According to the study World Adhesives by the Freedonia Group, Cleveland, one primary factor behind rising demand for adhesives is the favorable growth forecast for the paper and paperboard-packaging industry, which will primarily benefit starch adhesives, hot melts and emulsions.

The Rauch Guide to the U.S. Adhesives and Sealants Industry, Third Edition, offered by Impact Marketing Consultants, Manchester Center, Vt., says that of the eight major end-use markets studied, packaging dominates with 28% of the market. By end use, electrical/electronic and medical/dental applications will lead the growth, but packaging will remain the leading market.

So, not surprisingly, packaging applications are a large part of our editorial mix here at ASI magazine.

This month, in his article Innovations in Pressure Sensitive Adhesives -- Understanding Converting and Application Requirements (pg. 26), Chris Drury gives examples from market segments, such as packaging, that show the range of possibilities open to pressure sensitive adhesives suppliers.

In another feature this month, Fine-Tuning Viscoelasticity of EB-Cured Adhesives to Optimize Performance (pg. 32), Tom Kauffman and Dr. Dave Whitman point out that there is currently a great deal of commercial interest in the use of EB curing for packaging and industrial applications.

"Today, hot melt glue systems and pressure sensitive tape systems compete for most new automated carton-sealing installations," says Dr. Barry Snyder, global marketing manager, Packaging and Converting, for Rohm and Haas Co. "We've found that set time and line speed are the top factors leading to the selection of automated hot melt glue systems for carton sealing. For automated pressure sensitive taping systems, however, low cost and ease of use, as well as low maintenance and operating reliability, are the most important selection criteria," says Dr. Snyder. "Cold glue, water-activated taping methods, and stitching or stapling are a relatively small portion of the market today," he adds.

Can't decide? You may not have to.

Wexxar's new series of convertible case formers, featured at Pack Expo International Booth N3827 from Nov. 3-7, 2002, offers the option of switching sealing mechanisms from hot melt glue to pressure sensitive tape with a simple drop-in cartridge that can be set up and ready to go in minutes. Convertible Case Former Model WF2H is ideal for packagers and contract packagers in virtually all sectors that require corrugated case and tray forming and sealing.

Using one machine to provide both types of closure allows packagers to boost productivity through increased equipment utilization. Especially in today's contract-packaging environments, where the issue of tape or glue sealing crops up frequently, having the versatility to satisfy either preference is an effective way to keep costs down while broadening capabilities to meet customer needs.

So, whether the choice is hot melts or tapes, the clear winner is ... adhesives.

RoSealR water-based adhesives for carton-sealing tapes -- Rohm and Haas Co., 100 Independence Mall West, Philadelphia,

PA 19106-2399;

Convertible Case Former Model WF2H -- Wexxar Packaging Machinery Ltd., 10101 Nordel Court, Delta, BC Canada, V4G 1JB;

call 604-930-9300; fax 604-930-9368; e-mail