Board Converting News, January 10, 2022

BoardConverting Serving the North American Corrugated and Folding Carton Industries for 38 years January 10, 2022 VOL. 38. NO. 2

Converter Outlook 2022, Part 1: Obstacles, Yet Surging Demand As is our annual tradition, Board Converting News solicits a represen- tative sample of the continent’s independent converters for a glimpse into their minds as they embark on another year in the ever-dynamic corrugated, folding carton and rigid box making industries. The coronavirus pandemic and its variants continue to impact the global supply chain and has affected all facets of life, both globally and here in North America. As predicted and expected, the corrugated industry has not only survived, but thrived despite one challenge and obstacle after another. The converters here have shared their business strategies, political views and industry forecasts. They have also raised some questions and concerns for the year that will be 2022: ACME CORRUGATED BOX CO. Hatboro, Pennsylvania: Bob Cohen reports, “After 50+ years of experi- ence in our industry, I wish I could issue words of wisdom or be more prescient about what 2022 holds in store for us. Right now, the only constant is change. Rolling with the punches has become an art form. the Federal Reserve Chairman Powell are not transitory), geopolitical threats, an inept administration (on all levels) and economic volatility. “Despite all these obstacles, I don’t think that independent produc- ers have ever had a better year. It is only the second time in my career that box demand has exceeded the production capabilities of the mar- ket. I saw the same demand surge in the 1970’s during the Oil embargo of 1973 and 1979. That was 40+ years ago. Normally, when Container- board prices rise, the reasons are opaque to the ultimate customer. In fact, in the past, the customer only realized a tight paper market by reading about supply constraints in a purchasing magazine or in publi- cations like the Wall Street Journal . “What’s unusual this time around is that most companies that con- vert boxes, whether integrated or independent, have huge backlogs and their lead times have never been longer. Demand has outstripped the ability to meet that demand. Clients have done away with the ‘just in time’ philosophy of inventory in favor of placing orders far in advance from when they might need those orders. CONTINUED ON PAGE 22 “For the last 18 months, we have been deal- ing with the various iterations of the Covid virus, the uneven response to the pandemic, supply chain concerns, a tight paper market, labor shortages, wage inflation, rising energy costs, general inflation (which contrary to wishes of Bob Cohen

EPA Proposes $1.1M Penalty Over New-Indy Odor Issue The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to fine New-Indy Contain- erboard $1.1 million over the odor dilemma in South Carolina that for several months gen- erated thousands of complaints against the paper mill in Catawba, South Carolina. The EPA lodged a proposed consent de- cree and says New-Indy has agreed to sig- nificant relief designed to prevent hydrogen sulfide (H2S) concentrations above levels that endanger people’s health from the mill. New- Indy would pay a civil penalty of $1,100,000. This comes months after the EPA took le- gal action and issued an emergency order for New-Indy Containerboard to fix the pro- longed odor that plagued multiple counties in South Carolina for more than four months. The EPA received tens of thousands of complaints about the odors that reported- ly sickened neighbors living near the plant. Area residents impacted by the odor and tox- ic emissions filed to intervene in the EPA’s liti- gation against New-Indy to put an immediate end to pollution. According to an EPA press release, the May 13 order was issued to prevent imminent


WHAT’S INSIDE 5 Acme Corrugated Box Pledges $50,000 To Support ICPF 10 Registration Open For AICC 2022 Spring Meeting In CA 14 Student Designer Represents RIT On Three Winning Teams 38 Seven Retail Packaging Trends To Consider Adopting In 2022

Machinery and Handling for the Corrugated Board Industry

2 January 10, 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.

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

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.


Len Prazych at 518-366-9017

42# Kraft Liner 26#

Semi-Chem Medium

East West


$960.00 $995.00



January 10, 2022

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4 January 10, 2022

New ICPF Partner Acme Corrugated Pledges $50,000 To Support Mission The International Corrugated Packaging Foundation (ICPF) has announced that Hatboro, Pennsylvania based Acme Corrugated Box Co. Inc. has become the most recent ICPF corporate partner by pledging $50,000 to support the foundation’s educational mission. “Acme Corrugated Box has been well aware of ICPF’s work with universities and students across the country for a long time”, said Bob Cohen, Acme President. “Our oper- ations have been in contact with ICPF for numerous years and we look forward to using ICPF resources to assist us in recruiting students and new graduates who will serve as Acme’s managers and executives in the future.”

ICPF Board Vice Chair, Tim Bergwall, President of Pa- per Packaging and Land Management of Greif, Inc., wel- comed Acme Corrugated Box as a new ICPF corporate partner, thanking Cohen for the company’s pledge. “We appreciate this pledge from Acme Corrugated Box,” said Bergwall. “Acme’s support further enables ICPF’s educa- tional work and its ever-expanding outreach to universities and students on behalf of the corrugated packaging & dis- plays industry.” In 1918, Acme Corrugated Box founder, Edward J. Co- hen, packed his horse-drawn wagon with scrap paper and traveled through Philadelphia’s streets in search of customers. He soon added reclaimed corrugated boxes to satisfy the diverse needs of the bustling city. From this start, Acme Corrugated Box Company has grown to inhab- it a 250,000-square-foot facility adjacent to Pennsylvania’s busiest thoroughfare. Acme has been part of the business community for over 100 years and its history is marked by continuous improvement, with an eye toward meeting the challenges of the future. As a leading box manufacturer in the Mid-Atlantic Region, Acme recognizes the important role its employees play in the company’s success. Visit and www.careersincorrugat- or contact for more. Acme Corrugated Box Co.’s 250,000-square-foot plant.


January 10, 2022

ISM: Manufacturing, Economy Grow Again In December

Box Shipments ( U.S. Corrugated Product Shipments) Industry Shipments In Billions of Square Feet Month September 2021

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew in De- cember, with the overall economy achieving a 19th con- secutive month of growth, say the nation’s supply execu- tives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. The report was issued last week by Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., Chair of the Institute for Supply Manage- ment (ISM) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee: “The December Manufacturing PMI registered 58.7 percent, a decrease of 2.4 percentage points from the No- vember reading of 61.1 percent. This figure indicates ex- pansion in the overall economy for the 19th month in a row after a contraction in April 2020. The New Orders Index registered 60.4 percent, down 1.1 percentage points com- pared to the November reading of 61.5 percent. “The Production Index registered 59.2 percent, a de- crease of 2.3 percentage points compared to the Novem- ber reading of 61.5 percent. The Prices Index registered 68.2 percent, down 14.2 percentage points compared to the November figure of 82.4 percent. The Backlog of Or- ders Index registered 62.8 percent, 0.9 percentage point higher than the November reading of 61.9 percent. The Employment Index registered 54.2 percent, 0.9 percent- age point higher compared to the November reading of CONTINUED ON PAGE 44



Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change

2021 2020

34.261 34.901


8.157 8.310


Industry Total

Year-to Date

September 2021



Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change

2021 2020

312.632 300.767


8.227 7.873


Industry Total

Containerboard Consumption (Thousands of Tons)



Percent Change Year-to-Date Percent Change

2021 2020

2.7786 2.8459


25.4959 24.5672


Container Board Inventory - Corrugator Plants (Thousands of Tons)

Corrugator Plants Only


Percent Change Weeks of Supply

Percent Change




3.5 3.4




Shipping Days




2021 2020

21 21

190 191

SOURCE: Fibre Box Association


January 10, 2022

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 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 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

EPA Proposes (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1 )

New Indy would also have to continue to operate and maintain the H2S fence line monitors and comply with the health-based levels at the fence line. The company would be required to apply for and receive federally enforceable permits incorporating these terms and is not eligible to terminate the consent decree until it has completed all in- junctive relief and operated for at least three years without any fence line exceedances. Saica Hiring Employees For Opening Of New Box Plant In Hamilton, OH Saica Group, the Zaragoza, Spain based company that is preparing to open its first cardboard-box-manufac- turing factory in Hamilton, Ohio, has been calibrating its machinery and is finishing construction of its $72 million, 350,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. With plans to be fully operational in April, the company is now hiring for more than a dozen positions. Among the positions Saica is hiring for are a human resources manager, customer service manager, two sales representatives, a customer service employee, purchasing administrator, two engineering/maintenance technicians, a quality, environmental, health and safety management system person, two forklift operators, a production plan- ner, continuous improvement manager, and three opera- tors. Visit for more information.

and substantial endangerment to surrounding communi- ties. The proposed consent decree is not final and will be subject to a 30-day comment period, which will begin on the date a notice of the lodging of the proposed consent decree is published in the Federal Register. “EPA took swift action earlier this year by issuing an emergency order to New-Indy to monitor and reduce hydrogen sulfide air pollution from their Catawba facili- ty,” said Larry Starfield, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Today’s proposed settlement ensures that surrounding communities will be protected from unlawful pollution from this facility through mandatory improvements designed to ensure cleaner air, which all Americans deserve.” The proposed settlement requires New-Indy to oper- ate their steam stripper unit to control hazardous air emis- sions, monitor and treat sulfur-containing fuel condensate sent to the wastewater treatment system, and improve the functioning of the wastewater treatment system. New-Indy would be required to install and maintain a carbon filtration system on their post-aeration tank to min- imize air emissions, and install and maintain a functioning secondary containment system around the by-product black liquor storage area to prevent uncontrolled black liquor releases from reaching the wastewater treatment system.

8 January 10, 2022


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Registration Open For AICC 2022 Spring Meeting In Palm Desert, CA AICC, the Independent Packaging Association announced that registration is now open for the 2022 Spring Meeting at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa in Palm Desert, California, on April 6-8, 2022. AICC is thrilled to welcome back the paper packaging industry for a must-attend in-person event as industry ex- perts and business gurus discuss the topics to help mem- ber companies grow and reach strategic alignment. The meeting will also feature plant tours and social and net- working opportunities to help you connect with your peers and expand your current network. Topics to be covered during the meeting include: • Current state of the containerboard and paperboard industry and outlook for the future

• Lessons on leadership through times of uncertainty • Supplier innovations in the corrugated, folding carton & rigid box industries • COVID, the economy, inflation and mid-term elections • Tactics, strategies and actions to increase profitability • How to think about your business as a system

BALEMASTER: 75 YEARS STRONG — 1946 - 2021 —

• (EPR) Legislation updates channeling hu- man energy to transform your company Keynote speakers include: • Richard Phillips: Real-life inspiration for the movie “Captain Phillips” and author • Sean McDermott: The Traction Group and founder and Certified EOS Implementer • Terry Webber: Executive Director, Pack- aging, at the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) • Gene Marks: CPA, author, columnist, and business expert • Mark Roberts: CEO of OTB Solutions • Ed Wallace: Managing Director of AchieveNEXT Relational Capital The JW Marriott Resort has implement- ed a variety of new protocols and elevated practices, keeping with their high standards of cleanliness and luxury service: • Per the hotel’s policy: Unless it is required by local law or order, fully vaccinated guests are no longer required to wear face coverings in indoor or outdoor ar- eas of the hotel. They ask that all unvac- cinated guests wear face coverings and practice social distancing when they are in public spaces inside the hotel. • The city of Palm Springs currently re- quires proof of vaccination and masks are required for indoor restaurants and shops, etc. • For any indoor events, AICC will be imple- menting social distancing. Visit for more informa- tion or to register for the event.

Wired. Proven auto-tie technology outputs tighter bales, faster . Our approach to auto-tie technology is a combination of an electro/mechanical process, operator-tested automation, and built-to-last construction and design principles. So, until wireless baling is invented, there’s nothing easier, more reliable or faster than a Balemaster auto-tie baler.


10 January 10, 2022

AICC To Offer 3-Part Microflute Webinars

AICC, The Independent Packaging Association, is offering a three-part webinar series, Folding Carton/Rigid Box/Mi- croflute, on January 12th, 19th and 26th. Mergers, acquisitions, and mill closures have found manufacturers searching for alternatives to uncoated re- cycled paperboard, which has necessitated a renewed interest in small flute or microflute. Additionally, the rapid growth of e-commerce since March 2020 makes this se- ries a must as they discuss economic savings and reduc- tions in fiber utilization. Built upon their highly successful 2018 workshop, Flut- ed vs. Paperboard, numerous BoxScore articles, and a free whitepaper, “Advantages of Corrugated Microflutes Versus Paperboard,” available at Store , Tom Weber, AICC Folding Carton Technical Advisor, and Ralph Young, AICC Corrugated Technical Advisor, will share insights into fluted materials as a substitute for pa- perboard in the construction of both traditional and high- ly-specialized folding carton and rigid boxes during these webinars. Members can register for this series or join them as part of the All Access Pass. Pass holders can use their promo code to register at no additional cost. Register for any of these trainings or events at .

Board Converting News is read by more independent and integrated decision-makers in the corrugated and folding carton industries than any other weekly publication. LEVERAGE YOUR REACH. Expansive Reach

Len Prazych at 518-366-9017

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12 January 10, 2022

Student Designer Represents RIT On Three Winning Packaging Competition Teams BY MICHELLE COMETA Kelly Fellner is still packing heat. The packaging science major has been on three winning RIT student teams in the past four years at the annual Paperboard Packaging Design Challenge. In 2018, she was part of the Packing Heat team that took first place for its subscription box filled with fiery sauces and treats.

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When the Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC) announced this year’s finalists, the Rochester Institue of Technology (RIT) and Fellner were among them. The team of Fellner; Robert Fliegel, an industrial design student; and Rachel Tiano and Brianna Young, both graphic design students, were recognized for their Super Sibs Kit, a subscription box of treats for the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Winners will be announced at the Paperboard Packaging Alliance’s Council Meeting and Spring Outlook and Strategies Conference March 9-11, 2022, in Denver, Colorado. The competition, then presentation in front of industry leaders at the meeting, continues a tradition of design- ing products that are both sustainable and functional. And it provides multiple co-op and career opportunities for RIT’s students. Integrated into an RIT design course, the competition is a collabo- ration between the College of Art and Design and the College of Engi- neering Technology. Students from graphic design work with peers from industrial design and packaging science, bringing together knowledge from each area to develop packaging options that are both exquisite and practical products. Each year the competition challenge is different, reflecting packaging trends and current events. This year’s challenge was to create packaging for nonprofit or community organizations to promote their missions to supporters or users. The team chose Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer and modified an ac- tivity in the “sibling” box sent to family members of children with cancer. “It was inspirational, but also a fun, branded product,” said Fellner, who is from Buffalo, N.Y. “The idea was to make a Hope Box, and every- thing a kid needs would be in it. It also reflected our focus on recyclability and sustainability.” Kelly Fellner has been on multiple winning teams involved over the past sever- al years in the Paperboard Design Challenge, including this year’s entry.

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Student Designer (CONT’D FROM PAGE 14)

solidified packaging as a career. “This is what I want to do, and there is a place for me in this field. RIT provides you with the best in technology and it’s huge going into a career. I had a co-op and they were surprised that I knew how to work equipment. This was something they usually had to teach interns. That’s already a huge advantage.” That advantage paid dividends. One business recently offered her a position, and she starts at Burt Rigid Box Inc., a paperboard packaging company, after graduation this May. Participating in the annual competition for 17 years, student-designers from the two colleges have consistently done well, taking multiple top placements for work devel- oping popular subscription boxes, video gaming consoles, fitness trackers, and hospitality services, said Lorrie Frear, Professor of Graphic Design in RIT’s College of Art and Design. “This interdisciplinary collaboration is a wonderful op- portunity for our students, and it is an honor for us to rep- resent RIT at the professional meeting. This experience represents what RIT does best; providing collaborative and experiential learning using professional scenarios and resources,” said Frear, one of the faculty members leading the Packaging Design course along with Carlos Diaz-Acos- ta, Associate Professor of Packaging in RIT’s College of Engineering Technology, with consultant Bill Wynkoop. Michelle Cometa is a Senior Communication Specialist at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Boxes included markers, inspirational materials, and blank sheets of homemade “seed” paper to write personal sentiments during difficult times. The paper, consisting of flower seeds, could then be planted as remembrances.

Presenting entries in front of industry professionals is an essential part of the competition. This exposure at past competitions helped Fellner make connections for required co-ops. “I wouldn’t have met them otherwise,” she said. It also Student-designers from RIT’s College of Engineering Technol- ogy and College of Art and Design are finalists in the 2021-22 Paperboard Design Challenge, with a submission for a national nonprofit, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

16 January 10, 2022


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Graphic Packaging Names New Executives In Americas, Int’l Units Atlanta, Georgia based Graphic Packaging Holding Com- pany announced today that Maggie Bidlingmaier will join Graphic Packaging as EVP and President of the Americas

lia and New Zealand.

Doss continued, “Joe has been instrumental in positioning our Americas business as a lead- er in the fiber-based packaging segment, and his prior experi- ence in leading our European business will prove valuable as we integrate the AR Packaging

business unit. Bidlingmaier was most recently President, Per- formance Solutions for Invista, a subsidiary of Koch Industries, where she led numerous multi- million-dollar global businesses within the flooring, apparel and airbag fiber segments. President and CEO of Graph-

Joe Yost

acquisition into our global portfolio. I am excited to have someone with Joe’s track record of achievement moving into this critical leadership position.” Sonoco Recycling Acquires American Recycling of Western North Carolina According to multiple media reports, Sonoco Recycling has acquired American Recycling of Western North Caroli- na (ARWNC), a privately owned company located in Ashe- ville, North Carolina. ARWNC processes around 30,000 tons of recovered fiber annually at its Asheville MRF. The business generates approximately $9M in sales per year. “This acquisition provides Sonoco’s mill operations with a stable, lower-cost supply of recovered fiber with the opportunity to grow volumes in the region,” said Pal- ace Stepps, Division Vice President and General Manager, Sonoco Recycling.

Maggie Bidlingmaier

ic Packaging, Michael Doss, said, “Maggie’s expertise in driving comprehensive vision shifts to accelerate growth and expansion complements our vision of growing with the best customers in the best markets and generating superior returns for our stakeholders. We look forward to Maggie’s leadership in developing team dynamics that will drive our high-performance culture to the next level.” Joe Yost, previously EVP and President, Americas, has been appointed EVP and President of the International business unit, based in Brussels. In this role, Yost will have responsibility for converting operations outside the Ameri- cas, including the company’s businesses in EMEA, Austra-

18 January 10, 2022

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Ralph Sanchez Joins Domino As Regional Service Manager

The Perfect Combo Get Peak Performance From Your Equipment with Matched Component Sets

Domino continues to grow its digital printing business with the addition of Ralph Sanchez, as Regional Service Man- ager for Domino North America. He joins the company with over 25 years’ experience in management positions, with a focus on senior level operations leadership and cus- tomer engagement roles.

Sanchez has built a career op- timizing processes and managing teams to better support custom- ers. He spent 32 years with Xerox in positions that included Opera- tions Manager – Technical Escala- tions; Program Manager – Strategy

Ralph Sanchez

& Optimization; Field Manager – Technical Services; and Field Service Engineer. In addition, Ralph was also a Cor- porate Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, a subject matter expert in process optimization, leading multiple enterprise-wide projects to successful completion in shorter than expected cycle times. After more than three decades with Xerox, he joined AGFA Graphics in 2018 as Western Region Service Manag- er. In that role, he led a customer-facing organization that supported customers and service requests. Sanchez has a Bachelor of Science in Business Admin- istration, Management and Operations from the University of Southern California. With record sales in each of the past five years, the Domino North America Digital Printing business has continued to grow its install base significantly with digi- tal presses and printers being added by converters from coast to coast. In parallel, the Service & Support team has grown by leaps and bounds. Less than four years ago, Ser- vice Manager Tom Grencik joined Domino to lead a team of field service engineers, and present day that team has multiplied fivefold. With the outstanding work that Grencik and the field service team have done, ‘strength in num- bers’ continue with the addition of Sanchez. Grencik will focus on the eastern region, and Sanchez will oversee the western region. On joining Domino, Sanchez says, “I jumped at the op- portunity to join a company that is growing and is commit- ted to building a world-class service organization.” “It’s easy to see why we are very excited to have Ralph on our team,” says Mark Meyer, Technical Manager of Domino Digital Printing North America. He brings tremen- dous perspective, experience, and success and he will continue to thrive at Domino. Ralph will build on what has already been started, focusing on the provision of excep- tional service to our customers and our field service engi- neers. With the outstanding foundation that Tom Grencik and our field service team have established, coupled with our tremendous growth, now is the perfect time for Ralph to join Domino.”

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20 January 10, 2022

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Converter Outlook: Part I (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1 )

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.

“Yesterday, I got a glowing email from a client who nev- er gives out compliments. My suspicion is that even with our own backlog being significant we are still outperform- ing many of our competitors. “The year 2022 will see increasing mill capacity in North America, in Europe and in South America. Most white paper producers see containerboard as a default position. Consequently, companies like Domtar and Cas- cades are in the process of converting formerly white paper machines to recycled containerboard. The market question is, do all these conversions have integration? If they don’t, what will the impact of more paper availability mean? Will the additional tons be absorbed by increased demand or will the excess capacity lead to price erosion? What about capacity creep? It’s reported that the amount of new capacity coming online in 2022 and early 2023, in North America, in Europe and in South America (specifi- cally Brazil) will amount to 3.5 million tons. Will companies like Amazon make up the difference? Isn’t the proposed packaging initiative that Amazon has embarked upon all about reducing fiber and, ultimately, consumption? Then, the question becomes, will we find ourselves in a market slow down, where consumption flattens? Will this signal a return to a cycle of price reductions based on new capac- ity that has no home? This is where my crystal ball falters. CONTINUED ON PAGE 24

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22 January 10, 2022

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Converter Outlook: Part I (CONT’D FROM PAGE 22)

fore the pandemic, we contemplated a growth strategy based on the near capacity issues we faced. We have al- ready begun installing a new 110-inch Fosber corrugator and a racking system for WIP that will hold up to 10-million- square-feet of product. The project is immense and more difficult than a “greenfield” start-up due to the integration of our existing operation with the expanded space. Our plan has always been to continue operation as we move to the new machinery. We will actually be running the old 98-inch corrugator as we ramp up the new one. In fact, we will be running sheets under the old machine as we dismantle it. A challenge to be sure, but the planning has been extraordinary. “A shout out to our vendors - Fosber America, WSA, Harmax, Warak, Esnova, Kober Conseveyo and to my son, Jeremy Cohen and to our Project Manager, Ryan Stash- ko. So far, given all the supply chain obstacles, they have done an admirable job. While wary of market changes, I do

“I do think that since our pricing model only increas- es or decreases with paper prices, that auxiliary costs may not be recaptured if prices eventually go down. That should be a real concern for everyone reading this article. With inflation affecting everything from wages to energy costs, we know that the lowering of paper prices may also hinder us in our efforts to recover inflationary input costs. That is why I am an advocate for changing the method of price movement. No business can absorb the inflated costs of ancillary material without inflicting harm on their margins. It should be something we all consider as the market changes -- as it surely will. “The year 2022 will be a year of transformation for Acme Corrugated Box Co., Inc. In November of 2020, we commenced an expansion of our facility and the purchase of a strategic set of new operational equipment. Even be-

have faith in our operation and our people. So, whatever 2022 has instore for us, we will be prepared.” BAY CITIES Pico Rivera, California: Greg Tucker reports, “Coming off one of the most spectacular

The Measure of Quality.


and way out-of-con- trol years, 2022 will be yet again a very promising one for business. I am cer- tain records were set with regard to bottom-line perfor-




Greg Tucker

mance in the box business. Mills ran hard, and converters ran even harder to keep up with an imbalance of supply due to weather, labor, transportation, demand, inflation and of course, that pesky virus. “We did a great job of passing on higher costs to our clients as we continued to miss deliveries which were beyond our control. What is remarkable about our industry is that we can move prices up where other in- dustries couldn’t do so and are fighting to gain price control. We still hold ourselves accountable to a publication that allows price fluctuations up or down when it gets around to publishing linerboard transacted prices. This last year many converters put a dent in the strength of our Mad Magazine of the paper industry and learned to raise prices according to market fluctuations in things other than just paper. This dent will continue to spread into 2022 and beyond. Someday our Mad Magazine will no lon- ger have much relevance in setting prices

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24 January 10, 2022

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Converter Outlook: Part I (CONT’D FROM PAGE 24)

and the next two generational segments will push into the market. We hope! One of the issues that has been going on for years in this country is we took a break in popping out babies thus we have a population shortage right off the bat. Something we will begin to see next year is some of the Boomers coming back into the workforce as “for better and for worse but NOT for lunch” hits home and some of our wisdom kings will come back to work. Get these folks if you can and have them teach and train. Our wisdom base is getting sucked out of the workforce. Our founder Bill Hanan always hired young people. Now, of course this was somewhat self-serving to Bill, but he did know that backfilling his company with young people kept him young and his company flourishing with vibrancy and new ideas. “We also need to consistently train everyone in our company, even if we are a small company. Technology is changing so fast we can’t even see it. This is one of the most important aspects of moving companies forward. We have many resources to help us inclusive of online training and even the AICC has adapted towards the leader of rel- evant online training to keep our skills sharp and our eyes on the advancement of our workplace humans. “A very smart friend of mine, Clay Shaw from Batavia Container, tells me that labor is the next Covid. Clay is a brilliant leader and is spot on. Omicron and the variants to come will always be around, however, our employees may CONTINUED ON PAGE 28

as we all learn to move away from contracts and move to market pricing. Our business models all changed over the last three years due to Covid and we all (most of us) learned to price according to all the dynamics in the mar- ketplace not just some pie in the sky guess of linerboard transactions. There are lots more to a price of a box than just raw material costs. “What does this have to do with 2022? Tons! Okay, I really didn’t mean tons, I meant those that have learned to pass on increases other than tonnage costs will do well in this next year and many years to come. It is the same in ev- ery other industry. Those industries that have pricing pow- er will perform well next year from a bottom-line perspec- tive and a stock value perspective. The low-cost producer will be left in the dust if they can only raise prices along the lines of linerboard escalations. This is one of the reasons why the term ‘transitory inflation’ was minimized politically and from our folks on Wall Street. When prices rise and fall, businesses and industries can move accordingly in a market driven world. This is something Covid did disrupt the box business with and we all kind of shrugged it off. It is very meaningful as we move our businesses into future. “What else will be big in 2022? Labor costs will contin- ue to increase. This is Covid-driven and generational-driv- en but accelerated by the Big C. Many folks will not come back into the workforce. Many Baby Boomers have retired

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26 January 10, 2022

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