Converting Industry News

Covering the Full Spectrum of Industry News, Events & Activities

In the February 2003 issue on p. 29, the photo accompanying the Elite Cameron item “Center Winder Offers Modular Benefits” was of a differential shaft, not the center winder described in the text. We apologize for the error.

In the February 2003 “Coating & Laminating Special Report” we failed to credit Black Clawson Converting Machinery for supplying the cover photo. PFFC regrets the error.

In “Die-Cutting: Never a Dull Moment” (PFFC Product Focus, January 2003, p76), traditional rotary die-cutting speeds were misstated. Lyle Archer, president, Chicago Cutting Die Co., reports his statement should have been: “you can get 800 to 900 feet per minute” rather than “8,000 to 9,000 feet per minute….”

Industry Expert Continues to Inform in New Book
BOCA RATON, FL — William Hawkins, who authored the “Web Solutions” column in PFFC for four years until his retirement in December 2001, has published a new book entitled The Plastic Film and Foil Web Handling Guide.

Publisher CRC Press reports the book was “written to assist anyone who works with webs directly or indirectly.” Topics include roller alignment; web tensioning; slitters; edge trim removal; static charges; and many more. CRC says the book also addresses winding technology; gauge variation; cores and mandrels; speed and vibration; web thickness and strength; and more. All topics are offered in a style that is easy to read and understand, CRC adds.

For more information contact CRC Press at 800/272-7737, ext. 2565;

Industry Studies
Foodservice Packaging Study Predicts Growth
FALLS CHURCH, VA, USA—The Foodservice & Packaging Inst. Inc. (FPI) has published and released to its members the biannual “Market Research Study on Foodservice Packaging Products.”

Researchers interviewed 1,100 commercial foodservice operators, 500 noncommercial foodservice operators, and 200 distributors.

More than one-third of all operators surveyed said they expect their foodservice packaging purchases to increase in the next year, on average by 12.3%. Only 3.1% of operators said they expect their purchases to decrease, on average of 11.8%. This means a net increase — or growth — in expected foodservice packaging purchases next year of 4%. The FPI says this expectation is supported, and even exceeded, by interviews with 200 foodservice distributors.

For more information contact FPI at 703/538-2800; mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Digital Prepress Cost Study
PARAMUS, NJ, USA—The National Assn. for Printing Leadership (NAPL) has released the 2002 edition of Budgeted Hourly Cost Studies on Digital Prepress Operations.

The study details hourly cost rates, specs, and prices for almost 250 prepress devices in 18 different equipment categories. A new software section is included.

NAPL corporate members receive one free copy by mail; individual members may purchase it for $149.95 and nonmembers for $199.95. For information contact NAPL at 800/642-6275;

MPC Sells Pepperell
LAWRENCE, MA, USA—The MPC Group, a global manufacturer of specialty papers and converted products, reports the sale of the assets of Pepperell Paper Co., Pepperell, MA, to SummitBridge Global Investments LLC of Denver, CO. The Pepperell mill closed in July 2002. Terms were not disclosed.

Software Carton Gets a Facelift
Cadmus Whitehall, Charlotte, NC, took the shelf appeal of MeadWestvaco's Forte solid-fiber board and created a new look for Data Viz's Conversion Plus data-conversion software applications.

“The trend is toward smaller and smaller cartons, so retailers can offer more merchandise in less square footage,” says Tom McRae, marketing manager at Cadmus Whitehall. “Yet today's savvy technology buyers want cartons that provide greater amounts of information, so they can verify that the product will do what they want, with the hardware they have.”

Looking for a substrate to satisfy both its strength and esthetic requirements, the company turned to Forte, a 36-pt, solid-fiber board from MeadWestvaco Corp.'s Package Resources Group. The board combines a bright-white coating facing stock with a kraft board.

Forte's facing stock is said to deliver superior reproduction without washboarding, helping the Data Viz box stand out on the retail shelf and giving the product a high quality image. And with compression strength equal to or greater than F, G, and N mini-flute board, Forte was strong enough to handle the album-style design, the co. reports, adding the board can withstand the rigors of retail distribution without the need for additional packaging components.

Cadmus Whitehall says the esthetic difference in the Conversion Plus packaging was apparent immediately. “We used Forte with a UV coating, and it turned out to be brighter than what we had been using,” McRae says. “The package looked much better, especially on the retail shelf. The graphics really popped, which is important when the cartons keep reducing in size.”

Adds Data Viz's Chris Stenz, “One of the reasons we really like Forte is that it presents a higher quality image compared to our competition. The package really sticks in the consumer's mind.”
Supplier Information
, Stamford, CT; 203/602-4400;

Enercon Donation Helps FVTC Students Study Treating
MENOMONEE FALLS, WI, USA—Students at Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) not only have a new PCMC Avanti press on which to hone their skills, they also can learn about the benefits of corona treating, thanks to a Universal corona treater and Compak 2000 power supply from Enercon Industries.

The treater is said to be capable of treating nonconductive and conductive substrates, allowing FVTC to run a wide range of paper, film, foil, and metallized film materials.

Notes FVTC's Steve Utschig, “…it takes only one or two rejected jobs or quality issues to justify the cost of a treater. Whether I had a water- or solvent-based press operation, I'd have a corona treater on it.”

FiberMark Plans Include Buying and Selling
BRATTLEBORO, VT, USA—FiberMark Inc. has reached an agreement with Ahlstrom Corp., Helsinki, Finland, to both purchase and sell certain businesses and technology.

FiberMark will acquire approximately $1.9 million in annual vacuum bag filter media sales, all associated with US customers. The company will sell its Germany-based nonwoven table covering material business, representing about $1.8 million in annual sales, and its North American industrial filter media business, with annual sales of approximately $4.8 million. FiberMark also will sell $0.4 million in equipment.

Says chairman and CEO Alex Kwader, “This agreement allows us to maintain and strengthen our strategic vacuum filter media business worldwide, divest noncore product lines, and free up much needed European capacity gains to meet growing market demands.”

MeadWestvaco Adds WBS to Its Core Business

STAMFORD, CT, USA—MeadWestvaco Corp. is closing its Westvaco Brand Security (WBS) business and merging the wholly owned subsidiary's brand-protection services into the company's core packaging business.

The company says it has determined WBS's services can be provided more efficiently and effectively through existing corporate channels, rather than as a stand-alone business model. He adds, “…MeadWestvaco will continue to offer its customers a range of highly effective services to combat product counterfeiting, division, duplication, substitution, tampering, warranty fraud, and other manners of brand theft.”

Success with W&H Press Brings Mohawk Back for More
Mohawk Northern Plastics recently installed a second Windmoeller & Hoelscher Novoflex flexographic press in its Auburn, WA, production facility. The new press, a 52-in., ten-color model, is W&H's newest gearless direct drive press.

Mohawk designs and manufactures flexible packaging products for the fresh and frozen food industries. The company reports its decision to purchase a ten-color press was dictated by its customers' demands for increased color options and superior color quality.

The converter's experience with its first W&H press, a 41-in., eight-color unit, strongly influenced the purchase of the second. When Mohawk plant manager Rich Shaw and his team were asked to select Mohawk's first ten-color press, Shaw says, “The primary consideration in the decision-making process…was the eight-color W&H press we put in service two years ago. The delivery, installation, and startup went precisely according to plan, and the performance has exceeded expectations. Mohawk's high level of confidence in the quality and service provided by W&H is confirmed daily.”

Mohawk president Dan McFarland agrees: “W&H did not let us down. From delivery to production startup, the ten-color project surpassed plan and budget.”
Supplier Information
Windmoeller & Hoelscher
, Lincoln, RI; 401/333-2770; 800/854-8702;

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