by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
FLEXO Magazine : November 2010
Plants & Processes Corr Assets U.s. Graphics Focuses on Positioning & Platemaking day, annual sales total more than $11million. David Reynolds and John Washburn, co-owners, lead a team of more than 115 employees that occupy three main manufacturing facili- ties located in Cerritos, CA; Turlock, CA; and Tumwater, WA. The company has developed a strong reputation for quality product, competitive price, and leadership in technology and information systems. Die manufacturing facilities are equipped with the latest technology, including five combo lasers for rotary and flat die making that help drive manufacturing disciplines, including high speed DRO and Mitsubishi Evol cutting dies. Mission U.S. Steel Rule Cutting Dies’ long-term vision and objective is to be the “one-stop shop” for both cutting dies and printing plates, delivering the highest quality service, competitive pric- ing and technological innovation. Corrugated box manufacturers are continually pressed for quick turnaround times, faster press setups and more on-press reliability. USSRD delivered on this value proposi- tion with cutting dies and set out to create such an offering in printing plates. In July 2008, U.S. Graphics was formed. Management knew it needed to get up to speed quickly to be competitive in the market and deliver at the high levels cutting die customers had come to expect. U.S. Graphics’ first five employees came with more than 125 years of combined experience, all having extensively worked with the latest printing plate tools, technol- ogy and materials. Mounted In-position Plate sits ready for press on the U.s. Graphics floor. U.s. Graphics. In addition to higher run speeds and faster setup times, U.S. Graphics focused on optimal plate storage and sustain- ability. That drove its decision to adopt the MacDermid LTL, a liquid photopolymer resin that offers UV protection, tack-free properties, excellent solids coverage and high resilience for lint-free printing. Even more importantly, it enabled the firm to create in-position plates as a standard offering. TeCh sAvvy environMenT Corrugated manufacturers are often pressed for space in their manufacturing facilities, forcing them to store plates in warehouses that are not climate controlled and utilize UV lighting, both of which constitute environmental factors that contribute to the breakdown of standard plate resins. With the advent of liquid photopolymer, these exogenous factors were mitigated. Liquid plates are also much more eco-friendly, needing only soap and water to clean. They do not require any disposal of toxic solvents to manufacture, unlike sheet polymer plates. Today ’s printing presses are bigger and faster than ever before. Historically, 38in. presses would produce run speeds of 10,000 -14,000sph. Now, new presses of this size are being manufactured that deliver throughput of 24,000sph. Large format 66in. presses that used to run at 4,000 -7 ,000sph, are now running closer to 9,000-11 ,000sph. A large format printer running a 42sq.ft. blank can utilize a pretty heavy set of plates, reducing rotation speed and causing premature plate dete- rioration and breakdown. A liquid plate in an in-position pack- age solves this problem for customers. And now, press operators don’t have to mount a package that weights 30 to 40 pounds, mitigating more frequent work- ers compensation claims due to lifting-related injuries. In-position plate technology was created years ago, but not utilized much by the corrugated plate manufacturing industry until recently. The difference between a standard plate and an in-position plate is the floor of the regular plate is eliminat- ed with the in-position plate. The remaining Mylar sheet and imageable areas of the plate are significantly lighter than standard plates. (See FLEXO, September 2008). In-position plates are created with full-size art and film nega- tives that match the box design. This allows for much greater precision and control, while substantially reducing mounting time. Another set of negatives is created to cover the film area, where there will not be any printing. The resulting plate manu- facturing process washes out all the areas that are not used for printing, enabling U.S. Graphics to reclaim that resin for reuse. The finished in-position plate comes out requiring very little post-processing and trimming, but instead ready for imme- diate mounting. In the past, a standard plate mount could involve 16 plates and take four hours of mounting time. With in-position plates, the typical scenario results in four plates that can be mounted in under two hours. Though increased efficiency and material usage reduces manufacturing costs, there are some caveats: 1. Film costs can be as much as five times that of normal plate packages, because in-position plates require full- size negatives (and a positive for wash out areas). 2. Additional CAD and graphics time is required to layout graphics precisely to fit the box specifications and be “mount-ready.” In-position plates are a huge win for the industry and al- lowed U.S. Graphics to offer a superior product and value posi- tion to its customers in a very short period of time. With their greater reliability, sustainability and manufacturing efficiencies, corrugated box manufactures can deliver a superior end prod- In-position plate being made at U.s. Graphics. www.flexography.org noveMber 2010 FLEXO 73 seTTing U.s. grAphiCs ApArT Thoughts from the VP of Sales OUR PEOPLE collectively have a combined 120+ years in this industry. That’s hands-on, practical applica- tion experience. OUR COMMITTED TEAM EFFORT to perform daily on a job-by-job basis insures our competitive advantage in the marketplace, from start to finish. We secure our customers’ confidence and our actions assure them that they are partnered with the best product, and service support team to deliver on their success in their specific markets. Every day, we service and support the product we market at a much higher level than any competitor in our marketplace. POSITIVE ATTITUDE and user-friendliness prevail at every opportunity and we exhibit a “can-do” attitude to produce whatever unique request a customer or new prospect may ask of us. We will either find a way or make one, to insure the customer is taken care of and satisfied. PARTNERSHIPS in today ’s market are critical to true success. They enable us to perform at a much higher level, again insuring a competitive edge in this tough economic market and positioning our clients to insure future success in better times. INNOVATION dictates taking the steps and creating value while being proactively involved in determining the best possible product for application specific needs that produce the highest quality results for our customer base. • Continually evaluating every step and process to determine a more efficient application from an in- novative perspective is essential... • Creative, fresh new ideas are what we encourage from our team. This in turn creates that added value most other competitors overlook. FLX_Nov10_mech.indd 73 11/1/10 2:26 PM
Sustainable Fall 2010