Flexo Wash is excited to announce that the first FW 3000 Flexo Wash Anilox Cleaner which was sold and distributed in the United States over 18 years ago, is still in continual use and working great.
LLFlex, a leading manufacturer based in Louisville Kentucky, still uses their FW 3000 from 2002. It cleans one anilox at a time, and while it takes substantially longer than the newer models, it does such a good job that they never worry about it.
Good things really are built to last.
“LLFlex manufactures various paper, board, foils, films, MET PET and holographic laminates for flexible packaging applications such as folding carton basestock, lotto/gaming board, convolute canister stock, gift wrap and various other applications. The company is North America’s largest supplier of cigarette inner liner materials and also produces printed innerframe.”
LLFlex operates in a massive 100-year old building in the heart of Louisville. Clean anilox rolls line the plant, all carefully wrapped in craft paper and covered in a fitted tarp to protect them.
Prior to the purchase of the Flexo Wash Anilox Cleaner, anilox rolls were cleaned on press with scrub brushes. Nothing was near the original cell depth, as it could not be cleaned as well by hand. Washing one roll was four hours of downtime; in addition, there was no assurance that the roll was truly clean, leaving operators just to “guess and check” to see it that was in clean condition.
STATISTICS BEFORE FLEXO WASH
- All rolls manually cleaned by hand, usually scrubbed on press.
- Unknown how many rolls were cleaned a day.
- Unknown how much they spent on cleaning solutions.
- To clean one anilox roll, it was four hours of downtime.
Jessica Bradley from LLFlex was surprised to know that the Flexo Wash Anilox Cleaner that they use every day was 18 years old. Even though the machine takes 45 minutes to clean an anilox roll, and it does not dry it (new models do!), there is no comparison in their opinion to the cleaning done manually. It is still faster, more efficient and totally clean compared to manually cleaning it as they did before.
She cannot remember the last time something was plugged or bad after starting a job. They “always know it’s clean now” after a run through the anilox cleaner.
STATISTICS AFTER FLEXO WASH
- They clean 8-12 rolls a day.
- Flexo Wash Anilox Cleaner cleans one roll at a time. It takes 45 minutes to clean the roll. (Machine from 2002-current machine takes 15 minutes).
- They use a Simple Green cleaning solution as their product (tobacco) is FDA regulated. Unknown total cost of cleaning supplies.
- They are operational 300 days a year, 24 hours a day.
- They “never worry about the result. 10/10 times the anilox comes out of the tank and is always clean.”
Because their press is sensitive to how much liquid is laid down, this anilox cleaner has taken the guesswork out of the operations of the press. They know it will be clean and correct every time. The press operators would be the first to let people know if the anilox cleaner was not working correctly, as they handle all of the printing. The anilox cleaner just “always works” and “always cleans” thoroughly.
As LLFlex has grown substantially in the last few years, their bottom line has increased as well. Taking all the downtime away and the guesswork of anilox condition has allowed their production to increase with the demand.
The longevity of the Flexo Wash Anilox Cleaner is most notable. It has more than paid for itself many times over. Considering how costly labor is, and how they have eliminated all the labor associated with manual cleaning, this has been a huge savings as well. It also removes the frustration with dirty anilox on press.