4th Quarter | 2022
AIMCAL President of the Board
Hello members. Greetings from sunny England!
Welcome in the Association for Roll-to-Roll Converters. Why the name change? We rebranded to bring an exciting new look to our great organization and to have a greater reach to all converters around the globe.
Well, the Orlando stage was set for the 2022 R2R USA Conference. We had an excellent technical program assembled with over 70 presentations; keynotes from the likes of P&G, NASA and “MythBusters;” almost 300 attendees registered and then…Hurricane Ian happened.\
Who names a hurricane “Ian,” anyway?
We certainly felt the full force and sadly had to cancel the R2R USA program only about halfway through. Given the devastation caused in southwestern Florida, this turned out to be the correct decision; our thoughts go out to all of those most affected. For those, like me, who remained in Florida (due to flight cancellations, etc.), we “hunkered down” and made the most of very unusual circumstances with my hotel room becoming a makeshift meeting and event center. For me personally, I enjoyed this time as it allowed me to catch up with old (and new) friends – something that I have not been able to do given the COVID-19 lockdowns over the past couple of years.
The R2R USA Conference was later made virtual with all the excellent presentations available, along with live Q&As and even two keynotes. I would like to offer my personal thanks to Chris Kerscher and staff for their hard work putting together a great conference…only to be thwarted by the weather.
As I write this message, economies on both sides of The Pond are seeing a slowdown and, with this, the inevitable cutback in spending. Recession seems to be the new buzzword, so let’s hope it’s a brief reset before returning to more normal, growing times. Certain market segments seem to be immune to this, mainly in the low-carbon / green-energy sectors. This field grows ever faster as most of the G7 nations and beyond set out to achieve the promises made at the COP Summit in 2021. Sustainability and advanced packaging techniques can be added to this effort as we focus on a greener future with many of our members contributing. Keep up the great work.
To conclude, I hope you all had a great summer. Let’s hope we all can meet again next autumn and that Mother Nature behaves this time around.
Your humble servant,
President of the Board - Association for Roll-to-Roll Converters
AIMCAL changes name to the
Association for Roll-to-Roll Converters
AIMCAL, The Association of International Metallizers,
Coaters and Laminators, has adopted a new name, the
Association for Roll-to-Roll Converters. The announcement
was celebrated with a champagne toast at the AIMCAL R2R
USA Conference (Sept. 26-29, 2022, at the DoubleTree by
Hilton in Orlando, FL). The transition to the new name and
related rebranding, including a new logo and website (www.rolltoroll.org), will occur during the next few months and is
expected to be completed by mid-2023.
The new name reflects the evolution of AIMCAL’s
membership. Since its founding in 1970 as a group focused
primarily on metallizing, coating and laminating, it has
broadened via mergers with the Converting Equipment
Association (2003), European Metallizers Association
(2012) and Gravure Association of the Americas (2021), as
well as the expanding use of roll-to-roll (R2R) technology.
As a result, AIMCAL members now represent virtually
every industry segment that relies on R2R technology,
including packaging, batteries, photovoltaics, consumer
electronics and medical products, among others.
"The name change allows us to be more inclusive of all
facets of roll-to-roll converting and focus on membership benefits for prospective members rather than spending
time explaining the AIMCAL acronym and describing
the businesses members currently serve,” says Executive
Director Chris Kerscher.
Along with the name change and rebranding, the
Association for Roll-to-Roll Converters will bring cuttingedge science and technology to members and the industry
through top-tier technical training and education and the
most comprehensive library of technical resources in the
The rebranding builds on 50 years of AIMCAL history
and its global reach to foster even stronger connections
among industry leaders, partners and the workforce. It
honors AIMCAL’s history and heritage while adding design
elements to better represent the organization’s three-fold
mission: educating members, connecting them with each
other, and helping them grow their businesses.
“The result is a new brand that feels fresh yet rooted
in AIMCAL’s strong history,” says Kerscher. The icon
depicts a web path as elements come together around
a roller, representing the industry and symbolizing the
unification of materials, processes and most importantly, the
people. Combined, these elements form an upward arrow,
suggesting the forward-thinking nature of the association.
The navy blue is the original blue from the previous
AIMCAL logo, with a lighter green color to signify growth
Kerscher notes, “The clear, concise name, coupled with
a modern logo and wordmark, is an exciting step for the
organization, which already has proven to be thoughtful
and strong in its purpose. Since its formation more than 50
years and 300 members ago, the mission still holds true:
The Association for Roll-to-Roll Converters looks ahead to
the next 50 years as we collect and distribute information to
increase industry knowledge while fostering an environment
that builds relationships and a spirit of cooperation between
member companies worldwide.”
To support the emphasis on training,
AIMCAL has hired Alex Nevels as
Director of Education. He will create
new training courses and build content
specifically for converters. “This will
turn our industry-leading resource
library into an even stronger tool
for members,” explains Kerscher.
Nevels has spent the last 10 years
supporting educational endeavors for
various organizations as a learning consultant, instructional
designer, eLearning developer and development support
Hurricane Ian cuts short R2R USA
Conference; program goes virtual
The R2R USA Conference (Sept. 26-29, 2022, at the
DoubleTree by Hilton in Orlando, FL) was off to a great
start and heading toward a fantastic finish until Hurricane
Ian disrupted the proceedings and forced most everyone
to head home early. “Fortunately, everyone made it home
safely,” says Chris Kerscher, executive director of the
Association for R2R Converters.
The remainder of the program was available virtually during
October and November 2022. Kerscher explains, “The
virtual meeting platform allowed for chatting and contacting
attendees; online panel Q&A sessions for speakers who did
not get to present in Orlando; as well as the missed keynote
presentations, including Gary Dahlke, high-powered rocket
subject-matter expert from NASA. The online format gave
exhibitors and attendees extended time to network and view
A major highlight of the live event was the announcement
of the association’s new name and introduction of the
new logo (see pg. 6). Other highlights included the VIP
keynote by Tamara Robertson, engineering expert and host
of “MythBusters,” a New Member Welcome Reception,
networking receptions with a live Florida alligator and the
always popular AIMMy Vendor Presentations. Bill Poulson
of Harper Corporation of America won the 2022 AIMMy
Award for best presentation.
An Awards Ceremony recognized Golden Cylinder Award
winners, the first recipient of the
Women in Industry Scholarship for Excellence and the 2022 AIMCAL Award winners: Monadnock
Paper Mill, Inc., 2022 Sustainability of the Year; ProAmpac
Holdings, LLC Flexible Division, 2022 Product of the
Year; Rheonics, 2022 Technology of the Year; and InkSpec,
Technical Excellence Award.
The conference drew 271 registrants, 45 exhibitors and
presented six short courses and about half of the 70 in-person presentations scheduled. Topics included Flexible
Packaging, Battery Manufacturing, Flexible Electronics,
Coating & Laminating, Vacuum Web Coating, Web
Handling, Adhesives & Coatings, Sustainability, and
Gravure Coating and Printing, plus new sessions covering
Nonwoven Substrates Coating and Capacitors.
R2R USA Conference honors
first WISE Scholarship recipient
Mary Burdette-Trofimov, Ph.D., with Franklin International,
was honored as the first recipient of the Women in IndustryScholarship for Excellence (WISE) during an awards
ceremony at the R2R USA Conference. She was chosen
by the WISE Scholarship Review Team who found her
application and commitment to the industry and technology
impressive. “She is on a path to contribute technically to the
industry and will impact whatever she touches,” said one of
Known as Katie, Burdette-Trofimov earned Bachelor of
Science and doctoral degrees from Clemson University.
Her doctoral work focused on the synthesis of polymerbased, drug-delivery systems. While in graduate school, she won the prestigious POLY award, which is given by
the American Chemical Society to one graduate student per
university for outstanding research in polymeric materials.
In 2021, she joined Franklin International (Ohio) as a
product development chemist tasked with formulating
new water-based, sustainably made, pressure-sensitive
adhesives (PSAs). Burdette-Trofimov reports, “I found
that I could combine my polymer synthesis skills with
physical chemistry of polymers to develop PSAs. It has
been extremely rewarding to work on projects that are
going into the market that real people will use on a daily
basis.” Her advice to women to help assure their success:
“Surround yourself with a great support system. Being the
only technical woman at work can be taxing if you don’t
The WISE was created in 2021 by AIMCAL and its
Women’s Leadership Committee to encourage and
commend women who have chosen careers in the R2R processing industry. The scholarship funds are applied
directly toward the winner’s student loan balance. The
WISE is awarded to women already working in the rollto-roll converting industry and is intended to recognize
those who have overcome significant challenges, invested
in STEM degrees and continue to make important
contributions to the industry.
The WISE program is funded by donations and an
endowment is being established to ensure women working
in the web-converting field continue to receive aid. A goal
of $100,000 has been set, with a Fall 2023 deadline. Levels
of support include Diamond Sponsor ($10,000+), Gold
Sponsor ($5,000), Silver Sponsor ($1,000) and Friends
of the AIMCAL Scholarship Fund (any amount from
individuals or businesses).
Sponsors receive recognition via the association’s website,
social media posts and a scholarship sponsor plaque.
Current sponsors include Davis-Standard LLC; Celplast Metallized Products, Ltd.; Nordmeccanica Group;
Intellivation LLC; and Mahlo America, Inc.
Applications now are open for the 2023 scholarship award.
The application form is available at www.aimcal.org (click
on “Resources,” then “Scholarship”). The submission
deadline is Aug. 1, 2023. For more information about the
WISE or the AIMCAL Women’s Leadership Committee,
contact 803-948-9470 or [email protected].
GAA honors Golden Cylinder Award winners
The Gravure AIMCAL Alliance Committee (GAA) honored
winners in its annual Golden Cylinder Award competition at
an awards ceremony during the 2022 R2R USA Conference
in Orlando, FL.
The Best in Show
Award in the
competition, co-sponsored for the
second year by
ACIMGA (the Italian
Machinery for the
and Paper Industry),
went to a paper label
for Bush’s Best “Flavor
Fusions” Baked Beans
printed by delfort’s
Mundet Tennessee, Inc.
A description of the
Best of Show winner
and Golden Cylinder Award recipients in seven other
categories appears on the www.AIMCAL.org website.
21st ISCST Symposium brings
more than 100 attendees to Minneapolis
The 21st International Coating Science and Technology
(ISCST) Symposium (Sept. 11-14, 2022, in Minneapolis,
MN), managed by
AIMCAL, presented more
than 50 technical sessions
covering a wide range of
subjects including Coating
Drying and Curing Fundamentals, Flow and Solidification
of Particulate Coatings, Wetting & Adhesion, Coating
Technology & Applications, Printing and Discrete Coating,
and Analytics/Big Data in the Coating Industry. There also
was a special session on Flexible Electronics, which focused
on continuous and semi-continuous processing of electronic,
optoelectronic and energy-storage components on flexible
The meeting, organized by the International Society of
Coating Science & Technology (ISCST), included nine
tabletop exhibits and 16 poster presentations. Attendees
enjoyed a Riverboat Networking Reception on the
Mississippi River and welcomed Ilyess Hadj Romdhane,
Ph.D., a staff scientist at 3M Co., as the new president
An Awards Ceremony recognized several honorees,
including recipients of the L.E. Scriven Young Investigator
Award in recognition of outstanding sustained achievements
in the area of continuous, liquid-film coating science and
technology; the John A. Tallmadge Award for significant
contributions to the improvement of coating technology and for leadership
in establishing and
Best Poster Award
for original research
in coating at the 21st
and Edward D.
Cohen Student Travel
Best Poster Award
• Andreas Altvater,
• Xiaoqing Yu,
Edward D. Cohen
• Hsuan-Chin Lu, National Taiwan University
• Hyungyeol Kwak, Seoul National University
• Julian Klemens, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
• Kwangjun Jung, Georgia Institute of Technology
John A. Tallmadge Award
• Dr. Masato Yamamura, Kyushu Institute of Technology
• Dr. E.J. (Ted) Lightfoot, Ted Lightfoot LLC
L.E. Scriven Young Investigator Award
• Dr. Scott Mauger, National Renewal Energy Laboratory
Association membership expands by six
The six newest members of the Association for R2R
Converters represent a broad cross-section of the
membership, including measurement equipment, emissions
treatment systems, ovens/dryers, services, academia,
software and battery-cell technology.
AkzoNobel Coatings, Inc. (Lancaster, SC): Amsterdambased supplier of sustainable paints, coatings and powder
coatings serves a variety of industries with an array of
brands and is active in more than 150 countries. Products
protect industrial, marine, aerospace, automotive and
household surfaces. (803-285-9401)
The CMM Group (De Pere, WI): Portfolio includes
turnkey design, fabrication, installation and project
management services for volatile organic compound
emissions treatment, industrial wastewater treatment, custom-designed ovens and dryers, energy-recovery systems
and aftermarket services for upgrades, retrofits and rebuilds.
Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA): George W.
Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering is the oldest
and second largest department in the College of Engineering
at Georgia Institute of Technology. The school offers degree
programs in mechanical engineering and nuclear and
radiological engineering that are accredited by ABET.
J.A. Woollam (Lincoln, NE): Founded in 1987 by Dr. John
A. Woollam as a spin-off from the University of Nebraska,
the company rapidly has grown to become a worldwide
leader in spectroscopic ellipsometry. It manufactures
spectroscopic ellipsometers and holds more than 200
Maplesoft (Waterloo, ON, Canada): MapleSim advanced
modeling software and services help roll-to-roll engineers
explore roller layouts and evaluate web-line tensions. Builtin analysis apps are used to improve control strategies and
web speed during converting and web handling. Products
are used worldwide. (519-883-3826)
Solid Power Battery (Louisville, CO): Provider of
all-solid-state battery-cell technology and sulfide solid
electrolytes prepares for transition to renewable power.
With considerably higher energy, longer life, lower costs
and greatly improved safety, all-solid-state batteries have
the potential to revolutionize mobile power markets.
AIMCAL Women’s Leadership Committee
Mary (Katie) Burdette-Trofimov,
Product Development Chemist, Franklin International (Columbus, OH)
Describe your current line of work and what interests
you the most about it.
I am a product development
chemist working in pressure-sensitive adhesives (PSAs).
My current line of work includes water-based, pressuresensitive adhesives that are designed to be ultra-removable
and repositionable without leaving any residue on the
surface from which it is removed. These adhesives are
very versatile and can be used in a variety of tapes, labels
and graphics. I am most interested in getting to develop
brand-new products that I get to design from the ground
up. I get to be extremely creative in the process and solve
customer problems using my technical skills. With most of
my background being in academia, it has been extremely
rewarding to work on projects that are going into the
market that real people will use on a daily basis.
What areas of the R2R processing field are the most
exciting now and into the future?
I am very excited about
the market shift to water-based, sustainably made, pressuresensitive adhesives. Many applications of PSAs are
disposable or single-use, so ensuring that our products are
sustainably made, recyclable and environmentally friendly
is incredibly important. While this presents its own set of
challenges, I think this is an exciting time for the industry
and a chance to make a positive impact on the environment.
Did/do you have a female role model or mentor in
your career and what was this experience like?
a fantastic female advisor, Beth Armstrong, during my
post-doc at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Beth was my
first scientific female advisor, and she selflessly helped me
navigate a national lab setting with a 13% scientific female
population. She imparted much of her scientific prowess
in surface chemistry to me but learning
how to be heard in a very male-dominated
profession was invaluable. My favorite
adage from her was “Nobody can talk
over you if you beat them technically.
Just beat them technically and let the data
speak for itself.” I have taken that advice
to heart and use it on a daily basis, and
she was absolutely right. Since using her
advice, as long as my point is supported
by data and logic, I have not had anyone, male or female,
try to make me feel inferior either personally or technically.
Beth will never fully understand how she helped a female
post-doc, fresh out of school, be incredibly successful in the
very male-dominated national lab system. She also helped
me feel empowered and confident in effectively tackling
any career obstacles that come my way.
What career advice can you give to women coming into
the field to help assure their success?
There are three
pieces of advice that I have for other women in science.
1) Surround yourself with a great support system. Being
the only technical woman at work can be taxing if you do
not have support. 2) To make sure your opinions are heard
rely on your technical skills. Let your logic and data speak
for themselves, or as Beth Armstrong put it, “Beat them
technically.” 3) In big group settings when there are a lot of
opinions, ask yourself three things before you speak: Does
it need to be said? Does it need to be said by me? Does it
need to be said now? If you pause and go through this little
exercise, your words will be more impactful, and people
will listen when you speak because they know you have
something meaningful to contribute.