BoardConverting Serving the North American Corrugated and Folding Carton Industries for 38 years March 21, 2022 VOL. 38. NO. 12
Employee Poaching: Avoiding Litigation, Loss Of Trade Secrets BY PHILLIP M. PERRY A California sales executive who jumped ship for a competing employ- er took along a folder of customer lists and marketing plans. Those items proved valuable resources for the conduct of his new duties—so valuable that his previous employer sued for violation of confidentiality
AICC Members Complete 10,000 Free Online Courses AICC, The Independent Packaging Associa- tion, began offering free online education to member companies in April 2017. As of Febru- ary 2022, employees of AICC member com- panies have completed over 10,000 courses. These courses represent 1,250 better trained employees, $1.6M saved in training costs, and over four years of cumulative training time. “This significant milestone clearly demon- strates what an important pillar AICC’s Pack- aging School is to both current and future members of AICC,” said Gary Brewer, Presi- dent, Package Crafters, Inc., and AICC Educa- tion Committee Chair. Over 100 courses are currently online with more expected to be released this year. There are courses available that are relevant for ev- ery department, with material both for those newer to the industry and seasoned profes- sionals. AICC has also translated over 20 on- line courses into Spanish. Several more will be available in the coming months. “I’m excited to hear about the 10,000 on- line courses completed!” said Jana Harris, CEO, Harris Packaging Corp. “The online catalogue covers so many aspects of our in-
and nondisclosure agreements, and illegal use of trade secrets. The results were costly cash settlements against the executive as well as the new employer who had encouraged use of stolen material. If that story sounds familiar, it’s no accident. Similar cases occur regularly around the country. When a star employee moves from one business to another, the resulting conflicts are often resolved in court. “This area of law is growing quickly,” says Ben Mathis, an Atlanta attorney and managing partner of the nationwide law firm of Freeman Mathis & Gary ( fmglaw.com ). “There are two competing interests at stake. The first is that of employers who have a right to protect their information from having people walk off and take it all with them. The second is that of the individual’s right to compete against his earlier employer.” Resolving those competing interests can hit profits hard. “Court remedies usually involve financial damages for harm that had been done to the original employer,” says Theodore J. St. Antoine, Degan Professor Emeritus of Law, University of Michigan Law School, Ann Ar- bor. “There may also be an injunction prohibiting the losing party from continuing an illegal practice. If the losing party ignores the injunction CONTINUED ON PAGE 24
CONTINUED ON PAGE 5
WHAT’S INSIDE 5 NAM: Manufacturing Job Opens Above Pre-Pandemic Levels 10 BCN To Host Free Webinar On Machine Learning 14 Cumberland Container Adds Capacity With Apstar HG2 1228 22 TAPPI Names Recipients Of Magnabosco Award
2 March 21, 2022
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
West Coast U.S. Average
The Price is Right
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.
OYSTER UP-CHARGE 8.34
275# DBL-WALL 350# DBL-WALL
116.54 137.25 117.82 145.56
More box makers and brokers are relying on the containerboard pricing in Board Converting News to negotiate their contracts with end users.
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.
SEE THE CURRENT PRICES IN PRINT OR ONLINE AT WWW.BOARDCONVERTINGNEWS.COM.
Len Prazych at 518-366-9017 email@example.com
42# Kraft Liner 26#
March 21, 2022
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AICC Members Complete (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1 )
dustry. It is a great resource for our onboarding education as well as broadening our team’s knowledge across the board. The fact that our employees can start a lesson, stop it when they get busy and come back to it has been ex- tremely helpful during these busy times.” To help AICC members make the most of the courses available AICC has also created a Training Tracking Tool, a resource available which makes easy tracking of training accessible to all AICC members. Many companies see the need for ongoing training but are not ready to invest in a database or Learning Management System of their own. The tool was updated in February 2022 to generate addi- tional reports on individual or group progress even when employees change departments internally. Members can download the Excel Tracking Tool and put it to use. “Educating over 10,000 individual AICC members is significant and should be celebrated, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg,” said AICC President, Mike D’Angelo. “We track numbers closely and member engagement with AICC’s Packaging School grows each year. The benefit to the industry is real,” One of the most recent courses added is Machine Primer. This resource introduces a wide variety of equip- ment used in today’s packaging industry. AICC members can click on various pieces of machinery in a virtual plant, read a description of it, see a diagram then watch a video of the machinery in action. This course is a great resource to those new to the industry. Several of the current and upcoming courses are through the support of AICC Education investors, Fosber, BCM Inks, SUN Automation Group, Pamarco, JB Machin- ery, Printron, Absolute, Kruger, EFI, HP, Stafford Corrugat- ed Products, and Bobst, who offer their time and exper- tise along with a financial commitment to create an online course with AICC. Visit www.AICCbox.org/PackagingSchool for more. NAM: Manufacturing Job Openings Well Above Pre-Pandemic Levels According to Chad Moutray, Ph.D. and Chief Economist at the National Association of Manufacturers, there were 855,000 manufacturing job openings in January and the number of job postings continues to be well above pre-pandemic levels. Over the past 10 months, job open- ings in the sector have averaged 873,000, including the record 943,000 in July. Consumer prices rose 0.8 percent in February, continu- ing to increase. Food and energy prices increased 1.0 per- cent and 3.5 percent in February, respectively, with gaso- line costs up 6.6 percent. Excluding food and energy, core consumer prices increased 0.5 percent in February, sug- gesting broad growth in costs beyond food and energy.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 6
March 21, 2022
NAM: Manufacturing Jobs (CONT’D FROM PAGE 5)
Box Shipments ( U.S. Corrugated Product Shipments) Industry Shipments In Billions of Square Feet Month December 2021
The consumer price index has risen 7.9 percent over the past 12 months, the fastest year-over-year pace since January 1982. At the same time, core inflation (which ex- cludes food and energy) increased 6.4 percent year-over- year in February, the biggest increase since August 1982. Overall, price pressures for consumers remain elevat- ed—a trend that will continue over the coming months. With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, prices are likely to increase more, particularly for food and commodities. The Index of Consumer Sentiment declined to the low- est reading since October 2011, according to preliminary data from the University of Michigan and Thomson Reu- ters. Confidence was lower “due to falling inflation-adjust- ed incomes, recently accelerated by rising fuel prices as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.” In addition, total quits in the manufacturing sector rose from 322,000 in December to 331,000 in January, a new record. That translated into 2.6 percent of the manufac- turing workforce and continues a trend of very significant “churn” in the labor market, exacerbating the workforce difficulties that companies are experiencing. The U.S. trade deficit rose to $89.69 billion in January, another record high, with the goods trade deficit jumping to $108.86 billion, also an all-time high. Goods exports, on the other hand, decreased to $155.89 billion but remained not far from October’s record pace ($159.02 billion).
Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change
Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change
Containerboard Consumption (Thousands of Tons)
Percent Change Year-to-Date Percent Change
Container Board Inventory - Corrugator Plants (Thousands of Tons)
Corrugator Plants Only
Percent Change Weeks of Supply
SOURCE: Fibre Box Association
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6. Gap Control 7. Curved Plate 8. Roller Shoe Press When it comes to a short-term increas of web tension, spring loaded systems with shoes or airpressure activated system have problems in compensating these. The system is lifted for a short time. This may result in de-lamination and in the ‘double kiss’ effect. Solution For a defined and exact bonding point of the web fiv weight rollers will be installed usually over the first flat hotplate of the heating section. The rolls are mounted into a frame, which is actuated by means of two pneumatic cylinders. P oductivity Issu —Double Kiss Bonding
9. Thin Wall Hot Plates 10. Pressure System Benefits —Exact glue application due to defined contact of applicator roll to web. Web is in contact to less flute tips compared to bar systems. • High precision glue application • Less moisture applied to web —No wear of shoes and springs —No adjustment of shoes or paper gap —Uniform glue application over entire w orking width for all flutes by use of pneumatic cylinders instead of springs — Less contamination by paper dust and glue remains —No jam of board because of web breaks caused by splice joints going through 630-784-0800 Benefits —Rollers secure exact defined first point of contact of liner and single-faced board - No double kiss —Frame design avoids unintended lifting of roller shoe (compared to spring or air loaded systems) - No double kiss —Pressure can be increased or released for special grades or products 490 Tower Blvd., Carol Stream, IL Contact Chicago Electric to GET IT RIGHT 630-784-0800 email@example.com chicagoelectric.com Solution The ProPress system ensures an optimum heat transfer to the board. It offers a wide range of set- tings. The loadi g pressure can be varied, the number of shoes can be lifted in accordance t the line speed. The outer shoes can be lifted in accordance to the paper width. The shoe bars will be delivered pre-assembled for a short installation time. —Liftable for easy paper infeed and for cleaning of the machine —Position adjustable in paper direction to avoid grooves in hotplate Press Productivity Issue—Poor Heat Transfer Rollers are usually limiting the heat transfer, since they often have contact mainly on the edges of the plates due to wear or bent plates. They also cause often loss of caliper and bearing need to be replaced frequently. Airpressure actuated systems can only supply a limited pressure and have com- pared to shoe systems a closed surface. Pressure Shoe
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ance from steam to paper surface results in fast heat flow
Cascades Workers In NY Ratify Collective Bargaining Agreement According to local media reports, more than 100 workers at the Cascades Containerboard facility in Niagara Falls, New York, have overwhelmingly ratified a strong first collective bargaining agreement. The facility’s group of more than 100 workers voted to join the Machinists Union in April 2019 and have been attempting to bargain for a fair contract for nearly three years. Canadian-owned Cas- cades, failed to listen to U.S. lawmakers, labor leaders, or their workers as they called on the company to bargain a fair contract. “I could not be more proud of these members for their solidarity, courage, and dedication to get the first contract for each other,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Brian Bryant. “This has been a long time coming, and there aren’t many groups that could continue to dis- play the solidarity and patience these members have. The longer the process has gone on, the more resolve these members have shown. I want to thank IAM Canadian Gen- eral Vice President David Chartrand and his staff for their work putting pressure on this Québec-based manufactur- er, helping us achieve this long-awaited victory.” “While there is good news for these members today, that doesn’t take away the fact they have faced union-bust- ing tactics for nearly three years while the company re-
fused to bargain with their employees,” continued Bryant. “We need to strengthen U.S. labor laws to hold corpora- tions accountable and create an economy that works for working people.” “I am so proud of this group and the solidarity and pa- tience they have shown over the past few years,” said IAM District 65 Directing Business Representative Ron War- ner. “They have handled all the union-busting tactics with professionalism and strength. Their determination and re- solve is something for the labor history books.” “Our members at Cascades are the major reason for the company’s success. They earned and fought for the right to vote on a fair first contract,” said IAM Internation- al President Robert Martinez Jr. “This opportunity will give these dedicated individuals a voice in the workplace. I commend them for their focus in obtaining a contract that will make life better for their families and the Niagara Falls community.” “The Canadian Territory is thankful that our brothers and sisters at Cascades in New York were able to secure a first contract,” said IAM Canadian General Vice President David Chartrand. “The IAM stood strong across the bor- ders because all workers deserve respect and fairness. That’s what a team does—when you hurt one, you hurt all. We hope that this struggle is behind us, and we can move forward toward creating a better workplace.” Founded in 1964, Cascades employs about 10,000, who work in almost 80 facilities in North America.
8 March 21, 2022
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BCN To Host Free Webinar On Machine Learning
Board Converting News will host a free webinar on March 28, 2022, at 10:00 EST on “How Machine Learning Will Change the Corrugated Industry.” Moderating a panel of experts, BCN’s Editor in Chief Len Prazych will help attendees learn about the corrugated facility of the future and specifically, where data is harvest- ed and analyzed, increasing output and profit margins by orders of mag- nitude, and even predicting and preventing breakdowns before they happen. “In the nearly 150 years since corrugated box manu- facturing machines came into existence, output, efficiency, Len Prazych
and the bottom line has ridden largely on guesswork and intuition,” says Prazych. “Machine Learning will no longer be seen as a cutting-edge technology, but rather as a ne- cessity. Its strategic incorporation into operations will al-
low box plants to gain a fast and long-term competitive advantage over companies that delay adoption.” Panelists who will share their information and knowledge on this compelling topic in- clude Matt Miller, Director of Technology at Helios; Justin Gagne, Senior Data Scientist at Very; and Dennis Wood, Director of Man- ufacturing at Premier Packaging. Each pan- elist brings a different perspective to the topic, which will be dissected via a series of questions during the 45-minute pro- gram. A live 15-minute Q&A session follows the pre-recorded webinar. Matthew Miller is a technology director with expertise in bringing products, pro- cesses and technology to life. An expert at aligning technology solutions with custom- er needs, he has successfully led teams to build products that have led to commercial growth and increased productivity. As a Senior Data Scientist, Justin Gagne builds reliable production-ready machine learning services. His career is centered around continual de- velopment, begin- Matt Miller
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CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
10 March 21, 2022
BCN To Host (CONT’D FROM PAGE 10)
name a few of his accomplishments in the machine learn- ing realm. Dennis Wood is Director of Manufacturing at Premier Packaging, an early adopter of Ma- chine Learning. With over 85 loca- tions in North America, Canada, and Mexico, Premier’s packaging solu- tions have effectively improved la- bor efficiency, reduced supply chain costs, and created a world-class ex- perience for its clients. Visit www.boardconvertingnews.com and click on the button in the red square to register for the webinar. Dennis Wood
aligns with our company’s business goals and communi- cates our strengths as a provider and partner for new audi- ences,” says Jeff Dietterich, President of AES. “It’s given us a new look, but it’s also been an opportunity to celebrate renew our focus on custom-engineered systems.” The new website features updated visioning, messag- ing, and visual identity to better reflect who AES is today as a full-service provider of integrated conveyance sys- tems. You’ll also find simplified navigation, a user-friendly interface, responsive design, and fresh content covering AES’s solutions, systems, people, and processes. As a sin- gle source for conveyance needs, AES engineers custom scrap systems and works as a partner in process improve- ment to help businesses achieve greater profitability, pro- ductivity, and sustainability. Visit www.aesales.net .
AES Rolls Out New Branding, Website
Souderton, Pennsylvania based AES (Advanced Equip- ment Sales), a leading full-service provider of integrated conveyance systems specializing in scrap, trim, and dust, announced the rollout of its new company branding and website. Updates include a new logo, tagline, and visual identity that complement the company’s role as an experi- enced advisor to its clients. “We’re excited to move forward with new branding that
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Cumberland Container Adds Capacity With Investment In Apstar HG2 1228
For over 50 years, Cumberland Container has been a staple in the cor- rugated industry, providing high-quality products to its customers. Over the years, Cumberland has continued to expand its operations and cut- ting-edge machinery to support its growth and changing market demand. With its success, growth, and longevity, Cumberland Container once again needed to invest in new equipment. Their mission is to provide quality products within spec and on time, therefore, any machine purchased by Cumberland had to be the cream of the crop.
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“In 2017, we needed to replace our 50-inch S&S FFG. We needed a ma- chine that could combine high-quality print with speed and work as well on day 3,650 as it did on day one. We have a proven history of providing our customers with high-quality products, and any machine we purchase has to deliver on that,” said Mark Jared, CEO & Owner, Cumberland Container. Randy Swallows, Sales Manager, added, “Our acquisition team spent ten months evaluating the flexo folder gluers in the market. In addition to evaluating the specs of each machine, our team did its due diligence and went on extensive site visits to see each machine in operation. At the end, the choice was clear. The Apstar HG2 1228 FFG came out on top.” The Apstar stood out from the crowd because of a combination of features. For starters, Cumberland purchased one of the first machines in North America with inside/outside printing capabilities in one pass. As a company known to be cutting edge, Cumberland Container jumped at the chance to be one of the first container companies with this capability. Additionally, the Cumberland team was really impressed with the Apstar’s extensive standard features, including a licensed SUN® Lead-Edge Feeder, ceramic wheels in vacuum transfers, center slot moveable head, and ver- satile abilities. “The Apstar HG2’s features make it a stand-out machine. When you combine that with parts that can be sourced locally and are in stock in Merrillville, Indiana, the Apstar quickly became the clear choice,” explained Andrew Miller, Operations Manager. Cumberland’s new Apstar HG2 FFG was installed in May 2019. Just after the Apstar installation, the Cumberland team experienced some issues with the counter ejector program, but the Haire Service Team would intervene. “They are the A-team,” said Brian McCormick, Lead Maintenance. “They The Apstar was one of the first machines in North America capable of inside/ outside printing in one pass.
600 + Plants 60,000 Users North America Latin America
CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
March 21, 2022
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Cumberland Container (CONT’D FROM PAGE 14)
were very responsive and completely fixed the issue we had experienced. It’s so important to have support when you purchase a new machine.” With the positive experience Cumberland has had with Haire Group and their service team, they purchased an Ap- star 1632 RDC with 3-outside and 1-inside print capability. Nearly three years after installation, Cumberland Con- tainer continues to applaud the Apstar HG2. “The Apstar has been a fantastic addition. It has performed exponen- tially better than our S&S FFG. Our purchase has paid div- idends,” commented Tim Dunn, CFO. For Cumberland, the benefit of the Apstar speaks for it- self. With the Apstar HG2, setup time averages decreased from 35 minutes to 10 minutes creating more production capacity. Printing accuracy increased dramatically and in- stantly; run time was minimized due to inside/outside print-
ing eliminating multiple passes. Design Style Trays (DST’s) were moved off a Printer/Slotter to the Apstar FFG, not only decreasing setup time but also increasing production speed. Pieces per hour average increased by 270 percent within six months of installation. FIT Students Win 2021 Design Challenge
The Measure of Quality.
The Paperboard Packaging Alliance (PPA) announced the winners of the 2021 Student Design Challenge, an annual competition that fosters awareness and appreciation of paperboard packaging with the next gener- ation of packaging design decision-makers. Design teams from across the country cre- ated sustainable packaging solutions with paperboard for community relief organiza- tions. “Teams of students and educators worked together on innovative projects demonstrating a bright future for our indus- try,” said Heidi Brock, AF&PA President & CEO. “These projects highlight the possi- bilities of sustainable paper products, and how packaging can contribute to the work of community relief organizations during the ongoing pandemic.” Student design projects from the follow- ing schools were named as winners: • 1st Place: Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), Super Kit • 2nd Place: California Polytechnic State University, Sweet Pea • 3rd Place: Rochester Institute of Technol- ogy, Super Sibs Lemon-Aid Package “Congratulations to the winners on their impressive designs. Our Student Design Challenge participants have used collab- oration and real-world skills to prepare for exciting careers in our industry,” Brock said.
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FIT STudents Win (CONT’D FROM PAGE 16)
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“The Student Design Challenge represents the full- range and diverse talents of the next generation of pack- aging professionals” said Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC) President Ben Markens. “We’re honored to cele- brate these students and host them at our Spring Outlook & Strategies Conference, where they can network and en- gage with industry leaders.”
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Additional acknowledgments were announced for the following entries: • California Polytechnic State University, Sweet Pea (People’s Choice Award) • California Polytechnic State University, Art Kit (Honor- able Mention) • Fashion Institute of Technology, PERIOD All-In-One Dis- penser Box (Honorable Mention) • California Polytechnic State University, EcoSlo (Shout- out) • Fashion Institute of Technology, Doctors Without Bor- ders Obstetrics Kit (Shout-out) • Ryerson University, Adventure Club Party Box (Shout- out) • The University of Texas at Arlington, 4Forever (Shout- out) The Paperboard Packaging Alliance (PPA) is a joint ini- tiative of the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&- PA) and the Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC). The mis- sion is to promote the benefits of paperboard packaging and products to influence preference for these materials in packaging design and selection. The Student Design Challenge encourages university students in leading packaging and graphic design pro- grams to show off their creative talent, design skills and innovative approaches to meet real-world customer needs and marketing scenarios. Winners were honored on Thurs- day evening at the Hilton Denver City Center during PPC’s 2022 Spring Outlook & Strategies Conference, which brought together more than 200 paperboard packaging professionals. Visit paperboardpackaging.org for more information on the organization and its programs. from left, Ankita Ghosh, FIT; Claudia Natasha, FIT; Heidi Brock, President and CEO of AF&PA; and Jessica Vergel, FIT.
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 andWiper Rollers • Feed and Pull Rollers • Glue andMeter 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
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18 March 21, 2022
3/31/21 6:09 PM
Bay Cities Introduces Creative Services
Bay Cities’ extensive experience in design and manufac- turing enables it to address challenges in production early on. The company brings a creative, retail-focused mindset with the tools and experience to increase its customers chances of success in retail. Bay Cities implements sustainability practices and procedures. From concept to completion, Bay Cities is a brand partner with a strong understanding of major re- tailers, shopper marketing, and supply chains, while also being an advocate for the environment. Customers can expect in-depth market research, key messaging creation, concept boards, and expanded 3D modeling, as well as the use of eco-friendly materials and conscious distribu- tion that benefits both the client and the environment. “Our Creative Services offerings provide an agen- cy-style creative experience. Through strategic research and consultation, we create designs to grow our custom- ers’ brands and stand out in the retail landscape,” said Ryan Crook, Senior Marketing Designer, who is leading the Creative Services initiatives. Bay Cities understands the importance of sustainabil- ity. We pride ourselves on working with environmental- ly-friendly products and to create the best solutions for ourselves and our partners. The company has an internal green program, which focuses on being proactively envi- ronmental in all that we do while helping us reduce oper- ating costs. It encourages our employees to be more envi- ronmentally conscious and more efficient, too.
Pico Rivera, California based Bay Cities, one of North America’s most innovative packaging and design compa- nies, has announced the expansion of its in-house design offerings with a full-service creative program to handle the creative needs of a brand looking to strategically design displays and packaging.
For more than 60 years, Bay Cities has been a leading creative packaging and display partner to brand marketers, retailers, and e-commerce companies. Backed by its team of in-house experts, this new offering provides strategic creative direction for point-of-sale displays and packaging.
20 March 21, 2022
Meet The Game Changer! Up To 48 Bundles Per Minute
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TAPPI Names Recipients Of Magnabosco Award
joined TAPPI as a professional member in 1990 and served on the Maine-New Hampshire TAPPI (ME/NH TAPPI) exec- utive committee for several years. She was recruited to the executive committee of the Northeast PIMA Local Sec- tion in 1999. She served as the Vice Chair from 2000 to 2008 before being elected treasurer during the merger of Northeast PIMA with ME/NH TAPPI. When TAPPI acquired PIMA in 2008, Meggison joined the PIMA Executive Council, serving until 2012. She re- ceived the PIMA Del Boutin Division Service Award in 2011. Meggison has co-organized the Northeast PIMA/TAPPI Scholarship Fund Golf Tournament each year since 2012. Michael von Grumbkow is part of BTG Instrument’s Global Solutions Team – Paper and Board. He joined Lake States TAPPI/North Central PIMA in 2007 and served as Chair of the Local Section’s Executive Board from 2017 to 2021. A TAPPI member since 2012, he also served on sev- eral committees for both PIMA and TAPPI. von Grumbkow earned diplomas in mechanical engi- neering and process engineering from the University of Braunschweig in Germany. He has been in the paper in- dustry for over 28 years, initially with Voith Paper in numer- ous positions, and in recent years with BTG, where he is developing and supporting multi-component solutions to improve the efficiency and product quality in paper mills. The awards will be presented at TAPPICon, April 30- May 4 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Visit www.tappi.org for more information on all TAPPI awards.
TAPPI has announced that Micki Meggison and Michael von Grumbkow have been named winners of the distin- guished Paul W. Magnabosco Outstanding Local Section Award, which recognizes remarkable leadership and ser- vice to one or more TAPPI Local Sections. Recipients are individuals whose exceptional service has resulted in sig- nificant and measurable benefits to TAPPI Local Sections through a single activity or through longtime efforts. Meggison is a Process Improvement Black Belt with Sappi North America in Westbrook, Maine, the mill she has worked at her entire career. She has held a variety of engi- neering and operations positions including: technical en- gineer, first line supervisor, process control and E&I engi- neer, pulping asset manager, coating operations manager, manufacturing operations manager, and technical director. She served on Sappi’s Sustainability Council from 2010 to 2022, collaborating with colleagues to develop and ex- ecute strategic goals and objectives. Meggison was the first Engineer-in-Residence at the University of Southern Maine and served on the university’s Engineering Adviso- ry Board from 2012-2021. Meggison became involved with the TAPPI/PIMA Stu- dent Chapter as a freshman at University of Maine and served as chapter Vice President in her senior year. She
22 March 21, 2022
Truck. Loads. More.
Corrugated printing has gone from basic to beautiful in 10 years. With the explosion of packaging demands and shorter print runs, speed has become the #1 capacity driver.
One of our customers tells us automated complete plate cleaning in < 4 minutes adds 25% capacity in a working week with FlexoCleanerBrush™
He calls it ‘Truckloads More Capacity’. You can do your own math.
Employee Poaching (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1 )
and continues to do the prohibited activity, the result may be additional fines for contempt of court, or even jail time in extreme cases.” Restrictive Covenants The moral of all this is clear: Businesses must take steps to ensure they do not lose valuable information when em- ployees leave for competing firms. At the same time, em- ployers need to protect themselves from costly lawsuits when poaching top performers from competitors. Protecting business interests has become more im- portant with recent changes in the work environment. The employment relationship is less stable than in the past, high level talent is in demand and recruiting is aggressive. Intellectual property—easily carried between companies— is more valuable than ever before. Customer information, pricing data, business plans, and proprietary marketing strategies are all at risk. Businesses looking to negotiate this rocky terrain have a valuable tool at their command: restrictive covenants.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
These written agreements can keep departing employees from competing against former employers, soliciting the same customers or employees, or using a former employ- er’s sensitive information for their own ends. “Most employers have confidential, proprietary, or sen- sitive information,” says Joon Hwang, Shareholder in the Tysons Corner, Va., office of Littler Mendelson, P.C., the nation’s largest law firm defending employers in labor and employment disputes ( littler.com ). “Or they may have cer- tain employees with desirable skills, experience, training, or intimate knowledge considered integral and invaluable to their businesses. Restrictive covenants, drafted proper- ly, can be a powerful tool for protecting all of this valuable information.” There are two sides to the trade secret coin. Incoming personnel must also be quizzed about any restrictive cov- enants signed at their former employer. And they must be prohibited from bringing along customer lists, marketing plans, financial records, confidential information, or any- thing else that might be determined to be the former em- ployer’s property.
Material Handling Solutions • Robotic load formers • Prefeeders • Stackers • And more!
CONTINUED ON PAGE 26
24 March 21, 2022
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Employee Poaching (CONT’D FROM PAGE 24)
AIR CONVEYING CORPORATION is a recognized leader in the industry of Pneumatic Conveying Systems and has been in business since 1968. As an equipment manufacturer rather than simply a sales organization, we have complete control over the quality of material and products which make up your proposed system. Our equipment is found in Printing, Folding Carton and Corrugated plants throughout the country and the world.
Non-Competes The most powerful restrictive covenant prohibits the employee from accepting employment at a competitor. Called “covenants not to compete,” or “non-competes,” these agreements specify a period of time for the prohibi- tion and a geographic area where the prohibition applies. They usually also prohibit the individual from serving as an independent contractor for, or having any ownership interest in, a competitive organization. “I generally do counsel my clients to have non-com- petes, certainly with their higher-level employees,” says Jeffrey A. Dretler, a partner at Rubin and Rudman, Boston ( rubinrudman.com ). “I think it’s a very important and effec- tive tool for protecting company confidential information and relationships in which they have invested.” So far so good. But employers need to be wary of a not-so-secret vulnerability of these covenants: The possi- bility they will be deemed invalid by a court of law. That’s because such covenants raise concerns about limiting the capacity of employees to earn their livelihoods. Employers can help improve the enforceability of their non-competes by ensuring the terms balance the con- cerns of the employer with the reasonable interests of the employees. “The wider the covenant goes geographically, and the longer the term of the restriction, the less likely the CONTINUED ON PAGE 28
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26 March 21, 2022
JBcustomers think inside and outside thebox.
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Employee Poaching (CONT’D FROM PAGE 26)
protections that were thought secure. “Another reason to avoid overreach is because it may reduce the employ- er’s credibility with the court when seeking to enforce the non-competes that really matter,” adds Dretler. And he adds one more potential pitfall of unreasonable non-com- petes: Some valuable prospective employees may decide not to join a company out of fear they will be bound by a too-onerous non-compete when the time comes to leave. Non-Solicits As the above comments suggest, non-competes can backfire when they fail to hold up to a court challenge. Very often that means an employee who has jumped ship is free to conduct business without any restrictions. And that can leave the former employer in a bad competitive position. There is a solution to this problem, and it comes in the form of another restrictive covenant. Often referred to as “non-solicits,” these covenants are designed to keep an employee who moves to a new business from soliciting a former employer’s customers for a set period of time. “An agreement not to solicit customers is often easier to defend than a covenant not to compete,” says Joseph Y. Ahmad, a founding partner in the Houston law firm of Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing ( azalaw. com ). “That’s because it is narrower in scope, allowing the employee to work for a competitor.” Courts like the fact that these agreements preserve the ability of the individ-
court will uphold it as reasonable,” cautions St. Antoine. An example of a very reasonable covenant would be one that calls for a one-year moratorium on working for a compet- itor, within the radius of one mile of the original employer. State Laws Achieving the right balance is a tricky proposition, not only because each employer-employee relationship pos- es unique circumstances but also because no federal law provides a common nationwide playing field. Everything depends on state law, and that can differ substantially. “Fifty states have fifty permutations of what employers can lawfully restrict with written agreements,” says Mathis. “Many states allow restrictions for reasonable periods from six months to two years. Some states are more em- ployee friendly than others. In California, employers gen- erally cannot have any kind of restrictions.” The challenge is becoming greater because in many states the law is trending toward greater worker protec- tions. “The world is changing very rapidly,” says Dretler. “States are trending toward limiting non-competes. Many federal, state, and local initiatives, legislation, and news commentaries are asking whether there should be limits put on them. Are they anti-competitive? What’s really pro- tectable? There’s a lot of litigation about these issues.” Employers, then, need to avoid over-reach that can backfire when an unfavorable court decision removes the
CONTINUED ON PAGE 30
MODEL EM LABEL LAMINATOR Designed to be Efficient and Versatile
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28 March 21, 2022
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