NV | Executive Outlook 2018

An N.V. Publication The Bi-Weekly News Publication Serving The Flexographic Printing Industry FLEX

Market News


Executive Outlook

Anderson & Vreeland • ARC International • Bobst BST North America • DuPont • FLXON • Mark Andy Nilpeter • Uteco • Windmoeller & Hoelscher 2018

Executive Outlook

From the editor

Greg Kishbaugh

The flexo industry leaders who have contributed to this year’s Executive Outlook Special Report spot­ light an industry that is moving forward in dramatic ways — adapting new technologies, changing to meet an evolving workforce, and positioning itself for the challenges ahead in the coming years. This year’s contributors stress the importance of being ever vigilant in business, in particular to re­ main focused on the future by investing in equip­ ment and a modernized workforce. The flexo market is subject to many of the same innovation shifts affecting other businesses, many of which provide incredible opportunities for lead­ ers with longterm thinking. Going Green The substantiality movement continues to be a juggernaut, challenging printing companies to con­ stantly seek out ways to improve their efficiencies. While data often vary among research sources, all can agree that the green market is growing and as vibrant as ever. The global green packaging market is primarily dri­ ven by a paradigm shift among consumers who now demand increased environmental awareness from packaging producers. The challenge for converters is to discover the most effective means to let con­ sumers know the environmental benefits of their products. A recent report from Zion Market Research Global finds that the green packaging market share was valued at $161.50 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach $242.50 billion in 2021, growing at a Com­ pound Annual Growth Rate of 7 percent between 2016 and 2020. According to a report from Allied Market Re­ search, the global green packaging market generat­ ed revenue of $132 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach $207 billion by 2022. The sector grew at a

Compound Annual Growth Rate of 5.41 percent from 2016 to 2022. The food & beverage segment accounted for more than threefifths of overall share in the applications segment. Leading retailers such as Target and Walmart have already outlined aggressive sustainable pack­ aging goals, and just recently at the World Eco­ nomic Forum in Davos, 11 global companies announced that they will work toward using 100 percent reusable, recyclable or compassable pack­ aging by 2025 or earlier. The companies include in­ ternational brands Alcor, Echoer, Evian, L’Oréal, Mars, M&S, PepsiCo, The CocaCola Company,

Unilever, Walmart, and Werner & Mertz. Additionally, fastfood chain McDonald’s also pledged to recycle 100 percent of its cus­ tomer’s packaging across the world by 2025. According to a new report from market intelligence agency Minter,

the throwaway culture of today will evolve into one that understands and embraces the role of packaging as a primary means to reduce global food and product waste. A focus on package innovations that extend food freshness, preserve ingredient fortification, and en­ sure safe delivery is increasingly benefiting con­ sumers on a global scale. Indeed, 50 percent of U.S. grocery shoppers agree that the right packaging can help reduce food waste. In an environment where 56 percent of con­ sumers are actively trying to reduce food waste at home, rather than simply highlighting packaging materials and technology, converters must pro­ mote package benefits and brands need to spot­ light those attributes on their packaging to become catalysts for changing consumers’ perceptions of packaging for the better.

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The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted globally each year, with consumers in Europe and North America throwing away be­ tween 95115 kg of food per person. With con­ sumers concerned about this growing waste mountain, and shoppers seeing the cost of this waste on their wallets, people are now actively seeking solutions. Brands can utilize communication tools directly on the packaging itself to educate consumers to the benefits packaging can bring, from extending shelf life of food to providing efficient and safe ac­ cess to essential products in developed and under­ serve regions of the world. Combating Counterfeiting The problem of counterfeit goods is one that con­ tinues to grow with each passing year and has yet to be adequately addressed as a systemic problem. Some of the statistics are astonishing. Take for in­ stance the fact that in 2016 more than 55 percent of the medicines purchased online globally were ei­ ther of poor quality or fake. The anticounterfeit push in the pharmaceutical industry, unsurprising­ ly, is growing because of increasing initiatives by the pharmaceutical companies, as the threats to endusers (and the inevitable lawsuits) are obvious. The market for anticounterfeit and security packaging will see significant growth over the medium term, with Smithers Pipra estimating a market worth over $2.75 billion in 2015 and grow­ ing to more than $3.5 billion by 2022. The Online Experience As more and more consumers embrace online shopping, packaging will play a pivotal role in brands’ and consumers’ ecommerce experiences, according to the Minter report. Much of the conversation among brands, con­ verters, and package designers about online shop­ ping and ecommerce is currently focused on, and driven by, Amazon. Free from the supply chain re­ strictions of the brickandmortar retail giants, Amazon is working to minimize “touches” in the supply chain, maximize the brand experience for consumers, and optimize packaging SKUs.

Online shopping is becoming more widespread around the world and is near ubiquitous in markets like the UK where 91 percent of consumers say they shop online. Much of the popularity stems from convenience as more than half of Chinese consumers aged 2049 who shop online say it is fast (53 percent) and saves time (51 percent). Now is the time for brands to consider how packaging can alleviate, if not eliminate, consumer frustration with overpackaged and even underbranded goods sold online and delivered via ecommerce. With ecommerce sales forecast to reach $4 tril­ lion globally by 2020, representing nearly 15 per­ cent of total global retail sales, according to eMarketer, brands must consider when, not if, they will enter the online retail and ecommerce pack­ aging fray. Packaging that safely delivers products through the ecommerce supply chain is only part of the equation, with opportunities for material op­ timization and improved sustainability. While online shopping’s key advantage is conve­ nience, consumers expect more from their favored brands. When designing packaging to be viewed online, and transit packaging to be opened upon delivery in the home, the experience of ecom­ merce packaging must reflect consumer expecta­ tions from shopping with that brand instore. Clear Communication The path forward for converters will further demonstrate the intense marketing and branding capabilities of packaging. Consumers are more informed than ever and package designs must strive to further enlighten consumers without overwhelming them. Reports show that consumers are more likely to trust brands when messaging and claims are suc­ cinct and easy to understand. Onpack communica­ tion that eliminates excess information and design elements to help consumers focus on key product qualities or package functionality can lead to greater customer engagement. In today’s increasingly hectic retail environment, clear, concise packaging is more important than ever. Changes will continue to evolve for CPGs and retailers, and it’s the innovations of flexo convert­ ers that will light the way to the future.

Executive Outlook Flexo Market News 3


Executive Outlook

Anderson & Vreeland

Darin Lyon Executive Vice President

In these dynamic mes, you can connue to rely on Anderson & Vreeland’s strategic partnerships with leading equipment and soware companies. Combining our knowledge with that of our partners helps ensure we remain aligned with your needs. This understanding helps us provide the right prod­ ucts but is only the beginning. You need even more to take advantage of today’s opportunies. Service is paramount. Because supporng your technology investments is crical to your success our service teams work both independently and with technical assets from our partners. And if deeper experse is needed, Anderson & Vree­ And there’s one more thing. In addition to selling and supporting the best offerings of our partners, Anderson & Vreeland is the only distributor that also develops and produces its own line of indus­ try solutions in multiple manufacturing facilities. Our own line of products—designed and built specifically for label and packaging printers—is based on what our customers tell us will help them work faster, more efficiently, and add to their bottom line. This combinaon of industry knowledge, service capability, and manufacturing prowess is the core of our being a stable, trusted and dependable re­ source for 58 years. Now, as always, Anderson & Vreeland has soluons for turbulent—and excit­ ing—mes. land Business Analysts and our Technologies Team can address even the most baffling challenges in flexographic or digital prinng to help ensure your success.

Soluons For Turbulent Times

We live in turbulent mes. Our industry is roiled with consolidaons, mergers, acquisions, and shiing supply chains. Technology is opening new opportunies even as older ones find new ways to remain relevant. Many print providers face chal­ lenges in idenfying and hiring qualified employees. Pricing pressures are ever present, all too oen en­ couraging a nowin race to the boom. We at An­ derson & Vreeland know it is hard out there, and understand the challenges faced by all label and packaging printers. Yet, it is also an excing me to be in business. The opportunies for label and packaging printers are seemingly everywhere we look. Innovaon is enabling printers to improve efficiencies by running faster, reducing changeover mes, and enhancing print quality. Brand expansion is driving companies to expand their focus outside tradional core areas and explore adjacent spaces for organic growth and new opportunies. Digital technologies are opening the doors to compelling new lines of business and revenue. New tax laws and enhanced depreciaon schedules are increasingly favorable, especially for many smaller businesses. Banks are even loosening their purse strings, making more money available for growth and expansion. In nearly every way, it is a me to be opmisc about your business and where it can go. Sll, whether you see our mes as turbulent, ex­ cing, or both, it is essenal to evaluate the tech­ nologies you employ as strategic elements in your quest for success. Now more than ever, choosing the right tools is crical. This is something we talk about every day at Anderson & Vreeland.

4 Executive Outlook Flexo Market News



57 years ago, Anderson & Vreeland opened its doors with a set of values in place. We would invest in innovation to sell the most reliable and efficient products to our customers. And when our customers needed support, we would always be there to pick up the phone. These values have been the foundation of our business for over five decades. As we look out at the industr y today, we see a marketplace of mergers, acquisitions, and shifting supply chains that are bringing confusion to printers ever ywhere. It seems ever yone is so focused on margins and the bottom line that they are forgetting who really drives this industr y: you , the customers. While the other guys are changing how they do business, we are not. We are still a company dedicated to our customers and we work hard to provide the best technology, customer ser vice and technical support to help grow your business. We can alleviate your concerns and confusion surrounding the supply chain and eliminate the disruptive impact on your business. Call Anderson & Vreeland today. We value the opportunity to earn your business.

Darin Lyon Executive Vice President | Anderson & Vreeland, Inc. dlyon@andvre.com | 419.636.5002

Partners in Flexo Innovation

Executive Outlook

ARC International

Mike Foran President

aluminum shell and a premium chromium oxide surface with a corrosionresistant undercoang. These anilox sleeves are engraved with the latest fiber opc and solid state laser engraving equip­ ment to create the most prisne and consistent cell formaon, whether tradional 60 degree hexago­ nal or 70/75 degree extended hex for solids and flood coang. Line screens and volumes are moni­ tored and confirmed with either the Troika AniCam or the MicroDynamics interferometry equipment. 2) Nickleback TM Extender (NBE) Sleeve —A rubber­ covered nickel sleeve for plate mounng to accom­ modate larger repeats. Over me, the sleeve can be ground to accommodate smaller repeats. 3) Nickleback TM Tint (NBT) Sleeve —A rubbercov­ ered nickel sleeve for color nng. (NBM) —A precision air mandrel replacement man­ ufactured to OEM specificaons or the customer’s preferred design. To complement the Nickelback sleeve system, ARC Internaonal offers replacement doctor blade cham­ bers constructed with five layers of carbon fiber for greater stability and the eliminaon of corrosion over me compared to aluminum chambers and those with thin skin layers of carbon fiber. ARC em­ ploys seasoned professionals with extensive experi­ ence in doctor blade unit analysis and installaon. For presses using convenonal anilox rollers with integral journals, ARC Internaonal offers special­ ized ansck coangs for roller headers and jour­ nals to eliminate the buildup of dried inks and coangs that contribute to extensive slinging in the press. Contact your ARC Internaonal representave today for an analysis of your anilox sleeves and 4) Nickleback TM Laser (NBL) Sleeve —A rubbercovered nickel sleeve ready for the connuous laser engraving of plate material. 5) Nickleback TM Naked (NBN) Sleeve —An uncovered nickel sleeve for direct plate mounng. 6) Nickleback TM Mandrel

For many years, the wide web paper, film and foil industries have been moving toward the ulizaon of flexographic prinng presses ouied with anilox sleeves, air mandrels, bridge mandrels and plates mounted on plate sleeves. These sleeve sys­ tems allow for quicker anilox changes, decreased setup mes, varied repeat sizes and, most certain­ ly, eliminate the need for hoist systems to make heavy roller changes. The safety improvements alone jusfy a move in this direcon. However, many sleeve designs include the use of fiberglass in their construcon. The wound fiber inner layer of this type of sleeve construcon can break down and crack over me, rendering the sleeve unusable and in need of replacement. For every five worn or damaged fiberglass sleeves sent back for rework, it’s likely that two or three of them will need to be scrapped due to chipped ends or cracking throughout the sleeve. ARC Internaonal’s soluon to this ongoing prob­ lem is to use an .008” thick layer of nickel instead of fiberglass, whether it’s for the inner layer of an anilox sleeve, plate sleeve or rubbercovered sleeve. Sleeves made with a more flexible, nickel layer have a much longer product life because they eliminate that breakdown and cracking problem. In addion, nickel sleeves require significantly less air pressure for mounng and demounng, reducing the risk of injury inherent with highpressure air ap­ plicaons. ARC’s robust Nickelback TM Sleeve System fitment to the mandrel eliminates the need for pins and locking keyways, thus increasing the print qual­ ity due to beer registraon and improved run out, as well as reduced waste and setup mes. ARC’s Nickelback system includes the following products for the flexo pressroom: 1) Nickleback TM Anilox (NBA) Sleeve —A laser en­ graved anilox sleeve with an inner nickel layer, pro­ prietary bladder material for expansion, an

rollers at info@arcinternaonal.com.

6 Executive Outlook Flexo Market News



Love it or not, a corrugated flexo operation is tough to keep healthy. Too many things can upset your day. Margins rely on everyone and everything performing and delivering according to plan. That’s why The ARChitects of Flexo should be part of that plan. Behind your ARC International representative is a team of flexo-focused gurus. Their sole purpose is to ensure that everything rolling on your flexo line is engineered and fine-tuned to give you healthy profits. From ink

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consumption, to volumes and densities, to hard lines and soft fades — if it involves moving, coating or printing a substrate, The ARChitects of Flexo have the evidence- based proof and scientific insight to make your line run true and fruitful. Whether you’re in this for fun or profit, why not put your best team on the line? Contact ARC today. Together we’ll draw up a plan to give you a healthy bottom line.

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Executive Outlook

ing at packaging, be it flexible or carton, on one hand is the increasing sophiscaon of the design and added­ value finishing of the packaging displayed at brickand­ mortar retail stores with a view to get the consumer impulse buying. On the other, the fast growth of online shopping, which is no doubt changing the packaging land­ scape, as in this instance endusers value the packaging for qualies other than its appearance and also, especially younger consumers, look to engage and build relaonship with brands. This provides new, albeit different, opportunies for flexo printers, provided they have the kind of equipment that can handle all these different requirements – be it in terms of added value graphics/finishing at point of sale or systems relang to antampering safety instore packag­ ing or enabling online shoppers to track their purchases from producon to delivery to avoid counterfeing and also in terms of equipment operaonal efficiency to han­ dle profitably a mix of job lengths from very short to long. How is Bobst poised to assist flexo printers in growing their business in today’s environment? BOBST flexo prinng offerings covers the widest spec­ trum of applicaons: we address the requirements of the labels, flexible packaging, nonwoven, folding carton, cor­ rugated board industries, have machines configured in line or CI, with web widths ranging from 14.5 in to 110.2 in — the list is huge and this is an established fact. As I dustry. BOBST has been an advocate of ECG and of indus­ try collaboraons starng in 2013 with the REVO project for narrowweb inline UV presses, it has introduced the THQ Flexocloud, a fixed palee system for corrugated board post print applicaons, and customers who have been implemenng ECG in their plant on installed BOBST CI wide web machines report good results. Never stop­ ping improving on our achievements, we have connued to address the crical issue of consistency and repeatabili­ ty on wideweb CI presses, which are prerequisites for achieving opmum results with ECG prinng. This is why our latest 20SEVEN machine featuring systems like the triLOCK that eliminates frame vibraons by locking bear­ ings firmly into place, the smartFLO that prevents ink flow peaks and inconsistent ink metering and the Full Surface Matrix dryer, deliver best results with ECG prinng. There are many opportunies to be seized by printers with the implementaon of the Extended Color Gamut process, to ensure compeveness in the market and also vs digital prinng for medium run producon. said before, today the industry needs more and because our commitment in respect to these areas is not new, I can say that our machines are ready for the future of packaging, be it in terms of automaon, interconnecvity and the like, or of latest processes, such as Extended Color Gamut prinng, that are driving change in the packaging in­


Todd Blumsack Vice President Business Unit Web-Fed

What one thing, more so than any other, should flexo printers be most concerned with at the moment? What is it they should most be focused on? They should focus on sasfying the requirements of print consistency and consistent quality of output and re­ peat orders for 100% product quality conformity with the job master request. This is a conformity that brand own­ ers aim to achieve on a global scale, irrespecve of where their prinng suppliers are located in the world, therefore printers should be equipped to deliver on this request. To this end, they should focus on the automaon/digitalizaon of the workflow in their press room, which improves the process repeatability and consistency and is indepen­ dent from human error; and can ensure a full control of the variables, in addion to also delivering utmost operaonal efficiency of the equipment. What areas of technology will most guide the future for flexo printers? What new areas of technology will open up the most opportunies? Again, printers should be forward looking and willing to embrace change through a certain degree of disrupon of their operaons and a redefinion of the relaonship amongst industry partners that would enable them to gain a lead in securing a solid future. At the current pace of our industry development and evoluon of market de­ mands, ge ng the most advanced kind of equipment alone is important in terms of ensuring operaonal effi­ ciency and the ability to handle diverse applicaon re­ quirements but is not enough in the long run unless looked at in the wider context of the value chain. I am speaking of IoT whose reach is encompassing and extends far beyond the producon environment and to which the definion is immediately associated. When the systems that relate to the producon are all connected and supply a constant stream of data to a system, the data can be tracked, analyzed and acted upon in many ways. This al­ lows the transformaon and the perfecon of the manu­ facturing operaons and processes which enable the prinng company and its supply chain partners to harness the data to drive growth. What current developments in the retail environment (including CPG demands) do you see most creang op­ portunity for flexo printers? The first consideraons to be made when broadly look­

8 Executive Outlook Flexo Market News





Traditional or ECG 7-color printing process Water- or solvent-based inks Ready for the future of packaging


Repeatable, consistent quality Independent of operator skills and location of the plant


Accurate process automation for minimized waste, increased cost efficiency, and easy manufacturing


BST North America Executive Outlook

The expectaons have skyrocketed. And why shouldn’t they? When we go out to eat, we don’t expect the service to end once the meal is served. Why shouldn’t our customers expect anything but the best support from their supplier/partners aer their equipment is delivered? “Roll with the Changes” REO Speedwagon Fortunately for our customers, BST North America was able to “Roll with the Changes”. Our business model has evolved into one that is designed to exceed our customers’ service and support needs. • About one third of our team (more than 20 peo­ ple) in North America are dedicated to cus­ tomer support. • We have 40 more people supporng us from BST eltromat Internaonal in Germany. • Most parts are stocked at BST North America and ship in 24 hours. • We have technical support available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. • We make a significant investment in training to make sure our technicians connue to be the best in the business. Do the changes ever end? Of course not. As a supplier/partner, we will al­ ways be looking for ways to stay ahead of our cus­ tomers’ needs. We connue to improve on our “RecruitRetainReward” program for our support team. We are already working on upgraded mainte­ nance and service programs, as well as webbased procurement for parts. Through organic growth and strategic acquisions, BST eltromat Internaonal has developed a broad porolio of product offerings, making us the leader in market share worldwide in quality assur­ ance equipment. This didn’t happen by accident. It came from taking care of our customers aer they became customers.

Mark Lambrecht President

True or false – Everyone loves change … We all know the answer to that. As difficult as it is for people to embrace change, it is even more difficult for an enre company. The fact is, we have to change. Our customers are changing every day. They change the way they think, they change their business strategies, and they change their culture. At BST North America and BST eltromat Internaonal, we recognize that if we are going to conn­ ue to exceed the needs of our customers, we must also change. A great example Service and Support I have been fortunate enough to be a part of the prinng business for almost 30 years. It is remark­ able how much the expectaons of our customers have changed regarding service and support. In the past, when a customer purchased equip­ ment, service and support needs were scarcely dis­ cussed. Most prinng facilies were fully staffed with their own maintenance people, and their inventories were stocked with spare parts. At that me, the equipment was also much less technical. (And the word “green” was associated with a golf course.) Expecng the best Today, the level of service and support is one of the first topics of discussion during meengs with our customers. How many technicians do you have? How many customer service people? What is the lead me of spare parts? Which parts do you stock? 24/7 support? Modem hook ups? Training and follow up training? Upgrades?

10 Executive Outlook Flexo Market News


DuPont Executive Outlook

Shyamal Desai Americas Marketing Manager DuPont Advanced Printing

Ge ng a good white ink laydown for an under­ layer has always been a challenge for the flexible packaging industry. A white ink underlayer is key because it forms the foundaon for the graphics printed on the packaging. A poor white underlay­ er will not give you the desired pop or convey the intended brand message. When white ink is de­ posited onto the substrate, it does not load well or disperse uniformly. Depending on various in­ teracons of surface energy between the ink, the substrate, as well as the prinng plates used, you will get a white ink laydown that may appear moled with a poor ink laydown. To address this problem, some printers use very high volume aniloxes to get as much ink on the substrate as they can. Others are using substrates that are im­ pregnated with white ink — both choices are a costly substute for the ability to print a good white underlayer. What has also been a challenge is understand­ ing an effective way to measure the white ink laydown. The industry uses opacity as a mea­ sure to evaluate the ink laydown, however, opacity alone doesn’t give you the full picture. A substrate may have more ink, but if the ink doesn’t lay down well and shows mottling or graininess, it still doesn’t serve the purpose of having a good white underlayer. The ideal solu­ tion would be a measure that combines graini­ ness, opacity and mottle into a single number. Less than 80 years ago, the industry faced a similar challenge when working to establish the correct way to measure color. Color measure­

ment has evolved over me to mimic how the human eye perceives color. The cones in the eye look at color smuli in terms of red, green and blue. The brain then processes these smuli and forms a color impression or a color percepon. This percepon is formed by linking these three colors with the opcal characteriscs of the printed surface. The challenge results in that this percepon is subjecve and in order to accu­ rately translate the color percepon into some­ thing measurable, the fields of colorimetry and chromacity were developed. Color measure­ ment started off as unidimen­ sional measurements, unl a muldimensional L*a*b* mea­ surement system was devel­ oped to account for not only colors, but also the lightness and darkness asso­ ciated with it. A similar challenge exists with understanding white ink laydown and white measurement must proceed through a similar evolution as color measurement. Mottle and graininess are measures critical to the overall white impres­ sion or perception. They give us a view of pin­ holing and smoothness of the ink. A sample can have a lower opacity, but coupled with low graininess and low mottle, the visual impact is much superior. Therefore, to evaluate white opacity, you need to combine opacity, graini­ ness and mottle into a single number, which can more accurately give you a quantitative mea­ sure of white ink laydown.

12 Executive Outlook Flexo Market News


FLXON Executive Outlook

Paul Sharkey President

U.S. has more than doubled while manufacturing jobs declined by 30% — all of it driven by technolo­ gy rather than jobs moving overseas. Here’s the thing, not all producvity gains are a result of buying new equipment. Many of the pressrooms we work with are invesng in operator best pracces training and upgrading elements of their process. Higher preforming pumps, more ef­ fecve filter vessels, nonleaking ink chambers and longerlasng higherperforming doctor blades all play a part in major producvity gains now being realized industry wide. During the years immediately following the Great Recession, no gains were made. Then the focus

Risk and Reward When the Great Recession hit in 2008, many of us were caught off guard. The preceding years were good for the flexo markets we serve. Year over year GDP growth had been running at ±4% but in 2009 GDP dropped by 2%. In the following year, FLXON lost 6 of our top 10 customers as a re­ sult of closures do to bankruptcy and consolidaon. We weren’t alone in that almost every business was in the same situaon. It became clear the path forward was not the same as the path we followed leading up to 2009. It was me to think outside the box. Today, surviving companies from that period are generally doing well. Since 2010, the economy has grown by a steady ±2% annually and the flexo print markets have largely rebounded. The path forward for every printer, converter and supplier involved a focus on improving producvity. As pressrooms re­ gained their stride, many have made investments in new technology giving them the ability to pro­ duce higher quality products faster at lower cost. In wide web flexible packing, new High Speed HD FLEXO presses are running at 2000 fpm, producing at a print quality level compeve with ro­ togravure and offset. These results are achieved with job changes measured in minutes requiring one operator and one helper. Relave gains have been made in all flexo print market segments. Sev­ eral older machines can be replaced by one more efficient machine, allowing prices to print buyers to remain relavely unchanged. Output is up while employment is down. Our in­ dustry reflects what has happened in the broader economy. According to Drew Desilver, an econo­ mist with the Pew Research Center, manufacturing jobs in 2017 totaled 12.4M which represent 8.5% of all jobs in our economy. That’s down from 32% in 1953. Since 1987, manufacturing output in the

was on cost cu ng oen at the expense of producvity. At first, few were willing or in a posion to make investments as discussed above. To spend money on any­ thing more than basic mainte­ nance was perceived as too risky.

No Risk In 2010, FLXON began to offer an uncondional performance guarantee on all of our products. If we agreed our product could meet or exceed a buyer’s expectaons and it didn’t, the buyer could return the product for a full refund. This guarantee placed the responsibility on FLXON to make sure our product is suited to a customer’s applicaon it extends even to doctor blades. The Reward As a result, FLXON’s business came back and now exceeds prerecession levels. We had to invest in new qualified staff to meet increased demand. Since the recession, FLXON has helped hundreds of pressrooms to lower their waste, improve print quality and regain their compeve advantage. What’s more, they are beer prepared to with­ stand future economic fluctuaons.

14 Executive Outlook Flexo Market News


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Executive Outlook


Paul Teachout Vice President Sales and Marketing

The year has started off strong and shows no signs of slowing. The state of the industry is healthy and prosperous. This is all supported by a growing U.S. economy with high consumer confi­ dence. The unemployment rate is at its lowest in 5 years and the GDP shows connued gains. These indicators as well as new tax reform and stock market trends connue to push all our mar­ kets forward. The primary packaging markets are all showing connued growth and 70% of con­ verters say they will be invesng in new equip­ ment to meet these demands. The ming is right for investment and we at Nilpeter have spent the last 2 years preparing for the roaring 20’s that are fast approaching. chine manufacturer and supplier. We have invested more than 6 million dollars in fully auto­ mated 4.0 machining centers in our U.S. facility to increase our efficiencies and improve our qual­ ity. The result of that journey is the all new FA press now manufactured both here in the U.S. and in our corporate headquarters in Denmark. We now have a global soluon meeng 4.0 stan­ dards built in mulple locaons around the world. This allows us to ulize the internet of things with big data communicaon so all our sites work in unison. We are also compleng a brand new facility in India to add a third locaon of Nilpeter manufacturing. Adopng these new 4.0 manufacturing pracces has reenergized our workforce as they see we are leading the way into the future. It has also allowed us to aract a newer and more sophiscated workforce. Over the past 2 years, Nilpeter has been posioning itself to be a trendse ng Industry 4.0 ma­

The all new FA is a fully automated prinng and converng plaorm. With triple axis servo tech­ nology and a total of 7 moon control motors on every staon, now allowing for complete wireless operaon. The enre press is controlled through a wireless tablet. This approach was deliberately targeted to address the ongoing challenge of the skills gap and workforce challenge we all face. For the generaon raised on disrupve and Clean­ Hand Technologies, this press will engage with the new generaon of workforce we all need. We can now take the science of flexog­ raphy and apply it to a fully au­ tomated plaorm and increase our producon efficiencies. This leads to more repeatable and predictable manufacturing and closes the skills gap. Any repeat­ able or predictable task is now captured through the automaon of the process allowing any operator to achieve the same success. Nilpeter is proud to say that 2019 will be our 100year celebraon as a familyrun prinng and converng equipment supplier. Our tradions of innovang both internally and for our customers have never been stronger. Innovaon is in our DNA and the next 100 years is off to a great start. The allnew FA has already proven itself as the most sophiscated flexo press available, it is also the foundaon of our Panora­ ma Digital Hybrid offerings. We are excited for what the future holds while at the same me maintaining our past tradions and support.

18 Executive Outlook Flexo Market News


Innovation Automation at your fingertips - with the new FA

Experience it at the Nilpeter Technology Centers in Denmark, USA, and Thailand

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Uteco Executive Outlook

Mario Mucciacciaro Executive Vice President

runs, promoonal prinng with re­ duced producon me, and localized batch manufactur­ ing. It also gives the ability for cus­ tomized adversing with random mes­ sages. It’s as easy as

The flexible packaging market is experiencing connuous growth and strength for 2018. The market

will connue to fuel this growth by upgrading obso­ lete equipment for more technologically advanced and efficient machinery. Uteco witnessed this first hand as sales goals were exceeded for 2017. Converters are asking for more automaon with quicker changeover features. Innovaon has always been a keypoint at Uteco, not only in the design and creaon of leadingedge equipment, but also with the ability to tailor machines to specific needs. We also see an increasing trend of Label Companies moving into the flexible packaging industry. These companies are looking to invest into midweb Cen­ tral Impression format instead of their tradional inline presses. We offer a wide range of products, from flexographic presses to Digital soluons, to ad­ dress our customer’s demands Are latest innovaons include two digital plat­ forms as well as a new mulprocess coang sys­ tem. The first model is the Gaia digital press. This flexible and easytouse EB inkjet digital printer was designed to print on flexible media. It can use inks of a different nature to beer meet the various market needs, including EB curing technology. This gives the ability to safely deal with the food packag­ ing and pharmaceucal markets thanks to the re­ cent low and zero migraons inks, ensuring the lowest environmental impacts. We can deliver high­ definion print quality & resoluon of 1200 x 1200 bpi with speed over 325 /min on film substrates of widths up to 36 Inches. Uteco has also introduced a second digital plat­ form called the Evo Saphire. This is the ideal soluon for “producon digital” related to short and medium

Uteco Gaia Press.

pressing the print buon. This plaorm also allows for tailored hybrid configuraon with inline flexo/gravure prinng, varnish and or laminaon. Stream Inkjet waterbased Technology produces a connuous flow of ink with uniform dot size and ac­ curate dot placement, regardless of coverage, sub­

strate, and even speed. This technology can be used in a vari­ ety of prinng applicaons from, flexible packaging, Tag & Label, and Folding carton segments. The latest coating and laminat­ ing system is the Mistral product line. This line was introduced as a

modern & compact design to marry any or all of the various laminating and coating technologies. The Mistral line has the ability to run solvent lami­ nation, solventless lamination, inregister cold seal application and gravure printing or varnish. What is truly unique about the Mistral MV is the ability to apply at full speed inregister matte varnish ap­ plications with solventless lamination, all in one single pass. Our industry forecasts reflect connued growth for the next several years. Uteco will connue to focus on the latest innovaons and industry de­ mands and allocate resources appropriately as a worldwide leader in flexible packaging equipment. Uteco feels that innovaon is the key to becoming a market leader.

20 Executive Outlook Flexo Market News












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W indmoeller & H oelscher Executive Outlook

Klaus Kleemann Vice President of Sales

yond the company’s own boundaries and includes suppliers and customers. For example, the different hardware, namely the machines and software have to work together seamlessly. This is an important new area of activity and innovation for equipment suppli­ ers. There are still too many system gaps and inter­ faces between prepress, individual presses and downstream equipment. Digitally networked intelli­ gent machines are the key to further increasing pro­ ductivity, profits and customer satisfaction. The VISION Assistance System from W&H is fullyin­ tegrated into the press and PROCONTROL unit (user interface). Typically, components come from a num­ ber of different suppliers and all have their own con­ trol units. With the VISION system, all components

What, more than anything else, do you think flexo printers should be most focused on right now? More than anything else, printers need to focus on maximizing efficiency and print quality. Some of the reasons for this are the continued trend for shorter runs, the need for quicker changeovers and the abili­ ty to achieve high quality as the jobs become more demanding and sophisticated. At W&H we give our customers the tools to keep up with this trend in order to remain competitive and produce the highest quality products using fully­ integrated features, such as EASYSET and EASYREG for quick job setups and wastefree registration and our new intelligent VISION system, which is the only fullyintegrated vision and defect detection system currently on the market. Another part of maximizing efficiency on any equipment is getting interested and qualified peo­ ple to run machines. This is a welldocumented challenge across manufacturing worldwide. To top that off, the current unemployment rate in the U.S. hovers around 4%, so it’s hard to find the right peo­ ple because the labor pool isn’t very big. Our goal is to help customers fill this gap with intelligent, intu­ itive solutions on the machines that make maximiz­ ing efficiency easy. What areas of technology will guide the future of flexo technology? The future of flexographic technology will lie in the integration of the individual press components. For a few years, the hot topic in the manufacturing world has been Industry 4.0 — the smart connected facto­ ry of the future embracing automation, communica­ tion and integration of manufacturing technologies to optimize the value chain from raw material acqui­ sition to production of the final product. At W&H, we call this “Packaging 4.0” Printers’ value chains are becoming more dynamic. Production processes are linked between work steps and production sites. This networking also goes be­

are controllable from one common user interface. This makes setup easier and increases efficiency of the press. How is W&H poised to assist flexo printers in growing their businesses in today’s environment? W&H has spearheaded innova­

tion in flexographic printing for decades, including developing gamechanging technologies ranging from the first gearless press to the first sideloading sleeve press to the first automatic impression and registration systems to the first automatic washup system and now continues to work on fullyintegrat­ ed, connected and intelligent systems. Our dedication to Research & Development and creating new technologies to benefit our customers is as much in the forefront of our mission as ever and with that in mind, we are ideally poised to con­ tinue finding solutions for our customers. With all of these technological advancements, it’s crucial for a customer to be able to get in touch with the machine supplier when needed, because down­ time is expensive. W&H offers all our customers the unique service of being able to actually speak with a W&H degreed engineer in our Information & Diag­ nostics Center 24/7/365 in order to trouble shoot and keep the press up and running.

22 Executive Outlook Flexo Market News



500+ MIRAFLEX presses worldwide

MIRAFLEX The newest generation with W&H fully-integrated VISION system for press automation and maintenance-free TURBOCLEAN ADVANCED E inking and wash-up system.

Experience “Passion for Innovation”

Windmoeller & Hoelscher Lincoln / Rhode Island Phone 800-854-8702 info@whcorp.com · www.whcorp.com

Executive Outlook

Anderson & Vreeland

ARC International


BST North America



Mark Andy



Windmoeller & Hoelscher

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