Hit the Apex at CMM

There's something about a trade show that gets me all fired up. Although I admit that over the years I've also been known to say, “Not another one!” No matter which camp you fall into, this year's edition of CMM — now in its 17th staging and having won recognition over the course of 32 years — is dropping the hammer from the starting line and driving away as the first US converting trade show of the new year. My gut tells me prospective attendees would be foolhardy not to show up. Here's why.

Let's say you have influence over the purchasing process of new equipment, materials, accessories, or services. While many are choosing to orchestrate their win by doing an economy run, playing it safe can result in a flat spot on your tires…in racing speak, when a driver locks up his/her brakes, exposure to one area of a tire will cause excessive wear and a flat spot to develop, ultimately leading to a tire stop. Not a good way to win a race.

So if you've developed a flat spot, get some fresh rubber and be your own flagman. Control your own race, folks!

While I can't speak for any exhibitors, know this: In order to get a deal, you first have to approach a supplier and ask for one. My guess is, such as so many other durable goods manufacturers are experiencing in this recession, they are willing to make deals that make good sense. How can “shopping” hurt? Figure out your angle of attack, adjust the spoiler on your vehicle, and hit the apex. Go for it!

And while you're at the show, experience the conference program. Thirteen sessions will be conducted by CMM, including more than 25 presentations. Two additional technical programs will be featured during the show. Maxcess University Conference Week will co-locate at CMM, addressing subjects from winding to tension, web alignment to slitting, and principles and techniques to improve web handling operations. Two pre-conference workshops, led by instructor and PFFC columnist Timothy J. Walker, are titled: “A Practical Guide to the Ideal Laminator” and “A Practical Guide to Understanding Wrinkle Defects and Their Remedies.” Tim's first workshop will cover tensioning, nipping, compliant rollers, wrinkling, and post-lamination handling. In his second workshop, Tim will focus on waste generated from wrinkles and creases and how to prevent them.

And be sure to park yourself in Room 7 at the session I'll be moderating on folding cartons on Wednesday, June 3, at 11:00 A.M.-12:30 P.M. Mark Andy's Michael Pfaff will address “Folding Cartons: Offset or Flexo?” Bobst guru Christopher Raney will examine “Folding Cartons: The Gravure Approach with Emphasis on Mid-Web.” And Heidelberg's sage expert Jörg Dähnhardt will scrutinize “Folding Cartons: The Offset Approach for Packaging.” But there are many more sessions you should check out on p28 to help you stay on track for 2009, including a State of the Converting Community Panel on which editors from the leading converting-related trade publications, including myself, will discuss the challenges and issues confronting converters and suppliers alike.

Both conference and exhibition registration fees are discounted if paid by May 4, so don't stall and save some cash. Visit www.cmmshow.com for details. A list of exhibitors with a show floor plan are included in this issue, starting on p30. Once you're at the show, be sure to look for PFFC's Pocket Guide for a handy and simple map to navigate the show floor and the surrounding Rosemont and Chicagoland area, including places to eat and visit while you're enjoying your stay here.

Like many, I'll never forget my first kiss…nor my first CMM. (Okay, I'm weird!) CMM3 was held in the fall of 1981 in Atlantic City, NJ, at the very same convention center where the Miss America pageants were held. I was pregnant with my first child, and when I tried to enter the conference room I was told: Standing room only and there's no more room. I was turned away!

Don't concede a first-place position in this important race to the finish line. Be a winner.

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What do you recall about your first CMM? Write to me at yolanda.simonsis@penton.com.


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