PLGA Conference Draws a Crowd

JACKSONVILLE, FL — The Packaging and Label Gravure Assn. (PLGA) held its Seventh Technical & Operational Conference February 18-20 at the Adam's Mark Hotel. PLGA president Randy Butler (Printpack, Greensburg, IN) pronounced himself “ecstatic” with the turnout; more than 160 converters and suppliers were in attendance, including PFFC.

Butler presented the PLGA's first annual Lifetime Achievement Award to Mike Keating, The Keating Group, Flintshire, UK, suppliers of cylinder engraving. A total of 35 quality awards were presented with American Packaging Corp., Columbus, WI, winning Best of Show for its Great Outdoors Grill Mesquite Chunks bag.

The meeting's theme, “Co-opetition” (Cooperating with the Competition), was explored in the “Strategic Alliances and Partnerships” session moderated by Mark Glendenning, Inland Printing, La Crosse, WI. Glendenning and Murray White, NorthStar Print Group, Watertown, WI, described their companies' alliance, which they say has been put into successful, selective practice to accomplish goals that otherwise would not be achievable.

Such alliances generally fall into one of four categories. First is a purchasing consortium that provides smaller companies with buying leverage when they purchase similar materials from common suppliers. Second is a geographically driven alliance that allows one company to cover other regions by utilizing the sales coverage of another company with non-competing product lines. Third is a product line extension that allows a company with a limited product line to service a large national account with broad buying requirements (e.g., a p-s label converter allying with a cut-and-stack label converter to be a sole supplier to a large customer). Fourth is a subcontractor arrangement that offers the customer advantages of production flexibility and disaster recovery.

One of the conference's most lively sessions, “Flexo vs. Gravure,” was moderated by Bill Taylor, Max Daetwyler Corp., Huntersville, NC. Bill Disney, Diversapack, Marengo, IL, showed how his company is saving money for Coca-Cola by producing its Dasani bottled water label on a gravure press. Annual graphics cost for flexo are $23,168 vs. $8,500 for gravure, he said. Disney noted the label requires seven colors if produced on a flexo press but only five colors with gravure. An additional benefit, he explained, is that bottlers say machine operators do not have to adjust for repeat variations with the gravure-printed labels.

According to executive director Bill Klein (Business Factors, New Madison, OH), PLGA has grown from 69 members in 2003 to 89 members currently.

For more information contact PLGA at 937/996-0328 or visit

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