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FLEXO Magazine : October 2010
FTA TODAY Eliminate stickyback waste Better print quality Saves time Less environmental impact Seamex® seamless flexographic printing sleeves achieve sustainable status through the reduction of set-up material, stickyback and the elimination of mounting labor. Improvements in press speeds can also be achieved due to its seamless design. OEC ECOTM is changing the packaging print process to meet your sustainability needs, increase your print quality and reduce printing costs. For a comprehensive Discover y to determine how OEC ECO’s process optimization can effect sustainability, cost reduction and print quality please call OEC Graphics at 866.371.4047 or email us at email@example.com. endless green-tech. >> Available in HIGH DEFINITION FLEXOXOOOOOOOOOOO HD oec ecosolutions.com A product of 6 FLEXO OctOber 2010 www.flexography.org Patrol & Control... Ninety years—that’s how long people have been talking about statistical process control. (SPC) Hard to believe; but true. Counted among early advocates: Walter Shewhart and Edward Deming—both familiar names in the business world at large. Their mantras: “Increase output.” “Decrease waste.” “Improve quality.” Can’t you almost hear the very same words being echoed on modern-day flexographic print production pressroom floors? Many of us heed the grandfather’s (Shewhart) and father’s (Deming) of Total Quality Management call to “Plan.” “Do.” “Study.” “Act.” From Ma Bell, where Shewhart plied his craft and later instructed Deming, his student, to FTA and its members; TQM, as both concept and practice, has found a place. The idea of adapting management practices that promote profitability and foster continuous improvement simply can’t be argued with. • Who among us doesn’t want to maintain the strongest competitive position pos- sible? • Who dare resist using team-building techniques, combined with established protocols and standards/expectations, to his/her advantage in business? In printing terms, that comes down to a myriad of things. On the list of must-dos for flexographers: controlling highlight dot gain, printing smoother vignettes, simplifying and reducing job changeover times, trimming waste from every aspect of the opera- tion, orchestrating cleaner ink lay down, quickly matching color on press to proof, facilitating longer runs; maintaining open and clear communications with all partners in the packaging development chain; and continually meeting customer demand for consistent, high quality, repeatable results....the list goes on and on. Variable after headache-inducing variable must be tackled and dispelled with scientifically. We must insist on “no compromises in quality,” document actions to insure repeat suc- cess, resist the urge to fall back on old tricks of the trade that rely on hocus pocus and operator whims; and instead maintain the drive toward standardization. ISO data should be our friend; tonal curves and centralized color databases, our tools, Flexo- graphic Image Reproduction Specification and Tolerances (FIRST), our guide. ExCEllEnCE AlwAys With operational excellence as an ever-present goal, failure, in any sense of the term, is simply not an option. On flexography ’s path forward, its (failure’s that is) frequency of occurrence must be drastically reduced; if not eliminated altogether. Best business practices, especially when combined with practical knowledge, stand out as predictors of success. That’s why we’re always talking about, and devoting countless pages of edito- rial coverage in this magazine, to: characterization, optimization, fingerprinting, calibration, and, of course, innovation. These are the keys to building a successful, streamlined flexo plant that employs sustainable workflows and runs on maximum efficiency. Collectively, these measures play a key role in: 1. Bringing the production process into a state of statistical control. 2. Keeping it in control. 3. Guaranteeing future output. How is that for a multi-part strategic positioning statement? Certainly few, if any can take exception to the idea. Process improvement tools—from management informa- tion and enterprise resource planning systems to color verification devices--are every- where these days. But benefits can only be realized when they are utilized properly. Foundation of FTA’s Fall Conference, themed, “A FIRST Rate Idea: The Future of Flexo and Process Improvement,” set for Nov. 8 -10 in Louisville, KY, is designed to serve as a primer on how to get from where we are, to where we need to be, using SPC and the poignant information and data that it presents, every step of the way. Take the journey. Your eyes will be opened to critical decision points and bottom line building rewards. You too may become a control freak. And, there’s nothing wrong with that when talking SPC. 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 Gar y Hilliard, Hood Packaging Michael Impastato, Flint Group Jean Jackson, Praxair Surface Technologies Eric Jones, The Label Company Allen Marquardt, Kimberly-Clark Corp. Gene Martin, The Robinette Co. James Nelson, Great Lakes Packaging Corp. David R. Nieman, All Printing Resources Greg Platt, GMF Flexo Prepress Michael Reinhardt, Windmoeller & Hoelscher Lon Robinson III, Tension Envelope Corp. 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 Gar y Hilliard, Hood Packaging Michael Impastato, Flint Group Jean Jackson, Praxair Surface Technologies Eric Jones, The Label Company Allen Marquardt, Kimberly-Clark Corp. Gene Martin, The Robinette Co. James Nelson, Great Lakes Packaging Corp. David R. Nieman, All Printing Resources Greg Platt, GMF Flexo Prepress Michael Reinhardt, Windmoeller & Hoelscher Lon Robinson III, Tension Envelope Corp. PUBLISHING DIRECTOR Mark Cisternino EDITORIAL ADvISORy COmmITTEE Richard Cervarich, DuPont Packaging Graphics Catherine Haynes, All Printing Resources Jean Jackson, Praxair Surface Technologies Brad Keys, Staples Print Solutions John Meyer Dave Nunez, International Paper John Paine, C -P Flexible Packaging Paul Wilson, Encore Washington Ltd. 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Sustainable Fall 2010