October 2006 Issue


A Digital Future

Digital printing is making its presence felt in the package-printing arena. It’s no longer a promising technology for the next generation—it’s here now, and appears to have broken through the critical mass for emerging mainstream acceptance. For the time being, it has found its place in short-run production. Many times it is used to off-load short-run print jobs from traditional presses to make them more profitable. However, digital printing is still in the very early stages of evolution and as such, there still some barriers that need to be addressed, such as relatively high cost of entry and high cost of consumables. In

Color: It’s All in the Process

Many things make a package effective: size, shape, functionality—and color consistency. In packaging, an essential part of color management is to show what a brand color will look like on press. For package printers and converters, this involves the ability to reproduce color accurately, regardless of inks, coatings, substrates, blankets, plates, or process. The higher the value of the brand asset, the more critical the color. However, because the color spaces of printing presses vary according to ink, inking sequences, and paper grade, consistent color printing is difficult without reliable color management from the time a file enters the workflow until it is reproduced

CPP 2006 Leads the Way

Converting & Packaging Expo 2006 is shaping up to be a major event for the converting/package printing marketplace, including flexible packaging, folding carton/boxmaking, corrugated converting, tissue converting, and narrow web/tag and label. CPP EXPO, taking place Oct. 29 to Nov. 2 at McCormick Place, Chicago, is positioned as a meeting place for equipment manufacturers/suppliers and converters/buyers alike. The changes and evolutions in package printing (from digital prepress and workflow solutions to finishing equipment) make attendance at CPP EXPO an important educational experience. With co-location and cooperative marketing efforts in place with PACK EXPO International (produced and managed by PMMI), CPP EXPO and leading industry

Getting Better All the Time

The 2006 TLMI Awards Competition is in the books with another successful year. The number of companies and entries increased in 2006, with 51 companies (44 North American and 7 international) submitting 278 entries, 239 of which were North American. A total of 90 awards were presented, including 48 first place honors, and Innovator and Best of Show awards. Steve Lee, vice president of RotoMetrics and chair of the Awards Competition Committee, cited the overall quality of the entries in this year’s competition. “It always seems to get better year to year,” he said. Judge Patrick Hague, vice president of sales for Water Ink

Getting Connected

Package printers have their hands full. While their focus is directed toward meeting the needs of their customers, they must accomplish this by spending their money wisely and increasing profits in their own operations. In the past few years, business production software has come to the rescue of package printers faced with the increasing need to run a lean business, while maintaining high-quality standards. Display Pack of Grand Rapids, Mich., was among those looking for a better way to streamline processes and exchange information. Its custom-developed business management system lacked strong estimation and business integration, and the means to provide financial information. Display Pack

Sustainable Packaging: On Track for Big Growth

Going “green” is becoming big business these days. For all the news in recent years about fiscal responsibility, today’s corporate world is marshalling itself for a new mandate: environmental responsibility. Brand owners are increasingly heeding the public call to action – and much of their attention is turning toward packaging. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. generated 236 million tons of municipal solid waste in 2003. Just over 30 percent was recovered through recycling or composting. The rest was combusted or land filled. The good news is that recycling recovery rates been climbing steadily in recent years. In 2003, paper and paperboard

The Answer’s in the Application

Creating packaging that drives consumers to ultimately purchase the product—whether on paper or film—is the challenge of any package printer. Promising to deliver the most attractive package to accomplish this objective is a proposition that converters take very seriously. And the trend toward smaller orders with less lead time makes this task even more difficult. Michael Dillon, business manager for Graphic Packaging Laminations, comments, “This trend is due to a variety of factors: the growing popularity of metallized papers and films as a way to catch consumer attention; the number of smaller consumer products companies exploring these materials; and the increase in the frequency

The Keys to the Comfort Zone

Today’s package-printing market has printers moving toward shorter runs that require quicker set-up times. Meeting the ship dates on orders, always critically important, becomes even more important as the volume of orders increases even though the number of items printed per order decreases. Equally important is the ability of printers to turn around short orders even if a longer run is scheduled. Equipment downtime, therefore, can create a nightmare for a company that considers turnaround its niche. So when Star Label Products (Bucks County, Penn.) decided to add a new press to its arsenal, it purchased one that would accommodate multiple processes in case

TLMI Awards 2006 — A Family Affair

Progressive. It’s a good term to describe Graphic Solutions International LLC (GSI), a high-tech, multi-dimensional print house led by the brother-and-sister team of Suzanne (vice chairman) and Bob (vice president) Zaccone. With solid roots in traditional pressure-sensitive labeling, the company has branched out over the past decade into areas that it calls functional printing. These areas include state-of-the-art printing of antennae, batteries, printed circuitry and lamps—real good examples of the evolution in modern printing technologies. Progressive companies stem from strong leadership and GSI has this in a double-dose. And that’s just the start. “Our success can be attributed to 115 hard-working, entrepreneurial spirits,”