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Independent Carton Group Highlights Members’ Successes

Press release from the issuing company

NEWTOWN, CONN. – The Independent Carton Group (ICG), an association of 19 independently owned and operated folding carton manufacturers, is pleased to once again highlight its members’ most notable accomplishments over the past year.

Representing a collective 1,489 years of packaging excellence – and a clear ability to survive and thrive in this industry – the ICG’s 19 member companies always have much to celebrate.

  • Curtis Packaging, which hosted the group’s most recent general membership meeting in its hometown of Sandy Hook, Connecticut, celebrated its 170th anniversary in 2015. Only one member, Zumbiel Packaging, has been in business longer than Curtis Packaging.
  • It was also a milestone year for Accord Carton and Royal Paper Box – each crossed the 75-year mark – as well as El Paso Paper Box, which celebrated 20 years in business.
  • This year, Diamond Packaging turns 105, Finn Industries, 80, and All Packaging, 70.
  • It’s been a decade since 3C Packaging successfully recovered from a fire that destroyed its operation; the company celebrated the anniversary in 2015. Following the 2005 fire, ICG members provided 3C Packagingproduction assistance, a benefit of membership.
  • During the ICG meeting in Spokane, Washington, in August, members helped Sonderen Packaging celebrate Mark Sonderen’s retirement. The now third-generation company received the Galliard Excellence Award for its ownership transition process.

Several members recently completed a manufacturing facility expansion; others are currently in the midst of a construction project. All ICG members also continue to invest in new equipment. 

  • Accord Carton added 150,000 sq. ft. to its plant in Alsip, Illinois, and now occupies two-thirds of the new space. The company also installed a new Bobst Mastercut die cutter.
  • The 150,000 sq. ft. addition being built onto Accurate Box’s Paterson, New Jersey, plant will be complete in 2017. A third Bobst Asitrade litho-laminator was installed in 2015.
  • Texas-based Frankston Packaging opened a new sales office in Plano, Texas, in 2015. The company also installed a new flexographic press (with inline AVT inspection and Spectrophotometer systems, inline laminating, and cold foil capabilities) along with a new slitter/rewinder.
  • Colbert Packaging installed a new Heidelberg Speedmaster press in its Elkhart, Indiana, offset facility and a Mark Andy label press in its Lake Forest, Illinois, flexo facility.
  • A Heidelberg Anicolor press and a Zünd cutter with a robotic arm, which is being used primarily for sample-making, are now in operation at Thoro Packaging. The company also recently added 38,000 sq. ft. to its manufacturing facility in Corona, California.
  • El Paso Paper Box purchased a KBA Rapida press to be delivered in May 2016; in 2015, it installed a Bobst Expertfold folder-gluer and a first-of-its-kind Ultrabender BB-020.
  • Another Bobst Expertfold folder-gluer has also been installed at Indiana Carton.
  • Diamond Packaging added cold foil technology to one of its Heidelberg presses.
  • An Agfa Avalon platesetter is now operational at Sonderen Packaging.
  • 3C Packaging’s new Vijuk Outsert System folds outserts into as many as 294 panels.

Equipment investments are made not only to increase capacity and remain on the cutting edge, but also to add capabilities. Several members recently introduced new products and services.

  • The new flexographic press, together with various prepress department upgrades, enabled Frankston Packagingto start a flexible packaging and pressure-sensitive label operation.
  • A new serialization solution called Clear Code is available from 3C Packaging.
  • Royal Paper Box can now apply printed inserts to cartons on its folder-gluer lines.
  • FoldedColor Packaging, an online division of Thoro Packaging, was introduced in 2015 as a web-to-carton solution for affordable offset production on orders as low as 50 boxes.
  • Curtis Packaging introduced NFC (near field communication) packaging in 2015.
  • NEO from Disc Graphics can now accommodate up to six DVDs or Blu-ray Discs.
  • Colbert Packaging now offers a larger footprint MedLock EZ patient adherence package.

While longevity alone is proof of ICG members’ ability to stay innovative and competitive in the industry, the solutions they create and patents and certifications they hold are further evidence.

  • In 2015, a second U.S. patent was granted to Disc Graphics for its NEO package.
  • Frankston Packaging was awarded a U.S. patent for another unique carton design.
  • Three members – Colbert PackagingCurtis Packaging and Frankston Packaging – became G7 certified in 2015.
  • 3C Packaging has achieved GMI certification.
  • Metro Packaging and Imaging has achieved SQF certification.

Executives at all 19 ICG member companies are very engaged in the packaging industry and in their communities. Several notable promotions and additions were made within the past year.

  • Steve Harrell was appointed president of Dee Paper Box, Dave Rydell, president of Diamond Packaging, and Joe Norton, president of Zumbiel Packaging, in 2015.
  • Carlos Espinoza now serves as El Paso Paper Box’s vice president and general manager.
  • Curtis Packaging recently promoted Kerry Brown to vice president of operations and Mike Simko to vice president of sales.
  • Climax Manufacturing has named George Sullivan director of operations.
  • Mike Jones has been promoted to production manager at Thoro Packaging.
  • Jessy Elphick has joined her father, Joe Elphick, and her sister, Joey Elphick, in the family business, 3C Packaging.
  • Sonderen Packaging promoted Allen Krant from the cutting department to a new night plant manager position. 

Last year, general membership meetings brought ICG members together in Rochester, New York (hosted by Diamond Packaging), Spokane, Washington (hosted by Sonderen Packaging), and Sandy Hook, Connecticut (hosted by Curtis Packaging). Furthermore, technical conferences brought members’ employees together in Hebron, Kentucky (hosted by Zumbiel Packaging) and Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania (hosted by Rock-Tenn, one of several dozen ICG suppliers).

This year, ICG members will gather at meetings in Bremen, Indiana (Indiana Carton), Clayton, North Carolina (3C Packaging), and Southern California (Finn Industries in Ontario, Royal Paper Box in Montebello and Thoro Packaging in Corona). The technical conferences will be held in Lake Forest, Illinois (Colbert Packaging) and Hauppauge, New York (Disc Graphics).

“As we look back on our group’s many great accomplishments over the past year, we also pause to remember the passing of Bill Finn, who was a dear friend and a valuable member of the ICG family for many years,” said Jay Willie, executive director of the Independent Carton Group.


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