Home' FLEXO iQ : Year End 2016 Contents 2 FLEXO iQ 2016 | ISSUE 4
year of FLEXO
iQ is in the books.
As you can read
in this issue, a lot
happened in the
past 365 days:
drupa 2016 and Labelexpo Americas 2016
came and went, bringing hundreds of
thousands of printing community members
together at each event to get a glimpse
of the future. Flexography continued to
solidify its hold on package printing, as
processes like gravure go from rivals to
complementary. And sustainability became
further ingrained in the minds of consumers
and printers alike.
Look for year three of FLEXO iQ to continue
its mission as the “multiprocess printing and
converting blueprint,” examining a world of
options that place flexography at the center.
See you next year!
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Jay Kaible, ext. 20
CREATIVE SERVICES MANAGER
VIEW THIS ISSUE ONLINE NOW AT
YEAR END 2016, VOLUME 2, NO. 4
Looking For ward,
2017 Forecasts; 2016 in Review
Ihave two TVs in my house. One is in my living room and the
other is in my bedroom. The living room TV is nearly six years
old, a 47-in. LED set that, while lacking in features and specs
compared to what’s available today, is more than fine for watch-
ing Netflix, Hulu and the like. (Now is probably a good time to
mention I have worn glasses since the third grade and have not
had an eye exam in three years.)
The other TV, in my bedroom, is downright archaic. It is a 37-in.
Sharp plasma TV I bought in 2002. Let that sink in for a second.
A 37-in. TV—14 years ago, that was absolutely monstrous; last
Black Friday, the guy across the street from me put a 55-in. TV in his garage to watch while he
barbecues. Sharp no longer even makes TVs for the U.S. (they license the name to a Chinese
company) and the last plasma set built by anybody was two years ago. And in 2002 I was 15
years old—this TV is basically half my age!
So it is an understatement to say I’ve been feeling the itch to replace the old guy, especially this
time of year, with Black Friday sales, holiday and post holiday deals, and impending Super
Bowl offers. It is that unrelenting pace of technological progression, delivering new features
and bleeding edge upgrades, combined with savvy marketing, designed to make even a new
color choice feel like a revelation, working in tandem to coax your credit card out from the
dark recesses of your wallet.
As a FLEXO iQ reader, maybe you’re feeling that itch, too. Between the press, ancillary
equipment, entirely new hardware and software, machines that exist only to monitor other
machines—there’s more to upgrade than ever before. Maybe it was one of the many digital
corrugated presses on the floor at drupa, whispering in your ear to leave the world of analog
and join the “light” side (light being white ink, of course). Maybe it was the next generation of
digital label presses at Labelexpo Americas, with faster speeds and more consistent print quali-
ty. Maybe it is the thought of your competitors getting a leg up and leaving you to catch up.
Whatever the reason, forecasts say you wouldn’t be shopping alone: A recent report from
Research and Markets has digital printing growing at just under 13 percent annually for the
next decade. Its valuation is going to quadruple, from $10.14 billion last year to more than $42
billion by 2026.
Perhaps, then, the question is not “if ” but “when”—When is the right time to make a pur-
chase? Trade shows—in my case, the Consumer Electronics Show; in yours, INFO*FLEX or
drupa or Labelexpo—make that tricky, as they are routinely where companies announce what
they will be bringing to market in the near future, making the decision to buy now or wait
even more nerve wracking.
What’s a potential customer to do? The secret is to consider what the market is urging and
what trends are indicating and what CPCs want and what competitors are doing, and put them
on a list. Then, write your needs at the top of that list. Because at the end of the day, if buying a
new machine doesn’t jive with what is happening at your plant, why the heck would you do it?
Or if there is a potentially amazing upgrade coming in the future, but you need a solution yes-
terday, why limp along on hopes a manufacturer hits
their targeted ship date? The best way to minimize
cognitive dissonance from a purchase is to be sure it
meets real needs.
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