 percent to 5 percent through 2005.”

Solid Waste, Recycling Update Offered
COLLEGE PARK, MD, USA—A 2002 update of “Solid Waste and Recycling in Latin America: Trends and Policies” is available. The 120-p. report updates the 1998 original and expands the coverage to 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries. Included are analyses of packaging growth, retail trends, and emerging solid waste problems, as well as more than 40 charts.

According to the report, more than six Latin American countries are actively pursuing new recycling policies that could impact exports of packaged goods.

For more information contact Raymond Communications; 301/345-4237; raymond.com.

Show News
Messe Frankfurt Announces Record Year

FRANKFURT, GERMANY—Show organizer Messe Frankfurt reported near the end of 2001 it expected to end the year with record revenues of (euro) 321 million.

According to Michael von Zitzewitz, chairman of the board of management, 2001 was an excellent year in more than just financial terms. He indicates 33,719 exhibitors participated in a total of 32 fairs and exhibitions at Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Ctr., adding that 2.1 million visitors attended these events.

In terms of foreign business, Messe Frankfurt debuted seven new fairs in Russia, Turkey, Egypt, India, Hong Kong, China, and Japan. The organization now holds fairs in 27 locations throughout the world.


Settlements
Polinas, Trespaphan Settle Patent Dispute

FORT LEE, NJ, USA—Polinas Plastic of America Inc. reports that Polinas Plastik A.S., Manisa, Turkey, and Trespaphan GmbH, Raunheim, Germany, have settled their U.K. patent dispute, with Polinas taking a license for Europe and the Americas under Trespaphan's gloss voided film patent.

Trespaphan's Dr. Grein says, “We are very pleased with the settlement reached and consider this to be a major step in building alliances to leverage Trespaphan's unique, innovative capabilities and at the same time ensure the supply chain to key customers.”

Polinas general manager, Mr. Buyukakinci, adds, “Polinas is pleased to have settled this matter and considers that the agreement will be commercially beneficial to both parties and to Polinas customers.”

Hang Tab Acts as Label for Bobby Pins
Goody Products collaborated with Do-It Corp. to develop a unique packaging solution for Goody's boxed bobby pins.

The Do-It PrinTab hang tab acts as both product label and hang tab. It wraps over the top of the magnetic Bobby Box bobby pin container and down the backside. The front side displays all key customer information in a three-color layout. The back side of the printed hang tab displays the product's bar code. At the top, a slot-shaped hang tab pops up to allow the Bobby Box to hang almost anywhere.

Designed to make the product more noticeable, the PrinTab is said to increase Goody's merchandising display opportunities and products brand awareness.

For more information contact Do-It Corp. at 616/637-1121; 800/426-4822; hangtab.com.



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