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FLEXO Magazine : September 2013
INDUSTRY INDICATORS (continued) 66 Labelexpo Europe 2013 Preview A glimpse of what to expect in Brussels from Sept. 24- 27 and a look at what FTA members exhibiting at the show will have in store for attendees. FTA TODAY 18 Forum Flashback: FQC Update Checking in with the Flexo Quality Consortium and a look at the question and answer sessions from April’s FTA Forum featuring Paul Lancelle of All Printing Resources and Andrew Hewitt of Repro3, Ann Michaud of 3M and Jeff Aker of SGS, and PJ Fronczkiewicz of Flint Group. 24 Survey Says: Flexo Plants Are Financially Stable, Positioned for Long-Term Growth Ed Dedman, Jean Engelke, Craig Shields, Sean Teufler, Doreen Monteleone FTA’s Supplier Leadership Council reports on the findings from its FTA Printer/Converter Process & Technology Survey 2013, which offers a bounty of data on the industry ’s current state, prevalent trends and a wide-angle view of its future. PLANTS & PROCESSES 56 The Long and Short of It Steven Tu New digital technologies are enabling flexo printers to handle short- and micro-run label printing jobs and still turn a profit. 62 Optimizing Processes for Narrow Web Printers Joe Prunier To achieve repeatability and efficiency, the printer must choose a proper platemounting tape specifically engineered with today ’s printing technologies and processes in mind. SEPTEmbER 2013 VOLUME 38, NO. 9 In This Issue (con’t.) HD-ITR Flat Top Dot Seamless Sleeves High Definition Flexo Technical Partnerships Wisconsin . Chicago . California . Atlanta VISIT US AT FTA’S 2013 FALL CONFERENCE AND TABLETOP EXHIBIT KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI TAKE YOUR FLEXO TO THE HIGHEST LEVEL Let OEC Graphics... • Digital, ITR • Customizable • HD and Flat Top Dot compatible • Tightest registration • Eliminates mounting • No stickyback cost • Faster make-ready • Reusable • Reduced lead times SEAMLESS I CUSTOMIZABLE I CONTINUOUS I REUSABLE OEC Graphics was the first to bring the SEAMEX® seamless In-The-Round (ITR) sleeve to the North American market. Investments in equipment, research and development solidified SEAMEX as the industry standard. Today, it has evolved into a digital wonder; improving press speeds, streamlining pressrooms and producing thousands of sleeves as it continues to win awards and converter’s approval year after year. FOR MORE INFORMATION call Brad Vette at 1.800.388.7770 or email firstname.lastname@example.org oecgraphics.com S u r vey S ays: F lexo P lan t s Ar e F inancially St able, P osi t ioned F o rL ong -T e rmGr o wt h SLCPo llI den ti fies K ey M arke tM e t r i cs AFLEXOExclusive T heflexoindustry isconstantlyevolvinganditisdoing soatanincreasinglyrapidpace.Thatmakeskeep- ingafingeronits pulseadifficultaffairbutonethat canprovidevaluableinsightintoanumberofkeymetrics. FTA’s SupplierLeadershipCouncil(SLC),inits FTAPrinter/ ConverterProcess&TechnologySurvey2013,hasdonejust that,miningtrovesofdatafrom businessesinallareasofthe industry. Survey findings include: • Printers and convertersintheflexographicindustry seem tobefinancially stableandareexperiencingsales and revenuegrowthwhenmany industriesarestruggling • Flexoplantshavebeen actively integrating newtechnolo- giesandmanufacturingpractices,andarecontinuingto BI G DATA TAKEA W AYS • 150printers/converters polled • 70percent sawsalesgrowthinpast 12months • Facilities within-houseplatemaking capabilities post fasterturnaroundtimes • Employeesafetyviewedascustomers’most importantconcern • Endsealleakagemostcommonissue • Greatestareaofimprovementinprepressworkflow saidtobe“Bettercommunicationbetweencustomer, prepress providerandprinter” Pressroomfloor,SpearUSA,Mason,OH.Spear’s proprietarycombinationpresses(11totalinoperation) combine UVFlexowithrotaryscreen and hot-stamping. LeftandCenter—Onpressat ParagonLabel Disclaimer:Picturedprinters areFTA members whomay ormaynothave been involvedwith thesurvey. 24 FLEXO SEPTE M BER 2013 www.flexography.org FTATODAY OnpressatGlobalPackaging UltraFlex FLEXSTARPackag i ng I nc ., R i chmond , BC , CanadaFQCPr ojec t s &Pr o t ocols: a P e rf o rm ance R epo rt ByJeanEngeleke,FQCChair T heFlexo Quality Consortium (FQC) is alive and well! Thoseofyouwhoattendedthisyear’sForuminSan Diegomayhavewitnessedfirst-handtheinterest shown by the membership.Thepre-conferenceFQC work- ing session and talk on “Knowing YourColor Capabilities,” presentedbySteveSmileyofSmileyColor&Associatesand KevinChopofDiageo,drewastandingroom-onlycrowdand wewereabletosignupmorethan60 volunteersforcurrent projects.Thankyoutoallthememberswhoarenowactiveon these jobs! ThegeneralFQCSession,alsoverywellattended,started withareportoutfromallofourprojectleaders.Sincethe Forum, our project groups have welcomed new members and havebeenactivelyworkingtofulfilltheircharters.Themem- bership will haveanother opportunity to learn moreabout the projectstatusandparticipateinworkingmeetings attheFall Conference,Oct.14-16inStLouis,MO. Curre nt A cti ve Proj ects : •Dr. Danny Rich,Sun Chemical– Standards Working Gro up • SeanTuefler,HarperCorporationofAmerica– Expanded Gamut II – CHARTER APPROVED • SteveSmiley,SmileyColor& Associates–CorrugatedG7 –CHARTERAPPROVED • High Resolution Printing A & B– CHARTER APPROVED • Dan Reilly, PlasticPackaging, Inc. – Anilox GaugeR&R II Afterthe project updates the session featured threepresen- tations.Twowerefollow-upprojectsfromlastyear’sForum andathirdchosenfromsubmittedabstracts.PaulLancelle, AllPrintingResources,andAndrewHewitt,Repro3,presented “ Do More withFour ... and More!”The presentationwas a continuation of the 2012 project that documented the color gamut achievablewithnewplate technologies.This yearthey highlighted how expanded gamut technology compared us- ingthe same plate technology. AnnMichaudof3MandJeffAkerofSGSpresented“Opti- mizing Mounting Tape WithNewPlate Technologies — A Case Study in Optimizing The Tape/PlatePackage.” Thediscus- sionexploredthecharacteristics offlexomountingtapesand photopolymerplates and how their interaction affects print. They presented a case study, conducted at HoodPackaging, todocumenttheirfindings. PJFronczkiewicz,FlintGroup,finishedthesessionwithhis expandedresearchfromlastyear’sForum,“Platemaking Negligence: From Bad toWorse.” PJ researched plate wear with extended plate runs in alaboratory setting and docu- mentedhisfindings. All presentations were well received and exceeded their allottedtimeslots.Therefore,wearefollowingupnowwiththe questions that came in from the membership. FQCSESSION QUESTION AND ANSWER PAUL LANCELLE AND ANDREWHEWITT Q: We have heardthat7-color is actually less ex pens ive tha n 4-colorbecause of theink savings. For ex am ple, c rea ti ng green, usinggreenink,is halftheinkusage ofusingcyanand yellow.Doyouagree?Also,whichmethodismorestableon press: creating greenwithgreen ink orusing cyanandyellow? A: This is quite asubjective question and answer. Weknowthat CMYKinksarethemostcosteffective,sopoundforpoundthe greeninkwillcostmore.Thatsaid,youneed200 percentink coverage for aCYbuildagainst100 percent greencoverage, sowe can understandthat there may exist the opportunity for inksavingsonsomecolors.However,ECGwill,inmostcases, needasecondinkandevenathirdinktoachieveafullrange of“greens,”sowhilethegreeninkmaybeamajorinfluencein the makeup,it is not theonly color. Weagree the fewerprimary colorstobuildanultimatecoloristheeasiestwaytoprint; however,considerationshould betaken on the complexity in prepress activities and print heads required on press to estab- lishatruecostcomparison.Onthispointitisworthsayingthat if yourunECG and are happy with your“standard” densities that a conventional plate delivers, thennext-gen plate technol- Hewitt Lancelle 18 FLEXO SEPTE M BER 2013 www.flexography.org FTATODAYFORUMFLASHBACK PLANTS & PR OC ESSES The Long And Short of It Short- & Micro-Run Label Jobs Benefit From New Digital Technologies B y Steven Tu Thelabelmarketisvast,growingandvaluable:Depend- ingonthesource,thesizeoftheU.S.sectoraloneis estimatedbetween$15and$20billion.Approximately half ofthis is comprised ofpressure-sensitivelabels withthe remainderdividedintoglue-applied,sleeve,in-moldand othertypes. Current research andfutureprojections showflexographic printing will continuetobe aleadingtechnologyformass labelproduction.Withtheadditionof a newdigitalprinter, aprintshopcanextenditsmarketreachandcapturenew revenuebyservingoneofthefastestgrowingsegments: themarketforshort-run, digitallyprintedpressure-sensitive labels. SMALL BATCH, BIGRESULTS • Short-run,digitally printedpressure-sensitivelabel market is oneof thefastest growing • Emergingtechnologiesallowshops toprintvery small runs thatareaffordableforcustomers, profitableforconverter • Usesincludecustomizedskincareproducts,wine varietals • Outputcanbecolormatchedtoensureaccuracyfor prototypes • Printonavarietyof substrates andmaterials Winelabelsachieveahigh-endlookthankstoclearECO-UVinkinbothglossandmattefinishes. Photo:RolandDGA 56 FL EXO SEPTEMBER 2013 www.flexography.org PLANTS&PROCESSESO p t i m izing Pr ocesses f o rN a rr o wW eb Pr in t e r s M ax i m i ze Q ua lit y & E f fic i encybySe l ec ti ng t heProperP l a t emoun ti ngTape ByJoePrunier C hangesinflexographicprintingaretranspiringmore quickly thanever. Press speeds are getting faster and faster,and new plate and sleeve technologies facili- tatevastly improved print quality. Additionally,the market is increasingly demanding shorterprintruns toreduce working capitalandallowformorerapidchangesinlabelandpack- aginggraphics,aswellasshort-term promotions. Nowherein the industry arerapidtechnological advance- mentstakingplacefasterthannarrowwebtagandlabel printing.Whilesomeprintersareabletomakecapitalinvest- mentsinnewpress andmaterialstechnologies,manyare trying toimprove quality and maximizeefficiency of existing equipment to remain competitive. Onesimplewaytomaximizequalityandefficiency isto evaluatethe platemounting tapes used inthe printing process andtoensurethattherighttapesarebeingusedfortheap- plication. Being aware of the capabilities of platemounting tapes,as wellasworkingcloselywithyoursuppliers,canhelp toensurethatpropertapesarebeingusedtomaximizeboth processes andquality. Twokey criteria areessential forevalu- atingplatemountingtapes:adhesivesystemsandfoams. Let’s takeacloserlook. MAXIMIZEEFFICIENCY Withoutadoubt,oneofthemostimportantcomponents of platemountingtapesfornarrowwebprintingistheadhesive that bonds thetape to the cylinderand the printingplate to thetape. The efficiency and process repeatability of mounting and demountingflexographicprinting plates can make the difference between being profitableby prolongingthe useful lifeofplates,orruiningplatesandhavingtobuynewones. Adhesive can be thedistinguishing factor betweenhaving toclean residue offevery cylinder whenthe job is stripped, TALE O FTHETAPE • Asimplewaytomaximizequality andefficiency is toevaluateplatemountingtapesusedintheprinting process and to ensure that the right tapes are being usedfortheapplication • Being aware of the capabilities of platemounting tapes, aswell asworkingcloselywithyoursuppliers, canhelptoensurethatpropertapesarebeingused tomaximizebothprocessesandquality • Two keycriteriaareessentialforevaluating platemountingtapes:adhesivesystemsandfoams • Adhesiverequirementsaresimple:bondtothe sleeves/cylinders andplates as securelyas possibleduring printing to completely eliminate any possibilityof plateedgeliftingorbubbling; andwhenthejobisdone,removeas easily as a siliconizedliner • High quality printisdirectlyassociatedwiththe qualityofthefoam coreusedinplatemounting tapes.Itservesasaplatecushioningandsupport medium • For printingfinescreenswithhighlinescreenplates, softertapesprovidethebestcushioningeffecttoact asa“shockabsorber” 62 FLEXO SEPTE M BER 2013 www.flexography.org INDUSTRY INDICATORS Record-Breaking Event Labelexpo Europe Casts Vast Footprint and Global Impact ThesuperlativeusedinLabelexpoEurope’s slogan may be“greatest”—“Thegreatestlabel showonEarth!”— butthereis another adjectivejust as appropriatethis year: “Largest,”becausethe2013expo, slatedforSept.24-27 at BrusselsExpo,istrackingtobreak every record settwo years ago: •Morethan30,000 attendees, versus2011’s 28,636 visitors • Anincreaseincountries represented,comparedtothe 123that attendedin2011 • New and returningexhibitors, morethan2011’s 550 • A seventhexhibitionhall,besting2011’s sixhalls • A footprintof31,500square meters(101,500sq.ft.),up from 2011’s 29,670 squaremeters (95,144 sq.ft.) “LabelexpoEurope2013 isset againtobethebestplace toseethelatestprofessionaltechnologyproducts,ancillaries and businessdevelopmenttoolsforthelabel andpackage printingindustry,” said LisaMilburn, managingdirectorforthe LabelexpoGlobalSeries. “Withsolutionson showforevery areaofbusinessfromindustrialtofood andbeveragesthrough topharmaceuticalandpersonalcare,thereis nowherebetter tosource newtechnology,improveyoursupply chain manage- mentorlearn about maximizing value added servicesthat will helpkeepyourbusiness aheadofthecompetition.” Naturally,FTA members andtheirsubsidiaries willbeinfull force atLabelexpoEurope, with roughly100ofthemexhibiting. Many ofthosein attendance willbedebutingbrand-newprod- uctsaswell as add-onstoexistingequipment.Forinformation onwhattoexpectfrom someFTA members and subsidiaries at theexpo,takealook atthepreviewonpages68-77. There arealso ahandfulofpresentations, demonstrations and workshopsontaptogleanplentyofinsightfulinforma- tionfrom. Ondaytwooftheexpo,Sept.25,Kodak,MPS andRepro- flex 3 willbeoffering a seriesoflivepresentationsinhall11. Thedemonstrations, which willtakeplaceevery 15minutes, will combineKodakprepresstechnologies, MPS’pressef- ficiencies andReproflex3’s expertisetoshowcase a range ofchallengingprintjobsinthepersonalcareandhousehold product sectors. The demos willprint at300lpisansspot colorinks. Spectators willbe abletotake samplestocheck againstproofs. Alsoontapis aPackagePrintingWorkshopanddemon- strationpreparedbyXeikonandNuovaGIDUEinhall12. Xeikonwillbeprinting aglassjarlabel andacartoncarry packtoholdthreejars. Spectators willbeableto watchthe pressprintinCMYKinonepass,sheetthewebandfeed ittoadiecutting station. Finally,theprintedcartons willbe stacked.NuovaGIDUE willprint alidlaminatefor apotand stand-uppouchononeofitspresses, upgraded withdigital flexotechnology.Bothdemonstrations willbefree. ForalistoftheFTA members and subsidiariesexhibiting at LabelexpoEurope2013 as well as wherethey willbelo- cated,be suretolook atthefold-out floorplanontheinside f ront cov er. 66 FL EXO SEPTEMBER 2013 www.flexography.org