March 2008 Issue


A Green Potential?

If you’ve never heard the word “sustainable,” you probably live on a different planet. The term has been unleashed in full force during the last couple of years, as concern for our environment continues to grow. It especially has had a dominating presence in package printing. As a material that leans toward being environmentally friendly, paperboard has the chance to step up and lead the sustainable front. The Freedonia Group expects that demand for corrugated and paperboard boxes in the U.S. will rise 2.5 percent annually through 2012 to $39.9 billion, and sales of corrugated and solid fiber boxes will increase 2.7 percent to

Digital’s Bite

Ones and zeroes seem to rule the roost—digital is everywhere. In the printing world, digital has a firm grip in the commercial arena where variable-data printing is the “killer app.” According to Jeff Wettersten, director, Digital Print Solutions for Sun Chemical, “Digital printing has gained a strong position in commercial printing due to its variable-data capability. The ability to personalize messages in printed media where they are reaching an audience of one has transformed the use of the product.” In package printing, it’s not so simple; variable-data printing doesn’t have the same play as it does in the commercial sector. “Variable data

Green Opportunities Abound

I would say I am a guarded optimist, with a bit of a cynical edge. I dream big, yet I am aware of obstacles that lie ahead. I can picture a world free of excessive gas-guzzling Hummers, plastic bags that stumble along littered city streets, and mountainous landfills with materials that don’t naturally go back into the earth. All of these things are possible and can be achieved. Now for the cynicism... I don’t think average Americans want to give up their fun toys no matter how much they don’t need them, or how much environmental harm they cause. Remembering to drag reusable grocery

Is Analog’s Time Running Out?

Trends in flexo platemaking reflect two things: the dwindling number of users who favor analog workflows over digital and those who already have made the transition to digital—and never looked back. Trends in digital flexo platemaking shake out between users who prefer solvent-based workflows and those who have already made, or are seriously contemplating, the switch to thermal. In the world of flexo platemaking, options are proliferating. By the time “The Greatest Show On Earth” rolls in and out of Düsseldorf this spring, flexo shops will have more choices than ever to help them achieve the results they want. Advantage: Digital According to Ian

It's the Little Things That Count

Many of us have relayed the line, “it’s the little things,” in response to something we find funny or which made us feel good. It’s the same for your print jobs—“little things” play crucial roles. Critical components of flexographic or gravure print jobs are the anilox rolls or gravure cylinders and the doctoring systems that work to control the ink that lays upon the finished product. Properly installed and maintained doctoring systems also go a long way toward improving your bottom line, as they can directly impact whether or not your rolls or cylinders last as long as they should. “Eighty percent of all

Keeping Your Aniloxes Healthy

Anilox rolls are at the heart of the flexographic printing process, so it only makes good business sense to try to extend the life of these critical components to protect your investments. Proper care is essential. While the flexographic process essentially is the same on every press, unique characteristics of each print job, each print shop, and each press make anilox roll care methods different for every print shop. Each anilox roll supplier has its own recommendations for ­caring for and ultimately extending the lives of its anilox rolls, and you should always start with your supplier. But as package printers run their jobs,

M&A —Polischuk

During the last several years, the packaging sector has experienced a substantial number of mergers and acquisitions (M&A). As a matter of fact, at the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) ­annual meeting held earlier this month, Doug Lawson, managing director, packaging group for BMO Capital Markets, reported that the industry set a record in 2007 with 386 announced worldwide transactions. Several factors drove this record activity, including a strong rationale for mergers, strong economies, and good capital markets. The net result, reported Lawson, was a median EV/EBITDA (enterprise value/earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) multiple of 7.4x. Many of these mergers and acquisitions were

Packaging: A Change Continuum

The packaging market is certainly going through a period of change—evolutionary, not revolutionary. Macro ­issues outside the control of even leading companies are causes for concern and bringing pressures to bear on the sector. Currency exchange rates complicate and inhibit international trade, particularly with the weakening U.S. dollar. Retailer competition in the consumer market is intense. Globalization has become a reality for many companies and, in some cases, an imperative for continuing success. For the packaging industry supply chain, the complexities are also complicated by high raw material costs and an increasing choice of technologies available to the brand manufacturer to package, identify, and

The printing press is the star at drupa

For more than 50 years, printers have been going to drupa to see the latest developments in presses. It will be no different this year when the world’s printers will head for Düsseldorf to see what technical developments Heidelberg, MAN Roland, KBA, Komori, or Mitsubishi, as the big five providers of sheetfed presses, have to show. While the demonstrations will certainly impress, there will be a change in emphasis. In previous years, manufacturers have come up with advances in technology to impress visitors. This time the technologies are going to be about offering solutions to the problems that today’s printers face. This will mean

When It’s Time to Sell. . .

Selling a company, or merging with another entity, is a high-stakes proposition. It requires a high level of expertise in multiple, specialized disciplines including legal, accounting, finance, and taxation. Many times, small business owners or entrepreneurs have put their whole life’s work into the business or, in some cases, several generations of a family name are being put on the block. If this is not enough to ponder, then look no further than the company’s employees and customers. Any successful business owner understands the multitude of issues that must be handled when running a company in today’s highly competitive, complex business environment. What makes