With 2015 now upon us, prognosticators are dusting off their crystal balls to offer insight into what’s ahead. We take pride in knowing what the future holds for flexography and wanted to share the following thoughts from Anderson & Vreeland personnel.
Executive Vice President – Anderson & Vreeland, Inc.
“The flexo industry continues to make new and innovative advancements which are dramatically improving print quality, efficiencies, and shelf appeal. Some examples of these are enhanced prepress workflows, new computer-to-plate technologies, next-generation HD flexo plates, and pressroom productivity improvements with higher speed, faster changeover presses.
These improvements are making extended gamut printing affordable for more converters. Look for the adoption of this print process to continue to grow and have a substantial impact on the flexo market.
Improved color and printing performance offered by new digital and ink-jet technologies are driving convergence in printing. These emerging solutions offer improved print applications and new opportunities to profit and grow for converting shops in the future.
The combination of these newer technologies, along with a focus on process control and best practices, are all key drivers for organic growth in Flexo printing in 2015 and beyond.”
Howard B. Vreeland, Jr.
Chairman – Anderson & Vreeland, Inc.
“The outlook for flexography in 2015 is promising. Applications for flexo continue to grow as improvements in quality and efficiency are realized. Innovative advancements including extended gamut flexo, combined with improved plate materials and better use of digital printing, are creating new and expanded opportunities.
The industry is becoming more knowledgeable with educational opportunities like FIRST certification provided by the FTA/FFTA, and A&V is proud to be part of the expansion of high school and college flexo programs contributing to higher learning in the workforce.”
Jessica Harkins Harrell
Technologies Manager – Anderson & Vreeland, Inc.
“The flexo market will continue to grow in areas such as flexible packaging, stand-up pouches, and high-quality labels. Some facets of the flexo market that will really improve communication and product development will be increased options in both virtual and tangible prototyping, as well as color-accurate proofing methods. Also important are on-press or press-side color verification and score-carding – these tools will help improve quality control and set measurable benchmarks for repeat jobs.”
Digital Business Manager – Anderson & Vreeland, Inc.
“From the digital team’s perspective, 2015 is the year for understanding and promoting integration for production as a whole. There are all these great solutions and technologies from all over the world to improve product manufacturing. There are virtually no limits to what we can do to improve quality, margins, etc.
We see digital’s relevance in 2015 being credited to understanding where our customers want to go. From there, we have all the relevant connectors from a hardware and software perspective to provide the best fit solution.
On the grander scale, our industry has a sound pulse. Everything continues to look healthy. Digital Presses, Digital Front Ends, and Expanded Gamut/Ink optimization are products that are going to get a lot of attention. That’s going to create economic incentives inviting us to invest. It’s all great stuff.”
AVantage Business Manager – Anderson & Vreeland, Inc.
Continued Growth of Liquid Photopolymer
“As 2014 comes to a close, the flexo printing industry continues to be robust and healthy with a bright future ahead. This is based upon a continual migration from offset, lithographic, gravure, and other various printing processes. With the advent of digital technology, advancements in polymer plates, coupled with the improved quality of print with water-based inks, it will only strengthen this market as compared to the other processes. As an added bonus, this upgrade in printing can be achieved at a much lower cost than the other technologies. The substantially lower costs associated with flexo in terms of materials, presses, and inks, will only solidify its place as a viable and respected printing process moving forward.
In the corrugated printing industry, the trend will continue to be directed toward liquid photopolymer economic benefits, along with its smaller carbon footprint. Water wash photopolymer will also show significant growth over solvent wash photopolymer in other markets such as labels, flexible film, and folding carton driven by these same environmental benefits. This is not to say that solvent processed photopolymer will also not show significant growth in many markets. The overall message with any of these options is that the flexo printing process will remain as a reliable and technologically advanced printing process for the foreseeable future.”
Director of Sales – Anderson & Vreeland Canada ULC
“The continuing trend in Canada will be the interest in digital presses in the label space as well as a continued move to water wash plates. Another growth area that shows no sign of letting up is an interest in the A&V Technology team services. Canadian clients are experiencing the value improvements, troubleshooting expertise, and knowledge that has never been available north of the border until now. Our list of clients that have requested the assistance of Jessica and A&V’s Technologies Team is growing and we have already requested double the amount of visits to Canada in 2015.”
So there you have it. Flexographic printing will continue to grow in 2015 and provide profitable opportunities for converters that transition their businesses to adjust to the new dynamics reshaping the industry.