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A happy and successful 2005 to all our readers!

A New Year brings a new, bright and up to the moment look for Converting Today. But there is more to it than what I hope you will agree is an attractive design. The typography and size are designed to make your industry magazine easy to read and the regular sections easy to find.

Within the news section, for example, you will find all the printing news on one page and the diary and people sections well sign posted. And with the new look we introduce a new feature – Plant Profile. This regular article will look at a converter’s plant – its business and capital equipment. We are looking for invitations to come and report on your lines. Do get in touch. New technology, new equipment or new markets are prerequisites.

In this month’s issue, for example, I report on a visit to pressure sensitive label converter Color Craft’s recently opened flexible packaging plant in Memphis, Tennessee. This innovative company spotted a niche in the USA sleeve market and has invested a considerable sum in a new factory, flexo press and Stanford converting equipment. This includes the first of the new sleeve seamers introduced by the company in September last year. Stanford believes that, with the control of the patent pending rewind oscillator and method of transferring the solvent from tank to film, material waste will be cut to a staggering 1 per cent. Color Craft confirms this as less than that in its experience. Seaming has always been the stumbling block to entering the sleeve market, I am told. This equipment may prove to make that a thing of the past.

Before you ask, I did get a chance to go and see Elvis whilst in Memphis, but I also spent an hour or so in a Wal-Mart megastore and can report that certain sectors, such as the coffee dry creamer market, appear to have switched almost entirely to sleeves recently. However, there is still enormous potential in sauces and beverages, for example, that are untouched by the sleeve format in the USA. Color Craft could be onto a winner!

Pauline Covell

Editor