The InSmoke Classic InShape packaging in 30 varieties has received the 2017 German Packaging Award in the Designing and processing category. The high-quality packaging for e-cigarette liquids won over the jury with its innovative opening mechanism and an incredible harmony of shape and design that transforms it into a true piece of art.
The packaging series won out against 31 other submissions and will be officially bestowed with the 2017 German Packaging Award as part of an awards ceremony in Berlin on 26 September 2017.
"We're honored to receive this award from the Great Lakes Graphics Association for excellence and innovation in printing craftsmanship," said Dean Wimer, CEO, WS Packaging Group. "Innovation creates value for our customers every day in bringing their brands to life. Awards like these are reassuring that our industry-leading innovations in printing and packaging, as well as design, are delivering."
At the 2017 GEA Awards, WS Packaging took home the award for Best of Division -- Cartons and Containers, Platinum® Cartons Pure Premium and Water Based Premium. The award-winning label was manufactured at WS Packaging Group's Oak Creek, Wisconsin facility.
Each year, the Great Lakes Graphics Association's Graphics Excellence Awards competition recognizes companies through Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin for the superb craftsmanship in the design, creation, and production of top-quality printed material they produce for their customers.
The GEAs is the largest regional affiliate print competition and is intensely competitive. A win at the GEAs means a company has produced truly excellent work.
About WS Packaging Group
WS Packaging Group, Inc., with more than 50 years of experience, is one of the largest printing and label converting operations in North America. It operates 17 manufacturing facilities and produces high-quality packaging products. Its customers range in size from small businesses to large, high-volume manufacturers and consumer product goods companies doing business locally, nationally, and in marketplaces worldwide. WS Packaging Group is majority owned by J.W. Childs Associates, L.P. (JWC), a private equity firm based in Boston, Mass., investing in middle-market growth companies. Since 1995, JWC has invested in over 40 companies with a transaction value of more than $12 billion.
Aaron Hogan (left) and Shojun Ling (right) extracting a root sample (photo by Dr. Han Xu: PI of the 60-Ha Jianfengling plot).
At Jianfengling, Hogan studied the relationship between the quantification of root and leaf functional trait plasticity, such as intraspecific variation, and the soil and forest age gradient. Days were spent sampling root and leaf traits, while nights were spent washing, scanning, drying, and weighing root samples. Root functional trait will be related to leaf level traits, specifically focusing on chemical traits as they relate to soil chemistry.
Hogan became interested in studying below ground functional traits about a year ago when he started his PhD work. “Oscar Valverde-Barrantes introduced me to the joy of digging, looking at, and studying tree roots. The more I got into the literature, the more I realized how little we know about roots and most belowground processes in tropical forests, compared to leaves or aboveground processes,” Hogan said.
A scanned root from a Lithocarpus pseudovestitus Fagaceae (oak family) individual illustrating the root morphology of a dominant species in the Jianfengling forest.
“I think one of the greatest potential findings that may result is the quantification of root and leaf functional trait plasticity (i.e. intraspecific variation) across a soil and forest age gradient. The sampled transect spans two mountain peaks from secondary forest deep into the more primary forest area of Jianfengling, Hainan, which incorporates a substantial amount of environmental variability found in the area,” said Hogan.
Hogan has been an active collaborator with ForestGEO since 2011, when he volunteered to participate in the tree census at the Luquillo site in Puerto Rico. Hogan will continue his PhD studies at FIU, and ForestGEO looks forward to his future research findings within Jianfengling and other forest sites.
You can read more about J. Aaron Hogan's research on his website and blog here: http://www.jamesaaronhogan.com/.
List of collaborators:
Dr. Hong Liu from (FIU), Dr. Ding Qiong (Hainan University) and Dr. Xu Han (Chinese Academy of Forestry). Field taxonomists from the local forest bureau, including Shaojun Ling, Yaxin Xie, Jaming Wang, Suhui Ma, Siqi Yang, Wenguang Tang, Zhiting Ma, Qiqi Zhang and Jiazhu Shi and Mr. Yu.
Texas A&M Forest Service is accepting applications for the 2017 Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Program. Through this cost-share program eligible forest landowners can receive financial and technical assistance related to reducing the threat of future SPB infestation
Predators like the timber rattlesnake are often the most hated and persecuted wildlife, says William Ripple, a distinguished ecology professor at Oregon State University. This is alarming to scientists, given new research that suggests predators are not only vital to healthy natural environments...(more)Additional Information: Full StoryWilliam Ripple
ALERT member Philip Fearnside, arguably the world’s leading authority on Amazon conservation, tells us about a chilling recent events in Brazil:
The last two months have seen a spectacular series of blows to Brazil’s environmental licensing system and other eco-protections.
These have occurred in the days and even hours leading up to a congressional vote to begin impeachment actions against president Michel Temer, based on serious revelations of corruption.Environmental Nightmares
There have been so many environmental and political setbacks recently that it’s difficult to know where to start.
For one thing, President Temer supported the notorious “land-thieves law” — reneging on an earlier promise to oppose it.
This intensely controversial law (see here and here) legitimizes illegal land claims of up to 2,500 hectares in area (the size of 5,000 football fields), many of which are in the Amazon rainforest.
It also pardons vast sums in fines and debts owed to the government by the powerful agribusiness and ranching sectors (see here and here), while weakening the criteria for definition of indigenous lands.
The president has also supported a controversial highway project demanded by conservative politicians — known as “ruralists” — and backed measures to reduce Amazonian protected areas (see here, here, and here).Pork-Barrel Payouts
These measures are in addition to Temer handing out over $1.3 billion in pork-barrel appropriations to selected federal deputies — with estimates of future handouts as high as $5.2 billion, not including other other expensive concessions to Temer’s political allies.
The president’s political handouts are worsening Brazil’s economic crisis, while cutting into funding direly needed by the Environment Ministry, among other government sectors.
This is Brazil today. A president with dark corruption allegations hanging over his head is willfully sacrificing the country’s incredible environment to save his own political skin — while handing out massive payouts to his pro-development allies in congress.
Cover image: (c) Toa55/Shutterstock; Squirrel monkeys: (c) Jess Kraft/Shutterstock
Smurfit Kappa, One Of The World’s Leading Paper-Based Packaging Firms, Has Acquired The Russian Corrugated Packaging Company, Soyuz, Reinforcing Its Position In The Region
Smurfit Kappa already has three plants in Saint Petersburg, Russia producing paper-based and Bag-in-Box® products for customers across Europe.
This acquisition enables Smurfit Kappa to further strengthen its position in Russia and broaden its offering to its multinational and local customers.
The acquisition also establishes Smurfit Kappa as the leading international corrugated packaging supplier in Russia.
Speaking about the latest acquisition, Pim Wareman CEO of Smurfit Kappa North East Europe, said: “I am delighted with the acquisition of Soyuz and welcome its employees into the Smurfit Kappa Group.
“Russia is an attractive growth market for us with exciting potential. We are pleased to expand our footprint in this market and in particular within the growing Moscow region.”
Saverio Mayer, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Europe said: “This acquisition supports our continued drive to increase our customer offering, and our unique packaging business applications will help further develop the Soyuz operations.
“Our wide range of corrugated products, along with our innovative and rapidly growing Bag-in-Box® business, opens up many opportunities for both Smurfit Kappa and our customers in Russia.”
In 2002 Greycon first implemented S-Plan and X-Trim at Arctic Paper’s paper mills based in Kostrzyn, Poland. Since then Artic Paper has been a long-standing client of Greycon’s.
Arctic Paper Kostrzyn S.A. is the largest manufacturer of offset papers in Poland. The mill produces over 280,000 tonnes of high quality papers both in reels and sheets every year. More than 75% of this is exported to countries like Germany, Great Britain, France and the Benelux.
Greycon’s solutions have been fundamental to the continued success of Arctic Paper’s production. The Greycon planning solution tightly integrated with the Mill’s manufacturing execution systems forms a critical component in the daily management of Arctic Paper’s operation.
Esa Orola, Global Consultancy Manager of Greycon says “We are really pleased with the results and project execution at Arctic Paper. The Kostrzyn team are able to improve their performance with our latest solutions. It has been really nice to witness. Arctic Paper wanted this project managed by Greycon and to work closely with the Greycon team to adopt the recommended best practices across the operation.”
The migration to opt-Studio and X-Trim’s latest releases has delivered additional benefits to Arctic Paper. There is improved usability and performance, compared to the existing daily scheduling solution from Greycon, which kept the mill in operation 24/7. Incoming orders are automatically scheduled into runs and trimmed with market leading algorithms to minimise waste at the winder and cutter machines.
“One of the benefits we are really pleased with in the new Greycon solution is the enhanced functionality. There is quite a lot in there. One exceptional aspect worth mentioning is that the other departments did not even notice that the old system disappeared and a new one came instead. This means of course that the integration was functioning very smoothly from day one. The implementation team were excellent and completed thorough tests to make this happen.” says Mr. Piotr Stolowski, Planning and Supply Chain Manager, from Arctic Paper.
Greycon is the world’s leading provider of production planning, scheduling and manufacturing execution systems that have been designed specifically for roll-based & flat sheet industries. Greycon operates throughout Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. Greycon’s strength is the extensive range of planning, scheduling and MES software solutions for Paper & Board, Plastic Films & Flexible Packaging, Nonwovens, Metals and Converting industries supported by powerful optimisation algorithms and a highly experienced team of consultants.
“Our customers expect Neenah to develop products to fit their evolving needs. Kimdura DualTech demonstrates best-in-class performance and chemical resistance with laser and inkjet printers, even when exposed to a wide range of industrial and household solvents,” said Srinivas Nomula, Senior Director of Marketing at Neenah Performance Labels & Specialties. “Similar products in the marketplace showed little or no resistance to industrial chemicals when printed using laser printers. Kimdura DualTech outperformed other labels, with even barcodes remaining legible during harsh testing environments.”
Gracy Wingkono, Product Manager at Neenah Performance Labels & Specialties, added: “Besides demonstrating exceptional print durability, Kimdura DualTech has was created to respond to our customers who have been asking us to develop a thinner, brighter, whiter label facestock. This new product can serve diverse applications and market verticals, including tire and rubber industries, as well as consumer durables labeling.”
Packaging Corporation of America Announces Agreement to Acquire Sacramento Container Corporation and Conversion of Wallula Mill Paper Machine to High-Performance 100% Virgin Linerboard
The acquisition transaction is structured as a purchase of assets resulting in a full step-up of the assets to fair market value. Under the terms of the agreement, PCA will acquire full-line corrugated products and sheet feeder operations in McClellan, California and Kingsburg, California.
The value of the expected synergies, the tax benefit of the step-up of assets and the operations’ EBITDA result in a purchase price multiple of approximately five times EBITDA. The acquisition will be accretive to earnings immediately.
PCA Executive Vice President Tom Hassfurther said, “The acquisition of these well-capitalized facilities will further enhance our operations both geographically and strategically. Also, the customer-focused employees and strong management teams of Sacramento Container, Northern Sheets and Central California Sheets will be an excellent fit with PCA’s culture. This group has built a successful business based on providing outstanding quality and service to a wide array of customers located in the northern and central regions of California.”
Closing is subject to certain customary conditions and regulatory approval and is expected early in the fourth quarter of 2017. The company plans to finance the transaction with available cash on hand.
The conversion of the No. 3 paper machine at the Wallula Mill is planned for the second quarter of 2018 with an initial production rate of approximately 60 percent of capacity. Ultimately, production will increase to 1,150 tons per day once a new headbox, forming section, and shoe press are added in the fourth quarter of 2018. The capital cost of the conversion is expected to be approximately $150 million. Discontinuing paper operations at the Wallula Mill will result in pre-tax cash severance and other shutdown charges of approximately $20 - 25 million and approximately $45 - 55 million of pre-tax noncash asset impairment and accelerated depreciation charges. Charges of $25 - $35 million are expected to be recorded in the third quarter of 2017. The Mill’s No. 2 paper machine will continue to produce 150,000 tons-per-year of semi-chemical medium.
PCA Chairman and CEO Mark Kowlzan said, “Our strategy is to improve the overall profitability of the paper business for PCA by focusing our people and investments on increasing our competitiveness and ensuring a sustainable future in the office and printing & converting markets with our mills in International Falls, MN and Jackson, AL. In addition, at our current containerboard integration rate of 95%, the low-cost conversion of the No. 3 paper machine at our Wallula Mill provides us with much needed linerboard capacity, allows us to integrate over 200,000 tons of containerboard to our Sacramento Container acquisition, and enables further optimization and enhancement of our current mill capacity and box plant operations. The conversion will significantly enhance the mill’s profitability and viability.”
Paul LeBlanc, Vice President – Paper, added, “We will work closely with our customers to ensure a smooth transition as we wind down production of the current grades we make on our No. 3 paper machine at Wallula. Throughout this transition, all customers will continue to receive the high quality products and service they are accustomed to.”
PCA is the fourth largest producer of containerboard and corrugated packaging products and the third largest producer of uncoated freesheet paper in the United States. PCA operates eight mills and 93 corrugated products plants and related facilities.
Food assistance needs in 2017 are unprecedented, say FEWS-Net, an early warning system pioneered by the US government. Famine threatens South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen. Ethiopia is also included within the top 5 areas of highest concern....
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