Quality Time

The Packaging and Label Gravure Assn. Global (PLGA) held its 2008 Annual Operational Conference in Miami, FL, February 27-29, with 200 in attendance. “Fast Forward>>>>The Future” was the theme with gravure experts from every aspect of the industry checking the road ahead.

In existence for ten years, the PLGA continues to grow. It champions a method of printing that always has been known for its quality and today has achieved some economies of scale as well.

Thom Blischok, president of Strategic Consulting Information Resources, delivered the keynote address, “Tomorrow's Package — Are You Ready?” He identified five key trends in packaging: eco-friendly packaging; truth in the message; new sizes and shapes; redesigning to reflect function; and the challenge of addressing various interest groups. Blischok talked about the “zero moment of truth,” explaining that most people make up their minds before they leave the house which products they will buy. What the converting/packaging industry must figure out is how to change their minds in the store.

Future trends include more refillable packages and natural products, say from such places as the Amazon, which both fit into the sustainability movement. Blischok showed a label with “moving pictures,” courtesy of an ultra-thin paper battery. Acknowledging there may be disposal challenges to such a product, he nevertheless disagreed with a member of the audience who said it never will happen.

In a session devoted to digital technology, Sean Skelly, director of marketing for EFI, Jetrion Industrial Inkjet Systems, addressed the question, “How can digital inkjet complement gravure?” He said with growth in short runs, including regional runs and more SKUs, UV inkjet can be a useful part of a gravure printer's operation.

Frank Pasarelli, product manager, Rotomec Gravure, Bobst Group North America, participated in a session that asked, “What will traditional markets be doing in 2013?” He talked about productivity gains in the light board packaging markets, showing a comparison of web-fed gravure versus sheet-fed offset and noting that the web-fed process aids workflow. Passarelli also offered tips for success in shrink label gravure printing that included working on more stable and cost-effective materials, remembering that narrow web is not always the solution, and decreasing tooling costs and turnaround time.

Bud Gray of Acucote, in discussing the outlook for pressure-sensitive labels, cautioned printers to concentrate on repositioning themselves and focus on what they can do that's different from their competitors. “The reality is,” he said, “the printing industry is a mature market. This is manageable, and many are dealing with it successfully. Are you?”

Gray also contributed to the session on security printing by discussing brand protection opportunities for the gravure printer. He said all products are under attack by counterfeiters these days, which is a shift from the past when it was mostly luxury items. After covering the various types and levels of authentication technologies, Gray said, “This is the biggest market I've ever seen.”

Other sessions included RFID/Printed Electronic Circuitry and Sustainability.

Winning Examples

The Annual Print Quality Awards Program was presented during a reception. This year's competition drew 103 entries, a 27% increase over last year. Following is a sampling of the 2007 PLGA Print Quality Awards. For more information visit www.plga.com.


US Winners

Category | Security

Subcategory | Security Printing

Winner | Avery Dennison, Security Printing Div.

Entry | Forever 2-Sided Booklet

Avery Dennison won two awards in this category, also garnering Best of Show for this entry. Ten colors are printed on Fasson two-sided stamp stock using Siegwerk C-type solvent-based inks on a Dia-Nippon Kiko press with engravings by WRE ColorTech. The stamp is printed using line screen engravings of 300-400 to make counterfeiting difficult. For further security, the word “Forever” is micro-printed on each stamp. The description sums up judges reactions: “There is not much more that can be said about perfection.”

Category | Cartons

Subcategory | Corrugated-Preprint

Winner | Packaging Corp. of America

Entry | Lexmark All In One Box

Six colors plus coating are printed on solid bleached sulfate (SBS) with solvent-based ink and water-based varnish on a Cerutti press. Colors are brilliant and solids very good, judges noted.

Category | Flexible Packaging

Subcategory | Film/Film Lamination-Process

Winner | Bemis Flexible Packaging, Milprint Div.

Entry | Hershey's Bliss-Dark Chocolate Bliss

Eight colors with registered white on three-ply in-line adhesive lamination of oriented polypropylene (OPP)/ink/adhesive/metallized OPP/adhesive/polyethylene (PE). Solvent-based inks and solvent- and water-based adhesives are used. Printing is on a Schiavi Patriot press.

Category | Flexible Packaging

Subcategory | Pouches

Winner | Nordenia USA

Entry | Tyson Chicken Fajita Kit

Seven colors are reverse printed on 48-ga polyester, using Siegwerk inks, and laminated to PE with solvent-free adhesive from Rohm & Haas on a Windmoeller & Hoelscher press.

Category | Sleeves/Tubes

Subcategory | Composite Substrate

Winner | SleeveCo

Entry | Noble 100% Pure Tangerine Cranberry

A double winner in this category, SleeveCo prints eight colors on a PLA (corn-based) film substrate using Sun Chemical inks on a Chesnut press. Judges called this a nice, bright sample reflecting the orange in the tangerine in contrast with the red in the cranberries.

Category | Sleeves/Tubes

Subcategory | Heat Shrinkable-More than 13%

Winner | Gilbreth Packaging

Entry | Pulsate

Six colors are printed on PETG with Sun Chemical inks on a Tecmo press. Metallics are bright, and silver printing came out extremely well, judges said, adding this was not easy to print.

Category | Non PSA Labels/Wraps

Subcategory | In Mold Label-Paper

Winner | Multi-Color Corp.

Entry | Prestone De-Icer WW Fluid

This multiple winner printed six colors and two varnishes on in-mold-label paper with modified nitrocellulose inks and acrylic and polyamide coatings on a Schiavi press. Judges deemed this a “nice bright label with good contrast.”

Category | Non PSA Labels/Wraps

Subcategory | Heat Transfer Label

Winner | Altivity Packaging, DI-NA-CAL Group

Entry | BMW “Mini” Synthetic Motor Oil

Seven colors printed on DI-NA-CAL gloss finish release-coated stock, with DI-NA-CAL HTL ink system and two lacquers on a Rotomec press.

Category | Medical/Pharmaceutical

Subcategory | Flexible Packaging

Winner | Alcan Global Pharmaceutical Packaging

Entry | Ciab

This multiple award winner printed this entry with seven colors on a paper/foil laminate, using Flint ink on a Rotomec press.

Category | Innovations

Subcategory | Process

Winner | Inland Label & Marketing Services

Entry | Coca Cola Injection In-Mold Cup

Printing is four-color process and white overall (water-based inks) plus metallic silver (solvent-based) on biaxially oriented PP on a Chesnut press. This is the first time this process has been used to produce an in-mold cup label.

Category | Innovations

Subcategory | Overall Innovation

Winner | Keating North America

Entry | Marlboro Ultra Lights-Formula I

Seven colors are printed on SBS board with Sun Chemical inks at Shorewood Packaging. Called a nicely produced sample with nice clear type, especially the Japanese characters.

International Winners

Category | Flexible Packaging

Subcategory | Pouches

Winner | CLP Packaging Solutions

Entry | Royco Cheese Sauce Pouch

Eight colors are reverse printed on a four-ply lamination of PET-12/HB PET-12/Bonyl-15/PP White 100 films using Siegwerk ink for retort on a Cerutti press.

Category | Sleeves/Tube

Subcategory | Heat Shrinkable-More than 13%

Winner | Sleever Intl.

Entry | Suze Mirror Solution

Ten colors are printed on a Sleever Integrated Solution substrate. Sleeve is called a “very dynamic entry, full of life, set off by the mirror-like offset of the main title.”

Holding the Gavel

Judges for this year's competition included: Tom Allison, Allison Systems Corp.; Dick Chesnut, W.R. Chesnut Engineering; Charlie Conover, Hurletron; Dr. Sam Ingram, Clemson Univ.; Jack Kenny, Label & Narrow Web magazine; Jim Lepp, PLGA executive director; and Tony White, Flexo/Gravure magazine.


Want to learn more about rotogravure printing? Visit our website at www.pffc-online.com and click on Print for more information.

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