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FLEXO Magazine : June2010
It was all about streamlining and boosting productivity on Sunday, May 2 at 1 p.m. as Michael Butler of Southern Graphic Systems and Cayleigh Nichols of Prairie State Group, chair and co-chair respectively, introduced the Pre- press Session. Jeffrey Hemme of OEC Graphics was first to the podium. He asked Forum attendees why they should be Lean in the prepress area. His answer: because it works! He cautioned flexographers not to think of Lean as effectively eliminating jobs. He declared Lean to be a “ war on waste,” and quoted Lean mastermind Taichi Ohno in saying, “The problem is not eliminating waste, it’s identifying it.” According to Hemme, there are four drivers of Lean: focus, structure, discipline and ownership. But there are challenges to implementing Lean, namely that it can be counterintuitive at times, that there are no real handbooks for how to make it work in an indi- vidual environment, and the role played by company culture. Hemme identified the eight forms of waste: Defects, Over pro- duction, Waiting, Non productive/under utilized people, Trans- portation, Inventory, Motion, Extra processing/inspection. He then warned attendees against thinking that 99.9 percent is good enough, citing that such thinking would mean: • 20,000 unsafe drug prescriptions per year. • One hour of unsafe drinking water per month. • Two ‘bad’ landings at O’Hare each day. • 22,000 checks deducted from the wrong account per hour. Insisting that there have “never been more tools for stream- lining efficiencies,” EskoArtwork’s Larry Moore proceeded to describe different applications that exist for just such pur- poses. Among them, are tools for dynamic content and data- driven design. He also pointed to 3D/2D simultaneous design software, which eliminates the need for comps and prototypes. More advanced options, such as automation software, could take this all one step further. These tools, according to Moore, could handle background server tasks, offer smart notifica- tions and can communicate and integrate with existing MIS and approval systems, as well as Web-based applications. “No CPC wants to see inconsistency in two products on the same store shelf,” proclaimed J. Phillip Crowder of Cryovac/ Sealed Air. Crowder informed attendees about his firm’s ef- forts to streamline print production across multiple locations. In 2006, Cryovac was in search of better consistency, speed and quality in the entire production workflow. At this stage, the firm had standardization on some conditions, but not others. “This hindered our process!” By 2009, as business allowed, Cryovac standardized plate type and gauge, stickyback, cylinders and sleeves, anilox and ink/solvent blends. Dan Lacey of Hybrid Integration took the stage next and re- ferred to two major trends in prepress: the introduction of PDF in 1991, and the introduction of JDF in 1999. PDF, according to Lacey, is largely hardware/software independent, but requires monitoring of the various versions, some of which do not sup- port print-necessary features. JDF, on the other hand, is based on XML coding language and built specifically for printing, but is incompatible with some legacy equipment. PDF, for the most part, is a much easier tool in communicating across the Web with customers. JDF helps link different systems, includ- ing MIS, and is ideal for automation tools. Speaking on behalf of the customer, Margie Dehm of Sara Lee Corp. approached the podium. After facetiously chiding the Forum Committee for not asking her to present Sara Lee’s cookie dough recipe, she offered insight into the firm’s efforts to streamline its production process. She began by identifying the drivers of efficiency: • Competitive Marketplace • Demanding Customers - Lack of Resources - Labor • Money • Changing Marketplace - The world is changing - The needs of consumers are changing - How to reach consumers is changing Dehm argued that the media is so fragmented, that the only way to consistently communicate with consumers is via the store shelf. That makes consistency and efficiency in the packaging workflow paramount. So what changed? Sara Lee adopted a fully digital workflow, enacted best practices, moved to a single-source prepress supplier, required mea- surement and data management, and vowed to never stay satisfied with the status quo. She then looked forward. Next steps for Sara Lee include moving away from hard proofs, implementation of design-to-print software, and the industry embracing FIRST (Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifi- cations and Tolerances). n FTA TODAY Perfecting the Process Prepress Session Looks at Efficiency and Effectiveness 12 FLEXO junE 2010 www.flexography.org • Jeffery Hemme (OEC Graphics): Lean is a “war on waste. ” • Larry Moore (EskoArtwork): There have never been more tools for streamlining efficiencies. • J. Phillip Crowder (Cryovac/Sealed Air): Standard- ize plate type and gauge, stickyback, cylinders and sleeves, anilox and ink/solvent blends. • Dan Lacey (Hybrid Integration): PDF for commu- nication across the Web, JDF for cross-linking and automation. • Margie Dehm (Sara Lee): What’s next—industry embracing FIRST. FLX_June2010_mech.indd 12 6/10/10 9:37 AM