Feast for flexography

8 February 2005

"Quality is a given for flexo," remarks FFP's Robin Chudley in the Plant of the Month story in this issue. And nowhere is that going to be more obvious than at flexo 2005, when its doors open next month.

Western European flexo packaging converters need far more than top quality production to be sustainable, yet alone successful, in today's cut- throat environment and in a climate where materials costs have rocketed over the last couple of years. Last month we sadly saw yet another top quality and innovative converter enter administration (Parkside).

So just what is the answer for the medium and independent converting business in a world dominated by the giant efficiency of global companies, global customers and global movement of converted materials from lower cost production areas? Indeed, is there an answer?

Certainly FFP is making much more than a good stab at it. Rapid response for local customers represents a real USP and the prepress in-house resources are eye opening at the Northampton company. I don't like to use the word niche production because Robin Chudley's company is broader based than that (niche can be risky too), but the added value is there in a dedication to materials technology and lamination.

Keeping the eye firmly on the ball of retailer and food production company requirements, maintaining close relationships with both sectors and planning investment and development around those needs is important. But so too is knowing what your costs are and when to say "no" on price or a job.

Efficiency plays an important role in any plant. So too does an open mind on newer technology such as the potential role of digital print. Book a day or two from March 15 –17 to see the technology on offer at flexo 2005. And check out the T2M Advisory Centre (Time to Market).

It just might give you that edge we all need in today's climate.

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