Topflight, a printing company based in Pennsylvania, specializes in labels of all kinds: high performance, multi-ply, prime, thermal transfer and mosaic to name a few. They have over 20 presses, and their printing capabilities include multiple digital technologies, flexographic, letterpress, screen and combinations of these. They use several types of ink systems as well, UV, water-based and solvent.
In 2007, Topflight bought a Flexo Wash Anilox Cleaner. They used that same cleaner for 15 years straight, until it was literally unusable. Recently, it sat inoperable in their pressroom, in need of replacement or a major service overhaul after years of hard work. At the time, there was no money in the budget to replace the anilox cleaner. They were manually cleaning their anilox rolls, but the problem of dirty anilox rolls, increased downtime and decreased production remained. As everyone in the business knows, no printing occurs with dirty anilox rolls.
There are three options in this situation:
- Replace the old cleaner with a new cleaner.
- Hire a Flexo Wash Service Technician to come to your pressroom to fix the cleaner onsite.
- Ship your cleaner directly to Flexo Wash to have it serviced at their headquarters.
Plant manager Bob Harrington turned to his Flexo Wash sales representative Joe Almeida for advice. Almeida offered a great service solution: instead of having a service tech come out to fix the machine, Topflight could crate up their anilox cleaner and ship it directly to Flexo Wash for a complete overhaul. This is the most budget-friendly option in this case.
SERVICE DONE AT FLEXO WASH
Flexo Wash Service Manager Shawn Martin and Field Service Technician Isaac Box oversaw the entire process. Every part of the machine was disassembled and then serviced or replaced. Harrington says the “whole team went over the unit from top to bottom and replaced various worn parts, including the glass (as it was aged and allows us to see the unit in action), several switches, thermostat and internal components that needed a good cleaning.
After a week’s worth of work, the machine was ready to get back to cleaning anilox. This refurbished machine was running like new again, and for less than the price of a service visit. Most importantly, the “new” machine has reinvigorated the press room. Topflight has returned to their “typical anilox cleaning protocols, which allows for better and quicker ink matches since the rollers are clean and no longer plugged. Press operators do not need to spend extra time cleaning or going over a roller before placing it in the press.”
CURRENT CLEANING SITUATION
Earlier this year, when their Flexo Wash machine was not being used, the process the rollers went through to ensure they were press ready was lengthy. The refurbished Flexo Wash Anilox cleaner has eliminated many points of pain: issues with print quality, and dealing with stained rollers especially with certain water based and film inks that are difficult to clean. Harrington contends that “certain adhesives we use can be a nightmare and a cycle in our Flexo Wash unit has it shining like brand new rollers. We can actually see the cleanliness of the cells with scopes we have by press.”
Harrington believes that the “right cleaner from Flexo Wash makes a big difference as it goes through the primer stage and cycles through a complete cleaning. The proper cleaner attacks buildup in the cells and working in tandem with high pressure, it really takes care of those pesky, sometimes hard to get clean spots.”
REFURBISHED ANILOX CLEANER DECREASED CLEANING TIME 75%
Topflight runs five days a week, and most every Saturday they have a single shift working. Now that their cleaning time has radically decreased since they stopped manual cleaning and returned to automated cleaning, production can run more efficiently. Harrington says “The fact that rollers are sitting by press already clean, this allows for much faster setups and reduces our downtime for issues dealing with color match. When rollers are placed into the unit, we have support staff continue to perform other functions while the rollers are being cleaned, it has decreased cleaning time by 75%.”
Harrington has extended experience with anilox cleaners. He states that “I’ve been in the industry for over 35 years, and I’ve used many anilox cleaners over that period, ultra-sonic, to soda blast machines and I still feel that a Flexo Wash system is hands-down the best machine I have used when cleaning rollers. I was sold on the Flexo Wash when I was asked if I would like to see a trial onsite and I gathered up the nastiest, gunked up roller I had on the floor for the trial run and was blown away by the results I saw. I’ve always got solid support and the team at Flexo Wash has always had my back and that was demonstrated by their desire to get my unit back up and running properly.”
Flexo Wash has all the capability to service its machines here at the headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky. It is the most budget-friendly option but might require more time to account for shipping and handling. Please contact our service department or sales department if this sounds like the best option for your cleaning system.