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FLEXO Magazine : February 2013
Industry Indicators For 111 years, American Packaging Corp. has been a vanguard of the printing industry. Specifically, in the last 13 years, the firm has invested more than $150 million in new equipment and upgrades, proving the adage, “You have to spend money to make money ” true. Further, with its mantra, “Sustainable is Attainable,” AMPK is putting its money where its mouth is with a $1.2 million pledge to the Rochester Insti- tute of Technology to help sponsor an education and research center dedicated to the development and use of sustainable packaging. FLEXO: Can you begin by assessing the state-of-the-industry, as it exists today? What are the top priorities and challenges? Is growth, both in volume and dollar sales likely this year and into the future? Why? JON PARKES: The flexo industry has never been stronger. In regard to capabilities, recent advances in presses, prepress and platemaking have propelled flexo ever closer to gravure and offset. A top priority is to continue to push the envelope in developing techniques that get flexo even closer. A top challenge is to stay on top of these new developments and determine which of them will produce the most bang for the buck. It is a constant fight to remain on the leading edge of technology—as opposed to the bleeding edge. Continued growth is likely as the gap between print processes continues to shrink and more buyers view flexo as a viable alternative to some of the other print processes. 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? PARKES: Over the past several years, advanced robotics on presses, high definition printing and flat top dots have been some of the innovations making the biggest difference. Improved predictability on press, expanded color gamut and faster changeover times have led to decreased waste and im- proved efficiencies have significantly reduced time to market. FLEXO: How is your firm embracing the industry ’s push toward standardization? Are you optimizing the production Insider Insights: inquiries about 2013 and Beyond compiled by steve Deering FLEXO Magazine recently spoke with a number of flex- ible packaging, plant managers, supervisors, and a vice president to get an idea of what 2013 has in store for the flexographic industry. These Flexographic Technical Association members discuss everything from challenges, advancements, and education, to strategies and expert ad- vice. The following pages will shed light on flexo production, the business as a whole, and its outlook. FLEXO spoke with Jon Parkes, graphics manager, Ameri- can Packaging Corp.; David Mowbray, press supervisor, Graphic Flexible Packaging; Stacy Daly, vice president and general manager, ASL Print FX; and James Stone, technical business development manager, G3 Enterprises. These thorough dialogues reveal a number of industry important themes. One subject that these flexo professionals addressed was the emphasis good firms place on education and the cultivation of current employees. Further, it appears that many organizations are moving toward an automated workflow, increasing the need for employees to be adaptable to continuous change. AMERICAN PACKAGING CORP., StORy CIty, IA • 1902 - American Bag & Paper was founded by the Kardon Family as a specialized bag company in Philadelphia, PA • 1982 - Company renamed American Packaging Corp. • 1997 - Builds a new flexographic printing facility in Story City, IA • 2005 - Installs custom built flexographic press with 10 stations in Story City, IA • 2010- Installs custom built 10 station flexographic press, off-line laminator and other auxiliary equip- ment in Story City, IA 42 FLEXO feBruary 2013 www.flexography.org Photo courtesy of american Packaging corp FtA MEMBERSHIP PORtRAIt: