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Final score for '96: Productivity gains 41, productivity losses 6

Of 516 responses to the 1997 Packaging Productivity Trends Indicator Survey, more than four in ten (41%) report productivity improvements in 1996, compared to just 6% who say their companies experienced losses in productivity.

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So reports the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (Washington, DC) in preliminary information. The full report will be made public at PMMI's Packaging Productivity Forum, April 28 to 30 at the Wydham Hamilton Hotel in suburban Chicago. Of six industries studied in the survey, beauty & cosmetics products and electronics registered the strongest gains, 51% and 50% respectively. Of those respondents reporting losses, 61% report the productivity decline was less than 10%. The overall results and the company initiatives that led to them will be described in detail by Ben Miyares, editor/publisher, Packaging Management newsletter and contributing editor to Packaging World. In addition, Hanno C. Fiedler (right), chairman and CEO, Schmalbach-Lubeca/Continental Can Europe, will be the keynote dinner speaker at the Forum, April 29. Schmalbach-Lubeca is a giant in the global beverage package business. Entrenched in Europe, the company is currently in the process of acquiring the polyester container operations of Johnson Controls (Manchester, MI), the second largest U.S. manufacturer of PET bottles. The company also owns White Cap (Downers Grove, IL), the world's largest producer of vacuum closures and closure applicating systems. At the PPF dinner, Fiedler will offer his insights into the globalization of packaging supply, and the role of package suppliers in emerging markets like Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia. "We are most pleased to have someone with Mr. Fiedler's experience and worldwide perspective at PPF," says Daniel Pollock, chairman of PMMI's Industry Relations Committee and president of Roe, Inc. "Schmalbach-Lubeca is a growing packaging force in Europe and North America." (For more program details on the Forum, see PW, Feb. '97, p. 56).

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