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General Analysis of Gravure Printing Industry

Essay by   •  July 15, 2012  •  Case Study  •  3,145 Words (13 Pages)  •  1,736 Views

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Basic structure

Introduction, overview of the industry

About the company

Working procedure of the gravure printing

Discovery: the definition of the quality, procedures of quality control

Further discussion: key points in quality control (from the workforce to softwares applied), how management performs

Discovery: arranging the production, managing the low and peak season

Summery

The name of the company has been hidden.

Introduction

Specialized in manufacturing of gravure printing packages, C company Romania is famous in the industry. Globally speaking gravure printing and packaging service provider can be found in almost every country. The studies into marketing has already told people that the way how products are packed up has strong influence towards the consumer choice therefore the need for making prettier packages has always been a solid one.

While the global packaging market compromised 383 billion USD in 2000, the number increased to 540 billion USD in 2008 and is forecast to reach 800 billion USD by 2020. In 2008 the consumption of packaging materials in Western Europe was 338 USD per capita, and in Eastern Europe 108 USD. (1)With 21.5 million inhabitants, Romania is by far the most populated country in the region. However the share of gravure printing is at a low of 7%, while 27% of the flexible substrates remain unprinted and the rest 66% dominated by other printing solutions.(2)

About the company

C company Romania was established 10 years ago as the international companies begin to move their steps into the country. Although the development of the company moved under the expectation of the original plan, the efforts has been witnessed by the crowd and recognized as the best gravure packaging supplier in the country. In any case printing and packaging industry is like a mirror to the general development of one entire economy. Currently C company Romania is operating two printing presses and concentrating on providing gravure printing packages for different food producers such as candies, chocolates, soft drinks. And among the their customer list companies like Kraft Food, Unilever, Baneasa can be found. Yet it is a fact that the local market is not showing strong demand since most of the food producers turn to cheaper and lower quality solutions, therefore more than 70% of the company's total production goes to western Europe and Russia.

Despite the lag in the general development of industry and the time spent on logistics, the low operating cost in Romania permits C company to make good offers to its exporting customers and still maintain a good margin

Working procedure of gravure printing

To make good packages, it requires following the technical process strictly. Also good communication and quality control are the key points in the entire way to achieve it. After many years of continuous improvement the general workflow of the gravure printing is as follows:

The job starts from the graphic preparation, the prepared graphic files would be received from the design company to experience the printing preparation - this process is called Repro in the industry. Sometimes this step takes more than a couple of weeks since the designers do not necessarily understand the printing and there would be modifications to be made and confirmed. In this stage staffs keep in good communication with both final customers and the operating technicians.

The second stage is the preparation of raw materials which include engraving cylinder, foil and ink. The graphic repro goes into gravure cylinder preparation and at the same time the required kind of foil need to be in position since each job requires different dimension of plast foil which needs to be ordered accordingly. Also the production manager needs to check the stock of consumables such as solvent, ink and sealing glue.

As everything is prepared the third action comes to the printing press. Usually the presence of representatives from the final customer is required for printing effect confirmation.

Then after the foils have been printed out it goes to the laminating machine to be combined with other material, this step is usually required for food packaging since not all kinds of plastic foil can be in direct contact with the food. Then the laminated foils would be cut into single rolls which are ready to be used for packaging.

Discovery: the definition of the quality, procedures of quality control

Maintaining a high quality level is the key point for which C company Romania can keep their export marketing share. Customers from the western European countries would like to shift packaging supplier to them only if the same quality system can be carried on. In C company Romania the quality control system is strictly applied for during each step of the production process, which can be seen from a more detailed process map. In gravure printing industry the quality is described as achieving the required color effect, with all the color well synchronized and inks transferred at the proper density.

Early from the graphic Repro stage the quality system begins its step, as we discussed before the graphic works done by designers mostly do not fit the requirement of entering the printing process. Therefore the Repro mainly covers further file re-composing such as color separation, trapping and text effect changes. The repro specialist needs to keep constant communication with both the customer and the printing technician, upon the finishing of the repro job the customer needs to give formal confirmation upon the changes made during this stage - signing and stamping the color reference which would be used during the entire production.

The works then carries onto the preparation of gravure cylinders. But before the cylinders are going to be mounted onto the printing machines they need to be tested carefully - therefore a cylinder proof is made. The proof is one most important step before entering the production since the printing process is simulated during the proofing stage. The quality control staffs are supposed to follow a list to check the proofs to discover any defects on the cylinder and see if the effect of color reference can

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