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FLEXO Magazine : February 2011
Plants & Processes To that, he added, “The foundation of FLEXSTAR manufacturing is based on process and material technology. We strive to stay at the forefront of convert- ing through strategic investment in equipment and capabilities that are consistent with the needs of our custom- ers. We offer award-winning flexograph- ic printing with in-line lamination in both medium and wide web formats.” “Innovation goes beyond a specific product or process,” McQueen main- tained. “Innovation in services and how we do business with our customers is a key part of our philosophy. Our focus is enhancing our customers’ ability to sell their products. That is what in turn will sell our products.” Bray proclaimed, “Process control is the first step in quality assurance. We focus on doing it right the first time! We try to ascribe our GMPs – good manu- facturing practices--after FIRST—Flexo- graphic Image Reproduction Specifi- cations and Tolerances. As Ron Dolny insists, “While, it’s great to have all the latest tools, if we don’t take care of the tools, they don’t do the job consistently. We simply can’t stray from targets and achieve the same results because we are not taking care of our new equip- ment, measurement devices, data input/interpretation systems and press peripherals.” McQueen reiterated, “At FLEXSTAR, customer service is not just a function, it is our passion! All of our team members are dedicated to meeting customer needs. Our people and their collective extensive experience in packaging, can provide: customer field service sup- port, collaborative quality programs, structural analysis, and art / design as- sistance.... We understand flexographic reproduction and the best practices required to ensure repeatability.” The RepeRToiRe State-of-the-art printing presses and peripherals in position at FLEXSTAR are plentiful, according to McQueen. They include: gearless technology, auto- matic viscosity controls, web inspection, defect detection, video plate mounting, sleeve technology, automatic ink dis- pensing, and color control systems. “ We produce laminations and coated webs using solvent, solventless, and water-based platforms,” he said. “ T his includes FDA and CFIA compliant laminates for hot fill, boilable, and retort applications. We have a temperature controlled hot room that can hold more than 100 pallets of product at any one time. Barrier lamination webs include metalized substrates and foil. FLEX- STAR also produces in-register pattern cold seal for medical and confectionary applications. “ McQueen continued, “High speed slitting is a key component of our ser- vice and throughput strategy. Our ca- pabilities range from cantilevered, low tension machines to dedicated medium web machines; to surface winders for larger OD rolls, foil laminates, or wide web rolls. Slitting is usually the final step before shipment and with good process controls we ensure all the previous work is not wasted.” Elaborating on the plant’s capabili- ties, McQueen noted, “The latest addi- tion to our portfolio is stand-up pouch manufacturing. We offer bottom gusset, three side seal, shaped seals, various punch holes, rounded corners, and in-line zippers. We are one of the few North American manufacturers who can offer our customers finished pouches from concept to commercialization under one roof. What results from this capability are quick turnarounds and the ability to get products into the mar- ketplace faster.” Tools of The TRade Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), real-time inventory reporting and enhanced scheduling in conjunction with customers, are some of the new concepts customers are looking at to enhance the overall supply chain and drive efficiencies, according to Bray. “F LE XSTAR controls our data col- lection and reporting capabilities with a state-of-the-art, ORACLETM based ERP system, from Globe-Tek Corpora- tion,” Bray reported. “ We realize that a capable, user-friendly operating system is extremely important in successfully managing a custom business com- prised of a large number of variables. This assists us in forecasting and managing for raw materials, which in turn helps our customers get products to market faster. “ Bray explained, “We actually switched to a new ERP system in 2005. It was the first investment we made. Re- sults to date have been very positive. We have five years of data in the system. Today, it allows us to look at post cost, hone efficiencies, manage inventory, do quotations, participate in electronic data interchange on the order side...” Mounting plates and readying the next job is a common sight at FleXstar. ron Dolny measures color accuracy of a print sample. Blown film is extruded on-site, resulting in greater control of the process and timeliness of the output. 22 FLEXO FeBruary 2011 www.flexography.org 22 FLEXO FeBruary 2011 www.flexography.org FLX_Feb11_mech.indd 22 2/16/11 8:50 AM
Sustainable Winter 2011