President's Message
3rd Quarter | 2021

Dante Ferrari
AIMCAL President of the Board


President's Message

Hello AIMCAL members, and welcome to the Q3 2021.

Who’s ready to start meeting face-to-face again?! One of the first opportunities will be this fall’s AIMCAL R2R USA and SPE FlexPackCon Conference in Orlando from Oct. 17 -21. It is co-located with the International Converting Exhibition & Conference USA (formerly ICE USA), so you will have double the opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones.

Speaking of making new friends, we announced in the spring that the Gravure Association of the Americas would be combining with AIMCAL. This is an exciting move for both associations. It combines GAA’s expertise in offering certified training with AIMCAL’s expertise in running large-scale conferences. Both have excelled at delivering events virtually during the past 18 months. This has given us both a lot of experience to develop online resources even further. Most importantly, the combination of these two associations greatly expands networking opportunities, as we now have a combined membership of well over 300 companies.

AIMCAL has continued to deliver value online with live webinars, hybrid Converting School courses, AIMCALTV and our past 10 years of Conference Proceedings. However, in-person learning is still the most proven way to effectively deliver an education. Just ask anyone with children who experienced online learning in its various forms during the past year. We look forward to bringing you more in-person Converting Schools, conferences and focused topic Symposia in the coming year.

See you all in Orlando!

Your humble servant,

Dante Ferrari
President of the Board - AIMCAL


AIMCAL Releases Packed Agenda for R2R USA Conference Co-located with ICEC USA 2021

AIMCAL committees have been hard at work organizing the multi-track agenda for the 2021 AIMCAL R2R (rollto-roll) USA Conference. Tracks include Coating & Laminating; Vacuum Web Coating; Web Handling; Sustainability; Flexible Packaging (organized by SPE FlexPackCon); and Gravure Technical Forum (GAA). Held in-person Oct. 17-21, in conjunction with the ICEC (International Converting Exhibition and Conference) USA (formerly ICE USA) at the Orange County Convention Ctr. in Orlando, FL, the conference serves as the ICEC USA Technical Conference. Multi-track conference sessions are scheduled each morning from 8 to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 19; Wednesday, Oct. 20; and Thursday, Oct. 21; leaving time each afternoon to walk the exhibition floor, take a short course or listen to expert sessions on the show floor.

AIMCAL will present its day-long Fundamentals Seminars on Slitting & Rewinding and Coating & Drying on Sunday, Oct. 17, and host a members-only pavilion on the ICEC show floor. Members may purchase discounted booth space within the AIMCAL Pavilion by visiting Exhibit and registration options are available at this Website, too. Attendees interested in viewing the R2R USA full agenda, learning about R2R USA sponsorship opportunities or finding answers to common questions (look for the FAQ section), should check the AIMCAL Website,, under Conference & Events.


Converting School Offers Live Weekly Course and On-Demand Courses

To provide more digital learning opportunities, AIMCAL offers hybrid online Converting School courses in weekly or monthly formats. The weekly course offers live online instruction for two hours each day. In the month-long course, attendees watch on-demand video presentations each week and attend a live, online Q&A session each Friday for up to two hours. To register, go to, click on Education and select Courses.  


January 10-14, 2022, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. EDT daily
Unwinds: Overview and Case Studies Week

 Instructor: Neal Michal

AIMCAL also offers purely online courses on:

  • Adhesion and Adhesives for Converters
  • Drives for Web Handling
  • Web Handling and Converting
  • Solution Preparation and Mixing
  • Web Slitting Technology
  • Roll-to-Roll Vacuum Deposition onto Flexible Substrates
  • Web Winding: Machines, Mechanics and Measurements.

    Participants in the online-only courses receive a printed workbook and access to the course for 90 days. This timeframe allows students to work at their own pace. To register, go to, click on Education. 

AIMCAL Accepting 2021 Hall of Honor Nominations until January 31

AIMCAL will accept Hall of Honor nominations until Jan. 31, 2022. Established in 2020, the AIMCAL Hall of Honor recognizes significant contributions to the group and the roll-to-roll (R2R) industry. The fi rst class was inducted in October 2020. The AIMCAL Hall of Honor brings together some of the most innovative and influential names in the R2R web-processing and converting industry. Thanks to the leadership and knowledge provided by this esteemed list of individuals, the industry has been able to adapt and grow through many years of constant advancements.  Nominees should meet the minimum requirements of the AIMCAL Hall of Honor: Potential inductees should be outstanding examples of contributors to both AIMCAL and the R2R industry; candidates must have at least 10 years of participation with AIMCAL and a minimum of 15 years employment in the R2R industry at suppliers, converters and/or raw-material manufacturers. Hall of Honor application forms are available on the AIMCAL Website, Click on Conferences & Events.


2022 Annual Awards Program Sets Deadline

AIMCAL has set Jan. 31, 2022, as the deadline for submissions to its annual Product of the Year, Technology of the Year and Sustainability Award competitions. While that date seems far off , it’s not too early to begin gathering samples, preparing paperwork and obtaining clearances from customers. To watch a video of the 2021 AIMCAL Awards presentation, view guidelines for entries, and check out the winners from past competitions, go to the AIMCAL Website, Click on Conferences & Events. 


AIMCAL Roster Adds 2 New Members

AIMCAL has added two new member companies. Full details about each company and all other member organizations can be found on the AIMCAL Website, (under the Resources tab, click on Member Directory to access the online AIMCAL Sourcebook or the searchable database).

Advanced Greig Laminators, Inc. (DeForest, WI): This specialist in custom laminators off ers widths from 14 to 132 in., an array of unwind/windup options and features such as automatic tension control, electronic web guides, touchscreen operator interfaces, AC or DC drive, web cooling, auxiliary heating, safety chucks, air shafts and output slitting options. (608-846-1025)

DuPont (Circleville, OH): Located not far from Dayton, OH, this DuPont operation works side-by-side with industry leaders in safety, healthcare, electronics, mobility and construction, creating technology-based materials, ingredients and solutions that help transform industries and everyday life. (614-361-4050)


AIMCAL Women’s Leadership Committee Member Profile:

 Martha Sloboda

VP-Commercial, Duraco (includes AIMCAL members Duraco, Infinity Tapes, and Filmquest)

Describe your current line of work and what interests you the most about it:
I have over 21 years of experience in the R2R industry across markets, materials, and capabilities – from next-generation, controlled-drug delivery platforms to launching masking-tape lines in Southeast Asia. I currently lead the commercial team, including Sales, Marketing, Product Management, and R&D for Duraco and associated companies.

Simply put, I love tape and coated materials. The constant evolution and flexibility of the format is exciting to promote. And it’s a lot of fun to develop the teams and talent that help educate our customers and constantly deliver innovative solutions across applications and markets. It is the creative deployment of these technologies and formats that let us adapt during COVID and now has us rapidly growing in new markets

What areas of the R2R processing field are the most exciting now and into the future?
R2R is perfectly built to deliver on the macro trends driving multiple markets – like customization and responsiveness. For example, our in-home decoration growth is the direct result of understanding that our product line’s performance coupled with our rapid customization and intuitive design would resonate with consumers and the companies looking to give their customers a “unique” product experience and individualized product. We are able to satisfy these multiple markets off of the same assets and with the same chemistries because the R2R format enables incremental innovation and modification competitively and quickly

Did/do you have a female role model or mentor in your career and what was this experience like?
I have been extremely lucky to have had multiple female mentors across functions and throughout my career. I still leverage their creativity and honesty as I navigate both my personal aspirations and think about how to develop the next generations of talent. For me, it is that honesty that was critical in understanding and navigating both the obvious and subtle forces that underly all businesses. As one mentor said to me, “No one is born knowing a ‘language,’ and it is my job to help you understand the ‘language.'

What career advice can you give to women coming into the field to help assure their success?
There are three pieces of advice, given to me that I believe should be passed to every young woman coming up: 1) Find a mentor – and listen. If you don’t have one now, find one and ask for her support and guidance. 2) Push past your comfort zone. You will learn a lot about yourself and will likely deliver something fantastic to the market. 3) Know how and when to tell your story. You have a great one, but like all great stories, take the time to know how to present it.