President's Message
4th Quarter | 2021

Dante Ferrari
AIMCAL President of the Board


President's Message

Hello AIMCAL members, and welcome to the Q4 2021.

Most of us in the converting industry have been fortunate to be able to continue work in essential manufacturing sectors, where demand has remained robust. We have had to worry more about raw-material inflation and filling new positions rather than worrying about whether the government was going to shut us down or where our next orders would come from. In spite of this, Zoom fatigue and Teams ennui have afflicted many of us. Humans are social creatures, and we are craving face-to-face interaction. With vaccination rates improving and more places opening up to group meetings, this can finally start to happen again.

We are very excited that the AIMCAL R2R USA Conference and SPE FPD’s FlexPackCon® 2021 was held in person Oct. 17-21 in Orlando, FL. Co-located with the ICEC USA exhibition, the program featured a series of Fundamentals Seminars and an entire day on gravure printing and coating, provided by our newest members from the Gravure AIMCAL Alliance, formerly the Gravure Assn. of the Americas.

We also have several in-person events planned for 2022:

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

• Several short courses with dates and locations to be determined


 In other words: We’re back, baby!

Your humble servant,

Dante Ferrari
President of the Board - AIMCAL


NASCAR Hall of Fame Hosts
2022 Executive Leadership Conference 

The 2022 AIMCAL Executive Leadership Conference will be held April 4-5, 2022, at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC. The full agenda will post after the first of the year. Check the AIMCAL website,, for details and a registration form. 


GAA Combination with AIMCAL Becomes Official

 The combination of AIMCAL and the Gravure Assn. of the Americas has been completed. Now known as the Gravure AIMCAL Alliance (GAA), it functions as a standing committee of AIMCAL and retains its existing leadership. In one of its first actions as part of the combined organization, GAA put together a gravure track for the AIMCAL R2R USA Conference, held in October in conjunction with ICEC USA 2021.

GAA committee members include Chair Lou DeFlaviis of INX International and Co-Chair JD Harris of Fresco System USA, Inc., along with Rod Sosa, also of Fres-co, John Edwards of Sun Chemical, Bill Poulson of Harper Corporation of America, Dan Comerford of WRE/ColorTech, Todd Luman of Interprint, Inc., Johnny Stamey of Daetwyler Corp. and Mandee Jones of SAUERESSIG Packaging, a Matthews International Company.

Company profiles follow:

Fres-co-System USA, Inc. (Telford, PA): A 32-acre headquarters houses a flexible-packaging and equipment production facility, an R&D department, engineering services and administrative offices. A second facility is located in Red Oak, IA. (215-721-4600)

Harper Corporation of America (Charlotte, NC): Company produces and restores laser-engraved ceramic anilox rolls. Other products include anilox plates and bridge sleeves; gravure rolls; proofing systems; ink cleaners; pressroom supplies; and rubber rolls. (704-588-3371)

Interprint, Inc.(Pittsfield, MA): This expert in décor printing and thermoplastic foils produces materials in widths up to 2,700 mm. “Wood,” “stone” and creative décors decorate the surfaces of wood-based panels that are processed into furniture and flooring. (413-443-4733)

INX International Ink Co. (Schaumburg, IL): High performance printing inks and coatings serve commercial, packaging and digital print applications. As a specialist in inkjet inks, the company provides a full palette of digital ink systems and integrated services. (630-382-1800)

Daetwyler Corp. (Huntersville, NC): A market leader for coated and uncoated precision doctor blades and other pressroom products for printers also serves as the North American parent company of Rotoflex. (704-875-1200)

SAUERESSIG Packaging, a Matthews InternationalCompany, (New Berlin, WI): US operations include Frost Converting Systems, Inc. (Burlington, NC). Products include steel cores and sleeves for gravure printing and design-to-print management, particularly for flexible packaging. (262-786-2330)

Sun Chemical (Northlake, IL): A member of the DIC Group, the company produces printing inks, coatings and supplies, pigments, polymers, liquid compounds, solid compounds and application materials. (708-236-3798)

WRE/ColorTech (Greensboro, NC): From its start as Western Roto Engravers, Inc., in Berkeley, CA, the company has provided engraving services for more than six decades. It now offers complete prepress and engraving capabilities from four locations. (336-275-9821)



Welcome Laura Lavore, Farewell Messina

 Laura Lavore joined the AIMCAL staff on Oct. 6, 2021, as office manager in Greenville. Lavore brings administrative expertise and experience in event planning and membership organizing. She comes to AIMCAL from Hulsey McCormick & Wallace, Inc., an engineering firm in Piedmont, SC, where she coordinated company events, client relation functions, conferences and employee travel. She also handled many office tasks including assisting in preparing proposals. A cum laude graduate of Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science, Lavore worked in technical services and quality control immediately after graduation and has been heavily involved in local school and community groups in recent years. 

Meanwhile, AIMCAL sadly bids farewell to Operations Manager Tracey Messina. She joined the AIMCAL staff almost two decades ago and has been involved in every facet of the association, from handling communications and maintaining the membership list to helping plan and execute events. “Tracey has been such an asset to the AIMCAL team in her 17 years of service to the AIMCAL community,” says Executive Director Chris Kerscher. “I am so grateful for her commitment, organization and member-focused approach – her experience has been invaluable, and she will be greatly missed.” 


R2R USA Conference at ICEC includes GAA Track

About 200 people attended the AIMCAL R2R USA Conference & SPE FPD’s FlexPackCon® in October, which was co-located with ICEC USA USA, and served as its technical conference. The expanded agenda included a gravure track organized by the Gravure AIMCAL Alliance (GAA). Other topics in the program included flexible packaging; sustainability; metallizing; solution, extrusion and vacuum web coating; drying; laminating; web handling; batteries and flexible electronics.



Submit Hall of Honor Nominations

The deadline for nominations to the AIMCAL Hall of Honor is Jan. 31, 2022. Nominations are voted on and announced during the AIMCAL Executive Leadership Conference, April 4-5, 2022, in Charlotte, NC. 

Nominees should be outstanding contributors to both AIMCAL and the R2R industry. Candidates must have at least 10 years of participation with AIMCAL and a minimum of 15 years of employment in the R2R industry at suppliers, converters and/or raw-material manufacturers. Application forms may be found on the AIMCAL website,, click on Conferences & Events. 



Learn all about Unwinds in New Hybrid Converting School Course Set for January 2022

AIMCAL will hold a hybrid Converting School course, “Unwinds: Overview & Case Studies,” daily from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Jan. 10-14, 2022. Instructor Neal Michal of Converting Expert LLC, an authority on web-handling, process design and optimization, serves as an AIMCAL Technical Advisor and is a founding member and co-chair of the AIMCAL Web Handling Committee. Hybrid courses consist of online live daily instruction Monday through Thursday plus a private, one-on-one online meeting with the instructor during the final class on Friday. For more information, visit the AIMCAL website,, click on Education and select Courses. 


Save The Dates For ISCST Symposium, Deadline For 2022 AIMCAL Awards Competition

The 2022 ISCST (International Society of Coating Science and Technology) Symposium is scheduled to be held in-person Sept. 10-14, 2022, in Minneapolis, MN. AIMCAL is once again providing management services for the multitrack meeting focused on technical innovations. Agenda details and registration information will be available in Q2 2022 via the AIMCAL or ISCST websites, or

Jan. 31, 2022, is the deadline for submissions to AIMCAL’s 2022 Product of the Year, Technology of the Year and Sustainability Awards competition. Winners will be revealed at the 2022 Executive Leadership Conference. Learn more about AIMCAL Awards.

AIMCAL Welcomes a Dozen New Members

The AIMCAL membership list continues to grow with the addition of 12 companies during the third quarter of 2021. Newcomers expand AIMCAL’s international scope with three organizations based outside North America.

ABBA Roller – A Div. of IRP Group (Ontario, CA): This member manufactures and reconditions rubber and chrome rolls using in-house custom-milled rubber formulations and advanced polyurethane roll-covering technology to maintain tolerances within 0.0002 in. (909-947-1244)

Berry Global (Evansville, IN): Substrate maker designs and develops sustainable, innovative packaging and engineered products with an eye toward the circular economy, with 47,000 employees spread across 295 locations globally. (812-306-2230)

College of Engineering, Guindy, Anna University (Chennai, India): Founded in 1794, the College of Engineering, Guindy is a public engineering college and the oldest technical institution in Asia. It also ranks as the oldest technical institution established outside Europe. (+91-44-22358960)

Glenroy, Inc. (Menomonee Falls, WI): The TruRenu sustainable flexible-packaging portfolio features recyclable pouches and film laminations that qualify for the How2Recycle® store drop-off program and pouches and laminations made with PCR content. (262-250-7110)

Hadronics (Cincinnati, OH): Manufacturer of cores and shafts heat-treats, balances, coats and finishes with industrial chrome, copper, nylon (Rilsan) and thermal sprays. (513-314-9296)

Menzel LP (Spartanburg, SC): This web-handling equipment specialist designs and builds winders, slitters, accumulators, pull stands, coaters, ovens, inspection frames, A-frames, conveyors, up-enders, singers, brushers, splicing equipment and custom machines. (864-576-5690)

Milspeed Limited (Bourton on the Water, UK): Large specialist coating company offers expertise in extrusion coating, coextrusion and in-line lamination; helps develop sustainable products; and works with customers to reprocess industrial waste into new materials. (44-797-4768432)

Optimation (Rush, NY): This single source for projects ranging from simple upgrades to turnkey operations supplies mechanical and process engineering and design, automation and systems integration, skilled trades fabrication and maintenance services. (585-321-2300)

Polymount US (Newnan, GA): Film cleaner preps film before startup and post-use so it can be reused. When the film can no longer be reused, a machine granulates the material into pellets for re-extrusion and helps converters meet sustainability goals and cut waste. (770-722-0076) 

QuantumScape (San Jose, CA): With a mission to revolutionize energy storage to enable a sustainable future, the battery maker develops next-generation, solid-state lithium-metal batteries for use in electric vehicles. It is currently testing its first 10-layer cells. (408-452-2000)

Roll-2-Roll Technologies LLC (Stillwater, OK): A leading provider of web guiding and sensing solutions to the roll-to-roll industry offers devices for web guiding, web-width measurement, web edge-position measurement and web inspection and monitoring. (888-290-3215)

Varna Limited (Rathmalana, Sri Lanka): The first flexible packaging company in Sri Lanka (established in 1961) has grown to a large-scale automated operation capable of nine-color gravure printing, three-layer film extrusion and solvent-based, solventless and water-based lamination. (+94-777-581414) 


AIMCAL Women’s Leadership Committee Member Profile:

Kathryn Cosentino, MBS

senior product development engineer, Alpha Engineered Composites

Describe your current line of work and what interests you the most about it:
I started my career with Alpha in 2013, so I’ve been working in the converting industry for about eight years. I work on new product design for a range of thermal composite materials used in the automotive, aerospace, construction and several other industries. My technical focus at Alpha has been developing new high-temperature adhesives and coatings specifically for our coated fabrics, laminates and elastomer products, as the applications and markets we serve continue to evolve in an exciting way.

What I love most about my role is being involved in every stage of new technology development from concept design to large-scale production. I love working with customers to engineer solutions that anticipate and meet future technological challenges, to research and incorporate emerging technologies in creative ways, and see that process full circle.

What areas of the R2R processing field are the most exciting now and into the future?
Converting is a fascinating field to be involved in today, especially with rapid advancements in automation and incorporation of IoT in R2R processes. In the post-COVID-19 era, companies have learned to be much more adaptive to change – the ability to take changing circumstances as an opportunity for experimentation and innovation, or skillfully pivot in business strategy, will be critically valuable and exciting to watch over the next few years. As the need to transition to a more sustainable global economy becomes more clear and immediate, I am excited about the future of innovation in our industry. R2R manufacturers will play a critical role in creating more energy-efficient processes and designing products with less impact on our planet.

Did / do you have a female role model or mentor in your career, and what was this experience like?
Most of my early career was spent as the only woman in the room in technical meetings, but I was fortunate to work with and learn from many female leaders through collaboration with suppliers, customers and especially networking within AIMCAL. Developing these relationships was an important part of my professional development, as I gained valuable perspective on how to effectively navigate such a male-dominated field.

What career advice can you give to women coming into the field to help assure their success?
Own your expertise and be confident in your own competence. Women often subconsciously internalize doubt and tend to speak up less, but asserting your ideas confidently is key to effective communication in meetings and getting your team’s buy-in.