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FLEXO Magazine : February 2008
6 FLEXO FEBRUARY 2008 www.flexography.org BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE FLEXOGRAPHIC TECHNICAL ASSOCIATION Dave Bankson, Label Technology James E. Brown, Cryovac Sealed Air Mark Cisternino, Flexographic Technical Association Larry Claton, Aquaflex Greg Collins, C-P Flexible Packaging Michael Ferrari, Procter & Gamble Raymond "Bud" Gray, Acucote Inc. Gary Hilliard, Hood Packaging Michael Impastato, Flint Group Jean Jackson, Allison Systems Paul Lancelle, Green Bay Engraving Gene Martin, The Robinette Co. Matt Moffett, The Meyers Printing Co. David R. Nieman, All Printing Resources Greg Platt, GMF Flexo Prepress David Straten, Advance Packaging Corp. Michael G. Schliesmann, Great Northern Corp. Immediate past chair BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE FOUNDATION OF FLEXOGRAPHIC TECHNICAL ASSOCIATION Dave Bankson, Label Technology James E. Brown, Cryovac Sealed Air Mark Cisternino, Flexographic Technical Association Larry Claton, Aquaflex Greg Collins, C-P Flexible Packaging Michael Ferrari, Procter & Gamble Raymond "Bud" Gray, Acucote Inc. Gary Hilliard, Hood Packaging Michael Impastato, Flint Group Jean Jackson, Allison Systems Paul Lancelle, Green Bay Engraving Gene Martin, The Robinette Co. Matt Moffett, The Meyers Printing Co. Doug Nelson, Water Ink Technologies David R. Nieman, All Printing Resources Greg Platt, GMF Flexo Prepress David Straten, Advance Packaging Corp. PUBLISHING DIRECTOR Mark Cisternino Quick." "Seemless." "Effective." "Accurate."...These are four powerful words. Some may see them as strong performance indicators; others will describe them as clear signs of intelligence. You're free to form your own opinion on the matter. Regardless of exactly what that may be, you'll likely agree that each term, taken individually, as well as collectively, definitely serves to build confidence and promote productivity. In business, such attributes are the mark of a smart thinker, who by nature is an astute planner. Flexographically speaking, they point to a passion for deploying best practices to the printing dynamic. Wow! Word association says a lot. Critical thinkers become crucial enablers. They stand committed to the continu- ous pursuit of excellence and they are always looking for new and better tools of the trade, e.g. automated workflows, productivity enhancing software, etc. These are the people who stand at the center of a printing plant---right out in the open in the pressroom---and ask themselves: "What can help me win this job...and the next one...and the one after that...?" Facilitators like these, embrace the challenges of reducing waste, improving qual- ity and driving down cost. They do, however, shun one thing---surprises. And they define surprise as "anything that can shut down production." To ward off such circumstances, they collect information, validate the findings and communicate the message, in terms of the actions or preventive measures required, to their associates. These super humans are hard to find, and they are even harder to recruit out there in the normal, day-to-day working world. Short of being able to identify, secure and develop such talent, some flexographers have married man with machine, intro- duced full automated workflows, or select components of them, or even outright moved into Lean Manufacturing. Integrated workflows and streamlined operations are taking on new meaning at those plants. The lines between forecasting and functionality are coming together. Newfound abilities to track changes and measure results are helping to develop the foundation for a revitalized estimating and planning process. Resource management is becoming less of the daunting task that it once was. Needless activities are be- ing eliminated. Value propositions to customers are being strengthened, and a new buzzword has emerged in the marketplace---"High-Velocity Manufacturing." Anyone hear an echo?: "Speed to market...Speed to market..." With automated workflow, comes some necessary jargon: MIS (Management Information Systems), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), JDF (Job Definition Format), to name a few. Four stories in this very issue highlight the systems that those terms describe, as well as some important overlaps that each shares with the others. One piece hints at the expectation that these terms, some of which now constitute packaging's common language, are destined to be the talk of drupa. So, whether classified as "Industry Indicators," Plants & Processes," or "Technology & Technique," the headlines, "JDF, A Never-Ending Journey;" "JDF in MIS;" "ERP & Lean;" and "MIS in Flexo;" should be automatic reading for anyone thinking about expanding the influence of computer to plant (a new CtP?) in any way, shape or form. The prevailing benefit---and it's expressed right on our cover: "Information at Your Fingertips." FTA TODAY Print Production at Your Fingertips... PUBLISHER'S INK