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FLEXO Magazine : April 2012
ized practices, procedures and controls. In essence, the Flexo Quality Consortium (FQC) set the stage for Forum 2012—the topics to be discussed and the timeliness of constantly ad- vancing technological breakthroughs destined to increase performance and productivity. FLEXO, OFFSET, GRAVURE, DIGITAL Package buyers from Diageo, Kimberly-Clark and Tyson Foods told flexographers exactly what it takes to win their business in the opening minutes of FTA’s 54th Annual Forum. Kevin Chop of Diageo indicated that he looks at equipment, design, converting capabilities, process controls and cost of goods, before awarding a given job to flexo, offset, gravure or digital print. For Tom Cluck of Tyson Foods, price, lead-time, materials, equipment and logistics dictate the decision point. He said that he insists on deployment of color, asset and brand manage- ment, and like Chop, added, “Quality is not the issue today. ” Kimberly-Clark’s Al Marquardt explained, “The reality is the substrate, the print location and the print supplier typi- cally drive this decision.” He also observed, “You printers in the audience select the final print process, not the consumer product companies. You should. You are the print experts.” Marquardt later admitted, “A CPC knows how to get prod- uct to market, not how to pick the best printing process for our packaging. We rely on partnerships with our printers to select the best process based on substrate and location.” Those remarks inspired the distribution, examination and evaluation of actual production jobs, printed by the various processes. The good news for the flexo-focused audience was the status updates for several packages that were shown read: “Now converting to flexo. ” With the customers’ expectations on record, Forum turned to the converters’ perspective. Describing flexo as a tremendous- ly dynamic industry, representatives for six different printers talked about the technologies they use to beat the competition every day. They, like the attendees who examined the samples through printer’s loupes, were excited by the results. Printers said they were glad to have chosen flexo as their path. Today, some print 10 million to 15 million pieces daily. They see digital as both a potential threat and a valued partner. DuPont Packaging Graphics’ Mark Mazur, took the micro- phone to outline Label-Pac, a Wavre, Belgium-based printer ’s experience with implementation and expansion of high-defini- tion flexography, Mazur said, “Competing with digital means improving productivity using sleeves to set up a six color job in 10 minutes.” He noted that Label-Pac is dedicated to optimizing UV flexo from prepress to platemaking and on to printing. The goal for the operation is one shared by many flexographers attending Forum: “Completely replace offset with UV flexo.” ELIMINATOR Introducing a New Standard of Label Metering Excellence • eliminates basic print defects including UV spitting • superior wear resistance • low friction against anilox • NEW AF TIP reduces break-in time • new alloyed material + dimension ...developed to meet the challenges of today’s high performance press room. R TM Printing Doctor Blades FLXON IS THE EXCLUSIVE DISTRIBUTOR IN CANADA - USA - MEXICO FOR +1.704.844-2434 www.flxon.com Performance Through Quality ELIMINATOR Introducing a New Standard of Label Metering Excellence • eliminates basic print defects including UV spitting • superior wear resistance • low friction against anilox • NEW AF TIP reduces break-in time • new alloyed material + dimension ...developed to meet the challenges of today’s high performance press room. R TM Printing Doctor Blades FLXON IS THE EXCLUSIVE DISTRIBUTOR IN CANADA - USA - MEXICO FOR +1.704.844-2434 www.flxon.com Performance Through Quality 16 FLEXO april 2012 www.flexography.org