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FLEXO Magazine : January 2009
PLANTS & PROCESSES Today the label group runs mostly flexo presses. “We have 10 presses on our main production floor and a digital press in our secured production area,” said Moffett. It’s most recent purchas- es—four in the last eight years—have all been UV presses. He proclaimed that the company isn’t deterred by the higher cost of UV inks, as his operators take good advantage of the reduced setup times the technology afford. The company still runs many of its old water-based Webtrons and Comco presses, even though some of them are as much as 15 years old. These machines, despite the fact some having as much as eight color stations, are all remanded to mostly running line work. “The newer presses do a better job of running process. The older ones just don’t hold register like the newer ones. And cus- tomers are always redesigning labels with higher expectations for print color. The old presses just can’t do that.” The company’s newest purchase was an eight-color MPS EF. According to Moffett, he and the Meyers team had embarked on a two-year journey to select its next press. “We went to nearly ev- ery press manufacturer there was, at all their facilities, sometimes twice,” he said. The final selling point for him: “The ease of use, print quality and solid press construction. It is a simple transition going from an older Mark Andy to the MPS.” Moffett explained that some of the really high-end presses he and his crew considered were a lot more complicated to run. “Plus, this is servo driven. It presets registration. Once all the cylinders are in press you hit a button and it’s in register within a roll of dots. You still dial in the plate impression. But the impres- sion roller has a rubber cover on it so it is a little more forgiving. The print quality is pretty fantastic, too.” Another feature thatMoffett highlighted was the parking and rail system, in which various converting units—including die-cutting, foil stamping, etc.—can be rolled in and out of position. Multi-layer constructs are a specialty of the Meyers crew. The firm works with a number of different customers, including Microsoft, to build video game promotional cards featuring free trial/variable data codes. It involves multiple layers laminated together with multiple die cuts. “You’ve got white screen print- ing, four-color process flexo, inkjet variable secure printing,” he added. The construction was actually conceived atMeyers. “We have a patent pending on the process. For years I’ve been wanting to enter these into the Excellence Awards, but the customer won’t allow it.” Aside from the press operations,Meyers was also an early play- er in thermal platemaking. “We were the first narrow-web flexo printer in the country to install the Kodak/Creo imaging system with the DuPont FAST. We’ve kept that workflow, but upgraded some of the equipment. We can also make screens in-house,” he said. The company’s decision to stay updated with platemaking technology shows in its workflow. “It takes us about one and one half hour to make a plate. If we have an emergency, we can prob- ably do it in less than an hour.” Press operator Isaac Crenshaw with the new MPS press. BIG SHIFTS “The whole plant is four-crewed, meaning people work 12 hours a day, three days a week,” explained Moffett. “Overtime is on Sunday. Right now the plant is really busy, running seven days a week.” The platemaking department was also recently moved to a 24-hour operation, run in two shifts. The reason,Moffett stated, is to ensure that someone is on hand at all times that can make plates in case of an emergency. In total, 120 people work for the label group. That includes 40 press personnel and six prepress/ platemaking experts. Matt Moffett with Denny McGee and David McGee of MPS America. www. f le xography. org JANUARY 2009 FLEXO 39
End of Year 2008