A very successful GAA Technical Forum took place earlier this month at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater Beach, FL. A range of topics were discussed including cylinder remake, printed electronics, security inks, short-run gravure, workplace preparedness in the wake of natural disasters and much more. Highlights included:
Rochester Institute of Technology Prof. Bob Eller shared some compelling information relative to "Breakthrough - Cost Reduction." Interestingly enough, gravure printers that engrave "in-house" are in the exact cost model as that of flexographic printing. What's amazing is they are approximately $0.05 less per sq/in. than flexo that uses third-party manufacturing. Eller further explained how Design of Experiments (DOE) is a proven methodology for accelerating development, and reducing the cost of experimentation. Obviously, the benefit of the DOE is Total Cost Reductions...which make gravure much more competitive.
One of the presenters for The Innovative Incubator session was Johnny Stamey, who offered some intriguing information about Preventative Maintenance (aka PM, TPM). If you missed this, you missed out on some valuable lessons; especially just how much breakdown maintenance costs when compared to preventative maintenance. Audience feedback was overwhelmingly positive; three members ask if we could do an entire session on TPM in the future.
With all the discussion resulting from Prof. Eller's compelling information on cylinder costs, many were tuned in to Lee Oakley's presentation on RotoHybrid cylinders. The European grant for the advanced technical development will definitely be appreciated here in the US. It will be exciting to see the growth model of Hybrid Chrome Replacement (HCR). Some of the wiping characteristics, and ink-cost savings thus far appear to be very attractive.
Todd Luman from Interprint also echoed the professor's findings. Todd gave a presentation on in-house cylinder engraving, which is their model in Pittsfield, MA. One of Todd's concepts is "Thinking Differently," and it contained a simple quote by rebound professor Alfred Dupont Chandler, Jr., which reads, "You can't do today's job with yesterday's methods and still be in business tomorrow."
Joe Steingraeber with Enulec gave a well explained presentation about "Static Charge Accumulation." This is something we don't often hear the frontline team talking about in the War Room when tackling difficult print jobs. Joe explained how Enulec's patented technology "Roto Green" drastically eliminates these critical challenges.
Rod Sosa with Fresco grabbed the audience's attention regarding Short-Run Gravure when he shared what Fresco considers short: >3,000 meters. For Fresco, a long run is <15,000 meters. These run lengths result in run times of only 15 to 60 mins. There is one thing Rod made clear: If you're going to compete in this segment, it will serve you well to examine three main areas - Crewing, Technology, and Standard Work. SOPs and Production Scheduling play a major role in a short-run gravure printer's success.
JD Harris gave another update on the continued development of Training & Consulting offered by GAAmericas. Training development and consulting is growing exponentially each year as members learn the exact nature and value offered by the associaton. In July-August, JD and Phil Pimlott spent 20 days in Melbourne, Australia, performing in-house Operator Certification, and Fingerprinting their process.
The Forum closed with an interactive forum/presentation that definitely hit close to home. While Clearwater might not have been impacted severely by the recent hurricane, much of Florida did. Our interactive forum definitely raised awareness as it relates to Business Continuity Planning and Risk Management. It was mentioned by more than one audience member that often times customers, and potential customers, require BCPs for business contracts, or RFP/RFQs.
To be part of the planning for the 2018 GAA Technical Forum, contact Pamela Schenk at email@example.com, www.gaa.org