Feeling the pinch? Tighter control can ease the pain

QuadTech solutions for in-line, CI flexo presses address profitability

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pain
Stephan Doppelhammer, market manager for packaging, QuadTech

Modern marketing trends in all areas of packaging are increasing the pressure on flexographic printers. Whether you print flexible packaging, folding cartons or corrugated products, the pain-points have multiplied – shorter runs, faster turnarounds, more accurate color and increased quality demands have all contributed to squeezed margins.

While waiting for plate suppliers to develop plates that are faster and less expensive to produce (which they will), there are a number of things that can be done to improve press performance and profitability.

Profitability comes, in part, from repeatedly delivering quality products to customers on time, and this can be achieved by systematically controlling every stage of production and eliminating bottlenecks. Maximizing press and other equipment usage is also a key factor to profitability.

Start at the beginning

QuadTech Inspection System
The QuadTech Inspection System utilizes the most sophisticated defect analysis in the industry to provide true 100% inspection on 100% of your print or non-print product, web or sheet, 100% of the
time

Ensuring the efficiency of the prepress department is the first step. It may not even require capital investment, just the systematic deployment of best practices. Once plates are on the press, a verification system using an approved digital artwork reference, like QuadTech’s PDF Verification, will ensure that errors like missing or mis-sized image elements, incorrect content and other faults are detected before waste is run.

Achieving color targets quickly and accurately with an in-line color management system using L*a*b* and Delta-E values will ensure that consistent color is run for each color, on every press and even in different locations. The job information and color targets can be stored for use on repeat jobs.

Closed-loop solutions that are capable of registering varnishes, lacquers and cold-seal adhesives and front-to-back registration as well as colors can prevent expensive waste. The QuadTech Autotron with ClearLogic provides such assurance and can maximize output. Once the job is running and perfect register has been achieved, there are still a host of process faults that can arise. A web viewer (like the QuadTech Web Viewing System) will provide real time viewing of the moving web.

Getting the most from your press

QuadTech PDF Verification
QuadTech PDF Verification is a dynamic software application that automatically picks up differences
and irregularities that inspection systems can’t

For complete assurance, a 100% web inspection system that inspects 100% of the web 100% of the time, will detect process and random faults as well as color variation, mis-register, and mis-prints and alert operators so that remedial action can be taken. Using a QuadTech Inspection System, defect information is automatically sent to QuadTech’s optional Data Central reporting tool for analysis by quality control personnel – who can decide whether copy needs to be removed. That information is then sent to the rewinder. The system controls the rewinder, running it at optimum speeds between areas where defective copy is to be excised.

Some packaging converters put inspection systems on their finishing lines so that they can inspect the output of multiple presses. This is a false economy. Inline (on-press) inspection systems detect errors immediately, allowing the printer to take instant corrective action. Not only does this prevent material waste, but maximizes valuable press time as well.

Solutions like these, available from QuadTech for in-line and CI flexo presses, address the major factors that impact margins and profitability; the immediate results of such systems also mean that there can be a rapid return on investment. As the packaging markets change, packaging converters need to improve both efficiency and quality control to keep and obtain high-value customers in a sector that is becoming increasingly commoditized. By being a converter that never delivers defective copy, consistently achieves accurate brand colors and can maintain competitive pricing, your future looks bright.

The impact, resilience, and growth of responsible packaging in a wide region are daily chronicled by Packaging South Asia.

A multi-channel B2B publication and digital platform such as Packaging South Asia is always aware of the prospect of new beginnings and renewal. Its 16-year-old print monthly, based in New Delhi, India has demonstrated its commitment to progress and growth. The Indian and Asian packaging industries have shown resilience in the face of ongoing challenges over the past three years.

As we present our publishing plan for 2023, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2023 will reach 6.3%. Packaging industry growth has exceeded GDP growth even when allowing for inflation in the past three years.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 33% over the past three years. With orders in place, we expect another 33% capacity addition from 2023 to 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels have grown similarly. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

Even given the disruptions of supply chains, raw material prices, and the challenge of responsible and sustainable packaging, packaging in all its creative forms and purposes has significant headroom to grow in India and Asia. Our context and coverage engulf the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and further – to waste collection and recycling. We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers.

In an admittedly fragmented and textured terrain, this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing support communication – in our impactful and highly targeted business platform. Tell us what you need. Speak and write to our editorial and advertising teams! For advertisement ads1@ippgroup.in , for editorial info@ippgroup.in and for subscriptions subscription@ippgroup.in

– Naresh Khanna

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