Board Converting News, February 22, 2021

BoardConverting Serving the North American Corrugated and Folding Carton Industries for 37 years February 22, 2021 VOL. 37, NO. 8

AICC Plans Industry’s First ‘Live’ Meeting Since Pandemic Struck BY STEVE YOUNG After a year of lockdowns, event cancellations, postponements and deferrals, AICC – The independent Packaging Association, will hold its 2021 Spring Meeting, April 26-28, as the industry’s first large-scale, in-person event since the onset of the pandemic. The meeting, themed “A Brave, Independent World,” will be held at the Omni Amelia Island Resort, Amelia Island, Florida.

2021 IOY Competition Calls For Machinery Entries AICC, The Independent Packaging Associ- ation, Board Converting News (BCN), and Corrugated Today (CT) have issued a call for entries in the 2021 Innovator of the Year Com- petition. This year’s category is Machinery. The Innovator of the Year Competition (IOY), held in conjunction with the AICC/ TAPPI 2021 SuperCorrExpo, August 8-12, at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida, will highlight the best AICC Associate mem- bers have to offer. Developed more than two decades ago as a forum for AICC members to share their best ideas, Innovator of the Year has evolved into a highly competitive arena that showcases solutions AICC Members have developed. The entries submitted into the Innovator of the Year Competition are first judged by a panel of industry experts on the AICC Plant In- novations Committee, who select the finalists. Finalists are featured at SuperCorrExpo and meeting attendees vote by ballot to name the the Innovator of the Year. The Machinery category, open to AICC Associate (supplier) Members, focuses on in- novations of equipment, products, or services

“Following the lead of our members who have responded to four separate surveys in the past 180 days, AICC’s Executive Committee on February 9 made the unanimous decision to proceed,” reported AICC President Mike D’Angelo. According to D’Angelo, in a survey conduct- ed in January of this year, 52 percent of AICC members responded that they were “likely” or “very likely” to attend the 2021 Spring meeting. “Phone calls and emails from members always seem to get around to the topic of the Spring Meeting,” he said. “Almost always members ask, ‘We’re having the Spring Meeting, aren’t we?’ This positive response and anticipation from members has given us the impetus to proceed.” Florida Venue Advantage The 2021 Spring Meeting location in Florida has lent an air of con- fidence to the planning. Cindy Huber, AICC’s Director of Meetings, Conventions and Trade Shows, recently visited the Omni Amelia Island Resort to design the Spring Meeting program around the new require- CONTINUED ON PAGE 20 AICC will hold the industry’s first large-scale in-person event since the onset of the pandemic at the Omni Amelia Island Resort, Amelia Island, Florida.


WHAT’S INSIDE 8 AICC Celebrates Members With Milestone Program 10 Brunton’s ConneXion On Short List For Digital Event Award 14 Safety, Sustainability, Recycling Top AF&PA Advocacy Priorities 30 Supplier Reports: Part 4


O P E R A T O R T R A I N I N G T A I L O R E D T O Y O U R G O A L S Before any training star ts, we need to know your goals. We’ l l help you identi f y them, customize them, measure them and help achieve the expectations set by your team. Our intensive training wi l l encompass two ful l days at your faci l ity for al l par ticipants, during the week or on a weekend. Al l you need is a room for training your group and the machine you want to train on.


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February 22, 2021

C u r r e n t O p e r a t o r E x p e r i e n c e

S T E P 1

M a c h i n e t y p e G o a l s / E x p e c t a t i o n s

I s s u e s


P l a n 2 d a y s w i t h i n y o u r s c h e d u l e

S T E P 2

1 d a y c l a s s r o o m a n d 1 d a y a t m a c h i n e


1 - B o x S e t u p C a l i b r a t i o n T o o l i n g

S T E P 3


T r o u b l e s h o o t i n g

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February 22, 2021

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 $935.00-940.00 $950.00-960.00 $950.00-960.00 $950.00-960.00 $980.00-990.00 $953.00-962.00

26# Semi-Chem. Medium

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

$870.00-920.00 $885.00-905.00 $885.00-905.00 $885.00-905.00 $915.00-925.00 $888.00-908.00

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





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


The Price is Right More readers rely on Board Converting News’ containerboard pricing to negotiate their contracts. SUBSCRIBE TODAY.

Robyn Smith at 910-553-4055 / Len Prazych at 518-366-9017 /


February 22, 2021

2021 IOY Competition (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1 )

that are directly related to the mechanical converting pro- cess. Innovations should benefit the paperboard packag- ing industry through enhanced efficiency, quality, produc- tivity, and/or safety of converting plants. The “mechanical converting process” covers all oper- ations that involve direct contact with corrugated, folding carton, or rigid box substrates, i.e., printing, cutting, creas- ing, scoring, stitching, gluing, material handling, etc. Entries must be received by Friday, June 4. The entry form can be found online. Past IOY Competition Machinery Winners include: • 2016: Gemini North America/Barberan High-speed, high-quality digital printer • 2012: JB Machinery – KleenPlate, plate wash eliminator • 2008: HIDE-Pack – Inline R.F.I.D. Embedding System for Flexo Folder-Gluers • 2004: Alliance Machine Systems Int’l, LLC – ALF-MAX the Robotic Palletizer System • 2001: Curioni USA Inc. – Extend-O-Slot • 1998: Pamarco Inc. – Fiberlyte Anilox Roll • 1995: Langston Corp. – Rotofold Folding System Visit for more info. Ques- tions about the IOY Competition can be directed to Cindy Huber, Director of Conventions & Meetings, at chuber@ or Laura Mihalick, Senior Meeting Manager, or (703) 836-2422.

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February 22, 2021

40 ft of paper travel from preheater to hot plates 3 seconds of heat, glue and bonding 1 chance to get it right! the ZONE

Design & Production

Chicago Electric offers 10 technology solutions to control ‘the Zone’ CORRUGATOR Sectoral preheating plate

Our sectoral preheating plates provide direct heat by means of a double steam circuit, allowing for efficient heating in hard-to-access locations, as well as to act as a steam shower to open the paper’s fibre, making it receptive to absorbing the heat and the glue.

This translates into increased speed and improved quality of the cardboard sheet finish.

The system’s main advantages are as follows:

• The plate may only be used to heat, only to humidify, or both options at the same time. • The plate is sectored, which allows for applying humidity to the sections. • It provides temperature in previously inaccessible locations and near the location needed. • It compensates the loss of temperature dissipated due to distance, speed or limitations of the exiting preheaters. • Quick transferring of heat to the paper. • The combination of the hot plate and steam shower allows for providing heat even to the hardest papers to heat. • Does not dry out the paper. • Possibility of operating as a humidifier and pre-conditioner. • Maintains and improves the fibre’s elasticity. • Acts according to the operator’s needs. • Facilitates the paper’s hygroscopy to absorb the glue and improve rubberising.


1. Wrap Arm - Position & Temperature 2. Preheater Direct Drive


3. Steam Plate 4. Contact Roll 5. Glue Machine Direct Drive Touch Productivity Issue—Glue Unit Many glue units run with a rider roll or a guiding bar system. The rider roll with paper gap allows a precise glue application, but requires frequent Contact Roll


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calibrations and settings. Bar systems avoid this, but compensate this with the risk of exces- sive glue application. The system contains many wearing parts. Solution The contact roll combines the ad antage of both systems and ensures minimum contact between board and applicator roll. The system uses small pneumatic cylinders in order to achieve a “soft touch.”

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




Roller Shoe


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 working 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 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

Plate vity Issue—Poor Heat Control l hotplates are slow to react to pressure due to high steam volume and massive y also have high heat radiation and heat profile. Worn plates can damage crease edge crush.

Thin-Wall Hot Plates

t by peripheral drilled hot plates. anufactured out of special wear and nt steel, through which a continuous is drilled, with one inlet and one outlet. ecured by a massive steel frame.

ance from steam to paper surface results in fast heat flow

AICC Celebrates Members’ Success: Milestone Program & Safety Awards AICC, The Independent Packaging Association, is accept- ing submissions to the Member Milestone Program and the Independent Safe Shop Awards. The Member Milestone Program is an annual opportunity to recognize member companies, boxmakers, and suppliers, celebrating signif- icant anniversaries. Members in good standing that wish to be included in this recognition should be celebrating an anniversary in 2020 or 2021 and will need to provide a 2-3-minute vid- eo presentation featuring the history of their company and describing their growth. The members that submit quali- fying videos by the deadline will be recognized by AICC. The deadline for submissions is Friday, February 26, 2021. Additionally, each year AICC recognizes member com- panies for outstanding plant safety through the Indepen- dent Safe Shop Awards. Participation in the Independent Safe Shop Awards generates greater awareness, enthusi- asm, and pride for the safety accomplishments companies and their employees have achieved. It also allows compa- nies to showcase their efforts and recognize the individu- als responsible for the good safety record. Visit for details. Due to the 2020 Spring Meeting cancellation, companies that sub- mitted and qualified in 2020 will be recognized in 2021.

Box Shipments ( U.S. Corrugated Product Shipments) Industry Shipments In Billions of Square Feet Month December 2020



Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change

2020 2019

34.916 31.332


8.729 7.833


Industry Total

Year-to Date

December 2020



Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change

2020 2019

406.776 393.483


8.071 7.838


Industry Total

Containerboard Consumption (Thousands of Tons)



Percent Change Year-to-Date Percent Change

2020 2019

2.7727 2.5660


33.0739 32.3005


Container Board Inventory - Corrugator Plants (Thousands of Tons)

Corrugator Plants Only


Percent Change Weeks of Supply

Percent Change

Dec. Nov.

1.8921 1.7912


2.7 2.5


Shipping Days




2020 2019

20 20

252 251

SOURCE: Fibre Box Association


February 22, 2021



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Brunton’s ConneXion Shortlisted For ‘Digital Event Of The Year’ Brunton Business Publications has reported that its indus- try virtual expo, ConneXion, has been shortlisted for the ‘Best Digital Event‘ category in the Digital Event Awards 2021. The awards take place on March 18th. Register to attend the awards program at . The virtual expo, which ran for the month of November 2020, was visited by over 2,300 senior corrugated indus- try professionals. Some 35 industry suppliers used the 3D avatar-based virtual expo environment to promote their businesses and products to a global audience. Following the success of the inaugural event, Brunton Business Publications has confirmed that the next Con- neXion event will run from Tuesday, June 1, to Tuesday

June 8, and this time it will be open to the global corrugat- ed AND folding carton industries. More details are forthcoming, but those interested in exhibiting can email for more info.

PMMI’s OpX Network Offers Asset Reliability Roadmap To help manufacturers optimize investments in production equipment, PMMI’s OpX Lead- ership Network has offered the Asset Reli- ability Roadmap for the Consumer Products Industry. This new tool will help Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies and Orig- inal Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) under- stand common definitions, key performance indicators (KPIs), calculations and guidance when developing an asset reliability initia- tive. Both CPGs and OEMs will gain an under- standing of the necessity of providing com- pany leaders with a solid business case for calculating maintenance program costs. “When developing this tool, our team of CPG and OEM maintenance experts shared their individual and varied experiences, in- sights and leadership guidance to identify and define a number of Key Performance Indicators that valuate asset reliability,” said Bryan Griffen, Director, Industry Services, PMMI. “As a result of this collaboration, the OpX Leadership Network is excited to pro- vide the industry with a unique, effective tool that will help businesses quantify the total value of asset reliability to the organization.” The Asset Reliability tool, as well as solu- tions on Total Cost of Ownership, Request for Proposals, virtual Factory Acceptance Tests and more, are available for free download at . The OpX Leadership Network was found- ed by PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, in 2011.

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February 22, 2021

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NAM: Manufacturing Employment Down For First Time Since April 2020 According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) manufacturing employment fell in January for the first time since April, with the sector losing 10,000 workers to begin the new year. This suggests that broader mac- roeconomic weaknesses related to the continued spread of COVID-19 have extended to the manufacturing sector, which had been a bright spot in recent months. Over the past 12 months, manufacturing employment has fallen by 575,000 workers. The U.S. economy added 49,000 workers in January, bouncing back somewhat after declining by 227,000 in December. There are 9,603,000 fewer nonfarm payrolls today than one year ago. The unemployment rate fell from 6.7 percent in December to 6.3 percent in January. In the latest data, private nonfarm employment remains 93.5 percent of what was experienced at the beginning of the recession in February 2020. The current recession is much deeper than in recent downturns, with nonfarm payrolls plummeting 14.7 percent in the first two months. The ISM Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index slowed in January but continued to expand solidly, declin- ing from 60.5 in December to 58.7 in January. New orders and production growth remained robust, but respondents cited lingering supply chain disruptions, and raw material

costs rose at the fastest pace since April 2011. Factory orders rose 1.1 percent in December, increas- ing for the eighth straight month but declining 0.8 percent year-over-year. At the same time, durable goods have re- bounded strongly since the pandemic. Over the past 12 months, new orders for durable goods have risen 1.9 per- cent. Sales increased a solid 7.0 percent year-over-year. Encouragingly, new orders for core capital goods—a proxy for capital spending in the U.S. economy—rose 0.7 percent to $72.0 billion in December, a new record. More importantly, core capital goods orders have risen a robust 8.0 percent over the past 12 months. The U.S. trade deficit declined from $69.01 billion in November, an all-time high, to $66.61 billion in December, with the increase in goods exports outstripping the gain in goods imports. Trade volumes were notably lower in 2020 as COVID-19 and a recession-battered the global econo- my. U.S.-manufactured goods exports dropped roughly 15 percent in 2020 relative to 2019. The Private manufacturing construction spending dropped 5.6 percent in December to the lowest level since September 2014. These data fell in every month of the second half of 2020, and private construction spend- ing in the sector plummeted 17.6 percent year-over-year. Manufacturing labor productivity rose 3.0 percent at the annual rate in Q4, boosted by continued rebounds in output. Yet, labor productivity in the sector edged down 0.2 percent in 2020 overall.

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February 22, 2021

Safety, Sustainablity, Recycling Top AF&PA Advocacy Priorities

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) Board of Directors last week announced advocacy priorities the association will pursue to ensure the pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products industry’s continued growth and ability to create American manufacturing jobs.

“President Biden has laid out an ambitious agenda to ‘Build Back Better,’ creating job and eco- nomic opportunities for all Ameri- cans while protecting the future of our planet,” said AF&PA President

and CEO Heidi Brock. “Our members are committed to environmental stewardship across the value chain – from the raw, renewable wood fiber that is harvested to the energy and water used in the manufactur- ing process to the recovery of paper and paper-based packaging that is used to make new products. Policy conversations related to worker safety, sustainability and paper recycling will strengthen our industry’s ability to provide consumers with essential, sustainable and recyclable paper products.” Michael Doss, Graphic Packaging International, LLC, President and CEO and AF&PA Board Chair, continued, “For the last decade, our in- dustry has led with a comprehensive set of quantifiable sustainability goals, known as Better Practices, Better Planet. These goals recognize the three essential pillars of sustainability – economic, environmental and social – interdependent factors that collectively support long-term viability, growth and improvement. As a top 10 manufacturing employer in 45 states across the country, we have an impressive track record of leadership in safety, environmental and forest stewardship. It is impera- tive the U.S. Congress, state legislatures and other stakeholders contin- ue to recognize our industry and people – the approximately 950,000 individuals of the forest products industry – as essential.” AF&PA’s 2021 advocacy priorities are: COVID-19 : An Essential Industry Working Safely During Pandemic Response. AF&PA members are committed to the safety of the industry’s essential workforce and end-users. AF&PA remains engaged during the pandemic to address critical issues as they arise and will take proactive measures to ensure the success of the industry. AF&PA members are working to respond safely and efficiently to spikes in demand – from boxes and paper bags to transport goods to tissue products, meeting the needs of Americans across the nation and worldwide. Achieving Sustainability : AF&PA was one of the first manufacturing industries to adopt a comprehensive, quantifiable set of sustainability goals, in 2010. Our initiative is a condition of membership and demon- strates AF&PA members’ commitment to sustainability. To date, AF&PA members have surpassed three goals related to worker safety, green- house gas emissions and energy efficiency and have achieved our goal for sustainable forestry. AF&PA will soon launch 2030 goals that build on our sustainability successes to further advance the paper and wood products industry into the coming decade and beyond. Sustainable Manufacturing Advancing the Circular Economy : The paper and wood products industry is a significant contributor to the broader circular economy. AF&PA advocates for policies promoting continued progress in meeting the challenge of our changing climate,

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Get Answers-Be Proactive. • There’s a board increase or decrease? • My volume goes up or down? • I lost my largest customer? • My MIX changed ? • I bought a new machine? • I sold more sheets? • My labor costs go up 5%? • I added OT or another shift?

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Safety, Sustainability (CONT’D FROM PAGE 14)

right ways to recycle as one of the best ways to increase the quantity and quality of paper in the recycling stream. Keeping Forests as Forests : The U.S. grows more wood than it harvests. U.S. forest products manufacturers take steps to promote sustainable forestry and procure wood fiber from certified forestlands and through certified sourcing programs. Moreover, members procuring fiber must adhere to Sustainable Procurement Principles that also promote sustainable forest management practices. Paper and wood products manufacturers use as much of the tree as possible to make paper, packaging and wood products, while remaining residuals are used as a renew- able energy source (biomass) to power mills. AF&PA has for many years advocated for science-based policies that acknowledge renewable biomass and pro- vide regulatory certainty to level the playing field for global competition and the protection of rural American jobs. To- gether, these sustainable practices ensure the industry’s fiber supply is protected while also helping mitigate one of the major factors of wildfire risk. Strong markets for paper and wood products also gives private forest owners confi- dence to continue replanting trees. And demand for these products increases the incentive to replant trees, decreas- ing the likelihood of conversion to other uses. Transportation Infrastructure : Paper and wood prod- ucts manufacturers face a nationwide shortage of trans- portation capacity, an aging infrastructure, and inefficient CONTINUED ON PAGE 18

air quality, water stewardship, product stewardship and health and safety, while maintaining the competitiveness of our industry. These policies should recognize that our industry is based on a renewable and recyclable resource and our bio-based products are manufactured with bioen- ergy, improved efficiency and recycled at a rate far higher than other major commodities. Continued Success for Paper Recycling : The paper industry has a demonstrated, measurable record of suc- cess in making products more circular and sustainable through market-based approaches. In 2019, the paper re- cycling rate was 66.2 percent, and the recycling rate for old corrugated containers (OCC) was 92.0 percent. The three-year average recycling rate for OCC is 92.3 percent. Paper and paper-based packaging are the most recycled materials by weight from municipal waste streams in the United States today. U.S. packaging and pulp producers are also commit- ted to investing more than $4.1 billion in manufacturing in- frastructure, from 2019-2023, to continue the best use of recovered fiber in manufacturing our products. Efforts to ban, tax or restrict access to paper products are counter- productive to this achievement and discourage the use of products that are recyclable, compostable, reusable and made from renewable and recycled material.AF&PA sup- ports efforts that recognize educating consumers on the

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February 22, 2021

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Safety, Sustainability (CONT’D FROM PAGE 16)

items of critical need,” Doss said. “Our industry produc- es essential and sustainable goods, such as paperboard and containerboard, as well as tissue products and paper bags. We also cannot forget about the work across the value chain - from sustainable forest management to safe, respon- sible manufacturing practices and innovations that allow our industry to use more recovered fiber. I’m excited to be part of an industry that exemplifies the circular econ- omy, American jobs and a brighter future.” “The paper and wood products industry has been strengthened by its focus on safety, adaptability, resolve and hard work during this pandemic,” said AF&PA Presi- dent and CEO Heidi Brock. “Our industry has remained es- sential because our people making sustainable products are essential. That commitment to sustainability guides our business practices. As we prepare to release 2030 sustainability goals, the progress we have made as part of our Better Practices Better Planet 2020 initiative will continue tin the decade ahead. I look forward to working alongside Michael Doss and AF&PA’s Board Officers.” Additional elected officers include: Christian Fischer, President and CEO, Georgia-Pacific LLC, First Vice Chair; Brian McPheely, Global CEO, Pratt Industries, Inc., Second Vice Chair; and Mark Sutton Chairman and CEO, Interna- tional Paper will serve as Immediate Past Chair. Michael Doss

surface transportation policies. As a result, connecting our products, raw materials and consumers is difficult and costly. Specifically, AF&PA encourages necessary in- frastructure enhancements, such as policies to enhance trucking efficiency including safely increasing weight limits on federal interstate highways. In addition to these priorities, AF&PA remains engaged in important advocacy discussions related to international trade, tax and sustainable regulation to allow our industry to compete in a global marketplace. Visit for more information. AF&PA Elects GPI’s Doss As New Board Chair, Announces Officers The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) last week announced the election of Graphic Packaging Inter- national, LLC, President and CEO Michael Doss as the new AF&PA Board Chair and released its 2021 slate of AF&PA Board Officers. Paper and wood product industry leaders participated in the association’s Winter Board of Directors Meeting, which took place virtually due to the pandemic. “As we continue to navigate challenges during the pan- demic, we can clearly see the essential role the U.S. paper and wood products industry has played to manufacture

We’ve got our customers covered… …with our fiberglass backed, boltless, full double-wide blankets and an extensive inventory of corrugated parts needed by virtually every box plant in the country. The innovator of the original fiberglass-backed knuckle locking anvil cover, Stafford is the industry’s go-to source for everything corrugated. TM 800-282-5787 IS THE MANUFACTURER OF STAFFORD ANVIL COVERS ®


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ments demanded by the COVID pandemic. “The Omni [Amelia Island] Resort is perfectly suited to our unique needs for this meeting,” she said. “The meeting’s location in Florida means we can have most of our social func- tions outdoors, and we will be setting up outdoor meeting space as well if attendees feel more comfortable outside.” Beth Bolton, Director of Catering & Conference Ser- vices at the Omni Amelia Island, reported that the resort has successfully hosted several in-person conferences in recent months. “From August to December of 2020, we hosted 32 group programs averaging in size from 20 guests to 250 guests,” she said, adding that in early Janu- ary the Omni hosted “a large program” of more than 600 guests. “These larger programs were mainly associations like AICC,” she said. Bolton credits the Resort’s design with its ability to accommodate the new demands of COVID- era events. “Our open-air breezeways in our guest room floors as well as leading into our Conference Center are very popular with our guests,” she said. “With the Resort offering 1,350 acres to spread out our groups have felt safe and able to socially distance.” Florida has been “open” for many months, allowing restaurants, bars and most businesses to be back in busi- ness, making the state an attractive destination when compared to other parts of the country.

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February 22, 2021

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Safety Protocols Followed In addition to the Omni Resort’s favorable geography, AICC is ensuring that certain safety protocols will be in place to provide a healthy meeting experience for mem- bers and guests attending. These include facemasks and

social distancing, hand sanitizing stations throughout the meeting space; event room occupancy lim- its; and outdoor meeting space with live streaming of all sessions so at- tendees can watch remotely. “We are continuing to work closely with the staff at the Omni to ensure that

Mike D’Angelo

they are operating under the latest protocols to stage safe meetings,” D’Angelo said. “Beyond that,” he added, “AICC members have learned much about how to safely operate and we have learned much from them.” A Program To Reflect the Times Matt Davis, President of Packaging Express, Colorado Springs, Colorado, is Chairman of AICC’s Convention Con- tent Committee, the volunteer group that designs the pro- grams for the Association’s national meetings. Davis says the current times have challenged boxmakers as never before, especially in the areas of labor force and customer service. “A lot has changed in the world since the last time we met,” he said, which was in the Fall of 2019 in Toronto.

Inverting Top Feeder

According to Davis and his com- mittee, the corrugated industry, rid- ing on the wave of pandemic- and stimulus-induced demand, has grap- pled with the human demands of the pandemic – safety precautions and

500 kicks a minute!

Matt Davis

generally trying to keep employees and their families safe – and at the same time has seen its capacity stretched to the limit. With tightness in the paper market last fall, ongo- ing increases in box demand, and challenges to filling labor needs, many boxmakers’ normal delivery lead-times have been pushed out by weeks. “We are all trying to figure out how to take care of the customer,” he said. “A lot of us have experienced an uptick in business, but with people out, split shifts and the like, it has been challenging to meet the customer’s needs. So a large focus of this meeting will be education around taking care of the folks who pay our salaries.”

• Robotic & Semi-automatic Loadformers • Palletizers

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Speakers on tap include Steve Robinson, former Chief Marketing Office for Chick-fil-A, whose presen- tation on customer service, quality and speed will address the challeng- es outlined earlier by Davis. Also

Steve Robinson

on the program will be Gene Marks, a regular speaker at AICC events, who will address what the Biden adminis- tration means to small business and the manufacturing | (509) 535-0356



February 22, 2021




community. AICC will also feature other industry speak- ers and members on their experiences in dealing with the pandemic, the current state of the industry and the forces changing the way we do business.” And, as part of AICC’s regular “meet- ing within a meeting” format, the popular “Sales Managers’ Forum will also be offered in conjunction with he 2021 Spring Meeting. Ed Wallace of AchieveNEXT Relational Capital and Mark Roberts of OBT, lead the two-day program which will focus on improving customer service and building a strong sales team. On the recreational side, AICC’s 7th Annual Indepen- dent’s Cup Charity Golf Tournament will be held at the 2021 Spring Meeting on Tuesday, April 27, with proceeds benefiting AICC’s Foundation for Packaging Education & Driving Out Darkness – the Steve O’Brien Memorial. Cindy Huber and AICC staff are designing a program flexible enough to meet every member’s level of comfort, Gene Marks

to the sponsors of our 2021 calendar!

from general sessions indoors with appropriate spacing to outdoor lives- treaming. And all programs at AICC’s 2021 Spring Meeting will be offered “virtually” for those who are unable to attend the event. “Conceivably a member could remain in their room the entire meeting and watch every-



Cindy Huber

thing online,” she said. “But I don’t’ think that will happen because people are so anxious to get together again and network, visit and have a good time.” The ‘Underlying Strength’ AICC President Mike D’Angelo says that AICC members getting together at meetings is the “underlying strength” of the Association. Jay Carman, President of Stand Fast Packaging Group, Carol Stream, Illinois, and Chairman of AICC, agrees. “I feel it’s vital that we have a Spring Meet- ing this year,” Carman said. “It’s really important for AICC

to continue to offer to its members opportunities for learning, network- ing and reconnecting with those that we have formed professional and personal relationships with.” He likened the current situation with the pandemic and the need for an in-person meeting to the climate

Jay Carman

immediately following the 9-11 attacks in September of 2001. Those events 20 years ago instilled a palpable fear of flying and travel in general. “I, like many others, were fearful of flying, but I decided to attend the October (2001) meeting in Vancouver [British Columbia] nonetheless,” he recalled. “I remember that we had only half the number of attendees at that meeting when compared to previous meetings. The AICC did not cancel the meeting, as a lot of

Please visit to view the 2021 industry events and links to our sponsors’ websites where you can learn more about their products and services.



February 22, 2021


have for one another in new, transformative ways. This is a group that wants to celebrate together the way the in- dustry has responded to the unprecedented challenges that they have faced, and to work to assure the future of a brave, independent world. AICC’s Spring Meeting will pro- vide the best way to do that.” Visit to to register. GPI Joins MacArthur Foundation Circular Economy Network Atlanta, Georgia based Graphic Packaging International (GPI) has signed up to become a member of the world’s leading circular economy network, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The Foundation states that ‘If the circular economy were adopted in just five key sectors (steel, aluminum, ce-

other associations did at the time. Those who wanted to attend were thankful we made that decision. There was an increased camaraderie among us, almost like kindred spirits that had all shared in a difficult experience together. We appreciated each other’s presence, and we were glad to be together.” Carman reiterated the safety measures being taken by the Association to protect members, saying, “AICC is work- ing very hard to plan this in-person and virtual convention, factoring in all safety protocols to protect members and still ‘make it happen’ for those who wish to attend.” Mike D’Angelo sees AICC’s 2021 Spring Meeting as a fitting culmination of a “transformative” year for the indus- try and thus it provides members with one of the first op- portunities to reconnect. “Throughout the past year I have seen the respect, care and regard that AICC members

ment, plastic and food), annual greenhouse gas emissions could fall by 9.3 billion tons of CO2e in 2050, equivalent to eliminating all transport emissions globally.’ The organization’s mission is to acceler- ate the transition to a circular economy by keeping products and materials in use and out of waste streams, supporting the en- vironment and protecting it for the future. Graphic Packaging’s innovative solutions are closely aligned with sustainability trends, and the company’s participation in the network demonstrates its commitment to engaging with key organizations and businesses to en- courage greater circularity in packaging. Ricardo De Genova, Senior Vice President, Global Innovation and New Business Devel- opment at Graphic Packaging, said, “We’re delighted to become a member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Graphic Packaging has consistently supported brands and re- tailers to increase their use of renewable and recyclable materials in product packaging. Joining the Foundation enables us to support packaging supply chains as they make the transition towards greater adoption of circular innovation.” “Joining the Ellen MacArthur Foundation is another step in our sustainability journey. Engaging in wider discussions on the circular economy will support our Vision 2025 goals, which include achieving 100 percent recy- clability of our packaging solutions,” stated Andrew Johnson, Vice President, Govern- ment Affairs and Sustainability at GPI. Founded by Dame Ellen MacArthur, the Foundation sets out to ultimately close the loop and create improved circular economic models to protect the planet.


February 22, 2021

WestRock Lead Researcher Receives GenNext Award

Natasha Melton, lead R&D researcher at Norcross, Geor- gia based WestRock, was awarded a GenNext Award from Progressive Grocer for her contri- butions to foodservice packaging sustainability. Melton used her back- ground in biotechnology to address foodservice packaging sustainability problems by helping develop a recy- clable, compostable paperboard cup prototype designed to hold hot and cold beverages. Melton is one of 12 winners of the Next- Gen Consortium’s NextGen Cup Challenge. WestRock says Melton was also instrumental in com- bining sustainability, performance and consumer appeal with her work on an alternative to traditional polycoat barriers used in foodservice packaging to prevent stain- ing from oil and grease, helping develop EnShield Natural Kraft paperboard—earning WestRock an AF&PA award for its sustainability advancements. Melton leads a women in science and engineering group at Westrock and a pathways to science program that recruits and develops Latina girls for STEM careers. Visit and www.westrock. com for more information. Natasha Melton

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