Board Coverting News, May 24, 2021

BoardConverting Serving the North American Corrugated and Folding Carton Industries for 37 years May 24, 2021 VOL. 37, NO. 21

Update: Digital Printing For Folding Cartons BY JACKIE SCHULTZ

Royal Containers Ltd To Expand In Ontario

Brampton, Ontario based Royal Containers Ltd has announced that it is expanding op- erations into a facility in St. Thomas, Ontario. According to Royal Containers’ President & CEO, Kim Nelson, the decision to move Roy- al Containers’ facility to a larger footprint was made to address growth and to increase the capacity of their present location in London. Other factors contributed as well. “First of all, being in the top three of 2021 McLean’s magazine’s Best Places to Live in Canada made St. Thomas a very attractive location,” said Nelson. “We are excited to join this com- munity and extend our congratulations to all the people who live and work here for attain- ing this distinction.” Royal Containers has a strong team of leaders to facilitate, plan and execute the ex- pansion. The team is equipped to face the challenges of a dynamically changing market- place and the economic impacts brought on by the pandemic. “In May 2020 we closed an acquisition that brought an established display company, C&B Display, into London and into the Roy- al Containers fold. Since then, we have been

The recent accelerated growth in packaging, especially in e-commerce, is creating additional competition for folding carton converters as more printers expand into packaging. Packaging is a bright spot in the global print market, which was down 13.4 percent last year. By 2030 packag- ing is forecasted to be 60 percent of the global print market, up from 40 percent in 2020.

New technologies, such as digital printing, is providing a path for some companies to add packaging to their product mix, and for others, digital is an opportunity to differentiate. “As digital has grown in some of these other markets the ability to print becomes ubiquitous to mar- ket participation,” said Jeff Wettersten, President, Karstedt Partners. Many printers are augmenting their manufacturing processes with digital printing as an opportunity to provide on-demand graphics pack- aging, supply chain efficiencies and reduced costs. “The bottom line is brands are not going back to the pre-COVID days and the onus is now on converters to add speed and flexibility to their operations,” Wetter- sten said. “They’re agnostic to the print type. The traditional model was high volume at low cost. Now it’s finding balance.” In a virtual webinar hosted by the Paperboard Packaging Council, Wettersten and Kevin Karstedt, CEO of Karstedt Partners, provided a CONTINUED ON PAGE 24 Kevin Karstedt, CEO of Karstedt Partners, provided an update on digital printing for folding cartons as part of a virtual webinar hosted by the PPC.



6 x x 8 x x 12 x x 26 x x NAM: Manufacturing Job Openings Soar In March Domtar Breaks Ground On Kingsport Mill In TN AICC Canada Announces Conestoga College Winners 40 DS Smith Study: Baby Boomers Are Most Eager To Recycle

Machinery and Handling for the Corrugated Board Industry

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

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

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

200# 275#



$62.69 $82.80

$85.35 119.54

$73.13 101.29












107.46 118.45

114.69 129.32

116.54 137.25 117.82 145.56

141.08 148.46

122.76 131.80


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

42# Kraft Liner 26#

Semi-Chem Medium

East West


$960.00 $995.00



May 24, 2021

Royal Containers Ltd (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1 )

Core Competency

rapidly growing both sides of the business,” said Nelson. Royal Containers was founded in 1980 by Ross Nelson. Today, Kim Nelson upholds the pride in ownership that her father established and operates the business by building on strength through partnerships and vertical integration. Royal Containers is partnered with TenCorr Packaging and Greenpac Paper Mill. The company’s success is a direct result of its history of strong acquisitions, including that of Morphy Containers, which ran on the original London site. “The City Council and the Economic Development Cor- poration have worked hard to ensure that the St. Thomas is an attractive place to grow a business”, said St. Thomas Mayor Joe Preston, “I could not be more pleased to see Royal Containers choosing to bring their history of success and innovation to a community that I know will support that passion for growth now and into the future.” Royal Containers employs over 275 people, operating on three shifts, 24 hours a day, five days a week. Approxi- mately 45 to 50,000,000 square feet of corrugated boxes and displays are shipped to customers in Ontario and be- yond every month. “We plan to keep our edge by using high-speed, techni- cally advanced equipment at all of our facilities,” said Nel- son. “Our machinery will definitely keep us competitive, but a commitment to our core values of responsiveness, performance, and leadership will set us apart.”

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NAM: Manufacturing Job Openings Soar To 706K In March, New Record BY CHAD MOUTRAY Manufacturing job openings soared to 706,000 in March, a new record, acording to Chad Moutray, Ph.D. and Chief Economist at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). “Business leaders in the sector need to ramp up production, capacity and staffing in light of robust de- mand, the reopening of the U.S. and global economy and the very strong economic outlook for the coming months,” said Moutray. “As a result, job postings have risen to stratospheric levels. These data offer an encouraging sign that manufacturers feel confident enough about economic growth over the coming months to post new jobs. Nonfarm business job openings jumped to 8,123,000 in March, also a new record. There are currently 1.20 un-

employed workers for every one job opening in the U.S. economy. In addition, nonfarm payroll quits rose to a pre-pandemic high, and quits in the manufacturing sec- tor—an important measure regarding “churn” in the labor market—was the most since January 2001. The National Federation of Independent Business re- ported that 44 percent of respondents had job openings that they were unable to fill in April, a new record, with workforce challenges once again being the top “single most important problem.” Manufacturing production rose 0.4 percent in April, ex- tending the 3.1 percent gain in March. Excluding motor ve- hicles, which plummeted 4.3 percent due to supply chain challenges, manufacturing production increased 0.6 per- cent in April. Since February 2020, output in the manufacturing sec- tor is down 1.7 percent from pre-pandemic levels. I con- tinue to expect manufacturing production to be back to pre-pandemic levels by July.

After retail sales soared by 10.7 percent in March, fueled by stimulus payments and pent-up demand, consumer spending was flat in April. Excluding motor vehicles and parts, which increased by 2.9 percent, retail spending fell 0.8 percent for the month. Despite a disappointing reading, it is important to note that the sharply higher increases in March were largely sustained moving into April, even without addition- al stimulus. More importantly, retail sales should continue to grow strongly over the coming months as the U.S. economy contin- ues to reopen. For what it is worth, retail sales have in- creased a robust 17.9 percent since Febru- ary 2020, or since the pandemic began, or 14.7 percent with motor vehicles and gaso- line excluded. Consumer confidence declined from 88.3 in April to 82.8 in May, a three-month low, according to preliminary data from the University of Michigan and Thomson Reu- ters. Americans felt less upbeat in their as- sessments of both current and future eco- nomic conditions, largely on worries about inflation. The expected increase in prices was the largest in a decade in the survey, and accordingly, real income expectations were also weaker. Manufacturing leaders continue to cite supply chain disruptions as a key challenge. With that in mind, the jump in raw material prices was not a surprise. A fair number of these increases will be transitory, but there is also a worry that cost pressures will not abate, particularly given the strength of the rebounding economy.


May 24, 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 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 n higher plate surface temperature


Domtar Breaks Ground On Kingsport Mill In TN

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

Domtar Inc. recently marked its official entry into the con- tainerboard market with a groundbreaking ceremony led by CEO John Williams and attended by officials from King- sport, the Tri-Cities region and the state of Tennessee. “This is an exciting day for the Kingsport mill and for Domtar, and we are glad to celebrate it in the company of many of those who are making this transformation possi- ble,” said Williams. The Kingsport mill, which operated for more than 100 years as a paper mill, is being converted into the company’s first packaging paper mill, where we will use recycled materials to make containerboard. As part of the event, Kingsport Mill Manager Troy Wil- son presented Mayor Pat Shull with a $500,000 check for the city of Kingsport to support the relocation of the Scott Adams Memorial Skate Park. The skate park’s move is part of a land swap agreement with the city that included the exchange of the 40-acre Cement Hill property for Cloud Park, which will be developed into a receiving area. Domtar is the largest integrated manufacturer and mar- keter of uncoated freesheet paper in North America, and one of the largest manufacturers of pulp in the world. Its- network of 13 pulp and paper mills and 10 manufacturing and converting facilities gives us approximately 2.7 million tons of papermaking capacity



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

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May 24, 2021

DS Smith Appoints Claire Dickson Group Chief Information Officer Atlanta, Georgia based DS Smith has confirmed the ap- pointment of Claire Dickson as Group Chief Information Of- ficer. Dickson will lead the delivery of the company’s next

who will continue to support DS Smith on a project basis. Adrian Marsh, Group Chief Financial Officer at DS Smith commented, “We’re delighted to welcome Claire to DS Smith. Her wealth of experience leading large-scale trans- formation and data projects will be of significant benefit the wider Group, as we continue to support our colleagues and customers in this changing world. CCCA Elects New Slate Of Officers The Canadian Corrugated & Containerboard Association CCCA elected a new slate of Officers at the AGM held on May 11, 2021. Mike McGugan, Business Unit General Manager for WestRock, is the new Chairman of the Board of Directors. Dan Faber, President of Moore Packaging Corporation, will be the new Secretary/Treasurer. Robert Lanthier, Vice President of Containerboard Sales for Cas- cades Containerboard Packaging, is the 1st Vice Chair and Eric Paradis, Vice-President of Corrugated Sales at Cas- cades Containerboard Packaging. is the 2nd Chair. Each Officer will serve a two-year term and in conjunc- tion with Past Chairman John Pepper, Director of Sales -Mills at Atlantic Packaging will form the Executive Com- mittee of the CCCA. It was determined that Serge Des- gagnes, Vice-President of Sales at Kruger Packaging will be the representative for the CCCA at the WCO and the International Corrugated Case Association (ICCA).

generation technology agenda, focused on transformation of its data and digital technology capability to deliver efficiency improvements and enhance the customer experience. She joins DS Smith from British Petroleum (BP), where she was the CIO for its ‘Downstream’ division since 2016, supporting seven

Claire Dickson

business units and executing a strategy to drive business value through IT excellence. Prior to joining BP in 2009, Claire held roles at United Biscuits and Accenture. “It is an exciting time to be joining DS Smith to support its ambitious growth agenda,” said Dickson. DS Smith’s sustainability credentials and Purpose of ‘Redefining Pack- aging for a Changing World’ presents the opportunity to tap into key digital trends to enable innovation and effi- ciency as well as improving our customer experience.” Reporting to Adrian Marsh, Group Chief Financial Of- ficer, Dickson will replace interim CIO Robert Anderson,

Our Story is Much Bigger Than The Symbol.

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


May 24, 2021

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AICC Canada Announces Conestoga College Student Design Winners

For the past three years, AICC Canada has partnered with Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ontario, and the college’s Packaging Engineering Technician Program. AICC’s mission is to support their members by giving them access to talented young professionals and support the students by introducing them to the corrugated converting industry and providing them access to potential job decision-makers.

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This past winter AICC Canada held its annual Design Competition for Conestoga College. The students were introduced to the Design Chal- lenge in early February with the criteria to create a unique unboxing expe- rience for a consumer. These products would be purchased and shipped through online distribution channels such as Amazon. The students had many factors to consider when they were creating their designs, such as sustainability, an environmentally friendly design and the possibility for a flow-through packaging concept that could have a secondary purpose. The design had to focus on brand representation, all while creating the Ultimate Unboxing Experience. This year’s challenge was even more remarkable for the students at Conestoga College as they were in a remote learning environment. Ev- eryone in the competition had minimal access to school resources. They resorted to designing and cutting samples on their own time, which meant weekends and late evenings. Every weekend, a student was provided two hours of model cutting time on Saturdays and Sundays throughout Feb- ruary, March, and April. The students spent many hours perfecting these designs to create their final submissions. In addition to our top three winners, there were three honorable men- tions, each of which were beautifully designed. Junggon Lee created a gift pack for Customs Canada that could be handed out at Canadian airports, border crossings or ports of entry to new visitors coming to Canada. The theme of this unique design encapsulated Canada with its national emblem, a beaver. The tail of the beaver came out of the top of the box when you pulled on the beaver’s nose and slid the bottom tray out. Junggon put a lot of thought and effort into this creation to get the tail to come out automatically. When Junggon was asked about Junggon Lee created a gift pack for Customs Canada that could be handed out at Canadian airports, border crossings or ports of entry to new visitors coming to Canada.




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turn smoothly while not encountering the outer wrap. De- signing with cutback corners on an angle eliminated the possibility of obstruction while the spice rack rotated. This was a great innovation that took Dakota hours to perfect. Dylan Turnbull created a Russian Nesting Dolls theme for his design. Also known as The Matryoshka Doll, which represents a peasant’s life in Russia, Dylan found a high- end Russian Vodka that he placed inside the nesting dolls. This design was complex to create as Dylan had to ensure

his design he stated, “I wish I were provided with this kind of gift when I came to Canada, so I could understand more about the great country that I was entering.” Dakota Hart made a design that had two parts to cre- ate an eight-pack spice rack. The internal structure held

that he scaled each design down to nest inside the other. The last doll contained a small bottle of Vodka that was a promotional gift to entice the consumer to purchase the bigger product. The secondary use that Dylan found for his design was to turn the dolls into piggy banks. Dylan Turnbull placed a high-end vodka in his nesting dolls.

eight small bottles of spices. At the same time, the exteri- or design had a pop-out viewing window that allowed the consumer to select a spice while the rack turned inside. This design had many iterations to get the inner shelf to Dakota Hart made a design that had two parts to create an eight-pack spice rack.



May 24, 2021

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Receiving the award for 3rd place was Tammy Park’s Nike Shoe Design, shown at left. Tammy created a rev- olutionary design because she was able to nest one of the Nike court shoes into the lid of her carton. By placing one shoe in the top of this design, Tammy took two inches out of the depth of this style of box. In keeping with her sustainable design, she also created a backboard, net and two small basketballs out of her scrap. Tammy designed a locking feature in the side of her carton that allowed the consumer to take shots using the small, corrugated bas- ketballs. When the box opened, the shoes would be on display as the consumer shot hoops. This design showed Tammy’s creativity and her passion for sustainable inno- vations. In 2nd place, we had Sunkyong Kim’s Tea Gift Set. Sun- kyong created a Tea Gift Set with a unique ‘spin’ to it. This octagonal design had a tea caddy that offered a variety of tea flavours. To help the consumer decide which tea

to enjoy, Sunkyong created Tea Time: a small clock. When you spin the hands around, it


helps determine which tea to pick. This de- sign took Sunkyong hours to perfect, from the octagonal shape down to the tea caddy itself. Her attention to detail was unrivaled right down to the authentic shape of the tea leaves that separated each of the flavours. This design held two small tea cups, a cop- per tea kettle and 24 packs of Twinings Tea. The 1st place Design was by Joanne Hong. The Covid-19 Relaxation & Meditation Diffus- er Gift Pack. Joanne created a gift pack that would help take the consumer away from all the struggles with Covid in their lives. The unique locking feature on the top took Joanne several hours and design itera- tions to perfect. Her design had no corners, creating a Zen feeling of relaxation. When unlocked, Joanne’s design automatically opened up like a flower to display the dif- fuser and scented oils. She made a fantas- tic design, in addition to a website with a QR code to allow access to it. This code took the

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consumer to a video with relaxing sounds of a waterfall and a fresh mountain spring trickling in the background. In the scrap areas of this design, a ring held four small essential oil bottles and doubled as a lifter to remove the

printing better together

diffuser from the carton. It also transformed it into a table that allowed the diffuser to be set on top to enhance view- ing pleasure. Joanne also used her scrap areas to create easel-style holders for a cellphone and a small book. Joanne Hong won the 1st place Design Award with her Covid-19 Relaxation & Meditation Diffuser Gift Pack.


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PMMI Infographic, White Paper Shows 4.0 Connectivity In Packaging Advancements in automation, both machine and software, are moving manufacturing toward a smarter factory. With this expansion comes such challenges as determining return on investment, finding skilled labor and internal resources to assess automation needs, according to the Automation Timeline: The Drive Toward 4.0 Connectivity in Packaging and Processing infographic and white paper from PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. Many consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies rely on original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and technol- ogy provider partners for troubleshooting, maintenance training, design and modification, installation and start- up, staff training and overall expertise. As this automation

timeline advances, PACK EXPO Las Vegas and Healthcare Packaging EXPO 2021 (September 27-29, Las Vegas Con- vention Center), arrives at a critical time when CPGs and OEMs need to foster strong partnerships in order to over- come automation challenges, implement low maintenance design and improve the reliability of packaging and pro- cessing machines. Current automation levels in the packaging and pro- cessing industries are at 64 percent for automated equip- ment and 21 percent for semi-automated. The white pa- per findings show that although COVID-19 has impacted automation plans, manufacturers recognize that that they can improve operations and the broader enterprise by ex- panding automation strategies and components. Some of the tools in place driving the future of auto- mation include the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and integration as more machines have data acquisition ca- pabilities and the expansion of robotics in areas such as

secondary packaging and palletizing. Addi- tional drivers include incorporating artificial intelligence and predictive analysis used for maintenance. As manufacturers continue to adopt great- er levels of technology and connectivity, a ro- bust cybersecurity strategy is essential. Trends such as remote access and IIoT connectivity make manufacturing more efficient, but they also create new points of vulnerability that bad actors can exploit, as highlighted in PMMI’s 2021 Cybersecurity: Access Your Risk white paper. Given the rise in remote working, these compounding vulnerabilities can leave the manufacturing industry at greater risk of dev- astating cyberattacks. Solutions to improve cybersecurity, combat cyberattacks, navigate the automation timeline and safely add connectivity to operations will be on display at PACK EXPO Las Vegas and Healthcare Packaging EXPO 2021, the most comprehensive packaging and processing event in the world this year. It is the one and only place the industry will come together to see today’s changing technology. Free education on the show floor provides opportunities for attendees not only to see technology in action and talk with suppliers but also to learn about best practices and in- dustry breakthroughs. As one of the most comprehensive pack- aging and processing shows in 2021, PACK EXPO Las Vegas and Healthcare Packaging EXPO is the only place the industry is conven- ing, showcasing the most solutions under one roof. To learn more about the advanced pack- aging solutions that will be on display as well as the educational, networking opportunities and to register, visit .


May 24, 2021

PMMI Infographic, White Paper Shows 4.0 Connectivity In Packaging The economic recovery in the U.S. will continue for the rest of 2021, say the nation’s purchasing and supply ex- ecutives in the ISM Spring 2021 Semiannual Economic Forecast. Expectations for the remainder for 2021 have strengthened somewhat, compared to December 2020, as there is hope that the corner has been turned on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; both manufacturing and services sectors are signaling expansion. Revenue for 2021 is expected to increase, on average, by 7.2 percent. This is 0.3 percentage point higher than the December 2020 forecast of 6.9 percent, and 8.5 percent- age points higher than the 1.3-percent decrease reported for 2020 over 2019. Fifty-nine percent of respondents say that revenues for 2021 will increase, on average, 13.8 per- cent over 2020. Only eight percent say revenues will de- crease, on average, 13 percent, and 33 percent indicate no change. With operating rate at 88.3 percent, an expected capital-expenditures increase of 8.7 percent, an expected increase of 8.1 percent in prices paid for raw materials, and an expected employment increase by 2.8 percent by the end of 2021, manufacturing continues its comeback. With all 18 manufacturing-sector industries predicting revenue growth in 2021, panelists forecast that recovery will continue the rest of the year.


May 24, 2021

Update: Digital Printing (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1 )

digital printing update. They have conducted extensive studies in other packaging markets, such as labels and corrugated, and drew some correlations to paperboard. A Slow Start Folding carton converters have been slow to adopt dig- ital printing in their businesses. There are only about 19 presses running production digital cartons today in North

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America. That number is expected to increase this year with new installations planned by HP Indigo, Landa, Ko- mori and Koenig & Bauer. A short run market study prepared by Karstedt Partners in 2016 revealed that 92 percent of PPC members were CONTINUED ON PAGE 26 Koenig & Bauer’s 40-inch VariJET 106 will be installed at a Eu- ropean carton plant in 2021 with North American installations expected in 2022.

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Do you need printed sheets? We have your answer.. Introducing Heartland’s ColorCorr. This is “flexo-printing in the round”. On our corrugator we can print up to 109” wide. The advantage is that we can print the equivalent of ½ roll at a time and not be required to keep several rolls of very expensive preprinted paper on the floor. Much less waste and risk. In continual print mode, we use either laser-engraved rubber rolls or solid rubber rolls to print a “flood coat” or a repeating pattern. If we are printing a repeating pattern, we can run a two-color design on the paper. Customers have found that running sheets we print can allow them to run a lighter-grade due to reduced caliper loss, and in some cases eliminate one or more machine passes.

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May 24, 2021

Update: Digital Printing (CONT’D FROM PAGE 24)

Corrugated converters that have installed digital press- es have seen significant growth in their volume of digital print. “What has changed is not the number of new cus- tomers, it’s the number of orders,” Wettersten said. “The converters say approximately 40 percent of digital runs are now one-half truck to full truck quantities. Industry out- put is now driven by higher volume runs.”

looking at digital print solutions. “Some of you have in- stalled digital presses but the majority have not,” Karstedt said “What happened? Why has it not gone as quickly?” Wettersten surmised that the value proposition of digi- tal printing was not corresponding to a carton converter’s

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business needs. They were looking for cost reduction as it related to the number of sheets printed. However, based on research in other markets, such as corrugated and la- bels, he said the value becomes evident when looking at the total workflow cost.

The Justification Karstedt said converters are always asking about the crossover point — a defined parameter for shifting jobs from digital to analog. Research in the other markets has CONTINUED ON PAGE 28


May 24, 2021

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Update: Digital Printing (CONT’D FROM PAGE 26)



provided some insight. “The crossover point was only a justification to get in at the entry level. Sometime there- after they realized that the crossover point was an arbi- trary number. The real money was made not by following the crossover and shifting jobs when it reached a certain point but finding business improvement and ways to make

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things better. My recommendation is to use your crossover information as one point in your decision making process but don’t lean on it too heavily because if your operation follows what happened to the others it won’t be long be- fore you start seeing it.” “The first point of order is to change the conversation around looking at cost crossovers and using standard costs to define the areas of participation in digital print,” Wettersten said. “What we’re really after is how do we get a 5 basis point improvement in productivity or efficiency system wide or enterprise wide. That’s where the true pay- off becomes.”



He pointed out that while digital is disruptive, it provides a path to market growth. “There are areas we’ve seen in labels and corrugated where companies are differentiat- ing in the marketplace to a degree where it’s difficult to compete against. The industry direction is toward higher levels of automation, speed, flexibility and convenience. That’s where we see digital participating, not for the sake of digital but to achieve that 5 basis point improvement in productivity to free up the core assets. It’s not going to cannibalize. It’s going to become complementary.

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May 24, 2021

Update: Digital Printing (CONT’D FROM PAGE 28)

“That’s what we see happening in corrugated packag- ing,” he continued. “For the converters who are truly driv- ing business, there are a couple of different models. One is to focus on the front end around customer acquisition, through web-based or e-commerce business and smaller orders but a higher frequency of orders.” Another strategy he sees with larger converters is they are using a digital press to free up conventional assets. “Both work to differ- ent degrees, but converters are succeeding around that. The converters caught in the middle who really looked at it or who have yet to branch out from the cost reduction are struggling.” Technology Update Karstedt is excited about the new digital printing and finishing solutions for paperboard substrates and expects these new developments to expand the number of instal- lations. Three new machines are either in beta testing or are getting ready to go into beta testing. One is Koenig & Bauer’s 40-inch VariJET 106, which was developed in conjunction with Durst. A significant feature is its Fuji Di- matrix Samba print heads. The press will be installed at a European carton plant in 2021 with North American installations expected in 2022. The other two machines include Komori’s 40-inch Impremia NS40 sheetfed press, which is a joint venture with Landa using Nano digital ink,

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Update: Digital Printing (CONT’D FROM PAGE 30)

Another company of note is Highcon, a digital post- press supplier that recently partnered with EFI. Highcon has a valuation of $165 million. Karstedt said new installa- tions are coming in North America in 2021, mostly in cor- rugated. Bobst recently purchased the remainder of Mouvent. “This is telling me that Bobst wants to increase their ef- forts in the digital market,” Karstedt said. “Mouvent is a very good developer of digital technologies. Also, Bobst just joined forces with SEI Laser, which is distributed by Matik in North America. They have a 40-inch digital laser cutter for diecutting that has a very unique way of creating male and female die components. Keep an eye on what Bobst is doing.” The AlphaJET from MGI Digital Technology is another interesting new development, according to Karstedt. The 40-inch press is a factory 4.0 solution that offers four-col- or inkjet printing, digital application of spot and tactile UV, digitally applied flat and raised hot foil and digital holo- gram printing. “I suggest you go on YouTube and search for MGI AlphaJET. It’s a hybrid that has printing and embel- lishing all in one pass,” he said. Additional digital solutions that are being used to pro- duce folding carton mainly by commercial printers or in- plants include: Xeikon 3500, Fujifilm J Press 750S, Konica Minolta KM1, HP Indigo 10000 and 12000, Komori IS29 and Xerox IGen. Companies that offer cut sheet digital

and the SpeedSet 1060, a 40-inch single pass printer be- ing developed by Inca Digital for the Screen Group. Inca is getting ready to move SpeedSet from prototype to al- pha build ahead of beta. It will employ similar print engine technology to that developed for BHS Corrugated and will be sold by Screen. Karstedt said the Inca machine is “an extremely interesting press.” The pre and post coating will

HP Indigo’s new 35K next generation press.

be done with inkjet technology. The machine is rated at 11,000 sheets an hour. HP Indigo has introduced its 35K next generation press, built on the 30000 platform. Enhancements have been made to the feeder, transport systems and stacker, and options are now standard. In addition, software im- provements were introduced for color management and defect detection and elimination.


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May 24, 2021

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