The benefits of automatically washing flexo plates were recognized years ago by Winpak, a leading manufacturer and distributor of packaging materials, long before the growing use of these machines.
Winpak understands there is a significant cost in developing flexo plates and protecting plates for repeated use makes good business sense. Using an automatic plate washer facilitates long-lasting, consistent plate performance for repeated press runs while reducing labor.
Packaging is Winpak’s business. The company’s products are used primarily for the protection of perishable foods, beverages, and in health care applications. Winpak, part of a global packaging group, operates ten production facilities in Canada, the United States and Mexico.
Plate washing initially involved a 4-step manual process that included pre-soaking the plate for 15-30 minutes, washing, then rinsing, and then transferring the plate into the dryer. These steps easily required over an hour per plate.
Sebastien Munilla, Winpak Division Pre-Press Supervisor began an evaluation process of automatic plate washers that included demonstrations at Winpak’s Montreal facility. “While there are other good machines available, the ‘OVIT’ plate washer offered a little more, and I believed A&V would provide the service support we are seeking,” noted Sebastien.
Winpak purchased the OVIT Flexomatic plate washer from A&V Canada. The installation process was quick and the Flexomatic was up and running within a day. Martin Schofield, A&V sales/service technician for A&V Canada, and Brent Brickel, Innovation / Design Leader from A&V’s Bryan, Ohio facility handled the installation.
Winpak can now clean, rinse and dry flexo plates much quicker, more effectively and consistently with the OVIT automatic plate washer. You simply feed plates into the system and they are cleaned and dried automatically. Plates exit the machine ready for final inspection before storage.
“The Ovit represents a huge improvement for Winpak, reducing their plate cleaning process from 30 to 40 minutes down to approximately 8 minutes,” said Martin Schofield. The faster process gives employees extra time to work on other tasks within the Plate Wash area.
More importantly, the new, faster process prevents a backlog of printing plates scheduled for cleaning during peak times. Fewer damaged plates saved Winpak money by reducing overall polymer plate material cost. Plus, automating the process results in much-improved quality of the used plates returning to press.
The OVIT plate washer was installed back in August, 2016 and Winpak is pleased with the system’s performance along with service offered by A&V Canada. “The support provided by A&V has exceeded our expectations,” said Sebastien.
We would like to thank Sebastien and Winpak for their business and choosing Anderson & Vreeland as their prepress supplier.