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FLEXO Magazine : May 2010
Plants & Processes Catbridge Machinery • 222 New Road, Parsippany, NJ 07054 USA • Tel 973 808-0029 • www.catbridge.com Catbridge can help you become more efficient and competitive. We build durable, innovative slitter rewinders that provide immediate cost savings and quality gains. Our unique technology and smart designs significantly increase run time while improving roll quality and minimizing waste. We’ve optimized our machinery for flexible packaging and tailor our equipment to your exact needs. To learn more, visit www.catbridge.com or call us at 973-808-0029. More efficiency, less downtime, less waste Innovative, cost-saving converting machinery optimized for flexible packaging Standard or custom — we build solutions: slitter rewinders • knife systems • unwinds • perforators • coaters & laminators 30 FLEXO may 2010 www.flexography.org guillotine cutting, package design consulting, specialty coat- ing application, toll converting, bag making, finishing, graphic design and package equipment consulting. According to Manning, Fabrizio and Breslin, a big part of the business involves converting, rather than printing, paperboard and light gauge films. Estimates place unprinted volume at 70 percent and printed at 30 percent. Strategic goals and objectives call for changing the ratio, as the staff responds to marketing professionals’ demands for more pro- cess work and better graphics in flexo printing on film. At Mann-Pak, converting teams are comfortable process- ing a vast array of substrates to include films of 30 gauge and up, as well as paperboard of 10 point and up. Manning notes, “ We gravitate toward larger two-to-three-day runs in truck- load quantities of 40,000 pounds for unprinted product. Small- to-medium runs apply to the printed business, where we still go as high as up to 10 million impressions per order.” The Move Originally located on the west side of Baltimore, in March 2009, Mann-Pak relocated its entire operation into a new state-of-the-art facility on the east side, still managing to keep its roots in the Monument or Charm City. Manning explains, “The new facility is larger and was strategically designed to take full advantage of material flow, sustainability issues and most importantly, future growth.” In actuality, the plant grew in size by 7,500 sq. ft. Manning candidly says, “That enabled us to set up operations much more efficiently. We isolated printing in a controlled environ- ment. As a preventative measure, the act eliminated dust and other hazards; plus it allowed us to set up converting in a much more efficient way.” Breslin observes, “The move went smoothly. We orches- trated it in three phases to continue operating. Breakdown on two existing presses began in January. We used a local rigger, who disassembled then reassembled one press per month. It was only a short span of six weeks time from arrival to first run on a brand new press, ordered and installed to coincide with the move. ” Proclaiming, “We didn’t miss a beat!”, Fabrizio continues, “No hiccups. No missed deliveries. No missed orders.” She reports, “Production continued. We provided customers with assurances that service would go uninterrupted, estab- lished a comfort level, won their sup- port and then delivered on the promise through careful planning and staging raw material production ahead of time.” Standing at 35,600 sq. ft. in size, the facility is considerably larger—21 percent—than the plant it replaced. All newly acquired space was deliberately dedicated to the press area, in part to accommodate the third press, in part to segregate functions. On site, some 28,000 sq. ft. now houses administrative offices, as well as all converting opera- tions plus warehouse, shipping/receiving and maintenance functions. “ Workflow is split down the middle between digital and traditional analog,” Manning admits. “Prepress is delegated to an outside sup- plier—OEC Graphics.” Man-Pak is committed to performing quality checks throughout every process. Manning states, “We track raw materials and emphasize just-in-time concepts. A common request from customers is to deploy JIT. They cut back on inventory, then ask us to produce and release materials when needed. Price pressure is ever-present. The call— ‘Make less, more often, at better prices and faster.’” The Machinery Among the first deliveries received at Mann-Pak’s modern, new location--a brand new Uteco eight-color Onyx gearless printing press, engineered to Mann-Pak’s unique, customized specifications that hone in on production with low-gauge films. “Our new Uteco can print and wind film gauges from 30ga. and up,” Manning reports. “Center folding is available to five inches. ” Mann-Pak also added a new Ashe wide web film slitter and rewinder, plus an Ashe folder and rewinder as well. The pressroom now houses two wide web central impression presses, complemented by one inline unit. Webs on the larger presses are 48 inches in maximum width. The narrow web press features seven print stations and maximum web width of 18 inches. Also in house are two large paperboard slitters and three narrow web slitters. Training on the newest press started well before delivery. Breslin traveled to Uteco’s manufactuting plant in Italy, ac - companied by Mann-Pak’s press supervisor and spent four full days testing out every scenario that they could imag- ine. Following installation, each and every press operator received 15 days of training in the familiar home plant setting. Quarterly support visits are scheduled with troubleshooting and skills enhancement always on the agenda. The MindseT “Flexo has changed big time,” according to Manning, Fab- rizio and Breslin. “ We can compete on quality with gravure and offset, thanks to real improvements in prepress, better mann-Pak’s narrow web flexo press. FLX_May10_sec1.indd 30 4/17/10 11:06 PM