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FLEXO Magazine : February 2009
PLANTS & PROCESSES IN SPEC With presses running around the clock, seven days a week, a call could come at any time of day (or night) from press personnel struggling to match a proof. That's why, early in his 20-plus year tenure with the company, Hilliard has ensured that all presses are extensively characterized. uI fingerprinted every configuration that I thought possible-straight surface print, surface print on clear, surface print on white poly, reverse print on clear laminated to metalized with a white backer, etc.," explained Hilliard. UEvery structure has a different look to it after it is laminated. After that, we provided all those print samples to our separators and re- ally had them finetune those press characterizations. So, when a job comes in, I can assign a specific fingerprint for that color separation." According to Hilliard, his efforts have paid off in spades. uWe are dialed in enough that we are able to go on press with any operator any day of the week and meet FIRST specs, measure dot HWe are dialed in enough that we are able to go on press with any operator any day of the week and meet FIRST specs, measure dot gain and density, etc." -Gary Hilliard, Hood Packaging gain and density, etc." While jobs will have numerous targets on the repeat, the fingerprinting process is so thorough that most operators need only check for dot gain and density to ensure they are up to color. The typical time between installation of a new press and the first job is about three weeks, Hilliard noted. uThe first week is operator training with the press personnel. The press manufac- turer's people will teach them how to operate the equipment. It is during that time that we run fingerprints. Since we are going to be down anyway, I like to get that taken care of." He personally supervises the entire characterization process. UEveryone who works with me has been doing it long enough to know what I am expecting," he stated. "We use a spectro-densi- tometer and check density and dot gain across the web. I know what I'm looking for as far as what the highlights, mid-tones, and three-quarter tones, should look like. If I see something that is out of control, I know there is too much impression, or some- thing isn't metering right, etc." And Hilliard takes the fingerprinting process seriously. "One of the things that some people try to do on fingerprints is put pretty pictures on them. In doing that, some operators tend to manipu- late the set-up to match the images to the proof. That's not what we want to do here. We want to run by the numbers." WHAT'S IN A NAME The plant in Arden Hills was originally part of Stone Container's Flexible Packaging Division. In 1997 this division, which included its sister plant located in Grand Forks, ND were purchased by the Southern Bag Corp. During the years that fol- lowed, the corporation continued to grow, primarily through acquisitions which included additional multiwall and plastic packaging facilities. In 2000, Southern Bag acquired Bonar Packaging in Canada. Bonar, at the time, was Canada's largest multiwall paper and in- dustrial plastic film packaging company. In 2001, to integrate all A reverse-print laminated to a unique polyethylene construction called Polycrete, originally developed for cement bags, and now used in large pet food pouches to take advantage of the strength. FEBRUARY 2009 - www.flexography.org FLEXO
Sustainable Winter 2009