All Aboard!

Labelexpo Americas 2008 should have left little doubt in attendees’ minds that digital printing has made major inroads in the package-printing market. This influx is not necessarily representative of other print processes losing market share. Rather, digital printing’s emergence can be attributed to changes in brand owner preferences for shorter runs and the recent surge in regional packaging. Ken Stack, vice president/general manager of EFI Jetrion, stated in his presentation at Labelexpo that four factors are driving label printers toward digital printing: targeted marketing, localization, time to market, and the supply chain. All four factors cause brand owners to migrate toward shorter print runs.

Crunch Time —Polischuk

These are dynamic economic times, to say the least. News is coming through at a frantic pace. The situation with Wachovia Bank is just one -example. On Sept. 29, Citigroup announced that it had acquired Wachovia’s banking operations. On Friday Oct. 3, Wells Fargo and Wachovia -announced an agreement to merge. Needless to say, later that day Citigroup put out a statement declaring that Wachovia’s agreement with Wells Fargo was in breach of an exclusivity agreement made on Sept. 29. The issue is now in the courts and most likely, by the time you read this, any resolution will be old news. One of

Label Awards: A Hard Day’s Night

Label awards competitions can be rewarding experiences, not just for the the winning companies, but for the judges, too. That’s because whenever a group of people brings together a high level of knowledge and skill and then works hard to accomplish a task, it usually has a job-well-done payoff. That’s the case with TLMI’s annual Label Awards competition. According to Pat Hague, Awards Competition Committee judge and vice president of sales for Water Ink -Technologies, Inc., the judges are working harder and harder each year because the contin-ual improvements in quality are making the judging more and more of a challenge. “It’s getting tougher

No Signs of Slowing Down

RFID and printed electronics—these two emerging technologies represent a tremendous amount of potential growth for package printers and label converters across the globe. Neither technology has hit the mainstream yet, so usage is not widespread. However, package and label printers should be watching each. Why? If, as Peter Harrop, chairman, IDTechEx predicts, we are only 10 years away from RFID being as ubiquitous as bar codes (only printed on labels), then label printers will have to integrate RFID tags into their workflows. And, once RFID is printed, watch out! The global market In “Vibrant RFID -Markets,” a publication issued by IDTechEx, Harrop states that

Rotary Dies Technology Showcase

Company: Schober USA, www.schoberusa.com Product: Tungsten Carbide dies What are they?: Tungsten Carbide dies from Schober USA are used to manufacture various products such as flexible packaging, folding cartons, high-volume household and personal care products, technical parts, and more. Features/Capabilities: • Available in solid or segmented designs or with shells • Maximum length of 13.8˝ and a maximum diameter of 7.8˝ • Can absorb vibrations and keep all relevant parameters to minimum variation for predictable die/anvil life cycles • Can be re-sharpened as often as regular dies Company: Gerhardt, www.gerhardt-usa.com Product: Five Star & Seven Star Rotary Dies What

Seamless Workflow

In both conventional printing and package-printing environments, the term “workflow” denotes the steps in an end-to-end production process designed to yield a specified product. In commercial environments, these steps include trapping, screening, RIPing, imposition, color management, proofing, and platemaking, in addition to other labor-intensive front-end tasks. Package printing adds layers of complexity, due largely to combining graphical and structural information in a single, production-ready file, as well as to handle innumerable matched inks and varnishes, step-and-repeat, and a variety of packaging-specific production challenges. Workflow integration is playing an increasingly important role in decision making for consumer product companies (CPCs) and retailers concerned with

Shields Up!

Just how much do consumers realize how their food packaging protects them? Or what do they think really goes into that nice glossy cover for their favorite magazine? The answers are probably not much and they probably don’t give the cover a second thought. Nor do they realize why their paper cups are so impervious to the liquids inside them. No, consumers take all this for granted, not realizing that one major factor contributing to these effects is how the substrates are coated or laminated. What’s shakin’? In terms of equipment, there aren’t new demands being made of the coating and laminating market. Where

Show Me Sustainability

Last month, the staff at packagePRINTING packed its bags and flew to Chicago for Labelexpo -Americas. This was my second time attending this show. My first go at it was two years ago. I had just started with packagePRINTING and had only gotten a taste of the package-printing industry for about two months, before I stepped on the showroom floor for the first time. Needless to say, I was completely overwhelmed and felt as if I had stepped into another world. I knew very little about tradeshows and knew even less about the printing presses and equipment I would see on the floor. And,

Strategic Leader

Many of today’s leaders of package printing companies have spent their entire careers in the industry; not so with Frank Gerace, president and CEO of Multi-Color Corporation (MCC). A relative newcomer to the field, he spent the first 20 years of his career working for consumer products companies, learning and managing business operations from a different perspective. Gerace has used his experiences to make a significant impact in the package printing community. Since taking the reigns at MCC, he has transformed the company into an industry powerhouse, with 10 consecutive years of record revenue growth. This stellar business performance is well-recognized by his peers