APR Highlights Trends and Opportunities in Debut Narrow Web Flexible Packaging Summit
On November 11th, label converters and industry suppliers from across the U.S. gathered at All Printing Resource’s Glendale Heights, Ill., Technical Center to discuss production trends and market opportunities in the narrow web flexible packaging marketplace. Industry experts representing areas including press technology, tension and registration control, corona treating, process optimization and UV LED technology educated attending converters on current trends, opportunities, troubleshooting production challenges and applying application solutions throughout the day.
Earlier in the year, APR commissioned market research firm LPC, Inc. to carry out an extensive research initiative which included surveying U.S. narrow web converters active in the printing and converting of flexible packaging applications. Research indicates that narrow web converters are most active in pouch printing with half the surveyed group indicating they are currently printing pouches on their presses. Stick packs, sachets and wrap applications are also served by higher percentages of label printing companies.
LPC estimates that 12-15% of traditional U.S. label printing companies with annual sales revenues of $2 million or higher are producing what qualify as flexible packaging applications on their narrow web presses (for the purpose of this research initiative ‘narrow web’ was defined as 26˝ or less). Research across printed packaging sectors indicates that average job sizes / run sizes in the flexible packaging space are decreasing at a more rapid rate than any other sector. SKU proliferation, just-in-time manufacturing pressures and increased promotions continue to drive run size contraction rates for converters of labels, flexible packaging, folding carton and corrugated, however flexible packaging converters report sharpest job size declines.
The APR Narrow Web Flexible Packaging Survey asked converters to indicate their most significant day-to-day production challenges when it comes to printing flexible packaging on their narrow web presses. Registration issues on press was ranked number one, with converters repeatedly citing that tension control was their most significant pain point. Ink adhesion was cited as the next most significant challenge and the Summit’s presenters addressed both of these areas, as well as other challenges converters face in converting flexible packaging applications on an inline press.
Following the day’s presentations, attendees were able to witness a six-color, CMYK flexible packaging application running on a Bobst M5 flexo press, installed at APR’s Technical Center. The application included a double hit of opaque white on 50 micron clear BOPP employing UV LED inks.
Dave Nieman, president and CEO of APR, comments, “Our inaugural Narrow Web Flexible Packaging Summit has received outstanding feedback from attending suppliers and converters. A lot of hard work went into planning the event and I want to thank all of our attendees for coming, and to say a special thanks to our supplier presenters. Narrow web flexible packaging is an area where traditional label converters are hungry for knowledge and APR has positioned itself as a trusted technical resource that can help label printers as they enter and become active in this growing niche.”
More information can be found at www.teamflexo.com.
The preceding press release was provided by a company unaffiliated with packagePRINTING. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of the staff of packagePRINTING.