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.
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. In this time of low head counts, even the short-term loss of a skilled worker can impact a company’s productivity and increase operating costs. “An injured employee who is unable to work can slow production and even cause an increase in insurance rates,” notes Mascolo. “Those costs can be much greater than that of a demounter.”
Even without any injuries a demounter is much faster than manually peeling a plate off a sleeve, helping reduce non-productive time on the shop floor. And, because plates removed using a demounter are less likely to tear or kink, used plates can be readily cleaned and stored for reuse.
Improving Efficiency with A&V Expertise
Demounters are just one example of the recommendations Anderson & Vreeland’s Equipment Team often make to converters. Comprised of technical and operations experts, the Equipment Team examines all aspects of a shop’s physical workflow to identify where time and money can be saved, where efficiency can be increased, and where new practices can add value to the operation.
Recommendations can range from the cleaning solutions used, selection of cylinders and sleeve mandrels, plate washing systems, plate and sleeve storage systems, and much more. The insights from the Equipment Team come from extensive hands-on experience in every type of converting operation, as well as deep industry knowledge about products and trends. This lets them recommend best of breed products they know will help deliver measurable benefits to flexo press rooms.
For instance, new presses often feature innovations that make them more productive and easier to use, but prior to delivery and during initial training it can be hard for a business owner or press operator to recognize all the details of how the press will be used. The new machine may require new sleeves, perhaps a new plate mounter, and other pieces of equipment. Because A&V’s Equipment Teams are often aware of a new press before it reaches the market, they are able to define and recommend extra equipment a shop may need, based on the new press (and any others in use), and the type and volume of work passing through a shop. Their customized evaluation gives business owners and shop managers an outside perspective of how they can get the most out of both new and existing equipment. Talking with the A&V Equipment Team before the new press arrives can shorten the time between arrival of the new press and when it becomes productive.
Many converters are trimming costs and keeping a close eye on productivity and profitability. With thinner staffing, some shops may no longer have the in-house expertise to understand how changes in the market impact their business and the advantages offered by some of the new equipment that is available. Talk with your A&V sales rep today to learn how you can put the experience of the Anderson & Vreeland Equipment Team to work for you.