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 : June 2012
sustainability efforts in the supply chain, and they demand more vivid graphics, faster turn-around, and lower cost. Faced with these challenges, Cyber Graphics, a leading prepress provider based in Memphis, TN, partnered with Flint Group Flexographic Products to explore the very best in platemaking technology. Starting with focus group discus- sions, an analysis was made of the pros and cons of the current platemaking equipment options available today. The culmination of a three year project resulted in the recent in- stallation of a nyloflex® APP (Automated Plate Processor) into Cyber Graphics’ Memphis facility. “ We’re always looking ahead to find the latest in technical developments, especially from Europe,” stated Rick Parker, director, operations and technology, Cyber Graphics. “ Our customers expect us to create value through innovation. That sometimes means finding a better workflow and also investing in new production infrastructure. If we were to start resting on our laurels, that would be the time we’d start falling behind. ” Echoing the need for innovation in the plateroom, Edwin Woods, director, Cyber Manufacturing Site was part of a large team that oversaw the complete renovation of the Cyber Graphics plateroom, with the new nyloflex® APP system as its centerpiece. “ We basically started with a clean slate when it came to redesigning the room layout,” explained Woods. “For us, lean manufacturing ultimately means getting more from less. We streamlined everything from the way raw plate mate- rial is brought into the room, to how it gets Q.C.’d, and how we ship those finished plates to our customers. And along the way, we needed to reduce the handling of materials and improve the consistency of every single plate we made.” Woods continued, “ Ultimately, we envision flexo platemak- ing as becoming almost hands-free, as is the case in other prepress technologies. We’ve developed proprietary systems including the automated cut-down and labeling of each plate, along with standard operating procedures and inspection systems to ensure we consistently produce the best quality plates possible.” But there is nothing new in automated platemaking. Where has the new nyloflex® APP system been able to improve the process? “ Speed and ease of servicing,” reports Steve Dearing, manufacturing project leader, Cyber Graphics. “Simply put, the new plate processor can produce a typical .067-in. plate in about 40 percent less time when compared to other systems we’ve worked with. It is able to run 16 plates back- to-back without operator handling and get finished plates out in record time. That makes the difference between a job that ships today and a job that sits until tomorrow.” Dearing added, “Previous automated systems were a lot of work to keep running properly. The design of the new plate processor reflects a lot of our requirements when it came to making the system easier to operate and maintain. ” When asked for some examples, Dearing cited the follow- ing points: • Horizontal transfer of the plate through the entire process (no flipping or hanging in the processor) • Easy visual inspection of the plate right after washout with see-through panels all around the machine to monitor the processing operation Rick Parker, Steve Dearing and Edwin Woods of Cyber Graphics led a team charged with identifying a new lean workflow and investing in new production infrastructure, which brought innovation to the Cyber Graphics plateroom. Automation at Cyber Graphics includes utilizing design files to cad- cut and label each plate. Shown at right: Nancy Griffin, plate maker, Cyber Graphics. Sludge! Or lack thereof. The nyloflex® APP system pre-washes the black layer off of digital plates, so carbon build-up like this does not get into your process. 38 FLEXO juNE 2012 www.flexography.org