APR recently commissioned LPC, INC. to conduct an intensive market survey of Narrow Web Flexible Packaging printers. The survey intent was to identify production parameters, identify pain points associated with printing flexible packaging and to gauge annual growth for the Narrow Web Flexible Packaging sector. APR held a Narrow Web Flexible Packaging Summit where the results of the survey were presented. The "pain points" that were identified by the survey were addressed by a panel of industry speakers. This link will allow you access to the presentations: https://www.teamflexo.com/news/nwfps-recap/ (Registration required.)

Flexible Packaging was determined to be the largest growth sector of Narrow Web Printing. Growing at a rate of 9.73% annually. Of the printers surveyed 25% are expecting Flexible Packaging growth of more than 15% annually. This market segment will represent  a significant part of Narrow Web companies growth moving forward. It may also represent an opportunity for Narrow Web companies to diversify from the traditional narrow web products of tags and labels. The challenge being to print non traditional narrow web materials on in-line presses while maintaining print quality and registration. Extensible, unstable substrates present challenges narrow web printers do not usually encounter with pressure sensitive and tag materials.

BOBST has developed a line of in-line presses that are designed to get narrow web printers into the Flexible Packaging segment or help move them forward in the segment. The Bobst M5 is designed for labels and flexible packaging. With web widths up to 25" and speeds up to 650 fpm this press is a multi-tasker between pressure sensitive and flexible films excelling on short runs and changeovers. The Bobst M8 is the most recent high speed in-line packaging production press. With a relatively small footprint, web widths up to 42.125" and speeds up to 1300 fpm with options for ink systems and drying systems this press opens opportunity for growth in the Flexible Packaging segment. APR is proud to partner with BOBST. You can see the BOBST M5 and M1 in operation at APR's demo center in Glendale Heights, IL.

APR formed our Technical Solutions Group (TSG) to encompass a full range of expertise in all critical areas of the flexo process. This team is made up of industry professionals who are dedicated to being up to date on new technologies, armed with the last in diagnostic tools, and experienced in problem solving that can achieve sustainable results. All of the TSG team members are FIRST Level III certified. Dan Muthig has over 29 years experience in narrow to wide web flexo.

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