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Flexo Sustainable : Fall 2013
aging is a continual process. We have seen a number of challenges in the manufacturing process when it comes to how sustainable materials like biopolymers perform. In the beginning, early-stage biopolymers did not machine well, due to poor coefficient of friction, making them tacky and prone to tears on the production line. By working closely with the manufacturer, PCG was able to: • Shepherd the evolution of biopolymers that would perform better on forming ploughs to reduce tearing • Make the biopolymers softer and more subtle to the touch to reduce flex cracking—particularly impor- tant in the manufacturing of food packaging prod- ucts in which a strong barrier is required to keep food fresh and improve shelf life • Better Functioning Machines. Providing more sustainable products has led to a number of unforeseen improve- ments in the printing and packaging manufacturing process. A great example was discovered during the examination of seal characteristics. By switching from plastic packaging materials to biopolymers, the pack- age is able to seal at a lower temperature—enabling machines to run faster at lower temperatures. These improved speeds also improved throughputs, creating less wear and tear on the equipment. And be- cause the machines could seal at cooler temperatures, money is saved on utilities—an added benefit no one had anticipated. While striving to lose nothing in quality, the hallmark of a truly sustainable operation is one in which all materials are themselves completely reusable and recyclable. When every- thing in use, from paper to polymer, satisfies these require- ments, nothing goes to waste. n About the Author: Dan Brulz is vice president of Precision Col- or Graphics (PCG), a Wisconsin-based packaging company, recognized as a pioneer in quality services and products for prepress, printing and packaging needs. It is also a leader in compostable and sustainable packaging. In 2012, PCG was awarded certification by the Biodegradable Products Institute for its patented Ecoterah multi-layer packag- ing. For additional information, contact Brulz at 414-209-0808 or visit www.preci- sioncolor.com. Flexible, low Maintenance, Earth Friendly & Efficient The Positive Impact of UV lED By Gregory S. Palm Printingusingultraviolet(UV)sensitiveinksandacuring lamp has been around since the 1960s. UV curing, then, as today, offers the ability to produce high-gloss effects and add resistance to chemicals, thereby enhancing resistance to rub-off and scratching. Furthermore, the process continues to prove its true flexibility in terms of the vast array of substrates that can be printed upon. Most presses today still use 1960s technology, in the form of mercury lamp systems, to gain these benefits. That prompts the question: “Has the technology failed to evolve and change with the times?” It would be presumptive to answer this question for every printer and press floor. Suspect, however, that part of the issue lies in the fact that there is a barrier to adoption that all new technologies face. Many converters believe that newer technologies have not yet shown that they have the sort of impact that justifies their cost. This article aims to help dispel that myth, particularly with regard to newer UV Laser Emitting Diode (LED) systems, which have a significant positive impact on productivity, on the environment and on converter capabilities. Adoption of the newest UV LED systems (Figure 1) is likely to become more widespread as it becomes apparent that they can easily clear this invisible barrier to adoption. 2014 Sustainability Excellence Awards Competition Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) is pleased to announce that it is accepting entries for the 2014 Sustain- ability Excellence Awards. As an evolution of FTA’s Environ- mental Excellence Award, this revised program will now take into account all three pillars of sustainability—People, Planet and Profit. Since 2000, FTA has been recognizing companies for pioneering efforts in developing innovative processes, products and management approaches that have had a positive impact on the environment. Taking that one step further, the new award criteria will evaluate entries on the implications for people and profits. The competition will be judged in two categories: • Sustainability Programs • Innovations in Sustainability Entries are being accepted through Dec. 31, 2013. WhO CaN ENTER? The Sustainability Excellence Award program is open to any stakeholder in the flexo printing supply chain—FTA member or not. This includes printers, suppliers, design- ers, prepress providers, educational facilities and print buyers. SEE PaST ENVIRONMENTal ExCEllENCE aWaRD WINNERS Profiles of winners, like 2013’s Paragon label and Global Packaging appear in the pages of FTA’s FlExO and Sustainable FlExO Magazines. 8 Sustainable FLEXO FAll 2013 www.flexomag.com www.flexomag.com FAll 2013 Sustainable FLEXO 9 Figure 1: Traditional Mercury lamp and a UV lED array Photos: Mark Andy Green Team At Paragon Label,Petaluma, CA,thegoalis to influ- ence andinspire employees, customers, visitors and the communityto getinvolvedin their own sustain- abilitypractices. The company’s philosophyis as much about howpeople treat each other as it is abouthowtheytreat the plan et . Located in the wine-country andlaunched in 1998, as a divi- sion ofMrs. Grossman’s, one of the largestdecorative sticker manufacturers in the world,Paragon Labelis a family-owned company specializingin printingfine qualitypressure-sensi- tive labels. It has been an activeFlexographic TechnicalAs- sociation member for 20years. The firm runs five flexographic presses, a digitalpress, a one -of-a-kindlaser-cutting system and state-of-the-art foil and embossingpresses. Being recognizedfor outstanding accomplishmentsis not new to Paragon. The companyhas won many major awards for printing excellence, includingtwo Best of Shows, seven gold medals, eightsilver medals and eight bronze medalsin FTA Excellence in FlexographyAwards competitions. Among other noteworthyaccolades, the firm has beenpresented with 10 leadershipawards for environmental and sustainable prac tic es. The most current honor captured—Paragontook topprize inFTA’s 2013 and13th AnnualEnvironmentalExcellence AwardsCompetition. And when Jason Grossman, president, acceptedthe award,April28 atFTA’s Annual Awards Ban- quet, it markedthe secondtime in three years that Paragon was singled out as topping the fieldin earth-friendlypro- cedures and precedent setting environmental stewardship policies and programs. Jason Grossman, president, ParagonLabel,accepts 2013 FTA EnvironmentalExcellence Award.HeisflankedbyFTA2013Forum Chairs BobMullen(left) and Pepper Stokes. 2 Sustainable FLEXO SPrinG 2013 www.flexomag.com “it is FTA that really got us involved and committed to being an environmentally friendly operation.” —J. Gross m an GO LD AWARD GO LD AWARD GO LD AWARD Global Packaging Sells Sustainability & Innovation Sales atGlobalPackaging con- tinue togrow each yearand our ability to sell sustainability and innovation to our customers accounts formuch ofthat growth!” TonyMagin- nis, CEO/owner ofGlobalPackaging is proud of the firm’s record andits proactive stance in promulgating environmental awareness on the part of employees, clients andthe commu- nity atlarge. His words conveyboth a passion for and commitment to greener printing and convertingpractices. MichaelFrost, the companypresidentis also delighted byGlobal’s accomplishments on the earth-friendly front. “Sustainabilityefforts eliminate waste, reducepackaging and lowerthecarbon footprint. We pass alongthe savings, helpingto reduce the cost to consumers. Brand owners are scoring supplierson sustainabilityand we expect to continue to earnhigh grades.” These efforts have not escaped notice. Clearly,the compa- ny’s pledgeto respect and sustain theenvironment starts from the top.Global Packaging achieves process improvements and increases employee engagementby involving all team members in monthly meetings withtheir supervisors. In small groups, they regularly discuss ways to operate more efficiently, meet customerdemand,improvequality, reduce waste and reuse or recycle materials. It’s been this way foryears. TonyMaginnis, CEO , Global Packaging. Two-timeFTAEnvironmental ExcellenceAwardWinner, Global Packaging, Oaks, PA , specializesin convertingbags, flexible packaging and stand-up pouches forthe consumerproduct, food, bakery, confectionary andpet food markets. 4 Sustainable FLEXO sPrinG 2013 www.flexomag.com “ “Brand owners are scoring suppliers on sustainability. We expect to continue to earn high grades.” —M . Frost