Board Converting News, June 6, 2022

BoardConverting Serving the North American Corrugated and Folding Carton Industries for 38 years June 6, 2022 VOL. 38, NO. 23

LDI Continues Westward Growth With Acquisition, New Machinery BY LEN PRAZYCH The word “legacy” is a word to which very few independent, multi-gen- erational, family-owned businesses can lay claim. New Hope, Minne- sota based Liberty Diversified International (LDI), which was founded in 1918 and whose “diversification” has grown to monumental success in the Paper, Packaging, Plastics and Workspaces industries, is one of

Coastal Container To Invest $25M To Expand In MI Holland, Michigan based Coastal Container, a family-owned independent full-service pack- aging company, has announced a $25M ex- pansion to grow its Holland facility and add on-site corrugating capabilities. Coastal’s ex- pansion will add 65,000-square-feet to its ex- isting facility along with more than 60 jobs in the coming years. “Our family has been in the corrugated business for 60 years now,” said Coastal Con- tainer CEO Brent Patterson. “In these past couple of years, Coastal Container has seen tremendous growth, which allows us to make this expansion to better serve our customers and community.” The company will invest the majority of the expansion funds in a state-of-the-art 110- inch Fosber corrugator ($16M) and new hon- eycomb equipment from GTW ($2M) with the remaining funds earmarked for building and railroad construction ($7M). Coastal Container expects construction on the building to be fin- ished in early 2023 with equipment purchas- es and installation complete in mid-2023. The new equipment will introduce in- house corrugating capabilities and expand

those companies. The word is posted on LDI’s website, where it shares the story of the “Liberty Legacy” and the birth of the company on the farms and fields of Minnesota, where Jack Fiterman, a Russian immi- grant, ferried produce crates to his barn to repair them, then return them to farmers for their re-use. The entrepreneurial industrialist was so grateful for the opportuni- ties living in the United States presented that he named his new busi- ness after one of the country’s founding principles: Liberty Used Boxes. Fiterman continued to seize every opportunity to grow his fledgling business and by 1940, it grew beyond the walls of the family barn. He expanded operations to a 4,000-square-foot building in Minneapolis, a space he rented for $10 a month. With the economy booming and the demand for boxes skyrocketing after World War II, Liberty went into the stock box business, and by the 1960s the company was manufacturing corrugated boxes for Minneso- ta’s largest businesses. By the 1970s the company had expanded its CONTINUED ON PAGE 22 Bob Walton, VP Packaging South at Liberty Packaging, shows the scope of the company’s explosive growth in the southwestern U.S.


WHAT’S INSIDE ISM: U.S. Economic Growth To Continue Through 2022 GBP Cuts Ribbon On New Facility In Tulsa, Oklahoma

6 x x 8 x x 12 x x 26 x x

A.G. Stacker Wins SVTC 2022 Innovation In Utilization Award 16 Why You Must Be A Trusted Advisor To Job Candidates

AVERAGE CONTAINERBOARD PRICES The average prices reported are tabulated from prices PAID by various sources throughout the United States the week previous to issue. Prices in some areas of the country may be higher or lower than the tabulated average. The prices tabulated here are intended only for purposes of reference. They do not connote any commitment to sell any material at the indicated average. Transactions may be completed at any time at a price agreed upon by seller and purchaser.

REGION E. Coast Midwest Southeast Southwest

42# Kraft liner

26# Semi-Chem. Medium

$1005.00-1010.00 $1020.00-1030.00 $1020.00-1030.00 $1020.00-1030.00 $1050.00-1060.00 $1023.00-1032.00

Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del. Short Ton Del.

$940.00-990.00 $955.00-975.00 $955.00-975.00 $955.00-975.00 $975.00-995.00 $958.00-978.00

WANTED: ASSOCIATE EDITOR Full-time Associate Editor wanted to help edit, write and produce (in print and online) the ONLY WEEKLY PUBLICATION serving the North Ameri- can corrugated and folding carton industries. Must be a lover of the English language; computer liter- acy a must; Social Media savvy essential; and must be proficient in Outlook, WORD, InDesign and Pho- toshop. Knowledge of manufacturing and the cor- rugated industry encouraged but not necessary. Competitive salary, medical benefits, 2-week paid vacation. Send resume and/or letter of interest to Len Prazych at or call (518) 366-9017 with questions or solutions.

West Coast U.S. Average

SHEET PRICES BY REGION (AVERAGE) Per 1MSF, local delivery included, 50MSF single item order, truckload delivery. Sheets

E. Coast Midwest South-SW S. CA N.CA/WA-OR US Aver.

200# 275#



$62.69 $82.80

$85.35 119.54

$73.13 101.29












107.46 118.45

114.69 129.32

116.54 137.25 117.82 145.56

141.08 148.46

122.76 131.80

CANADIAN SHEET PRICES (AVERAGE) In Canadian Dollars, per 1MSF, local delivery included, under 50MSF single item order, truckload delivery. 200# 275# Oyster UC 275#DW 350#DW $78.56 $99.18 $9.00 $96.32 $105.83 CANADIAN LINERBOARD & MEDIUM The average prices reported are tabulated from prices PAID by various sources throughout Canada. Prices may be higher or lower in various areas of the country. The prices tabulated here are intended only for purposes of reference. They do not connote any commitment to sell any material at the indicated average. Transactions may be completed at any time at a price agreed upon by seller and purchaser. Prices are Canadian $ and per metric ton.

42# Kraft Liner 26#

Semi-Chem Medium

East West


$960.00 $995.00



June 6, 2022

Coastal Container (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1)

Core Competency

Coastal’s current honeycomb capabilities. As one of the fastest and largest corrugators in Michigan, the on-site Fosber corrugator will bolster the company’s resilience to supply-chain disruptions, putting Coastal in control of their own supply of materials.

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The company named reduced environmental impact and capacity as primary reasons for selecting the corruga- tor. The machine has the capacity to run over two billion square-feet of material per year and utilizes Fosber’s Syn- cro technology to support the latest in Industry 4.0 inno- vation through data collection, reporting and optimization. The construction of a new rail spur will allow the com-

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Coastal Container (CONT’D FROM PAGE 4)

“Companies have a lot of choices for paper and cor- rugated products at large corporations,” said Patterson. “This expansion positions us as the only locally owned and operated company in the region who can make cor- rugated on-site, build packaging and provide this level of control over our product quality and process.” “We’re thankful for the partnership of MEDC, Lakeshore Advantage, Capital for Compassion, MDOT, Semco, Hol- land BPW and the City of Holland,” continued Patterson, “along with our loyal customers whose support has made all of this possible.”

pany to receive its raw material in the form of rolls instead of corrugated sheets. A single delivery of seven rail cars will replace approximately 48 truck loads of sheets. Coast- al estimates this will eliminate the consumption of over 150,000 gallons of diesel fuel and over 1,000,000 miles of truck traffic from our roads per year. “Our environmental footprint and sustainability are key elements to our busi- ness,” said Patterson. To support these expanded capabilities, Coastal will add dozens of new production and salaried positions. Coastal expects to post entry-level production positions with full benefits packages and pay averaging $21-30/hr as equipment is installed. Partnering with Coastal, West Michigan Works and Grand Rapids Community College will provide on-the-job training and education for new hires in addition to training from the equipment supplier.

ISM: U.S. Economic Growth To Continue Through 2022

The U.S. economy will continue to expand for the rest of 2022, say the nation’s purchasing and supply executives

in the Spring 2022 Semiannual Economic Forecast. Expectations for the remainder for 2022 are similar to those expressed in December 2021, despite continued inflation and geopolitical unrest. These projections are part of the forecast issued by the Insti- tute for Supply Management (ISM) Business Survey Committees. The forecast was pre- sented by Timothy R. Fiore, Chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, and Anthony S. Nieves, Chair of the ISM Ser- vices Business Survey Committee. Revenue for 2022 is expected to in- crease, on average, by 9.2 percent. This is 2.7 percentage points higher than the De- cember 2021 forecast of 6.5 percent, and 4.9 percentage points lower than the 14.1 percent year-over-year increase reported for 2021. Sixty-three percent of respondents say that revenues for 2022 will increase, on av- erage, 15.5 percent compared to 2021. Only seven percent say revenues will decrease (10 percent, on average), and 30 percent in- dicate no change. With an operating rate of 87.2 percent and projected increases in capital expendi- tures (7.4 percent), prices paid for raw ma- terials (11.1 percent) and employment (3.2 percent) by the end of 2022, manufacturing continues its comeback from the turmoil of 2020 and 2021. “With 16 manufacturing sec- tor industries expecting revenue growth in 2022, and 13 industries expecting employ- ment growth in 2022 panelists forecast that recovery will continue the rest of the year. Sentiment in each sector was generally con- sistent with industry performance reports in the April 2022 Manufacturing ISM Report On Business,” said Fiore.


June 6, 2022


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Green Bay Packaging Cuts Ribbon On New Facility In Tulsa, Oklahoma Green Bay Packaging recently opened a 540,000-square- foot manufacturing center and 28,000-square-foot office building in west Tulsa County, Oklahoma. “We’re about 75 percent of the way at our start-up curve,” said Ryan Boegh, Green Bay’s Vice President and General Manager of the Tulsa division. “We started some production transitions in late October through the end of last year and were at full production in February.”

Box Shipments ( U.S. Corrugated Product Shipments) Industry Shipments In Billions of Square Feet Month March 2022



Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change

2022 2021

37.675 37.992


8.190 8.259


Industry Total

Year-to Date

March 2022



Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change

2022 2021

102.648 102.938


8.019 8.170


Industry Total

Containerboard Consumption (Thousands of Tons)



Percent Change Year-to-Date Percent Change

2022 2021

3.1027 3.0967


8.4866 8.4625


Container Board Inventory - Corrugator Plants (Thousands of Tons)

Corrugator Plants Only


Percent Change Weeks of Supply

Percent Change

Mar. Feb.

2.2693 2.3081


3.4 3.5


Headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the Tulsa Divi- sion employs 115 people locally and plans to increase that number to 135 in the next few years. It also has a state plant in Chickasha that employs about 45. “We’re still learning, and still growing,” Boegh said. “But it’s great to have some space to stretch out and serve our growth for our current customers and future customers.”

Shipping Days




2022 2021

23 23

64 63

SOURCE: Fibre Box Association

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AF&PA Urges Colorado Governor Polis To Veto EPR Scheme AF&PA’s Vice President of Industry Affairs Terry Webber issued the following statement in response to the Colo- rado General Assembly passing HB22-1355, which would create an EPR program for paper and packaging products: “Colorado’s ‘Producer Responsibility Program for Re- cycling’ ignores the fact that paper recycling is a success. More paper by weight gets recycled from municipal waste streams each year than aluminum, glass, steel and plastic combined. EPR could shift the economic burden of new recycling regulations from municipalities to Coloradans. These added costs would especially hurt small business- es and low-income households. “We urge Governor Polis to veto HB22-1355. An EPR scheme is not the right pol- icy approach for sustainable paper products. Colorado should instead focus on addressing underfunded and un- derdeveloped recycling programs.” AICC Canada/CCCA Schedules Corrugated Connections In October AICC Canada/CCCA has announced that its Corrugated Connections 2022 Tabletop Conference will take place at the The Design Exchange in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on October 27th, 2022.

This year’s theme is Corrugated Connections -- Better Together, which describes how over the last two years, not only has our industry changed and grown, but so has its people. Now on the other side of all the challenges, we’re here, better, together and in search of exhibitors and speakers that are leaders in the corrugated and container- board industries, displaying the latest developments and trend ideas. This is an excellent opportunity to introduce your organization, products, and services to our members Rooms are available at the Sheraton Centre Toron- to Hotel at 123 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario, for $299. Call (416) 361-1000 or e-mail for more information or to reservce a room.

AF&PA Releases April 2022 Packaging Papers Report

AF&PA has released its April 2022 Packaging Papers & Specialty Packaging Monthly report. Total packaging pa- pers and specialty packaging shipments in April decreased two percent compared to April 2021. They were up one percent when compared to the same four months of 2021. The operating rate was 94.0 percent, up 1.4 points from April 2021 and up 1.3 points year-to-date. Mill inventories at the end of April decreased 6,000 short tons from the previous month, and were down 8,000 short tons com- pared to April 2021.







June 6, 2022

A.G. Stacker Wins SVTC 2022 Innovation In Utilization Award

Weyers Cave, Virginia based A.G. Stacker has been named the 2022 Inno- vation in Utilization award winner by the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council (SVTC). A.G. Stacker, a custom manufacturer of corrugated materi- al handling equipment and technology, received the award during SVTC’s 22nd Annual TechNite Ceremony, hosted on May 4 at James Madison Uni- versity in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Packaging ERP Algorithmic Scheduling Web-Based Access Online Customer Portals Paperless Workflows Mobile Sales Systems Digital Signage Production Monitoring Mobile Logistics Analytics & Reporting Cloud Hosting IT Management Services Cyber Security Management

For 22 years, the Shenandoah Valley Technology Council has recog- nized and awarded the achievements of local, technology-focused busi- nesses, programs and initiatives. Innovations are recognized in 8 cate- gories: Emerging Business, Community Impact, K-12 Education, Higher Education, Development, Utilization, Leadership and People’s Choice. In Spring 2022, A.G. was nominated for the Innovation in Utilization category as a result of their new digital twin assets and solutions, released Fall 2021. The Innovation in Utilization award “recognizes outstanding commercial growth and achievement by an established company that pro- duces high tech products or services… where technology itself is not the core business purpose.” A.G. is proud to receive this award for their In- novation in Utilization of digital twin assets in corrugated machinery solu- tions. A.G. Stacker is among the first to apply and effectively utilize digital twin technology on commissioned machines in the corrugated converting market. The new technology is currently enabled on their eBREAK Bundle Breaker, Divert & Separate System DSS and eTAMP Servo-Tamper sys- tems, with additional assets in development. Using this technology, A.G. customers can collaborate with A.G. engineers during the machine design process, improve operator training pre-install, test production runs/config- urations and more. “I’d like to extend a big thank you to our team and technology vendors for the work they do every day to bring this technology solution to mar- ket,” said Joe Wunder, President of A.G. Stacker. “We also want to thank Dynamic Aviation as the official sponsor of this award category and the SVTC for bringing awareness to the technology being developed in the valley. Our biggest reward is being able to offer innovative solutions that effectively meet the needs of our converter customers and the corrugated industry. Our team is committed to innovation because of their commit- CONTINUED ON PAGE 14 Joe Wunder, President of A.G. Stacker, left, receives the Innovation in Utilization Award from an SVTC representative.

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A.G. Stacker Wins (CONT’D FROM PAGE 12)

trial packaging while expanding our display business and building our future.” Billy will help shape the next chapter of Vanguard’s future by executing the Kansas City sales strategy, team development, and strategic relationships. As a cross-func- tional leader, he will be responsible for driving organi- zational change to develop a focused sales team that protects Vanguard’s key revenue streams, while also di- versifying and growing the business. A veteran of the packaging industry, Billy is a respected sales leader with experience building and guiding teams, while working cross-functionally with other departments, to achieve organizational goals. He most recently worked for Great Northern Corporation as Vice President of Sales, Packaging. There he led the sales team managing bud- gets, negotiated contracts, warehousing agreements, price increases, and assigned pricing levels to all packag- ing projects. “Vanguard is delighted to welcome Billy aboard to lead the Kansas City sales team,” said Chris Stoler, CEO. “I look forward to Billy managing the Vanguard brand via industry and community engagement while building and deepen- ing key relationships.” Over the years Vanguard has grown from a 32,000-square-foot operation in 1975 to a 900,000-square- foot operation today. Besides its headquarters in Kansas City, the company has offices in St. Louis, Missouri; Ben- tonville, Arkansas; and China.

ment to customers, and it’s humbling to have their work recognized among the tech leaders in our community.” To learn more about A.G. Stacker’s new digital twin technology, contact Tim Connell, Director of Sales at (540) 234-6012 or or visit the A.G. web- site at . To learn more about the Shenandoah Valley Technolo- gy Council and view the full list of 2022 Tech Nite Innova- tion winners, visit . Vanguard Companies Names Cozad RSM In Kansas City Kansas City, Missouri based Vanguard Companies, a leading designer and manufacturer of value-added point- of-purchase displays, retail-ready packaging, industrial packaging products and related assembly, logistics and fulfillment services, has announced the appointment of Billy Cozad as its Regional Sales Manager – Kansas City. “We look forward to having Billy join the Vanguard Companies where his leadership, expertise, and vision will help drive our KC team and the company values in all actions,” said Jennifer Wulf, VP Sales. “Collaborating with our St. Louis and Bentonville sales leadership, he will be expanding our critical foothold in the KC market in indus-

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Why You Must Be A Trusted Advisor To Job Candidates BY JEREMY ESKENAZI, SHRM-SCP

team and accept your offer. While you’ll continue to build relationships with hiring managers and internal stakehold- ers – you can no longer treat the candidate as anything less. In a competitive market, you must also be a trusted advisor to candidates. You may be wondering how you can advocate for both sides – isn’t that usually why everyone gets their own lawyer in a battle? In recruiting it doesn’t have to be that extreme and you truly can negotiate and bargain in good faith for both parties. If you’re not quite convinced yet, here are three really important reasons to consider: 1. In a competitive market, you will lose if you’re not seen to be helping the candidate as well. Many organi- zations are moving to transparent salary ranges, flexible and customized perks, and understanding what candi- dates want and need on an individual level. Gone are the days you can throw out the lowest offer in the salary range and expect your candidate to be waiting by their phone

A recruiter at a company is tasked with getting the best tal- ent from the market at the best price for the company. This

was a very common understanding of what recruiting was at its most ba- sic level for a very long time. While the first part still holds, everyone can probably agree that times have changed, drastically. Recruiters must be a trusted advi- sor to the business – this continues

Jeremy Eskenazi

to be a staple of good consultative recruiting. Now add the notion that ‘us and them’ is now the worst approach you can use if you want to get the best talent to join your

ready to accept. Instead, you’re likely one of several offers they will get, and you’ll be the one hopefully to get a call back with positive news. Don’t get left behind companies putting out their best offer after asking candidates ex- actly what they want! 2. How you make people feel matters – in a candidate driven market where there is a la- bor shortage, you cannot be remembered as the organization who jerked people around, kept them hanging, lowballed them, or any- thing near that experience. Other companies will move faster, remove barriers, skip inter- views and archaic outdated testing practices in favor of hiring for attitude, potential, and a growth mindset. Some organizations are mov- ing to offer same day and offering positive coaching and feedback through the process. This smooth process, transparency, speed, and the lack of hoops to jump through will not only leave a slower company with a medio- cre offer in the dust, but if the candidate does take time to compare multiple offers, how they were treated throughout the process will weigh heavily. It’s a reflection of how a com- pany treats their people and when you have options, culture can often be the tie breaker. Don’t lose on this front because you don’t care about the candidate experience. 3. Money doesn’t win every time – you help them win. One of the most important jobs a recruiter has is listening and understanding what the hiring manager is looking for, but equally important, what will it take for the candidate to accept your offer. Passive can- didates who are top performers will not leave their current company without a compelling offer and they are likely to receive a counter-


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Trusted Advisor (CONT’D FROM PAGE 16)

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offer to stay. If you’ve been listening to the candidate and building rapport, you might think that they only took your call because they want more flexibility in their schedule. If you offer a lot of cash, but no flexibility, do not be shocked when they turn down your 30 percent pay bump in favor of a four-day work week at their current employer. It’s critical to learn who candidates are and what motivates them – and help get them a package that is coveted. Candidates will only consider your company if you can offer them something compelling. This is true at all levels of organizations and across all job functions. In the long era ahead with predicted labor shortages, you’ll need to compete on a variety of fronts. Treating candidates as if they are one of many and they should be lucky to hear from you when you’re ready will no longer fly. Many candi- dates these days have multiple options, and your top tal- ent who you thought were happy are suddenly resigning before you can blink. It’s difficult to recruit because there are so many rela- tionships to manage, and it can be emotional at times. Use that emotion and that human connection to your advan-

Nothing’s more rewarding

than a couple made for each other. That’s why the engineers at ARC International have focused their skills and talents on crafting perfect

matches between the components that must work in tandem on your exo folder gluers and die-cutters: • Anilox Rollers and Ink Chambers • Anilox and Wiper Rollers • Feed and Pull Rollers • Glue and Meter Rollers You can achieve the press speeds and print quality you need to ll your most demanding orders by pairing your team with The ARChitects of Flexo. Contact ARC today to learn how these engineered matches of exo folder gluer and die-cutter components (new or

tage – help get your candidates what they really desire. That $10K that you absolutely didn’t think you could ne- gotiate for might actually be much less valuable to them versus time and course fees for a certification they want. The overall cost might be half but showing an interest in what they desire and making it happen matters greatly. When was the last time you asked a passive candidate who would be perfect for a role at your company what it would take for them to consider making a move? How many times did you actually try to make it happen for them before you got to an offer? Did you think about what they asked for after they ghosted you and wonder why you didn’t just push for them? It’s not always going to work out perfectly – some candidates surely push the boundaries when they know they are the right fit for the role. If their ask is reasonable, it probably means there is a glimmer of interest in what you can offer them, and you might have a shot at bringing some amazing talent into your team (the best feeling in the world for recruiting professionals – right!?!). In today’s marketplace – you’ll lose candidates if you

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ARC.5pBCN_AnlxChmbr.indd 1

3/31/21 6:09 PM

Trusted Advisor (CONT’D FROM PAGE 18)

specializes in recruitment training and strategy consulting, helping global HR leaders transform how they attract top talent. From best practice recruiting, to improving speed to hire, to candidate experience, Riviera Advisors is a go- to place for strategic talent advisors. For more informa- tion, visit Sun Chemical To Increase Prices On Products In North America Parsippany, New Jersey based Sun Chemical will increase prices across its entire portfolio of packaging, commercial sheetfed and screen inks, coatings, consumables and ad- hesives in North America, effective immediately, or as con- tracts allow.. The inflationary environment in North America has

don’t advocate for them. Help in any way you can – if that means coaching them on how to ask for more money, time off, paid benefits, development investment, etc. Help them prepare for a potential counteroffer so they feel comfort- able saying no to it or showing them financial projections that help build your case. There is so much you can do to show that while you work for a company, you are also on their side. Earning candidate trust and showing you can advocate and advise them too is a competitive edge you will desperately need – consider how you’re doing at it today and the potential you have to do better. Jeremy Eskenazi, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CMC, is the founder of Riviera Advisors, a boutique talent acquisition optimiza- tion consulting firm. Riviera Advisors does not headhunt, it

continued to impact the ink industry. Global geopolitical events have caused sustained pressure on logistics availability and have in- creased the costs to unprecedented levels. The constrained accessibility to labor in the market has driven significant wage inflation while contributing to inefficiencies at manu- facturing facilities. Key raw materials continue to experience scarcity while steel shortages drive costs for steel drums and other packaging components to historic highs. Sun Chemical continues to seek mitigation strategies to these cost in- creases, however, the magnitude and speed of increases require further action to offset impacts to the business. “Our team continues to focus on ensuring a steady flow of our products to customers,” said Chris Parrilli, President of North American Inks, Sun Chemical. “Sun Chemical’s global reach has helped secure the raw materials needed to maintain production, however, the costs to secure those materials, manu- facture our products, and deliver them to our customers has reached a level that requires Sun Chemical to take this price action. Glob- al events will continue to influence our strat- egies and actions as we evaluate every op- portunity to mitigate these inflationary events and deliver on the expectations our custom- ers have for reliable supply of our products to their facilities.” Sun Chemical will communicate specific increases directly with its customers. Custom- ers with questions can reach out to their local Sun Chemical sales representative. Sun Chemical, a member of the DIC group, is a producer of packaging and graphic solu- tions, color and display technologies, and electronic materials.


June 6, 2022

LDI Continues (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1)

throughout the U.S. and Mexico. Despite business inter- ests that expand well beyond the corrugated packaging

industry, both father and son have been very visible and active industry leaders – and AICC members – for decades. Jack works closely with his sales leaders and General Managers throughout the LDI family of compa- nies to drive growth through organic sales and acquisitions, perhaps most

operations under a new name that reflected its reach: Lib- erty Diversified Industries, from which it marketed and sold an array of products, from 100 percent recycled paper, col- or and functional paper coatings, supply chain solutions,

and packaging designs, to custom corrugated plastic, roofing products, office solutions and retail fixtures. As current Chairman, Mike Fiter- man is the third generation to lead Liberty Diversified International (the company name was changed again in 2008 to reflect its ongoing growth

Jack Fiterman

clearly evident in the southwestern U.S. and California, where LDI’s corrugated packaging footprint continues its exponential expansion. LDI Packaging: Westward Expansion Liberty Packaging operates under two divisions – North and South. The North Division has a host of packaging plants and paper mill located in the Midwest. The South Packaging Region is currently an 8-Plant system that con- tinues to expand.

Mike Fiterman

and expansion), which is now one of Minnesota’s larg- est privately-held companies. Mike’s son, Jack Fiterman, is the Vice President of Business Development for LDI, which today employs nearly 2,000 people in 23 facilities

Bob Walton, VP of Packaging South, joined the company in September of 2014 with LDI’s acquisition of Harbor Packaging in Poway, near San Diego, where he was CEO. (Harbor Packaging also owned a second facility in Ti- juana, Mexico, which was included as part of LDI’s acquisition). Walton already had a rela- tionship with the Fitermans through the LA Corr sheetfeeder partnership. Their business philosophies meshed and the purchase pro- cess was relatively quick. With the acquisition of the 2-plant Harbor Packaging operation, LDI South has become an 8-plant system that includes a facility in Fort Worth, Texas, which was already an LDI plant for many years; Preferred Packaging in Phoenix, which was acquired in 2016; South- ern Container in Houston, acquired in 2021: and most recently, Dallas Container with facil- ities in Dallas and Amarillo, Texas. LDI already ran a box plant in Mexicali, Mexico, and has a distribution center approximately 180 miles from their Phoenix facility in Nogales, Mexico “We been on an acquisition run and we’re al- ways looking for new opportunities,” says Wal- ton,” But we’ve grown organically, too, espe- cially in the packaging division, so it’s not just Mergers & Acquisitions that have generated our growth.” LDI South’s San Diego facility in Poway was designed and built by the owners of Harbor Packaging in 2000 specifically as a convert- ing box plant. The large facility, which also serves as the company’s regional office, con- tains modern, spacious office and meeting ar- eas more befitting a Los Angeles tech compa- ny than that of a corrugated packaging facility.



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LDI Continues (CONT’D FROM PAGE 22)

750 employees, including a sales force of 35, comprise LDI South, making it one of the largest and fastest-growing independent box makers in the west and southwest. Rapid Growth = More Capacity With growth and ever-growing demand comes the need for more capacity for all LDI South facilities, but es- pecially those in Poway and Fort Worth, the hubs of the network and thus, the “volume” plants that output the most product. Walton says the Poway facility alone con- verts between 50-60 million square feet per month on a family of various machines. “We’ve been able to leverage the capacity of our older equipment, which continues to perform exceptionally, but we need newer, faster machinery with more throughput to handle the type of volume we’re seeing in our hubs,” says Walton. “New machinery will first be installed in Poway or Fort Worth and the machines they replace will be ‘water- falled’ to other plants in our system.” For example, Walton announced that LDI South is in- stalling a 4-color, 37-inch by 95-inch Isowa Falcon flexo folder gluer to replace its Simon and Koppers machines, which will be moved to other plants. The high-speed Iso- wa Falcon, which can kick out 350 pieces a minute and as many as 50,000 on a single shift, will absorb the volume of LDI’s older machines and then some. Isowa Success, Service And Support “We’ve been planning for the installation of the Fal-

The production floor – half dedicated to machinery, half to warehousing – can be seen through large windows on the “observation deck.” “Acquiring Harbor Packaging has been a great oppor- tunity for us, it’s been valuable for LDI, our employees, customers and our management team,” says Walton, who

notes that approximately 100 employees work on three shifts in Poway. Three shifts also run in the Tijuana and Fort Worth operations; two shifts run in Mexicali, and single shifts run in Phoenix, Dallas and Houston. Approximately A bird’s eye view of LDI Poway’s production floor from the ob- servation deck of its facility in Poway, California.



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LDI Continues (CONT’D FROM PAGE 24)

Omaha, Nebraska, facilities, for some time and there is substantial data and a significant track record of success. “We have a lot of confidence in the consistency, reli- ability and throughput of Isowa machinery,” adds Walton. “Our operators do very well running it and we’re confident that we will continue to improve our service and quality to our customers. Isowa has been great at supporting our service or parts needs.”

con for months and moving work to our sister plants to have sufficient inventory for our customers but there will be no disruption in service,” says Walton. “Our largest is- sue was getting our current machinery disassembled and moved out to make room for the Isowa Falcon, but we’re on schedule.”

Why Isowa? Walton says that LDI has had a lot of luck and success with both the Falcon and Ibis, Isowa’s larger 47-inch by 120-inch flexo folder gluer. LDI has been run- ning Isowa machines in its Twin Cities, Minnesota, and Bob Walton says that the company is “on schedule” on the in- stallation of its new Isowa Falcon in Poway, California.

LDI South’s new Isowa Falcon will be supported by an Alliance prefeeder and load former. Walton is excited by the fact that he is also installing a dual mainline so that CONTINUED ON PAGE 28 The Isowa Ibis is the company’s larger 47-inch by 120-inch flexo folder gluer, which runs in LDI’s sister plants.

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LDI Continues (CONT’D FROM PAGE 26)

the new Falcon and the existing Bobst will be fed with a Mosca unitizer, and the McKinley and the Hycorr will be fed on another. Two Mosca unitizers will be operating side by side. New conveyor by Systec (Inspire Automation) will transport the finished product throughout the plant.

Deploy The New, Maintain The Existing Newer and faster machinery will keep the LDI Packag- ing South network producing at one of the highest rates in the region, but Walton notes the company’s focus on An Alliance prefeeder supports LDI’s Bobst in Poway and along with a load former, will support the new Isowa Falcon.



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LDI Continues (CONT’D FROM PAGE 28)

maintaining its previous equipment with a “safety-first” philosophy. The company does this through daily equip- ment care, training and development, workplace organi- zation, planned maintenance and focused improvement.

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LDI Continues (CONT’D FROM PAGE 30)

machine, like the Isowa, we apply those same principles to keeping them up and running.” Family Values In addition to the company’s focus on innovative ma- chinery operational excellence through its safety-first phi- losophy, employees at LDI quickly learn about the com- pany-wide core values of Caring, Innovation, Trust and

set up times, run speeds, downtime, etc. There are reg- ular meetings at shift changes so crews can “huddle” to maintain communication and understand what’s going on at the machine and in the plant. According to Walton, it’s a clear and simple program that is easy to implement and maintain. To ensure safety, the company also has a Red Tag main- tenance program: any employee in the plant can fill out a red tag and attach it to a machine that needs attention. A copy of the red tag goes to the maintenance department, which then handles the repair. “We found that the program is successful because our employees have a voice in the process. If they say there is a problem with a machine, we address it as soon as possible. It’s a team effort.” Then there is the company’s Operational Excellence initiative, in which 20 or more employees periodically maintain a single machine at once; they clean it, red tag it and do whatever it takes to bring it back to OEM specs, so it performs like new. Then the employees systemati- cally go throughout the plant until all the machines have been maintained and modernized. This allows all employ- ees and operators to learn about every other machine in the plant. Walton says that’s how their Simon and Koppers machines, both 30-plus years old, continue to perform like new. “They may not look like they’re new machines, but they run like they’re new,” he says. “When we buy a new

Excellence. “Other companies have used these words, but they’re taken very seriously here,” says Walton. “Caring, however, is the one value I see most because the Fiterman family truly cares. They care for our customers, they care for our suppliers, and they care for our employees. The results speak for themselves.” And the “Liberty Legacy” upon which Jack Fiterman founded the company 104 years ago lives on.

Let’s Tell Our Recycling Story

Investment, Jobs Created, Tons Produced

Rick Van Horne, Director of Creative Marketing Corrugated Supplies Corp. LLC


June 6, 2022

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