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FLEXO Magazine : February 2009
z - VI ... D: III :z: VI - .... III :) a. - FTA TODAY Flawless Execution A s I sat surfing the Internet recently, I came across a statement that immediately caught my eye, then instantly cried out for follow-up. The simple line read: "Recessions of the 1930s, 1970S and 1980s spawned many of the most success.fùl innova- tions of the 20th Century." What products were introduced at those times? The list is quite impressive. Examples: synthetic laundry detergent, the personal computer, even MTV. That struck me as very interesting and posed the following question: Does this revelation bode well and translate into potential good news in today's trying and challenging times? It appears that glimmers of hope exist. One positive: Datamonitor just reported that new product launches in the packaged goods sector were up some 6 to 7 percent in 2008. Activity was relatively flat as the year closed out, but some analysts have indicated that there have been "no sea changes" in terms of new product development. And, some members of their peer group are fore- casting a return to normal launch levels very soon. Their argument, as presented online, certainly appears logical. "One of the most effec- tive ways of countering a recession is offering new productsjservices." Well put, well put. PURGE THE URGE Those same market observers maintain that a consumer goods manufacturer that can resist the immediate urge to pull back and preserve money, and instead adopt the strategy of expanding core offerings; can be very successful. Diversification, namely adding value to the product line that sets it apart from the competition, is critical. Brave, bold moves, made in a recession like the one we are in today, require two tac- tics: 1. nurturing of innovative ideas and 2. investment in them. That, my friends, is something that FTA and its member flexographers have been talking about for generations. The theme for Forum 2009 "Navigating the Future of Flexo: Innovate. Educate. Communicate." attests to that fact. We'll be talking a great deal about innovation this coming May, just as we're already talking about it today. Right now, it consumes phone conversation after phone conversation. Armed with the data that I just shared with you, I hit the phones and dialed up some CPCs-the package buyers that keep those presses running. To a person, they told me that the economy is a concern. It's spawning some degree of internal restructuring, but no significant shifts in workload. Most CPCs say they are out to "stay the course." Some see the restructuring moves as an adaptation to innova- tion. New designs, quality management and color control, it seems are on everyone's agenda. New software packages and workflow platforms are being tested. The push is on to establish common ground and universal language among CPC, prepress provid- er, designer, printer and every other player in the package development chain. BEST PRACTICES What's really driving many initiatives, and definitely those applicable to new launches, is the call for faster delivery-a reduction in time to market from prepress to production. The manufacturers are looking for a more cost-effective process. And in that pursuit, they are pushing package providers to adopt an industry accepted standard-namely FTA's Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications and Tolerances, a.k.a FIRST 4.0. From the standpoint of innovation, they say they are bringing core groups together, passing along job responsibilities to agencies, prepress houses, printers, etc.; to en- hance the level of success, first time on press. CPCs are re-emphasizing pre-production meetings, holding suppliers to higher standards and moving toward what many are calling "Flawless Execution." The idea is ripe for the times. It requires asking suppliers to perform non-traditional roles, self-police, re-characterize the press and acclimate themselves to this culture of "Flawless Execution."The objective: leverage new-found strengths to improve service. The result: continuous improvement of a printer in a process world... Talk about innovation-No argument there. FLEXO 2009 www.f I exog ra p hy.o rg FEBRUARY Roxanne Baker, Cryovac Sealed Air Mark Cisternino, Flexographic Technical Association Larry Claton, Aquaflex Greg Collins, C- P Flexible Packaging Michael Ferrari, Procter 8( Gamble Gary Hilliard, Hood Packaging Michael Impastato, Flint Group Jean Jackson, Praxair Surface Technologies Eric Jones, The Label Company Paul Lancelle, Eastman Kodak Co. Gene Martin, The Robinette Co. Matt Moffett, The Meyers Printing Co. James Nelson, Great Lakes Packaging Corp. David R. Nieman, All Printing Resources Greg Platt, GMF Flexo Prepress David Straten, Advance Packaging Corp. Michael Reinhardt, Windmoeller 8( Hoelscher Roxanne Baker, Cryovac Sealed Air Mark Cisternino, Flexographic Technical Association Larry Claton, Aquaflex Greg Collins, C- P Flexible Packaging Michael Ferrari, Procter 8( Gamble Gary Hilliard, Hood Packaging Michael Impastato, Flint Group Jean Jackson, Praxair Surface Technologies Eric Jones, The Label Company Paul Lancelle, Eastman Kodak Co. Gene Martin, The Robinette Co. Matt Moffett, The Meyers Printing Co. Doug Nelson, Anderson 8( Vreeland James Nelson, Great Lakes Packaging Corp. David R. Nieman, All Printing Resources Greg Platt, GMF Flexo Prepress David Straten, Advance Packaging Corp. Michael Reinhardt, Windmoeller 8( Hoelscher Mark Cisternino Richard Cervarich, DuPont Packaging Graphics Catherine Haynes, All Printing Resources Jean Jackson, Praxair Surface Technologies Brad Keys, Corporate Express John Meyer, Western Michigan University Dave Nunez, International Paper John Paine, C-P Flexible Packaging Paul Wilson, Encore Washington Ltd.
Sustainable Winter 2009