November 2001 Issue



Quantifying the benefits of computer-to-plate: a challenge package printers may need to approach with new diligence. by Terri McConnell, Prepress Editor In the span of a few hours on September 11th, our hearts were broken, our livelihoods were lost or threatened, and our determinations tested. In the path of swift and sweeping financial repercussions of those events, some packaging businesses are sure to fail or suffer. Even companies with the brightest outlooks are making provisions for a probable downturn and have become more reserved, careful, and "quiet." Shaken by the uncertainty of our economic condition, we will be cautious. Understandably defensive. Less inured to

GOING THE DISTANCE (Diemaker/Diecutter of the Year)

Karl Marbach Jr.'s knack for forging alliances has brought global acclaim for his diecutting/diemaking innovations. by Kate Tomlinson, Assistant Editor IF FRIENDSHIPS ARE an indication of success, Karl Marbach Jr. is a very accomplished man. As president of Marbach Co. of Heilbronn, Germany, Marbach may run a tight ship, but an obvious welcoming atmosphere radiates from the building. "I try to maintain a professional level of friendship within [the company]," he says. "I lead by walking." Those who have visited the Marbach facility can see firsthand where it all started, and how a man who has contributed so much to the steel rule die

NO FLASH IN THE PAN (Laser digital converting presents compe

Laser digital converting's efficiency and flexibility present compelling competition for conventional diecutting. by Sue Friedman, Editor WITH ALL ITS flashy trappings, laser digital converting technology could have been hyped to the max. The process, which actually vaporizes material in order to accomplish various finishing operations, is instead quietly edging toward mainstream applications. How deep a niche will it ultimately etch? A typical laser digital converting system can include a CO2 laser, power unit, chiller, controller, software, smoke containment system, and web handling system (if not integrated into an existing press or finishing line). Camera-based vision systems may be needed for critical registration requirements. All

SHINY STEALS THE SHOW (A look at films, foils, and holograph

For many printers, the question is not whether to incorporate a specialty substrate, but which one? by Kate Tomlinson, Assistant Editor AS THE POPULARITY of packages incorporating metallized film, foil, and holography continues to rise, the "shiny look" is becoming almost commonplace on store shelves. So how are each of these substrates carving out individual uniquenesses? Metallized film has recently figured prominently in new flexible packaging constructions, including StarKist Tuna's recently released alternative to the alumimun can, the Flavor Fresh Pouch™ retort pouch. Foil is finding a new niche as a softer, subtler attention-getter on packages for products such as cosmetics, which may require

SPARE CHANGEOVER (Will personnel concerns limit quick-changeo

(Will personnel concerns limit quick-changeo by Jessica Millward, Associate Editor IF TIME TRULY is money, interruptions in production translate into significant economic sag for package printers. The industry has never been more aware of this fact, with the rise of short runs and their requisite changeovers. Advanced sleeve systems whittle away at downtime between jobs, but limited training/personnel resources anchor printers to the changeover times of yesterday's equipment. The demand for profitable shorter runs cultivated many of the wide-web flexo press design trends so popular today: servo drives, sleeve systems, and automated set-up among them. Fischer & Krecke (F&K) VP/Sales Manager Kurt