Flexible Packaging Technology met with Andreas Müller (Production Manager Prepress, Printing & Lamination), one of their first customers Coveris in Neuwied, Germany (formerly Reuther Verpackungen) to ask them about their reasons to invest in new technology and about their experiences.

Coveris is one of the largest packaging producers in the world, specialized in manufacturing of packaging products for food, medical supplies, touch screen covers, etc. The company runs over 60 manufacturing facilities located in different parts of the World including North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia.

Coveris was formed by mergers and acquisitions of established packaging producers such as Kobusch Sengewald and Britton and invested heavily in the latest equipment to increase productivity and strengthen their position in the market.

Large investment in new technology

Coveris had to invest in new cleaning systems to replace their old systems because of legal requirements. Their old systems were typical top loaders, where you open the lid insert the cylinder, clean them, and the work area and access were above the cleaning machine, which due to new regulations made them look for a new cleaning system.

After scanning the market for potential solutions, the first contact with Flexo Wash was established. The main decisive factor for choosing the Flexo Wash system where:

- Cost considerations
- High quality cleaning and equipment
- The high level of automation
- Efficiency in eliminating downtime
- Safe & environmentally friendly solution

Andreas Müller stated that: “The choice fell on Flexo Wash because it made the most sense as it was the most complete setup, a higher degree of automation, and offered the required high throughput to prevent excess downtime of the printing presses.”

Proof of concept

The Multi Cylinder Cleaner can be loaded with 8 cylinders at once that are cleaned automatically within approx. 48 minutes, which frees the operator to do other things. The Flexo Wash system was also preferred because of the size of the system. Due to business dynamics, it was important for the system to be of sufficient size to allow for the right time management between jobs. A Coveris delegation visited the Flexo Wash headquarters in Skødstrup, Denmark to test-clean some (intentionally) overly dirty gravure printing cylinders to challenge the cleaning capabilities of the system. As the results were more than convincing, the purchase decision was an easy one.

‘We examined the cleaning machine process, which was a combination of eco-friendly liquid and high-pressure water, not solvent-based, of course, and we were convinced of its performance. We sent cylinders off to have them cleaned by the machine. The results were good, so we chose it.” said Andreas Müller.

Andreas Müller also said that there is not huge amount of extra time saving with the Flexo Wash unit, but that it is a lot easier to use because there is no crane involved in lifting the cylinders in and out, they enter and exit via a conveyor system.

The decisive factor: Safe and environmentally friendly solution

However, the environmental and work safety factors were more prominent than the possibility of time savings.

“We have little time saving, but the environmental protection was the decisive factor, because we had a very large consumption of solvents with the old machines. Since there was no exhaust sensor regulation of the machines, the fumes were released into the atmosphere and the employees had to work constantly above the solvents. This system was banned by the authorities with new regulations, which were the second main reason for a switch to non-solvent-based cleaning machines.” Said Andreas Müller.

In addition, during the time of purchase Coveris Neuwied also underwent a certification process for energy management, therefore the comparably low energy consumption of the Flexo Wash unit was another important factor.

Cleaning multiple cylinders at once

The Flexo Wash Multi Cylinder Cleaner uses a cleaning and rinsing procedure. The machine can treat two cylinders at a single time, which is fully automated using a conveyer system, where all the cylinders move through the machine automatically.

Read more about how the Multi Cylinder Cleaner can help you save valuable downtime and lighten your labor force.