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 : January 2009
INDUSTRY INDICATORS Stand-up pouches, along with bakery and snack food products are seeing growth, according to FTA’s Wide Web Leadership Council. Flexo to Weather the Storm, FTA Councils Report Down but Not Out C hallenges were acknowledged but optimism prevailed. Food prices are up. Fuel prices are fluctuating wildly. Spending and lending have tightened big time. The auto- motive industry, even with a $17 billion bailout, teeters precari- ously. Flexo and packaging, while taking hits, remains strong by comparison. Through it all, FTA’s Strategic Planning Initiative (SPI) Leadership Councils spoke of gains in strategic markets and efforts to improve efficiencies. The bottom line—flexo printing and packaging are well positioned to weather the recession. Sure, there are losses. The newspaper/publication market, which has been shrinking for years, was hit the hardest in 2008. Most others are still reporting investments or investment plans. For some, spending freezes are in place, but optimism exists that things will get better. Strategies are being implemented to sur- vive the lull in action. They are taking advice from experts on how to sell in a slow market (see page 42) and remain steadfast in a tough economy (see page 44). Members of the councils, in part or in whole, answered ques- tions about their business, the impact of the events of 2008, and projections and plans for 2009. Represented were leaders from corrugated, envelope, narrow-web, newspaper/publications, and wide-web printers/converters. While not all rosy, the picture they painted is one of survival in the long-haul. CORRUGATED With the economy less than stellar, the Corrugated Leadership Council (CLC) reported business declines between 8 and 10 percent nationally. In the Midwest, those numbers were 16 FLEXO JANUARY 2009 more moderate—5 to 7 percent. The largest of these losses was in automotive markets, which continues to shrink in the shadow of the American automobile crisis. Gains in corrugated business were largely in the food and beverage markets, as well as confections. Overall, the Council projected a drop in business of as much as 5 to 7 percent in 2009, due in part to softness in the economy and over capacity. Gains are expected in retail POP (point-of-purchase) cases and displays for large stores. Growth was also foreseen in produce and confections. For the coming year, the Council still pointed to automotive markets as likely to see the largest loss. Corrugated printers/converters did enter new markets in 2008, according to Council members, although no specifics were men- tioned. It was noted that costs need to stay in line to make invest- ments. Throughout 2009, converters will continue to look for new markets that are stable and profitable, members indicated. Higher efficiencies, longer runs, and lower scrap were targeted as goals for corrugated leaders in 2008. The Council looked to FTA for help in print control systems, training and information on new products. It insisted that, this year, it would seek new technologies and information on sustainability. FFTA’s Annual Forum and other meetings were mentioned as excellent resources. Rising prices of raw materials and energy spurred continuous conversations and negotiations, which resulted, in some cases, in passing costs along to the customer. The economy as a whole ranked as a top concern among the Council. Corrugated lead- ers were concerned about keeping a steady flow of business and making sure they run at absolute peak efficiencies in order to stay www. f le xography. org
End of Year 2008