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FLEXO Magazine : September 2014
The Modern Narrow Web Examining Web Width, Application & Run Size Today Dennis McGee Label printers focused on pressure sensitive markets should stay true to their narrow web roots. eir objectives: minimize plate costs, reduce setup times, trim waste associated with converting more expensive lmic substrates and keep tooling costs to a minimum. Updating to new exo press technology in web widths of 13-in. to 17-in. is not new ground for label printers. ese widths have been available for many years now. Today's 13-in. web width machines allow label printers to e ectively address exography's new norm---a growing short run quick turn market as supported by Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute's (TLMI) North America Label Study 2013. Packaging buyers predict in 2015 more than 84 percent of their aver- age run sizes will require fewer than 300,000 labels, while just fewer than 5 percent of packaging buyers project their average run size volumes in 2015 will require 1 million labels or more. TLMI's study goes on to support what label printing press manufac- turers have targeted in machine developments: Label presses that have perfected the art of fast changeover/setup times as run sizes continue to trend downward. Speci cally: • JIT inventory demands from packaging buyers continue to dic- tate receiving printed labels at the right time, in the right place and in the precise volumes required • Steady growth of digital press systems further reinforces the expanding need for small job size, quick turnaround solutions, as job sizes are projected to continue diminishing across end use categories A NARROWED FOCUS Today, the vast majority of label printers purchasing presses are focused on converting pressure sensitive labels. To venture a looksee at what makes sense for label converters as they evaluate making new invest- ments in traditional exo press equipment, we are asked to take a look into their pressrooms and understand their business models. " Combination printing requirements point to staying narrower in web width to keep job costs down, while providing the operator with a more manageable combination press platform." 36 FLEXO | SEPTEMBER 2014 PLANTS & PROCESSES