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FLEXO Magazine : January 2014
April 27 – 30 | Hilton Baltimore and the Baltimore Convention Center Visit flexography.org for more information | Baltimore, MD FRESH. NEW. DIFFERENT. Special Offers: n Save $200 and Register by Feb. 21 n Printers/Converters “Buy 2, Get the 3rd Free” n Consumer Product Companies Attend for Free EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION SAVE $200 BEFORE FEB. 21! JANUARY 2014 FLEXO JANUARY 2014 VOLUME 39, NO. 1 FLEXOGRAPHY’S FUTURE FORECAST Predictions, Perspectives, Forecasts & Flexography’s Future Market Metrics Machinery & Technology Customer Insights JANUARY 2014 VOLUME 39, NO. 1 In This Issue FTA TODAY Flexography’s Future Drive out waste. Deliver to spec. Control color. Streamline efficiencies. Optimization, automation, standardization, benchmarking and process controls are transitioning today’s wishes into tomorrow’s realities. Predictions, performance indicators, expectations and trend lines are examined in depth in this issue of FLEXO® . Authors put forth a series of industry assessments to be used in charting the path forward and formulating strategic future directions. The consensus is: flexography is sound, viable, flexible, responsive and poised for continued growth. 28 58 14 16 FTA HEADQUARTERS & FLEXO® EDITORIAL, ADVERTISING, SUBSCRIBER SERVICES 3920 Veterans Memorial Hwy Ste 9 Bohemia NY 11716-1074 Phone: 631-737-6020 Fax: 631-737-6813 PUBLISHER Robert Moran, ext. 17 firstname.lastname@example.org MANAGING EDITOR Brad Pareso, ext. 31 email@example.com DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Jay Kaible, ext. 20 firstname.lastname@example.org CREATIVE SERVICES MANAGER Katie Dubois email@example.com EDUCATION DIRECTOR Joe Tuccitto firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLISHING DIRECTOR Mark Cisternino, ext. 25 email@example.com FLEXO® Magazine (ISSN-1051-7324) is published monthly by the Foundation of Flexographic Technical Association. Address all correspondence to FLEXO® Magazine, 3920 Veterans Memorial Hwy Ste 9 Bohemia NY 11716-1074. Telephone: 631-737-6020. Fax: 631-737-6813. Copyright ©2014. All rights reserved. Subscriptions: 1 year: $55 U.S./$76 foreign; 2 years: $92 U.S./$125 foreign; 3 years: $125 U.S./$170 foreign. Single copies: $7 U.S./$10 foreign. Periodicals postage rates paid at Bohemia, NY 11716, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to FLEXO® Magazine, 3920 Veterans Memorial Highway, Suite 9, Bohemia, NY 11716-1074, USA. Printed in USA. Publications Mail Sales Agreement No. 1558153. FLEXO® Magazine is the official journal of the Foundation of Flexographic Technical Association, devoted to education, technical and research support to advance flexographic technology. Acceptance of advertising in FLEXO® Magazine does not imply endorsement of the product or service by the FFTA. Opinions expressed in bylined articles are not necessarily those of the FFTA. Forum Previews A look at what to expect from the corrugated, flexible packaging, tags & labels and emerging markets sessions at Forum 2014. Members & Maneuvers A new section in FLEXO® each month focusing on member news briefs, from promotions and hirings, to mergers and partnerships, to product announcements and more. INDUSTRY INDICATORS Keys Of Color Control Allen Marquardt As CPCs continue to seek outside assistance with regard to brand color management, there are certain benchmarks and capabilities they will look for in potential partners. Flexo At The Forefront Ian Hole A look at the obstacles product packaging has to overcome, the aspects which are not up to the brand owner and future advancements to watch for. 20 22 24 Surviving & Thriving Jack Fulton The corrugated market is bucking trends and benefitting those who haven’t been swallowed by the Big Four, as well as proving increasingly efficient and economical. Flexo Up North Kelly Roberts The Canadian industry has plenty of work for businesses operating in the country, along with capacity and modern workflow advancements. Signed, Sealed, Delivered Lonnie Robinson Overcoming various factors, the envelope industry is cutting costs and printing to FIRST to achieve new levels of quality. FTA TODAY “Print to the numbers” is often cited as a key phrase of the flexo industry. Equally important, however, are the reasons behind that printing: • What are consumer trends? • Where is technology taking the industry and how can its benefits be realized? • How can a business diversify to incorporate additional revenue streams and entice new customers? Forum’s emerging flexo markets session will both pose questions and answer them, and those answers will hopefully spawn new questions in the minds of attendees to then put forth in their own businesses. “The goal of the emerging markets session is to provide thought starters for the audience on market trends, emerging opportunities and the implications to their businesses,” said co-chairs Mark Mazur, DuPont Packaging Graphics and Penny Holland, Sun Chemical Corp. Future Flexo “It is intended to give new or updated information on what is driving consumer behavior, which will lead to new requirements from customers. It also allows attendees to have proactive conversations with their customer to propose new solutions to meet consumer demand.” Mazur and Holland point to sever- al expected highlights for attendees, including: • An overview of key trends that are driving changes in packaging design and creation from the consumer and brand owner perspective and the implication to flexographers • Available technologies in brand protection/anti counterfeiting that address brand owner requirements and how flexographers can implement those technologies to diversify and grow their revenue • The opportunity for process improvement with variable data printing via laser markable coatings and the Name: Emerging Flexo Markets: Is Your Business Positioned for Future Growth? Date: Mon., April 28 Time: 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Chairs: Mark Mazur of DuPont Packaging Graphics Penny Holland of Sun Chemical Corporation associated benefits for both brand owner and converter • A discussion of revenue potential in the printed electronics market from a converter exploring the market’s possibilities “This session is ideal for all partici- pants of the FTA Forum as it will bring new ideas and information from a consumer, brand owner, and supplier/ technology perspective,” Mazur and Holland said. The world of flexible packaging is a big one and recent statistics confirm this: • It commands 20 percent of the total U.S. packaging market at a value of roughly $27 billion, according to FPA • 25 percent of global flexible packaging production and demand belongs to the U.S. • Demand will continue to grow by a total of 20 percent over the next several years, according to PCI Films Consulting Ltd. • The sector employs nearly 80,000 individuals • Tonnage will reach 22.5 million by 2016, according to Smithers Pira With such strong growth potential, it’s essential to have a grasp on what’s over the horizon in the thriving market. Forum’s flexible packaging session will 28 FLEXO JANUARY Let’s Get Flexible be 90 minutes of future defining, trend analyzing and market examining. “We are offering a wider variety of topics and have broken from the traditional schedule in order to offer more content,” say chairs John Paine, C-P Flexible Packaging and Tom Jacques, Bobst North America Inc. “We are hoping to engage the attendees in a more meaningful exchange and have them walk away with not only new ideas but the tools to put those ideas in place.” Name: Flexible Packaging – Discover Something New Date: Wed., April 30 Time: 8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. Chairs: John Paine of C-P Flexible Packaging Tom Jacques of Bobst North America 2014 www. f le xography. org To that end, Flint Group Vice President of Technology & Marketing Grant Shouldice will give a presentation titled “What Does The Future Hold for Flexible Packaging: Sustainability, Speed & Efficiency.” Speakers will also touch on: • Metallic inks • Marketing and communicating special effects to clients • Boosting white ink opacity with the “Matrix” The chairs note that they have been working to assure attendees that topics covered will present value to pressroom workers as well as those in management. “This session will contain some real tools, tips and insights from other flexible packaging printers that you can take back and apply to your pressroom,” say Paine and Jacques. MEMBERS & MANEUVERS Anderson & Vreeland Expands Esko Representation, Now Reps Hybrid Software BRYAN, OH—Anderson & Vreeland, Inc. now offers Esko products throughout Canada as a result of an expanded partnership between the two companies, building upon their successful relationship in the U.S. Anderson & Vreeland will represent the entire Esko product line, including all integrated hardware and software solutions for packaging and labels, sign and display, commercial printing and professional publishing. Uteco & Partners Welcome Hundreds to Open House, Tabletop Exhibition KENNESAW, GA—Uteco North America and 14 partners held a two day Open House at its Technical Service Center, Nov. 5-6, 2013. The event, themed Print Technology 2013, combined a tabletop networking exhibition with live demonstrations of the firm’s 10-color Onyx Diamond HP 108 central impression press. The company was also named as a distributor of Hybrid Software, Inc. prepress solutions throughout North America. Anderson & Vreeland now offers PACKZ, the innovative application that makes high quality editing of packaging and labels accessible to small, medium and high volume flexographers. New Water Based Flexo Dispenser Program From Sun Chemical PARSIPPANY, NJ—Sun Chemical’s highly successful dispenser program for commercial and narrow web tag and label printers allows mixing exactly the amount of water based ink needed, reducing inventory and waste, improving color matching consistency and significantly decreasing total operating costs. The water based flexo dispenser is unique in that it can make process, blending bases and spot colors all from the same machine. Color concentrates and technology extenders can be dispensed to make inks for more than one application, providing printers the flexibility to control color density and compensate for various anilox configurations. It drew standing room only crowds, approximating 200 on day one and 100 on day two. Those in attendance witnessed the running of two different jobs on the 53 in. wide web at 1,475 fpm, quick changeover between the two jobs and an emergency stop and restart that brought the press into register and up to color within minutes of shutdown. Uteco touts its Press Control During Transition as the innovation driving such productivity improvements. Also demoed were a Flexo Wash anilox roll cleaning system, a Camis plate mounter and Atlas Titan’s SR9 Series slitter/rewinder. Tabletop exhibitors included: 3M, Atlas Titan, BST Pro Mark, Camis, Dixie Graphics, Enercon Industries, Flexo Wash, Harper Corporation of America, Inkspec, MacDermid Printing Solutions, Polyplex, The Provident Group (Anderson & Vreeland), Rossini North America and Sun Chemical. Platemaking Efficiencies NEWTOWN & LEVITTOWN, PA—At a day long press event held by Kodak, a dozen industry reporters and watchers were shown how the Flexcel NX platemaking system is being put to use at two Pennsylvania based companies. MRI Flexible Packaging, based primarily in Newtown, has been able to print multiple SKUs on the same run and cut down its waste dramatically by using the system, in conjunction with a new Bobst F&K 20SIX press. “We used to throw out 1 million pounds per year,” said Rich Speeney, managing director and co-owner, of his company’s old setup. Polyethylene labels and shrink MRI, Imageworx Tout sleeves are what MRI dedicates the bulk of its work to; Speeney says his company is the No. 1 polyethylene label manufacturer in the U.S. Imageworx, a 15,000 square foot prepress house in Levittown, started with a mid sized Flexcel system before moving to a wide system. Jerry Toepfer, the company’s president, has used it on countless jobs and never received a single plate back. “It just works,” he says. During the event, Toepfer received Kodak’s Flexcel NX Certification. To become certified, a company must produce plates with a high standard put forth by Kodak, consistently, and have a client base and pool of data to support them. 58 FLEXO JANUARY 2014 www. f le xography. org Roland Graphics Get 7 Year Warranty IRVINE, CA—Roland DGA Corp. announced that graphics produced with its SOLJET Pro 4 XF-640 printer and Eco-Sol MAX 2 inks now come with a seven year warranty. The warranty, known as the Avery Dennison Integrated Component System Performance Guarantee, applies to graphics printed on Avery Dennison MPI 1005 Supercast media. MEMBERS & MANEUVERS Hosts Open House CAMBRIDGE, ON, Canada—More than 50 customers and partners attended Canadian Primoflex Systems’ (CPS) open house event, which showcased two in line folding carton presses. The event began with a keynote from Primoflex, Apex North America and Kodak representatives, each discussing their own solutions and applications in the folding carton industry, anilox roller technology and platemaking, respectively. Cyber Graphics Unveils New Logo MEMPHIS, TN—Cyber Graphics, LLC launched a new corporate logo, marking the most dramatic change in its visual identity since 2007. Using an updated version of the company’s integrated C + G mark, a brighter blue color and new accents of gray, the logo better reflects the corporate brand as it looks toward the future in 2014. A demonstration followed, which consisted of a complete job change on CPS’ CP-700 press. “The changeover was completed very quickly and with a number of automated features,” said CPS President Mark Friedrich. The presses also implemented a number of value added features to make carton production more efficient and impactful, he noted. The logo also serves to unify Cyber Graphics across its three new locations, from recent acquisitions in Cleveland, OH; Milwaukee, WI and Neenah, WI. Kissner Joins Kocher+Beck as National Sales Manager LENEXA, KS—Kocher+Beck has hired Jim Kissner as its first national sales manager for the U.S. Jim holds a degree in public administration from Missouri’s William Jewell College and has 26 years of experience in sales and sales management within the printing industry. The job change involved eight plates, three colors, holographic casting film materials and dies and was completed in 20 minutes. Friedrich says that’s in part thanks to CPS’ tool free changeover. Both CP-700 presses at the event were sold; one to a China customer seeking to produce high end, value added cartons and the second to a customer in Africa planning to use it as a second machine to produce liquid packaging applications. Canadian Primoflex Systems www. f le xography. org JANUARY 2014 FLEXO 59 INDUSTRY INDICATORS INDUSTRY INDICATO Flexo At The Forefront Concerns, Evolutions, Future Advancements By Ian Hole A lot has changed since rubber plates were used to print 1or 2-color jobs. Forty years ago, flexography was considered the poor stepson of print quality. Now, there is no doubt that the flexo process, combined with the structure of packaging, is the most flexible, yet complex, print method. Flexo continues to grow in stature as a preferred print process, particularly for packaging. As the quality of graphics, plates and platemaking improves, flexo successfully challenges offset and gravure—both in quality and economics. TRENDS & PREDICTIONS • A product’s packaging is as important as the actual product in attracting a consumer’s attention • Other factors affect a brand’s image - Transportation from manufacturer to point of sale - Shelf space - Palletization • Continuous improvement has driven flexo from afterthought to first choice • Automation, collaboration will be future advancements to watch for 16 FLEXO JANUARY 2014 PACKAGING’S POWER Of course, being involved in packaging—a segment of print that still exhibits growth—is encouraging. While commercial print is being replaced by electronic communication, products on shelves still need packaging. The demand for packaging is upbeat because brand owners understand how important packaging is in the marketing mix. They need powerful packaging more than ever. It used to be that all it took was a package that presented the product to the consumer, displayed what it was and, perhaps, showed some data such as its ingredients, safety instructions or a sell by date. Now, the actual packaging and label are as important as the brands being sold. Packaging is much more of an inherent part of the product than it used to be. This is also influenced by the creation of products developed for thinner slices of target demographics. Marketing is more sophisticated than ever and research identifies individual high usage groups. With this, the creative design on packaging takes on even greater importance. This is why print buyers have become much more involved in the process: They realize that packaging is very much a part of a product’s future. And so brand owners are taking a more controlling role in the quality and structure of packaging. Keys of Color Control What CPCs Are Looking for in A Supplier By Allen Marquardt CPCS & CRITICAL CONCERNS • Avoid new tools and techniques, as they rarely provide a true advantage and are typically priced for early adopters www. f le xography. org • Be sure RFPs spell out which suppliers bundle premiums into their basic services and which truly add value to customers • With today’s advanced spectro equipment and software, it is no longer acceptable to rely on the human eye for color selection and control • How do suppliers handle print errors? Are they proactive—taking steps to eliminate them ahead of time—or reactive—correcting only when they have been discovered? 14 FLEXO JANUARY 2014 M ore consumer product companies (CPCs) are hiring suppliers or asking their current suppliers to take over brand color management, rather than keep the process internal. CPCs need to hire competent suppliers to perform the critical tasks of color management for this to work effectively. Some things that CPCs can look out for when hiring an agency to do this work include the following. SKIP THE “SECRET SAUCE” Many agencies compete with each other by offering a different way of controlling color, which only they have to offer their CPC clients. I watch out for this “secret sauce” approach and steer clear of it. Rarely does a new method or tool appear in the industry that will give a true measurable advantage to suppliers and their customers, as opposed to the current tried and true print processes that already exist and are widely used. When one does appear, it is typically priced for early www. f le xography. org INDUSTRY INDICATORS Surviving & Thriving Corrugated’s Growth Areas, Superior Use Cases, Future Obstacles By Jack Fulton BOX SCORE: PROFITABILITY & PRINTABILITY DRIVE BUSINESS • Corrugated’s consolidation has helped independent printers • Digital not a threat in short term due to high costs, lack of economics of scale • Focus is on improving manufacturing efficiencies with improved equipment and training • Uncoated paper quality diminishing need for coated variety • Advancements in technology in both corrugators and converting equipment will lead to quantum leaps in production capability going forward • Technology is being used to upgrade the efficiencies in box plants, so jobs can be printed and converted in a single pass operation • No. 1 priority? Profitable growth 20 FLEXO JANUARY 2014 A s a prepress and cutting die supplier to the corrugated industry and to a much lesser extent the folding carton industry, I have opinions on how the industry is moving forward and how I would like to see it change. They are of course only opinions, and we all have them. For this article I felt readers would be much better served if I captured thoughts from the people who actually make and sell products, since their opinions are truly the ones that matter. Rather than ask for general opinions and try to work with the varied responses, I asked a few specific questions, ones that would not only elicit good responses but also be of interest to the readers of FLEXO® Magazine. INDUSTRY AT LARGE The first question I asked was a general one about the state of the corrugated industry and specifically how companies were competing with other printing technologies. We have all seen and read that, overall, the corrugated market has been flat for a number of years. Consolidation has created four large companies producing 75 percent of www. f le xography. org INDUSTRY INDICATORS INDUSTRY INDICATORS Flexo Up North More Work, Increased Capacity, Utilizing Modern Tech By Kelly Roberts resently, the Canadian flexo market is very active. There have been a number of presses purchased incorporating the newest, most effective and efficient technologies our industry has to offer. In saying this, I anticipate that there will be significantly more gearless/servo, sleeve dedicated presses entering the flexo market in the near future. P Courtesy of EMA Foundation SHIFTING BUSINESS Signed, Sealed, Delivered he envelope industry is in a state of flux, due primarily to one of the largest manufacturers in the industry filing for bankruptcy for the second time in three years, then being purchased by another large envelope corporation. Now a single entity controls approximately 50 percent of the U.S. envelope market. As is often the case in any industry, this change has created uncertainty and some growth opportunity as buyers shift business and loyalties. In general, the envelope industry is very mature, with overall production volumes being flat to slightly up year over year. Volume is expected to be stable for the next couple of years with an overall decline of about 60 billion envelopes by 2020 from the high of roughly 200 billion in 2006. T ENVELOPE MARKET TAKEAWAYS • Adhering to FIRST standards, increased lpi leading to improvements in print quality • Volume flat to slightly up for next few years; down from 2006 peak • One entity controls roughly half of U.S. market • USPS ended 2013 profitable before health care expenditure 24 FLEXO JANUARY 2014 22 USPS’ SUCCESSES VITAL SIGNS Envelope Market Quality Up, Demand Steady By Lonnie Robinson Though our market is active in a capital equipment sales capacity, there has unfortunately been a significant reduction in the number of actual clients and corporations with the ability to purchase capital and consumable equipment. These two situations involve corporate acquisitions and corporate closures. Canada is home to many internationally based companies and corporate acquisitions have been taking place frequently over the past couple of years. With the state of the global economy, several internationally recognized “head offices” have chosen to move and combine their Canadian operations into American sites. These corporations have removed all printing equipment and supplies from these once successful business locations, and are now • Canadian flexo market full of activity completely out of the business of manufacturing printed packaging within Canada. • Focus on very quick changeovers, increased efficiency and cost savings • Packaging is healthy. Businesses are well educated in the field and are purchasing innovative technology as they work hard to position themselves to earn opportunities • Printers/converters are increasing real estate to match increasing business • Country’s capacity can handle its own demand • Prepress, job changeover, waste reduction still largest advancements • Embracing new technologies critical to future successes FLEXO Courtesy of Envelope Manufacturers Association www. f le xography. org JANUARY www. f le xography. org 2014 Most of the volume of envelopes produced are filled and delivered through the United States Postal Service; consequently the industry’s health and growth is directly tied to the USPS. The problems of the USPS are well documented today. The USPS is not a government agency and it is not supported by tax dollars; it is, however, handcuffed by legislative control. Rather than taxes, the revenue for the service comes from the postage paid by mailers. The most profitable product in the revenue stream is single piece first class mail. This product is susceptible to electronic substitution and, as a result, email and electronic bill payment have reduced the use of stamped mail and caused the highest profit line to decline the fastest. Complete corporate closures have also been occurring. These once thriving and successful organizations have shut down their printing companies completely—selling their equipment as part of the “used international’ market to recuperate some of their financial losses as a result of this economic downturn. It is interesting to note that even though we have had a reduced number of clients and reduced number of locations to visit, packaging is still healthy. The larger “healthy” businesses that remain are well educated in the field and are purchasing innovative technology as they work hard to position themselves to earn the opportunities that now occur with less printing companies bidding on jobs. They are increasing their real estate to match their increasing business. On the narrow web side, it has been a very similar situa- tion. We have had some closures of organizations but it has been my experience in working with these clients that many presses were able to stay in the country and were picked up by other organizations that had a different business philosophy. Those companies have been successful in growing their business through acquisition. In short, flexography is healthy and will continue to grow. CANADA & THE WORLD Canada’s place in the worldwide flexo market has a lot to do with the economics of the world’s trade and what tran