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FLEXO Magazine : January 2011
Forward Thinking... Favorable forecasts are rolling in from all corners. And, by those accounts, flexo’s future is secure. Optimism is permeating the business environment. Posi- tive momentum is building. Pundits predict 4, even 5 percent annual growth in each of the next three years running. Destiny, they say, will have flexography retain its position as the fastest growing analog print process throughout the world. With present sales volumes stretching into the hundreds of billions of dollars and a 60 percent marketshare in the packaging domain, prospects appear bright, espe- cially since package-goods marketers are promising bigger, better, more plentiful innovation. Translation: new products, existing line extensions, promotional samples plus necessary changes in packaging size, shape, formats, live area content, etc., etc. The story is ever evolving. And, that’s good for business. At this juncture in time, one can take inspiration from these words, lifted directly from the comprehensive market forecast that is presented on a great many of the pages contained in this very first issue of 2011: “Flexo printing is still the primary print process employed across every category for a number of reasons including cost, flexibility, relatively short setup times, and high print quality.” Keep in mind: challenges are out there. The ability to welcome, embrace and meet them is what keeps the industry moving forward; at the same time it serves to keep its creative juices flowing. COMMON GROUND Common goals are shared by any and every flexographer: “Achieve less waste. ” “Reduce setup time.” “Produce consistent product.” “Meet higher cus- tomer expectations.” “Deliver high quality, repeatable results. ” “ Maintain and enhance competitiveness. ” Tasks at hand are not easy, nor should they be. Printers are expected to focus on driving out variation and losses. FTA member assessments contend that, tomor- row ’s flexo industry will be fraught with unique demands. What lies ahead? Shorter runs, shorter lead times, offset quality, zero defects; sit atop the list of predictions. Also appearing: added value incentives, competing technologies, and greater, more frequent calls for efficiencies and productivity enhancements. The plan is to deal continuously with an accelerated pace, respond to advancements in technol- ogy and demonstrate continuous, measurable improvement. As always, proper preparation is critical to remaining poised for success. Confi- dence is also essential. Communication and clarity—in both vision and word—is too. THREAT? OPPORTUNITY? Satisfied as you may be with the current state of your enterprise and the forecast now being put forth for flexography ’s future; next steps, whatever they may be, have to be evaluated first; then, when findings dictate, acted on. One, of many questions out there: “Is there a benefit to installing a digital press in a flexo plant?” Some say “Yes;” others, “No.” Clearly, a choice is to be made. What represents a good fit and logical move in one plant, can be a “no-go” in another. With this issue, through inclusion of an extensive section, billed as a, “Digital Press Buyers’ Guide for Flexo Printers,” we’re simply recognizing that co-mingling of print technologies in a single operation is becoming more and more prevalent. Is the argu- ment for adoption muted by the same claims that have long served flexo well? Print’s forecast is clear...” Faster, better, cheaper processes and easier to use products and practices...” Sound familiar ? History has already proven that flexo can deliver on that promise. Look at where we are today, as compared to where we came from. Imagine where progress will lead us. 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 Gar y 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 Gar y 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. 4 FLEXO JANUARY 2011 www.flexography.org FTA TODAY
Sustainable Winter 2011