January 2007 Issue


As Fast as a Speeding Press

Like any other technology, drying equipment for package printing continues to evolve. The industry changes rapidly and suppliers must keep up. The increased speed involved with today’s printing presses, driven by market demand, is one example of how drying equipment must evolve to keep up with the presses on which it is installed. Some press manufacturers, like Aquaflex (see sidebar, next page), have chosen to design and build their own drying systems. Others use dryers manufactured by OEMs. Whichever route you choose to go when purchasing new drying equipment, there are a variety of considerations you need to keep in mind including UV vs.

Has Proofing Gone ‘Soft’?

These days, the proof isn’t just in the pudding. It’s on screen and on the move, instantaneously bound for far-flung destinations along the information superhighway, a pixilated facsimile of the real thing. The advantages are obvious: reduced cycle time, fewer interim proofs, and a richer collaborative environment, for starters. But how applicable are the principles of remote proofing to the realm of package printing? This month we spoke with Tyler Harrell, solutions and innovations manager, Esko-Graphics; Gee Ranasinha, director of marketing, DALiM Software; Jim Summers, president of GMG Americas; and John Sweeney, vice president, sales and marketing, Integrated Color Solutions to learn just how

Packaging’s Treasure

To say that both packaging design and materials have taken on vastly increased importance isn’t saying anything new. As advances in ink technologies and substrates occur, packaging becomes more than just a means to transport and display product—it becomes a critical tool to draw consumers to individual products. “The function of packaging is no longer limited to containing and protecting the product,” says Amir Veresh, VP marketing and business development, HumanEyes Technologies. “Packaging [has become] a main tool for product vendors to prevail in the sales-per-square-foot war.” One group of substrates is enjoying increasing popularity as a means to attract consumers. Holographic and

Spotlight on Packaging Trends: Thinking Outside the Box

Pouches Offer Profits for Printers, Flexible Advantage to Retailers When store chain Brookshire Brothers re-packaged its tamales in a “Hot N Handy Pouch” supplied by Robbie Manufacturing, the company’s tamales got hotter in more ways than one. Thanks to the new, colorful pouches, Brookshire Brothers realized an immediate sales increase for the product of 20 percent over the previous year. Long associated with boxed rigidity, packaging is steadily becoming more flexible each year. Pouches are inundating food and beverage markets and making healthy gains in other categories such as pharmaceuticals and consumer goods. The future of the market continues to look strong. Demand

The Next Generation

Relationships are critical in any business. Relationship building takes time, but the benefits of such investments pay huge dividends over time. These relationships are with your vendors, your customers, your suppliers, and your employees. Also critical for a successful mix is the best equipment for your operation. Valdese Packaging and Label’s (Valdese, NC) business is built on this philosophy. “Our operating philosophy has been to surround [ourselves] with the best employees and equipment on the market, and develop long-term partnerships with [our] accounts,” says Darren Little, president. On the equipment side, Valdese recently purchased its first servo-driven press, using technology that Little says represents

Think Ahead, Treat it Right

“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” The profound words of Confucius couldn’t better explain the importance of corona surface treatment prior to printing on plastic materials. With corona treating, or any surface treatment system, the goal is to increase the material’s surface energy to provide wettability and adhesion. But, treating a substrate can be ineffective when the system is not properly run and maintained. For this reason, converters should be aware of how to effectively process their materials. Over/Undertreating When a corona treating system transfers too much or too little energy to a substrate, a

Think Ink

Package printing is not for the faint of heart. One needs to look no further than packaging ink systems to get an understanding of the complex nature of printed products for the packaging market. Inks can be water-based, solvent-based, or radiation-cured systems; they can be developed for specific processes such as offset, flexo, gravure, or screen; and can be compatible (or not compatible) with different coating, lamination, or adhesive systems. Some are designed for use with specific substrates, while others are applicable for a wide range of substrates. These are just the basic, top-level considerations. Beyond these, there are a multitude of functional,