The proposed US$11bn acquisition of WestRock by Smurfit Kappa has been given the go-ahead, with its NSW folding carton print site to become part of a US$34bn a year business.

In its first drupa as a standalone business, Kongsberg Precision Cutting Systems will debut what it says are advanced new robotics, and next generation digital cutting technology.

Daniel Brunton assesses the threats and opportunities emerging in the corrugated packaging sector as a new wave of digital corrugated machines are being prepared for release, and say proponents, will address a surging market.

An investment of $80m in the Whakatane Mill will boost board production by 66,000 tonnes a year to 230,000 tonnes, and will pave the way for a further increase of 100,000 tonnes a year capacity. Whakatane produces the Formakote range supplied by Ball & Doggett.

Kellie Northwood, CEO of print industry employers’ group Visual Media Association, presented on the benefits of fibre packaging, on the ecoporium stand at the Appex trade show in Melbourne.

Bridge Road Brewers harnessed the power of print and digital connection to achieve a Top 5 ranking in the coveted GABS Hottest 100 Craft Beer Poll. The job was printed by East Coast Printing.

Agfa has unveiled its B1 SpeedSet 1060 water-based inkjet printing press, aimed at the packaging market, with the press now being fine-tuned at several early adopters.

IVE will build a $150m-a-year folding carton business, with major investments to drive growth at its JacPak acquisition, and at Silverwater, where existing commercial presses will be leveraged into a packaging production workflow, along with new folder gluers and die cutters.

Heidelberg’s press sales for the first three quarters of its financial year are steady compared with last year, with its EBITDA up by eight per cent, in what the company said was a weakened market.

Spicers is boosting its diversification strategy and drive into new markets with the acquisition of Signet Packaging. The deal will mean packaging will account for a third of the Spicers business.

The $600m Maryvale Energy from Waste (EfW) project has reached a major milestone, signing a multi-million-dollar engineering design agreement with Spanish infrastructure group Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios.

Jet Technologies is making what it says is a “significant step forward” in providing sustainable and innovative packaging solutions to ANZ, by partnering with Actega.

In the latest issue of Print21 magazine, Dr Sean Smyth from industry analysts says visitors to drupa in May will see myriad new technologies for digital packaging printing.

Flexible plastics and paperboard will be the fastest growing packaging materials – reflecting both challenges and opportunities as the industry targets greater sustainability – across the next five years, according to the latest in-depth analysis from Smithers.

Industry veteran Bruce Caldwell has joined Kissel + Wolf Australia as the new sales manager ANZ for corrugated packaging, sign and display.

Opal has opened its new $140m, high-tech, corrugated cardboard packaging facility, which has the capacity to produce 400 tonnes of flexo printed and finished corrugated boxes every day.