President's Message
1st Quarter | 2023

Andrew Jack
AIMCAL President of the Board


President's Message

 Happy & Healthy New Year to all association members.

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I became board president, so much has happened, so before we look forward, let’s recap on 2022.

The year began with a slight hangover from the previous two years; we quickly got back to business, and the industry has seen good growth continue. Unfortunately, this optimism was thrown into chaos after the seemingly senseless invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Sadly, this had a profound effect on some of our members, causing supply-chain issues, etc. Thankfully, we seem to be over the worst of this. As a consequence of the war, energy costs are rising, having a challenging, downstream effect on our industries. Talk of recession toward the end of 2022 became commonplace, although this has yet to fully materialize. Despite all of the above, AIMCAL (now the Association for Roll-to-Roll Converters) gained record membership numbers throughout the year. We held two R2R conferences in Europe and the USA and obviously rebranded our great organization. The new name gives us a better identity and recognizes all companies involved in and supplying to the R2R web-converting industry.

Oh, did I mention the UK had no fewer than three different prime ministers in as many months? What a year!

So onto the future, the rebranding to Association for Roll-to-Roll Converters is only the beginning of the changes you’ll see during 2023. We will have a new, informative, interactive website, allowing our members access to market-leading information. In addition, we expect to launch a new and exciting Converting School education program, again benefiting our members…and non members alike. We also are exploring other locations for conference events to expand our reach and grow further. The more we grow and reach out to other areas of the globe the more benefits to the members of the Association for Roll-to-Roll Converters.

As usual, the latest issue of CQ is packed with great
information about the latest technical and market developments in the web-converting industry, particularly with its Special Market Report on Flexible Packaging. If you don't receive the publication or Digital Version, you can login to your account, click "Preferences" at your personal profile and quickly click the box to subscribe. Or Create a New Account to subscribe too!

You will see us at the following upcoming events:

ICE Europe 2023, March 14-16, Munich, Germany
2023 AWA Global Release Liner Industry
Conference & Exhibition
, March 20-22, Denver, CO
Tape & Functional Films Expo Europe 2023, March
2023, Amsterdam, Netherlands (event sponsor)
interpack 2023, May 4-10, Düsseldorf, Germany
•  Annual Business Summit, Members Only Event, May 16-18, Greenville, SC

To conclude, as president, I am lucky to have the support of an excellent board and hard-working association team headed up by Executive Director Chris Kerscher. I wish all our members a great 2023. 

Your humble servant,

Andy Jack
President of the Board - Association for Roll-to-Roll Converters

Scholarship fund needs your support

The Women’s Leadership Committee of the Association for Roll-to-Roll Converters (formerly AIMCAL) seeks contributions to its scholarship fund. Donations are needed to continue awarding an annual Women in Industry Scholarship for Excellence (WISE). The scholarship funds are applied directly toward the winner’s student loan balance. The WISE is awarded to women working in the roll-to-roll (R2R) converting industry and recognizes those who have overcome significant challenges, invested in STEM degrees, and are making important contributions to the industry.

Established in 2021 to encourage and commend women who have chosen careers in the roll-to-roll industry, the first WISE award was presented in September 2022 to Mary (Katie) Burdette-Trofimov, Ph.D,. of Franklin International(Ohio).

Burdette-Trofimov joined Franklin International in 2021 as a product development chemist and formulates new waterbased, sustainably made, pressure-sensitive adhesives. She holds a Bachelor of Science and doctoral degrees from Clemson University. Her doctoral work focused on the synthesis of polymer-based, drug-delivery systems. While in graduate school, she won the prestigious POLY award, which is given by the American Chemical Society to one graduate student per university for outstanding research in polymeric materials.

An endowment goal of $100,000 has been set. Levels of support include Diamond Sponsor ($10,000+), Gold Sponsor ($5,000), Silver Sponsor ($1,000), and Friends of the Scholarship Fund (any amount from individuals or businesses). Sponsors receive recognition on the association website, in social-media posts, and a scholarship sponsor plaque. Current sponsors include Davis-Standard LLC; Celplast Metallized Products, Ltd.; Nordmeccanica Group; Intellivation LLC; and Mahlo America, Inc.

The deadline for scholarship applications is Aug. 1, 2023. Forms may be found at (click on“Resources,” then “Scholarship”). For more information about the WISE or the Women’s Leadership Committee, contact 803-948-9470 or [email protected].


2023 Business Summit & Annual Meeting
replaces Executive Leadership Conference

The new 2023 Business Summit and Annual Meeting, the successor to the Executive Leadership Conference, will be held May 16-18 in Greenville, SC, headquarters of the Assn. for Roll-to-Roll Converters (formerly AIMCAL). The one-of-a-kind conference has been designed to support both converter and supplier members and their organizations. Highlights include networking programming such as collaborative workshops and presentations from industry leaders, as well as a “behind the scenes” facility tour at a prestigious manufacturer. More info:


ICEC USA moves to January 2024 The 7th edition of
the International Converting Exhibition and Conference

(ICEC) USA has been rescheduled from this spring to 2024 (Jan. 9-11, 2024, Orange County Convention Ctr., Orlando, FL). The Association for Roll-to-Roll Converters (formerly AIMCAL) will sponsor a member pavilion with discounted, turnkey booth space and present its popular series of Fundamentals courses on coating, web handling, slitting/rewinding and more. After 2024, the show will continue to be held in even-numbered years. “The decision [to change dates provides] … a much more desirable timeline for our exhibitors and attendees alike rather than the original 16-month gap,” says ICEC USA Event Director Bob Chiricosta. “We are excited to return to Orlando in 2024 with an even bigger and better event,” he adds. “Many of our exhibitors have confirmed larger booth space than they’ve ever had in the past, and most post-pandemic budgets are expected to be much larger for the show, making this a ‘can’t-miss’ event for the converting industry.” For more information, visit

Busy tradeshow, conference year ahead for association participation

The Association for Roll-to-Roll Converters (formerly AIMCAL) will exhibit or participate at several industry events in 2023, including:

• ICE Europe (March 14-16, Trade Fair Centre, Munich, Germany)

• AWA Global Release Liner Industry Conference & Exhibition (March 20-22, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Denver, CO)

• Tape & Functional Films Expo Europe (March 21- 23, The RAI, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) (event sponsor)

• FLEX Conference & Exhibition (July 11-13, Moscone Ctr. San Francisco, CA)

• PACK EXPO Las Vegas (Sept. 11-13, Convention Ctr., Las Vegas, NV)

• Labelexpo Europe (Sept. 11-14, Expo Centre, Brussels, Belgium)

• The Battery Show North America (Sept. 12-14, Suburban Collection Showplace, Novi, MI)


View all industry events on our Calendar.

Popular Converting School courses head to Green Bay (WI) in April

The Association for Roll-to-Roll Converters (formerly AIMCAL) will present three in-person courses on April 11-12, 2023, at The Tundra Lodge Resort & Conference Ctr. in Green Bay, WI. Options include one-day or half-day courses:

• “Introduction to Coating, Drying, Laminating,” led by Ted Lightfoot (eight hours)

• “Web Handling Fundamentals,” led by Neal Michal (four hours)  

• “Converting Process Development Approaches,” led by Steve Lange (four hours)

More information may be found at (click on “Education,” then “Courses”).

Association roster expands by six

Six firms have joined the Association for Roll-to-Roll Converters (formerly AIMCAL) since the last quarter. The newcomers represent an array of technologies and geographies. The continued growth takes association membership to more than 300 organizations from across the globe.

HB Fuller (Vadnais Heights, MN): Its specialty chemical products portfolio consists of an array of adhesives, sealants, tapes, labels and coatings, including flexible packaging adhesives. (651-236-5345)

Inteplast Engineered Films (Livingston, NJ): Six North American facilities support the production of high-quality films for printers, converters and end users. (800-720-9458)

Leybold (Export, PA): A pioneer in vacuum technology since 1850, the firm offers a comprehensive product line to a global market. (412-295-4235)

MMC Ryotec Corporation (Godo-cho, Japan): Part of Mitsubishi Materials Corporation Group, the engineered carbide-product specialist offers wear-resistant tools (including slot dies). (+81-058-427-1211)

Siemens (Alpharetta, GA): Operating company Siemens Industry supplies automation and control products to machine builders and end users. (

TKM United States (Erlanger, KY): This manufacturer produces long-lasting doctor blades for gravure, flexo and coating applications. (859-538-1287) 

AIMCAL Women’s Leadership Committee
Member Profile:

Ginger Cushing, Goddess,
G Prime LLC

I’ve been working in industry since Mica Corp. hired me as a bench chemist in 1988. There I learned the fundamentals of R2R coating and converting, and it set the stage for the rest of my career. I made a few more stops along the way, then left the security of my salaried job in 2016 to become a consultant under my own banner. I also serve as co-chair of the Women’s Leadership Committee.

Describe your current line of work and what interests you the most about it.
My work focuses on coatings and adhesives used for flexible packaging. Most projects involve developing sustainable replacements for conventional, multilayer plastic structures for food and medical applications. I do a little formulating in my home laboratory and run trials in the field on commercial roll coaters. Nothing pleases me more than finding a practical solution to a technical problem.

What areas of the R2R processing field are the most exciting now and into the future?
It is no secret that flexible packaging has been taking a beating with public sentiment. We (the people in our industry) have the know-how and responsibility to turn things around. CPGs, converters, and machinery and materials producers are collaborating across the value chain more than ever. Recycling and compostable solutions are emerging and making an impact. These are exciting times. There’s still a long way to go and lots of innovation to be seen.

Did you have a female role model or mentor in your career, and what was this experience like?
It’s hard to come up with one. There simply weren’t many women around to coach me. I have often been the sole female on teams and at meetings. Other women in the R2R industry have said the same, and this is why we started the WLC. We quickly developed a network of like-minded professionals who network and mentor each other. We’re two years into it, and I’m amazed at the camaraderie, enthusiasm and creativity the group shares.

What career advice can you give to women coming into the field to help assure their success?
At the outset, I spent too much time trying to blend in and be one of the guys. I believe my work became more valuable when I stepped away from the pack and became an individual. My career has been rewarding, but it wasn’t all fun and games. There were times I was harassed by men who were disrespectful, antagonizing, and, yes, offered unwanted sexual advances. I regret trying to resolve these issues on my own. Though I got through it all, it was frustrating and exhausting to go it alone. My advice to anyone experiencing any kind of discrimination is to muster the strength to report offenders to superiors, human resources…or a lawyer.