President's Message
2021 | 1st Quarter

Dante Ferrari, AIMCAL President

President's Message

Hello, AIMCAL members. Welcome to the First Quarter of 2021. This also happens to mark CQ’s 10th anniversary. “Happy Birthday” to a magazine that has grown up during the publishing industry’s transition from paper to digital and continues to grow both its readership and advertiser base in both formats.

Normally the beginning of a new year fills people with optimism. This is doubly true in 2021, when most of us are looking forward to putting the lockdowns, virtual conferences, and missed family gatherings of 2020 firmly behind us. While we need to remain vigilant, and the pandemic is still very much with us, we can finally look forward to a brighter future. For many of us, this means a business recovery on an unprecedented scale, as many industries that were in a deep-freeze in 2020 come back to life: construction; automotive; textiles; foodservice; and hospitality; to name just a few. 

One industry that remained solid in 2020 was flexible packaging. If anything, it had a banner year. Consumers and governments alike were reminded that flexible packaging is not a scourge on society but an essential service that keeps our food and medicines safe in a cost-effective, resource-saving manner. This market is the focus of the Quarter 1 issue of CQ.

AIMCAL held its first R2R USA Virtual Conference, jointly with the SPE FlexPackCon, in October 2020 – the most technically broad and deep conference we have ever organized. It also allowed us to experiment with new methods of networking through virtual exhibits, online Happy Hours, direct messaging, video chats, and presence tracking. The new format of dedicating each day’s keynote sessions and technical papers to specific vertical markets—flexible packaging, batteries, and flexible & printed electronics—was very well received, as was the low cost of entry.

In terms of keeping people connected, AIMCAL initiated or expanded several online resources for its members. More and more people are discovering that live, online webinars are an efficient way to obtain timely technical or market information. We presented 29 webinars in 2020, roughly triple the number done in any previous year! In addition, three committees were established this year: Women’s Leadership; Membership; and Sustainability. These three groups and all our other committees were very active in 2020 and provide a great opportunity for members to stay connected to peers in the converting industry. Hybrid Converting School events, which combine online asynchronous learning with live video chats with instructors, also have been a cost-effective approach to gain critical industry training. 

Looking back, 2020 was a challenging year for AIMCAL, forcing us to think outside the box and find new ways to bring value to members. Fortunately, with the leadership and rock-solid support of our talented staff, we met these challenges and without any financial strain on the organization. More importantly, the virtual methods we used to stay connected and deliver technical content will create even more opportunities to join, participate, and succeed in 2021 and beyond. 

Welcome to 2021. It’s going to be our best year yet!

Your humble servant,
 
Dante Ferrari
President of the Board - AIMCAL

 



AIMCAL unveils new interactive Website

The AIMCAL Website now offers interactive features and a new backend-member system. “Individual member profiles show their activities within AIMCAL and a history of AIMCAL events,” says AIMCAL Membership Outreach Director Tim Janes. “The interactive systems also enable direct connection with other members and AIMCAL committees.” 

Online Communities, similar to LinkedIn groups, allow members to discuss questions, share best practices, and network. After log-in, members can view the exclusive Member Access section and experience all the member resources and interactive functionality. Members can see 200+ technical videos, conference presentations, and webinars on AIMCAL TV, submit a question using Ask AIMCAL (and see previous questions and answers), post jobs, view the SourceBook directory, submit member news, join technical committees, attend Converting School courses, register for live webinars, and more. Visit www.aimcal.org, click on Membership




Save the dates

Oct. 17-21, 2021
AIMCAL R2R Conference USA 
Orlando, FL
Technical conference presents papers on the latest roll-to-roll (R2R) technologies including metallizing, coating, drying, laminating, and web-handling, and end markets such as packaging, printed electronics, photovoltaics, and optics. Co-located with ICEC USA in 2021.

Converting School offers hybrid courses 
AIMCAL will host five hybrid courses in early 2021: Web Handling Month in February and Web Winding Month in March, both taught by Dr. David R. Roisum of Finishing Technologies. Troubleshooting Case Studies Week from March 22-26 and Unwinds: Overview & Case Studies Week from April 26-30, both taught by Neal Michel of Converting Expert, LLC. And Easy Web Handling Modeling Week from May 17-21, taught by Ron Lynch of RJLynch & Associates, LLC. The online courses are accessed on-demand each week and conclude each Friday with a two-hour live Zoom session with the instructor. Or are 2-hour live courses for one week. These public sessions allow participants to ask questions and support group discussion. On the final Friday for both formats, each participant can schedule a 15-minute private meeting with the instructor. 

Students who meet all course requirements receive a Certificate of Completion. The cost per course is $699 for members and $899 for non-members. Visit www.aimcal.org, click on Education


AIMCAL to present new live Webinars 
“Recruiting Talent in Packaging,” presented by David Peterson at 11:00 a.m. EST on Feb. 24, 2021, will help you recruit, train, and retain top talent. Peterson dispels myths and provides tactics for successfully engaging the five generations—Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z. Attendees also gain insight on how COVID-19 has impacted employment and learn about virtual interviewing, onboarding and managing a remote or hybrid workforce.
 
“Simultaneous Multilayer Coating,” presented by Mark Miller at 11:00 a.m. EST on March 3, 2021, will show the advantages of applying two or more layers of fluid in one pass. A pre-metered method such as slot-die coating is required for two or three layers. If more than three layers are involved, the die is called a slide die. Proper sizing and pump type need to be considered for each fluid being applied. 

AIMCAL webinars are recorded and may be accessed on-demand by members. Sign-in on at www.aimcal.org and click on AIMCAL TV. Live webinars are open to members and non-members. To register, visit the website, click Events


AIMCAL roster adds 10 member companies
Ten companies joined AIMCAL during Q4 2020, providing a healthy boost to the association’s membership. New members include a mix of end user, supplier, and academic organizations headquartered in the US and abroad.  

ADLAM Films (Shannon, MS): This specialist in extrusion coating, adhesive laminating, flexographic printing, and finishing offers printed and unprinted films for industrial and packaging applications. (662-823-1325)

HD MicroSystems (Austin, TX): Product lineup includes polyimide and PBO precursor chemistries for micro-electronics; standard, photosensitive, and optically clear coatings; and thermoplastic adhesives. (512-423-5207)

Kompass Pakistan (Pvt.), Ltd. (Karachi, Pakistan): This producer and converter of films and laminates for packaging applications recently added gravure printing to its product offerings. (+92-21-34153998)

Max Speciality Films, Ltd. (Ropar, India): Firm produces BOPP film for multiple end markets. (+91-98761-38544)

North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC): As a leader in paper science and engineering studies, subjects of interest include forest biomaterials, smart packaging, flexible electronics, and barrier coatings. (919-513-6622) 

PepsiCo, Inc. (Plano, TX): The international food and beverage company offers many familiar brands including Lay’s, Cheetos, Fritos, Doritos, Ruffles, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Mirinda, Quaker, and Walkers. (972-334-4921) 

Rogers Corporation (Chandler, AZ): The provider of engineered materials delivers power electronics, elastomeric material, and advanced connectivity solutions. (480-961-8286) 

Rolic Technologies (Allschwil, Switzerland): The developer of nanoscale surface-modification systems for light management and optical effects serves applications in displays, security, and organic electronics. (+41-787017766)

Tasus (Bloomington, IN): Tsuchiya Global Group subsidiary specializes in plastic molding and printing/converting of labels, graphic overlays, emblems, decorative trim, and in-mold decoration and film. (812-676-6633) 

Thomas Frank Associates, LLC (Chester Springs, PA): With extensive global-market experience, the consultancy provides technology and market development for BOPP flexible packaging and labeling. (610-764-3573) 


Not a member of AIMCAL yet?
Join now for membership for 12 months. All employees of organizations that join AIMCAL now receive access to all member resources for the year. Member benefits include an individual profile for each employee, online member “Community” forum, access to the AIMCAL TV Network, committee involvement, technical training, marketing, networking, events, and market research, as well as inclusion in the AIMCAL SourceBook and the opportunity to present live webinars. Learn more by visiting www.aimcal.org, click Membership; or contact Member Outreach Director Tim Janes at 803-948-9469 or tim@aimcal.org.



AIMCAL Women’s Leadership Committee Member Profile:

Emily Haines, Process Engineer, Green Bay Packaging Inc., Coated Products Operations

Describe your current line of work and what interests you the most about it:
I began my career in the converting industry as an intern in 2016 while I was studying mechanical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Working as an intern helped me decide what field of engineering interested me most. Now, as a process engineer at Green Bay Packaging, I spend most of my time managing the adhesive-delivery systems at our facilities. This includes designing and implementing changes to pumps, valves, piping, hoses, PLC programs, and storage tanks. I also work with my colleagues and vendors on solving adhesive-quality issues to ensure we are providing exceptionally good products to our customers. 


What interests me most about my position is the wide variety of work I am involved in. In addition to managing adhesive delivery, I work on process improvement such as conducting time studies of our manufacturing methods and identifying areas of improvement to maximize production, reducing transit damage and unpaid claims from our vendors, industrial computer upgrades, and commissioning a division-wide recycling program. It’s exciting to work in such a fast-paced atmosphere and be challenged in a new way every day. 

What areas of the R2R processing field are the most exciting now and into the future?
The pressure-sensitive label stock business is an extremely fascinating field to work in because of the many different sectors our end-users serve, such as food and beverage labels, pharmaceuticals, retail and consumer goods, and even the construction industry. Each application requires different structures, process conditions, and materials. What excites me most about the future is the innovation in the field related to sustainability, not only in the products we sell but in our manufacturing processes. I’m excited to see the new ways in which the industry develops more sustainable solutions for the future!


Did/do you have a female role model or mentor in your career and what was this experience like?
I have had two remarkable female mentors in my career. As an intern at Green Bay Packaging, I was paired with an experienced engineer who served as my mentor throughout my internship. She was so welcoming and helpful in every way possible. I was able to talk with her about the different options in engineering and her previous work experience. She helped me develop my skills further and show me what our industry has to offer. Another female role model in my career is a leader in our company who I was able to work closely with this past year. She has over 30 years of experience and passed down invaluable knowledge I use every day in my work. I am fortunate to still work with both of these women today and look up to them in many ways. 


What career advice can you give to women coming into the field to help assure their success?
The most impactful career advice I can give to women coming into the field is a phrase inscribed in a bracelet I received as a gift: “Keep moving forward.” Every facet of life is not meant to be effortless. Some things that come easy to others may be more difficult for you. Sometimes you may not have the slightest idea on how to solve a problem – use your resources and pull in people who can help. Surround yourself with people whom you look up to and when you get stuck, ask for advice. Every challenge you overcome will push you to grow immensely, both professionally and personally.