Board Converting News, May 4, 2020

BoardConverting Serving the North American Corrugated and Folding Carton Industries for 36 years May 4, 2020 VOL. 36, NO. 18

U.S. Display Group Embraces Digital Future With New Press BY JACKIE SCHULTZ Greg Moore, President of U.S. Display Group, is a corrugated industry veteran who has seen many changes over the years. He says one in particular is generating a new level of enthusiasm and that is the intro- duction of digital printing. “In my 30 plus years in this industry, I think single pass high speed digital printing is probably the biggest change that I’ve seen.”

Global Economic Growth Grinds To A Virtual Halt According to the most recent data released and analyzed by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), economic growth has ground to an abrupt and unprecedented halt, both in the United States and globally. Chad Moutray, Ph.D., CBE, and Chief Economist at NAM, cited several major indicators that point to the severity of market conditions. The IHS Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI declined in April at the fastest rate since March 2009 as the sector struggles with the COVID-19 outbreak and significant demand and production disruptions. At the same time, with many consumer-facing businesses closed and more Americans staying closer to home, the IHS Markit Flash U.S. Services Busi- ness Activity Index declined from 39.8 to 27.0, a record low. Similarly, Eurozone manufacturing activity also fell at the fastest rate since early 2009, with the IHS Flash Eurozone Services PMI Activity Index plummeting from 26.4 to 11.7, a new jaw-dropping record low. In the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank’s district, manufacturers reported the stron- gest decline in activity in the survey’s history,

Greg Moore, President of U.S. Display Group

Moore became familiar with the technology while searching for a new flexo press for U.S. Display Group’s Tullahoma, Tennessee, facili- ty. The sheet plant serves a wide variety of markets for products sold at nationwide retail chains, such as Home Depot, Target and Walmart. “Our business is primarily jobs that are a combination of litho and flexo. We felt like we needed a new multi-color five- or six-color flexo press. That was my plan,” he says. During his research he discovered the availability of high speed dig- ital printing technology for corrugated. The flexo press was put on hold and he and Dennis Mehiel, Chairman of U.S. Corrugated, took a trip to Bennett Packaging in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, to see the Barberán Jetmaster digital press in operation. Mehiel purchased two on-site with an option for a third. One is installed at U.S. Corrugated’s Cerritos, Cali- fornia, sheet plant and the other is at Moore’s plant in Tullahoma. The six-color Barberán 1750 was installed at the end of 2018 and is running two shifts with a third shift planned. Moore says he was “pleas-


WHAT’S INSIDE 8 PPC Opens 2020 Paperboard Packaging Competition 10 A Necessary Product That’s Naturally Sustainable 14 EEOC Gives Employers Okay To Test Workers For COVID-19 36 COVID-19 Is Affecting M&A In Printing & Packaging Industries



May 4, 2020

Global Growth Grinds (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1 )

which dates to 1994, mirroring dismal releases from the New York and Philadelphia Federal Reserve Banks in the prior week. Existing and new home sales fell 8.5 percent and 15.4 percent in March, respectively. Indeed, the housing mar- ket—a bright spot in the economy just two months ago— has slowed materially due to the COVID-19 outbreak, just like other segments of the economy. The Index of Consumer Sentiment plummeted to the lowest level since December 2011, falling from 89.1 in March to 71.8 in April, according to the University of Michi- gan and Thomson Reuters. New durable goods orders also reflected weakness- es due to COVID-19, but the declines were not as deep as feared, particularly with transportation (and defense) goods excluded. And finally, there were 4,427,000 initial unemployment claims for the week ending April 18, with 26.45 million Americans filing for unemployment insurance in the past five weeks as the economic toll of the COVID-19 crisis takes hold. Meanwhile, there were 15,976,000 continuing unemployment claims for the week ending April 11 in this report, a new all-time high. The latest figure suggests that 11 percent of the workforce received unemployment insur- ance that week, a rate that will continue to increase sub- stantially given the initial claims data.


May 4, 2020


May 4, 2020

Baysek Machines Sells C170 Die Cutter To Irish Converter

Nelsonville, Wisconsin based Baysek Machines Inc. re- ported that the company has sold a machine to a con- verter in Ireland. Baysek’s flagship C170 automatic die cutter arrived in late April and will be installed in May. “It’s an exciting time for Baysek, there are dozens of machines across Europe already with many in the UK, so expanding our footprint in to Ireland reaffirms our belief that we offer a most versatile die cutter,” said Robert Jess, UK and Europe Sales Manager for Baysek. “The new in- stallation in May will be more easily accessible to Irish companies wanting see our machines in production.” The C170 automatic die cutter has a maximum sheet size of 1400 x 1700mm with a maximum speed of 1800 sheets per hour. Visit . AF&PA: Containerboard Production Increased 10 Percent In March U.S. containerboard production in March 2020 increased 10 percent compared to March 2019. It was up eight per- cent when compared to the same three months of 2019, the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) report- CONTINUED ON PAGE 8


May 4, 2020

AF&PA: Containerboard (CONT’D FROM PAGE 6)

ed. March 2020 production of containerboard for export increased 39 percent compared to the same month last year; it was up 44 percent year-to-date. The container- board operating rate was 93.3 percent, up 7.3 points from March 2019 and up 4.5 points year-to-date. Mill inven- tories of containerboard at the end of March decreased 8,000 short tons from the previous month, and were down 2,000 short tons compared to March 2019. PPC Opens 2020 NA Paperboard Packaging Competition The Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC) has announced the opening of the 2020 North American Paperboard Packaging Competition. Administered and hosted by PPC and judged by a jury of packaging professionals, industry experts, and professors, the North American Pa- perboard Packaging Competition is the premier competi- tion for carton manufacturers involved in the concept, de- sign, print, performance, and shelf appeal of paperboard packaging. Entries are rated on how well they meet the criteria outlined on the entry form below. The more complete the write-up for each entry, the better the judges will under-



May 4, 2020

A Necessary Product That’s Naturally Sustainable

and Figures, page 73.) Our recovery rate has been over 75 percent since 1998 and hovered near or over 90 percent for the past eight years (2011-2018). Made from a sustainably managed renewable resource, reusable and recyclable corrugated packaging comes full circle every day. From efficient use of managed forest

Fibre Box Association (FBA) recently released its March box shipment statistics. They show a nine percent in-

crease in shipments and a 5.7 per- cent increase in total containerboard production compared to March 2019. In these uncertain times, the corru- gated packaging industry was des- ignated as “essential and critical” in both Canada and the USA. Corrugat- ed products help deliver essential

lands to sustainable practices during board and box manu- facture to high recovery rates that put fiber back into our system, corrugated packaging is truly circular by nature. Earth Day is a great re- minder to reflect on society’s impact on the Earth and think

Mary Drain

goods like food, pharmaceuticals and emergency supplies that people depend on. The industry can be proud of our product’s ability to get the job done. But we can also be proud that they do it sustainably – good for our economy and good for the Earth. This week marked the 50th Anniversary of the first Earth Day celebration. Yes, it is a reason to celebrate, but to us it’s just business as usual. Earth Day is every day in the corrugated packaging industry. Our industry’s long-standing commitment to recovery efforts and sustainability has positioned us as THE recy- cling success story. Our recycling track record is miles ahead of any other packaging material. (See USEPA’s lat- est, Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: Facts

of ways that we can improve the environment for future generations. I have some thoughts … continue to choose boxes to transport your products and recycle the corrugat- ed cardboard boxes that arrive on your doorstep. You can be proud that you are doing your part to help the Earth too. FBA has been sharing content on social media this month with the theme, Earth Day Every Day! Be sure to follow FBA on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram to learn more about Earth Day and the corrugated industry. Mary Alice Drain is the Director of Technical Services at Fi- bre Box Association (FBA). If you have technical questions about the industry, e-mail her at


May 4, 2020

Peachtree Packaging Manufactures In-Store Dividers For Retailers Lawrenceville, Georgia based Peachtree Packaging & Dis- play is manufacturing in-store dividers for retailers that pro- mote social distancing to create a safer environment for customers in response to the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

way to create a safe environment for people to shop,” said Chad Wagner, President and CEO of Peachtree Packaging & Display. “Corrugated in-store dividers are a way to pro- mote social distancing and help control the flow of traffic to keep people as safe as possible.” Corrugated in-store dividers are eye-level height and include custom shaped extensions to compliment current store fixtures. The displays are sturdy, easy to assemble and light enough to move to different locations based on the needs of businesses. Grocery stores can use the dividers to section high traf- fic open stock areas, such as those for produce, meat or dairy. They can also be used to enforce distancing guide- lines in long lines or as markers in aisles to promote safe shopping practices. Along with being a physical reminder, the dividers can display key brand messages, plus tips for safe shopping. Clear messaging can help reduce ambiguity and hopefully alleviate the stress that shoppers may face when visiting high traffic stores. Moreover, the signs further protect em- ployees and lessen their burden for enforcing social dis- tance rules. “Since social distancing is the new normal for the fore- seeable future, businesses need ways to adapt so they can continue to operate. These dividers will help them promote distancing guidelines and hopefully create saf- er shopping conditions for everyone,” said Pete Galbiati, Director of Marketing for Peachtree Packaging & Display.

The corrugated dividers provide visual and physical cues to encourage customers to stay at least six feet apart. “Everyone is trying to do their part in fighting COVID-19. One way we can help is to support retailers that need a


May 4, 2020

EEOC Gives Employers Okay To Test Workers For COVID-19

According to a report by Law360, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportu- nity Commission said that employers will be allowed to test employees for COVID-19 before they enter a work site without running afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act, but some employment law experts not- ed that the agency’s new guidance doesn’t shed any light on the legality of businesses using antibody tests.

In its latest add-on to technical assistance guidance for employers dealing with the novel coronavirus pandemic, the EEOC fleshed out its position on testing and medical exams. In one new entry, the EEOC noted that any medical test that busi- nesses require workers to take must be “job related and consistent with business necessity” under the ADA, a framework that allows businesses to legally screen workers for COVID-19 since those who are carriers will “pose a direct threat to the health of others.” “Therefore, an employer may choose to administer COVID-19 testing to employees before they enter the workplace to determine if they have the virus,” the EEOC said. But the agency warned in its guidance that employers have to “en- sure” that any tests are “accurate and reliable,” suggesting that busi- nesses review guidance from public health agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration about what constitutes safe and accurate test- ing and keep in mind that certain types of tests could yield false posi- tives or false negatives. “Finally, note that accurate testing only reveals if the virus is currently present; a negative test does not mean the employee will not acquire the virus later,” the EEOC said in Thursday’s guidance. “Based on guid- ance from medical and public health authorities, employers should still require — to the greatest extent possible — that employees observe infection control practices (such as social distancing, regular handwash- ing, and other measures) in the workplace to prevent transmission of COVID-19.” Former EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum and her former Chief of Staff at the commission, Sharon Perley Masling — both of whom are now partners at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP — said the guidance is “very CONTINUED ON PAGE 16


May 4, 2020

EEOC Gives Employers (CONT’D FROM PAGE 14)

have COVID-19 symptoms, but said that is the sort of med- ical data that must be kept confidential under the ADA. Michael Oliver Eckard, Managing Shareholder of Ogle- tree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC, noted that one of the elements in the White House’s recently released three-phase plan for reopening America’s economy called for employers to develop policies for conducting tempera- ture checks. The plan also put the onus on employers to monitor workers for COVID-19 symptoms. “So, I think the expectation is that more and more states and local jurisdictions will potentially be adding varying levels of employee screening recommendations or requirements in some cases that will include tempera- ture screening,” Eckard said. While the updated guidance by the EEOC “seems to focus on COVID-19 tests” aimed at finding out whether a person actively has the virus, Eckard pointed out that it “doesn’t appear to address one way or the other” the use of so-called antibody tests that can detect whether a per- son has had the virus and built up antibodies to it. “I think that’s still an open issue — the utility and per- missibility of employers using antibody tests,” he said. Feldblum and Masling echoed that sentiment, saying the issue may be one of the next topics the EEOC tackles. “The EEOC does still need to address the legality of us- ing serology (antibody) tests,” they told Law360. “That will be very helpful to employers as they [are] thinking about reopening the workplace.”

helpful” for businesses as they try to navigate workplace safety issues tied to the virus alongside their obligations under the ADA. “It is very helpful that the EEOC has now issued clear guidance that employers may require COVID-19 tests be- fore allowing employees back into the workplace,” Feld- blum and Masling said. “This is consistent with the advice we have been giving, since such tests can indicate wheth- er an individual may pose a direct threat to others. The EEOC acknowledges that the test results are not perfect, as there may be some false negatives and false positives, but on balance, that does not negate the utility of the tests for purposes of the ADA.” In recent weeks, the EEOC has updated its Q&A guid- ance numerous times, including adding a “Return to Work” section that covers topics such as the way businesses should handle requests by workers for accommodations and how to prevent potential harassment and discrimina- tion when workplaces reopen. Meanwhile, the issue of how far employers can go in screening workers for health risks in order to meet busi- nesses’ legal responsibility of providing them with a safe workplace is one that has received a lot of attention as employers have tried to cope with the spreading virus. In earlier guidance, the EEOC noted that employers can take employees’ temperature to assess whether they


May 4, 2020

Royal Bay To Assemble, Package Face Shields

Pico Rivera, California based Bay Cities, one of North America’s most innovative packaging and design com- panies, last week announced that Royal Bay, the joint venture between Bay Cities and The Royal Group, will be assembling and packaging a total of two million face shields over the next four weeks. The shields will be packaged in cases manufactured by The Royal Group. Once completed, they will be distrib- uted to medical suppliers and dis- tributors, who will send these out to medical facilities and hospitals in most need. At capacity, Royal Bay will be assembling and packaging 500,000 units per week. “We are happy to be able to offer our services and solutions for a much-needed medical device,” said Nan- neke Dinklo, Sr. Director, Marketing & Branding of Bay Cities. “Our essential workers need new protective equip- ment each day and supplying two million face shields is contributing to that effort.”


May 4, 2020

AICC Releases 3rd Edition Of Brochure On Linerboard, Medium AICC, The Independent Packaging Association, has re- leased the third edition of Understanding the Key Char- acteristics of Linerboard and Medium and their Impact on Combined Corrugated Board. The 12-page brochure of- fers descriptions of key performance attributes and how they impact box performance. The materials are compre- hensive and will benefit those in sales, production, de- sign, purchasing, customer service, and quality control. “AICC members are seeking quantitative ways to com- pare containerboard quality from various suppliers,” said AICC President Michael D’Angelo. This could become even more important as supply chains evolve as a result of the current crisis.” Informed members can ask suppliers to provide addi- tional information about performance attributes not gen- erally included on a standard roll stock label. The tem- plates included with the publication contain descriptions of performance tests, as well as industry-standard ranges of acceptable measurements. “We believe this will be an important tool for AICC members as they work with their suppliers and custom- ers to provide better-engineered corrugated packaging,” said author, Ralph Young, Principal of Alternative Paper Solutions and AICC Corrugated Technical Advisor. “When

the industry began using ECT grades nearly 30 years ago, the responsibility for performance moved away from the mill and downstream toward the combining and con- verting operation. This publication will help sheet plants better understand the combined board they are receiv- ing from their sheet supply network.” Electronic copies are available in English and Span- ish for $35 for AICC members and $50 for nonmembers. For more information or to place an order, visit www.AIC- or contact Maria Frustaci at (703) 836- 2422 or Litho Press Promises ‘First Job For Free’ “We’re helping our corrugated and display clients breathe easier every day by being the fastest litho label, topsheet, digital printer in North America,” said Bernie Lacy, Presi- dent of Indianapolis, Indiana based Litho Press Inc. “Let us prove it to you. We’ll do your first job for free, just to show you how easy your life will become.” Since 1953, four generations at Litho Press have saved customers time and energy on their print spend with innovative solutions and superior service: jobs are delivered in just hours, not days or weeks. Visit , e-mail or call or text Bernie Lacy at (317) 506-6468.


May 4, 2020

Chicago TAPPI To Award $4,000 Scholarship

Chicago TAPPI announced that it has developed a schol- arship program in which it will award a $4,000 scholarship to one deserving college student whose parent, grand- parent or legal guardian is a member of Chicago TAPPI in good standing.

The objective is to financially assist young men and women with their college education and encourage stu- dents to strive for higher scholastic ideals. To be eligible, the scholarship candidate: • Must be a high school senior who is provisionally ac- cepted as full-time student into undergraduate degree programs by an accredited junior college or full four- year college or university. • Must be a full-time student enrolled in undergraduate or graduate studies at an accredited junior college, col- lege or university. • Must have a parent, grandparent or legal guardian who is a member of Chicago TAPPI in good standing. • Must NOT have won a Chicago TAPPI Scholarship in the past. Entry Requirements: The following is required of each applicant: • An official completed application form. • A minimum of three letters of recommendation. One letter must be from the student’s school guidance counselor and one must be from a non-related adult. • An official transcript of the student’s high school/col- lege record. • Official ACT or SAT test results (High School Seniors). Awards: The scholarship consists of a one-time $4,000 award, which must be used to pay for the student’s college ex- penses. The scholarship will be forfeited and must be re- paid to Chicago TAPPI if the award is not directly used to pay college expenses. Application forms: are available through Chicago TAP- PI via mail or at . All applica- tions and additional information must be received on or before Monday, June 29, 2020. Applications and relat- ed material cannot be returned. All applications should be mailed to: Chicago TAPPI Scholarship, Keith Carman, Scholarship Chairman, 710 Kimberly Drive, Carol Stream, Illinois, 60188, or e-mailed to


May 4, 2020

U.S. Display Group (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1 )


antly surprised” at how quickly the plant was able to fill up the machine. “As part of my justification for the machine I estimated that I would be able to transition 75 percent of the litho jobs to our digital printer and that number has exceeded 90 percent.” Evenmore surprising to himwas the amount of multi-col- or flexo jobs that were moved over. “I didn’t think about any flexo printing transitioning over to digital. It never en- tered my mind primarily because of the cost of the inks,” he says. “But that has actually happened and the reason is the makeready times to set a job up on the digital press and get it running versus hanging four, five, six plates on a flexo press and getting those in register. Sometimes we can be finished with the job on the digital press before we would have gotten the flexo press up and running.”


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In most instances Moore says the combination of makeready speed, run speed and low waste has made digital as competitive as flexo. In addition, moving jobs from flexo to digital has resulted in significant savings for customers, especially for larger orders, and they were able to upgrade their artwork. The Jetmaster’s rated speed is 16,000-feet per hour. It uses UV curing inks, has injection heads and prints in CMYK and light cyan/light magenta or orange/violet, which broadens the color spectrum to cover 90 percent of Pan- tone colors. One of the reasons why U.S. Display Group chose the Barberán press was because of the flexibility to buy inks from several different suppliers. The company uses Toyo Inks and Fuji Primers. So far, the primary substrates through the machine have been mottled white and white top liners as well as kraft, Foam core and Coroplast. Nearly all of the printed jobs are converted on one of the company’s five diecutting lines. Moore says he is eval- uating the digital cutting technology that is currently avail- able. The Jetmaster prints in CMYK and light cyan/light magenta or orange/violet, which broadens the color spectrum to cover 90 percent of Pantone colors.


Amtech offers the industry’s most innovative and compre- hensive corrugated and packaging ERP, integrated sched- uling software, and engineered automation technology. For over 30 years, Amtech has remained at the backbone of successful businesses from the independent box makers to the largest integrateds. We keep our customers competitive in an ever-changing economy with options such as custom- er digital storefronts and workflows, business intelligence, automated scheduling for corrugators, converting and ship- ping, proactive roll stock and inventory management, and so much more in an integrated, single vendor environment. APEX INTERNATIONAL World’s largest Anilox and Glue & Metering roll manufac- turer, providing the widest selection of corrugated engrav- ings and complementary services. Anilox engraving options available from our North American manufacturing facility include elongated 75°, 60°, 45°, plus Apex’s patented GTT technology. Glue rolls are produced with Hardened Stain- less Steel and a max TIR of 10 µ for Single, Double Facers.



May 4, 2020

U.S. Display Group (CONT’D FROM PAGE 24)


When deciding which jobs are best suited for the digital printer, Moore says he has no definitive answer. “I’m sure there’s a number where it doesn’t make sense from a cost standpoint, but in our business and the mix of business that we have, I haven’t found that number yet. Because of the size of the digital press and the makeready time it gives you so much more flexibility in how I lay jobs out.”

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hhs is a global leader in advanced gluing, camera verifica- tion and quality assurance systems for the packaging indus- try. Zero-defect quality and elevated production speeds are key parameters in the manufacturing of corrugated boxes; hhs systems ensure efficiency and precision across the board. With hhs Xcam Box Monitoring and non-contact flap gluing of corrugated board, hhs offers every option for au- tomated quality assurance in the production of corrugated boxes with flexo folder gluers. BLOWER APPLICATION COMPANY (BLOAPCO) BloApCo has served the corrugated industry since 1933 with a variety of scrap handling solutions, including Hori- zontal Floor Shredders, Trim Cutters, and Material Handling Fans and Conveying Systems. BloApCo Shredders allow for continuous shredding and pneumatic removal of sheet waste stacks of all sizes, roll slab, cores, carton scrap and much more.

The Jetmaster is 68-inches by 120-inches and the six-color stand-alone flexo press is 50-inches by 80-inches. “Our largest litho press is 80-81-inches, so we had some large displays that we had to run in several pieces. Now with the size of the digital press we’re able to reduce the number of pieces or components involved. So two or three litho labels may go together to make a pallet display. Now I can run all those together,” he says. Mastering Pre-press The Jetmaster is manufactured at Barberán’s head- quarters in Barcelona. Moore spent a week at the factory with his press operator, maintenance and pre-press man- agers for hands-on training before the press was installed. Prior to purchasing the Jetmaster, the Tullahoma plant’s experience with digital printing was limited to mock-ups and samples run on its Canon Océ multi-pass machine. Moore was confident that this experience would pro- vide some crossover knowledge that could be applied to file preparation for the new press. “I vastly underestimated that,” he says. “We have our own graphic designers who work with production art for all the things that we sent to the litho providers as well as the plate manufacturers on the flexo jobs and we had the Canon so I thought, ‘This will be a change but it won’t be a significant change.’ It does re- quire a lot of attention to detail and ability, knowledge.” He involved the graphics department as soon as the press was purchased. “We trained people on how to prep and RIP the files. Then I hired another digital pre-press person from a competitor and I also added a pre-press manager from a former litho supplier,” he says. “We re- The Jetmaster’s rated speed is 16,000-feet per hour.


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Corrugated Replacements, Inc. is a production powerhouse that manufactures high quality machine parts and replace- ment parts for the corrugated and paperboard converting industries. CRI can redesign, engineer, and manufacture any part while providing a rapid turn-around rate, keeping machines running at their peak performance and limiting down time.



May 4, 2020

U.S. Display Group (CONT’D FROM PAGE 26)


alized pretty early on it’s different and we were becom- ing our own pre-press department. That has been a very eye-opening experience. A lot of things that the litho sup- pliers did we took for granted. That has been the biggest area of improvement from day one to right now. I feel real- ly good about where we are today with that process.” Lessons Learned U.S. Display’s total digital investment was about $5.5 million. Moore offered a few words of advice to fellow board converters. “I have a long list of things and I keep a running list of things that we’ve learned. It’s a big com- mitment. You’re talking millions of dollars so you have to make sure that you’ve got the volume and you’ve got to be able to keep it fed. Evaluate the opportunity that you’re


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Dicar offers a complete line of urethane products for the corrugated industry including Tapiton® Die Cutting Covers, DuraBlue® Boltless Anvil Covers, the Equa-Mount® Equal- izer®, and a full range of Lead Edge Feeder Replacement Wheels and rollers.


The EMBA group supports a complete line of corrugated converting machinery for the worldwide market. EMBA’s Quick Set technology enables the highest productivity across a broad range of converting equipment, from mini to super jumbo. EMBA also includes the McKinley jumbo line of flexo folder gluers and rotary die cutters as well as ser- vice, rebuilds and upgrades for both EMBA and McKinley.

going to have in terms of the volume,” he says. “The sec- ond thing is my biggest underestimation was the front end part of it. You really need to think about that and make sure you’ve at least got the people in place who can do the things that you need to do on the front end. Fortunately for us, because we were already doing the litho, I think it was a much easier step for us than it would be for somebody going from brown box to digital. It’s a different animal. That step is a smaller step if you’re already doing high graphics litho or flexo.” He also emphasizes the importance of having the right people to operate the machine and handle pre-press and other aspects of digital printing. “You could have the best machine in the world but if you don’t have the people to run it you’re not going to gain the benefits that you should be getting. And that’s true on the machine and the pre- press department. “I’ve had so many people ask, ‘Knowing what you know today would you do it again?’ and the answer is ‘Absolute- ly.’ I would have done it sooner had I known.” Moore expects the technology to continue to evolve. “As an industry we’ve only scratched the surface. The ben- The Jetmaster’s stacker. The primary substrates through the machine have been mottled white and white top liners.


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May 4, 2020

U.S. Display Group (CONT’D FROM PAGE 28)


efits are definitely there and over time more people will adopt this technology,” he says. “I don’t think it’s ever go- ing to eliminate offset litho printing and certainly not flexo printing. There is a place in our industry for this technology


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American manufacturers of split heads, patented roll- er-bearing yokes, gang-slot upgrades, custom rebuilds, and glue systems with electronically-geared speed monitoring. Visit our website for information, tips and techniques.


and the market will drive that. I don’t think it’s going to eliminate anything. I think it’s going to change everything. Fortunately we had an owner in Dennis who saw the bene- fit and immediate impact it could have on our industry and I think he was absolutely right.” A digitally printed sample of packaging by U.S. Display Group on its Barberán Jetmaster.

Haire Group is the premier provider of new machinery for the corrugated industry. As the exclusive US & Canadian agent for one of the largest machinery manufacturers in the world, Haire Group is able to pair clients with the best machinery solutions for the best value to meet their spe- cific needs. As an operating partner of the US-based DFA Technical Support Center (a joint venture of Haire Group and Dong Fang), Haire Group delivers top-notch 24/7 pro- fessional, reliable service and support, maximizing quality and uptime. Additionally, Haire Group has been the indus- try’s #1 pre-owned machinery broker and plant equipment appraiser since 1976. HarperLove is the leading provider of specialty adhesives, performance additives, and wet-strength resins to corru- gated packaging manufacturers. With the largest and most experienced field service and technical support team posi- tioned throughout the U.S. and Latin America, HarperLove has a long-standing reputation for providing outstanding service and delivering demonstrable performance improve- ments. HarperLove’s renowned services include not only innovative product development and custom product for- mulation, but also machine and process assessments, ad- hesive formula adjustments, machine tuning, detailed ser- vice reporting, and more. HARPERLOVE


Kiwiplan - premier worldwide software provider of enter- prise-wide, fully automatic solutions specifically for the cor- rugating and packaging industries. Kiwiplan’s Total Solution delivers comprehensive, seamless real-time flow of infor- mation from sales order management to dynamic total plant scheduling and inventory control through shipping.


May 4, 2020

Kimberly-Clark Donates $500K For Infectious Disease Training


To address the needs of cleaning professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic, Roswell, Georgia based Kimber- ly-Clark Professional has announced a new scholarship program to help smaller cleaning organizations provide critical training on infectious disease prevention and control measures for their employees. The program is in collaboration with ISSA, the worldwide cleaning indus- try association, and the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA.

OHIO BLOW PIPE/ADVANCED AIRSYSTEMS For 85 years the Ohio Blow Pipe company and its whol- ly owned subsidiary, Advanced Airsystems, have provided the corrugated and folding carton industries with systems and products to process scrap. We engineer, fabricate, in- stall, service, provide system audits, and offer a wide range of scrap systems, dust collection systems and products to include cyclones, under roof AIR-SCREEN™ systems, pit belt systems, CLEANAIR dust collectors, Mist-Clone™ dust control systems for vacuum feeds, material handling fans, ductwork, switch valves, airveyors, balers, shredders and OM Partners makes paper makers and packaging compa- nies more profitable and more efficient by optimizing their operations. By utilizing mathematical solvers and advanced technology, corrugated producers remark that their corru- gators and converting equipment run faster with less waste and higher on time delivery achievement within weeks after implementation. The OMP System consists of a comprehen- sive and fully integrated set of modules for order promising, forecasting, capacity planning, stock management, corru- gator optimization, production scheduling, transport plan- ning and automatic data collection. dust briquetters. OM PARTNERS

“Cleaning professionals are working tirelessly behind the scenes to help other essential businesses run safe- ly,” said Susan Gambardella, President, Kimberly-Clark Professional North America. “They’re heroes on the front lines, putting their own health and safety at risk. So, while they’re looking out for others, we want to ensure some- one is looking out for them. This scholarship program is about providing access for these essential heroes – es- pecially those who may not have otherwise had the op- portunity to get this training – to gain the knowledge they need to work safely and confidently.” The GBAC Fundamentals Online Course is focused on prevention, response and control measures for bio- hazards in the workplace – with a special emphasis on infection and contamination control measures for infec- tious disease outbreak situations such as SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19. More information about the course can be found here. Through Kimberly-Clark Professional’s $500,000 do- nation, more than 10,000 cleaning professionals across the globe will be able to complete the GBAC Fundamen- tals online course at no cost. Smaller businesses, who may not have otherwise been able to fund this training for their employees, are given priority placement into the program. In addition, the program has a goal of 50 percent of scholarships going to females and will support a mentor- CONTINUED ON PAGE 34


We custom design, install and service air conveyed scrap and dust collection systems. Our unique APS® is smaller, lighter, and more reliable than current cyclones. Contact us to learn how the APS® System can enhance your operation.


Profero Systems the leader in double facer heating and traction section conversions along with other performance enhancing products. Featuring products from Contact Bars and Compensating Rolls to New Glue Machines and Double Facers.


GF PUHL designs, manufactures and installs air conveyed scrap & dust collection systems for the packaging and cor- rugated industries. With 36 years of experience, USA and International. Re-manufactured balers, filters, blowers and shredders available.


May 4, 2020

Kimberly-Clark (CONT’D FROM PAGE 32)


ship program in partnership with the ISSA Hygieia Net- work, the first women’s network for the global cleaning community dedicated to the advancement of women in the cleaning industry. As part of the scholarship program, recipients can sign up to be mentored by volunteers from Kimberly-Clark Professional. To apply for the scholarship or get more information, visit IP Helps Fight Hunger Amid School Closures In Southern California Memphis, Tennessee based International Paper (IP) is tak- ing action to address critical needs in the communities in which its employees live and work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The world’s leading producer of fiber-based packaging, pulp and paper has donated 61,000 corrugat- ed boxes to two Feeding America network member food- banks in Southern California – Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. The Los Angeles Unified School District, which is the largest public school system in California and the sec- ond largest public school district in the United States, provides food for many children who rely on free and low-cost lunches. The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank distributes backpacks of food to children and provide weekday after-school meals at youth program sites such as Boys & Girls Clubs. With school closures, these dis- tributions have been significantly disrupted. The 23,000 donated boxes will help the food bank continue to dis- tribute food to these students. The Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County is facing similar challenges. In anticipation of quarantined seniors throughout the county and the disruption to Kids Cafe meal sites where hundreds of children receive


GF PUHL designs, manufactures and installs air conveyed scrap & dust collection systems for the packaging and cor- rugated industries. With 36 years of experience, USA and International. Re-manufactured balers, filters, blowers and shredders available.


Sauer provides intelligent solutions for scoring, slitting, slit-scoring, and perforating on corrugators and floor slitters; and glue tab cutting, creasing, slotting, trimming and scrap chopping on presses. New, featured offerings include FRX Adjustable Folding Rail System and G3 Scoring System: the latest proven creasing technology on the market.


Interactive website for Stafford Corrugated Products and Stafford Cutting Dies. Featuring online ordering of replace- ment parts. Also, visitors can automatically calculate sheet size for most die-cut standards.


SUN Automation Group® is a global industry leader provid- ing corrugated box plants with innovative equipment for feeding, printing and converting. The wide range of prod- ucts are proven solutions for increasing production, effi- ciency, and profitability. With 24/7 on-site technical support, SUN Automation is known for its great service and care. THACKER INDUSTRIAL SERVICE COMPANY Specializing in corrugated machinery, TISCO offers quali- ty-made products, support services, and more. TISCO has established a reputation of dependability, not only in the product, but in continued service support. With more than 25 years of experience, TISCO installs equipment and ma- chinery, moves or sets up entire plants, rewires and rebuilds - all over the world. TISCO maintains a full fleet of trucks and equipment to perform to your requirements, anywhere, anytime. VT GROUP www.vtgrouponl VT offers prepress services for the POP display and corru- gated shipping container industry including graphic design, optimized digitally imaged printing plates and innovative pre-mounting solutions. Our large-format digital printing fa- cility (Digital Impact) is a leading short-run manufacturer of distinctive POP displays and signage where litho-like graph- ics are preferred.

their most reliable meals, this food bank is providing two-week supplemental shelf-stable supplies of food for these populations. “International Paper is committed to addressing critical needs in the com- munities where our employ- ees live and work,” said Dr. Alissa Campbell Shaw, se- nior manager Community Engagement, International Paper and Executive Direc-

tor, IP Foundation. “I applaud our employees in our Ana- heim and Santa Fe Springs, California, box plants who are working diligently to produce this essential resource for the food banks that are helping other during this try- ing time.”


May 4, 2020

Fibre Box Association (FBA) has unveiled a new look and feel for its promotion program. The program update rolls out a new industry tagline, “Boxes. The Most Extraordinary Ordinary Thing in the World.” Look for the new tagline materials in business-to-business trade media advertising, a brand video, a new website landing page, updates to the exisiting website and in messaging across FBA’s social media channels.

Learn more about what makes boxes extraordinary at

How COVID-19 Is Affecting M&A In The Printing & Packaging Industries BY JIM RUSSELL & TOM WILLIAMS Eight weeks ago, most of us had never heard the terms COVID-19 or Coronavirus, yet as we sit today this tragic

sign that buyers will still be there when sellers are ready to reengage. One result that is nearly a certainty to come from this situation is an uptick in tuck-ins. Companies that struggle to successfully navigate through the COVID-19 crisis will be looking toward a cashless merger or outright sale of their book of business to survive. Both new strategic buy- ers who have not done tuck-ins before and experienced buyers who have completed several tuck-ins since they became commonplace 8-9 years ago will be active in that market. From a seller’s perspective, when done right, even a company that is struggling financially can see a signifi- cant return on the sale of their equipment, their book of business and their working capital when they team up with the right buyer. When this pandemic begins to subside and a favor- able economic climate returns, we expect to see a return to strong M&A trends in our industries. The private equi- ty money that has been sitting on the sidelines through the COVID-19 crisis is not going elsewhere. These buy- ers, along with the strategic buyers within the industry, will allow M&A activity in the Printing & Packaging world to remain active and strong, especially for companies that remain profitable through this COVID-19 interruption. These firms will continue to trade at EBITDA multiples.

virus has impacted every aspect of our work and personal life and will likely continue to affect our activities for the foreseeable future. When we return to “normal” or what the new normal might be remains uncertain for nearly everyone. Many people have asked us what we have been somewhat quiet on the topic. Most company owners have been rightfully focused on car- ing for their employees, reorganizing their business to function in a world of social distancing, applying for PPP loans and other government pro- grams to assist them financially in

Jim Russell

impact this will have on Mergers & Acquisitions in the Printing & Packaging Industry and for the last 4-5 weeks

Tom Williams

getting through the current challenges, and unfortunately, downsizing their staff to adjust to reduced workloads. What that new workload volume is will be different for every firm. We have customers whose business has re- mained relatively stable or in fact, grown. Those compa- nies are mostly in the packaging and/or food & beverage label segment or commercial printers that are servicing insurance and health care clients. On the opposite end of the spectrum are general commercial printers who are re- porting today that their volume is 25-30 percent of what it was a year ago. How will all these changes affect M&A going forward? First, there are still many M&A transactions in process that are being completed with good, solid companies at attractive multiples of EBITDA. Most transactions that were in progress when COVID-19 first surfaced continue to move forward toward fruition. The progress may have slowed down, or additional due diligence is being com- pleted, but transactions in the Printing & Packaging Indus- try continue to be consummated. We have no less than four EBITDA based transactions in progress that are mov- ing forward toward a timely closing. For some of the sell-side engagements that were initi- ated in mid-March, the sellers have hit the “pause” button. Like most firms, they have had to focus on critical chang- es in their business before they resume activities related to the sale process. However, we fully expect that these transactions will begin moving forward again in the next 30-60 days. In one case, we have two buyers who had already looked at a business and they are anxious to keep the process moving, even though the seller has decided to temporarily put things on hold. This is an encouraging

We won’t know for a while if the multiples being paid for strong companies remain comparable to what they were pre-COVID-19, or if there will be a slight decline in the his- torical multiples. Challenging times like we are experiencing now often result in companies becoming leaner and more efficient in order to survive. We fully expect that will be the case for the Printing & Packaging Industries and believe that there will be many unique opportunities for both buyers and sell- ers to realize their objectives in the months to come. New Direction Partners, LLC is an investment banking and financial advisory firm that serves the printing, packaging and related industries. To learn more, visit www.newdirec- or contact Tom Williams at twilliams@ or Jim Russell at jrussell@new-


May 4, 2020

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