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May 25, 2018 | Atlanta - New York

On Friday, Kay flies back to Germany, and Rolf arrives from there. Before we start the next part of the tour, we fill up our reserves and spend a few relaxing hours at a lake near the campground – very helpful in beating the jet lag. After that, the Editourmobil is on the road again - as fast as the speed limits allow us to go!

The first few days are reserved for some more appointments in the Atlanta area: We meet Andreas Müller (CEO) and Scott Heins (Director of Sales and Marketing) from Intravis. In their plant as in many others we discover the aftermath of the NPE show: There are no machines in the plant. Some are sold, some are still on their way back to the plants. On the next day we have an appointment with Keith Boss (CEO) and Johnson Zhang (President) from Tech-Long. The bottles they show us we later find on the shelf in the big Wal-Marts. Premium water bottling is the trend! And - last but not least – we met Paul W. Clark and Larry LaFerriere from PET Terra Systems. With them we have a long conversation about their projects: To help building up the perfect bottling plant! We can feel their enthusiasm and their satisfaction in their work. We complete this perfect content mix with the final Atlanta appointment: CKS Packaging. In the Renaissance Airport Hotel, we meet John R. Sewell (CEO), G. Dewayne Phillips (EVP) and Doug Rendall, Director of PET Technologies at CKS. Later that day, we get the chance to explore one of this PET packaging veteran's plants. There, David Batten, Sales Manager USA/Canada at 1Blow, and a technical team from CKS invite us to walk around to see some secrets and the daily work of CKS. This sounds good - and it is indeed fantastic!

On the other hand: Driving the RV during the Atlanta rush hour is not always child’s play. Stopped in the crowded highway lines on a bridge’s top at 33°C, knowing it will take us hours to get out of this, uff! But our reward for another batch of long driving is a short trip to North Carolina. We arrive very late in the evening on the campground we have looked for, only for the owner to tell us that he is sold out! We try to insist because all other campgrounds nearby have very bad online ratings (thank you, Google!). Finally, we find a "German connection" - his second name is Friesmuth - and he allows us to stay for the night!

The next day, we take a look at the amazing plant of the Italian company Repi. There, Giuseppe Lombardo, Commercial Director of Repi’s thermoforms division, shows us the lab and the building. The Italian la dolce vita is conspicuous: The entrance hall is a remake of the HQ’s in Varese! For our final appointment in the USA before heading to Canada, we stop by in New Jersey at Hammonton Mold. The two brothers Ivan and Steven introduce us to their mould factory and show us some funny tricks with their laser printer. At this moment, we probably do not look all that fresh anymore, or more honestly: We try hard, but even the iced coffee isn’t helping us. Looking back now, I think the two brothers felt sorry for us! After refreshing us with some good food we drive the Editourmobil further north, to Canada, but not without making a stop in one of the most exciting places on Earth: the big apple!

Yours
Heike Fischer