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FLEXO Magazine : February 2013
process and moving out to print to the numbers/specifications? PARKES: Standardization is an impor- tant aspect of our drive toward continu- ous improvement. At American Graph- ics, we strive to optimize all processes and procedures, as well as the materi- als used to achieve these goals. FLEXO: What color management and control applications/procedures do you employ in an effort to maintain design and brand color integrity? PARKES: American Graphics employs spectrophotometers on each machine to measure and record data for all colors. The firm is also moving toward measuring and recording density and dot gain in specific spots through the tonal range on every order. FLEXO: Do LEAN manufacturing prin- ciples have a place in your plant? Why/ why not? PARKES: The manufacturing group does subscribe to the LEAN philosophy and tries to implement it where possible throughout the facility. The underlying ethos of LEAN (not using resources without adding value) is sound and has been proven to work time and time again across a wide range of industries and disciplines. FLEXO: Has your firm moved, or does it intend to move to a completely auto- mated workflow? What other steps are you taking to maintain a path toward continuous improvement in your plant? PARKES: American Graphics has not moved in a fully automated direction and there are no active projects moving in this direction. While we do have many automated processes throughout the facility, it is still not a cost effective op- tion in many areas, which has limited its implementation on an across the board basis. The firm does have numerous internal teams that work toward various aspects of continuous improvement relating to primary roles in the facility. Flexo has become an exceptionally competitive marketplace so, continuous improvement is one of the low-hanging fruits that can really impact the abil- ity to pursue and obtain new pieces of business. The facility is ISO 9001 certi- fied, is currently undergoing ISO 14001 certification, and is an OSHA Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) site. Also all of our press operators are FIRST Level 3 certified and staff who work in a supporting role to the pressroom have completed FIRST Level 1 training and will be enrolled in Level 2 later this year. FLEXO: Can you provide a brief state- ment on how sustainability or green printing; combination/multi-process printing; digital printing as a comple- mentary technology to flexo; and Expanded Gamut Printing are impact- ing your plant and what likely effects they ’ll have on operations in the years to come? PARKES: Some of these technologies are further along in their evolution than others, which make them viable alternatives now. But, other technologies appear to need some more time before they are ready to roll out in a produc- tion environment. All of these topics are on our radar and there are individuals assigned to track progress in these www.flexography.org february 2013 FLEXO 43 Your printed package has only three to six seconds to grab their attention... 800.346.8570 www.colorr esolutions.com CRI inks speed up the process. CRI package printing inks and coatings are specially formulated for high-speed printability, adhesion and bond strength on any film or substrate. You’ll get brilliant high-gloss colors and a durable scratch and rub-resistant finish. Working with your team, our ink formulation experts and color management specialists will make sure your flexible packages keep your customers coming back for more. Custom blended CRI water-based inks, solvent inks, UV inks and EB curable inks will meet the precise requirements of your package. Contact a CRI technical specialist for fast response to your ink and color application questions.