Converter News - September 2009
The Association of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL) will hold its annual Fall Technical Conference Oct. 18-21, 2009, at the Amelia Island Plantation in Amelia Island, Fla. Organized under the theme, “Getting Back to Business,” the conference features a dual-track schedule with presentations devoted to coating/laminating and vacuum web coating. Led off by a keynote address on photovoltaic (PV) solar electricity by Dr. Winfried Hoffmann of the Energy and Environmental Solutions Group at Applied Materials Inc., the event will also include presentations related to sustainability, Six Sigma/lean practices and new technologies.
The conference’s Coating/Laminating track will focus on Downgauging and Cost Reduction, Process Optimization and Product Improvements. Downgauging and Cost Reduction topics include discussions on contract manufacturing, roller selection and cure acceleration. Discussions in the Process Optimization session include dryer technology, static dissipation, troubleshooting silicone coating problems, hot melt slot die coating and web tension control. Product Improvements topics include advanced cylinder design, surface modification for inks, coatings, and adhesives, radiation-curable pressure-sensitive adhesives and polyurethane dispersions.
The Vacuum Web Coating track is divided into Vacuum Materials and Vacuum Process segments and includes materials sessions on thin films, photovoltaics, solar power concentration, antimicrobial deposition, and barrier materials such as high-barrier polylactic acid film. Vacuum Process topics include automated inspection, magnetron design, roll-to-roll deposition for organic light-emitting diodes, advanced material deposition and quality control via ellipsometry.
Select facilities grow in gloomy times
These economic times present manufacturers everywhere with a difficult road to navigate, a challenge that’s often complicated by a fork in the road: Join other companies across the landscape by hunkering down and letting the storm blow over? Or forge ahead down an untested path? Some converters nationwide have confidence in the road less traveled and are expanding some operations.
Harold Bevis, chief executive officer at Pliant Corp., announced earlier this summer that the company will not only be keeping its Dalton, Ga., manufacturing facility going, but the converter has plans to upgrade and expand it. Pliant originally announced in April 2008 that it would shutter the Dalton plant, but stabilizing market conditions, strong customer preference, and local and state incentives led the company to a reversal on its decision.
In the future, Pliant envisions the Dalton facility becoming a second Medical “Center of Excellence,” complimenting a Medical Center of Excellence under construction in Danville, Ky.
Spear Group Holdings has announced an expansion of its Mason, Ohio, production facility. The Mason plant, recently named the company’s “Narrow Web UV Center of Excellence,” will receive new printing presses, improved production flows and cosmetic upgrades. The expansion includes the addition of 30 jobs and will be completed by the end of the year.
FTA accepting 2010 Excellence in Flexography Awards Competition entries
Flexographic Technical Association (FTA), the industry association dedicated to advancing the flexographic print process, is now accepting entries for its 2010 Excellence in Flexography Awards competition. The entry submission deadline is Jan. 8, 2010; entries must have been created between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2009.
The annual competition is open to all printers/converters, print buyers, suppliers, prepress providers, designers, students and graphic artists-regardless of membership status. Award categories with relevance to flexible packaging include wide web, mid web, narrow web, self-promotion and student. A Graphic Design category has been established to recognize the quality of package design, an element of packaging that is playing an increasingly important role in flexo.
The 2010 competition is expected to attract more than 600 entries, in line with the 2009 competition which featured nine Best in Show awards and 135 gold, silver and bronze awards. Judging of the 2010 entries will take place in January 2010 and all winners will be announced during the Foundation of FTA’s Annual Forum & INFO*FLEX Exhibition, May 2-5, 2010, in Las Vegas, Nev.
Flexographic Technical Association
Barrier film includes oxygen scavenging properties
The newest addition to the Freshness Plus line of active packaging materials yields superior oxygen protection by incorporating scavenging material into the barrier layer of film. Because the scavenging polymer is built into the film, the scavenging components trap oxygen that can slowly migrate into the film from the package headspace or from the environment. The film does not require an activation step, and because the scavenging polymer is invisible to metal detectors, metal detection systems after packaging are not required. Ideal for oxygen sensitive products and products with a long shelf life, Freshness Plus active barrier films do not require moisture to activate the scavenging reaction and are equally effective with wet or dry products.
Cryovac Food Packaging Systems
Southeastern Printing installs lamination line
Naperville, Ill.-based Southeastern Printing has invested in a new emission-free Nordmeccanica Super Simplex laminator. Developed for solvent-free two-component adhesives, the unit is capable of up to 1,350 feet per minute and will be installed in September.
BBF Printing announces name change
Largo, Fla.-based BBF has changed its name from BBF Printing Solutions to BBF Integrated Solutions. As part of this change, the label printer is upgrading its website and email programs to streamline communications.
Clemson packaging lab receives inspection microscope
MicroDynamics Inc. has donated a complete 3DQC inspection microscope system to Clemson University’s Sonoco Institute Center for Flexible Packaging Design and Graphics. The device is intended for measuring cell volumes on anilox printing rolls and providing surface topography details on a variety of surfaces, including flexo plates and gravure rolls.