Lambeau Field selected as venue for Converters Expo 2009

Both the converting industry and Green Bay Packers have big reputations in Wisconsin and nearby parts of the upper Midwest, so it’s fitting that Converting Influence has chosen Lambeau Field Atrium in Green Bay, Wis., to host its annual expo on March 5.

“With the enthusiastic feedback we received last year, we have planned for almost a third more exhibit space and expect strong increased traffic this year,” says Jack Mason, Converting Influence advisory board member. Converters Expo 2008, the inaugural edition of the annual event, attracted 60 displays and over 300 attendees.

Currently, 75 displays are planned and, in addition to providing unique views of the celebrated sports venue, the expo will continue to provide an opportunity for exhibitors to tell their stories from the industry’s growing regional and national fronts in terms of the latest converting and allied business properties.

The day-long event is being complemented by several day-before factory tours concluded with a networking evening to draw in product developers, marketers, buyers and outsourcers looking to connect with exhibiting converters and associated companies. Details regarding the event and activities are available at www.convertersexpo.com.

Converting Influence provides news and industry information through meetings, online listings and emails regarding paper, film and nonwoven materials plus information on processes like rewinding and sheeting, folding, packaging, coating and laminating, flexo printing, converting equipment and related services.

Ampac Flexibles adds extrusion line, pouching machine

Ampac Flexibles has installed a Windmoeller & Hoelscher Varex extrusion line at its Auburn, Wash., plant, increasing the output and variety of innovative multilayer film structures at that facility. Along with the purchase of a new machine, Ampac also selected W&H to upgrade an existing extrusion line installed in 2004, giving substance to the converter’s promise to meet increasing customer requirements to remain competitive.

Ampac has also invested in a Totani pouching machine at its Elk Grove Village, Ill., plant, significantly increasing the converter’s output of flexible packages, including standard 3-side seal, stand-up and retort pouches. The new machine, a Totani BH-80HVLLLS-M, operates at up to 240 cycles per minute, can handle laminate roll changes on the fly and uses Totani’s “Heat Pipe” technology to create exceptionally high quality seals.

Federal court denies DuPont motion for preliminary injunction

On Nov. 21, 2008, a federal district court in New Jersey denied DuPont’s motion for a preliminary injunction in a photopolymer plate patent infringement lawsuit against MacDermid, a specialty chemicals company based in Denver. The court ruled that:

MacDermid has raised substantial questions regarding whether DuPont’s U.S. Patent No. 6,773,859 (‘859) is invalid as being obvious in light of cited references.

DuPont has failed to show that MacDermid’s defense that the ‘859 patent is invalid for obviousness lacks substantial merit.

There are substantial questions regarding whether the ‘859 patent was an obvious combination of elements in the prior art.

DuPont has not overcome the substantial questions related to MacDermid’s obviousness defense based on the present record. Thus, DuPont has not shown that it has a substantial likelihood of success on the merits.

Solvent-free overwrap bonds to foil

Triad, a high-barrier, solvent-free overwrap uses a proprietary metallocene-based sealant chemistry to bond to foil without using solvent or water-based materials. Aimed at chemically-sensitive, high-speed markets like pharmaceutical applications, the film is an extrusion-coated lamination of polyester, aluminum foil and metallocene that is engineered to provide an exceptionally strong hermetic weld seal at a cost-competitive price.

Rollprint Packaging Products
508-520-9784; www.rollprint.com


Electron process can boost performance, lighten weight of films

Packaging Strategies’ Perspective: AEB could ride the coattails of the trend toward water and energy reduction in manufacturing, major issues with hot-fill sterilization and the need to eliminate chemicals during sterilization. What is just as compelling is whether the e-beams can help modify plastic molecular properties and assist in the emerging evolution of film down-gauging.

By Joe Pryweller, Managing Editor, Packaging Strategies

The intriguing prospect of electron beams modifying commodity plastics and providing lighter-weight packaging could be boosted by a new partnership between Advanced Electron Beams (AEB) and a noted French technology institute.

Wilmington, Mass.-based AEB has set up an e-beam Application Development Transmitter Unit at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne to study the use of laser-based processes to cure packaging inks, coatings, and adhesives. But another, less-advertised aspect of AEB’s work with the renowned technology lab will be to evaluate how e-beams change the chemical properties of plastics in packaging, said AEB product manager Josh Epstein.

The school’s Institute of Molecular Chemistry will work with AEB to test the use of e-beams on beverage pouches. The company is considering how plastic molecules in resin are cross-linked when energy is applied during curing.

The e-beam process also can enhance the performance of plastic molecules, allowing for the use of lighter-weight film, Epstein said. The company is evaluating the use of e-beams in beverage pouch sterilization as a cold-fill replacement for aseptic processes and is also looking at the form-fill-seal process for dairy, juice and fruit drinks.

Advanced Electron Beams (AEB)
978-658-8600; www.aeb.com

Reprinted with permission from Packaging Strategies newsletter, a sister business of Flexible Packaging. For more info, visit www.packstrat.com.

NEWS BRIEFS

Fabrico debuts sequential numbering for labels

Kennesaw, Ga.-based Fabrico now offers printing of consecutively numbered bar code labels, enabling customers to easily track inventory and streamline their assembly processes. Using an Aquaflex 2200 4-color printer, the company uses an advanced digital technology system to print a custom quantity of unique digits onto bar code labels on matte litho material. Fabrico’s labels are then die-cut and slit into rolls for shipping to manufacturers.

Celplast Ltd. offers employee buy-in

Celplast Metallized Products Ltd. (CMP) announced the sale of a 20% stake in CMP to an employee group led by chief operating officer Dante Ferrari. Over the next seven to 10 years, it is expected that the employee group will acquire a majority position. CMP ensures a gradual and smooth management transition and that parent company Celplast Ltd. will maintain a long-term interest in the business.

PIA, formerly PIA/GATF, unveils new name, logo

Printing Industries of America, formerly Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, announced a new name, logo and tagline in December 2008. Over a year in the making, the new name and logo reflects an association-wide direction for the next decade and beyond, and is part of a plan to strengthen and streamline messaging to suppliers, partners, customers and others involved in the graphic communications industry.

3 Sigma expands customer service staff

3 Sigma Corp. of Troy, Ohio, has added Susie Anderson to its customer service staff in response to increased business for pressure-sensitive and other materials used by the label industry.

Vins Plastics buys Primaflex CM

Vins Plastics Ltd. of Bradford, Ontario, has purchased a 10-color Primaflex CM flexo press from Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corp. Vins Plastics is one of Canada’s leading flexible packaging converters in the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and industrial markets and plans to install the W&H press in early 2009.

Interfilm relocates to new headquarters, larger plant

Interfilm Holdings Inc. has moved into new corporate offices located in its expanded 90,000 square foot facility in Greenville, S.C., just two miles from the converter’s previous plant and offices. The new building represents a 36% increase in size over Interfilm’s previous location and provides the space required for improved material flow and greater production efficiencies in the company’s polyester, polystyrene, cellophane, brushed film, compostable film and metal adhesion film lines.

Amcor wins bioplastics award

In December 2008, Amcor Flexibles’ NaturePlus compostable film won European Plastics News’ Bioplastics Award for “Best Bioplastics Application-Packaging.” The non-genetically modified, compostable film is currently used in Sainsbury’s SO Organic Wild Rocket organic salad and is one of several biodegradable, compostable and recyclable products offered by Amcor.