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FLEXO Magazine : August 2010
Technologies & Techniques Photo courtesy PCMC. chambers that utilize automatic force loading systems will greatly extend the life of blades and end seals. In addi- tion, low blade detection systems will warn operators when to change these components preventing leaking and cleanup caused by over worn compo- nents. The design of the chamber itself can also significantly aid in reducing ink consumption. Having a low profile chamber with a large wet gap opening will provide ample time for the anilox cells to fill, allowing for higher density print while using as much as 20 percent less ink through the use of lower volume anilox screens. This is achieved by laying down a more consistent, thinner layer of ink, which, in turn, provides a higher measured and perceived color density. In addition, wash up ink con- sumption can be reduced to two gallons or less per deck wash by combining solvent saving systems and a high pres- sure reversing action on the pump. Power saving can also come in creative yet simple ways. Replacing standard on/off type devices with speed- compensated components will allow for significantly lower power consumption. Having an all electric, variable speed dryer system that ramps up in speed and temperature creates a truly efficient, low power usage system that consumes more than 30 percent less power. In ad- dition, heat generated by motors can be reclaimed and ducted into the dryer system to conserve even more power. An Investment In UptIme Keeping your equip- ment running and productive is the key to staying profitable. What is the use in reducing power consumption or waste if it is not ultimately affecting profitability in a positive way? The keyword here is “sustainable.” Machine maintenance plays a large role in remaining profitable and sustain- able and an indirect role in power and waste reduction. The more time and effort spent on maintaining equipment, the more resources it consumes and the more it cuts into productivity. Like press tech: A Real Green machine save green by going green By Jason Manders With today ’s challenging economy, there is a big push to “go green” and “reduce your carbon footprint. ” The consumer product companies (CPCs) are taking great strides to motivate their suppliers to focus on these ef- forts. As a flexible packaging printer, this puts a lot of pres- sure on staying profitable. Energy consumption, waste gener- ated, and supplies consumed are obvious areas to focus on reducing, but the options available to printers may not be so obvious. Therefore, being smart about press utilization can significantly help in reduction efforts and investing in the right technology can open doors for even more reduction options. AUtomAte YoUR RedUctIon There are many areas to focus on when looking to reduce energy consumption and waste, and they all start with under- standing current consumption. Putting measures in place to track power usage and waste generated will lay the ground- work for ongoing reduction programs and goals. Some current press offerings provide automated measurement features to track and report these. Knowing where waste is generated and when power is consumed will point out areas for improvement. New technology can automate reduction efforts by making the equipment work for you. Power monitoring software can track and report which print jobs consume more power, allow- ing the option of scheduling them during off-peak power rates. Presses utilizing regenerative drive technology will convert any slowing or stopping done by the motors back into useable power for the rest of the machine. Automated features avail- able to reduce material waste include 20-second quick stop capabilities from maximum speed, staggered print off around the drum during a splice, and zero-speed auto-impression and registration systems to set print while the press is stopped. Unlike the conventional methodology of developing programs and processes to using less and consume less, all the features listed above can be built into a machine to eliminate the human intervention needed to sustain the savings. cReAtIve conseRvAtIon When being pushed for continuous improvement it be- comes increasingly difficult to realize significant progress. Once the “low hanging fruit” is harvested, it’s time to take off the gloves and get creative. When investing in a press equipped with the latest technology, there are many seem- ingly subtle features that can add up to huge savings and reductions. The design of the ink system on a press can incorporate systems that add up to huge savings in consumables. Ink 36 FLeXO august 2010 www.flexography.org • Frameless motors and direct drive technology elimi- nate the need for couplings, gears, and belts, which eventually wear out and need replacement. • Replacing standard on/off type devices with speed- compensated components will allow for significantly lower power consumption. • The design of the ink system on a press can incorpo- rate systems that add up to huge savings in consum- ables. • Power monitoring software can track and report which print jobs consume more electricity. August2010_mech.indd 36 8/13/10 9:02 AM
Sustainable Summer 2010