President's Message
2020 | 4th Quarter

Dante Ferrari, AIMCAL President

President's Message

Hello, AIMCAL members. With a second wave of COVID-19 outbreaks and the US national election, there is a lot to occupy our attention and distract us from the trends that are shaping our industry. Converting Quarterly retains a laser-sharp focus on these issues, bringing us back to what really matters to the converting industry: safety, sustainability, reducing waste and improving quality. Not only that, but it goes a step further by providing us with the annual Buyers Guide, the most comprehensive guide in the converting industry and an essential sourcing tool for anyone who needs to solve a specific problem or meet a specific need.

AIMCAL continues to provide value for its members in these unusual times, through its commitment to fostering collaboration and partnerships with other associations. AIMCAL staff recently put on the successful 20th ISCST Symposium, which AIMCAL manages every two years. We have seen firsthand what value can be created when associations with common goals combine forces to put on a top-notch technical conference. ISCST provided the technical content, and AIMCAL provided the know-how and resources needed to run a seamless conference. In this case, we should say a seamless virtual conference, the first-ever for ISCST.

Similarly, AIMCAL hosted its own virtual first, the R2R USA Conference, in conjunction with the SPE FlexPackCon® (Oct.19-23, 2020). We weren’t able to apparate or grab an enchanted portkey to see each other in Orlando this October, but we still connected through the magic of the Internet. Nearly every day began and ended with virtual exhibits and networking sessions. The new format also allowed us to hold keynote sessions and technical papers on specific vertical markets each day: flexible packaging, batteries and flexible electronics. While it is difficult to replace the human interaction of a face-to-face conference, we are excited that this virtual format allowed us to offer new ways to deliver content in a more focused manner. It also allowed us to engage in some new forms of networking, like virtual exhibits, direct messaging and presence tracking, to connect people that share common technical interests or would like to explore business opportunities.

In addition to embracing new technologies, AIMCAL also believes it is important that we don’t forget our roots. That is why, even though this R2R USA/FlexPackCon was a state-of-the-art, IT-enabled interactive experience, there were many reminders that 2020 is the association’s 50th anniversary. This is an occasion to celebrate and reflect on what has made the organization so successful during the past 50 years. A good place to start is to emulate those individuals whose passion and commitment to the industry helped AIMCAL grow over the decades. Therefore, the conference opened with our inaugural Hall of Honor induction ceremony, to celebrate the people and personalities of AIMCAL who have been instrumental to its growth.

Happy 50th birthday, AIMCAL! May there be many more to come.

Your humble servant,

Dante Ferrari
President of the Board - AIMCAL


Virtual format for R2R USA /
SPE FlexPackCon® earns praise

The virtual R2R USA/FlexPackCon® conference (Oct. 19-23, 2020) opened with welcoming remarks from AIMCAL and SPE and the induction of the premiere class in AIMCAL’s new Hall of Honor.

Throughout the week, attendees, speakers and exhibitors enjoyed interacting via Pheedloop, an award-winning conference platform, and participated in short courses, plenary sessions, virtual exhibits and networking, plus a multi-track schedule focused on developments in flexible packaging, web coating and laminating, vacuum web coating, extrusion coating, web handling and winding, gravure printing, and adhesives and coatings.

Established as part of the association’s 50th-anniversary celebration, AIMCAL’s Hall of Honor recognizes significant contributions to the group and the roll-to-roll industry. The first five honorees include Past Executive Director Craig Sheppard; Chuck Larsen, AIMCAL president from 1995-1996 and chief executive officer of Celplast Metallized Products, Ltd. (CMP); AIMCAL’s first two technical consultants, Dr. Edward D. Cohen and Dr. Eldridge M. Mount III; and Dr. Charles A. Bishop, a long-time member of AIMCAL’s Technical Advisory Committee.

Dr. Charles A. Bishop
Bishop has been involved in vacuum coating for more than 25years. He started C.A. Bishop Consulting Ltd. (Loughborough, UK) in 1998 to offer expertise in vacuum engineering, system and process design, troubleshooting and training. AIMCAL has played a significant role in his professional journey. He says, “At the start of my career, AIMCAL provided a quick route to expanding my contacts list and exposure to alternative technologies to the ones I was working on. When I moved into consulting, AIMCAL through the technical conferences enabled me to present papers that helped me bring my company name to a wide range of potential clients.”

Dr. Edward D. Cohen
Cohen was an active participant in AIMCAL technical conferences even before he retired from DuPont Central R&D (Wilmington, DE) in 1998 and was named the association’s first technical consultant. As the technical consultant for web coating, he has helped AIMCAL deliver technical expertise via active involvement in the Technical Advisory Panel, recruitment of speakers, support of the Ask AIMCAL function of the Website and presentation of short courses. He has authored or contributed to various publications for AIMCAL and the industry, including Coating & Drying Defects: Troubleshooting Operating Problems and Modern Coating and Drying Technology, both co-written with Edgar B. Gutoff.

Dr. Eldridge M. Mount III
Mount is an independent consultant with more than 40 years of industrial experience and his EMMOUNT Technologies LLC (Canandaigua, NY) offers consulting and technical training. A leading developer of metallized films for barrier applications, Mount is named on numerous patents. Prior to starting his firm, Mount worked for ExxonMobil Chemical and ICI Americas Film Divisions. Mount has served AIMCAL as a technical consultant for metallizing since 2001, been instrumental in updates of the Metallizing Technical Reference and played key roles in AIMCAL Summer School and technical conferences.

Chuck Larsen
Larsen, co-founder and chief executive officer of CMP (Toronto, ON, Canada), has served on the board, presented at conferences and supported the AIMCAL Awards program, where CMP has earned recognition for products and technology. Larsen recalls, “CMP joined AIMCAL as soon as we got our first metallizer running. As a new company...with a single production unit in Canada, we were ignored by suppliers. AIMCAL provided an avenue to meet prospective suppliers.” He adds, “My most satisfying accomplishment while vice president and program chairman was working with Bob Burgess (president 1998-2000) to move a failing technical program with unsustainable attendance into the successful format it maintains today.”

Craig Sheppard
Sheppard retired at the end of 2019 after 21 years at the helm of AIMCAL. During that time, the group experienced growth in membership, international scope and reputation. High points include merging with CEMA in April 2003, launching Converting School (formerly Summer School) and expanding it internationally and online, and extending the R2R Conference USA (formerly the Fall Technical Conference) to include more tracks as well as editions in Europe and Asia. Other accomplishments included expanding thestaff and increasing AIMCAL’s technical stature. During Craig’s tenure, AIMCAL also launched the AIMCAL SourceBook,Converting Quarterlytechnical blogs & webinars, and AIMCAL TV.

Future honorees will be chosen by an awards committee, which will consider applications submitted by members. Forms will be available on the AIMCAL Website,


AIMCAL honors best technical presentations at R2R VIRTUAL Conference USA 2020

Six presentations at the just-concluded AIMCAL R2R Conference USA were honored with Awards for Technical Excellence.

This year’s John Matteucci Award honorees include Web Coating Award: “Troubleshooting and Defect Reduction in Coated Products” by Ted Lightfoot of Ted Lightfoot LLC; Honorable Mention: “Primers for Extrusion Coating” by Ginger Cushing of G Prime; Vacuum Web Coating Award “Dynamic Reverse-Pulsing 2.5-in. Solving Critical Road blocks in Thin-Film Coating Technologies” by Craig Rappe of Advanced Energy Industries, Inc.; and Honorable Mention: “Thin, Flexible Ribbon Ceramics and Flexible Glass” by Michael Badding of Corning, Inc. 

Two new awards were bestowed by AIMCAL Committees: Web-Handling Committee Best Paper Award: “Fifty Years of Web-Handling Mistakes” by Ronald Lynch of RLynch & Associates; and Women’s Leadership Committee Best Paper Award: “The Path Forward in UV-LED Web Converting” by Jennifer Heathcote of GEW, Inc.

2021 AIMCAL Awards entries due Jan. 15
It’s time to start preparing entries for AIMCAL’s 2021 awards competitionDeadline for submission is Jan. 15, 2021.
Contenders for Product of the YearTechnology of the Year and Sustainability Award prizes are judged by industry experts, who consider features, immediate and long-term benefits, technical importance, uniqueness, usefulness and other attributes. Entry forms may be found on the AIMCAL Website, www.aimcal.orgclick on Events.

AIMCAL adds Duraco to membership list

Duraco (Forest Park, IL): The manufacturer and supplier of specialty tapes took advantage of AIMCAL’s special third-quarter membership offer that gives newcomers membership benefits for the remainder of 2020 and all of 2021. It serves virtually all markets as a one-stop shop for adhesive needs.

Learn about AIMCAL Membership and JOIN TODAY!