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Converting Industry News

Covering the Full Spectrum of Industry News, Events & Activities

Supplier News
New Technology Makes Short Runs Shimmer

A new combination of technologies offered by Decorated Paper, a div. of the Hazen Paper Co., is said to make short-run display materials appear to sparkle and shimmer.

When Mira-Jet, a transfer medium, is used to print full-color digital images onto Hazen’s Brilliance line of holographic and foil boards, the company says posters appear to be backlit, and POP displays appear to have motion.

Mira-Jet is a wide-format ink jet transfer medium that enables any full-color digital image to be laminated directly to coated stocks from Decorated Paper. The process has three steps: The image is printed in reverse on the Mira-Jet transfer medium using an ink jet printer; the image is placed face down on the foil or holographic board and passed through a heated laminator; the Mira-Jet carrier sheet is peeled away, and the image is permanently adhered to the boardstock.

Mira-Jet applies not only the image but adds an integral protective coating as well.
Supplier Information
Decorated Paper;
. hazen.com


Testing Flexo in Finland
RK Print Coat Instruments Ltd. has delivered a FlexiProof 100 sample preparation system to the Finland State Research Ctr. at Espoo, Finland, for research into flexography.

This is the second FlexiProof supplied for education and research purposes—a precision bench-top FlexiProof 100 is in operation at Zhongshan Univ. in Guangzhou, China.

The bench-top FlexiProof 100 is described as a precision, scaled-down version of a full-sized flexo production press that can be used for R&D, setting standard test procedures, and computer color matching. Applications include printing on paper, film, and foil and determining wear resistance, scratch resistance, flexibility, gloss, etc.
Suppier Information
RK Print Coat Instruments;
rkprint.com


FlexSol Adds Third Varex Line
FlexSol Packaging Corp., Pompano, FL, will install its third blown film extrusion line from Windmoeller & Hoelscher later this year at its facility in Nashville, TN, USA.

The first two lines, a three-layer and a five-layer, are expected to be in full production in this summer. One of the company’s existing extrusion lines also will be retrofitted with a W&H Filmatic T winder, specifically designed for the US market.
Supplier Information
Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corp.;
whcorp.com


Lidding Stock Innovation Debuts in North America
An innovative lidding stock, said to be ideal for microwavables and ovenables, has been introduced in North America by Baltimore, MD-based flexible packaging converter Mid-Atlantic Packaging Supply (MAPS).

The stock reportedly seals to all substrates popularly used for microwavable and dual-ovenable packaging applications, including APET, CPET, PVC, PE, PS, PP, and more. Until now, the company says, each packaging substrate typically has required its own special-purpose lidding stock. The new stock’s versatility means packagers can streamline or eliminate inventories of application-specific lidding stocks.
Supplier Information
Mid-Atlantic Packaging Supply Inc.;
maps-baltimore.com


Software to Aid Decision-Making Process
Portland, OR-based converter Bonita Pioneer has signed an agreement with CRC Information Systems to implement THE System, business management software for the graphic arts industry.

Bonita designs, manufactures, and markets specialty paper packaging products such as gift wrap, bags, and boxes. The company will implement a fully integrated software solution including THE System’s Folding Carton Estimating, Roll Inventory, and Credit & Collections modules.

"We’re looking forward to the flexibility of CRC’s open database platform," says Bonita’s IT manager Garth Walker. "Easily accessing our data as well as THE System’s countless reports will ultimately aid top management in making key decisions."
Supplier Information
CRC Information Systems;
crcinfosys.com


The Case for Thin Sleeves
In PFFC’s September 2003 Product Focus on sleeves, featured industry experts argued thicker sleeves were a better choice for today’s presses, offering better quality and production efficiencies. However, as Tom Bass, national flexographic product manager at Xymid LLC, explains, thin sleeves still continue to be a widely used, reliable option for today’s presses. And, Bass maintains, despite what some advocates of thick sleeves may argue, most thin sleeve products are not "cheap" and won’t degrade quickly.

"It’s a relatively low-cost alternative to thick sleeves. If reasonable care is taken with thin sleeves, [they’ll have a good life span]. I have customers that are running sleeves that are 20-thousandths of an inch thick and have run the same sleeves for five years. So the life cycle of a sleeve is not dependent upon the way it is manufactured."

Bass says converters can realize the benefits of using thin sleeves quickly if they have jobs that repeat. Also, the cost to incorporate thin sleeves is relatively low and mainly associated with slight modifications of existing print cylinders to accept the sleeves, as well as the cost of the thin sleeves themselves.

Bass also explains thin sleeves can reduce the delay in running print jobs due to capabilities in a converter’s mounting department. "Utilizing thin sleeves releases the mounter from demounting and remounting plates onto the print cylinder each time a job is run. The ‘bottleneck’ often experienced in the mounting department can be alleviated by keeping jobs mounted onto the thin sleeves, which some call plate carriers, rather than to remount the plates each time the job is run."

Innovations with bridge mandrels also make thin sleeves a viable print product. Bass does warn thin sleeve products may not be a good choice for jobs that aren’t going to repeat or will be very long runs. "A custom job that’s only going to run once, or perhaps very long runs where the plates are going to run out before the job is completed, typically would be applications not best suited for thin sleeves."

For more information, contact Xymid at xymid.com.


SMS Adds Competence Center
MEINERZHAGAN, GERMANY—Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering, part of the SMS Plastics Technology Group, will become the competence center and central production site for the Film and Sheet Technology Div. of SMS, in response to demand from international customers.

The company in Vienna will remain the sales and service center for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. The engineering and assembly facilities of SMS Folientechnik, Vienna, Austria, will transfer to Massachusetts.


RFID Packaging Solution
IMATRA, FINLAND—Stora Enso reports a packaging solution based on radio frequency identification (RFID) that the company says can improve logistics, product safety, and on-line control over the supply chain. Interactive features within the package enable trading partners to track and trace products throughout the supply chain automatically. The company will base the application on Stockway’s RFID software, Trackway, currently used on CD and DVD packaging.


Web Symposium a Success
ALZENAU, GERMANY—More than 80 people attended Applied Films’ 3rd Web Symposium. The company celebrated its 500th machine built and introduced developments in technology for vacuum web coating equipment.

Attendees were treated to presentations covering a wide range of topics and spent a half day at the production facilities viewing demonstrations of new product capabilities and technologies. As a special highlight, Karl Heinz-Wirth presented 50 years of Vacuum Web History within the company.



Acquisitions
Kodak Acquires Heidelberg Lines

ROCHESTER, NY, USA—Eastman Kodak Co. announces the acquisition of two lines of business from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG. Kodak will purchase Heidelberg’s 50% interest of their joint co., NexPress Solutions LLC, and the equity of Heidelberg Digital LLC, suppliers of digital color and black-and-white printing systems, respectively. Kodak also acquires NexPress GmbH, Heidelberg’s German subsidiary, and certain inventory and assets held by Heidelberg’s regional operations. Upon closing, Kodak plans to operate the NexPress and Heidelberg Digital subsidiaries as a combined business, under the leadership of Venkat Purushotham, president and CEO of NexPress. Kodak will locate the combined headquarters at Heidelberg Digital’s Manitou Rd. facilities in Rochester.



Industry Studies
Pharma Packaging in Demand

CLEVELAND, OH, USA—According to the Freedonia Group, world pharmaceutical packaging demand will increase 4.3% annually (including price increases) to $22.2 billion in 2007.

Freedonia reports nearly 80% of demand will come from the US, Japan, China, Germany, France, the UK, Italy, and Switzerland. Among these, China will generate the fastest growth, and the US will remain the largest consumer of pharmaceutical packaging. Western Europe will provide an especially strong regional market for blister packaging, which will generate the best worldwide growth with a 6.6% annual increase to $4.9 billion in 2007.

Plastic bottles will continue to account for a large share of world demand based on cost advantages and versatility, increasing 4.1% annually to $4.5 billion in 2007. Freedonia presents these and other trends in the study, World Pharmaceutical Packaging, which can be obtained for $5,100. For further details, contact Corinne Gangloff at 440/684-9600 or visit freedoniagroup.com.


CCTI Predicts Growth
ALEXANDRIA, VA, USA—After two years of significant declines in industry revenues, the forecast for the composite can, tube, and core industry will see continued growth into 2005.

CCTI’s Industry Marketing Report summarizes sales results within the US by end-use makers over the past ten years for the following categories: paper mill, converter, cloth and floor covering, film, metal, foil, strapping, household, tape and label cores; construction, mailing, and packaging tubes; concrete molds; and yarn carriers.

The report also includes growth rates and projected growth rates for the composite can, tube, and core industry, as well as for the volume of recycled paperboard for these manufacturers. These projections are based on sales dollars, trends, and tonnage as compared to the Gross Domestic Product and Industrial Production Indices.

The full report, complete with supporting charts, graphs, and data, is available from CCTI for $300 for association members and $600 for nonmembers. For more information contact CCTI at 703/823-7234 or visit cctiwdc.org.



Show News
P Is for Packaging

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY—Messe Stuttgart announces P, the new international trade fair for process-oriented packaging production, will be held for the first time June 15 - 18, 2005.

The objective of P is to show the entire packaging production process. The focal point of the trade fair is not the finished product but the processes for the production of packaging and packaging aids, also examining all related printing processes (flexographic, gravure, offset, silk-screen, and digital).

For more information contact Ms. Osmers at 212/974-8841 or visit p-messe.de.


CMM International 2005 Update
NEW YORK, NY, USA—Conlatingraf, the Latin American Printing Industries Confederation, will sponsor its first Latin American pavilion at CMM Intl., to be held at Chicago’s McCormick Place April 18–21, 2005. The pavilion will provide Latin American converting machinery and materials suppliers with the opportunity to reach thousands of converters from around the world, and it will also enable CMM participants to explore new importing and exporting ventures.

In addition, Conlatingraf, in cooperation with ABFlexo, a leading Brazilian flexo association, will host its first Flexo General Assembly at CMM. During this event, the leaders of six associations will meet to discuss future directions and initiatives. The other participating associations include ABIEA, ABIMAQ, ATM Flexo/FTA Mexico, and FTA USA.

In other news from CMM 2005, the Converting Equipment Mfrs. Assn., (CEMA), a div. of AIMCAL, will combine its biennial Coating and Laminating Seminar, traditionally held in conjunction with CMM, with the CEMA Slitting/Rewinding seminar April 17–18 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Chicago. The combined event is entitled the CEMA Solutions Seminars.

For more information contact Ronni Potosky at 212/268-4160 or visit cmmshow.com.



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