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FLEXO Magazine : September 2012
Plants & Processes Innovation & Improvement Don earl, President: “standardize and simplify the Process” FLEXO: Can you begin by assessing the state-of-the-industry as it exists today? What are its top priorities and challenges? Is growth, both in volume and dollar sales likely this year and into the future? Why? EARL: The industry is in a “ wait and see mode.” There is so much uncertainty in the marketplace and in the macro econo- my. Everyone’s top priority is to weather the current economic storm by proceeding cautiously. Dollar and volume growth are both possible, as long as our industry keeps innovating and improving on current technology. FLEXO: What technical advancements have simplified the flexographic process in recent years? How have they served to reduce waste, enhance efficiency, improve time to market and alleviate other challenges? EARL: Platemaking, specifically, the introduction of digital platemaking and digital workflows, has increased production time dramatically. FLEXO: How is your firm embracing the industry ’s push to- ward standardization? Are you optimizing the production pro- cess and moving out to print to the numbers/specifications? EARL: At Overnight Labels, we have been printing by the numbers for years. We are always trying to standardize, re- standardize and simplify the process. FLEXO: What color management and control applications/ procedures do you employ in an effort to maintain design and brand color integrity? EARL: We use our spectrodensitometer on every spot job. We fingerprint and profile our presses every time a variable changes. FLEXO: Do LEAN manufacturing principles have a place in your plant? Why/why not? EARL: Of course, LEAN Manufacturing has a place in the Overnight Labels plant. Anything that can make our shop run more efficiently is valuable. FLEXO: Have you moved, or do you intend to move to a completely automated workflow? How will that enhance your firm’s competitive position? EARL: Our prepress department is completely automated. Parts of the shop are not. I prefer my customer service people to get up and get out in the shop to get job status. That way, they become more involved in the process and are not rely- ing on someone else to enter something into the computer. It requires them to see a job through from order and entry to completion. FLEXO: What other steps are you taking to maintain a path toward continuous improvement in your plant? EARL: We review every mistake, find the source, and try to implement a procedure to avoid similar issues. FLEXO: Have you attained FIRST, ISO, ANSI, or environmen- tally related certifications? Do you expect to in the future? OVERNIGHT LABELS, INC., DEER PARK, NY • Established in 1987, now 25-years old • Specializes in custom printed shrink sleeves, neckbands, flexible film, pressure and non-pressure sensitive labels, confectionary wrappers, peel-back and piggy-back labels • Insists on low set-up cost and meets quick turnaround times • Ensures printed packages are envy of neighbors on store shelves • Active and engaged FTA member for nearly two decades, 1996-2012 overnight labels pressroom. 38 FLEXO sePtember 2012 www.flexography.org OvErnight LabELs, inc. FTA MEMBERSHIP PORTRAIT: