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FLEXO Magazine : August 2010
With the use of sleeve presses now the norm, it is important that the ongoing replacement cost of sleeves be included in your overall project scope. Sleeves, whether anilox, bridge or plate, have a finite life. Ask your supplier about that lifecycle and plan for the recurring costs to replace these sleeves due to damage, changes in TIR, diameter, or deterioration of the cushion layer, if utilized in your particular sleeve configura- tion. Although not published, one should plan on a three to four year lifecycle for sleeves. Other ancillary equipment to be considered includes: Roll handling equipment. How will the rolls be brought to and removed from the press? Finished printed rolls may weigh up to 1,500 pounds and can be up to 50in. in diameter. Many printers use built-in material handling carts or move- able hand trucks for this operation. Here is a good place to get your operators and safety committee involved to discuss the most efficient and safe way to move these rolls. Waste wash-up solvent disposal/recycling. Each time a deck is cleaned, the press generates dirty solvent, which must be recycled. The options available here include hiring an outside contractor to process the solvent or building/operat- ing your own still. Both expenses should be a consideration in your project budget and ongoing operating costs. Many press manufacturers have integrated systems, which allow reuse of the last rinse cycle’s solvent and reduce overall solvent use. Anilox/sleeve storage. It would not be uncommon for a printer to have a need to store upwards of 80 sleeves. Many companies store sleeves in a rack to keep them organized and damage free. Consideration needs to be given to protect- ing the ends of the sleeves, providing easy and safe operator access to the sleeves, and having a spot system that distrib- utes the weight of the sleeve during storage to maintain the concentricity of the sleeve. VOC handling equipment. Is the oxidizer capacity suf- ficient? Higher press speeds require more air volume for drying. Most states have restrictions on volatile release and require the destruction of volatiles in an oxidizer. This needs to be addressed before you complete your air permit applica- tion. There are several types of pollution control equipment, the most common being thermal catalytic oxidization and regenerative thermal oxidation (RTO). Selection will be based on your anticipated solvent load in your press’s exhaust and your expected uptime. Although RTOs seem pricey upfront, the energy savings achieved through thermal storage of the heat generated during destruction make this a component that pays for itself quickly. Tools of the trade. Be sure to include cost of outfitting the press workstations in your budget. Desks, computers, spec- trophotometers, light booths and the other tools and equip- ment that your press operators use on a daily basis need to be purchased and installed prior to commercialization. Train Your EmploYEEs Operating a modern press is vastly different from those even 10 years old. A decade ago, printing was more of a me- chanical process. Today, direct drive technology has replaced geared machines and much of the press set-up once per- formed by the operator is done automatically. Many machines today have automatic systems for impression setting, registra- tion, and even color matching. Operators need to become comfortable working with computer equipment and relying on the machine/systems for printing at high press speeds. The expectation should be to run all jobs at the highest speed possible, in some cases at 2,650fpm or higher. Press changeover times are reduced from hours to minutes. It is important that these expectations be clearly commu- nicated to the operators—all too often they can fall into old habits and run a machine at half its productivity. After the press is installed and running, training becomes the key issue in getting the most out of your new equipment. In our experience it’s best to provide in-depth training to a select group of employees who can then train the rest of the produc- tion personnel and act as mentors. This way you will always have skilled personnel on hand for refresher training or indoctrination of new employees. These senior operators also act as technical advisers should any problems arise once the press is installed and running. No matter how effective your initial operators’ training is, be sure to have your press vendor include follow-up training four to eight weeks after the start of your press. The initial training your personnel receive can be overwhelming as everything is new to them. It is just a lot to absorb. After they have operated the equipment for a period of time, they will have a much bet- ter understanding of your original training, but will most likely have many new questions. Plants & Processes ancillary items such as anilox roll and sleeve storage have to be located somewhere, preferable near the press with which they are affiliated. this needs to be planned before the installation of the press begins. Value WINDMOELLER & hOELSCHER corporation FLEXIBLE PACKAGING EQUIPMENT THAT MEETS THE DEMANDS OF AMERICA’S TOUGHEST CUSTOMERS 23 NEW ENGLAND WAY | LINCOLN, RHODE ISLAND 02865-4252 | Phone: 800-854-8702 | www.whcorp.com PASSION FOR INNOVATION Every printing, extrusion, and packaging machine we make is designed to deliver a fast return on your investment. We back your new equipment with the industry’s most advanced training center as well as the best service and support, so you get something extra that our competition often overlooks: real value. Because from W&H, you not only get the best performance, you get people who care for your products. VISTAFLEX® Flexo Press Visit us at booths 408 & 410 42 FLEXO august 2010 www.flexography.org August2010_mech.indd 42 8/13/10 7:46 AM
Sustainable Summer 2010