PLGA Offers Many Views of World of Gravure

CLEARWATER BEACH, FL, USA—In these tough economic times, it's always nice to hear good news. At its annual meeting held February 27-28 at the Adam's Mark Hotel in Clearwater Beach, the Packaging & Label Gravure Assn. (PLGA), headquartered in New Madison, OH, reported an increase in membership from 51 to 71 in one year and an increase in award entries from 49 to 71.

This year's meeting, which drew 121 attendees, offered a combination of technical information, business strategies, and practical tips.

The first session, dealing with on-line auctions, was entitled “The Good, The Bad, and Possibly The Ugly.” As the title indicates, it was a balanced presentation. Terry Westerhaug of Smyth Cos. discussed four different experiences with on-line auctions, each with a different result. Her conclusions on how to survive the experience: Educate yourself on the various auction companies and what they offer; ask a lot of questions; look for missing information; take a measured amount of risk; know when to say no; determine bottom line; and maintain profitability. John Brown of Smurfit Stone Container addressed the issue from the purchasing side, explaining the process can reduce process cycle time and eliminate inefficiencies from the process. Steve Bennett of Bemis Flexible Packaging Group told the group a personal relationship is important to him; an “e-relationship” alone is not enough. One conclusion from the panel: About 50% of incumbents keep the business after an e-auction, but the profit margin is down, so the process tends to favor the buyer.

Other sessions covered operational efficiency; lightweight polymer and hybrid sleeves; the print-buying decision from the point of view of end-users Philip Morris and Campbell Soup; and a report on a cost-comparison study of gravure versus flexo. This last session will be offered again at CMM International in April.

A highlight of the meeting was the presentation of Quality Awards (see sidebar for winners). Technical Achievement Awards were presented for the first time in three categories. Honors went to Max Daetwyler Corp. for the Ultralife doctor blade in the Press category; Stork Rotaform for its gravure sleeve in the Prepress category; and Sun Chemical Corp. for DPL 502 ink in the Production Materials category. A Lifetime Achievement Award, which could go to a printer or supplier, will be added.

The next PLGA event is the Fall Technical Conference, which will be held in San Antonio October 15-17. For more information contact PLGA at 937/996-0328 or visit

PLGA Quality Award Winners for 2002
Category: Bags and Best of Show
Entry: Planters Peanut Butter Bites

Category: Topcoated Carton
Winner: Alcan Packaging
Entry: Kent Super Lights

Category: Laminated Carton
Winner: Smurfit-Stone
Entry: Tide

Category: Special Structure Carton
Winner: Smurfit-Stone
Entry: Adidas

Category: Film/Film Flexible Package-Process
Winner: Printpack
Entry: Perugina Biscotti

Category: Film/Film Flexible Package-Line
Winner: Diversapack
Entry: Clinique

Category: Foil/Film Flexible Package
Winner: Printpack
Entry: Berlotti Meals

Category: Paper/Film Flexible Package
Winner: WRICO Pkg. Div.
Entry: Wrigley Spearmint

Category: Full/Paper Flexible Package
Winner: Catty Corp.
Entry: Klondike

Category: Pouches
Winner: Nordenia USA
Entry: Advance Brand Steak Fingers

Category: Sleeves Reverse Printed
Winner: Gilbreth
Entry: Berry Young Juice

Category: Sleeves More Than 13% Shrink
Winner: Fort Dearborn Co.
Entry: Ragu Rich Meaty Sauce

Category: Non-PSA Topcoated Paper Label
Winner: NorthStar Print Group
Entry: Leinenkugel's Amber Light

Category: Non-PSA Surface Printed Label
Winner: NorthStar Print Group
Entry: Coor's Original

Category: Non-PSA Reverse Printed Label
Winner: Diversapack
Entry: Aquafina

Category: In-Mold/Label — Paper
Winner: NorthStar Print Group
Entry: Mr. Clean

Category: In-Mold Label — Film
Winner: NorthStar Print Group
Entry: Syntec Synthetic Motor Oil

Category: Heat Transfer Label
Winner: DI-NA-CAL
Entry: Lysol Sanitary Wipers

Category: Cut and Stack Glue-Applied Label
Winner: Package Service Co. LLC
Entry: Ken's Stack House

Category: Paper Coupons, Premiums, and Booklets
Winner: NorthStar Print Group
Entry: Mobile Drive Clean

Category: Film Coupons, Premiums, and Booklets
Winner: Sonoco
Entry: Celebrating Lottery

Category: Prime PSA Film Label
Winner: Package Service Co. LLC
Entry: Fabuloso Fresca

Category: Prime PSA Laminate Label
Winner: Avery Dennison, Sec. Printing Div.
Entry: Duracell Ultra Tester

Category: Stamps
Winner: American Packaging
Entry: Long Leaf/Pine Forest

Category: Security Printing
Winner: Scientific Games Intl.
Entry: Coming Up Roses

Category: Functional Printing
Winner: Avery Dennison, Dec. Tech. Div.
Entry: Vitro Crisa Candle

Category: Specialty Effects
Winner: SleeveCo. Inc.
Entry: Penzoil Quaker State

Category: Printer Technical Achievement
Winner: SleeveCo Inc.
Entry: Black Magic Wheel Cleaner

Category: Use of Nonsolvent Ink
Winner: Smurfit-Stone, Santa Clara, CA
Entry: Adidas

Category: Specialty Converting
Winner: Nordenia USA
Entry: Friskies Flexbox

Category: Process Innovation
Winner: Avery Dennison, Sec. Printing Div.
Entry: Duracell Ultra Tester

Category: Materials Innovation
Winner: Nordenia USA
Entry: Nordenia Flexbox

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