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Europoligrafico (Fibrapak) Invests in ER-WE-PA™ Control System
Europoligrafico (Fibrapak) of Perugia, Italy, recently improved efficiencies and line performance with a new control system from ER-WE-PA™ GmbH, a
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John Zachow Re-Elected to WCISA® Board
John Zachow, Davis-Standard’s Vice President of Wire and Cable, was recently re-elected to another three-year term as a board member
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Southwire to Amplify High-Voltage Cable Production with Maillefer Round Premium Package
Southwire Company LLC, a leading manufacturer of high-voltage underground cable systems, aims to boost cable production and quality with the
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Past News

Davis-Standard’s Global Equipment Platform at Plasticos Brazil
Davis-Standard’s technology and support services will be promoted at Plasticos Brazil, Hall D, booth 142 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 25-29, 2019. Davis-Standard will highlight key equipment capabilities for extrusion coating, blown film, cast film, sheet extrusion and thermoforming, all engineered to support a range of applications on every continent. Davis-Standard will also have information on aftermarket and technical services focused on delivering cost-efficiency, reduced downtime and improved operation. This includes equipment upgrades, replacement parts, global field services, custom engineering, research and technical services, and a 24/7 customer service hotline. Following is a summary of key technologies in Davis-Standard’s product portfolio. The company’s extrusion coating product line is a comprehensive equipment offering from a single-source supplier to address basic applications all the way up to high-speed, complex requirements. Systems are engineered for everything from high-quality flexible packaging, thermal lamination and stand-up pouches, to lidding, tube, and aseptic films. Specifications can be customized based on market requirements and investment plans. An example of this is Davis-Standard’s dsX flex-pack™ system. This machine provides converters and package printers with a high-value, competitively-priced package. An adaptable machine configuration gives processors the flexibility to compete in a variety of emerging application markets including salted snack and noodle bags, toothpaste tubes, personal care products, condiment packs and stand-up pouches. Production benefits include product consistency, excellent bonding strength, greater uptime and productivity, and reduced waste and production costs. The economic benefit of these 300 mpm (1,000 fpm) machines is enabling many regional converters to distinguish themselves from the competition. In cast film, Davis-Standard offers a stretch film line that redefines modular efficiency for high-grade film operations. This technology is the new standard for stretch film line configurations. Advantages include a compact machine arrangement, ease of operation and servicing, excellent profile control, consistent roll quality and an intuitive control package. The system is engineered for producing thin films from 7.8µ to 13µ (31-to 51-gauge) at high speeds. Davis-Standard’s side-by-side DS S3 overlapping winder is essential to this capability. The DS S3 winder enables maximum slit widths for hand-wrap, machine-wrap and jumbo rolls. All rolls are discharged on the downstream end of the winder and are conveyed to a common side of the line to simplify roll packing and future automation. Cores are also same-side loaded from the back to prevent disruption of packing activities. There is an auxiliary lay-on roll to eliminate top-wind waste during transfer, optimizing roll quality and eliminating outer wrap transfer waste. High-volume core bins minimize refilling frequency and feature a simultaneous core-set discharge of multiple core lengths to decrease cycle times, improve slit-width flexibility and net film utilization. Core widths can also be changed on the fly to maximize uptime. There is a 30-second cycle time regardless of the number of slit widths, ideal for hand-wrap products. Specific to CPP films, Davis-Standard offers the horizontal ironing roll winder. This winder has an adjustable ironing roll which allows the converter to control the amount of air introduced into the winding roll, eliminating “tin canning,” a common issue when running CPP. In blown film, Davis-Standard supplies extrusion systems for applications in high-barrier food packaging, agricultural films, geomembrane, stretch film, printing and laminating films, flexible packaging, collation shrink films and stretch hooders. For films that require superb clarity and flexibility, Davis-Standard offers the Aquafrost® water-quench system. Other options include industry-leading Vector® air rings, DSB® feedscrew designs, and Streamlined Coextrusion Die (SCD®), Optiflow and Vertex dies, each optimally designed to process specific films. Davis-Standard also supplies downstream and terminal equipment as well as MDO’s, oscillating haul-offs, and winders to optimize web handling and output goals. These solutions can accommodate standard applications as well as complex substrates and structures requiring precise tension control to ensure quality while minimizing waste. Automation options are available to reduce cycle time and augment benefits from increased outputs. In sheet extrusion, Davis-Standard supplies complete systems or components to support the packaging and industrial sectors. One recent development is the DS-Helibar® extruder. This extruder is the next generation in Davis-Standard’s groove feed extruder offering. With the Helibar design, helical grooves inside the barrel run along the entire barrel bore. This technology has shown to increase extruder output rates while improving energy efficiency and reducing barrel and screw wear. Other advantages include lower start-up costs, shorter residence time and the ability to process higher levels of regrind. This is especially beneficial for high-profile applications where speed, melt quality and efficiency are paramount. As a complement to its sheet extrusion technology, Davis-Standard recently acquired Thermoforming Systems LLC (“TSL”) of Union Gap, Washington. TSL (www.tslusa.biz) designs, manufactures and markets thermoforming equipment to the food packaging industry. For more information prior to Plasticos Brazil, visit www.davis-standard.com. Photo Caption: S3 Winder with auxiliary lay-on roller.
Jay Totten Joins Davis-Standard’s Converting Team
Davis-Standard is pleased to announce that Jay Totten has joined the company as regional account manager for converting systems, extrusion and liquid coating, serving the Midwest region. Totten will be responsible for capital equipment sales in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. He brings a wealth of knowledge, having previously worked at BOBST as a sales manager. Totten also has prior experience with ConQuip, Inc., Faustel, Inc. and Bostik Findley, Inc., giving him a well-rounded industry background. He is active in the Association of International Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL) as a member of a technical committee. “Jay brings a tremendous reputation and experience as a recognized contributor to many converters in the region,” said Danis Roy, vice president of sales. “We are pleased to have him on our team.” For more information about Davis-Standard’s converting capabilities, visit www.davis-standard.com/converting-systems/.
Davis-Standard’s Global Converting Platform at ICE Europe
Davis-Standard’s converting technology and support services will be promoted at ICE Europe, Hall A5, booth #1310, in Munich, Germany, March 12-14, 2019. Davis-Standard will highlight key equipment capabilities for extrusion coating, liquid coating, blown film and cast film, all engineered to support a range of applications on every continent. Davis-Standard will also have information on aftermarket and technical services focused on delivering cost-efficiency, reduced downtime and improved operation. This includes equipment upgrades, replacement parts, global field services, custom engineering, research and technical services, and a 24/7 customer service hotline. Following is a summary of key technologies in Davis-Standard’s product portfolio.     The company’s extrusion coating product line offers a comprehensive equipment offering from a single-source supplier to address basic applications all the way up to high-speed, complex requirements. Systems are engineered for everything from high-quality flexible packaging, thermal lamination and stand-up pouches, to lidding, tube, and aseptic films. Specifications can be customized based on market requirements and investment plans. An example of this is Davis-Standard’s dsX flex-pack™ system. This machine provides converters and package printers with a high-value, competitively-priced package. An adaptable machine configuration gives processors the flexibility to compete in a variety of emerging application markets including salted snack and noodle bags, toothpaste tubes, personal care products, condiment packs and stand-up pouches. Production benefits include product consistency, excellent bonding strength, greater uptime and productivity, and reduced waste and production costs. The economic benefit of these 450 mpm (1,500 fpm) machines is enabling many regional converters to distinguish themselves from the competition. In liquid coating, Davis-Standard’s curtain slide coater and five-roll silicone coater combine versatility with performance. The curtain slide coater applies single layer coatings at rates up to 853 mpm (2800 fpm) with expansion capabilities up to two additional layers. The five-roll silicone coater is capable of applying 100 percent silicone at rates up to 732 mpm (2400 fpm). This coater is constructed of stainless steel for ease of cleanup and includes a mist removal system. Davis-Standard supports liquid coating for slow or high-speed applications, clean room environments, film or paper substrates, ultra-thin and ultra-thick coatings, and precision coating and drying. In cast film, Davis-Standard offers a stretch film line that redefines modular efficiency for high-grade film operations. This technology is the new standard for stretch film line configurations. Advantages include a compact machine arrangement, ease of operation and servicing, excellent profile control, consistent roll quality and an intuitive control package. The system is engineered for producing thin films from 7.8µ to 13µ (31-to 51-gauge) at high speeds. Davis-Standard’s side-by-side DS S3 overlapping winder is essential to this capability. The DS S3 winder enables maximum slit widths for hand-wrap, machine-wrap and jumbo rolls. All rolls are discharged on the downstream end of the winder and are conveyed to a common side of the line to simplify roll packing and future automation. Cores are also same-side loaded from the back to prevent disruption of packing activities. There is an auxiliary lay-on roll to eliminate top-wind waste during transfer, optimizing roll quality and eliminating outer wrap transfer waste. High-volume core bins minimize refilling frequency and feature a simultaneous core-set discharge of multiple core lengths to decrease cycle times, improve slit-width flexibility and net film utilization. Core widths can also be changed on the fly to maximize uptime. There is a 30-second cycle time regardless of the number of slit widths, ideal for hand-wrap products. In blown film, Davis-Standard supplies extrusion systems for applications in high-barrier food packaging, agricultural films, stretch film, printing and laminating films, flexible packaging, collation shrink films and stretch hooders. For films that require superb clarity and flexibility, Davis-Standard offers the Aquafrost® water-quench system. Other options include industry-leading Vector® air rings, DSB® feedscrew designs, and Streamlined Coextrusion Die (SCD®), Optiflow and Vertex dies, each optimally designed to process specific films. Davis-Standard also supplies downstream and terminal equipment as well as MDO’s, oscillating haul-offs, and winders to optimize web handling and output goals. These solutions can accommodate standard applications as well as complex substrates and structures requiring precise tension control to ensure quality while minimizing waste. Automation options are available to reduce cycle time and augment benefits from increased outputs. For more information prior to ICE, visit www.davis-standard.com/converting-systems/.
Davis-Standard Expertise at TAPPI Course in March
    Five Davis-Standard extrusion and converting experts will share their knowledge at the upcoming TAPPI course, Providing a Better Understanding of Film Extrusion Technology, in Savannah, Georgia, March 12-14, 2019. During the course, participants will gain a better understanding of common resins and equipment used, extruder through winder, in both blown and cast film applications. There will also be discussions on troubleshooting issues such as dealing with gels and winding defects. Davis-Standard instructors will cover topics related to equipment technology along with other industry experts from leading companies. Following is a listing of Davis-Standard presentation topics, presentation times and brief biographies. Rich Kanarski, Davis-Standard Extrusion Process Engineer Topic: Extruders and Configurations for Blown vs. Cast, March 12, 2:45-3:30 p.m. Rich Kanarski specializes in process development of larger-scale polymer converting lines, including single screw extrusion technology and upstream and downstream technologies related to cast film and extrusion coating products. He has worked on projects around the world, gaining valuable insight through collaboration with a vast network of polymer professionals and industrialists. Rich has been a member of the SPE Extrusion Division for more than seven years and currently serves on their board of directors. Lou Piffer, Davis-Standard Sr. Sales Engineer, Extrusion Coating, Solution Coating and Cast Film Topic #1: Film Casting Section Configurations, March 13, 10:00-10:45 a.m. Topic #2: Gel Troubleshooting in Blown & Cast Film, March 14, 12:45-1:30 p.m. With nearly 30 years of industry experience, almost all of those with Davis-Standard companies, Lou Piffer brings a wealth of knowledge related to the topics of extrusion coating, cast film, blown film and solution coating. This is his second year teaching at this specific TAPPI course, but he has presented at the TAPPI Extrusion Coating Course for over 20 years. Lou is a former TAPPI chairman, TAPPI Leadership Award winner and recipient of the Davis-Standard President’s Award. Dr. Laura Martin, Director of Technology, Brampton Engineering Topic: Air Rings for Blown Film Production, March 13, 12:45-1:30 p.m. Laura brings a range of polymer experience to her role as Director of Technology for Brampton Engineering. She works in product development and on process teams for projects including the new Vector® Air Ring. With a background in chemical engineering, she has industry expertise in numerous technical and market segments including injection molding, blow molding, profile extrusion and extrusion lamination. Her first industry presentation won a best student paper award at the SPE’s ANTEC over 30 years ago. This is her second time teaching this section of the TAPPI course. Bill Hellmuth, Davis-Standard Product Group Director, Blown Film Topic: Blown Film Haul-Off Systems, Collapsing Frames and Bubble Cages, March 13, 1:30-2:15 p.m. Bill Hellmuth offers engineering, production management, technical sales and marketing expertise having worked for four decades in the blown film industry. He is a member of the TAPPI PLACE Division and has published several papers on blown film equipment and processing for training and seminars around the world. He has co-chaired the TAPPI Film Extrusion and Coextrusion Short Course, is a past chairman of the TAPPI film extrusion committee, and received an honorable mention for his training session entitled “Extrusion Troubleshooting.” Duane Smith, Davis-Standard Product Manager of Specialty Winding Topic: Challenges of Web Handling and Winding in Cast & Blown Film, March 14, 2:15-3:00 p.m. Duane Smith has over 45 years of industry experience, and is known throughout the global paper, film and nonwoven industries for his technical knowledge in web handling and winding. He has been awarded two winding patents, has made over 85 technical presentations, published numerous articles, and is the author of two books through TAPPI Press. He edited the first TAPPI Press e-book, The Ultimate Roll and Web Defect Troubleshooting Guide. Duane’s contributions have earned him two TAPPI Technical Awards and he is a TAPPI Fellow. To register for the Blown and Cast Film Extrusion course, visit  https://www.tappi.org/Events/Event-Calendar/Blown-and-Cast-Film-Extrusion-Course/
Davis-Standard Announces First Quarter R&D Additions
    The Davis-Standard Technical Center has announced two exciting additions to its lab capabilities in Pawcatuck, Conn. By the end of the first quarter, Davis-Standard will offer trials for its Davis-Standard Helibar® groove feed extruder and the DS Activ-Check control system for continuous extruder monitoring. According to John Christiano, Davis-Standard’s Vice President of Extrusion Technology, both present new opportunities for customers to improve and strengthen processes. “These technologies have been proven in the field and we’re pleased to offer experimentation in our technical center,” said Christiano. “We are firm believers in partnering with customers to make processes better and in maximizing their capital investments. I am eager for customers to use both the Helibar and DS Activ-Check in establishing performance baselines during real-world trials.” The Helibar extruder is the next generation in Davis-Standard’s groove feed extruder offering. The dimensions of the extruder in the lab will be 65mm with a 36:1 L/D. With the Helibar design, helical grooves inside the barrel run along the entire barrel bore. This technology has shown to increase extruder output rates while improving energy efficiency and reducing barrel and screw wear. Other advantages include lower start-up costs, shorter residence time and the ability to process higher levels of regrind. Christiano noted this is especially beneficial for high-profile applications where speed, melt quality and efficiency are paramount. The DS Activ-Check system will be mounted on a 4.5-inch (114mm) extruder. Using a continuous monitoring platform, the DS Activ-Check strengthens preventative and predictive maintenance for extruder operation. Operators are able to monitor key mechanical and electrical components of the extruder and gearbox and receive early notification of potential component failure to prevent unscheduled downtime. Users can obtain notifications via e-mail and text, and can remotely monitor conditions via smart devices or remote PCs. Users also benefit from the collection of operational data, leading to significant cost-cutting opportunities. John Clemens, Davis-Standard’s Director of Extrusion Controls, added, “The capability to monitor extrusion line variables such as mechanical and electrical system conditions is essential in order to bring products to market faster. I look forward to customers having the opportunity to test the many advantages of this system for both extrusion and converting processes.” Both technologies will be available to customers by the end of the first quarter. If interested in scheduling a trial, please contact marketing@davis-standard.com.
Davis-Standard to Host Plastic Extrusion Seminar in April
Davis-Standard will be offering its popular extrusion seminar, “The Basics of Plastics Extrusion,” on April 9 – 10, 2019 at its headquarters in Pawcatuck, Conn. The two-day class covers the fundamentals of plastics extrusion, as well as the composition and properties of various polymers and the mechanics of essential downstream processes. Seminar topics include extruder components, temperature control, maintenance and screw design. In addition to instruction, course participants will tour Davis-Standard’s Technology Center and manufacturing facility, and will have access to polymer process engineers and technical specialists. The fee is $750 per person with a 10 percent discount given for groups of three or more. Course books and materials are included, and class size is limited to promote student and teacher interaction. For enrollment details or more information about this seminar, contact Nichole Denerley at ndenerley@davis-standard.com.
Davis-Standard Teams Up with Industry Leaders for MD&M West Exhibit
Running FEP Line to Showcase Best-in-Class Technology The technologies of Davis-Standard, Conair, Zumbach and other industry-leading companies will be on display with a running FEP line at MD&M West in Anaheim, Calif., February 5-7, 2019 at booth 3839. The coextrusion line will be processing FEP medical tubing with three barium sulfite stripes. The line will be equipped with two of Davis-Standard’s MEDD (Medical Extruder Direct Drive) extruders along with Conair MedLineTM upstream and downstream equipment, Zumbach gauging, Guill die tooling and resins supplied by Daikin and PolyOne Colorant Chromatics. MD&M is the largest medical technology show in North America, making this the ideal venue to demonstrate Davis-Standard’s medical tubing capabilities alongside industry partners. According to Dr. Jason Baird, senior process engineer at Davis-Standard, this line demonstrates the value of long-term collaboration to meet the functional and versatile tubing demanded by the medical industry. “The tubing at the show will feature three stripes and will represent the latest technology required for processing barium sulfite products,” he said. “One of the greatest advantages of this line is that it gives the processor the option to lay the stripes on the outside of the tubing or embed them within the tubing wall. Every component is engineered for tight tolerances, high-quality and output efficiency.”     Specific to Davis-Standard, the MEDD extruders will demonstrate the value of an extruder designed specifically for medical environments. The MEDD enables processors to easily swap barrels and/or feedsection liners to change extruder diameter and/or length while keeping alignment intact, providing versatility in cleanroom settings where space is limited. The extruder’s direct drive design eliminates the need for gearcase oils and belts that create particulates, and the machine is mounted on linear rails to make seamless adjustments with or without a melt pump. At the MD&M show, both extruders will have ¾-inch (19mm) diameter barrels with L/D’s of 24:1 and 16:1. In order to limit exposure of the radio-opaque barium sulfate filler to the high temperatures of fluoropolymer processing, a shorter 16:1 extruder along with special screw design will be used. All components of the tubing line will be monitored and controlled by Davis-Standard’s eVUE control system. According to Kevin Dipollino, Davis-Standard’s product manager of pipe, profile and tubing, “This line represents an all-encompassing package in both design and processing technology. It shows the value of complementary components among reputable industry partners in creating an end-to-end solution that addresses a growing segment within the medical tubing marketplace.” MDM West Equipment video For more information about Conair, visit www.conairgroup.com. For more information about Zumbach, visit www.zumbach.com.
Davis-Standard’s Pawcatuck Facility Achieves ISO Certification
In an ongoing effort to strengthen efficiencies and customer satisfaction, Davis-Standard’s Pawcatuck facility recently became ISO 9001:2015 certified. The certification validates Davis-Standard’s processes across the board, internally and externally, and serves as a benchmark for the company’s commitment to operational quality and process improvement. “ISO requires the implementation of a demonstrated quality management system, promoting a holistic approach to evaluating your operation,” said Mike Newhall, Davis-Standard’s Vice President of Operations. “It has driven corrective action where we’ve needed it, and has made every aspect of our business better. This encompasses everything from how we on-board employees and review customer specifications to our engineering and manufacturing practices. There is no stone left unturned, which results in an improved capacity to achieve customer expectations each and every time.” At the core of ISO certification is the ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements while also enhancing customer fulfillment through an effective quality management system (www.iso.org). Because of this, Newhall noted that all issues are addressed at the source.   “The ISO process is invaluable in making every department better,” said Newhall. “It’s also just the beginning. It is a continuous improvement process to improve our performance in all areas of the business. Being ISO certified gives our employees and customers the assurance the system is accessed and approved on a regular basis. It is a sustainable approach that holds us accountable to what we promise with the Davis-Standard brand.” For more information, contact Mike Newhall at mnewhall@davis-standard.com. Photo Caption: ISO 9001 2018 Certification Logo
Davis-Standard Acquires TSL
Davis-Standard, LLC announced today that it has acquired Thermoforming Systems LLC (“TSL”) of Yakima, Washington. TSL (www.tslusa.biz) designs, manufacturers and markets leading-edge thermoforming equipment to the North American food packaging industry. “TSL is the market leader in thermoforming equipment technology for high volume packaging and we are excited to welcome their dedicated team to Davis-Standard today,” said Jim Murphy, Davis-Standard President and CEO. Murphy added, “We are enthusiastic about this opportunity with TSL, as we share core values and a focus on our customers, technology and product innovation.” James Naughton, President of Thermoforming Systems LLC, remarked on the transaction.     “Davis-Standard has a long-standing reputation as the global leader in extrusion technology and was our preferred partner to work with,” he said. “We are very pleased to join an organization that shares our business principles, and together with Davis-Standard, TSL looks to deepen its commitment to our customers and employees. TSL will continue to operate and serve its customers as before and we are enthusiastic about our unique product opportunities with Davis-Standard.” Murphy concluded with, “This is an exciting day for both organizations as we begin our future together.”                   Caption 1: Jim Murphy, President & CEO of Davis-Standard shakes hands with James Naughton of Thermoforming Systems LLC (TSL) Caption 2: Thermoforming Systems LLC (“TSL”) designs, manufacturers and markets leading-edge thermoforming equipment to the North American food packaging industry.
Davis-Standard R&D Pioneer Norton C. Wheeler, Jr. Dies at 96
Norton C. Wheeler, Jr., one of Davis-Standard’s most beloved and accomplished technology innovators passed away the end of September at his home in Mystic, Conn. He was 96. Wheeler’s distinguished career at Davis-Standard spanned six decades. Even after his retirement in 1989, he remained engaged as a consultant until the age of 90. He is known as the father of the DSB® (Davis-Standard Barrier) feedscrew, authored numerous technical papers, and mentored many Davis-Standard engineers. His list of contributions to Davis-Standard and the plastics industry, in general, is extensive. He was awarded Fellow of the Society of Plastics Engineers in 1985 and received the Bruce C. Maddock Award in 1998 for his pioneering work in research and development. “I was honored to know Norton and work alongside him for so many years. He was a great mind, problem-solver and infinite resource. He was also a wonderful human being, always willing to give of himself in his modest way,” said John Christiano, Davis-Standard’s Vice President of Extrusion Technology. “Our R&D capabilities and technical leadership began with Norton and he remained so vital to our work throughout his life. His achievements not only defined Davis-Standard as an R&D leader, but they changed the industry. He was truly one of a kind and will be dearly missed.” Being part of Davis-Standard was in Wheeler’s blood. His grandfather, Charles E. Wheeler, was an original owner of Davis-Standard, purchasing the business as the Standard Machinery Company in 1904. His father Norton Sr. and his uncle John were instrumental in assisting their father with modernizing and diversifying the operation. Under the leadership of Wheeler’s father, company president in the 1940s, and his new partner Benjamin Davis, the company transitioned from a manufacturer of compression molding presses before and during World War II into a post-war manufacturer of extrusion machinery. The company became Davis-Standard in 1948. Wheeler joined Davis-Standard in 1951 after serving in the U.S. Air Force and graduating from Brown University with a chemistry degree. Wheeler was a natural in the research environment. He spearheaded Davis-Standard’s first lab in the 1960s, growing the facility from a small space to a building equipped for customer trials and extensive R&D within a decade. During the following 20 years, he conducted revolutionary research with regard to feedscrew design and extrusion process control. Of all of his achievements, Wheeler was most proud of the fact that Davis-Standard was the first company to fully instrument an extruder with multiple pressure transducers. In the early 1980s, Wheeler patented the well-known DSB screw design. This design overcame limitations of existing barrier screws by optimizing the screw’s melt region, leading to improved stability and performance. The DSB quickly became the industry’s premier feedscrew and gave Davis-Standard a global technical presence. It also helped the company expand into multiple processing areas such as pipe and profile and sheet. The DSB continues to be the basis for all Davis-Standard screw designs. Wheeler was predeceased by his wife of 69 years, Mary Anderson Wheeler, and is survived by their five children, six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Davis-Standard Invests $2 Million to Expand Feedscrew Manufacturing Capacity
To support ongoing growth in feedscrew manufacturing, Davis-Standard is installing its fourth CNC machining center at its facility in Pawcatuck, Connecticut. The $2 million investment will further boost production efficiency and will enable Davis-Standard to increase feedscrew production by over 25 percent. The machining center is expected to be operational by mid-October.     “This investment reflects our continued commitment to best practices in manufacturing and in supporting customers with best-in-class feedscrew technology,” said Mike Newhall, Davis-Standard’s Vice President of Operations. “The CNC machining center being installed is the same brand as our existing machines, Weingartner, which makes software programs and tooling interchangeable. We also have highly skilled machinists already trained to run this type of equipment. This will further add to our ability to meet customer demand and improve our overall responsiveness to our customer’s requirements.” The additional center is a Weingartner Pickup 700 Whirler, capable of machining feedscrew sizes that comprise 80 percent of Davis-Standard’s screw volume. This includes feedscrews from 1.5 inches (38mm) to 6 inches (152mm) in diameter and in lengths up to 207 inches (5,200mm). The machine will augment existing capabilities in Davis-Standard’s feedscrew operation, which currently manufactures over 1,000 feedscrews annually. It will also support feedscrew cycle time reduction, enabling the company to improve delivery times and maintain a steady stock of feedscrews in various sizes and finishes.
How flexible packaging trends are shifting and why
By Lisa McTigue Pierce in Flexible Packaging on August 29, 2018 Technological innovation, sustainability concerns and attractive economics are among the reasons for the phenomenal growth of flexible packaging in the last two decades in the U.S. With an estimated $31 billion in sales in 2017, according to the Flexible Packaging Assn., brand owners are embracing films, pouches and bags as a go-to packaging solution, thanks in part to wide acceptance by American consumers. But we’re also seeing aluminum sourcing concerns because of U.S. tariffs, as well as major competitive moves—reflected, for example, by the recent Amcor acquisition of Bemis. With flexible packaging so much in the spotlight, Packaging Digest wanted to see what is shifting in the market. So we conducted a virtual roundtable with five industry experts from various areas in the supply chain: resin supplier Nova Chemicals (page 1); printing press maker Comexi (page 2); extrusion/coating equipment company Davis-Standard (page 3); converter Berry Global (page 4); and form-fill-seal machinery manufacturer Pro Mach (page 5). Their insights show how this dynamic market continues to advance, despite some challenges. Here are the questions we asked: 1. What top trends are you seeing in flexible packaging and why? What are the drivers? 2. What challenges is the flexible packaging market encountering now and how are they being addressed? 3. Where do you see the biggest growth for flexible packaging moving forward and why? 4. What, if anything, is different about the sustainability message of flexible packaging today versus, say, two or three years ago? Now, the insights from… Page 1: Jonathan Quinn, performance films market development manager, Nova Chemicals, a plastics and chemical company that makes resins for flexible packaging. Page 2: Raúl El-Fakdi, flexo brand manager, Comexi, a family-run manufacturer of flexographic printing, offset printing, gravure printing, laminating and slitting equipment. Page 3: Louis Piffer, senior sales engineer, Davis-Standard, a designer, manufacturer and supplier of plastics and rubber processing equipment, and extrusion technology and extruder converting systems. Page 4: Tarun Manroa, evp and general manager, engineered materials division, Berry Global, a Fortune 500 global manufacturer and marketer of plastic packaging products, including pouches. Page 5: Troy Snader, svp, flexible packaging, Pro Mach, a comprehensive provider of complete packaging machinery solutions, from line design to the end of the line and beyond. Jonathan Quinn, performance films market development manager, Nova Chemicals, a plastics and chemical company that makes resins for flexible packaging.   What top trends are you seeing in flexible packaging and why? What are the drivers? Quinn: From an economic perspective, trends like consolidation—such as Amcor’s announcement to acquire Bemis—clearly will continue, and we also will see some further uncertainty related to the trade war. Regardless, we believe that packaging trends in the North American market place are driven by the consumer. And three major consumer trends are sustainability, convenience and ecommerce. 1. Sustainability: Shifting demographics and consumer preferences are driving the demand for more sustainable solutions, in packaging and far beyond. Negative publicity around ocean gyres and plastic-filled beaches only add to the urgency to increase recyclability, curbside collection, sorting capabilities and finally innovation to increase demand for recyclable materials. Rigid-to-flexible conversion, with its huge sustainability benefits, has been a trend for some time now. Add to all of these the opportunities resulting from more cost-effective and technologically feasible recyclable packaging solutions available today, and sustainability is at the top of everyone’s list. We are at a unique point in the history of flexible packaging. According to the New Plastics Economy, major brand owners and retailers—including Danone, Mars, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, and Walmart—are working towards goals around all reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging, and these initiatives are speeding the shift to recyclable flexible packaging. There is also a significant push by flexible packaging companies for sustainable packaging today. All in all, we’re seeing a critical mass of players moving the needle, after many years of talking about the need for action. 2. Convenience, convenience, convenience! The consumer of today is very different than that of the traditional consumer 20 years ago. The younger generations’ typical lifestyle is busier and busier, and at the same time, they’re looking for healthier options—that often require performance packaging. Everyone is on the go and these buyers want the products they consume to be delivered quickly, consumed easily and disposed of efficiently. 3. Ecommerce: Ecommerce is a game-changing example of the convenience trend. Its efficiencies, coupled with the ease of comparison shopping, are also driving down prices in many sectors. As Business Insider reports, ecommerce is driving virtually all retail growth, and its impact on flexible packaging will grow with it. According to FMI, the online grocery market alone may reach $100 billion by 2022. Better performing flexible packaging solutions—especially seal integrity and abuse resistance so products arrive at the consumer’s door intact—will be a must to support the more rigorous ecommerce supply chain.   What challenges is the flexible packaging market encountering now and how are they being addressed? Quinn: We see three challenges, as well. 1. Speed of transformative change: The biggest challenge we see moving forward is innovating at the rate of speed required to keep up with rapidly evolving business models. The meal kits delivery business is a great example. In 2018, we are going to get a good idea if this market segment is going to sink or swim. A key driver for it to survive and thrive will be packaging performing at the highest levels, providing consumer confidence that every week their food will arrive fresh and safe to consume. The “safe to consume” aspect will be that the products be efficiently packaged in well insulated secondary package. In addition, meal kit customers feel the amount of packaging is excessive and non-recyclable, according to a Packaged Facts report, so primary and secondary packaging will also have to have a sustainable format. 2. Consumer perception of plastics: Anti-plastics sentiment continues to rise, both in absolute numbers and relative to perceptions of alternative materials. Consumers are being exposed to media and publications showcasing the negative aspects of one-time-use plastics. Municipal bag bans are cropping up and companies like McDonald’s are discontinuing the use of styrenics, among other moves across the globe. Our industry can and must do a better job of helping consumers see the benefits of plastics in the context of the total lifecycle environmental footprint. We need to go even further, and help to develop the circular economy, which today is just starting to take shape. 3. Personalizing the consumer experience: Everything from Coke bottles and cans to candy bars are being marketed as a unique experience for each and every consumer. This trend started in the digital realm and now younger consumers especially expect it with their goods as well. As a result, companies are being forced to find new ways to connect with consumers and give them an individualized experience. The challenge lies both in increased costs to deliver on this experience, and the enormous logistical challenges in implementation.   Where do you see the biggest growth for flexible packaging moving forward and why? Quinn: The big trends noted above are the main drivers of growth in flexible packaging. Here’s why… Sustainability: A lot of growth in flexible packaging is about conversion that improves sustainability. The first wave was in rigid to flexible, which continues to grow the flexible market tremendously while reducing total lifecycle environmental impact as noted above. The next wave is the move to mono-material and other recyclable film structures, whether from non-recyclable multi-material construction or leapfrog conversions from alternative materials. We see the advent of recyclable performance packaging accelerating the growth of flexible packaging tremendously. Convenience: Kids have been leading the way in some respects in single serve and on-the-go packaging. Examples include packs of apple slices and carrot sticks, pureed baby food in SUPs with fitments and now squeeze packs of applesauce, or going way back to things like Lunchables. We’re now seeing expansion in products like this marketed to adults. Brands are introducing products like retort oatmeal in a SUP with a fitment, and we’re even starting to see convenience products in the produce aisle. For example, Dole is now offering pineapple and watermelon individually sliced and wrapped in a flow wrap, then collated into a secondary package. Granola and protein bars really speak to this trend and growth, even though we don’t think of them this way. They’re designed to be the perfect on the go refuel! 3. Ecommerce: We’ll see growth in ecommerce flexible packaging related to application customization. The major drivers—“frustration free” packaging and “ships in own container”—enhance the consumer experience and they’re going to drive flexible into applications where it has not historically been. We’re seeing things like using shrink wrap over a primary packaging box instead of a second box, and products traditionally packaged in clam shells and a secondary shipping box transitioning to an easy-open, abuse-resistant, and tamper-evident pouch or other primary package format. The sustainability benefits of lighter weight flexible packaging will also come into play in ecommerce. Converting to flexible packaging can reduce material costs, shipping costs and ease logistical challenges. These take cost out of the supply chain for the retailer and the shipper and may in turn lower the retail price for the consumer. Products which needed to be merchandised for the retail environment don’t have the same requirement when sold online, which allows for different package formats and branding. Ultimately, the result will likely be convergence, where one package format and structure can be used for both brick and mortar and ecommerce sales. These packages will incorporate the performance and aesthetic requirement of both sales channels, and offering an overall cost advantage over multiple stock-keeping units (SKUs) for identical products. What, if anything, is different about the sustainability message of flexible packaging today versus, say, two or three years ago? Quinn: We see a couple of different perspectives on this. First is the messaging opportunity to consumers, which often takes center stage. However, communication within the industry is also essential to developing and commercializing more sustainable packaging offerings. Consumer messaging: Today, sustainability is a true driver of packaging innovation, where just a few short years ago it was just a buzzword. Again, shifting demographics come into play. Younger generations have a less positive perception of plastics, and sustainable packaging is an imperative to appeal to these consumers. Programs like How2Recycle label are helping consumers understand flexible packaging recycling options, and enabling brand owners to showcase package recyclability, educate consumers and ultimately drive up collection rates. Industry associations are also starting to step up with concerted efforts to promote the benefits of plastics over alternative materials, counterbalancing some of the anti-plastics sentiments we all see in the media. Flexible packaging sustainability messaging is also focused on reducing waste in general. Newer technologies are enabling downgauging and related benefits in flexibles that reduce material consumption and waste. These packages also play a role in reducing food waste by extending shelf life and reducing spoilage from leakers and other package breaches. As a result, the messaging now is around the positive influence flexible packaging has on sustainability in the entire value chain. In short, the message is changing. Sustainability is driving action and resources for all of us in the broader plastic packaging industry. Within the industry: Sustainability is both a challenge and an opportunity throughout the value chain. We can’t find optimal solutions in isolation; we are all interdependent and must collaborate to develop the environmentally responsible packaging that consumers and brand owners are demanding. More and more industry players understand the sustainability opportunity today, and they understand that how we talk to each other about it is essential, as it influences how quickly and even whether a lot of innovation happens. Also, no discussion of the sustainability of flexible plastics would be complete without noting the impact of China’s National Sword initiative. This initiative is increasing the amount of recyclable materials that need to be consumed domestically by a huge percentage. We’re going to have to think differently about how to expand the profitable uses of flexible recyclables to consume those additional materials. https://www.packagingdigest.com/flexible-packaging/how-flexible-packaging-trends-are-shifting-and-why-2018-08-29