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FLEXO Magazine : August 2012
august 2012 VOLUME 37, NO. 8 In this Issue No defects! 10-minute changeovers... is it really possible? Installment #4 of FLEXO’s Annual Press Buyer’s Guide answers these questions and more. When it comes to calibrating the press, ergonomics are married to economics and talk turns to process mentality, intuitive man/machine interfaces, integrated engineering and custom designed componentry. Through careful preparations flexographers are finding that they can succeed in extracting a multitude of benefits from a newly installed, faster, friendlier, easy-to-operate and safer press. Fta tODaY 22 FIRst Press Operator Certification Steve Deering Some 25 companies now boast of employing just over 200 certified FIRST Press Operators in their plants. Every firm agrees that skills of employees are paramount to success, especially on press. Third in a series. tECHNOLOgIEs & tECHNIQuEs 26 automated Job Changeover: Basics & Benefits Mike Reinhardt Press productivity is up. Print quality is improving. Technology is driving progress. Automation is making machines easier and safer to operate. 30 Maximized Productivity at Minimized Running Costs Tom Jacques Simplicity and user friendliness are of utmost importance, but always involve the operator in a press purchasing decision. Why? If he doesn’t like it, he won’t use it. 38 Printing in its Purest Form David Darder Innovation, automated systems, digital interchanges, intuitive processes... modern day presses are expected to perform with virtually no failures, generate minimum waste, stand ever reliable and always be predictable. FLEXO® Magazine (ISSN-1051-7324) is published monthly by the Foundation of Flexographic Technical Association. Address all correspondence to FLEXO® Magazine, 3920 Veterans Memorial Hwy Ste 9 Bohemia NY 11716-1074. Telephone: 631-737-6020. Fax: 631-737-6813. Copyright ©2012. All rights reserved. Subscriptions: 1 year: $55 U.S./$76 foreign; 2 years: $92 U.S./$125 foreign; 3 years: $125 U.S./$170 foreign. Single copies: $7 U.S ./$10 foreign. Periodicals postage rates paid at Bohemia, NY 11716, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to FLEXO® Magazine, 3929 Veterans Memorial Highway, Suite 9, Bohemia, NY 11716-1074, USA. Printed in USA. Publications Mail Sales Agreement No. 1558153. FLEXO® Magazine is the of- ficial journal of the Foundation of Flexographic Technical Association, devoted to education, technical and research support to advance flexographic technology. Acceptance of advertising in FLEXO® Magazine does not imply endorsement of the product or service by the FFTA. Opinions expressed in bylined articles are not necessarily those of the FFTA. FTA HEAdquArTErs & FLEXO EdiTOriAL, AdvErTising, subscribEr sErvicEs 3920 Veterans Memorial Hwy Ste 9 Bohemia NY 11716-1074 Phone: 631-737-6020 Fax: 631-737-6813 PubLisHEr robert Moran, ext. 17 firstname.lastname@example.org AssOciATE EdiTOr steve deering, ext. 31 email@example.com dirEcTOr OF MEMbErsHiP & businEss dEvELOPMEnT Jay Kaible, ext. 20 firstname.lastname@example.org EducATiOn dirEcTOr Joe Tuccitto email@example.com crEATivE sErvicEs MAnAgEr Katie dubois firstname.lastname@example.org TECHNOLOGIES & TECHNIQUES Printing in its Purest Form New Presses, New Parameters Refine Man/Machine Interface ByDavidDarder Whatpresscharacteristics,relatedtomechanicalis- sues,aremostimportanttooverallsatisfaction?” Innovationandautomatedsystemsthatperform withvirtuallynofailures havebeentheusualanswer.Obvi- ously,priceisfrequentlymentioned.Converters arelooking forqualityandtechnologiestomeet,andwhenpossible exceed, marketdemands.Ergonomicand moreintuitivepro- cessesare nowexpectedinevery newmachine.Consequent- ly, morecomplex,sophisticatedsystemsareindevelopment. Prepresssystemsandin-plantautomatedworkflowsare continuouslyimprovingandasaresult,they’vechangedthe wayconverters maketheinvestmentdecisionona newpress. Now,thequestionhasbecome, “Whichcharacteristicsofthe TIMES & TECHNOLOGIES •1940s—1950sRubberplates,spotcolors andstack pres s es •1960—Introductionofphotopolymerprintingplate •1960s—CMYKprocessprintingdominatespackaging •1961-1966—CentralImpression(CI)pressesdeveloped •1970s Colormanagement’sadvent linksCMYK+ spot colors •1976-1980—AdobePostScCriptstoresgraphic informationresultinginimagesprintedinmorevivid detailsandcolors •1984—Eight-colorflexopressarrivesonscene •1990—Sleevesystemsintroduced •1995-DigitalphotopolymerorCDI platesdebut •1995-1999—AdobeunveilsPortableDocumentFile(PDF) • 1996-2000—Quickchangeover presses comeintoplay • 2000-Newcolorcombinationsappear:CMYK+RGB andlaterevolveintoHexachrome,Opaltoneand ExpandedGamutPrinting • 2005-2012—Modularitybecomescriticalinprinting pressdesign. Combinationprintingadvances.Digital technologiesexpand.Automaticregister, impression settingandcolormatchingsystemdeploy • PresentDay—OEMsfocusonreducingwaste, minimizingoperatorinterface, real-timeimage processing.Digitalinterchangesmeetanalogprinting. Digitalmasterreferencedeveloped.Pressure + Register +Color+ StatisticalProcessControl = Quality,Consistent,RepeatablePrintResults “ 38 FLEXO AUGUST 2012 www.flexography.org Press Buyer’s Guide TECHNOLOGIES & TECHNIQUES Automated Job Changeover: Basics & Benefits Robust Design Meets Smart Technology ByMikeReinhardt Stock keepingunits areontherise.Consistentand repeatablequalityisconstantlycalledfor. Leadtimes areshrinking.Theaverageoperatorhasless refined printingskillsthanhis predecessors.Machinemanufacturers aredevelopingtechnologiesthataddressthisnewreality. Asingleoperatorandhelpercan nowaccomplishpress andpresssidefunctionsthatwereperformedbyseveral people,greatlyincreasingtheefficiencyoftheprintingplant. Inthelate1990s,directdrivesleeve machines wereintro- ducedandthususheredintheeraofquickpresschange- overs.Yearsago,itwouldhavetakenfourorfivehoursto changetheplatecylindersandanilox rolls,pluswashupand ink upthepress. Allthesetaskscannowbeaccomplishedin about45minutes. Overthelast10years,press manufacturersandcomponent suppliershavefocusedtheirattentiononfurtherreducing presschangeovertimesbyautomatingtasksthatusedtobe performedbytheoperator. Impressionsetting,automaticreg- istration,color matching/monitoringarejustafewofthenew FASTER, EASIER, SAFER PRESS • Mechanicalchangeoverof10 platesleevesand10 anilox rollscanbeaccomplishedautomaticallyin10 minutes,just bypressingabutton • Newmachinetechnologiesroboticallyremovethe mandrels fromthepressandbringthemdownto floorlevel,whereoperatorscanchangethesleeves withoutclimbinguponthemachine • Fifty percentofthetotaljobchangeovertimecanbe attributedtocolormatching • Automatic colormatchingsystemscombineink weighingandspectrophotometrythatreduce changeovertimebyhalf andguaranteedeltaE valuesoftwoorless • Ink weighingallowsmoreaccurateestimatingofjob costs 26 FLEXO AUGUST 2012 www.flexography.org PressBuyer’s Guide TECHNOLOGIES & TECHNIQUES Maximized Productivity at Minimized Running Costs Speed, the “Killer App,” Can’t Trump Performance When Buying a Press By Tom Jac ques Today’sflexographershavealotontheirplate.They contendwithconstantlyvaryinginputcostsforresins, films,andinks;demandingcustomers;laborrecruit- mentand retention;theneedtodramaticallyreducewaste; andtherequirementtostayupdatedwiththelatestprinting technology.Thosewhodoitsuccessfullysharecommontraits: process mentality,step-by -stepimprovementsandstream- linedprocesses,wheresimplerisbetter. Process mentalitylooksbeyondwhatisgoingoninsidethe fourwallsofacompanytoitseffectsontheoutsideworld:sup- pliers,customersandtheenvironmentatlarge.Ittakesaholis- ticapproachtoeverythingitdoesinordertomeetallstake- holders’expectations.Italsoseekstodefineworkasaseriesof stepswhichcanbedefinedandimprovedovertime.Thisleads toastreamlined,simpleprocessintheend,whereworkistruly value-addedanddevoidofwasteinmaterialsorefforts. Asonelooksatthelifecycleofajob,one notices thatjob specificationshaveahugeimpactonprofitability.Therefore, questionsabound:“Isitspec’d right?”“Wasitsoldproperly withproperspecs?”“Isthereany flexibilityortolerance inthespecifications?”“Aretheresultsmeasureableand demonstrable?” Whenajobcomesdowntothepress side,operators need tothink: “Dowehavetherightmaterials?”“Intherightquanti- ties?”“Isthepresssetupcorrectly?”“Areregistrationand CONSISTENT, REPEATABLE, RELIABLE P RO DUCTI ON • Latestgenerationof automaticregistrationsystems, useclickanddragfeatures basedontheimageitself • Newautomatic impressionsystemsensureextremely lowset-upwaste • Automatic viscositycontrol,anaddeddimensionof stability, manages usageofinksandsolvents • Safesleevechangesystems boostproductivity and lowercostsby checkingdataandhelpingtoavoid puttingcomponentsintothepressthatarenot dimensionally identicaltothepress recipe • Dynamicairflowanalysishasledtomuchimproved dry ers 30 FLEXO AUGUST 2012 www.flexography.org Press Buyer’s Guide PASSION FOR INNOVATION FLEXIBLE PACKAGING EQUIPMENT THAT MEETS THE DEMANDS OF AMERICA'S TOUGHEST CUSTOMERS 23 NEW ENGLAND WAY | LINCOLN, RHODE ISLAND 02865 - 4252 | Phone: 800 - 854 - 8702 | email@example.com | www.whcorp.com The unique VISTAFLEX from W&H takes the next revolutionary step in flexographic printing and reaches new levels of productivity and ease of use. • Completely automatic changeovers at the push of a button • No platforms, lifts or climbing to change sleeves • Set-up and store your next 4 jobs while the press is running • Visionary concept delivers higher speeds and greater productivity • Incredibly safe and easy operation THE WORLD’S MOST PRODUCTIVE FLEXO PRESS PRINTING EXTRUSION CONVERTING VISTAFLEX FLEXO PRINTING AT ITS MIGHTIEST WINDMOELLER & HOELSCHER