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FLEXO Magazine : January 2012
january 2012 VOLUME 37, NO. 1 In This Issue As 2012 dawns, Plastic Packaging Inc. (PPI) is holding tight to its pledge to be one of the best- equipped flexo converters in North America. This month, 36 of its team members are embarking on a personalized training regiment and following through on the firm’s commitment to an ever-expanding presence on FTA’s TEST Virtual Campus. PPI abides by the belief that high quality packages result from the skill of its employees and continuous improvements to its plants. Technology moves at a blistering pace, as PPI realizes. What is new today, is obsolete tomorrow. That said, this month, FLEXO offers a look into “Technologies to Watch” from the makers of recently unveiled products that are designed to enhance productivity in any pressroom.. FTa TODay 6 new Devices & Game Changing Developments Robert Moran Publisher’s Ink explains rationale behind “Technologies to Watch.” 62 Web Watch Traffic patterns reported for FLEXO’s home page. PLanTS & PrOCESSES 8InkIQ Bob Wolff Making Flexographers Smarter 12 Color Consistency: The new Marketing Tool Matt Gryczan One single instrument simplifies and standardizes practices 16 PPI resets the Bar Steve Deering Training and technology go hand-in-hand at one leading North American converter FLEXO® Magazine (ISSN-1051-7324) is published monthly by the Foundation of Flexographic Technical Association. Address all correspondence to FLEXO® Magazine, 3929 Veterans Memorial Highway, Suite 9, Bohemia, NY 11716-1074. Telephone: 631-737-6020. Fax: 631-737-6813. Copyright ©2012. All rights reserved. Subscriptions: 1 year: $55 U.S ./$76 foreign; 2 years: $92 U.S./$125 foreign; 3 years: $125 U.S ./$170 foreign. Single copies: $7 U.S./$10 foreign. Periodicals postage rates paid at Bohemia, NY 11716, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to FLEXO® Magazine, 3929 Veterans Memorial Highway, Suite 9, Bohemia, NY 11716-1074, USA. Printed in USA. Publications Mail Sales Agreement No. 1558153. FLEXO® Magazine is the official journal of the Foundation of Flexographic Technical Association, devoted to education, technical and research support to advance flexographic technology. Acceptance of advertising in FLEXO® Magazine does not imply endorsement of the product or service by the FFTA. Opinions expressed in bylined articles are not necessarily those of the FFTA. QUICKCHANGEINFLEXOPRINTING UTECO CONVERTING SPA • I 37030 COLOGNOLA AI COLLI (VR) • PH.: +39 045 6174555 • FAX: +39 045 6150855 © GENETIC INNOVATION And a new innovation is coming... Leading edge innovation in flexographic printing • Print configurations: 6 - 8 - 10 color • Max. print speed: 1300 fpm (opt. 1460 fpm) • Printing widths: 48” to 60” • Print repeat range: 13” to 32” • Fully equipped state of the art machine • Reduced make ready and maintenance times • Quick and simple sleeve changeover UTECO NORTH AMERICA 3400 TOWN POINT DRIVE • SUITE 160 KENNESAW, GA 30144 • PH. (770) 427-4100 • FAX (770) 427-4872 email@example.com • www.uteco.com HIGH PROFITABILITY FLEXO A03/11HP-RANGE firstname.lastname@example.org • www.uteco.com QUICKCHANGEINFLEXOPRINTING And a new innovation is coming... • Quick and simple sleeve changeover KENNESAW, GA 30144 • PH. (770) 427-4100 • FAX (770) 427-4872 www.uteco.com • P2P®: dynamic adjustment system controls printing pressures • PCT®: Press Control during Transition • PTC®: Predictable Torque Control • SprintWash®: new automatic washup system • FlexoSmartPackQC®: Uteco engineering platform for improved performance and profitability in quick change flexographic printing • ShopWare® Production Management, Control & Monitoring: easy machine-operator interface to manage high-productivity • LogiPack®: automatic handling of reels and cores FTA HEAdquArTErs & FLEXO EdiTOriAL, AdvErTising, subscribEr sErvicEs 3920 Veterans Memorial Highway, Suite 9 Bohemia, NY 11716-1074 Phone: 631-737-6020 Fax: 631-737-6813 PubLisHEr robert Moran, ext. 17 email@example.com AssOciATE EdiTOr steve deering, ext. 31 firstname.lastname@example.org dirEcTOr OF businEss dEvELOPMEnT Jay Kaible, ext. 20 email@example.com EducATiOn dirEcTOr Joe Tuccitto Phone: 651-319-5003 firstname.lastname@example.org grAPHic/WEb dEsignEr Katie dubois email@example.com Plants & Processes INK IQ: MAKING FLEXOGRAPHY SMARTER How technology and Knowledgeable Pressroom operators compliment one another By Bob Wolff Advancesin flexographicprinttechnologyhave ledto increasedproductivity,efficiencyandoutputquality. Butpreprogrammed settings,in-line monitoring and automatedadjustmentscannot do it all.Infact,automation mayprovideafalsesenseofsecurityand maskissueswhich, ifnot detected andcorrected, caneven negateproductivity, qualityandefficiency. Letusbeginbyrecognizing that in printing, and related businessessuch asink,wecan’tbeanybetterthanthefolks onthe shop floor. All theupfrontactivities—engineering, equipmentselection, design, workflow,etc. — meanlittle unlesstheoperatorscanapplyitalltoward producing quality productsefficiently.Thejobisonlyasgoodastheymake it.Wemustask:arewe collectivelydoing enoughtotrain, develop,and involvecriticalshop floorstaff? Thesimple factisnumerousvariablesincluding ink-related issuescanimpactany runona givenday. Manypressroom personnel, whethertrainedinternallyorbypressmanufac- turers,plate orrollsuppliers, inkcompaniesorco-workers, lackthe hands-onexperiencetoquicklyidentifyand resolve problemsthatinevitablyarise.Nooperationisexempt: wide or narrowweb, long runsorshort ones.Whilemanylarger operationshave in-plant assistancefrom inksuppliersother printers mustbemoreself-reliant. ANTICIPATE, COMBAT, PREEMPT Ifoutputdoesn’t match that “brand identity,” standard be- ing driven bythemajorconsumer productscompanies,loss of respectabilityandbusinessoccur. Inanyshop,knowledge- ablepresscrewshold the keytoeverything.From getting on-colorwithfewerpulls,toavoiding costlymid-rundelaysor reruns,onlyawell-educatedgroup of operatorscanprevent disaster. BetterinkIQbeginswith communication. Making sure membersare awareof what ishappening from onejob tothe next isimperative. Preproduction meetings,oncestandardpractice,arebeing seen astimetakenawayfromproduction. Job sheetsare no replacement forface timeand discussions regarding upcom- ing runs,potentialissues, and actionsto takeif the unexpect- ed happens.Crews must fendforthemselveswhiledealing withmultiple, related issuesincludingbutnotlimitedto: • Traps,bleeds, reverse outs • Colorsequence – rotation • Aniloxrolls • Drying 8 FLEXO january 2012 www.flexography.org www.nag-detroit.com 586.486.1110 North American Graphics is YOUR source for Kodak Flexcel NX Ask about our Print Performance GUARANTEE Flexcel NX DigiCap plates to 60inches #1SourceBook_NAG_Ad. i ndd 1-2 11/4/11 5:58:31PM Technology cannoT Replace expeRience • New printingtechnologyhasmadeflexographyfast andeffective butrelyingsolelyontechnologycan have seriousconsequences • Printersareonlyasgood asthe crewtheyhaveon the pressroomfloor;computerautomationisonlyatool • Continuoustraininganddevelopment ofoperatorsis keyto maintaininghigh quality;experiencecannot be overlooked • Trust in crewmembers’knowledge isimperativeto smooth andsuperiorFlexoprintingthat can save a jobfrom disaster—even ifautomatedsystemsindi- cate otherwise PLANTS & PROCESSES Color Consistency: The New Marketing Tool One Simple Instrument Can Make Color Management Easy By Matthew Gryczan During the past50years,Shop-Vachasestablished a reputation asoneofthebestbrandsof wet-dryvacu- umsintheworld, witha specialtyin thedesignand manufactureofconsumergoodssuch asshopvacuums,leaf blowersindustrialvacuumsand airmoving equipment. It has distributionand manufacturingfacilitiesinNorthAmerica, Europe,Asia and Australia. “Ourbiggest targetmarketisconsumersintheUnited States,”saysRickShadle,director of creative servicesfor Shop-Vac.“The waythatthe marketistoday, retailreal estate isverytight.Theyaredoing awaywith elaboratedisplaysand point of salesmaterials,sopackaging hastosell—it hasto actasamarketingtool.” WhenShadlevisitedsomeofShop-VacCorp’slargest customers,suchasLowe’sand Wal-Mart abouta yearago, hewasassaultedbywhathecalls“a carnivalofcolors” in the aislesthatfeaturedhiscompany’sproducts. “Wewere seeing alotofvariations—therecouldbe five orsixdifferent shadesof the same color, evenblacks, in our corrugated packaging,” Shadle admits.“And wehadtodo something becausecolorconsistencyin yourpackaging reinforcesthatyou area brand.” Afterlaunching aprogramthatusesdatasupplied bycolor measurementinstrumentsthroughout hissupplychainofa dozencorrugated suppliers,Shadleseesnothing but“Shop- VacRed”whenhereturnsto thosesamestorestoday. Nowit’sotherhardwaresuppliersthatare enjoyingthe “carnival” ride.“WhenI lookattheshelvesinhome centers, hardwarestores,and retailchains, Iseethatitwasn’tjustus,” 12 FLEXO JANUARY 2012 www.flexography.org REMOVEOPINION,INSTITUTECONTROLS • Colorconsistencyin your packaging reinforcesthat you are abrand • Insteadoffieldingupto seven color-relatedcom- plaintsaweek, Shop-Vacnow handlesonecolor- matchingissueamonth • Studiesshow thatconsumersjudgetheproduct byits package,andeverythingfrompoorprint quality to holesin thecardboardpackagingcancausethemto passon apurchase • Achievingconsistent colortakesacombination of science,diplomacyandpatience • Sciencein theform ofgoodcolormeasurementsand reliableinkformulations • Diplomacyin handling resistance tochange bylarge andsmallcorrugatorsalike • Patienceto givethechangestimetotakehold Plants & Processes Plastic Packaging Inc. Resets The Bar through capital and staff Improvements, PPI outperforms By steve Deering Technologymovesata blisteringpace.Whatiscurrent todaycouldbe obsoletetomorrow.PlasticPackaging, Inc.(PPI) understandsthisand isuptothechallenge. The companyisafull-service, fullyintegratedflexiblepackag- ing companywithtwomanufacturinglocationsin NorthCaro- linaandsevensalesofficesthroughout theUnited Statesand takestheold,yetheralded,saying, “Thecustomerisalways right” toheart.ItistheHickory,NC-based company’sadher- encetothismantrathathaspropelledittoaward-winning printerstatus. Thehighqualityproductsresultfromanextensive cus- tomerserviceexperience,the skillofitsemployeesand the company’scommitment tothoseworkers. Addthewaythe companyembracestechnologyandyouhavea real and proven recipeforsuccess. PlasticPackagingcreatesa largenumberofproducts including stand-up pouches,whichareavailablewith or withouta re-sealablefeatureinsingle ormulti-layered laminations;side-and bottom-gussetpoucheswithmultiple film lamination structuresincludinghigh-barrier filmcom- binations;specialtycube-shaped pouches; and rollstockin laminated orsurface print. Theseproductscanbeseeninavast arrayof marketswith specialemphasisonfoodproducts,petproducts,confec- tion, lawn and garden, healthandpersonalcare,consumer productsaswellastobacco. Withsuch adiversegroup of clients,PPI mustbeabletohandleanyvarietyofjobsquickly andefficiently. Inordertooffersuchalargenumberof productstomul- tiplemarkets,PPIisat thecutting edgeintermsofcapabilities andservices.Withsomeofthemost advancedflexographic printingequipmentintheworld,PPIemployscomputerized controlsensuringconsistentandappealing products. From prepressin-housedigitalworkflow to platemakingand slitting capabilities,PPI isliterallyaone-stop flexographic printinggiant.Also,theirintergraded support networkbrings a unique,customerfirstmentality.From theoutset,PPI’scom- mittedcustomersupport associateswillrespondtoensure high qualityproducts. Oneof themoreinnovativeoptions PPIprovidesisthein-housegraphicsteam. Thisfullservice, onsitebenefitoffersquickturnaroundsand reducedtimeto marketforourcustomers. IncoRPoRaTIng Technology Inthepastfouryearsalone,PPIhasspent morethan $23 millionincapital expendituresandimprovements, according TRAINING & TECHNOLOGY GO HAND-IN-HAND • Being instepwithtechnological advancement can preventfutureobstacles • Staff must bean integral part ofplant improvement • Employeesarethebestasset andmustbe encour- agedto grow • Greentechnologydoesn’t havetohurt profitability—it can even improve it • The high qualityproductsresultfrom attention to customerservice 16 FL EXO january 2012 www.flexography.org