Home' FLEXO Magazine : December 2015 Contents ing smaller. It seems flexographers everywhere face similar situations.”
Alluding to a great number of commonalities, he pointed to the
existence of some distinct differences, too.
“Flexo is alive and well in North America,” Lancelle reported. “In-
novation and technology are driving business, as are convenience,
taste, recyclability, sustainability or green power and packaging that
prolongs product life. Product protection is critical, shelf appeal is
essential, and multicultural and multilingual packaging is in demand.”
FLEXO Publisher Robert Moran served as a second voice from the
U.S. and delivered a briefing on flexography’s formidable footprint. It
was drawn in large part from member participation in both the FTA
Supplier Leadership Council’s Process and Technology Survey and
Smithers Pira’s Flexographic Printing Trends Poll.
Revelations relayed included the fact that job counts and revenues
were both up, as well as the points that pressruns are getting shorter,
automation is a priority, and substrates, ink and plate costs outpace
The focus, he said, is on improving quality, reducing makeready,
accelerating turnaround and adapting state of the art technologies
to make every flexographer a better printer. In a market that doesn’t
slow down for anybody, Moran said FTA encourages printers to, “Run
your business by the numbers and print to the numbers. It’s all about
statistical process control and delivering on the promise to eliminate
rework and get it right the first time, every time.”
TRENDS & INNOVATION
In a nod to innovation and its critical place in the market, ANZFTA
presented a four member panel consisting of a printer, retailer and
their suppliers. All offered specific insights.
Murry Hine, Coveris, representing a printer’s view, commented that,
“The past is a good indicator of the future.” He asserted that merger,
acquisition and consolidation activities will continue, and added
that innovation will soon see introduction of a next generation
Mark Fields of Coles Supermarkets provided the retailer’s voice. “Col-
or importance is critical in packaging f rom a consumer’s perspective.
We have 18 million weekly customers. Patrons stress convenience.
Multiculturalism, sustainability, health and value are a choice.”
Mike Naughton, account manager, Oceania, Esko, talked to innova-
tions, trends, perspectives and challenges. Doing so, he cited the rising
power of the retailer, shorter runs, tighter margins and increasing
costs. “Money is to be made, not lost. Companies are spending more
managing a job than running it. To some, that’s a necessary evil; to
others, it is something to work on.”
Nate Fales, Aldus, Enercon Industries, like everyone who spoke,
implied that innovation is essential. “Suppliers do it. Customers desire
it. Competitors use it to an advantage.”
APPRENTICES & THE FUTURE
Adam Porter, AMCOR, 2014 Apprentice of the Year, reported on
his travel to North America, where he toured MacDermid Printing
Solutions’ and Sun Chemical’s facilities, attended a symposium at
Clemson University and participated in the FTA Annual Forum and
INFO*FLEX events in Nashville, TN. He called the experience, “unbe-
lievable, enlightening and highly rewarding,” then encouraged future
apprentices of the year to seize every opportunity their trips offer.
On the night of Porter’s presentation, ANZFTA revealed the name of
2015’s Apprentice of the Year: Aaron Da Silva, 24, with six years print
experience on his current resumé.
Robert Black, Future Print, delivered the Forum’s closing and pas-
sionate plea. “It’s essential to cultivate new talent, develop skills, meet
customer needs and be relevant! Our major, collective concern must
be development of future talent.”
Black called on all present to, “Pay more attention to attracting interest
in the field, demonstrating printing’s viability as a career, attracting
applications for internships and apprenticeships, and participating in
professional development, education and certification programs that
will help to advance the industry.” n
TO JOIN FORCES
All indications are that the ANZFTA and the Australia based
Label And Tag Manufacturers Association (LATMA) will
merge in the very near future. The resulting entity’s pro-
posed name: The Association for The Flexographic Printing
Industry (FLPA). Effective date is anticipated to be Jan. 1.
The move requires 75 percent of members to approve.
Ratification is anticipated. The rationale behind the strategic
alignment of two associations into one: globalization and
consolidation. Those trends have resulted in smaller poten-
tial member pools, plus budget constraints for both entities.
It is thought that joining forces will enhance value proposi-
tions associated with both ANZFTA and LATMA.
At press time, a constitution has been drafted for the new
organization. Officers and administrators are yet to be de-
cided upon. It is anticipated that current leadership of both
ANZFTA and LATMA will be reflected in the governing body
of the joint group.
Among the initial orders of business will be planning and
scheduling of a 2016 Technical Forum, which will serve as
the successor to ANZFTA’s long standing annual meeting.
DECEMBER 2015 | FLEXO 153
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