President's Message
1st Quarter | 2022

Dante Ferrari
AIMCAL President of the Board

 

President's Message

Hello AIMCAL members, and welcome to Q1 2022.

As I write this (late in 2021), the global economy is doing well. Flexible packaging continues to remain strong, and industrial markets are reawakening. Still, there are many issues in the converting industry to keep us up at night. Inflation is nearing record levels, job vacancies and employee mobility are at an all-time high, global supply chains and logistics are a complete mess, and geopolitical tensions continue to grow among the world’s major powers.

AIMCAL can help. Economics reports, such as those published in CQ by Robert Fry and those available in the Member Area of the AIMCAL Website, www.aimcal.org, help make sense of where the world and major economies are headed, and what it means for our industry. AIMCAL Jobs allows companies to advertise job postings and people in the industry to post resumes. Members can raise their profile to attract both new customers and suppliers by advertising, posting Member News, posting “Ask AIMCAL” questions or submitting entries for our annual AIMCAL Awards. And of course, there are an almost limitless number of technical resources to draw on in the AIMCAL TV and Conference Proceedings libraries in the Member Area. Members can increase employee engagement while raising skill levels by participating in online, hybrid or in-person Converting School classes or having employees take the online GAA gravure training certification program. AIMCAL also continues to off er great networking opportunities. In 2020 and 2021, these have meant virtual conferences, which AIMCAL staff have done a great job delivering to members via the Pheedloop platform. We also presented our first in-person conference in two years, the AIMCAL R2R USA Conference and SPE FlexPackCon® in October 2021, co-located with ICEC USA in Orlando, FL. Several in-person events are planned for 2022, so mark your calendars:

• AIMCAL Executive Leadership Conference at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC, April 4-5

• AIMCAL R2R Europe in Valencia, Spain, June 6-9

• ISCST Symposium in Minneapolis, MN, Sept. 10-14

• AIMCAL R2R USA in Orlando, FL, Sept. 25-29


Before handing over the gavel to our next president, I want to close my final President’s Message with a special thanks to the AIMCAL staff . It is not a large staff , but its members are dedicated and competent. Focused on delivering value for members, they really have fulfilled AIMCAL’s mission to “serve as the global forum for the flexible metallizing, coating and laminating industry.” Chris, Kevin, Tim, Mark, Lauren and Laura, thank you for keeping AIMCAL vibrant and relevant. In 2021, in 2022…and for many years to come!

Your humble servant,

Dante Ferrari
President of the Board - AIMCAL

 


Virtual Events Span the Globe

 Video presentations from the virtual R2R event now are available to members on-demand in the Member Area of the AIMCAL Website, www.aimcal.org. Built on pandemic lessons learned, the inaugural virtual R2R event made it possible for AIMCAL to recap its 2021 R2R USA Conference and present the 2021 R2R Asia program virtually with live and recorded content, as well as networking opportunities. Spread across three mornings and three evenings (Dec. 6-9, 2021), the multi-track agenda included more than 140 presentations from October’s R2R USA Conference and the R2R Asia Conference, which was organized in coordination with the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT), Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials (KIMM) and Jeonbuk National University. 

“Reprising content from the R2R USA Conference, which was held in-person in October, gives people who couldn’t attend a chance to view sessions and also gives attendees a chance to hear a presentation again or view presentations from other tracks,” explains AIMCAL Executive Director Chris Kerscher. Presentations from the virtual R2R event may be viewed on demand in the Member Area of the AIMCAL Website, www.aimcal.org, under Conference Proceedings. 

 

AIMCAL Establishes Mentor Program

AIMCAL has established a Mentor Program to help newcomers to the industry expand their knowledge and develop their careers. Mentors and newcomers are paired by expertise and interest areas. To share your experience in the industry or be matched with a mentor, sign up at www.aimcal.org/AIMCAL/Events/2021-R2R-USA/MentorProgram.aspx.

 

 

New WISE Scholarship Seeks
Donations to Create Endowed Fund

 AIMCAL launched the Women in Industry Scholarship for Excellence (WISE) at the 2021 AIMCAL R2R USA Conference in Orlando, FL (Oct. 17-21), held in conjunction with ICEC USA. The scholarship is intended to commend women who have overcome significant challenges, invested in STEM degrees, chosen employment in the roll-to-roll converting sector and are continuing to make important contributions in the industry. Recipients of the scholarship will receive funds to pay down student debt.

To date, AIMCAL has received more than $20,000 in donations to support the scholarship. More is needed to fund an endowment for long-term success and continue helping women working in the web-converting fi eld. A goal of $100,000 has been set to fund the endowment, with a Fall 2022 deadline.

Current sponsors include Davis-Standard, LLC; Celplast Metallized Products; Nordmeccanica Group; Intellivation LLC; and Mahlo America, Inc. Sponsors receive recognition via the AIMCAL Website, social-media posts and an exclusive scholarship sponsor plaque. AIMCAL has established four levels of support: • Diamond Sponsor at $10,000+ • Gold Sponsor at $5,000 • Silver Sponsor at $1,000 • Friends of the AIMCAL Scholarship Fund (any amount from individuals or businesses).

AIMCAL member and nonmember companies and individuals are welcome to participate. To donate, click on www.aimcal.org/AIMCAL/AIMCAL-News/WISEScholarship.aspx. For more information about the WISE Scholarship or the AIMCAL Women’s Leadership Committee, contact 803-948-9470 or [email protected].

 

Hybrid Online Converting School Courses
Focus on Web Handling and Winding

AIMCAL will host two hybrid Converting School courses early in 2022: Web Handling Month in February and Web Winding Month in March, both taught by Dr. David R. Roisum of Finishing Technologies. The online courses are accessed on-demand each week and conclude each Friday with a two-hour live Zoom session with the instructor. These public sessions allow participants to ask questions and support group discussion. On the final Friday, each participant can schedule a 15-min private meeting with the instructor.

February – Web Handling Month participants learn how to eliminate wrinkles, baggy webs and apply effective spreading; eliminate winding defects; design and maintain web machinery and control systems; design web products and processes for more reliable manufacturing; and more.

March – Web Winding Month participants learn how to eliminate winding defects; know whether a defect is manufacturing- or winding-related or both; match winder and settings to product; design and maintain winding machinery and control systems; and more.

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

 

AIMCAL Adds 11 New Members

The AIMCAL membership roster continues to expand in numbers and scope. The 11 newcomers represent material suppliers, equipment manufacturers, educational institutions and converters. 

3DT LLC, SOFTAL Corona & Plasma (Germantown, WI): Surface treatment pioneer builds corona and plasma systems for two-dimensional (2D) materials (fi lm, foil, web, sheets, panels, foam, labels). The firm also serves as the North American representative for SOFTAL Corona & Plasma GmbH, another supplier of 2D surface-treatment systems. (262-253-6700)

Belmark, Inc. (De Pere, WI): Founded in 1977 with three people and a printing press, this manufacturer now employs 1,000 people divided among six facilities in three locations. Products include pressure-sensitive labels, fl exible packaging, folding cartons and Sealutions™ peelable and resealable packaging for a broad range of markets. (920- 336-2848)

C.A. Litzler Co., Inc. (Cleveland, OH): Third-generation family business manufactures custom dryers and ovens for the converting industry. Options include convection, infrared, radio frequency and combination heating systems. Shanghai operations provide rapid sales and service responses in-country for all Litzler products. (216-213-3273)

Garware Fulflex USA, Inc. (Taylors, SC): This producer of rubber and plastic products, including thin-gauge, calendered and extruded elastic products, serves the industrial, medical, personal protective equipment, hygiene, textile, graphic-arts and fitness markets from factories and warehouses located throughout Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. (423-502-2577)

Government Institute of Printing Technology Mumbai (Mumbai, India): The not-for-profit educational institute was established in 1956. It offers a three-year diploma program in printing technology to two 120-student divisions and is recognized by the All India Council of Technical Education and Maharashtra State Board of Technical Education. (+91-022-20821474)

Infrared-Air Thermal Systems, LLC (Hawthorne, NJ): The firm relies on the latest in infrared and hot-air drying and curing technology to design and build energy-efficient process heating systems powered by electricity or gas. A laboratory equipped with a full range of heat sources expedites the evaluation of different approaches to drying and curing. (833-683-6379)

Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc. (Bennington, NH): The oldest continuously operating paper mill in the United States manufactures a diverse range of papers for technical/ specialty, premium printing and packaging applications under a third-party-certified ISO 14001 Environmental Management System that relies on wind-powered electricity. (603-588-3311)

Nordson Extrusion Dies Industries, LLC (Chippewa Falls, WI): Premier™ and Ultracoat™ slot-die systems with proprietary software efficiently dispense singular or multiple thin and uniform coatings in one pass. The company also offers positioners for slot dies at the optimum angle, thereby conserving fluid and cutting costs. (715-726-1201)

OCS Optical Control Systems GmbH (Houston, TX): Headquartered in Witten, Germany, this developer of optical inspection equipment offers systems to identify defects in film, sheet and coatings. Targeted for cast (flat) and blown film, biaxial stretch film, laminating and slitting lines, capabilities include wide-web inspection and contaminant detection. (281-723-4275)

Pilcher Hamilton Corporation (Willowbrook, IL): Established in 1904, the company manufactures polyester and nylon film and offers custom slitting, sheeting, six color printing and value-added capabilities. Options include coating, corona treatment and metallizing to enhance barrier, sealability, coefficient of friction and twistability properties. (630-655-8100, ext. 107)

Precision AirConvey Corporation (Newark, DE): A national leader in the manufacture, installation and service of trim and matrix removal systems for the label, paper, film, sheet and other industries, the company supplies high quality cutters and pneumatic conveyor systems to remove trim materials and eliminate costly clogs or breakdowns. (302-999-8000)

 

AIMCAL Women’s Leadership Committee Member Profile:

Doris Shellhorse and her team at FILMtech (she is 4th from left)
Technical Sales Engineer, FILMtech, Inc. (Bean Station, TN)

Describe your current line of work and what interests you the most about it:
Technical sales engineer for a metallizer (FILMtech) – the role is a hybrid of sales, business development and product development. What I enjoy most about this role is that it blends together my favorite aspects of work – talking to customers, understanding requirements of each application and then translating that into something tangible for our operators to execute. It is very hands-on and enables me to interact with so many different types of people and disciplines. The best part of the job is the people I get to work with each day – FILMtech has such a great team. It is quite a privilege. 

What areas of the R2R processing field are the most exciting now and into the future?
With 15+ years of experience in the R2R industry, I get excited about how the industry is evolving to meet the demands of the consumer. I see CPGs driving innovation in sustainability and R2R companies responding to the challenges in creative ways. Companies such as FILMtech are finding ways to be adaptive and responsive to the changing requirements and unpredictable market conditions, but also continuing to stay focused on the key components of maintaining a viable business (safety, quality, profitability, corporate stewardship). 

Did / do you have a female role model or mentor in your career, and what was this experience like?
Yes. I was fortunate enough to have a female boss early in my career who became my mentor/life coach and still is one of my most trusted friends. She has become much more than a mentor; she has become someone whose advice I treasure most. The best thing about our relationship is that she always gives me honest, unvarnished feedback and, because I trust her so much, I know she has my best interests at heart. Hands down, I would not be where I am today without her (personally and professionally).

What career advice can you give to women coming into the field to help assure their success?
The best advice I can give is to work hard, find someone whose feedback you trust and actively seek input on how to improve/grow/stretch. Continue to challenge yourself. Take risks! Always remember to own your power and claim your seat at the table, but don’t ever lose sight of what is most important in your life – your loved ones – so make sure you have your priorities straight.