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FLEXO Magazine : June 2008
FTA TODAY various bio-based films, such as starch, cellophane, cellulose film, PLA (polylactic acid), and PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoates). In addition, there are existing films that can be used to reduce waste and material consump- tion, including printable seal- ants, multilayer films, reduced gauge sealant layers, shrink film and stretch wrap. Frank Belardo, Phoenix Environmental Technology, spoke on solvent recovery and recycling. He stated that recy- cling was less costly than the disposal and purchase of new solvent. Modern equipment can recover between 70 and 9S percent of solvent. Many ser- vice companies will handle the task on-site. "Most corrugated items when loaded in a truck will never exceed the legal gross vehicle weight," said Charlie Black, Smurfit-Stone Container Corp., in his presentation on cube utilization. He told attendees to "consider logistics as part of sustainabil- ity." That includes minimizing shipments. He asked his fellow printers/converters to "strive to use as much of the trailer as possible." This task, he notes, is easier said than done. "As manufacturing moves over- seas and more plants close, it increases the distance between your customers." - JUNE 2008 FLEXO TRIPLE THREAT Speaking on computer-to-plate (CTP) manufacturing, Bob McVey, GMF Flexo Prepress opened the Faster, Better, Cheaper Session-chaired by Jarrett Westman, Tetra Pak Inc., and Rick Mix, All Printing Resources-by stating this simple goal: "Make the plates the same any- where." He warned that all prepress trade- shops will choose their own systems. "That will lock you into certain specs," he said, such as lpi and other tolerances. He asked that printers/converters "understand what the imagable area is, the maximum resolu- www.flexography.org tion, and know any restrictions of size, rotation, etc." McVey insisted that printers check for quality and consistency using a densitometer or even a micro- scope if necessary. He also gave advice on file management, saying, "Keep only one copy of a file," and recommended that attendees use a logical and un- derstandable folder/file naming structure. Roger Bostdorff, Leader Engineering, offered productiv- ity tips for the plate mounting phase of production. He spoke to the benefits of computers over live personnel, saying the former does not get tired, does not take vacations, is never out the night before on a binge and never has personal problems. He then walked the audience through a sample of computer- assisted plate mounting tech- nologies work. "The operator verifies the approximate reg- ister location with a point and click of the mouse," he said. Offering solutions to plate bounce, Xymid LLC's Mike Smoot took the stage. Smoot defined plate bounce as, "The abnormal reaction to compression, result- ing from the cylinder's erratic, rotational movement, causing missed or imperfect impressions," but amended that there is nothing abnormal about it. He identified gaps in the printed image as one possible cause, and suggested, if designs allowed for it, staggering images across the repeat. He also recommended using barer bars for minor cases of bounce. Tag-teaming on how to correlate one's ink proofer to one's press was Bill Poulson (Harper Corporation of America) and Kurt Hudson (Water Ink Technologies). Poulson began the talk by advising that printers reduce their anilox inventories to two or three volumes. Any more than that, he said, and "You're setting yourself up for failure." He also recommended doing a banded anilox test to determine the best volumes. Poulson then showed results of a comparison of a doctor-bladed hand proofer to a press. "Pressroom practices for flexo need to be implemented at the upper management level," said Hudson.