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FLEXO Magazine : November 2010
Plants & Processes had all of the paperwork in place. Once this was approved, the team then requested an auditor to come into the facility and review the procedures and processes in action. With both audits done, the work was finally competed, right? Wrong! That was when the real work began. The staff is now demonstrating continuous improvement through yearly proj- ects that are submitted back to the SGP board for review. SGP certification is about ongoing improvement and gaining better understanding of why it is important to always move forward. The most common question heard at the Merrill facility is, “ What has SGP certification done for you?” Listed are the three areas that have been impacted the most. The Plant. Adopting sustainable best practices in the plants has lead to some milestone achievements with respect to metrics and results that the company tracks. For instance, InterFlex has cut water usage at one site more than 90 percent by switching to a 100 percent closed loop cooling system. It has reduced landfill waste almost 70 percent by finding various recycling outlets for all of its waste streams. Electrical demands have been cut almost 20 percent by placing more emphasis on controlling the usage and through updated lighting. Finally, it has reduced heating fuel consumption by redistributing heat produced from the equipment to other parts of the facilities that would have otherwise consumed energy for heating. In addi- tion to the environmental impacts above, it also adheres to the social responsibility of having best practices as it applies to the fair management and treatment of employees. The Process. InterFlex has always had an eye on best practices when it comes to sustainability. The mindset as a Lean manufacturer and the pursuit of low-VOC printing made the move to SGP certification a natural fit. The company has an established sustainability team, has implemented a sustainability management system, and is using the SGP program metrics to track and measure progress over time. All of these practices are good for business, good for customers, and good for the environment. The Product. As part of the ongoing evolution in sustain- ability, InterFlex strives to make business decisions that positively impact our products and the environment. To that end, it carefully selects vendors and raw materials for both quality and sustainability attributes. It is looking for solutions to packaging problems by proposing products that reduce the carbon footprint in the application. This might include a renewable resource for raw materials; reductions of total materials used, or even a more efficient transportation solu- tion. In the end, InterFlex tries to take a holistic approach and provide products that make sense for the application and hold true to its sustainability vision. n ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jay Downey is technical director of InterFlex Group North America, Merrill, WI. Less Bulk theDi fference! Experience We’ve assembled the finest plate processing equipment for tag and label printers looking to create or update a prepress department, like the ESKO 1712 flexo plate and film imager. The ESKO 1712 is a small footprint, cost-effective imager that is feature rich. The 1712 images up to A3 size (16.5" x 11.8") and .12" thick in 9 minutes and 30 seconds (customers report a 20% cost reduction in plate processing). The AVflex 8000 is also designed for limited space and offers everything you need to process eco-friendly, solvent-wash plates up to 12"x 18". This multi-function system includes a 2-brush rotary washout unit, exposure section, oven and plate finisher. A&V complements these systems with printing plate materials from industry leaders that include Flint Group and Toyobo, and provides support and a level of service second-to-none. Put our 50 years of flexo experience to work for you. A narrow web prepress department with... MORE BRAWN Toll-free: 866.282.7697 Fax: 800.223.6869 www.AndVre.com | info@AndVre.com AV_9588_Esko_AVflex.indd 1 9/8/10 7:28:31 AM www.flexography.org november 2010 FLEXO 61 FLX_Nov10_mech.indd 61 11/1/10 2:25 PM
Sustainable Fall 2010