Previously, no industry segment-wide group had existed to develop universal communication guidelines or conformance evaluation criteria (conformance schemas) for the package printing industry. Rather, many consumer products companies (CPCs) developed their own unique set of rules, which required a printer to follow different rules for each CPC they supported, often forcing them to purchase particular tools, or specific testing, for each. Printers will benefit from the work of this group with a savings in time and resources via requirements and evaluation criteria that have been developed in a common format. Measurement equipment manufacturers will also benefit from common measurement requirements for their products.
"We are delighted to be able to fill this role for the industry, and do so in support of aligning the value chain," advises NPES president Thayer Long.
With the advent of digital printing and other advancements in the printing industry, the supply chain environment will change rapidly. While exciting, without a collective group getting information into the right hands it has the potential to be chaotic. One of the objectives for this new Council is to develop a clear and concise synopsis of standard group activities that will be of value to brand owners.
The inaugural meeting of the Brand Owners Council was held on January 10, 2017, and it included representatives from Kimberly Clark, Pepsi Co., and Diageo. The meeting addressed the creation of a schema that brand owners can provide to their supply chain partners, which will require them to have proper viewing conditions, calibrated and verified instruments, and defined and repeatable workflows. This work will be based on ISO 19303-1 Graphic Technology — Guidelines for Schema Writers— Part 1: Packaging printing, one of the ISO standards that NPES is working to develop as an international standard.
"This is an exciting opportunity for CPCs to provide aligned input on their requirements to their supply chain through industry standards," states Council chairman Steve Smiley, president, SmileyColor and Associates. "It will improve the printers' ability to match a global requirement through effective communication, and align many brands to a similar workflow through communication, metrology and standards, reducing cost for supply chain partners."