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FLEXO Magazine : October 2011
Technologies & Techniques Print Management Protocol How to Avoid surprises & support A CPC’s Brand initiatives By Robb Frimming Consumer product companies (CPCs) have always ex- pected a high level of print quality and color reproduc- tion. Print quality control enables the First Moment of Truth--winning at the very instance a brand interacts with the consumer. This is the moment when a brand is brought to life. Many CPCs have always defined their expectations in an exceptional manner, but Procter & Gamble and its pre-media suppliers created a best-in-class approach through the use of exacting production protocol and the collection and analy- sis of print quality data to drive print management. Schawk worked very closely with P&G on the implementation of print quality protocol starting in 2003. Now in 2011, this approach has expanded globally and has become an enterprise imple- mentation. The premise is familiar in nature. “Plan.” “ Do. ” “Check.” “Act.” PDCA is an iterative, continuous improvement process based on the scientific method of acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. As the knowledge level increases, the system can be implemented repeatedly to converge on the goals established. This can cause the phenomenon of “Creeping Elegance. ” In this instance, that refers to the possibility that, while one challenge is addressed, others are “thrown in” out of context. Keeping Defects at Bay • Statistical process control and continuous improve- ment are ongoing processes. • Best-in-class approach uses exacting production pro- tocol and the collection and analysis of print quality data to drive print management. • Collecting and utilizing print quality data will con- tinue to provide the opportunity for improved repro- duction capabilities and the ability to show break- through improvements or “jumps” in print quality performance. • Press technicians/operators need to understand what the numbers mean and how to use them day-to-day. P&g has been applying print quality protocol to its family of brands, including these billion dollar lines, since 2003. Photo: P&g. 74 FLeXO oCtoBeR 2011 www.flexography.org FAll conFeRenCe edition