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FLEXO Magazine : August 2009
PLANTS & PROCESSES MACHINE CONFIGURATION After compiling all of the above data, a unique and specifi c press confi guration is generated. From this confi guration, the press manufacturer will be able to move forward with providing you a quote on your equipment. Many times press manufacturers differ from each other in their approach and technology, so a benchmark confi guration is necessary to compare things evenly. It is important to highlight and make note of the items that do differ, so clear judgment can be made between all aspects. BUDGETS The decision to add equipment is a big expense and has an impact on the entire operation, especially in the short term. When developing a budget, make sure every aspect is covered, from purchase of the equipment itself all the way through installation and training. Keep the following items in mind when setting your budget: • Building space, the cost of additional leased or purchased building space. Make sure you factor in the timelines of space availability and equipment arrival. • Infrastructure, such as power drops, air, water needs, etc. Do you need work bench(es), tooling stands/cribs, waste removal systems, etc.? Try to remember anything new that must be added to develop a fully functioning workfl ow. • Installation, as this process requires time and energy. People, contractors, equipment and possible temporary downtime of other machinery that may impact the business fi nancially need to be considered. • Hiring, training and sustaining employees. • The right equipment with the right confi guration with the right supplier. The equipment is a fraction of the undertaking, and one that should not carry any risk just to save few bucks. RELATIONSHIPS Once you’ve settled on equipment and budget requirements, supplier selection is a fi nal step to purchase completion. Each supplier will dutifully follow your supplied confi guration and application needs and supply a quote that will hopefully fi t into your budget. But it is important to remember that not all suppliers are created equal. The converter needs to keep in mind that there is more to a purchase decision than choosing the supplier with the lowest price. Developing a solid relationship with your supplier and making sure your sales representative and engineering/project team is supportive will result in a successful new machine purchase. A supplier that walks with you every step of the way, and delivers upon his word is always worth the investment. Often, what appears to be a higher or larger investment results in a faster return for the converter. Those suppliers who are genuine and work closely to understand your objectives, will often times have the background and experience to know what is needed to create the right solution. With expensive ventures, you always get what you pay for. These considerations—equipment, budget and supplier selection—are key to implementing a new piece of equipment into your operation. ■ ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary Sullivan has been with Mark Andy Inc. for more than nine years, currently serving as director of global marketing. Responsible for managing communication and strategic direction of the Comco, Mark Andy, Rotofl ex and UVT product lines, she works closely with both internal and external customers to effectively communicate the benefi ts of narrow- and mid-web fl exographic printing and converting. Simple operator controls enhance ease of operation. 44 FLEXO FLEXO AUGUST AUGUST 2009 2009 www.flexography.org www. f le xography. org