March 1998 Issue


(Good) Signs of the Times

All indicators point to continued economic health and stability for the nation and package printers during 1998. by Dan Cray If you're having a sense of deja vu as you look at your company's bottom line this year, you're not alone. Nearly one-third of the way through 1998, economists say that with a few exceptions all economic indicators are about the same as they were last year—and that's good news. As the nation continues in one of the most drawn-out economic expansions of the post-war era, inflation and interest rates are steady, while unemployment figures are the lowest they've been in 24 years. In

Carton Boxmakers Shifting Strategies

External and internal pressures are forcing changes in manufacturing habits, product mix and technology utilization. By David Luttenberger Controlling production costs, increased M&A activity, and meeting changing end-user demands are but three of the many issues folding carton converters must address in the coming year in order to ensure a future for themselves, and to maintain a healthy industry as a whole. Overall, 1997 was an on-again, off-again year for carton makers who, fortunately, ended on an up note that they hope will carry loud and clear through '98. With folding carton demand and production so closely tied to consumer spending, particularly on non-durable

Knowledge is (UV) Power

A thorough understanding of prepress and flexo control enabled Brook & Whittle to make the jump to UV flexo. By Susan Friedman When applicable process knowledge is in place, UV flexo has provided a quick pathway to profits for package printers. The positive experience of label printer Brook & Whittle demonstrates the importance of preparing, clearing the learning curve and finding commonalities from previous experience that can make the leap to UV flexo a shorter one. For this printer, a background in prepress has provided that natural bridge to UV flexo. As owner of U.S. prepress firm ColoTone from 1982 to 1993, Anthony

Web-Guided Tour

A web guide technology overview confirms the progression of electronic controls, automation and custom approaches. By Susan Friedman Hardly an unfamiliar concept, web guides are often a taken-for-granted component of presses and converting lines. A closer look at this technology's latest developments can help converters squeeze further efficiencies from even the most intricately tailored press configurations. Web guides' longevity hasn't completely wiped out usage misconceptions. When Allen Rausch, application engineering manager for BST Pro Mark, Elmhurst, IL, is in the field, he often sees guide sensors positioned too far within the exit span of the guide frame. To work best, sensors should be in