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FLEXO Magazine : August 2012
By drupa 2016, it ’s very likely that these types of systems will be even more auto- mated than they are today. And that, of course, is a step in the right direction. Today, depending on the job mix, au- tomated roll handling systems can be an important addition to the productivity of a printing operation. Some winders feature built-in shaft handlers which extract the shaft from the finished reel and re-insert it into a new core ready for rewinding. These systems can be as easy as motor- ized roll carts up to fully automated sys- tems. It all depends on the average run length, reel size and workflow needed to make things more efficient. Easier dryer access for maintenance and cleaning are featured on some presses to further enhance productivity and reduce downtime due to check- ing and cleaning the dryers. Dynamic air flow analysis has also led to much improved dryers in the last few years. Finally, many issues encountered in printing are due to a mismatch between what is thought or assumed to be in the machine, versus what is really in the machine. Over time, the printing plates, stickyback, and sleeves can change dimensionally, whereas press recipe screens typically are set up the first time a job is run. New systems that can check the ac- tual data of the sleeves (total indicated runout [T.I.R.] and concentricity) are now available to avoid putting compo- nents into the press that are not dimen- sionally identical to the press recipe, thus increasing uptime and reducing lost time for troubleshooting. TECHNOLOGY PAYBACK The best way to determine the po- tential payback of any new technology is to do a “return on Investment (ROI)” analysis. Several models can create scenarios to analyze different job mixes, which can help determine if a particular option can make an economic impact. This can make the flexographer’s caveat call — “ Faster, Better, Cheaper” — a reality. Speed is the killer app nowadays, so one must ask, “How can I stream- line my process for speed? What other things can I improve that might provide more value to my customer? Where can cost savings be realized, but not at the expense of performance?” Converters who can answer these questions successfully with a combina- tion of process mentality and new press technology will be those who continue to achieve maximized productivity at minimized running costs. That is the formula for success in this exciting yet challenging marketplace. n About the Author: Tom Jacques is sales manager, North America for Flexo- tecnica, a division of North American Cerrutti. His career in the flexographic printing and converting community spans 25+ years. He is a frequent con- tributor to FLEXO Magazine. Speaking engagements have included FTA Fo- rums and FTA International Seminars, plus educational conference programs at global industry events. 36 FLEXO august 2012 www.flexography.org 36 FLEXO august 2012 www.flexography.org Being an independent ink manufacturer gives us the freedom to respond to your needs more quickly and with greater flexibility. It also makes our personal commitment to product excellence and exceptional service more binding. We call that our “Signature Service” and we take pride in helping printers achieve the best printing results possible. If you’re not receiving our Signature Service now, perhaps it’s time you experienced an independence day and talk with an Alden & Ott specialist. For over 50 years, the quality and service goes in before our name goes on— Alden & Ott Printing Inks. • Offset Printing Inks • Flexographic Printing Inks Alden & Ott Printing Inks Company Arlington Heights, IL tel: 847.364.6817 1.800.552.INKS aldenottink.com We’ve always believed in independence. SeeusatLabelexpoBooth#704