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FLEXO Magazine : December 2013
Those are the overall takeaways from Smithers Pira’s The Future of Folding Cartons to 2018. Several trends will be responsible for the growth; namely retail ready packs, anti counterfeit systems used in folding carton applica- tions and barrier coating technologies • By 2017, the label market is forecasted to be valued at more than $43 billion. Smithers Pira, in its Future of Global Labels and Release Liner Markets to 2017, sees a 4 percent annual growth, which will add nearly $10 billion to its valuation at the close of 2012. Significantly, flexogra- phy is predicted to continue growing its share of the label market, which already sits at more than 50 percent • With a 1.6 percent growth rate, printing equipment will become a $22.7 billion global market by 2017. That is up from $21.5 billion in 2012 but still down from 2007’s pre re- cession peak of $25.4 billion. According to Smithers Pira’s The Future of Global Print Equipment Markets to 2017, 120,000 presses will be installed in the next four years and the worldwide total now stands at 1.1 million units. Approximately 40,000 digital printing units are expected to be installed around the world in the next four years • Freedonia Group forecasts pouches to see above aver- age advances, with 4.6 percent growth yearly through 2015 to $8 billion being driven by stand up pouches and flat pouches along with lighter weights and reductions in materials used. Plastic bags will outpace paper bags. Fastest gains are anticipated in beverage, meat and snack food use cases SUSTAINABILITY & SENSITIVITY • In its April cover story, FLEXO profiled Prairie State Group’s journey to achieving Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification • Sustainability continued its ascent into the minds of consumers and the to do lists of companies. One of the 20132014 FTA TODAY Standard CMYK Process Inks — Help Needed! Opportunity and Issue in the ISO Printing Ink and Color Certification Chain By Paul Lodewyck The goal of easilytransportable, universal printing work is based on a chain of standardized, certified processes andphysical components. This well-defined workflow minimizes confusion and enablesaclear, shared expectation, resulting in a very cost-effectiveprintedproduct that meetsthebrand owner’s business need. A more standardizedprocess and continuing cost reduc- tions wouldenable flexo to continue gaining market share vs. litho; but, right now, we have anissue with one of the links in thechain—establishment of a standard set ofprocess inks. Inlitho, the International StandardsOrganization (ISO) process starts witha set ofprocess inks, whose color and transparency characteristics are set on a standard substrate. Press characterizations and actual printing are done with these standard inks tofinal printed color targets that are shift- ed, depending on the substrate tobeprinted. Thishasbeen a very successful approach inlitho, and ahighpercentage of print work isprocess. In many cases, there are no curve adjustments made, andthe process of transferring graphics and jobs among presses andprinters is less complicated thaninflexo. Inflexo, the ISOprinting process is intendedto run the same way: starting from a standard set of inks withthetarget andtolerances set on a standard substrate—the same sub- strate that is usedfor litho. Printing inconformance with these standards requires inks certifiedto matchISO2846-5. The ac- tual flexo targets were set based on a mathematical average of abroad sample of flexo inks, mainly from the U.S. The flexo targets were slightlydifferent than the litho targets. TheG7/Near Neutral Density characterization process is based on a similar approach, and requires certified standard inksfor a characterization. Inpractice, certification vs. ISO 2846-5 is required, with the actual values reported; not just a statement of certification. Flexographic ImageReproduction SpecificationsandToler- ances (FIRST)does not establish standard inks on a standard substrate, though it recommends establishing them. It goes directly to suggestedtargets andtolerances in thefinal prints. There are different targetsfor different ink chemistryplat- forms (solvent, water, UV) .According to Flexo QualityConsor- tium’s (FQC’s) unofficialhistorian, SteveSmiley, the key focus on the original ISO2846 was on transparency; andtranspar- ency is not addressed at all in FIRST. So – ISOand G7 callfor certified ink andFIRSTdoes not.All call for a specific printed result on the final substrate. Note: The STANDARDIZING CROSS PLATFORM PRINTING • Well-defined workflow minimizes confusion and enables aclear shared expectation resulting in a very cost effective printed productthat meetsthe brand owner’s business need • ISO2846 suggests color targetsbe consolidated to the lithotargetsto make designs more portable for cross platform printing and toyield a more uniform ultim ate c olor r e sult • FQCwasconcerned withthis approach because no work hadbeen done on the original ISO2846-5 specs todemonstrate that whatever was specified for standard inks actually meet printed color target specifications (ISO 12647) • AnFQCprojectteam was chartered tovalidatethe approach, butthe standardsdid not align, due primarily tothe factthatthe substrate specified in ISO 2846 wastooyellow compared tothe actual production substrates used in flexo • Progress in establishing a revision toISO 2846-5 has been continually delayed www.flexography.org mA rCh 2013 FLEXO 21 Plants & Processes SQF Certification: One Printer’s Journey Prairie state Group reaps Benefits From conforming to Food Manufacturing standards By cayleigh nichols So,likeme, yourcustomeris requesting—morelike demanding—you become Safe Quality Food (SQF) certified. What does thisevenmean? WhatisSQFand how isthis relevant to a printer? Why is thisimportant? How is anyprintergoing togoaboutdoing this? At PrairieState Group, we had theseand more questions. And on a personal level, Ifound myself asking, “Whydid this landonmy desk?” PATH TO CERTIFICATION • The push for direct food contact packaging to conform with SQF standard is relatively new • When a printer/converter isgoing for SQF certification, two modules are relevant - Module2 is called “SQF System Elements” - Module13 is called “Food Safety Fundamentals- - Good Manufacturing Practices for Production of Food Packaging” • Match your documents (paragraphs and even sentences) toexact numbers in the code and it will makeyourlife a lot easier when it comes time for the audit • Required documentation can be understood and prepared with a consultant’s help • The most difficult task: applying code written for a food handler to a packaging, printing and converting operation • Training in Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points is required • Time and dedication is required to implement SQF procedures, which represent a hugeculture shift for any enterprise 16 FLE XO a P ril 2013 www.flexography.org everything has tobe neatly organized, labeled and logically positioned onthe press side servicecart. alllubricants mustbe changed to food grade in order to securesQF cer tifi catio n . www.flexography.org DECEMBER 2013 FLEXO 13