Premedia Companies Talk Business Priorities, Money Allocation, Plating, Screening and More in Flash Poll

Attracting new customers, meeting their needs, reinventing the business, adopting the latest technologies and automating any function possible—These universal requirements stand out as applicable to any business in any field; but they hold a special place in the packaging premedia service provider universe.

There, top priorities remain:

  • Building business
  • Allocating assets efficiently
  • Standardizing processes
  • Seizing new opportunities
  • Speeding product to market

FLEXO Magazine conducted a Flash Poll in the 30-day window of May 8 – June 6 that served to compile an on-the-record portrait of the state of flexo prepress. The audience consisted of all member and non-member trade shops holding a place in FTA’s database. In numbers, that equates to just fewer than 250 firms that support packaging design and development demand on a global basis.

The survey consisted of 17 straightforward questions. Overall response rate approached 33 percent (32.7 percent, to be precise). Significantly, a full 55 percent of FTA premedia service provider members offered insights. Seventeen percent of responses came from multi-site operations.

Revelations collected apply to a host of subjects ranging from investment strategies to simple business demographics and current challenges, and trending technologies to best practices, process controls, and standards and certifications.

Here is what they said. It highlights how actions being implemented today will better print tomorrow. Beginning with the customer base targeted, the survey works through most important print applications, manufacturing output, impactful trends, equipment wish lists, and tools of the trade and their use, then moves on to competitive positioning.

Customer Base

Sales & Support

Favored Class of Customer

Fifty-two percent of respondents indicated they focus the lion’s share of their marketing efforts on major and minor brand owners.

  • 19 percent target multi-site printers
  • 29 percent find small, regional printers most attractive
  • 56 percent cater to each of those groups on a regular basis

Business Segments

Work in-house supports all forms of packaging, with certain forms credited with higher and higher levels of increasing demand.

Hot Commodities

Most Important Packages

Specifically, 77 percent of premedia service providers described flexible packaging as the fastest growing and dominant force in their business. Shrink sleeves, a sub category in flexible packaging, garnered an additional 16 percent of votes. Corrugated placed second in impact, with 26 percent naming it as a rising star. Labels set the pace for 23 percent of the audience and folding carton drove the majority of production at 15 percent.

Manufacturing Line

Categorizing the Carriers

Better than 98 percent of the trade shops surveyed produce sheet photopolymer. Similarly: 36 percent make plates from liquid photopolymer; 35 percent produced continuous photopolymer sleeves, 29 percent made direct laser engraved (DLE) rubber/elastomer sleeves and 6 percent turned out molded rubber plates. Less than 2 percent worked in all those areas.

CMYK, Spot, EG?

What They Plate

Jobs taken in ranged from 4-color process to 4-color process plus spot, to expanded gamut (EG) work at 80 percent of sites polled. Eleven percent said they engage in supporting strictly 4-color process work. The same number, 11 percent, specialize in EG. Twenty-one percent noted they cater to 4-color process with spot color plate and sleeve demands.