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Converting Industry News

Covering the Full Spectrum of Industry News, Events & Activities

Acquisitions
Rohm & Haas Adds Flexible Packaging Adhesives Co.
PHILADELPHIA, PA, USA—Rohm and Haas Co. reports the acquisition of the flexible packaging adhesives business of Technical Coatings Co., a sub. of Benjamin Moore & Co. of New Jersey. The transaction price was not disclosed.

Technical Coatings' flexible packaging adhesives business includes the development, production, and distribution of a full line of cold seal adhesives, marketed under the Coseal trademark. The primary application of such adhesives is in flexible packaging, mainly in food and medical markets.

“This bolt-on acquisition…is a critical addition to our portfolio, in line with our goal to be a total solutions provider to packaging converters,” says Nick Gutwein, VP and global business director of the Adhesives and Sealants Business.

Rohm and Haas will provide production, development, and technical support for Coseal products from Rohm and Haas facilities, including the Midwest Technical Center in Woodstock, IL, and a premier adhesives manufacturing site in Ringwood, IL.

Financial Investor Acquires Two Klöckner Companies
GORDONSVILLE, VA, USA —Klöckner Pentaplast of America Inc. and Klöckner Pentaplast GmbH (Montabaur, Germany) announced that Cinven has signed a contract to acquire the companies from Klöckner-Werke AG (Duisburg, Germany).

Cinven is one of Europe's leading financial investors. The purchase price is p925 million ($827 million US). The sale is subject to approval by anti-trust authorities, the Klöckner-Werke supervisory board, and Klöckner-Werke shareholders.

The management of the Klöckner Pentaplast group will remain in place and reportedly will continue to pursue its aggressive growth and investment strategy. No employee layoffs will occur, according to the co.

American Roller Becomes Part of CM Acquisitions
BANNOCKBURN, IL, USA —American Roller Co. has been acquired by CM Acquisitions LLC, Chicago, IL. The sale was effective at the close of business Dec. 28, 2001. Other terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We're investing in American Roller because we feel there is potential for high return,” notes Chuck Tasch, principal in CM Acquisitions. “The company is a technology leader in the roller industry, and we intend to build on that.”


Agreements
Kidder Part of Comexi
AGAWAM, MA, USA —Kidder Inc. reports it has joined the Comexi Group, an international supplier of flexo presses, solventless laminators, slitters, and an array of ancillary equipment. Kidder will continue to service its markets, providing custom press solutions to paper, film, and paperboard converters, plus RADB systems and retrofits.

Integrated marketing, sales, manufacturing, parts, and service by Comexi and Kidder reportedly will provide unsurpassed long-term domestic support and product management to the North American market for both companies' products.

Kidder's Agawam headquarters will provide all sales, service, and spare parts for Comexi and Kidder products in the US and Canada.


Openings
New Tech Center to Help Valmet Build Partnerships
Following a successful period of growth and the launch of several new products over the past two years, Valmet Converting will launch a Converting Technology Center (CTC) at Valmet Rotomec SpA, in San Giorgio Monferrato, near Milan in northern Italy. The CTC will be dedicated to the development of converting processes specifically for flexible packaging materials. Covering an area of about 2,000 m2 (20,000 sq ft) and adjoining the existing production facility at Valmet Rotomec, the CTC will open in mid-March this year and have its official inauguration in May.

The new facility will help build important “partnership” relationships with Valmet's customer base, explains Ilkka Kesola, president of Valmet Rotomec SpA. “The CTC will be a ‘center of excellence’ and a significant research and development facility for improving customers' converting processes.”

The acquisition of the U.K.-based Atlas Converting Equipment Group of Cos. in 1997 substantially increased Valmet's reach of business in the converting sector. This included Atlas and Titan slitter/rewinders for paper, film, foil, and laminates; General vacuum web coating and metallizing machinery; and Midi slitters and separators for aluminum foil.

Says Kesola, “This [CTC] will eventually lead us to become even more deeply involved in production processes in the future. In the last three or four years, we have seen the number of customers getting smaller as a direct result of mergers, takeovers, and general consolidation of the flexible packaging industry. Our strategy is in direct response to these changes and trends in Valmet's core markets. This has recently been reflected in a number of agreements to provide process technology to major players in flexible packaging and is a step in that direction. The trend looks set to continue.”

The CTC will house a fully operational Rotomec 4000-2 ES gravure printing press with Rotomec electronic shaft (ES) technology. The press will have a 1,200-mm web width and run at a maximum speed of 400 mpm (1,300 fpm) for BOPP, PET, and LDPE films, paper, and laminates.

The Rotomec EG 400-1 flexo press features electronic gear technology, with 1,300-mm-wide web width, sleeve-type printing decks, duplex winders, and 350- to 800-mm printing repeats. It will run at speeds to 300 mpm (1,000 fpm) with 20 min maximum required for an eight-color job changeover. The flexo press will run both solvent- and water-based inks.

A Rotomec SL/SB 700 combined coating/laminating machine for solventless adhesives and cold seal coating offers a 1,200-mm (47-in.) web width. It will run at 300 mpm (1,300 fpm) for PET, BOPP, PVC, PE, paper, and aluminum. Most development work will focus on lamination of adhesive coatings. Cold seal coating will be possible in-register on preprinted materials.

The center includes a Titan SR7 slitter/rewinder running to 1,600-mm (64-in.) web width at a maximum 600 mpm (2,000 fpm). The slitter features a separate shaftless unwind stand, splicing table, automatic knife positioning, and laser beam core positioning system. It will have TFT touch-screen computer control, Siemens S7 PLC and Windows NT software, and the Titan “Quickshaft” differential rewind system.

The CTC, which also offers a materials-testing laboratory and a pilot line, will be the first of two such facilities. The second will be at the Valmet General plant in Heywood, near Manchester in the U.K., which produces vacuum web coating and metallizing machinery for paper and plastic film. These materials are destined not only for flexible packaging but also for the decorative and speciality markets in electronics, optical, and security applications.

For more information contact Ilkka Kesola or Giovanni Caprioglio at Valmet Rotomec SpA, San Giorgio M. (AL), Italy; +39 0142 4071; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Also valmetconverting.com.


Mergers
Mead, Westvaco to Merge as Equals
DAYTON, OH, USA —The Mead Corp. and Westvaco Corp., Stamford, CT, report they have agreed to a merger of equals, creating a global company with leading positions in packaging, coated and specialty papers, consumer and office products, and specialty chemicals. The enterprise value of the combined organization is in excess of $10 billion.

The new company, which will be designated MeadWestvaco Corp., reportedly will have $8 billion in annual revenues; profitable growth platforms in the company's four core businesses; and a strong balance sheet with substantial financial capacity.

Jerry Tatar, Mead's chairman, president, and CEO, will serve as chairman of the combined company; John A. Luke Jr., chairman and CEO of Westvaco, will serve as CEO and president. The board of directors of MeadWestvaco will consist of equal representation from Mead and Westvaco. The combined company will employ more than 32,000 people on six continents and will be headquartered in Stamford. The coated papers and consumer and office products businesses, plus significant corporate staff, will be located in Dayton.


Awards
Golden Mummy, Pyramid Winners Announced
MACEDON, NY, USA—Pack Expo Las Vegas was the setting for the presentation of the 2001 Golden Mummy and Pyramid Awards, give by ExxonMobil Chemical's Films Business. The Golden Mummy Award (started in 1986) recognizes excellence in innovation, appearance, and performance of flexible packaging that makes use of at least one ExxonMobil film. The Pyramid Award (added in 1994) honors innovative design and use of ExxonMobil's Label-Lyte film in labeling applications.

Following are the 2001 Golden Mummy Award winners:

  • Gillette and converter American Packaging for the Gillette Venus Shaving System (lidding membrane) using Hicor THD-2.
  • Adams div. of Pfizer and converters Pechiney and Nordenia USA for Body Smarts Creamy Fruit Chews packaged in Oppalyte MU 842.
  • Colgate Palmolive and converter Grafo Regia for Palmolive Vitamins Soap Bar packaging using Bicor 70 MLT laminated to acrylic-coated Bicor 420 HS.

Following are the 2001 Pyramid Awards winners:

  • Miller Brewing Co., converter Northstar Print Group, adhesive coater Avery Dennison, and bottler Owens Brockway, for Miller Genuine Draft and Miller Genuine Draft Light labels using Label-Lyte 534.
  • Kraft Foods Inc. with converter Sonoco Flexible Packaging for labeling Kool-Aid Country Time and Tang Powdered Drink Mixes with a shrink lamination of Label-Lyte ROSO white and clear film.
  • The Clorox Co. and converter Hammer Lithograph Corp. for Clorox Bleach product labeled with Label-Lyte LS cut-and-stack film.

For more information contact ExxonMobil, Films Business, 315/966-1084; oppfilms.com.


Industry Studies
Forecasting Flexo, Nonwovens, and Tissue Paper Markets
CHICAGO, IL, USA—Three new reports detail three segments of the converting industry.

Flexography — The Flexographic Technical Assn. reports North America's 6,000+ flexographic printing establishments will produce in excess of $85 billion of printed work in 2002. FTA predicts growth of the flexo printing industry will outpace the performance of the Gross National Product, coming in between 4% and 5%, compared to slightly less than the 2% improvement expected in GNP. The flexo printing business now controls 74% of the North American package printing market.

Advancements in digital prepress and substrate technology are raising quality and moving jobs to flexo from other printing processes, says FTA president Mark Cisternino. He adds, “Forecasts within the food packaging and pharmaceutical marketplace continue to show strong growth expectations…. Ongoing developments in flexible packaging substrates and converting application technology have contributed to the healthy market gains of the past few years and will continue to do so in 2002.”

For more information contact FTA at 631/737-6020; flexography.org. (Also see pffc-online.com for more.)

Nonwovens
A new study explains demand for nonwoven roll goods in the US will increase 4.5%/yr to $4.6 billion in 2005. Markets will be driven by ongoing product innovation and improvement, increased penetration of nonwovens into additional components of products such as baby diapers, and a large number of new wiping product introductions. Below-average growth is seen in disposable medical products and smaller nondisposables.

PP is the most widely used fiber in nonwoven production and is also the fastest growing material due to its dominance in rapidly advancing nonwovens such as spunbonded and meltblown nonwovens.

The entire study is available for $3,700 from The Freedonia Group, 440/684-9600; freedoniagroup.com.

Tissue
A 400-p. study, “Tissue Business Global Outlook up to 2010,” reports the value of the global tissue paper business is US $30 billion, which equals more than 20 million tons of tissue paper. North America and Europe account for more than 60% of the consumption.

World tissue paper demand is forecast to grow by 3.2%/annum to 2010 and reach 28.3 million tons by 2010. Growth prospects are best in China and other parts of Asia. Eastern European markets also are expected to grow at above average rates during the next decade.

For more information contact Jaakko Pöry Consulting, +358 9 894 71; fax: +358 9 878 2482.

NAPL Issues Information
PARAMUST, NJ, USA—The National Association for Printing Leadership has published its first State of the Industry Report. The book offers data on current economic trends for members of the printing industry. The price is $49 for NAPL members and $249 for nonmembers. For information contact NAPL at 201/634-9600.

Supplier News
BST Pro Mark Supports Clemson
ELMHURST, IL, USA—BST Pro Mark has donated a video web inspection system to Clemson University, Clemson, SC, for installation on the school's Comco press. A HandyScan system donated by BST Pro Mark in 1992 has been replaced with a newer-generation Powerscope system.

Notes BST VP of marketing John Thome, “We have supported the flexo program at Clemson for over ten years, and continue to do so. Clemson consistently produces award-winning printing, and we are proud to play a contributing role.”

Day Creates a New Business Group
DAYTON, OH, USA—Day International Inc. has announced the creation of the Image Transfer Group. The new business umbrella will operate globally to provide greater value to the pressroom customer through an integrated and diverse offering of pressroom products and services, the co. reports.

The Image Transfer Group comprises three divisions: Transfer Media Div./dayGraphica; Flexographic Products Div./Rotec; and Chemical Products Div./Varn.

Day Intl. has made several strategic acquisitions over the past several years to enable it to create the new business, including Varn Intl. (pressroom chemistry); Rotec GmbH (flexo sleeves and accessories); Custom Solutions (fountain solutions); and the David M Co. (offset printing blankets).

IP Consolidates Bleached Board Line
MEMPHIS, TN, USA—International Paper has consolidated its full array of bleached board products under a trio of major brand names. The move reportedly help customers make the right product choice and simplify the ordering process.

Two of the brands, Everest and Starcote, are familiar names to bleached board customers, IP reports. A new name, Fortress, covers all the company's barrier boards including one- or two-sided PE, PET, and grease-resistant coatings. It is available as premium folding carton, cupstock, liquid packaging, and aseptic board.

Harper Will Distribute New Seven-Color Technology
CHARLOTTE, NC, USA—Global anilox roll supplier Harper Corp. of America has joined with Opaltone, Sydney, Australia, to provide a new color process to the flexographic industry. The two companies signed an “Agreement in Principle” confirming Harper as the sole distributor of Opaltone for all printing industries within the western hemisphere, focusing on flexography for the first 12 months.

Opaltone is a Seven-Color Process workflow with a complete support infrastructure. The process reportedly was developed to increase printing quality for all printing industries by enhancing the current four-color CMYK process with red, green, and blue.

Cyprus Converter Adds Omet Press
An Omet Multifilm printing press has been installed at the Elefteriades plant in Cyprus. John Elefteriades chose the 620-mm-wide web press because of its versatility. He reports the Multifilm can print HDPE, LDPE, and BOPP films, as well as paper and folding cartons to 12 microns thick. It handles short and long runs of applications from flexible packaging to labels to folding cartons.
Supplier Information
Omet Srl
, Lecco, Italy; +39 0 341-367513; omet.it


Purchases
New Company Buys IP Flex-Pack Business
SPARTANBURG, SC, USA—Exopack, a newly formed company sponsored by the Sterling Group L.P., Houston, TX, has completed the purchase of the Flexible Packaging business from International Paper. Exopack will be headquartered in Spartanburg.

Included in the purchase is a network of nine manufacturing facilities located across the US producing both multiwall paper and plastic flexible packaging. The headquarters also will include administrative offices, a technical facility, and a graphics prepress operation.


Education
Internet Course to Offer Packaging Basics
EAST LANSING, MI, USA—“Packaging 101” is an on-line course offered by Michigan State University that reportedly will provide a solid foundation in all the basics, including packaging materials; product handling and distribution; regulatory issues; and effective package design. Industry-specific packaging issues also will be explored. The course will be taught entirely over the Internet by faculty from MSU's (Michigan State University) School of Packaging. Academic credit is available. For more information call Ronald Iwaszkiewicz at 517/432-5179.



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