Advantage ... Digital

When it comes to flexo plates, there’s just one evolving story to tell. It concerns the growth in computer-to-plate (CTP) technology, including its slow-growing acceptance among flexo trade shops, many of which remain skeptical that digital imaging technology has all that much to offer them—yet. Historically, the biggest disadvantage of flexo plates, especially when compared with the litho variety, has been quality, and this perceived disadvantage is largely responsible for the rapid development in CTP flexo. In fact, these developments have resulted in a quality advantage for image reproduction with digital dots vs. film-plate dots. There are dissenters, however. The future may

An Army of Support

It’s a virtual war out there and converters are on the front lines. Striving to stay one step ahead of the competition, converters need to know they have a support system that they can seek out and use for appealing product innovations, especially when it comes to the building blocks of the printing world—printing presses. Narrow-web press manufacturers are listening closely to what printers are asking for, and are developing new and better equipment all the time. To do this well, they must know what converters are demanding from their presses. Mac Rosenbaum, vice president, sales and marketing, Aquaflex (A division of F.L. Smithe

Executive Forum: Anilox Roll Engraving

Anilox rolls are often considered “the heart of the flexographic printing process,” as Dr. Lloyd Dreger of Laserlife points out below. As such, anilox rolls have played an integral part in the quality improvements that flexography has made in recent years in the packaging arena. To get a first-hand perspective on the impact these rolls will continue to have in package printing, packagePRINTING posed a series of questions to executives at the front lines of the industry. pP: Flexographic printing has made great strides in improving its quality to better compete against offset and gravure. How have improvements in anilox roll technology contributed

Hal’s Soft Side

Seems like computers are taking over everything. Whether you’re at home or work, on the manufacturing floor, an airplane, or up in space, computers are the tools of choice. They control, they communicate, they play chess; and they do it all—fast, reliably, and well. Just ask Hal, the computer-character in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey. When I hear the term computer, though, a picture of the hardware immediately comes to mind. But it’s clear: software is what makes a computer the powerful, tool that it is. Computer hardware is like the human body, with many fascinating and well-designed systems. But just

Integration is the Name of the Game

Remember when the Internet was getting its commercial feet wet back in the early ‘90s; it was referred to as the Information Superhighway. Well, there’s probably not too much debate that it hasn’t lived up to this billing. The amount of information at our fingertips (literally) is simply flabbergasting (just checked www.meriamwebster.com to make sure this word was right). Well, the superhighway has spawned a world of highways and byways, and if your company isn’t on one of them, you’d better be looking over your shoulder so your horse and buggy doesn’t get run over. Today, the nimble use of information can

Multi-Purpose Printing

Bar codes revolutionized automatic identification and data collection more than 30 years ago. However, with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) attracting all the attention and developmental mind power, are bar codes soon to be obsolete? That’s not likely. In fact, bar codes and human-readable information are still required on smart labels to validate the products inside cases and pallets, and they are expected to remain an important part of RFID labels for many years. This is no more a relief than for suppliers of thermal transfer printers and materials. Thermal transfer printing has come a long way since its inception and relies on heat to


J AQUAFLEX Visit www.aquaflex.com Model Web Width (in.) Max. Print Width (in.) Speed (fpm) Instaprep 10, 13 13 500 Write 558 on Reader Service Form, See Ad p.46 J COMCO Visit www.markandy.com Model Speed (fpm) Web Width (in.) ProGlide MSP 500 18, 22, 26 Write 559 on Reader Service Form, See Ads p. 35, 65 J DRENT GOEBEL

Top Flexible Packaging Converters — Cornerstones of Success

It’s an understatement to say Ampac Packaging LLC has had a successful first nine years of business. The flexible packaging converter grew from an offshoot of another business entity into a company with three main operating units—Ampac Flexibles, Retail Products, and Security Products—and 11 manufacturing facilities with approximately 80 presses. Its workforce is 815 employees strong and the company grosses more than $200 million in annual sales. Ampac capitalized on a flourishing industry, specializing in serving the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, specialty retailers, and medical markets. Such a customer base has put the company in perfect position for further expansion, if market predictions are correct.

Win When it Counts

It’s a fact that people are attracted to certain genetic traits in others. For instance, some women look for men with blonde hair and blue eyes, while others only date the tall, dark, and handsome types. Some people even take steps to have specific physical attributes—like wearing colored contacts to make their dark eyes appear blue, or sitting in a tanning bed to turn their light skin golden. The world of package printing likes to play these same tricks because, what it really comes down to is, it’s all about the packaging. One of the best ways to add that something special to a