April 2007 Issue


Anilox Engraving

Flexographic printing’s gains in the market are unmistakable, and the quality of its end products continues to improve. Anilox rolls are a key component in the quality equation in flexo printing, and also in the equation for its productivity. Improving prepress operations for flexographic printing means, in part, improving efficiencies of anilox roll change-out and preparation. To a large degree, anilox roll preparation equates to engraving. Anilox sleeves are enjoying increased usage in this arena, and some might be surprised that the sleeved alternative to engraved anilox rolls can sometimes exceed the LPI (lines per inch) of rolls. Plus anilox engravers can employ the

Flexo’s Going Global

Pack your passports and join more than 1,600 attendees and 150 companies next month in Montreal for four days of flexographic festivities. The Foundation of Flexographic Technical Association’s (FFTA) 2007 Annual Forum/INFO*FLEX Exhibition—themed “Crossing Borders … Flexo’s Global Gateway”—will be held at the Palais des congrès de Montréal May 6-9. Forum 2007 will get underway Sunday, May 6 with an association update and prepress session, followed by an evening keynote address, featuring David Schawk, president/CEO of Schawk, Inc. Schawk, as well as Mike Ferrari, Procter & Gamble, and Debbra Johnson and John McCooey, DuPont Imaging Technologies, will explore globalization’s effect on the future of

Hot or Not?

Although it is difficult to define exactly what smart packaging is, one significant component of any smart package is its ability to communicate with the person interacting with it. In food packaging, some packages can communicate freshness, while others can communicate a product’s history or expiration. In terms of the pharmaceutical market, packages integrating RFID tags to verify authenticity is another example. Other smart packages combine communication with functionality, like self-cooling beer kegs or self-heating soups and coffees. According to a report from NanoMarkets, LC, titled, “Smart Packaging Markets; 2006-2013,” the global smart packaging market will grow to $4.8 billion in 2011 and reach

PLGA Operational Conference focuses on the global market

Miami — “Operating Profitably in a Global Market” was the theme for February’s 10th annual PLGA Operational Conference. Attendees included printers, suppliers, end users, academics, PLGA management and the press. According to Jim Lepp, PLGA executive director, the annual conference continues to draw more and more people in ­management positions. Although the conference also serves as a platform for the PLGA board of directors to meet, the event’s core is its collection of informational sessions. The goal of the conference is to provide strong content so attendees can leave with something in their hands to put to use right away. Converters have long been aware

Protective Coats

Coatings are somewhat unsung heroes in the package-printing world. They provide many important functions, yet most people don’t even know they’re there. These people don’t care either—except that if the coatings weren’t there, they might not like the label or package as much, might even complain about it, or worse yet, might not buy the product. Whoa, Nellie! “Houston, We’ve got a problem.” “Iceberg dead ahead!” Now, we’ve got somebody’s heart pumpin’. Coatings to the rescue No, coatings can’t help much when it comes to world calamities, but if the heart that’s “pumpin’” happens to be a product manager, now we’re playing in

Sustainable — Tom Polischuk

Sustainability is getting a lot of well-deserved attention these days. Sporadic activities many months ago have turned into a fairly steady stream of announcements. As the samples below indicate, some are big and some are small, but they all indicate a renewed interest in the environment. • Wal-Mart recently released initial results of its Packaging Scorecard, which evaluates the company’s suppliers on the sustainability of their packaging, is part of Wal-Mart’s initiatives to achieve a five percent reduction in packaging by 2013. In its first month, the company reported that 2,268 vendors had logged on to its site and 117 products had been entered into

The Proof Is in the Package

Think the proof is in the pudding? Au contraire. The proof is in the package, and thereby hangs a tale. Almost by definition, package proofing is fraught with specific challenges; among them, the need for can’t-miss color accuracy and the use of both traditional (board, corrugated) and non-traditional substrates, including hard-to-handle materials like clear plastic and metallic foil. Despite all the buzz about monitor-based proofing, most package printers continue to provide what most high-value brand owners still demand: a hard copy contract proof output on the actual substrate to be used for the package, or an accurate inkjet simulation, each rendered as closely to

To Boldly Go. . .

What do Star Trek and Hammer Packaging have in common? Several things, actually. They both use state-of-the-art technology to seek out and explore new territory; Star Trek is on its fifth TV generation, while Hammer Packaging is led by fourth-generation family owner Jim Hammer, president and CEO, with his son Jason part of the management team and representing the fifth generation; and probably most important—they are both very successful enterprises (pun intended) in their respective worlds. Hammer Packaging got its start in 1912 as Genesee Valley Litho, a regional supplier of labels to the growing agricultural industry in Western New York. “The company