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FLEXO Magazine : January 2013
Technologies & Techniques Lean Ink Logistics Faster setup & Consistent quality in Packaging Printing By Maarten Hummelen Flexo and gravure packaging printers can boost com- petitiveness with automated ink dispensers, proofers and integrated software. Ink is becoming an increasing cost burden to the packag- ing printer. Shorter runs and just-in-time production leverages the impact of start-up waste on profits. Health and safety standards require traceability of raw materials, including ink, through the value chain. Volatility of ink prices threatens to squeeze profit margins further. Significant savings can be made with controlled, automated and integrated ink logistics that enable complex colors to be prepared fast and accurately proofed offline, eliminating mate- rial waste, setup delays or the need to do costly remakes. There are three aspects of lean ink logistics: modular gravimetric dispensing systems to mix recipes and dispense the precise spot color on demand in accurate volumes; table- QUICK RESPONSE MANUFACTURING • Ink is becoming an increasing cost burden to the packaging printer • Automated and integrated ink logistics enable complex colors to be prepared fast and accurately proofed offline • Modular gravimetric dispensing systems mix recipes and dispense the precise spot color on demand in accurate volumes • Table-top, offline flexo proofing systems t simulate the exact conditions of the press and verify the color is accurate • Software interfaces monitor per-job costs and provide stock forecasting 30 FLeXO january 2013 www.flexography.org