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Members in the News – May/June 2023

By AICC Staff

May 18, 2023

Since the installation of a Koenig & Bauer EVO XO eight-color flexographic press, Los Angeles-based Great American Packaging (GAP) has increased its print business by 78%.

Ignacio Solis, printing supervisor at GAP, said of the experience with the press, “I’ve been a press operator for more than 30 years … and the Koenig & Bauer EVO XD is the best experience I’ve ever had.” Solis attributes much of GAP’s success with the printer to Koenig & Bauer’s PrintTronic system, which allows GAP “to adjust the impression settings and minimize waste.”

In other Koenig & Bauer news, New Berlin, Wisconsin-based Crossmark Graphics recently installed a Koenig & Bauer Ipress 106 K PRO die cutter.

Crossmark, through a thorough evaluation, “foresees an impressive 30% minimum increase in productivity and efficiency.” The press was installed alongside a Koenig & Bauer Optima 106 flatbed die cutter, among other die cutters. Crossmark designated the new Ipress 106 K PRO for longer-run work.

More from Koenig & Bauer: Direct Edge, a commercial and packaging printer in Southern California and Colorado, recently added to a company milestone celebration by installing a new Koenig & Bauer Rapida 105 six-color UV press in Anaheim.

Since then, said Direct Edge Director of Operations Jay Sheffield, “Our Rapida has increased our output of commercial work by contributing to our litho growth by 45% year over year, and 2023 is showing the same promising pattern.”

He added that the company has “also been able to accommodate our client’s needs by the press’ ability to print on a variety of substrates including synthetic stocks.”

Kevin Erbe

And finally, Koenig & Bauer added Kevin Erbe to its corrugated sales team as national sales manager of Koenig & Bauer (US/CA).

Erbe brings with him a long career in manufacturing sales, with “extensive knowledge of the packaging and corrugated markets,” according to a company news release. “We are committed to investing in the best associates who can help our customers attain their strategic goals with our equipment,” said Koenig & Bauer (US/CA) President and CEO Kilian Renschler. “Kevin is the perfect brand ambassador for our corrugated segment.”

Biddeford, Maine-based Volk Packaging installed 2,388 solar modules on the rooftops of its warehouses, which are expected to produce approximately 1,000 megawatt hours of electricity annually.

“We are happy to have taken this additional step toward sustainability by investing in solar energy,” said Volk Packaging CEO Derek Volk. “Not only will this reduce our carbon footprint and reliance on grid electricity, but it also makes good business sense by helping us control our energy costs in the long run.”

The project, developed and installed by Dynamic Energy Solutions and owned by Madison Energy Investments, covers a total area of approximately 55,000 square feet across Volk’s rooftops, producing an average of 2,759 kilowatt hours per day.

Ruud van Cujik

Apex International appointed Ruud van Cuijk as its CEO, succeeding Marian Waterschoot, who will remain with the company as the new director of Apex Embossing B.V.

van Cuijk has been part of Apex’s executive leadership team for the past 10 years, leading the financial unit as group controller and chief financial officer, as well managing director of Apex North America and Apex Europe.

“Over the last decade, Ruud has continuously proven he is a man of diligence, strategy, integrity, and action,” said Ken Ralton, chairman of Apex International. “We are confident he will lead Apex International into our next level of success, while keeping our customers’ goals and needs top of mind through every decision.”

Jamestown Container Cos. was recognized by the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI) as a Level Up Champion for the Rochester, New York, community.

The program celebrates employers that have made a commitment to wage enhancement by establishing a minimum $15/hour starting wage for all employees.

“Even as they face financial pressures and the uncertainty, these Level Up Champions have recognized the value that their employees bring and the dignity inherent in all work,” said RMAPI Executive Director Aqua Y. Porter. “Their commitment is a shining example to all employers in our community that everyone can be part of the solution to increasing upward mobility for all families, and that taking the first step toward wage equity is within their grasp.”

The BoxMaker launched its Sustainability Council in honor of Earth Day this year, as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship.

According to a company news release, “the council aims to enhance The BoxMaker’s sustainability profile as well as expand eco-friendly packaging options for its clients.”

“We believe that sustainability is more than just a buzzword. It’s an essential part of our commitment to the environment and our clients,” said Richard Brown, president and co-owner of The BoxMaker. “By forming this Sustainability Council, we aim to ensure that we are continuing to do our part to protect the environment while providing our customers with the best possible packaging solutions that align with their values.”

In other news from The BoxMaker, the company is holding its third annual Summer Camp program, taking place virtually from July 10 to 14.

This year’s event offers free virtual classes, including webinars and panel discussion, and digital resources designed to inspire and educate attendees on a variety of packaging topics.

“We are so excited to bring back BoxMaker University Summer Camp this July,” said Katy Hart, director of marketing and communications at The BoxMaker. “We are proud to provide relevant no-barrier content taught by experts that brands and packaging purchasers can’t easily find elsewhere. Offering these classes virtually and for free makes the program accessible for everyone, especially during the summer months.”

To learn more about BoxMaker University Summer Camp, check out this video promo.

Rusken Packaging Inc. launched a new digital printing capability for its packaging products, Rusken Digital, which offers “highly detailed and vibrant graphics on its packaging,” according to a company news release.

According to Rusken Chief Operating Officer Randy Whiteaker, “Rusken’s entry into the digital marketplace solidifies our continued commitment to our customers. The investment in technology and people will enhance our offering and bolster our retail and e-commerce presence not only in the South but throughout the U.S.”

The new capability is available immediately, and Rusken is now accepting orders for packaging products that feature digital printing.

The Royal Group (TRG) recently acquired Innovative Fiber, a Franklin, Wisconsin-based packaging provider for the food processing and food service industries.

“We are thrilled to add Innovative Fiber to our team at TRG,” said Kevin Miller, TRG president and CEO. “The Covelli family and their talented employees have built a wonderful company that thrives on responsiveness, innovation, and impeccable customer service. Their strong customer base and location in Wisconsin will immediately make TRG a better company. We look forward to building on their strong foundation and further entrenching ourselves in the Wisconsin market.”

The acquisition took effect March 31. Innovative Fiber is the 18th manufacturing facility and 38th TRG location nationwide.

Louisville, Kentucky-based Rev-A-Shelf, a cabinet, storage, and organizational product company, was recently featured on Domino Digital Printing’s YouTube page.

Steve Jones, vice president of consumer sales at Rev-A-Shelf, talks about the company’s business, its partnership with packaging provider Independent 2, and the benefits of digital printing—in the form of Independent 2’s Domino X630i digital aqueous inkjet corrugated press.

Watch the video here.

Cascades Inc. recently produced its first roll of 100% recycled containerboard at its Bear Island, Virginia, mill.

“After the commissioning of the Greenpac mill nearly 10 years ago, the start-up of Bear Island marks another historic milestone in the strategic modernization of our mill network,” said Cascades President and CEO Mario Plourde. “More than ever, Cascades has modern and competitive assets that will allow us to pursue long-term growth in packaging, on a North American scale.”

The mill has an annual production capacity of 465,000 short tons of lightweight 100% recycled containerboard, according to a company news release. The construction of the facility reportedly created 700 jobs in the region, and 180 permanent jobs were created at the start of commercial production.