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FLEXO Magazine : October 2009
6 FLEXO OCTOBER 2009 www.flexography.org MEP is a national network with 59 centers, more than 400 locations, and thousands of specialists. More than 60 members of the FTA have worked with MEP to cut costs, increase sales and improve their businesses. In 2007 alone, clients reported $1.44 billion in cost savings. The Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology 's Manu- facturing Extension Partnership (MEP) have created an alliance to help the flexographic printing industry improve busi- ness productivity. Already, more than 60 members of the FTA have worked with MEP to cut costs, increase sales and improve their businesses. MEP has generated $4 million in cost savings and $5.5 million in increased sales for FTA members. Projects have ranged from efforts to reduce the environmental footprint to implementation of sustainability strategies and more. By creating this alliance, FTA and MEP will utilize each other's ex- pertise to further help manufacturers within the flexo industry. MEP is a national network with 59 centers, more than 400 locations, and thousands of specialists who serve as catalysts for strengthening American manufacturing. The program works to accelerate manufacturing's ongoing transformation into a more efficient and powerful engine of innovation that drives economic growth and job creation. It also highlights the vital contributions of the manufacturing sector, and helps manufacturers identify and leverage resources, address challenges and roadblocks to growth, and convert emerging trends into new opportunities. The strength of the system lies in the breadth and depth of the network. Every center exists as a result of a partnership among the federal government, state/local governments, and industry. Therefore, when a company becomes a client of its local MEP center, it gains access to experts on the local, state, regional, and national levels, who have extensive knowledge of the resources and opportunities available; experts that are constantly working to keep up with trends in domestic indus- try and in the global marketplace in order to help America's small and medium-size manufacturers improve their competi- tiveness and better position themselves for the future. The focus in recent years has been bottom-line efficiencies as flexographic printers and their suppliers face increasing pressure to improve quality and productivity, compete interna- tionally, and get to market faster with new products. Every MEP center is proficient in the concept and implementation of Lean manufacturing and field staff is dedicated to using Lean principles to reduce costs and lead times, and improve on-time deliveries and overall plant efficiencies. In 2007 alone, clients reported $1.44 billion in cost savings. Today, the com- bination of bottom-line and top-line services is the basis for MEP's "20/20+ Vision," which focuses on helping companies reduce bottom-line costs by 20 percent and increase top-line growth by 20 percent. Cellotape Inc. and Wikoff Color Corp. are just two exam- ples of the types of tangible results that come from working with an MEP center: CELLOTAPE & MANEX Cellotape is a California printing company and FTA mem- ber, that produces innovative labels, overlay panels, name- plates, and other components for a wide-range of businesses and industries, from high tech companies, like Hitachi, to racing bikes. Cellotape acquired another California printing company, Landmark Label, in 2006. Its products were focused on the food and beverage industry, producing mostly wine labels, thereby further expanding Cellotape's product range, but also creating new operational challenges. Nick Testanero, vice president of sales, wanted to instill a culture of Lean manufacturing throughout the company Mutual Partnership, Mutual Benefits FTA & MEP Help Members Realize Cost Savings FTA TODAY
Sustainable Fall 2009