- August 27, 2002, PFFC Staff
The Early 1970s...
The retortable "wetpack," developed by Continental Can Co., "was used to contain the widely publicized turkey dinner eaten by the Apollo 8 crew on Christmas Eve, 1968, while circling the moon."
PFFC reports: "Co-extrusion of plastic films is being heralded as the next rich green pasture for converters."
Rising Material Price Parade Marches On: Kasier Aluminum, 70 cents per hwt. on register bond papers; Mead Paper, from $10 to $20 per ton (commercial business/fancy papers); C.H. Dexter, price hikes on most specialty nonwoven products; Mobil Chemical, polyethylene cost increased 5 percent; and Continental Can, Folding Carton Div., ups prices on all regular folding carton products from 5 to 7 percent.
Convert - 70 Trade Show, March 23 to 27. "The world's first paper, board, film, and foil converting machinery exposition is about to launch the seventies with a significant thrust. [The show] represents the first time converters will have an opportunity to view a wide variety of major converting machines in action."
PFFC sponsored seminar, "Converting Trends," to be held in conjunction with Convert - 70.
"Sausages Go Solo in Pouch-Packs," by DuPont, 2 mil PE provides greater convenience, sanitation, and freshness."
At Convert - 70, Black Clawson shows a high-speed extrusion and co-extrusion coating/laminating line, which "was the largest machine operating at [the show] and the FIRST equipment of this magnitude seen running at a US trade show in recent years."
"Aluminum in Packaging to Increase 68 Percent Between 1970 through 75. "More than 2 billion lb of aluminum will go into packaging products in 1975, [said] a long-range forecast by Paul Murphy, VP/GM of Reynolds Metals Packaging Div. <#201> Flexible packaging will require 150 MM lb. Aluminum's compatibility with other materials, such as plastic and paper, will be an important growth factor."
Faustel and Green Bay Packaging patented process report "Dry Bonding without Adhesives": "DRY Lamination… as applied in the manufacture of semi-rigid constructions (folding cartons, corrugated cartons) is being licensed in the US on a restricted non-exclusive basis." Faustel, Butler, WI, was licensed exclusively to engineer, design, construct, and install dry lamination equipment for sale to licensees of the process.
Folding Carton That Stands Test of Time -- McDonald's Hot Apple Pie: "A new carton designed to dispense individual portions of hot fried pie and related pastries is being hailed as an innovation for the franchised food industry." Carton was jointly developed by the Folding Carton Div. of Continental Can Co. and the Martin-Brower Corp.
Consumer Impact on Industry: "Now, a new wave of consumerism -- nurtured by politicians and crusaders -- is reinforcing the strength of consumers. ...The final, watered-down enactment of the fair packaging and labeling laws proved to be little more than size standardization and policing of unclear labeling for certain products. ...The next step could be an investigation of how much today's attractive, functional, and convenient package costs the consumer. Obviously the housewife will continue to demand packaging features she deems important, but a new cry for 'packaging value' might be sounded and converters should start listening."
Packaging That Stands Test of Time -- To-Go Pizza Carton: "A carton for hot pizza pies 'to go' has been designed by the Folding Carton Div. of Continental Can Co. for Shakey's Pizza Parlors. The carton marks the first commercial application of Conogard, a nonwicking grease-proof barrier method...."
Paper and Board Prices Keep Climbing. "St. Regis Paper Co. increases kraft paper , paperboard, and packaging product prices effective October 1. Cost of unbleached kraft linerboard for corrugated containers will go up $5 to $125 per ton; other converting papers, will go from $10 to $12 per ton. ..."
HDPE Film Makes Noise! Are You Listening? "It wouldn't be any fun if occasionally we did have the opportunity to say, 'I told you so.' Back in May, 1965, the following item appeared: 'WHAT THIS INDUSTRY NEEDS IS... A high impact plastic film having a linear warp and woof.' Today, five years later, [Van Leer Flexibles has developed Valeron film] and its impact strength and tear-resistance brings a new dimension to flexible packaging."
Ecology Symbol for Recycling: "[A symbol with three arrows indicating a cycle] is named the award-winning entry in Container Corp.'s national student contest for designing a symbol to promote interest in improving environmental quality and lessening solid waste pollution. Gary Anderson, an architecture student at USC received a $2500 tuition grant [for design]."
Standard Brand Chemical Co. develops a "breakthrough" in back seam gum for envelope industry. "Early in 1970, a breakthrough occurred with the development of a high-resin, low-dextrin emulsion adhesive. ...The newly conceived adhesive contrasts with conventional back seam gums that are low-resin, high-dextrin formulations. It is different -- so different it represents a true breakthrough in adhesives technology."
Industry continues to deal with mounting social pressures -- consumerism, ecological/pollution issues, labor/safety issues. But PFFC recognizes a major impact of the WOMAN: "One of the major players to emerge BOLDLY from the wings in 1970, and to end up vociferating stage front and center, appears to us -- in the spotlight of our industry -- an enigma. An enigma that seems as yet unfathomable as to whether, in our context, it will prove positive or negative. In a word: WOMAN. With the qualifier: HER LIBERATION."
Industry Environmental Awareness Grows: The Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC) institutes an ecology category in its annual carton competition.
Pressure-Sensitive Grows in 70: "The tag and label industry was not as severely afflicted by the 1970 economic decline as many other industries (in and out of converting); this despite affective factors, such at the GM strike. A main reason, too, is it's a substantial growth industry, one of its most promising areas of activity in pressure-sensitive labels, for which large new markets continue to open up and expand."
Bemis Co. developed drawcord PE "Dometop Re-Clos-It" bag for wild bird food. Co. said special bag design prevented the drawcord from ripping out.
The Promise of the "Rookie" -- Coextrusion: "In flexible packaging technology, there’s a relative rookie, coextrusion, that holds promise of being a real asset to many converting/packaging teams. ...A recent study predicts an annual growth rate of 40 percent for coextrusion prospects in flexible packaging over the next five years."
Carraro Co., Milan, Italy develops flexo/offset gravure combo press. "'Coroflex' system is a combination of flexography and rotogravure similar to offset. Printing is done by inscribed cylinder that transfers the ink to a rubber cylinder which in turn transfers the print to the bed."
Packaging That Stands Test of Time -- McDonald's Fry Carton: Paperboard Packaging Council's winner in annual PPC carton competition was developed by Diamond National Corp. "Scoop-shaped package for carry-out french fries is inventive, efficient solution to improve convenience for both food-service operator and consumer."
OSHA regulations become effective. OHSA was created via the Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (or the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, which passed in December 1970). "The Act was originated to provide protection in states which had inadequate safety regulations or were failing to enforce those they did have."
Bobst unveils stamping press. "Described as the first of its kind in size and versatility, the SP1260-BM large-size, automatic, hot-foil stamping press runs conventional web foils through stamping and embossing dies for applications of decorative foil to a wide variety of printing and packaging materials."
Container Deposit Passed: "Oregon approved last month a bill requiring a 5-cent deposit on all soft-drink and beer containers.... Washington State, for two years, has been considering similar measures. ...The implications, on packaging’s horizon, are foreboding. ..."
Society of Plastics Industry challenges constitutionality of packaging tax. "Plastic flex packs and paper packs escaped NYC’s ‘packaging tax’ when the 2-cent-per-item was levied on the sale of rigid and semi-rigid plastic containers, effective July 1. If the containers are manufactured. with a minimum of 30 percent recycled materials, the tax is only 1-cent. ...The tax is imposed on the sale of plastic containers within NYC. ...In any event, the SPI is challenging the constitutionality of the tax."
Waragainst Waste: Aluminum Assn. proposes recycling plant: "The detailed plan calls for a full-scale recycling plant which take in garbage at one end, transform or utilize all content, and put out saleable materials at the other end. The plan [was] designed to offer one practical solution to the growing national problem of solid wastes disposal."
Anaconda Aluminum is ordered to pay largest settlement ever in a sex discrimination case. "Nearly 300 women workers of Anaconda Aluminum Co. received [the $190,000 settlement] under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Until 1967, Anaconda’s collective bargaining agreement classified jobs as male and female, with female jobs generally paying less. In 1967, the classifications were changed to light and heavy work, but women were restricted to the lower-paying light category. In 1965, Anaconda laid off 175 women and 50 men. In July 1967, it began hiring new male employees for heavy jobs, rather than calling women who had seniority in the light category."
Ira Gottscho regrets. "Packaging Industry loses leader with death last month of Ira Gottscho, president of Adolph Gottscho, Inc., of Union, NJ. Brooklyn-born machinery expert was a director of PMMI (Packaging Machinery Mfrs. Institute) and chairman of its education committee, past chair of the Packaging Foundation’s board of trustees, a VP/director of the Packaging Institute, and chair of the advisory committee of the National Packaging Exposition. Mr. Gottscho was 57."
'"Unequivocally the largest, fastest, and most modern line of its kind in the world' is the way [Fasson describes] its newest Egan self-adhesive coating and laminating line. The 240-ft-long line, able to handle an 80-in. web at speeds to 500 fpm, went on stream with the opening of the 86,000-sq-ft plant in June, which functions as the eastern mfg. headquarters of Fasson Div. of Avery Products Corp."
Packaging Hall of Fame Instituted by the Packaging Education Foundation. The first five members to be inducted: A.I. Totten, Jr., Reynolds Research Corp.; F. Greenwall, National Starch and Chemical; R.L. Putnam, Package Machinery Co.; J.P. Lewis, Owens-Illinois; and I.J. Collins, Anchor Hocking Corp."
F.L. Smithe Machine Co. Inc. acquired all the assets of the Automation Machinery Co., formerly in Lake Bluff, IL. "The entire operation is being transferred to the Smithe plant in Duncansville, PA. The Automation line consists of paper converting equipment for punching and printing envelopes, cups, inserts, and similar products."
IDEA 71, the first International Disposables Expo and Assembly was an "acknowledged success."
Convert - 72 is shifted to 1973. "Postponement of the converting machinery exposition, originally scheduled for March 20 thru 24 in Chicago, is due to a reversal of exhibit plans by a number of foreign firms. Cancellations of space came after President Nixon's August 15 announcement [which included a 90-day wage-price freeze, simulative tax cuts, a temporary 10 percent tariff, and spending cuts].
In "Microwax Rides Again," PFFC reports on Thilmany's "environmentally friendly" microwax. "Many laminators are shunning exotic combining agents in favor of that old workhorse microwax because of ecological pressures. Microwax offers substantial ecology benefits: It is biodegradable, land-fillable, incinerable, and -- most important -- repulpable."
New printing technique for corrugated, "transfer offset," is in late stage of development. "[This process] is borrowed and adapted from web printing equipment used with plastic films. The transfer offset system has the same advantages of flexo in that the inks dry instantly. But the great advantage of transfer offset is precise register."
PFFC reports PackExpo, held in November 1971, had record-breaking attendance.
Steadily rising material cost increases puts converters out of business. "Thirteen corrugated box plants closed their doors in 1971 due to rising costs and severe competition. ...This is the first time in the industry's 100-year history that converting operations have been closed for purely economic reasons."
Polyester adhesive is developed, which has implications for food packaging. "Within the past five to six years, the demand for polyester in flexible packaging has spiraled upward, increasing more than 30 percent. Moreover, forecasts indicate this trend will continue well into the 70s. ...As is the case with most composites, the effectiveness of these products depends laminating adhesive performance. New highly specialized adhesives had to be found that provide satisfactory adhesion to the films. Research has come up with linear, fully saturated, polyester-based adhesives that appear to meet requirements."
Dow Chemical launches coextrusion licensing program. "Nonexclusive licenses to practice the 'feed block' method of coextruding multilayered film and sheet are available. Johnson Plastics Machinery Div. of Leesona Corp. is the first machinery builder to be licensed."
Envelopes to Go Standard. "Standardization of envelope size is one of the cost-cutting objectives of US Postal Service to help achieve self-supporting status, [said USPS]. Abetted by close cooperation from the paper industry, especially the envelope manufacturers, 'Our basic approach," said PG Elmer T. Klassen, 'has been to determine the extent to which our automation requirements will require standardization. We expect to set a definite policy [in 1973.]'"
UV ink development for gravure. "According to ... Sun Graphics Systems, the ultraviolet cured ink process is approaching commercial reality in lithography, and will thence be directed toward gravure."
Curable Inks for Flexo? In "Radiation-Cured Inks: Are They in the Future for Flexography?", PFFC reports: "Those areas in which ultimate performance takes precedence over cost will be the first candidate for UV inks. Packages which will undergo sterilization or exposure to extreme heat will justify the added expense of radiation inks. Many materials which could not be packaged in printed containers because of lack of available product resistant inks will appear in UV printed packages."
Converters Fighting Crime? "Police Need Your Help -- NYC police have requested our assistance in locating the manufacturer, distributor, or importer of a particular PE bag, which was found at the scene of a recent crime. Last March, the slain body of a 33-year-old woman was found in a vacant lot in Queens, NY. She had been strangled and stabbed, and a plastic bag had been stuffed in her mouth. The bag was a white opaque PE bag, 1 mil thick, 23 7/8 x 20 7/8 in. with a 5/8-in. lip at the top. It was seamed on both sides, and the bag lacked any markings or identification. Because of the bag's somewhat unusual dimensions, the police hope it might provide them with some lead. They have requested, therefore, that anyone having any information concerning such a bag's manufacture, distribution, or import please contact [NYC police.]"
Blown PE Film Extrusion Session for the "First Time." -- "TAPPI will host [at its Paper Synthetics Conference, October 1972] a full technical session for the first time on blown PE film extrusion."
New development in extrusion coating technology -- first polyester resin for extrusion coating by Eastman Chemical Products. "Eastman has developed new polyterephthalate resins (polyester) that are suitable for extrusion coating on conventional PE machines<#209>utilizing the same screw and dame die as would be used with polyethylene. The Tenite S2137-15AP resins have been coated onto Kraft paper, paperboard, and aluminum foil."
Converters report good profit margins for first half of 1972: "Package Products Inc., Charlotte, NC, indicates a 195 percent increase in earnings for its April thru June 72 quarter, compared to the previous quarter. Bemis Co. announced its second quarter 72 operating income, a 60 percent increase over the 71 period, was a record for any quarter in its 114-year history. Ludlow reports an 18 percent increase in sales and 46 percent increase in earnings per share. Kimberly-Clark is up 52 percent for first six months. Stone Container reports 64 percent improvement earnings. And American Can reported record second quarter sales, up 11.3 percent from the April thru June period of 1971."
Dow Chemical introduces new window film for envelopes that takes care of converters' desire for better clarity and dimensional stability: DWF 6001 biaxially oriented polypropylene.
"Child-Resistant Blister Pack -- A child-resistant, unit-dose blister package that meets the standards of the Poison Prevention Packaging Act is said to be achieved in Paco Packaging's Safety Pack. It claims to be the first blister package to be tested under the PPPA Protocol successfully. Surpassing the 85 percent effectiveness required, tests of the new package resulted in 97 percent adult effectiveness and an overall 96 percent child effectiveness."
OSHA Awareness: PFFC reports on importance of converters' attention to, and compliance with, OSHA. "OSHA is big and all encompassing. Every converting plant is vulnerable to inspection, citation, and penalty. In the first 13 months of OSHA's existence, approximately 35,000 inspections resulted in 25,000 citations."
Photodegradable Bags -- "Amerplast Oy, Finland, will be one of first companies to make photodegradable bag film based on the technology developed by Prof. Gerald Scott of Aston University, U.K. The company will call the material 'Ecoten.' Bag will be produced on a schedule to degrade in about six months from their being exposed to sunlight. Cost, says Amerplast, will be some 3 percent more than a conventional product."
UPC Code Challenge: "Unbelievable speed to implement a Universal Product Code (UPC) for every packaged product...has created a whirlwind of converter concerns. Primary problem is the code's precision printing -- on every food and non-food package -- in order for an optical scanner to correctly identify the item.... A target date of March 30 has been chosen for the selection of a uniform symbol to be used."
Lord Baltimore succeeds at UV folding-carton printing. "Foil and plastics surfaces can be printed more effectively than carton stock. Some problems do remain, however, company officials say, particularly in high-gloss varnish and coating areas."
"Color It BIG, BRIGHT, BOLD!" PFFC reports on handle-bag market, plastic shopping bags "those colorful, practical, promotional carry-alls." Bags were estimated, at the time, at 11.5 million in Western Europe by Ampacet Corp.’s David Weil. He reports: "Plastic shopping bags Represent enormous potential market for US film converters and extruders."
George Kneeland, St. Regis Paper Co. CEO, predicted a "major shortage of paper and board in the 1973<#208>76 period." According to Kneeland, it would cost approximately $4 billion to add sufficient capacity to operate efficiently -- or approximately 92 to 93 percent of capacity by 1976. "This is in addition to the $3 billion the industry must spend for pollution abatement during the same period," he added. "Kneeland is confident the paper industry, recently termed ‘an analyst’s dream but an investor’s nightmare,’ by an important paper industry critic, is ready to turn the whole thing around," reports PFFC.
Bemis forms a new film div., "which comprises the co.’s plastic packaging plants in [four states.]" 3M reorganizes its tape and allied products group into four operation divisions: Packaging Systems; Industrial Specialties; Industrial Tape; and Commercial Tape.
European FTA Born: PFFC's Converting in Europecolumnist, Richard Wood, reported the European version of the US-based Flexographic Technical Assn. "officially was launched when 100 delegates attended an inaugural meeting in London [earlier this year.]"
Milprint won WPO award: "Co. won Consumer Container Category of the World Star Awards, sponsored by the World Packaging Organization (WPO). The award, the only one given to a US converter, was presented in Tokyo, Japan."
AIMCAL Born! "Coating & Laminating Added to Metallizing -- The Vacuum Metallizers Assn. has voted to change its name and expand membership to include the flexible coating industry. The new name is: Association of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters, and Laminators."
Flexographic Technical Assn. (FTA) Best in Show 74: Crown Zellerbach won for five-color PE side weld snack bag.
AMA Show Demise--Interpack Rise? In his Core of the Matter column, "Show Biz -- AMA vs. Interpack," Perino reacted to packaging shows: "Last month, thousands of packaging people packed their bags and went off to the ‘shows.’ Those who traveled to Chicago for the annual AMA exposition were highly disappointed--even embittered--with the dismal production that AMA presented this year. Those that packed overseas bags and went to Dusseldorf for Interpack 73...were pleased, fascinated, even a bit overwhelmed."
Avery Grows! Fasson div. of Avery Products reported breaking ground on an expansion of its industrial manufacturing facility in Painesville, OH. "The $2.5 million program will double the size of the plant when it’s completed in September this year."
The Numbers Are In! Interpack 73 was a record-breaker, "the largest yet packaging show."
Pressure Sensitive Label Converting Coverage: In his editorial, Bob Heitzman wrote: "At the upcoming [Pack Expo 73 in October] R. Stanton Avery will be honored as ‘Packaging Man of Year,’ the fourth so honored by the Packaging Education Foundation since 1970. With this special emphasis issue, PFFC salutes the p-s label converting industry and Mr. Avery for his pioneering efforts and continued contributions to the growth of pressure sensitives."
W&D Opened in US: "Winkler and Dunnebier will sell [directly to US and Canada through its subsidiary] W&D Machinery, Co., Inc., Overland Park, KS."
PFFC publisher, Peacock Business Press, bought Modern Converter. "September was MC’s final issue, but its influence will linger on. We’ve begun to incorporate MC into PFFC to improve our magazine editorially, circulation-wise, and in advertising effectiveness," writes publisher Vern Scott.
Polytype commissioned its first hot-melt installation in Japan for production of pressure-sensitive label material and p-s plastic tape for packaging.
Rigney at Editorial Helm -- Peter Rigney, who joined staff in March 1970 as an associate editor, replaced Robert Heitzman. Vern Prescott, publisher wrote: "If pedigrees mean anything, Rigney owns a dandy. His business press experience spans 13 years...." Rigney also held positions at Commerce Clearing House, American Bar Assn., and Cahners Publishing Co. Heitzman moved on to become the editor of Packaging Digest and editorial director of Delta Communications.
Pack Expo Positive Spin: "Two records were set last month at the PMMI Pack Expo 73 -- most exhibitors and most exhibition space. ... Attendance, however, was down to [15,000, 2,500 less than last year’s expo in Chicago.]"
UV for the Energy Conscious 70s: "UV Printing System by Continental Can Co., Inc. brought home Corporate Award from the Packaging Institute’s Atlantic City forum. The system was designed to eliminate airborne pollutants normally associated with standard printing inks and thermal drying methods....Through the elimination of gas-fired ovens and pollution-control systems, the new system can conserve up to 85 percent present energy requirements."
Energy Conservation Programs Begin: "Energy crisis alternatives have been recommended by several government and industry resources. ... So far, firms have been urged to undertake specific conservation projects that could mean as much as 20 percent reduction of energy use," reports PFFC.