As we celebrate our 10th Anniversary, Flexible Packaging magazine takes a look back over the last decade at major developments in flexible packaging within the context of world events.



10 times the info! 10 times the fun! Here is the expanded and interactive version of our Timeline of Innovations.

1999

Flexible Packaging magazine debuts in April as “The Official Publication for the Flexible Packaging Association.”

Basketball legend Michael Jordan retires from the Chicago Bulls.

Scientists trace HIV virus to chimpanzee subspecies.

Dry platemaking system.

Government approves statements on wine labels that encourage consumers to learn about the drink’s health benefits.

Conflict in Kosovo.

Two teenagers kill 12 fellow students, a teacher and themselves at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

New York Yankee centerfielder Joe DiMaggio dies at 84.

A Michigan jury convicts “Dr. Death,” Jack Kevorkian, of second-degree murder.

Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) licenses use of its trademarked “Source Reduction” logo.

First reclosable zipper with integral peelable seal.

Video inspection system with front-to-back web registration.

George magazine founder JFK Jr. dies with wife and sister-in-law in plane crash.

Lance Armstrong, survivor of testicular cancer, wins the 86th Tour de France.

17-year-old Brittany Spears releases her first single record “…Baby One More Time.”

Mia Hamm and the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team win the World Cup.

“The Matrix” earns $171 million at the box office.

Electromagnetic tensiometer for web control.

Bag/pouch machines double productivity from just five years ago.

Slider closures.

Pokémon invades the U.S. with video game, television show, cards, toys, T-shirts, toothbrushes and movie.

“Who Wants to be a Millionaire”…is that your final answer?

World gears up for Y2K computer meltdowns.

Amendment to Clean Air Act removes propane and other flammable fuels from risk management planning rule.

Talk of “combination” printing presses.

10-color central impression flexo press.

Solventless laminating grows.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposes ergonomic regulation.


2000

Y2K problems never materialize.

Patent issued on stand-up pouch with gas-vent feature for coffee beans.

Servo drives improve web control.

Ozone eliminators / oxidizers.

Converting machines incorporate static control devices.

Closed-loop controllers with load cells and variable speed drives replace dancer systems for web tension control.

Continuous roll unwinding.

H.E.B. adds reclosable zipper to potato chip bags.

After 13+ years, Glenn Braswell retires as FPA president and is replaced by current president Marla Donahue.

Corrosion-resistant carbon-fiber doctor blade chambers.

Robots help flexo press complete changeover of 11 color decks in 15 minutes.

Oscillating haul-off for blown film lines.

Researchers complete map of the human genome.

Custody fight over 6-year-old Cuban Elian Gonzalez.

Joyce Dickerson of RJR Packaging becomes first female FPA chairman.

Clemson University opens DuPont Packaging Evaluation Lab.

Modified-atmosphere case-ready meat packs see double-digit growth.

Flexible wrapper replaces paperboard-sleeve susceptor for frozen, microwavable sandwiches.

Polylactic acid (PLA) polymer made from renewable resources (such as corn, wheat and rice) is introduced to the packaging market.

Narrow- to mid-web flexo press prints and converts various substrates in a single pass.

Shrink-sleeve labeling proliferates.

Health concerns emerge regarding genetically modified foods.

More printers bring pre-press operations in-house.

Direct-to-sleeve platemaking.

New masterbatches add fragrance to flexible packaging.

PlumpJack Winery sells screw-cap bottles of its 1997 Reserve Cabernet for $135, forcing consumers to rethink the notion that only corked wine is high quality.

Shaped pouches.

Surlyn-compatible zipper.

Servo-driven gravure press is optimized for short runs.

Easy-to-replace sleeves speed press changeovers.

The dot.com bust.

Gearless flexo presses abound.

Internet-based color matching.

5-layer cast film line.

All-electric dryer dramatically cuts operating costs and dryer length by 50%.

On-screen diagnostics pinpoint errors.

Automated plate changing in one minute.

Electronic controls.

Digital photopolymer plate.

4-color dry-toner digital press for flexible packaging.

New Digital Front End Technology Center and Presentation Theater at CMM International show.

Ultraviolet/electro-beam (UV/EB) curing for printing, coating and laminating.

Feedblock design ensure layer uniformity.

StarKist launches first retort pouch for tuna.

A federal judge rules that the world’s largest software company is a monopoly and orders Microsoft to split up. The government later abandons the antitrust lawsuit.

Label makers eye flexible packaging market as growth opportunity

Lightweight carbon-fiber composite idler rollers are one-third the weight of standard aluminum idlers.

Low-extractable electron-beam curable coating is FDA-compliant for direct food contact.

Aseptic dispensing valve for bag-in-box.

Study examines growth of oxygen absorbers in packaging.

Solvent-based inks are being replaced by water-based and radiation-cured inks.

Wages for flexible packaging employee average $14.43 an hour.

After a highly contested election, VP Al Gore concedes on Dec. 14, and George W. Bush is named the 43rd president of the United States.

Sales of converted flexible packaging (plastic, paper and foil) hit $11,450 million, representing an annual growth of 5.2% over the last five years.

Actors Sir Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars”) and Walter Matthau die.

Tiger Woods wins three of the four majors, gads of tournaments and nearly $10 million in prize money.


2001

7-layer cast film line.

Laser scoring.

All-air web guiding.

10-color gearless flexo press.

Logging of old-growth timber banned on public lands.

Spouted foil/film flat-bottom stand-up pouch for sports drink.

Kraft Foods debuts Cool Whip Squeeze in shaped, spouted, squeezable pouch.

Bag/pouch makers supply pre-zippered film.

Self-venting baguette wrapper.

Bag steams fresh vegetables in the microwave.

After incidents of foot-and-mouth disease spread from Britain to France, U.S. bans meat from Europe.

Heinz converts Ore-Ida frozen potato products to reclosable stand-up pouch.

Gearless flexo press features infinitely variable repeats.

Static neutralizer for hazardous locations.

Holographic films for flexible packaging.

Blackouts in California due to energy production crisis.

Modular bag-making machine.

General Mills replaces traditional paper sack for flour with clear reclosable bag.

Internal bubble cooling (IBC) in blown film.

Computer-controlled cast film lines are producing multilayer structures at speeds of 2,000 feet per minute and beyond.

Narrow-web press prints rotogravure or flexographic.

Rotary screen modules attach to flexo, letterpress, offset and gravure presses.

Census Bureau reports greatest population increase in the 1990s (32.7 million people) than in any other 10-year period.

Wet pet food in retort pouch.

Servo slitter/rewinder.

First portable, hand-held spectrophotometer for color measurements.

Digital press handles 13-inch web width.

3-layer coextrusion sealant controls delamination for easy-open feature.

Mike Barr, current group publisher, joins Flexible Packaging magazine as sales manager.

9-11 terrorist attacks. On Sept. 11, terrorists hijack four U.S. airplanes, killing nearly 3,000 Americans. Two crash into the Twin Towers of New York’s World Trade Center. One dives into the Pentagon. Passengers on the fourth plane force it to crash into a field in Pennsylvania.

The stock markets fall 14% in one day, their second-largest decline ever.

Fluorescent inks serve as security feature.

Thermal spray system achieves deposit efficiency of 65% on current ceramic anilox rolls.

War on terrorism begins in earnest with aerial bombardment of southern Afghanistan and the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

Anthrax scare.

Retail sales fall 2.4%, the worst monthly drop in almost 10 years.

Customer-driven film resin development bypasses R&D tinkering.

PDF workflow software.

Color-management software.

Metallic inks rival metalized substrates and foil stamping.

Oxygen-scavenging polymer.

Shaped beverage pouch first to use no-spill dispensing spout.

Lightweight carbon-fiber intermediate mandrel improves printing sleeve technology.

Stochastic (FM) screening on digital flexo platemaking.

Closed-loop register control system for CI flexo presses speeds makeready.

Digital vision system features Ethernet connectivity.

Pelletized linear-low-density polyethylene-based product produces quiet unwinding blown stretch film.

Air ring controls air volume in segments, increasing cooling efficiencies by as much as 20%.

Radio frequency (RF) drying system for multi-layer bags with water-based adhesives.

Groove-feed extruder technology.

China is accepted into the World Trade Group.


2002

The Euro becomes the common currency in Europe.

Formable bottom web for thermoform-fill-seal applications.

Roll-fed oriented polypropylene shrink labels.

White-pigmented ink is UV-curable.

Plug-and-play narrow-web surface treater.

Enron bankruptcy.

Patented digital drop-on-demand piezo ink jet printhead technology wins innovation award.

Radio frequency identification (RFID) “smart” tags promise to revolutionize supply chain management.

Material Flow Control software reduces material waste and purge times during changeover.

Slider zipper on shredded cheese bag.

Comic Milton Berle dies at age 93.

Silicon oxide-coated films provide high barrier to gases, moisture vapor and aromas.

Narrow-web converters eye flexible packaging markets for growth.

Nebraska plant opens to produce up to 300 million pounds of polylactic acid (PLA) bio-based resin.

U.S. and Russia agree to cut nuclear arsenals by up to two-thirds within next decade.

Government increases farm subsidies in 10-year, $100 billion bill.

Wider-web gearless flexo press handles webs of 59 to 87 inches.

Laser micro-perforating system for breathable packaging.

Slider on pre-made bags.

“Spider-Man” makes more than $114 million in its first three days.

Contour laser scoring.

Automatic gauging system controls film thickness.

SERCOS motion-control protocol speeds machine communication and operation.

Electronic line shafting.

Enclosed chambered doctor blade systems.

UV/EB ink technology eliminates need for inter-station curing.

Britain celebrates Queen Elizabeth’s 50-year reign.

Tyco CEO charged.

New extrusion coating sealant for foil-based packaging.

Styrene block copolymers offer alternative to PVC for food wrap.

Radiation-cured resins are self-initiating.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Flexo printers embrace digital prepress technologies.

In-line flexo press prints films, cartons and labels.

Quick-dry narrow-web photopolymer printing plate.

Two associations merge: Association of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL) and Converting Equipment Manufacturers Association (CEMA) to become the AIMCAL we know today.

Proprietary screening technology produces cross-shaped dots that provide smoother, more saturated solids.

Biodegradable foodservice wrap.

Cold-form foil for thermoformed packs.

Magnetic particle brakes control web tension.

During October, two snipers kill 10 people in the D.C. area.

Patented 6-color hexachrome printing process expands color palette.

Retort pouches feature clear windows.

Converters look to software systems, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) programs, to improve efficiencies.

Job Definition Format (JDF) workflows introduced.

First digital automated inspection and print process management system.

Slide-out shuttle decks and automatic wash-out systems speed press changeovers.

Automatic registration system dramatically reduces waste on press runs.

Computer-to-plate sleeve technology.

Digital 7-color label press runs at speeds of 52.5 feet per minute.

Splicer features shaftless roll-lifting design.

Quick-change rotary screen cassette.

Overall U.S. flexible packaging market hits 10,559 million pounds.


2003

Peelable bottom-web sealant provides fiber-free opening from uncoated Tyvek.

Self-venting lidded tray for prepared meats.

Portable aseptic pudding stick pack.

Clear, high-barrier pouch replaces foil layer with EVOH so colorful beverage can show through.

Stick packs for powdered products on the rise.

Flat-bottom stand-up pouch for frozen vegetables.

Microwavable retort pouch for cooked rice.

High-impact printed shrink wrap for multipacks.

Unique print deck design on narrow-web flexo press has a single-impression cylinder operating between two color decks to create a short web path and superior registration.

Opaque white ink is UV flexo compatible.

The space shuttle Columbia explodes after liftoff, killing all seven astronauts aboard.

Six-year-old Dolly, the first cloned sheep, dies on Feb. 14.

Bulk packaging for club-store sales pushes flexible packaging presses to wider widths: 67-, 77-, 84- and even 98-inch web widths.

Cassette system on flexo press allows make-readies to be performed offline, speeding up changeovers.

Atmospheric plasma surface treatment.

Digital web tension controller.

Stackable bag is stable in pallet loads.

War in Iraq begins on March 19.

The Treasury Department allows wine labels to list health claims.

Laser-engraved anilox rolls improve clean up and ink release.

Companies begin to explore sustainability processes in packaging.

Converters struggle to reduce hazardous air pollutant emissions under EPA’s new maximum achievable control technology (MACT) rule.

Scott Peterson is arrested for murder after the body of his pregnant wife, Laci Peterson, is found.

Canadian packaging show PACex is rescheduled due to concerns about Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

New score-resistant ceramic coating for anilox rolls.

ISO 12648:2003 outlines standard safety requirements for printing press systems.

Solventless laminating adhesives reach 28% market share.

With low-frequency operation, pulsed DC systems neutralize static without the use of air.

Raw material prices begin to inch up as petroleum costs increase.

First retortable zipper withstands high temperatures of retort.

Corona generator offers internet troubleshooting capabilities.

Electrical grids collapse, causing a blackout in much of southern Canada and the northeastern United States. Tens of millions of people are without power for more than a day.

Horizontal oscillating haul-off.

Wildfires in California destroy 1 million acres and lead to 22 deaths.

Flexo press features one-man, tool-less, on-the-machine sleeve changes.

Flexo press integrates digital printing module.

Entertainer Michael Jackson is arrested on charges of child molestation (but acquitted in 2005).

Nanocomposites in development to improve film’s barrier performance.

UV flexo matte coating.

Proprietary polymer chemistry creates breathable oriented polypropylene film for fresh-cut produce applications.

First slider closure on deli-meat packs made on a horizontal thermoform-fill-seal system.

Bob Hope, Katharine Hepburn, Gregory Peck and Johnny Cash die.

2004

Hard-to-open packages incite older consumers with “wrap rage.”

Proprietary technology encapsulates aroma in plastics.

Singer Janet Jackson reveals a naked breast in a “wardrobe malfunction” during the Super Bowl halftime show.

Demetallization process during gravure printing creates transparent windows in candy pouch.

Surface-printed coextruded non-forming web eliminates delamination concerns.

Desiccating heat-sealable film for moisture barrier laminations.

Anti-microbial films still not in wide use.

Edible drug delivery strips create new market for water-soluable films.

Al Qaeda terrorists bomb four commuter trains in Madrid, killing almost 200 people.

FPA commissions study to examine the impact of flexible packaging imports on the U.S. business.

Edge detectors automatically sense changing web widths.

Flexo press features internet-based troubleshooting or system programming.

Conductive inks for RFID applications.

Matte-finish films.

Holographic label films.

Prisoner abuse reported at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

The World War II memorial in Washington, D.C., opens April 29.

Large-format ink jet printers.

Fiber-optic laser engraving for anilox rolls is a high quality, high line screen, durable cell structure that has great ink release characteristics.

Seal-cut method produces clean seal with smooth edge.

Former President Ronald Reagan dies on June 5.

Obesity and health-and-wellness concerns shift flexible packaging volumes from cookies and snacks to meat and cheese and portion-control packs.

In new method, extruders blow film bubbles down, into a cool-water bath, producing film with the clarity of cast film coupled with the advantages of blown film.

Anilox roll cleaning method uses non-abrasive soft plastic media that doesn’t damage ceramic cells.

Non-contact guiding system efficiently handles tacky films for wrinkle-free winding.

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat dies in a Paris hospital.

A 9.0 magnitude earthquake off the Indonesian coast triggers tsunamis that kill more than 150,000 people from Thailand to Somalia.

Volatile resin prices are a global phenomenon.

Laser die-cutting needs no tooling, changes jobs in seconds with minimal material waste.

Easy-to-use fast-changeover presses and high quality make converters take another look at gravure printing for flexible packaging.

President Bush wins re-election with 51% of the popular vote.

PLA film is commercialized.

Soft-proofing of hi-res files in real time via the internet.

Odor-control additive now works with ketones, esters, ethers, organic acids and monomers.

Blue Star Food Products is first with reclosable retort pouch for crab meat.

2005

Brendan O’Neill joins Flexible Packaging magazine as managing editor.

Universal Deck Concept lets flexo printers start with an 8-color press and then upgrade later to 10 colors.

Coextruded films often replace laminations, without loss of properties.

Flexible pouch for wild-game preserver spray is first pouch to incorporate a trigger sprayer.

Pouch/bag making systems use impulse sealing and ultrasonic sealing.

Condoleezza Rice is confirmed, becoming the first black female Secretary of State.

Pouch maker operates in cleanroom environment.

Flexo press features built-in diagnostics and ergonomic touchscreen controls.

One-step cleaning of anilox rolls.

After many legal battles and moral debates, brain-damaged Terri Schiavo dies 13 days after her feeding tube is removed.

The White House ends its search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

First internet-based Enterprise Resource Planning system designed specifically for flexible packaging and roll label converters.

New machine-direction orientation technology enhances film properties.

Treasury Secretary Alan Greenspan urges Congress to rein in the budget deficit, saying it is “unsustainable.”

Regenerative thermal oxidizers (RTOs) replace catalytic oxidizers for control of volatile organic components (VOCs).

Gripper dead shaft idler rolls minimize scratching.

Ionization system eliminates static from three feet away.

New digital flexo plate imager exposes plates at the same time they are imaged to speed up the process.
FPA establishes a scholarship/internship program to provide career development for students.

Die-cutting tooling made from powdered metals and tungsten carbide extends life of die.

Pre-setting control system for plate and anilox pressure reduces make-ready time.

Slitter/rewinder’s autoloader automatically transfers cores to the winding station.

Legible 2-point font printed on Tyvek.

Watergate “Deep Throat” identified as W. Mark Felt, a former FBI official.

Gearless flexo press with in-line laminating.

Print ’05 show adds Converting ’05 event.

Digital ink jet printer handles webs as wide as 5 meters.

Copolyester shrink film is in-line coated to accept Indigo inks.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad becomes President of Iran.

Flat-bed bag/pouch making machine creates side-, bottom- and mix-seal packages.

Interpack, the global packaging trade show, illustrates opportunities in eastern Europe for flexible packaging converters.

Servo technology emerges in narrow-web printing presses.

Automatic impression setting system on flexo press.

British Muslims coordinate four bombings during rush hour in London, killing 52 people and wounding more than 700.

After serving for 24 years, the first female U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor, retires.

Servo wicketers on bag/pouch machine.

Security ink features traceable microtaggants.

Category 4 hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, causing massive flooding, deaths in the thousands and more than 220,000 refugees.

Less than a month later, Hurricane Rita causes more devastation along the Gulf Coast.

CMM International sold to Pennwell.

Stand-up pouch has built-in straw.

Converting & Package Printing Expo (CPP) debuts in Las Vegas.

Polymer prices set record highs as oil hits $70 per barrel and hurricanes upset productions.

Compact extrusion die design (half the size of previous dies) saves changeover time.

Metallization sputtering system coats films with single or multiple layers in one pass.

Cold-seal adhesive offers an allergen-free material.

Bird flu virus threatens humans globally, killing more than 60 people in Asia. More than 140 million birds have died or have been killed to try to contain outbreaks.

In North America, 79% of presses used in flexible packaging are flexographic, according to FPA.

Shortage of skilled press operators continues.

10-color flexo press handles web widths from 40 to 50 inches at speeds of 1,300 feet per minute.

First microwavable aseptic pouch.

Guiding system also measures web width, giving process feedback to improve efficiencies.

Rosa Parks, Johnny Carson, Pope John Paul II, Saul Bellow and Richard Pryor die.


2006

Variable sleeve offset press offers nearly infinite cylinder repeats.

9-layer cast film line.

Counterfeit cold medicine linked to an unlicensed Chinese chemical plant poisons 174 people in Panama, resulting in 115 deaths.

Laminator processes four layers in one pass using solvent, solid or water-based adhesives.

Development of 9-extruder cast line to produce 17-layer barrier film.

Anti-fogging agent for polypropylene.

Self-venting stand-up pouch for the microwave.

Micro-perf pouch help fresh-cut apples breathe, giving them a shelf life of 7-10 days.

Pillsbury easy-open chub package for cookie dough.

Degradable zipper makes reclosable pouches more environmentally friendly.

Biodegradable shrink film.

Western U.S. cities threaten to ban plastic grocery bags.

In-register splicers cut material waste.

Servo-driven flexo press features inline print head with advanced sleeve technology to print at speeds of 1,000 feet per minute.

ERP software for flexible packaging expands to include bag-making operations.

Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Cadbury Schweppes agree to remove sweetened sodas and other drinks from schools by 2009.

TiVo.

Bag-maker creates bags with an 8.5-inch gusset and a heat-seal bottom that virtually eliminates leakage.
Secondary nip roller reduces wrinkle formation.

7-layer blown film line.

Child-resistant stick pack.

Flexible Packaging founding chief editor Andrew Mykytiuk moves on and managing editor Brendan O’Neill becomes Editor-in-Chief.

Compact medium-web gravure press changes over 10 colors in 30 minutes.

Easy-open feature allows for cross directional tear in oriented laminations.

Moisture-scavenging sealant lamination for medical packaging.

Glassed steel transfer roll saves electrical power and offers material efficiencies.

Internet-based design collaboration and approval software saves development time.

Package printing inks limit migration of chemicals.

Two-side-treated barrier film simplifies pouch converting process.

Microsoft’s Bill Gates retires.

Layer-multiplier extrusion flat-die system coextrudes up to 80 micro-layers.

New process increases metal adhesion values to more than 600 g/in.

Retort ink can run on flexo or gravure presses.

Anilox roll features line screens of 3,500 lines per inch.

Press incorporates foiling into the printing cycle, eliminating metalized laminations and hot stamping.

Pluto loses its planet status and is demoted to a dwarf planet.

Construction begins on elaborate border fence between U.S. and Mexico.

Nanotechnology nylon resins allow for good printability and longer shelf life.

New UV-curable resins comply with REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) safety regulations in Europe.

Flexible packaging converter achieves world record printing speed of a kilometer per minute (3,281 feet per minute) on a flexo press, with a sustained production speed of 2,300 feet per minute.

The Dow Jones industrial average rises to 12,000 for the first time.

Static control with DC ionization.

Solventless adhesive for clear retort packaging.

Wal-Mart unveils its Sustainable Packaging Scorecard to the industry at Pack Expo 2006.

Organoleptic sealant layer eliminates taste and/or odor concerns of water in a pouch.

According to the FPA, 70% of the flexible packaging market is flexo, 19% is unprinted, 10% is gravure and 1% is offset or other.

Patented wet-on-wet flexo printing process traps a combination of EB-cured and water-based inks without inter-station drying to improve quality and efficiency, and minimize environmental impact.

Found guilty of crimes against humanity, former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein is hanged in Baghdad.

Andrew von Eschenbach becomes FDA commissioner, after more than a year as acting commissioner.

Former President Gerald Ford dies.

2007

Microbiological freshness indicator turns opaque and renders a bar code unscannable if product is no longer fit for consumption.

N.Y. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton announces candidacy for President.

Dow Jones industrial average falls 3.3% in one day.

3-layer coex line produces film up to 106 inches wide with roll diameters as large as 47 inches.

Versatile web offset press uses a continuously size-variable insert system that allows converters to do a changeover in minutes without tools and without breaking the web.

First microwavable non-foil retort pouch for sauces.

Opaltone printing and matte polypropylene finish create natural organic look for snack chips.

Cast film takeoff system offers orientation.

U.S. imposes duties on some Chinese goods.

Plastic additive interacts with microorganisms in landfills to break down non-bio-based polymers.

Male student kills 32 people and wounds 15, then shoots himself, at Virginia Tech college.

Minimum wage goes from $5.15 an hour to $5.85, with 70-cent increases planned each year through 2009, to $7.25.

Plasma surface treater eliminates backside treatment.

Flexo press uses gearless linear electromagnetic motors to control 10 printing decks.

Food-contact nucleating agent for polyolefins improves clarity, physical properties and barrier and seal performance.

Soft-touch films for personal care market.

CMM International show moves venue to Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill.

Implementation deadline is June 1 for European regulation REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals).

First 17-layer cast barrier film line.

Blown film die purges fast and produces no port lines.

Automatic job setting system for blown film extrusion lines speeds set-ups and changeovers.

The seventh and final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows sells more than 8.3 million copies in its first day.

Modularly designed CAN (control area network) bus system on extrusion lines.

Plug-and-play coater/laminator is sized for R&D or pilot lines.

Bridge in Minneapolis buckles and sections fall into the Mississippi River. 13 dead; 60+ injured.

Auto-calibration on web detection system pre-sets all parameters.

High-powered ceramic electrode for corona treater allows faster line speeds with no increase in power level.

Aseptic dispensing tap for bag-in-box.

North Korea agrees to dismantle its nuclear facilities.

Nobel Peace Prize given to former VP Al Gore and the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for outlining ways to reverse global warming.

California wildfires burn more than 267,000 acres.

Cross-machine-directional scoring technology creates easy-open packs.

Stand-up, stackable pouch features easy-open perforation on the top that creates a wide opening.

Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto dies in attack, which also kills 23 other people.

2008

Wal-Mart expands Scorecard to its Canadian stores.

Federal Reserve cuts interest rates 0.75%, the largest single-day cut in history.

U.S. recession feared, after Labor Bureau cites loss of 17,000 jobs in January.

New York City mandates in-store plastic bag recycling.

New film improves slip performance to deliver consistent coefficient of friction (COF).

Flexo plate mounting system calibrates digitally to improve registration.

UV ink jet label printer achieves print quality of 900 x 900 dots per inch (dpi) at speeds of 80 linear feet per minute.

Deal ends three-month Writers’ Guild of America strike, which caused losses to the entertainment industry estimated at more than $2 billion.

Sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke dies.

ISO 14000 sets standards for international environmental management.

Easy-peel lidding for retortable can end.

Perforated stick packs for tea leaves.

High-definition corona combines high-powered electrodes and high-performance roll covering to improve surface treatment and adhesion.

Easy-open vacuum shrink pack.

Non-foil die-cut lidding for yogurt cups allows metal detection on packaging line.

Woven poly bag uses water-based inks to ensure the quality, taste and safety of animal food is not affected.

Flexible Packaging chief editor Brendan O’Neill leaves and Lisa McTigue Pierce is named Editorial Director.

First water-in-a-pouch for pets uses two compartments: a reservoir at the bottom feeds water through unique channels to the top compartment which functions as a drinking bowl.

Laser-engraved gravure cylinders control the size, shape, depth and angle of each dot for high-end print.

Senate overrides Presidential veto to pass the $307 billion Farm Bill, which increases subsidies to farmers.

Biodegradable ink cleanser/degreaser is safer for people and surfaces than hazardous chemical-based cleaners.

Offshore digital pre-media graphics services help converters cut pre-press costs.

Survey says market for silver conductive inks will reach $2.4 billion by 2015.

Newsman and “Meet the Press” host Tim Russert dies.

Comedian George Carlin dies.

Encapsulated feed technology for spiral mandrel extrusion dies allows for faster changeovers due to lower polymer inventory in the die.

First 11-layer blown film die design uses two piggybacked extruders plus seven normal extruders.

Near-neutral color calibration tool lets printers calibrate to the industry standard profile or other reference file of their choosing.

Solventless laminating adhesives for food packaging fully cure in about three days, but allows converters to slit in about four hours.

Temperature and limit controllers are compliant with the European Reduction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive.

Rotary-screen printing modules install on combination presses.

New fluoro-repellent products improve stain resistance.

G8 members agree to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050.

The Food and Drug Administration approves range of UV/EB materials for direct food contact.

Lamination machine sets Guiness World Record at drupa, running at 102.2 square meters of paper (size 70 x 100 centimeters) in 40.5 seconds.

Russia invades Georgian territory, but then withdraws.

U.S. agrees to start withdrawal of combat troops from Iraqi cities in June 2009, with full pullout by end of 2011.

China hosts the Summer Olympics.

To restore fair-market competition, the U.S. International Trade Commission rules in favor of petition against dumped and subsidized imports of laminated woven polypropylene sacks from China.

A flat-top dot structure on digital flexo printing plates reduces dot-gain problems and delivers crisp detail.

RFID-enabled fiber cores allow converters to identify and track rolls at any point in the supply chain.

Micro-grooved idler rolls help control webs better.

Merrill Lynch. Lehman Brothers. Washington Mutual. Fannie Mae. Freddie Mac. U.S. economy in freefall, as banks and mortgage companies fail and credit tightens.

Unemployment is the highest in five years, at 6.1%.

The Dow drops 778 points, its biggest point decline ever.

Paul Newman, actor and founder of Newman’s Own food company, dies.

Government passes $700 billion bailout plan to help troubled financial markets.

New coding and verification solution provides mass serialization at speeds up to 967 feet per minute.

Label maker prints flexo, screen or digital on the same machine.

For the first time in 17 years, gross domestic product (GDP) drops.

New white ink reportedly enables rotary screen-like opacities with a single pass on flexo presses.

UV curing with LED lights cuts energy usage on digital ink jet printers.

Democratic nominee Barack Obama wins the election to become the first black President in U.S. history.

Hybrid press prints via flexo, offset and screen printing in one pass.

Ink jet printheads for digital label printing provide near-photographic quality, with print resolution of up to 1,000 dots per inch.

Hybrid imager creates digital flexographic plates or traditional offset plates.

drupa attendance hits 391,000.

Double-deck air ring achieves faster and more efficient cooling in blown film extrusion.

The Dow falls below 8,000.

Unemployment rate rises to 6.7%.

Federal Reserve cuts interest rates from 1% to 0.25%.

2009

Salmonella-contaminated peanut butter kills six people (that we know of) and sickens hundreds.

Pittsburgh Steelers win Super Bowl for the sixth time, a first in the National Football League.

Unemployment rate hits 7.6%.

President Obama signs the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Photopolymer coating plate uses polyester foil for better print quality.

By rectifying the voltage electronically, new UV lamp control and power supply saves 30% on electric costs with 20% more UV output.

High-barrier, solvent-free overwrap uses a proprietary metallocene-based sealant chemistry to bond to foil without using solvent or water-based materials.

Global Digital Label Summit debuts in Barcelona, Spain.

PLA combined with pectin equals food bacteria prevention.