March 2002 Issue



The integration of digital print into conventional press formats sets the road to the future in comfortable surroundings. by Jessica Millward, Associate Editor AS YET, DIGITAL print isn't installed in an overwhelming number of packaging plants. Suppliers realize, however, that the nature of the market will require the integration of digital techniques in the not-too-distant future, and are preparing accordingly. "The converter is being forced by their customers to advance print capabilities to match market demands," observes Chris Faust, digital sales manager, Chromas Technologies. He identifies the common reason for investing in digital print capability as the pressure to deliver packaging on-demand, with new


Plastic pouch converters market their malleability in packaging a vast array of products. by Jessica Millward, Associate Editor CUSTOM CONVERTING HAS become a way of life for printers, with product manufacturers exhibiting a more developed interest in and knowledge of packaging processes. The latest breed of plastic pouches necessitates client involvement—the nature of the product and its packaged "life cycle" can determine both substrate and construction. Design process While the burgeoning popularity of pouches, particularly stand-up varieties, has translated into some semi-standardized constructions, design is typically a collaborative process. Pechiney Plastic Packaging Marketing Manager, Dry Foods, Law Burks attests, at a minimum, pouch


The latest equipment for handling materials and processes with care. Roll handling system reduces injuries, fatigue, roll damage Converter Accessory Corporation (800) 433-2413; Fax (610) 863-7818 A new two-station rotating roll handling device from Converter Accessory Corporation, the Rol-handlR, is designed for rolls that weigh up to 2,000 lbs. Dual lift stations with two pivot points allow a roll to be readily maneuvered into true vertical and true horizontal positions, helping to eliminate damage to roll edges, and allowing rolls to be securely and safely placed in the desired positions. The Rol-handlR's CAC® System consists of a unique "L"-shaped pivot arm and


Augment slitting/rewinding operations with these recent technology releases. Automated edge trim unit Tidland Corp. (800) 426-1000; Fax: (360) 834-5865 Tidland's Automated Edge Trim system allows exact repositioning of knives, simultaneously and bi-directionally, using touch screen controls. Changes to the knife position are made away from the slitting process and require no operator contact with the slitting equipment, increasing safety. Operators do not have to stop the press to reposition knives, avoiding costly re-starts and wasted materials. Absolute repositioning of knives in exact increments increases accuracy, and changes as little as 1⁄8˝ to 1⁄16˝ can be made in ratio to the movement of the


In an uncertain economy, package printers should stay in aggressive pursuit of profit-generating capabilities and growth markets. NEWS FROM THE NPES 2002 Print Outlook® conference was predictably somber. Printing Industries Association (PIA) Chief Economist Ron Davis related before the terrorist attacks of September 11, projections forecast print industry sales to grow to $169 billion in the following year, a meager 3 percent annual gain. Post-September 11 predictions for 2002 were scaled back to $166 billion. NPES Consulting Economist Michael Evans also had dismal tidings for equipment manufacturers: total printing equipment shipments had dropped approximately 18 percent from last year's levels in both the

Supply Chain Links

Today's production software works toward optimum process efficiency both converter and customer can monitor. by Jessica Millward, Associate Editor THE ROAR OF the crowd for e-commerce capability will eventually grow too loud for package print firms to ignore; in preparation, business/production software suppliers have been charged with seamlessly integrating shop-floor data with on-line customer service. The notion of e-commerce and its implications for business has become increasingly familiar to package printers over the last few years. "Today, we are finding printers are much more knowledgeable about the Internet and software in general," states Glen Forbes, VP/sales, Western Region, CRC Information Systems. He


Here's what Digital Asset Management (DAM) really means, and how your shop can find its place in it. by Susan Friedman, Editor When it comes to pursuing Digital Asset Management (DAM), the challenge for our industry is two-fold: Converters and trade shops must first determine their place in the overall image-management scheme, and then sort out which DAM solution best suits their operations. A good no-frills definition of DAM, from consultants Cognizant Technology Solutions, pegs it as "the archival, retrieval, tracking, manipulation, re-purposing, interaction with, and transaction of all types of digital media." DAM architectures and interfaces provide valuable controls for the issues

Toward a Painless Cure

UV equipment developments are surfacing almost as quickly as new applications for the technology. by Kate Tomlinson, Assistant Editor THE SHRINK SLEEVE is just one of the latest packaging structures forcing suppliers to keep in step with the technology needed to process thin film substrates such as PET-G (the most common for shrink sleeves). So what are bulb and UV curing equipment manufacturers doing to meet these rising demands? Bulb suppliers such as Primarc UV Technology are working to improve standard bulb life. Curing systems manufacturer Honle UV America has released its Advanced Cold Mirror (ACM) UV curing system, which reduces damaging heat