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FLEXO Magazine : May 2009
TECHNOLOGIES & TECHNIQUES 20 mmsi = 26 weeks 20 mmsi = 26 weeks 20 mmsi = 26 weeks 20 mmsi = 26 weeks FIGURE 3. Running items in combination, which expanded gamut printing more easily facilitates, can reduce production times by as much as one half. can be working together to review the portfolio and develop plans to achieve more common structures and cutoff s to help optimize combination potential. While the capability advantages of extended gamut can be achieved without combinations, a large part of the cost reduction potential is attained by the ability to print items this way. Additionally, the client is able to realize inventory reductions on low volume items. The example in Figure 3 shows that running four items in combination, the weeks on hand of each is reduced 50 percent, the run size for the converter is doubled, and the cost of three runs is removed from the system. From a supply chain perspective, suppliers will want to assure their scheduling and planning systems and practices can account for combinations. The ability of supplier and client planning teams to proactively coordinate combination runs is an important enabler to reducing setups and associated costs. Commercial incentives that reward both parties for fewer setups can be useful in promoting win/win outcomes. TOTAL CONTROL Maintaining the process in control is another key to success. In addition to ink control and quality control of printing components, impression, plate wear, registration, and anilox build up must be kept in tight operational control to successfully maintain color and image consistency throughout the run and run to run. Maintaining data on density and dot gain results throughout the run and run to run will document the level of consistency. It is also recommended to use statistical process control charting and decision limits. 38 FLEXO MAY 2009 The success and expansion of marketplace applications rein- force that more and more companies are realizing the benefi ts of extended gamut printing. A greater chance for success can be realized if both the printer and the end user contribute to support a suffi cient operating window on the shop fl oor. This combined eff ort will deliver the appearance and design advantages to the customers and contribute to reliable fi rst time execution and consistency at the same time delivering the higher effi ciencies on the shop fl oor that drive the fi nancial benefi t. In summary, design for extended gamut success and exploit the graphic advantages of the platform, fi t the customer QC program to extended gamut, upgrade the process capability and control to run extended gamut consistently and work together to maximize combination run benefi ts. As a result of this collective eff ort, all parties will share the shelf impact, supply chain, and commercial benefi ts. ■ ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John Fulcoly is a printing and packaging consultant pursuing his two passions for clients—saving money and improving graphic outcomes! As manager for PepsiCo’s North American Food Flexible Packaging, Fulcoly became deeply involved with FTA and the fl exographic industry in order to advance capabilities and performance. John’s experience includes commercializing arguably the largest extended gamut printing platform in the world spanning a North American business platform. If you are interested in how John might apply his commercial and technical experience to improve your results he can be reached at Packagingcpr@aol.com or 214-728-1246. www. f le xography. org 40 mmsi = 13 weeks