Stimulating Challenges of Improving Processes

Dr. Kenneth McCarthy has over 35 years of experience in the coating industry and will be a featured "Ask the Expert" at ICE USA.

Dr. Kenneth McCarthy has over 35 years of experience in the coating industry and will be a featured “Ask the Expert” at ICE USA.

Welcome to everyone who is registered, or is considering registering, for ICE USA 2015. There are tremendous opportunities available at this conference for people in the converting industries.  For people who are fairly new to this field, the CEMA seminars on Monday, February 9th, are a great way to get a deeper understanding of the many processes that are used in these industries. The AIMCAL Technical Presentations, from 10-12 each day during the exposition, are an excellent opportunity to develop skills for your current job, or your next job. And the free “Ask the Experts” 15 minute technical consultations are a great way to get some insight and advice on those vexing problems that can beset any operation from time to time, so take advantage of all these opportunities to make yourself all you can be.

I am happy to meet with any of you who have questions that I may be able to answer. I worked at Polaroid and its derivative Multilayer Coating Technologies for 37 years, mostly in clean room coating operations, as an engineer, supervisor, and film plant manager. I was responsible for the introduction of new products in several film plants, bridging the transitions from R/D through Pilot Plant and scale-up to full production of more than 20 Polaroid products. It was always a stimulating challenge to get to the bottom of the underlying product technology and to improve our coating processes to meet the new product requirements.

Much of that time was spent on solving product defect issues, so I am happy to discuss those types of issues with you. I plan to bring my Celestron Digital Microscope with me to analyze any defect samples you may have.

At the 2014 AIMCAL Technical Conference, I gave a talk on Dispensing Systems, which included a discussion of bubbles in the dispensing systems for fluid coating operations. Most bubbles are caused by air entrainment, and there are several process steps where this issue can occur. On the suction side of pumps, any leaks can introduce air into the coating fluid. If there is recycling or solution is being added to an open container, bubbles can form if the solution is added above the fluid level, causing splashing to occur. Air pockets in lines caused by inadequate design can be sources of bubbles. Lastly, dissolved air coming out of solution is another cause of bubbles, so degassing is needed to eliminate this source. I am happy to discuss any dispensing issues and fluid mixing issues as well. See you in Orlando.

You can make an appointment with Dr. McCarthy or any other the other “Experts” here.

ICE USA’s Guest Blogger is Dr. Kenneth McCarthy. Ken has over 35 years of experience in the coating industry. He previously served as Senior Product Development Manager at Polaroid and Multilayer Coating Technologies. His company, Clean Room Coating Solutions, provides consulting services in coating, drying, defect characterization, coating heads, mixing, and scale-up projects, and more. His areas of expertise include coating fluid mix preparation and delivery, coating operations, clean room operations, coating applicator design, environmental management, and new product development. In addition, he has extensive experience in new product translation, from laboratory through scale-up into full-scale manufacturing. Ken received a PhD and MS in Chemical Engineering from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

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“Ask The Experts” Program Just Keeps Getting Bigger & Better

Ask-the-Expert-icon-300x336Don’t you just love it when good things get even better?  Such is the case with the “Ask The Experts” Pavilion planned for ICE USA 2015 next February 10-12 in Orlando.

For those of you not familiar with the “Ask The Experts” Pavilion at ICE USA, converting professionals attending North America’s leading converting event can book complimentary one-on-one consulting sessions with five of the industry’s leading authorities to discuss specific challenges and problems.

And much to our delight, the Pavilion has been a tremendous success over the last three Shows. I received so many positive reports from converters who said they not only solved perplexing problems and challenges, but the solutions saved many of their companies’ significant resources – both time and money. Several converters told me that many of the technical solutions suggested to them were being showcased by exhibitors on the show floor.  This allowed them to see the actual running equipment and discuss technical details with the industry’s leading suppliers.

In fact, the program was such a success that we have expanded it again this year to include two new experts. Dr. Kenneth McCarthy will be available to discuss Clean Room Coating Solutions and German Laverde will advise attendees about “Doing Business in Latin America,” after his keynote presentation on February 11. They will join our ICE USA Panel of Experts that includes:

  • Dr. Edward D. Cohen (Web Coating)
  • Vincent DiTrolio (Flexo Printing)
  • Kelly Robinson – (Static Control)
  • Dr. Dave Roisum (Web Handling & Converting)
  • Dave Rumson (Slitting & Rewinding)

Attendees can schedule complimentary 15-minute appointments with any of the experts during all three days of the Show, with the exception of German Laverde.

You can learn more about the “Ask The Experts” Pavilion on our website as well as book your appointments in advance here.

We hope to see you at the Show!

Blog written by Bob Chiricosta, Director, North American Exhibitions, ICE USA

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Basic Causes for Web Coating Defects

Ed Cohen

Dr. Ed Cohen is a Technical Consultant for AIMCAL and President of the International Society of Coating Science and Technology. He will participate in “Ask the Expert” during ICE USA 2015.

Since the web coating process can generate a wide variety of defects, which will adversely affect product quality and profitability, it is essential that they be minimized for new products under development and in current production.  The effectiveness of eliminating coating and drying defects can be significantly improved by recognizing that there are some fundamental causes that control the formation of defects. Understanding these fundamental cause can identify significant deficiencies in the product and process that might not have been observed using the strictly empirical methods. It is often believed that each defect apparently has a unique cause. However; several defects can result from a single cause; as a result a fundamental process change can reduce several defects.

Understanding these basic causes, will give a more efficient procedure to develop new robust products with minimum defect susceptibility and to improve quality and yield in currently manufactured products.

The following are the Ten Basic Defect Causes:

  1. Contaminated raw materials
  2. Substrate deficiencies
  3. Coating solutions are not optimized or reproducible
  4. Unstable Coating process
  5. Inadequate Coating Line Subsystems
  6. Drying induced coating distortions
  7. Variations in web transport system performance
  8. Inadequate operating procedures and personnel training
  9. Deterioration of coating line hardware capability
  10. Key Process variables not effectively controlled

A technical paper and discussions during the ICE USA 2015 will present more detail on each of these causes.

Dr. Cohen will also be available for one on one consultations in the “Ask the Experts” pavilion at ICE USA. Attendees can schedule complimentary 15-minute appointments with the experts during all three days of the Show. They are available February 10 and 11 from 1pm – 4pm and February 12 from 1pm – 3pm. Making appointments in advance on the ICE USA website is encouraged, but attendees can also make appointments onsite based on availability.

You can go online and register to be part of the leading America’s leading event for converting professionals.

We look forward to seeing you next February 10-12 in Orlando.

ICE USA’s Guest Blogger is Dr. Edward D. Cohen. Dr. Cohen is a technical consultant in all aspects of the web coating process.  Currently he is Technical Consultant for AIMCAL and President of the International Society of Coating Science and Technology.

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An Optimistic Outlook for the Converting Industry

ICE USA 1 (Blog)It seems that just about anywhere I turn lately I see encouraging news about the strength and growth of the converting industry.

Most of the research companies, associations and publications serving the converting marketplace are predicting solid, steady growth for the industry and its related market segments. A recent Brooks Report on the U.S. Converting Market, produced by the parent company of ICE USA, forecasts a 4% annual growth through the end of the decade (see my next blog for more detailed information on the Brooks Report).

However, I also tend to look at another important indicator when gauging the growth of the converting industry – the success of trade shows and conferences in related industries. I recently attended Label Expo and Pack Expo in Chicago and both Shows were very strong events. More importantly, the exhibitors and attendees I spoke with all seemed very enthusiastic about future growth of the converting industry and ICE USA (see video interviews on what people are saying, more of what they are saying and solutions for converters).

Although Label Expo serves just one segment of the converting industry and Pack Expo is an all-encompassing, packaging-focused event, I had some great conversations with optimistic converters and suppliers who were in attendance.  In fact, several companies signed on as new ICE USA exhibitors or increased their existing booth space.

Meeting with exhibitors and viewing new equipment is a key reason to attend ICE USA.

Meeting with exhibitors and viewing new equipment is a key reason to attend ICE USA.

Which brings me to the ultimate test of how I personally gauge how optimistic the industry is for growth prospects. We compare current exhibitor demand for booth space to where we were at the same point in time before the 2013 biennial event.  I’m very pleased to report that many exhibitors have increased their booth space in anticipation of another record-breaking Show and a strong economy.  Some exhibitors have doubled and even tripled their exhibit space so they can bring running machinery to the Show.

You can read more about the demand for ICE USA booth space here. And, you can go online and register to be part of the leading America’s leading event for converting professionals.

We look forward to seeing you next February 10-12 in Orlando.

Blog written by Bob Chiricosta, Director, North American Exhibitions, ICE USA

Posted in AIMCAL, Associations, Attendees, Education and Seminars, Exhibitors, General, Orlando, Florida, Partners, Special Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Printed, flexible electronics may be converting industry’s Brave New World

Canatu film for wearable devices

Canatu film for wearable devices, Canatu Oy (Finland).

While products such as flexible packaging, label stocks, adhesive tapes and silicone release liners are mainstays of the global web converting industry, the fledgling market for printed, organic and flexible electronics (PE) represents a Brave New World of opportunities for converters and suppliers. Items such as OLEDs, sensors and conductive inks, for example, account for 99% of this year’s nearly $24-billion market, as estimated by UK researcher IDTechEx.

One place to spot the latest trends in product design and actual manufacturing of these items is this week’s Printed Electronics USA 2014. Here’s a quick rundown on a few new developments (as of presstime):

  • Arjowiggins Creative Papers (US): POWERCOAT® FSC-certified, biodegradable, 100% recyclable, coated paper as a flexible substrate for printed electronics.
  • Canatu Oy (Finland): A stretchable, nano-carbon film for touch displays and control surfaces in automobiles, home appliances and consumer electronics.
  • DuPont Microcirucuit Materials (US): PE510 pure copper conductive ink, as a cost-effective alternative to silver, for certain types of antennae, membrane touch switches, RFIDs and consumer electronics apps.
  • Heraeus Materials Technology GmbH & Co. KG (Germany): Clevios™ PEDOT:PSS two-component hardcoat lacquer for enhanced mechanical stability in coated substrates.
  • Northfield Automation Systems (US): Profection Series modular, additive printing, inspection and characterization equipment for precision handling in R2R operations.
  • SouthWest NanoTechnologies (US): 3D capacitive touch sensors using V2V™ transparent, thermoformed, carbon nanotube inks.
  • XENON Corp. (US): In-line digital printing of conductive ink on paper (via Methode Electronics), then high-speed, pulsed-light sintering to produce a working RFID inlay.

High-speed R2R converting of wide webs of printed, flexible electronics are, of course, the Holy Grail of this breakthrough field. Costs would decline significantly and throughput would skyrocket, but while this won’t happen any time soon, it doesn’t mean it won’t happen at all. Stop and think about the digital package printing of 20 years ago: Narrow, slow, low-resolution. Today, presses are churning out 30-in.-wide webs at 150 fpm with quality rivaling that of gravure.

For a look at today’s high-speed web converting and how the printed, flexible electronics of 2030 will be manufactured, look no further than ICE USA 2015 (Feb. 10-12 in Orlando, FL). Already numerous exhibitors at the show will be displaying systems for coating, laminating, slitting and rewinding PE materials for products such as OPVs, thin-film batteries and RFIDs. And there’s nothing narrow or slow about that.

ICE USA’s Guest Blogger is Mark Spaulding. He has been a business-to-business journalist for 30+ years. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BA in Print Journalism and Graphic Design. His publishing experience includes a variety of editorial positions including chief editor of Packaging magazine, and for 15 years, he had been editor-in-chief of Converting magazine. Now, as associate publisher and editor-in-chief of Converting Quarterly, he manages the overall editorial mission for the official AIMCAL technical journal. Online, Mark writes frequent posts for his Blog, “The Converting Curmudgeon.”

Posted in AIMCAL, Associations, Attendees, CEMA, Education and Seminars, Exhibitors, OEMs, Orlando, Florida, TAPPI | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Getting the Most Out of Attending ICE USA 2013

The Orange County Convention Centre, South Concourse (photo credit, Mike Sharp)

The Orange County Convention Center (photo credit, Mike Sharp)

With more than 300 exhibitors, nearly two-dozen educational sessions and a wealth of special show features, it is often challenging to determine the best way to allocate your time at a trade Show. So many things to do and see and so little time!

Based on years of attending a variety of events around the world, we thought you might find the following tips helpful in managing your time at ICE USA 2013.

Opening Reception: If you arrive on Monday, April 8, you will want to be sure to attend the Opening Reception that evening at the Orlando Convention Center. As with the Golf Tournament, it is an excellent place to network with exhibitors and other converters. Some nice deals have been finalized over a cocktail at the Opening Reception.

Create A Schedule: An absolute must for a Show like ICE USA is to create a schedule in advance with the exhibitors you want to see, which educational sessions you wish to attend and what special features you will take advantage of. You can find a list of exhibitors and a floor plan on the website so you can map out the most efficient use of your time. It is also a good idea to reach out to some of the key exhibitors in advance and arrange specific times you can meet at their booths.

Some Show veterans like to leave a few hours at the end or the beginning of their visit to just walk the aisles and see new companies and technologies. Some attendees like to do this at the beginning of their visit to get a lay of the land and determine which additional exhibitors they will visit later. Other attendees like to get their scheduled and planned visits done first and then spend time looking for new ideas and suppliers. Regardless of which process you prefer, also plan more time than you think you will need as unexpected opportunities always arise.

Stay Updated Via Social Media: To stay attuned to new developments and Show news before and during the event, be sure to engage with our social media channels and link for live updates, pictures, information and trending topics that will make your visit as enjoyable and informative as possible.

Twitter #hashtags for ICE USA 2013 include:

  • #ICEUSA2013 (all general activities)
  • #ICEUSANews (breaking exhibitor news)
  • #ICETAPPI (specific to TAPPI activities and seminars)
  • #ICEAIMCAL (specific to AIMCAL activities and seminars)
  • #ICECEMA (specific to CEMA activities and seminars)
  • #ICEPSTC (specific to PSTC activities and seminars)
  • #ICERadTech (specific to RadTech activities and seminars)
  • #ICEAWA (specific to AWA activities and seminars)

Pre-register Online: If you haven’t already pre-registered, you will want to do that ASAP. You can avoid the long lines and save yourself a great deal of time that you could be spending on the Show floor or in one of the educational sessions. If you register before April 5, you can save 50% off entrance fees

See you in Orlando!

Posted in AIMCAL, Associations, Attendees, CEMA, Education and Seminars, Exhibitors, Networking, Orange County CC, Orlando, Florida, Partners, Social Media, Special Events, TAPPI, Trade Shows, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ICE USA Hits 300 Exhibitor Milestone for 2013 Event

Meeting with exhibitors and viewing new equipment is a key reason to attend ICE USA.

Meeting with exhibitors and viewing new equipment is a key reason to attend ICE USA.

With only a few weeks left until ICE USA 2013, we are happy to report that more than 300 converting industry suppliers from around the world have already reserved space for next month’s event, April 9-11, in Orlando.

With attendee registration running at twice the level of the biennial ICE USA 2011 and over 300 exhibitors, including 100 first-time exhibiting companies, the size of this year’s Show has already surpassed last year’s by 33%. As the largest dedicated converting event in North America, ICE USA is a machinery-led event with more than one-third of the exhibitors featuring running machinery and providing live demonstrations.

In addition to the various converting equipment on display, attendees will also able to experience the wealth of web inspection equipment that will be shown. We believe this could be the largest collection of web-inspection companies exhibiting in the USA in many years. Several web-inspection companies are also presenting educational sessions.

With a record number of exhibitors and attendee registration running well ahead of 2011 – we are expecting a great Show! To learn more about ICE USA 2013, or register to attend, visit You can also watch a cool video on ‘What’s Happening at ICE USA 2013’.

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