by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
FLEXO Magazine : November 2008
INDUSTRY INDICATORS New Vision of Narrow Web Scarborough Discusses Survival in Today’s Business Climate By Christian R. Bonawandt “R eposition, refocus and recharge!” That was the mantra of Dean Scarborough, president and CEO of Avery Dennison during his keynote address at Labelexpo Americas 2008 (see page 16). In his presentation, he told attendees that the current rate of inflation was “the worst I’ve seen in 10 years.” In his opinion, the biggest challenge to all in the labeling industry: raw material costs! And yet, despite it all, there are opportunities for those label printers/converters pre- pared to go after them. But to do that requires an understanding of where the label industry is today. Outside of his presentation, sitting at the Avery Dennison booth on the show floor, Scarborough took some time out to of- fer FLEXO an exclusive glimpse at his perspective on the current state of the label industry. A PLACE FOR ALL “I no longer think flexo when I think pressure sensitive,” said Scarborough. This statement, made matter-of-factly, is not a slight at the process. Quite the opposite, in fact. It’s a testament to the elevation of flexography to the point where it is both comparable and integrated with other technologies. “So many label converters today print multiple processes—offset, gravure, screen and flexo, UV flexo, etc. When I started in this business, labels were flexo. But the big challenge early on was how to get flexo up to a good printing standard. That’s not even a question anymore.” He cited the development of the plate technology, and digital controls on presses as some of the major improvements that brought flexo to where it is today. “UV flexo was a major break- through,” he added, “As was the ability to mix and match pro- cesses on a press.” 22 F LEXO Scarborough noted that the role of various print technolo- gies has shifted over the years. “Used to be that flexo was used for short runs. As we penetrate into food and beverage markets, where the runs are a lot longer, you need more productive pro- cesses and higher speeds. Now digital is the short run technol- ogy. A lot of the flexo and offset are being replaced with digital.” Still, he insisted that no print technology is going to disappear any time soon. “In the cost-per-unit curve, there is a place for every technology.” THE GREEN CYCLE The recent rush to research and achieve eco-friendliness is not a first in North American history. Scarborough himself admitted to attendees that he has lived through two already. “The first one was in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and it in- volved the major impacts on society: water, air, etc.,” he told FLEXO. “Los Angeles, where I live, is a lot cleaner today than it was 20 years ago. Our water is better. The EPA has since come into being. As an industry, we moved away from solvent-based products. “Another wave came in the mid 1970s for reducing, reusing and recycling. Some of these trends stuck, but things like waste matrix recycling didn’t have the economics to make it sustain- able. Now people agree, that, no matter how you feel about global warming, it is a problem we had better not contribute to.” The difference this time: “Major retailers are behind this movement and are trying to make it part of our everyday life,” he explained. “Wal-Mart uses the example of the compact florescent light, and the retail chain is buying in such volumes that it is af- fordable. Plus, it’s an energy saver and lasts longer. So that’s how NOVEMB E R 20 0 8 www. f l e x o g r a p h y. o r g LABELS