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FLEXO Magazine : January 2011
PLANTS & PROCESSES Accredo. According to McCarthy, Accredo never waits until the whole plant is at 100 percent capacity. “As soon as one machine is running 24/5, we buy another,” he says. This is possible due to what McCarthy called a “plug and play ” design. “ When they put the presses and extruders in the building, they also built the foundation heads for the presses and extruders that would follow.” RUNNING THE GAMUT Perhaps one of the most unique and cutting-edge aspects of Accredo is its decision to exclusively run expanded color gamut process printing. Varn asserts that its packaging does not use any line or spot colors; it builds 100 percent of its im- ages from standard CMYK colors, plus other custom-made process colors. “ We believe this is a more sustainable way of printing,” says Varn. “Because the ink colors don’t change, we can print different designs at the same time, including different SKU’s . This, coupled with our proprietary ink delivery system, in- creases productivity by 40 percent. We use 35 percent less ink to achieve the desired image. It also reduces our ink waste by about 95 percent. Any time you reduce waste and increase productivity you are being more sustainable.” Varn goes on to say, “The reduced waste with expanded gamut is far superior to what you get with CMYK and line col- ors. It provides a lot of flexibility and a broader range of col- ors. We are no longer limited to the number of printing decks; we are limited only by the imagination of our customers.” The specific color set evolved through a series of intense trial and error, according to Varn. “ We fingerprinted on every substrate that we run in the plant and worked with a number of different separators,” he says. While the general belief is that expanded gamut is less accurate than using spot colors, Varn sharply disagrees. He sees expanded gamut printing as more scientific than traditional ink mixing and running spots. To make it happen, he insists, the company goes out of its way to hire employees who are open minded. “It’s better to have someone with mini- mal experience than someone who has been doing the same thing forever and ever and won’t change,” he says. The proof, it turns out, is in the pudding. Varn declares, “Our customers are very pleased, because we are much more consistent, and we have the delta E numbers to back that up.” n Accredo taps into some of the most state-of-the-art equipment in today’s flexible packaging industry. 36 FLEXO JANUARY 2011 www.flexography.org
Sustainable Winter 2011