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FLEXO Magazine : August 2008
PLANTS & PROCESSES Printers & Questions Narrow Web Leadership Council By Christian R. Bonawandt As Autumn fast approaches, many label and narrow-web print- ers/converters are beginning to look to Chicago and the Labelexpo Americas show for answers to some of their most pressing matters. However, FTA has been looking at the narrow-web industry for some time now, and is in the processes of devising goals and action plans to better serve this large and growing segment of flexographic printing. The Narrow Web Leadership Council (NWLC) was reborn several years ago under the Strategic Planning Initiative. Currently helmed by Bob Holmes, Pollard Banknote Limited Partnership, Kamloops, BC, Canada, the Council has been actively working to assess some of the greatest needs of narrow-web flexo printers, and devise ways in which FTA can best address them. Following the council’s most recent conference call, Holmes discussed these matters with FLEXO. Q: What is the Narrow Web Leadership Council’s mission statement? Our mission, simply stated, is to maximize the value proposi- tion for narrow web members and ensure that they are informed of all the offerings available to them as members of FTA. Q: What are the Council’s primary goals? We have agreed on three key items: 1 To attract and retain narrow web printers to the FTA . membership. 2 Identify ways to improve the use of the FTA’s resources as . they pertain to the narrow web community. 3 Have a section of row web segment. . FLEXO Magazine dedicated to the nar- Q: How is the Council working to promote adoption of FIRST? Although many use FIRST as a guideline, we are advocating a shorter, abridged version that would help the smaller narrow- web printers to implement FIRST principles. Q: How is the Council contributing to adoption of G7? To date, the council has only talked about G7, and how it may be introduced into the narrow-web community. Q: How is the Council working to encourage narrow-web members to adopt Lean, Six Sigma, 5S and other effi ciency practices? We have been looking toward FTA to provide more train- ing opportunities and resources for Lean Manufacturing for print. 80 F LEXO Q: Based on what you know of TEST, what among its offer- ing are most applicable to narrow-web printers/converters? The skills training that is provided is ideal for the young workers starting out. This helps to build consistency throughout the fl exo printing community. Q: What would the Council like to see developed in the way of skills enhancement programs/tools under TEST? We would like to see more in-depth training that pertains to the process control for press-side improvements that will en- gage the more senior operators. Q: How is the Council working on winning better support and participation in FTA’s Excellence Awards? We would like to see the rules modifi ed to make it easier for more printers to have a chance to be recognized in their fi eld. In addition, increasing the amount of feedback for the entrants will help them improve. Q: What, in your mind, are the benefi ts of winning an FTA Excellence Award? Customer recognition that comes from the award is fi rst and foremost. The boost in staff moral and confi dence is also good. Q: Has the Council appointed a Forum Committee represen- tative? What specific offerings would the Council like to see at Forum for your segment? Yes, Craig Wilson from Nosco Inc. is part of that group. It should be noted that we feel the Forum is heading in the right direction. The Council would like to see more emphasis placed on bringing the Forum to other locations across the country to bring in smaller printers. We’d also like to have more seminars on cost reduction and productivity improvements. Q: Has the Council appointed a FLEXO Editorial Advisory Committee representative? How can the magazine better cater its content for narrow-web members? Yes, Brad Keys from Corporate Express recently accepted this post. We would like to see an increase in the number of articles on pressroom improvements and Lean Manufacturing. Q: Like many of the other Leadership Councils, the NWLC is seeking to grow the number of active participants. What, in your opinion, is the benefi t of being part of the Council? It is important to have a voice in your segment. Only that way can you bring about change. It is also a very useful for network- ing and sharing information. ? AUGUS T 20 0 8 www. f l e x o g r a p h y. o r g P’s & Q’s
Flexo Sustainable Fall 2008