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Converting Industry News

Covering the Full Spectrum of Industry News, Events & Activities

Schiavi Press Impresses Danish Converter
Danapak Flexibles, Horsens, Denmark, did its homework when selecting a new flexo press. After comparison shopping, the flexible packaging converter chose an eight-color, gearless Sigma flexo press from Schiavi.

Plant manager Carsten Pederson, explains, “We chose to invest in a Schiavi Sigma press for a number of reasons. …the short job changeover and the integrated washing system are important factors to optimize our production. Also, I found the press very attractive price-wise. From my point of view, we will get a high quality machine for less money compared to other alternatives.”

The 1,250-mm-wide press uses sleeves for both the anilox rollers and plate cylinders. It is fitted with an on-board washing system and can handle a wide range of substrates.
Supplier Information
Schiavi SpA (a member of the Bobst Group of cos.)
, Piacenza, Italy; +39 (0) 523 493 1 (in the US: Bobst Group, Roseland, NJ; 888/226-8800); bobstgroup.com



It's a Pouch, It's a Puppet!
Raisin-loving kids now can enjoy their favorite snack in a shaped, stand-up pouch multipack that turns into a hand puppet, the result of a cooperative effort between converter Clifton Packaging and fruit snack expert Whitworths.

The pouch has a resealable zipper and contains six 30-g pillow packs of Sunny Raisin Nuggets, raisins with chocolate-, yogurt-, or fruit-flavored coatings. Printed in seven colors, the polyester/PE pouches can be turned in a hand puppet when parents cut along the bottom.

Says David Smith, head of marketing for Whitworths, “The shaped pouch is an example of genuine innovation not only in product development and packaging but in promotional activity and in our tremendous partnership with Clifton.” The product is on sale in various stores throughout the UK.



Supplier News
Sun Chemical Starts Demo Line

CARLSTADT, NJ, USA—Sun Chemical Co. recently opened a demonstration site at its Daniel J. Carlick Technical Center that features a Ko-Pack 400-F CID flexo press, an Energy Science EZCure EB curing unit, and Sun Chemical's WetFlex process. That process uses the UniQure ink system of energy-curable inks, which cure instantaneously after the printed image is exposed to the EB installed in-line after the CI cylinder.

Speakers at the December 4 demonstration, which was attended by PFFC, included representatives of each supplier company, who described how each component was critical to the ultimate development of the line.

The facility is configured to demonstrate how these technologies can be combined to produce cutting-edge flexible packaging products, reported Mike McGovern, Sun Chemical's director of energy-curable inks and coatings sales and marketing. Until this technology was introduced, both inter-station dryers and overhead ovens had been required in order to dry flexo inks adequately, McGovern noted.

McGovern stressed it is the ability of the inks to trap over printed inks while wet that makes the system unique. This can be done independently of color laydown sequence and without inter-station drying or curing during production of multicolor printing jobs on non-absorbent substrates.

The six-color, 15-in. Ko-Pack 400-F is designed for non-p-s applications, such as wraparound labels, shrinkable sleeves, and stretch labels for beverage bottling.



Acquisitions
X-Rite Adds Monaco

GRANDVILLE, MI, USA—X-Rite has acquired the assets of Massachusetts-based Monaco Systems. The $10.6 million asset purchase includes the entire Monaco line of color management products, all intellectual property, and operating assets. This was X-Rite's third acquisition in 2003. Previous moves included acquiring the ColoRx product line and related assets from Thermo Electron Corp. and the ccDot meter product line of London-based Centurfax.



Association News
FPI Council Holds First Meeting

FALLS CHURCH, VA, USA—The Foodservice Packaging Standards Council, a special operating group of the Foodservice & Packaging Inst., conducted its inaugural meeting in Chicago this past fall.

The 15 members reviewed more than a dozen foodservice packaging standards and tests developed by the institute and various materials organizations over the past 30 years. It also reviewed Good Manufacturing Practices from the Food and Drug Administration and environmental terms and characteristics from US government agencies, and it discussed terms and definitions for foodservice packaging products used in microwave ovens.


RFID Questions Are Answered
PITTSBURG, PA, USA—AIM reports the RFID Privacy Work Group has published RFID FAQs, Not Fiction, a primer that addresses commonly asked questions and misconceptions about Radio Frequency Identification, its applications, and recent privacy questions.

The Privacy Work Group was formed last June to create resources to help the business and consumer communities understand RFID and how it can be used. One of the concerns often voiced is whether “live” RFID tags could be used to track a consumer's movements and transmit personal information to unwanted recipients. This is addressed in the new publication, which can be accessed at aimglobal.org/technologies/rfid/rfid_faqs.asp.


PLGA Presents Tech Program
NEW MADISON, OH, USA—“Technology That Reduces Cost” was the theme when the Packaging and Label Gravure Association (PLGA) welcomed 103 attendees to its second annual technical program October 16 and 17 at the Adam's Mark Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio, TX.

Five panels addressed Prepress Operations: Reduced Waste and Press Downtime; Investing in the Latest Prepress Technology; Press Room Operations: Bench Marking and Reducing Setup and Run Waste; Investing in Press Room Technology; and Production Materials and Substrates. In addition, suppliers presented new products at a tabletop exhibit.

Executive director Bill Klein says post-conference feedback was nearly unanimous in praising the panel discussions for providing valuable information.

The next PLGA event will be the seventh annual conference, “Co-opetition” (cooperating with the competition), to be held Feb. 18-20, 2004, in Jacksonsville, FL. For more information contact PLGA at 937/996-0328 or visit plga.com.



Show News
Drupa Promises Special Events

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY — Drupa 2004, the print media trade fair, is on the horizon. Scheduled for May 6-19 at the Düsseldorf Fairgrounds, the giant show will offer a number of special events along with an anticipated 1,800 exhibitors.

The ancillary program will comprise “edutainment” events such as the Innovations Arena (a mixture of show and know-how); special exhibits for software and hardware; special presentations on the latest printing and media issues; and highlight tours through various specialized exhibition categories. In addition, the German Printing and Media Industries Federation will host several “Compass Sessions.”

According to show organizer Messe Düsseldorf, mega trends expected to be in evidence include digital workflow and the development of “all-in” solutions, i.e., complete solutions at individual stands.

For more information contact Düsseldorf North America at 312/781-5185 or visit mdna.com.



Contracts
Pliant Contracts with Army

SCHAUMBURG, IL, USA—Pliant Corp. has been awarded a $3.8 million defense contract to continue developing soft packaging materials for the US Army. The company's Chippewa Falls, WI, plant will develop and produce flexible packaging for rechargeable and primary throwaway batteries.

Greg Gard, Pliant's senior VP of technology, explains the Army continues to be interested in low-cost, high-energy, reduced-weight batteries for use in man-portable communication equipment and advanced soldier systems. The research contract will utilize the technology developed in previous contracts surrounding soft packaging materials and focus on producing finished batteries and packaging for evaluations and field tests.



Materials
Report on European Foil

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY — The European Aluminum Foil Association (EAFA) reports deliveries of foil for Q3 2003 dropped compared with the same period last year. However, the results were second only to the record 2002 Q3 figures. Total sales for Q3 2003 were 4.5% lower at 202,000 tons.

Despite this slowing, says EAFA, the year-to-date figures show deliveries have been sustained at a level 2% above last year's all-time high. EAFA members' order books indicate the total 2003 tonnage is likely to match the 2002 record results closely.

The association adds that improving technology and equipment have led to downgauging — using less aluminum without loss of performance — and this masks real growth, which is impossible to measure but always will be greater than tonnages show. In this enhanced context, the long-term tonnage growth rate over the past several years has been about 4%.



Environmental News
Wind Power a “Green” Solution

COHOES, NY, USA—Mohawk Paper Mills has begun purchasing non-polluting wind power. New wind turbines, says the company, are the fastest-growing and most cost-effective renewable energy technology, producing electricity with zero fuel and zero pollution.

The wind turbine power being used translates into 4 million kilowatt hours of pollution-free power, enough to make 12,000 tons of paper production. Mohawk purchases wind energy from Community Energy, who says this commitment will help remove more than 6.1 million lb of carbon dioxide from the air, equal to taking more than 300 cars off the road each year.


SPI Input Seen in EPA Ruling
WASHINGTON, DC, USA—A recent ruling by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the Miscellaneous Metal Parts and Products (MMP) Maximum Achievable Control Technology Emission Standard (MACT), which incorporated input from The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), drew praise from SPI.

Says SPI spokesperson Allen Weidman, “We are gratified the EPA responded to our concerns regarding extreme-performance fluoropolymer [EPFP] coatings and believe the resulting rule will help our industry meet all regulatory requirements.”

SPI says the EPFP industry comprises mostly small coating businesses, and so most job shop coaters are not required under the Clean Air Act to install emission control devices. SPI convinced EPA not to subject EPFP coatings to the more stringent HAP emission limits proposed for more ubiquitous general-use coatings. EPFP coatings now must comply with a 12.4 lb HAP/gal coating solids limit versus the 1.6 lb HAP/gal limit originally proposed.



 

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