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April, 2007

Conference Offers Printers, Packaging Firms Opportunity to Learn and Network

Miami — Sunny weather, warm temperatures, Latin Grammies, and the latest in gravure printing rolled into Miami in mid-February. The 10th Annual Operation Conference of the PLGA Global (the Packaging and Label Gravure Association Global) was definitely the highlight for members of that industry. More than 190 industry leaders attended for two full days of well-attended work sessions, award presentations, and receptions.

The theme of the conference was “Operating Profitably in a Global Market.” There were presentations by printers and suppliers of substrates, equipment and inks. Presentation topics included the global supply base from an end user, material supplier, and equipment supplier viewpoint; a panel discussion covering topics such as outsourcing electrical diagnostics and troubleshooting through modem connections to reduce downtime and improve productivity; using global logistics to ship sleeves for use in plants worldwide; and soft proofing.

Membership in PLGA continues to grow despite industry consolidation. Perhaps it is because the two meetings per year, one operational and the other technical, offer value to the membership. The mission of PLGA was formed 10 years ago with five goals:

  • Promote the use of rotogravure printing for labels and packaging;

  • Be a prime information source for the label and packaging buyer/user;

  • Deliver up-to-date information through the PLGA Global Web site (www.plga.com), training programs, and technical forums;

  • Develop a partnership with vendors, academia, and converters for the promotion and support of the process and organization; and

  • Provide the converter as well as the label and packaging buyer/user with information of the latest technology available to improve pressroom efficiency and package quality.
Awards were given for products produced in 2006. Alcan Canada and USA won awards for tobacco products in the flexible packaging for tobacco foil overwrap; innovation for die cutting and embossing; and print quality on paperboard — top-coated categories.

A complete list of winners is available on the Web site.

PLGA also awards scholarships to nurture budding talent. Randy Butler of Printpak, chairman of the education committee, announced this year’s winners. They are Megan Boyle of Clemson University, Angela Melzer of Arizona State University, Julie White of Pittsburg State University, Berk Yilancioglu of Rochester Institute of Technology, Laura Kraft of Western Michigan University, and Brennan Angel of California Polytechnic Institute.

For more information, contact Packaging & Label Gravure Association Global, c/o Jim Lepp, executive director, 18481 Royal Hammock Blvd., Naples, FL 34114; Tel.: 920-217-6059; Fax: 239-775-1741; Web site: www.plga.com.

Kent cigarette box honored

MeadWestvaco Corp. received top honors in innovative consumer packaging solutions at the Paperboard Packaging Council’s (PPC) annual competition in Nashville, Tenn. The PPC, the nation’s leading trade association serving suppliers and converters of all forms of paperboard packaging, awarded the company with the Innovation Award and a Gold Award for its electronically enabled Kent cigarette box. MeadWestvaco also took home four additional gold awards in consumer packaging solutions.

“MeadWestvaco’s record of achievement in package development is really quite remarkable,” said Jerome T. Van de Water, president, PPC. “It is quite evident that their designers and engineers are well organized for innovation. The steady stream of new ideas and applications we are seeing is the kind of thing that only happens where there’s dedication, refined processes and resources in place. Congratulations to MeadWestvaco on their latest round of success.”  

The Kent cigarette box, marketed for British American Tobacco, was created in partnership with T-Ink, developer of a patented printing process that enables voice, sound, light or motion communication without the use of bulky, costly wires, switches, buttons, or other traditional electrical components. Through the use of the conductive ink technology, the Kent package features visual lighting capabilities that activate when touched, creating a memorable and interactive customer experience.

“MeadWestvaco’s goal is to connect our customers as strongly as possible to their consumers through effective, powerful packaging solutions. Receiving PPC’s Innovation Award is a wonderful acknowledgement of our ability to go beyond one-dimensional packaging,” said Bill Biedenharn, president, Consumer Solutions Group, MeadWestvaco. “By partnering with T-Ink, we’re able to expand the power of packaging even further by adding a new layer of communication through light, sound or motion, making it truly stand out on the shelf.”

“Our partnership with MeadWestvaco is poised for many new directions in smart packaging and we look forward to defending the Innovation Award next year,” said Jonathan Press, executive vice president, T-Ink Inc.

MeadWestvaco Corp., 11013 West Broad Street, Glen Allen, Virginia 23060; Tel.: (804) 327-5200; Web site: www.meadwestvaco.com.

Tobacco packing made easier

Ronis LTD’s Automatic Twin-Ram Press is custom-built for packing tobacco leaves, strips and stems into C48 and C96 cardboard boxes. Among the design features of its machinery:

  • Adjustable height to best suit cutomer’s premises;

  • Variable number of press strokes;

  • Designed to work with both new and secondhand cardboard boxes;

  • Innovative feeding leading to uniform tobacco density in the ready box;

  • Electronic scale for final weight check;

  • Press automation minimizing the manual labor to a two- to three-man servicing crew;

  • Works with low hydraulic pressure for gentler handling of the product;

  • Optional hold-down press; and

  • Optional automatic strapper. Ronis LTD, Haskovo 6300, 1 Plovdivska Street (Bettran); Tel.: +359 38 622 694; Fax: +359 38 660 695; E-mail: ronis_ltd@mbox.contact.bg.

  • Payne offers Security Essentials

    Payne has launched Security Essentials, a package of security features that can be integrated into its tear tapes to give brand owners a first step toward protecting their products against counterfeiting.

    In a press note, Payne said that its Tear Tape Security Essentials had been selected from its established range of security technologies available through its security division. “When combined with Payne’s specialist software, cylinder, ink, and printing capabilities, the result is an extensive choice of authentication technologies that can enhance and support a company’s brand protection strategy,” according to the release.

    “The choice of security features comprises both overt and covert technologies. These can be used individually or combined to provide a multi-layered security solution integrated into the tear tape,” the company added.

    Payne, Tel.: +44 (0) 115 975-9000; Fax: +44 (0) 115 975-9001; E-mail: stephanieturner@payne-worldwide.com; Web site: www.payne-worldwide.com.

    Imperial to Build New Factory

    Taipei — The Imperial Tobacco Group is set to become the first foreign tobacco company to manufacture cigarettes in Taiwan when it opens a factory there next year.

    The £45 mn factory, to be built near Taipei, will initially have a capacity of 15 bn cigarettes. It will manufacture Davidoff, West, and Boss, which are currently imported.

    Construction is expected to start within months.

    UK-based Imperial has an 11.5% share of the 43 bn stick Taiwanese market.

    Conwood To Add Facility

    Winston-Salem, NC — Smokeless tobacco manufacturer Conwood Co. plans an expansion that will result in 50 new jobs.

    Conwood said that a new 88,000-square-foot facility will be located adjacent to the existing Taylor Brothers facility on Stratford Road.

    The new plant will create about 50 new jobs within the next 18 months, company officials said. Production is expected to begin at the plant in the first half of 2008.

    Conwood expects to invest approximately $30 mn in the new facility in 2007, with final investment in equipment in the plant to be determined by its level of production.

    The company is the second-largest smokeless tobacco manufacturer in the United States. It was acquired by Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Reynolds American Inc. in May 2006.

    Tobacco International - April, 2007

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