• Legendary AFL coach David Parkin (left) and Mark Easton, FPLMA president.
    Legendary AFL coach David Parkin (left) and Mark Easton, FPLMA president.
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The 2018 FPLMA conference has kicked off, with automation and integration the key for the flexo and label printers attending the two day event in Melbourne.

 

Speaking to PKN just before the conference opened this morning, FPLMA president Mark Easton said the two day event is an important part of the flexo and label industry. He said, “In today's world we need to ensure we are keeping up with trends in business, in technology, and in society as they impact on packaging. This year's conference has a terrific line up of speakers which will address those issues clearly."

 

Opening the conference at the Crown Promenade, Easton told the delegates the industry was now operating in a world where the internet was dictating the pace of change, and digital technology was enabling new opportunities and sweeping all before it.

 

Easton's comments came in the same week when it was revealed that digital and hybrid label presses were now selling more than traditional analogue label presses for the first time.

 

Easton said, “Automation and integration are the keys to the future. Label and flexo printing systems are already able to connect to complementary production areas such as CRM, prepress, finishing, scheduling. We are also able to integrate directly into the end customer.

 

“Customer demands will increase, especially the need for speed of turnaround - automation and integration will enable label and flexo printers to meet that requirement and exploit opportunities.”

 

First speaker was legendary AFL coach David Parkin, who spoke on leadership and strategy. He quoted the head of VicRail who on his appointment told his 800 managers that they were 10 per cent a steel business and 90 per cent a people business. Parkin highlighted the need for company leaders to focus on people, both their own staff and their customers.

 

Parkin said his most successful time as an AFL coach was when his players took ownership of the team. He said the best company leaders were those that were perceived to be focused on developing their staff.

 

He also spoke on the importance of mental and physical health in company leaders, asking how many of the attendees had done a workout this morning, which revealed the alarming statistic that only two had.

 

The FPLMA conference has speakers from both Australia and overseas, including several from Europe, coming form companies including MPS, BST, HP, Sun Chemical, UPM Raflatac, Esko, GMS Pacific, Kayell, LasX, Bobst and Xeikon.

 

Also speaking is Andy Thomas, strategic director of Tarsus, who will examine the growing crossover between labels and flexo.

 

The conference will finish with the annual label and flexo awards ceremony on Friday night.

 

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