Board Converting News, December 7, 2020

BoardConverting Serving the North American Corrugated and Folding Carton Industries for 36 years December 7, 2020 VOL. 36, NO. 49

Opus Packaging: The Quest For The Perfect Sheet Plant BY LEN PRAZYCH Over the decades, many box makers have tried but only a select few have succeeded in the elusive quest to build the perfect sheet plant. The most recent attempt at claiming such a success is by veteran cor- rugated industry professionals Kevin Manor and Butch Stoner, whose newest operation, Opus Packaging – Indianapolis in Whitestown, Indi- ana, is checking all the boxes.

The Royal Group Acquires Pinnacle Packaging, Inc. The Royal Group (TRG) has announced the acquisition of Pinnacle Packaging, Inc., locat- ed in Louisville, Kentucky. The acquisition was effective December 1, 2020. Pinnacle Packaging, Inc., was established by Jim McCubbin and his partners in 2003. As a leader in innovation, service and design, Pinnacle has become one of the premier sup- pliers of corrugated containers and automo- tive packaging in the greater Louisville, Ken- tucky, market. “Pinnacle’s business model aligns perfect- ly with ours,” said Bob McIlvaine, President and CEO of TRG. “This acquisition expands our presence in the growing Louisville market. We’re excited for Pinnacle’s experienced, tal- ented and dedicated employees to become part of our TRG team. They’ve built a great company by providing value added solutions that will also benefit our existing customers.” Jim McCubbin, current Pinnacle Packaging president and CEO, will continue in his posi- tion under the new ownership. With over 30 locations nationwide, The Royal Group (TRG) is among the nation’s larg- est independent corrugated box and display manufacturers.

As reported in the October 19, 2020, issue of Board Converting New s, Opus announced that it had “acquired significantly all of the as- sets” of Arvco Indianapolis, Kalamazoo, Michigan based Arvco Con- tainer Corporation’s Indianapolis location. Many of those “assets” in- cluded machinery, employees and customers that are being welcomed into Opus’ new greenfield facility in Whitestown that began operations in August 2019. “We’ve had a relationship with Arvco for decades and the company is still a supplier to Opus,” says Manor. “One of their largest customers relocated up to Detroit, the lease on Arvco’s Indianapolis facility was coming due, and COVID-19 had hit them pretty hard, so it was time for them to make a decision as to whether or not they wanted to maintain a presence here in Indianapolis. We were in the process of finding equip- ment for our new Whitestown facility when the opportunity to acquire Arvco’s assets presented itself.” “It was a natural,” adds Stoner. “The assets from Arvco provided the Opus Packaging – Whitestown, a greenfield facility in a northern suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana, is in the process of becoming a “perfect sheet plant.”


6 x x 8 x x 12 x x 26 x x 4 SuperCorrExpo To Continue ‘What’s New’ Series In 2021 6 ISM: Manufacturing Grows Again In November 0 Amazon: Holiday Shopping Period Biggest In Its History 12 ICPF Support, Donations Continue In Challenging Year


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 indi- cated 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 $885.00-890.00 $900.00-910.00 $900.00-910.00 $900.00-910.00 $930.00-940.00 $903.00-912.00

26# Semi-Chem. Medium

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

$820.00-850.00 $835.00-855.00 $835.00-855.00 $835.00-855.00 $865.00-875.00 $838.00-858.00

West Coast U.S. Average

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

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

200# 275#



$62.69 $82.80

$85.35 119.54

$73.13 101.29












107.46 118.45

114.69 129.32

116.54 137.25 117.82 145.56





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

42# Kraft Liner 26#

Semi-Chem Medium

East West

$920.00 $965.00

$910.00 $945.00


3/7/19 2:04 PM


December 7, 2020

SuperCorrExpo To Continue ‘What’s New’ Series In 2021

Core Competency

SuperCorrExpo (SCE), hosted jointly by TAPPI and AICC, will launch Phase II of its popular webinar series in early 2021, showcasing SCE exhibitors who provide services to the industry. The new phase of the series, Service Talks, is a continuation of the strongly attended equipment and materials’ focused What’s New: Tech Talk series that ran between August and November 2020. The series will feature solution-focused webinars com- prised of five-minute presentations from SCE 2021 exhib- itors highlighting their service(s). The presentations will then be followed by live question and answer sessions, providing participants the opportunity to engage with the exhibitor, and one another, in a chat format. For corrugated professionals who need or want to re- search and learn new services now, this series is a great way to seek them out from the comfort of their home or business office. The conversation starts online and finish- es at SuperCorrExpo, where they will personally connect in person. For more information on Service Talks, either as a pre- senter or audience participant, call (877) 836-2422 or email Cindy Huber, AICC Director, Conventions & Meet- ings, at, or Laura Mihalick, AICC Se- nior Meeting Manager, at

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December 7, 2020

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ISM: Manufacturing Activity Grows For 7th Straight Month In November Economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew in No- vember, with the overall economy notching a seventh 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 November Manufacturing PMI registered 57.5 percent, down 1.8 percentage points from the October reading of 59.3 percent. This figure indicates expansion in the overall economy for the seventh month in a row after a contraction in April, which ended a period of 131 con- secutive months of growth. The New Orders Index regis- tered 65.1 percent, down 2.8 percentage points from the

October reading of 67.9 percent. The Production Index registered 60.8 percent, a decrease of 2.2 percentage points compared to the October reading of 63 percent. The Backlog of Orders Index registered 56.9 percent, 1.2 percentage points higher compared to the October read- ing of 55.7 percent. “The Employment Index returned to contraction territo- ry at 48.4 percent, 4.8 percentage points down from the October reading of 53.2 percent. The Supplier Deliveries Index registered 61.7 percent, up 1.2 percentage points from the October figure of 60.5 percent. The Inventories Index registered 51.2 percent, 0.7 percentage point lower than the October reading of 51.9 percent. The Prices Index registered 65.4 percent, down 0.1 percentage point com- pared to the October reading of 65.5 percent. The New Export Orders Index registered 57.8 percent, an increase of 2.1 percentage points compared to the October reading of 55.7 percent. The Imports Index reg-

istered 55.1 percent, a 3-percentage point decrease from the October reading of 58.1 percent. “The manufacturing economy continued its recovery in November. Survey Commit- tee members reported that their companies and suppliers continue to operate in recon- figured factories, but absenteeism, short- term shutdowns to sanitize facilities and difficulties in returning and hiring workers are causing strains that will likely limit future manufacturing growth potential. “Panel sentiment, however, is optimistic (2.5 positive comments for every cautious comment), an improvement compared to October. Demand expanded, with the (1) New Orders Index growing at strong levels, supported by the New Export Orders Index expanding strongly, (2) Customers’ Inven- tories Index at its lowest figure since June 2010 (35.8 percent), a level considered a positive for future production, and the (3) Backlog of Orders Index expanding at a slightly faster rate compared to the previ- ous three months. Consumption (measured by the Production and Employment index- es) contributed negatively (a combined 7-percentage point decrease) to the Man- ufacturing PMI calculation, with five of the top six industries continuing with moderate to strong output expansion. “The Employment Index contracted after a single month of growth, primarily due to the inability to attract and retain direct labor. Inputs — expressed as supplier deliveries, inventories and imports — continued to in- dicate input-driven constraints to produc- tion expansion, at higher rates compared to



December 7, 2020

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

Design & Production

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

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

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

The system’s main advantages are as follows:

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


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


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


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

6. Gap Control 7. Curved Plate 8. Roller Shoe Press When it comes to a short-term increas of web tension, spring loaded systems with shoes or airpressure activated system have problems in compensating these. The system is lifted for a short time. This may result in de-lamination and in the ‘double kiss’ effect. Solution For a defined and exact bonding point of the web fiv weight rollers will be installed usually over the first flat hotplate of the heating section. The rolls are mounted into a frame, which is actuated by means of two pneumatic cylinders. P oductivity Issu —Double Kiss Bonding




Roller Shoe


9. Thin Wall Hot Plates 10. Pressure System Benefits —Exact glue application due to defined contact of applicator roll to web. Web is in contact to less flute tips compared to bar systems. • High precision glue application • Less moisture applied to web —No wear of shoes and springs —No adjustment of shoes or paper gap —Uniform glue application over entire working width for all flutes by use of pneumatic cylinders instead of springs — Less contamination by paper dust and glue remains —No jam of board because of web breaks caused by splice joints going through 630-784-0800 Benefits —Rollers secure exact defined first point of contact of liner and single-faced board - No double kiss —Frame design avoids unintended lifting of roller shoe (compared to spring or air loaded systems) - No double kiss —Pressure can be increased or released for special grades or products 490 Tower Blvd., Carol Stream, IL Contact Chicago Electric to GET IT RIGHT 630-784-0800 Solution The ProPress system ensures an optimum heat transfer to the board. It offers a wide range of set- tings. The loadi g pressure can be varied, the number of shoes can be lifted in accordance t the line speed. The outer shoes can be lifted in accordance to the paper width. The shoe bars will be delivered pre-assembled for a short installation time. —Liftable for easy paper infeed and for cleaning of the machine —Position adjustable in paper direction to avoid grooves in hotplate Press Productivity Issue—Poor Heat Transfer Rollers are usually limiting the heat transfer, since they often have contact mainly on the edges of the plates due to wear or bent plates. They also cause often loss of caliper and bearing need to be replaced frequently. Airpressure actuated systems can only supply a limited pressure and have com- pared to shoe systems a closed surface. Pressure Shoe

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

Thin-Wall Hot Plates

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

ance from steam to paper surface results in fast heat flow n higher plate surface temperature


Still Time To Attend AICC Webinars On Meeting Customer Expectations AICC, The Independent Packaging Association, is hosting a new webinar series, “Understanding Our Capabilities to Meet Customer Expectations,” from December 8-17 with Geoff Roznak of Further North, LLC. The four-part webinar series will help sales and cus- tomer service professionals and production leaders better understand their own companies’ capabilities. They will learn the questions to ask of their team members to be able to serve their customers. This webinar will build attendees’ confidence and ca- pabilities with topics including leveling expectations, why to avoid building spot colors, impact of flutes, plate lim- itations, line weights, and much more. This critical knowl- edge allows all team members who interact with custom- ers to give them accurate and valuable information about how your company can serve them. Registration for all four parts of Understanding Our Ca- pabilities to Meet Customer Expectations is $750 for mem- bers and $1,450 for non-members. This webinar series is part of the All Access Pass. Pass holders can use their pro- mo code to register at no additional cost. Learn more at . Register for “Understanding Our Capabilities to Meet Customer Expectations” at .

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



Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change

2020 2019

37.396 35.888


8.499 7.802


Industry Total

Year-to Date

October 2020



Percent Change Avg Week Percent Change

2020 2019

337.942 330.090


7.933 7.785


Industry Total

Containerboard Consumption (Thousands of Tons)



Percent Change Year-to-Date Percent Change

2020 2019

3.0635 2.9470


27.6535 27.1498


Container Board Inventory - Corrugator Plants (Thousands of Tons)

Corrugator Plants Only


Percent Change Weeks of Supply

Percent Change


1.8156 1.9511


2.6 2.9



Shipping Days




2020 2019

22 23

213 212

SOURCE: Fibre Box Association

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December 7, 2020

SETTING STANDARDS in Corrugated Solutions


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Amazon: 2020 Holiday Shopping Period Biggest In Its History Amazon reported that this year’s holiday shopping period has been the biggest in its history, as the coronavirus pan- demic forced more people than ever to do their shopping online.The company said in a blog post that customers have been shopping early for gifts and seasonal items for their loved ones while many retailers that rely on physical stores have been struggling Amazon said popular purchases include the new Echo Dot, former President Barack Obama’s book “A Promised Land,” and the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumiz- er Brush. Self-care, “nesting at home” and “cozy comfort” were among the most popular trends during the period. “In a holiday season unlike any other, it’s clear that cus- tomers still want great deals on gifts for their loved ones or a little something extra for themselves, and we’re glad to help deliver smiles throughout the season,” said Jeff Wil- ke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer. “Thank you to our customers, employees, and selling partners around the world for making this our biggest holi- day season to date, and for everything you’re doing to sup- port our communities and each other now and throughout the year.” Amazon did not disclose actual sales figures for Black Friday or Cyber Monday, which are typically its busi- est days in the holiday shopping period.

Amazon has been criticized for promoting its own products above those from independent retailers, but the company said the latter had seen “record demand” on its platform this year. Independent businesses selling on Amazon surpassed $4.8 billion in worldwide sales from Black Friday through Cyber Monday, Amazon said, noting that the figure was up 60 percent from last year. It added that 71,000 small and medium-sized businesses had seen sales above $100,000 in this holiday season. Like many other retailers, Amazon began offering holi- day deals earlier than ever this year. Prime Day, which was pushed back from mid-July to October, became the unoffi- cial kickoff to the holiday shopping season. Consumers still opened up their wallets on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, despite the earlier start, and did more of their shopping online. Spending online on Black Friday this year climbed 22 percent year over year to a record $9 billion, according to Adobe Analytics. Cyber Monday is also expected to notch record sales. The flood of online shopping was bad news for many brick-and-mortar locations, as many customers remain cautious about making trips to crowded stores and malls. Foot traffic to stores on Black Friday dropped 52 percent compared with last year, according to data from Sensor- matic Solutions. As of July 2020, Amazon had assets of $225 billion and more than one million employees.


Looking to increase the efficiency, cleanliness and profitability of your plant’s scrap management program? Then take a closer look at AES. Our resume includes 30 years’ experience and hundreds of successful installations for corrugated applications. Specialties include high volume baling systems, NFPA-compliant dust control solutions, and exclusive product innovations like the AirShark TM , our low profile, high capacity material separator. Our work speaks for itself: Read our Customer Success Stories online at studies.

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December 7, 2020

ICPF Curricula Support, Equipment Donations To Colleges Continue During Challenging Year Though the teaching of college classes and labs have been impacted due to the pandemic, the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation (ICPF) has continued its ongoing University Awards Program to provide equipment and grants to its partner universities in preparation for their return to 100 percent “on campus” programming.

Packaging ERP Algorithmic Scheduling Web-Based Access Online Customer Portals

Paperless Workflows Mobile Sales Systems Digital Signage Production Monitoring Mobile Logistics Management Analytics & Reporting Cloud Hosting IT Management Services Cyber Security Management

600 + Plants 60,000 Users North America Latin America

Earlier this fall, ICPF purchased and placed a TMI Medium Fluter and accessories at North Carolina State, where ICPF launched a new corrugat- ed packaging program last year through the purchase and donation of a CAD table. Additionally, a TMI Sommerville Screen and Disintegrator were purchased and placed at Cal Poly, where plans are underway to incorpo- rate the corrugated testing equipment into an online virtual lab course ICPF has provided curricula support and equipment donations to more than 27 colleges and universities across the country.


during the winter term. Plans are also underway for the purchase and do- nation of 20 computers, 20 computer desks and chairs and a stipend for new adjunct packaging instructors at University of Texas - Arlington, where ICPF purchased and placed a large scale digital printer last year. Indiana State University packaging students receive a lesson at the cutting ta- ble, which was made possible by ICPF pledges and donations.



December 7, 2020

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ICPF Curricula Support (CONT’D FROM PAGE 12)

The partnership grants provided through ICPF’s Uni- versity Awards initiative also have been cited by Indiana State University (ISU) for its success in growing its pack- aging engineering technology program. The ICPF grants have enabled the hiring of a graduate assistant to assist


in regularly marketing the packaging program to Indiana high schools and ISU college students, the development of packaging sales certification curriculum, the launch of a corrugated packaging, structural and graphic design cer- tificate, the expansion of corrugated packaging courses in design and materials being taught to freshman, soph-


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.

For more information contact: Charlie Freeman | 816-500-8889 | Tim Kramer | 816-841-8317 |


December 7, 2020

ICPF Curricula Support (CONT’D FROM PAGE 14)

omore and junior students and a substantial 24 percent increase in packaging technology enrollment. An Introduction To Packaging Though the size of the groups had to be altered due to the pandemic, Indiana State University continued its annu- al ICPF hands-on learning experience program this past summer to introduce corrugated packaging careers to stu- dents at a younger age. High school participants toured the ISU Corrugated Packaging Lab and were provided an overview and introductory materials about the ISU corru- gated curriculum. Elementary and middle school partic- ipants engaged in activities to design their own swords and shields using corrugated materials. See photos. ICPF Commitments Continue Other recent equipment and financial awards have been provided or committed to Rutgers, Western Michigan

University, Millersville University, Virginia Tech, and Lewis Clark State College. These ICPF award commitments have been subject to each university meeting annual goals that are tracked by both ICPF and ICPF’s independent auditor.

Some of the elements of the new initia- tives enabled by ICPF provided equipment, software and grant awards during the past three years include creation of three new corrugated packaging design labs; funding


for additional corrugated faculty at four uni- versities; introduction of sales & business into packaging courses; launch of corrugat- ed packaging curricula in two paper science engineering programs; creation of a program to promote corrugated packaging to attract high school students into university packag- ing programs; introduction of digital printing on two campuses; expansion of a packaging design program to include evaluation and testing of corrugated materials; creation of new packaging degrees and certification programs for undergraduate students; and expansions of existing corrugated testing and packaging design labs. In addition to thanking its corporate part- ners for their pledges, ICPF wishes to thank TMI, Arden Software, Gerber Technology, Esko and other corrugated suppliers for the discounts and donations provided in support of ICPF’s university awards program.

ASDI offers: • 34 years of experience with separators, cyclones and conveyors • Sequential, Zero-Defect and various types of Scrap Systems • Each system is guaranteed to meet customer specifications • Turnkey Systems-handling all grades of paper and paperboard • In ground and overhead return conveyor systems direct to balers • Replace your undersized or aging cyclone over a two or three-day weekend • Representing a complete line of shredders, wet scrubbers and filters • NFPA compliant systems, ISN Network

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December 7, 2020

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GPI Offers Three ‘Takeaways’ From PACK EXPO Connects 2020 In the year that COVID-19 ground packaging industry events to a halt, organizers across the globe made the call whether to take their events virtual. PACK EXPO did just that, reimagining its in-person event as PACK EXPO Con- nects, a virtual solution for the 700+ exhibitors and 18,000 attendees that would usually attend the physical show. The event promised to bring the industry together, connecting exhibitors and delegates through inspiring content, live chats and product demos. Our Graphic Pack- aging International (GPI) team offers three key takeaways from this year’s technologically ambitious event: 1. Virtual insanity? Or a fitting showcase for paper-based innovation? The number one goal of this year’s event was to connect the industry, according to Jim Pittas, President and CEO, PMMI. And despite a few technical glitches on day one, the event did just that, with exhibitor initiatives driving engagement. Two distinct positives came out of the virtually man- aged experience for GPI. First, targeted webinar atten- dance was planned ahead of time. Second, a new way of collecting booth engagement data, measured with clicks, was extremely valuable. Graphic Packaging’s Director of Marketing and Bev- erage NPD, Roxanne McSpadden, found the event to be

insightful and the strong showing of fiber-based solutions inspiring. 2. Was packaging sustainability still a key consider- ation? Yes! Despite the need for suppliers to respond reac- tively to the pandemic in recent months, the strong show- ing of fiber-based innovation highlighted that sustainability is still at the forefront of the packaging industry’s agenda. Plastic replacement is a hot topic for brands and the buzz around hybrid food packaging solutions reflects the great strides they’re making on the journey to heavily re- ducing the amount of plastic in applications where it is unavoidable in protecting and preserving the product ef- fectively. 3. Is the future of packaging events digital? Of course, the newfound lead generation gems generated by PACK EXPO Connects couldn’t quite make up for the of-the-mo- ment finds and true-to-life machinery demos that come with traditional trade show territory. However, the huge amount of useful and inspiring content generated during the five days is available online until the end of March, al- lowing attendees to scour the material. McSpadden suggests the future of events could actu- ally become a hybrid solution that combines the best of physical and virtual elements, giving those that can attend first-hand insight and those that can’t the benefit of online content access for a later date. Visit for more information on the event and all it has to offer.


December 7, 2020

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P+PB: Turn Shipping Boxes Into New Gifts

Anne Hansan, President of the Paper and Packaging Board. “Upcycling everyday shipping boxes gives them a new life, even before placing them in the recycling bin. And, when they are recovered, our industry reuses them to make more boxes and products we all need.” Now is the perfect moment to catch consumers’ at- tention and encourage sustainable habits. According to a recent report, the overall collection volume from U.S. res- idential recycling programs is up at least seven percent from last year at this time, thanks in part to the increase of e-commerce shipments –– packaged in corrugated boxes that are easy for consumers to reuse or recycle. With this upcycling campaign, Paper & Packaging – How Life Unfolds inspires creative, eco-friendly gifting, and helps consumers keep upcycling top of mind during the holidays. Since creating handmade gifts or reusing supplies on hand may not come naturally to everyone, printable, step-by-step instructions make it easier than ever. These printables help even the inexperienced crafter look like a pro in the gift-giving department. The three DIY holiday gift box ideas include: an advent calendar which incorporates smaller gift boxes for endless surprises during the season; a custom plant box with cut- outs for small plants or propagations, perfect for the gar- dener in your life; and, a stylish, sturdy box designed for safely gifting bottles of wine to family and friends. For instructions that show how to assemble all three custom DIY gift boxes, visit .

PressAd_A4_Absolute-brand_Half-page.pdf 1 23/08/2019 14:48 “COVID-19 has accelerated America’s desire to use e-commerce shopping channels and it will be the most evident during the upcoming holidays. The good news is that shipping boxes are fully recyclable, and they can be upcycled into holiday or other DIY projects,” said Mary As the holiday shopping season kicks off early, online shoppers wonder what to do with all the e-commerce box- es arriving at their doors. The good news is, these boxes are actually one of the most recycled forms of packaging in the U.S., with 92 percent of cardboard boxes recycled in 2019. Choosing paper-based packaging is the choice for the environment, as boxes can be recycled and upcycled. To help consumers along in their choice for the envi- ronment, the Paper & Packaging – How Life Unfolds cam- paign developed a suite of creative, DIY ideas that upcycle natural paper and corrugated material into one-of-a-kind presents. At the start of the 2020 holiday season, consumers spent 21 percent more on online shopping compared to the same time period in 2019, making both upcycling and recycling all the more important this year. These gift box ideas can help even beginner DIY’ers become upcycling heroes, with designs that are simple, fully customizable and require minimal supplies.

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December 7, 2020

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The cleverness of the Ultima ™ platform offers “easy to run and easy to learn” features for machine operators and a modular development environment for design- ers, making the EMBA Ultima ™ upgrade compatible throughout its entire lifetime. That’s why it’s called Ultima intelligence.

It continues. The progressive evolution of EMBA’s unique Ultima ™ technology platform, combining out- standing production performance with dramatic savings in raw materials and energy. The innovative and patented EMBA Non-Crush Converting ™ technology eliminates nip points, pre- serving the geometry and strength of the corrugated profile throughout the entire converting process, creat- ing significant savings in paper cost with higher BCT values for a much stronger product, while Quick-Set ™ enables the shortest possible changeover time between orders. The intelligent Ultima ™ technology platform is born from our desire to constantly exceed market de- mands and cultivate focused collaboration with our customers.

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Opus Packaging. (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1 )

years” watching their fathers succeed in the corrugated business and after enjoying successful careers in the in- dustry themselves, decided to join forces: in 2001, the two acquired Action Packaging in western Michigan, an area in which they grew up and were eager to return. Both Safeway and Action enjoyed record growth from 2000 to 2010, when the cousins established joint owner- ship of both companies to take advantage of the synergies created by being commonly owned. In 2013, they bought an existing box maker in Jackson, Michigan, and formed Opus Packaging as the holding company for the three lo- cations. Growth continued in March of 2019 with the pur- chase of Wabash Container Corporation in Mount Carm- el, Illinois, and in August 2019, with the investment in the greenfield operation in Whitestown. Manor and Stoner de- cided that as joint owners of five facilities, they would re- brand under one name, Opus Packaging. The company’s five wholly owned entities are Opus Packaging – Grand Rapids in Caledonia, Michigan, company headquarters; Opus Packaging – New Bremen in New Bremen, Ohio; Opus Packaging – Jackson in Jackson, Michigan; Opus Packaging – Wabash in Mt. Carmel, Illinois; and Opus Packaging – Indianapolis in Whitestown, Indiana. “Our fathers taught us that customer service is at the heart of everything we do,” says Manor. “As a single-source packaging partner, we’ll do whatever it takes to ensure our customers’ packaging and distribution needs are met, to-

much-needed equipment, as well as key employees and the sales infrastructure for our new startup, while renew- ing the friendship between the companies and ultimately, maximizing our efficiencies.” Of the 30 employees now working at Opus Packaging – Whitestown, ten are from Arvco, which is seven miles from the Arvco Indianapolis facility. Several of Arvco’s tem- porary workers may also be joining the company. Opus brought in two of Arvco’s sales staff, including one full-time outside salesperson. The second is an inside salesperson, who doubles as a designer. Both brought “a good book of business” that will now be serviced by a company with a long history of providing stellar customer service. A Family Business The origins of Opus Packaging began in the mid-1940s after World War II, when Robert Manor and Ralph Stoner started their respective corrugated box careers at River Raisin Paper Co., which was later acquired by Union Camp. Robert Manor was married to Stoner’s sister, Virginia. Stoner moved on in 1967 to co-found Michigan Packaging Company, a corrugated sheet supplier. Manor established Safeway Packaging in 1984 to manufacture corrugated packaging, which his son, Kevin Manor, took over in 1994 after Robert’s untimely death. Butch Stoner worked for his father at Michigan Packaging as President until 2000. As cousins, Kevin and Butch spent their “formative



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Opus Packaging (CONT’D FROM PAGE 22)

packaging. “We bought our first Hycorr 5-color (all outside print) machine for our New Bremen operations three years ago and we were very satisfied, which is why we are in- vesting in another here in Whitestown,” says Stoner. Indeed, the Hycorr will accommodate its customers’ e-commerce packaging demands and more, but instead

day and tomorrow. Decades of experience has taught us that a collaborative process with our customers results in more efficient, effective products.” Indiana Strong It was having several “sizable” customers – and cor- respondingly sizable freight costs – in Indiana that were being serviced from Opus’ Grand Rapids facility in Michigan that prompted the cousins to open the new 170,000-square-foot facility in Whitestown, which before Arvco’s assets were added, contained a Ward 66-inch by 125-inch 2-color flexo folder gluer, a Post folder gluer and some peripheral equipment. “Because we were essential- ly starting from scratch, we felt like we were in a position to create the perfect sheet plant,” says Stoner. “But we needed another flexo folder gluer and another rotary die cutter. We got an S&S 30-inch by 90-inch flexo folder gluer in the Arvco purchase, but we decided to re-deploy the die cutter that was in the Arvco facility to one of our other locations and bring in a brand new Hycorr.” The Hycorr is a 5-color (4-color outside printing/1-color inside printing) 66-inch by 115-inch rotary die cutter that started up in November and has the capacity to accom- modate the needs of Opus’ existing and new customers in the automotive, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, food & beverage segments. The inside/outside print capabilities will also satisfy the increased demand for e-commerce

of making another investment in a digital press, all Opus Packaging operations have been farming out requests for digital work. “We’ve decided to hold off on digital because it is changing so quickly,” says Manor. “It seems like every Opus Packaging’s first 5-color Hycorr die cutter was installed in its New Bremen, Ohio, facility. It purchased a second Hycorr – a 4-color outside printing/1-color inside printing version – for its greenfield plant in Whitestown, Indianapolis.


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December 7, 2020

Seasons Greetings from all of us

Thank you for your continued business in 2020 and throughout our 35+ year history.

This year has undoubtedly been a year to remember.

As a family-owned business, we thank you for your continued partnership, support, and trust in our company to provide you with high-performing, reliable strapping systems. We look forward to working with you in the years to come!

From all of us at EAM-Mosca, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. | | 844-859-6968

Opus Packaging (CONT’D FROM PAGE 24)

primarily from Corr-Choice, formerly Michigan Packaging Company, of which Stoner was president. More Growth So how do these two corrugated industry veterans manage five sheet plants, dozens of pieces of equipment and approximately 350 employees across four states? “We have very good people in all of our plants that keep this going,” says Manor. “We keep in touch throughout the

time we look at a machine, there is already a new version of it coming out. There seems to be a lot of capacity in the marketplace to run digital, so it makes sense to contin- ue farming it out for now. We see digital as something we want to be in one day but we’re waiting for the market to stabilize a bit.”

Sticking to its time-tested and proven sheet plant mod- el, Opus Packaging does not have a corrugator in any of its five locations, nor is it a member of a sheet feeder con- sortium. The company gets its sheets on the open market, Opus Packaging installed a Baysek flat bed die cutter with in- line flexo print station in its New Bremen, Ohio, plant.

month and have formal meetings – now on Zoom – every couple of weeks to go over financials and results. We’ve got a great team – our COO, CFO, Human Resources Di- Opus Packaging installed a Bahmuller jumbo gluer for its Grand Rapids facility in Caledonia, Michigan.


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December 7, 2020

Opus Packaging (CONT’D FROM PAGE 26)


rector and the people around them – which has allowed us to acquire great talent.” Amtech’s Imaginera Software and Power BI, a Micro- soft product, keep all Opus Packaging’s facilities connect- ed efficiently, while allowing room for more expansion and across- the-board growth. Since 2011, Manor and Stoner have grown Opus Packaging 100 percent through internal organic growth and the aforementioned acquisitions. They are still in “growth mode” and say they want to continue growing in the Midwest, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t looking in other parts of the country, as well. Like other box makers across the country, Opus Pack- aging has been impacted by COVID, especially during April and May, when the virus was spiking in the Midwest. “We’re coming out of it now and we’re seeing record lev- els of sales across all our companies, so much so that it’s been hard to keep up with demand,” says Stoner. “And it’s largely been industry specific. Manufacturing is com- ing back very strong and most of our customers in that


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segment seem to be returning. Some of our automotive customers are lagging behind, but that is also improving as time goes on.” “Our philosophy is to build a team around us – it can’t be all about us going forward, which is why we’ve hired some amazing people with a lot of industry experience, some whom we’ve known from our time in the industry,” says Manor. “We’re getting really good at integrating new acquisitions into our family and we’re always looking for new opportunities, for example, acquiring the company of an owner who wants to retire in three to five years and who has no succession plan. We’d like that person to stay on and run their facility before we would transition new people in as they’re ready to retire.” Opus Packaging earned a reputation of having a fami- ly-type atmosphere through the establishment of the com- pany’s core values, established when their fathers were in the industry decades ago. Butch and Kevin’s hopes for the future of Opus Packaging is not only to expand and grow through the markets they serve, but to provide opportu- nities for learning, growth, and advancement to younger associates well into the future while, of course, building perfect sheet plants along the way.


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.


December 7, 2020

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