Understanding the tools needed to optimize the flexographic printing process were highlighted in a recent packagePRINTING webinar, "The Keys to Flexo Success: How to Optimize Your Company’s Printing," sponsored by BOBST. The discussion was led by Richard Black, VP business development, All Printing Resources, and Paul Dombrowski, an ROI analyst.
Black began the event by explaining that the flexo industry has seen some significant changes in the past five to 10 years, rendering it almost an entirely new industry. According to Black, flexographic presses can rival any other printing process for a variety of reasons. He explained that flexo has increased its print speeds and that there are new screening technologies and density improvements, as well as extended color gamut available, which gives package printers the flexibility to offer customers more options. However, one of the most significant developments, Black explained, are the new press designs and their high levels of automation.
In addition to highlighting the latest in flexographic technology, Black detailed some of the keys to getting the most out of any flexo platform. Those keys are:
- Working with a good partner
- Performing the required research
- Completing necessary tests and trials
- Using references, such as the Flexographic Technical Association's Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications & Tolerances (FIRST).
Overall, he said that a systematic approach is key to optimizing the flexo printing process.
Dombrowski followed up Black's presentation with an explanation of ROI analysis, starting with a basic definition of the terminology.
"ROI analysis is the process to determine the cost, benefits and cash flows for investing in new equipment," he said.
Dombrowski then covered the three tools for analysis — job data analysis, which helps "investigate the 'current state'" of the business by examining the equipment; a total cost of ownership (TCO) instrument, which "simulates the 'future state'" of the business by running current jobs through the equipment to calculate running costs and capacity for a new press compared to current presses; and the net present value analysis, which allows the user to "forecast cash flows."
To illustrate the ROI analysis calculation, Dombrowski moved through an in-depth example of the process using an ROI analysis tool to show how each step in the process works together to identify the ROI.
To learn more about the flexographic press optimization process and how to calculate a return on investment, listen to the entire webinar here. Or, if you're interested in exploring the other educational webinars available, click here.