April 2005 Issue


Alcoa Sticks With a System of Success

Alcoa Flexible Packaging, in a short five years, has proved itself a successful converter, due in no small part to a solid business operating philosophy and commitment to the industry. by Kate Sharon Associate Editor ALCOA MIGHT BE better known as one of the world's leading producers of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum, and alumina, but it's also a top North American-based flexible packaging converter. Alcoa Flexible Packaging was born in May 2000 when Alcoa and Reynolds Metals Co. finalized the acquisition of a flexible packaging company that had been in business since the 1920s. Since then, Alcoa Flexible Packaging has been providing converted foil

Creating High Marks

Today's thermal transfer printers and materials are keeping up with the ever-escalating demands on package printing. THERMAL TRANSFER PRINTING has been around for years. It's the old reliable when it comes to coding and marking on packaging—printing clean bar codes, lot numbers, and other variable information time after time. But even proven technology has room for improvement, especially in the changing world of packaging. Demands on package performance are rapidly escalating with today's consumer security issues and graphic requirements. And as the capabilities of package printing technology and equipment are enhanced to keep up with changing expectations, so too are thermal transfer printers

It's a Smorgasbord

Today's narrow-web presses provide a wide range of options for highly flexible and productive package printing. PRINTERS IN THE narrow-web, product-decoration business are asking—and being asked—to do more and more for their customers at virtually every turn. Competition is fierce at all levels of the supply chain and successful companies are doing everything they can to protect their existing business, while expanding into growth areas. Many times, these efforts require new technologies and capabilities. Manufacturers of narrow-web printing presses are responding to the needs of their customers by providing a sophisticated array of features on their press offerings. The results of these

It's in the Bag

Pouches have come a long way over the past few years, but the sky is the limit and converters need to stay abreast of the business opportunities that pouches can offer. The pouch market has been strong for many years now and like everything else in the realm of package printing, it's still a tough-go for converters to understand what new technologies are out there to best compete for jobs. In addition, consumer product companies (CPCs) continue to ask converters to come up with new and different ideas because of the competition they face within their own marketplace. "The acceptance of the premade flexible

Presentation is Just Part of the Story

Integrating packaging design with the realities of process capabilities is key to a project's success. WHY DO WE reach for one package and not another on the grocer's shelf? What makes a package unique? On the continuum from concept to production, where does innovation live? The answer, in a word, is design. The transformation of an idea into a dimensional shape with identifiable characteristics begins with a designer's aesthetic and emotional connection to that idea. As the creative cycle builds, additional factors come into play: the requirements of the product engineers, marketers engaged in product development and brand extension, procurement personnel, and printer/converters, whose

That's Not All Folks!

Just when it seems like inkjet has reached its pinnacle of capabilities, innovations in the printing technology open new markets. INKJET PRINTING IS not the first thing most printers think of when they wake up in the morning. Inkjet's most common use in packaging is coding and marking—the least of printers' worries. But times are changing and so is inkjet technology, which may one day soon, play a much larger part in the printing of packaging materials. Currently, inkjet printing has many benefits to boot. It prints very high resolution, up to 4,800 dpi, said Mark Strobel, vice president, sales and marketing, Primera Technology,