by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
FLEXO Magazine : September 2011
percent of self-adhesive label converter output is now taken up in producing shorter runs of sachets, pouches, small cartons, packets, tube laminates, flexible packaging and the like. Press widths of between 250 mm and 440 mm are most common, but web widths of 500 mm and larger are being introduced.” “ Whether printed on conventional quick-changeover narrow web-fed flexo, analog, offset or combination process presses; or on new generations of digital roll- or sheet-fed presses using dry toner, liquid toner or UV inkjet; package printing is under- going significant changes in everything from origination to prepress, proofing, workflow, printing and finishing. ” According to Fairley, “Change is driven by consumer demand, legislation, higher quality or performance requirements, environmental and sustainability concerns. ” Given pressures on prices and costs, package printing is constantly under review. TODAY’S TRENDS Trends that Fairley identifies include the following: differen- tiation in stock keeping unit (SKU) proliferation, test marketing for new product launches, reduced run lengths, minimizing stockholding, inventory reduction, faster delivery and ex- panded promotional opportunities. According to Fairley, these changes “certainly begin to favor printing on narrower webs and the use of digital printing technologies.” Pointing to Labelexpo-Europe, set for Sept. 28-Oct. 1, 2011 in Brussells, Belgium, Fairley says, Randy Parish, Fasson Rap- id-Roll, will be reviewing some key flexible packaging market opportunities for narrow web converters. He will speak about how these converters are being utilized in the food, personal care, pet food and nutraceutical sectors, where unsupported films are typically surface printed and then protected with var- nish or an over-laminate. At Labelexpo-Europe, Fairley notes that Package Printing Zone (See sidebar) visitors will be eager to listen to ExxonMo- bil Chemical’s Massimo Ferrari. In a similar vein, he states, “A recent study by ExxonMobil Chemical to find out which flex- ible packaging market segments will be easiest to penetrate with digital, saw narrow/mid web digital printing of flexible packaging as particularly being able to create added-value solutions in the ice cream novelty market, followed by oppor- tunities in confectionary packaging.” F lexographers need to be aware of, and monitor, such developments. Ferrari will speak about the need for short-runs to eliminate stock-outs, which Fairley reminds us is notoriously difficult to forecast because ice cream demand is highly sensitive to both the weather and the days of the week. He says, “Frozen goods are expensive to store and transport. It will soon be seen why narrow web, conventional and digital, printing starts to come into its own.” Ferrari will also note that the same sector sees novelty packs as impulse-buying items, capable of recouping sales lost in stock-outs. Narrow web digital printing of single pack novelties will offer a considerable chance to augment profitability. With possible trends that will allow the industry to prosper, come challenges for new technology to overcome. Exxon- Mobil Chemical, according to Fairley, will mention potential obstructions for narrow web converters, such as creating designs that can be printed in more vivid colors, maintaining high-color fidelity as well as increasing speed of approval and launch of new products and promotions. “Suggested opportunities for converters looking to grow their digitally-printed narrow web flexible packaging capabilities are said to include fast product promotion at major events, such as music festivals, or the development of on-shelf packs that track progress of the World Cup, Olympic Games, etc. ” Fairley expects narrow web printing to make the most substantial gains in single web markets initially. “ It is less complex than multi-layer films, while further improvements in press technology, process control tools and packaging mate- rials will be required to fully capture narrow web opportuni- ties in the flexible packaging world.” SHOW SCENE Six halls, 500+ exhibitors and four days filled with unlimited opportunities! That’s how Fairley describes Labelexpo-Europe 2011. “It’s all about the live experience...the noise of the ma- chinery, the feel of the substrates and the bright, vivid colors of the labels. ” He promises attendees that they ’ll witness “technology in action.” New materials will be unveiled. “ The focus is on film and its applica- tions. Visitor can learn www.flexography.org september 2011 FLEXO 29 FLEXOSpEciFicprOductintrOductiOnSpagE34.