Graphic services cut costs; Cereplast opens European headquarters; Amcor sells two flexible packaging plants in Europe; Clarifoil earns home compostability certification; Bobst Group completes buyout of Fischer & Krecke Group and more.

Graphic services cut costs
Express KCS Packaging has launched its offshore digital pre-media graphic services for the global packaging industry. According to CEO Mike Kirk, brand owners who are looking for ways to improve speed-to-market, while reducing costs, should consider outsourcing their prepress/repro workflow. KCS’s business model moves the people and the equipment traditionally housed in a prepress/repro facility to a ‘virtual’ network of prepress/repro facilities across the globe. This allows work to be done during a 24-hour day. Express KCS Packaging is a division of Express KCS, India’s largest independently owned prepress house. Express KCS Packaging uses low-cost labor in India and also works with local domestic partners who have many years of experience in flexo, litho and rotogravure packaging.

Cereplast opens European headquarters
Cereplast Inc. opened its European headquarters in France on April 14 to help meet the demand for sustainable plastics throughout Europe. The office will serve as headquarters for sales representatives and support staff to assist existing customers in developing bioplastic applications, and cultivate new market opportunities in industries such as packaging, automotive and consumer electronics. To further support sales, Cereplast Europe also opened a distribution center located outside of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Amcor sells two flexible packaging plants in Europe
Amcor has agreed to sell its flexible packaging plants located at Lund in Sweden and Somerset in the United Kingdom to a Swedish private equity group, Accent Equity 2008. The plants are primarily involved in the production of unprinted films for the meat and fish segments, and have combined sales of approximately 85 million euros. These divestments are part of the previously announced program of rationalization and restructuring of the overall flexibles operations in Western Europe.

Clarifoil earns home compostability certification
Clarifoil, the cellulose acetate film for carton windows, print lamination and labels, has gained the OK-Compost certificate as a home-compostable material. The certification follows comprehensive testing of standard thickness transparent Clarifoil film. In a further move to minimize waste to landfill, Clarifoil customers can order the thinnest film consistent with functional requirements, from a choice of 14 microns upwards. Clarifoil is cellulose acetate film made of woodpulp from managed forests. Approved for food contact, its attributes include natural moisture permeability, which deters fogging and spoilage of window packs containing food products that are packed while still warm.

Bobst Group completes buyout of Fischer & Krecke Group
Following a diligence process and approval by the German Federal Cartel Office, Bobst Group has completed the acquisition of the Fischer & Krecke Group in Germany. This acquisition is in line with the Bobst Group strategy to expand its operations in the flexible materials market worldwide and to strengthen its presence in the flexographic printing area.

Kiefel expands territory in Canada and United States
Kiefel Inc. has appointed a new sales representative in Quebec and Eastern Canada, and expanded the territory of one of its current representatives in the Midwestern United States. Auxiplast Inc., of Ste. Julie, Quebec, will now represent Kiefel in the province of Quebec and the Maritime Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. In addition, Kiefel has expanded the territory of Scherer Plastics Systems llc to include Wisconsin and Northern Illinois in addition to its current territory of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and the Canadian province of Ontario.  

Pamco Label drives profits with new HP press
Pamco Label Co. is driving new profit opportunities with an HP Indigo press ws4500. Because of the production capabilities possible with the press, the company has added a number of clients in the health and beauty, food and beverage, vitamin and nutraceutical and general retail markets, including new customers in the private-label industry. The HP Indigo press ws4500 produces high-quality jobs for multiple stock keeping units (SKU) in quantities where costs for multiple flexographic plate changes might prove to be too expensive.

Shiner expands anti-counterfeit film business
Shiner International Inc. has signed contracts to supply 565 tons of anti-counterfeiting film, or $4 million in revenue, to six new China-based customers. Shiner reported total anti-counterfeit film revenue of $3.5 million for the full year ended Dec. 31, 2007, an increase of 86% when compared to the previous year. The company’s anti-counterfeit technology ensures the authenticity and safety of consumer goods such as liquor, tobacco, food, CD/DVDs and other branded items. Under the terms of the contracts, Shiner will supply Jie Qi, a leading processor and reseller of multiple agricultural products, with 165 tons of anti-counterfeiting film with an aggregate value of $1.2 million.  

Fujifilm announces new plate line at Tilburg
Due to demand for Fujifilm’s Brillia high-definition (HD) computer-to-press (CTP) plates, Fujifilm has announced that it will expand its plate manufacturing facility in Tilburg, The Netherlands. The company will invest approximately $154.5 million to construct a new plate line-its eighth worldwide-to produce CTP plates. Construction on the new line will begin in October 2008 and plate manufacturing is due to begin in January 2010. The new plate line will enable Fujifilm to produce both Brillia HD processless thermal plates and the new Brillia HD chemistry-free violet plate.