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FLEXO Magazine : January 2011
PLANTS & PROCESSES success,” says Kevin McCarthy, Accredo’s vice-president and general manager. Its 148 employees include known experts in every field, be it extrusion, printing, sustainability, etc. The company has also made a point to bring in some of the latest state-of-the-art equipment. “ The factory is built for high volume,” exclaims McCarthy. “ Our printing presses are among the fastest on the market.” Accredo applies automat- ed wash-up technology to speed makeready between jobs, according to McCarthy. “Conventionally, it can take up to one- half-hour to clean an entire station. For a 10-color press, that would take most of the day. ” Early this year, Accredo is slated to install a 10-color W&H Vistaflex. Unlike other wide web presses, the Vistaflex is de- signed with a robotic pre-loading sleeve system. “Instead of changing sleeves on mandrels that are fixed in the machine, the Vistaflex actually changes the mandrels out,” describes Hans Deamer, president of Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corp. “A robot takes the sleeve out and stores it within the envelope of the machine. The robot can be programmed, while the press is running, to take the mandrels and the sleeves into a loading position at floor level. Then, when the operator is ready for a changeover, he indicates which decks are to be changed and the robot exchanges them.” According to Deamer, there are only two other Vistaflex presses in operation in North America. Accredo’s is one of seven set to be installed this year. When it comes to film extrusion, the company is extraor- dinarily versatile. “ T he extruders can use up to four differ- ent resins with up to nine layers for as many as 36 potential ingredients to make the final film, depending on what the customer’s barrier, CoF, and other requirements are,” says McCarthy. Accredo also has a variety of converting equipment that allows for a wide array of pouches with different gussets and zippers. It can also make wicketed bags. Wicketed bag machines may not have been part of the plan, but that kind of flexibility has always been present at All expanded gamut, all the time! Accredo minimizes waste and cuts down on changeover times on its 10-color presses by utilizing custom seven and eight colors. Print Operations Manager Johnny Dye, (extreme right) reviews print for approval with print operators David Valenzuela and Mike Moreno. 34 FLEXO JANUARY 2011 www.flexography.org Using its in-house extrusion system, Accredo devised two unique, patent-pending stand-up zipper pouches made of certified compostable components.
Sustainable Winter 2011