Converting Industry News

Covering the Full Spectrum of Industry News, Events & Activities

Supplier News
X-Rite Opens China Headquarters

SHANGHAI, CHINA—X-Rite opened its new China headquarters in Shanghai, equipped with what it says is the first full-service center of its kind in Asia. The facility will provide its China customers with color measurement and management solutions.

“X-Rite's expertise is in providing solutions for customers who need to measure and manage the unique aspects of color, light, and shape in their workflow,” says president Michael C. Ferrera. “Our…headquarters in Shanghai will be a flagship to bring these solutions to key industry sectors in China, to assist our China customers in producing better quality products for export and domestic use.”

Foam Tape Slitter Suited for Large Diameters
The first ALS 700 NTA automatic roll slitter has been delivered to a major foam converter based in Scandinavia. The slitter has a capacity of 700 mm dia, is 2.1 mm wide, and was developed by ALS for slitting long-length rolls of foam tapes.

ALS reports slitting at diameters of 700 mm requires a blade in excess of 800 mm dia, weighing approximately 30 kilos. In order to change the blades, ALS developed a loading device it says was essential for the safe handling of large, heavy blades.

The model also features Sibtec cutting control; automatic greasing; powered grinder adjustment; and totally enclosed guarding with pneumatic cylinders operating the lifting guard.
Supplier Information
ALS Ltd.
Northants, England; +44 (0) 1933 225 755;

Two Ink Companies Become One

PINE BLUFF, AR, USA—The Packaging Ink Co. announces the acquisition of the stock and business of American Inks and Coatings Corp., Valley Forge, PA, effective April 16, 2002. The management teams of both companies will stay intact, as will the locations.

The new company, to be called American Inks and Coatings Corp., reports combined complementary technology and manufacturing experience will provide the packaging printer with one company that can supply and service capabilities across the entire fluid ink spectrum.

Servo Drive Co. Now Part of AC Technology
UXBRIDGE, MA, USA—AC Technology Corp., a developer and manufacturer of variable-speed motor drives, reports it has acquired Advanced Digital, an innovator and manufacturer of servo drives located in Camarillo, CA.

According to David Reece, worldwide marketing director at AC, “Advanced Digital's sophisticated but simple servo technology is the ideal fit to our existing products. With this acquisition, we are complementing a product line that already extends from sub-micro drives to 250-hp drives and offering our customers the advantages of innovative technology, cost-effective products, and outstanding service support.”

Inland Acquires Mack Packaging Group
INDIANAPOLIS, IN, USA— Inland Paperboard and Packaging has acquired Mack Packaging Group, with converting operations in Chicago, IL, and Mishawaka, IN.

Inland acquired Mack from Alwin Kolb GmbH & Co. of Germany. Terms of the transaction will not be disclosed.

Kochsiek Becomes Part of Fischer Group
FAIRFIELD, NJ, USA—The Fischer Group has acquired Kochsiek GmbH, Leopoldshöhe, Germany. Kochsiek supplies rotogravure presses; unwinds and rewinds; slitters; in-line flexo presses; converting equipment such as rotary die-cutters and delivery systems; and multiwalled bag machinery, including tubers, bottomers, reeling machines, and more.

The Fischer Group comprises Fischer & Krecke GmbH, manufacturers of flexo CI presses and SOS bag machinery; Fischer & Krecke Inc., a sales and service organization for the group in North America; and SMB Sondermaschinenbau, manufacturers of narrow web specialty flexo presses and converting equipment.

Some consolidation of product lines will take place, with Fischer & Krecke GmbH assuming production of all flexo equipment, including in-line presses, formerly produced by Kochsiek, as well as its traditional CI presses. The bag machinery of both companies will also be consolidated.

In North America, Fischer & Krecke Inc. will be responsible for the sales and service of both companies' lines.

Schiavi Recieves Award from GAA

ROSELAND, NJ, USA—The Gravure Association of America (GAA) awarded a Golden Cylinder Award for Technical Innovation to Schiavi, Bobst Group Inc., for its SG 2000 rotogravure printing press.

The Schiavi SG 2000 features an onboard washing system and is capable of using printing cylinder sleeves for both impression rollers and the gravure cylinder. Bobst reports the panel of judges also was impressed with the automatic and motorized doctor blade assembly, as well as the fully enclosed printing units.

The award was presented at a special ceremony during the GAA Annual Convention in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, in May.

Association News
PIA's Cooper to Testify Before Congress on Printing

ALEXANDRIA, VA, USA—The Joint Committee on Printing will host a hearing to examine federal government printing procedures and public access to government documents. Benjamin Y. Cooper, executive VP of public affairs at the Printing Industries of America (PIA), will testify representing 13,000 member manufacturing companies.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) launched an effort to wrest control of federal printing from the Government Printing Office (GPO) and give Executive Branch agencies more direct control over printing and print buying decisions.

“Despite what the Executive Branch and the OMB think, this reform would result in the need for additional staff to design work and specs. Competition actually may decrease because the smaller printers do not have the sales resources of larger printers. As for more control, ‘Too many cooks…’,” explains Cooper. “The best thing about the OMB proposal is the potential for open dialogue and discussion, which hopefully will result in some positive reforms in improving the GPO that will be good for the government and small business.”

AIMCAL, CEMA Boards Vote to Merge
FORT MILL, SC, USA—The board of directors of the Association of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL) and the board of trustees of the Converting Equipment Manufacturers Association (CEMA) have voted to merge the two organizations under AIMCAL.

If approved by both memberships (CEMA members already have approved and AIMCAL members will vote at their March 2003 winter meeting), the merger will create an AIMCAL organization of more than 200 member companies and will be headquartered in Fort Mill. A CEMA Div. within the organization will focus on the interests of the converting equipment manufacturers.

AIMCAL executive director Craig Sheppard says, “It is important to note that this merger is being driven by strategic opportunity, not economic need. Both organizations are strong financially and could continue to prosper as separate entities. The strategic value of creating a single organization, able to meet the individual and collective needs of the converting industry membership, is the driving force behind the merger. Bringing equipment suppliers and converters together will help both sides develop and implement new technology, improve efficiencies, build business, and establish new relationships.”

AIMCAL president Frank Sereno, Proma Technologies Inc., adds, “As a division of AIMCAL, CEMA members will gain closer access to customers and AIMCAL's increasingly international presence. AIMCAL members benefit from CEMA's strong educational offerings and broader technical expertise, especially in the area of safety, which has been a major focus of CEMA for many years.”

Says CEMA president Matt Tielkemeier, Dri-Tec Inc, “We're excited about the potential benefits and synergies the merger…will bring and believe that the strength and weaknesses of each organization are a perfect complement.”

In other news from AIMCAL, the association reports top industry consultants, members of academia, and practitioners will offer presentations on all aspects of web coating at its 2002 Fall Technical Conference. The event, to be held October 21-23 at the Hilton Sedona Resort in Sedona, AZ, includes concurrent tracks on web coating/laminating and vacuum web coating, as well as environmental/safety updates and joint sessions on web handling. The agenda also includes a tabletop exhibition, vendor sessions, networking receptions, and a golf scramble. For more information contact AIMCAL at 803/802-7820;

Akzo Nobel Opens UV Facility

PLYMOUTH, MN — Akzo Nobel Inks announces the investment approval of its new 22,000-sq-ft, fully automated UV manufacturing facility in Plymouth. This state-of-the-art facility will be up and running by January 2003.

By bringing UV manufacturing to Plymouth, Akzo expects to enjoy increased capacity to support its growing UV business. The co. says the facility will tie the manufacture of both water-based and UV-curable products more closely with its R&D and Center for Technical Excellence.

A Packaging Idea That's Pure Gold
Recently Kraft Foods transformed its Aladdin Gold range of chocolates into an exclusive brand through the introduction of a new packaging concept.

“The main thing is to ensure the new selection of chocolates doesn't compete for the same markets with its parent brand,” says Krister Einarsson from the packaging development unit of Kraft Foods in Sweden. “The Aladdin Gold box is now clearly distinguishable as a premium product on shop shelves.”

The new package was created in collaboration with packaging manufacturer A & R Carton and Stora Enso. Kraft tested a variety of board grades, and Performa White was selected from the Performa CTMP board family, which was specially developed for confectionery products. Besides having good odor and taste properties, Performa White is a very bright board and is ideal for packaging where some of the board surface is left unprinted, Stora Enso reports.

Kraft also reduced the main box size from 340 g to 240 g, changing the structure to a classic Scandinavian style with good color rendering to reflect its luxury appearance.
Suppler Information
Stora Enso Scandinavia AB
Stockholm, Sweden; +46 8-613-6743;

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