As we roll into summer and a hopefully slower schedule, we’re recapping the blogs we’ve run over the past few months, so you can easily find them if you missed them and re-read them when you have a few summer moments. Enjoy!
Alpine’s Successful Transition
“Having both flexo and inkjet presses, we are able to decide which is best for a customer’s needs,” says explains Jan Lehigh, President of Alpine Packaging in North Versailles, Pennsylvania.
Lehigh and her team put the Screen Truepress Jet L350UV into operation in the fall of 2016 and not looked back. The press is offering new label printing options for existing customers and opening doors to new business.
“We’re doing more wine labels, and craft beers are popping up every time you turn around. One of the big things we’re finding is tea.” She laughs. “It’s really exciting; there are so many teas reaching the market these days.” And, they all need labels as new companies build their brands.
The Power of Smart alliances
Not so long ago converters seeking a complete production workflow from job receipt through color management to accounting and MIS could either rely on a software suite from a single vendor or use a mix of often incompatible products. This puts users in the position of using tools ranging from great to mediocre. Does any of this sound familiar?
An alternative is a modular approach with software from two or more independent companies that puts state-of-the-art products together. The result is best-in-class solutions for addressing practical production challenges and delivering bottom-line value for printers and converters.
Keeping pace with change
Change is everywhere you look as if it is written in the constitution of our age.
For much of Anderson & Vreeland’s 56-year history advances in our industry occurred gradually. There was time to consider, accept, and adapt to emerging technologies and new ways of thinking. But now, like much of life, the pace of change has become frenetic, forcing the adoption of new ideas, equipment, and processes.
Anderson & Vreeland sees change as an opportunity to make strategic moves that can foster growth and success. Change is part of an ongoing conversation we have with all our customers. We see two advances as especially important.
A Fine-Tuned Label Printing Advantage
“Having a single supplier for the plates and the processor helps fine-tune the system and is the best way to ensure plate quality,” says Bekki Harmon of Best Label in Union City, California.
An expert in color management across pre-press and production, Harmon was a leader in evaluating the Flint nyloflex® Xpress Thermal Plate Processing System Best Label acquired as the company added new technology and capabilities. The new device from Flint Group is designed to leverage the interaction of the processor, plates, and developer in a single, holistic system, with all the elements developed and provided by Flint. As the integrated the system into their operations Harmon and her colleagues found the Xpress had a short learning curve, enabling the machine to be productive not long after installation.
Stuck on Stickyback
It’s easy to think of stickyback—the all but invisible consumable of flexographic printing — as being ubiquitous, but there’s more to these tapes than is immediately apparent. While similar, the various stickyback and splicing tapes available are not all the same, and neither are the suppliers of this critical material. As with so many things, the more you know, the better the work you can do. Things like foam densities, plate materials durometer and thickness all matter, sometimes a lot, and can translate into time and money saved.
The flexographic presses occupying real estate on your shop floor are the most visible contributors to your company’s revenue stream. Not quite as noticeable, but every bit as important, is the support equipment that the presses —and your company— need for reliable operation. It’s easy to take some of this equipment for granted but never discount the value it provides for your business. One example is in Preventing Pressroom Injuries
Consider the humble demounter, for example. Not every shop has one and at first glance, it can seem like a luxury for press operators and assistants to have a dedicated machine for demounting plates and stickyback from sleeves and rollers. But the value is in the time savings these machines provide and the potential they have for preventing injury.
Injury? From demounting plates? Yes, it’s a fact of flexographic life that people can be injured when removing plates and stickyback, especially from mid- and wide-web rollers and sleeves. “We’ve seen pressmen bracing their feet against a wall or a press to get the leverage needed to remove a large plate from a sleeve,” explains John Mascolo, Account Manager and Equipment Team member for Anderson & Vreeland.
The muscle power needed for manual removal can result in strains to backs, shoulders, and joints that could put an employee out of work for a few days, or longer. “Those costs,” notes Mascolo, “can be much greater than those for a demounter.”
Great packaging from a great workflow
Every flexo shop owner knows that in the eyes of most customers you’re only as good as the job you just produced. So every job has to be as close to perfect as possible.
Consider a four-color label for a bottle of tea. You need to crank out 25,000 each week, for the next month, with the job specs requiring black plate changes each week. Not a big job, really, and it’s not hard, but you’re shoehorning this job into your workflow because it’s for a new customer with a dozen other products you could handle and you want to be the go-to source for every one of them. So you need to make sure it is all right each week. So how do you make it happen?
The importance of being a strategic partner
Anderson & Vreeland occupies a unique position as the lead supplier to the flexographic printing marketplace. A&V has the important distinction of being the only company that both makes and sells a full range of supplies, materials, and peripheral equipment as well as digital inkjet presses. The lens gives us a more strategic perspective on the market than merely reselling products made by other companies. This difference is at the heart of the focused, consultative approach we bring to every customer relationship and gives A&V a holistic appreciation of our industry that’s unlike that of any other company.
We believe this strategic approach to customer success—some 56 years in the making—benefits everyone in the industry. Listening to, understanding, and supporting the needs of flexographic converters sets us apart and helps ensure A&V is always part of the relentless motion that drives our industry forward.