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Converting Industry News

Covering the Full Spectrum of Industry News, Events & Activities

Name Change
Latran Technologies Emerges As Independent

BEDFORD, MA, USA—Polaroid Graphics Imaging has a new name: Latran Technologies LLC. The name change, reports the company, underscores Latran's status as an independent company and erases the last link to the Polaroid name.

The company supplies proofing systems to industry segments including packaging, card manufacturing, security printing, tradeshops, and more. Its new name is derived from the words “laser ablation transfer,” the advanced patented technology employed in the company's digital halftone proofing systems to transfer pigmented printing inks by directly imaging or transferring to actual printing stocks.


Investments
K-C Australia Adds Tissue Plant

DALLAS, TX — Kimberly-Clark Australia's global parent company, Kimberly-Clark Corp., has approved an investment of approximately US$110 million to build a new tissue plant in South Australia.

The plant features KCC proprietary Thru-Air Dried technology that will enable South Australia to produce world-class toilet tissue and paper towel products, according to K-C Australia's CEO Wayne Jones.


New Pouchmaking Machines Join Rexam Operation
Rexam Healthcare Flexibles reports the installation of two new, proprietary pouch machines in a newly constructed “white” room dedicated to pouchmaking in its Mundelein, IL, facility.

According to Mike Oberkirch, marketing director for pouches, “These investments address trends in industry requirements for reduced contamination, smaller order sizes, quicker lead times, and lower costs.”

The 6th-generation machines have been developed within Rexam using state-of-the-art process control and designed for quick changeovers. “The investment will result in a 25% capacity increase in pouchmaking in our Mundelein facility, says VP of manufacturing Tom Haney, “and provide greater efficiencies for manufacturing both large and small order sizes.”


Launches
Flint Ink Spins Off New Ink Jet Supplier

ANN ARBOR, MI, USA—Flint Ink Corp. has created Jetrion LLC, a new global company headquartered in Ann Arbor that will provide a full range of industrial ink jet products, services, and custom printing solutions.

The company reports this launch represents a multimillion-dollar commitment and will result in a tripling of current dedicated digital staff in 2003.

“We have assembled an unparalleled senior management team with exceptional technical expertise and a dedication to innovation,” reports Ken Stack, former VP/general manager of Flint Ink's Digital Div. and now president of the new company. “This team is committed to helping OEM manufacturers, printers, and converters gain a competitive advantage through digital technology.”


Folder/Gluer Goes Beyond Expectations
Schreiber Specialties, Sussex, WI, recently installed a Bobst Media 110-III A-2 folder/gluer to offer its customers more, according to John Becker, Schreiber president.

“The versatility and speed of the Media folder/gluer has helped with our folding carton jobs. We're producing lots of lock-bottom and four-corner boxes. And we're now able to produce specialized items for food packaging, as well as fancy pocket folders and double CD holders.”

Says Becker, “One of the main reasons I chose Bobst was their phenomenal technical support. They are literally just a phone call away.”

“The Media is performing very well, even beyond our expectations,” he adds.

Supplier Information
Bobst Group Inc.
, Roseland, NJ; 973/226-8000; bobstgroup.com


Acquisitions
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen Acquires Jagenberg Folding Carton Business

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY—Jagenberg AG, Neuss, has sold its folding carton production to Heidelberg-based Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG as of January 1, 2003.

Included in the deal are Jagenberg Diana GmbH, Neuss; Woschnik + Partner Maschinenbau GmbH, Mönchengladbach; plus Jagenberg Slovensko spol. s.ro, Slovakia.

This Jagenberg unit develops and manufactures sheet die-cutting machines and folding carton gluers for converting carton and corrugated boardstock.

Bostik Findley Adds Jonbond Line
MILWAUKEE, WI, USA—Bostik Findley Inc. has acquired the Jonbond Emulsion Pressure Sensitive Adhesives product line from Johnson Polymer (the Chemical Div. of S.C. Johnson).

The transaction was a natural fit, says Bostik Findley's sales and marketing manager, Peter Kopanon. “The Jonbond product line complements and strengthens our product portfolio and is a result of our ongoing growth initiatives….”

UCB Integrates Solutia Group to Form New Business
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM —The UCB Group reports its acquisition of the Resins, Additives, and Adhesives activity of Solutia Inc., headquartered in St. Louis, MO, was closed January 31, following the clearing of the transaction by the relevant competition authorities. UCB is acquiring the activity for US$500 million, in addition to a US$10 million exclusivity fee.

UCB will integrate the new business into its Chemicals and Films businesses, forming a new business called Surface Specialties. The integration, reports UCB, will create a strong global player in resins for industrial and specialty coatings, graphic arts, and adhesives, focused on environmentally friendly technologies.

Preco Adds LMI and Its Technology
LENEXA, KS, USA—Preco Industries has acquired Laser Machining Inc. (LMI), Somerset, WI, a manufacturer of high-power laser systems. LMI now will be designated Preco Laser Systems and will complement Preco's development and sales of low-power laser systems and operate as an independent organization with immediate accessibility to Preco's sales and distribution channels. Preco currently has equipment in 31 foreign countries.

Explains Preco Industries chairman Jack Pierson, “We see the laser systems market as a growth opportunity. With the acquisition…LMI becomes a major ingredient in our growth strategy and plans for technological expansion.”

BBA Adds Spunbond Company
SIMPSONVILLE, SC, USA—BBA Nonwovens has acquired the assets of Superior Nonwovens, Gray Court, SC, a mfr. of spunbonded polyester nonwovens.

As part of the acquisition, BBA Nonwovens acquired a 3.2-m-wide spunbond line designed to produce both point-bond and area-bond spunbond polyester products.


Industry Studies
Print Buying Goes Global, Study Indicates

ALEXANDRIA, VA, USA—The Graphic Arts Marketing Information Service (GAMIS), a special-interest group of the Printing Industries of America, has published a study entitled the Globalization of Print Buying.

The study, which focuses on multinational print buyers with operations in the US and/or Canada, was completed by Raine Consulting exclusively for GAMIS members.

There is a trend toward globalization of print buying, the study reveals: 44% of major print buyers surveyed think there is a trend toward purchasing print globally within their company. Secondary research confirmed this trend, and the impact on printers and the print supply chain is expected to emerge within the next two years. For this study, globalization of print buying is defined as “a shift in the buying process of specifying, committing to, producing, and distributing print that migrates from a local, regional, or national model to a worldwide or global model.”

For information contact GAMIS at 703/519-8179 or visit gamis.org.


Education
PrintED Program Is Revised

RESTON, VA, USA—The Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation (GAERF) has completed a total revision of the competencies that form the basis for instruction in PrintED, a national accreditation program for graphic communications at the secondary and post-secondary levels.

GAERF also has started the process of developing a national exit exam for students in PrintED classes to accommodate its adoption as a state-mandated program.

For more information contact GAERF at 703/264-7200 or visit on-line at npes.org/gaerf/home.htm.


Joint Ventures
Agreement to Develop Oral Care Packaging

DE SOTO, KS, USA—Huhtamaki Americas reports a joint venture agreement with Dixie Toga of Sõo Paolo, Brazil, to develop and market laminate web packaging for oral care products.

Huhtamaki executive VP Mark Staton says his company is the only supplier of tube laminates for Dixie Toga, Brazil's largest producer of oral care packaging. He says Dixie Toga “brings extensive knowledge of the Brazilian and Latin American marketplace. Joining that knowledge with our leading-edge technology will create a dynamically competitive, technically superior mix of oral care packaging within one of the most modern and efficient plants in the world.”


Agreements
InteliCoat to Fill Coating Needs for Ferrania

SOUTH HADLEY, MA, USA—InteliCoat Technologies, Electronic and Engineered Films Div., has signed an agreement to supply Ferrania Imaging Technologies 100% of its base coating needs for its Advanced Photo Systems photographic product. InteliCoat reports the agreement is the beginning of long-term cooperation between the two companies, which is expected to grow as they identify and undertake other cooperative efforts.

InteliCoat also reports it has begun streamlining North American operations in response to a slow economy and a glut in coating capacity. Over the next six months, production at the company's Spartanburg, SC, plant will be phased out and assumed by other InteliCoat coating facilities. The transition is scheduled to be completed by the end of April.


Supplier News
Smurfit-Stone to Concentrate on North America

CHICAGO, IL, USA—Smurfit-Stone has signed a letter of intent with Jefferson Smurfit Group (JS Group), formerly Smurfit-Stone's largest shareholder, under which Smurfit-Stone will exchange its European packaging operations and receive JS Group's 50% ownership in Smurfit-MBI, a Canadian packaging business, and a payment from JS Group of approximately US$190 million. The move, says president and CEO Patrick J. Moore, is designed to further the company's strategy of focusing on North America.

Smurfit-Stone currently owns 50% of Smurfit-MBI. When the transactions are completed, it will own 100% of Smurfit-MBI and will end its manufacturing presence in Europe. As a result, Smurfit-Stone will reclassify the European packaging operations as discontinued and record a loss on disposition of $40 million, or $0.16/share, in 2002. The loss results solely from a provision for taxes on the dispositions.

In other news from Smurfit-Stone Corp., the company reports it will discontinue operations at its St. Paul, MN, folding carton plant after careful review of the plant's operations, available capacity within the company's Consumer Packaging division, and current economic market conditions. Additional factors in the decision included operating costs and strategic fit.

Operations will be consolidated with other Smurfit-Stone folding carton facilities within the division.

Körber PaperLink NA Hosts Sheeting/Packaging Event
KOHLER, WI, USA—Despite frigid weather, Körber PaperLink NA held a successful two-day sheeting and packaging symposium February 25-26 at the American Club in Kohler for 70+ industry professionals and the trade press.

The program included a series of workshops for cut-size sheeting, cut-size packaging, and folio-size sheeting and packaging staffed by equipment experts of Körber PaperLink companies located in North America, Europe, and South America. Topics included troubleshooting, the company's Technical Improvement Programs (TIPs), as well as product innovations and new designs. A plant tour of the Pemco manufacturing facility in Sheboygan, WI, provided opportunities for live equipment demonstrations in a state-of-the-art showroom.

On the final day of the event, Martin Weickenmeier, Körber PaperLink GmbH president and CEO, announced to the trade press the company's plan to form a new packaging division through the merger of Casmatic, Wrapmatic, and Innopack, all in Bologna, Italy. The result is a strengthening of its packaging activities for the international paper, tissue, and absorbent hygiene market under one name — KPL Packaging S.p.A. U.S.-based Pemco, manufacturer of cut-size wrapping and cartonizing technology, will continue its activities as the key North American manufacturing location for Körber PaperLink's packaging activities. Körber companies include E.C.H. Will, Kugler-Womako, Pemco, Fabio Perini, and the future KPL Packaging. Packaging machines and technologies will continue using the names of Wrapmatic, Casmatic, and Pemco.

PCMC Hosts Evolutionary Open House
GREEN BAY, WI, USA—On February 18-19, Paper Converting Machine Co. (PCMC) opened its doors to introduce customers and the trade media to two of its presses. On center stage was the new in-line Evolution servo-driven, multi-substrate flexo press that operates as a converting system.

The new press facilitates just-in-time runs with reduced cycle times and fast changeovers, incorporating CI cylinder technology with the precision of servo controls for repeatability. With a short footprint, the press features modular-designed color stations mounted horizontally to maximize deck stiffness in 18-, 22-, and 26-in. web widths. A reduced web path, by 109 ft, and servo gearless design are said to save money on material waste. An optional eXtreme dryer is available for press speeds above 550 fpm (to 750 fpm) or other drying challenges.

This Evolution press model featured a range of accessory equipment and consumables, including BST Promark video inspection, a Pillar corona treater, a Fife pivot drive, Hurletron microdot system, Harper anilox rolls, Graphic Solutions Opaltone seven-color process printing system, and Sun Chemical inks.

A second staging area displayed the X-10 tag and label press with improved 10-in. cantilevered wide web design to offer increased web width, increased repeat range, improved registration, and increased print quality, says PCMC. The company reports the 10-in. press, which replaces the Webtron 750 product line, has the shortest web path to reduce waste. Improved features include a redesigned drive arrangement to eliminate wind-up tolerances; and an impression adjustment mechanism said to eliminate concentricity tolerancing problems.

Polytype Converting Division Now a Separate Entity
FRIBOURG, SWITZERLAND—Polytype Ltd. Switzerland is establishing a separate company for its converting machinery division, to be called Polytype Converting Ltd. (PCF). The new entity also will be located in Fribourg.

Access to manufacturing facilities and to the general infrastructure will not be affected. Polytype Converting Ltd. will concentrate on the development of converting machinery products and associated equipment, including assembly, turnkey installation, and after-sales services. The existing pilot lines, which now offer 50 different coating methods, will be modernized and equipped with the latest hot melt application techniques, the company reports.

During 2003 parent company WIFAG will create separate companies for the current Polytype divisions, which will be combined under the umbrella of Polytype Holding.


Technology
Two Companies Set to Beta Test JDF Workflow

WESTMONT, IL, USA— MAN Roland and Printcafe Software Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, have scheduled the first beta testing of their joint efforts to develop an open-architecture JDF workflow.

At last fall's Graph Expo the companies demonstrated their “Closed Loop, Open Systems.” Says Christian Gugler, product manager for PECOM Workflow Integration at MAN Roland's sheet-fed division, “Our objective is to make it easier for our customers to implement integrated workflows. This involves intensifying cooperation among the manufacturers as well as carrying out extensive beta tests in the working world. We want to make sure CIM performs flawlessly under real operating conditions.”

The interface shown at Graph Expo was a bi-directional link, providing a two-way street for data flow. JDF files from the Printcafe system were transferred to the Roland 500 press working the show, supplying job parameters and presetting color. At the same time, the press's PECOM system reported on its progress to Printcafe via JMF (Job Messaging Format) files.



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