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Flexo Sustainable : Year End 2011
energy without adding any value for the end customer. Long web paths and wide-spread workflows of converting are obvious cases of transport waste. #2. Inventory: Housing, protecting, and monitoring inventory can be a costly process—but whether a product has been stored or not makes little to no difference to the end customer. Worse, products that sit around, waiting to be sold to the customer, represent an inventory cost to the manufacturer that has not been met through an equal gain in sale. #3. Motion: Whereas transportation is the movement of product, motion is any movement of a worker or piece of equipment. With more movement comes more time spent moving, more wear, higher likelihood of damage, and increased safety risks. Plate cylinder loading, ink systems, and convoluted web paths can all influence motion waste. #4. Waiting (Idle Time): Anytime a product is not in transport, and is not being processed, it is simply lying idle. This can happen, for example, between a printrun and a variety of off- line processes. Processes with long waiting times tend to be slow and inefficient. #5. Over-Processing: Over-processing occurs when more work is done on a product than is required by customers. Such over-processing uses up critical materials and can squander operator time with extra operations and steps. In printing, this is especially noticeable in short-run work. #6. Over-Production: Over-production occurs when more product is produced than is specifically requested or required by the customer. In printing, running “overs” is a very common type of over-production. Overs have traditionally been the result of multiple makeready steps and large-batch printing. #7. Defects: Defects are the most obvious waste of materials and time in any process. Some defects only need to be corrected or replaced; others, however, can slow or stop workflow until the correction is made (think: paper jam). It’s easy to see how traditional flexo technology can contrib- ute to wasteful processes. For example, in traditional narrow Modern-day flexo presses can break even on a 1,100 ft. printrun, pictured fresh off press. Traditional machines required the processing of 8,200 feet of material to hit that mark. Photos: Mark Andy. 14 Sustainable FLEXO YeAr-end 2011 www.flexomag.com