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Since the beginning of this year, our Constantia Blythewood plant in South Carolina, USA, received increased customer demand particularly for die-cut lids for pet food packaging. This created a great opportunity for our cross-functional UV Flexo team at Blythewood to work on increasing output and efficiencies for the UV Flexo line in order to meet the growing demand.
What was done?
Facing increased demand of 4.2MM linear meters, the team analyzed current production data, such as output, uptime, downtime, setup waste and setup time in more detail. Besides that, topics like PrePress, color management and plate handling were closely looked at. The team also worked with the press operators and supervisors in order to determine the greatest areas of need.
Following the analysis, ideas for how the plant could increase efficiencies and lower downtime the greatest were implemented, including optimizing print files and implementing new plate handling/storage methods.
What was the result?
These programs allowed the team to increase the UV Flexo output by 30 percent compared to the prior year and decrease waste by 3 percent overall. These efforts provided the plant with significant annualized savings, while supporting the 4.2MM linear meters in additional volume that was awarded.
The team will now move forward with further prepress improvements and other areas including color matching and inks.
Congratulations, UV Flexo Team Blythewood! Well done!
Contact: Wolfgang Ehrenfels
* Flexography (often abbreviated to flexo) is a form of printing process which utilizes a flexible relief plate. It is essentially a modern version of letterpress which can be used for printing on almost any type of substrate, including plastic, metallic films, cellophane, and paper. It is widely used for printing on the non-porous substrates required for various types of food packaging.