Eminence Business Media

Eminence Business Media

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Global flexo market realizes cost and safety benefits of new Heaford multi-purpose sleeve productivity station

JM Heaford, industry-leading supplier of mounting and proofing solutions for the tag and label, flexible packaging, corrugated and gravure markets, says its recently introduced multi-tasking Sleeve Productivity Station (SPS) has received a response beyond expectation from world markets. Following a soft launch in 2018, the solution is already installed on four continents and reflects the global drive towards improving efficiencies among companies of every size.

Installed in such geographically diverse markets as Canada, Mexico and Korea, the majority of SPS installations to date complement Heaford AutoMounter technology, where customers are eager to exploit time already gained. While the AutoMounter is performing its automated plate mounting, the dual-purpose system allows operators to multi-task and remove plates and tape on completed jobs and prepare sleeves for the next plate change.
Key to the success of the SPS is a controlled, measured and user-friendly mechanism, which requires minimal operator training. In demounting, plates and tape are “driven off” using a consistent, even force protecting against plate damage that can commonly occur in the demounting process. With plate costs conservatively estimated at €200 for a single standard-sized flexible packaging plate including material and imaging, this benefit is cited by customers as a significant incentive for investment. The returns are boosted further by improvements in employee wellbeing through eliminating the entirely manual process of plate/tape demounting and, with it, the risk of RSI.

The innovative design of the Heaford SPS offers a further unique capability. Due to its precision build featuring a sleeve mandrel that is customized to press specification the system can be used for accurate tape application. Using pressured laydown on the driven mandrel, tape is adhered onto the sleeves under a consistent pressure without air pockets or creases.

“The rapid take-up of our Sleeve Productivity Station highlights the fact that customers are increasingly realising the massive gains to be made from production streamlining and are looking for more ways to maximise efficiencies,” says Sally-Anne Heaford, Managing Director of JM Heaford Limited. “Most of the new installations to date have been made alongside our AutoMounters, the system offers opportunities to improve ease-of-use, accuracy and repeatability across the board. Functions such as taping and stripping are sometimes overlooked when a company is on an efficiency drive, but the productivity gains from deskilling the process and multitasking are considerable. When you factor in the financial savings from eliminated plate damage, the ROI of less than a year makes the purchasing decision unquestionable.”