We have all heard that the anilox roll is the heart of the flexographic printing process. While this is very true, it is also true that the heart alone cannot get the job done. In order to print consistently from both a production and graphics standpoint, there has to be synergy between all of the parts that make up the whole. Ink, anilox, metering system, printing plates and the printer itself have to all be pulling the wagon in the same direction or problems are going to occur.

Today, and perhaps for the foreseeable future, corrugated manufacturers are going to be challenged, not only by everyday issues, but by new ones as well. Situations like increased absenteeism, additional costs to make the workplace safe and a general adjustment in our mentality are necessary to get through the changes brought about by a pandemic. Each aspect makes for a challenge to overcome.

In the end, are we truly talking about anything new here? Not really. Some of these issues are just part of the job. But they have been especially impactful for the past four months or so, making a new discussion of how to handle them worthwhile.

From a manufacturing standpoint, the question has become: how do you deal with these new issues along with the standard ones that have been going on since flexographic printing became an acceptable way to put a message on a box? The grandfather of flexography, by the way, Aniline Printing, dates back to the early 1900’s. Although the process has evolved quite nicely since then, there are still some of the same challenges going on, just on a different scale.

Typically, your supplier of the components mentioned above (ink, plates, anilox, etc) comes in person to work with your staff on solving the issues that come up in the day to day process. That is not happening much now. But you can still stay ahead of the curve. Interested? Read on.

After manufacturing and reconditioning anilox rolls for over seventy-five years now, we have the process down – cold. Our company has invested heavily over those years to create technically savvy field salespersons as well as inside customer service people to deal with day to day customer requirements. Why is that useful in our current situation?

Well, there are a few reasons. Throughout North America, we have sixteen technical field salespeople available to serve you. There are many combined years of experience available to help with the entire printing process. These people are part of a network of sales consultants who know not only the anilox but the other components that make up the process as well. There is an ongoing stream of communication between these people and that communication can help your company in this unique time.

Here are some examples of how this can be done:

1 – Anilox audits
Even though plant visits in most parts of the country are at a minimum during these times, we are available for complete anilox audits – most of which are done when the plant is down on a Saturday or Sunday. If your plant is currently closed to visitors, we can also send you the tools necessary to complete an anilox audit. Included in that package are step by step directions on how the process is completed before being mailed to our lab in Atlanta for analysis.

2 – Training for process knowledge and improvement
If you have new hires or just want a refresher for your crews on overall flexographic printing knowledge, we are available to remotely conference with any number of people and can tailor to your plant’s needs.

3 – Vendor conferences
If you feel that better communication between key vendors and management at your plant would help enhance your efficiency, production and quality, let us customize a program for you that pulls key vendors together to virtually discuss your plant’s needs. In doing so, rather than having your ink, anilox, and plate vendors acting alone, we will create a group effort with your management team to solve graphics and quality/production problems as they relate to our components.

Communication is the key to staying successful in the face of these new challenges.

Hayden Green
Pamarco Technical Field Sales

Frank Green
Pamarco Technical Field Sales