Chinese converter delegation visits U.S. converter, supplier...Digital label, package printing contest winners announced...Berry Plastics Corp. to acquire Pliant Corp + News Briefs

Chinese converter delegation visits U.S. converter, supplier

A25-member Chinese packaging delegation, including China Flexible Packaging Association president Patrick Cheung, general secretary Wen Xiusong and representatives from 14 flexible packaging converters, visited laminating equipment manufacturer Nordmeccanica and Aladdin Packaging in Long Island on Oct. 9. Part of a larger North American visit that included a stop at CPP Expo in Las Vegas Oct. 5-7, in addition to updating the converters on the latest laminating technology and retort applications, the meetings at the New York plants were aimed at promoting communication between the U.S. Flexible Packaging Association and China Flexible Packaging Association, who together represent the two largest packaging markets in the world.

“We truly think that communication in a global market is essential and will provide benefits to every party,” says Giancarlo Caimmi, commercial director at Nordmeccanica.

The day’s presentations included demonstrations on Nordmeccanica’s Super Simplex SL line, briefings on solvent-free and multi-ply lamination and research on current converting trends in China. Jim O’Leary, a senior advisor for Nordmeccanica, provided insights on the Flexible Packaging Association, including member benefits, market profiles, programs, research studies and sustainability advantages of flexible packaging. as well as trends currently shaping the American flexible packaging market.


Aladdin Packaging

Digital label, package printing contest winners announced

Hewlett-Packard recognized three American converters with awards from its third annual HP Indigo Digital Labels and Packaging Contest at a gala dinner held during Labelexpo in Brussels.

Innovative Labeling Solutions, based in Hamilton, Ohio, walked away with three best-of-category awards, plus four additional honors. Other U.S. award-winners included Gold Coast Graphics and Traco Manufacturing.

More than 270 labels and packages were submitted to this year’s contest, representing a 48% jump compared to 2008’s contest. Categories for the contest included label printing for wine, household, industrial, food, pharmaceutical, alcoholic beverage and nutraceutical products. In addition, the contest honored the best shrink sleeve entry and the best entry produced as a self-promotion of a converter’s own capabilities.

All entries were produced on HP Indigo presses and were showcased in exhibits at Labelexpo in Brussels and at Pack Expo in Las Vegas.


Berry Plastics to acquire Pliant

Berry Plastics Corp. has announced that it will acquire more than 99.99% of the common stock of Pliant Corp. upon Pliant's emergence from bankruptcy. Pliant Corp. operates 18 manufacturing facilities across the globe, employs 2,900 people and recently posted annual net sales of $1.1 billion.

Under the proposed deal, Berry is entitled to as much as 25% of the common equity of Pliant. Berry also intends to acquire the remaining 75% of the common stock available under the plan.

Upon receipt of financing and regulatory approvals, Berry will operate Pliant as a separately capitalized, unrestricted operating division of Berry. The transaction is anticipated to close by the end of the year.

Lithotype Co. Inc. announces new president

Athos Ikonomou has assumed the duties as president of Lithotype Co. Inc., and will be based in Lithotype’s South San Francisco headquarters. With annual sales of $34 million, Lithotype produces flexible packaging for the food, beverage, cosmetic, and industrial markets in its South San Francisco and Bolingbrook, Ill., plants.

Excelsior adds to printing press fleet

New York-based Excelsior Packaging Group announced in October that it has placed orders for two 52-inch Miraflex 10-color presses from Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corp. and three FP 36S-10 presses from Fischer & Krecke GmbH. Excelsior serves consumer, institutional and industrial markets worldwide, with plants in the U.S. and in the U.K.

Master Packaging appoints exec

Tampa, Fla.-based Master Packaging Inc. has named Fred Crowe, with more than 30 years in the flexible packaging industry, president and chairman of the board at the company. Crowe has been a member of the Master Packaging board since March 2009.