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FLEXO Magazine : November 2008
INDUSTRY INDICATORS “That means you don’t have to commit to hard copy, and you can make better choices,” he said. “People are seeing value in what the tools can do. New ideas are being embraced by designers, brand owners; and to an extent trade shops and converters. The push is on to con- tinue to grow.” Elaborating on the point, he continued, “Adoption of digital flexo focuses on workflow at all points of the packaging process— from point of idealation to point of manufacturing. Collectively, we’re out to create possibilities throughout design lifecycle man- agement. The idea: Collaborate and communicate. Eliminate touch points. Boost productivity and efficiencies. Remove error from the process—especially human error.” Traditional flexo was also seen as responding to the constant call for productivity—“Faster.” “Better.” “Cheaper.” One press manufacturer pointed to a growing respect for UV flexo qual- ity in the wine industry. That, to some degree, has cut and stack label printers moving toward narrow web. As they do so, they are pursuing more “value adds”—screen, hot foil, cold foil, security printing. The real requirement that he said they have in mind— “single pass printing, converting and embossing.” Expertise in color reproduction and packaging workflow au- tomation was described by many as essential. New presses with a plethora of features can be integrated into the production pro- cess. Modular design optimizes planning, monitoring and job sequence. It was commonly expressed that, “Direct-drive (servo) technology and open interface architecture are prerequisites for process automation.” Why? “Dynamic data requires it, when the objective is to link with adjacent processes and streamline.” 20 F LEXO The resounding message on the Labelexpo of the Americas trade floor was clear, “When the target is reduced changeover time and reduced waste; translation, maximum productivity and operational efficiency, a high degree of standardization becomes necessary. Without it, print quality can become compromised.” “Benchmarks” or “boondoggles,” today’s label printers increas- ingly insist on: fast changeover, low waste, in-the-round sleeve technology, workflow integration, digital flexo, energy efficiency, high process flexibility, fast setup, preset tension and registration, flying imprint, job storage, automatic repeat length correction; and anything and everything that keeps speeds up, costs down and customers satisfied. ? LABELEXPO AMERICAS 2010 WILL TAKE PLACE SEPT. 14-16 IN ROSEMONT, IL. AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED AT LABELEXPO LABEL INDUSTRY Continuous Improvement: ExxonMobil Chemical New Innovation: PunchGraphix/Xeikon Sustainable/Environmental Responsibility: Metro Label Group Lifetime Achievement Award: Neil McDonough, president, FLEXcon Co. NOVEMB E R 20 0 8 www. f l e x o g r a p h y. o r g