The March 2022 edition of the GravurExchange
Your source for news for the Gravure Industry!
The Place to Network!
April 4-5: Executive Leadership Conference Global Summit
The conference agenda covers three business themes: Monday “Leadership and Operational Excellence, ” Tuesday starts off with “Financial Analysis and Market Outlook” and winds down with “The Future of Manufacturing and the Roll-to-Roll Industry.” Well, this is your chance to combine touring the NASCAR Hall of Fame and seeing your fellow Printer/Converter Industry members. The Executive Leadership Conference is a “Members 0nly” event. Look forward in seeing you there! 2022 Executive Leadership Conference (aimcal.org)
Gravure Virtual Basics Webinar May 10-11
The GAA second-annual Virtual “Gravure Basics” Webinar will be held May 10-11. The program is designed to explain the gravure market segments and the press components and materials used in the printing process. Speakers are all experts in their respected areas with many years of experience. Training is four hours each day. $299 for members and $399 for non-members.
“Gravure Printing and Converting Corner”
DOCTOR-BLADE SYSTEM CHALLENGES FOR WIDE-WEB CYLINDER METERING – Part 2: Force Control
Wide-web décor printing, coating, and hot-melt gravure applications can have doctor blades with lengths greater than 100 in. (254 cm). When doctor blades are that long, setting them correctly and consistently to achieve effective metering can be more difficult as slight variations will be compounded over the length of the blade. Part One of this article focused on challenges with setting the doctor blade at an appropriate position and angle. This month will highlight the challenges of force control.
Many blade systems, especially on older presses, are mechanically actuated. That is, a manual hand crank is used to move the doctor blade into position and meter the cylinder. The fundamental flaw with this mechanism for doctor-blade control is that there is no way to measure or repeat the amount of force being applied to the doctor blade. Narrow- and mid-web blade systems with mechanical actuation can be effective with good operator training. However, with wide-web applications, it is more difficult to gauge the amount of mechanical force being applied and, most of the time, too much force is used. The extra force over-deflects the doctor blade resulting in flat blade angles, poor metering performance, and increased doctor-blade and cylinder wear. An upgrade to mechanically actuated systems is pneumatics.
Pneumatic air cylinders of appropriate size and quantity coupled to an engineered control system will provide repeatable doctor-blade force that is easily controlled, measured, and recorded.
Regardless of actuation method, mechanical or pneumatic, it is critical in wide-web applications that the doctoring force is applied uniformly across the entire face of the gravure cylinder. Applying force with one or two mechanical mechanisms or pneumatic cylinders located randomly somewhere on the system will not result in an even distribution of force over a 100-in. (254-cm) or greater span. Uneven force distribution over the span of the doctor blade could result in print-density variations across the web.
A good wide-web doctor-blade system will be actuated by multiple, appropriately sized, pneumatic cylinders to provide even force distribution. In addition, the pneumatic-cylinder controls need to be engineered to deliver smooth, predictable motion that doesn’t slam the blade onto the cylinder. If your blade system doesn’t currently have these features, it may be time to investigate how to achieve them.
April GravurExchange with have Bill Warner’s conclusion to his article on DOCTOR BLADE SYSTEM CHALLENGES FOR WIDE-WEB CYLINDER METERING – Part 3: Efficient blade changes.
USPS information for the direct mailer segment
Highlights from the March 9th USPS Industry Alert:
As passed by the House and Senate, the key elements of the Postal Service Reform Act are that it eliminates the unfair, outdated, and burdensome retiree health-benefit prefunding requirement, and it integrates the retiree health-benefit program with Medicare in a manner that is fully consistent with private-sector best practices. The bill also formalizes the obligation to deliver mail and packages six days per-week through an integrated delivery network, and includes accountability, transparency and reporting requirements.
This legislation was an important component of the Delivering for America 10-Year Strategic Plan, which was announced in March 2021. Together with the operational reforms that are also a part of that Plan, the Postal Service will be able to achieve its two primary goals of financial sustainability and service excellence.
Further information about the necessity and merits of this postal reform is contained in the factsheet at the link below:
Highlights from the March 18th USPS Industry Alert:
The 2022 National Postal Forum (NPF) Catalog is available for download in digital format. You can access it HERE.
The catalog outlines the NPF schedule of events and educational offerings taking place May 15-18, 2022, at the Phoenix Convention Center. Included in the catalog are an overview of the Postmaster General’s Keynote Address, the Executive Leadership team and Postal Officer sessions, and the five workshop tracks with all workshops listed. You will find information on two certification courses being offered this year: Executive Mail Center Manager, and Mail Design Professional. The NPF Exhibit Hall will feature more than 100 booths, a consultation area, and the Mailing Industry Resource Pavilion. Many networking events are available including Peer-to-Peer, the Welcome Reception, Postal Customer Council Reception, Exhibitors Reception, and the Closing Event. NPF is the premier shipping and mailing conference of the year. To find out more details about NPF, refer to the catalog and share with colleagues.
Facing the Future Together is May 15-18, 2022 in Phoenix, AZ.
Time is running out to enter the 2022 Golden Cylinder Awards.
Entries are accepted until May 7, 2022.
There are four primary award categories that reflect the best execution of the Gravure-printing process and supporting innovations: A. PACKAGING AND LABEL, with nine sub-categories; B. PRODUCT, with eight sub-categories; C. PUBLICATION, with 10 sub-categories; and D. TECHNICAL INNOVATION, with eight sub-categories; for a total of 35 categories.
To learn more and see past winners: Golden Cylinder Awards – GAA.
To download the entry form, go to GAA-Golden-Cylinder-Awards-2022-Form.pdf
Observations by Tony Donato
In walking the aisles of my local grocery store, I noticed one of the major snack-food brands has moved from using a plastic bag to market a variety pack to a folding carton. I also was surprised when I bought a box of pancake mix and upon opening the box to find no inner bag. I got a puff of mix in my face; the mix was directly loaded into the carton.
These are both examples where brand owners are listening to consumers and reducing the use of plastic in packaging. Whether this is good or bad is not my point; the packaging changes are impacting printing processes, substrates, inks and supply chains. My point is, we need to do what we can to add our voices to the conversation. Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org your thoughts and suggestions to be printed in the April 2022 GravurExchange.
With continued disruptions to worldwide supply chains and now the war in Ukraine, brand owners are forced to move printing work from country to country, and this is causing brand-owner concerns with controlling color from process to process and printing facility to printing facility. CxF Color Exchange Format is a way to control color with digital data. CxF has been discussed for 20 years now but is more than ever being seen as more important than ever. At the March Brand Owners Counsel meeting, a number of the BO delegates expressed using CxF data and not color chips; this will also reduce the need for “proofs” and give them a means to control color. Are you ready to use CxF data?
I have been invited to speak at the Brand Owners May 2022 meeting to present what changes have been made to improve gravure workflow. Please send me your thoughts and suggestions at email@example.com.
To try to catch up for the lost year, we have closed the class of 2021 and will announce them at the R2R Conference 2022 R2R USA Conference (aimcal.org) along with the class of 2022. It is time to nominate your colleagues or those who you consider the people who have helped advanced the knowledge of the Gravure industry to the Cylinder Society Class of 2022. Gravure Cylinder Society members are men and women chosen by our industry to be honored for their contributions to the gravure processes measured in accomplishments and years of service. Some members are actively involved in activities throughout the year that promote and support gravure. Hubert Metzger is the Cylinder Society Chair will take the stage and address the importance and relevance of the Cylinder Society at the AIMCAL Executive Leadership Conference. Nominations for the year class of 2022 must be received no later than August 26th, 2022. See the list of Cylinder Society members at: Cylinder Society Members – GAA The nomination form is available for download: gaa.org/download/2022-golden-cylinder-nomination/
“Ask the Gravure Experts” is a feature where members from the GAA Committee will review your question and reply directly to you and publish the question-and-answer in the next issue of GravurExchange. One of the important benefits of being part of an association is the ability to network with members, and the “Ask the Gravure Experts” provides the opportunity to all readers of the GravurExchange to network. Send your question, subject line: “Gravure Experts” to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are looking for new employees or are looking for employment, we encourage you to use the new resources on the AIMCAL website: (Jobs (aimcal.org). Members may post jobs at NO CHARGE. We invite you to see how easy it is to post jobs online today! To maximize your job posting, you should also post on the GAA website at Job Openings | Gravure Association of Americans (gaa.org)
Thanks to all who have renewed their membership. The following link will help all to understand how to make use of the valuable benefits available from being a member of AIMCAL. Video Walk Through of Login Process + Member Resources.
University and College Gravure Day: This program helps students understand all the industry segments that use the Gravure process and provides awareness of all the careers in printing and converting. Interested in holding a “Gravure Day?” Email email@example.com, subject line: “Gravure Day.”
GAA Services, Training and Products:
On-site Training/On-site Consulting:
Bob Kikkert and Mike Gaffney are ready to help with on-site and/or hybrid virtual training and consulting. Those in need of these services, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org using subject line: “Consultant Services.”
The Gravure Textbook Sale Continues:
We continue to receive orders for the Gravure Process and Technology and the Gravure Specifications and Tolerances (GST) textbooks. They can be purchased at Shop (www.aimcal.org)
Members continue to use the online gravure training program. There are four levels of Certification training. Information and registration for all four levels are available at https://gaa.org/services/training/online-gravure-certification-training/. Special Member pricing has been established for the certifications. For pricing and to register, email email@example.com and use subject line: “Certification.”
Want to become a member?