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FLEXO Magazine : October 2009
4 FLEXO OCTOBER 2009 www.flexography.org FTA TODAY Image Carriers... You may or may not have noticed...Since early this year, we've been running a web watch feature---a small brief, statistically relevant and graphically enhanced snapshot capturing FLEXO magazine's standing in the world. Prompting its mention--- my annual ritual of preparing the next year 's media kit. At this juncture in 2009, the exer- cise, as well as the results tabulated at its conclusion, provides good cause to pause. In the initial nine months of the year, www.flexomag.com garnered nearly 800,000 visits. The statistics, compiled not by FLEXO or the FTA, but by Google, speak for themselves. Average activity equates to nearly 87,500 visits each and every month, with the actual range running from a low of 46,600 to a high of 136,700. Deeper examination reveals that the typical visitor actually looked at more than 375 of this magazine's pages in the nine-month period. That translates to 42 pages monthly, with actual volume running from 36 pages to 49 pages. Most people, on average 58 percent, point their web browser to the URL, multiple times in each cycle. Apparently, it takes 14-20 minutes to familiarize oneself with the content, peruse its quality, bookmark articles to revisit and make plans to spend far more time with the actual print edition when it arrives in the mail. And arrive it does---the world over. FLEXO's web visitors on average hail from 67 individual countries in each 30- day period. Some months, it's 55, others 73. Clearly this is a global industry, served by an association and a publication with a worldwide following---both enjoy a well established image and stature in the pack- aging and printing community. Thermal, solvent, water wash, ultra thin, liquid photopolymer, analog, digital---think- ing flexographically, few things say image carrier better than plates and sleeves. Manufacturers of these essential and consumable materials have long been focused on raising the bar. Their collective challenge is one that has stretched over decades and decades: overcoming impediments and controlling flexo's variables. Objectives that these manufacturers continually strive to meet list out quickly. In fact, they rattle off the tips of most anyone in our industry 's tongue. The words flow like this: improve print quality, better registration, accommodate higher and higher speeds, pro- mote faster changeover, decrease distortion, cut material waste, enable higher screen rulings and finer line work, extend run lengths and image carrier lifecycles. If that's not a mouthful, I don't know what is. This issue serves as a testament to our industry 's drive to reduce cost and improve efficiency. Plate and sleeve technol- ogies are examined with those two factors in mind. And the in-depth details stretch over pages. Most any available option is presented: from newly introduced in-the- round (ITR) thermal sleeves, to the more traditional ITR solutions; and from thin and ultra thin plates to liquid photopolymer, traditional digital and analog options. Printers are encouraged to monitor continual innovations, test the most attractive processes, determine their specific and unique advantages, perform the requisite cost/savings analysis and of course, determine the best value for the plant. My inbox, which in all likelihood is similar to yours, is being bombarded with news of new product introductions, technological breakthroughs, pending releases, etc. The resounding theme: these are exciting times. Better days are ahead and the technologies destined to bring them about quickly are set to be released. Based on sheer volume alone, one can't help but conclude that the industry is on the move. It's about to break new ground as it charts the most direct course toward better efficiency, greater profitability and new levels of customer satisfaction. A sig- nificant number of the announcements also point to ribbon cuttings and open houses at new or expanded technical centers. It appears that enhanced customer contact is the order of the day. Witnessing such strong commitment, side by side with the pace of new product introductions and existing product line expansions, casts flexo in the most positive light. PUBLISHER'S INK BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE FLEXOGRAPHIC TECHNICAL ASSOCIATION Roxanne Baker, Cryovac Sealed Air Mark Cisternino, Flexographic Technical Association Larry Claton, PCMC Greg Collins, C-P Flexible Packaging Michael Ferrari, Procter & Gamble Gary Hilliard, Hood Packaging Michael Impastato, Flint Group Jean Jackson, Praxair Surface Technologies Eric Jones, The Label Company 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 & Hoelscher BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE FOUNDATION OF FLEXOGRAPHIC TECHNICAL ASSOCIATION Roxanne Baker, Cryovac Sealed Air Mark Cisternino, Flexographic Technical Association Larry Claton, PCMC Greg Collins, C-P Flexible Packaging Michael Ferrari, Procter & Gamble Gary Hilliard, Hood Packaging Michael Impastato, Flint Group Jean Jackson, Praxair Surface Technologies Eric Jones, The Label Company 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 & Hoelscher PUBLISHING DIRECTOR Mark Cisternino EDITORIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE 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 Fall 2009